General discussion

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #2188827

    I Hate Democrats

    Locked

    by maxwell edison ·

    .
    Okay, I got your attention.

    And to all Democrats:

    Get out of my life.

    Stop trying to take my personal property.

    Stop trying to infringe on my RIGHT to take personal responsibility.

    Stop presuming that you know what’s better for me than me.

    Stop telling me how to live.

    Stop telling me how to define my moral values.

    Stop telling me how to plan for my own future.

    Stop telling me how to raise my kids.

    Stop telling me how to educate my kids.

    Stop taking my hard-earned income.

    Stop trying to take care of my own health.

    Stop telling me how to run my own business.

    Stop telling me how to live.

    Just GO AWAY!

    I’ll make a deal with you. You leave me the hell alone, and I’ll leave you the hell alone.

All Comments

  • Author
    Replies
    • #3045128

      You didn’t think this through…

      by puppybreath ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      If they stop trying to run your life and your business, you would need less Government. Less Government means thousands of unskilled workers would be dumped on society.

      If you make decisions regarding education, many public schools would close due to poor attendance. This would mean thousands of people with no practical or real-life experience would be unemployed and dumped on society.

      Less Government means more profits for big business. And as we all know, big business means more pollution because they build big factories and don’t care about the environment.

      More pollution means more global warming which would lead to a new ice age. (Don’t ask me to explain this one, it’s a liberal idea).

      A new ice age would mean that all of those thousands and thousands of unemployed, unskilled people would freeze to death since they couldn’t possibly take care of themselves after having soemone protect them for so long.

      Do you really want to be responsible for the deaths of that many people? Perhaps being an evil warmonger has made you too insensitive to the needs of others. I would suggest that you read several books with Psycho-babble and re-think your position. Remember, it’s not about you. It takes a village. Go hug two trees and call me in the morning.

      • #3045106

        You gotta’ love sarcasm!

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to You didn’t think this through…

        .
        Great message, puppybreath.

        • #3045102

          Of course, do you think that somebody will grow the bread for you?

          by lukcad ·

          In reply to You gotta’ love sarcasm!

          Hey!
          I deleted my post, for some reason…
          Sincerely, LukCAD

        • #3045099

          For some reason. . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Of course, do you think that somebody will grow the bread for you?

          .
          …..I suspect that you don’t fully understand my comments or my true position. But thanks for your comments, nonetheless.

        • #3045087

          I deleted my post for some reason…

          by lukcad ·

          In reply to For some reason. . . . .

          Hey!
          I did it to save my wrong opinion in our minds only.
          It’s really hard to image the aim of your post. But till i was drinking a coffee in pause of drawing of the new sketches for my project i was need to find some relax for my brain. It was TR’s discussion and your post. 😉
          Have a nice day!
          LukCAD

        • #3045808

          How are you able to delete your message?

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to I deleted my post for some reason…

          I can edit my messages but not delete them.

        • #3045776

          He edited THE message by deleting HIS message.

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to How are you able to delete your message?

          .
          I kinda’ wish he hadn’t done that, though.

          There was an obvious language barrier, and he didn’t seem to understand where I was coming from, so to speak. But I would have welcomed delving into it further, perhaps, to facilitate some mutual understanding.

          He is from Zhlobin, Homelskaya, according to his profile; he probably speaks Russian; and he probably used one of those on-line translators to both read my message and post his, although that’s all assumption on my part. Where is Zhlobin, Homelskaya, you might ask? Homelskaya is a province in Belarus, and Zhlobin is a city in Homelskaya.

          “After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political and economic ties to Russia than any of the other former Soviet republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his election in July 1995 as the country’s first president, Alexander LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means. Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion continue. Belarus, although a republic in name, is in fact a dictatorship”, at least according to the CIA.

          http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/bo.html

          One thing that I remember him having asked was, who will grow your bread? Premise and upbringing speaks volumes in this case. I would have liked discussing the difference between dependence and inter-dependence, at least as it relates to how I make the distinction between the two. But is it possible for someone who was raised to think a certain way, who was schooled to believe certain things, to actually understand things that are contrary to that train of thought? And it does indeed apply both ways, I suppose.

          So, LukCAD, don’t go away. Feel free to jump in and share your views and discuss ours.

        • #3045764

          Would be interesting to hear a Belarussian’s views on democracy

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to How are you able to delete your message?

          Especially if he grew up during the Soviet occupation.

      • #3045859

        Ironic

        by tonythetiger ·

        In reply to You didn’t think this through…

        The ironic thing is, most of those pollution producing big busnesses are owned by…. Democrats!

    • #3045122

      Max, is it the Democrats?

      by surflover ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      Or our political system as a whole?… I’m not in favor of the government meddling in any of the aspects of my life either… and I think puppybreath may have hit some of the problem on the head…

      Read “The Fair Tax” that Niel Boortz put out a while ago… it’s basically a consumption tax that would eliminate income tax and shift tax collection to a national sales tax… The basic premise is that those who spend, pay the taxes (so theoretically, the rich pay a larger share than the poor, and it is proportional)…

      I heard an economist interviewed about it (a republican), and he said it would dump so many unskilled workers into the economy (ex IRS employees, tax accountants, tax lawyers, and other government employees), that it would create a depression worse than the 1930’s… So he felt that it could not be adopted…

      • #3045110

        It’s both the Democrats AND the “Baby Democrats”. . . .

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Max, is it the Democrats?

        .
        ….the “Baby Democrats”, of course, being the Republicans.

        I view the Democrats of today as equal, in principle, to the American socialist Party of 1932. If you don’t believe me, read the 1932 American Socialist Party platform. You really wouldn’t know the difference between that document and what the Democrats espouse today. The socialist movement in America really picked up steam in the 1930s. One of FDR’s vice presidents was even a socialist; and we all know what FDR did for the movement.

        I view the Republican Party of today as being more similar to the Democrat Party of 1960, especially the Kennedy wing of the Democrat Party (the John F. Kennedy wing, that is ….. Ask not what your country can do for you ….. and the lower tax rates to generate higher government revenue). But LBJ took it back for the socialist wing real fast. (And most theories concerning JFK’s assassination, lead to some sort of socialist origin — Oswald and the Soviet connection, Cuba, LBJ himself, et al.)

        However, the Republicans are not much better today. In my estimation, whatever they are doing, is either too little or too late — or both.

        Are ALL Republicans “Baby Democrats” in my eyes? No, not all. But to be politically successful, and for political expediency, almost all of them have to be. And the ones who aren’t are the ones targeted for persecution — people such as Newt Gingrich and Tom Tancredo. (And Barry Goldwater in 1964, by the way.)

        The bottom line is that all too many Americans are asking — and expecting — what their country can do for them, not what they can do for their country — and for themselves. And in the long run, we will all be worse off as a result. And most people neither know or understand history. They don’t know the real principles upon which this country was founded, and they don’t know the political origins of the system we have today.

        What’s the answer, you might ask, as to how we can get this thing turned around? That is indeed the sixty-four thousand dollar question.

      • #3045108

        The FairTax plan

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Max, is it the Democrats?

        .
        If I could sum up in one word, why I like the FairTax plan, that word would be control. Under that FairTax plan, I would control my income, and I would control my spending. Under the current system, the government controls my income by the progressive and selective taxation of it, my spending by the selective exceptions and loopholes of the monstrous tax-code, and my investments for the same tax-code reasons.

        I want total control of my own income; I want total control over my own spending; and I want total control over my own investments. It’s about as simple as that. And regardless of the reasons or arguments levied by those who want to continue, or even grow big-government, they don’t want me to have that control over my own life, pure and simple.

        Who is this “Republican” economist who claimed the FairTax plan would create a depression and all that crap? If you can’t cite specifics about it, and who actually said it, you shouldn’t cite it at all. But if you want to delve into the details of the FairTax plan, you have (in me) a most interested party. I’m all in favor of it, not only for the reasons I cited, but for a myriad of others as well. And it’s exponentially better than the system we have today.

        http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=178992&messageID=1823428

        http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=178992&messageID=1823434

        Read that whole discussion, if you feel so inclined, or at least my contributions to it.

        Or we can continue the discussion right here.

        • #3046018

          Fair Tax Recession

          by thechas ·

          In reply to The FairTax plan

          Max,

          While I cannot site the Republican economist, one of my concerns about the “Fair Tax Plan” is that unless it were to be phased in, it would cause serious economic upheaval in the US that could lead to a global recession.

          It’s not any gloom and doom, just greedy human nature.

          Here’s my scenario:

          With a 24% or higher sales tax coming up, the 6 months prior to the tax change would see a surge in retail sales.

          The last month, would have goods flying off the shelf faster than they could be restocked.

          Come the last week, even perishable items would sell right off the loading dock at every store.

          Retail being what it is, the planners would think they were looking at a booming economy and increase orders dramatically.

          The supply cycle being what it is, most of the goods would not arrive until after the sales tax went into effect.

          When the tax shifts to a sales tax, retail sales are going to drop like a rock. I predict that the first quarter after the “Fair Tax” goes into effect will record the lowest retail sales since the depression.

          The rest of the year won’t be any better as the public struggles with record personal debt from their buying binge.

          The “Fair Tax” also provides a new opportunity for organized crime.
          With goods sitting on store shelves and loading docks, OC will find it easy to acquire goods at a discount and a thriving black market in untaxed goods will spring up across the US. The profits for OC will be as sweet as they are for selling tax free cigarettes in New York. And the risks will be no greater.

          As a result of the now missing sales tax revenue, government borrowing will climb to record levels. Eating up every penny that might have gone to business investment.

          With a soft economy, employers won’t have any incentive to give any of their tax relief back to employees, and will begin laying workers off in record numbers.

          Since a large portion of our retail goods are imported, the sagging sales in the US will result in recessions in Mexico, China, Korea, and all of Asia.

          This doesn’t even consider what will go on in the stock and financial services markets as ALL present investment and market strategies undergo unprecedented change.

          With any luck, in 2 to 5 years, we will start to crawl out from under the personal debt load and begin consuming again.

          Long term bodes even worse for the US.

          Without the tax incentives, most US companies will not spend on long term basic research. Basic research is a hard sell to stockholders and executive boards as is. With no short term benefit, the stockholders won’t allow it.

          The US will loose it’s role as a technology innovator.

          Chas

        • #3046016

          Bad premise

          by puppybreath ·

          In reply to Fair Tax Recession

          You have a huge hole in your basic premise. You state that the planners would think they were looking at a booming economy and order accordingly. The planners would also be aware of the tax changes and would factor that into their future orders. They would cut back in orders to be delivered after the tax went into effect for the reasons you stated. Consider the ordering of water and batteries in the states being hit by hurricanes. The planners didn’t adjust their future orders because sales went up 400%. They knew the reason behind the increase and acted accordingly. So there wouldn’t be the large amount of additional goods delivered after the tax went into effect that you have predicted.

          I also don’t believe that all items would be affected. People aren’y going to be concerned about a few extra cents of tax for their groceries. The increase in sales would be the high ticket items that people were probably already planning on purchasing in the near future. So even though they bought it earlier than planned, it was an expense that they had planned on absorbing anyways.

        • #3045874

          It’s called capitalism

          by master3bs ·

          In reply to Bad premise

          The embedded taxes in goods and services (an average of 22%) will be gone under the plan. The big question is “will companies keep that 22% as profit?”

          What will happen is that one goods or services provider will try to get a competitive advantage by lowering the price. To be able to compete; others will follow suit.

          Besides, if the plan passes, many consumers will know the embedded taxes are gone and not stand for still paying them.

          But even if it doesn’t (it will; but for arguemnts sake say it doesn’t); you’re still getting a monthly check for the basic neccesities of life and still receiving 100% of your pay check. You still come out on top.

        • #3046005

          Two plus two equals forty-two

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Fair Tax Recession

          .
          Every time you post such an “opinion”, Chas, I can’t help but compare it to some nonsensical analogy such as two plus two equals forty-two, just because you want it to. Your opinion, just like the equation, has absolutely no basis in fact or reason, it has no support or agreement whatsoever by any reputable economist, and it’s no more than a desired conclusion in a desperate search for justification. Two plus two equals forty-two because you have a two and then you have another two, which together makes a four, and there are two of them, so the answer is forty-two. Sorry, that bird won’t fly.

          Not only can’t anybody cite a Republican economist predicting such a massive recession if the FairTax plan were to become reality, but you couldn’t site ANY economist of ANY political persuasion to provide a legitimate argument for such an assertion. Go ahead, find one. And if you can’t, don’t suggest such a thing, unless, of course, you also want to suggest that two plus two equals forty-two.

          I will concede, however, that there might (with a strong emphasis on might) be some growing pains with such a drastic change. But experiencing some short term pain for the long term gain is a long-established and reasonable method to bring about the basis for long-term good. Just because a fat-ass 400 pound frame would experience some short-term discomfort, it isn’t reason enough not to change the diet — and the entire life-style — so that person can live a more healthy long-term life in a more lean body.

          I thought you experienced a socialist “revaluation”, Chas? You don’t have to play games any more. You can come right out and admit that you espouse a collectivist society in which income is controlled by the state. You can come right out and admit that you espouse a collectivist society in which income is taken from the person who earned it so it can be given to a person who did not earn it. You don’t need to advance such silly arguments. Go ahead, Chas, you rest on your principles, and I’ll rest on mine; and we’ll just let the chips of public opinion fall where they may.

          I don’t want the government controlling my income, while you do. And therein lies one difference between you and me.

        • #3046126

          Not a Socialist, a Realist

          by thechas ·

          In reply to Two plus two equals forty-two

          Max,

          If I were a true socialist, would I not want business to pay ALL of the costs of government and society?

          One social issue that we have some agreement on is that taxes on business income are counter productive.

          Just how does a progressive income tax control your income?

          Are you so strong an ideologue that you would refuse a raise that might place you in a higher tax bracket?

          That is one thing I would like to see changed in our present income tax system. When your income increases such that you are placed in a higher tax bracket, only the income above the bracket level should be taxed at the higher rate.
          Changing the tax table from a series of fixed percentages to a set of steps would take care of most of the inequities that people complain about. Including the marriage penalty.

          I would love the opportunity to fund the research to prove or disprove my postulates on the US economic system. However, since I’m just a poor working stiff, all I can offer is the results of my personal observations and convoluted thought patterns.

          What I see as a very big difference between us in relation to government spending, is that I am willing to compromise and accept that there are other spending priorities than just my own. If I want the government to spend money on my programs, I also need to accept and allow the government to spend money on programs that to me personally are a waste.

          So, you agree that we cut military spending by 90% and I’ll agree that we cut welfare spending by the same 90%.

          Or how about, you agree to require employers to pay a living wage, and I’ll agree that we eliminate equal rights quotas.

          Like it or not, the US government will always be twice as large as either of us want it to be. As neither of us is willing to just give up the government programs that are important to us.
          Nor, would the rest of our fellow citizens.

          Chas

        • #3046123

          Max the Ideologue

          by thechas ·

          In reply to Two plus two equals forty-two

          Max,

          Even if I could find sources that support my ideas, would you accept them?

          Would my sources need to pass some mystical test for you to accept them?

          For that matter, you have stated mistrust of scientists who support evolution, and those that support global warming.
          Yet, you accept the ramblings of economists!

          Imagine the weather forecast if it were presented the same way economic forecasts are:

          Check back with us in 9 to 18 months, and we will fill you in on what the weather conditions are today.

          It’s September 22nd, the Autumnal Equinox. Typically, that means that fall is on the way. We won’t know if it will be fall or spring until we have time to evaluate all of the data. However, according to 75% of my fellow economists, 3 years ago today, fall did begin.

          If an economist can’t determine what is happening in the economy today, what makes you believe they can predict the results of an unprecedented fundamental change in US economic structure?

          I have come to another revelation, in many aspects you are a self appointed ideologue.

          If someones ideas don’t agree with your social views, you challenge them to prove their concepts.

          Then, you find ways to refute their sources.

          I don’t see any time that you have been open to ideas that do not support your own preconceptions of what is best for society.

          Your ideas and concepts aren’t necessarily any better than mine, just different.

          Chas

        • #3046105

          Chas, my reply

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Max the Ideologue

          .
          You asked, “Even if I could find sources that support my ideas, would you accept them?”

          Well, I don’t know if I would accept them or not. You’ve never done it. I can’t recall a single instance when you’ve suggested anything that wasn’t pure conjecture on your part. You seem to say whatever sounds good and suits your desired end conclusion, but it’s all guess work. Some people might call it blowing smoke. Try, just once, to present an idea that’s even somewhat supported by anything other than guess work, and I’ll let you know if I accept it or not. But, most likely, if I did not accept it, it would be because your source was building from a different premise than me and/or my source. In which case, we would have to back-up and consider the premise.

          You said, “For that matter, you have stated mistrust of scientists who support evolution……”

          I never said that. I challenge you to find one message where I stated a mistrust of scientists who support evolution. I never said that. I never implied that.

          You said, “…you have stated mistrust of scientists….that support global warming.”

          Actually, that would be the scientists who support MAN-CAUSED global warming. That’s a very important distinction, you know. Why is it that people like you always misstate what others say?

          You said, “Yet, you accept the ramblings of economists!”

          You might call it “ramblings of economists”, but are YOU an economist? You are the one who rambles nonsense without any basis in fact. And I suppose I’d be more inclined to “accept the ramblings of economists” over the ramblings of an economic simpleton.

          You said, “Imagine the weather forecast if it were presented the same way economic forecasts are…..Check back with us in 9 to 18 months, and we will fill you in on what the weather conditions are today.”

          Ooooookay. Are you really comparing forecasting the weather with forecasting economic outcome? First of all, the former we have no control over, while the latter we do. Second of all ….. oh, never mind. The comparison is just too absurd to comment any further. Besides, you, yourself, were forecasting stormy weather under the FairTax plan, and you’re neither an economist or a meteorologist. How silly is that?

          You said, “I have come to another revelation, in many aspects you are a self appointed ideologue…..If someone’s ideas don’t agree with your social views, you challenge them to prove their concepts……Then, you find ways to refute their sources.”

          Let’s see, self-appointed ideologue. Well, ideologue is your word, not mine. Personally, I would choose to say that I appointed myself to define my own ideals. Perhaps yours are defined by others, or perhaps you haven’t given much thought to your own ideals. But I have to wonder whose ideals you think I should choose to live by if not my own. Besides, my ideals dictate that I not infringe on the rights of others. You, on the other hand, continually espouse infringing on the rights of others. If living an ideal-based life makes me wrong in your eyes, not only do I not care, but I have to wonder about your deep-seated emotional need to judge others in such a way. In fact, I really pity someone who otherwise seems intelligent, but has such a warped need to judge others in such a way. Do you really presume to tell others how to live?

          As far as challenging your concepts and refuting them, isn’t that what debate is all about? It must really chap your ass that you’ve never been able to out-debate me, or even come close. I often prove your assertions flawed or incorrect, and I leave you literally speechless or blabbering nonsense. But look at the bright side. If this was an in-person, live debate, you’d look really foolish. This way, you can at least escape such personal embarrassment.

          You said, “I don’t see any time that you have been open to ideas that do not support your own preconceptions of what is best for society.”

          It gets back to the ideals thing, I suppose. And my ideals prevent me from telling other people how to live their lives, and I expect the same in return. My ideals dictate that I take self-responsibility so that I’m not a burden on others. But when others try to force me to take responsibility for them, I find it more difficult to take responsibility for myself. You carry your backpack, and I’ll carry mine. And furthermore, you choose what to put into your backpack, and I’ll choose what to put into mine. If you have a problem with that, too bad.

          You said, “Your ideas and concepts aren’t necessarily any better than mine, just different.”

          Oh, I disagree. My ideas and concepts, while you may not like them, ARE better for me. You live by your ideas and concepts, without infringing on mine, and I’ll live by mine. But for some reason, Chas, you and people like you who want to force others to live by your ideas and concepts, not me.

          And yea, that’s the difference between you and me, at least one of them.

        • #3045438

          Upping the ante

          by thechas ·

          In reply to Chas, my reply

          First off Max, if you think any of my comments are in jest or part of an elaborate joke, you are in denial. I have espoused my thoughts from the heart and core of my being more here than any other place or to any other group of people.

          Further, I’m reasonably certain that my transformation into a liberal grinds you more than your comments and challenges influence me.

          I’ll even go so far as to suggest that I would still be supporting and voting for Republicans were it not for our exchanges.

          You have shown me that my previous conservatism was in deep conflict with my core self.

          As practiced in the US, conservatism is neither fair, just, nor tenable.

          Further, one cannot be a true Christian and practice US style conservatism.

          Jesus Christ IS the original liberal, and the path of US conservatism is anathema to his teachings.

          I have neither the time nor the need to search for evidence to support my assertations.

          I take comfort that I am on the right path, leading to the betterment and ultimate destiny of mankind.

          Chas

        • #3045422

          Who is really “in denial”?

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Chas, my reply

          .
          That was obvious sarcasm intended to make a point. And you suggest I’m in denial? This is getting too weird.

          And I absolutely LOVE the fact that our exchanges” have contributed to your “revelation” into becoming an admitted liberal. I’ve been goading you for so long, and you finally broke. But can you spell “deep end”?

          But I will suggest one thing that did surprise me. Your arrogant, pompous and smug judgmental attitude is absolutely sickening.

          Have a nice life, Chas. But wait, your “nice life” is denying others their “nice life” of choice. How sad. And you call yourself a Christain. Excuse me while I throw-up.

        • #3045418

          No Sarcasm

          by thechas ·

          In reply to Chas, my reply

          Max,

          Are you so cynical that you cannot tell when someone is speaking from their very heart and soul.

          I know that your hope was to guide me down the dark path of conservatism.

          You have both my condolences, and my unending gratitude for being the instrument of my enlightenment.

          Just as I know I am now following my proper life path, I know that I am not destined to be the one to guide you to the path of enlightenment.

          Perhaps someday in the future you too will be guided down the path of true enlightenment.

          Just to clarify, no joke, no sarcasm, no mind altering substances, no deep end or mental breakdown, just the inner calm of true enlightenment.

          Chas

        • #3136340

          Oh, damn, I agree with TheChas!

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Chas, my reply

          But not on any important premise, just one fact, which we interpret differently: “one cannot be a true Christian and practice US style conservatism.”

          More importantly, one cannot be a true Christian and practice US style personal liberty. According to Christ, we must forgive every injustice 490 times, notwithstanding speculation that the mathematically defined quantity 70×7 was a misinterpretation of Jesus’ attempt at hyperbole, meaning that he actually espoused infinite forgiveness, which in practice means treating every action of every other person as amoral, thus offering ourselves up willingly as sacrificial victims to the immoral. Christianity is indeed rationally incompatible with human rights. How sad that you chose a mystical belief over the rational philosophy though, TheChas!

          🙁

        • #3045996

          so your only problem with it is

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Fair Tax Recession

          how it is shifted over?

        • #3046131

          The UN-fair tax

          by thechas ·

          In reply to so your only problem with it is

          The chaos that would ensue with a direct shift from an income to a sales tax is not the only problem I have with the so called “fair-tax”, just my worst fear.

          I actually toned down what I believe will happen significantly.
          A 5 year or longer recession bordering on a full scale depression is more likely.

          On some levels, I should like the “unfair tax”.
          I agree that it is counterproductive to tax business income.
          I am at a point in life where my spending on material goods should be dropping. So, I should come out ahead.
          With a significant increase in the cost of new homes, urban sprawl should slow significantly under the unfair tax plan.

          In no particular order, my issues with the unfair tax include:

          The cost of living for everyone who earns less than $100,000 rises significantly.

          The unfair tax, much like a flat income tax does not take into account ability to pay. You get taxed on your needs and your desires.
          Exempt groceries, utilities and health care from the unfair tax, and it starts to become palatable.

          I see no “just” reason to give the richest people in this country a major tax cut and shift the tax burden to the working class and young families.

          The unfair tax WILL increase the economic divide between the rich and the rest of us!

          The people who will take the biggest hit under the unfair tax are those starting out in life. Especially those starting families.

          In fact, those for Zero Population Growth should love the unfair tax, as it will tax large families right out of existence.

          Contributions to charitable organizations will drop significantly.
          Businesses and the rich will reduce contributions because there will be no benefit.
          The general population will have less money available to give to the causes they support.

          If you think you can control your spending enough to reduce your tax burden under the unfair tax, you are kidding yourself.

          Back when we were able to deduct sales tax from the Federal Income Tax, my wife and I worked VERY hard to control our expenditures so that one year we would come out ahead by totaling our actual sales tax paid, and the next, spend very little and take the standard deduction.
          Guess what, unless you have a LOT of extra money to buy your day to day taxable items in advance, you end up spending very near the standard deduction every year.

          Mark my words, the unfair tax will be both a financial and social failure if enacted.
          Within 10 years, it will have to be replaced by either a new income tax, or some other progressive tax.

          Chas

        • #3046115

          You’re kidding, right?

          by puppybreath ·

          In reply to The UN-fair tax

          You failed to mention a few things in your gloom and doom predictions:

          A flat tax closes the loopholes that many rich people use to pay no tax at all, so if you factor that in, the middle class tax burden will not go up nearly as much as you claim.

          Since the bottom 50% of wage earners only account for 3.46% of tax revenues, shouldn’t something be done to give the upper 50% a little tax relief? Which begs the question, ‘How do you give a tax cut to someone who doesn’t pay any taxes in the first place?’

          Your assumption regarding charitable contributions is faulty also. Many corporations donate to their pet causes because that’s what they believe in, not because of a tax break. I don’t think you give people enough credit for their good deeds.

