published Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Reserved Parking

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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328Kwebsite said...

Bravo.

July 16, 2011 at 12:09 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

And our President is like a baby throwing a tantrum for another two-three trillion-dollar bottles? President Reagan said government is like a baby: an endless appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.

President Obama's own party's Senate voted down his budget 97-0 and hasn't passed a budget of its own in two years. The Tea Party types are at least trying.

July 16, 2011 at 12:13 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

YOU MUST BE JOKING

Andy proclaimed, "The Tea Party types are at least trying."

No they're not. All they are trying to do is make President Obama a one term president. They have no interest in lifting one finger to help the economy because that would be counterproductive to their political agenda.

The raising of debt ceiling fiasco is just another example. Poor John Boehner, bless his heart, after he finally got the President to agree to the most sweeping rollback of Democratic programs - remember Shrub wanted to 'reform' Social Security but failed miserably - along comes Eric Cantor and pulls the rug out from under him. Boehner's sin? The compromise would have allowed the President the opportunity to stand before the American people and exhibit leadership.

Cantor said that because about 15% of the Bill closed tax loopholes that benefitted millionaires - and we shouldn't be 'cutting taxes during a recession' - House tea baggers could never, NEVER, support such a Bill.

Republicans have painted themselves into a rigid political corner where they plan to oppose the President on every issue and every Bill until the 2012 elections. Their strategy might work. They'll have millions of untraceable and unmarked dollars to spend on swift boat style campaign ads designed to torpedo Obama's bid for reelection.

But never, NEVER, think for a second that they are trying to do anything to help this economy or anything else that could cast this President in a positive political light.

The only thing the tea bagger types - which is just another name for the far right wing of the GOP that used to include the John Birch Society - are trying to do is regain power.

Because they didn't screw the country up badly enough the last time the were in control in Washington.

July 16, 2011 at 12:55 a.m.
tderng said...

Actually got a chuckle on this one.At least its up to date.:)

July 16, 2011 at 1:44 a.m.
claybennett said...

Hey, even a cartoonist needs to take a vacation every once in a while.

July 16, 2011 at 3:48 a.m.
woody said...

Hope you are well-rested Clay..there appear to be a number of important 'toon' ideas on the near horizon. Of course, none will take precedence over the possible loss of S.S. checks if this group of responsible (and I use the term loosely) legislators and our president continue to haggle over what each side wants.

Even if what they want has little or nothing to do with the electorate majority. S.O.S (same old ----)....Woody

July 16, 2011 at 6:04 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Andrew - as defined by the Constitution, our government is we, the people. Reagan's definition of "government" is accurate only because it really defines the electorate.

Here is a link to a reasonably impartial evaluation of the current fiscal situation. http://factcheck.org/2011/07/fiscal-factcheck/

Whatever else you might conclude from that data set, it is pretty obvious that we have a serious problem and it is pretty obvious that the solution will require both reduced expenditures and increased revenues. Of all the voices in the current cacophony, only the president is sharing the difficult message, the message that nobody wants to hear - if we want to fix this problem, we all have to sacrifice.

July 16, 2011 at 6:57 a.m.
ITguy said...

MTJohn, Great link. This should be required reading as it accurately spells out the current situation and how we got here.

Blackwater48 is 100% correct that the Republicans are interested in only one thing and that is to make Obama a 1 term president. The stupidity of their approach is that if they are successful, they will have to clean up the mess that they are creating, and it is not going to get any easier by kicking the problems further down the road.

It is time to grow up and act like responsible adults. Oh, I forgot, we are talking about politicians.

July 16, 2011 at 7:49 a.m.
mymy said...

Will the real crybabies please stand up: Nancy Pelosi Barack Obama Harry Reid From the Democratic Party Playbook: Never take sides against the Democrat Party leadership. Stand with your party NO MATTER WHAT. Always discourage the voters from considering the consequences of Democrat proposed legislation, and instead appeal to their stronger emotional urges. Remember to stir hatred, envy, and the divisiveness of class warfare, and you will “own” your voter base forever. Party first, country…….never. There is NO time this will not apply.

