Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Damn Debt Ceiling

Some random thoughts about the mess in Washington ATM. Let's start with the most obvious. This is the first time since T-bills were issued to fight WWI that there has been any debate at all about raising the debt ceiling. I believe it has been raised 89 times without controversy. Seven times under George W. A single line from the congress raising the debt from ..... to ...... No problem.  To those of you that have called me and others that lean toward the democratic party and use terms like "the fool in charge" to describe Obama please tell me when in the history of the nation one party has been as intransigent as the Republican Party is being about this issue, especially when the consequences are so dire? During the Bush years, while two wars were being fought, off of the books, and the most expensive drug bill in history was passed (which included the inability to use its massive leverage to negotiate lower prices and simply gave certain drug companies huge profits), that took a budget surplus and turned it into the mess we are in right now all we heard was: "Debt doesn't matter, it's a small part of GDP". Now, all of a sudden the Republicans seem to have completely passed on any job creation that was their promise during their 2010 campaigns (Boehner's comment that a new GOP budget proposal may cost several hundred thousand jobs, but "so be it" being the obvious philosophy behind this "cut the debt at all cost" new religion of the GOP's). Now the debt is, according to the GOP, our one and only problem and be damned if any new revenue, especially from the wealthy, will help get us out of this end of times issue, it is slash and burn time. Obama is to blame for the jobs issue. Didn't you all know that? The Republicans have decided, in the interest of cutting debt, damn the consequences, to stop legislating. You did now that it is the job of the head of the executive branch to enact and pass laws, didn't ya? Oh and in spite of jobs gains continually over the last years, corporate profits that are breaking all historical records, the stock market back up in lala land, Obama didn't create this recession, but he has made it worse. Ask Mitt Romney, he'll tell you, again and again and again. 

One case in point is the last jobs report that all are screaming at Obama about. Only 18,000 new jobs added. What no one seems to want to talk about is that there were 54,000 private sector jobs added. It was the slash and burn policies of conservative governors and state legislatures, as well as the federal congress that accounted for 36,000 public sector jobs being lost. Look as I may, except for a few "Blue Dog Dems" I can find only the Republicans that are doing this. The main reason I lean toward Obama and the Dems is that what the GOP is doing: cutting government spending during a recession has been proven time and time through history to always be the wrong thing to do. Nobel Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, predicted when the Republicans cut the amount of stimulus that Obama and the Dems wanted (40% of which were tax cuts) that right about this time in 2010 the economy would again begin to slide. Well he was right.

I was told by one of you that it was WWII, not The New Deal that ended the Great Depression. As I have said before, so what? I have been told that our debt, right now, is higher than it has been since the federal government started borrowing. Bullshit!!!!! In actual dollars, maybe. Today the debt is around 24% of GDP. At the end of WWII it was over 120% of GDP. Look at what happened. When the dust settled from that debt out of it arose a juggernaut of an economy that has dominated the world for 70 years. Again, compare the economic policies under the tax increasing Bill Clinton and the tax cutting, "never saw a spending bill I didn't like or regulation I did" Bush years. That is just the recent past.

The Roman Republic started very much as we did. Italy was covered with small family farms and you had to be a land owner to be a citizen and be able to vote. By the time of Julius Caesar only a few hundred families owned all of the property in Italy and much of the rest of what Rome had become. Caesar was a populist who wanted land reform beginning with the land that he had promised to the soldiers that fought all of those years with him. Brutus, Cassius and the others that did him in were all members of that elite. De damned if Caesar was going to take one mm of what was theirs. Thus ended The Roman Republic and any chance for land reform and once Octavian took out Marc Antony and became Augustus Caesar, the first among equals, tyranny was the Roman system of government (with the real power in the Roman army) until it's demise centuries later. The change was brought about by a few grabbing all of the power and wealth and fuck everyone else. Sound familiar?

