Why poverty matters for Republicans

Twenty trillion dollars is a lot of money. Absent a major course-correction or a sudden increase in economic growth, the US Federal debt will reach that level by 2017. Americans would consistently prefer to have Republicans, rather than Democrats address our fiscal issues, but there is a catch. The country will not trust the party to do what we do best so long as they fear what Republicans will do to the social safety net.

Republicans will not get the mandate we need to change this country’s fortunes until we can develop a convincing approach to dealing with plight of the less fortunate. A sound, convincing approach to poverty relief is the gateway to a Republican future and an American Renaissance.

Dealing with our mounting financial problems should not be difficult. America is fantastically wealthy, fully capable of generating surpluses or managing a much higher debt load. In fact, a modest, sustained increase in economic growth would allow us to bring the debt in line within a decade or so.

Our debt is not a problem in and of itself, but a symbol of something more dangerous. People and organizations successfully borrow money as a means to achieve a goal, but that is not what America has been doing since 2000 – the last year we experienced a surplus. The debt we are accumulating today isn’t buying us anything. It is the accumulated cost of political gridlock and a lack of vision.

The key to debt reduction is growth and our biggest single obstacle to growth is a sclerotic government structure which has failed to keep pace with changes in the economy and culture. Government remains slow, labor-intensive, and relatively unresponsive. Government is not only increasingly expensive, it is accomplishing less and less.

Tearing down government is not a solution. We need government to work.

The debt is just a symbol of our real political problems. Dodd-Frank, for example, was meant to curb the thinly veiled casino gambling of federally-insured financial institutions. Instead it has become a regulatory Potemkin village. Saddled with massive new bureaucratic burdens legitimate businesses struggle while the same derivative speculation that fueled the last crisis continues virtually unabated.

No Child Left Behind was so massively broad and clumsily crafted that it has devolved into little more than a bureaucratic dance. Almost every state in the union has either had the requirements waived or has a waiver pending. The goals of the law were admirable and might have actually worked in the mid-20th century. Today, such an ambitious effort at central planning is a ridiculous and painful joke.

Then there is the Affordable Care Act. Do we even need to address the ACA?

Government in the US does less for ordinary people than the dense bureaucracies of Western Europe, but it does it with the same levels of inefficiency, complexity and unaccountability. And that’s just the Federal picture. The problem is arguably much worse at the state and local level, where many government entities continue to exist for little practical purpose other than to collect taxes to pay under-funded pensions.

New technologies like Tesla and Uber offer enormous promise, but their growth is being thwarted by state and local governments shackled by their political ties to incumbent businesses and unions. The same combination of cronyism over-enthusiastic regulation is strangling the growth of solar power. As heavy as our Federal government may be, it is less of a burden on our economy than our thousands of city councils, state legislatures, and county boards.

Democrats, with their deeply entrenched ties to organized labor are institutionally incapable of leading the country toward the leaner, smarter government institutions we need in order to operate in a more dynamic world. Americans look to Republicans to make tough decisions on government reform, but they legitimately fear what we might do.

Welfare, Medicare, Social Security and the rest of our social insurance network has been the buffer that makes our financial dynamism possible. A deteriorating long-term debt picture and a bureaucratic quagmire may be concerns, but they are far less worrying than the possibility of seeing the entire structure of the safety net destroyed.

If Republicans could develop a reality-based, sensible approach to the social safety net it would alleviate most of the concerns that prevent the party from being trusted. An intelligent approach to poverty relief might be the key that unlocks a Republican future.

Developing a realistic agenda around poverty issues is going to be very difficult. Safety net policies expose the blind spots in most Republicans’ understanding of the world. They touch on questions of race, justice, and institutional inequality which most Republicans patently refuse to acknowledge. Dealing with the social safety net requires us to confront realities about the shape of the world that undermine deeply cherished myths.

The good news is that there are options available, developed by economists and thinkers on the right, which would allow us to replace our old approach to the social safety net while reducing the size and role of government. The bad news is that the party is so mired in paranoia and delusion that it is virtually impossible for anyone to propose realistic reforms of almost any kind without being forced to the political margins. A political party that can be deluded by Cliven Bundy or Ted Cruz is in no fit shape to be trusted with important matters.

Republicans, as the challengers to the established bureaucratic order, have an unusual burden to demonstrate that our goals can be accomplished without tearing down the other pillars of the Republic. We should be able to do that, but Fox News and AM radio aren’t going to help. People used to trust Republicans in part because they were boring. The GOP today is relentlessly exciting in the worst possible ways.

Restoring some sense of sanity and realism is going to be a painful challenge. Before we can once again with a Reagan-style mandate, we will have to win the country’s trust on the issue that has been our Achilles heel.

If it were easy we would have done it already.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Ownership Society, Republican Party, Welfare State
143 comments on “Why poverty matters for Republicans
  1. Anse says:

    It’s not going to work. Republicans need poor people. Poor people are proof that everything is right in the world. We have rich people, and we have poor people. That’s capitalism. Capitalism doesn’t reward everybody. There have to be losers. If a middle class exists, that’s a happy accident; it means nothing from a moral standpoint, because capitalism is not a moral economic framework. And yet we extract from it a moral worldview that depends on the successful being rewarded, and the unsuccessful getting what they deserve. No conservative is going to do anything about that system. It needs to be this way. If we had no more poverty, we’d have no way to properly measure the so-called “meritocracy.”

    • CaptSternn says:

      Other way around. Conservayives want everybody to succeed. Liberals need the poor so they can buy votes by promising thenm free stuff.

      • Anse says:

        Says the guy who votes for the party that dangles a tax cut in front of him at every opportunity, no matter what the particular economic or political climate may be. We’re at war? We want a tax cut! We’re deeply in debt? We demand a tax cut! Goodness knows if it even matters what is best for the country, Republican voters are gonna get their strip off the federal carcass no matter what. Right?

        But I’m sorry, I forgot that only Republicans are of such noble stock that they never, ever think of their own bottom line when going to the polls. That never happens. They’re always ready to sacrifice when their country needs them. Waving a flag is hell on the elbows, after all. And all that saying the pledge makes a man hoarse after a while. It’s a terrible burden you makers have, I’m not sure how we’d get on without you.

  2. DanMan says:

    Update from Chiraq…
    I predicted 32 shootings with 6 deaths
    actual tally, 34 shootings with 4 deaths

  3. tuttabellamia says:

    SASSY, just as you advise me not to let Cap control my thoughts, I suggest you not let him control your emotions.

  4. Crogged says:

    What I wonder about is when are we going to get the calls to get the feds out of the money printing business. After all the government is terribly inefficient, so why don’t we just let everyone print their own money, which would then prove all the statements below asserting ‘wealth isn’t finite’.

  5. CaptSternn says:

    Ya know, there is some humor here, and this comment will be a bit snarky, so be warned.

    Lifer, who claims to be a republican and a conservaive, is actually so far to the left that even the leftists of the “echo chamber” (credit Kabuzz) can’t even get behind what he calls for. There is some twisting, some squirming, some attempts to give those things some thought, but still so extreme to the left that they would rather not even think about such things at this point.

