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Redistributionist, and That’s Just Fine

Posted on Mar 2, 2009

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

    Our political system adjusts badly when the familiar landmarks erected during controversies of the past are swept away and prepackaged arguments become obsolete.

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    Starting with this week’s congressional budget hearings, it will be imperative to recognize the extent to which President Obama’s fiscal plan and the direction he set in his foreign policy speech on Friday have transformed the terms of the nation’s debate.

    The central issue in American politics now is whether the country should reverse a three-decade-long trend of rising inequality in incomes and wealth.

    Politicians will say lots of things in the coming weeks, but they should be pushed relentlessly to address the bottom-line question: Do they believe that a fairer distribution of capitalism’s bounty is essential to repairing a sick economy? Everything else is a subsidiary issue.

    Some critics on the right have tried to change the subject by criticizing Obama for refusing to play the role of “a war president.” In fact, Obama has made clear that he wants to be a president who winds wars down, much as Dwight Eisenhower did with Korea after taking office in 1953.

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    Eisenhower did not pretend that the struggle with communism was at an end, and Obama doesn’t think our battle against terrorism is over. But both presidents recognized that hot wars with no end in sight are not in the country’s interest.

    The Eisenhower metaphor is appropriate in another way: Obama is being decidedly cautious about foreign policy. He is not moving out of Iraq as quickly as the war’s foes had hoped because he wants to minimize the risk that a messy aftermath would disrupt a season of domestic reform.

    Obama cleared the way for a big debate on inequality by getting rid of many budget gimmicks from the last eight years. He doesn’t pretend that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are side deals independent of the overall spending picture. He projects the budget outlook 10 years down the road, getting away from the Bush administration’s habit of cutting off our line of vision at five years. And to avoid any negative impact now, he postpones his substantial tax increases until 2011.

    As a result, Obama does not predict that he will eliminate the deficit anytime soon, and he also admits that the federal government will grow, modestly, as a share of the total economy even beyond the current emergency. After this moment’s big spike—necessary to get the economy moving—federal spending will account for 22.8 percent of the economy between 2010 and 2014, up from 21 percent in 2008.

    It will be important for both sides in the debate to be honest about those numbers. Supporters of where Obama is heading need to acknowledge that action on health care makes government’s growth inevitable. Obama’s opponents need to admit that increasing government’s share of the economy by less than 2 percentage points is hardly a form of wild-eyed state socialism.

    And to put all these numbers in perspective, health care as a whole already consumes 16 percent of the economy and, at the current rate of growth, will hit nearly 20 percent by 2017. We’ll pay for health care somehow, either out of our pockets or in our tax bills.

    Obama has taken another issue off the table by promising tax cuts that begin to kick in for families earning less than about $200,000 per year. He is doing so partly to offset the indirect tax on carbon he is proposing. That’s what his cap-and-trade plan amounts to, and there should be no effort to hide this, either.

    But his overall approach to taxes is frankly redistributionist: Even as much of the middle class gets a tax cut or no increase, the well-off will pay more. And before the howling on the right gets too loud, consider that we have just gone through a long era involving a far less frank form of redistribution—upward.

    “Over the past two or three decades, the top 1 percent of Americans have experienced a dramatic increase from 10 percent to more than 20 percent in the share of national income that’s accruing to them,” said Peter Orszag, Obama’s budget director. Now, he said, is their time “to pitch in a bit more.”

    Do we want to be a moderately more equal country or not? This is the question Obama has put before the nation. Let’s debate it without the distracting rhetorical sideshows designed to obscure the stakes in the coming battle.
   
    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is postchat(at)aol.com.
   
    © 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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By vancemack, March 9, 2009 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

cmhmd

Glib jibes aside…seriously…I’m very interested to know just what you consider the 10% that is the least intelligent and how that qualifies and what relevance it has to the topic of personal accountability and the current discussion. Are you suggesting that the bottom 10% are incompetent and therefore unable to care for themselves or make positive economic change and growth? Or where you just throwing things out there for no good reason?

“It is smart. It is what made this country great. See here: http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php”

Once again…just what is it about wealth redistribution and raising the minimum wage is supposed to be ‘smart’? Smarmy smartass comments do not an argument make.

“And that is the kind of right wing BS alarmist crap that, sorry, nobody but the 20% of the population that thinks W did a heckuva job buy. Go sell it on Limbaugh.”

Once again…laughable. 1st…I dont listen to Limbaugh…but I suspect you do. 2nd…thats a weak assed diversionary tactic to avoid the facts. 3rd…examine what democrats welfare policies have actually DONE ‘for’ the poor throughout this country’s history.

Albert Bandura discusses our efficacy…our individual ability to achieve growth and change. leftist politicians use political tripe to tell the poor how it isnt their fault and how they are owed more and how it is unfair and how they will bring about change by redistributing wealth. Thats not right wing rhetoric…that came directly from Obamas mouth.

“Yeah, we’re the uneducated ones. We should just let the well informed Fox viewers vote and stay home.”

Oh…I dont know about the Fox viewers. I DO know that Obamas supporters dont have the first clue what they are supporting. Do you? Do you know how many trillions are being obligated? Have you looked at the supporting statements (3 million jobs will be created “or saved”). Do you HONESTLY believe that wealth redistribution will work? remember that 10% you talked about? What do you think they did with their stimulus check last year? Do you buy into the energy plan that exists of auctioning carbon credits and building new plants based on unknown undeveloped future possible power technologies?

The global economists dont seem to think its such a swell plan…or maybe you havent noticed.

And once again…you make me laugh. Im not a ‘Bushie.’ Hells bells son…have you missed any or everything I have ever written on this site? Im a libertarian…I think 70% of the fed should be shut down. I think Bush did a DISASTROUS job on the economy.

But the funny part is how people like you immediately talk about either the folly of doing nothing or “you are a right wing bush supporter” instead of discussing whether ANYTHING being enacted by congress will actually WORK.

Banks did a DISMAL job of managing their investors money. SO…give them another trillion. The auto manufacturers cant manage their business…so…give them another 60 billion so they can then lay of 40 thousand US workers to become solvent. Give money to cities and states with no accountability (hell mayor Daly in Obamas own Chicago just platently told the American people its none of their business what he does with their money). And on and on…

But you just go right ahead and keep making this about right or left.

