• the only thing important to say here is this:

    The federal govt has grown to big and spends to much. It has twisted the term (promote the general welfare) into (provide welfare to the masses).

    No where in the constitution does the federal govt have the authority to mandate issues like education, healthcare, or the right to dictate what kinds of businesses are TO BIG TO FAIL and then assume control over them like it did with TARP and the auto industry handover to the unions (WHO WERE THE CAUSE OF THE AUTO INDUSTRIES COLLAPSE) to begin with with excessive wage and benefit packages.

    No where is it allowable for the federal govt to directly compete with any business in an attempt to manipulate the price of goods and services as it is in health insurance. (PUBLIC OPTION)

    Even income taxes are unconstitutional but when has the constitution been allowed to prohibit what the govt wants to do lately. They just ignore it and do what they please anyway.

    The financial crisis was created by the govt forcing the banks to lend money to people that could not afford the payments through programs like freddie and fannie. (WHICH WERE THEN BUNDLED AND SOLD AS JUNK BONDS) I would like to see where it's allowed for the federal govt to take my hard earned money from me and give it to someone on welfare or provide free medical care to people on medicaid and then say i have to provide it for myself and then fine me if i don't. All these ENTITLEMENTS are just wealth redistribution in it's worst form. Take from the hard working sucessfull people and give it to the lazy ones. Which in doing so creates a large number of bought votes for the democrates who will never vote for any fiscal conservative for fear of losing their free ride meal ticket.

    The democrates have bought and payed for almost a built in 10% margin in votes before a single vote is ever counted. POPULATION IS @ 307,000,000 so that equates to a roughly 30,000,000 segment of the population that will always vote democratic. Thankfully most of which can't be bothered to vote except in last years election!!!

    The system of welfare in this country has created a whole class of people dependant on the democrates for their survival. ENSLAVED by a welfare check and foodstamps. And controlled by democratic propaganda blaming the rich for all their suffering. When in fact it is the democrates who are to blame for the loss of the work ethic in this country with all these PROVIDED entitlements that reward the lazy and punish the taxpayers and the rich for making a living through hard work and financial restraint.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:17 p.m.

  • Mike: "You're absolutely right, BSspotter, then again you always are. You knew that."

    In this context, yes, I knew that. I'm glad you came around.

    December 30, 2009 at 4:09 p.m.

  • I didn't say you were an expert, just that I don't hold a candle to you when it comes an English-language. Is that tongue-in-cheek? Then again, it doesn't really matter what I think.

    December 30, 2009 at 4:08 p.m.

  • That's the first time someone has ever accused me of being an expert on the English language - gosh, thanks Mike.

    December 30, 2009 at 4:04 p.m.

  • You're absolutely right, BSspotter, then again you always are. You knew that.

    December 30, 2009 at 4:04 p.m.

  • Sorry for my illiterate self, I should've written, I don't hold a candle to you when it comes to the English language ,instead of what I posted.

    December 30, 2009 at 4:02 p.m.

  • rollinstone asks Mike: "And BTW the GDP is not 20 trillion dollars, where did you get that ridiculous number?"

    That number is adjusted for future inflation and book cooking.

    December 30, 2009 at 4 p.m.

  • You are right,we have a $14 trillion economy,you are right,citizens are rightfully fearful,You are right I don't hold a candle to you when it come to the English language.

    December 30, 2009 at 3:59 p.m.

  • Who said anything about discretionary spending? Everything I mentioned is mandatory spending. You may consider defense and interest discretionary but I don't. I assume you know what mandatory means.

    The truth is the people in this nation are alarmed at the direction we are being taken. We are in a terrible situation because the media and people like you encourage this kind of reckless spending. It will be very difficult if not impossible to stop it before it is too late.

    And BTW the GDP is not 20 trillion dollars, where did you get that ridiculous number? Maybe you saw some pie in the sky?

    And finally the deficit for 2009 is nearly two trillion dollars, but it is almost a trillion dollars per year after that. I know, you think deficits will stimulate the economy - LOL

    Most "experts" agree that future deficits will not decrease but will in fact be increasing. The level of spending will decrease GDP and tax revenues. In short the spending is not sustainable. I'm assuming you know what sustainable means.

    December 30, 2009 at 3:52 p.m.

  • Mike says: "You said “most of us didn't need to read, to know the war was a legitimate.” Again, not documented by fact because over 70% of the people that were polled believed it was right to invade Iraq."

    When I say "us", I NEVER mean the general public. I mean those of us (my circle) with similar worldviews.

    December 30, 2009 at 3:42 p.m.

  • The tag team of exresident and BSspotter have arrived in time for me to quit and enjoy the rest of my day.

    exresident ,save the bandwidth,I never look-up your sources.

    Happy New Year everyone

    December 30, 2009 at 3:41 p.m.

  • BSspotter

    “News” is the recent failed bomber…. I'm still waiting for all the facts to see how he was affiliated with Al Qaeda, our security failures and solutions. Everyday punditry doesn't always reflect my views but it is interesting to me, and that is what I base my blogs on. It's my niche. You still have that option to ignore my blog but you don't have the right to preach to me ,what is right or what is wrong.

    Evidently, I am more analytical than you; I am not that pretentious to think that I speak for most of the people. I am retired, reading, watching documentaries, and keeping up with politics is my hobby. Somewhere in this forum(about 4 years ago) I wrote about the Senate Intelligence Committee*phase I) and the propaganda that was fed from the Pentagon to the Washington Post and New York Times, and several other documented facts, concerning the Iraq war.

    You said “most of us didn't need to read, to know the war was a legitimate.” Again, not documented by fact because over 70% of the people that were polled believed it was right to invade Iraq. A majority in Congress agreed with the resolution to invade…I never thought the invasion was necessary but I was in the minority;all the facts were still being looked at. An inflated ego, without facts does not speak for the majority of Americans.

    This is my last post to you because it is becoming more about personalities than subject matter.

    December 30, 2009 at 3:36 p.m.

  • Mike: "Know of what you write, everyone agrees that excessive money supply will cause inflation"

    Be mindful of your contradictions. You just wrote:
    "The Fed is the cause of long-term inflation is a perception, not a stated documented fact."

    There's nothing left to discuss. After showing your awareness of the mechanism behind inflation, you've demonstrated that you endorse the (de)merits of price increases for the sake of the State. In other words, you support the dishonest, unappropriated confiscation of money via government-induced inflation, which amounts to a hidden tax.

    Conclusion: You are a full-blown Statist. NOW you know what it means.

    December 30, 2009 at 3:35 p.m.

  • BSspotter
    Know of what you write, everyone agrees that excessive money supply will cause inflation; that's elementary... Documented facts would be to show where the Fed purposely ,without merit, increased the money supply and that move, was the root cause of inflation.The Fed Should not show the M3 figure to amateurs and conspiratorial types.

    Once again, the Federal Reserve was here yesterday,today, and will be with us tomorrow,so your blood pressure will fluctuate with the M1, M2 and M3.

    December 30, 2009 at 3:13 p.m.

  • Mike: "I think I have written over a hundred blogs but what you mentioned were not news articles; they were opinions of the pundits, as opposed to your one-sided hypotheticals."

    Correct, they were the latest opinions of the pundits (hacks) you use to make your cases. Not exactly the wait-n-see approach you boasted. More whimsical political expedience. Most of us didn't need to "read six books" and watch "several documentaries" to know the Iraq War was illegitimate from the start. We watched you folks being "duped" in slow motion, blow for blow, and it was painful to watch. It's amazing what a set of liberty-preserving principles lends to your real-time sense of right & wrong.

    I'll proudly admit that my positions are one-sided, and that is on the side of the individual with all his natural-born rights.

    December 30, 2009 at 3:12 p.m.

  • Mike: "The Fed is the cause of long-term inflation is a perception, not a stated documented fact."

    You really shouldn't admit to not understanding the positions you defend.

    From Wikipdeia:
    "Economists generally agree that high rates of inflation and hyperinflation are caused by an excessive growth of the money supply. Views on which factors determine low to moderate rates of inflation are more varied. Low or moderate inflation may be attributed to fluctuations in real demand for goods and services, or changes in available supplies such as during scarcities, as well as to growth in the money supply. However, the consensus view is that a long sustained period of inflation is caused by money supply growing faster than the rate of economic growth."

