Showing posts with label democrats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label democrats. Show all posts

Saturday, November 13, 2010

America's Debt Crisis

It is nice to start things off with a quote. This one sums the situation up pretty succinctly.

"Right now, it doesn’t look like anybody up there can add, whether they’ve got an R or a D."

-Dave Ramsey

I am seriously concerned about America's debt. There are all kinds of worst case scenarios that are maybe's but THIS IS HAPPENING. I know we are past the point of a painless fix. At some point we will get to a place where there isn't a fix.

You can read a draft of the proposed report here. I appreciate that it is a slide show type presetation versus a dry and wordy mess. It doesn't take too long to look through. There were all kinds of ideas; some of which were pretty blah and others were more interesting. Huffington Post highlighted  some of them.

Roll discretionary spending back to FY2010 levels for FY2012, requires 1% cut in discretionary budget authority every year from FY2013 though 2015;


•Fully offset the cost of the "Doc Fix" by asking doctors and other health providers, lawyers, and individuals to take responsibility for slowing health care cost growth;

•Reduce farm subsidies by3 billion per year by reducing direct payments and other subsidies;

•Achieve 100 billion in Illustrative Defense Cuts;

•Index retirement age for Social security to increases in longevity. "This option is projected to increase the age by one month every two years after it reaches 67 under current law, meaning the normal retirement age would reach 68 in about 2050 and 69 in about 2075." There will be a "hardship exemption" for those unable to work beyond 62;

•Give retirees the choice of collecting half their benefits early and the other half at a later age to minimize impact of actuarial reduction and support phased retirement options;

•Reduce corporate tax rate to 26% and permanently extend the research credit;


•Gradually increase gas tax to fund transportation spending.


There were definitely some good parts to this whole thing. First and probably most significantly we are actually talking about our deficit problem in a broad and public venue. Next I really enjoyed that this effort was at least fairly bipartisan. Both sides of Congress and the parties they represent and really ever national level elected official except Ron Paul is to blame. You could even argue that Ron Paul shares some blame for not doing a good enough job of convincing his co workers to get on board with sound monetary/ economic policies. More significantly the suggestions which stemmed from this Commission seem to me pretty bipartisan. It suggests cuts in just about everything and is sure to have an idea or two which makes just about everybody annoyed.

Americans have a serious issue of wanting services and social type support networks but not wanting to pay for them. We want first class infrastructure and the benefits of a psuedo welfare state but want to pay the taxes of a your on your own Carribean tax haven. Americans as a group need to come to terms with the simple fact that we are going to get the government, services and benefits that we pay for.

The real issue isn't so much coming up with ideas but making those ideas palitable to enough people and actually getting them implimented. Politicians hate the idea of losing the earmarks which let them bring bacon to their home districts and keep the businesses which fund their campaigns happy. Just about every group of citizens has some pet tax credit or another which to them is untouchable such as "earned" income credit, mortgage interest deduction, capital gains, etc.

I am not an economist or an accountant or a financial genius. However like most other people I have had to balance budgets and deal with bills and all that. Like anyone else I have had times when I didn't pay attention or made mistakes and lived beyond my means. I think the first and most significant step is realizing you have a problem, if just a temporary one. Next you look at what kind of income you have coming in. You put your expenses and obligations onto a list in terms of priority. WHAT DO YOU REALLY NEED? A place to live, utilties, fuel and food are quite important. After that you pay whatever bills you have. Additional money can be used to try and pay off debt and have a little bit of fun.

What does this have to do with anything? The same train of thought could be made in terms of our national budget. We need to cut out fancy stuff like foreign aid, farm subsidies and meddling in health care and focus on basic services, reasonable defense and just plain getting our house in order. The situation is that we need to get our own house in order and that might mean we can't do all kinds of things we like doing.


