• I think we've gotten really off-topic, so Mike will probably delete all this union talk anyway.

    Sorry Mike

    August 8, 2010 at 7:23 p.m.

  • Well from what I am seeing here, unions may have a place but its effect on our government may not be with what is best for the middle class.

    Now tell me about card check. Why would it be important except to give unions more power?

    August 8, 2010 at 7:12 p.m.

  • This is how one union manages it's pension fund:

    "Union officer benefits are also far more generous than anything dues-paying workers enjoy. Consider again the SEIU, probably the country’s most powerful union. Their officers and employees get a yearly 3% cost of living increase, but SEIU members get none; officers qualify for an early pension at 50 or after more than 30 years of service, but workers can’t retire early with a pension; officers qualify for disability retirement after a year’s service, but workers need 10 years. In the land of union retirement, some workers are more equal than others. "

    Most if not all of the union managed pension funds are under funded and in need of a "bailout" and they will probably get it if they haven't already - there's no telling what's in all those bills that have been passed.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:09 p.m.

  • From the story on the link...

    ...the top ten most egregious cases, as documented by the New York Post, the National Legal and Policy Center and the New York Daily News.

    August 8, 2010 at 9:42 a.m.

  • legion, who is policing and/or reporting those top ten union scandals? Are they just looking at recent incidences, or did this just start?

    August 8, 2010 at 7:38 a.m.

  • should have been retirement health insurance

    August 7, 2010 at 11:25 p.m.

  • I can't speak for any union except Alcoa. Alcoa covers the pension plan, not the union. In 2006, Alcoa stopped paying into the pension plans for new hires. Those employees moved to the 401K system where the company pays into the plan so much and them matches. I'm not sure about the details, because I'm not on that plan.
    The union dues may cover the pension plans for union officials, but not the workers.
    With this last contract, all new hires will not get retirement insurance either. They have to start their own fund now.

    August 7, 2010 at 11:13 p.m.

  • The union members dues pay for the union pension plan, company s pay a matching amount to 401k s ect. for NON UNION employees.

    Oh and the almighty great union leaders? Notice the dates....

    Top ten most outrageous union scandals
    10. Feb. 11, 2010: Anthony Rumore, ex-president of Scarsdale's Teamsters Local 812, pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements related to extorting free labor out of his membership.
    9. Aug. 5, 2009: Michael Forde, ex-head of the city's District Council of Carpenters, was hit with a 29-count indictment for taking bribes from members -- in exchange for allowing them to avoid mandatory contributions to their pension funds. Forde beat similar charges several years before.
    8. Jan., 2008: Salvatore Battaglia, President of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 1181, pleaded guilty to taking payoffs and said several school bus company owners have made regular payments to his union for decades.
    7. April 21, 2010: Wayne Mitchell, ex-president of Communications Workers of America Local 14170 (representing mail room workers), pleaded guilty in a Manhattan federal court to embezzling $200,000.
    6. April 23, 2010: Mitchell's immediate successor, Larry DeAngelis, pleaded guilty to stealing $60,000 from the union.
    5. May 11, 2010: Peter Thomassen, assistant supervisor of the above-mentioned carpenters union, resigned after a report showed huge amounts of spending on lavish parties, junkets and steak dinners. An indictment is expected.
    4. Last May, ex-Central Labor Council boss and former Queens Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin was sentenced to 10 years for embezzlement -- including from the electricians union he once ran.
    3. Feb. 16, 2010: Thomas Pokrywczynski, former secretary-treasurer of Buffalo-area Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1342, pleaded guilty in federal court to theft of $254,000 in union funds.
    2. June, 2010: Daniel Hughes, former head of the Field Supervisor Association representing Port Authority workers, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to looting $300,000 in members' dues over five years.
    1. Feb. 17, 2010: Melissa King, former benefits administrator of the "Sandhogs" tunnel-digging union, was indicted for embezzling some $40 million from three benefit funds she oversaw.