    Graphs of the increase in money supply (M3):

    The Fed no longer publishes the M3 figure because it tips their hand. Just another reason for FULL transparency of the Fed.

    All that being established, it's irrefutable that the Fed is the primary contributor to the growth in disparity between the purchasing power of the dollar and wages.

    I'm not sure I can drop any more science on you without being charged with assault.

    December 30, 2009 at 2:58 p.m.

  • BSspotter
    I think I have written over a hundred blogs but what you mentioned were not news articles; they were opinions of the pundits, as opposed to your one-sided hypotheticals.

    I use the words Sunday, yesterday, recently, as a tag, so readers can have a reference point to what I am writing about. If I have misquoted someone, misinterpreted a subject, or am just flat out wrong in my analysis, I leave them a point of reference, hoping they will correct me. I am certainly not infallible nor do I pretend to be.

    December 30, 2009 at 2:35 p.m.

  • BSspotter

    I said “we will continue to let the Federal Reserve combat inflation” not "should"… That is looking at the system as it is today, not it does it reflect my opinion;one way or the other. I don't see any legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve, if there were, they could not garner the 218 votes in the House and 60 in the senate; if they did, the president would veto the legislation. That's the reality, I’m talking about.

    The Fed is the cause of long-term inflation is a perception, not a stated documented fact.

    Your online role as a psychiatrist has failed you again, because to use minimum wage, as the only variable, in accounting for a price fluctuation, is just an excuse to support supply- side economics. When the minimum wage is not used, those people would use labor unions and worker demands as their target.

    December 30, 2009 at 2:24 p.m.

  • Mike says; "In your role as the online psychiatrist, you don't leave enough wiggle room for a different analysis"

    Spoken like a true subjectivist. There is no "wiggle room" on the topic of government money supply expansion. It's their job to protect the value of OUR currency, not destroy it!! It's absolutely immoral & unethical. Any other analysis is unprincipled and/or fork-tongued.

    Mike says: "Despite what you think, I rarely listen to AM radio or watch television news cast. I prefer to sit back and wait all the facts to come out."

    Have you read your own blog? It's predominately based on up-to-the-minute political drama. I scanned the first couple pages of your blog listing, and words like "Sunday", "Yesterday", "Recently", "This Week", "Saturday 7:00PM" & "current polling trend" jump off the screen.

    Petty party politics is your main currency, and it's as worthless as your beloved fiat dollar.

    December 30, 2009 at 2:22 p.m.

  • Mike,

    I knew it would be futile to illustrate that the bulk of long-term price increases is a man-made phenomenon. Your statement that we should "let the Federal Reserve combat inflation" tells me you're institutionalized beyond salvation. The Fed is the CAUSE of long-term inflation. Yes, prices wax & wane due to changing economic variables, but equilibrium is always being sought in a competitive free market. If anything, prices should come down due to advances in technology and other efficiencies, such as with computer, televisions, etc.

    You say: "I don't worry about perceived loss..."

    Well, I guarantee you the folks wanting minimum wage increases are mindful of how their wages don't go as far over time. I figured you for a man of the people, but I now see you have no real frame of reference for your notions other than politics du jour.

    December 30, 2009 at 2:03 p.m.

  • Rollingstone
    Arguing with somebody to does not use a minus key,is like arguing with a fence post...

    Discretionary spending,payback of the TARP funds(with interest, a budget that is not set in granite,short-term deficits that are supposed to bring in a higher employment when it comes to full term, are all variables you will ignore for using your gloom and doom predictions in rooting for failure?

    December 30, 2009 at 2:01 p.m.

  • BSspotter

    In your role as the online psychiatrist, you don't leave enough wiggle room for a different analysis. If you take the totality of all the words I have written in this forum, it is obvious that I am not satisfied with the status quo. Despite what you think, I rarely listen to AM radio or watch television news cast. I prefer to sit back and wait all the facts to come out. I am currently reading "Too big to Fail” so I can have a firmer grasp what really happened during the September 2008 crash. I read six books, saw several documentaries, and newspaper accounts of the Iraq war before I came to the conclusion that it was a “war of choice” and we were duped. To imply that I just, "shoot from the hip" without doing my homework, is without basis.

    I'm happy sort of fella, that is not fighting a battle of oppression.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:54 p.m.

  • According to the government website 2009 mandatory spending is 96 percent of federal tax revenue. When interest is added in (a mandatory expense) the total comes to 109 percent of tax revenue.

    But when you add in defense (another mandatory expense) the total comes to 134 percent of tax revenue. Now when you add in TARP (another mandatory expense) the total comes to 146 percent of tax revenue.

    OK, I know what your thinking Mike, TARP is a non-reoccuring expense - is it? Congress just wrote Fannie and Freddie another blank check for whatever it takes to cover their $5.5 trillion in mortgages. Some say the taxpayer may be on the hook for another trillion dollars.

    If this doesn't sound like madness I don't know what does - but hey, who am I to throw out a little fear and caution, by all means party on.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:43 p.m.

  • BSspotter
    I am not following your definition of a stable dollar because we are in a world economy whose markets regularly go through cycles. Inflation is a sustained rise in the general price of products, so I only worry about the last 12 months and the next quarter.

    I don't worry about perceived lost or I would go nuts watching my portfolio because until I actually cash out; the stock price doesn't mean a whole lot.

    Throughout the years I have seen your examples of purchasing power such as producing prices of $3.55 equating to consumer prices of $4.51 in 1950, today $.57 is equal to about $.46 of those same values…. but today we have the Internet, computers, more people, faster and better cars, so do we really want to go back to yesteryear, just to get a so-called better bang for buck… I think not.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:38 p.m.

  • Mike, calling an ideal a "pipe dream" is not a statement of its validity -- it's commentary on your contentment for the status quo. Constantly using the status quo as your measuring stick makes you succumb to the incremental regressions that compound into big problems. I prefer to use the same baseline year after year so I can objectively measure our departure from that ideal. I don't recalibrate my positions daily based on what I heard on the radio or TV.

    It's the eternal battle of the oppression of arbitrary political expedience versus thoughtful & articulated principles that create a fertile environment for individual liberties. My choice is clear, no matter how unreachable.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:31 p.m.

  • Mike,

    Above all, I am for a stable dollar, which is unattainable with the Federal Reserve. To say "Inflation has been very low for a very long time" is both false and deceptive.

    I crunched some numbers for you. I didn't want to make any assumptions about your definition of a "very long time" was, so I calculated the loss of purchasing power of the dollar going back 40 years and every 10 years since.

    Value Loss Over Last...
    40yrs = 85.7%
    30yrs = 68.3%
    20yrs = 46.2%
    10yrs = 24.9%

    2.5% inflation doesn't sound like much, but it adds up when compounded. It's a fallacy to claim that prices naturally increase over time, especially to this magnitude. You take away the Fed, the dollar would be STABLE over time, and minimum wage increases would be unnecessary.

    I don't care about having a gold standard -- I just want to know what my savings will be worth without the govt wicking it away.

    Data source:

    December 30, 2009 at 1:15 p.m.

  • Rollingstone

    I'm not trying to peddle anything but I'm not buying what you're trying to pass off as facts.

    Our federal budget is broken down into three parts (total outlays) discretionary, mandatory and net interest.

    According to the New York Times World Almanac(great Christmas present from a nephew)our National Defense comes to 21%, non defense discretionary comes to this 17.4%, Social Security comes to 20.7%, means tested entitlement come to 13.3% , net interest comes to 8.4%, and other entitlements come to about 21.3%. ..That’s on page 166.

    The rest of your post is just speculation, fear, and something that just came out in the last 11 months.

    December 30, 2009 at 1:04 p.m.

  • You are the one peddling "Pies in the Sky." As I pointed out before Mandatory Spending consumes an average 90 percent of federal tax revenue and it is growing at three to four times the rate of inflation.

    In fact this year it consumed over 120 percent of tax revenue. To you it may look like pie, but to me it looks like something guite different.

    It seems socialist never give up trying to shove that square peg into a round hole. Congress and the current administration are creating a trail of economic destruction not seen since the Great Depression.

    If all the pending legislation is passed they will put our country in a position that I doubt we can ever recover from. Rich and poor, especially the poor will feel the consequences of this insanity.

    December 30, 2009 at 12:51 p.m.

