The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Restoring America's Greatness:" Time for a New "New Deal"


New polls released this week show President Bush's popularity sliding even further into the abyss, and America's dissatisfaction with the Republican-controlled Congress at an all time low. In next November's midterms, Democrats have an unprecedented opportunity to recapture the House and Senate, and perhaps even work their way back into the Oval Office in '08. The Left certainly has plenty of reason for optimism, but the challenges are still plentiful as well. Strategists and pundits have been pounding the table over the Democrats' need to create our own version of the "Contract with America," the brilliant Newt Gingrich/Tom Delay document that resulted in a Republican landslide victory in the 1994 elections. To win, Democrats need a coherent message that will resonate with the growing legions of dissatisfied, disenfranchised and frustrated voters, and we need a candidate who can best deliver this message.

The resounding success of "Contract with America" was that it was revolutionary in very specifically laying out both the Republicans' plans and subsequent actions if elected. In short, they very clearly said "Elect us and this is how we will make America and your life better."

But more importantly, the Democratic Party is the party of FDR and The New Deal, and it should immediately begin formulating a new major campaign theme/message/promise built on this historically popular legislative agenda. We can call it "Restoring America's Greatness." And like the GOP's Contract, our message should be one of government reform and policy change. The Contract worked, so let's learn from it and co-opt its success as we offer Americans a new New Deal .

Let's start with Reforms that need to be passed. If put back in power, the Democrats should promise voters that its "Restoring America's Greatness" plan will:

1. Demand that our elected representatives abide by the same laws as every other American;
2. Conduct a comprehensive and independent audit of Congressional waste, fraud and/or abuse;
3. Reduce the number of House committees; cut committee staff by one-third; ban proxy voting in committee; open committee meetings to the public; and impose shorter limits on committee chairs;
4. Require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase, tax decrease or repeal of other taxes such as the estate tax;
5. Require a three-fifths majority in order to pass changes to House rules that would benefit the majority party;
6. Allow only a zero based budget--no spending increases--until the deficit is appreciably reduced.

Now let's talk Policy. The Democrats should craft a clear platform that, as a start, includes the following significant domestic and foreign policy changes:

1. The immediate creation of an near-term exit strategy from Iraq;
2. A ten-point plan to protect America from acts of terrorism and/or natural disaster, to be coordinated with state and local governments;
3. The creation of a specific budget earmarked for resources and manpower to capture and bring to justice terror masterminds Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
4. A reduction in the term limits for Congressman from six years to four;
5. A ten-point energy conservation plan to dramatically reduce gas and oil prices as well as America's dependency on foreign fuel;
6. The creation of a Global Warming subcommittee to address this growing environmental problem that scientists say is causing an increased frequency of Category 4+ hurricanes and other natural disasters;
7. A ten-point plan to cut the record budget deficit in half by 2008 and have it balanced by 2010;
8. An immediate 25% increase in soldiers' pay and signing bonus to attract new recruits; the passge of a new bill to increase insurance and benefits for veterans;
9. The creation of a guaranteed government health plan for all Americans;
10. Immediate repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers;
11. Creation of a $10-billion jobs-creation program to put Americans back to work;
12. Legislation preventing government from tapping the Social Security Trust Fund;
13. Create a 10-point plan for improving the nation's education system, working closely with state and local governments.

It all seems so simple, this message. America is the greatest nation in the world; a nation that has protected its citizens and international allies; has cared for its young, its elderly, its sick, its destitute; has provided housing, food and education for those in need; and has created "the land of opportunity" for anyone with ambition, hopes and dreams for a better life. Throughout history we've used our immense power and influence to help change the world. That is the greatness of America, and that is what the Democratic Party in this country stands for as well.

"Restoring America's Greatness." It's a clear message we need right now. A message from the Democratic Party to all of America that we are the party of ideas, hope and change. That Democrats promise to deliver to Americans a better America. A message that, if coherently crafted, conveyed and confidently delivered, could resonate quite well with an electorate fed up with Republican failure and its culture of cronyism and corruption. It worked in 1994. History has a habit of repeating itself. Andy

40 Comments:

  • At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Johnny Solar said…

    GREAT ideas Andy you have some valid points that I'm sure we all can add too.

    I would like to see our voting laws looked into especially with what happened in 2000 and 2004. We are now 5 and a half years out and STILL no paper trail for ALL voting machines. If this is not fixed by next year we'll be on the short end of the stick AGAIN!

    Saving energy MUST be taken seriously for a change and offer incentives for those of us who do want to conserve. I drive a 2004 Toyota Prius (hybrid) and ONLY received a $2000.00 tax credit, it should be that and then some.

