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Old May 11th, 2010, 05:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950...

Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950
By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY
Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.

Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

"The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts," says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. The real problem is spending,counters Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, which organizes Tea Party groups. "The money we borrow is going to be paid back through taxation in the future," he says.

Individual tax rates vary widely based on how much a taxpayer earns, where the person lives and other factors. On average, though, the tax rate paid by all Americans — rich and poor, combined — has fallen 26% since the recession began in 2007. That means a $3,400 annual tax savings for a household paying the average national rate and earning the average national household income of $102,000.

This tax drop has boosted consumer spending and the economy, which grew at a 3.2% annual rate in the first quarter. It also has contributed to the federal debt growing to $8.4 trillion.

Taxes paid have fallen much faster than income in this recession. Personal income fell 2% last year. Taxes paid dropped 23%. The BEA classifies Social Security taxes as insurance payments and excludes them from the tax calculation.

Why the tax bite has eased:

• Stimulus law. One-third of last year's $862 billion economic stimulus went for tax cuts. Biggest reduction: The Making Work Pay tax credit reduced income taxes $800 for married couples earning up to $150,000.

• Progressive tax rates. Presidents Clinton and Bush pushed through a series of tax changes — credits, lower rates, higher exemptions — that slashed income taxes for poor and middle-class families. A drop in income now can trigger big tax breaks and sharply lower rates, sometimes falling to zero.

• Sales tax. Consumers cut spending sharply in this downturn, thereby paying less in sales taxes.

A Gallup Poll last month found that 48% thought taxes were "too high" and 45% thought they were "about right." Those saying taxes are "too high" remain near a 50-year low.

The lower tax burden should last at least through 2010, says Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C. "Virtually all the stimulus tax cuts expire at the end of the year," he says. "So the key decision is whether to extend them into 2011."

- - -

Have a little cheese with that tea?

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Old May 11th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ease off on the sarcasm. I support your argument, but there is a saying, "Sarcasm is a recourse of a weak mind." And I am inclined to believe your mind is not weak!

FOXNews.com - Guess Who Didn't Pay Taxes On Tax Day

Quote from that article. How is it when Republicans give tax breaks, it is smart economics, but when Obama does it, it is:

The so-called "progressive" politicians have turned John Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” on its head. And telling so many Americans that they don’t need to make sacrifices for our government, as we are now saying, is dangerous new territory for our nation and for the health of our democracy and economy.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Economics/Tax policy is an admittedly weaker spot for me - but something needs to be done to reign in Federal spending. I'm no tea partier - but there is plenty of waste, and has been plenty of waste, that needs to be tackled.

Military spending would be a great place to start - and I know Sec. Gates (R!) agrees with that.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah property taxes went down because of value of property fell, because of the burst of the housing bubble, I didn`t see any tax reductions also there is half of families on welfare, 26 million unemployed hmmmm........ you tell me
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation
January 17, 1961
Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation

Words or warning about the military. And from a Republican no less. Here's the excerpt in case you don't want to read the whole thing or try and find the part yourself. Bold parts added by me.

"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Lol. I fear our citizenry is not really alert or knowledgeable any longer.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DrScrubs View Post
Lol. I fear our citizenry is not really alert or knowledgeable any longer.

Eisenhower's farewell speech had quite a few parallels to Gates' recent speech. Hopefully he is sticking around. The DoD needs slimming, but I can't even imagine the hell that would be raised in the current climate of President Obama tried to trim the military budget. Gates could get it done, I believe.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The lower tax burden should last at least through 2010, says Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C. "Virtually all the stimulus tax cuts expire at the end of the year," he says. "So the key decision is whether to extend them into 2011."

- - -

Have a little cheese with that tea?
The issue is that in order to pay for the huge increase in federal spending we've experienced even Obama has confessed that he is going to be taxing families making less than $250k as originally promised. Lowering taxes is great, but lowering taxes while increasing spending is sheer lunacy. There is a lot of contention about what we our indebting ourselves into oblivion for.

Our tax rate is creeping toward the percentages that socialized countries are paying and we aren't getting the services. OK, say we decide to adopt all of these social programs that the others have. How are we going to sustain that when we are creeping toward paying what they are already paying?