Personally I have some thoughts on how to deal with our debt. In no particular order:
  • It is absolutely imperative that we get entitlements under control. I say again, it is absolutely imperative that we get entitlements under control. While a few hundred million for this project or a billion for a bailout catch headlines but Social Security, Medicare and Medicade are going to bankrupt us. At the same time we need to honor our promise to individuals already recieving these benefits and those who will start to collect them soon. However those under a certain age (somewhere around 52-55) have time to adjust their plans. Then some smart people could sit down with an actuary table and figure out how to fund benefits for those who were close to collecting. We have to bend the bell curve or it is going to destroy us.
  • We need to have a serious discussion about if we can afford to continue our overseas adventures; particularly Iraq and Afghanistan. Without even talking about if these wars are good or meaningful we need to talk about how to pay for them. The idea that we can fight wars and not actually pay for them just doesn't mesh with reality.  Our overseas footprint in general should also be up for serious articulate discussion. Having some strategic bases as well as prepositioned logistics makes sense. I would be willing to would wager that we could dramatically decrease our overseas presence at little or no cost to our real military capabilities.  Europe and Asia can afford to pay for their own defense and if they should choose not to well that might play out badly for them. I am stationed in Germany and I hate to tell you but the Russians aren't storming through the Fulda Gap any time soon. North Korea doesn't have the fuel and rations to invade anybody and why should we care if they invade South Korea anyway?
  • We need to motivate businesses, particularly the kind of manufacturing that provides decent paying jobs in medium to large numbers to stay in or move to America and make things which people want to buy. This will go a long way toward fixing our import/export problem. This whole idea of an information or finance or service economy isn't working well. Of course all those things occur in any economy but we have just got to start making stuff that people in other nations want to buy. At least if we ever want to fix our trade situation.
  • We need to admit that we cannot afford to continue foreign aid on anywhere near the current scale. Buying a few million pounds of rice so hundreds of thousands of people in some crappy African country do not starve to death is to me acceptable and in the big scheme of things isn't a drop in the bucket. However we do not need to be giving money to nations like Russia, India, Egypt and Indonesia. We just can't afford it.
  • Farm subsidies in the USA are just rediculous. If I were in charge I would cancel them all immediately. At a minimum we need to stop paying massive agri businesses a whole bunch of money that was meant for small family farms. Also the idea of paying people essentially not to produce food on a given piece of land is rediculous. I mean heaven forbid we piss off Iowa because they have the first primaries and all but this is just completely and totally stupid.
 Maybe we can fix this and maybe we won't. I sort of suspect we will fix it but it is just a question of how painfull it will be. I would say that my outlook is slightly optomistic but I am of course hedging my bets with precious metals, ammo and assorted other stuff.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm Back and Republicans Won The House

Our internet was down for a few days. I enjoyed spending extra time with the family and also was able to catch up some on my reading. During that time the Republicans won back control of the House of Represenatives. I am particularly happy that some Tea Party type folks won. Having a Paul in both the House and the Senate is going to be really fun. I anticipate at least double the long winded speaches nobody pays attention to and numerous bills which will never get out of commitee. Seriously though I think this represents a shift in a significant part of the "conservative"  side and that is a good thing. We have had about all of the crony capitalism this country can handle. If this newfound majority can do a few things to get governments hands out of peoples pockets while starting to get our deficite under control that would be great. If they can at least mount an effective defense against any more madness that would be OK too. Personally I have rather limited expectations. If they can manage to act fiscally conservative some good stuff might happen. Time will tell.

There is all kinds of stuff in my head but I worked a super long day and am beat. Thoughts are not cohesively forming. You will get a few good posts over the long weekend I am sure. Have a good night.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Different Types of Liberterians

I think Naive is probably my favorite. These people don't know anything about the real world and think that if America cowers in the closet every asshat in the world who hates us will somehow go away. That just isn't reality. You can scare people into leaving you alone or kill them but just wishing they will go away doesn't work. The bizarrely hypocritical are fun also.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

For My Buddies Down South, Because This Is How They Roll

Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Southerner?
Here is a little test that will help you decide.

The answer can be found by posing the following question: 
 
You're  walking down a deserted street with your wife and two  small children.

Suddenly, an Islamic terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you... 

You are carrying a Glock . 45 caliber handgun, and you are an expert shot.

You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. 
What do you do?
 

...................................................................  
THINK CAREFULLY 
THEN SCROLL  DOWN:


Democrat's Answer:


  • Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
  • Does the man look poor or oppressed?
  • Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
  • Could we run away?
  • What does my wife think?
  • What about the kids?
  • Could I  possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of  his hand?
  • What does the law say about this situation?  
  • Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
  • Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
  • Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
  • Does he definitely want to kill me, or would  he be content just to wound me?
  • If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
  • Should I call 9-1-1?
  • Why is this street so deserted?
  • We need to raise taxes, have paint & weed day.
  • Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
  • I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
  • This is all so confusing!
****************************************************************
Republican's Answer:

BANG!