  • BSspotter

    Inflation has been very low for a very long time but our $20 trillion economy will continue to have a rise and fall in price structure and we will continue to let the Federal Reserve combat inflation and unemployment. Being a Ron Paulite, you're an advocate of the gold standard, which is just a pipe dream, so it does not factor in the current minimum wage argument…Nice try.:-)

    December 30, 2009 at 12:47 p.m.

  • Minimum wage increases wouldn't be necessary without the unethical inflation of the money supply.

    December 30, 2009 at 12:09 p.m.

  • Rollingstone

    We can never have a serious debate because you always seem to use pie-in-the-sky examples exaggerations, and undocumented opinions to try and prove your point. Supply-side economics has its pros and cons.

    I have never been against minimum wage (every 10 years or so) legislation because it's never been proven that it will lead to unemployment. Such variables such as increased cost of feedstock, vendor prices, shrinkage, and CEO balloon parachutes all have the same effect on the bottom line. That argument has been around for several years to justify stagnant wages, no union jobs, and low wages. You support a top-down strategy but without workers consuming, the business will lay off workers. I've done the math it takes at least a $8 an hour for a worker, spouse and one child to make ends meet(without savings) after paying for a semi-decent apartment, utilities, food, and a car note but the federal minimum wage is set at $7.25.

    I'm well aware of Milton Friedman’s philosophy that everything should be privatized because the market can do no wrong. That's what supply-side economics is all about. Milton Friedman has a very simple philosophy; the more the government provides; the less supply for the free- market.

    December 30, 2009 at 12:07 p.m.

  • I would settle for an admission of corporatism. If you combine corporatism with our elite oligarchy, what do you have? Not having armed troops on my lawn doesn't mean our government isn't administered by force.

    If I don't buy into the illusion of opposing political parties, I definitely won't buy that elections are a solution. Nothing conceals tyranny better than elections.

    Sure, "reason & principles" are subjective concepts, but they are concepts that should be clearly defined. Political parties do not adhere to clearly defined principles. Political expedience is their only guide, and their ends are never revealed. Their days would be numbered if they were forced to distill their actions into a set of principles. Only then could the public discern the common denominator of their actions -- the formation of a collectivist state with diminishing individual rights.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:40 a.m.

  • BSspotter

    As I understand it, fascism is a government structure. In order for that type of structure to thrive, we have to have a superior ruling class. I guess you could make that argument prior to civil rights legislation. I think you are trying to use corporatism to meet your definition of fascism. A fascist government has to have a dictator or some sort of an authoritarian figure; we have a ballot box where 69 million people voted for our current president. We have 535 legislators, a Supreme Court, several lower courts and the ballot box.
    That’s what I don’t buy your definition of fascism, and I suspect most Americans don’t either.

    It is my opinion that you are using taxation, eminent domain, and presidential executive orders as examples of some sort of subordination of the individual to the will to the state's authority. We still have that ballot box but you can't seem to lure enough like-minded individuals to go and cast their vote for your cause.

    You said, “I prefer not to think in terms of party politics since it is not based in reason & principle.” You realize of course, that reason and principle is subjective.

    December 30, 2009 at 11:19 a.m.

  • reyrey

    I was just referring to the exemption that Nebraska got, not the entire health care reform bill. That rumor about the base closing has been debunked by Senator Nelson himself. The base closing commission will not have a meeting anytime soon like in the next two years.

    Richard Engel interviewed current military leaders in Afghanistan and that report will be submitted to General Petraeus because he has asked for an honest assessment from his leaders. The recent shootings of Americans and allies by Afghans we are training, has led them to reassess our positions. The current military leaders are telling the president that they cannot meet the July 2011 deadline.The current military leaders are saying that it will take at least four years to get the Afghanistan police and military up to par. I don't think we will get a commitment from the American people for four more years.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:42 a.m.

  • Holly1
    I did answer your question but perhaps not in the language that you wanted.

    Seems to me you are upset about the legalese being used and the amount of pages of the bill, you assume that the legislators are trying to hide something. Legalese has a long history and the reason they give for using it, is that it tries to revert back to precedence and other legal documents; much like the business contracts. As for the length, it is my understanding that the Clinton template was used. You have to remember, this bill affects 1/6 of our economy, 535 legislators, the White House, the medical profession, lobbyist spending $1.4 million a day to support their cause, the AMA, the AARP, the abortion issue, and other interest I did not mention, so a small bill would have been unrealistic.

    In an ideal world we can always accepted the good parts and reject bad but good and bad is subjective. No argument it would require about a hundred or so new bureaucrats to handle the requirements of the new Health-Care reform bill. That's supposed to be included in the cost but in the long run it's supposed to be revenue neutral and deficit cutting. Remember, health care costs are 2.6 trillion annually and rising.

    I agree that the 10% unemployment does not reflect those that are under- employed and the number should be about 18%. Do those numbers really matter; unemployment is high. Like everything else, unemployment figures are a reliable data point because economist use statistical regression analysis to account for the variables you mentioned.

    It is my belief that health care insurance is not an ideal free-market product because of our unwillingness to do anything about obese, preventative care, and other factors that will lead to the insurance companies pricing themselves out of business. We are coming to that limit. It is not an ideal supply and demand product because how can you market a heart attack? There is a reason every industrialized nation in the world has a socialist component to it, when it comes to health care.

    December 30, 2009 at 10:28 a.m.

  • Mike, I prefer not to think in terms of party politics since it is not based in reason & principle.

    My comment claims that you can't/won't acknowledge that we "enjoy" a fascist government. I might also assert that you'd have a hard time denouncing said fascism. Prove me wrong.

    December 30, 2009 at 9:39 a.m.

  • Legion357

    You made my point, yes China did not do anything to stop the pollution and their economy grew..I also said Tom Friedman told the Chinese diplomats to continue polluting their atmosphere but the United States will come up with the next green innovation that the world is clamoring for, and then we come back and finish burying them…. I am paraphrasing but have you forgotten the masks the people were wearing during the Chinese Olympics?…BTW; China is taking measures to curb greenhouse emissions. They might come up with the next green innovation.

    December 30, 2009 at 9:18 a.m.

  • BSspotter

    In the last five years of being a lowly blogger in this Victoria Advocate Forum I had to develop an armadillo shell and a “sticks and stones” attitude because I know the demographics of our Libertarian/ Republican county. Words like statist, fascist, bleeding heart liberal, socialist and village idiot don't faze me because I'm comfortable in my own skin. I understand you have to bring me down a notch or two (with labels) to destroy what little credibility I might have, because your philosophy and ideas has never been tried.

    I named this blog” Save it for the ballot box” for a reason. It's relatively easy to criticize the current administration without submitting solutions and ideas. What would a Republican president do? Name that person. Once a person is named, it will give me the opportunity for rebuttal. I'm realist; I know it takes 218 votes in the House of Representatives and 60 votes in the Senate to pass a piece of legislation that will bring about change. Your pie-in-the-sky philosophy cannot generate the votes to bring about change. Entitlements are about 44% of the budget, defense spending is about 25% and about 9% is interest on the debt, in order to have a smaller government, we have to get serious about campaign finance reform (lobbyists) and have candidates that can go into the state of Florida and convince those people that they want to repeal Social Security and Medicare for their own good. It's not going to happen. Remember that comical debate between John McCain and Barrack Obama where one would take a hatchet to the budget (McCain) and the other would use a scapple. They both would have left the entitlements and defense spending intact and we have to pay the interest; good luck on the remaining 22%.

    We agreed that the Ron Paul revolution was the start of the Tea Bag movement. That grassroots effort has been replaced with the Tea Party Express, Tea Party Patriots, and the Tea Party Nation. They are all now affiliated with the Republican Party and lobbyist, because they sold their mailing list, according to Steve Gordon. So it's back to Republicans v Democrats. Save it for the ballot box.

    December 30, 2009 at 9:15 a.m.

  • Mike says, "Mr. Friedman thought the EITC would eliminate the need for minimum wage, food stamps and welfare, and Social Security making way for a completely laissez-faire society where all welfare is privately administered."

    Friedman has always said that he would not argue with the intent of social welfare programs only the results.

    Mike lauds the benefit of the minimum wage, but the truth is it causes unemployment. Increases in the minimum wage to an employer is like a tax on employment. The people that lose their job because of an increase in this "tax" also lose their earned income tax credit - that's the result!

