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Obama hits Republicans on anti-tax stance

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"You need to take a balanced approach," he said.

tax(the plebs) and grow(the government)... a solution to nothing.

The real solution is that people really need to to be weaned from "Auntie" Sam's bosom (can you say bosom on JT?). Of course it took fifty years for the "social" approach to blow up in the UK's face... so I guess the US has a few more years to screw up the system some more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Talk about desperate. Imagine if Bush had pulled off a stunt like this, making a 'bus tour' , taxpayer-funded no less, of the Dems' first primary state days after Dem presidential candidates had gathered there. The RNC is right to mock him and the bus full of apparatchiks on "Obama's Debt-End Tour."

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Obama hit back at Republicans, apparently inspired by a debate in Iowa last week at which all the Republicans hoping to win the party nomination outright rejected the possibility of increasing tax revenue as the national debt has climbed beyond $14 trillion.

This justifies Standard & Poor's position for lowering the US credit rating: The Republicans will not accept even one dollar of tax increases balanced against ten dollars of cuts. They're insane.

Romney noted his 25 years in the private sector when asked about job growth in Texas under Perry, who has not held a private sector job as an adult, and the Texan’s impact on the Republican presidential contest.

To quote Clay Davis from The Wire -- regarding Perry's Texas "miracle" -- "SHHHEEEEEEEET." Texas is in the bottom half of US states for employment. The main way they "create" jobs is by stealing -- "displacing" -- them from other states. Texas might win a job but the U.S. gains nothing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Talk about desperate. Imagine if Bush had pulled off a stunt like this, making a 'bus tour' , taxpayer-funded no less

Bush never would have gotten on a bus. He and his massive entourage would have needed Air Force One and a couple of other jets. Besides, Iowa doesn't have enough millionaires for Bush to brown-nose.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dear Mod, please correct:

"when all eight candidates said the would"

to

"when all eight candidates said they would"

by changing "the" to "they".

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yabits

The main way they "create" jobs is by stealing -- "displacing" -- them from other states. Texas might win a job but the U.S. gains nothing.

You seem to be saying companies should be prevented, with force if need be, from moving to a different state.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

You seem to be saying companies should be prevented, with force if need be, from moving to a different state.

Serious question: How can right-wing morons expect to continue to fool a majority of Americans with "Texas miracles" when they degenerate to statements like the one quoted above?

Must be very desperate times on the far right wing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The typo has been corrected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here's the punch line for the Republican candidates:

"We're gonna cut Meds and education, but we're not gonna raise taxes to corporations to solve the debt problem. Why? Because "corporations are people who can bring money to Americans for better life!"

Typical of GOP politicians who call for a change in Washington are still obsessed with the relics of Reagan‘s economic policy in the 80s. I wish this is not the common understanding among all candidates, but they will likely weed out the odds.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow this thread is infested with the American right wing to whom the concept of balance means "My WAY ONLY!"

The biggest problem with American politics is illustrated here. The polarity that people have fallen into. So narrow minded and fixed on a set ideology that there is no room for compromise, no room for discussion and outright hatred for the other side.

I am saddened to see this, because I have lived long enough to see periods in our history where politicians did come together to address issues and solve problems by working across the isle and recongizing their mutual goals of doing right by the people.

But the new idealogues in the US, on both sides, cannot communicate and thus both fail to serve the needs of the working people of America.

Put your hatred aside. Put the dogma, propaganda and political BS aside. People need jobs, they need opportunities, they need hope for the future. But all the political world is giving them is swift hard kick in the head every time they allow this partisan nonsense to interfere with getting the work done to help get our country back on track.

SHAME ON BOTH SIDES!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

BreitbartVictorious: You seem to be saying companies should be prevented, with force if need be, from moving to a different state.

No. Why should they? States should be competitive but claiming you can create jobs when what you do is moving jobs from a state to an another doesn't change anything on national scale. "I'm the best candidate. I created jobs" sounds empty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do believe Obama supporters like tkoind are frantically worried, justifiably so, that the images of the rioting and lawlessness in Britain are going to translate into percentage points lost by Obama, in polls and even in the next election.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

States should be competitive but claiming you can create jobs when what you do is moving jobs from a state to an another doesn't change anything on national scale.

Perry did not move the jobs. Entire companies, many of them, left failed states like California and moved to Texas.There were incentives to do so.

"I'm the best candidate. I created jobs" sounds empty.

Tell it to the 1 in 6 Americans without one, or working one but in an underemployed capacity.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

to quote tkoind on another thread, posted today:

" Raise taxes during a recession and you reduce spending and put more pressure on consumers. That results in poor sales and profits by companies. That leads to lay offs and salary reductions. That leads to more decline in consumer confidence. "

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Breit.... no GOP candidate from Texas or anywhere else is going to address the needs of that 1 in 6 you refer to. The pro-corporate/anti-worker policies of both parties for decades have lead to the bleeding off of jobs to cheaper labor markets and the destruction of nearly all of America's production jobs.

The greed by companies to raise profits yet not share that back with more jobs is another issue. And the consumers are equally to blame in their expectation for plentiful cheap products rather than doing their civic duty of supporting local and domestic products and by proxy local and domestic jobs.

Again the polar nature of US politics now is huge dog and pony show with no more depth than a teaspoon. What people need are leaders who are prepared to make the very hard decisions to spend money to create jobs, regulate business to assure that they behave as good citizens and create jobs at home.

That 1 in 6 doesn't need underemployment or charity. They need viable jobs that let them be contributing members of society. That means funding education, funding retraining, making it easier for small business to gain access to money to build jobs.

All in all, if you want to solve problems, you cannot wish them away or talk them away with political BS, you have to be willing to invest and make change happen. What America needs is a leader with a 21st century New Deal to put the nation back on track.

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Breit. Just to clear you up a bit friend. So we can avoid wasting time talking about my support for this or that party.

I am not a DEM. 2. I am not GOP. 3. I am not an American Independent. 4. I do not subscribe to any political party or faction, in the US, Japan or anywhere for that matter.

Obama was the less of evils available in the last election. I did not expect my political ideas to be achieved by Obama or any other candidate in the last election. 6. But I was very happy to see George go away!

Now. Do I think the GOP will sweep back into power. Unlikely. This line up is not viable to enough of the US conservative population, let alone the rest, to gain a powerful mandate. Especially your Texan.

Romney and Huntsman are the less of the current list of evils, but their association with the Mormon cult will not sit well with the conservative bible thumping crowd.

So I don't see a viable threat to Obama on the GOP horizon yet. I do see a lot of wishful thinking destined to lead to disappointment.

Would I welcome another term of Obama? Better than the current GOP offerings. But I would only expect another four years of polarized BS in the congress and the inability to make decisions or solve problems.

What I would like to see, just so we are clear there too, is a government that represents the people first and not just the wealthy or the corporations. I would like to see a 21st Century New Deal to put people to work and others on the path to new careers. I would like to see an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I would like to see a focus upon the needs of ordinary Americans and a heck of a lot less pointless infighting.

Clear enough?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The pro-corporate/anti-worker policies of both parties for decades have lead to the bleeding off of jobs to cheaper labor markets and the destruction of nearly all of America's production jobs.

