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Please Don't Feed the Wildlife

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Please Don't Feed the Wildlife

maxwell edison
Any Park Ranger will tell us to refrain from feeding the wildlife, lest they become dependent on the handouts.

Food Stamps in America are being handed out at record levels.

I guess people aren't as smart (or as important) as wildlife.
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    AV .

    That's an excellent comparison, Max. I fail to understand why 47 million people receive food stamps. This is an interesting link about the food stamp program http://www.trivisonno.com/food-stamps-charts

    The problem I have with food stamps is that it has become a way of life for too many people. The food stamp program was meant to be a temporary helping hand in hard times, not permanent supplemental income. As long as our government continues to hand out "free" assistance, there will always be takers who game the system. The "free" government assistance is not actually free, it is paid for by the taxpayers through wealth redistribution.

    AV

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    robo_dev

    The U.S. labor market was already shrinking before the recession, more wage inequality and fewer good jobs.

    If our electronics and clothes are made in China, our cars are made in Mexico, and your PC support comes from Hyderbad, where are the good paying factory jobs we saw in the 1960s-1990s??? Where are the good entry-level IT jobs?

    They are gone forever.

    People have to eat. Living is poverty is not a lifestyle choice. Nearly two million veterans and active-duty military personnel are on food-stamps and more than $100M of food-stamp spending happens on military bases.

    The food stamp program costs $72B a year. Raising taxes on the rich will bring in $80B a year. Problem solved.

    Is there fraud, waste, and abuse? Of course there is, it's a government program.

    But would lots of kids go to bed hungry without it? Yup.

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    john.a.wills

    that soldiers are not paid enough to feed themselves and their families. Surely this is one part of the military budget that we can all agree should be increased. The food stamps bill would get slightly lower, though not enough to offset the military wage increases.

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    CharlieSpencer

    is because a large chunk of the military budget is spent buying hardware the military neither asked for nor wants. Gotta keep those factories running back in the state / district, dontchakno? But remember, government doesn't create jobs! [/sarcasm]

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    AV .

    Its just disgraceful that any of our military are underpaid after the sacrifices that they made for our country.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    even in the years with heavy losses.
    Coming home to empty homes with eviction notices isn't all that uncommon, I hear.

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    AV .

    Take out the military, unemployed or underemployed and maybe some seniors and the number is still unbelievably high. The program is supposed to be for the needy and I find it hard to believe there are that many needy people in this country. I think there are probably quite a few people that have eked out a lifestyle based on government welfare programs.

    I've known a few over the years and they take advantage of every available program that there is. One woman I know of is on disability. She is married, her husband works and they have 3 kids. They live in a $400,000 house. She collects $16,000 a year from Social Security and receives $8000 a year for each child. Her husband works in IT and makes a 6 figure salary. Thats a good deal, isn't it? They go on more vacations than I do.

    I used to babysit for woman with 4 kids whose husband left her. She went on welfare, received food stamps. Welfare got her a house, fully subsidized, to live in. She went to college for free and worked under the table for extra money. All of their healthcare was for free. She did get her degree and got a job and off the programs, but you can live a pretty nice lifestyle using government programs.

    I agree that we need to give a helping hand to the needy, but it seems to me that our current food stamp and welfare programs do not have enough oversight to prevent abuse like this. Also, there are many charity organizations that provide help for the needy. Shouldn't it be the role of charities to provide this help for the most part and not the taxpayers? If we are spending $72B a year just on food stamps, we should be looking at why.

    AV

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    DelbertPGH

    Your second lady, whose husband left and who eventually got a degree and a job, seems to have taken advantage of the programs and made herself a successful, independent economic agent who supports her children without further direct assistance. Sounds to me like a great justification for those programs. Too bad the hardship cases aren't all like her.

    Your other lady doesn't sound as sweet, but if she's disabled and she worked before being laid low, then she's entitled to disability payments from Social Security. I assume the kids must be from a prior husband, since I don't believe they'd be entitled to support payments if she lived with their father. Is she actually married to husband #2?

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    AV .

    But, why wasn't her bum of a husband held accountable? Instead it was us taxpayers? Surely he must have had a job somewhere.

    The other lady is one of those people that knows how to game the system. The kids are from her current husband and SS still pays her for them. I don't understand how that can be, but its true. Supposedly, she is terminally ill and should have been dead awhile ago, but I met her and there is nothing disabled about her. I don't think she has ever held a real job. To me, SS should investigate the doctor that put her on disability in the first place.

    AV

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Simply refuse to play by the rules that we accept. I know of several people who just give up when faced with challenges and retire to their own little shell and do absolutely nothing at all.

    If womans 2 Male Partner was like this it doesn't matter what you try to do if he refuses to work and does nothing at all do you honestly believe that the kids should suffer?

    I've also seen cases where otherwise wealth people have no Legal Income and can not be forced to pay what they Legally Do Not Have to support their kids.

    With people the real problem is People are involved and way too often what is reasonable gets tossed out with the Bath Water so that one or both parties involved win what they want or at the very least don't pay what they are obliged to.

    But then again without knowing anything of the people involved at all it is just as likely that the male involved died and the insurance company providing Life Insurance refused to pay out on the claim leaving the woman and kids with nothing except debts.

    Col

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    DelbertPGH

    It might be most just, as far as society is concerned, to stick her ex-husband with all the burden of helping her find her feet and become independent. It seems like he wasn't very good at caring for her in the first place, though; what makes you think we'd be successful at insisting that he cough up support money? Should she be shackled to this failure of a man, who might even quit working out of spite, or even worse, decide it would be easier on him to move back in with her? The "charity" system worked well for her, and produced as much justice as you're likely to get in life. You could choose to dwell instead on a man who runs away from responsibilities and is probably making a fresh tragedy of some cocktail waitress's life now. Some people will always be a waste: he is; his ex-wife isn't.

    Don't know what to say about your other gal. Unless she faked her medical exam, it seems like a diagnosis of no work and a fatal illness are grounds for receiving disability payments. Perhaps the fact that she can enjoy life while receiving government checks seems unjust? Maybe she's scamming; maybe not.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    We're spending over 10 times that a year on war. Shouldn't we be asking why?

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    maxwell edison

    Why is it when someone points out government overspending on one thing, so many people reply - with some sort of justification, I assume - with a comment about even higher government spending on something else?

    "Oh yea, well what about ......"

    Sounds like a school yard playground comment.

    How about this? Government spends too much money on everything!

    Geesh, Nick. You either think the government food stamp program is a sham, a waste, and destructive, or you don't.

    I do. AV does. Are you really defending it?

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    You either think the government food stamp program is a sham, a waste, and destructive, or you don't.

    I think it's a crock of schitt that 42 million people can't find work that pays them enough to buy food for their families. ****, yes, I'm defending it; it's keeping people alive. What's the other option? Swift's elegant solution? Did you read anything at any of the links I provided below? Or that anybody else has provided? Or did you discount the information in them because your preconceptions make it difficult to impossible for you to consider that a government program outside defense might be useful?

    And before you go off about helping, yes, I help when I can; so do millions of others. I suspect even you help when possible. But the help that's provided isn't enough to do more than stave off starvation. The help that is needed most is a living wage for full-time workers, and, given the conduct of business in such an environment (cf. Gilded Age), your anti-regulation, free-market stance essentially means you're against that, too!

    Is the USA, as you have previously described it, the "greatest nation on the face of the Earth"? Does it do its best to take care of all its citizens, with the government stepping in when private organizations cannot? Or is it just another third-world nation with the wealth and income concentrated in the hands of a very few, with the remainder of the population fighting to survive in the face of a system that tells them all they have to do to improve themselves is work, while denying them the chance?

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    maxwell edison

    That's your premise; and your premise is flawed. It renders the rest of your argument (here or elsewhere) moot.

    The current version of the official Food Stamp Assistance Program wasn't implemented until 1964, so your premise that people would die without it would suggest that people died without it before 1964, which is not true.

    It's not the role of government to hand out food on a regular basis to its citizens - without which NO ONE WOULD DIE. If you think otherwise, you're a fool.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    supporting your assertion. But I'm still waiting for the Mexican food stamp ads, too.

    ...your premise that people would die without it would suggest that people died without it before 1964, which is not true.

    Nobody ever died because they couldn't get food? Sounds like another recent quote, something to the effect that nobody ever died because they couldn't get medical care.

    The food stamp program is a symptom, Max. Until you stop spouting talking points about stereotypes and address the reason the program is even necessary, any complaint you may have about the size of the program is, at best, disingenuous.

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    AV .

    I think its a disincentive to taking responsibility for yourself. Let me ask you something. Say you lost your job and you got an entry level job and weren't making ends meet. Do you think to yourself "I really need to get on food stamps." Or "I need to sign up for welfare". OR do you think "Maybe I need to work an additional part time job for awhile till I find another better paying job" or "Maybe I need to tighten my belt more". Why does the government have to subsidize so many people that COULD be able to do it on their own if they had to?

    Everyone has hard times in their life sometime and if their answer is always to look for a government program to help them when they are faced with hard times they will never develop the skills to face life's challenges on their own. You may look at me as a cold and mean, but I think the majority of those people getting food stamps are doing it because they CAN. Its easy to get. It is, after all, free money and they're entitled. I've met people that do it in the course of my life and they're not even ashamed to take it when they don't really need it. They're greedy, not needy and they don't care that it means that the truly needy get less.

    I've had hard times in my live and NEVER did I ever consider government programs as the answer to my dilemma. I worked two jobs. Whatever I had to do, I did to make it through on my own. I lived without. I worked long days. I always managed.

    The greatest nation on the face of the Earth became great because of values that are largely missing today. People had pride and worked hard to achieve the "American Dream". It is still achievable if you're willing to work for it. The wealthy in this country don't owe the rest of us anything. Sure, we can tax them till they're out of money supporting the rest of us, but in the end it comes down to people taking responsibility for themselves.

    Don't get me wrong Nick. There are some truly needy people in this country and I don't begrudge taking care of those in need, but then there are those that have made a lifestyle around taking advantage of government programs, and that, I have a problem with.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The vast majority of SNAP recipients are children, the elderly, and the disabled; 76% of SNAP benefits goes to children.

    This is the food stamp recipient I know. I worked alongside him for two years, supporting different equipment for the same customer. Five years ago, his employer lost the contract he was supporting. The new contractor (not my employer) didn't hire any of the existing techs. He's busting his *** trying to just get back to where he was five years ago, and can't. The story is condensed. [Names] have been removed. Most of the words are his.

    **

    After two years of [excrement], I finally got a full time with [company], [Hardware OEM]'s local warranty contractor. I started at $9.50/hour and haven't gotten a raise since.

    My job? m paid by the hour, but don't get paid for driving between customers. I'm given a certain number of parts each day and the addresses and scheduled appointment times. They want me to finish the calls in 8 hours of on site time. I'If there are appointments 50 miles apart at the same time, I have to call the customers and tell them I'll be late; if they say they can't wait, I don't get paid for that call.

    Second job? [laughing] Right. The [derogatory name] schedule the appointments between 7am and 9pm, and I never know when before they are assigned. The only day I know I'll have off is Sunday.

    Mileage reimbursement? Nope. They say it's because it's not paid time. Tax deduction? You're kidding! I already get all my withholding back every year.

    Our second "baby" was twins. My wife was laid off just after I started this job because she had trouble with the pregnancy and was "abusing" her ability to take unpaid time off. Put her back to work? Is there something in your beer? With three kids in child care, we'd be losing money! Even if she can find a job that pays what I'm making, she wouldn't make enough to cover child care and transportation.

    I hate the area we live in now, but it was the only apartment we could afford after we lost the house. We took a $20k loss when it sold, but we had some equity, so we only had $9,000 left to pay. And I'm so glad we sold that when we did; it was three years before another house sold in that development! Thank God the car is paid for; I just hope it lasts for another year or two, until I can get back on my feet.

    Food stamps? ****, yes! It's not even 100 bucks a week, but it buys milk & cereal, meat, and macaroni.

    **

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    AV .

    Its a shame that neither of the parents thought about the cost of having children. Honestly, why should that be my responsibility? I don't get that part. There are a lot of sad stories in the world and maybe this one falls into the needy category, but if you can't afford to raise a family, why do it? So, the rest of us bear the burden of it through our tax dollars? It just isn't fair.

    I take care of my life and my familie's life, why can't other people do the same?

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    In the discussion, Should Obama be Reelected, you were, pretty much, coming across as an advocate for third-party voting because both parties are out of control. You said that the government spent its money on the wrong things, should focus on infrastructure and that sort of thing. You called Obama (and Romney) a proven liar.

    And now, you support Obama (the proven liar) and his increased (or continued) federal government spending to give food stamps to 48 million Americans, who would, according to you, presumably all die, or otherwise suffer needlessly, without them.

    But you do play the "class envy" card, or "class demonizaton" card pretty well - and pretty often - which was (and is) evidenced by your smarmy criticism of Romney and how he came to earn (or otherwise obtain) his wealth. You can do that as well as any Democrat!

    Nick "assumes" that these 48 million people "need" food stamps. He wonders what kind of country we've become when 48 million people "need" food assistance. I wonder which orifice he pulled the "need" assertion out from. Just because they're offered, and just because the offer is accepted, it doesn't automatically create a "need". Nick might make the assertion, but it doesn't make it true.

    In the sentiment of, "Build it and they will come", we can also conclude, "Hand out freebies, and they will take them."

    It's also painfully obvious that Nick neither understands, nor recognizes the ideology behind, the growth of the food stamp program. Intended as a safety net in the 1930s (and as a means to distribute free food commodities more effectively), it's become an intergenerational dependency program - and vote buying ploy; vote for the person who will give me more free stuff: phones, food stamps, rent subsidies, whatever; sell your vote to the highest bidder. And Nick supports such a thing.