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By cmhmd, March 8, 2009 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

>>Id be interested to know what you use to judge intelligence and what your source is.

To quote John Cleese in “The Life of Brian,” “You’re only making this worse for yourself!”

Seriously, re-read my quote, man. You can do the math, try again.

>And look…Im not against doing SOMETHING…just doing something SMART. This is populist and classist…it is NOT smart.

It is smart. It is what made this country great. See here: http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php


>> The dialog that is being used in the current political climate is the populist tripe that leads dictators into power.

And that is the kind of right wing BS alarmist crap that, sorry, nobody but the 20% of the population that thinks W did a heckuva job buy. Go sell it on Limbaugh.

>I would guess 80% of the people that support Obama havent got clue one about the man or his policies.

Yeah, we’re the uneducated ones. We should just let the well informed Fox viewers vote and stay home.


>>Thats dangerous. Lots of examples in history…a shame we dont bother learning from them.

Now there’s a hoot: A Bushie informing us there are lessons to be learned from history.

Cheers,

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By vancemack, March 8, 2009 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

cmhmd: This may be shocking news to you, but do you realize that 10% of the population are the least intelligent 10% of the population?


No…I don’t. Id be interested to know what you use to judge intelligence and what your source is. Ive worked with prisoners who have been judged to be ‘unintelligent’ but thats just garbage. Most are genius in their own ways.

And look…Im not against doing SOMETHING…just doing something SMART. This is populist and classist…it is NOT smart. The dialog that is being used in the current political climate is the populist tripe that leads dictators into power. I would guess 80% of the people that support Obama havent got clue one about the man or his policies. Thats dangerous. Lots of examples in history…a shame we dont bother learning from them.

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By Folktruther, March 7, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Obama as a redistributionist of income and assets is basically a fraud, the usual Dionne bullshit to disguise economic and poower inequality.  The ruling class did not put Obama in power to take money from the rich and give it to the poor.  On the contrary. He is bascially continuing Bushite polices, most notably by continuing the bailout swindles to the banks begun by Bush.

But he is also in favor of gutting social security and medicare, as Bush was.  The enormous increase in economic and social inequality the past few decades, the centralization of the mass media, and the development of TV advertising techniques, all have given the ruling power structure enormous power to continue increasing inequality. 

Obama has been put in office because he looks and sounds good on TV and will divert attention from the wars and disgusied Homeland despotism needed to continue to drive the American people into the ground.  He is a con artist leading a con game, and as the Obama cheerleaders drift away from disguising it, the American people will understand it.

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By cmhmd, March 5, 2009 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

Vancemack:Lets NOT deal with things like personal responsibility for education and career training…

This may be shocking news to you, but do you realize that 10% of the population are the least intelligent 10% of the population?

And close to half of the people in the country are of below average intelligence?

Except in Lake Woebegone, of course, but that place only exists in fantasy…

Cheers

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By Sepharad, March 5, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

vancemack, Obviously 100% socialism and communism do not work. Not in the long run: too many people want a free ride, and sharply varying age demographics make it untenable anyway. But unbridled capitalism doesn’t work in the long run either because the corporation’s bottom line is the be-all-and-end-all and to maximize that is not possible without shorting the workers as opposed to the shareholders and owners. You end up with a happy oligarchy and underlings, lords and serfs, master and wage (if not literal) slaves.

You’re familiar with Israel, I think, based on your comments elsewhere. As dangerous it is to interjecte word Israel on a truthdig thread, setting off irrelevant tirades, I think their experience is relevant here. What began in the 1800s as a 100% socialistic kibbutz/moshav system, over time this was headed for insolvency so the pendulum swung to capitalism, which made money but has not worked that well either, creating a huge difference between small elite top and slight middle class and lots of borderline poverty, not to mention political corruption. For a couple years they’ve been trying to make that pendulum swing smaller, and with time may find the best point. As you know Israel’s green research (non-fossil fuel powered cars, buses and other stuff as well as long-time agricultural innovations and the like) is emphasized there as is biotech and biomedical research, all of which provide jobs for appropriately skilled people. They are also spending more on education in an effort to move more people into that skilled category, which I think is smart and something the U.S. could profitably spend more on as well. The difference between the societies is that most Israelis expect less re lifestyle and size of house or apartment. They have other priorities. Everything is on a smaller scale per capita, in terms of consumption.

Don’t you think that in the long run a higher minimum wage and some form of combined socialism/capitalism might keep us from digging ourselves deeper into the hole? (Also a lower level of consumption, which is counter-intuitive to economic recovery or so the pundits tell us, would almost certainly make a difference in how fast we use up resources and possibly give us a chance to have a little more leisure time.)

Am in agreement with you that we need to go nuclear until green energy fulfills its promises—which to me still seem just that, “promises” not adequately demonstrated—but if we go that route we’d better figure out how to store the waste products, a problem that IS a problem and remains unsolved. Previously, ever since discovering that the undersea containers were leaking, we’ve dumped the waste in states too poor to effectively object (e.g. South Carolina and Nevada). After the Thresher went down, Admiral Rickover did an about-face from being a full-on supporter of nuclear power to an adamant opponent ... not because of the technology but because of human nature. What sunk the Thresher was unsuitable copper wiring that had cost a little less than the specified copper wiring. In a book on the subject, he wrote that however perfect the technology, the safeguards have to be impeccable because there will be human errors, whether out of greed or haste or merely inattention.

Sure wish those guys who thought they’d gotten cold fusion knocked had been right.

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By vancemack, March 4, 2009 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

right…workers of the world unite. Got it.

lets bump up minimum wage which WILL trigger cost increases and do absolutely NO good. Lets NOT deal with things like personal responsibility for education and career training…

geez. Hey…give em welfare too…except…if they work…penalize them and take some away. And oh…if they have lots of kids lets reward that too but punish them if they have a husband or father in the home…

Yes indeed…genius.

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By cmhmd, March 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

>>Minimum wage is not MEANT to be a living wage and it never will be. When you raise minimum wage all the other staple services go up.