So much melodrama in your posts. Manufacturing is doing quite well in America. But it could do a lot better.I'd like to see the changes from the bottom up and without the heavy hand of gov't. If Dems would allow for greater choice in education I think you would see a shift, coordinated by companies and communities, towards establishing something akin to the old fashioned trade school system, integrated within the present school system. Lots of kids want to work in manufacturing and crafts and recognize a good living can be made but are unable to get training.

The greed by companies to raise profits yet not share that back with more jobs is another issue.

"Greed" is a constant in human affairs. And your statement makes no economic sense, which is why you can offer no examples of companies raking it in but refusing to "share".

Again the polar nature of US politics now is huge dog and pony show with no more depth than a teaspoon.

I find blanket statements as dismissive as that one most often come from non-Americans. I know you say you lived in the US but the tone in many of your posts rings false, you often refer to the US in a third person sort of way,mate. You don't make a very good case for any of us believing you have the nation's best interests in mind.

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Thanks, Warren.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14533987

(snippet)

Mr Buffett explained that, like many top earners, his income came entirely from investments rather than from employment, which are subject to lower taxes in the US.

He said last year he paid an effective tax rate of 17.4%, less than the 33% to 41% paid by the employees in his office.

He dismissed arguments made by senior Republicans, including John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, that taxing higher earners more would damage investment and job creation in the US.

"I have yet to see anyone... shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gains," he said.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

superlib - Buffet is having a little fun with people

"Mr. Buffett's secret which you can find blasted all over the Internet is one of his famous quotations:

"Our favorite holding period is forever"

"You only pay income taxes at any rate on realized appreciation. An investment with a holding period of forever incurs a capital gains tax of 0%, while all along the holder can be getting wealthy from appreciation. That's the real reason Mr. Buffett does not pay a lot of income taxes." http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2011/08/15/the-real-reason-warren-buffetts-taxes-are-low/

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Brei..... "I find blanket statements as dismissive as that one most often come from non-Americans."

BS! Complete and utter BS. I was born in a working class neighborhood in the US. Grew up there. Went to college there, worked there for decades before going out to see the rest of the world and to learn about the world outside the US. What gives you the idea that someone who doesn't agree with your GOP Disneyland vision of reality must be an outsider? Are we to that point of exclusion in the US now that we think only non-American's disagree with the idiotic politics at home?

"You don't make a very good case for any of us believing you have the nation's best interests in mind." And just who are you to judge who has the US best interests in mind. That sounds like the kind of repressive thinking that is the very root of the problem. Dismissive of others you disagree with and ready to show they are anti-American because they don't buy your vision of reality.

Well bad news buddy! A lot of American in the US and abroad look at the dog and pony show you call politics these days and we are sickened by it. We see people suffering, needing jobs and needing hope for their families while these bone headed politicians fight like a bunch of high school jocks at homecoming as if winning the debate for their team equals taking home the trophy.

People want real leaders who care about their needs. About JOBS, about HEALTH CARE, about SECURITY, about FAMILY and about the well being of working people. They don't want to be sold another pack of lies by any party or politician. They want solutions to their problems. And so do I.

Now if that makes me anti-American, Red, Communist, against the interests of America..... Well so be it. Because what I care about first and above all are people not your parties or your definition of America. To me the people are America and the only thing that matters!! We clear now?

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"He dismissed arguments made by senior Republicans, including John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, that taxing higher earners more would damage investment and job creation in the US.

"I have yet to see anyone... shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gains," he said."

Superlib. Exactly. The right wants us to believe that new taxes would kill off jobs and harm people. But in reality we need taxes that help build our nation through projects, education, healthcare and job creation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Here's conservatives strategy to "create jobs" -

1/ Cut spending across the board.

2/ Did we make any new jobz yet?

Really, people don't even need Economics 101 to see the bankruptcy of conservative ideolgy.

Republicans's insistance on spending cut will lead to states, local governments, cities, towns, etc. right across the board cutting spending.

Which will mean jobs, construction projects, you name it will be cut.

So, in the real world, conservatives strategy to "create jobs" will lead to even fewer jobs.

Honestly, I'm seriously embarrassed I actually felt the need to spell this out to my conservative colleagues on JT.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Any person with a shred of business nous knows that to create jobs, you've got to INVEST.

That means SPEND MONEY - on salaries, plant, buildings, R&D, etc.

Conservatives don't want this.

Conservatives simply do not want to invest in America.

Conservatives do not want to invest in American jobs.

Conservatives do not want to invest in the future of America.

And they think they're patriotic?!

They're screwing up the futures of an entire generation here by insisting on spending cuts and no investment.

This is one reason why I've been saying for years now that conservatives aren't patriotic, and do not have the best interests of their country at heart.

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SushiSake3. Exactly!!!!

One more. Conservatives just want to make money for themselves. Period! If that is at the expense of the people, then so be it. Greed. Unbridled greed.

And don't forget that you and I are anti-American for disagreeing with them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh yeah! Because I'm not American, I can't vote and therefore have absolutely no right whatseover to comment on American issues.

But Americans who can vote but have no idea whatsoever about the real issues DO have the right to comment on American issues.

LOL!!!!!

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I think we should welcome comments from our friends all over the world. I welcome your input, no matter where you are from. American policy impacts the entire world. From my point of view, that entitles anyone to have and express an opinion. A fundamental human right in my eyes.

As an American, I feel the right to disagree with the political parties and to have my own views. Afterall that is a freedom we are supposed to have. But the right wingers seem to think that if we disagree with their vision or their policy that we are anti-American. This is not the thinking of people who value freedom or who have read the constitution and the writings of our founding fathers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@SushiSake3

Yes! Well said. I'd absolutely love to see Obama stand up and repeat your exact words on TV to the entire US nation. Tell the selfish b*stards where to go!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“You need to take a balanced approach,” he said.

On one hand, I am sad he did not use math to prove it.

On the other, its probably shrewd politics to say such a generalized-to-the-point-of-being-nonsense mantra because math does seem to give too many Americans on both sides headaches these days.

The cuts are simply not enough to pay the debt in a reasonable amount of time and a few new cuts won't do it either. Tax breaks to the rich were nothing but a back scratching scam of the Bush administration and need to be repealed so we can pay the debt. In fact, taxes on the rich need to go up. because only they have the money to pay the debt. The poor and middle class simply do not have enough among them.

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SushiSake3:

Conservatives don't want this.

Conservatives simply do not want to invest in America.

Conservatives do not want to invest in American jobs.

Conservatives do not want to invest in the future of America.

Wait... that is going a bit too far I think. You are playing the same blind rhetoric.

If nobody has jobs and money, nobody is buying anything. I don't think conservatives are idiots. I don't see how Oligarchs and Wall Street conservatives would make any money then. In this economic pyramid scheme, the people at the top get the money from the people at the bottom. At least it worked well until the subprime. Just for that, the people at the top should contribute more.

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Tumbledry: "Wait... that is going a bit too far I think. You are playing the same blind rhetoric"

I disagree. Many states are on the verge of bankruptcy as it is and are already slashing jobs.

How is cutting their already cash-starved budgets going to create jobs?

Like raking water uphill.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr Buffett explained that, like many top earners, his income came entirely from investments rather than from employment, which are subject to lower taxes in the US.

He said last year he paid an effective tax rate of 17.4%, less than the 33% to 41% paid by the employees in his office.