    Medicare and Medicaid also have unintended consequences. These programs attempt to repeal the law of supply and demand. They increase demand and reduce supply, distorting, and destabilizing the market for healthcare. Prices skyrocket making healthcare unaffordable - that's the result!

    Look at what cheap government back student loans are doing to college tuitions. Look at what "affordable housing" has done to housing. I wonder about the health effects of the free food stamp program.

    These are the unintended consequences that Friedman was talking about. If Friedman errored it was maybe in his statements about the regulation of businesses. Any game in sports needs "impartial" referees and so does business. They are needed to insure everyone plays by the same rules.

    December 30, 2009 at 8:33 a.m.

  • Mike, most of Nebraskans dont want the whole package and if they are forced to take it, I am sure that they wouldnt mind getting the other states to pay their share. Gov. Heineman does not want the whole bill and when asked about the incentive, he specifically stated that they dont want the bill and that he informed Sen. Nelson to not vote for it. Besides that deal, according to some news outlets, Nelson was told to vote for it unless he wanted Offut Air Force base close on the next rounds of base closures. Offut has not business being open, do not know if you been there, but is just open to keep politicians happy.
    As far as "Military leaders", once again, I do not trust any military leader that is retired and comes out and talk about current situations but were unwilling to do it while they were serving. There is only one that I would truly call a leader, current VA Secretary, Shinseki. He was forced to retire because he spoke against invading Iraq or the way we were invading. Anyhow, as far as Pakistan being the battle field, there is not battle field. Terrorists can move from Pakistan to Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, heck, Venezuela or perhaps Tonawanda,NY or Detroit? We know that we are not fighting a regular war but is more of disrupting the next attack.

    December 29, 2009 at 10:27 p.m.

  • Oddly no one jumped on the quoting of statistics about the level of the unemployed dropping. Mike, the levels of unemployment always drop in November and December --most states pay out a 9 month or 10 month coverage on average--so late in the year the numbers are always lower. Now since the unemployment started with the god almighty and his crew, we would expect it to drop right about now; we will start seeing increases from somewhere in mid to late January or February when coverage starts kicking in again for new claims and the extensions kick in.

    December 29, 2009 at 10:09 p.m.

  • That being said, isn't it strange that in today s world, a government such as China s, allows their industries, although wholly or partially government owned, more freedom from regulations to develop and market products world wide?

    IMO, in America s federal governments attempt to right all wrongs, it has dampened innovation, progress, and hampered it s very tax base from the ability to innovate, grow and expand in a changing world.

    December 29, 2009 at 7:11 p.m.

  • Mike, I posted about a year ago when you were praising the green initiative stimulus, I said that China would end up being a leader,I also included wind turbine technology from others.

    The Danish wind turbine industry is the world's largest. Around 90 percent of the national output is exported, and Danish companies accounted for 38% of the world turbine market in 2003, when the industry employed some 20,000 people and had a turnover of around 3 billion euro

    China leads the world in making solar cells, the key component in solar panels, many of which are exported to the U.S.

    The buildup of a huge market in China for renewable energy is luring global manufacturers and research teams to China, energy executives say. That's causing concern in some corners that China – not the U.S. – will emerge as the hub of the new industries, leaving the U.S. as dependent on foreign nations for solar panels, wind turbines and other green-energy equipment and technology as it is on the Mideast for oil.

    Playing catch up is hard to do.

    December 29, 2009 at 6:58 p.m.

  • Mike says: "Laissez-Faire will never be implemented in the United States. That philosophy justifies selfishness..."

    In a free economy, selfishness rewarded strictly on the merits of achievement drives progress & liberty and benefits the maximum number of people. In our current fascist economy, selfishness rewarded by strategically-placed regulation, no-bid contracts, and stimulus packages drives tyranny and benefits the minimum number of people.

    Mike's premises would imploded if he would acknowledge & place blame on the rampant fascism (corporatism) that plagues our government and economy. As long as government is big-n-powerful enough to have something to offer a corporation undeservedly, we will have neither a free market nor a free country. A smaller govt means there is less to wick away. Mike's mitigated brand of statism is still statism and still relies on the govt having something to offer to the looters.

    December 29, 2009 at 6:55 p.m.

  • "a voucher of some sort"

    So what will that be?

    Another entitlement, sigh,,,

    True fossil fuels will not last forever (altho America has a lot of it s own that will never be used, due to environmental concerns).

    But to place a added burden, that effects the poorest of the populace the most, and telling them "it will only hurt for a little while", or to provide another taxpayer supplied entitlement to ease their burden that, by the way, will consume at least all if not more of the income gained by increasing the gasoline tax, seems to me to be spinning the wheels in another mud filled swamp of federal bureaucracy, besides the cost of the vouchers, another few thousands of federal employees to run the program.

    Gain ground by going backwards, isn't that governments way?

    December 29, 2009 at 6:45 p.m.

  • mike you never really answered my main question. Which was why not break this monster up and let the more contraversial parts stand or die on their own. There is no excuse for a bill to be 2000 pages unless you are trying to hide something. The good parts need to be adopted and put into place along with the GOP talking points of tort reform, crossing state lines to buy and the ability to choose the level of coverage you can afford not some mandated level as in the bill now.

    all bills should be short and define exactly what is covered in them in plain english not the legalese they are wrote in now.

    IMO this bill should be broken into at least 10 smaller ones. As written now it is unrealistic to assume there will be anything but a massive increase in govt. This bill will solve one problem though. It will require millions of new govt employees to handle all the new paperwork this bill will require to be submitted before payments are made.

    Also the 28,000 job decline is nothing to be happy about because in january it will skyrocket again when all the temps get laid off again after the holiday labor is no longer needed. Unemployment numbers are a big lie anyway because they do not include the people who have expended their benifits and fall off the rolls, All the people on welfare, or any of the under-employed (part timers) and finally all the self-employed who are never included in any govt. figures and there are alot of them not working now.

    IMO this bill is wrote to set up all the needed agencies to have a one payer system so when it fails we will not have any other recourse but adopt the liberal lefts socialist plan because there will be no private secter left after all the new taxes and cuts that are going into effect. The 500 billion getting stripped from medicare will drive most nursing homes out of business so the govt will have to bail them out by taking them over and running them.

    December 29, 2009 at 6:23 p.m.

  • Legion357
    When I talk taxes I meant income taxes but I will speak on the gasoline tax.

    I was repeating what Tom Friedman said in his book about Japan keeping their gas prices high while increasing the gas mileage on their cars; propelling them to the number one ranking. “No free ride.” At some point we will all have to sacrifice if we want to succeed.

    Take everything into accounting instead of just saying no and being a naysayer.

    We will always take care of the poor with vouchers of some sort; exempt the transportation industry, they could give tax incentives to the corporations. This is in accordance with my” it takes a village.”..We are not Denmark or Japan so we won’t get to our goal as fast as they did because people will go kicking and screaming.

    I say we won't go into alternative fuels willingly we will probably have to be forced into it.

    December 29, 2009 at 6:05 p.m.

  • reyrey
    I don't think the Nebraska amendment will not pass the committee because only 15% of Nebraskans agree with it. Senator Nelson said he would take it out if the governor of Nebraska wanted him to. Besides Congress cannot make a law that another Congress cannot undo.

    I have been saying since 2001 that Saudi Arabia is not our friend. Yemen is part of the Arabian Peninsula; so it's not surprising the poorest country in the middle-East is harboring terrorists. To their credit, they are cooperating but we don't give them that much aid. I heard last night that every person in Yemen has about three AK-47s and they don't have any respect for the central government. I call Iraq a “war of choice” that opened up this can of worms. Richard Engel (military correspondent) for NBC news said military leaders have told him that we are in Afghanistan just to keep from losing any more ground. The real war is in Pakistan because the Afghan warriors are expendable to the Al Qaeda movement.

    December 29, 2009 at 5:51 p.m.

  • The GOP wants to keep their defense contractors? Every stinking politician wants to keep their defense contractors. Pelosi acted like a mad, old hen when a base was to be closed in her district.

    And I don't really want to bring up that scoundrel John Murtha.

    December 29, 2009 at 5:50 p.m.

  • True Mike you have not really advocated raising all taxes, you have, however, advocated more than once, for the gasoline tax to be raised (on some kind of sliding scale , I guess) so that the price of gasoline remains at or near $4 a gallon, and the extra gas tax to be used as a stimulus to increase green innovation.