July 16, 2011 at 8:17 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

see obama walk out...see obama tell his press secretary to tell the mean ol' reporters to not shout those terrible questions at him...see obama stamp his feet and pout when he doesn't get his way.. see obama threaten to hurt others if he doesn't get his way...

don't worry, barack....soon it'll be your birthday! you'll get lots of presents, cake, icecream, money and everyone will tell you what you want to hear and be really, really nice to you...and do whatever you want. ok?

i'm ashamed to have obama as president...absolutely ashamed........and, no, it's not only for his idealogy, which is dangerous.............but because in a country of this size, this is the best we can do? a narcissist and a man-child? we have a "man" in the white house who does not believe in inalienable rights.....

"only the president is sharing the difficult message".............my gosh, have you no shame.

yeah...and casey anthony is innocent........at this point to try and portray our fearless leader as as heroic, competent or self-sacrificing, and a visionary...speaks to how anti-american you leftists are...and how far you'll go to whore yourselves out

it's all about seperating people from the money they earn and perpetuating the notion that the money you earn is not yours.....that's it for you people. except for certain people, like obama. he, of course, is not subject to that.

it would be a compliment to label your comment dillusional, mtjohn.....

you don't raise taxes in a recession...and you certainly don't raise them in a depression..this is a depression. obama turned a recession into a depression because he was hell bent on turning america into some kind of marxist utopia.....he is the last person, the very last person we need in charge at this time. but, hey...he made great speeches, tossed out some cool slogans and it was time for a black president, right?

July 16, 2011 at 8:22 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Seamonkey - did you read the article at the link that I posted?

We are in a recession with a depression looming. Fail to raise the debt limit, and you can add economic chaos to that mix. At this point in our history, cutting taxes that for the wealthiest and cutting programs for our disenfranchised is a sure formula for turning the United States into a third world country and ushering in a new world order.

Greed is the driver for free-market capitalism. At one point in our history, the wealthiest among us were smart enough to understand that untempered greed is not sustainable and they imposed constraints upon themselves - constraints in the form of progressive taxation. Today's wealthy apparently did not pay attention in their history classes and have allowed themselves to be captivated by their own avarice.

If you are among the wealthiest, I respect your stake in this conversation. However, if, like me, you are a member of our country's great unwashed middle class, I do not understand why you insist on supporting policies that are to yours and your grandchildren's interest.

July 16, 2011 at 9:54 a.m.
Clara said...

I'm glad you're back, Clay

As you can see, the same old mymy and seamonkey rants against Dems and all the rest of us. None of it is based on fact, just defensive egoes against reality.

Many of us truly missed you.

POO

July 16, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

IT'S SIMPLE, REALLY

America is a debtor nation. We have to be more responsible on all levels because what we've been doing isn't working. Debt is killing us. There is personal debt, commercial debt and federal debt. We bought the idea that we can have everything for nothing and now we have to pay for it.

Economists who are not insane agree that the only way out is to cut spending AND raise revenue. Not the superficial kind, either, but real ones that hurt everybody. I'm not suggesting returning to the good old days of Dwight Eisenhower when the top income bracket paid 90%, but raising the rate 2 or 3 % won't kill anyone.

Means testing is already in place on Medicare plans B and D (I believe) so why not apply the same principle to Social Security? Obama is willing to talk about, providing the tea baggers discuss additional tax revenues.

Close the tax loopholes, stop giving the richest corporations in history 5 BILLION tax payer dollars every year with no strings attached, make hedge fund managers pay the SAME TAX RATE as the rest of us, and so and so forth. And why is the defense budget sacrosanct? We could cut a ton of brass from the Pentagon and not lose one ounce of military efficiency.