If I was an employee of Mr. Buffet right now, I wouldn't be very amused to find out that he couldn't see fit to pay my salary based on investments also like he did to increase my take home pay and lowering the tax load on my salary. He figured it out but I guess his employees aren't worthy of it.

Talk about instilling loyality and caring in your employees knowing the big boss has got your back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tkoind, sorry but quotes like

Wow this thread is infested with the American right wing to whom the concept of balance means "My WAY ONLY!"

had me guessing. My apologies, if you are indeed an American citizen.

I was born in a working class neighborhood in the US. Grew up there. Went to college there, worked there for decades before going out to see the rest of the world and to learn about the world outside the US.

Same here.

A lot of American in the US and abroad look at the dog and pony show you call politics these days and we are sickened by it.

If only there was an organized grassroots movement for Americans sick of the same old shell game,eh.

It would have be a very vocal group though, made up of folks from all walks of life, out there protesting and holding rallies and working to get into office politicians who will listen to ordinary patriotic Americans. Yep, to awaken their compatriots these people, this populist, sort of unofficial political party would all but have to harken back to the founding of our great nation in the search for a unifying theme to show the tyrants that we will not surrender our liberty.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Breit As always, you hit the nail right on the head, excellent point.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

SushiSake3: I'm for tax increases for the higher revenues and at the same time for drastic cuts. An equilibrium has to be found but both ends of the already too narrow political spectrum can't agree. I don't have the magic formula either.

sailwind: if you aren't born with the silver spades in your mouth, you have to play the system or manipulate it at your advantage to arrive at the top. Hard work though.

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Even Regean raised taxes, you know. It's silly to pretend that there is no situation in which a tax increase might be warranted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think we can all agree that cutting budgets is only going to cut jobs, so the conservative budget-slashing mentality is already skewered in terms of logic, not to mention fatal in terms of job creation.

I think Obama had it right in the first place – stimulus packages.

Conservatives will only denounce these due to their corrupted ideaology, but let’s face it: if the government gives $50 million to a state and earmarks it for road construction, provided it is used appropriately, jobs WILL be created, tax revenues WILL increase, people will remain employed or get new jobs, those same people WILL feel more confident to open up their wallets and spend in the community. Sure, the deficit will rise and so will debt servicing costs, but that will be offset by increased revenues in the form of taxes.

What’s the alternative?

The alternative is the conservative agenda: Ie: slash ALL spending, which will lead to jobs being slashed and people’s lives, futures and self-motivation being laid to waste.

The Conservative Way: Destroy America

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sushisake3

I think we can all agree that cutting budgets is only going to cut jobs, so the conservative budget-slashing mentality is already skewered in terms of logic, not to mention fatal in terms of job creation.

Who is this 'we' in your statements? A superlib pointed out the other day you basically loathe America.You have declared you would never do business there so why would any of us think you know the first thing about the economy and how to fix it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I was an employee of Mr. Buffet right now, I wouldn't be very amused to find out that he couldn't see fit to pay my salary based on investments also like he did to increase my take home pay and lowering the tax load on my salary. He figured it out but I guess his employees aren't worthy of it.

I think you've missed the point here, his income comes from his personal investments and not from a salary. To tie a salary to the performance of the BH investment portfolio would still incur the standard income tax rates. That's the point he's making - those with more money and who earn there income more from investments than from their salary are subject to lower tax rates.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's the point he's making - those with more money and who earn there income more from investments than from their salary are subject to lower tax rates.

Buffet is taking his case ("Our favorite holding period is forever") and generalizing. See my post at above at 11:18.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

With this budget-slashing-only agenda, conservatives have been sold a dead horse again by their leaders in Washington.

It’s not going to help America in the slightest.

It really would be helpful if conservatives stopped watching FOX news and actually thought about the consequences of their actions for once.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

" ordinary patriotic Americans"

I don't like the word patriotic as used in current vernacular. It implies that there are Americans who are not-patriotic or somehow less American. This is a dangerous use of the word.

For me, a patriotic isn't a necessary description. I am happy to see all American's work to make the county better and to call out for leadership that pays attention to their needs. No party necessary and no antics either.

As for the "same old shell game" This applies to both sides in American politics. The right for serving the interests of corporations and the rich over working class people. For leveraging religion and "morality" to blind poor conservatives to their anti-working class agenda.

To the left for failing to provide leadership and solutions that create jobs and truly empower people to break the cycle of poverty.

Politics in America have failed. What is needed now is a willingness to take on the responsibility to make things better. That means investing in jobs, investing in education. Sorting out real, non commercial healthcare for people to maintain their health. And working on programs that put people to work or on the path to work when they complete retraining or new education.

These things take money and that needs to come from taxes. And not only on the mainstream of America, but on the rich and on the companies too. You don't get something for nothing, we all want a better stronger America and that is going to cost money and taxes to make happen. But it will raise us all up and prepare our nation for a stronger future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If we want a stronger America where people are able to work, contribute to society and remain competitive on the global stage, we need to spend the money and pay the taxes to make that happen.

And we need to change how we live. We cannot drive up personal debt the way we have. We need to live within our means.

We also need to encourage local production, jobs and economies. That means maybe paying more for some items made at home in the US or in your town rather than expecting everything to be imported and cheap. Local products mean local people working to produce them. That means more local people contributing to the welfare of the community and the nation.

We need to apply regulations that punish companies for moving jobs offshore only for lower paid labor. Or tax such companies tarrifs if they wish to import those goods to the US that were previously made here.

I also think that salary limitations needs to be looked at. There is no rational reason why any worker at any level should make thousands of time the average educated worker's salary. This is sheer greed and needs to restricted. If not through limitations, then through significant taxes for people earning over a certain amount each year. These people get rich off the labor of others and should help carry a greater burden to care for society.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Buffet is taking his case ("Our favorite holding period is forever") and generalizing. See my post at above at 11:18.

Long-term capital gains tax is 15% in the US to my understanding, well below income tax rates. The article you linked to is pure fluff and simply wrong - Buffett is discussing taxable income which excludes anything he's "holding onto forever".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You want to know how the Conservatives plan on "investing" in America? Starting a new war. As Marine Corp. General Smedly Butler stated "War is a Racket". Bush used war(s) to bring his sagging economic numbers up and show immense growth for the economy. Most of that growth was centered around the Military Industrial Complex (something General/President Eisenhower warned about). Defense related companies like Halliburton (VP Cheney) and several others (including big oil) generated huge profits but didn't put much back into the country. We've been at war for 10 years now. You think the Obama administration can invade a country to boost the economy?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think you've missed the point here, his income comes from his personal investments and not from a salary. To tie a salary to the performance of the BH investment portfolio would still incur the standard income tax rates. That's the point he's making - those with more money and who earn there income more from investments than from their salary are subject to lower tax rates.

Not sure I really missed the point actually. I tend to believe a guy like Warren Buffet, who is by all accounts a guy that knows his stuff when it comes to money would have a pretty easy time working out a compensation package for his employees that would be well below the tax rates that they are paying now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Wow this thread is infested with the American right wing to whom the concept of balance means "My WAY ONLY!"