    Now excuse me, but wouldn't that be a across the board tax on ever single person?

    The effect would be much more profound on lower income individuals. A greater percentage of their income would go to transportation, be it buying gas or what they pay for bus or any other mass transit fee, than higher income individuals.

    That seems to contradict your "it takes a village" philosophy.

    I know, I know, like health care, it will only be higher for a little while, which also is in opposition to, "no politician will attempt to repeal a benefit".

    I submit that no politician would attempt to repeal a massive federal tax cash cow either.

    December 29, 2009 at 5:44 p.m.

  • Rollingstone

    Allow me to state my views on tax increases, healthcare costs, and bureaucracy.

    Let's take them one by one:

    Conservatives are railing against increased prices and taxes if Cap-and-Trade legislation is passed. I don't get alarmed just because I hear the word “tax or price increase.” I already know that our power grid is overburdened; so unless we take incremental steps to replace it, future cost will be much higher. I know smart meter technology will have a high initial cost but in the future it will be a worthwhile investment and lower bills. The initial cost and future cost is what I concentrate on. I factored” peace of mind” when I bought my Toyota Prius over a cheaper American car. Cost is important but let’s has a full accounting.

    Everyone agrees that health care reform is vital because the cost is 2.6 trillion annually and rising. I believe that we should have some compromising; the bill would've been much better.i.e. I will give you a tort reform and buying across state lines for a limited public option and repealing the antitrust exemption. That would eliminate the Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, and Joe Lieberman payoffs.

    Reducing government has to be a bipartisan effort because the GOP wants to keep all their defense contractors and the Democrats want to keep their social programs.

    Try not to take my short examples as fodder for some of your sarcasm but just another way at looking at the same problem.

    December 29, 2009 at 5:34 p.m.

  • Mike, Mike. You are preaching to the choir as far as we needing a healthcare overhaul, however, I do believe that we are rushing. I know that a president has to move his agenda within the first 12 months, for the next 12 months, elections come up and historically, the President's party loses members. With that being said, the Democrats are moving to fast. Even though, this law will pass, it will be challenge but quite a few attorney generals. I am sure that you dont want to pay for Nebraskans part of the deal.
    The Yemen and Gitmo argument. If you do a bit of research, two of the leader of Al-Qaida in Yemen were release from Gitmo two years ago. You could argue that their stay there caused them to turn against the U.S., but that would be insane. In order to placate some people, these two clowns were sent to Saudi Arabia, there they received paiting classes to deal with their anger. Yemen is not a war of choice, terrorism needs to be stop wherever and whenever WE CAN. I know, I know, I sound like a hawk but unless you actually dealt with these people, you could not understand. There is hate in their eyes and if you ask them why, they will tell you that they hate our way of life. They hate our culture. Do tell me, how do we deal with this? Tell our Hollywood producers to stop making programs that they find offensive? Make sure that our girls do not go to school for this make women able to compete with men in the job market. Heck, a woman can not drive in Saudi or go out without a male companion. I know, I know, we are in bed with the Saudis but you claim yourself to be a realist. We need their oil unless we are willing to drill here in the U.S. So, yes, we need to pick our "wars", Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Believe you me, soldiers do not like fighting, but sometimes, we know that it has to be done but at the same time, we do not want half cocked stuff, either we go in all the way or we do not. Afghanistan, we have to go in all the way Mike. There is nothing worst than leaving the wire and not having enough resources for the mission or to accomplish the mission but leaving the gained ground because there is not enough people to guard it.
    Holly1. What is this thing about learning English. Latinos are learning at the same pace as that of previous immigrant generations learned before. Just check the Pew Research website. It saddens me that I watch TV in Espanol and see how different organizations are trying to make a quick buck on people's willingness to learn English by selling them programs that are worthless. Believe you me, I know lots of people that want to learn the language as soon as possible, just that sometimes is not feasible. So, to be honest, I do not even know why you brought this up, maybe you do have an issue with the brown man.

    December 29, 2009 at 5:24 p.m.

  • Rollingstone
    I have to call you out on this; in what context did I say I wanted taxes to be raised?

    Will I lose any sleep over the tax imposed on those making over $300,000 a year? Absolutely not.

    Since when did I ever object to paying my fair share of taxes?

    I said I do not worry about things that are not under my control; such as government expansion. I have seen politicians run on limited government; only to expand it more than the previous administration.

    There is a legitimate argument for different philosophies. I am realistic because I know that the entitlements are here to stay because politicians will not run on a platform to repeal them. Representative Weiner of New York proposed an amendment to repeal Medicare; not one single representative voted for it.

    I am not on Medicare(as of yet) but I have a three hour wait every time I go to my doctor; but if I have to wait an extra hour so that 31 million of my fellow Americans can get health care insurance; so be it; I am retired. . I have several books to read …I know I am a burden (age group) on the high medical costs of this country. ….BTW, I think I will pay $100 or more for the extra coverage.
    Don't quote me on that because my books on Medicare have not made my mailbox yet.

    Fortunately, Social Security is a supplement to me. I do like the Milton Friedman phrase “no such thing as a free lunch.”

    December 29, 2009 at 5:06 p.m.

  • Excuse me? You are constantly saying you want taxes raised - for everyone except yourself of course, but still! And you cannot deny, I dare you, that you are all for an expansion of the government.

    You need to look at the 10 year budget that Obama published. Look at the explosion of entitlements. It really is these programs that are putting us on the highway to He11.

    You say you will soon get on Medicare whether you need it or not. Before I got on Medicare I use to pay the copay whenever I saw the doctor. Now it's free. I can walk in there anytime and it's free, all I have to do is sit for awhile. I suspect after "healthcare reform" I will have to sit considerably longer.

    This is stupid. The same can be said for social security. An entitlement that is paid by a tax on the employment of the younger generation. It's a Ponzi scheme that will give smaller and smaller benefits as time goes by. It's a cruel joke on the younger generations. But you are right it's damn near impossible to get rid of them. Once you make something a "free gift" there's no take back. So we will just all have to ride this bus to the end - whatever that may be.

    December 29, 2009 at 4:41 p.m.

  • Rollingstone said
    "I know Mike that you love taxes, reckless government spending, unions and the entire socialist agenda but these things are creating misery."

    Is that feedback or sarcasm? I certainly do not oppose collective-bargaining but I don't know anyone that likes to pay taxes but some of us might find it a necessary evil. I cannot name a single person that likes reckless spending. I have never proposed that all business should be owned by people, or that society should determine prices and set those prices based on the needs of the community.That is the definition of socialism. I do collect Social Security and about to collect Medicare next year.

    I don't believe in the" neither or" philosophy... That's why we have a brain.

    December 29, 2009 at 3:25 p.m.

  • Rollingstone

    A quick look back through my old economics textbook by Campbell McConnell, revealed the rest of the grand scheme of Milton Friedman. Local conservatives will always give you the favorable parts but they leave out the controversial. Mr. Friedman thought the EITC would eliminate the need for minimum wage, food stamps and welfare, and Social Security making way for a completely laissez-faire society where all welfare is privately administered.

    It's all about using tax revenues for privatizing, cronyism, and corporatism.

    You might can pull that conservatism is the ideology of perfection on the unsuspecting but some of us have read a book or two. I don't believe conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, socialism or any kind of ism is the truth certain. They all have their pros and cons and they tend to lose their luster when they are abused and used to excess. We are a multicultured country that will not live under a single ideology.....This 2009 not 1950.

    No sarcasm; no name calling, no exaggerations, just a different outlook.

    December 29, 2009 at 3 p.m.

  • I am just repeating exactly what you say or what you imply. It's called feedback, apparently you don't like hearing it either.

    December 29, 2009 at 2:40 p.m.

  • Rollingstone

    If it wasn't for sarcasm or one-sided cheer leading for your ideology and beliefs; you wouldn't have a thing to say.

    December 29, 2009 at 2 p.m.

  • Lol..That was actually a rhetorical sentence because I meant to say I don't know of anyone that falls into that category….Statist: Anyone believing that the government should have the major role in the direction of the economy, both through state-owned enterprises and indirectly through the central planning of overall economy; you extended it to correct all the problems.

    Now you're asking if I thought that the Obama administration should continue with the bailout policies left by the Bush administration; absolutely. Do I believe in stimulus economics; absolutely. Do I believe that the free market is infallible; absolutely not.