If we're all in this together than let's all share the sacrifice. But republicans would rather stick to their 'principles' and fight to the death to protect the filthy rich and screw the rest of us. Please stop regurgitating that old canard, 'a recession is no time to raise taxes.' Under Bush and his economic policy there were about 1 million jobs created. So far under Obama there have already been over 2 million private sector jobs created, but republicans at the state level are busy firing police officers, fire fighters, teachers, and other public sector workers as quickly as they can to offset the gains.

Republicans are so hell-bent on sinking Obama's ship of state that don't notice - or don't care - that the rest of us are also on board. With no life boats.

Let's call a spade a spade. Let's not pretend anymore. Let's call what republicans are doing what it really is:

Treason.

July 16, 2011 at 10:50 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

no, blackwater, obama is hell bent on sinking the ship that is america...he came in with the intent on tearing everything down and remaking into the socialist utopia he's always dreamed of..with him in charge of course.

mtjohn....just more class warfare mumbjumbo..that's all......there is no greedier entity than the federal government, which is composed of faceless beurorcrats and greedy politicians.

implement the fair tax, eliminate subsidies for corporations who are very profitable, give those in the future the option of opting out of social security,

July 16, 2011 at 11:43 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Seamonkey - read the Constitution. The government is us and we are the greedy entity to which you refer.

By the way, the President's proposals for "sinking the ship that is America" include eliminating the kinds of corporate subsidies to which you refer.

July 16, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.
rick1 said...

When Obama signed the current tax law to take effect on January 1, 2011 it became his tax cuts. They are no longer the Bush tax cuts.

In December 2010, Obama said the economy was to fragile to raise taxes and he signed into law to keep the current tax rates in place. Now the economy is even more fragile and he wants to raise taxes. If the tax rate we had under Bush was so bad and it did not work why will it work for the next two years?

Remember Pelosi, Reid and Obama did not do anything about the debt ceiling, or pass a budget or address those terrible Bush tax rates which everyone benefited from when they had full control of the federal government. The democratic controlled senate has gone over 800 days without passing a budget. In May Obama presented a $3.7 trillion budget that was voted down in the senate 97-0. All senate democarts voted against it including Socalist Senator Bernie Saunders. You have to ask yourself are the democracts for anything? Sounds like they are the party of NO, yet it is the Republicans who get the blame.

July 16, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

You’ve been missed, Clay Bennett. Hope your vacation was enjoyable. I must say that I think you’re being overly kind towards Cantor in today’s cartoon. Clearly, Eric Cantor is a vain, self-aggrandizing, and dangerously incompetent buffoon who doesn’t have a clue as to how to resolve our economic problems. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that disaster relief and spending cut buffoonery he pulled shortly after the recent tornado hit in Joplin, Missouri – talk about vain, stupid, self-aggrandizing, and inappropriate behavior.

July 16, 2011 at 1:43 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

THE CHERRY PICKER

Leslie's Mart responded to my suggestion that we raise the tax rate 2 or 3 % on top income bracket by pointing out that those cuts alone, "wouldn't even raise enough additional revenue to cover this years 1.5 trillion dollar deficit."

That's true. In and of itself raising the top rate wouldn't magically make everything perfect. So what? Let's just say it's a symbolic gesture and leave it at that. The filthy rich kick in three percent.

Senator Orrin Hatch had no trouble suggesting that the poor should contribute more to deficit reduction. Maybe that's a symbolic gesture, too. Let's agree that what's good for the goose is good for the golden egg.

Besides, if raising tax rates on the rich will have no economic impact, why are the tea baggers so hell-bent on protecting it? More symbolism?

No, I clearly stated that everyone is in this together. I didn't single out one group. You did that, Mr/Mrs Mart. The fact that you said, "But this top 2% schtick is just classic left wing political pandering," is more proof that you have no idea what you are talking about.