I disagree with this statement. Im an American but not a right winger. Nevertheless, Im totally opposed to Obama`s attack and bus tour. Perhaps what you are seeing is not right wingers all over this board because basically most Americans I meet in Japan are very liberal compared to the general American population. What you are seeing is Americans across the board very disappointed with how Obama has handled his role as President and the decisions he has made.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SushiSake3Aug. 16, 2011 - 04:30PM JST

I think we can all agree that cutting budgets is only going to cut jobs

Well, we can't. Cutting budgets will surely cut government jobs, and will surely cut the jobs of contractors who work for the government. But that is to say nothing of the private sector. The idea is that the private sector will take up the slack. We will pay that private sector each individually, essentially voting with our money rather than have the government choose.

Government is bloated. That simple fact is part of why we are so far in debt. We don't need more government jobs. We need more private sector jobs. I am okay with the government commissioning private sector companies and NPOs and using its legal powers to give them a start. But throwing tax money at problems is not an optimal answer to just about anything you can name.

Entrepreneurialsim is what we need in general, not more socialism. For some things, socialism is grand. For most things, not so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Romney noted his 25 years in the private sector when asked about job growth in Texas under Perry, who has not held a private sector job as an adult, and the Texan’s impact on the Republican presidential contest.

Texas is in the bottom half of the 50 US states w/regards to unemployment rate.

Perry just proved he was unfit to be a national leader when he was asked if he thought the current president of the United States loved his country. Perry didn't have the decency or courage to give a straight answer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unless manufacturing is brought back to the US, I don't know what sort of jobs anyone is envisioning being created. Not everyone is going to be a doctor, scientist or engineer (work which also can be accomplished overseas cheaper & e-mailed back to the US). Construction? We don't need any more houses being built. We could use some infrastructure work (our infrastructure is failing & needs to be repaired/replaced). Unless it's all privatized, taking care of infrastructure is the governments' responsibility (local, state &/or federal). You're not going to get there by budget cuts alone.

There's a large sign on a railroad bridge across the Delaware River into Trenton, NJ - "Trenton Makes - The World Takes." Trenton hasn't made anything for decades & the only people working are those working on the Superfund sites where Trenton used to make stuff....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Romney: "I think the only other person who has that kind of extensive private-sector experience besides me in the Republican race is Herman Cain"

Hey, whatever happened to Cain? He is, after all, also the only Republican candidate who can take some of the black vote away from Obama.

yabits: Perry just proved himself unfit to be a national leader when he was asked if he thought the current president of the United States loved his country"

Obama loves his country so much he's loving it to death.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey, whatever happened to Cain? He is, after all, also the only Republican candidate who can take some of the black vote away from Obama.

Yeah, kinda ironic, isn't it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey, whatever happened to Cain? He is, after all, also the only Republican candidate who can take some of the black vote away from Obama.

What you have just claimed is that Herman Cain is the Republicans' race card. (Is that also why the Republicans make a special effort to put some black faces in the crowd and on stage at their conventions?) Or, are you trying to claim that African-Americans in the US are so stupid that they couldn't tell the difference between a Republican and a Democrat as long as both were black?

As if we didn't need yet another reminder that condescending and racist attitudes are alive and well among the right-wing.

Obama loves his country so much he's loving it to death.

What gets me is that conservatives who are totally clueless about how to get the country out of great recession can only spout hatred for someone who is actually making a real effort to turn the economy around. The truth is that few things express hatred for America as clearly as wanting to destroy its full faith and credit -- which the Republicans did when they held up a routine vote on the debt ceiling. They held the entire nation hostage to their demands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@7777...

Anger at Obama alone is misdirected. After all a US president is not a dictator. He cannot impose his policies on a country. He must have the cooperation of the congress. Which Obama has not had much support.

Again the issue is that both sides are so polarized against each other that it is impossible for them to cooperate and resolve problems. So blaming the president alone is like saying the fallen tree is responsible for the wind that blew it over. It ignores the greater picture and the greater failure of government.

Now if you are right and we are seeing just more frustrated Americans, then why are we seeing this rush to the right? After Bush I am sure the middle and left have no interest in going back down the GOP road. And if they are not interested in Obama, then there should be a third front forming out there. Which there really isn't beyond the usual non-starter candidates.

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I think what we see on this board are people who have bought into GOP propaganda that tax cuts and pro-corporate practices will somehow lead to jobs and prosperity. Which is absolute nonsense.

For working people there is no light at the end of the 2012 election tunnel. Whoever becomes president will not represent them, he/she will continue to be from one of the two main parties which represent the rich and the corporations and care very little for working people despite all their chatter to the contrary.

America needs monumental political change to address her problems. And that means dropping these parties in favor of a near approach.

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SushiSake: I think we can all agree that cutting budgets is only going to cut jobs, so the conservative budget-slashing mentality is already skewered in terms of logic, not to mention fatal in terms of job creation.

Didn't you say the US needs to cut defense spending immediately? Did your plan include provisions to slash 30% of the defense budget while keeping jobs at the same time? Seems like your theory about saving government spending only pans out for programs that you personally want to keep. And if you don't like the program, you demand slashes that lose jobs which you just told us is the #1 thing we need to protect. That's probably because your opinions change daily based on what you think sounds good.

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yabits: "Or are you trying to claim that African-Americans in the US are so stupid that they couldn't tell the difference between a Republican and a Democrat as long as both were black?"

Um, no. yabits, you seem to be unaware that Obama received nearly 100% of the black vote.

"condescending and racist attitudes are alive and well among the right-wing"

Um, no, but condescending attitudes are most definitely alive and well among the left-wing.

"(Obama ) is actually making a real effort to turn the economy around"

Yeah? So far all he's managed to do is make it much worse. Remember, he inherited a less than 6% unemployment rate and a triple-A credit rating and look what's happened since he took office, lol. Oh, wait, I forgot, this is all the fault of the Republican-controlled House, never mind, lol.

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tkoind2, I cannot agree with your sentiments for two reasons.

First, I do not believe that politics in the US is as soul-less as you imply. While certain players might abuse voters' dreams and misconceptions, that does not mean that those dreams are not legitimate, nor does it mean that a great number of politicians are not working earnestly towards fulfilling these dreams. Healthy skepticism is a virtue; cynicism is a vice.

Second, a political system is a mechanism with its own dynamics which tend to be very resistant to change. It may sound fine to call for dropping the two-party system, but this two-party system has brought the US through the Civil War, two world wars, and a host of other calamities. Things may be bad now, but they have been utterly worse before, and to espouse an overturn of what has served us so well in the past is not only quixotic, it is unwise.

Force the parties to cleanse themselves: that is the only way forward.

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Again the issue is that both sides are so polarized against each other that it is impossible for them to cooperate and resolve problems.

Sorry, tkoind2, but you are not portraying the situation accurately. It is not both sides.

It is one side that has indicated its unwillingness to compromise even if the other side gave up 10 parts of its position to get 1 part. President Obama has bent over backwards -- receiving heavy criticism from the progressives in his base -- in extending the Bush tax cuts and offering to put entitlement cuts on the table -- to try and reach compromises.

The truth is that the Tea Party faction that now controls the Republican Party is completely opposed to whatever President Obama might propose. They have made as their Number One goal not working on the issues facing the nation, but defeating President Obama. Their number one goal. And you want to cast equal blame on the Democrats when faced with this kind of unprincipled opposition?

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Um, no. yabits, you seem to be unaware that Obama received nearly 100% of the black vote.

Yes, I'm unaware. I don't judge candidates by the color of their skin. And I don't vote for candidates on that basis. It is rather obvious that Republicans like yourself freely admit that putting up a black face (in Herman Cain) will attract voters just like themselves: people who will make their choice based solely on color.