    I have never wrapped myself in the flag; in fact I have called those that do; superficial.

    A constitutional ban on Gay- marriage, the Hyde amendment, Roe v Wade, Civil Rights legislation, Equal pay for equal work, minimum wage, could all be claims of justice and righteous resolutions to the imperfections of society left to the power of the federal government. People that adopt these claims think that government and a free society can coexist.

    December 29, 2009 at 1:54 p.m.

  • Milton Friedman is a monetarist? I never denied it. Is Paul Krudman a socialist Keynesian? Sure he is. Keynesian economics is out dated, out of style and completely wrong. It has been used by politicians to greatly expand government.

    Friedman has considerable faith in the free market system. It gives people the freedom to improve their own welfare. It creates independence instead of dependence.

    Friedman also is the one that proposed the negative income tax that became known as the earned income tax credit, proving if any is needed that he was foremost for the poor and young starting out on their careers.

    He rightly believed that excessive government spending crowded out the private sector and creates unemployment. His famous quote:

    "If you pay people not to work and tax them when they do, don't be surprised if you get unemployment."

    He especially hated taxes on employment and the double tax on corporations. I know Mike that you love taxes, reckless government spending, unions and the entire socialist agenda but these things are creating misery.

    December 29, 2009 at 1:53 p.m.

  • A Statist is someone that embraces the belief that the federal government must have the power to correct all the problems in country. It is a person constantly agitationg for government action concocting one pretext and grievance after another to manipulate public perceptions and build popular momentum for the divestiture of liberty and property from it rightful possessors. A Statist wraps themself in the flag, and claims to provide justice and righteous resolution to the imperfections of society through the power of the government.

    December 29, 2009 at 12:48 p.m.

  • Rollingstone

    I don't know where you got your favorable one-sided version of the financial philosophy of Milton Friedman but he was a monetarist. He emphasized personal freedom by using the price system. A policy that the market works best when it is impersonal without centralized authority. That authority can come in the form of the federal government, trade unions, or worker demands. Adam Smith was a follower saying "people of the same trade seldom meet together but the conversation into the conspiracy against the public, or in some diversion to raise prices.” I had to take old economy text book, dust it off just to bring up those old memories of classes past.

    The watered-down Cap-and –Trade is a gift to the coal mining industry, Exxon in its present form because both parties are in the pockets of the lobbyist.

    The stimulus package was never a truth certain but Joe Biden admitted it was wrong to predict that unemployment would not rise above 8%, and he also admitted their first forecast was made before they knew how bad the economy really was.

    December 29, 2009 at 12:39 p.m.

  • This comment was removed by the user.

    December 29, 2009 at 12:25 p.m.

  • Milton Friedman was for limited government regulation of business. He would agree that some pollution, safety, hiring and financial regulations are required.

    The problem is the government doesn't know when to stop. Friedman was skeptical of excess business regulation because their lobbyist always end up in bed with Congress.

    Socialism just increases that tendency as we can see today particularly with a company like GE that stands to gain a nice windfall from Cap and Trade.

    As far as Keynesian economics are concerned that theory has proven to be false, even Keynes admitted it. I offer as proof our most recent so-called Stimulus Package that we just had to have to hold unemployment under eight percent - oops, there went another trillion.

    December 29, 2009 at 11:02 a.m.

  • Rollingstone

    Again you misinterpreted my words..My post was intended for Alton, who wrote in a “holier than thou” conservative point of view. I reminded him of cronyism; I never said Democrats have never used cronyism. I used it to describe what current conservatives call “smaller government.”

    I don’t give ideology a pass, when it comes big government.

    I never claimed that we needed a second stimulus package; I was trying to emphasize the various opinions of the economists. Honestly, I don't have the foggiest idea what we need.

    I think the most honest man in Washington a Socialist/ Independent Bernie Sanders. He doesn't pull any punches, he flat-out admitted he wanted a single-payer universal health care bill but he is a realist, knows it will not pass. He will answer the pundit’s questions; admit fault, and does not use talking points. i.e. He said that the current health care bill is a bad bill written by the lobbyists for the insurance industry but it is the best that they can come up with to get the required 60 votes. I like the brilliance of Lawrence O'Donnell who convinced me that Social Security and Medicare are indeed socialist programs, so in that regard I am a socialist. Paul Krugman strongly believes that government has a role, but far right well labeled him as socialist but he is a Nobel Prize economist.

    Now, get behind a candidate that will run on a platform that repeals Social Security and Medicare, and see how far he/she gets. Run on Conservative purist ticket.

    December 29, 2009 at 9:55 a.m.

  • Rollingstone
    If you are going to study economics; you will have to learn about Milton Friedman and his Laissez-Faire philosophy as well as those of John Maynard Keyes and his Keynesian theory.

    You can call it paraphrasing or a lie but those views are easy for anyone to research.

    I understand people will use hyperbole, one-sided hypotheticals, and catchphrases to boost their beliefs and put down others.

    Ayn Rand is another novelist that adheres to the Laissez-Faire philosophy, some call it “me- First Capitalism” of course you know I call it,” I've got mine...”Only the strong shall survive”… Then again I have adopted the “It takes a village” which you call socialism.

    I sincerely believe that the government and the free market can coexist…Neither are infallible.

    December 29, 2009 at 9:29 a.m.

  • And, oh yeah, I forgot to mention how you claim we need a second stimulus package. I believe you said Paul Krudman said we needed it. Did you know he is a self proclaimed socialists?

    And what happen to the first stimulus package,, I mean the first Patronage Package? That money will create a lot of votes but very little "worthwhile" employment.

    And finally I had to chuckle again about your use of the word "cronyism" and the Bush administration. Have you taken a look at the people at the top of the Obama administration? They are all mostly Obama BFF's - they are socialists, a sprinkling of communists along with some just plain goofy nut cases.

    December 29, 2009 at 9:21 a.m.

  • Legion357
    Many would consider my blog to be a left-wing blog; my polar opposites write a right- wing blog. How many times have you corrected someone that uses Nazi, Marxists, and Fascist, socialist, to describe the current administration or their supporters? I'm talking about posters in this forum.

    I was describing the views of Milton Friedman and his Laissez –Faire (the market can do no wrong) philosophy not the normal business practices that are conducted in the United States. I did not try to equate your views with those of Milton Friedman.

    December 29, 2009 at 9:07 a.m.

  • Again Mike I got another chuckle about your comments about Milton Friedman. I doubt you are quoting him directly, I think you took some liberties with your "paraphrasing."

    Friedman's main concern was always with the fate of the poor in a society. He believed that our free enterprise system was the only way to lift them out of poverty. He hated socialism because it increases poverty and it has a very consistent track record of failure.

    December 29, 2009 at 9 a.m.

  • Alton
    I don’t know what a statist is I think I am able to interpret the Constitution and the wishes of the founding fathers as well as any. I view myself as a realist, one that sees the words “smaller government” used to justify cronyism. i.e. How many private contractors do we have in Iraq and Afghanistan doing the work that the military used to do? The F-22 Project was spread out over 40+ states to allow the lobbist get t their hands in the pockets of 40+ legislators. Katrina showed how cronyism at the very top of FEMA could lead to disaster. In my lifetime I have seen many conservatives come and go but the size of government has always grown. The government grew under President Reagan, who tried to convince the nation that the government was bad.

    I strong believe government and the free market can coexist.

    Strong conservatives put in place a couple of tax cuts targeted to the top 2% percent; how did that let all citizens keep as much of their money as possible? That's a supply side (trickle-down) philosophy.

    I never said that America, Social Security or Medicare will never go bankrupt because we are special. I was merely trying to remind everyone that we have revived Social Security in the past; there is no reason to think that we cannot do it again.

    I heard these scaremongering assumptions that China or G8/G20 will call in our debt but there is another way of looking at it. China has so much invested in treasury bills; it is in their best interest for us to succeed. Our assets, military, innovators, credit history, and leaders separate us from countries like Argentina. It's not a ticket to run away, irresponsible spending but he gives us the time necessary to revive our economy.

    December 29, 2009 at 8:57 a.m.