And all wages go up so as to keep or get workers.

>>Want to know the best comparison? Look at fast food prices every time we have had a minimum wage increase.

Horrors. You mean the Dollar Store will become the $1.25 store and McDonald’s food prices will ever so slightly more realistically reflect their true cost to society in terms of health, for example.

>>Minimum wage is an entry level wage for part time employees. Employers that wish to attract efficient workers dont start people at minimum wage or keep them there. Minimum wage is not a working wage for career employees…it is a starting wage for seasonal and part time employees. <<

Yeah, right except for all those people living at poverty level due to suppressed wages by the inadequate minimum wage. And lack of market power of organized (and unorganized) labor.

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By wildflower, March 4, 2009 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

RE VANCEMACK: “you read anything this admin has done that is ANY different? Please.”

If you’re talking about the difference between the new administration and the last administration, I see a huge difference. The last administration worked to dismantle our laws, standards, and financial regulations while the new administration is working to put our laws, standards and financial regulations back together again.  There are a couple of articles currently on Truthdig that point to some of the differences. You just need to pay closer attention, vancemack.

When you consider the damage the last administration created, I believe the new administration has done pretty well in the short time they’ve been in office, especially when you consider the new administration is surrounded by a wide array of “moaning myrtles” that deeply resent the fact that the American public has sent them back to Hogwarts so to speak.  Some of the “myrtles” are mindless things that still have not grasp we are in the middle of a financial crisis while others are the ruthless Cheney types that are determined to remake America in their image.

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By vancemack, March 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Minimum wage is not MEANT to be a living wage and it never will be. When you raise minimum wage all the other staple services go up. Want to know the best comparison? Look at fast food prices every time we have had a minimum wage increase.

Oh…wait…did you think EMPLOYERS and business owners were going to eat the costs? Silly person. Of course not. They raise their prices.

I know…I know…workers of the world…unite. Great.

Minimum wage is an entry level wage for part time employees. Employers that wish to attract efficient workers dont start people at minimum wage or keep them there. Minimum wage is not a working wage for career employees…it is a starting wage for seasonal and part time employees. 

But hey….proof is in the pudding…raise minimum wage…watch small business fire people. Watch prices for bread and milk and cheese go up.

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By cmhmd, March 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Verne: Wealth vs income; what’s the difference?

I like Chris Rock’s explanation: Shaq is Rich. The guy that signs his checks? He’s wealthy!

On a serious point, has it occurred to the Republicans that if we had a true living wage as our minimum wage, we wouldn’t have so many people struggling day to day just to get by?

Consider that before Switzerland introduced its universal health care system, 95% already had insurance. Do you suppose that’s because it was so cheap or because employment compensation in Europe is not designed to keep people desparate as it seems to be here.

Cheers,
http://cmhmd.blogspot.com

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By HF101, March 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

vancemack,

You are most appreciated ?

Apart from the fact that they cannot win for winning and will enjoy no life without the specter of the return of the Right (that alone which gives them meaning and purpose) the sobering reminder of a mandate unrealized for Democrats gives birth to a phobia in which conservatives may delight and recognize all too well: fear of the inevitable backlash against this cloying one party dynamic.

Behold! The grand spectacle is hastened, as no time has been wasted on reasoning and inclusion. Familiar and wonderfully obvious, the taint of corruption, evasion and incompetence bubble forth from this elected party
like an overrun septic tank eight years in the filling, gagging even their most faithful.

In a clumsy victory waltz Democrats struggle to control the bloat and contortions of their soon unrecognizable ‘omnibeast’ and some already impatiently hint of disenfranchisement.

Hollow and plaintive bleats of ‘change’ remain to shore up glassy-eyed fallacies of a new party transcending, as if there truly were ‘new and improved’ interests and ideas to come from this lot of elected officials as it pertains to our individual financial wellbeing.

Mr. & Mrs. America and all the ships at sea: With all this talk of redistribution
maybe B.O. needs to give us time to keep up with his Wall street waylaying rhetoric, shut the f**k up for a minute and allow us to adjust our portfolios.

This street corner’s mine, anyone like to buy a pencil?

HF101

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By vancemack, March 4, 2009 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Oh…and once everything is ‘green’ where do you think the tax revenue for maintaining streets, schools, and government will come from?

Oh yeah…never mind…because unless they adopt nuclear power there will never be a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

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By Ryan, March 4, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Obama (and those who support him) prefer socialist democracy they are free to move to Europe and enjoy the fruits of that system. 

The United States, on the other hand, is a Constitutional Republic and as such the authority of the Federal Government to change the economic system is limited to those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution.  Those powers not specifically given to the Federal Government, and also not prohibited from it by the US Constitution are reserved to the states or “The People” therin (see US Constitution Amendments 9 & 10). 

This group of “The People” are the same “The People” who ordain and established the US Constitution in the preamble and to whom specific protections are granted from the Federal Government in the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution (see Bill Of Rights Amendments 1, 2, 4 and 5).

Within these Constitutional constraints, the Federal Government is limited to “regulating interstate commerce” (see US Constitution Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3).

All Federal Government interventions in the economic affairs of the states other than to “regulate interstate commerce” are therefore unconstitutional and, in fact, illegal under our present Constitutional system.  These acts are “invalid” since the states have never ceeded the authority to the Federal Government to perform them.

If the population of the United States doesn’t like the constraints placed upon the Federal Government of the United States by the Constitution, they are free to petition the Congress to propose an amendment to the US Constitution or to petition thier govenor to convene a Constitutional Convention for the same purpose.

What the US Federal Government is doing now and has been doing since the 1930s to control the economy is a patently illegal usurpation of power from the states.  The courts are stacked with lackies who routinely lie through their teeth to authorize the illegal activity. The entire system is failing and the people we have elected to run it for us are criminally incompetitant.

Until and unless the electorate holds these individuals accountable for thier actions, there is really no hope.  The system established by the founding fathers has been incrementally encroached for generations and is now failing.  It is our collective fault for electing jackasses to office.

If there is no penalty for exceeding their authority, the politicians will continue to do it and why shouldn’t they?