    Tutt, myself and others, have suggested that Lifer join with the democrats. His views are much more in line with those of Pelosi, Reid and Obama. I suspect he very well knows this. I suspect that he is one of them, that he is one that wants the two parties to be so similar that there is really no difference. That would be the GOP establishment, though I doubt they would be brave enough to call for the extreme far left policies Lifer is suggesting.

    This is leftist extremism that actually makes most liberals look rational, and I think that might be the point. Go so far the the left, call for enslavement and communism while being offended by what he is calling for that it makes socialists look normal and people that value individual liberty and rights looks like extremists. Then call the far left “normal” or “moderate” and suggest communists/fascists are on the “right”. Wouldn;t be the first time.

    • Intrigued says:

      I hope Chris corrects me if I am wrong but isn’t basic income more of a libertarian based proposal? Stern you are so off the charts in your ideology I don’t even consider you part of the GOP.

      • goplifer says:

        Is the basic income a libertarian proposal? Depends on whether you consider Hayek, Friedman, and Charles Murray to be libertarians.

        Probably it was just dreamed up by Communists. And by Fascists, because they are the same thing.

      • DanMan says:

        let’s do some maf. About 75% of the US population is 18 or over. 330 million x 75% = 248 million. Hey Chris, what is a living wage? $20k/year? if there is no means testing and everybody gets a piece of the annual pie that is a mere $5 trillion/year. Current total tax revenue is around $2.7 trillion/year. We’ve been incurring debt at about $1.25 trillion/year since democrats took all branches in 2008 and have bottled up the budget ever since. So current expenditures are about $4 trillion/year.

        At $20,000/year Chris wants us to raise our revenue to pay our selves by collecting $125% more of our money than our current tax rate + debt collects. Where does the money come from?

        The current amount of privately held retirement funds is around $17 trillion. That’s about 3.4 years of free money to give away. Oh, except we already owe that much to ourselves and the other 40% or so of foreign investor dollars that are carrying that debt. Do we repay them first to eliminate the 7% of our GDP on debt and maintain the trust of the investor class or do we just take it and collapse the system?

        Bring us your facts Chris. Where do you get the dollars to give away? Is 41 months of utopia good enough for you? What does Hayek have to say about it?

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, the minimum income is not a libertarian idea. You won;t find it anywhere in the Libertarian Party Platform.

      • John Galt says:

        Ah, yes, because the definition of libertarian ideas is whether they are found in a party platform. Screw Hayek, he’s got nothing on Bob Barr.

      • Crogged says:

        So exactly where did the minimum income proposed become ‘let’s always give everyone 24 thousand a year despite their current income? Of course if you multiply hundreds of millions of people by 24 thousand you get a big number–congratulations on discovering this bit of basic math. Isn’t it the least bit possible that this can be addressed?

        Do you know how debate is supposed to work? You take your opponents position and IN GOOD FAITH, try to prove it. So often we get assertions evidenced as fact (such as ‘the basic protections established in 1964 by the federal government made poverty worse!’)–

        This is basic “How to Live Life” 101 stuff–always challenge your own premises, particularly when they are founded on what you want to believe.

      • DanMan says:

        okay Crogged, so you’re saying it will be means tested? Now we get to guess on what the incentives will do if a person is within say 10% of the threshold. You’re getting up and going to work for $22k and your neighbor is kicking it and getting $20k. How’s that going to work?

        Explain how you expect to change basic human nature with your concept of basic income. Will there be a limit on basic income payments based on GDP? Based on anything? Who gets to decide? Will it be like Medicaid where you have to show destitution to receive the benefit?

      • Crogged says:

        Well, yeah, it’s complicated so never mind, is that what you want to hear? And the idea of ‘incentives’-let me ask you a question. Did you ever just set you infant on the floor to see if it would crawl to the food–is that how you discovered the ‘incentive’ of your own children? So what if someone gets to a number and they don’t want to work any harder–how much time do you spend worrying about the ‘incentives’ of any of the Walton’s, Gate’s, Soros’ heirs are to working?

      • DanMan says:

        I spend zero time worrying about what others make, I spend my time worrying about those who want to take.

        A detail as simple as paying for your idea of the perpetual income generator stumps you out of the gate and its my fault? That funny stuff there Crogged.

      • Crogged says:

        And you spent ‘zero’ time worrying about what others make? Really-in you chosen field of profession you didn’t keep up with salary information or if you were self employed, you didn’t worry about the costs of your raw materials or the buying power of your competitors or how much they were paying their employees? If you just spent three minutes thinking of the assumptions you spray around here regarding ‘envy’ you might actually stumble into a real honest to goodness thought rather than witless assumptions about ‘class warfare’ and ‘envy’. If Republican’s are the party of ‘businessmen’, no wonder we should worry about emerging Asian markets and their competition, they don’t jump to such stupid conclusions……….

      • CaptSternn says:

        Why is it so hard to understand that many of us are not interested in finding out what others earn?

      • Crogged says:

        What is so hard to understand how stupid it is to be ignorant of salary information if you are working?

      • DanMan says:

        I worry about my pay and making sure it covers my concerns. Why do I need to worry about yours too?

      • Crogged says:

        Ya’ll are kidding right? Work for the Onion and trying new strategies here in the hope of attracting conservatives to the humor biz? I’m an accountant and I don’t need to know what other accountants make is going to be the name of the piece?

      • DanMan says:

        not kidding Crogged. I really don’t care what your envious self makes doing whatever it is you do. I’m laughing at you not getting that point.

      • Crogged says:

        That isn’t a ‘conservative value’ nearly as much as a S T U P I D value.

      • DanMan says:

        thanks, not being envious comes rather easy for me

    • John Galt says:

      You can continue to claim that Chris is “so far to the left,” but that does not actually make it so. You can say his views are in line with Pelosi, et al., but that just makes you look like an idiot.

    • way2gosassy says:

      Well I for one hopes he stays right where he is! Lord knows we need both parties to be strong enough to counter the extremes on both sides. One can only hope that some sanity returns to the GOP and soon.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      All you have to do is check the voter roles the past couple decades and see how many republican party primaries Chris voted in. NONE.

      Captain is very correct. Most of Chris’ posts are in line with the DNC talking points. IN this particular case, Krugman is voicing the same.

      JG is right, just saying it doesn’t make it so. That works on you and Way2 also. But at least there is a record to check if one wants to.

      Chris is a fraud. But I think of him as a lefties blogger, so it doesn’t bother me.

      • John Galt says:

        I call BS on this. If you can point to records that show that Chris has not voted in GOP primaries, then post a link. I won’t hold my breath.

      • goplifer says:

        You come up here and plant campaign signs for local Republicans in the frozen ground and then tell me who’s a Republican. You’re not fit to carry my ice-drill.

      • Crogged says:

        The person who claims Oregon “Dems” are burning babies in power plants needs to step carefully about accusations of ‘fraud’.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Crogged, that statement is true. Oregon did approve medical waste to be incinerated including dead babies. The legislature and gov. are leftist democrats.