    I know it's a hot button but we need to do something about the illegals coming to this country. Here in Florida we have a mess with all of them in our school systems. We're paying the taxes so "they" can live here free and enjoy the benifits. The ONLY way this can be solved is to fine ANY business that has an illegal working for them. If no one hires them they will stop coming, we have to put a stop to them NOW.

     
  • At 3:19 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Andy, with a supreme force of will I am suppressing one snarky comment and will be nice. Your points are well thought through for the most part and I agree with most of them.

    This may be a good contract for an election, but I would predict more resistance from your side than mine in actually enforcing it.

    The best thing, though is that it is a good step in offering solutions. Good job.

     
  • At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for articulating this so well.

    How can we organize support for this, and then communicate that massive support to the Democratic Party? Petition or email drives?

     
  • At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Mmom said…

    Excellent points, and I will have to re-read it again to think all of it through. I agree with you and think the only improvements I could make are minor.

    Since you asked, I do want to offer a bit of constructive criticism. If this is a plan we are to present to a lot of people it must be shorter. It needs to be condensed a bit to reach the attention of people quickly. Too many, who need to be convinced of the need to elect a man (or woman)would stop reading after the first couple of paragraphs.
    Hope I don't offend, but I think you wrote about one of the best articles I have read in a long time,and I read many. Thanks, and hope we can retake the People's House in '06.

     
  • At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It will take 50years to undo what Bush has destroyed in the last 6.

    The dems will not provide a 'better america'. They'll be fighting the financial collapse tooth and nail just to scratch our way back to square one.

    Face it, it's over. The US is gone. It's world empire now. Israel won't let go of the reins that easily. Kerry is a no-substance candidate just like he was in 04. Kennedy is ready for the grave. Big choices.

    Unless and until I see Articles of Impeachment drafted, I'll no longer believe there are 2 parties in this country. It's one party with two faces.

    How many Dems have money tied up in Haliburton, KBR, GE, IBM, Martin-Marrietta? Sure would like to know that.

    Quit kidding yourselves. As long as the Dems use the phrase "war on terror' they're feeding into it and part of it. It's all a bunch of baloney to keep killing machine running. Duct tape, plastic, boogeymen in turbans, false-flag disasters ad infinitum. NOthing will change with a Dem in the WH. It's police state coming down the pike. And if you don't like it - VOTE! Like it'll do you any good.

     
  • At 1:03 AM, Anonymous consumer_whore said…

    at first glance: why the 6 -> 4 year reduction for Congress-people? you realize that they will just have to spend more time politicking? I'd like to get rid of some of their stupid benefits, like their ultra-cush pension plan.

    Also, i'm all for repealing tax cuts for the rich but besides that, how are you going to pay for it all? ...i'd like to see a law that companies cannot be on an American stock exchange (NASDAQ, NYSE, ASE) unless they pay U.S. taxes -- or better, no more Caribean tax havens.

     
  • At 1:21 AM, Anonymous consumer_w said…

    okay, next: zero-deficit balanced budgets are great in theory, disaster in a resession. Reducing the deficit is great, too, just let's not take the economy down with it. the main problem is Bush got us in a war we can't afford (i mean the 2nd war he got us into, the first one, with Afghanistan, we probably could have afforded on its own). Imagine all the goodwill we would generate FOR the US and AGAINST extremists if, 1. we were feeding Africans in Southern African countries that are about to get hit by a huge drought-related famine; 2. we had the resources to help rescue and rebuild Pakistan-Kashmir; 3. we spent a bit more time, money and troops in Afghanistan to secure and rebuild that country instead of let opium poppies and warlords grow, rather than wandering into Iraq.

    uh, sorry, got a little off-track there with my rant. Anyway: paying for it... 3 easy steps to a fiscally responsible Pentagon? 10-point plan for increasing federal income without increasing taxes on average American? (hint, i hate sales tax, it's stupid, regressive, and anti-business) how? are? you? going? to? pay? for? it? all?

     
  • At 1:24 AM, Anonymous consumer_w said…

    recession.

    darn my dependence on spell check!

     
  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Here I try to be nice and then anonymous comes and spews out the most ridiculous trash, that I have to respond.

    Anon said: "It will take 50years to undo what Bush has destroyed in the last 6"
    I half way jokingly said the libs would start saying this in a previous post. Here it comes in truth.

    Anon said "They'll be fighting the financial collapse tooth and nail just to scratch our way back to square one."
    What financial collapse??? Historically low unemployment, low interest rates, low inflation. The highest tax revenues EVER. You guys can't be taken seriously if you complain about thunderstorms when the sky is blue.

