Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Friday, July 29, 2011

Housing collapse, independence, Obama

I don't really understand the left.. the motivations.. the logic (or lack thereof).. the desire for complete control. The problems we have in America now are due almost completely to left wing social engineering programs. The housing collapse? Mostly because of Barney Franks & his mandating loans to anyone & everyone.. & 100% loans, too. Our current economic malaise? Obama's stimulus package. Soaring debt with trillions of taxpayer dollars going to his left wing cronies.. tons of 'studies' for universities.. tons of $200k + bureaucrats to oversee nothing.

And now the war machine is escalating, too. He's opening another front in Libya. Where does it stop? Do Americans have to go & die to liberate all the oppressed people of the world? Who gave us that responsibility?

I like the declaration of Independence. It is an amazing document outlining an equally amazing experiment in human govt. Here's a snippet:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The direction our govt is heading.. for the last 80 years or so.. is becoming destructive to our 'unalienable rights', imo. They are not 'securing these rights', but are destroying them. Poor people are lured into big cities with no hope of work or self sufficiency. They are given minimal sustenance, & in such an environment, crime flourishes. Then to compound the problems, they put exorbitant taxes on the working citizens. Their liberties are diminished, & their 'pursuit' of happiness includes carrying a load of bureaucrats, as well as supporting all the poor that the govt created.

Personally, i don't think the federal govt. has any business operating safety nets, or any kind of social programs. They should get out of the way & let the states & local govts take care of that. They are not efficient with anything they do. Govt housing is a dismal failure. Medicare is rife with fraud & corruption. Universal health care will fail for the same reasons. Corruption & fraud will make it ineffective, as most of the federal govt is now. 

The federal govt should stick with what it does best: Blowing things up & killing people. And presidents should not be able to make those choices, but there should be a balance of power with the legislative & judicial branches limiting who & what can be blown up. A president should not be able to just blow up some Libyans or Pakistanis because he thinks it would be cool or help his re-election, or even because his heart aches for the suffering of those people.

Right now, it is about time for the citizens of the US to 'alter & abolish' the way this govt is heading. We need a 'govt. of the people, by the people, & for the people'. Big corporations & big unions have held sway on our govt decisions for too long, now. If we take away their money, we will lose the corruption. Corruptors have no interest if there is no money. True public servants will serve & protect the interests of their neighbors with minimal compensation.

I have a lot of liberal friends.. we joke about each other's political views & manage to get along. But i am afraid for my country. I do not want the American Experiment to be over & for us to become another european nanny state.

The govt seems out of control & bent on bringing us to economic collapse. Will we face the same riots as socialist agitators stir up the mobs to protest (loot)? I think the left fears the armed right, which they should. The class war would be very short lived with right wing vigilantes coming up against academians in prius's. So they want to level the field by taking the arms of the citizens so their 'professional' armies can squash any resistance to their controls.

But i think the radical left underestimates our military, who swore an oath to protect the US Constitution from all enemies, foreign & domestic. 

When considering the invasion of the US in WW2, the Japanese decided no, 'because there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass'. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is so the govt fears the people, not the other way around.

Perhaps some of this ranting sounds paranoid. But history is too full of people who have 'trusted' their govt to take care of them, only to be oppressed & murdered. Obama does not like asking permission from congress for his military actions. He would like to be king, or at least like a latin american dictator. That is how i see him. He's a 2 faced chicago politician who changes his views with the weather, & for political expediency. I will not vote for him, but for those who will limit the federal govt & stop the madness. If the newly elected officials don't do it, i will keep voting for others until someone does. If the country ends, it ends, & we will all do what we can to survive.

Well, there is a lot that can be said, & that is said on this subject many times for many years. Hopefully reason & responsible behavior will triumph, & the next elections will be a mandate for more freedom for the citizens, & less demands from the govt. We shall see.

Cutting taxes..

Tax saving ideas..

1. End tax subsidies to religious & non profit groups. A lower tax rate won't be too demanding on their donations, & it keeps someone from having to determine if they are legit or not. Everyone pays the same, everything is fair.

2. Bring all our military bases home. ..end the 'ugly american' syndrome of our troops, saves billions, & puts their contribution to domestic benefit. Stop bombing other countries indiscriminately, make presidents get congressional approval before engaging in war acts... i.e., prove the threat.

3. End farm & business subsidies. Why pay someone to not grow food? We can have a dept of agriculture, & let them work closely with the states coordinating & keeping statistics, making recommendations on what to grow, & what is needed. 