This has happened many times throughout history. Remember Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake" shortly before those proposed cake eaters cut off her head? It is ironic that this event is one of the main motivators for the US Revolution.

There is another major trend in the Republican Party that concerns me and should concern us all. Until recently a sworn oath to protect and defend the constitution was all that any politician had to take to govern. Not too long ago Grover Norquist, leader of Americans For Tax Reform, came up with a pledge, signed by 95% of Republicans and a few Democrats that put in writing, signed,and sealed, that they would NEVER raise taxes (including obviously unwarranted tax breaks). This pledge is one of the major factors in the GOP refusing Obama's offer to cut 3-4 trillion in spending (3 to 4 times the amount the the accursed health reform law) because it did not allow them to throw in a single penny of revenue. Now you tell me how you could not, given the sad fact that all we have are Republicans and Democrats to choose from, choose the Democrats as the party of "the little guys"? Now we are seeing a growing number of oaths that are popping up, all on the Republican side. Please tell me of any oaths, other than the one taken when they are sworn into office, that the Democrats are signing. We got The Susan B. Anthony pledge to only appoint pro-lifers and cut off all funding to any agency, like Planned Parenthood (talk about hypocrisy, over 90% of what they do is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. What better way to avoid an abortion?). This one has been signed by Bachmann, Gingrich, Pawlenty. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum (if you don't know who he is, Google Santorum). We got a cut, cap and balance pledge to gut federal spending by cutting and capping spending and enacting a balanced budget amendment to the constitution signed by all of the above as well as Romney and Cain. We got The Marriage Vow that is just to weird to imagine. It includes "no Shariah Law" as well as the statement that black children were more likely, under slavery, to be a part of a nuclear family when the fact is it was against the law for slaves to get married and children were routinely taken from their mothers and sold. Bachmann and Santorum still signed it. How the hell can you govern when you take absurd pledges that remove your ability to compromise? How can you govern, if you can't compromise? It is the Replicans refusal to compromiise in the least that has us in our current pickle. That is a fact.

I agree with Paul Burke's post 100%. If we truly get "a free market" and all regulations are removed we are then totally screwed and those that have the money, e.g. the power will finish off, like Brutus, Cassius and their gang, what little is left of  Democracy. The government is our last hope. Believe it!!!

The reasoning is simple and unavoidable. When the engine of our consumer economy is losing ground and  have nothing left for the goods an services they want and more and more even their most basic needs, then companies will not be expanding, they will be firing not hiring. without demand for their good and services this is the only fiscally responsible way to go. There is only one entity that can break this cycle and that is the federal government. Big business and the most wealthy are sitting on trillions of dollars. They will continue to do so. Why should they do otherwise? A huge influx into things like mass transit, fixing our centuries old, crumbling electric grid, using this crisis in the same way we did the attack on Pearl Harbor or Sputnik and taking the lead in what must be the next global economic industry: clean energy. This would not only create all of those jobs that would lead to much greater revenue and then we could cut federal spending. Then and only then do we stand a chance of maintaining our position as the global economic leader. If we don't then better start learning Chinese. Look at what the race to the moon did for our economy. Look at what happened after WWII. Imagine what will happen if we don't do something drastic and keep heading in the direction we are headed. Imagine not raising the debt ceiling.

All the best. We got some rough road ahead I am very much afraid. Especially if the conservative agenda doesn't lose a great deal of its appeal.

35 comments:

  1. Look up tea bagging or tea baggers in Urban Dictionary for a laugh. Not much research went into that name!

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  2. As Obama correctly noted, elections have consequences. GOP candidates were elected en masse in the last election who supported limiting the federal gov't and cutting spending. Whatever your position, I find it elitist and arrogant to suggest that upon reaching DC they should ingore the wishes of the very people who sent them there. So much for 'power to the people', I guess.