    Anon said "Israel won't let go of the reins that easily"
    I am really sick of the anti-jewish bigotry of the left that goes completely unchecked by self-restraint, media or any other type of restraint. Israel has twice now given up land it legitimately acquired when they were attacked without provocation - when the Arab world sought to "drive them into the sea". The last time the land was yielded, Hezbollah set up camp to make one terrorist strike after another. Now they have given up more land, Hamas is starting to do the same thing. Israel stuck its neck out for peace and is going to get it sliced and all you can say is they won't give up the reins. You are a bigot of the worst kind.

    You do truthfully talk about the Democrats being financially tied to Haliburton. Clinton and Co was tied to Haliburton long before the Bush Administration comes along. So this constant hypocritical mantra about Haliburton is a tired, old lame duck.

     
  • At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, all our finely laid and crafted plans are for naught if we do not get our act together and tackle voting fraud. It's like someone saying, to the person waiting in the flooded attic, Oh, I'll be back to get you---and they never come. Nothing means anything if we can't confirm and verify our votes. FIRST THINGS FIRST, PEOPLE.

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger Gouda said…

    That's it! Have a plan. I like several of Andy's ideas. And thank god there's a Democrat who has some too:

    A few Sunday's ago on Meet the Press:

    "Tim Russert was gobsmacked to discover that when he asked his usual showstopper, "But what are the Democratic ideas?", Illinois congressman and ex-has-been Rahm Emanuel actually had an answer.

    Rahm could have said, "Three things: Convict DeLay. Filibuster Miers. Stick pins in our voodoo dolls of George Bush and Karl Rove." Instead, he spelled out five real ideas: making college universal, demanding a budget summit, cutting energy dependence in half with a hybrid economy, creating a science and technology institute to rival NIH, and making health care universal over the next 10 years.

     
  • At 10:35 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    The Illinois congressman's ideas "making college universal, demanding a budget summit, cutting energy dependence in half with a hybrid economy, creating a science and technology institute to rival NIH, and making health care universal over the next 10 years" ...will triple our budget deficit.

    I am sure Russert was more 'gobsmacked' (whatever that means) by knowing what losing dogs those ideas were than that he had ideas. Russert could probably see at the Democrat convention complaining about Bush's deficit and then in the same breath make proposals that will triple it.

     
  • At 10:58 AM, Blogger The Ostroy Report said…

    If we reverse Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, cut uselss pork out of his transportation bill, keep the estate tax and end the financial hemorrhaging in Iraq we'll have more than enough money to pay for much-needed social and infrastructural programs here at home. As for term limits, our presidents only serve four years. Why should Congresspeople serve six? They get too complacent, and should have to earn their keep every four years as well.

     
  • At 11:01 AM, Anonymous unicorn said…

    I figured it out! We're already in a pandemic, but it's not bird flu, it's suicide. The "insurgents" have managed to infect most of our government with this virus. We must quarantine them using our white supremicist militia, or die.

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Why do liberals continue to treat wealth as if it is a crime that needs to be punished by higher taxation? Nobody should be taxed more than 25% of their income no matter how high that income might be and I think 25% is too high. 30, 40 and 50 percent is criminal even for a billionaire.

    As for the estate tax, why should I work all my life being taxed ever step of the way, accumulate what wealth I can only to have the government double-dip and take a big cut out of my already taxed estate before I give my kids my gift of an inheritance? The estate tax is theft pure and simple. There is no justification other than "hey dude I really need that money bad". Well a mugger on the street may claim the same justification and it is robbery in both cases.

    Liberals need to change their mentality on wealth. I realize some wealth is obtained unethically or even criminally. Most is obtained by making the right choices and working hard. The wealth is a reward of that and results in ownership of the resulting money. Now liberals view the money that was earned and is now owned as something evil and think it is their right to take. Liberalism/socialism can be boiled down to 2 words: justified thievery. The problem is that theft can never be justified.

     
  • At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Stand says "As for the estate tax, why should I work all my life being taxed ever step of the way, accumulate what wealth I can only to have the government double-dip and take a big cut out of my already taxed estate before I give my kids my gift of an inheritance?"

    Yes, YOU earned it and paid your tax on it but your kids WILL NOT HAVE. Why should they get a free ride?

     
  • At 12:42 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Anonymous, I don't think you really thought about that before you wrote it. Anyway, I earned it so why is it not MY right to determine who gets it. Your point falls apart quickly when you realize that no matter who it goes to THEY did not earn it. I did. Since I spent my life earning it, it is my right to give it to whom I choose. Anything else is theft.

     
  • At 1:00 PM, Anonymous BKLN said…

    Ostroy - an excellent first volley into the debate over policy and practice, and a great set of ideas to mull. Refer too to Howard Dean's "Restoring the Great American Community" from during his 2004 Presidential bid. Great stuff.