What is going to happen locally when all of that stimulus funding expires yet states are expected to continue the programs? You can't create funding out of nothing... well, unscrupulous lenders thought so and that is surely catching up with them. How is what we are doing and proposing to do now any different?
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Old May 14th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Our tax rate is creeping toward the percentages that socialized countries are paying and we aren't getting the services. OK, say we decide to adopt all of these social programs that the others have. How are we going to sustain that when we are creeping toward paying what they are already paying?
You might want to study up on federal tax rates since the end of WW II.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 05:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You might want to study up on federal tax rates since the end of WW II.
That's fair, but I don't need to study up on my tax rate since 1997. You still can't seem to address the fact that we're paying more and getting less. You've also not so artfully dodged almost anything that doesn't give you an opening to claim that people who want some accountability in their government are a bunch of hate filled anarchists who don't want to pay for anything.

If questioning this situation makes a person some sort of crazy hatemonger, what kind of person blindly writes a check to an entity that gives you less in return as you pay more while calling those who question anything a bunch of whiners? People who are so quick to paint those tea party people as a bunch of racists who want to commit all kinds of atrocities to our poor minorities seem to forget that blindly accepting the status quo and not questioning what your government is doing with your resources is yet another way the bad side of our humanity is allowed to fester.

Well, at least you stopped directly calling people idiots.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 05:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't see your so-called "tea party people" as anything more than a small subsection of the the hard-line Republican base.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Good grief, have any of you looked at our budget recently?

File:Fy2009spendingbycategory2.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Go ahead and read. Our military does not compare to social programs. Do you know what social programs are? Take from the rich and give to the poor. You know what rich is? Anyone who is self sufficient. You know what poor is? Anyone who does not work to become self sufficient. This is the problem/difference with the halfrican and his administration. They don't want to just increase taxes, they want more social programs not a balanced budget. This is where the tea party comes into existence. While I'm not a tea party member I certainly support their efforts and laugh at how threatened the left is by them. I might just have to attend a meet just so I can say the left pushed me to do it.

But seriously read up on the budget, it's all public information.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This article and the numbers in it are duplicates at best. The study does not include payroll taxes, why? An entity is taking my money against my wishes. In most states if it is a person doing it you are a thief and imprisoned for it. If you are the federal government, not only do you have the authority, it votes itself more when it doesn't realise it needs to cut spending and tries to force its crooked fingers down my pockets and give it away to slime companies that should have been allowed to fail but is also going to Greece and other nations. I'm not saying don't help, but we have our own problems.

Polkadots makes a good point, spending needs to be severely restricted but I don't see it coming all or mostly from the military budget although there is certainly fat there. It needs to come from entitlement spending. I'm sorry, you give people money for nothing, not working or anything then where is the incentive to work ESPECIALLY SINCE ITS THE DEMONCAT PARTY VOTING EXTENSION AFTER EXTENSION. Keep your money uncle sam, I don't want it or the strings that are attached to them.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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1. Let's start with the recession. During the recession, jobs were bleeding out by the hundreds of thousands a month. With less people having a job, the government has less income from taxes whether income, payroll etc. When less people have jobs, people spend less so sales taxes declined. In short, less taxes were paid to the government. Now, Keynesian economics states that when the private sector stops spending, there needs to be an infuse of money from somewhere to keep the wheels of the economy going. This infuse of money can come from tax cuts/refunds so the private sector gets to keep more of their own money and hopefully they will spend to jump start the economy, or from the government directly injecting money into "projects" such as roads, railroads, bridges etc. Of course either way cause the government to run a massive deficit because while income from taxes have declined, the government must spend to keep the economy from going under completely. The idea is the government will run a temporary deficit to "stimulate" the economy back to the positive, and once the economy recovers then income from taxes will be restored and government spending can decrease bringing us all back into the black again.