          And how about some responsibility from those people starting out? Why are they starting families if they can’t afford it? Look at the current welfare system. You have people on food stamps, WIC checks, and government checks having additional kids just so they get more freebies from the Government. People with no visible means of support should not be having 6 or 7 kids but our current system rewards them for it.

          Your talk of gloom and doom with nothing to back up your ideas would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

        • #3045585

          Out of all the people who post messages. . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          .
          ….in these threads, ones from Chas, more than anyone else, cause me to just shake my head in total disbelief. Without the benefit of personal interaction, I can’t put my finger on the best way to describe my impression, but something is just weird about his messages, especially over the past year or so.

          I’ve had some great conversations with Chas over the years, and at one point I would have said that we had a pretty good understanding of each other, although we disagreed on some key issues. But then his outlook seemed to change to almost an apocalyptic degree. He told me once that he doesn’t trust his fellow man — doesn’t trust his fellow man to “do the right thing”, I suppose. So he comes across with this smugness to suggest to others what should be the “right thing” for them. Whatever the opposite of live and let live is, that describes how I’ve come to see Chas.

          He calls it a revelation. But I call it having snapped.

          If everyone in the USA thought like him, the USA would surrender to the terrorists; we’d confiscate everyone’s income for the “greater good”; the business would come to a screeching halt to “save the environment”; the auto industry would be replaced with a bicycle industry — a “hand-made” bicycle industry, I suppose, since manufacturing would cease to exist; a nation-wide moratorium on building would be implemented to halt, what he would describe as, urban sprawl; he would create MORE government hand-out programs, justified by his desire to have fewer government hand-out programs (I know, it doesn’t make sense); all radio stations would be permanently preset to receive only NPR, so that all the things we consider include only the ones we should consider; the United States would pledge an allegiance to the United Nations, thereby capitulating to the desires and whims of that world body, so that their interests are placed before the USA’s interests; and I would volunteer to be the recipient of a one-way ticket to Mars.

          Of course, I’m being absurd (but not too far off-base), but only to point out the absurd that I’ve seen in his messages.

          Maybe the day will come when I’ll get this email or a message from Chas laughing his ass off at me for being fooled. Yea, that’s it. He’s really pulling my leg. Okay, I fell for it. This is an April fools joke for the ages, right? One that keep going and going and going, fooling year-long? This as all a big “gotcha”, right?

        • #3045566

          Not an all or nothing proposition

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          I would support a simpler tax system. While I think a flat tax as the only tax would not be “fair”, we could have a flat income tax at a lower scale, and a consumptive tax, like the fair tax.

          In Canada, there was great wailing and nashing of teeth about the GST(Goods and Services Tax) because it was on top of provincial sales taxes, and because it applied to services for the first time. As someone selling computer hardware at the time of introduction, I watched the prices fall, because the GST replaced a manufacturers tax – which applied to manufacturers and wholesalers of durable goods.

          I do agree that loopholes should be closed – some of those tax loopholes mean people invest in stupid things to get tax breaks.

          One of the silliest taxes we have are property taxes. In Toronto, many people have made huge gains in the equity in their house because their neghbourhoods have become hot and the value of their house has skyrocketed. But this is a paper gain – if they went to buy another house in Toronto, they would have to pay the same amount, so there is no real gain, unless they become renters or move to the country. Yet we tax them on it regardless. To me municipal taxes should be flatter – they pay for infratrsucture and everyone uses infrastructure.

          James

        • #3045546

          The reasons I’ve seen

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          for not supporting fairtax fall under one of these categories:

          1. They’re getting an unfair advantage under the current system, and are afraid of losing it.

          2. They’re worried that someone else will benefit more than they will.

          3. They’re in their comfort zone, and just don’t want to rock the boat (this includes those who think their livlihood depends on the rules or complexity of the current tax code).

          The way I look at it Accountants might have to shift around a little, but there will be plenty of work, probably more! Lobbyists… maybe become talk show hosts. Displaced lawyers, well, there’s always fish-tank cleaning, and ex-IRS muscle could do something productive like collecting back child-support 🙂

        • #3045542

          Any tax on income is wrong (RE:James)

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          Income taxes punish achievement! They stifle innovation!

          Why should I have to pay extra because I’m willing to get my sorry ass out of bed in the morning and go to work doing something legal? Yet someone who has money given to them (either by the government or a rich relative); or a prostitute or drug dealer not have to pay it?

        • #3045448

          Not Kidding

          by thechas ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          First off, I have no vested interest in the present tax system.

          Secondly, I already stated that I suspect I would come out ahead under the unfair tax.

          My opposition to the so called “fair tax plan” is that it does not pass muster as either fair or just.

          The believers in the unfair tax think their is this large stream of presently untapped tax revenue that will fill the coffers and reduce their tax burden.
          It just ain’t so!

          Sure their are people who find ways to reduce their taxes under the present system. Those same people are going to find ways to do purchase goods without paying sales tax under the unfair system.

          The concept of capturing tax revenue from criminal activities is even more fanciful!
          Do you honestly believe that they acquire a significant portion of their goods through the legitimate economy?
          Or, that they won’t find a way around a large sales tax?

          As to large families, I’m not referring to welfare families. (Their benefits don’t change under a tax change.)
          I’m referring to a couple who desire to have a large family, and can afford so under the present system. In part because they get a tax break.
          Under the unfair tax, they would end up paying so much more in taxes that their dream of a large family would be ruined.

          Finally, YES I do seriously believe that the implementation of the unfair tax would bring the US economy to it’s knees.

          Chas

        • #3045431

          Chas – The ONLY person in America. . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          .
          …..predicting such doom and gloom if the FairTax plan were to pass.

          There is virtually NO organized opposition against it.

          There is virtually NO respectable economic organization opposed to it.

          There are virtually NO political leaders predicting such silly gloom and doom outcomes.

          But Chas is smarter than every person in America.

          Ether that, or he is the epitome of a frightened little rabbit.

        • #3044255

          re not kidding

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          Actually it will reduce the tax burden for almost all individuals and businesses. It costs money to comply with the current tax code. That money is gone forever, having provided no useful (to a business or individual) product or service. Not only that, but this cost is passed along and added to in each step of the process from raw material to final consumer. When you talk about something truly complex like a modern automobile, where manufacturers buy from manufacturers of parts who buy components for those parts from other manufacturers, the cost of those taxes can add up to a substantial fraction of the cost. I would have no trouble at all believing that in an automobile or other similarly complex item it could easily be 50%.

          22% is the “average” that Fairtax assumes. To me that means some will be higher, and some will be lower. Basically the further you are from “natural resources” in the manufacturing chain, the more imbedded taxes are included in your product. Also under Fairtax, business to business sales are not taxed. This isn’t hurting government one bit because businesses write-off all of it anyway, but they still include it in the cost of their product or service, so it will help the consumer to be rid of it.

          There are also large untapped sources of revenue. There is the underground economy, consisting of varying levels of seriousness from criminal activity to the average joe doing side work “off the books”. I don’t know how well this has been pinned down, but it is not insubstantial. When these people use this questionably obtained money, it will be taxed.

          Then there is money that has left the country due to our current unfavorable tax position that would return, as well as new money coming in, which will stimulate the economy and put more people to work and improve the position of the people already working.

          While the government’s needs won’t be reduced by a lot (they’ll save on the same imbedded taxes when they buy stuff that we will, plus the costs to administer the new system will be greatly reduced), the citizens’ ability to meet those needs will be increased, so it will reduce the overall “burden”. And I suspect it will be discovered that the initial estimate of a 23% sales tax might have been a couple percent too high.

        • #3044242

          The Current “UN-FAIR” Tax system

          by surflover ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          Chas,

          Max is right (at least more right than you are)…

          I am all for the Fair Tax Plan… AND…

          I am one of those people who does not pay taxes because I have a smart investment/tax lawyer… I made over 200k last year, paid no tax, and carried a 28k tax credit to this year…

          This change would allow me to live in a single home (I own three for tax and residency reasons), drive the car I would like (a ragtop sports car instead of a Mastadon Tax break called an escalade), get rid of my rental property headaches, and just SAVE my extra income for retirement instead of tying it up in all this insane tax aversion… for you see, if I tried that under our current system, Uncle Sam would get almost 50% of my income…

          Some of the obstacles it faces to pass into law are;

          1. The ultra rich who control the Fed, Congress and the Senate, would never let it pass without giving them time to change all their investments out of tax shelters… and they may view it as empowering the great unwashed they so desperatley avoid…

          2. The government would be tied directly to the economy (slow economy=less money for uncle sam)… This has some good and bad consequences, but too many to mention here…

          3. The people could ACTUALLY protest bad government policies by organising purchasing boycotts… people don’t buy for a week, government gets noticibly less money, they (might) listen… (might not work in practice, but theoretically)…

          All in all, I think it would be a huge improvement, even though there might be some growing pains at first…

        • #3044088

          Surflover – Great Message – However

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          .
          Personally speaking, as far as its chances of becoming reality, I would give the FairTax plan about a 1 in 1,000 chance of passing congress, maybe more, at least as things stand today.

          And another thing I would guess is this. If left up to the current lot of legislators, the weather channel will be reporting blizzards in hell before it passes. It’ll take a strong will of the people to force new candidates to bring the plan to the forefront, so either a new lot of legislators will advance the plan, or it will force the existing ones to consider it — probably a combination of both. But it’ll have to be a primary campaign issue for a lot of candidates before it could muster up enough support to pass.

          And this is neither a liberal versus conservative or Democrat versus Republican issue either. Harry Reid, the very liberal Democrat Senator from Nevada, supports the plan, or at least is leaning towards supporting the plan, as does Richard Lugar, a Republican Senator from Indiana; and Lugar isn’t exactly an extreme conservative. (Who would have guessed? Harry Reid and me supporting the same plan!)

          Congress uses the current tax code, not as much as a vehicle for collecting revenue, but for control, plain and simple. And the last thing they want to give up is control.

          People like Chas amaze me at their fear of taking control back from the government. Fear and ignorance — the two things that will keep the FairTax plan from becoming reality.

        • #3115603

          It may take

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          something more than “The strong will of the people”….

          The reason I think it will have a hard time passing is:

          Even worse than the lust for money is the lust for control. Unfortunately, there are some sick individuals in our legislature that absolutely love manipulating the little people in their little lives, and would gladly do it without any pay at all.

          They probably tortured animals as children.

        • #3114346

          Hey Max

          by surflover ·

          In reply to You’re kidding, right?

          “People like Chas amaze me at their fear of taking control back from the government. Fear and ignorance — the two things that will keep the FairTax plan from becoming reality.”

          I think that was Goebbles comment to Hitler on how to control the german people enough to get rid of the jews, he managed the ignorance, Hess handled the fear.

        • #3045880

          Love the Fair Tax plan

          by master3bs ·

          In reply to The FairTax plan

          Good to hear other people talking about it. Be sure to check out the website at http://www.fairtax.org/

        • #3045766

          What about savings?

          by rfink ·

          In reply to Love the Fair Tax plan

          If we change over to a sales tax system then I get hit twice on my savings. I paid income taxes on them when I earned the principle and interest and now I have to pay sales tax on them when I spend them?

          What about real estate? Putting a 20+% sales tax on real estate would kill it. It won’t help the auto industry any either.

        • #3045755

          On Real Estate and Autos

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to What about savings?

          .
          This FairTax proposal will tax only NEW items, not used ones. You can buy a used car, and pay no tax at all. You can buy a used house, and pay no tax at all.

          For those who do buy a new car or a new house, the same principle would apply.

          “Homebuilders will Reduce Costs and Increase Profits: Like other firms, homebuilders will enjoy a zero corporate tax rate under the FairTax. Also, shareholders will not be taxed on dividends received from homebuilders or on capital gains from their investments. Partnerships, limited liability companies and sole proprietorships will also not be taxed on profits because of the repeal of the individual income tax.

          Overall compliance costs of the current income tax system will be reduced. These costs, which are estimated conservatively to be $225 billion,[1] are partly borne by homebuilders (discussed below).

          All purchases by homebuilders of building materials will be free of consumption tax. Business-to-business sales are not taxed under the FairTax. Moreover, since all producers of these materials will be operating free from income tax and with dramatically lower compliance costs, material (wood, sheet rock, nails, etc.) prices that now contain these costs will fall significantly. This will allow homebuilders to sell their products at lower prices while maintaining their current profit margins.

          Research by Dr. Dale Jorgenson, Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard University and one of the country?s leading economists, shows that producer costs in the construction industry will decrease in the first year by as much as 25 percent. Economic output in the construction industry during the first year of implementation of the FairTax is expected to increase by more than 50 percent. The huge boom in this industry will be due largely to a significant rise in the demand for all investment goods. Dr. Jorgenson?s research shows…..”

          The Demand For New Homes Will Increase…..

          Interest Rates Will Drop…..

          Homeownership Under the FairTax Will Be More Affordable…..

          Homebuilders? Compliance Costs Will Be Lower…..

          http://www.fairtaxvolunteer.org/smart/homebuilders.html

        • #3043754

          On Savings

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to What about savings?

          .
          It depends on the type of savings. First of all, the typical “passbook savings” accounts for a very small percentage of the total dollars invested. Tax-deferred savings, such as a 401(k), IRAs, and such, will get a HUGE one-time windfall, since they were not taxed going in, and they won’t be taxed when spent. (The real value of your 401(k) will, in essence, go up 25 to 30 percent!) Savings invested in any long-term, income-generating asset such as a stock, real estate, or a long-term bond that can?t be called, will increase substantially in value, offsetting any tax on those dollars once their spent. And if you don’t buy anything “new” with them, then they’re free of tax.

          But even though that $1,000 you might have in a passbook account might be taxed twice, you can still choose what to buy with it, new versus used, for example. But that pales in comparison to the other side of the coin, which is the tax-deferred savings most of us have. On balance, this one is a no-brainer. You have $1,000 in a passbook account, and it might (strong emphasis on might) cost you an extra $230. But compare that to the $100,000 (or more) you might have in your 401(k) account where you’ll get a windfall of $30,000 that would have otherwise been taxed!

          The key to determining if this is a viable plan is to look at it on balance, and in its entirety. If you want to pick and choose one little thing to focus in on, and ignore the dozens of other benefits, you’re not doing it justice. Balance, that’s the key. Not to mention that it should be compared to the current system.

        • #3043676

          Pros AND Cons list

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to On Savings

          The people that benifit from the current corrupt and unmanagable system will only focus on a few negatives (in their minds) and never even look at the positives or balances as it will be some trade-offs taking place.

          The other group that would oppose are the partisans that will determine if it MIGHT benifit the rich, then it must be bad, even if it benifits them as well. After all, it isn’t “fair” that someone might “save” thousands while they only “save” hundreds.

          These two ANTI groups often stand in the way of much progress. They don’t stand FOR anything. Their purpose is to block the evil rich at all costs even if it hurts the poor poor in the prosess.

        • #3043710

          re: what about savings

          by master3bs ·

          In reply to What about savings?

          As far as real estate goes; the 20+% embedded taxes would be taken away. Several economists a lot smarter than me have looked at this plan and determined that real estate prices would stay about the same and even potentially be lower.

          As far as your savings; yeah you’ll be taxed when you spend the money. But you would be taxed anyway and not even know it. The beauty of the fair tax is how visible the tax is.

          And remember you’ll be able to put future savings away without being taxed on them; plus have more money in your paycheck to be able to save.

        • #3043647

          It’s common

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to What about savings?

          Resist the urge to compare how much someone else will get or save with how much you’ll get or save. Simply calculate your own before and after spending power.

          Real estate: Only new homes are taxed. Not only that, but the builders will no longer have to pay the embedded taxes of the companies that provide the materials. The same for cars. The further away a product is from “natural resources” ( component-wise), the more that will be saved due to the elimination of embedded taxes.

        • #3045826

          Max, I wasn’t agreeing with the economist…

          by surflover ·

          In reply to The FairTax plan

          I didn’t document his name, (wish I had) and was only referring to the fact that the problem is on both sides of the isles…

          You are absolutely correct, the FairTax would be light years better than what we have… I think those in washington are afraid of it for the very reason you stated… Control… It gives control back to the people where it belongs… I think they fear that if the people get control of their money back, they might start after regaining control of the political system as well… and we cant have that, CAN WE?

        • #3043439

          Max, questions about your NST

          by jck ·

          In reply to The FairTax plan

          As you put in the first article link, you said the national sales tax would eliminate billions of processing dollars and eliminate the IRS.

          However, I have two questions:

          Question 1: Who would be responsible for processing all the new sales tax data and paperwork if the IRS was eliminated?

          Question 2: Don’t you think there would be more data to process on a regular basis from all businesses required to report sales taxes rather than on a quarterly/annual basis as there is with income tax, thereby leading to an increase government’s size because of the increase of required data to process?

          Personally, I was all for the Forbes proposal of a flat income tax.

          If you make a poverty line, a 10 percent flat income tax for everyone (personal and corporate), and establish personal exemptions for things such as catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenses or across-the-board natural disaster recovery exemptions, I think it would be just as effective as a national sales tax without increasing the workload overhead involved with regularly processing sales tax information.

          I think the Forbes idea would increase government income while at the same time reducing the size of the IRS significantly and not putting the burden of work on US business to have to regularly report sales information and taxation data.

        • #3046396

          Workload

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Max, questions about your NST

          My humble understanding on the workload is that the varification process of going through the tax returns on checking income and exemptions, not to mention audits, is a big part of the process.

          And if someone pays more to electronicly submit their return, it is already in an electronic format and can be dropped right into a database that can look for errors and inconsitancies.

          Am I wrong in my understanding of the process?

          Question, if efiling reduces the labor involved for the government to process your return, why does it cost us more to do it? Hmmmmm.

        • #3046338

          I don’t know how much you paid

          by jck ·

          In reply to Workload

          But, I e-filed and paid $9.95 to use TurboTax for the Web last year. And, that included the entirety of going through about an hour of Q&A about my stuff.

          If you spend 1 hour with any tax prep firm to consult doing yours, it’d cost you way more than $9.95 I assure you.

          BTW, it was $9.95 to submit it. All the entry was free into their interface. I think it was normally $14.95 for first-time customers.

          Plus, I got my refund in 11 days. Mailing your paper form in even right after you got your income statements I think takes a minimum of 3 weeks?

          As for why it costs more? I dunno…maybe because the IRS keeps everything electronically on about $200M of computer systems and has to pay a full-time staff to support them? Paper would be more inefficient, but the computers cost more to keep.

          And…the auditors still have to do their jobs, i.e.- reviewing any records that seem out of normalcy.

          I just know, as I mentioned about the sales tax…sales taxes are generally filed on a more frequent basis than income taxes. That increase in workload would make abolishing the IRS almost impossible because (even with electronic filing) the increase in data to audit would increase by at least 2-4 times.

          Plus, income tax revenues are considerably more steady than sales taxes. You still collect income taxes in a down retail market…sales taxes would drop and therefore your government makes less monies.

        • #3046319

          If we could

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I don’t know how much you paid

          get government out of the socal care role it would not NEED as much money.

          If we stopped trying to buy influince with corrupt governments around the world by GIVING them “aid”, it would not NEED as much money.

          If we would crack down hard on illegal aliens AND anyone that would hire them, there would be more people paying income taxes (I like a flat income tax myself).

          A sales tax on everything would reduce what people buy for a while at least as many would be driven away due to “sticker shock”. (much like shopping in Canada)

          You have stated that you don’t think this would reduce costs for the processing of the data.
          [b]
          Do you have any complaints besides that? I haven’t looked into it that much, but would love to hear if there was anything else about it that you object to.[/b]

        • #3046304

          if if if…

          by jck ·

          In reply to If we could

          I don’t see politicians on either side doing what’s entirely right.

          I also stated that government income would be based on a much less stable income base if it were depending on the spending habits of Americans rather than income.

        • #3046269

          I didn’t say THIS was a Dem problem

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to If we could

          did I?

          Both “sides” are guilty of this, not to mention the very nature of politics is the Senator that brings “home” more federal spending is re-elected, not the one that is fiscally conservative regaurdless of the party.

          I pointed out why so much is needed, causing us to have to leach so much money off the people that actually work and how this money that is leached is NOT used to benifit us, the tax payer.

          I ask again,
          [b]
          Do you have any complaints besides that? I haven’t looked into it that much, but would love to hear if there was anything else about it that you object to.

        • #3045521

          and…

          by jck ·

          In reply to If we could

          I did not say it was a Republican issue either, so don’t start the party banter.

          I was pointing out, because you were pointing out all the problems with government, that the fix is not happening and it’s because neither major party is doing anything to stop it.

          Proof that they’re all out for themselves, not to help the working man.

          As for any other complaints, I’ll get back to you after I do a 300 page thesis on this.

          Usually when I get asked to hold myself to something, it means someone has some crap to spew that and is looking to corner me on a technicality.

          I’ll get back to you after I finish the thesis and let you review it. If I’m gonna get held to absolutes, I’ll go to absolute research.

        • #3044273

          You cut me to the quik

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to If we could

          Have you been burned by others too many times? I have not baited you (as well as I can recall) and have no intention of starting now.

          I state my point, and then ask you to respond on that point. Focused discussion of a topic. Too many of the posts in here will start running off “oh yeah, but what about XYZ blah blah blah?” to justify or distract from the point instead of just answering it.

          No thesis needed, just an answer that you BELIEVE to be true that is consistant with your personal moral values. There will be times when you are asked to SUPPORT the beliefs, but up front I ask what YOU think, not what some clown has published on a web site and another clown is pushing as documented facts. It makes me laugh so hard that tech people here seem to forget how easy it is to post a website that says ANYTHING you WANT it to say. Also, just because you read it in the NY Times, or hear it on the BBC does NOT make it a fact.

          As for the taxes, it could be a lot more automated than it is now, (I believe) which would cut down on the horde of IRS workers.

          Of course, people forget when we “cut the pork” and “streamline government” we are putting people out of work. I just disagree with having so many people paid by the government, and personal responsability should HAVE to be a part of more peoples lives.

          I don’t CARE is someone that didn’t bother to finish high school can’t afford a nice car, bottom line. Let them ride the bus.

        • #3136844

          If we would

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to If we could

          pay attention to the employers of illegal immigrants instead of wasting money on the impossible “policing” of thousands of miles of border, there would be less incentive for millions of people to risk their lives to get into the US illegally. If only documented, legal immigrants could find work, the only immigrants would be legal, with a small number of exceptions (criminals) who would be much easier to catch.

        • #3046285

          Not true – Can you support your claim?

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to I don’t know how much you paid

          .
          You said, “…income tax revenues are considerably more steady than sales taxes. You still collect income taxes in a down retail market…sales taxes would drop and therefore your government makes less monies.”

          That’s not true. Do you have anything to support that suggestion?

          From FairTax.org

          Is consumption a reliable source of revenue?

          Yes, in fact, consumption is a more stable source of revenue than income. A recent study by American Farm Bureau economist Ross Korves shows the FairTax base was less variable than the income tax base. Why? Because during difficult times due to loss of a job or an inability to work, people may not have as much income, or may have no income at all. They borrow funds or use savings. They may not have earnings, but they still continue to consume. Korves?s Figure 2 below shows the yearly changes in the tax base, adjusted gross income (AGI), under the current tax system for 1971-2001 and changes in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) of the same time period.

          http://www.fairtaxvolunteer.org/smart/faq-main.html#9

        • #3045507

          before I get out my shovel to dig

          by jck ·

          In reply to Not true – Can you support your claim?

          I find one flaw in your comparative analysis.

          The Korves report is an analysis based on long-term stability, i.e.- decade or more, for tax-base incomes.

          However, governments do not analyse budget needs past 1 year generally for expenditures and rarely forecast budgets past 3 years which means their tax stability for operation is based on short term tax incomes.

          You can’t operate government on decade-based forecasts.

          Budgets are year to year and, in the short term, tax income from sales tax is more likely to widely fluctuate in the short term than income revenues based on a wide variety of factors (consumer fears, natural disasters, etc).

          If you need it, I will go find corroborative literature as such.

          BTW, is it fine for someone to take your sales tax and spend it how they decide in government how the deem okay, but not your income tax?

          Either way, government is going to get your money and spend it on programs government wants which more and more benefits the establishment, and less and less benefits the people.

          Let me know if you need documentation as such about short-term tax base fluctuations. I’ll find you some.

        • #3045479

          jck – Yes, go find it

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Not true – Can you support your claim?

          .
          You said, “If you need it, I will go find corroborative literature as such …… Let me know if you need documentation as such about short-term tax base fluctuations. I’ll find you some.”

          Yes, please go find it. But keep it in context, and be sure to find opinions and forecasts that are directly related to this particular FairTax plan. (Not all tax plans are born equal.) Otherwise, your message is nothing more than conjecture put forth by an economic simpleton. I’m not an economic expert by any means, nor is anyone who debates these issues in these threads. But at least I provide support for my assertions, while others just blow whatever smoke might suit their desired outcome.

          You asked, “…..is it fine for someone to take your sales tax and spend it how they decide in government how the deem okay, but not your income tax?” You went on to suggest, “Either way, government is going to get your money and spend it on programs government wants which more and more benefits the establishment, and less and less benefits the people.”

          This is comparing and/or grouping together apples and hubcaps.

          The tax collection system has nothing to do with my opinions and preferences on the tax spending practices. The FairTax collection system is designed to be a revenue neutral system. As it stands today, the revenues collected by the various governments would remain the same. And regardless of how the tax is collected, I’m still an advocate for cutting government spending on unfair, unnecessary, counter-productive, and harmful programs. Just like I would suggest drastic cuts in the income tax rates, I will also be an advocate for drastic reductions in the rate of taxation under the FairTax proposal, should it ever become reality. The difference is that I would be a tax-rate-cut advocate who doesn’t have to file an income tax return each and every year.