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By Sepharad, March 4, 2009 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’d echo what cyrena says: “I definitely want to be a moderately more equal country.” Redistributionism does not have to lead to a 100% communal system but a good socialist system with a certain amount of private enterprise—with areas vital to our wellbeing, such as health care, similar to what Obama and the Congress enjoy, largely single payer and government subsidized. My one concern re single payer plans, such as the one in Oregon, is that certain rare types of disease and chronic conditions requiring expensive drugs are NOT covered. A friend in Portland who’s battled MS all her adult life while being a productive editor and social activist is losing her eyesight because the one drug that retards that condition as an effect of MS is very expensive and not covered at all by their single payer plan. She can’t afford it and consequently will shortly have to stop working and go on disability. Given that she is a major asset to her community about to become a liability, the Oregon plan is badly flawed. Also, treatment of more exotic cancers is not there, and also off the list are high-tech drugs that work better than anything else on rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus. Assuming Obama’s plan would correct such omissions—most of which are covered by private insurers only IF you can pay a high price for your small-group premium—a good universal healthcare plan it would be worth a lot of redistributed wealth all by itself. Goes without saying that government would also have to subsidize more research, as that is a high-cost high-risk activity that contributes to the ridiculously high prices pharmaceutical companies ask for their drugs. Pharmaeutical companies also pay huge salaries and bonuses, which should be subject to higher taxes.

Self-Wise, there doubtless will be a lot of people hitting the food pantry. But I don’t think you’re entirely correct in saying self-pride and rugged individuality will keep people from understanding
that there are circumstances under which a large proportion of the population needs help. Especially not if those people have been paying higher taxes to ensure that food pantries and a decent health care system is available to all when needed.

melpol’s right: the purpose of a nation is not to be powerful and wealthy but to provide a decent standard of living for its people.

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By Jason!!, March 4, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Don’t know about you but I could sure use that 1200 tax cut right now.

In fact, if we dedicated the entire stimulus budget to tax cuts, every taxpayer would have received $25,000. That would be $50,000 for a married couple.

Obama says you’re too stupid to spend your own money so he is going to spend it for you on all types of pork. I have my own special projects than you.

And to think… I could have switched to green power to prevent them from taxing the air we breathe.

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By Verne Arnold, March 4, 2009 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Wealth vs income; what’s the difference?
I think it’s very important to understand the difference between wealth and a large income. To wit;

“Wealth is an abundance of valuable material possessions or resources. The word is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem. [1] An individual, community, region, or country possessing an abundance of such possessions or resources is called wealthy.”
“The concept of wealth is of great importance in economics, especially development economics, yet the definition of wealth is not straightforward and there is no universally agreed-upon definition. Different definitions and concepts of wealth have been put forth by different authors and in different contexts.[2] The choice of a definition of wealth can normative and have ethical implications, since wealth maximization is often seen as a goal or put forth as a normative principle of its own.”[3] (From Wikipedia)

Recently a couple of people I know, who depend on “wealthy” clients, have told me they have no worries in this economic “downturn” because their clients are wealthy. Both have seen their businesses decline seriously to almost nothing. Why? Because their clients are having “cash flow” problems. So, their clients are not wealthy; they just have/had large incomes subject to the vagaries of the economy. There is a huge difference between wealth and a large income. True wealth isn’t dependent on monthly cash flow; a large income is not wealth if there are no substantial cash reserves to back it up. This delusional insistence that a large income is wealth is at the root of our denial and the seed of this economic disaster.
The people who will survive this have no allegiance to any government, dogma, or ism of any kind; only to life and family itself and will, as people have for millennia, migrate to the place they can survive. Don’t wait too long, the window is not open for long.

True wealth is happiness.

There is no place to rest…
http://whatintheworld-icarus.blogspot.com/

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By vancemack, March 3, 2009 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

Wildflower…you read anything this admin has done that is ANY different? Please.

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By cyrena, March 3, 2009 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

Wildflower,

You are most appreciated! smile

These past 8 years of an authoritarian regime have beat the shit out of most of us I suspect. The problem is that some of us still don’t know what hit us.

I’m always reminded of Hannah Arendt’s work, “The Origins of Totalitarianism” when she notes that after the fall of Berlin, they (meaning the remaining ‘society’ of Germans and others)experienced a collective need to ponder “what had ‘happened’ to them”, and more importantly -  HOW it had ‘happened’”.

(It sounds like you may already be well familiar with this parallel, but here’s a link to some of her work for any who might be interested)

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/arendthtml/essayb1.html

They were not the first or the last to ponder this question of ‘how’ a formerly open and ‘democratic’ society could be overturned, specifically INVERTED, from within. (the results of conquests by EXTERNAL forces are far less complicated, at least in terms of comprehension.) The same has occurred in many places throughout the world; places like Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Peru. The same can be said of many other governments that have been overtaken by a coup of whatever method. The Cheney Regime was no different (IMO) than Hitler’s Nazis or Stalin’s Communism, and they went about dismantling our former ‘open society’ in many similar ways as those employed by both Hitler and Stalin.

But fortunately, we’ve survived, (or sort of) and can still be considered as hanging on by a thread, because at least the blue print for the original plan – A Constitutional Republic – is still available. They TRIED to put the thing (our Constitution) and all that it represents –specifically the rule of law over the rule of men- through the shredders and down the toilets. But, we kept copies, and we still have enough folks within our ranks who know how to read and interpret the thing, and are willing to actually GOVERN and participate in making the whole operation work as it was intended.

So, as G. Anderson would say, (I love this so I repeat it often) we were a “gnat’s eyelash away” from a complete fall into complete fascism, and it’s been a very close call. In fact, we’ve got major casualties. But like I said, we do still have our manifesto, and the ability to use it the way it was intended, and even it allows if not demands for revisions that meet the times.

Battle-weary we may be, but still ‘survivors’ in that we’re still attached to reality in a politically conscious way. Time to pick up the wounded who wanna survive as well, or let them go the way of the others.

Thanks for your much appreciated participation in the effort.

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By wildflower, March 3, 2009 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

RE VANCEMACK: “And yes…You might consider it fledgling socialist beginnings when the system of constitutional checks and balances has been abandoned.”