While in theory, this sounds well and good there are problems. Giving tax cuts may give money back to the private sector, but no one can control if people will spend or not. More likely, people still won't spend because even though (for example) I may get a big tax refund check, if I don't have a job anymore I will probably save that money so I can pay bills. This will apply to business as well, big or small (business spend money essentially by hiring and restocking inventory). Essentially, fear is the overriding factor that controls if people will spend. Let's say the government tries to inject money through "public projects" instead. The problem here is the government can't actually create jobs. Such "public projects" are temporary and really does not do anything to facilitate economic growth. In the end, the 8 million jobs we lost can't simply be put onto government payroll.

Suggestions: Don't cut taxes. For wealthy, middle class or lower class. Instead, government money can go directly into low interest loans to help create a sustainable economic foundation. For example, I read another person's idea for restarting America's steel businesses. The government loans are not meant as a government take over, but rather as infusing money and then letting the free market utilize it. Given, there are a few requirements that needs to be met as well. The bureaucracy needs to be cut down dramatically. While I believe in regulations, the number of hoops that businesses have to jump through make it really difficult for money, time and energy to be used efficiently.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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2. This country needs to cut spending AND raise taxes. We need to go at our budget and hack at it with an ax AND with a scalpel. And then we need to raise taxes as well. Frankly, just cutting spending alone will not be enough unless we eliminate programs wholesale. Every economist out there will cry foul and claim that this will destroy the economy, stop the economic recovery and dive us back into another recession. IMO, that is all bull****. What has been driving this world into a recession and is CURRENTLY threatening Europe's economy is the FEAR driven by out of control deficit and debt. What caused the housing bust in the first place was people SPENDING money they did not have. Taking a million dollar loan to buy a home when they made $15 an hour. Eliminating the deficits and paying back the debt will bring back faith in the economy and break the one thing that is holding us all hostage: fear.

Unfortunately, the wealthier the country, the less likely the PEOPLE will be willing to have spending cut and tax increased. The wealthier a nation, the more the people of that nation expect services to be given to them. If we slash welfare, food stamps, Medicaid etc people will cry foul and say we are letting our poor die. If we cut Medicare and Social Security our elderly will cry foul and say we are abandoning them. If we cut military spending, Hawks will cry foul and say we are leaving our nation weaker and open to attacks. If we increase taxes...well, everyone will cry foul at that.

Solutions: The solution to all this is we need different folks in Congress that are not tied down by the different interest groups I listed above (and that list is by no means comprehensive). Our system of electing officials need to change. Our current system caters to the wealthy, the smooth talkers, and those who are good at gaming the system. By the time an official is elected, that official owes corporations, unions, and interest groups. So here is my idea. Let's have advertisement cost for officials running for elections be low. Then let's allow candidates can fund-raise up to 6 months before the election and ALL money fund-raised by every candidate be put into one big pile and that money divided EVENLY among everyone. This way, money is not being funneled from one special interest group to a specific candidate. Essentially this will cut out practically everyone who donates money to try and buy that candidate's vote on some legislation later. AND if a person, a group of person or a corporation wants to advertise on behalf of a candidate, that cost will be VERY high and MUST have loud and clear labeling of who funded that advertisement.

Once we have people in offices that are not tied to special interest groups, and essentially voted in by merit, then those officials can make the hard choices in spending cuts and raising taxes and, in general, actually come up with REAL solutions without all the "soft" corruption.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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3. As a nation we need to be moderate. We cannot swing to either extremes of far right or far left. We cannot have extremes of very poor and very rich. We cannot completely abandon those that are less fortunate and let them perish, nor can we create a system that hand feed them and their children for their whole lives. Social services does not have to mean the same thing as a "welfare nation". Solutions do not come from one idea or way. My way is not the only way, and neither is your way. Obama's way is not the only way, but neither is Ron Paul's way. We need to meet in the middle and combine our ideas and solutions to solve our nations issues. We need to stop letting our difference of opinions and ideologies divide. America rise to power was special because the differences among her citizens were the factors that made America powerful. It IS BECAUSE I see things from a difference perspective than you do that a completely NEW, NOVEL and GRAND solution can be formed between our two minds. Enough with the insults and name calling (no one has done so in this thread, but I meant in general) and let us actually produce solutions!