    The problem IS the size and power of the government. They are frozen, gutless, and immoral - both sides- because they are all in bed with one group or another that wants to use the police power of the state to make some Americans do or pay for things that they wouldn't freely do on their own. That's the root problem... the feds need to be de-fanged. Hate lobbyists? Hate big business? Weaken the power that the gov't has over us, and those lobbyists don't have so much to gain by lining the pockets of DC insiders.

    Warm regards - looking forward to the next music-oriented post, but I seem to be pretty far out of the political climate here. When it's seriously implied that Somalia is the result of a free market, I just have to sigh, shake my head, and leave well enough alone. I know when to cut bait.

    Respectfully-
    Mike

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  3. Mike,

    As I posted to you, you do hit the nail on the head here, even if it is a glancing blow. Limit the influence that lobbyists and those they represent have on those we elect and, if problems aren't solved, at least many will greatly diminish. Imagine if our taxes were really being used to benefit society as a whole instead of those who can purchase our government. Jobs aplenty and surpluses would abound. It would take a powerful piece of legislation for this to happen though. I am not holding my breath. What just happened to Elizabeth Warren is proof enough.

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  4. Being in the middle of the political road (where only dead armadillos lay, per the late Senator Hightower) it always amazes me that the GOP gets the "fiscal religion" of smaller government and balanced budgets, whenever they're not in the White House.
    That stuff seems to slip their minds when they're running Congress and have the Oval Office.

    Amazing that 80 newly elected representatives, and a signed pledge, can bring the United States to the brink of default, which will truly cost all of us, not just the President, or members of the Tea Party. Thats called a scorched Earth strategy, win at all costs.

    Even in the Reagan years, if someone had offered up cutting $3 for every $1 revenue, and raising eligibility for Social Security and Medicare, the GOP would have jumped on that in a heartbeat.

    Long term, there does have to be a change in the tax code, no doubt about it, to make this country more competitive. But this game being played right now by some folks simply because of the fact they think the President is a socialist, is downright dangerous.

    And a word to these folks, any civilized country with a tax system could be considered "socialist".
    A tax system, by and in of itself, simply takes money from one entity and spends it on something else. Yep, a redistribution of wealth.

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  5. Butch-
    I think you hit a glancing blow, too, in that we'd be better off if the gov't actually did with the money it takes what it's supposed too- like infrastructure, etc. as you suggest. There is soooo much fat in this that I can't help but believe that we do have a spending problem, not a tax/revenue problem. If I get your point correctly, I'd like to point out that gov't jobs, if that's what you mean by jobs a-plenty, aren't a net gain because gov't itself produces no wealth- every gov't job is funded by wealth taken from the private sector- thus robbing private firms of funds to produce, hire, invest, and most importantly, innovate... something that I hope we can agree on that the private sector is far better at.

    Mike-

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  6. "Even in the Reagan years, if someone had offered up cutting $3 for every $1 revenue, and raising eligibility for Social Security and Medicare, the GOP would have jumped on that in a heartbeat." Why isn't that just spending $2????? Why are we, the people, the only ones that have to live on a budget? This administration does not have a budget, but they do have Czars, and they have passed and bailed out everything they wanted. Nope, guys, both parties have plenty of flaws and it all comes down to spending less than you take in. 50% of America lives of the other 50% and we call that fair. Under your logic, I expect free ABB tix ( and good ones) for life....the debt ceiling is just the straw that is breaking our philosophical backs - America either lives within our means or we become Euro trash. Some would argue we are already, and many would argue that is somehow an intellectually superior place to be; poor, stupid and enslaved.