    The Food Stamp Program, which was started in the late 1930s, provided the "safety net" of which many people (including Nick) speak, and quite frankly, regardless of my libertarian views, I'd be willing to compromise and allow the federal government to provide such a "safety net" . But President Johnson expanded it in 1964, along with myriad other government assistance programs - all under the guise of the War on Poverty", and suddenly the percentage of people living under the poverty threshold started to increase, where it had been decreasing every decade since the Civil War (with the exception of the 1930s). But no, when people like Nick rally in favor of 48 million people receiving intergenerational dependency causing federal government assistance - which is actually harmful to both families and the country in the long run - all in the name of providing a "safety net", I can't help but think that Nick is either sadly misguided or terribly misinformed by calling it all a "safety net".

    When 48 million Americans are occupying what used to be a "safety net", over and above all the other federal "safety nets" being advanced and supported, only a fool wouldn't recognize that it will all collapse under the weight of its own obligations.

    By the way, on your "waiting" for my Advertising Food Stamps in Mexico" proof, you never asked me for it. Robo_Dev did - as an answer to my request for him to provide proof for his assertions. In essence, he answered a question with a question, thereby evading my original question, which I do not allow someone to get away with. So you can wait until **** freezes over, or until Robo_Dev provides the proof that I originally asked for. (**** freezing over might come first.) Or, you could just research it yourself - and make sure you go to the Government Web site that lists all the government benefits made available to immigrants of all flavors, not just those from Mexico!

    P.S. Nick said:

    "The food stamp program is a symptom, Max. Until you stop spouting talking points about stereotypes and address the reason the program is even necessary, any complaint you may have about the size of the program is, at best, disingenuous."

    Who in the **** is stereotyping people, Nick? Not me. Others might use the word, "freeloaders", or some other pejorative, but I don't. I focus on the role of government and the merits of the program itself. I focus on how the federal government programs have come to be vote-buying vehicles. You, Nick, are the one throwing around stereotypes - and being disingenuous (or misinformed) in the process.

    But I do agree that the food stamp program is a symptom - a symptom of out of control federal government; a symptom of intergenerational dependency causing federal programs; and a symptom of a federal government that is bankrupting our country, both fiscally and morally.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Right. Ok. And the nation has no vested interest in children being born, right? Coz, you can just replace the citizens with H1Bs, LOL.
    Where the fluck did you store your brain, AV?
    Ok, first of all; let's say you're entitled to say where the nation spends your money. It's a long shot, but sure, OK.

    Well, the Democrats have decided to put *their* tax money on keeping the poverty below riot level.
    That then is *their* decision, with *their* money, and you should stop flucking whining about it.
    You want to spend on something else than war and subsidies for megacorps? Stop voting Republican, simple as that.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    First, you make a false assumption. My wanting to reduce the power of the two dominant parties does not preclude my favoring current government programs. Nor does my favoring a program mean I think there is nothing wrong with that program..

    Second, where do I even mention Romney (except once, obliquely) or criticize how he made his money (at all)?

    Third, you've already pointed out the history of the modern food stamp program, yet you lead with Obama as the 'owner' of that spending, adding the federal government as an afterthought. There have been no substantial changes to the program since the '90s, other than the number of participants. Shouldn't that be Clinton's spending? Or, given the root causes for the current levels of government spending, GWB's? Or, given the history you present, Johnson's? Or Nixon's? Or Reagan's? Or even Eisenhower's, Truman's, or FDR's?

    And the minute you start talking about "intergenerational dependency", you are, intentionally or otherwise, stereotyping in the same manner as those who use less subtle terms.

    AV, the wealthy may not owe anything to the rest of us as individuals, but they owe everything to the country that made it possible for them to become wealthy in the first place. That they think they are should have their wealth without having to contribute to American society is no less an entitlement mentality than that displayed by the Obamaphone...person.

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    AV .

    What I'm talking about is when you have people that are already on welfare programs and they continue having more children they can't support. People like that have made a lifestyle of living off entitlement programs and they never get off of it. Welfare is supposed to be a helping hand, not a lifestyle.

    This lifestyle is particularly rampant in our inner cities. Mostly single mothers and multiple fathers that are absent and do not support their children. In many cases they continue to have children so they get more government money. It isn't as if the children benefit from the welfare, they don't. The kids go without and the mother takes the money and spends it elsewhere. The government enables this lifestyle by just throwing money at it without any strings attached, such as making them work for it in some capacity or mandating some kind of job training so the person can eventually get off the system and support themselves.

    Some states, like NJ, have workfare instead of welfare and it has been somewhat successful in preventing people from using the system as a permanent source of income.

    Maintaining the poverty level with welfare programs for so many people is not an answer. The answer is growing the economy and providing good paying jobs for anyone that wants to work or even those that don't. It comes back to personal responsibility. The Republicans want to grow the economy and provide an atmosphere for business that will be attractive for investment. If we had a robust economy, people would be able to find decent paying jobs to support themselves. The Dems don't seem to have an answer for how to create a robust economy.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    GROSS OVERGENERALIZATION!!!

    Are you aware of how the human reproductive cycle works?
    Did you know that accidents happen? Did you know that most people, even pro-choice people, won't actually get abortions on just economic grounds?

    Besides, having twins is an entirely different thing than having a single child at a time, and much more expensive even than getting two children one at a time.

    Over here firing someone over pregnancy issues is *illegal* because it *negatively affects the entire economy*.

    Have you ANY idea of how much it costs all of you to drive people from functional to dysfunctional? The cost, to the ENTIRE SOCIETY, of messing up people's lives is *prohibitive*. You have no idea.

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    aidemzo_adanac

    I think the US government should be providing additional support for Canadians. The Canadian government doesn't hand out quite enough and people actually have to work now. I think the US government and YOUR tax dollars would go a long way in helping Canadians find more relaxation and time to enjoy their glorious country. I mean, seriously! What kind of R&R do you really expect to enjoy when living in a central American dust bowl, the ever flooding and tornado ridden coasts or the unbearably hot, stay inside your trailer with the A/C on Nevada, Florida or southern California? Face it, Canadians have the land, the sea, the trees, the snow capped mountains and so much more to enjoy, just not the time due to having to work every day. America could really help out and start making Canadians feel better about their neighbours to the south who rape the country of resources. Just cough up more dough, quadruple the welfare rate and let Canadians enjoy their country for once! C'mon America, work more so others don't have to!

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    AV .

    We shouldn't be, but that is a different discussion entirely. We as a country are seriously broke. Unfortunately, once you get into a war its not so easy to get out.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    We as a country have the single largest economy on the planet, with a 2010 GDP somewhere between $14.4 trillion and $15.1 trillion (let's split the difference and call it $14.75 trillion).

    The expected average federal tax rate (Tax receipts/GDP) is expected to be about 14.8%, meaning the federal government would receive about $2.18 trillion in tax collections. If the overall federal tax rate was at the post WW2 average of 18.5%, the federal government would receive about $2.73 trillion, about $550 billion more (deficit reduction!). If we eliminate the war spending, that money can either be not spent at all (more deficit reduction!) or we could spend some of it on badly needed infrastructure projects (creating jobs and putting people to work, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for food stamps - deficit reduction again!) and not spend the rest (even more deficit reduction!).

    Links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/are-taxes-in-the-u-s-high-or-low/

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    AV .

    We are living in a dream in this country. Even if war spending is eliminated, it doesn't address the existing debt and future spending on entitlements when all the baby boomers retire. That is huge. And, we have a sputtering economy. Not enough investment in America to sustain itself.

    The re-election of Obama was a bummer for business. All they can look forward to now is higher taxes and being straddled with Obamacare.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    You've been paying FICA & Medicare premiums, I've been paying them, even Max has been paying them. If they are "entitlements", it's because, having paid into them, we're entitled to receive from them.

    The problem is not that "we're broke", the problem is that we don't want to pay for what we get from government.

    The federal government's share of GDP in 2010 was 14.9%, 4.5 points lower than its postwar average of 18.5%. The CBO projects that share to drop to 14.8% for 2011.

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    maxwell edison

    I'm not making an argument for making war just in order to create jobs (a component of Eisenhower's Military Industrial Complex warning - which he didn't really heed himself, by the way), but Nick's assertion that spending money on infrastructure projects would create jobs, while totally ignoring the fact that reduced spending on war would actually cost jobs, doesn't make any sense at all. At best, it's robbing Peter to pay Paul (taking Peter's job away, giving it to Paul). You might make the argument that Paul deserves the spending more than Peter, but it renders your logic ....... well, it renders it illogical.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    If you've allowed yourself to believe the idiocy that government cannot create jobs.

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    maxwell edison

    Regarding your comment, ... stop spending on war, start spending on infrastructure (which would, you said, create jobs)", I said, all that's doing, at best, is taking one job for the purpose of creating another.

    Again, you evaded what I really said, and strung up something that I did not say to argue against. Typical for someone without a legitimate rebuttal.

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    AV .

    We do pay into them, but when the program was designed, it wasn't meant to sustain people for 20 or 30 years. Life expectancies today are much greater than in the past. There were more people paying into the system in the past as well. This has caused a shortfall in our obligations and its only going to get worse if they don't find a way to fix the program.

    AV

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    aidemzo_adanac

    Wouldn't the returning solders, without a war to fight ,simply add many more thousands of people to the unemployed? Of course they are employABLE and would be offered preference over the non-enlisted employment seekers, but what about an engineering firm that has 30 army engineers applying for the same job? More unemployed, more living on the government handouts (instead of fighting for a paycheck). It seems that it wouldn't help anyone (financially) to bring them all home, just saying...! What about the drug use from returning soldiers who would find it hard to be gainfully employed again, have a really hard time adjusting to civilian life, turn to drugs because they are living in 8-mile etc.? Would the prisons not fill with tens of thousands of soldiers without hope or new direction? I'm not knocking soldiers for a split second, I tip my hat to anyone who fights for their nation, even those who do so feeling it's not the right reason to fight. However, if you can't keep your existing population employed, and it's caused a SERIOUS financial issue for the nation (just as many other nations are found in the same boat) how do you expect to deal with tens of thousands more returning home and seeking a future? I think your numbers need some more consideration before being able to show such a conclusive solution.

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    aidemzo_adanac

    "We're supposed to be the greatest country in the world, but we don't look like it."

    Um, yeah. At least reality has set in for you guys now. Sorry it was at the cost of home, marriages and livelihoods but that's what it usually takes when countries slowly start to lose their place.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    I think it's illogical to complain about the government keeping people from starving, which is what food stamps does, while ignoring that the same government spends hundreds of billions of dollars to obtain and maintain the capability to destroy other countries, even the world, in the name of "national security".

    Either it's about all the spending or it's not about the spending at all.

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    aidemzo_adanac

    If America didn't spend money on war, what the heck would they do with it? Being at war is all the US government knows, think of the downtrodden folk growing up in the many war torn countries around the world, only difference is it's THERE and not on your own land. All today's youth has known is their country at war. Thankfully it's not on your own doorstep/my back fence, but that's how they excuse fighting somewhere else, 'stop 'em before they come here'. I guess the Japanese in WWII scared the US government enough that they'd rather pay to fight in other nations than face defending their own shores...which didn't work so great in Hawaii, lesson learned, 'fight THERE, not HERE'.

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    AV .

    Where do I start! We should be rebuilding our infrastructure in this country from top to bottom, partnering with private enterprise, of course. We're supposed to be the greatest country in the world, but we don't look like it. The roads, the bridges, the rail system are all falling apart.

    Where's our Keystone Pipeline? Maybe we should even consider an aquaduct system to help relieve drought-stricken areas of our country.

    I can think of lots of better uses for the money than war and nation building in areas like Afghanistan where they just **** up everything we build anyway.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    "It's a shame they didn't consider the cost of water when they decided where their ancestors put their homes"

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    AnsuGisalas

    http://m.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2012/10/66-americas-growing-underclass/3618/

    People who work full time, and still can't make enough to make ends meet.

    Of course, that's what happens when the corporations tweak the system.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    so many of those people are without a job or a roof over the heads (for whatever reason). If it were just as simple as giving those in need a home and some form of gainful employment, I would be all in. I know too many folks that have to swollow their pride and go to food banks or collect food stamps just to feed their families because they can't find a job. I'm a trained office administrator, experienced waitress, and have 17 years experience working in a local carpet factory on the floor. I've been jobless for 13 months and without umemployment for two months. I've had two interviews for the about 25 jobs that I have applied for and the two employers both told me that they had an extraordinary amount of applications for the jobs they had posted. I happen to be lucky enough to have a husband that has a job, many are single income families without a significant other.

    This week, our local food bank did their annual food drive in conjunction with our local radio station and a few other sponsers. Our community did fantastic; over 66,000 lbs of food and monitary donations were collected; even in the cold rain of the day, our community came out in force. Things are tight at our home, but I always make a commitment of at least 10.00 in non-parishable goods. I always figure I'm greatful for the times that it was there when my mom was a single parent raising my four siblings (I was out on my own by then) and I never know when I may need the service myself in the future.

    We're coming into the season of giving and being thankful for what we have. I give when I can and am truly thankful for what we have. Have a happy weekend everyone and please give when you can.

    Lee

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    Darryl~ Moderator

    but that was 20% less than last year's 83,000 lbs. You also identified the high unemployment rate this year compared to previous years so it would make sense that fewer people are donating to the Food Banks; to compound the problem there is a greater demand on the Food Banks because the unemployed that used to donate while employed have become patrons; it becomes a snowball effect.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    thank you for putting a different perspective on it. I hadn't really thought about the 20% less given this year until you mentioned the high unemployment/jobless rate. There are fewer folks in the community working and too many vying for the same job. It's a tough economy for sure . I'm sure it'll be a tough year for the foodbank, rougher than last year.