So far all he's managed to do is make it much worse. Remember, he inherited a less than 6% unemployment rate and a triple-A credit rating

The thing that is hurting the United States more than anything else are so many on the right-wing who can't tell the truth about anything, and have no interest in the truth whatsoever.

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For working people there is no light at the end of the 2012 election tunnel. Whoever becomes president will not represent them, he/she will continue to be from one of the two main parties which represent the rich and the corporations and care very little for working people despite all their chatter to the contrary. America needs monumental political change to address her problems. And that means dropping these parties in favor of a near approach.

I agree with you on these points.

America needs monumental change at the grassroots level. A Solidarity-type mass movement to unite the rapidly growing majority of people disaffected with a power structure that primarily serves the richest 1%.

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Not sure I really missed the point actually. I tend to believe a guy like Warren Buffet, who is by all accounts a guy that knows his stuff when it comes to money would have a pretty easy time working out a compensation package for his employees that would be well below the tax rates that they are paying now.

How so? You think he can circumvent income tax? Legally? Companies that try that usually end up on the wrong end of the IRS in time (if not the law) with penalties attached and I doubt Buffett is that unscrupulous. It's also still missing the point, even with a reduced income tax rate if that was somehow doable, it would still be well above the capital gains tax.

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Remember, he inherited a less than 6% unemployment rate

He inherited an economy that was rapidly hemorrhaging jobs, the loss of which slowed down almost exactly when he took over from Bush.

http://adage.com/images/bin/image/6-us-employment-chart-417.jpg

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Obama, with his "Magical Misery Tour" (Romney) , has lost even the BBC:

Big, blocky, black, with painted-out windows, it looks more like a police mortuary van than a symbol of hope arriving on your street.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14536517

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Super Lib:

Mr Buffett explained that, like many top earners, his income came entirely from investments rather than from employment, which are subject to lower taxes in the US.

He said last year he paid an effective tax rate of 17.4%, less than the 33% to 41% paid by the employees in his office.

That doesn't include the corporate tax paid on corporate profits (which comes out of the companies resulting appreciation) or the dividend tax (ditto). We could easily tax your salary at 17.4 % as well, and collect the same money by instead taxing your employers payroll outlays, but as it would come out of the same transaction it wouldn't change your take home pay.

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@ Yabits

The goal of the Tea Party is to scale back a federal government that has grown far larger and more intrusive than it was ever intended to be. In particular they are looking to scale back its outlays. Noone in the tea party would be unwilling to work with Obama to this end, by for instance repealing obamacare, reforming social security and medicare, and dissolving the NLRB.

You may not agree with this agenda, but you should at least concede that we are driven by convictions and not by childish petulance. Failure to do so only makes you look unreasonable, not us.

(full disclosure: I am Norwegian not American, but follow international news and, being a libertarian, sympathize with the limited government platform of the tea party)

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Yabits:

The truth is that few things express hatred for America as clearly as wanting to destroy its full faith and credit -- which the Republicans did when they held up a routine vote on the debt ceiling. They held the entire nation hostage to their demands.

No one in the tea party has advocated default. Many have advocated for demanding tougher cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, for instance by passing the "Cut Cap and Balance"-bill only, and telling the democrats to take it or leave it. Even if it didn't pass in time that wouldn't have automatically triggered default, instead it would have been up to the treasury (which answers to Obama) to decide which federal outlays would have to be cut, and revenues are sufficient to cover debt service, the immediate war effort, and some entitlement outlays.

The only one who has threatened to default is Obama, who threatened to veto any increase in the debt ceiling which would be insufficient to last until after the next election, while simultaneously maintaining that this would lead to default, implying that he would instruct treasury not to prioritize debt service over other expenses.

So the Tea Party never threatened to default over their principled convictions, Obama threatened to default over political advantage. Spin that if you can.

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The goal of the Tea Party is to scale back a federal government that has grown far larger and more intrusive than it was ever intended to be.

Intended by whom? Over 235 years of US history has enabled "We the People" to form and receive the government we (a majority) have desired through our elected officials. If you're referring to the founding fathers, they didn't intend for women or former slaves ever to vote -- so it's rather obvious serious changes were needed.

The Tea Party does not represent a majority of the American people -- far from it -- even though they behave (arrogantly) as though they know what's best for all the people.

reforming Social Security

Most Tea Party members would like to totally abolish Social Security. When you claim they want "reform," isn't is just the kind of reform that would ultimately end the program? Therefore, isn't there more than a little bit of dishonesty in the claim that the Tea Party just wants to reform it as if to shore it up and make it a better program?

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No one in the tea party has advocated default. Many have advocated for demanding tougher cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, for instance by passing the "Cut Cap and Balance"-bill only, and telling the democrats to take it or leave it. Even if it didn't pass in time that wouldn't have automatically triggered default, instead it would have been up to the treasury (which answers to Obama) to decide which federal outlays would have to be cut, and revenues are sufficient to cover debt service, the immediate war effort, and some entitlement outlays.

You remind me of the dog spinning in circles trying to catch its own tail. Looks like you caught yours. Congratulations.

A drunk behind the wheel is not advocating for having an accident. He would like to get to wherever he's trying to safely. But if you make a decision (as the TP Republicans did) to hold up a routine bill that merely allocates the funds for monies that Congress has already agreed to spend, you're just like the drunk behind the wheel: Too dumb and in denial of the seriousness and consequences of your actions.

Naturally, the Republicans blame all this on President Obama. They are too dishonest to apportion a share of the responsiblity on themselves. Is it possible to deal in good faith with people who are so fundamentally lacking in integrity? I don't think so.

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Here's the compromise that is going to happen to bring in a bit more income:

Some corporate tax loopholes will be closed. Tax will be slightly raised on those making more than a million dollars a year.

Both were mentioned in passing members of the Tea Party (#2 was a maybe), so it must be something that Republicans can sell to their constituents.

You can balance a budget two ways, cutting expenses and raising income. Well, expenses have been cut to the point that we are laying off road workers, teachers, police, office workers, etc. (Those are jobs, by the way.) Many states, ones that don't have, say, oil or gas revenue, are broke. The income side WILL be addressed somehow.

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No, yabits, I do not make my choice based solely on color. That was pure conjecture on your part. And why is it you are unable to acknowledge facts that get in your way?

yokomoc - Go check to see what the unemployment rate was when Bush left office and what it is now, and then come back and admit that the situation is significantly worse now with no immediate hope of improvement.

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PS Interesting article on the relationship between state income (a few states) and the oil price. The recent drop in the oil price may bring a bit of trouble to the oil states as well if it continues. Note again that income tax is not the only source of revenues that could be negotiated.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-09/oil-jump-upsets-at-pumps-helps-states-led-by-texas-plug-holes.html

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Go check to see what the unemployment rate was when Bush left office and what it is now, and then come back and admit that the situation is significantly worse now with no immediate hope of improvement.

People, as usual, see what they want to see. When Bush left office, it was better than now, but heading for a cliff as we were headed for a possible depression. People were already predicting double-digit unemployment before Obama ever sat down in his chair. Obama's stimulus package addressed unemployment a bit, but was not sufficient to stop the slide. Take a look at a slice of history:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/business/worldbusiness/09iht-jobs.4.19232394.html

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Yabits:

Intended by whom

Intended by the authors and ammenders of the constitution.