**************************************************************** 
Southerner's  Answer:  

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!  BANG!
BANG ! BANG!
 BANG ! BANG!BANG ! BANG!
Click..... (Sounds of reloading)
BANG!  BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! 
BANG!
BANG!
BANG!
BANG! 
BANG!
BANG!
BANG!

Click 

Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy!'
'Were  those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?! ' 

Son: 'Can I shoot the next one?!' 

Wife: 'You ain't taking that to the taxidermist!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rapidly Becoming Apathetic

I was filling out one of those online things and it asked what my political preference was. Not sure why but I gave it more consideration than necessary. I realized that things are kind of sucky and I just don't care. Seriously I don't see any of them making things better. The R's and D's have both had a shot recently and just done a bang up job. I am not sure our system will leave anybody willing to deal with our issues (mainly massive unfunded entitlements) because to do so would be political suicide. Getting any politician to do that is unlikely, let alone a majority.

I bet some folks on one side are getting a good chuckle at folks on the other who thought the cozy government + business relationship would change. They both take money from the same big corporations that like pet legislature as well as capitalism on the way up and socialism on the way down.

Some folks think maybe the Libertarians will save us but I am not so sure. It is pretty easy to be noble when nobody is offering you anything. It is equally easy to offer outside of the box solutions when you aren't responsible for anything and can just Monday morning quarterback it. Also as far as I know the Libertarians have never gotten anybody elected to anything more than (if even that?) county dog catcher. Even if they got ANYBODY elected to a meaningful position I don't think that would change anything. I love Dr. No (Ron Paul) as much as anybody could but aside from voting no on everything and proposing bills that doesn't every go anywhere what has he done?

Seriously on the national or likely even state level I am not so sure I see anything good coming. On the local level more grass roots stuff involving real people has some promise but I move around a lot now so don't really care about that.

I make predictions of what is coming here or there, no need to rehash.  I think I've given up caring until something worth caring about starts to happen. I am not holding my breath.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Brain Is Fried

It has been one of those weeks. A combination of being cold and bored and doing very specific tasks for a long time have just fried my brain. I've just got nothing today. There is always stuff in my head but nothing is forming into meaningful phrases let alone turning into a post, let alone a decent one. I do however realize that me barely watching the US news is having positive effects on my overall stress and irritation levels with political stuff. Occasionally I watch a bit of Fox News and I usually get a bit of BBC every day.

The BBC isn't perfect and they have a somewhat leftist perspective. I sort of listen to them from a Joe Friday "Just the facts Ma'am" perspective. They give a better snapshot of world events than any other news channel I have ever seen. 

I get enough of the news to know what is actually happening but not the constant worrying about everything some vaguely prominent liberal Democratic talking head says. In retrospect listening to conservative and Republican talking heads theorize and discuss the stuff the liberal talking heads are trying to do doesn't help either. I do not know what the right level of news/ information is but being able to stay more or less abreast of current events without getting yourself all stressed out is a nice idea.

I have two day off which is nice. No huge plans here. Going to pick up some extra food at the store tomorrow to help in building up the alternate pantry. Plan to fiddle with the shortwave radio some. Also going to fiddle around on the net to find some stations to listen to. Got some various stuff to organize. Also need to give my winter boots the water proofing treatment. They are Gore Tex so my feet don't get wet unless I submerge them fully or stand in water for a long time. However the leather is soaking up water which means my toes freeze.

Got to organize some stuff and try and crank out a few more posts to schedule for the FTX. Also I need to sweep the whole house and do some other mundane but essential tasks.

Got a couple of thoughts about how I am going to fill the weekends posts. Think I am going to bed pretty soon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

quote of the day

"2010 is an election year. We should have ONE GOAL, and one goal only, to expel as many of the leftists out of office as possible. Strategic politics is what we need gents, not some wishful thinking about mythical third parties. Strategic voting that will remove the left's entire power base and lead to Conservatives regaining power in 2012. If we do not do this and bicker about the opposing side not being conservative enough we will be stuck with what we have for another four."
-Gabe Suarez

Sunday, January 10, 2010

quote of the day

"Maybe the Democrats and the Republicans need to cowboy up, admit that it's the utterly bankrupt policies of both parties that have utterly bankrupted the country, and see if they can't start figuring a way out of this that doesn't include a return to living conditions approximating those of 17th century Europe."
- The Freeholder

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Future of Conservative Parties in the US

I remember much discussion about this on Conservative Talk Radio (Rush and Hannity mostly) at one time and have been meaning to talk about it. I say Conservative as opposed to Republican because by and large the issues and positions are not that different at least from the observation angle of this discussion. A recent conversation on facebook got me thinking about it again. So here we go.