          And looking at the other side of the same coin, the tax-the-rich and support-the-government-made-dependent-class advocates would still have limits and percentages to play with and demagogue over. I’m sure that John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and their merry band of wealth-bandits would still want to raise the percentage of taxation and raise the level of exempt income.

        • #3044292

          now that’s rich

          by jck ·

          In reply to Not true – Can you support your claim?

          You said:

          “Yes, please go find it. But keep it in context, and be sure to find opinions and forecasts that are directly related to this particular FairTax plan. ”

          I was discussing the topic of broad-base stability of sales tax vs. income tax (and believe it or not, your FairTax plan *is* a sales tax and therefore falls under the umbrella of my discussion). Therefore, I was in context.

          And I am going to be an “economic simpleton” if I don’t only address what you want to talk about?

          Hahaha…at least I know the difference between long-term and short-term economics.

          Once again, the pot is calling the kettle black.

          Let’s get back to economics rather than name-calling.

          I urge you to look up the 1997 study by Holcombe and Sobel study on nationwide tax base analysis and how in the long-term (30-50 years) they remain about equal because of their cyclical nature. But, that income tax remains more stable and has less “elasticity” and is less prone to destabilization in the short-term.

        • #3115623

          Now that’s poor

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Not true – Can you support your claim?

          .
          You refer to a report that’s not available, in its entirety, without paying $100 for it. Sorry, jck, that bird won’t fly. And that’s why I can’t (and won’t) comment on it. Unlike you, I avoid commenting on things I haven’t read.

          But I ask you again, can you point to some reputable economic opposition to the FairTax plan as presented?

          Here’s a free report on this specific proposal:

          http://find.cato.org/search?q=FairTax&site=cato_all&client=cato_all&restrict=Cato&lr=lang_en&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cato.org%2Ftemplates%2Fsearch%2Fcato.xslt&getfields=summary

          See: Simplifying Federal Taxes: The Advantages of Consumption-Based …

          Geesh, jck, are you always so coy and evasive?

        • #3115503

          Oh God

          by jck ·

          In reply to Not true – Can you support your claim?

          Not read it? You piety is nauseating.

          Evidently you didn’t read it.

          it’s available in the National Tax Journal…I’ll leave it to you to find the volume.

          It outlines how numbers given for sales tax stability are often misrepresentative and misleading.

          It shows how national income tax is more stable than national sales tax in the short term. And again, government funding is forecast and determined by short-term economics. And, we were discussing about income for government.

          I’m not being evasive. I have you given you a very reputable report that shows in detail why most reports about sales tax stability are inaccurate, and why national income tax is better for stability in the short term.

          That’s pretty damn direct.

        • #3046171

          I don’t understand.

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Workload

          For the last 5 years, I have e-filed for free.

        • #3046300

          Two Answers

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Max, questions about your NST

          .
          Question 1: Who would be responsible for processing all the new sales tax data and paperwork if the IRS was eliminated?

          Answer 1: The states already have in place the system to collect sales tax at the point of sale. This is the system that will be used, albeit a slightly expanded system. The feds will pay the states a nominal fee to facilitate the collection and pass the revenues on to them. There will be a need for a federal agency to collect the revenue from the states, but the size of this system pales in comparison to the current IRS.

          Question 2: Don’t you think there would be more data to process on a regular basis from all businesses required to report sales taxes rather than on a quarterly/annual basis as there is with income tax, thereby leading to an increase government’s size because of the increase of required data to process?

          Answer 2: No

          The previous answers are mine. The following answers are from FairTax.org

          How are state tax systems affected, and can states adequately collect a federal sales tax?

          No state is required to repeal its income tax or piggyback its sales tax on the federal tax. All states have the opportunity to collect the FairTax; states will find it beneficial to conform their sales tax to the federal tax. Most states will probably choose to conform. It makes the administrative costs of businesses in that state much lower. The state is paid a ? of one percent fee by the federal government to collect the tax. For states that already collect a sales tax, this fee proves generous. A state can choose not to collect the federal sales tax, and either outsource the collection to another state, or opt to have the federal government collect it directly. If a state chooses to conform to the federal tax base, they will raise the same amount of state sales tax with a lower tax rate ? in some cases more than 50 percent lower ? since the FairTax base is broader than their current tax base. States may also consider the reduction or elimination of property taxes by keeping their sales tax rate at or near where it is currently. Finally, conforming states that are part of the FairTax system will find collection of sales tax on Internet and mail-order retail sales greatly simplified.

          How is the tax collected?

          Retail businesses collect the tax from the consumer, just as state sales tax systems already do in 45 states; the FairTax is simply an additional line on the current sales tax reporting form. Retailers simply collect the tax and send it to the state taxing authority. All businesses serving as collection agents receive a fee for collection, and the states also receive a collection fee. The tax revenues from the states are then be sent to the U.S. Treasury.

        • #3046296

          The Forbes Flat Tax

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Max, questions about your NST

          .
          I would certainly support the Forbes flat tax plan over today’s system. In fact, I’ve personally discussed that specific flat tax plan with Steve Forbes when he was running for president back in 1996. (Ooooooo, some name-dropping.)

          I was also in support of Dick Armey’s flat tax plan that he tried to get out of a House committee on several occasions. (No, I’ve never spoken with Dick Armey.)

          However, flat tax plans have come, and they have all gone. None of them have been successful enough to pass even a committee vote, much less a floor vote. A flat tax just won’t pass, regardless of how much people might want it to. Besides, some sort of progressive tax seems to be preferred, especially by the politicians themselves, who can play the class-envy game with it. And the FairTax exemption on the first $27,000 of income creates a progressive scale, depending on a person’s income.

          A flat tax will pass Congress when the preverbal pigs start to fly. And personally, if I’m going to throw my support behind something, I’d want it to have slightly better odds of passing than a snowball’s chance of surviving in hell.

        • #3045506

          flat taxes

          by jck ·

          In reply to The Forbes Flat Tax

          the main reason I believe it will never pass:

          Because if you made everyone (personal and corporate) pay the same base tax rate above a certain “poverty line” income, a lot of wealthy people and corps would be paying a LOT more in taxes and getting a lot less in their golden parachutes.

          And so long as the corps and the wealthy are lining campaign pockets, we will never get that flat tax.

          BTW, I also think that taxes for poverty level folks should be adjusted much in the way per diem is for government workers in different locations (difference say between working in Ottumwa, IA vs. Grand Cayman Island.)

          It would only be plausible…a person can live in rural IA well on $27,000…but, not Washington D.C.

          And, I’m not saying it has to be a big range, but something to compensate a bit for cost of living difference.

        • #3045496

          Why on earth

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Max, questions about your NST

          would you want to increase the government’s income???

        • #3132244

          sorry

          by jck ·

          In reply to Why on earth

          I missed your post…sorry to take so long to reply.

          The goal of increasing income of the government serves 2 purposes:

          1) To provide more services for all Americans
          2) To relieve the national debt

          However, there is one other thing that has to be done within our system to achieve those 2 things: get the idiots out of government who would waste that increase.

          A flat tax of 10 percent with very few and limited deductions/exemptions would also increase the out-of-pocket tax burden for the working class American (those under $125,000 per year total household income), while reducing the amount of wealthy individuals able to pay for tax loopholes and get out of paying their share of the operation of our country.

          You’d be amazed how little people like Bill Gates pay in taxes, from a percentage standpoint. If he, and those of his opulence, were to pay 10 percent of their annual net income, our country would be in a lot better shape financially within 25 years.

        • #3132204

          How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to sorry

          .
          Since you brought it up, and since you said we’d be surprised, I assume you know the answer. So surprise us! And if you want to answer the same question for your broader target of “people like” Bill Gates, that’s fine. The same question applies.

        • #3132180

          The information is only valid

          by puppybreath ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          if we see the entire IRS form (assuming he ever responds with an answer). Bill Gates gives millions away to charity which would be legal deductions so comparing his tax rate to anyone else’s would have to take deductions and write-offs into consideration.

        • #3132149

          And in the case of Gates-Microsoft. . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          .
          ….you might also want to consider the tens of thousands of jobs created, all of which contribute to the national tax base.

          For example, there are 61,000 people on the Microsoft payroll (not counting the related/caused jobs on other payrolls). If the average salary is (pulling some number out of the air) $50,000 (which is probably very low), the total payroll would be well over 3 billion; and if it’s taxed at a rate of 20 percent (which is also probably low), that’s well over 600 million in tax revenue. And that’s not counting the combined 15 percent taken for social security, which would be an additional ~500 million (and no, there is no SS “trust fund”); and that doesn’t consider the state and local taxes paid on those dollars, or the sales tax generated when those dollars are spent, or the property taxes paid when those dollars are used to purchase homes or other personal property, or the …….. and on it goes.

          And what about the capital gains taxes paid by all of those people who’ve invested in Microsoft, thousands of whom are the very same Microsoft employees mentioned. I quit adding it up in my head, but it’s in the billions of dollars, I’m sure, each and every year, maybe in the tens of billions when all things are considered.

          WOW! Since 1983, how much money has the government (federal, state, and local) collected as a direct result of Bill Gates creating that little software company called Microsoft?

          Not really making any particular point with this (like no, I’m not suggesting Gates shouldn’t pay taxes), but it’s interesting to consider when looking at the “bigger picture”. Gates, for example, didn’t stuff all that money into his mattress, but rather reinvested it back it into his business which, in turn, helped create all those jobs, which, in turn…….

          Okay, so maybe I am making a point. (But not all people will “get it”.)

          Gates’ salary, by the way, is only 1 million a year. All of his stated wealth is in the value of his stock holdings and the capital gains income that results when he sells some of his stock, which he certainly does from time to time.

          And if you want to see how much of it he actually gives away, take a look at the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation Web site, or “Google it”. Personally, I think Bill Gates is an incredible guy.

        • #3130964

          I’m choosing not to answer you, Max

          by jck ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          I feel you’re not worth my time.

        • #3130888

          jck — I already know the answer

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          .
          You don’t have to answer for me, since I already know the answer. But your refusal to answer shows how you continually utter incredibly stupid things without having the slightest idea as to what you’re talking about, and without any basis in fact to back it up. You’d be surprised at the number of emails I’ve received from others agreeing that you’re no more than an uninformed blow-hard. And you just again proved it.

          But for those who might be curious, the answer is as follows:

          The top 50 percent of income earners in the USA pay 96 percent of the income taxes collected.

          The top 10 percent of the income earners in the USA pay 65 percent of the income taxes collected.

          The top 5 percent of the income earners in the USA pay 54 percent of the income taxes collected.

          How much does Bill Gates, personally, pay in taxes? I have no idea. And the correct answer to my original question is, neither do you. But you’re the one who made that stupid claim without the slightest notion of whether or not it was true.

        • #3130829

          Max: a question about those tax figures

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          “The top 50 percent of income earners in the USA pay 96 percent of the income taxes collected.

          The top 10 percent of the income earners in the USA pay 65 percent of the income taxes collected.

          The top 5 percent of the income earners in the USA pay 54 percent of the income taxes collected.”

          For comparison, what percentage of the total income that the IRS taxes do each of those categories earn?

        • #3130806

          Absolutely – The Income Comparison you asked for

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          .
          The top 5 percent of income earners account for 21 percent of the total income earned.

          The top 20 percent of income earners account for 50 percent of the total income earned

          The top 40 percent of income earners account for 73 percent of the total income earned.

          The top 50 percent of income earners account for 81 percent of the total income earned. (Estimated by finding the middle between 40 and 60 percent numbers)

          The top 60 percent of income earners account for 88 percent of the total income earned.

          Broken down as follows in 20 percent increments, lowest to highest:

          3.5 – Lowest 20 percent
          8.8 – From 21 to 40 percent
          14.8 – From 41 to 60 percent
          24.3 – From 61 to 80 percent
          49.7 – Highest 20 percent

          21.7 – Highest 5 percent

          Source: U.S Census Bureau (2002)

          http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/p60-221.pdf#search=’income%20percentages’

          So for a income to tax comparison:

          The top 5 percent of income earners account for 21 percent of the total income earned, yet they pay 54 percent of all income taxes collected.

          The top 50 percent of income earners account for 81 percent of the total income earned, yet they pay 96 percent of all income taxes collected.

          The bottom 50 percent of income earners account for 19 percent of the total income earned, yet they pay only 4 percent of all income taxes collected.

          What percentage of income earners pay no taxes at all? I don’t have that number at my fingertips, and it’s not indicated on any of the sources I’ve referenced. I could probably find it, but my guess is that it will fall somewhere in the bottom 30 to 35 percent, or so. But it’s painfully obvious that our entire tax system is solely supported by the top 50 percent of wage earners.

          But no, that’s not enough, is it? The transfer-of-wealth thieves want even more. It’s absolutely disgusting!

        • #3130804

          Absolutely – By the way

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          .
          What kind of comparison were you expecting? Or did you already know the answer, but just wanted me to post it. If so, thank you. These are very telling statistics.

        • #3117483

          Income Comparison – Additional Numbers

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          .
          And the top 50 percent of income earners — the ones paying 96 percent of all taxes — are those earning over $43,000. People earning less than $43,000 account for ONLY 4 percent of the income taxes collected.

        • #3117428

          Maxwell: what I was expecting was

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          just what I found. While morons like TheChas cry for more taxes on the rich, the poor are already getting a pass for next to nothing.

          “The top 5 percent of income earners account for 21 percent of the total income earned.”

          “The top 5 percent of the income earners in the USA pay 54 percent of the income taxes collected.”

          21% of wealth accounts for 54% of tax. This is ABSOLUTELY incompatible with “all men are created equal.”

          How does TheChas (or any other communist) propose to resolve that contradiction? Mao couldn’t. 65 million peasants died without his knowledge during his five-year plans, while his advisors told him communism was working wonders and more rice was being collected than ever. Which led to the popular saying amongst the peasants: “Communism sounds nice, but it doesn’t put rice on the table.”

        • #3117163

          geez Max

          by jck ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          You’re so aestute…can you state the obvious anymore brilliantly?

          Let’s get this straight, knob:

          I *never* said I knew dollar figures. You assumed that.

          I never said I knew exactly what Bill Gates pays in taxes. You assumed that.

          I never even said I knew anything about Gates himself. I said “…people like Bill Gates…”. You just totally twisted things there. Talk about only seeing what you want to see.

          Go read that post again. Keep that in mind. If you don’t understand it after reading it again, I’ll explain punctuation in the English language for you later and bring the crayons for you to use at recess.

          Lastly…if you wanna admire someone…admire Sam Walton…at least he worked his way up…didn’t have a rich lawyer daddy to hand him $50,000 interest-free to start a business.

          Guess you’d rather admire a guy who had the easy life.

          Now, go back to your number crunching and hunting Wikipedia and Google for statistics.

          I’m going back to implementing software systems.

        • #3122495

          Here ya go, Ab

          by jck ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          Some info I found on the web. I’ll not post a source, since Max doesn’t have to either:

          ******************
          What percentage of taxes are paid by the wealthiest 5% of Americans?

          The wealthiest 5 percent have 59% of the wealth and pay 38.4 percent of federal taxes. The wealthiest 1 percent have over 38 percent of the wealth and pay 24.8 percent of federal taxes. These households have an average wealth of $10.2 million and pay only 3.5 percent of their wealth in taxes.

          By way of comparison, the bottom 40 percent of taxpayers have an average net wealth of $1,100 and pay 163 percent of their net wealth in taxes.

          If all taxpayers paid the same 10.5 percent of their wealth in taxes as median income families pay, the taxes of the lowest 40 percent would be cut by 94 percent while the taxes of the wealthiest would triple.

          Source: Congressional Budget Office and United for a Fair Economy

          ********************************
          Who benefited most from the federal tax cuts in 2001, 2002, and 2003?

          The benefits of these tax cuts were skewed heavily toward the wealthy, especially those at the very top.

          Average increase in after-tax income
          in 2003 from tax cuts

          Percent Dollars
          Millionaires 5.4% $112,925
          Top 1% 4.6% 26,335
          Middle fifth 2.6% 676
          Bottom fifth 0.2% 3

          Source: Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institute

          **********************

          Is there still hope for me, Ab? ]:)

        • #3122230

          hope for jck?

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          Whether there is hope for you, jck, depends on how you answer the next few questions: what is the difference between annual income and wealth, aka net worth?

          Which of those quantities is taxed?

          Why that one and not the other?

        • #3122197

          Reply To: I Hate Democrats

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          Absolutely – I noticed jck’s gross error as well

          While I posted the true and accurate income to tax ratio, he posted the “wealth” to tax ratio.

          The only thing I’m not sure of is if he did it intentionally in an attempt to be disingenuous or dishonest (or both), or if he’s really so stupid that he didn’t know the difference.

          My guess is both.

          And did you notice how he “conveniently” overlooked my comment, “And if you want to answer the same question for your broader target of ‘people like’ Bill Gates, that’s fine. The same question applies.”

          Do you want to know where he got that “statistic? Do a Web search using the exact words, “The wealthiest 5 percent have 59% of the wealth and pay 38.4 percent of federal taxes”, and you’ll see all the whacko – leftist blogs where he gets all his opinions. (Really, do the search. You’ll get a great laugh!)

          What a first-class ASS! That guy is a piece of work. And I know that I’m not the only one laughing my ass off at the loser.

          No, to answer your question, there’s NO HOPE for jck.

          And he thinks he’s you buddy because you were slamming me on that religion stuff! The guy’s a friggin’ JOKE! You have a lefty-looney on your hands.

        • #3122194

          PROOF – For jck

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

        • #3123640

          Proof on America…from Denmark???

          by jck ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          Probably tax info from their prize-winning chemist no doubt.

          Yet another unamazing detour through Max’s la-la land. Why do I need to reference Denmark for American information, Max? Who’s the loony here? Denmark? Jesus…now that is a far-fetch…I didn’t even go look at that site.

          BTW, your figures are derived from “Adjusted Gross Income” as defined by the IRS in their 2003 statistics.

          However, can you define “Adjusted Gross Income” please? And, please tell the readers here what items can be deducted from your “Total Gross Income” to determine “Adjusted Gross Income”? I believe that is where you’ll find the big shelters and what not which people like Gates use to hide their money.

          Also as their income becomes more “adjusted”, they pay a higher percentage of taxes.

          But the big kicker to me:

          The charts you show give no information on just the top 10, 50, or 100 income earners in this country.

          They address the top 1 percent, or as shown by the IRS some 1,286,098 filing taxpayers.

          Therefore, you’ve not addressed what I brought up originally and I would not consider all of the top one percent of American incomes reported to be “people like Bill Gates”.

          Bill Gates makes a bonus alone per year (some $400k+ for 2005) which is larger than what is required to be in the top one percent of income earners in this country.

          In fact, several corporate executives and officers at Microsoft alone make bonuses that would earn them a spot in that…not even considering their salary or dividends or shares given to them as part of incentive/compensation.

          And, very few of them (Paul Allen, in my estimation…maybe Ballmer now) would be in league with Gates at Microsoft (because of shares held) …and Allen is the only one with a total net worth near Gates in that corp.

          So, arguing someone who makes $300k per year (or even $3M a year) is “like Bill Gates” financially is absurd.

          BTW…if Microsoft stock pays $.01 in a year, Gates makes $11.6M from that alone.

          As for year end FY05, Microsoft reports:

          “Net income for fiscal year 2005 was $12.25 billion and diluted earnings per share were $1.12, which included legal charges of $0.13 and tax benefits of $0.09. For the previous fiscal year, net income and diluted earnings per share were $8.17 billion and $0.75, which included legal charges of $0.17 and a tax benefit of $0.02.”

          http://www.microsoft.com/msft/earnings/FY05/earn_rel_q4_05.mspx

          So, Bill just made another…$1,300,000,000? I wonder if he’s paying 25% of that in taxes? or 35%? You really think so? And you really seem to think someone making $300k or even $3M is in his category…that’s funny.

          So, I’d say you get me statistics for anyone making over $250,000,000 a year and I’d consider that near enough to be “like Bill Gates”.

          Fact is: You’ll never agree with me though no matter what. You seem to think that the elite can do no wrong because of their position in society. Plus, you just like to argue for people like yourself. Self-validation is false optimism. 🙂

          I still say go with a 10% flat tax. Cut all the BS out…establish a poverty level based on cost of living…give maybe a deduction for overwhelming catastrophic healthcare expenses to the working class…and that be it.

          That’d save all the BS involved and shrinking the IRS by about 90% would save hundreds of millions if not billions.

          Have a nice day…veruul 🙂

        • #3123619

          Answers for Ab

          by jck ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          I’m not gonna push textbook definitions here, so I expect to get bullets from Herr Max for this one:

          annual income = is compensatory inflow an individual receives, whether salary, bonus, dividends, etc., in a year.

          wealth is indeterminable. I’m sure what would make me “wealthy” (in my opinion) would be a drop in the bucket to Bill Gates.

          net worth = The value an individual holds after all liabilities are deducted from total asset worth.

          What Max doesn’t want to tell you is, people like Gates have $10Bs in stock they’ve never paid taxes on (and probably never will) even though it has been a form of compensation given to them as an individual from the Corporation.

          Hell, I remember being given more than $50k in life insurance and being taxed on what was over that. But, stocks are immune?

          They only pay taxes on their dividends, unless they donate them as well to a chartiable organization…like…The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

        • #3122722

          jck: PROOF is worthy of your attention

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          Do yourself a favor, jck, and look into the effect of socialism’s effect on one Scandinavian country from an honest, scholarly perspective:

          http://piv.pivpiv.dk/

          Just because Max posted it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Trust me.

        • #3122719

          “I still say go with a 10% flat tax” (jck)

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          If so, jck, then why are you arguing with Maxwell at all? The way I see it, you’re more worried about the rich paying less than our fair share and his perspective is that the rich already pay too much, but you seem to be in near agreement on what would constitute a fairer, less evadable tax. Please comment at your convenience.

        • #3123038

          Ab: fair taxes

          by jck ·

          In reply to How much money DOES Bill Gates pay in taxes?

          It all depends on your definition of “rich” or “wealthy”, etc.

          My reference is to those who are the elite of the rich.

          To me, someone who makes $200,000 a year is not rich.

          Someone who makes $200,000 a year plus makes $1,000,000,000 a year on dividends from stocks given them as part of their employment as CEO…would qualify as elite.

          If you took the top-paid 500 CEOs (according to Forbes) in the United States and determined they should be paying around 35% percent in federal tax alone on their earnings (not included are things like shares given them,etc), they would pay in taxes alone on their compensation some $1.8B of their aggregate $5.1B.

          But, I bet the top 10 of those aren’t paying even near 35% of their compensation.

          Remember, that does not cover earnings such as dividends from stocks earned. That is purely their compensation for their position.

          Gates alone earned over $1B in stock profits in FY 2005. Guys like Ellison, the Waltons, Buffet, and Dell I’m sure all make similar profits on which they should pay tax as well.

          But, there are ways for them to shelter these earnings or give them to charities and avoid paying taxes on them. Hence, undermining the fiscal foundation of our country.

          And, this doesn’t include how corporations avoid taxes too…or how they get hundreds of millions in exemptions.

          My promotion of a 10% flat tax simply would:

          a) make the taxes across the board fairer to everyone.
          b) reduce somewhat the bureaucracy that is the US Government by vastly downsizing the IRS.
          c) make it far harder for all Americans to evade taxes legally or illegally

          I would only promote 2 loopholes:

          1) people who earn a net income at or below poverty level for their area be exempt from taxes (not an adjusted income…but, their gross earnings) so that their taxes would not put them in financial distress.

          2) people who spend more than a flat percentage of their net income on personal and family medical care (not insurance, but actual expenses)

          I don’t know what would be a fair percentage…but, I think it would be somewhere between 5 and 20 percent of your net income to medical would allow you to deduct that expense from your income.

          Max’s big gripe about taxes has been with his desire to make services provided to him by government basically “a la carte”. For example, he has said he doesn’t want to have to pay the taxes that pay for public schools because he chooses to send his children to private schools. He also doesn’t want to have to pay taxes that support things like welfare.

          That is, Max wants to only pay what he wants to pay.

          I am sure that I could find a lot of taxpayers in Illinois or Florida or California where it’s flat who don’t want to pay for the US Government to blast holes through mountains in Colorado to give interstate highways to people who choose to live there either. But, they have to help pay for that.

          Promote the general welfare…I seem to remember those words from somewhere…wish more people would take that meaningfully.

          I foster the idea of making taxes across the board and fair to all, whether blue collar or white collar or corporate, and in the process reducing the tax burden those that carry it now.

          And, my plan does not eliminate programs that help people. The real fix for things like welfare…is to FIX them…not eliminate them. Much like my tax idea fixes the IRS indirectly by reducing the complication and the need for hordes of personnel.

          It simply makes it the responsibility of every person and company who earns a self-sustaining income to pay their share…no matter if they make 50,000 a year…or 5,000,000 a year…or 5,000,000,000 a year.

          And, that share would decrease what is paid in by the bulk of Americans…including those earning between $100,000 and $1,000,000.

          Also, I’d have one other thing:

          It would be the job of the IRS to ensure people were paying taxes on all income. If you were caught not paying on any income, you’d lose your opportunity for any exemption.

          Of course, there would be some exceptions…why pursue a single incident of someone who didn’t pay $5 of tax on a $50 job they forgot they made when it costs $250 to pursue the issue?

          And if a person/employer paid you “under the table”, they’d lose their opportunity for any exemption as well.

          Needless to say…I think since taxes are put on all Americans that they should relieve all Americans….not be a pick-and-choose system.

          And if you use a flat-tax with a most minimal of exemptions, then all people get treated with the most fairness possible.

          Do Max and I share a common idea?? Perhaps. I think the tax system is unfair to a lot of people…poor, working class and wealthy alike.