  • Time to email those Senators and Representatives. Here is a quick copy paste letter you can attach to their site forum and

    It is only fitting that healthcare reform include the following:

    Since healthcare seems to be all but a done deal and completeing final mergers for the final bill to be sent to the President, I feel it is only right to make addition concerning health and welfare of our country. Please, take time to consider that all current, future, and past politicians be made by law to produce a valid certificate of birth. Then a clause should read all future political candidates should at time of applying for candidacy should show proof of residence, citizenship, and birth.

    By having former politicians produce these critical documents would allow the payment of retirement funds as no foreigner should be drawing retirement from the American people.

    If a person does not produce the documants or they are found to be false then the politician should be removed to office and be required to payback all pasy wages earned while serving in congress or serve time in prison for falsefying documentation with intint to mislead American the American people.

    December 29, 2009 at 7:03 a.m.

  • Your blog is one of a strong Statist and I doubt you will ever understand that not only our founding fathers feared the power of a large central government, but many of the current citizens in the United States. Strong conservatives desire election into federal government positions in order to reduce the size of the federal government, maintain a strong military force, maintain strict interpretation of the constitution, and let all citizens keep as much of their money as possible.
    Surely you don't believe your statement "First of all America, Medicare and Social Security will never go bankrupt." What makes America so special that it can not go bankrupt? Have you never studied the 2001 Economic Collapse in Argentina? All it would take is for the other members of G-8 to stop transactions in dollars and America fail to met its bond debt payments or failed to sell any new bonds.

    December 29, 2009 at 1:39 a.m.

  • My question about this healthcare bill, that may soon become law, & fixing MCR...who's going to pay? WE (me & hubby) are already taxed at 32% of our much more do you, Mike, think we should be forced to give up of OUR hard earned $$?
    How will we ever get to enjoy our retirement like you seem to do? We won't retire, we will have to work til we die.

    December 28, 2009 at 7:25 p.m.

  • Mike, the answer to your question is easy,I do not go to right wing or left wing blogs.

    As far as corporations not buying insurance or providing retirement benefits, wouldn't that be explained when the employee is hired?

    And if I remember right,matching insurance benefits and employers matching retirement benefits, are legitimate business expenses, taxed to the employee accordingly by the IRS.

    Insurance, as part of the pay package, the retirement account at the time is is withdrawn?

    Another assumption on your part, I have never read Milton Freidman s economic theory.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:59 p.m.

  • Legion357
    I don't think any of us get our views independently because we all reach out for resources. An independent view would be one that the poster has adopted from trial and error( experience). i.e a teacher, policeman, lawyer, or businessperson in their field.

    In the five years I've been in this forum, I believe I can count on one hand, when minds were changed.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:56 p.m.

  • Legion357
    I used the word " Legitimate" as Milton Friedman would describe the role of the corporation. The corporation should let the employees pay for their own insurance and retirement benefits, should not contribute to charities, they should not look to the government for tax incentives... Many have said it is justified selfishness.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:42 p.m.

  • Legion357
    When I hear talking points being repeated on this forum, I call it out.... I simply ignore several that disagree with my opinion because I know my environment....I have one question for you, that you never seem to answer. Why don't you go into the numerous right-wing blogs and correct them? because they agree with you?You would be more legitimate.

    Like I said,Glenn Beck compares our economic woes with those that doomed Zimbabwe, so there is a legitimate relationship.

    I've been around politics long enough to know if a person is knowledgeable on the subject I wrote about. i.e. I admit I am not a climatologist and others may have more knowledge on global warming than I do, but I know it is not about Al Gore.

    Look at my post to Holly1..He asked a question;I answered..No mention of Hannity,Rush etc.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:38 p.m.

  • Well gee Mike, I own my own small business, and the IRS holds me to those standards.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:35 p.m.

  • We're all capitalist and socialist but labels will not enhance your argument. I'm invested in the free market; it would be ludicrous for me to be rooting against it but I do not want it to go unregulated.

    Laissez-Faire will never be implemented in the United States.That philosophy justifies selfishness; if you've read and believe the words of Milton Friedman...Mr. Friedman believe that corporations should not pay benefits for their employees, make contributions to charities,or take government tax incentives....According to his beliefs, a balance sheet should only reflect sales revenue and legitimate business expenses.

    You are in for a big surprise if you think everyone is in agreement with

    December 28, 2009 at 6:25 p.m.

  • "jobless claims fell by 28,000"

    Translation, more people are still losing jobs, (the curve is still downward).

    December 28, 2009 at 6:20 p.m.

  • No I am not upset, I do not watch Glen Beck ect.

    Around 1pm everyday, I watch Fox news for breaking news for usually 5 minutes unless something is happening, then about the same amount of time watching CNN.

    I watch KENS news at 5pm, then ABC nightly news at 5:30 pm, then KAVU news at 6pm.

    The point I attempted to make, is that almost every time someone disagree s with your political stance you accuse them of repeating what Glen Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, ect. had said on their programs.

    It is almost like you dismiss their opinions because of your own assumption that they are only repeating what they heard on the above mentioned programs and they do not agree with your view.

    It seems as if a opposing view is presented on a blog it is dismissed as right wing TV/Radio "talking points".

    Do you or do you not believe that a poster that does not agree with your position,

    1. Can not form their own opinions independently?

    2. Just spew out "talking points" they have heard elsewhere? ( Something you yourself are guilty of too).

    December 28, 2009 at 6:16 p.m.

  • And oh yeah, I got another chuckle about the pending financial reform you seem so proud of. First off it will generally gum up the works and just make our country less competitive. But to think that it will really prevent another financial crisis is a real knee slapper.

    We hired thousands of baggage checkers at airports to pat down Granny to keep terrorists off planes, yeah right. Then we have thousands of bureaucrats in the SEC to stop people like Bernie Madoff, oops!

    The list goes on and on. We cannot enforce the regulations we have, so what the he11 let's make a few thousand more and hire millions of more bureaucrats. Let's just make it nearly impossible for business to function.

    And Mike I know you love big government and hate our once free enterprise system, but that's because you are a socialist - that's what you're suppose to do. But not everyone is going to agree with you - I know that upsets you, but you just have to deal with it.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:14 p.m.

  • If you get your news from Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, it is useless, because they admit that they are commentators, not reporters.

    I know this is bad news to you but jobless claims fell over 28,000 last month, a 15 month high, the retail sales came in quite strong today,auto sales up and although Paul Krugman sees the economy falling back without a second stimulus, other economists are predicting a pretty good recovery. I continued to say, fill a room with ten economist and you're likely to get 10 different analysis.

    I know it's convenient for you to blame the federal government for everything because you're not willing to admit that the free market is not infallible…. I can always spot the tax protesters and government haters.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:05 p.m.

  • Who said anything about Glen Beck? Almost every financial journal is raising a flag about where we are headed financially. I'll admit I get little news from Keith "Mad Dog" Olbermann and some of those other nut cases like Chris "There's a Trill Going Up My Leg" Matthews.

    And Obama did not inherit the bad mortgages, he helped cause them. If anything needs reform it's Congress, they are the ones that caused this mess. In fact they are continuing to encourage the issuing of these bad mortgages.

    In addition the administration is desperately trying to delay the inevitable big housing correction. They are only going to make the consequences more severe. But, fortunatley the tax payers can handle this too, what's another trillion dollars or so?

    December 28, 2009 at 5:51 p.m.

  • Inherited means that he did not create them. I have never blamed the Bush administration for the housing crisis; in fact, I can trace it way back to Carter, Clinton and Phil Graham…. I am reading “ Too big to Fail” to get more in depth information on the players and their close relationships to the bankers and Wall Street…I give John McCain and Maria Cantwell, credit for introducing a bill to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act.

    It is Glenn Beck that compares our economic woes with those that doomed Zimbabwe, so there is a legitimate relationship.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:42 p.m.

  • I only discredited Rollingstone so far...Did that upset you?...Views is plural.

    Do you get upset when right wingers do the same? Think not.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.

  • "Those pesky sub prime mortgages that President Obama inherited"

    Do you mean they have only been in existence for the last 8 years?

    December 28, 2009 at 5:29 p.m.

  • Correction "a convenient excuse you are using to discredit opposing views"

    December 28, 2009 at 5:28 p.m.

  • That's subjective Legion

    December 28, 2009 at 5:26 p.m.

  • Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Talk Radio, Fox news, Drudge report ect. ect....... sigh, a convenient excuse you are beating to death Mike.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:22 p.m.