Fledgling socialist beginnings? No, I don’t think so, vancemack.  Believe your thinking processes may be a bit on overload because we’ve just experienced eight long years of “authoritarian conservatism.” 

It’s understandable, of course. I feel a little battle fatigue myself. The “authoritarians” pretty much undermined this country in almost every possible direction: our economy, laws, military, justice system, checks and balances, national credibility, and last but not least the general welfare of our citizenry.

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By ridinginfaith, March 3, 2009 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Who pays more taxes?
http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr151.pdf
Come on wake up people!

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By vancemack, March 3, 2009 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

If the states want to create “affordable” healthcare…by all means…be my guest. When the fed gets involved? Fuggedaboudit.

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By wildflower, March 3, 2009 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

RE VANCEMACK: “Did none of you attend school or read of the results of socialism/communism? Are you so absolutely blinded by your hatred that you cannot see the course we are embarking on?”

What course are we embarking on, vancemack?  In regard to healthcare, the only similarities that I’ve noted is that the citizenry from every country want their Nation to have an affordable system of healthcare.  Seems reasonable to me.

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By vancemack, March 3, 2009 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

How special. A senator is ‘now’ demanding answers after 1.4 trillion dollars to date of our tax dollars has been given away. And yes…You might consider it fledgeling socialist beginnings when the system of constitutional checks and balances has been abandoned.

Im sure there is NOTHING to the concept of ‘redistribution’ that has ever been used to springboard socialists into power. And of course that has ALWAYS been successful and beneficial.

Better idea. Just have the government pay off every home mortgage under 300k. No bank bailouts. The cost would be about the same, and THAT would be a stimulus plan!

Or better yet…DONT.

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By wildflower, March 3, 2009 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Oops! The question below was for Vancemack

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By wildflower, March 3, 2009 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

Socialist?  Are you talking about people like that Senator who ask Fed Chief Bernanke where the bailout money for those free-market profiteers was going? 

“Fed chief Ben Bernanke may be able to dole out trillions in the blink of an eye, but he ran headlong into Congress’ only independent democratic socialist, Tuesday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders demanded to know where all the Fed’s money was going. Bernanke said “no.” Sanders fired back with a law that would require such information to be posted to the Fed’s Web site.”

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20090303_bernie_sanders_wants_answers_will_write_laws_to_get_them/

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By vancemack, March 3, 2009 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

Childish battles aside…can ANYONE point to a point in time where wealth redistribution and socialism WORKED? Can ANYONE point to ANY economist that thinks any of this will actually WORK?

Then line “we have to do SOMETHING” is downright idiotic. No…we dont have to do SOMETHING if that SOMETHING causes more damage than good!

But really…who cares. When the market bottoms out wealth will be adequately redistributed.

How is YOUR 401k doing?

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By vancemack, March 3, 2009 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Dittohead? You make me laugh. I dont listen to talk radio…right or left. They are all clowns. But go ahead and assume.

Seriously…you DONT think tax and spend is what congress is doing? Did you NOT peruse the new annual budget figures? And do you HONESTLY believe I care less about WHICH party is corruptly spending my money? In my previous ‘rant’ I pointed out that all parties were just as culpable with regard to the housing bubble and bust. I dont CARE who screwed it up…I want it fixed. I DONT want my and oh yeah…YOUR great grandchildren paying for the “fix”...I mean…you are obviously a dumbass…but no reason why your posterity should have to pay…

You are just as deluded and blind as a ‘dittohead’...what shall we call you since you apparently like names and labels…A ‘barrakomaniac’...an ‘obamanation’? Nah…lets just stick with dumbass….it suits you well.

See…most libertarians arent real keen on government control of our lives or finances. I suspect you arent either…unless it fits your particular bent.

You try and get a clue…you have no idea as to my ‘ilk’. I despise both parties for their party first ideas. Almost as much as I despise ass clowns like you that cant use your head for anything other than a bung stopper.

I’ll avoid the easy shot at the sex comment. It would be too easy to make some witty stinging comment about how your wife and mom didnt seem to mind…too juvenile…I’ll just avoid it all together.

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By vancemack, March 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

JFoster…if you are too stupid to recognize the quotes YOU put in your own posts…dont blame me!

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By JFoster2k, March 3, 2009 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

vancemack, 

“JFoster…just how the HELL do you or congress justify “their share of the economy”??? What exactly does that MEAN?”

What is this, “their share of the economy” you’re shouting about? I guess neither of us know what you mean, but I’m used to that when speaking to Dittoheads.

I do have to commend you for your deft use of the “Tax and Spend” phrase. Did you come up with that yourself? Maybe conservatives could use it in a campaign sometime.

Get a clue. Are you so completely blinded by your idology that you can’t see the hypocracy inherant in everything the GOP has done. Under Bush, your ilk took a surplus and turned it into a $5,000,000,000 deficit while claiming to be fiscally conservative, killed over a million innocent Iraqi’s while endorsing the “right to life” and drove this country into a severe recession.

Now you suddenly have a “come to Jesus” moment, find your true conservative values and, despite the election results to the contrary, seem to think you have the right plan for the country.

The right-wing “government is bad” and “government is inefficient” argument really only applies when it is run by a bunch of morons who are more concernerd with getting relected than doing what is right for the people who elected them.

I can understand why conservatives think government is bad. It’s the same reason you think sex is bad. You’re bad at it.

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By vancemack, March 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

JFoster…just how the HELL do you or congress justify “their share of the economy”??? What exactly does that MEAN?

When has congress EVER been a just steward of tax dollars?

This transcends politics: dems, repubs…HOGWASH. They tax…and SPEND…and roll in their slop.

The fed takes in approx 80 billion and allocates it to the fed education machine…then ‘graciously’ doles out out about 50% back to the states. So…what happens to the other half? It is swallowed by bureaucracy. In health care we have 6-7 administrators for every care giver. Socialized medicine will be a debacle as it is around the globe. And you people chill it and eat it with a spoon.

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By JFoster2k, March 3, 2009 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

David, you have a talent for saying it like it isn’t.