          However, Max’s is more of a “me” attitude. He wants taxes to fit him best.

          My tax proposal would give everyone equal treatment with an across-the-board rate, rather than just give tax breaks to those who can afford to put their children in private schools or buy off-shore shelters.

          I can’t screw everybody else to make sure I get ahead. Money just isn’t that important to me.

          I couldn’t live life having gotten rid of people knowing the true reason why was that someone else wanted a bigger bonus. It’s why I haven’t accepted any of the supervisory/management jobs that have been offered to me with corporates.

          And, I couldn’t take a loophole in paying my fair share that I knew was passing the burden on to someone else in my country. Whether that is today…or to mine or someone else’s children 30 years from now.

          I have a conscience, and a commitment to be responsible to contribute to the welfare of my nation as a whole…not just when it is good for me.

          Anyways…diatribe over…

        • #3122936

          “get the idiots out of government who would waste”

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to sorry

          I’ve read your most recent post, and am tempted to respond to it one paragraph at a time, but I think it would be more fruitful to start with the most implausible aspect of your strategy, which is not an increase in the government’s revenue, but to “get the idiots out of government who would waste that increase.”

          The revolution of 1776 and the history of the United States since proves one simple lesson: it’s possible to limit the ability of government to be tyrannical, but not to limit the ability of morons to participate in government, at any level.

          I’d like to have universal welfare, but I do not believe it can be provided by any central (read: government) authority or plan, be it a 5 Year Plan, 7 Year Plan, etc. because government will always be cluttered by morons. In government as in tech, since the morons can’t be kept off the network, the best option is to limit their access to levels appropriate for their luser proficiency.

        • #3122138

          biggest reasons

          by jck ·

          In reply to “get the idiots out of government who would waste”

          that idiots are in office is because:

          1) other idiots are allowed to vote
          2) idiots allow themselves to be bought and sold (politically and ethically) like sheep
          3) idiots seem to think smiling is a quality of a good leader

          One of the best ways to get idiots out of government?

          Don’t hire them.

          Do you know how many government and corporate positions are filled by unqualified personnel just to “fill the hole” in the organization?

          Fill it when you have the qualified people…not when someone shows up that says they know their stuff.

          That goes for staffed positions, and elected officials.

          Why we need 535 people in Washington DC to manage passing legislation is beyond me. Just like the tax system is not complex to provide fairness…but, to maintain the bureaucracy.

          I still advocate the “no confidence” vote like the Soviets had. That way if you found out that one candidate was an embezzler and the other was a drughead after a primary…you wouldn’t have to make an uninformed decision of 3rd party candidates…or choose the “lesser of 2 evils”.

          But, you can get the idiots out of government who would waste. It’s just a matter of empowering the people to do so…not telling them they can’t do it.

          After all, that’s essentially what your vote is for…hiring and firing the elected representatives.

        • #3046159

          Anything off for cash, mate?

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to The FairTax plan

          One of the problems with a sales tax is that no-one wants to pay taxes and a sales tax is much harder to police. Over here we have Value Added Tax at 17.5% on both goods and services – as well as income tax! – to pay for our membership of the EU and subsidise French farmers.

          Choose your vendor or tradesman well and you’ll get a good ten percent reduction for a cash deal that both of you know isn’t going past the tax man either for VAT or income tax. With income-based tax, the fraud is only perpetrated by the tradesman.

          The “black economy” in the UK is at well over ten percent of GDP. Italy, Greece, Spain and other Mediterranean EU nations are at around thirty percent. I think that the US comes in below ten percent.

          You’re either more honest or your tax system is better policed.

        • #3046152

          On the VAT and Tax Evasion (cash economy)

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Anything off for cash, mate?

          .
          I cut and pasted these answers from the FairTax Web Site:

          What about value-added taxes (VATs), like they have in Europe and Canada? Are they not consumption taxes?

          While VATs are also consumption taxes, and better than income taxes, the FairTax is not a VAT. A VAT works very differently. It taxes every stage of production. It is much more complex, and is typically hidden from the retail consumer. Second, in industrialized countries that have a VAT, it coexists with high-rate income tax, payroll and many other taxes that, in some instances, have led to marginal tax rates as high as 70 percent. Third, all other industrialized countries, except Australia and Japan, have a much larger tax burden than the U.S., which requires higher rates and makes tax administration much more difficult. Lastly, a VAT is a lobbyist?s dream, allowing them to install their loopholes unbeknownst to the purchaser. A retail sales tax, in contrast, is a lobbyist?s nightmare, applied as it is under the bright lights of the retail counter.

          Does the FairTax improve compliance and reduce evasion when compared to the current income tax?

          The old aphorism that nothing is certain except death and taxes should be modified to include tax evasion. Tax evasion is chronic under any system so complex as to be incomprehensible. As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), tax evasion is beyond 2.0 percent, compared to 1.6 percent in 1991. Tax evasion continues to be in the range of one quarter of income taxes collected. Almost 40 percent of the public, according to the IRS, is out of compliance with the present tax system, mostly unintentionally due to the enormous complexity of the present system. These IRS figures do not include taxes lost on illegal sources of income with a criminal economy estimated at a trillion dollars. All this, despite a major enforcement effort and assessment of tens of millions of civil penalties on American taxpayers in an effort to force compliance with the tax system. Disrespect for the tax system and the law has reached dangerous levels and makes a system based on taxpayer self-assessment less and less viable.

          The FairTax reduces rather than increases the problem of tax evasion. The increased fairness, transparency, and legitimacy of the system will induce more compliance. The roughly 90-percent reduction in filers enables tax administrators more narrowly and effectively to address non-compliance and increases the likelihood of tax evasion discovery. The relative simplicity of the FairTax promotes compliance. Businesses need answer only one question to determine the tax due: How much was sold to consumers? Finally, because tax rates decrease, tax evasion is less profitable; and because of the dramatic reduction in the number of tax filers, tax evaders will be more easily monitored and caught under the FairTax system.

          ———-

          Next question, please.

          (I love it when all the questions are already answered on the very site I suggested everybody visit. It saves me a lot of typing!)

        • #3046145

          Damn ! I gave up on the FAQs at around 40

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to On the VAT and Tax Evasion (cash economy)

          and your cut and paste came in at 45.

          Slapped down again… :p

        • #3044249

          Faqs

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Damn ! I gave up on the FAQs at around 40

          Nothing wrong with faqs. the more questions, the more interest.

        • #3044148

          Of course

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Faqs

          but do excuse me if I’m occasionally too busy to read [b]all[/b] of the FAQs for a theoretical tax system for a foreign country…Gripping though the subject matter might be!

          It’s much easier to occasionally look an idiot when posting. I can live with it, anyway!

          😀

        • #3045505

          hey neilb

          by jck ·

          In reply to Anything off for cash, mate?

          First of all: good to see you.

          Second, just to let you know not every American tourist is a cheap-ass bastard:

          When I was in Ireland getting ready to depart, I had customs ask me if I had anything to declare or a VAT form to submit for tax relief. I asked “Relief?” The customs agent told me I could submit receipts and get my VAT back on items I’d purchased in Ireland.

          I looked at him and laughed and said “If it’s what supports the system to keep Ireland the way it is, I don’t want my VAT back.”

          Personally, I pay all my taxes and don’t try to cheat anyone. It’s bad enough the wealthy and corporates get all the loopholes they do. If those didn’t exist, the whole world would be better off.

        • #3045503

          Tipping, Taxes et al

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to hey neilb

          I thought Canadians had the reputation for being cheap ass non/low tippers.

          I don’t try to cheat on my taxes, but I do take all the breaks I am entitled to – why shouldn’t I – I presume everyone else will. The fact that some rich guy can take advantage of more breaks, and sillier breaks than me, thats the problem.

          James

        • #3045500

          cheapest tippers I’ve ever seen

          by jck ·

          In reply to Tipping, Taxes et al

          here in the USA:

          a) the wealthy
          b) the elderly
          c) some foreign tourists (Canadian, German, in particular)

          I have watched it all…from high-end clubs in South Beach to Cracker Barrel restaurants on interstate frontage roads.

          I do have to say…the English and Irish tend to not only tip better in the USA, but are more polite as customers.

          BTW, James…all those old geezers that come from Quebec to FL to spend winter…70% of them I’d shoot if it was legal…rude rude rude…think they own the state because they’re spending money here and the literally will demand your attention even if you’re with another customer.

          “Those tourists…God-d*mned tourists…” – Burt “Bubba Whoop-ass” Wilson

        • #3045482

          Funny that

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to cheapest tippers I’ve ever seen

          In Quebec, if you have a Parisian accent, they think you are a snob. Many of the French teachers in Ontario are from France – hilarity ensues..

          There was a great movie (in english) about those Quebecois tourists in FL. It was about two Quebecois motel owners in FL trying to steal each others Quebecois customers and put each other out of business. Its a comedy if you hadn’t guessed.

          I am very meek as a customer -not at all demanding, tip 15 %, more if the service is excellent. My wife used to be a waitress and can’t help but order substitutions and stuff off the menu – I usually cringe and tip extra to compensate.

          Of course I could tell you stories of the ugly Americans visiting the historic heart of Quebec City – the walled part with some building still standing from 1630(earlier buildings were made but crumbled). I was in the city for a week, and immersed in French. Loving all the great restaurants, the museums, art etc. Along comes some American tourists – remember I haven’t spoke a word of English in 5 days. They ask in a whiny drawl if I can tell them where the McDonalds is (and sadly there is one in the old city). I reflexively replied “Je ne sais pas”(“I don’t know” in English).

          The biggest influx of tourists in Toronto is around Caribana – about a million or so. I try not to be downtown at that point – not because they aren’t nice and polite, but because I just don’t want to be around that many people. Driving down the parade route the next day it looks like a disaster zone.

          James

        • #3045473

          jck – Blowing Smoke AGAIN!

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to cheapest tippers I’ve ever seen

          .
          Other than your own extremely limited, unscientific, and totally baseless observations in your little corner of the world, what in the world can you provide to support your claim that Americans are more impolite and worse tippers than the English or any other nationality?

          It was easy to find something to refute your silly assertions.

          Contrary to what you claim, the English and the Irish are the WORST, not the best. And Americans are the BEST, not the worst.

          You have it bass-ackwards.

          Cut-and-pasted:

          Britons are the rudest, meanest and worst-behaved holidaymakers in the world, according to a new survey. The research, by online travel service Expedia, also found that British tourists make the least effort to speak the local language.

          Germans were the most popular holiday makers, followed by Americans – who also give the biggest tips. British tourists are joined at the bottom of the league by those from Israel and Ireland.

          Americans were judged the most courteous and the British the rudest, alongside the Russians and Canadians. (Canadians rude? Well, we have our Oz_Man to show that’s true.)

          But the Germans did not perform well in the spending and tipping stakes and were described as the meanest nation – closely followed by the British. The big spenders were the Americans, then the Japanese and Russians.

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2137729.stm

          And my source is the BBC!

          Man-oh-man. People sure do blow a lot of smoke around here.

        • #3044247

          typical Max

          by jck ·

          In reply to cheapest tippers I’ve ever seen

          I know this guy who wrote about going to live with God via alien spaceships too.

          Maybe you’d like a black workout suit and some Nikes and to shave your head? I guess since he wrote that, he’s right?

          You put too much faith in writings without using analysis and common sense to verify it.

          Every English person I’ve ever met here in the states who is on holida tips at a bar or restaurant because they see it as the “norm” here, where as tipping is not the de facto standard in England.

          And, they tend to be more courteous and socially polite in public establishments and don’t get all loud and obnoxious and are respectful of other peoples’ dining experience.

          Also, I’d like to point out…my post was about what *I* have seen. I didn’t puff it up to be a scientific analysis of cross-border economics amongst various international citizens groups.

          Stop your antagonization and trying to make yourself look smart by twisting words, Max. It might work at your job, but you haven’t fooled anyone here.

        • #3044237

          oh I know, James

          by jck ·

          In reply to cheapest tippers I’ve ever seen

          American tourists a lot of the time are either ignorantly obnoxious (raising their voice thinking it will make their language better when speaking a foreign language) to absurdly rude (having the same lack-of-manners they have when they’re at home).

          In fact, I’ve travelled with buddies before that I won’t travel with again simple because of their lack of manners, inability to say thank you when served a meal or a pint, their lack of dignity (stealing towels and pillows and stuff from hotels), etc.

          And while I was in Ireland, I met 3 Americans who were there on vacation who were rude and uncaring as to what the laws and customs were there. And no, they weren’t travelling together. And, I bet they poop their pants whenever someone comes stateside and acts a bit not to their liking.

          I know there’s a bad lot in every country, but I spend over 200 hours in Ireland and I met not *1* rude person…even on the streets of Dublin where I spent almost a week.

          If I could do that here in the USA without being in an area under 100,000 people I’d be amazed.

        • #3044084

          I make sport. . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to cheapest tippers I’ve ever seen

          .
          ….out of showing jck to be wrong. And it’s an easy one at that!

          Lighten up, jck. Can’t you take a little friendly ribbing? I guess not.

        • #3044997

          little ribbing

          by jck ·

          In reply to cheapest tippers I’ve ever seen

          It would be one thing to rib.

          If you want banter, I’ll sling mud with you.

          I actually thought you were trying to attempt being credible.

          I thought wrong…I’m sorry…I freely admit I was mistaken.

          Back to coding for me. 2 moderate-sized software projects rolled out in less than one year single-handedly…not bad for a dummy, eh?

          And one of them is an financial expense system.

        • #3044988

          Actually, jck – it was a great opportunity. . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to cheapest tippers I’ve ever seen

          .
          ….to ALSO take a “friendly poke” at our “very rude and very cheap” British and Canadian friends. And from the BBC, no less. I’ve heard so much “bash-America” banter from those guys, that it was satisfying to throw a little back at them.

          Neil? Oz? You “rude cheapskates”. What do you have to say for yourselves?

        • #3044940

          Mostly deserved, Max

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to cheapest tippers I’ve ever seen

          Certainly Florida – and probably the rest of the US – would, I guess, get the “best” type of British tourist, i.e. families with children. You can speak our language (nearly) and we don’t have to eat “foreign muck” and can get good English foods like hamburgers and apple pie (though not with custard, for shame). Most of us tip well because we’ve heard of the starvation wages that your waitrons get and we try and help keep them alive because (compared to a UK barmaid or waitress) they are so bloody [b]nice[/b]. This is [b]major[/b] culture shock on any Brit’s first visit, by the way – nice waitresses!

          Some parts of Spain, alas, get a large number of another type of family tourist from my home country. Shout loudly in English, demand English food and English beer and don’t have enough sense to get out of the sun. For our recent family holiday in Spain, my brother packed a pound of English bacon! Me? I speak some Spanish, [b]like[/b] octopus and chorizo and the rest of the family would only eat out with me if I promised not to “show off” or order anything too strange!

          A third type of English tourist is the horde of twenty-something singles who flock to certain resorts in Greece and have drunken sex behind every palm tree, throw up, drink more and have sex again. Waaaa! I’m too old…

          They would never go to the states ‘cos the beer’s piss!

          Like most times, the BBC are right although it’s a bit mean of the Med countries to mark us down because they certainly make enough money out of us!

          Neil 😀

        • #3116565

          the problem

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Tipping, Taxes et al

          is the over-use of the word ‘entitled’. In this world, you are ‘entitled’ to draw a breath every three seconds or so, that’s it. Everything else is gravy.

        • #3045478

          Reply To: I Hate Democrats

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to hey neilb

          How do you know if someone is wealthy?

        • #3045481

          How is it hard to police?

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Anything off for cash, mate?

          A merchant sells something, he collects the tax. if he doesn’t, it will be discovered at inventory time! If it’s not discovered, someone isn’t doing their job, and that person can be identified at every step. I’m truly sorry that Europe doesn’t know how to collect sales tax. Perhaps if you went to a pure sales tax system, you could add the income tax enforcers to the police roles and find out why.

        • #3044097

          Obviously not quite so easy to police…

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to How is it hard to police?

          else such fraud would not happen. Although VAT is not a simple sales tax, for the final item or service, it acts in much the same way.

          Certainly, when what is sold is an intangible service by an individual trader or a dishonest employee of a small company, there is the opportunity for that service to be hidden from official scrutiny and the tax on that is thus lost.

          Sorry that were all not quite as honest as you guys – or maybe we’re just not that bright.

        • #3115695

          Reply To: I Hate Democrats

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Obviously not quite so easy to police…

          “Certainly, when what is sold is an intangible service by an individual trader or a dishonest employee of a small company, there is the opportunity for that service to be hidden from official scrutiny and the tax on that is thus lost.”

          So what’s the dishonest employee going to do with the money? The same as bank robbers, drug dealers and prostitutes do now…. buy stuff. Then the tax will be paid.

          There will always be theft and other frauds, but under an income tax system, none of it is recovered, whereas under a sales tax system, at least some of it is.

        • #3045441

          A Challenge for “fair tax” Proponents

          by thechas ·

          In reply to The FairTax plan

          I challenge ALL of you who believe you would be so much better off under the unfair tax to test your theory.

          For 3 months, keep track of ALL of your spending.

          If you carry a balance on your credit cards, include the interest portion of the payment.
          Same for home equity loans used for new purchases.
          (This is because your balance would be 23% higher for the same expenditures, not because interest would be taxed.)

          If you are paying for a new car, or lease a new car, include that.

          If you bought your home new, include the principle and interest. But not the escrow.

          Don’t forget all those little cash purchases. Candy, pop, coffee.

          Now, total all of that up, and multiple it by 0.23 then again by 4.

          Compare that to your net tax burden from last year AFTER subtracting your refund.

          If you do this right, and capture ALL of your spending that would be subject here is what I predict you will discover:

          If you earn over $200,000 a year, you will come out WAY better under the unfair tax.

          If you earn under $50,000, even with the rebate, you will be paying a lot more in tax under the unfair tax.

          If you earn between $75,000 and $150,000, those who are very frugal will come out ahead.
          Those that work to impress the neighbors will come out far worse under the unfair tax.

          Chas

        • #3045420

          Prove it

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to A Challenge for “fair tax” Proponents

          .
          Prove what you claim. Like I said, “deep end” and “sad”.

        • #3115682

          yes, no, and so?

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to A Challenge for “fair tax” Proponents

          “If you earn over $200,000 a year, you will come out WAY better under the unfair tax.”

          As you should!!!! It’s called the fruits of your labor!

          Why should someone be penalized for achievment?

          I simply don’t grasp the mindset that desires one person to be allowed to take by force what someone else worked for.

          “If you earn under $50,000, even with the rebate, you will be paying a lot more in tax under the unfair tax.”

          Not really. You’re paying it now, you just don’t realize you’re paying it now. Can you really not see that?

    • #3045119

      Oh Maxwell

      by stress junkie ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing that we discussed a couple of weekends ago? And didn’t you say that you don’t prejudge entire groups of people? And didn’t puppybreath agree that you aren’t bigoted?

      I suppose you’re going to say that this is an obvious bit of sarcasm and that you really don’t hate all Democrats.

      • #3045117

        Of course I’m going to say that this is an obvious bit of sarcasm

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Oh Maxwell

        .
        That’s why my first sentence was, ” Okay, I got your attention.”

        Of course, you (and others) can certainly choose to believe whatever you’d like. But I was expecting that as well.

        • #3046073

          You could have said………….

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Of course I’m going to say that this is an obvious bit of sarcasm

          The only Democrat you can trust is a dead one and even then drive a stake through his heart to make sure.

          [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

        • #3046058

          Oh sure

          by puppybreath ·

          In reply to You could have said………….

          We type something like that and we’re either chastised for killing old growth forests or rain forests depending on what wood we use for the stake. Talk about a no-win scenario……

        • #3046052

          No, not at all. I don’t want. . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to You could have said………….

          .
          ….I don’t want them dead. I just want them to leave me and my property, my income, my family, my future, etc. alone.

          What’s mine is mine, and what’s theirs is theirs. That sounds like a good deal to me.

          But to Democrats, what’s theirs is theirs, and what’s mine is theirs to do with as they see fit.

    • #3046050

      Ayn Rand Rationalism

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      Being a Libertarian Rationalist, I would point out that all politicians actions are designed to get them elected back into office.

      Both the Democrats and Republicans pander to their political base, no matter if it is the “Welfare Mother” or the “Fire-and-Brimstone Religious Sect” and whatever is in between.

      The only way to fix the system is to have term limits. We’ve had them for Presidents for many years.

      Frankly, far too many people are concerned with the way others live their lives and far too neglectful of their own.

      • #3046046

        I, too, am a Libertarian Rationalist. . . . .

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Ayn Rand Rationalism

        .
        But term limits is not the answer, at least in my opinion.

        I believe that a constitutional amendment prohibiting, or at least severely restricting, transfer of wealth programs is the answer. And while we’re at it, we obviously need something more to protect the private property rights of American citizens. The power of eminent domain has been running amok, and the property tax-codes have, in essence, severely restricted or denied the full and out-right ownership of property. And don’t even get me started on the right to pass property onto one’s heirs.

        We are a nation of laws, not of men. And the way to fix what’s broken is with laws, since men have shown they can’t be entrusted with such things (“men” in the generic sense, of course).

      • #3122728

        term limit panacea

        by absolutely ·

        In reply to Ayn Rand Rationalism

        Passing more laws that govern only politicians would not only not reduce corruption and pandering to the most depraved political causes of the least rational voters, it is also consistent with the premise that the solution to [b]every[/b] political problem is creation of another law. The only way to fix the system is to establish that progressive [and regressive] tax codes contradict the belief that all men are created equal and that nobody is entitled to receive money from the government, because the government exists to protect the liberty of all citizens, not to substitute for the responsibility of any to provide for themselves.

    • #3046049

      Dear Maxwell

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      In the recent few months we’ve noticed a dismaying tendency for you to go around thinking for yourself and making decisions that affect your life. While we applaud your bravery, I and your duly elected nanny feel that your selfish actions are impinging on our potential livelihood. To this end we are now enacting new legislation where you will be lobotomised and then will have your free will chemically inhibited in order to further the altruistic ambitions of your commercially appointed political masters.

      Yours sincerely
      Mr DP Trough

      YOUR duly elected representative of vested interests.

      Seriously why single out democrats, they are all as bad as each other, their lips move in time with their excretions.

      • #3046045

        I am truly sorry. . . . .

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Dear Maxwell

        .
        …..if my sense of self-responsibility is infringing on your potential livelihood. Perhaps I should get two more jobs so I can properly support you. (Sarcasm answered with sarcasm, of course.)

        And as you’ve noticed, if you’ve read the rest of my messages, I don’t single-out Democrats. (It was a headline intended to grab attention.) In fact, if there’s one thing about President Bush with which I am profoundly disappointed, it’s his dismal failure to use his pulpit to advance the cause of true conservatism, such as in the mold of Barry Goldwater, or to a lesser extent, Ronald Reagan.

        We need someone to lead the charge. Someone who can properly articulate and illustrate how deep into socialism America has fallen, and how it will ultimately be our undoing. We need someone with the savvy and charisma of John F. Kennedy, and the ideals of Barry Goldwater.

        Perhaps someone like ……. Maxwell Edison?

        • #3046006

          Socialism, nah

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I am truly sorry. . . . .

          I am a socialist, not a commie, not a f’ing liberal, not a damn tree hugger but a died in the wool born and bred socialist.

          Don’t listen to what they say they are look at what they do. They’ll either perpetuate the welfare state or pretend we don’t need one.

          Neither outlook has any conception of long term consequences. As far as I’m concerned at the moment we do need a welfare state, and that we can’t afford (literally and figuratively) to keep on needing it. So if a decision they make increases the need for a welfare state and nearly all of them do, it’s not in our interests, therefore it can only have happened, through ignorance, outright stupidity or self interest.

          Personally I’m going with all three.

        • #3043683

          Max for President? If not Max, then Herman Cain

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to I am truly sorry. . . . .

          You might be a good President. However, if you can’t get the support to mount a successful campaign, how about this guy:

          http://www.hermancain.com/

          Herman Cain is a true conservative. He supports the Fair Tax, wants less government and lower taxes. I suggest you read his book “They Think You’re Stupid”, where he discusses where both major parties went wrong and what needs to be done instead. His experience is in the real world, a son of a chauffer and janitor who worked his way up the corporate ladder in Pillsbury and Godfather’s Pizza, to the top. And he has a degree in Computer Science, so he is a “geek” like us. 🙂

          His list “You might be a Liberal” is right on target:
          http://www.hermancain.com/liberal.asp

        • #3043667

          If Max wants to be a politician all he

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Max for President? If not Max, then Herman Cain

          has to do is sell out like the rest of them. As much as I disgagree with him, it would be disappointing if he lost all that ‘moral’ rectitude and became a commercialised brown nose flunky. I wouldn’t have to pay any attention to what he say’s then.

        • #3043646

          I would never “sell out” on my principles

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to If Max wants to be a politician all he

          .
          I might only be a one-termer because of it — or maybe even get shot because of my style and painful honesty. (Speak my mind regardless, kind of honesty, that is — as well as the other kind, of course.) But there’s absolutely no way I would “sell out” on my principles. If I ever did run, and if I ever did win, I’d make the most out of it. I wouldn’t run to join the status quo club. I’d run to make some drastic changes, and if nothing else, some drastic changes in at least the dialogue.

          However, that’s the very thing that would probably lead to my defeat. The voters all want something from somebody. And all I would promise to give them is less of what they’ve been expecting in the past.