Thanks for reading. Apologies for the length!
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Old May 15th, 2010, 09:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree with the cutting spending part, drscrubs, but if you do that then there will be no need to raise taxes.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm sorry dr scrubs. While most of what you say is well intentioned it would take a perfect world to achieve most of that. I cannot tell what your political affiliation is from what you post but I can tell you that a lot of what you wrote is liberal optimism. I will tell you that if I was left to my own devices I CAN make better decisions with my money then the government. If there was an easy way I would opt out of SS and other social programs as I can spend my money more wisely then our government. I think that doing away with social programs would put a persons responsibility in their decisions and not on the government and thus tax payers. Overall our government has been growing by means of these programs ( and other means of course ) when it has no business making decisions for us. I that's why people was starting to complain. It's not so much Obama, it's the promise of larger government and that promise is the straw that broke the camels back. People are no longer willing to let big government keep making mistakes. I mean everyone is comming to the conclusion that they're plan would be better then the current course we're on. Even you layed out ideas that you feel are better then the current state of things. Even if a republican were elected next I don't think the tea party would up and vanish. But only time will tell. And that's really all the tea party is, a bunch of people that think that there needs to be a change.

As far as a bi-partisan ( or even uni-partisan ) approach goes, it would be great. As long as there are humans and money involved there will be corruption. I don't think there is a solution that isn't doomed to fail eventually. Every great civilization has failed and as ours (meaning the world not just the US) is the greatest and our failure will be the most spectacular. Lucky for us that's something that is still at least a few generations away.

I'm starting to think the sooner our end comes the shorter our recovery will be. So if I cannot win by advocating change I suggest more or what we've been doing. Why make a dying man suffer?
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Old May 16th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm starting to think the sooner our end comes the shorter our recovery will be. So if I cannot win by advocating change I suggest more or what we've been doing. Why make a dying man suffer?
Are you channeling Glenn Beck?

This is one of his quotes to the NRA convention:

"We have to think of something, because the Titanic is going down. We need to save the passengers, that's what we need to worry about. Let the ship sink if we have to. We have a great plan: It's called the Constitution, and we'll build another one."
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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Dr. Scrubbs

The only way to disentangle our politicians from the influence of big money is to have publically financed elections. As long as we allow contributions from special entrance to enter the coffers of politicians they will be beholden to them. They should only be beholden to the people that elect them.

But then our conservative supreme court steps in and says that corporations or big business should have the rights of an individual and be able to spend as much as they want on any topic they wish to advocate and to bash any politician that doesn't support their interests. If big business has the rights of the individual, then when a disaster occurs such as the recent mining accident in West Va. or the Gulf oil spill where 11 workers died, and they are seen to be criminally negligent by disregarding safety procedures which have been federally mandated, then some of those ceo's should go to jail.

And I could go on pontificating.
 
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Old May 18th, 2010, 07:14 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Dear Crude,

When I read your response, I was rather bothered by it but I couldn’t quite figure out why. After a lot of thinking, I realized it was because most of what you said was just negative.

Frankly, I don’t need your apology. I completely disagree that my suggestions need a perfect world to happen. My 1st suggestion was merely a different way to have the “stimulus” bill. My 2nd was a different way to have campaigns. My 3rd, while sounding idealistic, has happened throughout history. Being moderate and working together as a nation does not require a perfect world. The U.S has done it before and many other civilizations have before her. In the end, my third “solution” was a suggestion to people that read what I wrote to be more open to those that disagree with them. We don’t need 100% of Americans to do that. We just need the majority.

So for you to open up with a “would be” apology that I take to be sarcastic (because I do not think you were actually sorry) and casually dismiss what I wrote as essentially being “naïve” and too idealistic is exactly the problem with our nation today. People just don’t believe in good suddenly. Strange thing is: I see good people every day carry out acts of kindness and goodness. Where did all this pessimism come from?