Obama is willing to put Social Security and Medicare means testing on the table in exchange for shoring up tax loopholes, as in, making hedge fund managers pay the same rate as you and me.

You would think that the tea baggers could take 'Yes' for answer. You got concessions on 'entitlement programs' republicans have been gunning for for years, in exchange for MINOR revenue concessions. Not even a word about those unfairly persecuted 2 %.

And you guys still said NO.

Clay got it right. Cantor is being childish and all the tea baggers need a trip behind the wood shed.

July 16, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.
SeaMonkey said...

mtjohn....naive....we used to be the government.....we still vote, but the government continually and consistantly goes against the wishes of the electorate and against what's best for the country.

it's controlled by special interests, lobbyists, foreign interests and thug politicians, like obama, who have no patience for the 1st ammendment and who view the electorate as a pain in the ass after they've gotten into office. lifetime, lifelong, faceless buerocrats, who are in bed with special interests laugh at the democratic process. they do what they do no matter what. the goverment now is an entity seperated from the electorate....we can vote people in, and vote them out, but the government has taken on a life of it's own.

we are not the greedy entity, except for those who are entitlement minded and want the government to follow them around all day with toilet paper. the government is out of control.

everyone in the country could cough up everything they make forever and it wouldn't make a dent in our debt.

if not for the tea party fueled ass kicking the democrats absorbed in the mid-terms, who the hell knows what obama would be doing now with a democrat controlled congress.

they would be doing what tim geitner suggested...raising taxes on small business.

it's you libs who need to let go of the idea that americans aren't paying enough in taxes....it's crystal clear that it's irresonsible spending, like the stimulus, that's responisble for our troubles.

July 16, 2011 at 3:18 p.m.
hambone said...

The problem as I see it is that the republicans want Obama's job and Cantor wants Boehner's!

July 16, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
rolando said...

Here is today's equal-time cartoon. As usual, it is quite appropriate.

http://www.seattlepi.com/comics-and-games/fun/Mallard_Fillmore/

July 16, 2011 at 3:24 p.m.
rolando said...

No, hambone, we just want The Bomb out of office. We aren't that particular who replaces the mule's backside, either. I cannot imagine anyone worse for the country...well...maybe Huckabee, Clinton but that's about it.

July 16, 2011 at 3:30 p.m.
mymy said...

"President Obama on Friday kept up the pressure on Republicans to agree to revenue increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, claiming 80 percent of the public supports Democrats' demand for tax increases."

He is a Liar in Chief and so obvious every time he opens his mouth. Making a deal with Obama and Co. will be like making a deal with the Devil. The Bomb is blowing up this country before our eyes.

We have a spending problem and Obama has no intentions of doing anything about it. It would not compliment his ideology which is detrimental to this country.

The majority of the American people want no more debt and policies to improve the economy which will produce more revenue. Obama will never do that.

July 16, 2011 at 4:44 p.m.
rick1 said...

mymy, you are correct when you refer to Ovomit as Liar in Chief. When he made the statement “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven`t resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.” Is a huge lie and he knows it.

The Daily Treasury Department statement for June 30th says the government took in $196.994 billion in revenue during the month.

The same statement says that the government paid out $50.719 billion in Social Security benefits in June, $4.196 billion in veterans’ benefits, and $2.961 billion for other Veteran Affairs department programs. That means that out of the federal government’s $196.994 billion in revenue in June, the government would have had a surplus of $1.492 billion after it had paid the interest on the national debt, plus all Social Security benefits, veterans’ benefits, veterans’ programs, Medicare, Medicaid, the Indian Health Service, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, federal workers’ salaries, federal workers’ insurance benefits, Justice Department programs, and Defense Department venders.

https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/viewDTSFiles? dir=w&fname=11063000.pdf

What happened to Social Security guarantee the democracts always talk about? What happened to the Decomcrats promise of an iron-clad assurance of Social Security benefits in exchange for paying into the program your whole working life?