          Imagine this at a campaign stop. I ask for a volunteer from the audience. “Give me a dollar”, I would say. The person would then give me that dollar, and I would ask, “Did you earn this dollar?” The person, of course, would answer in the affirmative. I’d then I’d ask for another volunteer. “Did you earn this dollar”, I would ask the second volunteer? No, would be the answer. I’d rip the dollar in half, put half of it in my pocket, and give the other half to that second volunteer.

          “That’s what kind of government we’ve had for the past fifty years. One that takes a dollar from the person who earned it, and gives it to a person who did not — keeping a little for itself, of course. And if that’s the kind of government you want to continue to have, vote for my opponent. But if you want a government that will protect your right to assume self-responsibility, and allow you to keep more of what you earn so you can take that self-responsibility, then I’m your guy.”

          Nope, I’d never get elected. Too many “takers” would be in the audience. Besides, one of them would be a Democrat Party undercover operative, and try to make hay over my ripping the dollar. (Isn’t that illegal?) Maybe I’d have to use Monopoly money to further illustrate the game they’ve been playing.

        • #3046166

          Tear the national currency in half

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I would never “sell out” on my principles

          unpatriotic. Even worse if you do it with a tax dollar you’ve just pissed on all the hard work and effort that went into

          ….

          collecting it.
          What you should do is keep both dollars, give them a nickel a piece and then question their morality and patriotism when they don’t thank you for this largesse.

        • #3131804

          Greenspan just did this here

          by dr dij ·

          In reply to Tear the national currency in half

          all our dollars are now worth half what they were in 1980 due to wonderful efforts of Greenspan to print money to ‘prime the pump’, and to keep big govt spending without raising taxes (which they did also) or borrowing from our grandchildren by increasing the national debt (which they went all out on)

          It gets better: now ben bernanke will be in the office. his official policy? to not care about inflation, despite it hitting the poor who have harder time getting raises, and those on fixed incomes the hardest. Way to go to increase the rich/poor divide, US Govt!!

          To the debt drunken US economy: we’ll give you more of what caused your problem, to avoid a hangover.

        • #3132360

          Dr Dij – If Greenspan did all that…..

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Tear the national currency in half

          .
          ….could you give us a brief explanation about how the federal reserve determines the supply of dollars, inasmuch as how much is printed, when it’s printed, how it relates to the GDP, and how it’s balanced with the desire to control both inflation and deflation; and specifically what did Greenspan do that violated the rules of economics, as you outlined, that drives the economy?

        • #3132269

          Pitying the poor Dij?

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Tear the national currency in half

          What have they done for you besides relieve you of money you earned, via Welfare and Social Security taxes? You do know you’ll never see a penny of either yourself, right?

        • #3043662

          I would want to start out in the U.S. House of Representatives

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Max for President? If not Max, then Herman Cain

          .
          Actually, I might seriously consider looking into it in about 8 years. (Consider looking into it? What the heck does that mean?)

          My campaign would be different than the standard crap you see, and I do believe I could at least cause some people to sit up and take notice of some things.

          It might be tough to win my district, but I think I could. And if I could just get one term, just one…….

          But president? No, I don’t think so. However, with a big enough splash, and making enough waves, one never knows, does one? The next revolution, after all, might just be right around the corner……

          You say you want a revolution
          Well you know
          We all want to change the world
          You tell me that it’s evolution
          Well you know
          We all want to change the world
          But when you talk about destruction
          Don’t you know you can count me out

          Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
          Alright, alright

          You say you got a real solution
          Well you know
          We don’t love to see the plan
          You ask me for a contribution
          Well you know
          We’re doing what we can
          But if you want money for people with minds that hate
          All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

          Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
          Alright, alright, al…

          You say you’ll change the constitution
          Well you know
          We all want to change your head
          You tell me it’s the institution
          Well you know
          You better free your mind instead
          But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
          You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

          Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright
          Alright, alright

          Alright, alright
          Alright, alright
          Alright, alright
          Alright, alright

        • #3045477

          personally

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to I would want to start out in the U.S. House of Representatives

          I think the political system is set up wrong. Representatives shouldn’t be elected, they should be drawn from the jury pool 🙂

        • #3116951

          Yeah, I can think of some Representatives I want drawn…

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to personally

          …and quartered, that is!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    • #3046034

      You should call your article “I hate the government”

      by av . ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      Both parties are responsible for the state of our government. It is a disgrace.

      I feel just like you Maxwell (shudder). I don’t like intrusive, expensive government, but I am willing to give my fair share. It is hardly fair right now, to say the least.

      You’re an American though, so you can choose not to listen to the government on most of your gripes. You still have to pay like the rest of us and ,oh, they can still take your property if they want it (bad news for us all).

      Personally, I am totally disgusted with our government. There is arrogance of power, no integrity, no morals and greed and deception beyond belief. They are supposed to be representing the people. Instead, they represent their own interests and we are all paying.

      There are truly needy people in this country. One look at New Orleans really shows that our government, with all of the money we give it, doesn’t take care of its own. Don’t get me started on FEMA. Where is that money going? Someone’s pocket.

      If I have to pay my fair share, and I do, I want to see some truth in government, no matter what party. We do need some form of government, but somehow I think we elected Gods instead. They are a little too self-important to be the public servants I had in mind.

      • #3045767

        Need to spread the blame

        by m_a_r_k ·

        In reply to You should call your article “I hate the government”

        It’s not just the political parties or the “government”. It’s the whole political system that feeds on itself to cause greed, deception and waste. It’s probably one of hte evils of a democracy. On most policy issues, my guess would be that a few members of the Senate or the House feel strongly against it or for it, and all the rest don’t give a rip. So they vote one way or another based on what kind of influence they can gain on some issue that they do feel strongly about. It’s one of those, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch my back” scenarios. Do you think a Congressman from Alaska cares more about New Orleans levees or the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge? Remember that we still have a government of, by and for the people. So we are a little bit responsible too. Why do we keep re-electing those greedy, immoral, deceptive politicians? We want to throw the corrupt, greedy, immoral, deceptive politicians out only if those politicians are not representing our own state or congressional district.

        • #3043595

          I have to agree that the entire system is corrupt

          by av . ·

          In reply to Need to spread the blame

          I just don’t know how it can ever be fixed as long as there is pay to play and I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. Big money runs our government and it is no longer serving the people, its serving big business and special interest groups.

          I don’t know if there are many honest politicians left. Do they start out corrupt or become corrupt because of the system? I think its similar to “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”.

          I think that integrity is missing from politicians today. They do it for the power and money. They lie, cheat and do whatever they have to, to move into politics and attain power.

          We allow them to exist. People don’t vote and don’t bother to know anything about who they vote for. It makes it hell for the rest of us.

        • #3046190

          Funding PACs and interest groups

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Need to spread the blame

          You will excuse the view of an outsider.

          The largest problem I see in US politics has nothing to do with the party in power. It has to do with interest groups, PACs (Political Action Committees), gerimandering (messing around with electoral boundaries for partisan reasons) and pork. Neither party can claim innocence in these matters.

          I see totally nonsensical additions to bills like defense appropriations which serve to strip out money needed for equipment and give it to non defense related projects in someone’s home district, in return for their support on the bill. I see politicians gaining most of their political campiagn funds from PACs, who most definately rent if not buy votes.

          I think a Congressman from Alaska could care as much about a New Orleans levee if he didn’t have to spend every waking minute campaigning for re-election and plumping for pork and pleasing the PACs that support him.

          What does Canada do different? Tighter campaign spending limits. No PACs. Limited funds from any one individual. Soon to be total elimination of funds from corporations and unions. Longer terms(often 5 years) to spend more time governing and less time campaigning. Bills that can’t be amended except with relevant amendments. Less ability to gerimander the boundaries of electoral districts(decided by judges, not politicians)

          I am not for a moment saying the Canadian system is scandal free, perfect or not in need of reforms. Both countries should take a long hard look. We get the government we deserve, and if we are apathetic, we get bad government.

          James

        • #3046127

          I think you’ve hit the nail on the head

          by av . ·

          In reply to Funding PACs and interest groups

          PACs and special interest groups should not be allowed to affect a campaign with their money or propaganda. The same goes for big business. Canada is outlawing contributions from corporations? I didn’t know that, but its a great idea. Unfortunately for us in the US and as long as GWB is President, it will never happen here.

          Its unfortunate that Americans are so apathetic about their government. I can’t understand the attitude, especially after 9/11 and the Iraq war.

          I think Canada is on the right track, but is it because people push for the changes or the people in power are more focused on making the government work instead of their own gain?

        • #3116548

          Agreed

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Funding PACs and interest groups

          FairTax would put a big dent in some of it. So would the line item veto.

    • #3046031

      Also . . .

      by av . ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      On the title of your article “I Hate Democrats”, you said it was just to get our attention, but you also said “And to all the Democrats:” suggesting that regardless of what you said before, you think that the Democrats are the cause of your problems.

      Admit it. You’re a Democrataphobic. Don’t say a word about the Republican part in our misery. Its hard to miss. Its in the news everyday. Pick your subject. Hurricane Katrina? Michael Brown and FEMA. The CIA leak case. Tom Delay. Bill Frist. Harriet Miers?

    • #3046003

      Don’t See It

      by thechas ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      Max,

      I see many more threats to the items on your list from the Christian Evangelical right than I see from Democrats and other Liberals. At least as far as “personal” freedoms are concerned.

      Your hero GWB and his “No Child Left Behind” along with the Texas State Board of Education have more impact on what your kids are taught in school than any group of Democrats have.

      One could make a solid case that Bill Clinton and the 90’s Democrats had a significantly greater degree of fiscal and fiduciary responsibility than GWB and the present crop of Republican Congressmen.

      Sorry, the right is a MUCH greater threat to personal freedoms than the left.

      Chas

      • #3043637

        No Child Left Behind . . . . .

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Don’t See It

        .
        ….was pretty much written by Ted Kennedy.

        http://www.nea.org/newsreleases/2004/nr040913.html

        Besides, there you go again, stating some vague innuendo, and basing a false conclusion in it. Give some specifics. What exactly are you talking about?

        And which items on my list are being threatened by the “Christian Evangelical right”, whoever they are?

        How to educate my kids is one you’ll probably cite. Well, the “Christian Evangelical right”, whoever they are, don’t want to tell you or me how to educate our kids, but they don’t want to be told how to educate theirs either. They may want to have prayer in their school, while you may not want it in yours. Your idea is to have a one school fits all, but to deny them their prayer. Their idea (and mine as well) is to have true choice and competition in public schools, so a person can actually choose the education they feel is appropriate for their own kids. The “Christian Evangelical right”, whoever they are, would support school vouchers to facilitate school choice; you left-wing control freaks do not.

        But go ahead, be specific. Which items on my list are threatened by the “Christian Evangelical right”? And just who in the heck are they? And remember, be specific.

        • #3046308

          There’s many cases, Max

          by jck ·

          In reply to No Child Left Behind . . . . .

          The “Christian Evangelical right” has also been pushing school systems all across the country for years to eliminate any educational premise that doesn’t conform to the “Word of God”, e.g.- Darwin’s evolutional theories. So, they are trying to tell you what to teach your children and what to expose your children to.

          My specific example: In Oklahoma in the late 1970s when I was a child at school, the Southern Baptist Convention was pressing hard for schools in many states to focus on teachings aligned with religiously-based foundations for creationism, rather than scientific evolutionary proof. I grew up in the “Bible Belt” of the south, so I know what I’m talking about when it comes to this.

          And, it is still happening to this day across the country. Prayer in school, religious depictions of holidays, etc. But, wanting to exclude religious practices other than those of Christian faiths, e.g.- in my hometown, there were Jewish kids in my school, yet we never learned about Jewish holidays in school…only the Christian version of Christmas and Jesus.

          They also were trying to dictate morality in telling school systems where I lived by saying that it was wrong to have school dances because, according to the Southern Baptist Convention, it was an abomination against the Lord unless you were dancing in His “Glory”.

          And in fact, the First Baptist Church in my hometown single-handedly managed to cause a Kroger store to close (through patron intimidation and members of their church being on every city board) because they were selling beer in a grocery store and that was “immoral” according to their pastor. So, there’s your religious right interfering in business as well and telling people how to live (legal adults couldn’t get beer at a retail grocery establishment because of religious influence).

          Hence, the “Christian Evangelical right” (whom aligns themselves so closely to the Republican party and to whom the Republican party caters to most for votes) is trying to dictate morality in schools, homes, and workplaces. Hence, their effect is going to be felt most through Republican-led initiatives within society, since it is the Republicans who are expected to “pay back” those religious campaign supporters via initiatives in legislation that give power to their religious causes.

          As for “school choice” with vouchers…the right doesn’t want “to have true choice and competition in public schools”. They want school vouchers to help pay for them to send their kids to the private school of their choice. Plain and simple.

          And let’s not get confused here:

          Private schools are NOT public schools. And if you are not happy with the education your children receive in the public system, you have a right to CHOOSE to send them to a private school at your cost which will teach them what you find best. And, the right WAS pushing lawmakers to make it legal for school vouchers to be used to fund private educations. That was happening in Florida where I live.

          Anyways…the church tries to interfere and they’re not absolved simply because they consider themselves of the highest moral calibre.

          So with my examples, they (the Christian right) are guilty of trying to tell people what their kids should learn, what extracirricular activities their children should attend, where they should spend their money, and on what they should spend it…all based on their own faith.

          And for they in the religious right to assert their religious beliefs on others, through intimidation or legal code, is a violation of those other peoples’ right to freedom of religion.

        • #3046276

          Think about what you wrote for a minute

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to There’s many cases, Max

          [i]”And in fact, the First Baptist Church in my hometown single-handedly managed to cause a Kroger store to close (through patron intimidation and members of their church being on every city board) because they were selling beer in a grocery store and that was “immoral” according to their pastor. So, there’s your religious right interfering in business as well and telling people how to live (legal adults couldn’t get beer at a retail grocery establishment because of religious influence).”[/i]
          A community and the people living there have a right to establish what they feel are community standards. If you don’t like what a business is doing, you vote with your pocketbook like they did. The same thing happens when you try to open a nudie joint in the same area as a school. Adults are barred from going doing that because of community standards. You don’t like it, you need to get more people to support your side. That is how our country works and you know it.

          [i]”As for “school choice” with vouchers…the right doesn’t want “to have true choice and competition in public schools”. They want school vouchers to help pay for them to send their kids to the private school of their choice. Plain and simple.”[/i]
          If I am paying tax dollars for education, if I chose (and I did) to have my kids raised with a school of my choise that has a Christian value system, MY tax dollars should be directed to where MY kids attend, the same as if I move them from one district to another. This IS the point of vouchers that not all of us want our kids to become the future pagans of the world and believe a moral base helps to raise a moral person. It is our RIGHT. If the schools get money based on enrollment, how is this taking anything away from the public school systems? Answer, it isn’t. That is just another of the many LIES told by the corrupt and unethical Teachers Union and the foaming at the mouth “Progressive liberals” who want a godless society with no standards or judgements on behavior of any sort.

          This is the same as what the “Christian right” is doing, but that is different somehow? EVERYONE has the right to try to shape this country into what we think it should be and yes, Christians do have the same rights that you and the progressive liberals do, whether you want to admit it or not.

          Your freedom FROM religion does not trump someone elses freedom OF religion. Your only protection is there will not be a “state mandated” religion, not that you will never be exposed to someone elses religion. You are way off on this (again).

        • #3046263

          I’ll concede. . . . .Will You?

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to There’s many cases, Max

          .
          Okay, I’ll concede that I don’t want the “Christian Right” telling people how to ___________ (fill in the blank) either.

          Therefore what?

          The bottom line is that I don’t think ANYBODY should try to force anyone else to live, to work, to educate, to whatever in a manner that’s inconsistent with their preferences and/or values. I don’t care if it’s a right-wing bible thumping evangelist, or a left-wing atheist, or anyone in-between.

          Do we agree on that point?

          And on the public schools versus private schools.

          I PAY for the public schools, whether I use them or not. And the point being is that if I am being forced to pay for the public school system, I should at least have a choice as to which school I use and/or what they teach. And don’t suggest that if I want to implement change, I run for the school board. I might want to change it in a way that’s inconsistent with another’s preference, and vice-versa. Moreover, the public school system is controlled by the teachers’ union; and the teachers’ union is in lock-step with the Democrat Party. In fact, the biggest and most powerful lobby group in Washington is the teachers’ union. And they continually support the Democrat Party, Democrat candidates, and the Democrat Party agenda. I don’t want to use that system, and I don’t want to pay for that system. The public school system has become more and more about politics, and less and less about education.

          Sure, it’s my choice to pay for private schools, but that doesn’t make it right, because I’m being forced to pay for the public schools as well. My “bottom line” is that the money should stay with the kid. After all, schools are for kids, so let’s fund the kids, per se, not the schools — schools you may or may not agree with, by the way. If the money follows the kids, school choice for all will be the result.

          I find it ironic that those on the left side of the political spectrum advance “choice” when it concerns a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have a child, but they want to deny that woman the “choice” when it comes to educating her child.

          By the way, I do choose to pay for private school. So right now, I pay for both, but benefit from only one.

        • #3045648

          I would not go as far as that

          by jck ·

          In reply to I’ll concede. . . . .Will You?

          I won’t say that I don’t want *ANYBODY* telling me my preferences…that’s a bit generic.

          I think that the courts should establish a base of conduct that is amiable to all persons holding citizenship here and non-infringing on anyone’s rights.

          Now in point, I’d like to say that does not cover things like prayer in public schools, religious celebrations of holidays, etc…so long as a child or teach is not forced or coerced into participation with some action which is against their constitutional and civil rights. Because an event occurs does not mean that you have to participate…it simply means you follow your beliefs and do what is in your conscience. And because you are made to choose not whether or not to participate, I don’t see that as harassment. It is an exercise of freedom.

          As for public school funding:

          You’re absolutely right…you fund them…along with 10s of millions of other working Americans. The system is established to provide an education which is a level environment for all participating. Hence, it’s fine that there are things you want. However, you must also concede that you may be in the vast minority at times, and that you will not get your way simply because the $3.58 you pay per year in property taxes that funds schools in your area should give you say-so. Hence, you have to have tolerance for others’ wishes who contribute to the system just as well as they have to tolerate yours…that is, so long as they do not implement a hostile or unsafe environment for the children or staff in those schools.

          As for who the NEA, etc. support politically:

          That’s all good and well. They’re exercising their freedom to vote as a group as to who they support.

          However, I’m sure you bank with one of the major banks and have a retirement vestment with one of the largest holding firms here in the USA. But, I don’t see you complaining about most of the major banking, lending, and investment institutions were major contributors both directly to the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign, as well as the RNC.

          And, at least the NEA is not a commercial group taking funds generated from customer billing and using them to back their own business interest. They use their own monies made from member donations.

          That is, your bank charges you fees and uses part of that to push agendas to make them more money…not to improve your service or quality of banking.

          The NEA is a non-commercial entity which generates its own revenue through membership fees and donations for its campaign contributions.

          So, I’d say the NEA might be doing political wrangling. But, at least they’re not making others pay for it. They pay for it themselves.

          And btw, teachers do *not* decide what is taught in their schools. Books are reviewed by teachers, principals, superintendents and school boards alike in most cases. And, teachers found to be deviating from established teaching principles and approved agendas are often found to be under review themselves.

          As for you paying for public schools not being right:

          I’m sure you understand that in America, we have an established government which provides services that are a base of necessities to provide a common good for the people. Education is one of those things, just as are the roads you drive on, the police that patrol your neighborhood, the lights that are on your street, etc.

          Sure, it would be nice if you could take the services you wanted “a la carte”. However, this would de-stabilize the country as then some areas would suffer where others would get the highest-quality of services.

          I agree in the sense that we should not be paying to keep schools open that are not teaching our children or providing a safe environment. However, the cure for that is not to allow people to put children in private schools. The cure is most likely to involve:

          1) Getting good teachers: people who can teach…not just read out of a textbook for $21,000-46,000 a year.

          2) Stop playing the politically-correct game in schools: If a child is disruptive, harassing, or endangering others, they have broken the rules of decorum and civility and essentially have lost the right to participate in a learning environment by infringing on other childrens’ rights to learn. It is not the right of every child to be in a school no matter what they do. It is their right to be there as long as they behave in a respectable manner and participate in the educational process. Education should be treated like a driver’s license: it’s not a right, it’s a priviledge.

          As for how you benefit:

          I’m glad you can pay to put your children in private school. I hope they’re getting a better quality of education. However, you do benefit from public school educational system.

          The public education system benefits you by providing a common means of education to all children so that we do not become a country of ignorance. It is there for everyone to utilize…poor or rich, male or female.

          If we didn’t have the commonly-funded educational system, how long do you think it would take for their to be an income-based divide in the educational level of people in those income groups? We’d slowly degrade into cultural position much was the case in medieval Europe and still exists in impoverished countries around the world. Do you really want us to head that direction?

          As for money following children:

          If “the money” followed each child around that their parents paid in taxes and the parents had a right to choose how to educate their child, then how would you determine where children went to school? Would the child of a person who only makes $20,000 a year in your area be any less deserving of a public school education than your child simply because you make quite a bit more than that? Would schools be allowed to deny a child because they weren’t in the right income category? Would it be right to be able to deny that child the right to go to a better school because they aren’t in the right income level and are forced to be transported miles to attend their own school?

          If your money followed your child and you could choose how you spent it…and everyone else got to do that…you’d see a huge fracturing in society according to level of ignorance.

          And, that plan reminds me a lot of what was happening back in the 50s and 60s. Segregation.
          Just based on income, rather than race.

          I whole heartedly agree that your children have a right to the best education possible. And if the educational system isn’t do the job, we should fix it…not fracture it.

          But, you also have to include in that they deserve the best education possible from the existing public school system which everyone’s tax dollars pay for in this country…just like every other child.

          And sometimes, the best education may not be what you or I think is best for us.

          And finally…if you truly want to have your children learn exactly what you like…in almost every state in this country you have the right to home-school your children, or pay for individual instruction at a learning center where you design the plan and content of their education.

        • #3045543

          My property taxes that pay for public education

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to I would not go as far as that

          .
          I realize that you were probably being sarcastic when you suggested my property taxes, that theoretically fund our public schools, amounted to about $3.58. But you need to add several zeros to that. My property taxes are in the thousands of dollars.

          Moreover, my income taxes ALSO go to the public school system, as my property taxes do not fund the Department of Education; my income taxes do. And since the DOE spends about 70 billion dollars a year, that’s an average of about $1,000 for each and every tax-paying family.

          My public school district spends about $6,500 per student to maintain their version of our government schools.

          So for you to suggest that I pay $3.58, although you were probably trying to be funny, is most disingenuous at best, most ignorant at worst.

          As for the rest of your message, I’ll get back to you.

        • #3045522

          the $3.58 number

          by jck ·

          In reply to My property taxes that pay for public education

          was quite arbitrary, but was an attempted reflection of the portion of your property taxes that would go to fund the one school one of your child would attend directly…not the totality of your property taxes in whole.

          Even if you pay $5k-10k a year in property taxes, remember that those property taxes fund several schools, police officers, firefighters, utilities operations, roads maintenance, street lights, etc. Not just one school.

          For instance with my home and the 43% increase I had in value in last year’s bi-annual assessment, I believe the portion of my taxes that funded county education was about 6.3% of the 100% of my property taxes, which is for all schools and their operations in the county (some 30+ schools). That ends up being a little over $5 a school, so I was at least in the ballpark for making an estimation of your individual contribution to a school your child would attend.

          And yes, you must shift that decimal place over a few spots on that $3.58 to get my property tax level too.

          Seeing as there is probably not just one school in your entire area for which your property taxes fund government, the number is probably quite accurate unless you live in a $3M home in Marin County, CA or Washington D.C. or a penthouse in a downtown area.

          And if that’s the case that you live in such opulence and you’re on the soap box about money all the time, then you need a reality check about what being told what to do and how to live really is.

          Be thankful you can afford what you can…not be so worried about how much you can pack away in a hidey-hole.

        • #3118715

          public vs religious schools

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to My property taxes that pay for public education

          Public schools consistently spend more money per student, with inferior results by all standardized measures, to Catholic schools in the same areas. It probably isn’t magic (God, Holy Phantom, Invisible Pink Unicorn or Flying Spaghetti Monster) that’s responsible. So, could it be that Catholic students are from wealthier families? If you believe that, Google it. I dare you to compare whether academic performance is more strongly correlated to family wealth or to attendance at schools that are not publicly funded.

          It’s a shame that such a preponderance of private schools are Catholic because I’d like to remove religion from the equation, but anybody who looks carefully and honestly at the available data will conclude that public education is consistently inferior to private education — not in every case, but very nearly. The notable exception used to be magnet schools, which have been the first to be cut when the public day care system for underachievers (aka the public school system as a whole) was underfunded.

          A tragic irony is that the same religious “right” cult claims to be concerned with the lives of the unborn, while ignoring the [b]facts[/b] that prove that they are condemning their own living, born children to poverty by their insistence that the government exists to enforce their inane beliefs based only on [b]faith[/b].

        • #3045527

          The difference between public schools and banks

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to I would not go as far as that

          .
          Are you serious? Are you really comparing lobbying efforts of public school teachers (and public school administrators) to private bankers? Do I really have to point out the absurdity of your comparison?

          Since you were blind enough to make such a silly comparison to begin with, I’ll have to point out that I have no choice in “public education”, but I am forced to pay for it nonetheless. I do have a choice of private banks, and I do have a choice as to whether or not I pay them. If I don’t care for my bank, I can choose to use another, and not pay the one I left. I have no such option with the “public education” system.

          Sure, there are other public employee unions, but name another group of public employees who lobby with such diligence and in concert, and they do it in a manner and for reasons that are contrary to at least half of the citizens they presumably serve.