        Chris, that was cute. But no thanks.

      • John Galt says:

        Most medical waste is incinerated. If you have your appendix removed, it ends up being incinerated. A bloody bandage, disposable catheter, hospital gown, rubber gloves, all of it. I think metal pieces, like syringe needles are sterilized, then shredded. It is the safest manner of disposal. Claims that babies are being used to generate power are hysterical rantings.

      • Crogged says:

        Well, like I said, you can rest easy, some of the amputated limbs were from liberals. It wouldn’t do a bit of good for you for me to point out the ridiculous and offensive tone of your assertions, since they are factual.

      • Crogged says:

        And here is the Chrisitianity of Kabuzz from his favorite could have been President.

    • Crogged says:

      And isn’t’ a “Libertarian Party Platform” much like the “Anarchist Constitution”?

      • CaptSternn says:

        What is the “Anarchist Constitution”? Do you have a link to a copy of it? Or is it that you are claiming this is the “Anarchist Constitution”?

        http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution

      • Crogged says:

        I should have guessed there really would be an “Anarchist Constitution” on the internutz; one person is a nut, two nuts is a movement, three nuts are a political party and four is Mississippi.

      • CaptSternn says:

        It isn’t just on the ineternet, Crogged. There are many compies in print. It is over 200 years old and has been amended many times after our founding fathers wrote it.

  6. kabuzz61 says:

    The war on poverty started in earnest during the sixties under President Johnson’s Great Society plan. As a result of that plan and the democrats total unwillingness to modify that plan over the next decades has made generational welfare families. The plan actually created more poverty. Now republicans had made attempts and some actually got through. Michigan’s ‘welfare to work’ program was quite successful. The welfare modifications worked out between Clinton and the GOP was a good start. But in each of those case the dem’s screamed and stamped their feet refusing to even consider changing the status quo. It would upset their voters.

    Unfortunately the GOP does have great idea’s for modifying social programs but the level of screaming is so intense from the left and the media that no one will touch it.

    So Chris, you did state the problem, but you missed it on the obstacle. It isn’t paranoia or old Southern males, TEA Party members, Rush Limbaugh and fill in your usual villains, it is the process itself that causes people to not change things.

  7. Intrigued says:

    Chris, after some research I think I am becoming a little more open minded to this idea of a basic income. The problem I still have is how the funding for a basic income would be collected. In order to decrease the gap in wealth inequality, the funding for a basic income would have to come almost entirely from the top 1%. So here’s what I would like to see happen:

    The taxpayer dollars used as seed money for technology and research should be treated as a financial investment. The Government should collect a fair maket rate on this financial investment and distribute these dollars back to the taxpayers. For example, NASA invented memory foam and licensed this technology to many profitable markets. I was surprised to find out that NASA has only collected approximately $600,000 in licensing agreements. Considering memory foam is used in so many products today there is no way the NASA is collecting a fair market rate on this technology. I am not advocating for the entire Government to be run as a business. I am only focusing on tax dollars used on technology that ends up being profitable.

    The most contributing factor to wealth inequality, aside from the obvious greed, is financial investments. Less disposable income= less financial investments. I would like to see tax incentives for corporations who offer employee stock options to all their employees, not just the top executives. We cannot solve wealth inequality without empowering the lowest 80% of the population with the ability to acquire shares in the stock market and other financial investments where a large portion of our total wealth exists.

    You are right though, “poverty matters for Republicans”. Conservatives naively believe the GOP promotes less Government involvement and intrusion but in reality by not promoting a fair system they are creating the perfect environment for “evil” social programs to arise. Honestly, I think most Americans would rather corporations distribute the wealth more fairly in the first place opposed to the Government redistributing the wealth.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Take from the rich, give to the poor. Only there will always be somebody more poor than somebody else, so take from any that have more and give it to thjose that have less. You are faklling for the envy and greed that breeds the class warfare. You were doing better before when you opposed it.

      • Intrigued says:

        Stern, if and only if you are interested, watch this video and then try to disprove the general message of wealth inequality. I’m sure even HT would be willing to criticize some of the statistics and charts but the message remains the same.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ok, Intrigued, I spent the minutes to watch your video. Guess what, it only reinforced the idea of jealousy and class warfare the left is promoting. I donlt care if Bill Gates has an income the size of some economies or even more. Good for him. It doesn’t affect me.

        I don’t care when I take my lady to her office and there is this Ferrari parked out front. I don’t care that a guy driving in front of me today was in a Rolls Royce (except that I wanted to stay well back and not run into it). I don’t care that my neighbors have more land, nicer houses and cooler cars than I have.

        There is nothing you can say or do that will make me jealous or want people with guns to run and take from them and give it to me. I have a good job now, but I have worked in factories, I have been poor and barely able to keep the lights turned on, and even in my leanest times I was never jealous and I never had any desire to take from some and give it to me,

        I get what I earn. Others are better at getting material wealth than I am. Others are more concrened about material wealth than I am. You just can’t make me jealous of them or do anything that would cause me to demand taking what they have and giving it to me. I earn what I earn. I am comfortable. I have what I want. I could be filthy rich today had I done some things 20 years ago, but those things were against my morals and material wealth just isn;t that important to me.

        I will never be given a muliti-million dollar contract for being a NFL quaterback. Maybe I could have worked on being a quaterback or running back or wide reciever and get that kind of money, but it isn’t that important to me and I don;t care if they get those contracts.

        Post all the videos you want, you cannot make me jealous and you cannot make me hate those people that earn or inherit so much money. You cannot draw me into the class warfare.

      • Intrigued says:

        Stern, unfortunately you still don’t get the concept of wealth inequality. It’s not about envy or class warfare. it’s about a gap that is so wide that it can cause major financial breakdowns and stall economic growth.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, it can’t. Wealth is not limited, it is not finite. Let me put it another way, the fact that Bill gates is so stinking rich has no more effect on me than two people entering into a same sex marriage and having the state recognize that marriage. It just doesn’t affect me. I don’t care. I am comfortable, I have an HD TV now that I didn;t have ten years ago. I have a cool computer, air conditioning, high speed internet, running water, indoor plumbing, a dependable vehicle, good roads (outside of Houston), food at the grocery store … I could go on and on.

        The fact that Bill Gates has more land, bigger home, more expensive cars and so on just doesn’t lower my quality of life. I don;t care. You cannot make me jealous or believe that because he has so much I have less.

      • Intrigued says:

        But you are jealous Stern. Jealous of all those welfare recipients living the fancy life off your insignificant tax dollars. Again, it’s not about jealousy but whatever.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Well Sternn you are now two for two.

      • Intrigued says:

        Sassy, sometimes arguing with Stern is like playing scrabble with my very successful but very dyslexic husband. Lol

      • way2gosassy says:

        Yep!

      • Intrigued says:

        What really bothers me about Stern’s response to the video I posted is he doesn’t give a damn. Geez, statistically we definitely fall into the top 20%, if not the top 10%, and when I watched the video my initial reaction was are we doing enough to even place on this chart? Are we investing enough money or doing what we need to do to ensure we have any value in the distribution of wealth? My reaction had nothing to do with envy or jealousy but everything to do with being smart with the funds we do have.