You can’t tell what my political affiliation is from what I wrote because I don’t pigeon-hole myself and block out the other side simply because “those people are the enemy”. If being “optimistic” is equated with being “liberal” based of your description "liberal optimism", then I guess you can call me “liberal”, because it sure seems like being “conservative” is all about doom and gloom these days. If people must know what I consider myself, I call myself a Secular Humanist. (Secular does not mean I have no religion, but rather I am opposed to shoving my religion at other people. It is a personal faith.)

My biggest issue with the Tea Party is not about their ideas. My biggest problem is the Tea Party is born out of anger and has little hope. Their “idol” Sarah Palin takes pride in giving a speech and mocking “Hope and Change”. I get it, she disagrees with Obama, but WHAT IS THE POINT OF MOCKING HOPE?? Hope is the one thing that keeps people going. I would rather fight with HOPE that I will see a better day, than fight because I FEAR my destruction. Honestly, that makes ALL the difference. When a nation fights because there is HOPE for a greater good, that nation will come out on the other side stronger and more prosperous. The U.S after World War 1 and 2 is an example. Rome against Carthage is another. When a nation fights out of FEAR, that FEAR will destroy that nation before any external enemy will. Rome against the barbarians is an example of that. The Dark Ages is another.

Finally, your closing statement is sad. The so called "end" that you want to just let come, is not as simple as crumbling up a piece of paper that you messed up while using a typewriter and starting with a fresh one. Lives are at stake. If civilization crumbles, billions will die this time around. For you to so brazenly say what you said shows me how little you care about people's lives. I for one will fight out of the HOPE that HUMANITY has learned from mistakes of the past generations and we can do MUCH better this time around!!

In any event, thank you for your opinions. While I disagree with them, I recognize my way is not the only way and might not even be the best way. I look forward to other conversations we may have and I hope anyone else reading this was somewhat entertained.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 07:37 AM   #21 (permalink)
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From DrScrubs:

"My biggest issue with the Tea Party is not about their ideas. My biggest problem is the Tea Party is born out of anger and has little hope. Their “idol” Sarah Palin takes pride in giving a speech and mocking “Hope and Change”. I get it, she disagrees with Obama, but WHAT IS THE POINT OF MOCKING HOPE?? Hope is the one thing that keeps people going. I would rather fight with HOPE that I will see a better day, than fight because I FEAR my destruction. Honestly, that makes ALL the difference. When a nation fights because there is HOPE for a greater good, that nation will come out on the other side stronger and more prosperous."

Absolutely.

Further, the so-called Tea Party is not a political party. It consists almost entirely of the more vocal members of the hard-right Republican base. I have seen two "Tea Party" rallies up close and personal in Washington, D.C., which is where i earn my living. I've walked among them, so to speak, on my way to various meetings. I've read their signs, I've heard their chants, I've seen the symbols and pictographs they carry.