The free market is motivated and powered by one simple thing; Greed. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Greed has its purpose in nature. However, greed unchecked in society is devastatingly oppressive.

There is truth to the phrase, “the market will take care of itself”... the key word being ITSELF. We are living the results of what happens when the market takes care of itself without oversight or accountability.

It’s easier and more profitable to steal than manufacture. Why leverage mortgaged backed securities at 3 to 1 when you can make a truck load more cash at 30 to 1? Because it destabilizes the industry, that’s why!

As E.J. stated:

“Obama’s opponents need to admit that increasing government’s share of the economy by less than 2 percentage points is hardly a form of wild-eyed state socialism.”

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By felicity, March 3, 2009 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

Republicans devoted - and vocal about it - to sinking the Obama presidency by challenging his economic policies continue to spout incendiary half-truths and/or outright lies.

Raising taxes on those with an income above $250,000/year will drive small businesses, the engines of our economy, into bankruptcy? About 3 percent of them since the other 97 percent don’t realize anything close to $250,000/yr income.

And present Medicare costs to the government as an indication of how high the costs to the government if single-payer health care were enacted? Medicare recipients for the most part are old and old people get sick so judging the health-care costs of the entire population based on the health of the old is specious.  (As a matter of fact, 75 percent of our health-care costs go for those who have incurable illnesses.)

How I wish that members of Congress who support Obama’s economic policies could just once in a while refute the lies spewed by the opponents by citing some specifics?

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By vancemack, March 3, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

It is unbelievably amazing how incredibly ignorant some people can be.

Do NONE of you own history books? Did none of you attend school or read of the results of socialism/communism? Are you so absolutely blinded by your hatred that you cannot see the course we are embarking on?

Socialism DOES NOT WORK. Big government is the problem not the cure. The markets daily reflect what happens every time government submits another ‘fix.’

Wealth redistribution is a farce. Seriously…are any of you stupid enough to believe that concept? Middle income Americans are having their life savings wiped out and the government is simply swelling. There is no redistribution of wealth except in the concept that soon there will be only two classes…the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor.

The BEST solution is to let the markets and housing market correct itself. For all the hype and talk and rhetoric, the housing bubble was created on artificial housing costs. People saw prosperity, wealth, and opportunities for growth and expansion and made STUPID financial decisions. Blame the banks…fine…but you also have to blame the people that paid 600k for a 300k house when they could only in fact realistically afford a 200k house without creative and idiotic financing.

LET THE MARKET CORRECT ITSELF! For heavens sake…it will eventually anyway…this false buffer isnt going to ‘save’ us, its just going to leave us 15-20 trillion in debt. Once that 600k house goes back to 200k, people will buy, builders will build, construction workers will work, banks and investors will profit, and the cycle will begin again.

This is the most absolutely idiotic ‘fix’ you could possibly engage in. Of course…this isnt ABOUT fixing things…it is about growing government and increasing control and power.

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By Elton, March 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Folks, be careful what you wish for with wealth redistribution…
Should we actually be headed toward a 1 World Government which believes in Wealth Redistribution the ALL of America will probably be considered wealthy… 
Earning over $10,000 a year is considered Very Well Off in most of the world.

When making these types of comparisons and generalizations the outcome depends on where you draw the boundries.

Also, how will you account for the varying work ethic?  I know many people who spend weeks at a time away from their familt in order to increase their earnings…  I get paid much less than possible so that I can be home each night with my family…  Should their ‘Wealth’ be redistributed to me?  Should I be forced to work harder?

It always sounds good, but making it work (‘Fairly’)is almost impossible.

Pray for Wisdom and God will provide it…

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By David, March 3, 2009 at 11:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The difference between government redistributing wealth and the free market redistributing wealth is that government uses physically violent force and threat of physically violent force to affect its redistribution (taxes are _laws_, enFORCED by armed IRS agents backed courts and jails and the National Guard), while the free market uses mutually voluntary exchange.

The extortion that is Socialism, and it really is precisely extortion, and nothing less, don’t delude yourself otherwise, is completely without moral justification, not to mention full of practical peril.

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By JFoster2k, March 3, 2009 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

The “redistrubution of wealth” argument is ridiculous on it’s face. The neocons would have us believe that raising taxes on the rich means punishing those who create the jobs. They say it will hurt our economy by stalling the “engine that drives economic growth”.

News flash! The engine is already stalling despite (or perhaps because of) a massive upward redistribution of wealth to those who, rather than creating more jobs, simply increased their profit margins and paid themselves bigger bonuses.

(This is an excerpt from an earlier post I wrote, but it seems to fit here)

“Unbridled capitalism is at it’s heart, ‘The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.’ Without strict governmental regulation and oversight the greed inherant in the persuit of wealth will always result in corruption like we see with Madoff, Stanford and the myriad of other con-artists. And let’s not forget the bankers who leveraged us, at 30 to 1, into this recession.”

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By Walter Lane, March 3, 2009 at 3:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People keep forgetting the most important point: the government (PER THE CONSTITUTION) has no business in wealth redistrution, in healthcare, etc…It’s not the job of the government to take care you: take care of yourselves and leave the government to do what the Constitution limits it to do.

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By wildflower, March 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Ultimately, E.J, I believe the Obama Administration is trying to get “more miles per gallon” for the American taxpayers when it comes to their health care costs, which is very good news.  Indeed, the American taxpayers could use a helping hand from their government for a change.

In the current private insurance-based system, a portion of every dollar the American taxpayer pays toward their medical bills goes either directly or indirectly into the pockets of insurance company shareholders, insurance lobbyists, political campaign advertisers, and political representatives willing to support the for-profit health care industry.

Interestingly, the greatest challenge Obama faces in obtaining his administration’s health care goals appears to be some of the American taxpayer’s own representatives, which is unsettling to say the least. One would think since these representatives were elected to represent the public and are paid salaries and benefits through public tax dollars, they would support the administration’s efforts in seeking a cost effective way to provide healthcare to every citizen.

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By Margaret Currey, March 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Bush came to power (shrub) he as quick as quick raised the profits for the rich, by lowering their taxes so now that Obama wants to redistribute the wealth they cry FOUL but most of the American people were given the Okey Doke by the powerful lobbiests that have taken over our government.