        In the past 5 years we have been through two layoffs. Our savings took a 50% hit. Our revolving debt tripled and our 401k took a nose dive because of the market crash. Ironically, our 401k was the first to recover. My 401k is now worth more than before the recession. We paid off our credit card debt this year, rebuilding our savings will be next, and then we will have fully recovered from the recession.

        My point is we are not representative of the general population. We had a substantial savings and credit limit to survive the recession. Most Americans do not. We as Americans need to think smarter and do more to ensure we are not just a victim to the economy. If the GOP actually cared about anything they would promote this mentality instead of claiming the Government has the means to provide if only the illegals and minorities would stop taking our funds.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Intrigued, envy is what this is about. Being jealous because you aren’t in a class you want is what it’s about for you. It has nothing to do with economics, it just grates on you that there exists people with more money than they know what to do with. Your comments tell us much more about you than the economy. You can be obtuse and Way2snobby does and act like Captain doesn’t get ‘it’, but it isn’t working. You are like that child in the playground that sees some other child with a toy you want but don’t have so you start whining and crying to mom to get you one.

      • Intrigued says:

        Kabuzz, if you interpreted anything I said as being envious you have the same inability to comprehend as your partner in Tea.

      • objv says:

        As a companion to Intrigued’s “Wealth in America” read “The rich do not pay the most taxes, they pay ALL the taxes” below. While the people in higher income brackets have accumulated the most wealth, the rich already pay for all the government programs.

        http://www.cnbc.com/id/101264757

        “First, let’s look at incomes. The report shows the lowest-paid Americans earned on average $8,100 in 2010 but received nearly $25,000 in government aid. You begin to see how “transfers” create a negative tax burden.

        But wait, there more. The CBO says about a quarter of the lowest earning group actually paid negative 15 percent of all individual income taxes. Contrast that with the combined share of the wealthiest two groups, which totals more than 100 percent.

        Fair or not, I will let you be the judge.

        People who make more should pay more, generally speaking. In America, they are. Yes, the rich (and almost rich) are getting richer. When it comes to individual income taxes, they’re also covering the entire bill. And leaving a tip.”

      • DanMan says:

        ” I am not advocating for the entire Government to be run as a business. I am only focusing on tax dollars used on technology that ends up being profitable.”

        So we fund NASA with our tax dollars in the hopes they create something we paid for in order to charge us more for what we already paid to create? Of course you buy into the basic income concept.

        If government were going to compete against entrepreneurs in the foam business is there any industry they could not? Suppose we decide government can make money off transportation? We already subsidize mass transit, why not all movement? Should I be forced to take a bus when an airplane can get me there faster? Is it fair some people can fly if I can only afford a bus?

        What about food? This USDA program is using 80% of its revenue for protein subsidies (euphemism now for food stamps) and the other 20% for farm subsidies. Just take it all over since everybody has to eat.

        How about health care? oh wait…

      • Intrigued says:

        Obv, the top 50% pay 97% of the total tax revenue. If you want to check it out yourself go to kiplinger and play around with the tax calculator. I have to say Conservatives are a strange breed. Stating we need to invest smarter so we do not become a victim of the economy is the message Conservatives should be spreading but instead they slam this idea and spread myths.

        http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

      • objv says:

        Intrigued, far from being a myth, the percentages the CNBC piece cites come directly from a CBO report. (Watch the first video for a better explanation.) The reason the percentage the higher income pay is higher than 100% is because many of the poor pay a negative income tax rate. Therefore, taxes have to be collected from the higher income earners to make up the difference.

        For example, consider the earned income tax credit. Taxpayers with children can get up to $6044 back from the IRS for the year 2013. Since the EITC is a credit, lower income people often get thousands for that credit plus any taxes paid during the past year.

  8. DanMan says:

    Stern: Where does money come from?

    Chris: It comes from income and consumption. Not capital.

    fairy dust answer right there. Explains the $8 trillion dems have vanquished in the last 5 years. It comes from the taxes of future generations. It is imaginary or enslaving, which one Chris?

  9. GG says:

    Sternn: “I want the freedoms, the rights and liberties that have been destroyed, restored.”

    Exactly what has been destroyed in your rigid mind?

    • DanMan says:

      wealth, freedom and trust

    • GG says:

      What freedom exactly?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Freedom to make your own decisions about health care coverage or else be fined/taxed.

        Freedom to stuff your private home with all your possessions if you so wish or be subject to having your home invaded and your personal possessions confiscated, thanks to a new anti-hoarding law just passed by Houston City Council (even local government can be guilty of this).

      • GG says:

        I’m talking about actual freedom curtailing your daily activities.

      • GG says:

        Let me rephrase that. What, in your mind, has happened that is curtailing your daily life and activities? I’m going on as I have for years.

      • CaptSternn says:

        So, GG, you have no concern for the rights of others. As long as it doesn’t affect or bother you, everybody else can go to hell.

      • GG says:

        Of course I care about others. I’m actually one of the most empathetic people you could meet. In school I was told I’d make a great social worker or nurse.

        I just don’t know what you think you’ve lost the freedom to do. Cut down forests to build a house? Pollute the environment at leisure?

        What has happened to you personally?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        GG is also proud about being humble.

    • CaptSternn says:

      I want the freedom to choose what type of health insutrance policy I want, or none at all. I know, you will say “just pay the fine”, but that is beside the point. If something is against the law, then it is illegal and there is no right to it.

      I especially want to see and end to prohibition, stop the violence here and in Mexico over prohibition. Sure, your answer will be the same as above, we are free to do drugs, just pay the fine and do the time. That is not freedom no matter how many times you claim it is.

      I want to see most federal anti-gun laws repealed. Most are unjustified infringements on our right to keep and bear arms. Sure, again your answer will be that we atre free to have those weapons, just pay the price by having our family killed like Ruby Ridge.

      • GG says:

        I’ve said for a long time that I think prohibition is ridiculous. I also think prostitution should be legal. My son just bought another shotgun for his collection and I truly don’t understand what gun you need that you can’t get now. Everyone I know has guns of all types.

      • GG says:

        I’m off so talk at you later. BF went to church and I’m meeting him for brunch so I have to go get pretty.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        GG, I won’t go into detail, but I had some run-ins with medical personnel with respect to my mom’s treatment and care. I had to put my foot down on several occasions and be on guard at all times. I don’t ever want to lose that autonomy and freedom to say no.

        This all happened before Obamacare, but I only see things getting worse now in that regard.

  10. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Comparisons of existing public policy to slavery are particularly ignorant and insulting.

    Yesterday, Charles Blow at the NYT summed up my feelings perfectly. Here’s an excerpt:

    “The legacy of slavery must be liberated from political commentary.

    Casual, careless and incorrect references to slavery, much like blithe references to Nazi Germany, do violence to the memory of those who endured it, or were lost to it, and to their descendants.

    There is no modern-day comparison in this country to the horrors of slavery. None!”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/opinion/blow-a-ranchers-romantic-revisionism.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

  11. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Chris has a dream. This blog is about that dream.