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    robo_dev

    It is admirable for you to think of others even when you have little. What goes around comes around.

    That's the sort of thinking that helps our country rise above the petty politics of us and them, and helps us to remember there is only 'us'.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    I try to live with the premise to give what I can in the hopes that if I ever need that type of assistance mayself, others will be there to help point me in proper directions. I do wish more folks thought the same way though, seems there are too many "only us" folks, like you and I, out there.

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    maxwell edison

    (Although I don't think it's their intent.)

    My position is that the federal government should not be in the food handing out business. (Perhaps very limited in certain situations.) Citizens in local communities can take care of their own needs themselves, as it should be - and as you illustrated.

    The problem with discussing SO MANY issues around this place is that people confuse government solutions with private or local solutions. Not all problems should rely on government to provide the solutions. I'm not opposed to giving attention to the problem, I'm opposed to giving government attention to the problem, especially if it means turning its citizens into a dependent class - which is exactly what's happening.

    It's actually MORE humane and compassionate to want people free of government dependency instead of being reliant on it. (Maybe it's time I start attacking your values by calling you two the Scrooges.)

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    Deadly Ernest

    saying that sort of thing is their job and taking lots of action to STOP people providing that sort of help on the local level.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Bloomberg and NYC come to mind, but when I first read it and Googled to double-check, I was shocked by how many 'communities' had made it illegal to feed the homeless. WTF?

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    Deadly Ernest

    private individuals encroaching on the socialist controls they're putting in place - you're not allowed to interfere with the commissar or his work.

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    AnsuGisalas

    same concept. They're afraid all the homeless from surrounding states will crowd into NYC to get some of that free food.

    As pathetic an outlook as that is, I find that their setting quotas for cops to stop and frisk people is even more sickening.
    Surefire way to make the cops feel in opposition to the populace, and vice versa.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    I don't believe our local food bank is government run. (Darryl will correct me if I'm wrong). It is run mostly by volunteers and the majority of product they have is donated. We are a community that very much takes care of its own as much as possible. The local government here would just as soon turn a blind eye to the homeless issues we have here.

    I think I do understand what you're trying to say, it's not so much the government in your area; it’s the folks that take advantage as AV has pointed out.

    In a perfect world it would be all good to give people a job so they could be "people free of government dependency instead of being reliant on it". Now, if it were only that simple. We have three big named factories here in town that are running on half the amount of employees as they used putting about 1000 plus hard working folks out of work. That takes money out of the economy of this rural town. If they want a good paying job, they have to go to Fort McMurray to get one. Just makes Alberta richer, not little Truro, Nova Scotia. Of course, it doesn’t help that minimum wage in Nova Scotia is one of the lowest in the country and we have the third highest gas prices in the country. And don’t even get me going on our privately owned power company and their constant whining for rate increases....I’ll end this here because I could go on and on and on boring you to complete tears.
    Back on track a bit for a quick second. I do understand what you’re trying to say and even agree with what you in a way (to a point), I just wish it were as simple as doing just that.

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    Darryl~ Moderator

    that Nova Scotia is also the highest taxed province in Canada.....it just adds to the lack of disposable income.

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    AV .

    There are a lot of truly needy people nowadays, so I always give what I can to the food bank. No one should go hungry. I only wish that people that take advantage of programs like this and don't need to would stop and think about those less fortunate.

    After New Jersey got hit with Hurricane Sandy, there are so many people that are homeless here as a result they can't find places to live. Many weren't rich people with second homes at the shore, they were people that made their living from the water and fishing industries. Some were quite poor before and now they've lost everything, including their livelihood. The Red Cross did a fabulous job here organizing and setting up shelters. I was one of those people that was in need of their services out of desperation. It was quite a humbling experience to wait for 2 hours for a shower, but there was no other choice. I was grateful for that shower and to have my home intact to go back to.

    Now that my life is back to normal, I will never forget that experience. I've always supported the Red Cross in the past, never expected to need them, but they were there for me when I really needed it. I will always support them because they offer a wonderful service to people that are really in need and I got to see it first hand.

    AV

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Relatively unscathed? :)

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    AV .

    I'm going to lose most of one Sugar Maple in the front of my house. I have broken branches and "leaner" trees that will have to come down. All in all, I'm unscathed, but emotionally I'm so afraid of ever going through another storm like that. Its the second storm in a year than has been just terrifying if you live in the woods. Thanks for asking.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    I guess there's not much point in trying to hide from the weather, but a place with underground electrical supply and less forestation might make it easier to bear.

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    CharlieSpencer

    It's perfectly safe to feed birds. Even those who visit feeders most frequently get less than a third of their diet from humans. Many abandon feeders when natural sources are at their seasonal peaks. Not all forms of wildlife are looking to become permanant moochers.

    As to relative importance, part of the reason rangers don't want dependent animals is because they can be a major threat to humans. The warning isn't just for the animals' benefit. If a human is injured violating the prohibition, it's usually the animal that gets shot. So much for which is more important.

    Sorry, lousy analog.

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    robo_dev

    :)

    You saw how dependent Yogi is on government handouts.

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    Deadly Ernest

    a woman whose property backed on to a major public wildlife area that had a lot of bears in the forest had a cage built of chicken wire (of all things) into the back of her house and she fed bears from there despite be told not to and being fined about it. Well, one day she must a been a bit slow with the food as they found what was left of her body half in and half out of the ruins of the cage - the bears had made a real mess of her. Over the following weeks two bears had to be shot because they attacked other people for food.

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    AnsuGisalas

    and staunch tea partyers, perhaps the analogy isn't so bad after all... some of them sure do become a menace. :^0

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    CharlieSpencer

    I'd like to see your source material that breaks down the Fox (News, I assume) audience and tea party membership by income and source..

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    AnsuGisalas

    I made no statement that requires documentation. I said "many", not "most", unlike "most", "many" is indeterminate.
    To doubt that "many" welfare recipients do in fact belong to both of the other subgroups is hardly an informed stance.

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    maxwell edison

    Ignorance and stupidity also come to mind.

    Hey, he either believes what he wrote or he doesn't. Either way, he's proving himself a fool (yet again).

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    AnsuGisalas

    C'mon, the ignorant Fox News-gobbling welfare recipient tea-partyer is a solid meme.

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    maxwell edison

    George Carlin is (was) a comedian who can (could) deliver comedy.

    But since you can only deliver buffoonery .......... well, let's just say it doesn't make you a comedian.

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    AnsuGisalas

    then go ahead. I don't mind.

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    robo_dev

    Decrease the surplus population.

    The 46m people on food stamps consists of 22m families. Logically therefore about 50% of those on food stamps are children.

    Maybe if we stopped feeding all those children they would stop mooching off the government.

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    maxwell edison

    A bad argument. A bad premise. A bad idea. A bad everything......

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    maxwell edison

    Someone who has absolutely no idea as to whether or not I really am a "Scrooge". Someone who missed the entire point by employing the usual straw-man (Scrooge) argument. Someone who thinks government actually helps, opposed to someone (like me) who knows for certain that such government has become harmful in the long run. Someone who advocates reaching into someone else's pocket to help those he deems "needy", opposed to someone like me who advocates reaching into one's own pocket to help others. Someone who apparently believes that his brand of compassion (using government as his strong-arm) trumps mine.

    And in the process of supporting his straw-man (Scrooge) argument, he made assertions that may or may not be true, when, in fact, he really has no idea as to how the "real numbers" would fall or what they would reveal.

    Show me the breakdown (from a reliable and accurate source) as to the recipients of food stamps, and how much of it is fraudulent, and how much of it is actually unnecessary, and how much of it goes to illegal aliens, etc., lest you leave your made-up assertions at home.

    By the way, over the past years, our federal government has been advertising in Mexico telling Mexican citizens how they can get American Food Stamps. My question is this. Why stop at Mexico? ****, let's advertize all over the world! And then reach into other people's pockets to pay for it!

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    robo_dev

    The point is not that the system is perfect...it is not. Show me a government program without a certain percentage of fraud or waste, and I'll show you my herd of flying pigs.

    I have studied the numbers, I know the numbers.

    The worst number is that the Iraq war cost $720M per day, and Afghanistan costs roughly $300M per day. Everybody cries about how foodstamps are causing the deficit, yet these two unfunded wars are the root cause. Keep in mind the cost of SNAP is $72B...roughly 70 days of war = one year of food stamps.

    Government does not fix every problem, and less government would be a good thing, but in the meantime people gotta eat.

    The point is that it's very easily to point fingers and lump every needy person into one bucket of 'takers' and overlook the very real requirement that human beings require food to survive.

    This is not a personal sleight, this is to make the point that wealthy American conservatives seem intent on reducing and/or eliminating the safety nets, for their personal gain, while not giving one red cent to charity to help at the local level. Look at how much charitiable giving Romney gave, outside the money to CLDS. Pennies....

    And, would we not agree, that it seems terribly convenient that the 'big government' agenda seems to be to starve funding for public schools, make drug crimes harsher, then privatize prisons.

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    maxwell edison

    I ask for numbers for one thing, but you provide numbers (made up or otherwise) for something different. I ask you to provide a source for something you claimed, but you answer with a question asking me to provide a source for something different.

    Sorry, dude, I don't let someone get away with the diversion tactic of answering a question with a question without calling them out on it. And I won't answer your question until you answer mine.

    I will say this, however; advertising food stamps to people - including illegal immigrants - was something the Bush Administration also did. And I was just as hard - if not harder - on him for doing it, and just as opposed to the practice.

    You can't see past your own bias, dude.

    The people who are net tax receivers are, at least, getting something from it. But for those who are not net tax receivers, yet they continue to advocate for MORE net tax receiving, are the absolute biggest fools I've ever seen in my entire life.

    There's something fundamentally wrong when a comment like, "There are a record 47 million receiving food stamps" generates totally opposite responses and sentiments. While some would let their emotions lead them to believe there are are really that many "hungry" Americans out there, there are others (like me) who see this as more evidence of the obvious and egregious misuse of government as the misguided instrument of people's misguided compassion.

    Next up, the obesity crisis in America - all those Americans overeating! ****, we don't need government food stamps. We need government to take the food from the fat people who overeat and give it to those "hungry" people who get food stamps. There ya' go - government solving two problems with one solution!

    Hey, if you big government people advocate taking money from people who have more of it (more than they "need"), so it can be given to those who have less, you can surely see the logic in taking FOOD from people who have more of it (more than they "need"), so it can be given to those who have less.

    But that would surely present a dilemma - a FAT person getting food stamps! And to solve that problem, a FOOD CZAR!

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    "A person must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible, lawfully-present non-citizen to qualify for SNAP benefits." In short simple words, illegal aliens cannot legally receive food stamps. (My personal belief is that the vast majority don't. That somebody subject to deportation if discovered in this country would willingly have anything to do with government is, quite simply, a non sequitur.)

    The rest of your questions are answered here:
    http://www.snaptohealth.org/snap/snap-frequently-asked-questions/.

    and here:
    http://feedingamerica.org/how-we-fight-hunger/programs-and-services/public-assistance-programs/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program/snap-myths-realities.aspx

    Quite simply, Max, robo_dev's numbers are quite close to reality. Now, about those ads in Mexico...

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    maxwell edison

    ".......and how much of it is fraudulent, and how much of it is actually unnecessary, and how much of it goes to illegal aliens, etc."

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    What I provided is the publicly-available information. Th

    The information you want is not consolidated in any one location, that I can find. And, given the strong need for many to prove fraud & waste in the food stamp and welfare programs, I must say I'm surprised; if the fraud and waste were there in the quantities posited by you and others, there would be plenty of information about it.

    I'm not saying there's no fraud or waste, just that documentation of it is as legendary as the Welfare Queen...

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    Deadly Ernest

    during the Great depression, here in Australia they came up with an idea called The Dole. Unemployed men registered with the government for The Dole. Week 1 they were given food stamps redeemable at any store. Week 2 they were given fully paid work on various government programs around the country. They got 'x' amount of time at full pay (I think it was two days), then another half day for each dependent. So a man with a wife and 3 kids got two extra day's work at full pay.

    There were a number of jokes that went about along the lines of :

    "hey Joe, did ya hear about poor Paddy Murphy?"

    "No, what about him?"

    "His boss' business went belly up and he had to register for the dole."

    "So?"

    "Poor Bastards has eleven kids. So to meet his Dole allotment, he has to work a double shift three days a week. It's damn near killing him."

    .............

    During that time The Dole work did a **** of lot in needed infrastructure, so the country got a real benefit for the money expended.

    Today, the unions scream if anyone suggests the same again as they see it taking money away from their members - never mind it's work that couldn't be afforded any other way. And thus people get a cash hand out now.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Bridges, highways, sewers, water systems, etc. Most are a half-century old or older and falling apart. And almost all are government-owned. I would have thought, in the aftermath of the I-35 bridge collapse, that people would have taken the need seriously. Obviously, I was wrong.

    Fixing all that will require workers, whether employed by contractors or government itself, and many of them will fill jobs that don't exist now (but that government can't create because, of course, government doesn't create jobs...).

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    CharlieSpencer

    Even though this year we exported almost as much oil as we imported. Even though we won't have anywhere to drive if we don't fix the problems you pointed out.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Over here roadworks are the first thing that's put under way when the crisis hits... sometimes when there's little need.

    But having run down roads and an economic crisis, that's just silly.

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    DelbertPGH

    The minimum wage might be a lot higher if, without food stamps, low-end workers and their children actually starved. It can be argued that food stamps subsidize Scrooge-type employers, who are relieved of the moral and practical duty of offering a living wage. The government is giving handouts to deadbeat bosses!