    Anon - perhaps it will only take 30 years to fix what Bush has broken in 5 years... but you should have left the other tinfoil hat comments at home cuz it seemed to have fired up our resident libertarian...

    Stands - wealth is not a crime, but personal and corporate tax evasion is criminal, especially to the degree that weathly persons and corporations benefit from US infrastructure and labor of those not able to hire high powered tax attorneys and offshore accounts to hide their wealth and evade paying for US infrastructure. A freight trucking magnate becomes wealthy because of the interstate system, and much more so than the taxpayers who pay for its consturction and upkeep. This is not a difficult concept to understand. Remember too, that the wealthy (whose tax cuts we are talking about here - and the ones who have benefited substantially from US infrastructure) pay proportionately LESS taxes than ordinary working Americans because of the differences in handling WORKING INCOME vs. INTEREST INCOME. This is more complicated to understand.

    Also, there are many millionaires who actively oppose ending the estate tax, so much so that they did a whole page ad in the NY Times (very costly) to bring it to the public debate. You can check them out here >
    http://www.responsiblewealth.org/estatetax/

    Oh, and Stands, you forgot to include record deficits, rising interest rates and record bankruptcies in your overly rosy laundry list.

     
  • At 1:18 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    bkln, I made clear that my comments involved those who have acquired wealth lawfully and ethically. To add criminals to the debate merely frosts over the clear fact that overtaxation is theft, which was I am sure your reason for adding them to the list. It is like saying many in the mafia are wealthy due to crime therefore all wealthy people deserve to be taxed. That does not pass the sniff test.

    As for the list of millionaires, we know many liberals are millionaires. In fact there are more Democrat millionaires in Congress than Republican millionaires. If a millionaire wants to give a chunk of his wealth to the government instead of his kids that is his right to voluntarily do. Let him put in his will that 50% goes to the government and that is fine. Just don't force me or anyone else to do it by law. Again, that is theft. If I am walking down the street and see a crook, I can walk up to him and give him my watch and wallet and that would not be theft. Only when he points a gun at me and demands them is it theft. Let these millionaires on your list put their money where their mouth is.

     
  • At 3:20 PM, Anonymous johnny said…

    Popeye, you talk a lot but say NOTHING. I ask this of all my wacko conservative friends and never seem to get an answer, so here goes again. I want you to list all the wonderful things that your "idle" Bush has done since he's taken office that has helped the lower to middle class people of this country. Remember now I said the lower and middle class and the phony tax cuts he got does not count because the $400.00 that they received is long gone with the increase in all the other taxes we are now paying more for.

    Why can't you at least admit the republican right wing, religious fanatics that run this country screwed up and are going to be history in 2006 and beyond.

     
  • At 4:08 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Johnny, my problems with Bush and congress are where they have acted too liberal. Any changes I would ask of them would be to go to the right, not the left. The tax cuts were 1) only half of what was originally planned due to the Democrats blocking it. So without the Dems interferring I would now be enjoying twice the tax cut. 2) The tax cut, though smaller than I wish is better than a tax hike that Clinton gave me 3) The reason tax revenues went up. You can't deny that. Why do you complain when tax revenues go up just because tax rates go down?

    As for as the religious fanatics. Whatever you think they did is 98% all in your mind. It is your religious bigotry in action here making you think that they are doing something they are not. The religious tone of politicians these days is far lower than 50 years ago and somehow it is pictured as fanaticism today. If you think I say nothing, you are incapable of logical thought. That is likely incurable and so I feel sorry for you.

     
  • At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, hasn't Stands been having fun blowing smoke? Spouting percentages like they were true. Estate Tax starts to apply at 1.5 million of unencumbered estate value. Estate tax value is scheduled to go up over the next few years and then be phased out, MAYBE and ONLY for a limited time. While the argument of why should estates be double taxed is, perhaps, valid at the lower levels, it is not valid at the top 1%, in other words, the very rich. There's a vast amount of difference between someone who makes $250.00 a day and has a mortgage on a $400,000 dollar house(subject to the fluctuations of the real estate market) and someone who makes $1000.00/plus per hour and owns a prosperous business. Moving on to someone like Bill Gates or Paul Allen, you'll see your $400,000 house is their chump change. So a tax increase of 100,000 dollars or more is absorbed within hours/days of profit for the top one percent of tax payers. Now, if you think your retirement package, your RV, your house, your medical insurance guarantee, grandma's china, and your wife's 25th anniversary diamond ring meets the Estate Tax cutoff, you have an out...it's called gifting.

    As far as the crack about religion, I'll throw out a unsubstantiated number of my own: religious people seem to be influenced by their religion 100% percent of the time, and, therefore, incapable of making an unbiased decision. See? Just making stuff up is so much fun.