4. End the federal welfare system. This should be a local concern, & can be managed by local communities.. they will be better equipped to spot fraud & abuse, & there would be much less waste & corruption. States & cities can raise more revenues, if the fed isn't soaking everyone like they do now.

5. Phase out medicare & social security. It is rife with fraud & corruption, waste & administrative costs. Give more freedom to the individual to manage their retirement & health care costs & plans. States can implement a comprehensive plan if they want, but trying to do it nationally or globally is absurd. Can't we get it that the federal govt. is inept? Anything they do costs 10 times as much, is filled with corruption (or attracts it right away), & is generally mismanaged. The only thing they really do well is blowing things up & killing people. They should keep to the things they do well, & protect the country.

6. Flat tax or much simplified tax system. End loopholes & keep it simple. The federal govt should not be rewarding campaign contributors with sweet tax deals or juicy govt. contracts.

7. No foreign aid. If our citizens want to give aid to underdeveloped countries, they can (and they do). But most of our foreign aid lines the pockets of corrupt dictators who oppress their people. Why should we be a party to that?

There's a lot more, but i think i see a lot of tax savings here.. Let the people decide where they want their money to go, rather than some bureaucrat in washington. Tired of corruption with politicians serving special interests? Take away the money & you end most of the corruption. We need to narrow the focus & role of govt.. get back to the declaration of independence where govt is to secure our rights, not micro manage everything we do. We need law & regulations to protect all the citizens from the unscrupulous, but we don't need the bloated, inefficient mess we have now.

Elections, debt, religion, Bachman

Republican presidential nominees.

I've been impressed with most of the candidates vying for the repub nomination. They talk a good talk. They're trying to appeal to the tea party types. I voted for Carter in '76 because he ran on making the federal govt. more efficient.. cutting back, etc. He was a washington outsider, & a businessman who knew how to manage things better. It did not take long to see he was a tax & spend liberal masquerading as a moderate. Then Reagan was supposed to do the same things. Govt was too big, & he would fix it. He did some good stuff, but the govt is still growing & dominating the landscape. Most people will remember the rest.. more big govt programs, spending, debt. Now we are here. It will take a bold & fiscally ruthless individual to put us back in solvency, & we'll probably get some greek riots with it. But is it what we need to do if the American Experiment is to continue.

Obama 2012.
Most of the time, conservatives vote for the lesser of the evils in their politicians. Liberals seem to lean toward a messiah syndrome, where their leader is the 'chosen one'.. the bright morning star to lead them to the promised land.. They seem to worship the lead dog, & demonize the opposition. Obama & bush are perfect examples of that. Look at the records.. was bush as bad as the liberals make out? Is obama that great? even from a liberal agenda.. what has obama done that is that exciting? Did he close guantanamo? did he get us out of iraq? No, he escalated in afganistan & now libya. Other than a lot of his liberal cronies getting plush govt jobs, has the working poor fared better? His socialist agenda is out of the closet, & people see him as the tax & spend liberal that he is. I do not think he will be re-elected.. he will be like carter in 1980.

I think the debate with the founders was more along the lines of 'federalist vs state's rights'. Many of the federalists wanted a monarchy style govt.. Adams lobbied for a grand title for the president.. almost kingly in it's description, iirc. George Washington deliberately was low key, & provided a good example of what most of the constitutionalists wanted. But it is surprisingly similar today. The federalists want a larger govt with more power.. like the euro parliament models. Liberals today gaze longingly at socialism in europe & wish it for us. They describe in glowing terms all of the benefits of state run health care, retirement, welfare, etc, & ignore the howls of protest from those countries as their system is overloaded & on the verge of collapse. But rather than learn from mistakes, we think we can somehow miss the negatives, as long as our ideals are pure, & we believe hard enough.

It seems to me that many liberals are more in opposition to conservative principles because of the religious connection. They have to automatically oppose something from the right because it is inherently 'religious'. Their minds are not free to consider things based on it's merit, but they have to know if it came from 'them' or 'us'. The nation is highly divided, & has become more so since obama's election. He has fanned the flames of intolerance & class warfare. The left slings 'racism!' at any disagreement with obama, & demonizes the right to the point of extreme hatred.. look how they view bush.. very irrational, it seems to me. He was just another typical republican president.. didn't do anything that bad or great. The whole congress voted to go to iraq, remember. But to the left, he is the devil incarnate, to phrase it in religious terms. I certainly know from history (& currently in the middle east) the bad things that happen when the religious institution runs the govt... or when the govt picks the favored religion. But to accuse that of happening in the us is ridiculous.. it is religulous. It's not going to happen. No religious group has enough juice to take on the entire congress, the judicial system, or the executive branch to establish religion. Let those who have passionate views practice their religion.. as long as they aren't hurting anyone. 