    Sure the Union leaders have the "best interests" of the workers in mind

    August 7, 2010 at 10:46 p.m.

  • Victore,

    Oh yes, technology is imported. Cars are no better than they were in the 70's because of all of the low-grade imported steel and aluminum parts, made overseas and by workers earning a fraction of what Americans do. You get what you pay for, I guess.
    Did you ever ask yourself why cars and trucks are so damned expensive when most of it done overseas, where workers make so little? It's so the CEO's, and other upper management, stockholders can get their enormous salaries, vacations, personal jets, stock options, retirements, insurance policies, and whatever else they get. It has nothing to do with union labor. Union workers play such a small part in the construction of an automobile.
    Do you know why foreign cars are cheaper? It's because their management cannot make over a million a year, while ours make how many millions?
    And Victore, I'd match the older American-made cars against the newer ones any day. You can't kill those cars. They may rust out from under you in this coastal area, but the drive train on ours still purrs like a kitten and has 277,000+ miles. Still has the original motor, original transmission, rearend, exhaust system, etc. The only thing that has ever been changed out is the carburetor. I like the cars without the computers.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:43 p.m.

  • The unions don't pay for the pension plans, nor do members pay into the union for anything other than representation. The companies have stripped the pension plans or borrowed against them, and lost it all.
    And, a person does not have to belong to the union to work at a unionized plant.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:25 p.m.

  • Unions have served its cause in the AM, but in the last 40 years or so unions have destroyed American industry from household goods to the auto. In 1973 you could buy a new Corvette for less than $6,000 and now the cost is 60,000 plus, reason “unions” the quality is no better now than it was in the 70’s the only thing that has changed is the technology which is in most cases “imported.” The government in acted the fair labor standards act, which made the unions a thing of the past.

    American products went overseas because of the unions; a toaster at $15, American made would be $75. Knifes and forks, there is only one company in the U.S. that still makes them, the rest overseas, reason “unions.” Aircraft, a Bell Jet Ranger in 1970 $375,000, today just less than $2,000,000, reason “unions.” The Unions had its hey day in the AM, but now the government is bailing out the unions just so they can pay for their pension plans, because the unions have raped the union worker of their dues and mismanaged all of that money, at the cost of the taxpayer. The numbers just don’t add up. The unions own a % of GM, I just don’t think they have what it takes to manage a large corporation, based on the piss poor job they did with the unions. If you work for a company, what gives you the right to think you need or have to own part of it? Unions are a thing of the past, and they are doing their level best to justify their cause. The Obama administration is a day late and a dollar short on the unions and most everything else.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:11 p.m.

  • legion,

    Those things exist in the workplac more than you realize. Workers are afraid of losing their jobs, so they don't say anything. With unions, workers are not afraid to speak up, because their jobs are protected.

    August 7, 2010 at 7:05 p.m.

  • Not all unions are the same. For those unhappy with their unions, vote the Presidents out and make it better for yourselves. The unions are not "owned" by the representatives.

    August 7, 2010 at 7:02 p.m.

  • Lord have mercy Born2me, your comments sound like 1930 s era reasons for unions.

    unsafe working conditions, age discrimination, racial discrimination and sexual discrimination are all covered by federal statues whether in a union shop or not.

    I have not every been a member of a union, but when I lived in Baton Rouge I knew quite a few union members, and they where not happy, it seems that they could not go to work for a company unless the job came from the union office.

    The way one of them said it to me was... " The damn leaders of the union choose there friends to get the jobs that come in, the rest of us have to drive to the union Hall every day, wait a hour or so and be told the jobs have been filled", "We pay are damn dues too, but we aren't buddies with the union bosses, and we can't work anywhere else or we will get blackballed for union jobs."

    That told me all I needed to know about unions.

    August 7, 2010 at 6:12 p.m.