     
  • At 6:27 PM, Anonymous BKLN said…

    Stands - if you can tell me what is lawful and ethical about millions of American working poor increasing every year (http://www.psu.edu/ur/2005/povertyatlas.html) while the top 1% gets multiple huge tax breaks, then you will be saying something. Until then, I have to agree with Johnny, and no amount of name-calling on your part will be able to serve as a defense of your inhumane 19th century ideology. Please come join us in the 21st century, with its 6.5 billion people, almost a billion of which are poor and hungry (http://www.bread.org/hungerbasics/international.html)

    Indeed, making stuff up and using big words while trying to sound "down home" and adding in a few numbers and such is really quite a lot of fun and totally obfuscates the factual discussion at hand. That and the classic bait and switch routine, ie, suddenly talking about theft and criminal wealth...

    Nowhere in my first post did I mention CRIMINAL aquisition of wealth. Sorry if you missed the nuance, but the point I was making is that the currently legal use of tax loopholes and tax shelters to avoid paying for the services and privelege of US infrastructure is "criminal." I'll rephrase and say that it is abhorent and unconsciona ble. If you actually spend time reading the post, it addresses the people of wealth who have gotten there via US infrastructure which they manage to legally avoid paying for via high powered tax attorneys and shelters. It is the raw business of inhumane capitalism, a regressive leftover of the slavery days, which our libertarian poster secretly wishes hadn't been abolished.

    But here we are, wasting our time diverted in discussion with another greedy corporatist posing as a thoughtful intellectual.

    As for the "christian" or religious argument, as the joke goes, "if you take all the parts out of the Bible that talk about helping the poor, hungry and needy of the world, then you'd have room enough for Rush Limbaugh's oxycontin stash... well at least a month or two's worth..."

     
  • At 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Popeye, sorry to bust up YOUR blog.

    "I am really sick of the anti-jewish bigotry of the left that goes completely unchecked by self-restraint".

    Substitute the word "palestinian" for the word jewish and you have Sharon's policy in a nutshell.

    Being Jewish is a RELIGION in case you'd forgotten. Being ISRAElI is a Nationality. Don't put words into my mouth. I'm not anti-jewish, contrary to your right-wing spew. I am, however, anti-Israeli-favoritism when it comes to THIS nation - meaning the US. I have no allegience to Israel or their religion or the offshoot from it, christianity (which is becoming a pervasive catastrophe in this country).

    But please tell me why several members of the administration maintain DUAL CITIZENSHIP? Care to comment on that. Those who don't wish to be full-fledged Amercians have no business running it's government. Israel is the biggset violater of UN sanctions on the planet.

    I'm not anti-semetic at all, in fact I like Arabs.

     
  • At 1:03 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    bkln, how many people are poorer each year because of their own choices? In the US we have a safety net that will house,feed, provide health care for just about anyone who can't. Maybe they won't be rich but they can survive. During that time they have free education. By making the right choices and taking advantage of both government and private programs (or working through like I did) they can get a college education and be anything they can be.

    I am not hard-hearted to claim they screwed up so let 'em suffer the consequences. We have second chance programs both governmental and private for people who missed the boat and then want to turn their life around and become whatever they want to be. But because many continue to make foolish and self-serving choices that further impoverish them it is somehow unfair for the guy who made the right choices to keep his own money.

    The US infrastructure is open for all to take advantage of. Then if they do that, they are considered evil and penalized for doing so. Besides a flat tax rate would account for that. For every dollar you make, give 20 cents. If you make 10,000 you give 2,000. If you make 1 million you give 200,000. Even that is high for my taste, but it is not punishing someone for making the right choices.

    I don't get your comments about big words or down home business. Yes I changed my posts dramatically in response to Johnny's post. I was genuine in my good comments to Andy. I may not agree with all his points but he put in alot of effort and many I do agree with. You can be doggone sure I will not intentionally tell an untruth, I will not be disingenuous. WYSIWYG is what I try to follow, though I can be a little moody sometimes.

    Anonymous. Sorry, I did not follow your comments at all and the minute points I did follow is not worth the energy tonight.

     
  • At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for some good points made for a Rejuvenated New Deal. The energy issues have to be brought to the front as this may be key in this new age. America could become the world leader in developing sustainable energy sources and conserving non-sustainable fuels. By selling our technologies to the world, we could once again become a positive world force. Some corporations will hate this idea because it will cut into short term profits, but the way we are going now, we will soon fall behind Europe and Asia. In the not so distant future America could become a second class nation if it keeps on the present course. But that doesn't need to happen. The primary obstacles are this administration and its corporate sponsors that have no imagination at all. We are following the same old policy of trying to control diminishing resources in other parts of the world instead becoming a leader in self-sufficiency. "Ask not how we can use/exploit the world for our own benefit, but ask how we can become a leader for the rest of the world."