They can pay their fair share of taxes, though.

But lets not make straw men & see enemies where there are none. Americans like freedom. We err on the side of freedom.. We worry ourselves sick over free speech, religion, arms, & other freedom issues.

So why is the left obsessed with limiting freedom? I don't know. They want to limit religious expression, keeping arms, & speech. They are constantly suing, passing executive orders, & passing laws that limit the freedoms of just the above 3 things in the bill of rights. There are plenty of real problems out there.. why are they obsessed with taking down a cross somewhere & limiting gun ownership? 

I don't care what Bachman's religious views are.. she is free to express them, & as long as she's not advocating imposing them by law, who cares? I don't know if obama is a christian, a muslim, or an atheist, & i don't care. But i can see what his policies are, & what he's wanting to do with this country & i'm against that. BTW, it seems to me obama & his ilk are a lot more elitist & 'holier than thou' than ms. Bachman. She is much more down to earth & humble than the rock star president we have now.

I still don't see anyone pushing for a christian theocracy.. nothing like those who are pushing for a big brother, secular humanist society, or even some of the muslims goal of a caliphate.

More debt rants.. religion & politics

What is the difference between 'information' and 'propaganda'? There is no doubt propaganda everywhere.. hints of truth mixed with outright lies. Yet the 'truth' remains constant, indifferent to those who muddy the waters with lies. Propaganda distorts the truth to smear an opponent & promote ones own agenda. Truth, most of the time, must be sifted out from the lies, exaggerations & overstatements. My view of obama is admittedly very biased, & comes from a conservative perspective. My conclusions about him are based on fact, & my judgments about him are also based on his record. When he won the election, i hoped for the best, tried very hard to 'believe' in the changes he promised, and actually thought we needed a charismatic leader like him to cheerlead us into the next economic boom.. ala reagan. But our last month's unemployment is up to 9.2%, Obama promised his big stimulus package a couple of years ago would keep the unemployment under 8%. Then he pushed through obamacare.. secret deals, no straight up voting (pass the bill, then we'll read it), & it was questionable policy, anyway.. probably not even constitutional. The point is something of the magnitude of universal health care needed a lot more examination & debate & input from the people, rather than what we got: A huge fiscal nightmare, where only lawyers & the big corporations stand to make money. Is this 'right wing propaganda?' Does any thinking american really believe the fed govt can manage something this big without massive fraud, corruption, waste, & inefficiency? The pentagon, medicare, & hosts of other govt offices are poster children for the govts ability to be fiscally responsible. Fortunately, the majority of the american people have seen the light & now want obamacare repealed, & many states have it before the supreme court as unconstitutional. My point is that the left are masters of propaganda.. & the left wing media promote their agenda with religious fervor. All we heard was glowing reports on how great obamacare was. Now they don't even want to talk about it. So once we sifted through all the crap, & there was some time to examine what it really was, the american people realized that we do not want this. It is my contention that if you listen to a broad range of sources, stay skeptical, sift through the obvious agendas.. it is possible to arrive at a more truthful conclusion than if we just buy whatever our favorite talking head is selling.

Religion in politics.
There was a time when Lenin was in power that many atrocities were done in the name of atheism... the state religion. Yes, power mad oppressors use religion to manipulate people. Most of the early pilgrims & pioneers came to america for religious freedom.. to escape from those power mad religious oppressors.. It was a novel idea in govts.

I get a little tired of 'religion' being used as a slur. Everyone is religious. An atheist has beliefs that affect their views & actions. Even an agnostic is only confessing ignorance. Many secularists are just as dogmatic & intolerant of other's views as any fundamentalist. If you have a problem with a specific doctrine in a specific religion, fine. Make your criticisms. But to make a wholesale dismissal of all 'religious' people seems intolerant & discriminatory. Where is your liberal open mindedness? Perhaps you had a bad experience with an obnoxious religious person. Who hasn't? I've been discriminated against because i wasn't hispanic. I don't think all hispanics are racists, though. I've had obnoxious mormons, jehovah's witnesses, evangelicals, & scores of other weird cults hit on me from time to time. I thought everyone has had that to some extent.. at least in most free countries.