    But outside of this blog, there is no evidence that the Rs do or think anything about poverty that isn’t blaming the poor.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I doubt this blog is so unique that it’s the only evidence of Republicans not blaming the poor for their own poverty.

      I will say again that Chris might have better luck achieving his dream by Building a Better Democratic Party. His main beef with them is that they tend to be fiscally irresponsible and are beholden to the unions. The GOP has its own version of being beholden — to the corporations — so one “beholden” cancels another.

      Which leaves us with fiscal irresponsibility on the D side and blaming the poor on the R side. Which mindset is easier to change? It might make more sense for Chris to go over to the D side and encourage fiscal responsibility, in the name of helping the poor, versus trying to change the R mindset about the poor, in the name of improving the economy.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Tutt, I have to say that until recently I felt you were more open minded and less rigid in your views but you are sounding more and more like your beloved. It is probably a good thing for you to be agreeable to your chosen but please don’t stop thinking for yourself. I do not believe for one minute that Chris is anything other than what he claims to be, a life long member of the GOP. I also don’t think that the Democrats are as fiscally irresponsible as Sternn claims them to be. There is a huge difference in the beholden of the GOP to corporate America that represents less than 20% of the country and unions that represent the rest. They do not cancel each other out by a long shot.

        Is there corruption in Unions, absolutely, but there is also corruption in politics. Anytime there are large amounts of money to be had you will find corruption and corrupt people from your local churches, politics and ect.

        You mentioned the recent ordinance passed by the Houston City Council concerning “hoarding”. Do you honestly believe that hoarding is simply about an individual’s right to collect their possessions into their own home? That is terribly naive, Tutt, when a hoarder lives in a neighborhood and their collection includes the dead bodies of rodents, other animals and sometime even people not to mention their garbage it becomes a health hazard for all who live near this person. What about their rights? We had a hoarder down the street from us a couple of years ago. Just the rat population alone has cost us hundreds of dollars in extermination fees. The people who lived on either side of him paid thousands in damage to their homes when his house caught fire and firefighters could not put the fire out because of the huge stacks of newspapers and garbage he collected. What about their rights?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Tutt, it is incredibly insulting for you to be told to think for yourself. This is the main reason I call Way2 Way2snobby. She truly believes her views are the right ones and others are reached by ignorance or hate. She is truly very intolerant.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Way, I won’t try to speak for Tutt, but I have said before that I think it is a real possibility the democtrats will drive the hispanic vote away by getting all up in their personal business.

        She has already explained under this entry her fear of being forced to accept treatment, that she had to stand guard over her mother to prevent her from being put on a conveyer belt and and getting treatment she did not want. That will probably not be the next step after the PPACA, but it isn’t that far away.

        Hispanics tend to lead very conservative and private lives and have strong conservative values. They are traditionall Catholic and traditionally vote democratic. The democrats, with Obama in the lead, are attacking Cathoilcs and others, trying to force them to violate their religious beliefs by force of law.

        Left alone, they would probably not look too close at politics and policies. Catholics tend to be more of the social justice frame of mind. But what the left claims it is trying to do FOR the people, it ends up doing TO the people. A whole lot of people will not appreciate the left getting all up in their private lives and private business.

        Do hoarders have problems? Yes, and they can be helped. But the City of Houston is taking the same line with that issue as the federal government has taken with drugs, coming down with the full force of law, with guns, with ripping up a person’s life and maybe even fines and jail or prison. But I guess it as GG would say, it doesn’t affect her so she doesn’t care. I think there were people in an European country a few decades ago that also looked the other way. Afterwards there was a poem written about it.

        http://hmd.org.uk/resources/poetry/first-they-came-pastor-martin-niemoller

      • way2gosassy says:

        Tutt can speak for herself Sternn.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, and I have learned a lot from her, Way.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Tutt isn’t the only person who has had to stand firm against medical personnel pushing for treatment or tests not needed or wanted when caring for a loved one. I’ve been there too and I don’t disagree with her one whit on that count. I don’t believe that our ability to refuse treatment will be infringed in the future because of the ACA.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I can see that Sternn, and bless her for it.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Just like our refusal to pay for health insurance will never be infringed on, Way? Just like a middle aged man won;t be forced to pay for maternaty coverage? Just like Hobby Lobby won;t be forced to pay for abortificants and abortions? We aren’t talking about the slippery slope here, we are already sliding down it. Where is the bottom? Well, fact is, it is bottomless until we reach full enslavement and communism. There are those of us that are trying to scratch and claw our way to a stop, maybe even climb back up the slope. We are known as the tea party moevemnt.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Way2, I have to say that until recently I felt you were more open minded and less rigid in your views but you are sounding more and more like Chris. I think you should think for yourself and not ape whatever Chris tells you.

  12. way2gosassy says:

    I am certainly not an economist nor am I a social engineer but there are some things that I would think should be boiled down to plain speaking and some common sense reasoning. That I think far too many people are too afraid to deal with.

    Here are some of my thoughts on the subject,

    1. Social security, Paul Ryan and others want to privatize social security. I think there are better fixes for social security than putting it in the hands of an unregulated Wall Street that caused the loss of a lot of middle class nest eggs just a few short years ago. Baby boomers near retirement not only lost a huge chunk of their savings but they lost their jobs as well. I think a better fix would be to remove the cap on earnings and means test for benefit amount.

    2. Welfare, Contrary to those that had a bad case of the screaming memes, Obama did not stop the work for welfare, he allowed the states to apply for waivers on their block grants provided they had a more or equally robust plan to help those on welfare to find jobs. These programs are failing in this economy because there are simply no jobs and if you are a long term unemployed person you will be the last applicant to be considered. There is no lack of work that needs to be done. Public schools, libraries, hospitals and nursing homes to name a few beg for volunteers. These are all jobs that could be utilized by those receiving assistance on a part time volunteer basis that would give the person a job reference and a place to possibly learn new job skills and a sense of accomplishment.

    3. Wages, Equal pay and minimum wage. People who work should at least receive a living wage for their labor. Companies are posting record high profits yet the people who do the work to make those profits possible are being left further and further behind. Wages for middle class workers have been stagnant for decades and the minimum wage even adjusted for inflation comes no where near enough to provide for an individual much less a family with both parents working. We know from history that raising the minimum wage also raises the wages of those working in more skilled jobs. The scare tactics of telling the public that raising wages costs jobs is just that, scare tactics.

    Women comprise about 50% of the work force today. While pay equity and opportunity have improved greatly since the 1960’s the playing field is still not level. Yet we still have GOP legislators that believe that it is because women won’t work the same kind of overtime hours as men and we won’t work at the hard jobs that require you to work outside in the elements and it all boils down to women just being lazy. Fix the minimum wage and pay equity issues and you take a good many people off the need for assistance and you put more capital into the economy.

    • CaptSternn says:

      1. Social security: Why do you not trust yourself more than you trust politicians? Do not turn it into another welfare program either. If people are forced into it, they and entitled to their benefits just like with Medicare. Remove the cap and you remove the limits on the benefits.