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    maxwell edison

    Spoken as only a flaming leftist, progressive, Democrat could speak. Calling food stamps a subsidy for employers.

    I shake my head in disbelief.

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    AnsuGisalas

    So, yes, food stamps have become a direct subsidy for Walmart.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    And Amen.

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    maxwell edison

    ...... but yet you relate to this drivel?

    It does not compute.

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    AnsuGisalas

    and it doesn't take a computer.

    If you really wanted to drag in the Libertarian perspective you could have easily done so. All it would have taken was to acknowledge that Walmart is abusing the system, and that not having the system would force Walmart to pay their workers a living wage.

    But you didn't do that. I wonder why.

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    maxwell edison

    What a foolish thing to say.

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    AnsuGisalas

    If that's your best/worst, you've clearly lost your mental acuity - but don't realize it.

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    maxwell edison

    Geesh - take your Danish, or Finnish, or whatever the **** it is outlook and shove it. I don't give a damn what you say or think, Ansu, and anyone around here who indulges you is foolish. A northern European idiot who comes across as though he's an expert on all things American. A bigot who thinks Fox News is the enemy. What a total idiot you are, Ansu. You must have a sad life to have the time - and desire - to post the crap you do all over the Internet. But then, it's fitting for a sad - and insignificant - little man from insignificant Nordic Europe.

    And truth be told, you know nothing. How many times, for example, have you spouted off about "Fox News" and how much influence it wields with those on the right? Too many to count. But I wonder if Fox News' measly one million viewers (as compared to the 23 million who watch CBS, NBC, and ABC) really stretches all the way across the Atlantic? I think not. At best, the European News outlets would only provide a brief "sound bite" from Fox News from time to time. Which means Ansu formed his opinion about Fox news either on a few sound bites or from repeating what others have said. I suspect the latter. Proves Ansu spouts off on things about which he knows absolutely nothing.

    How's it feel to be seen as so insignificant, Ansu? An insignificant little man with an insignificant and uninformed opinion from an insignificant, out of the way country. I just laugh at you.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    That used to be beneath you.

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    AnsuGisalas

    much? :^0

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    AnsuGisalas

    If a family loses a job, is it better that they:
    A) Spend their time trying to survive, selling property to eat
    or
    B) Spend their time looking for a new one, keeping property and retaining their employability?

    Having a robust workforce (one that doesn't keel over and die when there's a crisis, see Famine of Ireland), is a great boon to business, and is one of the reasons we're better off now than we were a hundred years ago.

    Of course, the amount of help to be given can be discussed, but anyone suggesting that no help be given is clearly unaware of their own history.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    And tell the people working at Fort Jackson and Shaw AFB that government doesn't create jobs.

    Go to any town or city that has lost a military base in the last 20 years and tell them the jobs they lost weren't created by government.

    You used to be interesting, Max. Now, you just sound like Fox.

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    AV .

    Its the military. Paid for by the taxpayers. What about the rest of of us? Government doesn't create those jobs. I mean real, long term jobs. Not temp jobs working filling pot holes in the roads like Obama's stimulous provided. Something that has a real career path for people. Only private business can provide that.

    The military is something totally different than private enterprise.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    People with jobs spend money, this money creates jobs.

    This fixation on private versus government is silly. A job is a job.
    A permanent job is better than a short-term one, but tell that to Walmart.

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    AV .

    That increases the number of low-paying, service sector jobs. Private enterprise creates higher paying jobs and careers outside of military focused areas.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The military is buying more and more high-tech equipment and that equipment needs maintenance. Sure, the initial front-line work is done by the military, but that's usually just a box-swap. The real work is done in the back shops, where they have the specialized test and repair centers to open up those boxes and repair them. That work is usually done by civilian employees of the equipment manufacturer. And, to ensure they comply with federal law, government contractors generally pay their employees better.

    Let's be real, here. McDonnell Douglas, Grumman, Rockwell, AM General, and major divisions or subsidiaries of Motorola, GE, Westinghouse, Boeing, and even Trane, subsist primarily off of government (usually military) spending. Max is correct that there is a trade-off in cutting military spending because jobs go away. But if jobs go away because the government stops spending the money that kept those jobs in existence, how did the government, whether directly or indirectly, not create those jobs?

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    AV .

    They are still funded by the taxpayers. We need more good jobs being created by private enterprise. We can't all work for or because of the government.

    AV

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    AV

    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Yes most certainly those jobs are still funded by Tax payers but would you really have it any other way?

    Part of the Government Job is to provide Security to the Citizens and I have yet to see anyone in the US claim otherwise. If they where to it would simply mean that the Government isn't responsible for Security and there is no need for the Military and associated hardware used to defend the General Population.

    What I do find more than a bit troubling is how the Military Outsources Jobs to the Private Sector who have the idea that Near Enough is Good Enough for the Military and We'll Fix it in the Field. Neither of those is what any serving Military person wants to experience because it means that they are dead and the Country has lost a lot of money with it's investment in that Serving Military Person.

    For way too long the Military has been propping up a Substandard Private Sector who really doesn't deserve any support. While it is true that the Private Sector can do it cheaper it is also true that they simply don't. They charge as much as they can and provide as little as possible to meet the specification that was asked for, many times actually not even meeting the Minimum Specs.

    Look at the history of any Major Private Sector Military Project and tell me it isn't so.

    The Tea Party People on the other hand would have you believe that those Weapons should be funded by a User Pays System so they effectively want those who would attack the US to pay for the Weapons that the US stockpiles to defend itself. Imagine the scene well you are naughty and we are going to nuke you so please provide the $20,000,00.00 for the cost of the ICBM that we will have to use to kill you lot. If you don’t pay we’ll leave you alone to do what you like and we’ll just ignore you as you are unwilling to pay for what we would use to destroy you.

    Sounds nice in Theory but is completely ridicules to any sane person. Of course the last bit of that isn’t spoken about it’s just User Pays which sounds great till it’s actually tested.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    And their appliances and devices?
    If it all eventually comes down to more jobs, what the **** is the problem with it?
    Your line of reasoning only makes sense if you think there's competition between public and private. There isn't.

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    CharlieSpencer

    How many civilian jobs create career paths? McDonalds gets thousands of people started, but few of them stick around long enough to rise through their commendable 'promote from within' system. Tell me about the career paths at Wal-Mart. Tell me about the career paths at most small 'mom and pop' businesses.

    If we allocated the tax money necessary to fix the roads properly, it would take a couple of decades to repair them all. In this day of job turnover, that's pretty long tenure.

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    AV .

    Sometimes career paths don't necessarily mean you stay at the same company and work your way up. You may start at McDonalds flipping burgers, but you leave and go to another company that offers you a better job and better pay.

    In larger companies, say the Pharma industry, you would have more opportunities to move within the company.

    We should rebuild our infrastructure without a doubt, but it should be done in partnership with private enterprise. Private enterprise will benefit from it. The government should try to foster that relationship between government and private enterprise so that projects are not totally funded by the government. We need to give private enterprise an incentive to invest in this country again and that isn't happening.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Those better-paying jobs have been moving to other countries for decades because those better-paying jobs were in manufacturing plants owned by corporations that received government subsidies in the form of tax breaks when they moved their jobs overseas.

    What's left behind is Walmart or McDonald's or jobs that require education or training people not only don't have, but can't afford to get because they work at Walmart or McDonald's, can't afford tuition costs on their own, and don't want to take a student loan because they're smart enough not to volunteer for indentured servitude.

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    AV .

    We never could compete with it because its cheaper and companies definitely still get tax breaks for doing it. There still are jobs here though, its just a more competitive environment.

    Forget Walmart or McDonalds. Small business is the best way to get some good experience on which you can build a future. Obama's plan to tax people making $200k per year will likely kill small business growth though. Many small businesses are taxed on the personal level and not at a corporate tax rate.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    But most of those small businesses are incorporated in some manner: LLC or S corp, usually. And the proprietor of every one of those businesses can deduct everything he or she puts back into the business. Payroll, equipment, supplies, franchise fees, real property costs, whatever, are all deductible from gross receipts.

    I did it for years as a softball umpire. Everything I spent relative to officiating–travel costs, uniform costs, equipment costs, meals, etc.–was deducted from gross receipts, and usually reduced the net taxable to 10% or so of gross, sometimes to even less than that. Didn't usually even affect my tax bracket.

    And regardless what many say, outside specialty businesses, the pay at most small businesses usually sucks, even for the owner.

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    AnsuGisalas

    If a person is making 200k they're not in any trouble, financially, right?
    If they want to avoid a tax for going over that take, they can hire more people. Most small business owners are caught in the "why should I hire someone to do what I can do myself for free" thinking.
    They overlook the fact that it's not for free. It takes their effort, and the business owner's efforts should be worth quite a lot.
    So, many people actually hurt their own businesses by trying to do everything themselves.
    Time spent balancing the books or writing letters or mowing the lawn could be better spent looking after customers or drumming up new ones or straightening out sub-optimal business practices.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Are places like Donald Trump not real Small Business with the computer shop down the road run by a guy who has no staff and lots of bills.

    How any politician could say with a straight Face that people like Trump where Small Business is so far beyond belief that they are obviously treating their potential electors like the complete idiots that they actually are to believe stuff like that.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    you mean the corporations that own the capitol, then I'm sorry to say that the profit margins on building up your country are far outstripped by the profit margins on tearing it down.
    Business is business, I'm sure you understand.

    If you mean something else, well, perhaps you need to look into what that would actually take.

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    maxwell edison

    I find it amusing that people accuse me of being a Fox News Junkie, when, in fact, I absolutely never watch Fox News. Never! Absolutely NEVER!

    I have a very low opinion of television media in general; ****, I dont even have cable TV; I still use rabbit ears, so I couldn't watch Fox News if I wanted to. Take the NFL out of the picture (no pun intended), and on average, I might have my TV on an hour or two a week (I do like to watch Jeopardy).

    Sure, I see Fox News - as well as MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, et al - in the course of visiting people, going places where its on, seeing references on the Internet, etc., but watching TV News is not even on my Radar Screen. I really can't remember the last time I watched a TV News program.

    Come to think of it, if anything, I make it a point to keep tabs on MSNBC more than any other News Network (even though I don't "watch" them either.)

    P.S. You used to be interesting, Nick. Now, you just sound like a pompous elitist who comes across as though he's "above it all". Try coming off your high-horse.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    I've lived it and was lucky enough to have the government there to help me get out of it.

    You fed the animals, and now you're making surprised that you got bitten?

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    maxwell edison

    I start a thread about the federal government's excessive Food Stamp Program; Nick advocated his enthusiastic support for the growth in the federal Food Stamp Program; I challenge the merits of his support and how it reconciles (or fails to reconcile) with other statements he's made; he's starting to sound silly in his support for the federal Food Stamp Program; so what does he do? He obsesses on "government created jobs".

    Well, Nick, I've said very little, if anything, about "government created jobs", except to post that Obama quote and a couple of other articles about it. Argue with those other people - including Obama - about what they, themselves, said.

    I'm talking about the federal Food Stamp Program, and your diversion tactics speak only to your inability to support your own arguments about the federal Food Stamp Program.

    If the government does create jobs - and I'm not arguing whether they do or don't (it's all a matter of semantics, anyway) - then it's TOO DAMN MANY!!!!! America is about private sector jobs, not government sector jobs or government "created" jobs. And if you disagree with that simple ideology, we are indeed on opposite ends of that spectrum - with you being on the wrong end.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    that government can be too big or too small. Our government is doing some things well. It's not doing other things well at all. It's also doing some things it shouldn't be doing, and not doing some things it should be doing.

    With regard to financial regulation, government has been shrinking since the 1980s. Compared to the relatively [financially] calm half-century before that, we have been subject to almost regular financial bubbles or frauds as the regulations have been pared back since that time. The almost-immediate S&L debacle, Enron, Worldcom, the dot.com bubble, Madoff, the housing bubble, a rising tide of bank failures, and the derivatives crash were all enabled by lax enforcement or reduced regulation.

    The Department of Education is a bloated bureaucracy that has never seriously attempted to do the one thing it should have been trying to do from Day One: set national educational achievement standards by grade level and subject for all American schools. By that I mean "this is what students must know to progress to the next level". How to get students educated to that point would be up to the states, counties, or cities. Instead, the Ed Dept tries to enforce the idiotic concept, now enshrined in law, that all children can learn to the same level in the same amount of time. Here, government is too big for the wrong reason.

    The recent spate of food contamination appears to indicate that theire aren't enough inspectors. Too small.
    Trying to regulate individual medical choices? Too big.
    Our public infrastructure is falling apart. Too small.
    We're fighting a war for a now-questionable cause. Too big.

    There are no easy answers, Max. And there are no absolutes beyond the first Ten.

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    maxwell edison

    ...... whether "government can be too big or too small."

    Considering it's never gotten smaller, that doesn't make a lot of sense. Moreover, your assertion that government cannot be "too big" is absurd. Of course it can; and it is!

    You're really stretching, Nick, to avoid having to defend your indefensible comments about wanting to grow the already burgeoning, 48 million strong, federal food stamp roles.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Every suggestion I've offered here has been intended to help people become more financially independent, making them less dependent on government for support.

    And because I defend the existence of the food stamp program and understand why it has grown to the size it has, you think I want it to grow further? You're making stupid assumptions and creating your own false dichotomies.

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    CharlieSpencer

    What about all those government contracts to build things like aircraft, ships, tanks, and other weapons systems? If you don't think those jobs aren't created by the government, listen to their elected representatives scream whenever someone tries to cut them from the budget.

    Who do you think law enforcement and firemen work for? Restaurant and food preparation inspectors?