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  7. Mike,

    You are kidding, right? you doubt for one moment that NASA and the race to the moon, with all of it's government jobs were not a net gain? I have to believe that people like general Dynamics might disagree. Pouring money into infrastructure will create government jobs, it will also boost the private sector. You can't build an interstate system without a shit load of asphalt and that has to be purchased and that creates private sector jobs aplenty. I could go on and on but I hope you see my point and I can't possibly see how you could disagree. But I have been wrong before. I wish I could say, it's all cool. But it ain't. We join together in a society and create a system to run things. At least we were lucky enough to have been able to do it that way. I have a friend here in Florida that actually said that the wealthy should not have to pay any taxes, because they provide the jobs. She was married to a man that made a fortune selling things, those things that he sold started with trees being cut and then shipped using the interstate system, publicly built rails and/or air, which is run by a publicly controlled system of air traffic controllers. these people thought that it was just fine for them to benefit off of systems built and maintained with tax dollars without them having to pay one cent. Comment?

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  8. Still having URL trouble but I remain hopeful...

    What gets me as that some of the Tea Baggers in Congress have publicly stated that they actually want the US to default. They are so wrapped up in their agenda that they would actually wish harm on the country so that they can come in and "save" it with tax cuts and so forth. They seem to think that by defaulting then the Federal Government will have no choice but to cut out Medicare and Social Security and the Health Care program and whatever other public program they dislike. They don't seem to know or care that if they are succesful and they win the next election, but they will be presiding over a bankrupt and ruined economy. It would be a horrible, pyrrhic victory. These Tea Baggers are as detached from reality as the far left back in the seventies was, except these people now are backed up by , and are a part of, the power structure. I hope people take this next election more seriously than the did last one.

    Brian

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  9. The government itself produces no wealth,eh?

    So they hire no teachers, police officers, military personnel, sanitation workers, nor do they lend money to small business, nor do they build airports, ports, or highways, that facilitate business in this country.

    By your analogy, Afghanistan and Uganda should be the wealthiest countries on the planet since the governments there don't "waste" the money that we do here in the United States on small things like education, public safety, and transportation.

    While I agree that there is waste in government, alot of that waste is being funnelled to surprise, surprise, businesses. And those businesses pay employees, which in turn spend money.

    What we have yet to hear is just exactly where all this waste is, that folks want to cut, thats going balance the budget and make this country wealthier.

    One of the problems here, is that folks want American exceptionalism, yet not pay one thin dime for it. Its kind of hard to run a military superpower on bake sales and couponing you know?

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  10. Here is another one that just hit. During a somewhat heated debate with a few wealthy Palm Beachers one night one of them said to me that "since I had received my education from the welfare system called public education, he would have to talk to me on a third grade level." I kinda got pissed at that one and raised the level a bit. It had never occurred to me that anyone that would call himself an American would think that education could be considered welfare. I think Messers Jefferson, Adams, Franklin et al may have had a serious bone to pick with that concept too. Comments?

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  11. That's the mentality nowadays. If it's not a private enterprise than it must be useless.They want everything to be privately owned like it's 1800 again. The only problem is it's not 1800 and we are no longer a loose collection of farming communities. The world is too complicated now to go back to the economics of a long gone era.

    Brian

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  12. Perhaps my point isn't clear. What I mean by Gov't doesn't create wealth is that there is no *net growth* to the overall economy that way.

    The gov't doesn't build roads or rockets or pay teachers with wealth that IT creates. It goes to teachers, contractors, Boeing, or whomever with money collected from other citizens and says, "Hey, build some roads and rockets with this moeny we collected from our citizens!" That money for roads and rockets represents money that other segments *could have allocated differently*. It's not a GAIN. Nothing was created that isn't offset elsewhere overall.

    That's NOT growth. You all need to quit thinking of wealth as a finite, zero-sum game that is to be divided up. Nothing that gov't ITSELF does makes a dollar worth squat. It's what you and I do.

    I'm not saying 'Don't build roads or rockets or pay the police' -- I'm just saying that doing so doesn't necessarily constitute GROWTH. It's just a shift.