Yabits:

Most Tea Party members would like to totally abolish Social Security. When you claim they want "reform," isn't is just the kind of reform that would ultimately end the program? Therefore, isn't there more than a little bit of dishonesty in the claim that the Tea Party just wants to reform it as if to shore it up and make it a better program?

None of what I said is dishonest.

Most of us would prefer to have people save for retirement on their own, either voluntarily or through mandatory contributions as in Chile, this is true. We would also, in such a case, like a transitional program to avoid leaving people who counted on the current program in untenable situations. (though benefits would be less than currently projected)

This doesn't detract from my point, which was that we would gladly work with Obama to alter the program so long as the changes were ones we approved of, ones which limited its scope and outlays for instance, or ones which delegated authority to states. Paul Ryans medicare reform proposal is for instance not what we would prefer in an ideal world, but we back it as it is better than the likely alternatives.

We are willing to settle for less than our policy ideals, at least provisionally, so long as we make progress towards them. The accusation that our objections are merely obstructionist, and not grounded in principles and policy preferences, is unfounded.

Yabits:

to hold up a routine bill that merely allocates the funds for monies that Congress has already agreed to spend,

Did Congress agree to the Entitlement outlays as well, or were those 'off limits' in negotiations concerning an overdue budget neglected by democratic super-majorities in all branches? At any rate, the rank and file tea partier never agreed to the current spending level, and will use all available political levers to curtail it. This is not hypocritical.

Naturally, the Republicans blame all this on President Obama. They are too dishonest to apportion a share of the responsiblity on themselves.

Tea partiers ascribe a lot of blame to the bush-era republican establishment, that is what the wave of primary challenges was all about, or do you forget that many of the tea party congressmen were elected by unseating republican incumbents?

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Yabits. We have to disagree on one point. And that is that it is only a one sided issue. I think congress on both sides has been intransigent. Though I would submit that the right and escpecially the tea party crowd have been hopelessly self interested.

Obama, to his credit, has done a great deal to try to compromise. But in light of the roadblocks on the GOP side, I would have preferred to see him wage outright war on the GOP and stand by the values he espoused in the election.

It is sad that there could not have been greater cooperation. I think a wonderful opportunity has been lost. But to cycle through this for another four years serves no working person. We need real change. And YES a Solidarity type populist uprising may well be what is required.

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Laguna.

We can debate the positive and negatives of a two party system for weeks and not reach mutual ground. So let's spare the other readers that discussion. I will say this, while the system worked in the past, it clearly has not for nearly 12 years now. And it is arguable that it had run aground in the 80's and 90's.

These polar swings do not serve the people. And that is quite clear.

As for the good intentions of our leaders. I remain doubtful. There is too much influence by corporations, strong interest groups, lobbys and others for most of our leaders to hear and heed the needs of the people. When combined with their career intentions, this does not bode well for people having their voices heard.

Are all politicians in Washington bad? Certainly not. But are they more heavily influenced by factors other than the needs of working people, I think that is a pretty clear yes.

A multi-party system would help break the polarization problem and force greater competition for office. This is a good start. Beyond that there should be greater direct representation, meaning that we want to see more peers in office rather than the priviledged class having the only viable access to the funds required to achieve office. This means campaign finance changes as well as a major re-engineering of the campaign and election process to make it more fair and equitable for people to seek office.

That two party system worked better when people like Lincoln could hope to rise to office. In our modern world, Lincoln would only rise with the backing of the wealthy or of interest groups. And that is a big part of the problem with the current two party system.

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Serrano, I posted a graph in the last post showing month-on-month changes in the unemployment rate and I'm perfectly aware that the rate is much higher now than at the point Bush left office, but if you don't understand the concept of momentum I'm wasting my time here.

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Cut tax loopholes by implementing a flat tax and slash spending to sustainable levels. Raising taxes - Obama's only economic idea - will just send the economy back into recession. It's just common sense.

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yabits

The Tea Party does not represent a majority of the American people -- far from it -- even though they behave (arrogantly) as though they know what's best for all the people.

And yet the rest of the electorate, which the mainstream media want us all to believe is overwhelmingly 'progressive' and that Obama 'remains popular with voters' , cannot form a viable, unified movement to counter the Tea Party.

It must be intensely frustrating.

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Breit.... It is increasingly obvious to the grass roots end of the Tea Party that they were sold a lemon in the last elections. They voted for people who claimed to have working class interests and traditional values in mind. But got people with no regard for working people and only corporate interests in mind.

I guarantee you that support for this party going forward will be far less grass roots and far more supported by wealthy interests.

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Breit.... It is increasingly obvious to the grass roots end of the Tea Party that they were sold a lemon in the last elections.

If that were true defeated Dems as powerful as the vice president would not be pulling out their hair plugs and calling the Tea Party's ordinary hard-working patriotic Americans 'terrorists.'

I guarantee you that support for this party going forward will be far less grass roots and far more supported by wealthy interests.

But you can't name these 'wealthy interests' , can you.

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Breit... Nonsense. People are starting to see that the Tea Party people are an obstruction to progressing towards recovery. They are seeing that these people are willing to crash the economy rather than compromise. And they hear these ranting lunatics on TV and on the web. They don't want to talk, compromise, discuss issues etc....

Wealthy interests? Corporations.

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tkoind2

Wealthy interests? Corporations.

Specifically - what corporations?

Can't be self-appointed progressive crusader against corporate evil if you can't even find who to go after...

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Do I really need to tell you this? Ok...

GE AMA Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America American Hospital Assn Blue Cross/Blue Shield National Assn of Realtors Northrop Grumman Exxon Mobil Boeing Lockheed Martin General Motors Pfizer Inc

List of the heaviest spenders. Includes pharmas, military R&D, Oil/Energy etc... All with interests often in conflict with American working people. Most who have exported jobs. Many who have a vested interest in the continuation of conflict around the world. And others with strong interests in preserving the commercial approach to health care.

3.51 billion in spending in 2010 and over half of that so far in 2011. And this is just the top tier of those who have strong political lobbys.

How do ordinary working people compete with these entities for control of their political representatives? The answer is they cannot.

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Finance/Insur/RealEst Health Energy Ideology/Single-Issue Defense

Some of the top topic issues of lobbys and corporate interest groups. Again often in conflict with the needs and interests of normal working people.

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Wealthy interests? Corporations.

Just plain folks, too. Tea Party funding story:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html

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So the Tea Party is a tool for special interests is it?

Have you forgotten that we were the ones that put a stop to the earmark scam, by which representatives would direct no-bid contracts on lucrative terms to donors, aquaintances, pet projects and key constituencies? Isn't that a strike against special interests?

And how can the Tea Party be a tool for stakeholders in military R&D when we are pushing cuts which will undoubtedly have to affect military R&D, and aquisitions of developed weapons-systems?

Protecting the property rights of pharmaseuticals, so that it remains profitable to develop new and improve old medical technology is in the interests of 'American working people'. Expropriating the capital invested in these companies by regulating the price of their product such that they can not recuperate development costs is akin to eating the seed corn, and is not in the interests of anyone who will live for another 20 years or longer.

And yes we want to roll back the assault on the energy industry, including coal, fracking for natural gas, deep sea drilling, shale oil extraction, drilling in the ANWR, etc. This is not a special interest, but would unleash economic growth which would benefit everyone, and the taxes levied on these activities could be put towards reducing the deficit.