I believe that Obama has the heart and support of the middle class which there are more of.

And I as a female was a captative of the corporations because I earned a little less than a man doing the same job I think that those that are making over $200,000.00 be a little less greedy because they can get along with paying more taxes whereas I would be hurting if I had to pay more taxes because I have to pay for rent,food, child care and health and the rising cost of living for the same amount of salary.

The great man Solomon (from the bible) says that there is noting new under the sun.

So the rich allways want to get richer and usually at the expense of others.  Do they want us to be unlanded pesants?  Yes they do!

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By vico, March 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Palaver’s idea is very interesting, but I think it needs a little adjustment at the higher end; perhaps when a person starts earning a half million dollars a year, the rate should be 30% and then go up 3% for every doubling. This also can be adjusted to inflation,and I would allow deductions(a sliding scale) for medical expenses, education, and for living (for a portion of the rent a person pays & property taxes).A idea that has been floating around (even the former Bob Dole suggested it)was to put a 0.35% tax on short term speculators[i.e.if you buy & then sell the same thing a few hours or days latter; if you hold on to a stock for a year or two you would not be hit with this].I would also give a standard deduction of say $12.000 a person.
A carbon tax is a good idea (with a tax credit for the poor and the lower middle class how would have a hard time paying this. I would also give a tax deduction for “greening” ones residents; but unlike the one that was used by the Carter administration, it would be higher(say 40%) and have a sliding scale so that the billionaires would get something but not as much as the working stiff. One could say also cut out federal taxes on hybrids, electric, hydrogen, alternative fueled cars and trucks; give a break on part of comutting with public transportation(with a sunset provision of 10-15 years)

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By Hulk2008, March 2, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Well-said, Big Wes !! 

Nail Humana, Wellpoint (aka Anthem Blue Cross), Kaiser Permanente, all the HMOs, and all those drug companies who rely on government-paid research to develop products. 
Ever hear of a soldier or sailor or airman complain about his military doctor?  Ever hear Senators or Congressmen gripe about their health care ?  Funny how THEIR single-payer system performs so well.

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By Big Wes, March 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Here’s all I’ve got to say: between taxes and my family coverage insurance premium, I bring home only about 55% of my annual earnings.  I want to cut Humana’s fat ass out of the picture and instead of paying out huge premiums to a private company, roll my money into a universal single payer system where the economy of scale kicks in.  The government can use the savings generated from booting Humana out to pay for administrative costs and bolster Social Security so I can actually retire someday.

People who complain about the taxes associated with universal health care and pensions need to look at the taxes they are paying PLUS the premiums they are spending as well.  I don’t know the actual numbers, but I’d say that would bring our actual out of earnings costs pretty close to that of Canada.

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By Hulk2008, March 2, 2009 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Several points to lay to rest regarding the coming fight:
1. Conservatives play the fear-of-rationing threat when health care is discussed:  In reality ALL health insurers especially HMOs already ration ALL health care - patients must justify to a company nurse/board/doctor/clerk whether a procedure is medically justified. Doctors must follow a rigid treatment plan defined and/or approved by the insurer including specific drugs and supplies. ICD9 coding must follow specific rules. Otherwise claims are not paid. 1.a. The attending physician most often must be a captive of the insurer’s network of approved providers (aka kickbacks and fixed fee rates dictated by the insurance company).  I personally have worked with health insurance and hospitals for over 30 years - waste is rampant and profit (not patient care) is king.
2. Conservatives say that taxing the rich means taxing the “top producers” in the economy - the fact is that the most productive entities in business are SMALL businesses - and 98% of those small business owners NEVER earn over 250K a year. The top earners are hedge fund owners who produce NOTHING - they manufacture nothing and offer no services .... unless you count bogus credit swaps and bundled sub-prime bad mortgages.  3. Conservatives wave the Socialism bloody shirt any time government tries to reign in their profligate behavior; they say that communism and the nazis demonstrate how socialism is a failure - the fact is that Russia and China and Germany never practiced socialism - they are/were all fascist dictatorships and only used the term as a propaganda tool for enforcing the will of the dictators.  Moreover, most modern free societies depend upon moderate socialist devices to survive.  Government must play “referee” among competing interests because the robber barons surely won’t and the uneducated poor are unequipped.
  And unlike the prior 8 years, in which liberals prayed that W would do SOMEthing correct,  conservatives ala Limbaugh are openly praying for Obama’s failure.

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By Palaver, March 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

With the US government now paying most of the bills, it is a good time for everyone to reconsider the value of taxation.  We cannot spend ourselves back to prosperity any more than we can cut taxes enough to survive.  We all benefit from forms of infrastructure all around us that we often never notice.  Those who are more and most successful benefit most from our transportation systems, communication systems, legal systems, financial systems, health care, education, etc.  The list goes on and on.  All these systems depend on support from us all.  So what do we need now? We need a reevaluation of what is fair and effective in terms of personal tax policy that supports all our systems of infrastructure.  Is it fair to have a bunch of tax brackets that no one understands? These cause perturbations that are unwarranted.  What if we simply increased tax rate at a fixed rate based on each doubling of income?  This is one simple approach that is always fair to everyone.  Anyone who makes twice as much as someone else would pay a small, fixed amount more in tax rate.  Let the debate be about the correct fixed rate of increase but it will be about 2-1/2 to 3%.  Say it is 2.5%: for someone making $64k would pay 15% tax rate.  Someone making $128k would pay 17.5%.  Someone making $256k would pay 20%.  Someone making $1M would pay 25%.  Someone making $4M would pay 30%.  Someone making $16 M would pay 35%.  Someone making $1B would pay 50% while taking home $500 million.  The equation is simple: Tax Rate = 0.0362 x Ln(Taxable Income) – 0.25.  This approach allows for those who benefit most from being American to contribute into the systems that make their success possible in direct proportion to their success.  Let’s talk about this.