Just more proof Obama is a liar and he knows the media will not call him out on it.

July 16, 2011 at 5:23 p.m.
MTJohn said...

SeaMonkey said...

mtjohn....naive....we used to be the government.....we still vote, but the government continually and consistantly goes against the wishes of the electorate and against what's best for the country. it's controlled by special interests, lobbyists, foreign interests and thug politicians

Now who is being naive, Monkey? We live in a pluralistic society. Democracy works when our elected officials serve the collective best interest of all citizens, not the wishes of individual segments of our society.

I do agree with you, however, that special interests and lobbyists have too much influence in Washington. We have the best government that money can buy and our elected officials are working for those who paid to get them elected. That, by the way, includes the members of the teaparty caucus. They might throw you a few bones - like votes that align with your views on abortion and gun control. But, unless you are a millionaire several times over, you are kidding yourself to think that those who signed on to Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge are doing either you or the large majority of Americans any favors.

July 16, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.
hambone said...

ricki, don't know where you got your figures but: From www.federalbudget.com

Monthly treasury dept report

revenue $249,638 billion outlay $292,738 billion deficit $43,080 billion

Just saying!

July 16, 2011 at 6:38 p.m.
rolando said...

This is NOT a democracy, MTJohn, as you undoubtedly know. The Founders knew well that pure democracies do NOT work; they created a Republic, instead.

Nor are we a collective, as you claim; that's how socialism/communism/fascism works. In our Republic, the individual takes precedence over the state...or that's how it was designed before FDR changed all that and his successors continued the rape. The Bomb wants to aggravate the offense -- and will unless we stop him by cutting off his ever-increasing spending.

Personally, I think our country's government is beyond repair or redemption. We will probably end up throwing out all the incumbents -- by force, if necessary [we have precedent] -- and starting over. As the saying goes, people selected at random from the phone book would govern better.

July 16, 2011 at 6:55 p.m.
rolando said...

Even as unreliable as they usually are, hambone, I would trust the numbers coming from a URL ending in .gov way above those furnished by one ending in .com

It is a matter of objectivity, you see.

July 16, 2011 at 6:59 p.m.
rick1 said...

hambone: there is a link in this article that takes you to the Treasury Department statement for June.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2747961/posts

July 16, 2011 at 7:01 p.m.
MTJohn said...

rolando said...

This is NOT a democracy, MTJohn, as you undoubtedly know. The Founders knew well that pure democracies do NOT work; they created a Republic, instead.

Correct, Rolando. It is a democratic republic. But, regardless of how you choose to parse the semantics, the Constitutional principles that I articulated still apply.

July 16, 2011 at 7:08 p.m.
hambone said...

rick1, The difference I see is that the link I posted has the official Treasury Dept. seal, yours doesn't. Wonder why?

July 16, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
MTJohn said...

rick1 - I rather suspect that whoever wrote that article cherry-picked some numbers. If you check the link it is pretty clear that the country is spending itself into a significant hole, even though revenues may have exceeded expenditures on June 30. The critical date is August 3, not June 30. What are the projected revenues for that date? What are the projected expenditures?

And, as a footnote, if you check the Social Security website, you will notice social security payments are made on the second, third and fourth Wednesday of the month. June 30 was a Thursday.

July 16, 2011 at 7:35 p.m.
rick1 said...

hambone: this link was on the website you provided. It is saying what I posted above and takes you to the Treasury Department statement.

13 July 2011: U. S. Treasury Department reports "Coffers Full Enough to Cover Entitlement Programs, Veterans, Federal Salaries, Interest - Without Borrowing a Dime"!

The facts are in the report regards what link you read the Treasury has enough to pay the entitlement programs and Obama lied about this.

July 16, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.
rick1 said...

So what you are saying is that there is no way to know if we will have the money come August 3, but Obama does?

July 16, 2011 at 7:40 p.m.
hambone said...