        • #3045502

          lobbyists and monies

          by jck ·

          In reply to The difference between public schools and banks

          And I will point out to you:

          The NEA is NOT the public school system.

          The NEA is a educator-based membership that organizes. They pay for their campaigns, not the schools.

          Banks take your money and pay for campaigns…plain and simple…to back THEIR agenda…not yours. So, they are taking your money (much like government) and spending it in places you probably would choose not to.

          As for banks vs schools…you can have your child put in different public schools. It has been done before.

          An like banks with your money, there are only a limited number of schools you can put your children in also. And also like politicians, you are sometimes forced with schools to choose the lesser of “evils” when it comes to education.

          And I don’t know where you live, but I’ve lived in 4 areas and seen school systems allow students to transfer schools (at the transportation expense of the parent to get them there) to put their children in another public school that gives the child a better education. But if your child doesn’t warrant move to a school with better scholastic programs, I wouldn’t expect them to move your kids there just because you want them there. You have to show a plausible reason to put your child in a better program rather than just to personally satisfy your demand.

          In fact, the people I bought my house from had their child in a school in the next county south because the school system up here did not have the programs in honors that the child was academically gifted toward. So, it’s not impossible to put your child in a better school…even outside of the county in which you pay taxes.

          You can have a choice. It simply has to have merit to be considered.

        • #3116536

          “merit” as determined by whom?

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to The difference between public schools and banks

          Still trying to control other people.

        • #3114733

          adunlap – what are you talking about?

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to The difference between public schools and banks

          My mission isn’t to control anybody, but rather stop other people from controling me (and stop them from controling others, I suppose).

          Edited part:

          I suppose, on second look, you were talking to jck, the guy who presumes to know everything and what’s best for everybody.

        • #3137640

          requiring conditions is controlling.

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to The difference between public schools and banks

          Jck said “You can have a choice. It simply has to have merit to be considered.”

          So who is to be the judge of what has merit?

        • #3122530

          radical, revolutionary definition of “merit”

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to The difference between public schools and banks

          achievement

        • #3044415

          The Conservatives Fallback

          by thechas ·

          In reply to I’ll concede. . . . .Will You?

          Max,

          Shame on you for falling back on the most tired of conservative rhetoric.

          “If I don’t use it, I don’t benefit from it.”

          Whether it is public schools, public colleges, public libraries, public transportation, public roads, public parks, public beaches, public museums, public roads, public whatever. We all benefit from from everyone being able to make use of every public institution.

          Might some benefit more from a private institution? Sure. That does not mean that you do not benefit from the corresponding public institution.

          Every person who rides a bus benefits you.
          Every child that graduates from a public school benefits you.

          You are so caught up in your desire to control money that you blind yourself to all the good that comes from the PUBLIC coming together to aid each other.

          We were better served by public utilities than we are by for profit utilities.

          While some private schools better serve a small segment of the population, for profit private schools are a disservice to the community.

          Every post of yours that I read further convinces me that you have aided my journey through life by showing me how bad the dark path of conservatism is.

          Chas

        • #3044357

          And shame on you. . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to The Conservatives Fallback

          .
          ….for misrepresenting my comment.

        • #3115476

          In my area it’s the opposite.

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to There’s many cases, Max

          Any reference to any religion is frowned upon.

          Education is a complex issue. I don’t believe Darwin should be excluded, but neither should creationist views. After all, we are raising our children to function in our society and, like it or not, belief is a big part of it.

          After all, those people who claim that the creationists are wrong are doing so because that’s their “belief”. Ironic isn’t it?

        • #3046280

          Can’t have mention of Christianity

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to No Child Left Behind . . . . .

          but handing out birth control is just fine.

          Pushing homosexuallity as an “acceptable alternative lifestyle” is just fine.

          As long as it is the lefts morals (or lack of) that is being pushed, all is fair.

          As soon as THEY disagree with something they start pulling out the myth of “separation of church and state” and how it isn’t fair to push your beliefs on others when they do the EXACT same thing with theirs!

          When you have no principles in your life, it is easy to be inconsistant like that I guess. I person who is quick to compromise is a person with no standards of their own.

      • #3118720

        No sarcasm – TheChas is right about this.

        by absolutely ·

        In reply to Don’t See It

        While Democrats traditionally take more of my money [i]for subsidies of the least productive members of society,[/i] the Republican Party, and especially the GWB sect of evangelical extremists would leave me nothing to buy with my money but Bibles, anti-abortion bombs and anti-gay propaganda. Neither party has legitimate claim to a consistent, moral position. Each is more moral on certain issues, less so on others. The moral choice as a citizen is to support neither.

        To Maxwell’s response advocating [i]competition in public schools[/i] and the option to permit religious observances in some: disingenuous. You know that government support for religion is prohibited by the Constitution. It is hypocritical to expect the protection of your property rights while advocating the violation of my right to be free of religion. I’ll extend you the benefit of the doubt and assume you haven’t considered these two issues in this light, but your defense of personal property [i]is[/i] logically and morally incompatible with your (and GWB’s) support for state support of religion, and I eagerly await an articulate revision of this inconsistency on your part.

        And in anticipation of the asinine premise that freedom [i]of[/i] religion does not require freedome [i]from[/i] religion (which I’ve encountered, surprisingly, even on TechRepublic in the past, not from Max): everybody who exercises their First Amendment Right to practice the religion of their choice is able to do so because they are free [i]from[/i] the imposition of [i]every[/i] other religion. I insist on the same right to be free [i]from[/i] imposition of every religion other than my own. Which one is that? That is a private matter.

        • #3118701

          An interesting challenge

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to No sarcasm – TheChas is right about this.

          .
          First of all, let’s be very clear on one thing. I am not a religious zealot; but nor am I an anti-religious zealot. I see you, on the other hand, as an anti-religious zealot. Using a scale of 1-10 as a gauge, if Pat Robertson and folks like him are a 10 on the “religious zealot” scale, I would place you at a 10 on the “anti-religious zealot” scale. As for me, I’m about a 5 on either scale. Robertson and folks like him are intolerant of folks like you; you are intolerant of folks like him; I think I’m tolerant of both; I can live with both; if I’m “exposed” to either, I can live with it. Heaven forbid one is “exposed” to the other (pun intended). In my opinion, both zealots need to lighten up a bit and show a little tolerance.

          My premise is this: I think parents have every right to educate their kids however they please — with religion included, or with religion specifically excluded. And under the current system of public education, I think parents are also entitled to use that public education for their kids.

          If you agree with my two comments above, then you must recognize that an irreconcilable difference exists. And in the case of an irreconcilable difference, one should back-up and consider the premise. As my two comments are pretty clear, where is my premise flawed? And if it’s not, where is your premise flawed?

          Back to ya’

        • #3118574

          Don’t hold your breath

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to An interesting challenge

          waiting for a consistent response from Absolutely.

          After advertising loudly and widely in two other discussions his commitment to atheism, in another post in this discussions he has stated:

          “….. every religion other than my own. Which one is that? That is a private matter.”

          So in one discussion he is very publicly an atheist, and now suddenly his personal religion is a secret.

          I totally agree with you that parents should have the choice of having their children’s education include or exclude religion.

          As part of my seconday school education was at an Anglican private school, there was no escaping religion.

          But that was long ago. There are many private schools in the area of Sydney in which I live, and I come into contact with many of the students who work part-time in takeaways or come into the cafe where I have my late lunch. I will enquire as to what the current situation is, but I would make an educated guess that participation in religious classes is not compulsory.

        • #3131600

          cut from the original post, that might seem contradictory

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Don’t hold your breath

          I remember typing “….. every religion other than my own. Which one is that? That is a private matter.” and the meaning I intended is that freedom of religion means that each person has the right to keep their religious beliefs to themselves, and be in no way persecuted for their practice of any religion, or for any absence of observable practice of religion.

          I choose to make life on Earth my standard, which means that I choose no belief in God. I also do not subscribe to Mark Twain’s amusing but silly “just in case” approach to religion.

          “I totally agree with you that parents should have the choice of having their children’s education include or exclude religion.”

          I totally agree with you both. Parents already have the choice to have children or not, to have fewer or more, and they have the moral obligation to pay for whatever number of children they do choose to have. They do not have the moral right to bill me — even via government — for their choice to reproduce, as I do not have the right to bill them for my chosen lifestyle. I have taken the moral high ground: I pay my own bills.

        • #3131606

          That is interesting

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to An interesting challenge

          Since I don’t advocate (or hope or cheer for, or predict in Pat Robertson’s vindictive way) the KILLING of religious people for being religious, I hope I earn no more than a -9 on your Religious Zealometer. (I’m trying to take your advice and lighten up a bit. It would be good for my heart.)

          I hold the premise is that parents have the right [b]and the responsibility[/b] to pay for their children’s education, as has been the tradition through the majority of US history. Nobody is entitled to steal from bachelors and bachelorettes who have made a valid lifestyle choice to forego reproduction in favor of frequent sex purely for enjoyment. The value altruists, especially mystics, place on the suffering and endurance of childbirth is not a value that I share, but I acknowledge the right of all women to choose to give birth as a valid lifestyle choice. I just don’t agree that suffering entitles anybody to take what I earned, the chosen suffering of childbirth included.

          The system of public education is a [b]problem[/b], not an excuse to make more problems. It was founded on the collectivist premise that the good of the “community” is the concern of every member of the collective. The good of each individual is the responsibility of that individual, not of the whole collective. Morality demands reciprocity, which means that no individual benefits at the expense of the collective, or any subset of it.

          I’ll agree eagerly to being extreme on this issue, but only as much as I’m extreme on every other example of the issue of individual rights. Mediocrity is unremarkable. Extreme ineptitude or stupidity is lamentable. Extreme talent and intelligence are commendable. I’m proud to be extreme for the same reason that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were proud to put their names on that extreme statement of liberty: I know that I’m right.

        • #3131593

          Let’s try again

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to That is interesting

          .
          Okay, first of all, this is why you have this bum-rap, of justified-rap, or whatever kind of rap it is. And it’s why you rate a -9 on the zealot scale. You said, “Since I don’t advocate (or hope or cheer for, or predict in Pat Robertson’s vindictive way) the KILLING of religious people for being religious….”.

          HOLD THE PHONE! That certainly implies that Pat Robertson and his ilk DO ADVOCATE THE KILLING…… Don’t lose your credibility by playing such silly games. They absolutely DO NOT advocate such things. Get a grip, already. Don’t embellish, don’t exaggerate, don’t misstate, don’t make-up things. That what the “other side” does, not “my side”. 100 PERCENT and TOTAL ACCURACY is the best way to make your point! When you make-up things and/or embellish things, you lose. Man, I hear such things and I just cringe. And when I hear it from “the other side” (no, I don’t consider you the other side), it shows that they can’t even come close to presenting a compelling and reasonable argument.

          On the rest, I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, you didn’t address the irreconcilable difference in a manner that offered a resulting solution to the impasse. What you said is all fine and good, but therefore what? Considering the issue at hand, which is what to allow and/or disallow in the current state of the public education system, and/or what to do with the public education system, you offered no specific solution.

          I offer one of two solutions:

          1. Abolish the public education system.

          Or if that is not a realistic solution considering today’s reality…..

          2.

          (I’ll wait for your reply before I post my number 2.)

          Hint: Don’t even think of mentioning anything “religious”, pro, con, or otherwise. It’s immaterial. Let it go. Don’t even answer the first part of my message. Consider it “food for thought”.

        • #3132071

          OK, keep trying, then.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Let’s try again

          Robertson warns Florida not to wave a flag that represents the right to be gay before hurricane season because God will KILL them with a storm if they do. Characterize that however you like. I recognize it as incitement to murder. If you lack the intellect or the courage to do likewise, shame on you.

          “Don’t even answer the first part of my message.”
          In response to your silly:

          “I offer one of two solutions:

          1. Abolish the public education system.

          Or if that is not a realistic solution considering today’s reality…..

          2.

          (I’ll wait for your reply before I post my number 2.)”

          I offer one solution: abolish all public entitlements, including the misnamed “public education system”. Keep your number 2 in the toilet where it belongs, Max.

        • #3132067

          Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Let’s try again

          “Get out of my life.

          Stop trying to take my personal property.

          Stop trying to infringe on my RIGHT to take personal responsibility.”

          If my zeal is wrong when applied to religious motivations, your is equally wrong when applied to the welfare state. The actor is irrelevant. The action is theft in both cases. Make up your mind.

        • #3131977

          I will elaborate

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          .
          But I guess I pressed your hot-button – Geesh, lighten up!

          I will elaborate on one thing, however. You and I are in total agreement, and I, too, would like to see all government nanny programs abolished in one fell swoop, including the government run schools. I also agree with you that it’s both a parental right and a parental obligation to educate their own kids, however they see fit, AND TO PAY FOR IT THEMSELVES, not forcing the rest of society to do it for them. Geesh, we agree on those things, already, and I thought you realized that. I wish I could snap my fingers and make those things happen. Or I wish I could advance such an agenda with all my resolve and force such a change. But I also wish I could fly!

          There are two ways to approach these types of issues, and both are a matter of one’s starting point. The first, of course, is to proceed as though we’re starting from scratch, designing the perfect and preferred system. The other is to recognize where we are right now, and start from there. And in the case of the public education, considering we are starting in 2005, not 1795, I would have a better chance of flying than abolishing the whole system.

          And even if one’s goal is to abolish the entire public education system, and even if a person plans to work diligently towards that end, the question of the best approach just can’t be ignored. If you espouse its abolishment by constitutional amendment, presidential decree, by a vote of the majority, or by whatever means you can imagine, well guess what? It ain’t gonna’ happen. And if you insist on trying to implement your all or nothing approach, it’ll drive you crazy enough to perhaps make you want try to flying — right off a tall building.

          We got to where we are today with baby-steps, and the most practical approach back to the beginning is also with baby-steps. And while you might consider that approach “in the toilet”, it’s your ideas and your voice that are being flushed. Extremist-radicals are simply dismissed as irrational wing-nuts. The only hope of instigating any type of change is to appear rational, present realistic ideas, and not be dismissed. Yea, you might feel-good about sticking to your principles with your all-or-nothing stance, but be prepared to spend your life being dismissed as an irrational wing-nut. Whereas I try to find a balance between my principles and today’s reality, you seem to bypass reality in favor of your all-or-nothing demands. All too often, in these kinds of discussions, the two get confused.

          By the way, when you leap from that building, be sure to flap your arms as hard as you can. The chances of you actually flying will be better than the chances of seeing the public education system abolished any time during either of our lifetimes.

          And for the record, with a few isolated exceptions of being kind and respectful to friends and family on a few occasions, I haven’t even gone into a church of any kind in probably 30 years. I don’t claim to be anything ___________ (fill in the religious tag) in particular. And if you think I’m in a Pat Robertson type camp, you couldn’t be more wrong. But I guess levying false charges against me helps you justify your lack of a reasonable response.

        • #3131905

          “levying false charges against me”

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          “And if you think I’m in a Pat Robertson type camp, you couldn’t be more wrong. But I guess levying false charges against me helps you justify your lack of a reasonable response.”

          What false charges do you mean?

          My response was fully reasoned. I described what ought to be, not the compromise that is the best likely scenario, and I’m glad you agree. But arguments on moral issues will not be won by entering with a compromise. They will be won by entering with a moral argument, establishing that we are right, then negotiating on the best way to get there.

          PS I won’t lighten up. My money is taken every day because of arguments based only on mysticism, altruism, and collectivism. Mysticism is what provides the veneer of respectability, by making morality an otherworldly issue. It’s deadly serious, has been wrong for millenia, and will not go away by itself.

        • #3131895

          Now, to the topic of being a wingnut

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          Do you think I care?

          Also, TheChas seems to have the impression that you are an “ideologue”, which I believe is not meant as a compliment of your good ideas. So, maybe your willingness to compromise and your efforts not to be overzealous are not having the effect you claim to be pursuing.

          http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=183299&messageID=1871021

          A lot of Republicans babble about the same altruist “ideals” that characterize the left, when their district is the intended recipient of largesse. Compromise will encourage more compromise. When I’m right, I don’t make compromises that help the persons who are wrong to pretend that they are not wrong. Compromises in speed of implementation of major cutbacks would be necessary. Compromise in the [b]argument[/b] that welfare is absolutely immoral is not acceptable. Got it?

        • #3131810

          What we have here. . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          .
          ….is a failure to communicate.

          Okay, for the sake of argument, let’s say I agree with you 100 percent, not only in principle, but in my zeal to implement it. You’ve convinced me. Therefore what?

          What exactly do you propose we do to advance it, to guarantee it’s implementation, and in what time frame can we expect to see it?

          Give me a therefore what conclusion, and what, and when, and how we can expect to see it all become reality.

          (And to answer Chas, which I didn’t when he made that suggestion, I would correct him to say that I’m an idealist, not an ideologue, and a realist. But all that’s besides the point.)

        • #3132391

          Go eat 50 eggs

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          There has been no failure to communicate.

          Before I accept any “for sake of argument” scenarios, retract your statement that I am a zealot, comparable to Pat Robertson, only with a different agenda. If you truly disagree with his agenda and agree with your own (as stated on TR), you must acknowledge that I am right and Pat Robertson is absolutely wrong, therefore my insistence is justified and his is idiotic.

          Then, and not before then, I’ll consider your “therefore what” challenge.

        • #3132363

          I didn’t think you’d have an answer

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          .
          Just like you, I stand by my comments. I’ll retract nothing. I just call em’ as I see em’ And just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean I’ll retract it.

          Quite frankly, it’s obvious I hit your friggin’ hot-button, and, I must say, it’s putting on a good show.

          But I’m not surprised you don’t feel up to answering my “therefore what” question. After all, you really can’t answer it, since the only reasonable “therefore what” is the one I suggested.

          50 eggs? I wonder if I can do it in an hour?

        • #3132447

          step 1

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          Step 1 is gather support for the philosophy of individualism. I do not believe that is possible while making an exception for the most irrational belief of all just because it (religion) happens to be the most popular enemy of individuality. The timeframe and method will depend on how well and how quickly the case is made for the moral right to property ownership, not on how cunningly and flexibly compromises are offered.

        • #3132333

          Absolutely’s 20 percent solution won’t work

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          .
          Over 80 percent of Americans consider themselves to be, and call themselves Christians.

          So let me get this straight. You suggest that you will, on one hand, literally demonize Christians; yet, on the other hand, you plan to recruit them into your idea of spreading the philosophy of individualism — all based on the premise that “religion happens to be the most popular enemy of individuality”.

          Maybe you can get them to start praising the devil while you’re at it.

          A basic difference between you and me — two basic differences, actually.

          First of all, I don’t fear Christians; I don’t judge Christians; and I don’t want to deny their right to worship and/or live however they see fit. You do — on all three counts.

          And second of all, I see Christian Americans as a vital part to spreading the philosophy of individualism. You see them as the enemy.

          Like I said, you don’t have a reasonable answer to spreading the philosophy of individualism, but I do. You aren’t being reasonable, realistic, or tolerant. I am. And you’ve already stumbled over step one. You’ll never make it to step two.

        • #3132217
        • #3132188

          Absolutely’s solution is not a percentage game.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Why so willing to compromise your precious rights to religion?

          Maxwell’s is.

          Out of one side of your mouth, you defend your right to keep your money, calling the actions of the welfare state theft from the person who earned money by people who did not. But out of the other side of your mouth, you tell me that when I defend the wealth I earned from theft by a different, overlapping group of people who also did not earn my wealth, I am a zealot. There is no rational basis for calling me a zealot unless you admit to being an economic zealot, as much a wing-nut as Mao, just on the other side of the spectrum. Logically, you are also much different in that you do not initiate the use of force (that I know), and that you are right to defend your wealth. The same are true of me though, and are more important distinctions from Pat Robertson than the fact that we both have strong, opposing views on religion. The single important fact is that mine are rational. Yours are also, on economics, with the exception of the economic role of churches.

          ALL redistribution of wealth schemes are evil, not just those that operate according to amount of wealth. Schemes to redistribute wealth according to number of offspring or religious affiliation are equally evil. Faith-based initiatives are theft just as Welfare is theft. The entire collectivist-altruist game is based on justifying crime by claiming noble intentions, and whether a noble intention exists or not is irrelevant. How can you condone special treatment for churches and churchgoers that is not available to a full 20% of the population?

          “Maybe you can get them to start praising the devil while you’re at it.”

          They already worship evil in the form of indulging an unaccounted whim for redemption without any attempt to earn it. Reality does not work like that. Nor do I. Nor will I be coerced to support such an [b]abomination[/b] without protest.

          “First of all, I don’t fear Christians; I don’t judge Christians; and I don’t want to deny their right to worship and/or live however they see fit. You do — on all three counts.”

          Liar.

          Count 1, “I don’t fear Christians”: I don’t fear Christians either. They’re nothing but sissies. Like any other variety of collectivist herd animal, they travel in packs because of their terror of reality.

          Count 2, “I don’t judge Christians;”: You should, it is their claim of the moral value of charity as the supreme moral value, an end in itself, that is responsible for the entire argument in favor of Welfare, the Davis-Bacon Act and all other government subsidies of underachievement. I do judge Christians. They are irrevocably evil, until they renounce their delusions and accept reality as the only valid realm to provide any standard of value. The purpose of mysticism is to evade aspects of reality that the mystics find unpleasant. Reality does not work like that. Their choice to seek to evade can only be achieved at somebody’s expense. I’m not willing to foot their bill. You got one of three right. Not nearly good enough. Don’t bother playing again.

          Count 3, “and I don’t want to deny their right to worship and/or live however they see fit. You do — on all three counts.”: I’m not interested in taking away anybody’s rights, only in taking back mine. There is more to life than property. Ideas are important, and one thing worse than losing my property to subsidize a lifestyle I don’t support (irresponsible laziness) is losing my property to subsidize [b]indoctrination[/b] to a worldview diametrically opposed to rationality: mysticism. But if a christian wants to worship nobody in the privacy of their own home, chuurch, or any other building it rightfully owns, purchased according to the single tax code applicable to people who are all truly equal, I don’t care. I do object to re-interpreting the Constitution to support the idea that equality of all people is reconcilable with tax favors dependent on affiliation with religion. Equality is not reconcilable with that [b]abomination[/b].

          “And second of all, I see Christian Americans as a vital part to spreading the philosophy of individualism.”

          Are you wearing rose-colored glasses, beer goggles or LSD to see that? Christian individuals, christian intellectuals and Jesus Christ are all as imaginary as the Easter Bunny.

          “Like I said, you don’t have a reasonable answer to spreading the philosophy of individualism, but I do.”

          You have to live it before you can spread it. Another Step 1 you’re trying to skip.

        • #3131111

          Let’s try to get to the point.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Let’s try again

          Can you, without comment on the style of my presentation or your opinion of my personality, name any [b]objective[/b] criterion by which use of taxpayer’s money on religion is in any way less a criminal act of theft than use of taxpayer’s money for subsidies of the poor?

          Is the right to be secure in one’s person and possessions more protected than the right to be free of government support for an establishment of religion? I suspect you do not attempt to make that case rationally because you know it cannot be made. I’m not dropping this topic because the moral significance of the two is identical, not because I’m any sort of “anti-religion zealot”.

        • #3130984

          To answer your questions

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Let’s try to get to the point.

          .
          You asked, “Can you, without comment on the style of my presentation or your opinion of my personality……”

          My answer: Yes, I can do that

          “…..name any objective criterion by which use of taxpayer’s money on religion is in any way less a criminal act of theft than use of taxpayer’s money for subsidies of the poor?”

          My answer: No, I can’t.

          You asked, “Is the right to be secure in one’s person and possessions more protected than the right to be free of government support for an establishment of religion?”

          My answer: I may not understand the question. Could you rephrase the question so I may give you a yes or no answer?

          You said, “I suspect you do not attempt to make that case rationally because you know it cannot be made. I’m not dropping this topic because the moral significance of the two is identical, not because I’m any sort of ‘anti-religion zealot’.

          My comment: Okay.

        • #3131106

          Now, to any “christians” siding with Max’s cowardice:

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Let’s try again

          You are in fact anti-Christ, in the literal sense of the word: “Give to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s…You hypocrites!”

          –Jesus Christ

        • #3130981

          Wow, all of the sudden I’m a coward

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Now, to any “christians” siding with Max’s cowardice:

          .
          I guess it has something to do with Point Number Eight.

        • #3130980

          Disregard

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Now, to any “christians” siding with Max’s cowardice:

          .

        • #3130963

          Oh, I doubt that it’s sudden.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Now, to any “christians” siding with Max’s cowardice:

          But I don’t know you personally. How long HAVE you been willing to submit to irrationality, as long as it’s masked in superstition?

        • #3130944

          hey Ab

          by jck ·

          In reply to Now, to any “christians” siding with Max’s cowardice:

          Probably since he was told he’d grow hair in his palms and go blind if he yanked his crank…hahahaha 😀

    • #3045999

      Hmmm, what do I want to give up?

      by ldyosng ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      Do I give up my right to choose to become a mommy or not, or do I give up my right to keep and bear arms, or do I give up my right to be intimate with whom I want (in private, of course, with a consenting adult) how I want, or do I give up over 1/3 of my income without having a choice how it is spent (isn’t that taxation without representation?)? Or do I demand Christmas off, with pay, and deny my co-worker Yom Kipur? Do I demand the right to not worship as I see fit, while forcing you to do the same? Do I enforce freedom FROM religion on everyone? Or do I mandate that you are not allowed to say certain words that I don’t like, regardless of your right to freedom of expression?
      Personally, I like Thomas Jefferson’s idea of throwing ALL the bums out of office on a set schedule and starting fresh. Oops, my Jeffersonian Libertarianism is showing. And don’t even get me started on what I owe to whom because someone in my genetic line oppressed someone else once-upon-a-time, even though I have received absolutely zero benefit from that oppression.