Sarah Palin is a joke to anyone capable of reason and logical thought. She's very good at rousing the rabble, so to speak, but there isn't a real thought in her head. She speaks the cliches the Tea Party folk want to hear, she speaks for values in which she doesn't believe, and she's making a lot of money at it. Good for her. I think she is the perfect representative of the hard right.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #22 (permalink)
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DrScrubbs, I realize that I am stirring the pot when I say this: "I'm sorry, but you're a naive such and such" isn't an apology to you, but rather an apology for you. Your efforts to slap away what you are depicting as an outstretched hand fall a bit short.
You can dismiss someone's comments and disposition just because you don't like the negativity of it, but there are those that don't buy into the fake touchy-feely spin the current administration is trying to put on its agenda. Does that make either of you right? maybe I don't think that anyone is too hurt that you don't agree with them.
It doesn't seem that we're ready for that yet. Right now, we're just participating in poking and proding. Hakr100 is tossing out some ideas and everyone is checking it out. I don't feel ready to try and persuade anyone to my point of view (especially when I am still analyzing things.) We're really in an introductory stage. Sure, we've had many topics and posts but we've not really dug into anything yet. People are still just frantically looking stuff up on Wikipedia to try to prove their point.
One day, we might get to the point where we can have a real discussion about politics (one without talking points and the first person to mention Sarah Palin has to go home.) We aren't there yet. Even the people around here that I feel can't present anything remotely resembling a fact without sensationalizing things into oblivion can still come up with the occasional gem, so it isn't a waste of time to keep working on it.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 3devious View Post
DrScrubbs, I realize that I am stirring the pot when I say this: "I'm sorry, but you're a naive such and such" isn't an apology to you, but rather an apology for you. Your efforts to slap away what you are depicting as an outstretched hand fall a bit short.
You can dismiss someone's comments and disposition just because you don't like the negativity of it, but there are those that don't buy into the fake touchy-feely spin the current administration is trying to put on its agenda. Does that make either of you right? maybe I don't think that anyone is too hurt that you don't agree with them.
You lost me a bit. I understand your point about how it is an apology for me. But I am not sure how you thought I was depicting the "apology" as an outstretched hand. I also did not simply dismiss someone's comment either. I responded to the comments presented to me with my own points. Also while I did disagree with a number of the comments made, I didn't disagree simply because it was negative, but rather because I see the negativity that permeates out society to be damaging. I understand that a lot of people don't buy into what this administration is doing. But my suggestions and comment has been rather independent of anything Obama has done. I felt like my comments and suggestions were not attached to a political stance. I don't think I am right or that my suggestions are the magic bullets to our problems either. I am hoping for people to continue to be constructive with ideas and efforts though. Lastly, I don't get your comment about people being hurt that I don't agree with them. I wasn't trying to hurt anyone's feelings when I was disagreeing. I would hope no one would so easily have their feelings hurt.

Oh, and I do agree with you that we are all in the introductory stage. Hopefully, soon we will reach the point when we understand what is happening and produce many gems! So I am very much for us to keep working at it.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 01:55 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Dear Crude,

When I read your response, I was rather bothered by it but I couldn’t quite figure out why. After a lot of thinking, I realized it was because most of what you said was just negative.

Frankly, I don’t need your apology. I completely disagree that my suggestions need a perfect world to happen. My 1st suggestion was merely a different way to have the “stimulus” bill. My 2nd was a different way to have campaigns. My 3rd, while sounding idealistic, has happened throughout history. Being moderate and working together as a nation does not require a perfect world. The U.S has done it before and many other civilizations have before her. In the end, my third “solution” was a suggestion to people that read what I wrote to be more open to those that disagree with them. We don’t need 100% of Americans to do that. We just need the majority.

So for you to open up with a “would be” apology that I take to be sarcastic (because I do not think you were actually sorry) and casually dismiss what I wrote as essentially being “naïve” and too idealistic is exactly the problem with our nation today. People just don’t believe in good suddenly. Strange thing is: I see good people every day carry out acts of kindness and goodness. Where did all this pessimism come from?

You can’t tell what my political affiliation is from what I wrote because I don’t pigeon-hole myself and block out the other side simply because “those people are the enemy”. If being “optimistic” is equated with being “liberal” based of your description "liberal optimism", then I guess you can call me “liberal”, because it sure seems like being “conservative” is all about doom and gloom these days. If people must know what I consider myself, I call myself a Secular Humanist. (Secular does not mean I have no religion, but rather I am opposed to shoving my religion at other people. It is a personal faith.)

My biggest issue with the Tea Party is not about their ideas. My biggest problem is the Tea Party is born out of anger and has little hope. Their “idol” Sarah Palin takes pride in giving a speech and mocking “Hope and Change”. I get it, she disagrees with Obama, but WHAT IS THE POINT OF MOCKING HOPE?? Hope is the one thing that keeps people going. I would rather fight with HOPE that I will see a better day, than fight because I FEAR my destruction. Honestly, that makes ALL the difference. When a nation fights because there is HOPE for a greater good, that nation will come out on the other side stronger and more prosperous. The U.S after World War 1 and 2 is an example. Rome against Carthage is another. When a nation fights out of FEAR, that FEAR will destroy that nation before any external enemy will. Rome against the barbarians is an example of that. The Dark Ages is another.