Rick, go to www.federalbudget.com click on treasury monthly statement click on June 2011 pfd

The figures you see there contradict yours. I have not seen in black and white when the Treasury will hit the debt limit but the treasury has ran a deficit for all of 2010 and all of 2011 so far.

July 16, 2011 at 8:13 p.m.
rolando said...

You are almost correct, MTJohn. "Democratic republic" is a rather unfortunate choice of words in that it is used in naming some rather nasty regimes; i.e., German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Democratic Republic[s] of: Korea [North}, Congo, Vietnam, et al. Surely you didn't mean to include the US in that category.

A more proper descriptive term is "constitutional republic".

Point is, democracies [majority rule] do not recognize the natural rights of minority groups...instead, they are granted civil rights. Big difference -- 51% overrules 49%...which is one reason we have an electoral college and not popular vote for the presidency.

Republics, on the other hand, recognize natural or inborn rights for its citizens, minority and majority alike. If you think treating all minority groups the same, you fail to recognize their inherent differences.

People are not the same; they are not apples or oranges to be sorted out and/or forced into a convenient government mold.

It is not merely rearranging the phrase or playing word games -- your "articulation" was basically invalid. There is a great difference between a democratic republic and a constitutional one.

But perhaps I didn't "hear" you correctly...

July 16, 2011 at 9:17 p.m.
rolando said...

Now THIS is interesting...

rick1, I clicked on your link of 7:01PM, then clicked on its link to fms.treas.gov and read the full Jun 2011 report you cited. It had the US Treasury seal on the letterhead.

After reading the last posts, I again went to the link and -- low and behold! -- I got this message"

"Internal Server Error

"The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

"Please contact the server administrator, service.desk@fms.treas.gov and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

"More information about this error may be available in the server error log."

In other words, that information totally contradicting The Bomba has been removed...

July 16, 2011 at 9:29 p.m.
fairmon said...

Congress should implement an itemized national consumption tax adequate to pay federal debt interest and to fund AHCA (affordable health care act) and the medicare short fall. When there is no interest on the federal debt the consumption tax would go to zero. Everyone would know what the federal government involvement in health care was costing them.

It would make the cost of the demands people make on the government transparent to everyone. The more anyone spent the more taxes they would pay. No wonder the wealthy and congress don't like this concept. Both parties are acting like kids and the their loyal mobs are supporting them. Dumb butt Pelosi says if the stock market dropped about 400 points it would get their attention. What does that have to do with helping people get a job? Republicans say we are doing the peoples work but they are not saying how they would enable people to find work.

It would be a good exercise to go to gov.com and review all the hand outs and freebies with nothing to do with support of those in need of food, shelter, clothing and health care. If congress were of the female gender they would be known as the biggest whore in town, no is not in their vocabulary. There are as many citizens visiting and begging for their cause as there are lobbyist.

July 16, 2011 at 9:56 p.m.
fairmon said...

Independents will elect the next POTUS and con gress. Right now both parties have them so disgusted and confused no telling what the results 15 months from now may be.

July 16, 2011 at 10:05 p.m.
limric said...

Welcome back Clay. Hope you had a good time on vacation. Your newest additions are top notch. Are you ready to listen to all the angry baboons (yes that includes me too) yell at each other again?

Onward. Into the fog!

Eric (the baby) Cantor expresses concern for how Obama policies are supposedly “a grave danger to America’s prosperity.” Well, well, well – there was a Wall Street Journal blurb last month that finds Cantor actually invests in an exchange-traded fund that takes a short position in long-dated government bonds — effectively betting against the U.S. Treasury bonds that the government uses to fund its operations.

What a guy.

If this sissy really cared about America’s prosperity, you’d have to wonder why he is literally betting against its financial future. Does this means he'll gain if he can shut the government down? Hmm, it would seem so. Will Cantor gain if the GOP manages to ruin the recovery? But of course! Double-dealing little weasel isn’t he?