  • The safety records in the union plants I worked were abysmal. I saw no discrimination of any kind in any of the plants I worked in.

    August 7, 2010 at 6:10 p.m.

  • Well I am convinced unions do have a purpose. But I think right now they are going above and beyond the call of duty. I don't see any reason for card check, but maybe one of you can explain it.

    I am not sure about salaries, cannot even offer an explanation or any answers. But understanding the drop out rate as I do, and I do understand the educational system in this area, we are not getting the potential from students and they drop out because they are not benefiting. We need to offer more to the students. Too much emphasis is put on basic skills tests, not enough on preparation for life and a career. Basic skills tests do not measure what they are meant to, and college is not the only way to get an education. Career education should start very early and should include a wider range.

    Other countries outdo us in this area.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:57 p.m.

  • rollinstone,

    Union workers give up higher pay for job security, job safety, fairness and equality on the job, affordable insurance, and some kind of retirement.
    I've worked both union and non-union jobs too. I've seen too much unfairness, unsafe working conditions, age discrimination, racial discrimination and sexual discrimination in non-union jobs.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:27 p.m.

  • Born, by that reckoning it sounds like if Alcoa workers gave up the union their wages would go up. I've worked in both union and non union plants - I ve seen what they can do to productivity.

    August 7, 2010 at 5 p.m.

  • The people in the top 1% have raised their incomes by 281% in the last 30 years. This is a process that has been going on during that entire period. The majority of that gain occured during the Clinton administration.

    Why this is occurring is not very clear, but it increases whenever the economy (the stock market) booms. Another problem is the tax rules concerning management salaries. Any salary over a million dollars is not a deductible expense, so companies started using stock options for compensation. This had the predictable consequence of making companies very short sighted forgoing long term profits for short term ones.

    In addition computers have allowed automation never dreamed of before and it has eliminated many unskilled jobs. That combined with a huge high school drop out rate and millions of unskilled laborers entering the country has led to an over supply of unskilled labor.

    The computers have also produced a new breed of wall street trader working in hedge fund companies. These companies deal in arbitrage, they can make and unmake deals in milliseconds. They made huge profits before the subprime meltdown - they'll be back.

    And finally we are dealing more than ever in a global economy. An economy where it is imperative that we be lean and mean. Having a huge bloated government to support is not my idea of being lean and mean - we have to compete, otherwise we will become a irrelevant.

    August 7, 2010 at 4:55 p.m.

  • jbj,

    Plant workers are making what they are "because" there is the threat of a union. Do you think Formosa would be paying what it is, if Alcoa wasn't right across the highway from them? Formosa is paying $8/hour more for operators than Alcoa is, so people don't want to Unionize.
    Now, you take that $8/hr., times it by 40 (not counting overtime), times that by 52, times that by 30, what do you get? I get $499,200 (don't forget that overtime wasn't added into this figure) for every employee that makes it to 30 years. Now times that by every employee. It's what union employees agreed to to have the extra benefits. They paid for many of those benefits. Oh, and not to forget that the compay was able to invest that money and increase it by I don't know how much?
    Take the threat of unionizing away, and Formosa's pay "will" go down, as will every other plant around. In time, they may even get to minimum wage.

    August 7, 2010 at 4:29 p.m.

  • Which is why I don't keep much in it. The USAA account pays much better.

    August 7, 2010 at 4:23 p.m.

  • That was just a guess jbj, after looking, the little savings account I keep open earns .45%

    August 7, 2010 at 4:21 p.m.

  • I agree that some of the companies do pay their top people very high salaries, and with bonuses it seems terribly unfair. However, it one company does not pay it, the best managers go somewhere else and get it there. I really don't know how to fix it, but I don't think unions are the answer or government oversight.

    I like the Henry Ford plan. We need more of that.

    Unions are too powerful. They are trying to control elections now. They need to stick to their business.

    Legion, where are they paying 2% on FDIC insured without tying money up for 10 years?