     
  • At 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Stands points out some freebies that Americans have. 1) a free education that exists until High School when those school fees can reach several hundred dollars. Then, when is the last time you ever heard of a free college education? Do you have the 2,000/plus dollars per semester that it takes nowdays? I know I had to pay for mine! It's easy to make broad sweeping statements about the utopia all Americans have. People who have never worked in the public service sector, such as, teachers, public safety, and social workers, cannot imagine the variances that lie within the American experience - just like a social worker or a cop wouldn't necessarily know how to keep a fleet of delivery trucks running in the business sector. It's folly to believe that all Americans have an equal playing field of opportunity.

     
  • At 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Stands points out some freebies that Americans have. 1) a free education that exists until High School when those school fees can reach several hundred dollars. Then, when is the last time you ever heard of a free college education? Do you have the 2,000/plus dollars per semester that it takes nowdays? I know I had to pay for mine! It's easy to make broad sweeping statements about the utopia all Americans have. People who have never worked in the public service sector, such as, teachers, public safety, and social workers, cannot imagine the variances that lie within the American experience - just like a social worker or a cop wouldn't necessarily know how to keep a fleet of delivery trucks running in the business sector. It's folly to believe that all Americans have an equal playing field of opportunity.

     
  • At 4:42 PM, Anonymous BKLN said…

    Stands, it is shameful that you say you won't intentionally tell an untruth or be disingenuous in the same post that you blame the poor for their poverty and talk about some unspecified "safety net" for Americans.

    C'mon Stands... FOCUS. My comments were about the working poor in America, a subject you obviously refuse to and cannot address because it immediately sinks any argument you have. Instead of dealing with corporate malfeasance (of which your libertarian corporatist ilk are the chief practitioners) which creates the working poor, you had to take the low and very disingenuous road of comments like "because many continue to make foolish and self-serving choices that further impoverish them it is somehow unfair for the guy who made the right choices to keep his own money" and "how many people are poorer each year because of their own choices?" Such an attitude is disgusting.

    Stands responded to my post about THE WORKING POOR IN AMERICA by blaming the poor for their poverty instead of looking at how corporate giants like Delphi and Enron enter bankruptcy court after shafting longtime employees and stockholders at the same time that their execs are lounging in huge salary and severance packages... your thinking seems stuck in the 1950s when companies used to have loyalty to their employees and "Made in USA" was a tag on more products than not. Click my name for some nighttime reading.

    Stands says: "In the US we have a safety net that will house, feed, provide health care for just about anyone who can't" as if all of Stands' audience should just believe it - like it's a truth all the rest of America somehow missed but Stands seems to know ALLLLL about.

    Stands, can you please tell all of us exactly WHAT this "safety net" is that you talk about and how it is that Americans can access it? If you can't, perhaps you should revise your claim of never being "disingenuous."

    Just as you did in responding to my last post, I expect you to do your best to avoid a real answer and point the discussion in another direction. I know you will struggle to give solid names, facts and institutions and the reports that show that these programs are capable of handling the 40+ million without healthcare, proper education, and/or housing. It's because those programs that do exist simply CANNOT provide that "safety net" you seem so assured that exists for everyone who needs it. The programs are overwhelmed and underfunded at every turn. Many of these programs you will refer to are targeted for cuts to pay for Katrina.

    Oh right... KATRINA. Will you be willing to blame the NOLA business owners decimated by Katrina for their current state of being poor and "wanting handouts" in the same breath as blaming the poor who were unable to evacuate?

    Time for you to be genuine instead of just claiming to be.

     
  • At 11:41 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    blkn, you seem to take the stance that I must agree with you in order to have the right to claim to be genuine. Are you kidding?

    I have the right to talk about correct choices because when I left home for college at 18 I had to fund my college tuition, room and board without help from family or government. If I can do it almost anyone can. I understand there are those who have handicaps and illnesses and am fully willing for programs to help them out. For those who drop out of high school and go through jobs one after another, am I supposed to support them? Is Bill Gates supposed to support them? Do you want to support them? Logically, if anyone from the extreme circumstances you describe can make it on their own my point is made. If some can do it, others in the same circumstances can do it. Are you really claiming that choice never is related to poverty?

    First you ask me to prove there is a safety net or programs as if they don't exist. Next you claim these non-existent programs are underfunded and are going to be cut to pay for Katrina. Who is being disingenuous now?

    Again you are being disingenuous when asking about the NOLA biz owners. My comments were clear as a bell talking about life choices people make - not catastrophe related events.