Everyone is religious.. they have a world view or belief system that guides their life. Try to be a little more tolerant.

Political leaders have lobbyists, friends, counselors, lawyers, educators, former leaders, other world leaders, & handicapped kids come to their homes & offices.  Obama can go to church wherever he wants, & take whatever he wants from any preacher or community activist, or revolutionary.

I know some countries have state mandated religions in the govt. Only certain priests or imams or whatever can speak or pray before the assembly. Some even forbid leaving the state religion or changing to an unapproved one. If this is what the people want, who am i to criticize it? But i don't want to live there (or probably even visit). No, i'm spoiled. I live in a country where religious views are varied & diverse, & where the majority of the population is very tolerant to those views. I realize most of the world is not this way, & i am a bit saddened by that, but not much i can do about it. It is up to the people who live in the country to decide how they want their govt to be... might be some sacrifices for this.. liberty is not cheap.

But c'mon, people! Lay off the constant whining about 'religion' or the 'religious'. That covers too many people, is unspecific, & is bigoted. If someone says or does something stupid, point it out. If it is a christian or a hindu or an atheist, call them on it & have fun at their expense. But isn't calling all muslims 'terrorists' an unfair & discriminatory statement? So is saying all christians want to change the govt to a theocracy. Who came up with that? I've never heard of any christian politician advocate that, publicly or privately.

Someone told me they thought Obama was 'intellectual'.
Intellectual? Obama? Yes, he tries very hard to *sound* elite & intellectual, & many of the pseudo elite seem attracted to that. But i think most Americans are getting it. He's a talking head who makes a good show. He is not that bright, & makes way too many mistakes, both in leadership & policy. His elitism is very clear, for those who need a messiah figure to look up to, but that is not the kind of leader i want in the us. He is not a principled person, but pushes his agenda through in secret late night meetings with secret sweet deals for those who go along. He is dividing the country more, fanning the flames of class warfare, & basically spends more time campaigning & raising money for his next election attempt than he does governing. He masqueraded as a moderate to get elected, but the masquerade is over & we see him for what he is: A socialist, tax & spend liberal with a socialist agenda.

I've got to give this quote.. from the first part of the american declaration of independence, published ~ 1776..

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

This is such a cool quote.. i've not read anything that is so to the point, & boils down govt to such a nutshell. Don't be put off by the 'Creator' reference.. you can substitute 'evolved' if you want. The point is in what the govt is for. It is to secure our right to life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. This is America in a sentence. This is the grand experiment. This is the definition of America. Our govt does not tell us what to do, we tell it. We are not afraid of our govt, they are (and should be) afraid of us. We do not answer to them, they answer to us. We do not look to them to take care of us, give us rights, or make us happy. They are to protect & secure our rights that we already own.. our liberty.. & our pursuit of happiness. This is what millions of immigrants have come for over the years.. the promise of freedom.

Many Americans, myself included, have come to the conclusion that the current direction of America is away from this basic tenet of our political belief. The govt is trying to take our rights, & redistribute them as privileges they can control. Beware! We did not take oppression well then, & we won't now. It is our basic right to 'alter & abolish' any form of govt that becomes destructive of these basic govt. responsibilities. This is not treasonous talk.. this is American talk. We value our freedom & do not take it lightly. Our ancestors fought & died to preserve it, & we will do the same for our children.

ok.. rant over. did you hear 'oh beautiful for spacious skies' playing softly in the background?  Or see the translucent flag waving in the breeze behind all the text?

Who caused the housing crash?
I do believe the american economic situation was caused by 'big govt-ism'. Too much govt spending, programs started under Carter, then clinton, continued under bush.. these things escalated the housing market to artificial levels.. govt forced banks to make housing loans to the poor with no job or down payments or means to repay. Prices inflated artificially with the increased demand. Mortgage lenders popped up like mushrooms after a summer rain, & were glad to jump on the gravy train. Barny Frank guaranteed all the loans with a straight face.

Then the defaults began. It started slowly, then increased as the jobs began to fail. The poor walked away. They didn't risk anything, so nothing lost. The banks were bailed out by the govt.. 'you guys don't have to eat these loans.. especially since we made you take them. We'll make all the taxpayers pay for our stupid mistakes!' The only losers were those who had some money invested in their properties. I know many people who lost their life's savings because they took out a 2nd mortgage & bought an invesment house. Then both houses lost 50% of their value (here in Az), & they lose both of them. If you had a 100% loan, you just walk away & take the hit on your credit. But if you've got everything you have invested in your house, & the value drops below what you owe, you're in trouble. 