    • #3045994

      Dems would lose their power base

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      the power the democrats have is from their creation of a “gift society”.

      You can get power with an army and take it.

      Or you can get power by giving things away to people, they like it so they let you do anything you want as long as you keep the gifts coming.

      Until people are put in contol of their destiny, they are content to go with the road of least resistance.

      Which will get people elected, “vote for me and I will GIVE you money” or “vote of me and I will remove obsticles from your path so you can go make some money”?

      The nice thing is, lately the country has actually been going with the second choice for a while!

      Thank god the minimum wage increase looks like it died again. You have no right to demand a “living wage” when you work at McDonalds making fries.

      You want to make more? Get a skill and then get a job that requres that skill.

      Raising minimum wage only HURTS MIDDLE CLASS America, because they won’t get a raise, but their expenses will go up to pay for the wage increase of the people that didn’t advance themselves through any effort of their own other than government mandates.

    • #3045983

      Am I on the right website? Is this Yahoo message boards?

      by why me worry? ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      for a minute there, I could have sworn I was on TechRepublic

    • #3045898

      Left and right wing politics

      by jardinier ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      I believe there will always be a left and right wing in politics because of a very fundamental human dynamic, namely:

      The survival and success of the individual cannot be separated from the survival and success of the group.

      If the group fails, there will be no context in which the individual can express him/her self.

      If the individual fails however, the group will continue without even noticing the failure of one individual.

      So I think right wing politics is aimed at the success of the individual — free enterprise etc — while left wing politics is aimed at the survival and success of the group.

      Note that in “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand separated the most creative people from the group. In reality this would no doubt result in the group declining into perhaps chaos or slipping backwards in “evolution.”

      The creative people would have nothing to do but pat each other on the back.

      Although earlier in my life I would probably have qualified for MENSA (the old grey matter is not as sharp as it used to be) I could think of few things less repugnant that joining a group that considers itself an intellectual elite as per Rand’s scenario.

      I would much rather join a religion or a political party which had a cross section of people.

      • #3045884

        One out of two isn’t bad?

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Left and right wing politics

        [i]”while left wing politics is aimed at the survival and success of the group”[/i]

        Looking around at the strongly Democratic slums in the country that get worse, not better I would have to say the left wing aproach has taken care of the survival part, but success has not been a part of their solution.

        New Orleans got hung up for the world to see as a perfect example of the failure of the Democratic party, as both the governor and mayor are and have been controlled by the Democratic party for decades.

        I remember reading a column by Ken Hamblin (the self titled “black avenger”) and it was called “Don’t feed the blacks”. It followed the idea of the don’t feed the animals, in that it is learned dependance instead of independance.

        • #3045837

          I was speaking in general terms

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to One out of two isn’t bad?

          in any country at any time. While this discussion is about the Democrats in America, the point I am trying to make is that a government in a democratic country can be neither 100 per right wing or 100 per cent left wing.

          100 per cent right wing leads to fascism, just as 100 per cent left wing leads to socialism. Both of these extremes suppress the creativity of the individual.

          What is this obsession with people on welfare? City, state and federal governments in all countries collect tax to pay for things like defence, roads, garbage, sewerage, police, hospitals, schools and so forth.

          In Australia I would say that we have pretty much an even balance of socialism and free enterprise.

        • #3045789

          obsession?

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I was speaking in general terms

          Except for the Hamblin quote, the rest was just talking about the total poverty that only gets worse under the complete control of the Democrates and New Orleans is just one of many examples. Detroit is also a perfect example of how the poor poor vote Democrat even though their own situation only gets worse and worse.

          Why do these cities have problems paying for the infrastructure you mentioned? Because they have catered to the poor with social programs to get their position of power, yet now are left with no tax base to tax to pay for all the infrastructure.

          It isn’t the evil upper 2% that we always hear about that have caused the poverty, yet they are always the ones that are suppose to pay to continue it?

          Right wing leads you to become a success yourself, not to leach off of the people that have applied themselves and cry that it isn’t “fair”.

          Redistribution of wealth is NOT in our Constitution here in the US, and is illegal and immoral.

        • #3046086

          A question or two

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to I was speaking in general terms

          And please note — I am not trying to be a smart a*s as these are serious questions.

          But firstly let me say that my comment: “What is this obsession with people on welfare?” was not directed at your particular post, but at all posts which emphasised this issue.

          So here are the questions:

          1. Can you direct me to the article or amendment in your constitution that specifically prohibits the government from using some tax revenue to distribute to people who, for one reason or another are unable or unwilling to support themselves?

          2. If redistribution of wealth is NOT in your constitution and is illegal, is there not some way that the Republican Party, or some individual, or group of individuals can challenge this “constitutionally illegal” redistribution of wealth through the courts?

        • #3046084

          Our Constitution – Imagine this

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to A question or two

          .
          In the beginning, our federal government had no power whatsoever. All of the power lied in the individual or the individual states. The constitution was intended to spell out what powers the people would allow the federal government to have. If something is not enumerated in the constitution, by its own definition, the government does not have that power.

          The only amendments that spell out specific power held by the people are the first ten, commonly known as the Bill of Rights. In theory, they weren’t really necessary since all power, unless enumerated in the constitution, belonged to the people anyway by default. But there was a faction of founders who were so concerned about these specific things, that a compromise led to the Bill of Rights to be included as the first ten amendments.

          So, in theory, if our constitution does not specifically spell out the right of government to have the power to redistribute wealth, it does not exist.

          How have they gotten away with it, you might ask? If I knew the answer to that, I would know specifically how to turn it around.

          Personally, I believe that it was an oversight by our founders by failing to spell-out the federal government’s role in such matters. To paraphrase Yogi Berra, the way the constitution has been “interpreted” by our legislators, and especially by our courts, would have Thomas Jefferson and James Madison turning in their graves if they were alive today.

        • #3045727

          Can you please explain the following,

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Our Constitution – Imagine this

          as I am genuinely trying to understand the Constitution of the US. [These are just excerpts, but are the items that specifically refer to raising revenue}

          Article 1.Section 7.

          1 All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.

          Article 1.Section 8.

          The Congress shall have power
          1 To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

          And here are the Articles in detail, so that you will not think I am taking things out of context.

          a1.Section 7.

          1 All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.
          2 Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

          3 Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

          a1.Section 8.

          The Congress shall have power
          1 To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
          2 To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
          3 To regulate commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
          4 To establish an uniform rule of Naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
          5 To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the Standard of weights and measures;
          6 To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

          7 To establish post offices and post roads;
          8 To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
          9 To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
          10 To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of Nations;
          11 To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
          12 To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of money to that Use shall be for a longer term than two years;
          13 To provide and maintain a Navy;
          14 To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

          15 To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
          16 To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
          17 To exercise exclusive Legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings; ?And

          18 To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

        • #3045459

          That’s a lot to try and explain

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Can you please explain the following,

          .
          I would like to write a book someday, but not here and not now. Could you be a little more specific?

          But let me pull out one commonly misused and misunderstood phrase, “….. provide for the ….. general welfare of the United States …..”

          James Madison is the Constitution’s acknowledged “father,” and here’s what he had to say: “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare’, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

          Thomas Jefferson echoed similar sentiments, “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”

        • #3045424

          I was not referring to “general welfare”

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Can you please explain the following,

          which I would never assume to be interpreted as personal welfare benefits.

          I was responding to your statement:

          “In the beginning, our federal government had no power whatsoever. All of the power lied in the individual or the individual states. The constitution was intended to spell out what powers the people would allow the federal government to have. If something is not enumerated in the constitution, by its own definition, the government does not have that power.”

          And merely pointed to two sub-articles which quite clearly gave the government the power to raise revenue through taxes.

        • #3115610

          Reply To: I Hate Democrats

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Can you please explain the following,

          None of that permits the government to take money from one citizen to give it to another.

        • #3115186

          Neither does it prohibit the government …

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Can you please explain the following,

          from “taking money from one citizen to give it to another.”

          Which is the whole point of what I am saying. The constitution says nothing at all about social welfare and for a very simple reason — the concept of Government funded welfare simply did not exist 200 years ago at the time the constitution was drawn up.

          In those days, anyone who couldn’t or chose not to find “gainful employment” had to resort to begging, stealing, robbing banks, horse-rustling, gambling or murdering to keep body and soul together.

          And we are talking worldwide here. Quite likely some “primitive” cultures did in fact have a system for looking after those who could not or would not work.

          Today I would imagine that government-funded welfare exists in all industrialised societies, but it seems that it is only certain Americans who bitch about it.

          In Australia we have a comprehensive welfare system and I have never heard ANYONE of any political persuasion complain that some of their tax money goes towards supporting unemployed persons.

        • #3115929

          Perhaps it’s the numbers

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Can you please explain the following,

          and the proximity, especially in the cities. Also the sense of entitlement to, instead of gratitude for, seems to be very great in many places (a little genuine gratitude can be very disarming, and would probably go a long way toward quelling most of the complaints!).

          It’s somewhat functional for the time being, since there are more people pulling the wagon than riding on it. But I sometimes wonder how much longer that’s going to be true, and what’s going to happen then.

      • #3045861

        Individual and group – survival and success – dependence and independence

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to Left and right wing politics

        .
        I would never suggest that people are never dependent, or that they should (or could) always be independent. After all, we all start and end our lives totally dependent on others. It’s what happens in-between, however, that can make or break not only the individual, but a society as well.

        I like the way Stephen Covey explains it, defining three stages. The first is dependency, as we can all imagine little children being totally dependent on others (hopefully his parents) to provide for his needs. One of those needs is the need to become independent, and that is the next stage. The last stage is inter-dependency, where a group of independent people depend on each other to achieve even greater things; the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, so to speak. A group of dependent people could never form an inter-dependent group, and they could never achieve much of anything; but a group of independent people — inter-dependency — can literally go to the moon. And dependent people in an inter-dependent society are a drag on not only themselves, but on the whole.

        We should all strive to go from dependence, to independence, to inter-dependence; and government should be structured to facilitate that, not interfere with it. What’s the opposite of dependent? Of course, it’s independent, but it might also be provider. What happens when there are more dependents and less providers? What happens when the number of dependents is so great that it ultimately makes the provider, himself, dependent?

        Moreover, when a person does find himself dependent on someone, for whatever reason, the government does not have to be the provider of first choice. Where did that silly notion come from, anyway? The notion that the government’s role is to provide womb to tomb care is ludicrous in theory, and it will lead to disaster in practice. And if I’m going to be a provider, I’d like to be a provider by choice, not by force.

        Not only that, but most of the people who claim that they need the government for __________ (whatever), would certainly find another way, perhaps even a BETTER way, if the government wasn’t an option. The image of people dying on the streets if not for government is silly; and it’s disingenuous to advance such scare tactics in the quest for that almighty power. And that, after all, is exactly what the people advancing such notions are after — power over the dependents. They create the dependents to begin with, and they strive to continue the dependency only to maintain their power over them.

        Our society has gotten so skewed, that the best way to describe it is that of a group of co-dependents. And then I see some reasonably intelligent person, who claims that government must be the one and only provider in a nation of dependents. It’s crazy, and it’s only getting worse. People like that, are the ultimate co-dependents. We have become a nation of co-dependents, not a nation of inter-dependents. And that, my friend, is what I want to change.

        • #3045828

          “And that, my friend, is what I want to change.”

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Individual and group – survival and success – dependence and independence

          Fair enough statement, Max, in fact a very good statement. But what do you personally propose to do to change the situation?

          A few years ago I got sick of listening to people whinge and bitch about the government, but not contribute in any way (apart from voting every few years) and so I decided to make a definite contribution.

          I joined a political party and at the 2001 Federal Election I helped my local member to resist a nation-wide swing of about 2 per cent towards the Government, and actually gain a marginal swing away from the government. I also had articles and letters published in the local free media.

          The result was my local Federal seat dropped from the second safest in the country to the third safest for the incumbent government, and I felt that that was one of the most useful things I had done in my life.

          Well of course you would know that it was our major left wing party, The Australian Labor Party that I campaigned for, but the point is I became involved and in my own small way made a change.

        • #3045458

          But what do you personally propose to do to change the situation?

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to “And that, my friend, is what I want to change.”

          .
          I don’t exactly know, Julian. Except continue to speak out, get involved in not only the election process, but everything leading up to it, writing, speaking, etc., all of which I do to some degree or another. And in 8 years, I just might throw my hat into the ring and try to make some waves. (Four years if some things go right.)

        • #3045417

          “I just might throw my hat into the ring”

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to “And that, my friend, is what I want to change.”

          Do you mean that you will consider presenting yourself as a candidate for public office?

          Well I have missed my opportunity forever.

          At the last NSW State election, a member of my local branch of the ALP suggested that I present myself for preselection. However it was already too close to the election date and I missed out.

          Because of my age, I will never again be eligible to represent my preferred party.

          I should mention briefly here that from all the remarks made in this discussion, I think the Australian Labor Party is quite different in terms of general policy to the American Democratic Party.

          Australia flourished during the reign of Labor Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, from 1983 – 1996.

          Both these leaders moved the party so close to the centre of politics that many people now complain that they can’t distinguish one party from the other.

          The current economic prosperity and stability for which PM John Howard claims credit, is (according to people who understand these things much better than myself) simply a natural flow-on from legislation introduced by Hawke and Keating.

          At the last federal election (October 9, 2004) the Howard government gained control of both houses. However this power for the Senate only became effective in July, 2005.

          The Labor Party is in a shambles, largely through factional infighting, so currently we do not have an effective opposition, which I consider is necessary for balanced government.

          However in Australia we do have an unusual (and I would think historically unique) situation in which the Federal government is conservative, but all states and territories have Labor governments.

        • #3044356

          Yes, that’s what I mean

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to “I just might throw my hat into the ring”

          You asked, “Do you mean that you will consider presenting yourself as a candidate for public office?”

          Yes, that’s what I mean.

        • #3044176

          Not unique

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to “I just might throw my hat into the ring”

          In Canada, at least in Ontario, there was quite a history of the same province voting conservative (moderately conservative party, but the farthest right nonetheless) in provincial elections, and liberal (the centrist party) on the federal level. The New Democrats(the socialist party) have never had federal power, though they have been in power in a couple of the provinces.

          When Ontario finally changed representation provincially (after more than 40 years of conservative rule) they also changed their support federally to the conservatives.

          It seems like a natural balancing act that takes place. Now we have the unusual situation of the same party in place both federally and provincially, they are experiencing major tensions between them – the provincial premier just said yesterday that he thought a few federal cabinet ministers were asleep at the wheel.

          There have been theses written about this issue, in courses on Federal Provincial relations.

          James

        • #3044828

          Unique?

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to Not unique

          I was referring only to Australia.

    • #3045865

      Oh Goody…..

      by jkaras ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      Another political rant pointing fingers at an opposing political party that is solely responsible for all of our problems. Truth is all politicians are not patriotic that they didnt become one due to a sense of need other than a privledged life. They are not fighting for our rights or well being, just using key words to entice voters like gay marriages, abortion, and religion. Look at the pandering for votes, stupid infighting, scandals, insane spending, loss of small businesses for mega plexes like this mart or that depot, wars for money, scare tactics for compliance, cronism, corruption, and apathy in times of need that have cost thousands of lives. It is shameful at their negligence and arrogance that they live a privledged life to grandstand with pathetic speeches not leadership and action. A true professional would work with others to bring about what is best for all not their political party credit.

      The argument of who is better is as worthless as their performance. We have obviously seen the need for a larger choice of leadership that has outgrown the archaic two party choice. Why is it when we shop we demand more than two choices? Why is it when we shop and get poor performance we get upset and do something about someone who is paid minimum wage and hold them accountable, not what is considered a professional, like say a politician?

      Truth is everyone is after their own interest not in the interest of what is right or best for our country. Everyone believes that their opinion of moral fiber is correct and wants to impose their version of morality like theirs is perfect. People need to grow up and tend to their own garden. There has been more intrusive on personal way of life than I dare say in the times of Mc Carthyism. In my opinion those who are also as guilty are the news stations that cant for the life of themselves report one story objectively. News is not supposed to be slanted, have production values such as mood music to affect the view/listener, speculation, false reporting for ratings, endorsements of products, and the best fake live reports having reporters fake the conditions like during hurricanes of horrific flooding and volital winds that somehow have them almost being knocked over when a frail person walks by calmly uneffected wandering into the shot. It’s funny when I was in school if I deviated from any objectivity or miss reported any facts in a paper I would fail the course or be subject to expulsion for falsifying facts. Tell me what’s wrong with higher standards for our youth and not our elders? If you you were to compare the integrity and professionalism and quality of life from America over fifty years ago would they be better or worse than today? Progression of society or declination? Sure, only blame one small facet of America on all it’s broblem and listen to a so called expert on economics when our economics are in such great standing. Beautiful, blind loyalty of a Lemming, hello cliff were coming!!!!

    • #3043687

      I don’t hate Democrats

      by montgomery gator ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      I think Democrats are misinformed and illogical, but I don’t hate them.

      I think they do not have enough self-reliance and are selfishly immature, since they want the government to be their nanny, but I don’t hate them.

      I don’t like how they want to raise my taxes to confiscatory levels, then want to spend the money on socialist “bread and circus” giveaways of the kind that resulted in the declines of the Roman Empire and the Soviet Empire, but I don’t hate them.

      I don’t like how they side with our enemies instead of with our military, but I don’t hate them.

      I find that they are smug in their ignorant anti-business, anti-freedom, socialist attitudes, but I don’t hate them.

      I think we would be better off if our two major parties were the GOP and the Libertarians, and the Democrats were a minor fringe party, but I don’t hate them.

      It takes a lot of strong will and Christian faith (love your enemy, etc.) to avoid hating Democrats, but with God’s help, I will not hate them!!!

      • #3043685

        Don’t take it too literally

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to I don’t hate Democrats

        .
        I also hate sauerkraut. It leaves such a bad taste in my mouth, not unlike Democrats.

        • #3043680

          I don’t take it literally

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to Don’t take it too literally

          But it does take a lot of will and faith to avoid hating them!!!

        • #3043661

          Depends on how you live

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I don’t take it literally

          It is easy for me to not hate Democrats (most at least. People like Sharpton really try me)

          I just realize that MOST Democrats are good people with bad ideas. Many of the bad ideas come from not being informed and following politics through the water cooler based on talking points they heard. Many at the top that have hi-jacked that party though are not in the same catagory, but I still don’t hate them.

          Not enough time in life to waste it on hate. I find I don’t even hate my ex-wife although as many here have found I have had many reasons to feel that exact way.

          “all we need is love” (too bad we don’t have a flower child emoicon in TR!)

        • #3046325

          I hate spinach

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to Don’t take it too literally

          😀

        • #3046267

          I love spinach

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to I hate spinach

          as a matter of fact, it is the only vegetable that I eat. I’m conservative, so if you don’t like spinach, you must really be a liberal! oh! you liar! tricking me into thinking you were conservative!

        • #3046266

          And

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to I hate spinach

          it hates you! ;\

          Try it steamed with lemon! That mush out of a can is NOT spinach!

        • #3046252

          no, no, no

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to And

          you go to the store and get Bird’s Eye chopped spinach in it’s little frozen box. Then you take it to my grandmother’s house and have her cook it (I don’t know why or how, but it only tastes good when she makes it) then you put some in a tiny little bowl (make sure it’s still hot) then pour the tiniest bit of milk on it (no more than a teaspoon). It is wonderful!

        • #3046229

          See you there

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to no, no, no

          Nice of her to host the TR reunion instead of everyone going to Vegas!

          Ask her if there is anything she adds while she is warming this up!

          It is still too soggie.

          That is why so many old people don’t like veggies! Everything was boiled until it was mush with no texture or flavor. Lightly steamed is king.

          Oh, at my boys request, tonight will be brussle sprouts (steamed of course, and then a dab of butter!)

        • #3046224

          hehe

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to See you there

          No. i still like the Vegas idea. I really think a bunch of us should give it a try. Have our own geek convention.

        • #3046219

          Spring time

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to See you there

          Just hold off till spring time and I am settled in my new pad and I will be there!

          Take a train, and I could meet you at Chicago to have someone to drink with the rest of the way! Bonus! got a few that could meet up with that one as I recall. And trains can be cheeeeeeeep!

        • #3046208

          Viva Las Vegas!

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to See you there

          Vegas would be a perfect place to continue this vegan conversation. Everyone has to leave their pocket calculators and coke-bottle glasses at home. It would be wierd having to refer to everyone by their real name. I don’t even know how to say “M_a_r_k”. I guess you gotta quickly start and stop between all the letters. :^O

        • #3046200

          too true

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to See you there

          it would be quite odd trying to remember names. It would be quite odd indeed.

        • #3046188

          pronouncing

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to See you there

          I picture yours M_A_R_K as how a robot in a cheesy 70’s scifi movie would talk!

          Girli would be easy, as “Empress” is real easy to say!

          Mine was a nickname I had growing up as I had two other kids have the same first name, one across the street and the other across the alley. Or jd would work for that I guess. Really doesn’t matter WHAT you call me, nice or not, as long as your buying rounds!

          Now GG, that one I would have to think about.

        • #3044235

          YUK, Milk on Spinach????

          by surflover ·

          In reply to no, no, no

          FRESH organic spinach, Steamed, with roasted garlic, cracked pepper, a little fresh grated parmesan, and a little butter…

          A meal in itself ! 😉

        • #3044233

          blech!

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to YUK, Milk on Spinach????

          I never eat pepper. and garlic on spinach? yuck! blech! eww!!!!!!!!! parmesan too? I get sick just thinking about it.

        • #3044184

          Surflover’s recipe sounds good

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to YUK, Milk on Spinach????

          However, I prefer spinach uncooked, in a salad.

          When I was little, I hated spinach, since I only knew it as the frozen green blocks that were thawed and boiled, or in the cans that Popeye would squeeze open and eat right out of the can.

          When I discovered leafy spinach in its natural form in a salad, I discovered I actually liked it. It is very good in a Caesar salad, kind of similar to Surflover’s recipe without steaming it first, keeping it in its leafy glory.

        • #3044179

          but frozen, green block are the best!

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to YUK, Milk on Spinach????

          nothing yummier!

        • #3045007

          Frozen Spinich

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to YUK, Milk on Spinach????

          .
          That’s what I’m going to give all the trick-or-treaters this year on Halloween.

        • #3044984

          Frozen chunks of spinach for trick-or-treaters

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to YUK, Milk on Spinach????

          I like your idea, Max. After all it is [i]trick[/i] or treat, right? It beats my idea. I was just gonna turn off all the lights in my house and act like nobody was home to keep the costumed kids away.

        • #3114338

          BWAAAAHHH MAX !!

          by surflover ·

          In reply to YUK, Milk on Spinach????

          you caught me off gaurd with that frozen spinach for trick or treat one… :^O

        • #3046211

          Canned spinach mush

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to And

          That’s the crap I was talking about. I’ve tried it with lemon juice, salad dressing and even motor oil. None of it makes a bit of difference. It always tastes like death that hasn’t even been warmed over yet. I’d rather stick a hot poker in my kneecap than eat mushy canned spinach. How did Popeye stomach that slimy goo?

          girli, regarding your “all conservatives like spinach” fairy tale, sometimes I like to march to the beat of my own drummer. 😀

        • #3046207

          bah!

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to Canned spinach mush

          I think your drummer is off a beat

        • #3046205

          double bah

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to bah!

          No, you’re just tone deaf. Come to think of it, I seem to recall you saying once upon a time that you have lousy hearing in one ear. 🙂

        • #3046201

          indeed

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to bah!

          but that does not affect my ability to feel the music.

        • #3046231

          I like traffic lights

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to I hate spinach

          But only when they’re green.

        • #3045637

          I like potatoes

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to I like traffic lights

          but not when they are green!

        • #3045614

          I like yellow squash

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to I like potatoes

          Only when they are yellow. Same goes for bananas. I hate green bananas (too grimy) and rotten brown bananas are even worse (too slimy).

        • #3045598

          I like yellow bananas

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          but with a tint of green on the edges of the peel. I don’t even understand those mini bananas.

        • #3045588

          Bananas

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          Are you talking about the short, fat, brown bananas that are always laying out in the produce section of the grocery store and are more of a curiosity than a salable item and that nobody ever seems to buy? I can’t figger one thing out about bananans. Aren’t bananas grown in tropical places like the Carribean? Every time I’ve been to a Carribean island (over a dozen times in my short, dreary lifetime), they only have those short, fat, brown bananans. No Chiquitas whatsoever. And they don’t even taste very good. They sorta taste like acorn squash. Carribean people have other unusual food items, but this banana thing keeps me awake at night. Where in the world is the Chiquita factory?

        • #3045577

          yeah, those bananas

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          those nasty little oddities. I bet the Chiquita’s come from a special farm in the middle of peru and guarded by mighty warriors from the Andes.

        • #3045541

          Chiquita

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          [i]Chiquita is truly a global company. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, they have 26,000 full-time employees and operations on six continents. They own approximately 90,000 acres (36,400 hectares) and lease about 50,000 acres (20,000 hectares) of improved land, primarily in [b]Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala[/b] and [b]Honduras[/b]. They also grow bananas on the [b]Ivory Coast[/b] and through joint ventures in the Philippines and Australia. Mostly, they use this land for growing, packing and shipping our bananas. They also own power plants, warehouses, irrigation systems, wharves and a railroad.[/i]

        • #3045535

          a railroad?!

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          wow. you learn something new every day.

        • #3045525

          Those others aren’t what we call “bananas” in the U.S.

          by dc guy ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          Those brown, green, and oddly shaped banana-like fruits are called “platanos” in Spanish and “plantains” in French. You have to COOK them! They are not meant to be eaten raw like the “bananas” we’re used to.