    August 7, 2010 at 4:18 p.m.

  • Wait a minute, born2. Non union jobs have a long way to go to hit the bottom like third world countries. Our teachers are non union, so are many of our plant workers. While teachers are under paid, plant workers without college educations are making far more than third world county salaries.

    Union workers' salaries and benefits make as much as three times as much as non union workers doing the same job.

    Retirement plans invest in companies. You don't seem to have a problem with union workers getting their retirement checks, what is wrong with those who are retired and don't have a lavish retirement plan with a union making some money on retirement investments? Or anyone else for that matter, putting money in stock for a company to grow and hire more people.

    I don't see the middle class vanishing, but I do see some people out of work, and that is pretty much hurting their class status in many cases.

    It seems we need to go back and look at the laws of supply and demand, this works pretty well when allowed to work as it is supposed to.

    Right now people are hurting. I hire many independent contractors in my line of work. They are hurting. They cannot hire people to work for them. I had a call today from one in Arizona who wants to relocate due to no work and ask me if I could use their services while they establish themselves here. Also asked if I have a place to lease to them to get started. I have no money for creative ventures now, and am working with a skeleton crew, myself. Investors are waiting, watching and people are not willing to hire right now. This economy is not inspiring confidence to branch out.

    August 7, 2010 at 4:08 p.m.

  • Legion,

    The gap between workers pay and management compensation is getting way, way too wide. This Country will never be able to sustain what is happening now for very long. Everyone can blame the Unions all they want, but the unions are not what is causing this because a very small percentage of companies are union.
    Without consumers, there is no profit for companies. It's exactly what is happening now. The consumer base is falling off so far that countries across the globe are starting to feel it.
    And, there wouldn't be unions in the first place if the companies had been fair with their workers. Go look up Henry Ford and how his paying 2X average wages started the middle class and increased his profits 2X.

    August 7, 2010 at 4 p.m.

  • Sorry Mike, way off topic.

    August 7, 2010 at 3:05 p.m.

  • born2Bme, your last comment sounds awfully close to the Socialist Utopia promised by leaders like Lenin and Stalin.

    I am not talking about money "on paper" and speculative investors which indeed do make money without producing anything, but about a actual company that produces a product.

    The product produced sells for what the consumer is willing to pay for it, if the price is to high the consumer doesn't buy. On the other side of the coin, if the shareholders, the "owners" of the company, you know the ones that put the capitol into the company to build buildings, buy equipment, buy raw materials and provide the capitol to pay the workers cannot expect a return on there investment whats the point? They could take the $ they invested in these company s, put it into FDIC insured accounts and reap there 2% reward. But guess what? Then there would be no company that paid another company to build their factory, to buy equipment from another company, to buy raw materials or to pay the workers that they don't have because the company has no shareholders.

    August 7, 2010 at 3:02 p.m.

  • jbj,

    I guess I didn't explain myself too well. By companies robbing the people, I meant companies who make millions on other people's money. Mainly Wall Street, investors, bankers, etc.
    I refuse to put my money in anything except a FDIC protected account. There's no interest to speak of, but at least it will be there longer than if I put it somewhere else. I won't give complete crooks access to unprotected money.
    Unions are fighting with everything they have to preserve the American way of life. If you want things to be like other third world nations where pay is less than a $1/ hour, then agree to lower wages and see what happens as one company after another lowers it's wages, again and again and again. With lower wages, comes fewer people earning enough to pay into income tax, which makes it harder on those who do, and so on and so on. The middle class is vanishing. Just think how upside-down things are becoming and if something isn't done to prop up the middle class, then America will not be the same as we know it, ever again. Unions are what keeps the middle class alive.
    Companies are not going broke, they just are paying their CEO's and stockholders way too much at the expense of the hourly wage worker. Workers need to unite and "show" them that if they continue to lower wages, their customer base will dissolve, which is what is happening now.
    Your comment about the shareholders. Just think about what you said. The shareholders aren't working, they are sitting at home earning money on another's back. This is what is wrong with America. Hard work doesn't get rewarded anymore. It the ones sitting in the offices that are rewarded. It's going backwards.