The stock market went down.. but within a short time, it recovered. I do not think the us housing market will be back to those 2007 values, except by inflation. It is a buyer beware market.. you make your investments, calculate the risks, & live with the result. But the us housing crash was a man made disaster, not a natural market cycle. That is why i do not like the govt practicing their social engineering programs with out lives. They should secure our rights to life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. But they have been overstepping their bounds for years, as new ideas & new experiments can be made *by* those who have risked nothing, *for* those who have risked everything. What the govt decides affects us more than we realize.

The economy is more global now than ever. In order to compete, we have to do so at all levels.. labor can become more efficient, but we are going to have to keep labor costs under control if we are going to compete globally. Unions & manufacturing plants will have to watch all their costs & be competitive. This should be obvious. If you pay $100 labor to make something, it will sell cheaper than the same thing that cost $1000 in labor. So what to do? Open up manufacturing with minimal regulations.. keep safety, child labor laws, etc, but some things will have to give. Don't tax the job making businesses so much they move to another more tax friendly country. It is to the nations advantage to have paying jobs. Businesses have to price their products to be competitive, & they look at all their costs. Efficiently run companies can do this, if we let them. The US was the major manufacturer of goods post WW2. Japan & Germany (the other major manufacturers of the time) were bombed out & rebuilding. We do not have the near slave labor costs that are in China now, but we have to do what we can to keep manufacturing jobs here. Lower corporate taxes, less federal red tape would be a good start. States (like Texas) that have a good labor pool without the exorbitant labor costs can give us a shot.

Either that or we concentrate on just building a war machine.. then we can bomb the other countries if they start to pass us economically. You do know this is a joke, right?

Deficit spending, socialism, big govt.

These are just some random thoughts & disjointed ideas..

If you are for big govt.. cradle to grave involvement.. big brother watching everything & managing our money, then you should be content with a socialist identity.. it's not a slur, it is a description. Granted, it's not a description that capitalists like, so they may hurl it as a slur, just as the socialists hurl 'capitalist pig!' at them. But if you have a well thought out world view, & it is in the socialist camp, embrace it & be proud. But if you just have a bunch of liberal friends who like to bash conservatives, & have not thought through all the ramifications of your philosophy, you need to return to the thinker's chair.

..kind of like the old joke: What do you call a liberal after they are mugged? A conservative!

I'm all for local govts to do whatever their citizenry wants & can afford. If they want to buy every homeless person a condo, great! But the federal govt should not be involved in those local issues. Yes, they can pass civil rights amendments, same sex marriage amendments, & any other 'right' they deem to be universal, but they should not be making spending policies & building social programs of their own, to compete with the state & local govts.

ok, there's more.. a liberal is a conservative who's been indicted.. or received a govt grant!

“If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”
-Winston Churchill

Regarding the us economy's decline: I don't have any statistics to tweak to prove any point i might make. but it is the decline in manufacturing jobs in the US that is the prime reason for our decline.. i don't doubt many corporations are getting rich.. as many others are going out of business. That seems to happen all the time, & even more so in economically troubled times. Corporations just take their jobs elsewhere.. & their profits.

Education? We've spent more money per child than any other country, & education spending has exploded with the govt. boom. But of course, it has not improved our citizenry.. in fact, if anything, it is worse. The socialistic educational programs have failed. The poor are still poor & have increased.. with generations being trapped in the ghettos. The education of the poor has no meaning to them in the concentration camp atmosphere that pervades in the ghettos. Crime, drugs, & corruption are the main constants there. Social engineering has not worked. The war to 'stamp out poverty' is lost. Give people freedom to fail or succeed & there will be many more who will succeed. Lock them down in racially defined socialist camps & they will only perpetuate poverty & the ghetto.

The only 'rich' who have benefited from the current govt explosion are the favored few in the financial sectors.. the 'too big to fail' guys, big unions, govt employees who have increased their wealth by jumping on the obama gravy train, & some academians who have gotten juicy grants. Manufacturing corporations have moved. Oil companies drill elsewhere. But even our war machine isn't cranking out enough bombs to make up for the losses.. probably that will be outsourced to china as well..

I think it is time to stop the govt growth madness, & reduce the federal responsibility. Let's elect fiscally responsible people who will cut up the credit cards. I don't care who they sleep with, or what god they worship. If they can count & do basic math, they can do the job.