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  13. However you state it if people are put to work through a large government sponsored initiative that is our one and only way out of the rut we are stuck in right now. Some are hired directly by the g'ment, some by private sector to meet the needs of that initiative. Bottom line is poeple are working. They are making money and not only does that begin to create some wealth in the middle and lower income brackets, that wealth is what will create demand for more goods and services for other products. This is not hard to follow. Then what we can start to see is more revenue and the ability to cut taxes, then begin to lower government spending as the demand for normal private sector goods and services returns. That is growth. There are many examples in history that prove this point. Read Paul Krugman. I am a drummer. He is a Nobel Prize winning economist. It is only common sense.

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  14. "Some are hired directly by the g'ment, some by private sector to meet the needs of that initiative. Bottom line is poeple are working"

    No. That's exactly my point. *Those* people may well be working, and good for them, but it's at the unseen expense of others who aren't working because money that funded these massive projects would have been spent differently across the rest of the country. None of it represent true economic growth. It's an illusion.

    Bottom line is *some* people are working on the project, but others aren't working *because* of it.

    Maybe some people didn't get new carpet, or buy a TV, or go out to eat as much because of the cost/debt/tax obligation these initatives create. It's easy to point out, "Hey- look at this new road that took 500 people to build!" and far tougher to point out that there are unseen trade-offs for that road -- the unsold TV here, the uneaten meal out there, the movie night missed... There ain't no free lunch.

    I'm no economist either... maybe we should talk religion and music... I think we'd get along great there!

    Respectfully-
    Mike

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  15. Krugman = Keynesian economics, and why not, American workers reached their apex of labor to wealth value under that system, in other words the wealth of this nation, or any other had never been distributed as fairly. That post war era also helped produce the greatest industrial and technological expansion the globe had ever seen. Due to a variety of reasons, changing times, political dysfunction and decline (Nixon impeachment) lost moral, (end of SE Asian wars) and the surge of corruption in many labor unions coupled by pressures of expanding world markets, and industry costs to perform more environmentally finely took it's toll...THAT is what Carter had handed to him. So, instead of cleaning up the unions and figuring out a way to re-tool some of the industries we SHOULD have held on to, the nation got caught up with that phony 'Reagan Revolution' and succumbed to the quackery of supply side economics...which Reagan's own GOP primary opponent GHB called 'voodoo economics' which eventually evolved into 'Global economy' NAFTA-GAFTA and the rest, which has turned out to be a free for all for IMF, WB and all the multinational corporations.

    We sold our industries down the road cheap, and now that they have decided they did not want a strong working class, with union power with equal power at the table, they have focused on destroying what is left of the public school system. Although there are certainly plenty of compliant Democrats in this effort, it has always been the main efforts of the Republican party to break the back of any organized labor efforts, this goes back to the first depression era.People take for granted the 40 hour work week, lunch breaks, vacation time, morning and afternoon breaks, overtime pay and many other benefits, each and every one only given up because of labor movement efforts and unions, period. And if anyone thinks that (nonexistent) "free markets" and unrestricted or regulated industry and business will result in corporate largess to it's workers and community, just pick up a book on the gilded era, and the sweat shops and what it was like before we created a true middle class...cause that is where the criminal class in leadership is now taking us.

    Anyhow, that's part of my take on economics 101, and I have worked 50% self employed (building things) once a few years for the state, and now pt for a small employee owned business in environmental, so I have a pretty good mixed back ground when it comes my work history, and it all seems to just break even for the little guy...until now, now we (my household) are beginning to take a pretty good hit, so we shall see where it all ends up. If some squirrely little pencil neck like Eric Cantor thinks he is gonna pull the rug again, there are a whole hell of a lot of folks out here like me, so watch it goppers, watch your step, you may find yourselves in an unemployment line also.