      2. Welfare: We have already been through that. There are generations living on nothing but welfare. It is passed down.

      3. Many women make more than men as it is. That is no longer an issue. Now, what is a “living wage”? Raise gthe minimum wage again? That was done in late 2007, we are dealing with the results, much of what you are currently saying iare the problems.

      • John Galt says:

        1. Look around you. Do you think the average person is going to successfully manage a retirement portfolio? The average person can’t operate a self-service checkout at the grocery store. There will be a large percentage of people who botch this (or, equally likely, a the victims of bad markets or corrupt managers) and live in penury in old age. This will lead to calls for programs to alleviate this. Oh, wait, we did this in the 1920s and before and the result was Social Security. Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.

        2. Welfare. So the answer is to eliminate it? Do you have two spare neurons to rub together to come up with a better way to approach this? Chris keeps suggesting possible programs and your knee-jerk reaction, 100% of the time, is negative.

        3. Equal pay. Just a hunch, but I’d bet many women don’t agree that because “many women make more than men” there isn’t a problem. Because, you know, lots and lots of statistics say there is. Maybe you and Greg Abbott can host a seminar on how equality has been achieved.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Sternn, Instead of criticizing constantly someone’s suggestions about what they think may help where the hell are your suggestions? Is it too hard for you to articulate what your solutions might be or are you too afraid that some may not agree with your solutions? We will never get to solutions if no one has the courage of their convictions to put them on the table. Why the fall back to every thing said is about you?

      • CaptSternn says:

        John, it is not a solution to make people even more dependent and less responsible. It boggles my mind that the left says to the people, “your are stupid and must be told what to do and cared for”, and the people on the left say, “Yes, we are.”

        Way, I just put my ideas up there, and all you can do is critisize constantly. I see that you have commented that there are ceartain people you will not engage in discussion, but you will still engage in discussion with me. I hope that is because I manage to not be condescending, at least for the most part.

        And I don’t mean for this to be condescending, but do you stop and think about the possible and even probable consequences of something like a guaranteed basic or minimum income for everybody, working or not, that puts them at a “livable wage”, well above poverty as soon as they turn 18? Or before they turn 18? Or should it be when they turn 30? Or when they turn 70?

        I am dead serious about this. I asked Lifer where we get the money to pay for it, the capital to pay for it. His answer was from income and consumption, not capital. Dan pretty much hit the nail on the head, fairy’s pixie dust. It is like the Wizard of Id parody of Obama, “I promise free health care for all, free clothing, free shelter, free electricity, free food” (add $30,000 per year in handouts according to Lifer), then he says, “and jobs for all.” One guy stands up and asks, “Why do we need jobs?”

        We already have a problem with people gaming the system, or just abiding by and knowing how to use the system, that are capable of working but see no reason to work when they can live comfortably just by putting in a minimum amout of effort to apply for the handouts. Lifer suggests we do away with that and everybody gets the handouts automatically. End welfare for some by providing automatic welfare for all.

        Who is going to do the work? There is no reason for anybody to do any work at that point. Where does the money, the capital, come from?

      • way2gosassy says:

        Where the hell do you see anywhere at any time that I agreed with Lifer on the minimum income thing? You can’t because I haven’t. I have not made up my mind on that as yet. No you did not put your ideas up there. What would you do to fix SS and Medicare, What would you do to fix welfare, what would you do to fix wages and pay inequality? You only criticized my suggestions, where are yours how would YOU fix it?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Phase out and privatize social security. Make health insurance competitive, not required, and allow it across state lines. Make Medicare state and local until the private system can fully take over. Make welfare state and local issues.

        Glad you are not supporting te basic or minimum income. Maybe you can see that it would lead to exactly what I have said.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I didn’t say I was for it or against the suggestion of a minimum income Sternn I said I have not made up my mind on it.

      • way2gosassy says:

        OK Sternn, let’s look at the regulations on insurance and who supports them and how they came about.

        “The banking industry had been seeking the repeal of the 1933 Glass–Steagall Act since the 1980s, if not earlier.[4][5] In 1987 the Congressional Research Service prepared a report that explored the cases for and against preserving the Glass–Steagall act.[6]

        Respective versions of the legislation were introduced in the U.S. Senate by Phil Gramm (Republican of Texas) and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Jim Leach (R-Iowa). The third lawmaker associated with the bill was Rep. Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. (R-Virginia), Chairman of the House Commerce Committee from 1995 to 2001.

        During debate in the House of Representatives, Rep. John Dingell (Democrat of Michigan) argued that the bill would result in banks becoming “too big to fail.” Dingell further argued that this would necessarily result in a bailout by the Federal Government.[7]”

        This is from wikapedia but only as a reference for the names of those involved.

        Read this document to understand why Republicans allowed states to regulate the insurance companies within their respective states and why.

        http://www.naic.org/documents/consumer_state_reg_brief.pdf

      • CaptSternn says:

        September 11, 2003 – The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

        ”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/11/business/new-agency-proposed-to-oversee-freddie-mac-and-fannie-mae.html

        Anything else you want to add?

      • way2gosassy says:

        Nope I’m done here! If all you got out of all that was not one word as to why we do not have interstate insurance policies but Freddy and Fannie were the cause of all our troubles because one stupid Democrat misread the tea leaves then there is no point in continuing this conversation. I bow to your superior intellect on all matters.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “I bow to your superior intellect on all matters.”

        That is nice of you. But I only asked you to think. You brought up the Glass-Stegall Act, and now you want to run from your own argument. It should not have been repealed, and it should have been brought back. See, I do support some regulation, reasonable regulation.

        But hey, the same guys that said nothing was wrong made up a new law, because they don’t think anything was wrong. You would rather vote and support them and their policies because you trust them over real conservatives, over fiscally responsible people.

        You are being condescending, dismissive and even a little hateful, but I don’t mind. That is how things are on political blogs. You are not a troll like some others, not to name names like Rucas (oops). When faced with facts, partisan facts like the ones you threw out but against the people you support, you stamp your foot and declare you are leaving.

        Well, I won’t stamp my foot and declare I am done for the evening, just that I am cooking and doing laundry and might watch some TV or get back to my reading. So I will check in later, but probably won’t post again until tomorrow. Have a good night.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I was being a bitch just like you were with your snark Sternn. If you will reread my comment ( for comprehension) you will see that the reference was an attempt on my part to identify those who were directly involved in the making of laws that DO NOT ALLOW THE INTERSTATE SALE OF INSURANCE. Period.

  13. geoff1968 says:

    From my favorite transsexual to you.

  14. CaptSternn says:

    FYI, I have admitted to only recent read the “Fountainhaed” and “Atlas Shruhgged” by Rand. I have read Anthem, but now I am reading “We the Living”. Much morw in line with the way Lifer wants us to live. Onlu a third of the wy through, and far from the other books.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Gad, my typos. Tutt is a gramrer expert. I am so toast.

      • Tuttabella says:

        The toast of the blog?

        This is more about spelling, not grammar. Spelling seems to go out the window after 9pm (8pm per the blog clock).