    Government shouldn't be the PRIMARY source of jobs, but to say it doesn't create them is ignoring where those tax dollars get spent, especially those dollars spent in the name of 'defense'.

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    AV .

    That's an excellent comparison, Max. I fail to understand why 47 million people receive food stamps. This is an interesting link about the food stamp program http://www.trivisonno.com/food-stamps-charts

    The problem I have with food stamps is that it has become a way of life for too many people. The food stamp program was meant to be a temporary helping hand in hard times, not permanent supplemental income. As long as our government continues to hand out "free" assistance, there will always be takers who game the system. The "free" government assistance is not actually free, it is paid for by the taxpayers through wealth redistribution.

    AV

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    robo_dev

    The U.S. labor market was already shrinking before the recession, more wage inequality and fewer good jobs.

    If our electronics and clothes are made in China, our cars are made in Mexico, and your PC support comes from Hyderbad, where are the good paying factory jobs we saw in the 1960s-1990s??? Where are the good entry-level IT jobs?

    They are gone forever.

    People have to eat. Living is poverty is not a lifestyle choice. Nearly two million veterans and active-duty military personnel are on food-stamps and more than $100M of food-stamp spending happens on military bases.

    The food stamp program costs $72B a year. Raising taxes on the rich will bring in $80B a year. Problem solved.

    Is there fraud, waste, and abuse? Of course there is, it's a government program.

    But would lots of kids go to bed hungry without it? Yup.

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    john.a.wills

    that soldiers are not paid enough to feed themselves and their families. Surely this is one part of the military budget that we can all agree should be increased. The food stamps bill would get slightly lower, though not enough to offset the military wage increases.

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    CharlieSpencer

    is because a large chunk of the military budget is spent buying hardware the military neither asked for nor wants. Gotta keep those factories running back in the state / district, dontchakno? But remember, government doesn't create jobs! [/sarcasm]

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    AV .

    Its just disgraceful that any of our military are underpaid after the sacrifices that they made for our country.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    even in the years with heavy losses.
    Coming home to empty homes with eviction notices isn't all that uncommon, I hear.

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    AV .

    Take out the military, unemployed or underemployed and maybe some seniors and the number is still unbelievably high. The program is supposed to be for the needy and I find it hard to believe there are that many needy people in this country. I think there are probably quite a few people that have eked out a lifestyle based on government welfare programs.

    I've known a few over the years and they take advantage of every available program that there is. One woman I know of is on disability. She is married, her husband works and they have 3 kids. They live in a $400,000 house. She collects $16,000 a year from Social Security and receives $8000 a year for each child. Her husband works in IT and makes a 6 figure salary. Thats a good deal, isn't it? They go on more vacations than I do.

    I used to babysit for woman with 4 kids whose husband left her. She went on welfare, received food stamps. Welfare got her a house, fully subsidized, to live in. She went to college for free and worked under the table for extra money. All of their healthcare was for free. She did get her degree and got a job and off the programs, but you can live a pretty nice lifestyle using government programs.

    I agree that we need to give a helping hand to the needy, but it seems to me that our current food stamp and welfare programs do not have enough oversight to prevent abuse like this. Also, there are many charity organizations that provide help for the needy. Shouldn't it be the role of charities to provide this help for the most part and not the taxpayers? If we are spending $72B a year just on food stamps, we should be looking at why.

    AV

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    DelbertPGH

    Your second lady, whose husband left and who eventually got a degree and a job, seems to have taken advantage of the programs and made herself a successful, independent economic agent who supports her children without further direct assistance. Sounds to me like a great justification for those programs. Too bad the hardship cases aren't all like her.

    Your other lady doesn't sound as sweet, but if she's disabled and she worked before being laid low, then she's entitled to disability payments from Social Security. I assume the kids must be from a prior husband, since I don't believe they'd be entitled to support payments if she lived with their father. Is she actually married to husband #2?

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    AV .

    But, why wasn't her bum of a husband held accountable? Instead it was us taxpayers? Surely he must have had a job somewhere.

    The other lady is one of those people that knows how to game the system. The kids are from her current husband and SS still pays her for them. I don't understand how that can be, but its true. Supposedly, she is terminally ill and should have been dead awhile ago, but I met her and there is nothing disabled about her. I don't think she has ever held a real job. To me, SS should investigate the doctor that put her on disability in the first place.

    AV

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Simply refuse to play by the rules that we accept. I know of several people who just give up when faced with challenges and retire to their own little shell and do absolutely nothing at all.

    If womans 2 Male Partner was like this it doesn't matter what you try to do if he refuses to work and does nothing at all do you honestly believe that the kids should suffer?

    I've also seen cases where otherwise wealth people have no Legal Income and can not be forced to pay what they Legally Do Not Have to support their kids.

    With people the real problem is People are involved and way too often what is reasonable gets tossed out with the Bath Water so that one or both parties involved win what they want or at the very least don't pay what they are obliged to.

    But then again without knowing anything of the people involved at all it is just as likely that the male involved died and the insurance company providing Life Insurance refused to pay out on the claim leaving the woman and kids with nothing except debts.

    Col

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    DelbertPGH

    It might be most just, as far as society is concerned, to stick her ex-husband with all the burden of helping her find her feet and become independent. It seems like he wasn't very good at caring for her in the first place, though; what makes you think we'd be successful at insisting that he cough up support money? Should she be shackled to this failure of a man, who might even quit working out of spite, or even worse, decide it would be easier on him to move back in with her? The "charity" system worked well for her, and produced as much justice as you're likely to get in life. You could choose to dwell instead on a man who runs away from responsibilities and is probably making a fresh tragedy of some cocktail waitress's life now. Some people will always be a waste: he is; his ex-wife isn't.

    Don't know what to say about your other gal. Unless she faked her medical exam, it seems like a diagnosis of no work and a fatal illness are grounds for receiving disability payments. Perhaps the fact that she can enjoy life while receiving government checks seems unjust? Maybe she's scamming; maybe not.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    We're spending over 10 times that a year on war. Shouldn't we be asking why?

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    maxwell edison

    Why is it when someone points out government overspending on one thing, so many people reply - with some sort of justification, I assume - with a comment about even higher government spending on something else?

    "Oh yea, well what about ......"

    Sounds like a school yard playground comment.

    How about this? Government spends too much money on everything!

    Geesh, Nick. You either think the government food stamp program is a sham, a waste, and destructive, or you don't.

    I do. AV does. Are you really defending it?

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    You either think the government food stamp program is a sham, a waste, and destructive, or you don't.

    I think it's a crock of schitt that 42 million people can't find work that pays them enough to buy food for their families. ****, yes, I'm defending it; it's keeping people alive. What's the other option? Swift's elegant solution? Did you read anything at any of the links I provided below? Or that anybody else has provided? Or did you discount the information in them because your preconceptions make it difficult to impossible for you to consider that a government program outside defense might be useful?

    And before you go off about helping, yes, I help when I can; so do millions of others. I suspect even you help when possible. But the help that's provided isn't enough to do more than stave off starvation. The help that is needed most is a living wage for full-time workers, and, given the conduct of business in such an environment (cf. Gilded Age), your anti-regulation, free-market stance essentially means you're against that, too!

    Is the USA, as you have previously described it, the "greatest nation on the face of the Earth"? Does it do its best to take care of all its citizens, with the government stepping in when private organizations cannot? Or is it just another third-world nation with the wealth and income concentrated in the hands of a very few, with the remainder of the population fighting to survive in the face of a system that tells them all they have to do to improve themselves is work, while denying them the chance?

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    maxwell edison

    That's your premise; and your premise is flawed. It renders the rest of your argument (here or elsewhere) moot.

    The current version of the official Food Stamp Assistance Program wasn't implemented until 1964, so your premise that people would die without it would suggest that people died without it before 1964, which is not true.

    It's not the role of government to hand out food on a regular basis to its citizens - without which NO ONE WOULD DIE. If you think otherwise, you're a fool.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    supporting your assertion. But I'm still waiting for the Mexican food stamp ads, too.

    ...your premise that people would die without it would suggest that people died without it before 1964, which is not true.

    Nobody ever died because they couldn't get food? Sounds like another recent quote, something to the effect that nobody ever died because they couldn't get medical care.

    The food stamp program is a symptom, Max. Until you stop spouting talking points about stereotypes and address the reason the program is even necessary, any complaint you may have about the size of the program is, at best, disingenuous.

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    AV .

    I think its a disincentive to taking responsibility for yourself. Let me ask you something. Say you lost your job and you got an entry level job and weren't making ends meet. Do you think to yourself "I really need to get on food stamps." Or "I need to sign up for welfare". OR do you think "Maybe I need to work an additional part time job for awhile till I find another better paying job" or "Maybe I need to tighten my belt more". Why does the government have to subsidize so many people that COULD be able to do it on their own if they had to?

    Everyone has hard times in their life sometime and if their answer is always to look for a government program to help them when they are faced with hard times they will never develop the skills to face life's challenges on their own. You may look at me as a cold and mean, but I think the majority of those people getting food stamps are doing it because they CAN. Its easy to get. It is, after all, free money and they're entitled. I've met people that do it in the course of my life and they're not even ashamed to take it when they don't really need it. They're greedy, not needy and they don't care that it means that the truly needy get less.

    I've had hard times in my live and NEVER did I ever consider government programs as the answer to my dilemma. I worked two jobs. Whatever I had to do, I did to make it through on my own. I lived without. I worked long days. I always managed.

    The greatest nation on the face of the Earth became great because of values that are largely missing today. People had pride and worked hard to achieve the "American Dream". It is still achievable if you're willing to work for it. The wealthy in this country don't owe the rest of us anything. Sure, we can tax them till they're out of money supporting the rest of us, but in the end it comes down to people taking responsibility for themselves.

    Don't get me wrong Nick. There are some truly needy people in this country and I don't begrudge taking care of those in need, but then there are those that have made a lifestyle around taking advantage of government programs, and that, I have a problem with.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The vast majority of SNAP recipients are children, the elderly, and the disabled; 76% of SNAP benefits goes to children.

    This is the food stamp recipient I know. I worked alongside him for two years, supporting different equipment for the same customer. Five years ago, his employer lost the contract he was supporting. The new contractor (not my employer) didn't hire any of the existing techs. He's busting his *** trying to just get back to where he was five years ago, and can't. The story is condensed. [Names] have been removed. Most of the words are his.

    **

    After two years of [excrement], I finally got a full time with [company], [Hardware OEM]'s local warranty contractor. I started at $9.50/hour and haven't gotten a raise since.

    My job? m paid by the hour, but don't get paid for driving between customers. I'm given a certain number of parts each day and the addresses and scheduled appointment times. They want me to finish the calls in 8 hours of on site time. I'If there are appointments 50 miles apart at the same time, I have to call the customers and tell them I'll be late; if they say they can't wait, I don't get paid for that call.

    Second job? [laughing] Right. The [derogatory name] schedule the appointments between 7am and 9pm, and I never know when before they are assigned. The only day I know I'll have off is Sunday.

    Mileage reimbursement? Nope. They say it's because it's not paid time. Tax deduction? You're kidding! I already get all my withholding back every year.

    Our second "baby" was twins. My wife was laid off just after I started this job because she had trouble with the pregnancy and was "abusing" her ability to take unpaid time off. Put her back to work? Is there something in your beer? With three kids in child care, we'd be losing money! Even if she can find a job that pays what I'm making, she wouldn't make enough to cover child care and transportation.

    I hate the area we live in now, but it was the only apartment we could afford after we lost the house. We took a $20k loss when it sold, but we had some equity, so we only had $9,000 left to pay. And I'm so glad we sold that when we did; it was three years before another house sold in that development! Thank God the car is paid for; I just hope it lasts for another year or two, until I can get back on my feet.

    Food stamps? ****, yes! It's not even 100 bucks a week, but it buys milk & cereal, meat, and macaroni.

    **

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    AV .

    Its a shame that neither of the parents thought about the cost of having children. Honestly, why should that be my responsibility? I don't get that part. There are a lot of sad stories in the world and maybe this one falls into the needy category, but if you can't afford to raise a family, why do it? So, the rest of us bear the burden of it through our tax dollars? It just isn't fair.

    I take care of my life and my familie's life, why can't other people do the same?

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    In the discussion, Should Obama be Reelected, you were, pretty much, coming across as an advocate for third-party voting because both parties are out of control. You said that the government spent its money on the wrong things, should focus on infrastructure and that sort of thing. You called Obama (and Romney) a proven liar.

    And now, you support Obama (the proven liar) and his increased (or continued) federal government spending to give food stamps to 48 million Americans, who would, according to you, presumably all die, or otherwise suffer needlessly, without them.

    But you do play the "class envy" card, or "class demonizaton" card pretty well - and pretty often - which was (and is) evidenced by your smarmy criticism of Romney and how he came to earn (or otherwise obtain) his wealth. You can do that as well as any Democrat!

    Nick "assumes" that these 48 million people "need" food stamps. He wonders what kind of country we've become when 48 million people "need" food assistance. I wonder which orifice he pulled the "need" assertion out from. Just because they're offered, and just because the offer is accepted, it doesn't automatically create a "need". Nick might make the assertion, but it doesn't make it true.

    In the sentiment of, "Build it and they will come", we can also conclude, "Hand out freebies, and they will take them."

    It's also painfully obvious that Nick neither understands, nor recognizes the ideology behind, the growth of the food stamp program. Intended as a safety net in the 1930s (and as a means to distribute free food commodities more effectively), it's become an intergenerational dependency program - and vote buying ploy; vote for the person who will give me more free stuff: phones, food stamps, rent subsidies, whatever; sell your vote to the highest bidder. And Nick supports such a thing.

