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While the hand-wringing over the Presidential election has become a national pasttime

...let's be real. I doubt any of you are gonna move to switzerland or Australia or Mexico. Atleast not because Hillary or Obama or McCain or Huckabee gets elected.

Let's face it...the mess our country is in didn't happen over night. Yeah its Bush's fault. And Bill's fault. And Bush 1.0's fault. And dare I say Reagan's fault. And yadadadada ad nauseum.

Regardless of who gets elected POTUS we will face some serious problems. And it ain't gonna be a cakewalk getting past them. There are gonna have to be some real sacrifices to get this country back on track. Yeah...we'll have to pay more taxes. Yeah, some entitlements will have to be cut. Starting with welfare and corporate welfare at the same time. The middle class is gonna be hit as well as the wealthy.

I worked in DC during the Reagan years and again in Clinton years as a congressional liason for a federal agancy and can tell you there's not a dime's bit of difference between either party behind closed doors.

Our government seems to work best when one party occuppies the executive branch and the other is in control of the legislative branch. It forces them to compromise and reach some reasonable direction that makes everybody unhappy and therefore it is patently fair.

Me? I'm thinking about Costa Rica


Last edited by Dueller; 02-06-2008 at 12:49 PM..
Old 02-06-2008, 12:36 PM
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I'd be happier w/ term limits so we didn't have to deal with the same idiots.
Old 02-06-2008, 12:42 PM
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I'd be happier w/ term limits so we didn't have to deal with the same idiots.
You tend to end up with worse idiots.

My fear is that taxes will rise, but entitlements will not be cut. They will be expanded.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:43 PM
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You're right, except leave Reagan out of this. He was a good guy.
Old 02-06-2008, 12:43 PM
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If I could afford to move, I would seriously consider it. If I'm gonna get soaked in taxes by a much less efficient Robin Hood, I'd rather live in Switzerland, where I really would get a lot more for my money. And if I'm gonna live in a socialist country, I'd rather live in the one whose politicians call themselves socialists instead of Dems or Reps, but still act like socialists.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:55 PM
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+1 Rick

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Old 02-06-2008, 12:57 PM
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Yeah, the tax thing seems to be the biggest universal b!tch. Sometimes I wonder if we view it as our birthright since this country was founded in part because of a tax revolt. Those from socialist countries seem to complain but not so vehemently as US citizens.
Old 02-06-2008, 01:07 PM
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i think it has to do with the fact that our citizens are by and large morons who can't (won't) do math.

"wah, we're losing jobs to China" - "oh, look, a sale at Walmart"
"wah, our roads suck" - "hey, why did my taxes go up"
"wah, healthcare is too expensive" - "supersize the fries please"
"wah, i can't pay my cc bills" - "I need a new big screen"

Americans have come to expect a free lunch.
Old 02-06-2008, 01:18 PM
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i think it has to do with the fact that our citizens are by and large morons who can't (won't) do math.

"wah, we're losing jobs to China" - "oh, look, a sale at Walmart"
"wah, our roads suck" - "hey, why did my taxes go up"
"wah, healthcare is too expensive" - "supersize the fries please"
"wah, i can't pay my cc bills" - "I need a new big screen"

Americans have come to expect a free lunch.
Morons?

"wah, I can't do math"--"wow...aren't our public schools great"
Old 02-06-2008, 01:50 PM
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Has nothing to do with the public schools. More like one is too lazy to make the logical connection between the cause and effect list above.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:57 PM
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Interesting point, Dueller. While I haven't raised the "I'm leaving" flag, I do have to say that - for the first time in my life - that option is not off the table - and it really pains me to say that.

It isn't Hillary or McCain that is the issue. Not even George-the-Lesser. It's the state of mind and lack of integrity/consistency that has made our current cadre of politicians possible, and my inability to share the values inherent in that state of mind. I think our politicians are a mirror of the nation as a whole, not the other way around. "We has seen the enemy, and he is us."

How is it that we can send our sons and daughters to the sand to give and take death and destruction in the name of our "security" when we can't be bothered to maintain our own borders because we "need" cheap labor? I could not, in good conscience, recommend to any young person that they enter the military as I did.

How is it that we can rail against profligate government spending while living our personal lives on credit - leased cars, mortgages we can't afford, borrowing against assets to buy "stuff"? What happened to saving for a car/trip/whatever?

How is it that we elect a pseudo-conservative politician who ends up driving us into debt in a manner that is dangerous to us all. To me, a conservative strives for a balanced budget, fiscally, socially, and environmentally. We have mountains of debt, but where are the bridges, hospitals, alternative energy sources, universities, etc., to provide value in return for the debt?

What can be said about the state of mind that whines about the price of fuel but isn't willing to invest heavily in new energy (as opposed to oil) sources?

What can be said about a business climate where being responsible and debt-free (remember Pacific Lumber before Charles Hurwitz?) makes you a target for a takeover and plundering? Or where your workers are throw-aways because there are a few extra cents to be made by sending the jobs elsewhere?

What can be said about a political climate when propositions are put to the voters in ways that deliberately obscure the true purpose of the proposition and vast amounts of Marketing Bull****tium are heaped on the voters to persuade but not inform?

The sad fact is that all career politicians are jackals. Our reality is that taxes must go up and services must be reduced. $3 Trillion dollars of debt and $250 Billion dollars of defecit demand it. Denial won't pay the bills but it apparently will get politicians elected.