    August 7, 2010 at 2:32 p.m.

  • born2

    Of course I think that when a company robs its workers it should be helped back on track with new people to replace the ones who were taken to jail. Sometimes the government has to impose some guidelines or help with this process. Usually the government does not take over but in cases where the unions run it and refuse to pull in their belts like everyone else, I guess taxpayers need to keep them going at least until changes can be made to fix the problem. But if we are in a recession, unions need to look at making cuts in benefits or salaries or something. Everyone is involved in the cost cutting. If the government takes over, then releases the company to work on its own, that is one thing. But the shareholders took a bigger share of the losses than anyone else. I am not sure that is right.

    When a government takes over the big companies, that does not prevent communism, that is what is done in socialism. But that is not what was done with the auto companies. There were some issues with the bail outs and some of the bonuses for employees, if you remember. This went above and beyond keeping people employed.

    The bail outs were more than a bandaid. But we won't get into this here.

    August 7, 2010 at 1:27 p.m.

  • jbj,

    I agree with you, BUT, when a government looks the other way for many years and allows companies to rob the american people, do you think it is OK to bring them back in line, or just let them go ahead and do as they wish?
    It's come to the point that either the government gets involved with stricter regulation and/or downright ownership, or it becomes a communist country with big business as the ones in charge of all of our lives.
    What would you have done? Let all those companies fail and watch millions more Americans lose their jobs, adding more to unemployment than this Country can handle? Do we let more people be forced to go on aid programs, that the taxpayers who have jobs, have to pay for? Do we give taxbreaks to those who have more than they can possible use in a lifetime, while everyone else is struggling just to survive?
    Where do you draw the line as to what is right for America, as a whole?
    I don't see where letting things go as they were, hoping for the best, would have been a good thing for this Country. When the economy is bleeding out, you have to "quickly" put some kind of bandaid on it for the time being, hoping it will stop bleeding before it bleeds to death.
    I don't see the bailouts as anything other than a bandaid. The government did not take over those companies permanently, just until they got back on their feet.

    August 7, 2010 at 9:42 a.m.

  • born2, I believe in capitalism.

    I do not believe that the government can or will do a better job owning companies and charging taxpayers to support them. I do not believe we can revive our economy by borrowing or taxing our way up.

    August 7, 2010 at 7:56 a.m.

  • jbj,

    So you believe in trickle up and not trickle down?

    Henry Ford had the right idea and the middle class was born.

    August 7, 2010 at 12:50 a.m.

  • born2, a strong economy come from the people. Not the government. So I guess it comes from the bottom.

    August 7, 2010 at 12:03 a.m.

  • jbj,

    Does a strong economy start from the top down, or the bottom up?

    August 6, 2010 at 10:51 p.m.

  • Unfortunately, I think the politicians' pocketbooks are the ones getting fat, and all else be damned. Right now, voters are looking at the best way to keep people working, the country from going broke and the economy afloat. Problem is they have some pretty varied ideas as to how to do that... and how not to.

    August 6, 2010 at 9:48 p.m.

  • Unfortunately, "smart" isn't a positive criteria anymore. It's become all about "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". People vote with their pocketbooks and choose the ones that they think will add to those pocketbooks. Everything else be damned.

    August 6, 2010 at 6:38 p.m.

  • Just thinking, but how "smart" should a person be to be able to represent people? Some of those running for office have been deemed airheads, or at least less intelligent than other politicians. There are plenty of people in congress that are very smart, yet they are in danger of losing their seats due to their failure to represent. How does one measure "smart"? Maybe we are using the wrong scale in some cases.

    August 6, 2010 at 5:29 p.m.