     
  • At 2:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Watch out Stands! You started to sound like a - gasp! - liberal!!

    Don't you think someone paid for you? Don't you think someone else's tax dollars paid to publically educate you, paid for the school buildings you went to, paid to keep a police force and firefighters hired to protect you when you were growing up? Don't you think that someone else's dollars paid for the roads and highways you drive on? I bet they have been around longer than you have. I appreciate that you probably had to largely help yourself to get an education or whatever, but now it's your turn, Stands. So, quit bitching and lend a helping hand, or has that been stricken from the christian code? Give unto others?

    So you've made life choices that work for you. Congratulations. Isn't a shame that not all people are as wise and smart as you? Why don't you be even bigger and better by working on the differences between you and them?

    We'd be happy to hear about a real, genuine difference you've made in someone's life. Or would that be asking you to give too much? And by the way, Bill Gates gives away millions to school programs to help kids learn. Oh no! He's paying for someone else!

     
  • At 9:42 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    anon said "but now it's your turn, Stands."

    I have taken my turn and continue to do so by paying my taxes as well as contributing directly to others in need. You have willfully missed my point so I will take it slower.

    - Nowhere did I claim I wanted to be absolved of paying taxes
    - Nowhere did I claim that government assistance should be totally non-existent
    - I did not claim to make my choices based on wisdom or smartness. It was actually simple make these choices or be poor.
    - The choices of staying in school, not doing drugs, not causing a teen pregnancy, going to college even if it means working for it can be understood by any idiot
    - When it comes to giving back we are talking about how much. I pay 1/4 of my income to taxes. That is too much.
    - If the foolish choices of others cause me to pay 25% instead of 10% it becomes an issue with me.

    Anonymous, thank you so much for making my point. You said "Bill Gates gives away millions to school programs to help kids learn" The key word is "gives". Liberals go under the assumption that all money going to the needy must be funneled through the government. Americans have shown in the tsunami, Katrina and many other venues that we are a giving people. Money going through the government instead of privately has one purpose: control.

    I would not normally talk about these private items, but since I am fairly anonymous, ok. Here is a "real genuine difference" I have made in someone's life since you ask. A co-worker under my wife made a very poor choice in marriage in spite of having a good home and parents advising her not to marry this dufus. He became a drunk, abuser and cheater. He also spent the money so there was not enough to keep their small house up that they had bought in better days. In her despair she let the house cleaning go and it was quite horrible to such a degree it really broke the morale of her and her kids. When we heard and saw the place my wife and I volunteered weeks of our time to help her get her house back in order. After that we paid for her to get new carpeting since the old one was very disgusting. My wife's brother contributed money to get her car fixed and we worked with others to contribute food and money where possible. She is now back on her feet, has a better job, her kids are doing very well and they are all working together to keep up the house in its new condition. Not one dime in this process came from the government! Conservatism is not about neglecting those in need. Just keep the power hungry, wasteful government limited in what it does.

    So Anon, does this qualify in your book for lending a helping hand? Or are tax dollars the only path you recognize. This is not the only time we have helped others. We spend a lot of our time and money helping others, but if I say more I'll be branded as a bragger.

    How many of you have seen Section 8 housing after one year of occupancy? My wife sees it almost every day in her job. When the government gives the money it so often under-appreciated and these places go from shiny and new to a dump in less than a year. This is already long enough or I would talk about the Cabrini Green 'experiment' in Chicago. Maybe there is something out there on the internet.

     
  • At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So the point exactly, "these places go from shiny and new to a dump in less than a year" - work on the difference between you and "them". Glad to hear you have helped others. Keep up the good work and if you don't like big government spending, then help to get republicans out of office...they are the majority in this mess.

     
  • At 5:27 PM, Anonymous BKLN said…

    Stands - I must thank you for doing exactly as I expected and continued to completely avoid responding THE VERY FIRST post I made about the woroking poor and HAVE REPEATEDLY ASKED THAT YOU ADDRESS in every post since.

    What are you afraid of Stands? Scared of being totally unable to defend your "see no evil" position on wealth in America? Your avoidance of the issue exposes you more than you can imagine.

    Spare us all your selective use and understanding of nuance. It's a pathetic defense for someone who seems to want to engage in an intellectual discourse about these issues. Let's continue bullet pointing items...