First I think it is essential to take a real look at how American politics work. Not even talking about our two party system but the essence of winning elections and thus power. Unlike a Parlimentary System there is no benefit to winning 49% if someone else gets 51%. The folks who get 51% have all the power and the ones who got 49% get to take it like a champ for a few years. In this respect I like Parlimentary systems better because people can come out and say what they really mean. Look at the English Parliment, they have a few nazis, a few commies and probably somewhere in the back a gay midget who ran on a pro drunken driving platform. Yeah they have that whole Coalition boondogle but we are getting too far from the main point anyway. Comparing and contrasting our system with a parlimentary system isn't my objective. The point of this paragraph is again that those who get the majority win totally and those who (even by a tiny margin) come in second get nothing.

Think about this for a second. To win a party needs to grab a significant amount of "the center" (in the analogy where some folks are left/ liberal and some are right/ conservative and the middle are centrists with roughly equal amounts in each group) in order to win that essential majority and have power. By definition having a highly conservative fringe agenda is not going to lead to serious political power. It might work for an elected official here (Ron Paul) or there (Nancy Pelosi) but to win real broad power parties need to be able to appeal to a broad range of beliefs. Of course within a party there can be some serious extremists but as long as they can win their district/ state they can contribute to their party and of course their own agenda.

The tent analogy is one that keeps coming up. People talk about a "Big Tent" as a party that is willing to accept almost anyone who is willing to show up. The talking heads say that Conservatives need to stick to their core beliefs and "get back to what the party is all about" often throwing in Regan's name somewhere. I think something of a middle approach is best.

First of all in any party all the elected officials are not going to perfectly tow the party line. To be honest people who perfectly and mindlessly chant the party themes sort of scare me. A Democrat from ND or MT probably has little in common with one from MA or CA. If all the reps can't get entirely on the same page there is no way all the voters possibly could or even should. People come to parties as elected officials or voters for many different reasons. If the Republicans reject people who do not completely believe in every party position they are going to have an empty tent and not a lot of seats in congress. Conversely if they accept everyone regardless of all of their beliefs they will not have a cohesive party which is capable of coming together to push through or block various legislation. Recently we have seen how essential it is in a fairly balanced legislature how it is essential both to be able to pull your party together for essential legislation and to be able to prevent the other side from picking off a couple key votes.

I sort of look at it like friends (talking more about attitudes and behaviors than politics but you will see where I am going), if I only was friends with people who absolutely agreed with me on everything I would be a very lonely guy hanging out all alone in my tent. Conversely of I surrounded myself with anyone who wanted to hang out in my tent there would be a bunch of assholes who I have nothing in common with in my tent. Some of us would want to go shooting, some would want to sit around and play cards, a couple others would be getting down in a sleeping bag in the corner and some stoned asshole would be eating all the hotdogs. My tent would be full of people but we couldn't do anything cohesive plus also my tent would smell of sex and we would be out of hotdogs.

While my friends don't necessarily believe or act exactly like I do in everything but they tend to generally agree with me on most things. Not all of us even eat breakfast let alone the same thing. Maybe one friend will skip the shooting because they want to take a nap and another friend will want to go for a walk alone later but we will all get together after dinner (which we can have because some stoner didn't eat all of the hot dogs) and have a few drinks (an average with one person having one and one picking up their slack) while listening to some country or classic rock on the radio and talking in a loud manner about how we can easily fix all the country's problems well into the night. And best of all in this scenario my tent doesn't smell of random sex and nobody ate all the hotdogs.

Expecting a party which will perfectly stick to the tenants absolutely is not realistic and at best would be a very small party but then again a party that believes in nothing will not get anything done. Getting a party where most people stick for the most part to the core beliefs is probably realistic and the best course of action.

To a lesser degree I think this applies to the libertarians also. While much can be done by spreading the word about your party and trying to get people to see that they actually fit there at the end of the day without being able to get a significant amount of whatever given population we are talking about a party cannot be effective.

Thoughts?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Why I Love Democrats!

Right now I am loving Democrats. Thus far they have proven themselves completely incompetent to do... Well... Anything. Lets take a look at their major platforms, and see what they have done with their filibuster proof Senate, control of the House, and control of the Executive...