Cantor and the rest of the ‘Little Rascals’ gang are trying to act like the Texas Mafia that preceded them. They’re not as good, but still need to treated like the racketeers they are.

July 17, 2011 at 7:49 a.m.
limric said...

Rolando,

I disagree with the second paragraph in your 6:55 p.m post.

Grouping, socialism/communism/fascism is a time honored ploy aimed at the naive. It is a slightly disingenuous argument. Socialism/communism while sharing certain aspects, are not wholly compatible. Fascism, combines government and corporations into the state. It is not like the other two at all…but evidence suggests the later as our present direction.

However, your third paragraph, “Personally, I think our country's government is beyond repair or redemption. We will probably end up throwing out all the incumbents -- by force, if necessary [we have precedent] -- and starting over. As the saying goes, people selected at random from the phone book would govern better”; as sad a statement as it is, is one which I can’t help but agree with.

July 17, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
Clara said...

Rolando said, "People are not the same; they are not apples or oranges to be sorted out and/or forced into a convenient government mold.'

The sky is falling.

That's the first time in years I've agreed with ANYTHING you've put on this blog.

POO

July 17, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
MTJohn said...

rick1 said...13 July 2011: U. S. Treasury Department reports "Coffers Full Enough to Cover Entitlement Programs, Veterans, Federal Salaries, Interest - Without Borrowing a Dime"!

Rick1 - that headline appears on articles written by folks who are "interpreting" the federal report, not by the people at the Treasury Department.

July 17, 2011 at 9:37 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Rolando - admittedly the term, "democratic republic" has been used and abused. You are correct in noting that we are a "Constitutional Republic". We don't live up to the principles implied by that statement, either, and that really was the point of my initial post to which you responded. And, by the way, within our "Constitutional Republic", the government is still us and we elect our representatives through a democratic process. Ergo, we are a democratic republic.

And, for the record, I did not say we are a collective. We are a pluralistic society - a community made up of people with diverse backgrounds, races and ethnicities, religious affiliations, experiences, etc. etc. Our Constitutional Republic was designed to both respect that diversity and to serve the collective best interests that are share across the spectrum of our differences.

July 17, 2011 at 9:41 a.m.
fairmon said...

MTJohn,

Good point however our republic was not designed to provide for every worthwhile cause any congressman considered deserving or that would improve the probability of retaining the office.

Some examples of many proposed and possible savings:

o Amtrak subsidy 1.5 billion

o National endowment for the arts and humanities 335 million

o Duplicate education programs 1.3 billion

o John C. Stennis Center subsidy 430 million

o Community development fund 4.5 billion

o Federal travel budget at 50% 7.5 billion

o Weatherization programs for states 530 million

o Inter city and high speed rail grants 2.5 billion

o Agency for International development 1.39 billion

o Collect unpaid federal employee taxes to recover 1 billion

All are viewed as critical and important by someone but should we borrow 43 cents of every dollar spent to fund them? There are thousands of other examples for a few million here and a few million there. So many no member of congress is aware of all of them. They or a former member sponsor and get something passed and it just keeps happening year after year. They say if it is not 20 million or more it is not worth the time required to realize the savings. Is government too big and too involved in state and local politics? Cut that program but not mine is the prevailing attitude.

Some adviser set the president up by commenting about corporate jet deduction being in one year instead of amortized over time. That in fact, was a congressional initiative as a stimulus to the aircraft industry. His adviser was looking for a good sound bite item for the media.

July 17, 2011 at 12:50 p.m.
MTJohn said...

Harp - our republic was designed to function well for most, if not all, of its citizens. Could our government function more efficiently and effectively? Certainly. But, that said, many of the services that our government provides really are "essential" even if you do not benefit from them, directly. If you stop and think about it, to the extent government services make for a more stable and sustainable society; make for a society in which our economy can function;, etc. etc. we all benefit from services that are beyond the limits of what, I presume, you would consider to be the "enumerated powers".