          In Cuban restaurants I’ve had them sliced and sauteed, but I’m sure such a ubiquitous source of starch has other recipes as well. They cook them both green (platanos verdes) and ripe (platanos maduros). The green ones vaguely resemble french fries. But the ripe ones are sweeter and a little softer, vaguely (even more vaguely than the previous comparison) like a french-fried sweet potato. They’re both quite tasty.

          Of course the Cuban-Americans helpfully translate the word and tell us they serve “fried bananas” which doesn’t sound so appealing. But if you’ve ever experimentally fried a banana and ended up with icky mush that tasted like rotten bananas, don’t worry, platanos are much sturdier and are meant for cooking. The texture is great and the flavor is brought out.

          Actually the sign in my grocery store calls them “plantains,” even though most of us are far more likely to run into them in the cuisine of Spanish-speaking countries than (I suppose?) Haiti or Martinique. I guess we English speakers just can’t help it, we love to assimilate French words even when they’re not appropriate.

        • #3045517

          Trains and plantains

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          and I’m a poet.

          Plantains…that’s the word I was looking for. I forgot the real name of that particular species of the banana genus. Thanks, DC.

          girli, yep a railroad. At first I couldn’t figger out why they would own any of those non-bananalike things. But other than power plants, they all have to do with production, shipping and storage of their bananas. Warehouses for storage. Irrigation systems for watering (though why they need to manually water anything in a tropical rain forest is beyond me). Wharves for receiving shipments from the banana farms. And your railroad for shipping from wharves to the friendly neighborhood grocer. The power plant thing is puzzling. Maybe they found a way to convert bananas into nuclear energy.

        • #3044305

          banana power

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          sounds like a good idea. but I think monkeys migth get mad at us taking all their bananas (yes, we have no bananas) and the monkeys will go and hire some liberal lawyer out of California and we’ll end up having to give the planet back over to the apes and…. wait a second! Maybe that’s what happened on Planet of the Apes! It’s really about our future! Wow! I am beginning to see things more clearly. After work I think I’ll run by the zoo and pay homage to our new rulers.

        • #3044231

          I Like all fruits and veggies except

          by surflover ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          Brussel sprouts (the smell could make a dead man vomit), and avacados (had a tree in my front yard in honolulu that produced so many I got sick from eating them)…

        • #3044228

          M_a_r_k / girlie, the Power plants are

          by surflover ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          to run the production (packing) plants in the south american countries…I forget which ones specifically, but Discovery or Natl. Geo did a documentary on bananas last year and showed some of Chiquita’s operations….

          Yes girlie, you do learn something every day :^O

        • #3044221

          READ MY BLOG!!!!!!!

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          I wrote a pretty poem! everyone must see it!

        • #3045029

          banana moonshine, apes, armageddon, broccoli, petting zoos and poetry

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          I think we’ve covered just about every controversial topic imaginable in this thread. And not a single argument broke out! We should use this conversation as a model for every other member of TR to follow when discussing volatile issues. haha!

        • #3045020

          Not all controversial topics – here’s one

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          Moon Pies: Chocolate, Vanilla, or Banana? Or one of the new-fangled fruit-filled ones?

          I prefer the traditional Chocolate Moon Pies. If you disagree, then you must be a liberal, socialist, left-wing sort of nut!!!

          http://www.moonpie.com/

        • #3045017

          I like chocolate moonpies

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          I like chocolate everything

        • #3044987

          Chocolate stuff

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          I love chocolate anything too. It’s one my weaknesses. If you really wanna know, it’s my only weakness. 😀 Keep me away from chocolate stuff. It won’t last long.

          Moonpies–I guess I’ve been living in a cave with girli’s monkeys b/c I didn’t know there was such a thing as spinach-filled moonpies. You did say spinach-filled, didn’t you, Tom? Hell, maybe you didn’t say that. Somewhere in this thread-tht-never-ends somebody was talking about spinach-something-or-other. Or was that the spinach-powered nuclear reactor?

        • #3114334

          Spinach powered nuclear reactors

          by surflover ·

          In reply to I like yellow squash

          are what produce moon pies :^O

        • #3045508

          You missed the obscure reference

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to I like potatoes

          I guess not everyone gets obscure Monty Python quotes! 🙂

          http://www.elyrics.net/go/m/monty-python-lyrics/i-like-traffic-lights-lyrics/

          I thought it was due time to bring Monty Python into the discussion.

        • #3045501

          I got the reference

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          But didn’t know there were any more lyrics than you posted.

          James

        • #3045497

          Who’s Monty Python?

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          Yep I missed the reference. I haven’t read many of Monty Python’s books. :^O I don’t even like snakes that much anyway. double-:^O

        • #3044307

          Can you ever forgive me?

          by itgirli ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          I missed it, but should not have. Please forgive me.

        • #3044169

          You’ll have to paste that

          by dc guy ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          Corporate filter won’t navigate to it.

        • #3044106

          Lyrics for Traffic Light Song

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          No matter where they’ve been.
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          But only when they’re green.
          He likes traffic lights,
          He likes traffic lights,
          He likes traffic lights,
          No matter where they’ve been.
          He likes traffic lights,
          He likes traffic lights,
          He likes traffic lights,
          But only when they’re green.
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          That is what I said.
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          But not when they are red.
          He likes traffic lights,
          He likes traffic lights,
          That is what he said.
          He likes traffic lights,
          He likes traffic lights,
          He likes traffic lights,
          He likes traffic lights,
          He likes traffic lights,
          But not when they are red.
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          Although my name’s not Bamber.
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          I like traffic lights,
          I…Oh God!

        • #3044999

          Tom – on your traffic light song

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          .
          Get Steve Winwood or Dave Mason to sing them and you’d be set.

        • #3115519

          Speaking of missing the obscure reference. . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          .
          …..did no one pick-up on mine?

        • #3115494

          Max:

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          Few of us are old enough but I, alas, am!

          One of my favourite groups way back when I was a hippy…

          😀

        • #3115479

          Thanks Neil

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          I dont have any of their albums, but I do have some Winwood.

          It went over my head until Neil mentioned it.

          I was fixated on how I Hate Democrats scans and Republicans just doesn’t fit.

          James

        • #3115434

          Neil – Thank You . . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          .
          I have a couple of Traffic record albums (among my collection of 7,500, give or take, LPs and 78s).

          I’ll have to break out a Traffic record and play it.

          My most rare record, by the way, is a Beatles 1964 pressing of the LP “Ain’t She Sweet”. I loved the British invasion. (The one of 1964, not 1812). I was in grammar school.

        • #3114331

          MAX, The low spark

          by surflover ·

          In reply to You missed the obscure reference

          of high heeled boys was one of my fav’s… I’ve been away from the forum for a few days, but I caught it as soon as I saw it…

    • #3043446

      Even I saw the sarcasm

      by jck ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      and the obvious melodrama.

    • #3046198

      Time for an Independent?

      by antuck ·

      In reply to I Hate Democrats

      Personally I think you could have named this I hate politicians. I feel both sides are to blame.

      I have wondered for years what would happen if an independent were elected. It would have to be a billionare who doesn’t need some corporation filling thier pockets. Someone who isn’t concerned with keeping thier friends happy by passing laws to benifit them. Someone who belives in the consitiution, and doesn’t look at it like it is a historical document that needs to be rewritten to suit thier cause at the time.

      The sad thing is this will never happen. Each election I am forced to choose between idiot 1 and idiot 2. I have to some how figure out which one is going to screw me less. This is impossible because all the campaigning is about is each side pointing fingers at the other say how bad the other is.

      What I would really like to see is a candidate that tells me what they are going to do and how they will be accountable for it if they do not get it done.

      Maybe my title should have been fantasy land.

      • #3045612

        About the closest

        by jck ·

        In reply to Time for an Independent?

        I’ve seen to that was Jesse Ventura…he actually told people what he thought…and, he got a lot of bunk for it. But, he always distinguished between what he liked/wanted…and what was best for the people.

        Of course, I think even the corruption eventually got to him.

        At least the guy was honest and didn’t mish-mash around like some stone-faced bean-counting aristocratic knob.

      • #3045605

        Agree about both sides to blame

        by m_a_r_k ·

        In reply to Time for an Independent?

        And for that reason I don’t think an independent could get anything done with Congress. They are more concerned about their own party’s well-being than the nation’s well-being. Doesn’t matter how good your ideas are, you need a lot of oomph to back you up. In our govt, that oomph only comes from political parties. And party members will provide that oomph based on party membership more times than not.

      • #3045432

        That would be a wakeup call for the other parties

        by av . ·

        In reply to Time for an Independent?

        It would have to be someone rich, so they didn’t owe anyone anything. The problem with independents is that no one knows anything about them. They really need a party of their own that can give them equal footing with the other parties.

        Political campaigns are out of control. So much money spent, so many negative ads from both parties. I can’t stand to look at them anymore. I just don’t get it.

        We need to start over.

        • #3044234

          maybe someone

          by jck ·

          In reply to That would be a wakeup call for the other parties

          like a Warren Buffett?

        • #3044115

          A name I thought of

          by antuck ·

          In reply to maybe someone

          He was one of the names I had thought about. Someone with two tons of money. So no corp could intimidate or buy him.

          I agree though that having an independent in office would probably be less productive. Since the two side we have now, are very loyal to each other. They would fight tooth and nail even if it was wrong.

          Although, the one man, Ross Perot, I liked some of his ideas. Like when Countries have trade limits with us. We would impose the exact same limits on them. What a concept! Again, he had so much money he could laugh at corps when they tried to buy him out.

        • #3044914

          Ross Perot could have been good

          by av . ·

          In reply to A name I thought of

          I think we just weren’t ready for it at the time. He did have great ideas that were just so simple, but effective. No bull.

          I think Warren Buffett would be a great choice too because he could fix our fiscal woes.

        • #3044910

          Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Ross Perot could have been good

          .
          He has called for unilateral nuclear disarmament and has donated heavily to this cause.

          He actively backed Hillary Clinton’s bid for the U.S. Senate and helped her raise money.

          Warren Buffett wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post criticizing President Bush?s proposed cut in the dividend tax as a change that would benefit the rich.

          The following is a cut-and-pasted story:

          Who really is the party of the rich?

          Of the ten richest United States senators, eight are members of the soi disant people?s party. They are in order of their wealth:

          1-Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry (net worth, $620 million)

          2- Wisconsin Democrat Herbert Kohl ($300 million)

          3- West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller ($200 million)

          4- New Jersey Democrat Jon Corzine ($71 million)

          5-California Democrat Dianne Feinstein ($26 million)

          7-New Jersey Democrat Frank Lautenberg ($17 million)

          9- North Carolina Democrat John Edwards ($12 million)

          10-Massachusetts Democrat Ted Kennedy ($10 million)

          However, Senators are not the only rich Democrats. Some of the wealthiest people in the United States, indeed the world are Democrats.

          Warren Buffet, the billionaire investor and the world’s second-richest man, is a Democrat. He is now John Kerry?s economic adviser. He was economic adviser to Bob Kerry?s Democratic presidential candidacy in 1992.

          Billionaire George Soros, who was indicted for fraudulent transactions, is a Democrat. Soros has stated that he will spend whatever it takes to get rid of George Bush. Soros is funding groups like MoveOn.org.

          Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs is also a Democrat and also advising Kerry about economic issues. Jobs appointed Al Gore to the Board of Directors of Apple Computer Corporation.

          Susie Tompkins Buell, who is co-founder of the fashion company Esprit, is a Democratic Party donor and activist.

          Many of California’s wealthiest people are Democrats. They include, Steve Kirsch, Haim Saban, and Steve Bing. The three gave $20.2 million to Democratic Party committees in 2002. Haim Saban, is owner of Saban Entertainment. They are the producers of the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” Steve Kirsch is a Dot.com millionaire. He was Infoseek?s founder and sold it to Disney. Stephen Bing is the grandson of a New York real estate. Bing also contributed $1 million to help pay for the Democrats? national convention.

          Leo Hindery Jr., a cable magnate, recently resigned as CEO of New York?s YES cable network because, ?At this point all I’m interested in is getting a majority in the Senate for the Democrats and in getting Senator Kerry elected in November, ?he was quoted as saying, by Reuters April 5.

          The Saint Petersburg Times reported that trial lawyer Harry Jacobs, who has earned millions representing patients in malpractice suits, wants to spend millions to be a Florida Democrat congressman. The Orlando Sentinel has reported Jacobs has a net worth of at least $42-million, largely from suing doctors and nursing homes.

          Wayne Hogan earned $54-million by representing Florida against tobacco companies. He also wants to be a Florida congressman.

          West Virginia millionaire trial lawyer Democrat and Congressional candidate Jim Humphreys made his fortune helping plaintiffs win settlements from asbestos manufacturers.

          Bernard L. Schwartz, CEO of Loral Space & Communications is a major Democrat donor. He was a principal character in the Chinagate scandal (the sale of advanced satellite and space technology to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army).

          C. Michael Armstrong, Chairman of Comcast Corporation the world?s largest cable company is also a major financial supporter of the DNC. He too was one of the major players that sold defense technology to Communist China.

          What is very interesting about the wealth of the Democrats is that much of it is or was made in the communications industry and in the legal industry. Comcast, Saban Entertainment, Loral Satellite, Infoseek, Shangri-La Entertainment, are or were all operated by Democrats.

          The trial lawyers are devoted constituent of the Democratic Party – especially those made millions suing doctors such as John Edwards.

          When you combine the Democrats pervasive influence in the communications industry, the news industry (Ted Turner and Rick Kaplan just to name two), the legal profession, and the labor unions ? especially government labor unions ? the power they have to control this country is incredible.

          This nexus of those who craft the laws and argue the laws with those who communicate and entertain the public should be frightening to the conspiracy theorists. For example, Bing the millionaire producer, contributed to Edwards campaign.

          This means that Democrats can craft the laws and then propagandize easily what they are doing. They can create their very own 1984.

          Yet, the mainstream media never mentions the concentration of wealth and power with the plutocrats of the Democratic Party. This wealth and power of the Democrats is only occasionally mentioned by the lunatic liberal fringe media. Wealth and power are almost exclusively associated with Republicans.

          Is there any wonder why?

          ———-

          Warren Buffet is the WORST kind of Democrat – a RICH ONE!

        • #3044777

          hahaha

          by jck ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          you bash him because he didn’t put his money behind someone you like.

          WAHHHHHHHHHHH!

          Those tears and $3.43 get you a Mocha Latte at Starbucks.

        • #3115706

          jck – is that the best you can do?

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          .
          Your messages really do lack merit. Is that the best you can do? I see that kind of thing coming from 12 year olds on the playground.

        • #3115667

          well…

          by jck ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          I’d rather be like me than be like you.

          Besides…I noticed two of my rather logic postings you haven’t replied to…especially the one dealing with tax study done in 1997. Couldn’t read that in 20 minutes, could ya?

          You’re weak…mentally. Deal with it. All the mud slinging in the world you do can’t cover it.

          I still get a laugh out of you quoting an solar expert as a climatological expert. That was the pinnacle of your intellectual incompetence.

          Just keep yapping…you’re removing all doubt.

        • #3115635

          Sorry, jck, the fool quote. . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          .
          ….applies to you.

          And I’m still waiting for you to reply to my questions in other threads.

          As to my mental capacity (or however you phrased it), it’s not worthy of comment.

        • #3115570

          Who really is the party of the rich? you asked

          by antuck ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          Well by reading you post, I would say the Democrats.

          So I decided to do a little search and see. I will say up front my search wasn’t an in depth search. I did not put much time into it. I merely went to google and typed in richest senators. I opened a few pages to see what they had to say. I came accross this page

          http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/06/13/senators.finances/

          Now this does some what agree with your “top 10” but a closer look shows that the Republicans out number the Democrats by four as far as senators goes. Now this list is two years old. But I don’t feel that it is that out dated.

          As far as going through the richest people and thier political sides and who gave to what cause, I’m not going to waste my time. I’m sure I could come up with the same kind of list that points at the Republicans.

          As far as your dislike of Warren Buffet, it looks to me like your option is based on his Democratic affiliation. Just my guess.

          But curiously, how would you feel about an independent being in office? Or are you happy with the two parties we are stuck with now?

        • #3115527

          andy@ – I don’t dislike Warren Buffet

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          .
          I was only pointing out that he was far removed from being an independent, and he’s about as liberal in his views as John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. Actually, I neither like or dislike him. If anything, I admire him for his business savvy, and how he made so many “average” people quite wealthy.

          My guess is that AmericanVoter, the guy who suggest that Buffet would be a good president, doesn’t know the first thing about him except the fact that he has about a gazillion zeros behind his net-worth number. But just because a person attained great wealth in his private life, it doesn’t automatically mean he could solve all the financial woes of an entire nation. Besides, one guy sitting in the White House can’t change decades of flawed legislation that has, over the past forty years, taken 10 trillion (yes, trillion) dollars from the citizen who earned them, and gave them to citizens (or non-citizens) who did not. I shudder to think what the projected transfer-of-wealth programs will cost us over the next forty years if the madness doesn’t stop.

          Buffet could not wave any magic financial wand to fix this mess. It would take drastic legislation in congress. And not only could he not do it, even if he wanted to, but his stated political views would suggest that we’d get a lot more of the same. My only point, however, was that Warren Buffet is not an independent.

          And anyone who espouses unilateral nuclear disarmament can only be one of two thing. Either he’s extremely naive’ in “trusting” every other nation in the world, especially nuclear-card carrying nations, to play nice from now till forever, or he’s lying about the nuclear ace (or aces) he would hide up his sleeve. Such talk is nonsense, especially for a commander in chief.

          ———-

          You asked how I felt about independents, in general, and/or the current two-party system.

          I actually supported, very actively, I might add, and voted for Ross Perot in 1992. In hind-sight, however, I wouldn’t do it again. But in the spirit of never saying never, it would take an extremely viable third-party presidential candidate who actually had a chance of winning to capture my vote again.

          I’m actually a libertarian in principle, but I would never vote for the Libertarian candidate for a national office, at least not today. The reason is two-fold. The current Libertarian Party is actually too extreme, and in today’s political reality their agenda could never come to pass, at least not in one fell swoop, and not in any near future. So their platform just gets shot down from day one; they don’t have a chance of winning. A slower and longer-term approach is more reasonable.

          A third-party vote also denies a vote to a person’s “second choice” candidate (either the Dem or the Repub). That’s tantamount to a half-game drop in the standings, if I could use a sports analogy (or a half-game lead by the last-choice guy). In 1992, for example, my least favorite candidate was Bill Clinton, but I actually helped him by denying George HW Bush my vote.

          We have a strongly embedded two-party system, like it or not, and for better or for worse. And the majority party gets to chair the congressional committees, and they decide which bills are even presented to congress; the majority party gets more of a say, if not all of the say, in the appointed federal judiciary; the majority party sets the agenda; and so on. An independent will not contribute to that majority, so even an independent Senator or Representative wouldn’t get my vote, at least not right now. And the last thing I want is another Democrat majority in congress.

          I think it’s a more practical expectation to try and change the Republican Party from within, to go back to the more libertarian base of the 1960s Republican Party of Barry Goldwater. Conservatism used to resemble libertarianism a lot more than it does today, and those are the roots that should be focused on. You have to be in the field of play if you expect to win the game, and a third-party candidate can’t even get past the nose-bleed seats of the outfield bleachers. And I want to at least be on the field.

        • #3115508

          whatever, Max

          by jck ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          I’ve waited for you to reply in other places as well…two others in this thread alone up above here…for a couple days.

          You seem to stop posting when you want to, so I’ll pay you the same courtesy at this point.

          Go back to thinking you’re right and letting Bush and his guys sneak behind your back and fool you into thinking you’re living free getting so much freedom by giving you rhetoric.

          Your ignorance will lead to your personal sadness.

          The only thing worse than the guy who’ll stab you is the guy who’ll stab you in the back.

          Just remember that.

        • #3115498

          Buffet and Nuclear disarmament…

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          There is a case to be made for unilateral nuclear disarmament – and here is my stab at it.

          Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you have 10,000 nuclear weapons of various types and ages.

          Your closest rival may have a similar number. You both have excess capacity in case much of your arsenal gets wiped out in a first strike.

          But in reality, you know that even if you are hit with a first strike, you still have a massive retaliatory strike left that could wipe out your worst enemy.

          I’m not suggesting a total disarmament, and I don’t know if thats what Buffet is thinking. But if you decommission your older nukes, you save money on maintenance, don’t lose any deterrence factor, but most important of all, you send a signal. Let me reduce 1000 nukes, and then ask you to come to the table to negotiate a bilateral reduction of many more.

          North Korea and China combined only have a fraction of the nuclear weapons that the US has, and yet the US is still deterred from some actions by that capability. Russia has decommisioned many nukes, but has enough to deter China many times over.

          James

        • #3115433

          Most politicians are rich

          by av . ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          Only the rich can compete anymore. Forget the parties, rich people run the world. Show me a list of the poor people in politics. Those politicians with less means are bought and sold by rich backers.

          A man like Warren Buffett already has lots of money and power, just like the rest of his opponents, therefore he could compete with the other parties. He is successful at building an unbelievable fortune. Maybe he could apply those principles to eliminating our national deficit.

          We are in dire straits in America these days. None of our politicians are doing anything for us lately except showing how incredibly inept and corrupt they are. They’re supposed to be working in our behalf. I’m tired of watching the partisan fighting. I think a viable, equally rich, third party might change the game. Perot tried to do it, but it has to be more organized.

        • #3114329

          Parrot head

          by surflover ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          didn’t he write a song about magaritas too ? :^O

        • #3114791

          Buffett is a great songwriter and musician

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          But his politics are too liberal for me.

          I still enjoy his “drunken Caribbean country rock and roll” or whatever he calls it that he does with the Coral Reefer Band.

          Despite his left-wing politics, it is still amazing that Buffet can both have a successful recording career, run his chain of Margaritaville restaurants, and be in charge of Berkshire-Hathaway. 🙂

          “Pink Sports Coat and White Crustacean” is a classic album by Buffet.

        • #3116747

          Tom – No No No – that was a WHITE sport coat. . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          .
          …and a pink carnation.

          And it was Marty Robbins, not Warren Buffet!

          And that was dang nice of you to invite us over for Margaritas! I like mine made with Jose Cuervo Gold and Grand Marnier — salted rim, of course.

        • #3116563

          Max, you are right about the album name

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          I got the colors reversed. I watched “Reservoir Dogs” recently and got Mr. Pink and Mr. White confused with each other. 🙂

          Anyway, I am sure it is Warren Buffet that did the album of that name. The Marty Robbins song is “White Sports Coat and Pink Carnation”, but Mr. Buffet substituted “Crustacean” with a picture of him with a Florida Lobster on the album cover.

        • #3116558

          While we are on the subject of Warren Buffet

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          The fact that he has not allowed a stock split of Berkshire-Hathaway (BRK.A), so now that it is priced at about $86,000 per share, shows he is an elitist. It keeps the common man from owning shares in his company. If he did a 1000-1 stock split, then it would be $86 per share and regular people could invest. But his elitist attitude insures only the very wealthy and institutional investors can share in his wealth.

          In contrast, Microsoft (MSFT) has undergone multiple stock splits, to keep the price per share at about $25, so regular middle-class people can invest in it. Most companies do stock splits whenever their price per share gets too high to keep the price per share low enough for small investors to buy, but not the elitist Warren Buffet with his Berkshire-Hathaway empire, the “Borg” of companies assimilating all that he can find.

        • #3116537

          Tom – Outstanding observation. . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Warren Buffet would be a TERRIBLE president

          .
          ….on the stock splits, or lack thereof.

          But do you think the guy who mentioned Buffet in the first place will change his mind? Not a chance.

        • #3115659

          My one concern with Perot

          by jck ·

          In reply to Ross Perot could have been good

          He wasn’t truly that independent. He has a LOT of business ties especially in the defense and research sectors.

          Buffett is one who has had to maintain the independence from having close ties with business to keep his highly rated investments that way.

          Perot did have great ideas, I agree. I voted for the man. But, I just had to consider whether or not his long history of very close associations would not come into play later. I know he financed his own campaign out of his own pocket, but old friends show back up when you least expect it.

          A friend in need…is a friend indeed.

        • #3115248

          Those are good points

          by av . ·

          In reply to My one concern with Perot

          Perot is still a businessman, but his ideas were honest and fair, unlike today’s businessman. He was a businessman with values from a different era. He had his own ideas and no one could ever buy him. Thats my remembrance of him.

          I can still hear his famous quote in my head about NAFTA, the “giant sucking sound of American jobs heading south to Mexico.” He was right, and that was in the early 90’s before all the major offshore outsourcing took place.

        • #3115225

          Those are TERRIBLE points

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to My one concern with Perot

          .
          You said, “(Perot) wasn’t truly that independent. He has a LOT of business ties especially in the defense and research sectors.”

          So friggin’ what? Therefore what? Perot absolutely hates the Bush family. And he absolutely hated Jimmy Carter for his debacle in the desert in 1980.

          Therefore what? State your conclusion.

          You said, “Buffett is one who has had to maintain the independence from having close ties with business to keep his highly rated investments that way.”

          Are you serious? He literally took over businesses, GEICO, for example, and I could name many others. “Business” is presumably the property of Republicans, but Buffet is definately a Democrat. Your premise and your conclusion don’t match.

          What a fool you are. Platitudes and “feel good” nonsense. That’s all you spew.

          You make up some stupid premise, and draw a stupid conclusion, sSo it’s no surprise that stupid comes to mind when I read your messages.

        • #3115224

          The way some people draw their conclusions. . . .

          by maxwell edison ·