Finally, your closing statement is sad. The so called "end" that you want to just let come, is not as simple as crumbling up a piece of paper that you messed up while using a typewriter and starting with a fresh one. Lives are at stake. If civilization crumbles, billions will die this time around. For you to so brazenly say what you said shows me how little you care about people's lives. I for one will fight out of the HOPE that HUMANITY has learned from mistakes of the past generations and we can do MUCH better this time around!!

In any event, thank you for your opinions. While I disagree with them, I recognize my way is not the only way and might not even be the best way. I look forward to other conversations we may have and I hope anyone else reading this was somewhat entertained.
Easy doc, you took that way too personal, as seen by the lengthy reply with all the bells and whistles. All I was saying is that I some what disagree. However I totally disagree that humanity has learned from any of it's mistakes or that people are generally good. Humans are disgusting, mean, greedy, hateful creatures. No other species does to each other what mean things the human mind comes up with. Also, if another civilization has done it before...where is this civilization?

I hope Obama doesn't get 8 years.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Wasn't taking it personally. Rather I get (sometimes too) passionate. Forgive me.

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Old May 19th, 2010, 07:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Wasn't taking it personally. Rather I get (sometimes too) passionate. Forgive me.

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Now there's one we can agree on.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #27 (permalink)
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However I totally disagree that humanity has learned from any of it's mistakes or that people are generally good. Humans are disgusting, mean, greedy, hateful creatures. No other species does to each other what mean things the human mind comes up with. Also, if another civilization has done it before...where is this civilization?
For every act of evil deed done from one human being to another, there have been acts of good. During some period of time, acts of good numbered more than acts of evil, and in other times things are vice versa.

The key is we keep pushing ourselves for good. To just surrender and accept defeat is the worst evil of all. If we just surrender, we spit in the face of everyone before us who sacrificed their sweat and blood to give us what we have now. We toss aside the tears shed by those who lost loved ones so you and I can have this chance to even discuss our future. For all I know, we could fail at defending good. Civilization may crumble and many may die. But damnit, we have to fight nonetheless. We owe that much to the many people who lie in graves on Iwo Jima, Arlington, the nearby memorial park. We owe that much to regular hard working folks who toil the fields and work in the mines and factory to build our nation.

Other civilizations have indeed failed. And humanity continues to commit acts of horror this very minute. But again, like I said before, I will push on with hope. And hopefully, enough others will push on as well.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 11:59 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I don't see your so-called "tea party people" as anything more than a small subsection of the the hard-line Republican base.
I'm offended that the "tea-party" people are lumped in with republicans. I refuse to choose a side. I vote based off of the issues I support or don't support. I don't care about party. Even though we have "representatives" in government they no longer do the will of the people....taxation with out representation. Once these guys get elected they do the will of the parties and corporations.

Do you realize that there are several corporations that do not pay any taxes at all (GE)? How about all the tax breaks these companies get even though they are outsourcing jobs to other countries?

We have been divided and fight amongst ourselves. If you don't see a problem with this, God help you comrade.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 06:45 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I'm offended that the "tea-party" people are lumped in with republicans.
But...most of them are Republicans, as indicated in a recent legitimate survey, which ID'd 80% as Republicans. And they vote Republican. Further, their "candidates," such as they are, vote under the aegis of the GOP.

Even Rand Paul, who says he is a libertarian, claimed he was a tea partiy guy, though he also ran as a Republican. Rand is turning out to be a fun guy to watch...
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 12:17 PM   #30 (permalink)
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America is a two-party system, no matter what anyone says. Republican or Democrat. You can claim libertarian or claim liberal, but when it comes down to it....Republican or Democrat is your party choice.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 01:08 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Exactly. My husband refuses to claim Arnold as a republican. "Hey, look his whole family is a bunch of Kennedys!" "He just wanted to run and since the guy to run against was democrat, he chose republican."

I also told my better half that claiming people aren't "real" republicans, americans, what have you is going to be your undoing. There are no "real" democrats, republicans, whatever. There's just people and some of them are rich opportunistic jerks who don't care about anyone or anything but themselves.

PS: Hakr100, I haven't seen a legitimate survey since... well I'm still on the lookout for one. People answer and analyze surveys just like "Sean Connery" answers final jeopary questions on those SNL skits.
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