    The Food Stamp Program, which was started in the late 1930s, provided the "safety net" of which many people (including Nick) speak, and quite frankly, regardless of my libertarian views, I'd be willing to compromise and allow the federal government to provide such a "safety net" . But President Johnson expanded it in 1964, along with myriad other government assistance programs - all under the guise of the War on Poverty", and suddenly the percentage of people living under the poverty threshold started to increase, where it had been decreasing every decade since the Civil War (with the exception of the 1930s). But no, when people like Nick rally in favor of 48 million people receiving intergenerational dependency causing federal government assistance - which is actually harmful to both families and the country in the long run - all in the name of providing a "safety net", I can't help but think that Nick is either sadly misguided or terribly misinformed by calling it all a "safety net".

    When 48 million Americans are occupying what used to be a "safety net", over and above all the other federal "safety nets" being advanced and supported, only a fool wouldn't recognize that it will all collapse under the weight of its own obligations.

    By the way, on your "waiting" for my Advertising Food Stamps in Mexico" proof, you never asked me for it. Robo_Dev did - as an answer to my request for him to provide proof for his assertions. In essence, he answered a question with a question, thereby evading my original question, which I do not allow someone to get away with. So you can wait until **** freezes over, or until Robo_Dev provides the proof that I originally asked for. (**** freezing over might come first.) Or, you could just research it yourself - and make sure you go to the Government Web site that lists all the government benefits made available to immigrants of all flavors, not just those from Mexico!

    P.S. Nick said:

    "The food stamp program is a symptom, Max. Until you stop spouting talking points about stereotypes and address the reason the program is even necessary, any complaint you may have about the size of the program is, at best, disingenuous."

    Who in the **** is stereotyping people, Nick? Not me. Others might use the word, "freeloaders", or some other pejorative, but I don't. I focus on the role of government and the merits of the program itself. I focus on how the federal government programs have come to be vote-buying vehicles. You, Nick, are the one throwing around stereotypes - and being disingenuous (or misinformed) in the process.

    But I do agree that the food stamp program is a symptom - a symptom of out of control federal government; a symptom of intergenerational dependency causing federal programs; and a symptom of a federal government that is bankrupting our country, both fiscally and morally.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Right. Ok. And the nation has no vested interest in children being born, right? Coz, you can just replace the citizens with H1Bs, LOL.
    Where the fluck did you store your brain, AV?
    Ok, first of all; let's say you're entitled to say where the nation spends your money. It's a long shot, but sure, OK.

    Well, the Democrats have decided to put *their* tax money on keeping the poverty below riot level.
    That then is *their* decision, with *their* money, and you should stop flucking whining about it.
    You want to spend on something else than war and subsidies for megacorps? Stop voting Republican, simple as that.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    First, you make a false assumption. My wanting to reduce the power of the two dominant parties does not preclude my favoring current government programs. Nor does my favoring a program mean I think there is nothing wrong with that program..

    Second, where do I even mention Romney (except once, obliquely) or criticize how he made his money (at all)?

    Third, you've already pointed out the history of the modern food stamp program, yet you lead with Obama as the 'owner' of that spending, adding the federal government as an afterthought. There have been no substantial changes to the program since the '90s, other than the number of participants. Shouldn't that be Clinton's spending? Or, given the root causes for the current levels of government spending, GWB's? Or, given the history you present, Johnson's? Or Nixon's? Or Reagan's? Or even Eisenhower's, Truman's, or FDR's?

    And the minute you start talking about "intergenerational dependency", you are, intentionally or otherwise, stereotyping in the same manner as those who use less subtle terms.

    AV, the wealthy may not owe anything to the rest of us as individuals, but they owe everything to the country that made it possible for them to become wealthy in the first place. That they think they are should have their wealth without having to contribute to American society is no less an entitlement mentality than that displayed by the Obamaphone...person.

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    AV .

    What I'm talking about is when you have people that are already on welfare programs and they continue having more children they can't support. People like that have made a lifestyle of living off entitlement programs and they never get off of it. Welfare is supposed to be a helping hand, not a lifestyle.

    This lifestyle is particularly rampant in our inner cities. Mostly single mothers and multiple fathers that are absent and do not support their children. In many cases they continue to have children so they get more government money. It isn't as if the children benefit from the welfare, they don't. The kids go without and the mother takes the money and spends it elsewhere. The government enables this lifestyle by just throwing money at it without any strings attached, such as making them work for it in some capacity or mandating some kind of job training so the person can eventually get off the system and support themselves.

    Some states, like NJ, have workfare instead of welfare and it has been somewhat successful in preventing people from using the system as a permanent source of income.

    Maintaining the poverty level with welfare programs for so many people is not an answer. The answer is growing the economy and providing good paying jobs for anyone that wants to work or even those that don't. It comes back to personal responsibility. The Republicans want to grow the economy and provide an atmosphere for business that will be attractive for investment. If we had a robust economy, people would be able to find decent paying jobs to support themselves. The Dems don't seem to have an answer for how to create a robust economy.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    GROSS OVERGENERALIZATION!!!

    Are you aware of how the human reproductive cycle works?
    Did you know that accidents happen? Did you know that most people, even pro-choice people, won't actually get abortions on just economic grounds?

    Besides, having twins is an entirely different thing than having a single child at a time, and much more expensive even than getting two children one at a time.

    Over here firing someone over pregnancy issues is *illegal* because it *negatively affects the entire economy*.

    Have you ANY idea of how much it costs all of you to drive people from functional to dysfunctional? The cost, to the ENTIRE SOCIETY, of messing up people's lives is *prohibitive*. You have no idea.

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    aidemzo_adanac

    I think the US government should be providing additional support for Canadians. The Canadian government doesn't hand out quite enough and people actually have to work now. I think the US government and YOUR tax dollars would go a long way in helping Canadians find more relaxation and time to enjoy their glorious country. I mean, seriously! What kind of R&R do you really expect to enjoy when living in a central American dust bowl, the ever flooding and tornado ridden coasts or the unbearably hot, stay inside your trailer with the A/C on Nevada, Florida or southern California? Face it, Canadians have the land, the sea, the trees, the snow capped mountains and so much more to enjoy, just not the time due to having to work every day. America could really help out and start making Canadians feel better about their neighbours to the south who rape the country of resources. Just cough up more dough, quadruple the welfare rate and let Canadians enjoy their country for once! C'mon America, work more so others don't have to!

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    AV .

    We shouldn't be, but that is a different discussion entirely. We as a country are seriously broke. Unfortunately, once you get into a war its not so easy to get out.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    We as a country have the single largest economy on the planet, with a 2010 GDP somewhere between $14.4 trillion and $15.1 trillion (let's split the difference and call it $14.75 trillion).

    The expected average federal tax rate (Tax receipts/GDP) is expected to be about 14.8%, meaning the federal government would receive about $2.18 trillion in tax collections. If the overall federal tax rate was at the post WW2 average of 18.5%, the federal government would receive about $2.73 trillion, about $550 billion more (deficit reduction!). If we eliminate the war spending, that money can either be not spent at all (more deficit reduction!) or we could spend some of it on badly needed infrastructure projects (creating jobs and putting people to work, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for food stamps - deficit reduction again!) and not spend the rest (even more deficit reduction!).

    Links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/are-taxes-in-the-u-s-high-or-low/

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    AV .

    We are living in a dream in this country. Even if war spending is eliminated, it doesn't address the existing debt and future spending on entitlements when all the baby boomers retire. That is huge. And, we have a sputtering economy. Not enough investment in America to sustain itself.

    The re-election of Obama was a bummer for business. All they can look forward to now is higher taxes and being straddled with Obamacare.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    You've been paying FICA & Medicare premiums, I've been paying them, even Max has been paying them. If they are "entitlements", it's because, having paid into them, we're entitled to receive from them.

    The problem is not that "we're broke", the problem is that we don't want to pay for what we get from government.

    The federal government's share of GDP in 2010 was 14.9%, 4.5 points lower than its postwar average of 18.5%. The CBO projects that share to drop to 14.8% for 2011.

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    maxwell edison

    I'm not making an argument for making war just in order to create jobs (a component of Eisenhower's Military Industrial Complex warning - which he didn't really heed himself, by the way), but Nick's assertion that spending money on infrastructure projects would create jobs, while totally ignoring the fact that reduced spending on war would actually cost jobs, doesn't make any sense at all. At best, it's robbing Peter to pay Paul (taking Peter's job away, giving it to Paul). You might make the argument that Paul deserves the spending more than Peter, but it renders your logic ....... well, it renders it illogical.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    If you've allowed yourself to believe the idiocy that government cannot create jobs.

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    maxwell edison

    Regarding your comment, ... stop spending on war, start spending on infrastructure (which would, you said, create jobs)", I said, all that's doing, at best, is taking one job for the purpose of creating another.

    Again, you evaded what I really said, and strung up something that I did not say to argue against. Typical for someone without a legitimate rebuttal.

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    AV .

    We do pay into them, but when the program was designed, it wasn't meant to sustain people for 20 or 30 years. Life expectancies today are much greater than in the past. There were more people paying into the system in the past as well. This has caused a shortfall in our obligations and its only going to get worse if they don't find a way to fix the program.

    AV

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    aidemzo_adanac

    Wouldn't the returning solders, without a war to fight ,simply add many more thousands of people to the unemployed? Of course they are employABLE and would be offered preference over the non-enlisted employment seekers, but what about an engineering firm that has 30 army engineers applying for the same job? More unemployed, more living on the government handouts (instead of fighting for a paycheck). It seems that it wouldn't help anyone (financially) to bring them all home, just saying...! What about the drug use from returning soldiers who would find it hard to be gainfully employed again, have a really hard time adjusting to civilian life, turn to drugs because they are living in 8-mile etc.? Would the prisons not fill with tens of thousands of soldiers without hope or new direction? I'm not knocking soldiers for a split second, I tip my hat to anyone who fights for their nation, even those who do so feeling it's not the right reason to fight. However, if you can't keep your existing population employed, and it's caused a SERIOUS financial issue for the nation (just as many other nations are found in the same boat) how do you expect to deal with tens of thousands more returning home and seeking a future? I think your numbers need some more consideration before being able to show such a conclusive solution.

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    aidemzo_adanac

    "We're supposed to be the greatest country in the world, but we don't look like it."

    Um, yeah. At least reality has set in for you guys now. Sorry it was at the cost of home, marriages and livelihoods but that's what it usually takes when countries slowly start to lose their place.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    I think it's illogical to complain about the government keeping people from starving, which is what food stamps does, while ignoring that the same government spends hundreds of billions of dollars to obtain and maintain the capability to destroy other countries, even the world, in the name of "national security".

    Either it's about all the spending or it's not about the spending at all.

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    aidemzo_adanac

    If America didn't spend money on war, what the heck would they do with it? Being at war is all the US government knows, think of the downtrodden folk growing up in the many war torn countries around the world, only difference is it's THERE and not on your own land. All today's youth has known is their country at war. Thankfully it's not on your own doorstep/my back fence, but that's how they excuse fighting somewhere else, 'stop 'em before they come here'. I guess the Japanese in WWII scared the US government enough that they'd rather pay to fight in other nations than face defending their own shores...which didn't work so great in Hawaii, lesson learned, 'fight THERE, not HERE'.

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    AV .

    Where do I start! We should be rebuilding our infrastructure in this country from top to bottom, partnering with private enterprise, of course. We're supposed to be the greatest country in the world, but we don't look like it. The roads, the bridges, the rail system are all falling apart.

    Where's our Keystone Pipeline? Maybe we should even consider an aquaduct system to help relieve drought-stricken areas of our country.

    I can think of lots of better uses for the money than war and nation building in areas like Afghanistan where they just **** up everything we build anyway.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    "It's a shame they didn't consider the cost of water when they decided where their ancestors put their homes"

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    AnsuGisalas

    http://m.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2012/10/66-americas-growing-underclass/3618/

    People who work full time, and still can't make enough to make ends meet.

    Of course, that's what happens when the corporations tweak the system.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    so many of those people are without a job or a roof over the heads (for whatever reason). If it were just as simple as giving those in need a home and some form of gainful employment, I would be all in. I know too many folks that have to swollow their pride and go to food banks or collect food stamps just to feed their families because they can't find a job. I'm a trained office administrator, experienced waitress, and have 17 years experience working in a local carpet factory on the floor. I've been jobless for 13 months and without umemployment for two months. I've had two interviews for the about 25 jobs that I have applied for and the two employers both told me that they had an extraordinary amount of applications for the jobs they had posted. I happen to be lucky enough to have a husband that has a job, many are single income families without a significant other.

    This week, our local food bank did their annual food drive in conjunction with our local radio station and a few other sponsers. Our community did fantastic; over 66,000 lbs of food and monitary donations were collected; even in the cold rain of the day, our community came out in force. Things are tight at our home, but I always make a commitment of at least 10.00 in non-parishable goods. I always figure I'm greatful for the times that it was there when my mom was a single parent raising my four siblings (I was out on my own by then) and I never know when I may need the service myself in the future.

    We're coming into the season of giving and being thankful for what we have. I give when I can and am truly thankful for what we have. Have a happy weekend everyone and please give when you can.

    Lee

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    Darryl~ Moderator

    but that was 20% less than last year's 83,000 lbs. You also identified the high unemployment rate this year compared to previous years so it would make sense that fewer people are donating to the Food Banks; to compound the problem there is a greater demand on the Food Banks because the unemployed that used to donate while employed have become patrons; it becomes a snowball effect.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    thank you for putting a different perspective on it. I hadn't really thought about the 20% less given this year until you mentioned the high unemployment/jobless rate. There are fewer folks in the community working and too many vying for the same job. It's a tough economy for sure . I'm sure it'll be a tough year for the foodbank, rougher than last year.

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    robo_dev

    It is admirable for you to think of others even when you have little. What goes around comes around.