    I enjoy reading other peoples experiences and outlooks, seems everyone has a bit of a different twist, but that is the variety of life in this country, sometimes it's exactly what has made us so successful. But, no matter what we think we know, trying to work together a little closer, not fretting so much about our personal greed and needs, my be a starting point for us all in getting out of this, Lord knows there are half a million different pacs and think tanks and what have you, but if the politics stay poisoned we will not get ahead.

    peace out,


    Ben

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  16. Butch,
    Nutshell thoughts, here - look at GDP and economic growth from 1930 onward; stock market growth; job growth; income growth. What will we see? All of this declined or shrinking under GOP presidencies. For the last thirty years, all we've been forced to accept is supply-side economic theory, tax cuts and trickle-down. Obama has, for the last two years, continued that. All we've heard from the radical/fascist/extremist right is "socialist" and "failure". Wait - if our current African-born social president has done nothing but give the Republicants all they've wanted, then where are the jobs? The stimulus? Wasn't Friedman supposed to be proven right? Where's the Ronnie Raygun policy that's fixing this all? Disparaging the poor and working over the middle clas in favor of the wealthy was supposed to be God's chosen economic policy, right? Either God's a fascist/plutocratic/kleptocrat or Reaganomics and everything we've heard from the right is a total farce.

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  17. Bill from JerseyJuly 20, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    I hardly think that Jefferson, Adams, or Franklin would consider education "welfare" anymore then they would consider a fire company "public assistance' in its most pejorative sense. However, I would bet they would roll over in their graves if they saw the state of public education today. The education lobby (union) today is no more pure than a defense contractor attempting to secure their next bid.

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  18. Bill from JerseyJuly 20, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

    Who do you think said those eloquent Tea Party-like words? Cantor? Ryan? Boehner? How about Gingrich, Bachmann, or Romney?

    It was none other than Barack Obama in 2006 right before he voted AGAINST raising the debt ceiling.

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  21. Bill,You apparently need to be reminded that 2006 and 2011 are five years apart. At the time Obama was right and in principle he still is. Raising the debt ceiling should only be an emergency last resort, which it now will be. In 2006 it was still assumed that the Bush tax cuts would be allowed to expire when they were supposed to, and raising the debt ceiling at that time would have only been to help fund the two wars we were in. Now we are standing on the brink of total economic disaster, so I think it's understandable if Obama might appear to have changed his position.

    Brian

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  22. Bill from JerseyJuly 20, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Obama was so concerned about debt ceiling limits he didn't even bother to vote on the issue in 2007 and 2008 when the limit was raised 850 billion and 800 billion dollars respectively.

    Unfortunately, the US Senate does not allow a member to vote 'present" as he was accustomed to in the illinois legislature. A maneuver our President managed nearly 130 times as a state senator. I guess we can just call that sort of political courage just more of his "leading from the rear", huh?

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  23. Bill, your points are all valid but I'm not sure what you're saying Obama should do. Do you think that since he didn't act on debt limits as a Senator that he should not act on them now? Are you saying that he should have acted on them then as he should now? Are you saying that he should not have acted on them then and should not act on them now? If you were President and held responsible for the debt what would you do differently from what the President is doing?

    Brian

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  24. How about some important stuff. Have you spoken to Gregg? Tell us how Gregg is doing!!

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  25. Bill from JerseyJuly 20, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    How about President Obama take the recommendations from his own debt commission? His own "National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform" laid out a very specific plan that should be taken. That would probably be an excellent starting point.

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  26. Butch, I didn't know if you knew that Donald Dunlavey was gravely ill in the hospital. You can email me at dcarr1210@aol.com for more info. Don't worry I don't want free tickets, just thought you might be concerned. And the rest of you folks don't get the bright idea to email me.

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  27. Corporations are claiming that the reason they haven't been creating jobs is because of the “uncertainty” surrounding tax increases on the rich and stricter government regulation that may be on the horizon. They use it against us, like a criminal pointing a gun at our heads.

    There are about 400 families in the USA that own half of all the wealth. These are the one's who the Republican's are shilling for. The rest of us should be voting Democrat and demanding that they fight for us instead of the charade that's going on now.

    When did the main goal of our society become ensuring the wellness of Corporations and putting regular working people second? You think this society is capable of Revolution when they're not even capable of knowing which way to vote? Like Rome, it may be a couple of centuries until it actually happens.