So, enough rant. As I see it, the declining curve of integrity/responsibility will, at some point, intersect with the rising curve of denial/panic. At that point you will see the "have-not" part of society pulling out all the stops to extract the remaining resources of the "have" part of society. There won't be enough.

For me, being an American is important because I have a reverence for the principles that the Founding Fathers expressed. It's important to me because this country has historically had a good heart and been willing to help nations in need. It's important to me because my family - which immigrated legally - has shared those values and been willing to fight when necessary to protect them. Now I'm looking at an election where there are potentially no candidates who represent my views and values. This is a bad situation in a representative democracy.

I do think we are at a turning point in the future of the country with a few major issues dictating what this country will look like in 10 or 20 years. I'm not ready to abandon ship, but the gap between my values and the values of this society as a whole is growing. Only time will tell if that gap becomes too wide.

Jim
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dueller View Post
Yeah, the tax thing seems to be the biggest universal b!tch. Sometimes I wonder if we view it as our birthright since this country was founded in part because of a tax revolt. Those from socialist countries seem to complain but not so vehemently as US citizens.
There is a lot of merit to this thought. I think that the tax complaints are also because of the foolish spending and our powerlessness to do anything about it. I feel too much of the government creates chaos and disension and accomplishes little to nothing productive.
Old 02-06-2008, 03:04 PM
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I think the media has to share some responsibility. They do their best to take the voters eye off the issues, and onto personalities and polls. And they are making $2.5 BILLION dollars this year on all those campaign ads--many of which have been the phoney negative type in recent elections. All that money going to the media just makes the politicians even more beholden to special interests to raise it.
It is a crummy, corrupt system, and the media is profiting from it. They don't want anything changed.
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:20 PM
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Jim - while I agree with 99% of your post, this one I have to disagree with:

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How is it that we can rail against profligate government spending while living our personal lives on credit - leased cars, mortgages we can't afford, borrowing against assets to buy "stuff"? What happened to saving for a car/trip/whatever?
The difference is that when that credit card bill comes due and we realize we don't have the money we can't go to our bosses and say "Hey - I can't manage my money. You will be paying me more now" where the government says "oops, we blew it. Time to raise taxes." and the whole overspend cycle starts again.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:43 AM
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You tend to end up with worse idiots.

My fear is that taxes will rise, but entitlements will not be cut. They will be expanded.
Interesting position.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:07 AM
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Interesting position.
I think he's correct. Entitlements WILL be expanded. The most recent one was Bush's Medicare prescription drug "benefit". Hildabeast has proposed plenty more than just socialized medicine - universal pre-school, baby bonds for starters. You can bet she's holding back because of the election. She's even said the country can't afford all the programs she has in mind. So, if entitlements have grown under a Republican who "claims" to be conservative, imagine how it will grow under a Dem who doesn't even try to pretend AND with a Dem Congress to rubber stamp their proposals.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:49 AM
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Rick no doubt 'Hildabeast' is going to cause a lot of premature baldness amongst folks who hate welfare vs. workfare. My comment was more aimed at the 'worse idiots' w/rg2 term limits. I've come to think term limits would cause a lot of positive change but it's interesting to see another viewpoint on that.
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Well i had #6 adjusted perfectly but then just before i tightened it a butterfly in Zimbabwe farted and now i have to start all over again!
I believe we all make mistakes but I will not validate your poor choices and/or perversions and subsidize the results your actions.
Old 02-07-2008, 06:55 AM
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Berettafan, iron-clad term limits would so change our entire country and political culture, that the full range of consequences can barely be measured. Of course, I'd prefer one term only, no reelection ever, and no future government job ever for an ex-official. That would completely kill the idea of a career politician and those guys would probably end up selling used cars. More importantly, however, the complete disappearance of reelection campaigns and fundraising would mean A) politicians have to actually focus on their jobs and could vote their consciences, B) they'd not be able to make quid pro quo promises in exchange for reelection cash, C) there's no longer be any incentives to use the fed. tax code as a means of rewarding or punishing political foes, supporters or grievance groups. It would be an entirely new world. The Constitution might even mean something once again.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:01 AM
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The difference is that when that credit card bill comes due and we realize we don't have the money we can't go to our bosses and say "Hey - I can't manage my money. You will be paying me more now" where the government says "oops, we blew it. Time to raise taxes." and the whole overspend cycle starts again.
Not necessarily - even the gov't ultimately gets restrained by reality. Stagflation/Depression/Voter Revolt, for example. But the point was more that the basic premise of saving and spending prudently has morphed into borrowing irresponsibly and all too often with only one way out. I don't think the governments behavior with respect to, say, social security is any different than the way the public has behaved in the mortgage crisis.


Quote:
...the complete disappearance of reelection campaigns and fundraising would mean A) politicians have to actually focus on their jobs and could vote their consciences, B) they'd not be able to make quid pro quo promises in exchange for reelection cash, C) there's no longer be any incentives to use the fed. tax code as a means of rewarding or punishing political foes, supporters or grievance groups.
Agree. It's necessary but by no means sufficient, however.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:53 AM
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I don't think the governments behavior with respect to, say, social security is any different than the way the public has behaved in the mortgage crisis.
It's far worse. The way the gov't. treats Soc. Sec. is just like if I were to take out a huge 401k loan, with no intention of ever repaying it, to pay off my credit cards, but then keep on buying $hit I don't need, racking up huge balances, getting crushed by just the minimum payments and then refusing to admit I have a problem. That's exactly how gov't. treats Soc. Sec.

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Old 02-07-2008, 10:12 AM
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