    That's the sort of thinking that helps our country rise above the petty politics of us and them, and helps us to remember there is only 'us'.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    I try to live with the premise to give what I can in the hopes that if I ever need that type of assistance mayself, others will be there to help point me in proper directions. I do wish more folks thought the same way though, seems there are too many "only us" folks, like you and I, out there.

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    maxwell edison

    (Although I don't think it's their intent.)

    My position is that the federal government should not be in the food handing out business. (Perhaps very limited in certain situations.) Citizens in local communities can take care of their own needs themselves, as it should be - and as you illustrated.

    The problem with discussing SO MANY issues around this place is that people confuse government solutions with private or local solutions. Not all problems should rely on government to provide the solutions. I'm not opposed to giving attention to the problem, I'm opposed to giving government attention to the problem, especially if it means turning its citizens into a dependent class - which is exactly what's happening.

    It's actually MORE humane and compassionate to want people free of government dependency instead of being reliant on it. (Maybe it's time I start attacking your values by calling you two the Scrooges.)

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    Deadly Ernest

    saying that sort of thing is their job and taking lots of action to STOP people providing that sort of help on the local level.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Bloomberg and NYC come to mind, but when I first read it and Googled to double-check, I was shocked by how many 'communities' had made it illegal to feed the homeless. WTF?

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    Deadly Ernest

    private individuals encroaching on the socialist controls they're putting in place - you're not allowed to interfere with the commissar or his work.

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    AnsuGisalas

    same concept. They're afraid all the homeless from surrounding states will crowd into NYC to get some of that free food.

    As pathetic an outlook as that is, I find that their setting quotas for cops to stop and frisk people is even more sickening.
    Surefire way to make the cops feel in opposition to the populace, and vice versa.

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    I don't believe our local food bank is government run. (Darryl will correct me if I'm wrong). It is run mostly by volunteers and the majority of product they have is donated. We are a community that very much takes care of its own as much as possible. The local government here would just as soon turn a blind eye to the homeless issues we have here.

    I think I do understand what you're trying to say, it's not so much the government in your area; it’s the folks that take advantage as AV has pointed out.

    In a perfect world it would be all good to give people a job so they could be "people free of government dependency instead of being reliant on it". Now, if it were only that simple. We have three big named factories here in town that are running on half the amount of employees as they used putting about 1000 plus hard working folks out of work. That takes money out of the economy of this rural town. If they want a good paying job, they have to go to Fort McMurray to get one. Just makes Alberta richer, not little Truro, Nova Scotia. Of course, it doesn’t help that minimum wage in Nova Scotia is one of the lowest in the country and we have the third highest gas prices in the country. And don’t even get me going on our privately owned power company and their constant whining for rate increases....I’ll end this here because I could go on and on and on boring you to complete tears.
    Back on track a bit for a quick second. I do understand what you’re trying to say and even agree with what you in a way (to a point), I just wish it were as simple as doing just that.

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    Darryl~ Moderator

    that Nova Scotia is also the highest taxed province in Canada.....it just adds to the lack of disposable income.

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    AV .

    There are a lot of truly needy people nowadays, so I always give what I can to the food bank. No one should go hungry. I only wish that people that take advantage of programs like this and don't need to would stop and think about those less fortunate.

    After New Jersey got hit with Hurricane Sandy, there are so many people that are homeless here as a result they can't find places to live. Many weren't rich people with second homes at the shore, they were people that made their living from the water and fishing industries. Some were quite poor before and now they've lost everything, including their livelihood. The Red Cross did a fabulous job here organizing and setting up shelters. I was one of those people that was in need of their services out of desperation. It was quite a humbling experience to wait for 2 hours for a shower, but there was no other choice. I was grateful for that shower and to have my home intact to go back to.

    Now that my life is back to normal, I will never forget that experience. I've always supported the Red Cross in the past, never expected to need them, but they were there for me when I really needed it. I will always support them because they offer a wonderful service to people that are really in need and I got to see it first hand.

    AV

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Relatively unscathed? :)

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    AV .

    I'm going to lose most of one Sugar Maple in the front of my house. I have broken branches and "leaner" trees that will have to come down. All in all, I'm unscathed, but emotionally I'm so afraid of ever going through another storm like that. Its the second storm in a year than has been just terrifying if you live in the woods. Thanks for asking.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    I guess there's not much point in trying to hide from the weather, but a place with underground electrical supply and less forestation might make it easier to bear.

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    CharlieSpencer

    It's perfectly safe to feed birds. Even those who visit feeders most frequently get less than a third of their diet from humans. Many abandon feeders when natural sources are at their seasonal peaks. Not all forms of wildlife are looking to become permanant moochers.

    As to relative importance, part of the reason rangers don't want dependent animals is because they can be a major threat to humans. The warning isn't just for the animals' benefit. If a human is injured violating the prohibition, it's usually the animal that gets shot. So much for which is more important.

    Sorry, lousy analog.

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    robo_dev

    :)

    You saw how dependent Yogi is on government handouts.

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    Deadly Ernest

    a woman whose property backed on to a major public wildlife area that had a lot of bears in the forest had a cage built of chicken wire (of all things) into the back of her house and she fed bears from there despite be told not to and being fined about it. Well, one day she must a been a bit slow with the food as they found what was left of her body half in and half out of the ruins of the cage - the bears had made a real mess of her. Over the following weeks two bears had to be shot because they attacked other people for food.

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    AnsuGisalas

    and staunch tea partyers, perhaps the analogy isn't so bad after all... some of them sure do become a menace. :^0

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    CharlieSpencer

    I'd like to see your source material that breaks down the Fox (News, I assume) audience and tea party membership by income and source..

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    AnsuGisalas

    I made no statement that requires documentation. I said "many", not "most", unlike "most", "many" is indeterminate.
    To doubt that "many" welfare recipients do in fact belong to both of the other subgroups is hardly an informed stance.

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    maxwell edison

    Ignorance and stupidity also come to mind.

    Hey, he either believes what he wrote or he doesn't. Either way, he's proving himself a fool (yet again).

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    AnsuGisalas

    C'mon, the ignorant Fox News-gobbling welfare recipient tea-partyer is a solid meme.

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    maxwell edison

    George Carlin is (was) a comedian who can (could) deliver comedy.

    But since you can only deliver buffoonery .......... well, let's just say it doesn't make you a comedian.

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    AnsuGisalas

    then go ahead. I don't mind.

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    robo_dev

    Decrease the surplus population.

    The 46m people on food stamps consists of 22m families. Logically therefore about 50% of those on food stamps are children.

    Maybe if we stopped feeding all those children they would stop mooching off the government.

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    maxwell edison

    A bad argument. A bad premise. A bad idea. A bad everything......

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    maxwell edison

    Someone who has absolutely no idea as to whether or not I really am a "Scrooge". Someone who missed the entire point by employing the usual straw-man (Scrooge) argument. Someone who thinks government actually helps, opposed to someone (like me) who knows for certain that such government has become harmful in the long run. Someone who advocates reaching into someone else's pocket to help those he deems "needy", opposed to someone like me who advocates reaching into one's own pocket to help others. Someone who apparently believes that his brand of compassion (using government as his strong-arm) trumps mine.

    And in the process of supporting his straw-man (Scrooge) argument, he made assertions that may or may not be true, when, in fact, he really has no idea as to how the "real numbers" would fall or what they would reveal.

    Show me the breakdown (from a reliable and accurate source) as to the recipients of food stamps, and how much of it is fraudulent, and how much of it is actually unnecessary, and how much of it goes to illegal aliens, etc., lest you leave your made-up assertions at home.

    By the way, over the past years, our federal government has been advertising in Mexico telling Mexican citizens how they can get American Food Stamps. My question is this. Why stop at Mexico? ****, let's advertize all over the world! And then reach into other people's pockets to pay for it!

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    robo_dev

    The point is not that the system is perfect...it is not. Show me a government program without a certain percentage of fraud or waste, and I'll show you my herd of flying pigs.

    I have studied the numbers, I know the numbers.

    The worst number is that the Iraq war cost $720M per day, and Afghanistan costs roughly $300M per day. Everybody cries about how foodstamps are causing the deficit, yet these two unfunded wars are the root cause. Keep in mind the cost of SNAP is $72B...roughly 70 days of war = one year of food stamps.

    Government does not fix every problem, and less government would be a good thing, but in the meantime people gotta eat.

    The point is that it's very easily to point fingers and lump every needy person into one bucket of 'takers' and overlook the very real requirement that human beings require food to survive.

    This is not a personal sleight, this is to make the point that wealthy American conservatives seem intent on reducing and/or eliminating the safety nets, for their personal gain, while not giving one red cent to charity to help at the local level. Look at how much charitiable giving Romney gave, outside the money to CLDS. Pennies....

    And, would we not agree, that it seems terribly convenient that the 'big government' agenda seems to be to starve funding for public schools, make drug crimes harsher, then privatize prisons.

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    maxwell edison

    I ask for numbers for one thing, but you provide numbers (made up or otherwise) for something different. I ask you to provide a source for something you claimed, but you answer with a question asking me to provide a source for something different.

    Sorry, dude, I don't let someone get away with the diversion tactic of answering a question with a question without calling them out on it. And I won't answer your question until you answer mine.

    I will say this, however; advertising food stamps to people - including illegal immigrants - was something the Bush Administration also did. And I was just as hard - if not harder - on him for doing it, and just as opposed to the practice.

    You can't see past your own bias, dude.

    The people who are net tax receivers are, at least, getting something from it. But for those who are not net tax receivers, yet they continue to advocate for MORE net tax receiving, are the absolute biggest fools I've ever seen in my entire life.

    There's something fundamentally wrong when a comment like, "There are a record 47 million receiving food stamps" generates totally opposite responses and sentiments. While some would let their emotions lead them to believe there are are really that many "hungry" Americans out there, there are others (like me) who see this as more evidence of the obvious and egregious misuse of government as the misguided instrument of people's misguided compassion.

    Next up, the obesity crisis in America - all those Americans overeating! ****, we don't need government food stamps. We need government to take the food from the fat people who overeat and give it to those "hungry" people who get food stamps. There ya' go - government solving two problems with one solution!

    Hey, if you big government people advocate taking money from people who have more of it (more than they "need"), so it can be given to those who have less, you can surely see the logic in taking FOOD from people who have more of it (more than they "need"), so it can be given to those who have less.

    But that would surely present a dilemma - a FAT person getting food stamps! And to solve that problem, a FOOD CZAR!

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    "A person must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible, lawfully-present non-citizen to qualify for SNAP benefits." In short simple words, illegal aliens cannot legally receive food stamps. (My personal belief is that the vast majority don't. That somebody subject to deportation if discovered in this country would willingly have anything to do with government is, quite simply, a non sequitur.)

    The rest of your questions are answered here:
    http://www.snaptohealth.org/snap/snap-frequently-asked-questions/.

    and here:
    http://feedingamerica.org/how-we-fight-hunger/programs-and-services/public-assistance-programs/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program/snap-myths-realities.aspx

    Quite simply, Max, robo_dev's numbers are quite close to reality. Now, about those ads in Mexico...

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    maxwell edison

    ".......and how much of it is fraudulent, and how much of it is actually unnecessary, and how much of it goes to illegal aliens, etc."

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    What I provided is the publicly-available information. Th

    The information you want is not consolidated in any one location, that I can find. And, given the strong need for many to prove fraud & waste in the food stamp and welfare programs, I must say I'm surprised; if the fraud and waste were there in the quantities posited by you and others, there would be plenty of information about it.

    I'm not saying there's no fraud or waste, just that documentation of it is as legendary as the Welfare Queen...

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    Deadly Ernest

    during the Great depression, here in Australia they came up with an idea called The Dole. Unemployed men registered with the government for The Dole. Week 1 they were given food stamps redeemable at any store. Week 2 they were given fully paid work on various government programs around the country. They got 'x' amount of time at full pay (I think it was two days), then another half day for each dependent. So a man with a wife and 3 kids got two extra day's work at full pay.

    There were a number of jokes that went about along the lines of :

    "hey Joe, did ya hear about poor Paddy Murphy?"

    "No, what about him?"

    "His boss' business went belly up and he had to register for the dole."

    "So?"

    "Poor Bastards has eleven kids. So to meet his Dole allotment, he has to work a double shift three days a week. It's damn near killing him."

    .............

    During that time The Dole work did a **** of lot in needed infrastructure, so the country got a real benefit for the money expended.

    Today, the unions scream if anyone suggests the same again as they see it taking money away from their members - never mind it's work that couldn't be afforded any other way. And thus people get a cash hand out now.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Bridges, highways, sewers, water systems, etc. Most are a half-century old or older and falling apart. And almost all are government-owned. I would have thought, in the aftermath of the I-35 bridge collapse, that people would have taken the need seriously. Obviously, I was wrong.

    Fixing all that will require workers, whether employed by contractors or government itself, and many of them will fill jobs that don't exist now (but that government can't create because, of course, government doesn't create jobs...).

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    CharlieSpencer

    Even though this year we exported almost as much oil as we imported. Even though we won't have anywhere to drive if we don't fix the problems you pointed out.

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    AnsuGisalas

    Over here roadworks are the first thing that's put under way when the crisis hits... sometimes when there's little need.

    But having run down roads and an economic crisis, that's just silly.

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    DelbertPGH

    The minimum wage might be a lot higher if, without food stamps, low-end workers and their children actually starved. It can be argued that food stamps subsidize Scrooge-type employers, who are relieved of the moral and practical duty of offering a living wage. The government is giving handouts to deadbeat bosses!

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    maxwell edison

    Spoken as only a flaming leftist, progressive, Democrat could speak. Calling food stamps a subsidy for employers.

    I shake my head in disbelief.