The Lefts sacret 'green energy' cow on the other hand subsists mostly on public subsidies, and benefits no one but the people on board that particular gravy train. it also funnels a lot of money, which it sources from the government, into lobbying for more government subsidies.

All in all it is absurd for the Left to accuse the Tea Party of being too cosy with special interests while they:

bail out entire companies/industries to save the sources of their campaign funding. suspends the rule of law to tip the outcome of banckruptsy proceedings in the favour of their paymasters and favoured constituents. exempt favoured companies (by issuing wavers) from having to comply with the laws and regulations that apply to their competitors. and so forth.
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And yet the rest of the electorate, which the mainstream media want us all to believe is overwhelmingly 'progressive' and that Obama 'remains popular with voters' , cannot form a viable, unified movement to counter the Tea Party.

It's ludicrous to claim the media wants project that most Americans are progressive. More than anything, the media projects an American public drawn more to centrist positions. Only Fox seems to portray its camp followers as a majority composed of rightist extremists.

And since most Americans are not "overwhelmingly progressive" -- a projection on your part -- the "unified movement" that can't be formed is just another one of your pointless points.

The ingestion of the Tea Party infection within Congress has only intensified the American public's contempt of the institution. And I'm sure that increasing the average American's hatred of his own government is one of the Party's primary goals. I suspect, however, that the force that will eventually regurgitate the Tea Party back to the sewers from whence they came is going to be provided by ordinary Americans who have the fill of their poison. After all, if we're going to pay taxes, we want a government that works.

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After all, if we're going to pay taxes, we want a government that works.

Starting off by how to actually plan a budget would be a good start.

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Protecting the property rights of pharmaseuticals [sic], so that it remains profitable to develop new and improve old medical technology is in the interests of 'American working people'. Expropriating the capital invested in these companies by regulating the price of their product such that they can not recuperate development costs

You are not making any sense. How does regulating a price for a product "expropriate" capital? Where does the capital that has been "expropriated" show up? The government certainly hasn't taken it.

The vast majority of developments in the pharmaceutical industry have only come after billions of dollars spent by "we the people" on years of basic research that none of the companies involved would ever attempt on their own -- since the payback periods are far too long for them to risk their own capital. For most drugs companies, the cost of advertising outweighs the cost of their own research -- since they are able to depend as much they do on taxpayer-funded basic research.

What you are proposing is that the "American working people" take on the chin twice: paying for basic research and paying through the nose for products produced out of that basic research. That government should impose pricing restrictions on the final product which enables the average "working people" to keep more money in their pockets rather than hand it over to drug companies seems like a very beneficial return on the public's investment.

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All in all it is absurd for the Left to accuse the Tea Party of being too cosy with special interests while they

It is by no means absurd. The ordinary followers of the Tea Party are being used as dupes. The Party is a Trojan horse.

I for one am happy and thankful for the kind of "big government" that can counter the minority interests pushing for things like higher drug prices (protection for Big Pharma) and aiding the poor, lowly multinational energy companies from the "assault."

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@yabits

You are not making any sense. How does regulating a price for a product "expropriate" capital? Where does the capital that has been "expropriated" show up? The government certainly hasn't taken it.

Pharmaceutical companies have invested for years in researching diseases and developing treatments. In doing so they have accumulated valuable information, which they hold the title to. This information is invested capital, and they made the investments hoping that they would result in marketable treatments which could be sold to recover the invested capital and yield a return on investment.

When the government fixes the price of these treatments, it prohibits the companies from monetizing their intelectual property, and the capital is thus lost to them. Under such conditions commercial pharmaceutical research is not viable, and will not occur.

The expropriated capital shows up as a temporary subsidy for treatments that have already been developed, and are being sold at prices which do not allow development costs to be covered. The government has "redistributed the wealth", and in doing so has killed an important industry.

The vast majority of developments in the pharmaceutical industry have only come after billions of dollars spent by "we the people" on years of basic research that none of the companies involved would ever attempt on their own -- since the payback periods are far too long for them to risk their own capital. For most drugs companies, the cost of advertising outweighs the cost of their own research -- since they are able to depend as much they do on taxpayer-funded basic research.

Pharmaceutical companies rely on patents to protect their rights to the treatments they develop, and these patents expire after 20 years. Usually it takes around 10 years from a patent is filed until a treatment is fully developed and certified, so that it can be marketed. That leaves the Pharmaceutical company with a 10 year monopoly on the product, in which to recover their costs associated both with that treatment, and with treatments that didn't work out. During these 10 years they charge a lot more per additional unit sold than it costs them to produce each additional unit, since development costs do not scale with the volume of sales. Because of this high profit margin per unit sold advertising becomes very lucrative (an advertisement only has to move a few additional units to recover its cost), and pharmaceuticals spend a lot of money on it. So it isn't that development costs are negligible, it's that advertisement budgets are huge.

The money spent on advertising finds it's way through cable channels and publications to fund the generation of content that people value, so it isn't entirely lost to society.

Once the patent expires the intellectual property it represents falls into the public domain, and a competitive market for producing the treatment is established.

What you are proposing is that the "American working people" take on the chin twice: paying for basic research and paying through the nose for products produced out of that basic research. That government should impose pricing restrictions on the final product which enables the average "working people" to keep more money in their pockets rather than hand it over to drug companies seems like a very beneficial return on the public's investment.

They benefit from that basic research by having access to treatments at all that would otherwise never have been developed, and by being able to access them in a competitive market roughly 10 years after they are certified for sale. Contrary to your apparent conviction Pharmaceutical companies are not so fiendishly profitable that they would take price-caps during this 10-year period in stride.

10 years ago was the turn of the century, I remember the turn of the century, we had a lot of pharmaceutical treatments back then. Nearly all of those treatments can now be acquired from any provider that bothers to produce it, as their patents have expired, and any that haven't are set to expire in the immediate future. Why does 10 years of monopoly pricing on new products seem unreasonable to you as a price of having the treatments developed at all?

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NY Post:

WASHINGTON -- President Obama is barnstorming the heartland to boost US jobs in a taxpayer-financed luxury bus the government had custom built -- in Canada, The Post has learned.

The $1.1 million vehicle, one of two that Quebec-based Prevost sold the government, has been tricked out by the Secret Service with state-of-the-art security features and creature comforts.

It's a VIP H3-45 model, the company's top of the line, and is used by major traveling rock bands. "That's the more luxurious model," Christine Garant of Prevost told The Post.

The hypocrisy never ends. Who are these people????

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The expropriated capital shows up as a temporary subsidy for treatments that have already been developed, and are being sold at prices which do not allow development costs to be covered. The government has "redistributed the wealth", and in doing so has killed an important industry.

When last I checked, the pharmaceutical industry was not facing anything close to extinction. The current arrangement benefits everyone involved and so should be maintained.

Pharmaceutical companies rely on patents to protect their rights to the treatments they develop

Nowhere in your lengthy reply did you address the main point: That pharmaceutical companies depend upon taxpayer-funded basic research, which is much longer term and higher risk (in terms of payoff) than the companies would be willing to take on themselves. Since "we the people" provide an essential component of what Pharma turns into applied research, a representative of taxpayers/consumers needs to be at the table just in case the Pharma company tries to overlook or forget that fact. Pharmaceutical companies are well compensated for what they do; they are not entitled to the benefits of taxpayer-funded research for nothing.