According to a pundit on msnbc recently, the US tax revenue is smaller because Bush lowered the capital gains tax rate to 15%.  They were complaining that 'the rich' only paid 18% in taxes.  Ok, so the 'main reason' the rich pay a paltry 18% is because of the reduced rate of 15% for capital gains tax. But doesn't the reduced capital gains tax also benefit millions of small investors who are not really 'the rich?' And why is 18% not enough? If someone makes 100k, they have to give the govt 18k to blow on stupid, wasteful govt programs? They don't really redistribute it, you know.. they just squander it in corrupt & wasteful programs. It goes from one rich man's pocket to another's. The poor get a pittance out of it, & end up trapped in a system that these same 'rich' guys concocted.

How much tax revenue comes from 'the rich' in the capital gains section? How much comes from the middle class.. that is, people making less than the magical 250k/yr? Will msnbc tell us that statistic? They want to bump up the capital gains tax, but it will hurt the middle class a lot more than the rich. It's just like obama's plan to end the mortgage interest deduction.. millions of middle class people with big mortgages will be hurt by that. The super rich? They'll just shelter or move their income to a more tax friendly country. The middle class will take the hit, as usual. They are the main ones to suffer at the hands of the liberals. The left pretends they 'take from the rich & give to the poor', but in reality they take from the middle class, & keep it so they become rich. The poor are still poor. The rich are still rich.  There are just more of both as the middle class dwindles.

If someone is lucky or clever enough to make $1m, & they pay $180k in taxes, that is quite enough. They have paid their fare share. The problem is still all the wasteful & unnecessary spending from the politicians. Let the federal govt restrict itself to defense, interstate & international trade & we will find they have plenty of money, & they don't need to take more from the rich, or bamboozle the poor any more.

During the great depression, we had poor people. Many lost their farms & had to leave the 'dust bowl' to look for work. My grandmother took 3 small children & left Texas to find work in California.. grapes of wrath kind of stuff.. Her husband left her & she remarried. But he was poor, too. My dad was the oldest & dropped out of high school to help support the family. They were unlucky.. they just happened to be in the dust bowl, & the economy was hit hard there. But all the family worked hard & they all pulled out. None of my grandmother's children died poor. They were all solidly middle class. My aunt married a career army guy (sgt. maj., pacific theater in ww2), saved her money, & invested it wisely. My uncle joined the airforce (army air back then), flew on bombing missions in europe, became a dentist after the war, & died fairly well to do. My dad joined the navy during the war, became an electrical engineer, invested money in real estate, & did even better. They were all rewarded for hard work & smart investing. They were unapologetic capitalists. They paid plenty in taxes & risked their lives for their country. None of them were very political.. too busy adapting to their environment & working to improve their lot. They each raised 3 kids, supported their mother in her old age, sent their kids to college, & died in their 70's. The point of this is: If they had been in a socialistic, welfare state, would they have been able to do that, or had the motivation? My grandmother could have just gotten on food stamps, adc, public housing, etc, & stayed in Tx. The kids would have grown up in that environment & probably done the same, if the current welfare system pattern is followed. One or more of the boys might have died in gang violence, if we follow the welfare state pattern.

So tell me. Which family history would you prefer? A couple of generations, trapped in a gulag welfare system, or abject poverty with freedom to escape from it?

I am proud of my country & how years of official discrimination have been removed from state's laws. Civil rights for all races was long overdue, & was the right thing to do. Slavery was wrong & has no place in modern, civilized society. It is wrong to restrict freedoms based on race, & this country ended it. It has been a bumpy road, but by & large racism is dwindling & equality is becoming the norm. But i am disgusted with my country at how the socialists have enslaved the poor, & continued racism with their welfare policies. Instead of giving the poor freedom to escape from poverty, like Americans have done for generations, they herd them into ghettos & trap them in a new & improved poverty. They encourage them to have lots of kids & become dependent on an unfeeling, uncaring, corrupt bureaucracy. Our tax dollars have not helped the poor, but have done them a great disservice.. they have in effect made racism into a social program.. all under the guise of 'helping the poor'.

Why not give freedom to the poor? Why not give them the same opportunities that earlier generations of Americans had? 50+ years of the 'war to stamp out poverty' is long enough.. we lost the war. Poverty is still with us & has grown. Let local govts & charities provide a safety net.. the fed govt is too bloated, corrupt, & inefficient to do this kind of job. We should fire them & get locals to do it. It is time to phase out our stupid welfare system, disassemble the gulag ghettos, & give all our citizens the opportunity for 'life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.'