July 17, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.
fairmon said...

MTJohn

The enumerated powers have been ignored so long practice makes them null and void. The courts consistently rule that what you are doing or allowing is more meaningful that what you document you will do.

Everyone does not benefit from many of the grants and programs. In fact many are a very narrow group that finds it easier to obtain federal assistance then to pursue being self sufficient. You know how it is, go for the easy money from those with deep pockets. The question we all have to answer is are we willing to pay more taxes to continue funding all that are on the books? There are only two choices 1-Increase taxes for everyone 2-Reduce spending or some combination thereof. The current trajectory IS NOT sustainable. What right does our generation have to financially obligate recently born grand children with an impossible to pay debt?

July 17, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.
MTJohn said...

harp3339 said...The current trajectory IS NOT sustainable. What right does our generation have to financially obligate recently born grand children with an impossible to pay debt?

Harp - we agree on that point. Please explain how we get to a more sustainable trajectory by cutting taxes.

July 17, 2011 at 6:37 p.m.
rolando said...

The people in the old USSR voted for their leaders too, MTJohn, so they were technically a democracy in that regard.

July 17, 2011 at 9:17 p.m.
rolando said...

The sky is falling, indeed, Clara. I seem to recall somewhere in the distant past we agreed on something...forgot what it was. I am glad we again found common ground.

July 17, 2011 at 9:19 p.m.
fairmon said...

MTJohn,

We don't improve by cutting individual taxes. Those mega wealthy with incomes over a million per year can pay up to 50% and that won't do much. But, A set 15-20% business tax with no exceptions, no incentives, grants, subsidies would do a lot by making American produced good more competitive. Demand for American made goods and services resulting in jobs for Americans would do wonders. People confuse the over paid executives incomes with the business results.

I personally believe if enough people understood the fair tax proposal in H.R. 25 and S 13 the pressure would bring them out of committee for a vote. The risk is congress mucking them up so bad they become like the 11,000 pages of favor showing tax codes we now have.

Some say Bernanke wants higher inflation to avoid deflation. All it would take is increasing the minimum wage and it will happen.

July 17, 2011 at 9:21 p.m.
rolando said...

Very interesting link, rick1. Thanks.

I suspected something like that -- "transparent government", indeed. The Bomb -- our Demander-In-Chief [as someone called him] has all the earmarks of a third-world, Byzantine despot trying desperately to bypass our checks and balances...before the next election.

July 17, 2011 at 9:23 p.m.
rolando said...

limric

My reference to the three types was not to show commonality but to establish a generalized process of good-to-worst, as far as the welfare of the citizens goes. Obama's presidency started out socializing our society more than it was; as you pointed out, we are rapidly becoming fascist.

A pluralistic society is, in reality, a Balkanized society...one described as, "divid[ing] (a country, territory, etc.) into small, quarrelsome, ineffectual states." Governments prefer their "subjects" to be that way -- it makes them easier to control by pitting them against each other. Sound familiar?

I am sure you know the US used to be called "The Great Melting Pot"; it was for good reason...it made us what we are today.

That Melting Pot is exactly what the Founders intended us to become...immigrants coming together and assimilating into the US culture, not the other way around. And it worked well, up until the politically correct hyphenated-American came into being; that is when we started to become balkanized.

We have indeed come to a sad state of affairs in this country. God [or whoever you prefer] help us.

July 17, 2011 at 9:28 p.m.
MTJohn said...

Harp - you are talking about tax reform. President Obama is also talking about tax reform. Yet, what ever you call it, the teaparty people whom you support call it "taxes" and they are opposed to it.

July 17, 2011 at 9:40 p.m.
harrystatel said...

Immediately after storming out of the meeting, Obama threw his cape around his shoulders, turned into a vampire bat, and flew around Washington until he could find a middle-class citizen to suck more blood from.

July 18, 2011 at 10:34 p.m.
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