    Peace,
    LTS

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  28. In citing then-Senator Obama's "no" vote (and non-votes) on the debt ceiling back during the years before Bush led the US economy into freefall, presumably to insinuate some type of hypocrisy, he fails to take into account the climate that existed at the time. We were not teetering on the brink of global economic collapse, it was clear that raising the debt ceiling was going to pass (again and again during Bush's Reign of Error) and he could afford the luxury of a largely symbolic vote. Certainly he never publicly stated that failure to raise the debt limit and the resultant US (and global) default would be "no big deal and possibly even a good thing" as the Teabagger nutters are now claiming... we don't have that luxury now... any raising of the debt ceiling will pass by the narrowest of margins and every single vote counts... so basically, nice try, Bill... the then-senator stood by his principles then and he stands by them now..

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  29. Bill from JerseyJuly 21, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Keith, good to see you my old friend (if only on a blog). While our political philosophies obviously differ all these years later, I will always remember your friendship and kindness and the good times had at gigs such as the Roundup, SNL, etc.

    I'd love to catch up some time and you can accuse me of having turned into a storm trooping Republican while I can grill you on your obvious Communist sympathies. All kidding aside, I hope the world has been treating you well and look forward to touching base soon.

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  30. Butch,

    I've found myself in agreement with just about everything you say. Wow... I guess if I blogged I'd take a few hits. Kudos to you for speaking your opinion & stating the facts to support the opinions.

    One thing I haven't seen addressed on TV or print is that when spending is reduced, we really will see a trickle down effect. It will not just be a loss of $1 for every $1 dollar cut of of the budget. It will filter it's way to some multiplier & truly have a negative effect on the economy. Most people have used that term (trickle down) to reflect tax cuts and resulting impacts which most have thought to be positive for the economy? Take a look at the results from Bush era. Where is the resulting growth, job creation, etc. Don't you just love hearing the Repub. talking point about what will happen if we hit millionaires with some addition tax or eliminate loopholes / subsidies. They come back with some crazy line about taxing the "job creators". Where are all the jobs they've created as result of Bush tax cuts?

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  31. To not be confused with others who have posted as "Anonymous", I will change my posting name to Musician1. I posted the above message on 07/21/11 at 7:18 P.M.

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  32. Oh, round and round....makes my stomach hurt this debt thingy. It is a familiar thing for me since I always spend more than I earn. Yes, the government is not in the business to create wealth. And Yes, the government can stimulate job growth! And unfortunately, yes, I am cutting my entertainment spending this year :(

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  33. name - joe (anonymous becouse I dont know what any of the other choices mean, why cant we just type a name in?)

    the economic issue in America is due to the fact we have a service economy. We don't make or produce much anymore, and this was done by both political parties BTW. America just consume's. However, this is less profitable for an international corp. Much cheaper to get third world labor. Employment options are few. Companies have been consolidated so there is little competition and if the Governement takes over private business (GM) it is

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  34. Taxing imported products were an important way to protect the American Economy. They do not help the profitablitly of an internation corporation, though and had to go. There duty was to protect our economy and jobs, but if your a business and can move a factory oversees and employ people for .50 on the dollar, not only not be taxed extra for it (becouse it used to tax the hell out of you so the american product was cheaper and often better made) AND even get American taxpayers to help pay for you to move and build a factory oversees, everyone would do this. alright, I got off base, I must turn my mind off, watch TV, consume some crap and solute the flag (made in China)

    joe again

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  35. Bill from Jersey! I've got a pretty good idea which "Bill from Jersey" you are and thanks for saying hello! Those were amazing times, weren't they? I'll always be grateful to Butch, Gregg and Dickey for bringing me along on the most amazing ride of my life...

    As for politics, I truly believe most of us want what's best for our country and our planet... some of us differ on the route, but the heart is good...

    Great to "see" you...

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