1. Ending the war in Iraq- Thus far there have been some troop withdrawals, based on the withdraw process set up by Bush in his last days... As far as I can tell, the Democrats have done nothing other than follow his plan.

2. Health care- This has gone nowhere. They have screwed this one up to the point of non-recognition.

3. Global Warming- Whether or not this exists, one thing is certian... The Democrats plan to do something about it does not exist.

4. Bailout everyone- They did pass something on this, however, it hasn't been put into effect in any meaningful way. The one thing they did do a good job with is bailing out the auto companies... Again.

5. Start using diplomacy- Well, they did send Bill Clinton to North Korea, and Hillary had a meltdown in Africa... I like them for keeping the Clintons out of the US... Something I have been trying to do for years.

6. Triple the budget deficit- Check.

7. Mobilize the right and disenfranchise the left- Check.

Thus far, the only thing the Democrats have actually done is make people hate them... God bless them! Oh yeah... And no Olympics. Well done! What makes this even better, is that they can just do what they want. The republicans in Congress don't have enough people to stop them. Even when they have complete control, they can't actually do anything!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Funny Joke

I recently asked my friend's little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, 'If you were President what would be the first thing you would do? '

She replied, 'I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people.'

Her parents beamed.

'Wow...what a worthy goal', I told her. 'But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that.. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a place to live.'

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, 'Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?'

I said, 'Welcome to the Republican Party'.

Her parents still aren't speaking to me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Political Views

A couple people have recently questioned my political self identification. I decided to take the worlds smallest political quiz out of idle curiosity. I think it is fairly accurate. In this recent post I talked to some length about my political beliefs if you are curious. As for me being a libertarian or not?

I certainly fall more into the displaced republican (who is against big government and doesn't want to get involved in peoples private lives) side of the house than the pseudo Anarchist side of the house. I think there are definitely some folks hanging around who believe that any sort of government is too much. They live in a world that is at a minimum completely unrealistic.

On some matters like defense and border security I have distinctly Republican sympathies. On lots of other matters I am in camp with the libertarian party.

Upon reflection I still look at myself as a libertarian albeit one who looks at the world how it is not for how they wish it would be also I just plain dissent on some matters. For lack of a better place that is where I identify myself.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

They Can Haz Audit?

Ron Paul's desire to audit the Federal Reserve seems to be gaining a bit of traction. If nothing else it seems to keep popping up in the news. MSNBC didn't have anything nice to say about Dr. Paul but that these fucking commies even mentioned this potential legislation says something. It is up to 244 co sponsors 74 of whom are democrats.

Monday, July 6, 2009

VP Joe Biden is awesome

The more I learn about this guy the more I like him. Lets see where to begin. I will try for chronological order.
At least one random racist comment.
Admitting Hill Dog would be better for his job.
Giving away national secrets during magazine interviews
Public bashing of his boss before and after becoming VP
and best of all
Getting drunk and singing the Villages song on camera.


This guy seems like a total riot.

Edited to include: Obviously I am not a fan of most policies VP Joe Biden supports. I just matter of factly think the guy is awesome and that it would be really fun to get smashed with him on the Amtrack ride home.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

quote of the day

"The parties stand for nothing except get us (their party) elected."
-Glenn Beck on the two major political parties in our nation

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stimulate Me!

There are lots of issues with the stimulus package. One thing I am surprised at is how many democrats are pointing out that this is insane... Well, democrats who aren't in Congress. I came across an article on CNN which sums up some of these issues. To sum it up, parts of the bill are down right dumb, and racist... Now I don't jump on the whole racist train, and think that his argument is down right stupid, and reactionary. That said, $335 million to prevent sexually transmitted diseases? Are you serious? I get the idea behind the stimulus bill. Throw money into the market, and hopefully that will make everything ok. There are some basic issues about that idea, but I'm not talking about it today. Assuming that the way to get out of our current economic issues by doing the same things that caused it, spending a shit ton of money we don't have, lets actually do that. If the right thing to do is throw money at the problem, for the love of God, throw money at the problem. Instead of doing that, we are throwing in a shit-ton of other programs, and can't figure out why people think Congress is worthless. Now I haven't read the bill, and have done little research on the issue, but one thing seems pretty clear; Democrats, you have sold the idiotic idea of massive government spending... So actually do it. Stop mucking about with all the other crap.
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