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By cyrena, March 2, 2009 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

By godistwaddle, March 2 at 11:52 am #

The rich are VERY lucky that Americans have forgotten 1776 and 1789.  Justice demands that the rich be impoverished for the good of all.  If they object, oh, well.

~~~

Indeed this is true godiswaddle. They ARE lucky that MOST Americans have forgotten those dates. Not all of us though.

Meantime, justice really DOES demand that they be impoverished,(some even imprisoned) for the good of all.

And if they object? I’m with ya..Oh well..

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By RdV, March 2, 2009 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Since the ruling class aristocracy owns and controls most of the media outlets and power centers, nothing was head about the vast transfer of wealth upwards-accelerating for the past 50 years. What is the ratio of money earned between the typical worker and management? At one time it was 3xs—then 50xs onto 500xs? And even when they run the company into the ground, they expect to be rewarded without question—yet any return on the taxpayers money for the common good is considered wasteful spending and imposing taxes on the upper crust is considered an unfair burden—even when they have teams of lawyers creating exceptions and loopholes so they pay a lesser burden than the average Joe.

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By hark, March 2, 2009 at 9:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The top 1% have more than doubled their share of national income over the past thirty years, but we never referred to that as a redistribution of income, or war on the middle class.  But now that Obama is calling for a return to tax rates that still lie within the range of what we call “Reaganomics,” it’s become redistribution of income and class warfare against those poor rich folks.  Amazing. 

Doesn’t it occur to anyone that since the rich control everything, hold all the power, that they are the ones who decide what to pay themselves, and what to pay everyone else?  That maybe their income before taxes is already heavily skewed in their favor, far beyond what they are worth?  Does anyone really believe that the performance of CEOs, who used to make 30-40 times the average worker, has improved so much that now they are worth 400 times the same workers?

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By Jason!!, March 2, 2009 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

paying $600 in taxes a month vs. $665 is not Redistribution. Your still getting soaked and Pelosi is still living large on your dime.

The money still flows to the same ol folks. Paul Allen gets an extra Billion in profits from this so called stimulus. Its one big farse.

The cap and trade will offset any “benefits” you might see from government services. Everything will cost more

so in reality the only Redistribution is from the people to the Government.

dont be a sucker.

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By Self Wise, March 2, 2009 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

You need a lot of people hitting the food pantry and the soup kitchen up to get everybody to be completely honest on how we need each other.  Rather than the component of the American Way that says you have to make your way all on your own with no hand outs.  That instilled self pride component has to be overcame for that portion of “middle hard working Americans” to buy in to the redistribution and not be tricked by the empty rhetoric from the far right.

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By godistwaddle, March 2, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

The rich are VERY lucky that Americans have forgotten 1776 and 1789.  Justice demands that the rich be impoverished for the good of all.  If they object, oh, well.

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By vpurto, March 2, 2009 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is a good sign for America that main stream journalist such as E.J. is finally talking about Socialism. It means that 60+ years of relentless propaganda and thousands of economics “professors” with the help of untold zillions of $$$ could not erase the simple fact that we live in Society as tightly linked men and women in which Capital ought to be but instrument of exchange goods and services produced for the good of Society as a whole for generations to come. Only an extreme egotist with the horizon of woodpecker can navigate her life with the principle that “there is no such thing like society, there are only men and women”. Unfortunately one of those woodpeckers was Prime Minister, while another one was President and yet another one to name only Unholy Triad, was Chairman of Federal Reserve.

Needless to say that all those intellectual giants believed neither in theory of gravitation, nor in predicting power of science. They, and myriads of their followers, believed and will continue to believe in heroic theory of history and whatever mumbo-jumbo that will help them NOW and HERE. So now these people surprised that gravity is unconcerned with their beliefs and that their philosophy finally came down crashing. Alas, with the life of billions of people around the globe.

Our moment of truth is NOW. In order to chart right course we need to dust off maps of Reality and to put financial junta, which chartered maps of Wonderland, to the dustbin of history where they all belong. We had enough of wild-eyed Capitalism in Gilded Age, Roaring Twenties and now in Soaring Thousands. The time has finally come to link globally distributed production with globally distributed consumption.

Capitalism did wonders to take from each one of us according to one’s talents. The time has come to give each one of us, not only to self-chosen few, according to one’s need. That will be classic socialism that will most definitely come.

Our task is to avoid bloodshed in its Second Coming.

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By melpol, March 2, 2009 at 6:23 am Link to this comment

It is not the purpose of a peace loving nation to become powerful and wealthy, but to provide a decent standard of living. Over 50 million Americans are slow learners and possess no marketable talents. They are doomed to live a life of frustration as they watch others share in the American dream. The no adult left behind Act (NALBA) would place these unfortunates in high paying positions.  Employers would be given tax credits to compensate for their understanding and compassion. Nobody is too heavy because they are our brothers.

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By cyrena, March 2, 2009 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

•  “Supporters of where Obama is heading need to acknowledge that action on health care makes government’s growth inevitable.”
I could very easily be missing something here, so help me out – anybody.

I’m not sure why supporters of where Obama is heading would have a problem with the inevitability of government’s growth. But, maybe it’s because I don’t see a problem with growing the government to take on these or many other operations…like transportation and energy collection/distribution.
 

Ok…never mind, I figured it out after I read the rest of the piece. I’m probably one of those who would be OK with the Socialism, (minus the wild-eyes) so it becomes a moot point. EJ is apparently considering those folks who like the idea of Obama’s plan to extend health care, but don’t like the idea of paying for it through the federal apparatus. I guess. Or maybe they just don’t like the thought of ‘government growth’? I don’t know. Maybe I am still confused.

But, not on this…which is the bottom line anyway.

•  “Do we want to be a moderately more equal country or not? This is the question Obama has put before the nation. Let’s debate it without the distracting rhetorical sideshows designed to obscure the stakes in the coming battle.”

I DEFINITELY want to be a moderately more equal country.  I’ve been saying as much for over a decade, and I don’t even need as much to be ‘more equal’ as a whole bunch of other folks.

So,  I LOVE this redistribution scheme…but then I’m really into weight and balance concepts anyway. I know how important weight and balance is to avoiding crashes. Crashes like the one Obama and the rest of us have inherited from the crashers of the previous regime.

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