      • Intrigued says:

        The day I boot up the laptop and meticulous edit my comments in word before copying and pasting to this blog is the day I will need an intervention for wasting too much time. So let me just apoligize in advance for many spelling, grammar, and auto-correct mistakes:) lol

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Intrigued, I am with you on that. I am meticulous when I write but on blogs, I am usually checking in on the fly and don’t or won’t take the time to edit my comments. Sometimes my comments have typo’s but I am not vain enough to care. It is a blog in real time.

      • CaptSternn says:

        It’s “grammer”, Intrigued. 😉

        My grammar and spelling are already terrible, but that particular comment was far worse than my usual. I do not know how to type, to be honest. Never took a typing class in my life. I have to look at the keyboard and I use mostly just my two index fingers, occasionaly my right middle finger (no, not holding it up in front of the monitor at comments I disagree with). That comment is a fine example of what will happen if I don’t at least scan what I have typed before posting. Sometimes I will even cath my signature typo, but don;t change it just because it has become my signature typo. Sometimes I do it deliberately. Case i point.

  15. geoff1968 says:

    Trust the DNC? Don’t be naive. The absence of one is not the presence of the other. This is a logic error I find too many times in the GOP narrative. Prove it. I’m more than willing to accept factual information, no matter how unpleasant it may be. What’s the rate of incarceration for young black men? 25%? That’s a number I’ve seen bandied about.

    If we can agree that’s a problem perhaps we can debate the solution, but that will take some serious diligence. Obviously the current method(s) of correction are not working. I want you to think on this. Name calling and partisanship are not sufficient.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  16. texan5142 says:

    My Dog you are full of shit Sternn, like you said Chris, sometimes I wonder why you even bother, but I am glad that you do.

  17. goplifer says:

    Communism is not just an insult. It is a real thing. It means something. Communism is not taxation or redistribution or slavery. Communism is actually pretty specific. Marx’s book was called Das Kapital for a reason. Communism is about capital.

    A minimum income or a basic income or whatever you want to call it takes the OPPOSITE approach from Communism or Socialism. Instead of taking ownership of capital, it lets people do what they want with their capital. It uses a system of taxation to provide a safety net and leaves the rest of the system alone. The rich get rich. Everyone else can decide to what extent they want to participate. People make choices. Outcomes are unequal. And it’s okay.

    Screaming Communism at every idea that involves a government doing something sounds a little ridiculous.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Simple question, where does the money to allow all people to retire at the age of 18 come from? Where does the money for their health care come from? Their housing, electricity, indoor plumbing, internet access, iPhones, social media? Where does it come from?

      Tax people on their retirement income they get at the age of 18? Then they don’t have enough to live on. They need welfare on top of welfare. Where does it come from? The vast majority of people are not working because they can retire at the age of 18. Who would work if they could simply retire and live off the basic income which is well above the poverty level, keeping people out of poverty?

      You do not think things through. That is why we cannot discuss or compromise. You can’t answer simple questions or address the consequences of what you want.

      “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.” – maybe Jefferson?

      • goplifer says:

        It comes from income and consumption. Not capital. That’s not Communism. Dislike it all you want. Make up another bad name for it. But it’s not Communism.

      • CaptSternn says:

        What income? The income you are handing out to everybody so they can retire at the ripe old age of 18?

    • Intrigued says:

      Karl Marx was a social theorist who made a prediction that has yet to come true. His views on social status and stratification are too simplified. Yes he was one of the first influential social theorist but many after him have provided more complex social theories that are more effective in viewing an solving social inequality. Karl Marx today is nothing more than a scare tactic. If the GOP really buys into his theories and predictions they would do everything in their power to ensure inequality didn’t rise to the extent Marx anticipated.

  18. Intrigued says:

    Chris, if the issue is wealth inequality and the largest contributors to GOP funding comes from the wealthiest 1% then why would you think the GOP is the preferable choice to “address our fiscal issues”? If the wealthiest supporters of the GOP actually had any interest in fixing our fiscal issues, including wealthy inequality, we would not have any fiscal issues. If the wealthiest 1% gave a damn about wealth inequality then we would not have wealth inequality. They are the problem, not the solution.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Soros talking point.

      • Intrigued says:

        Research talking point. Stern you should try it sometime instead of just playing the victim.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Intrigued, I apologize for my comment. You didn’t shout about the Koch brothers, which is usually the Soros taklking point. And you don’t just do the knee-jerk comments (as I just did towards you).

        Thing is, maybe I make more than peole I work with, maybe I make less. Maybe my neighbors have a nicer house, maybe some are renters and don’t own property. I do not envy the neighbors that have more, and I don’t expect to have my neighbors that have less demand my property or even parts of it.

        Wealth is infinite and created in these times. Just because somebody has more than I have doesn’t mean I can’t have more. It isn’t finite, where one person hoards wealth and that means the next person can’t have more wealth.

      • Intrigued says:

        You know Stern I have been trying to wrap my brain around wealth inequality and how we can change it without Government involvement. I have never had a problem with a healthy amount of inequality. Actually, maybe I am crazy but I like the dangling carrot motivating me to achieve more but our current wealth inequality is very unhealthy. When two of the richest men in America, Bill Gaits and Warren Buffet, admit they have way too much wealth then you know we have a problem. I have several ideas twirling in my head of how to address wealth inequality but I’m not quite ready to discuss them yet. The one thing I do know for sure is appointing the GOP to solve wealth inequality is like appointing the democrats to solve union corruption.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Intigued, I have no issue with this “weath inequality”. I don’t care if Bill Gates has billions he doesn’t know what to do with. I have a computer with Windows 7 and Internet Explorere to post comments on this blog.

        I have a home, running water, indoor plumbling, a gas stove, food at the grocery store, a vehicle, ability to travel (gasoline prices are a bit high but managable), ability to afford hotel rooms, cable TV and high speed internet … I am comfortable. Much more comfortable than my parents and grand parents. Life is great and easy. Maybe too much so, but what complaint do I have? My neighbor has more property and cooler cars?

        So what if Bill Gates has more money and property than he knows what to do with? It does me no harm. Just because he has so much doesn’t take anything away from me. I am not jealous. He isn’t taking anything away from me.

        I don’t care if you have a better car or nicer home than I do, or if you make more money than I do. Tutt makes more money than I do. My boss makes more money than I do. So what?

      • Intrigued says:

        See Stern that’s exactly how I thought too. When you start objectively researching wealth inequality, it’s quite alarming. We are not talking about wealth that is easy to see or view as obtainable with hard work.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Serious question for you Sternn, What is your obsession with every single issue being about someone trying to enslave you? I don’t see anyone walking around in shackles nor do I see anyone being deprived of their “freedoms”. I also do not understand where you think that if a person does not believe exactly like you they cannot possibly be responsible or constructive or any of the other negative descriptions you attribute to them.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Sassy, loss of freedom can be subtle and gradual, not necessarily in plain sight or involving shackles.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Not now, Way. But if we made the world Lifer calls for, it would be everybody but the party leaders.