Preventing the price-gouging that often occurs with monopolies is a key function of government. I would prefer to have more hard-earned money in the hands of ordinary taxpayers rather than going into the very deep pockets of Big Pharma. Thanks for reminding readers how government can look after the interests of all the parties so that everyone can benefit.

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Regarding the Canada-built Prevost buses: (Yes, the Secret Service purchased two of them -- One for whoever becomes the GOP candidate.)

It's a North American company with plenty of US-sourced suppliers of parts and services. Conservatives assured people that these kinds of attacks would be inappropriate once a comprehensive free-trade agreement like NAFTA was signed.

I guess they lied about that too.

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@yabits:

When last I checked, the pharmaceutical industry was not facing anything close to extinction. The current arrangement benefits everyone involved and so should be maintained.

It would go extinct of price controls were introduced or patent law repealed. I should probably not have used past tense when describing what the effects of such a policy would have been. I'll be more careful with my language in the future.

I actually agree that the current system should be maintained, but I thought you were arguing for the introduction of price controls.

Nowhere in your lengthy reply did you address the main point: That pharmaceutical companies depend upon taxpayer-funded basic research, which is much longer term and higher risk (in terms of payoff) than the companies would be willing to take on themselves.

I did address it. Taxpayers benefit by being offered the option of buying the drugs at all, and by being offered the option of buying them in a competitive market once the patent expires. A patent expires 20 years after the patent application is made, which works out to about 10 years after the drug appears on the market.

The results of non-military taxpayer funded research are released into the public domain for anyone to leverage free of charge, based on the idea that society as a whole will benefit from this. I guess you could try to charge for it, but I don't think it would be a successful business-model, and you would undermine the argument for taxpayer funding of such research. Many industries benefit from public research, not just pharma, and in the end consumers benefit from the introduction of products that would otherwise not have been developed.

Since "we the people" provide an essential component of what Pharma turns into applied research, a representative of taxpayers/consumers needs to be at the table just in case the Pharma company tries to overlook or forget that fact. Pharmaceutical companies are well compensated for what they do; they are not entitled to the benefits of taxpayer-funded research for nothing.

Pharmaceuticals merely have to comply with the conditions set for the use of such research, and there aren't any. If you don't like that you can argue for changing the laws concerning publication of publicly funded research. You could also argue for the elimination of public funding for such research.

Preventing the price-gouging that often occurs with monopolies is a key function of government.

I agree.

Enabling the proprietor of a patent to charge monopoly prices for any product which uses the discovery described in the patent, by prohibiting others from producing such products without first purchasing a license from the patent holder, is another key function of government.

Patent law was written to introduce monopolies where none existed in order to allow for monopoly pricing to take place. Try to understand why this is necessary for commercial research to be viable.

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In June, the group Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) released a report showing how ten of the largest and most profitable US companies paid -1.5% in taxes on profits of over $77 billion. That's right: profits of $77 billion.

The companies are some of the biggest and most well-known names in American business: GE, American Electric Power, Dupont, Verizon, Boeing, Wells Fargo, FedEx, Honeywell, IBM, Yahoo, United Technologies and Exxon Mobil.

In GE's case, they received $4.7 billion from US taxpayers in addition to the $7.7 billion in U.S. profits. Why should U.S. taxpayers be subsidizing a highly profitable company to the tune of a -61% tax rate?

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In GE's case, they received $4.7 billion from US taxpayers in addition to the $7.7 billion in U.S. profits. Why should U.S. taxpayers be subsidizing a highly profitable company to the tune of a -61% tax rate?

I couldn't agree with you more. But this is what you get when the government uses the tax code to subsidize things that it decides should be produced. In GE's case, they get a ton of government assistance from the US federal government to pursue green technologies. Add the fact that President Obama is buddies with GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt and voila! No taxes! This is just one example of why the federal tax code is so convoluted, inefficient, and just plan corrupt.

Tax reform is one very important way that the US can get it's budget under control. Cut out the loopholes for GE and other big companies that both parties have been using to get companies and interest groups to give them campaign contributions or support their political goals. The tax code must be simple and must not be used as a vehicle for politicians to get re-elected. To do this, the tax rates must be flat (or flatter) with no loopholes (including mortgage deductions). Will this happen? Of course not - Obama will never go for any tax system that isn't targeted towards redistribution and punishing companies and individuals that he and other neo-Socialist feel make too much money. It's a foolish mentality that places his ideological goals above the countries dire fiscal situation.

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In GE's case, they get a ton of government assistance from the US federal government to pursue green technologies.

While I don't support giving the level of tax subsidies to GE that were given, I believe our government should be supporting and investing in green technologies to end what George W. Bush called "our addiction" to oil.

Add the fact that President Obama is buddies with GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt and voila! No taxes!

GE had been the recipient of heavy tax subsidies long before President Obama took office, so your point is rather dumb.

Cut out the loopholes for GE and other big companies that both parties have been using...

Yes. The loopholes should be eliminated -- but that does not require flattening the tax rates. If the U.S. distribution of wealth is as lopsided as it currently is, then I am one of a majority of Americans who, when asked, favor using the tax system to alleviate it.

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GE had been the recipient of heavy tax subsidies long before President Obama took office, so your point is rather dumb.

It is not a dumb point when you are a President that goes around the country insisting that corporations are evil and should be paying their "fair share". It is not dumb when the company that is led by your Jobs and Competitiveness Czar is paying less in taxes than Warren Buffet's secretary.

If the U.S. distribution of wealth is as lopsided as it currently is, then I am one of a majority of Americans who, when asked, favor using the tax system to alleviate it.

Wealth distribution will always be lopsided. Even the Soviets had their wealthy elites but with the vast majority of people on the bottom of the income scale. It is not the job of the government to make sure that everyone gets a relatively equal amount of wealth. Only a Politburo can do that - but I guess that is the goal of neo-Socialists/Progressives - to institute a new form of Politburo that dictates how who can have what. No thanks!

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It is not a dumb point when you are a President that goes around the country insisting that corporations are evil...

President Obama has never insisted that corporations are evil. If he did, then GE's CEO probably wouldn't want to work with him. So you've contradicted yourself.

It is not dumb when the company that is led by your Jobs and Competitiveness Czar is paying less in taxes than Warren Buffet's secretary.

Immelt agrees that GE should not be getting the subsidies the company has received for over a decade now. They didn't start with the Obama administration; the subsidies were put in place by a Republican Congress and signed into law by Obama's predecessor.

Wealth distribution will always be lopsided. Even the Soviets had their wealthy elites but with the vast majority of people on the bottom of the income scale. It is not the job of the government to make sure that everyone gets a relatively equal amount of wealth.

You started out with a somewhat true statement and followed it up with another dumb one. Wealth distribution in the 1950s and 60s was by no means "equal" but it wasn't nearly as skewed in favor of the top 10% as it is today. So it is very dumb to declare that there are only two choices: "nearly equal" or "wildly skewed." And it is very much in government's purview to ensure domestic tranquility and the prosperity of its citizens. The vast majority of people will look to government to remedy an unequal situation that becomes too oppressive.

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yabits

What a difference a few decades make to the conservatives who have now sold out their values to corporate paymasters.

Name these 'paymasters'.

You can't.

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