    (1) Dictionary time first. Disingenuous is "lacking in candor; also : giving a false appearance of simple frankness." This applies to your first statement...
    STANDS "In the US we have a safety net that will house,feed, provide health care for just about anyone who can't."
    That's a definitive statement saying without question that this safety net exists.
    So I replied "Stands, can you please tell all of us exactly WHAT this "safety net" is that you talk about and how it is that Americans can access it?"
    I didn't say it doesn't exist at all, but I am DEFINITELY asking you to tell me what you know about it, rather than just spewing a talking point that you know nothing about.
    And as I expected, you comletely avoided a chance to educate all of us on the blog as to what you know about this and replied to me "First you ask me to prove there is a safety net or programs as if they don't exist. Next you claim these non-existent programs are underfunded and are going to be cut to pay for Katrina. Who is being disingenuous now? Again you are being disingenuous when asking about the NOLA biz owners. My comments were clear as a bell talking about life choices people make - not catastrophe related events."
    Your avoidance of the issue is an example of the use of the term "disingenuous." Saying that I was asking you to prove there is a safety net is an example of selectively using nuance and hoping none of us will catch it.

    (2) Life choices versus corporate malfeasance.
    You are the one who introduced the "life choices" side of this equation in response to my bringing up corporate malfeasance. Why not be polite and engage the discussion as it progresses before you toss in something off-topic while trying to claim it's on-topic? Why do you refuse to defend corporate malfeasance from the point of view of conservatism in modern America? Is it because you can't defend it? How many times have I asked you to do this for us now?

     
  • At 9:35 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    blkn, you are the one being disengenuous here by trying to make rules for me to follow in my comments and then making accusations when I don't follow them.

    - I must answer specific points you make instead of choosing which I think are worth the effort to answer. Hey, if I don't answer a point because I don't think it worth my time and you want to get some buzz by claiming victory - go for it. I have said before, my time is limited and I spend it first answering things that interest me. If there is time left after that I might answer other things. This is no different than how thousands of other bloggers operate.

    - The points you made that you insist I respond to are very broad in scope. I did not respond because you need to narrow it down some. I am sure in simplistic thinking stating that the number of working poor is growing seems narrow, but I am sure on a case by case basis there are hundreds of reasons why various workers are making less than they used to. Simplistically blaming the rich may be a valid reason but I can think of others such as the slave labor in China that nobody seems care about.

    - The points you insist I respond to to prove my genuineness would require books to answer properly. I don't have that much time. Sorry. Like I said, narrow it down.

    - You make a direct statement like "can you please tell all of us exactly WHAT this "safety net" is that you talk about and how it is that Americans can access it" which I take at face value and you expect me to not take it at face value without any clear indication I should not take it at face value. I thought you were claiming there was no safety net. Anyway, I don't claim the safety net is perfect. I do see that the link you gave states "Although the War on Poverty was declared in the 1960s, a poor family today in 2005 is much worse off than the average poor family in the 1960s". I would acknowledge that to some degree, but it only shows that throwing billions of dollars at a problem does not solve it. Poverty, education, health care and other issues have historically shown the trend that the more money thrown towards it the worst it gets. This is not just in the US, but in other countries.

    blkn, the bottom line is that I don't have any obligation to prove my genuineness to you or anybody. Truth does not blanch in the face of criticism. Think and say what you wish. I won't be posting back on this thread since it is on the second page. Perhaps I will comment on a new post and you can feel free to rehash there or come to my blog.

     
  • At 7:58 PM, Anonymous BKLN said…

    Is there really no etiquette in blogging then? Anyone is free to spew whatever they want in a comments section? Isn't that what the comments sections on posts are supposed to be about - the broader discussion of the original post and its associated points, to present arguments and defend them? Anyone else have any thoughts in this regard?

    Your own blog is your own monologue and you have every right to blather on it as you see fit. To come into someone else's blog and comment however you like, making baseless inflammatory statements you are unwilling to defend and back up with facts is called BEING A TROLL. The "I don't have time" thing is a transparent copout - you obviously have plenty of time to blog. You are simply choosing to avoid the subject because it is an indefensible position.

     
  • At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Eeewwww Stands is sooooo uuuuummm Republican!

     
  • At 11:07 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    All, sorry to post again when I said I would not. I have done more research into the estate tax due to comments here. I looked at the link blkn gave and others and find that, though rare, this is one topic I did not fully understand. From all I can find, you folks seem to be correct on this so I will withdraw my comments on the estate tax. I still hold that wealth is not to be punished by taxation, but in this case the wealth required to trigger this must be extreme and there should be plenty for the rich guy to pass to his kids. Looks like my estate won't qualify to be taxed after all so that is one positive.

    Don't faint. I can admit when I am wrong.

     
  • At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Glad you studied up...Stands

    Perhaps Karl Rove said it best...

    "As people do better -they start voting like Republicans - unless they have too much education and vote Democratic. Which proves there can be too much of a good thing."

    Karl Rove
    New Yorker magagzine
    Bush's Trillions (article)
    Feb. 19 & 26, 2001

     
  • At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In other words, Republicans don't want their voting base to be too educated or know too much.

     

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