From what i can see, the welfare state is the only thing the left needs to raise taxes for. I don't think it is for a bigger, stronger military, but maybe i'm wrong. So if we end the racist, corrupt welfare state, there would be plenty of money for the other things govt should be doing. No need to continually raise the debt ceiling.. no need for new taxes. The rich can give money to much more efficiently run charitable institutions, & the poor can pull themselves out of poverty. Freedom. Fairness. Common sense. And unlike the dreamings of the socialist left, this has a history of working. People actually do work & improve their lot, given freedom to do so. America is proof of that. Our ancestors left the euro class system, where generations are trapped in a system of class distinction. Europeans have mostly socialized it, now, but it functions in the same way. The euro poor do not have the same opportunity as the american poor.. at least historically. Looking to Europe to show us the way to equality & freedom is like looking to a bunch of rednecks to show us the way to improved race relations.. or looking to socialists to show us the way to fiscal responsibility.

Spend, spend, spend. That is not the solution for America. It hasn't worked. It never will. It will only bankrupt us. It is time to cut the credit cards, & insist on responsible fiscal policies.

I don't know what all the whining about the rich is about.. even if we completely redistribute everything.. ala ussr 1917.. we will still have the oppressive rich.. they just change faces. "meet the new boss... same as the old boss..'

The problems facing our govt is not from 'the rich'. It is from the politicians who promise a free lunch. It is the politicians who have spent us into near bankruptcy. Socialism does not work. It has been tried in many varieties, & has failed in every one. It is failing now in greece, ireland, portugal, italy, & socialist leaning states like california. I don't know if everyone's heard, but the ussr & their socialist experiment failed, & the ussr broke up into smaller states. China, too, is not really socialist anymore.. but is a capitalistic styled totalitarian regime.

Didn't we have a surplus under Clinton? Were taxes that exorbitant? No, but the spending was less. How about a simple return to Clinton era spending? There was still plenty of govt programs.. inefficiency, fraud, & corruption for those who like that sort of thing in govt, but we had a balanced budget.

No, i think it is clear. We have plenty of money coming in for the fed govt. to operate. There is just too much going out, & they need to cut it out.

Sell Govt. assets? That will be a temporary fix, until the spending junkies need another fix. Why not just stop the spending? We can keep our national parks.. maybe even lower the entrance fee.. make it free for citizens! We could have a lot more 'perks' as US citizens if our fed. govt was fiscally responsible. Instead, we are being looted as a nation. Much of our tax revenue is sent out of the country in interest to china.. a lot more is wasted in fraud & corruption in medicare, social security, & now, health care. The pentagon wastes millions every year.. always have. There is one 'known' in this equation: The govt. does not manage money well. With this in mind, we should limit how much money they manage, since they will waste it & be inefficient. This is not rocket science. It is simple math.

Sift through the bullsh*t you hear in the media. Look at the data, scrutinize the politicians.. don't just view the world in an 'us vs. them' mindset. This is not a silly game or a coolness pose. How we view our govt & what we expect from them has a major impact in what we get. It's time for the nation to grow up & stop looking to the govt to take care of us. They cannot & will not. They will just waste our money. ..always have, always will.

During the beginning of the housing crash, it was all bush. For the last several years, all i have heard from the dems & especially obama is, 'it's bush's fault.. he made the mess.' I post this as a rebuttal to that charge. Some on the left are now conceding... 'well, it's everyone's fault'. That's as good of a concession we'll get from them, i'm sure. I'm for understanding what happened & why, & learning from the mistakes & correcting them. I guess this is just a game to some.. talking points & fixing blame. But i see it as crucial to our country's survival. We should not take for granted what we have here. Freedom is not free, & sometimes an illusion for it passes as the real thing. Economics has brought down more countries than war.

We have the debt. It has obviously been increasing at an even greater rate than before.. instead of becoming fiscally responsible & cutting back, the govt has acted like someone who knows their credit cards will be taken away, & is trying to max them out before they're cancelled.

I do not understand the left's agenda. What good can possibly come from spending us into oblivion? Why do they insist on this endless growth of govt? What good can our culture, country, & individuals get from this? Is it just to ruin capitalism? To show how evil capitalism is, so the socialists can come in & rescue us with their socialist solutions? Didn't they try that in 1917 with the ussr? How did that work out?