  • Rollingstone
    I see Glenn Beck is still driving your fear,now that puts a big grin on my face...…lol,America=Zimbabwe, talk about hyperbole.

    I trust Bernanke because I have not seen anything to say I shouldn’t…. I believe I wrote a blog calling for the ouster of Geithner (but as usual, don't let the facts get in your way) because I have read of his closeness to the Wall Street executives that caused our economic mess.

    Those pesky sub prime mortgages that President Obama inherited will continue to be a problem but I don't see your chosen party (GOP) stepping up to the plate on finance reform. In fact they voted against it.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:08 p.m.

  • "The government will never go bankrupt." That may be true because they can always print money to pay their debts, so yeah technically they can't go bankrupt. But the people will, they will be made destitute, like they were in Germany, Argentina, Greece, Zimbabwa just to name a few.

    I get a chuckle when you say you trust Bernanke and Geithner's judgement and experience with regard to our exploding money supply. They have the un-enviable task of trying to balance an elephant on a pin and the pin is starting to buckle. Ah, but don't worry the taxpayers will always be there to try and catch the elephant - again.

    And, oh yeah, those pesky sub prime mortgages are still causing mayhem - just another can that Obama has been kicking down the road trying to postpone the envitable for as long as possible.

    December 28, 2009 at 4:38 p.m.

  • Mike..."and most of all ,the will of Congress to reform."

    Aye! There's the rub. Nevah hoppen, G.I.

    You're also right about the churches. I was in attendance at First Baptist Church in Houston one Sunday when Phil Graham took over the pulpit for about twenty minutes for a full-fledge campaign speech. As long as churches are tax exempt, they should stay the hell OUT of politics. Again, nevah hoppen.

    December 28, 2009 at 3:47 p.m.

  • I certainly wouldn't mind if the feds went after illegal campaign contributions because we have about seven House members who will probably be exonerated from their house ethics violations and I know at least one senator that has openly violated campaign finance laws but yet to be convicted, in fact he's running for reelection.

    The lobbyists have a constitutional right to petition the government but we have seen nonprofits (churches) use their powers to influence legislation. It's not all about money.

    It's going to take a complete overhaul to reform campaign finance laws. It will probably take a shorter election season (six months), a bipartisan redistricting effort to break up the gerrymandered districts, free media exposure for candidates, and most of all ,the will of Congress to reform.

    December 28, 2009 at 2:29 p.m.

  • Mike..." As everyone can see, the lobbyists rule, it is extremely difficult to get a perfect bill passed when the legislators are in the pocket of the lobbyists."

    You know, you're absolutely right about this. Perhaps THIS is the place where reform should start. Nah. Never happen. Why? Because that would mean the congress critters who live in the back pockets of the lobbyists will NEVER vote to stop the bri...uh, that is, "CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS"...they receive from the lobbyists. The lobbyists run Congress and NOBODY voted for them. What we need are a few Assistant Attorneys General who aren't afraid of losing their cushy jobs to prosecute some of the lobbyists who pay out and congressmen/senators who receive the bribes. Put'em in some federal hell hole prison -- not club fed -- and watch the ones who didn't get proseccuted change their attitudes about public service.

    December 28, 2009 at 2:04 p.m.

  • First of all America, Medicare and Social Security will never go bankrupt; that is just a gloom and doom talking point used by conservatives because they are relatively quiet when it comes to spending money on a “war of choice”, tax cuts for the rich, or any other pet project.

    I believe we will appoint bipartisan commissions to make Social Security and Medicare solvent for the next 75 years or so.

    December 28, 2009 at 1:31 p.m.

  • Holly1
    And a sincere Happy New Year to you.

    I have to break down your first question into several parts; in no certain order.

    You asked about the urgency in passing this Health Care legislation.

    1. Politics: It is a known fact that you must pass your priorities in your very first year because of the upcoming election. The ruling party tends lose seats in off year elections, and the president loses popularity.
    2. Seven presidents never saw the urgency in passing health care reform. If not now when?
    3. As everyone can see, the lobbyists rule, it is extremely difficult to get a perfect bill passed when the legislators are in the pocket of the lobbyists.
    4. This legislation is on the White House website for all to print and examine. The Healthcare template has been around since 1994; it was not created in a vacuum.
    5. Republicans have always and will continue to ignore any type of Health Care Reform; that is just a known fact, backed up by Congressional records.
    6. Health care costs are at $2.6 trillion annually and rising… Status quo is not the answer.
    7. The GOP will constantly repeat their three goals for health care reform, tort reform, able to buy across state lines, and tax credits. These are not serious proposals since tort reform is a basically a state issue (and only 2% savings) states will not allow buying across state lines and their HSA’s had never been popular.
    8. Arlen Specter let the cat out of the bag yesterday, when he said that the Republican agenda, from day one, was to bring down President Obama. As you can see the "party of no" does not give the Democrats any hope that it will co-operate in the future.
    9. It's all about the numbers; it is now a 60 seat margin to get anything passed in the Senate, and 218 in the house. It is that polarized.
    10. The nation still has many problems that have been ignored.

    December 28, 2009 at 1:15 p.m.

  • I should have added that Robert Reich may be an exception to an otherwise universal rule. He appears to be a Liberal with a conscience, and his years of defending the indefensible have finally started to come back to haunt him.

    December 28, 2009 at 1:13 p.m.

  • Do you even read what you write before you post it? Robert Reich (remember him, stalwart liberal Democrat?) recently let slip in an interview that EVERY economist consulted by the LBJ White House while the Medicare legislation was being considered told him that the program, as structured, was NOT financially viable in the long run. LBJ's response? A gag order that lasted long enough to get the legislation passed. Those opposing the legislation were right. The latest Medicare Trustees Report projects the 40 year shortfall in Medicare revenues at $38 TRILLION. This is nothing more than a government-sponsored Ponzi scheme, and Obamacare is an attempt to foist this Ponzi scheme on the entire country.

    "...all persons reaching age 65 WILL go on Medicare..."(emphasis added)? Oh really? Since when? If one wants to be on Medicare, it is necessary to apply for coverage, it is not automatically granted and no one is required to apply.

    holly1 has a very valid point which your post ignores. If Obamacare does not begin to take effect until 2014, why is it so important to enact the legislation immediately? Without allowing anyone to consider the implications and ramifications contained in its 2000+ pages? The only conceivable reason is that, given the time to consider it, most people capable of rational thought would reject it out of hand. Bait and switch marketing is illegal in most states. Too bad it is not illegal in the Congress.

    If the Democrats have not "...continue[d] to kick the problems of today down the road...", why is Medicare going into the red in 2017? That's right, the program starts paying out more than is coming in, starting in seven years. If that is not the result of kicking the problems of today down the road, I wonder what is?

    December 28, 2009 at 1:11 p.m.

  • Mike
    First, happy holidays/ merry christmas.

    My only comment on this issue is as follows.

    Both parties have hem and hawed over healthcare reform for the last how ever many years. Why is it so urgent that they pass this all inclusive nightmare of a bill as fast as possible???? One would think that they would want to get it right the first time and not have to go back and try to fix a problem cause by rushing to pass (THIS BILL). We all know that healthcare needs fixed. But it does not have to be fixed all in one bill. Lets pass smaller bills on the parts that everyone agrees on and then work out the ones that are so problematic. There is no need to have all this crammed into one huge unreadable bill unless someone is trying to hide things in all that wording. This bill is trying to cover way to much ground. The laws of the land should never be 2000+ pages long. That makes them unreadable and often unconstitutional. They get so wordy that they contradict themselves from section to section. This opens them up to wide and varied interpitations. All laws need to be simple enough and short enough that intent is never lost or corrupted because of shear bulk or legalistic mumbo-jumbo. The only reason to write stuff in such complex and confusing legalese is to often hide things from being clearly visable allowing them to be pushed through along with the original purpose of the bill. This needs to stop and from now on all bills need to be wrote in plain ENGLISH. This is america if you want to live here learn ENGLISH or dont bother to come at all. Before you call me a racist or worse just think about this. Every ethnic group that has ever came here had to learn english and most wanted to learn english anyway. It is not racist to expect those coming here to conform to our way of doing things. After all if they want to be americans then act like one and speak our language we should not have to print anything in any other language but english it costs way to much money to do so and we are BROKE!!!!

    December 28, 2009 at 12:38 p.m.