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    AnsuGisalas

    So, yes, food stamps have become a direct subsidy for Walmart.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    And Amen.

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    maxwell edison

    ...... but yet you relate to this drivel?

    It does not compute.

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    AnsuGisalas

    and it doesn't take a computer.

    If you really wanted to drag in the Libertarian perspective you could have easily done so. All it would have taken was to acknowledge that Walmart is abusing the system, and that not having the system would force Walmart to pay their workers a living wage.

    But you didn't do that. I wonder why.

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    maxwell edison

    What a foolish thing to say.

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    AnsuGisalas

    If that's your best/worst, you've clearly lost your mental acuity - but don't realize it.

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    maxwell edison

    Geesh - take your Danish, or Finnish, or whatever the **** it is outlook and shove it. I don't give a damn what you say or think, Ansu, and anyone around here who indulges you is foolish. A northern European idiot who comes across as though he's an expert on all things American. A bigot who thinks Fox News is the enemy. What a total idiot you are, Ansu. You must have a sad life to have the time - and desire - to post the crap you do all over the Internet. But then, it's fitting for a sad - and insignificant - little man from insignificant Nordic Europe.

    And truth be told, you know nothing. How many times, for example, have you spouted off about "Fox News" and how much influence it wields with those on the right? Too many to count. But I wonder if Fox News' measly one million viewers (as compared to the 23 million who watch CBS, NBC, and ABC) really stretches all the way across the Atlantic? I think not. At best, the European News outlets would only provide a brief "sound bite" from Fox News from time to time. Which means Ansu formed his opinion about Fox news either on a few sound bites or from repeating what others have said. I suspect the latter. Proves Ansu spouts off on things about which he knows absolutely nothing.

    How's it feel to be seen as so insignificant, Ansu? An insignificant little man with an insignificant and uninformed opinion from an insignificant, out of the way country. I just laugh at you.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    That used to be beneath you.

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    AnsuGisalas

    much? :^0

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    AnsuGisalas

    If a family loses a job, is it better that they:
    A) Spend their time trying to survive, selling property to eat
    or
    B) Spend their time looking for a new one, keeping property and retaining their employability?

    Having a robust workforce (one that doesn't keel over and die when there's a crisis, see Famine of Ireland), is a great boon to business, and is one of the reasons we're better off now than we were a hundred years ago.

    Of course, the amount of help to be given can be discussed, but anyone suggesting that no help be given is clearly unaware of their own history.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    And tell the people working at Fort Jackson and Shaw AFB that government doesn't create jobs.

    Go to any town or city that has lost a military base in the last 20 years and tell them the jobs they lost weren't created by government.

    You used to be interesting, Max. Now, you just sound like Fox.

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    AV .

    Its the military. Paid for by the taxpayers. What about the rest of of us? Government doesn't create those jobs. I mean real, long term jobs. Not temp jobs working filling pot holes in the roads like Obama's stimulous provided. Something that has a real career path for people. Only private business can provide that.

    The military is something totally different than private enterprise.

    AV

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    AnsuGisalas

    People with jobs spend money, this money creates jobs.

    This fixation on private versus government is silly. A job is a job.
    A permanent job is better than a short-term one, but tell that to Walmart.

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    AV .

    That increases the number of low-paying, service sector jobs. Private enterprise creates higher paying jobs and careers outside of military focused areas.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    The military is buying more and more high-tech equipment and that equipment needs maintenance. Sure, the initial front-line work is done by the military, but that's usually just a box-swap. The real work is done in the back shops, where they have the specialized test and repair centers to open up those boxes and repair them. That work is usually done by civilian employees of the equipment manufacturer. And, to ensure they comply with federal law, government contractors generally pay their employees better.

    Let's be real, here. McDonnell Douglas, Grumman, Rockwell, AM General, and major divisions or subsidiaries of Motorola, GE, Westinghouse, Boeing, and even Trane, subsist primarily off of government (usually military) spending. Max is correct that there is a trade-off in cutting military spending because jobs go away. But if jobs go away because the government stops spending the money that kept those jobs in existence, how did the government, whether directly or indirectly, not create those jobs?

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    AV .

    They are still funded by the taxpayers. We need more good jobs being created by private enterprise. We can't all work for or because of the government.

    AV

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    AV

    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Yes most certainly those jobs are still funded by Tax payers but would you really have it any other way?

    Part of the Government Job is to provide Security to the Citizens and I have yet to see anyone in the US claim otherwise. If they where to it would simply mean that the Government isn't responsible for Security and there is no need for the Military and associated hardware used to defend the General Population.

    What I do find more than a bit troubling is how the Military Outsources Jobs to the Private Sector who have the idea that Near Enough is Good Enough for the Military and We'll Fix it in the Field. Neither of those is what any serving Military person wants to experience because it means that they are dead and the Country has lost a lot of money with it's investment in that Serving Military Person.

    For way too long the Military has been propping up a Substandard Private Sector who really doesn't deserve any support. While it is true that the Private Sector can do it cheaper it is also true that they simply don't. They charge as much as they can and provide as little as possible to meet the specification that was asked for, many times actually not even meeting the Minimum Specs.

    Look at the history of any Major Private Sector Military Project and tell me it isn't so.

    The Tea Party People on the other hand would have you believe that those Weapons should be funded by a User Pays System so they effectively want those who would attack the US to pay for the Weapons that the US stockpiles to defend itself. Imagine the scene well you are naughty and we are going to nuke you so please provide the $20,000,00.00 for the cost of the ICBM that we will have to use to kill you lot. If you don’t pay we’ll leave you alone to do what you like and we’ll just ignore you as you are unwilling to pay for what we would use to destroy you.

    Sounds nice in Theory but is completely ridicules to any sane person. Of course the last bit of that isn’t spoken about it’s just User Pays which sounds great till it’s actually tested.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    And their appliances and devices?
    If it all eventually comes down to more jobs, what the **** is the problem with it?
    Your line of reasoning only makes sense if you think there's competition between public and private. There isn't.

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    CharlieSpencer

    How many civilian jobs create career paths? McDonalds gets thousands of people started, but few of them stick around long enough to rise through their commendable 'promote from within' system. Tell me about the career paths at Wal-Mart. Tell me about the career paths at most small 'mom and pop' businesses.

    If we allocated the tax money necessary to fix the roads properly, it would take a couple of decades to repair them all. In this day of job turnover, that's pretty long tenure.

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    AV .

    Sometimes career paths don't necessarily mean you stay at the same company and work your way up. You may start at McDonalds flipping burgers, but you leave and go to another company that offers you a better job and better pay.

    In larger companies, say the Pharma industry, you would have more opportunities to move within the company.

    We should rebuild our infrastructure without a doubt, but it should be done in partnership with private enterprise. Private enterprise will benefit from it. The government should try to foster that relationship between government and private enterprise so that projects are not totally funded by the government. We need to give private enterprise an incentive to invest in this country again and that isn't happening.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Those better-paying jobs have been moving to other countries for decades because those better-paying jobs were in manufacturing plants owned by corporations that received government subsidies in the form of tax breaks when they moved their jobs overseas.

    What's left behind is Walmart or McDonald's or jobs that require education or training people not only don't have, but can't afford to get because they work at Walmart or McDonald's, can't afford tuition costs on their own, and don't want to take a student loan because they're smart enough not to volunteer for indentured servitude.

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    AV .

    We never could compete with it because its cheaper and companies definitely still get tax breaks for doing it. There still are jobs here though, its just a more competitive environment.

    Forget Walmart or McDonalds. Small business is the best way to get some good experience on which you can build a future. Obama's plan to tax people making $200k per year will likely kill small business growth though. Many small businesses are taxed on the personal level and not at a corporate tax rate.

    AV

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    But most of those small businesses are incorporated in some manner: LLC or S corp, usually. And the proprietor of every one of those businesses can deduct everything he or she puts back into the business. Payroll, equipment, supplies, franchise fees, real property costs, whatever, are all deductible from gross receipts.

    I did it for years as a softball umpire. Everything I spent relative to officiating–travel costs, uniform costs, equipment costs, meals, etc.–was deducted from gross receipts, and usually reduced the net taxable to 10% or so of gross, sometimes to even less than that. Didn't usually even affect my tax bracket.

    And regardless what many say, outside specialty businesses, the pay at most small businesses usually sucks, even for the owner.

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    AnsuGisalas

    If a person is making 200k they're not in any trouble, financially, right?
    If they want to avoid a tax for going over that take, they can hire more people. Most small business owners are caught in the "why should I hire someone to do what I can do myself for free" thinking.
    They overlook the fact that it's not for free. It takes their effort, and the business owner's efforts should be worth quite a lot.
    So, many people actually hurt their own businesses by trying to do everything themselves.
    Time spent balancing the books or writing letters or mowing the lawn could be better spent looking after customers or drumming up new ones or straightening out sub-optimal business practices.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Are places like Donald Trump not real Small Business with the computer shop down the road run by a guy who has no staff and lots of bills.

    How any politician could say with a straight Face that people like Trump where Small Business is so far beyond belief that they are obviously treating their potential electors like the complete idiots that they actually are to believe stuff like that.

    Col

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    AnsuGisalas

    you mean the corporations that own the capitol, then I'm sorry to say that the profit margins on building up your country are far outstripped by the profit margins on tearing it down.
    Business is business, I'm sure you understand.

    If you mean something else, well, perhaps you need to look into what that would actually take.

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    maxwell edison

    I find it amusing that people accuse me of being a Fox News Junkie, when, in fact, I absolutely never watch Fox News. Never! Absolutely NEVER!

    I have a very low opinion of television media in general; ****, I dont even have cable TV; I still use rabbit ears, so I couldn't watch Fox News if I wanted to. Take the NFL out of the picture (no pun intended), and on average, I might have my TV on an hour or two a week (I do like to watch Jeopardy).

    Sure, I see Fox News - as well as MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, et al - in the course of visiting people, going places where its on, seeing references on the Internet, etc., but watching TV News is not even on my Radar Screen. I really can't remember the last time I watched a TV News program.

    Come to think of it, if anything, I make it a point to keep tabs on MSNBC more than any other News Network (even though I don't "watch" them either.)

    P.S. You used to be interesting, Nick. Now, you just sound like a pompous elitist who comes across as though he's "above it all". Try coming off your high-horse.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    I've lived it and was lucky enough to have the government there to help me get out of it.

    You fed the animals, and now you're making surprised that you got bitten?

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    maxwell edison

    I start a thread about the federal government's excessive Food Stamp Program; Nick advocated his enthusiastic support for the growth in the federal Food Stamp Program; I challenge the merits of his support and how it reconciles (or fails to reconcile) with other statements he's made; he's starting to sound silly in his support for the federal Food Stamp Program; so what does he do? He obsesses on "government created jobs".

    Well, Nick, I've said very little, if anything, about "government created jobs", except to post that Obama quote and a couple of other articles about it. Argue with those other people - including Obama - about what they, themselves, said.

    I'm talking about the federal Food Stamp Program, and your diversion tactics speak only to your inability to support your own arguments about the federal Food Stamp Program.

    If the government does create jobs - and I'm not arguing whether they do or don't (it's all a matter of semantics, anyway) - then it's TOO DAMN MANY!!!!! America is about private sector jobs, not government sector jobs or government "created" jobs. And if you disagree with that simple ideology, we are indeed on opposite ends of that spectrum - with you being on the wrong end.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    that government can be too big or too small. Our government is doing some things well. It's not doing other things well at all. It's also doing some things it shouldn't be doing, and not doing some things it should be doing.

    With regard to financial regulation, government has been shrinking since the 1980s. Compared to the relatively [financially] calm half-century before that, we have been subject to almost regular financial bubbles or frauds as the regulations have been pared back since that time. The almost-immediate S&L debacle, Enron, Worldcom, the dot.com bubble, Madoff, the housing bubble, a rising tide of bank failures, and the derivatives crash were all enabled by lax enforcement or reduced regulation.

    The Department of Education is a bloated bureaucracy that has never seriously attempted to do the one thing it should have been trying to do from Day One: set national educational achievement standards by grade level and subject for all American schools. By that I mean "this is what students must know to progress to the next level". How to get students educated to that point would be up to the states, counties, or cities. Instead, the Ed Dept tries to enforce the idiotic concept, now enshrined in law, that all children can learn to the same level in the same amount of time. Here, government is too big for the wrong reason.

    The recent spate of food contamination appears to indicate that theire aren't enough inspectors. Too small.
    Trying to regulate individual medical choices? Too big.
    Our public infrastructure is falling apart. Too small.
    We're fighting a war for a now-questionable cause. Too big.

    There are no easy answers, Max. And there are no absolutes beyond the first Ten.

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    maxwell edison

    ...... whether "government can be too big or too small."

    Considering it's never gotten smaller, that doesn't make a lot of sense. Moreover, your assertion that government cannot be "too big" is absurd. Of course it can; and it is!

    You're really stretching, Nick, to avoid having to defend your indefensible comments about wanting to grow the already burgeoning, 48 million strong, federal food stamp roles.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    Every suggestion I've offered here has been intended to help people become more financially independent, making them less dependent on government for support.

    And because I defend the existence of the food stamp program and understand why it has grown to the size it has, you think I want it to grow further? You're making stupid assumptions and creating your own false dichotomies.

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    CharlieSpencer

    What about all those government contracts to build things like aircraft, ships, tanks, and other weapons systems? If you don't think those jobs aren't created by the government, listen to their elected representatives scream whenever someone tries to cut them from the budget.

    Who do you think law enforcement and firemen work for? Restaurant and food preparation inspectors?

    Government shouldn't be the PRIMARY source of jobs, but to say it doesn't create them is ignoring where those tax dollars get spent, especially those dollars spent in the name of 'defense'.