Yes we had a stupid war. Is multiplying stupidity the solution? How does bombing libya help our deficit? But even if we cut all military spending, it would not put us solvent. I think we do need to cut military spending, but that will not balance us. All the sacred cows in the govt need cut. Pick some letters. DOE. DOT. EPA. We cannot & should not be putting future generations at risk & under a massive burden that mostly fuels fraud & corruption. If we actually got something useful, it would be one thing. But we don't & what we get is too expensive, anyway. THIS generation should tighten up their belts, take the credit cards away from the politicians, & put us back on strong financial footing. Make the dollar worth a dollar. Put stability in our economy, & the world will follow.

We should take our stands based on the issues, & not the party. If enough people are clear on the issues, & demand compliance from their representatives, the reps will either go along & represent their constituents, or they will be voted out by someone who will. We need to understand what is happening, & have an exit solution.

It seems pretty clear obama has no intention of cutting spending. He has made no proposals with spending cuts, & only want to talk about raising taxes on the rich. What do i care? I'm not rich & certainly won't have to pay taxes. For me, it is the principle. We don't need to raise taxes on anyone to pay for these stupid govt. programs. We need to eliminate the programs. There is no reason a country as great & powerful as the US should have any debt. Other countries should pay us for protection, if anything, we shouldn't be burdening the taxpayers to do some world police action. But our message to the politicians should be clear & resonate between their ears: Stop the spending. If you don't, we'll elect someone who will. Want just one term in office? Ignore us & keep voting for stupid spending bills.

We should demand to be represented, not led or driven. We are the people. We have the values & goals of the country, & only need representatives to implement them. We need an end to the rock star, idol worship of politicians.. they are not the messiah, & we do not need one.. or need THE ONE. I have been amazed at those self-proclaimed cynics & skeptics who have fallen for obama hook, line & sinker. They have lost all critical thinking ability while under the spell of their messiah. It is a cult like loyalty & blind allegiance. I don't get it. I'm a cynic.. i had a lot of criticisms for bush.. still do. But criticize obama to his loyal following & you will feel their wrath. 'How dare you speak against the lord's anointed!' C'mon, people! He's just another tax & spend liberal like Carter, Pelosi, & Reid. He's a good public speaker (while reading from the teleprompter), but it's all flash.. He's a poser! He dresses up in motorcycle gear, has all the best equipment, all the mods on his bike, the right stickers in the right places, but he doesn't ride! All he wants is more spending & more taxes. Is this what we really want?

I do not think most people think through things. They jump on bandwagons. If our only choices are more bandwagons, we certainly are in for more decline.

The notion that obama 'inherited this mess' is blatantly false. He was a voting member of the democratic congress that *caused* the mess. He likes to talk about the 'failed policies' of bush, but his policies were promoted with religious fervor by the congress, with him voting for them, then continued with him as president.

The housing collapse was almost completely caused by democratic programs started under Clinton (actually Carter), then promoted by the democrats who were supposed to watch over them.. Barney Frank & his cronies. Bush did not sound any alarms, nor did any repubs i can remember, but they were hardly the main source of blame. It is the democrats, with their social engineering programs that are bankrupting us & leading us over the abyss.

IMO, it is time for the fed govt to live within it's means, like business, individuals, local govts, etc. This crazy spending spree has to stop. All other businesses have had to cut back in this economy. Individuals have lost homes, jobs, & self respect while govt agencies are expanding & handing out fat raises! Let the govt. cut back, too. Trim all the unnecessary programs, cut back the military to a reasonable level.. we can't afford to police the world.. cut back entitlements.. Let the economy hit everyone, not just the manufacturing & housing sectors. Why should govt employess get a pass? Why should they get a guaranteed job for life? We cannot afford to support them, or keep pouring money into wasteful & unnecessary programs.

We often don't put enough stock in what people believe, & how it affects their outlook on life. And  the political spin doctors are very manipulative, using ideology or religion to keep their base under control.  The left wing propaganda machine is much more successful in keeping their base in line. Very seldom do they stray from the prescribed positions. Talk to a liberal.  Where do they digress from the liberal line & have a more conservative view? The left has a monopoly in the universities, most of the voice in the media, & has most entertainer's & hollywood types in their ideological bag. The left keeps up a steady stream of ideological propaganda to opiate their masses. Many in the left are so saturated by the elitist views that think they have become the middle, reasonable standard, & anything to the right of them is extremist. But that is only the case in the saturated left. In the real world you will find conservative thinkers who will challenge the left wing views. What the left has to do is minimize the right.. make them all look stupid or racist, or have some other way to totally dismiss them, then their base will think they (the left) are the reasonable 'standard' by which all views are measured. By & large they have been successful.