    • texan5142 says:

      Eat shit Sternn, trickle down does not work , keep sucking the teat of the 1% .

      Chris , I apologize for my rudeness, ban me if you will , but the hard headed on this blog will drive a person crazy.

      But I would still like to buy you guys a beer or what ever when I am in Houston, something tells me it would be fun .

      • way2gosassy says:

        I’ll have a root beer!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Texan, I doubt we’ll be meeting for refreshments anytime soon. Cap and I don’t even get together with people who like us, much less with people who don’t, although you might have better luck with him than with me. He doesn’t hold a grudge.

    • texan5142 says:

      No not a “Soros” talking point……reality dip shit .

  19. Bobo Amerigo says:

    At school, when we submit a paper, we submit it via an app that checks the paper for plagiarism.

    The software not only tells you the percentage of the paper that is ‘not original’ but also names the sources of the unoriginal work.

    Sometimes I think this blog needs something similar: new posts gets run through the software, which reports how much of the post has been repeated ad nauseam in earlier posts.

    Readers could then decide if they wish to read or move on, without being exposed to poor scholarship and repetition.

  20. way2gosassy says:

    This is exactly why no one trusts the GOP!

    • CaptSternn says:

      And why do you trust the DNC?

      • way2gosassy says:

        Who says I do? The point of the article is why the American people no longer trust the GOP. But your screed is exactly why they don’t. As I have said before I do not ascribe to any political party or movement.

  21. CaptSternn says:

    A large part of the problem is that democrats have been successful at enslaving people by making them more and more dependent on the government, especially at the federal level. The more dependent the people become, the more addicted they get to the support and that means they are more afraind of having it taken away so they have to support themselves and be responsible for their choice and actions. It is a form of control and power.

    They have also used their power over the past decade and more, with a lot of help from the GOP establishment types, to keep the economy down, making more people dependent on the government and allowing them to usurp even more power. Much of the major media outlets aid this by failing to report or burying the bills the house has passed that would allow the economy to thrive and grow again.

    When people are self sufficient, they don’t want interferance from and are not dependent on the federal government. Much like FDR and the democrats did in his time, Obama and the democrats are keeping the economy down with overregulation and other means.

    We could really use another GOP congress similar to what we had with Gingrich and his Contract with America. The republicans then came very close to balancing the budget. They didn;t quite make it as the debt continued to grow, but at a very small amount and slow pace. Tea party backed republicans, actual conservatives, would bring the sanity back. But democrats, media and even the GOP establishment go all out in demonizing the tea party movement. The ignorant, deliberately so or just lazy, buy into it.

    What we most ceartainly do not need is more welfare, this minimum or basic income for all. Simply giving every person 18 years or older enough to live well above poverty means nobody will be working, there is therefore no way to pay for it and the whole nation becomes equally poor. If anybody thinks the entitlement mentality is bad now, and people are hooked on the latest technology, imagine what it would be like with everybody getting a paycheck and living comfortably doing nothing constructive at all. People would retire at the age of 18.

    And then what of the people that squander their basic or minimum income? We would have to provide them with shelter, food, clothing, transportation in spite of and in addition to that basic or minimum income. Don’t forget free electricity, running water, indoor polumbing and health care. Only who is going to provide health care when everybody 18 and over has retired? What happens when they have children? Can’t let those children starve, so they have to also be provided with the basic or minimum income, the parents would use it as child support, as they see fit, until the child turns 18 and starts spending their money, their minimum or basic income, as they see fit.

    In the end it means everything is state owned and state run. Then the people have to work for the state in order to pay for it all, even if it means forcing them to work at the point of a gun or as in a prison system. That is communism, from each accordibng his ability, to each according his need. That is state run slavery.

    Slavery and communism are what you are advocating, Lifer. That is not a way to end poverty, it is a way to ensure poverty for all. Well, all except for the leaders, they would live in luxurey. Or maybe not so much.

    http://blog.chron.com/thetexican/2014/04/when-boris-yeltsin-went-grocery-shopping-in-clear-lake/

    Or the horror of capitalism and the utopia of slavery and communism. Thanks, but I prefer the horrors of capitalism.

    • goplifer says:

      ***A large part of the problem is that democrats have been successful at enslaving people by making them more and more dependent on the government***

      And right on cue… That kind of paranoia is why no one outside the South is willing to trust the GOP with serious power anymore. It’s beyond frustrating and there is no end in sight.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The paranoia is from people on the left, especially people that are enslaved by and are dependent on the federal government. Privatize social security, phase it and medicare out. Give people control over their own destiny. There is a real need for welfare in some cases, medicaid and other institutions. Make it state and local. Get the federal government out.

        And why do you see that as a Southern thing? Is it your suggestion that ony white males in the Old South are not statists and do not clamor for communism and slavery? Wouldn’t that actually destroy your entire argument against the South? Or is it ideal for you because it is slavery for all, not based on race, religion or ethnic background? Because you are against capitalism, freedom and the idea of private property and personal responsibility?

        I could say I want you to engage in discussion because I want to understand and maybe even come to agree with you if you made a strong enough case, but the reality is that I do understand and there is no way you can ever convince me that communism and slavery are good things, that freedom is bad.

        I enjoy my freedom, what I still have and has not been destroyed by the left. I want the freedoms, the rights and liberties that have been destroyed, restored. I have made choices in my life, sometimes reaping the rewards, sometimes dealing with the consequences, sometimes both reaping rewards and then dealing with consequences or dealing with consequences then reaping the rewards.

        I don’t know that you and I could ever accept the same world. You want slavery and communism, and I want freedom. You want to bow to the king and state and hope they provide you with enough to live on, I want to own property and make my way in the world and even have the possibility to improve my standing and wealth, even if that means the possibility to fail. I will take the risk of freedom (as HT puts it, paint my face blue and yell “FREEDOM!”) over the security of slavery to the state or any other institution or individual.

        You are pro-communism and pro-slavery. I am pro-capitalist and pro-freedom. You are for total federal government control and central planning. I am for a federal government that is limited to its constitutional duties and powers and local government as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of the individual.

        There really is no point in having a discussion, trying to reach a compromise or a meeting of the middle ground. It would be like you wanting to keep slaves and me saying if you don;t like slavery, don’t own slaves. That would be the compromise, but I don’t accept the concept of slavery at all, so I can’t accept that compromise. You will continue to advocate slavery and I will continue to denoune it and call for the abolition of slavery.

        You allow that here on your blog, but only at your discretion since it is your blog. If I can’t do it here, I will do it elsewhere. But I will do it as long as I can, until the pro-slavery coalition manages to extend it to censorship.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I will take part of that back. You don’t want compromise, that if you don’t support slavery, then don’t own slaves. You want us all to be slaves, no opt out. No way to opt out.

      • John Galt says:

        “Privatize social security, phase it and medicare out. Give people control over their own destiny.”

        We did that, pre-1930s. People decided it was not the best course for the country. They were right.

      • DanMan says:

        it’s also all been spent and dems were still on the “lock-box” concept all the way through Al Gore’s campaign and up until about August 2011 when Obama threatened to cut off SS checks over his budget deal.

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