  • Joe Biden is the worse Vice Presidential pick for any ticket.

    August 6, 2010 at 3:25 p.m.

  • Nor do I, Mike. You get the left slant, I get the right. Somewhere in between is what is going on, that is why people need to talk. If someone sees something differently, it is not because the other side is uninformed. Everyone who will not listen to other views is uninformed. I don't expect a reply.

    August 6, 2010 at 2:23 p.m.

  • jbj
    That did not last long because you are now getting into la la land.

    Everyone should know by now, that President George W Bush was told by then treasury secretary Paulson and Federal chairman Bernanke that unless Congress signed a three page $700 billion bail out of the banks; AIG, Morgan Stanley and others were gonna fall like dominoes sending us into a deep depression.... Had nothing to do with Nancy Pelosi.

    You have a good day because I really don't wanna discuss a subject with someone that is not aware of the basics...IMO

    August 6, 2010 at 10:27 a.m.

  • Mike, the anger I see is coming from what people perceive to be a government grab of power ignoring what a majority of the people want. In my area, it is easy to underestimate the anger because people are more quietly seething, hoping for a better outcome after the elections in Nov. We don't have the unemployment some areas do and the economy here is not nearly as bad on the surface as it was. Texas congressmen, at least in our area, are not instigating as much rage as some of the issues are. You may see something different.

    Mitch may be right about congress but I am afraid if he expects to see Obama become more moderate, he may be disappointed. With the announcement of the stepping down of Romer yesterday, there may be some change, but probably not to the right. Unions will not allow it.

    By the way, the Bush bailouts were the product of the congress elected in '06, and Nancy Pelosi was pretty much on tv pushing for these, so the democrats may as well go on and take some of the credit. But yes, that and the following stimulus are still a factor in the rage we are seeing. That, by the way, was co written by the vacating chief economic advisor, so if it was so good why is she leaving? I still do not know what to make of that or what direction this will attempt to send us.

    August 6, 2010 at 10:16 a.m.

  • jbj
    I agree with about 85% of your post; that's improvement for us.
    I don't agree with your assumption"There is a swing too far left for most voters and they are reacting to it in this way."........ I believe most of the anger comes from the unemployment figure's, the Bush bailouts, high deficits, big debt, and a economy and that is taking too long to improve...BTW I just saw where the current recovery to this point is the fastest rebound in the last 25 years... Granted to most people, it doesn't seem that way.

    As we look at the primaries, it's an anti-incumbent ," throw all the bums out" mood; the anti- left noise is coming from the obvious sources...IMO

    It's funny that you should mention bipartisanship, yesterday, Mitch McConnell said a pickup of the few seats in the senate would lead to to compromise but then he told the Christian Science Monitor "IF you’re between 55 and 45, you get genuine bipartisan agreement. And what I hope we’re going to have — and it will be up to the American people — but what I hope we’re going to have is more balance, more balance, which will give us opportunities to do things together, that simply are missing when you have this kind of disparity. But, I’m not going to be very interested in doing things left of center. It’s going to have to be center-right and I think the President is a flexible man and I’ll think he’ll become a born-again moderate."...So, you and him are in the same track, if you're right of center, you're a

    August 6, 2010 at 9:14 a.m.

  • Mike, you are correct, I am not moderate myself. But that does not mean people cannot compromise. I don't want to see a far right administration. The two views can work together for a better outcome.

    The GOP is not a party of no, it is a party of H. NO at this time. There is a swing too far left for most voters and they are reacting to it in this way. We are out of balance.

    August 6, 2010 at 8:55 a.m.

  • Jbj
    The views you have expressed in the past,do not represent a moderate view...IMO

    I think moderate is overblown because people can be a strong far left liberal or a far right conservative and still compromise..I.e. Ted
    Kennedy/Orin's all about give n' take without giving up your principals;for the greater good.....there is always a redo.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:40 p.m.

  • Legion357
    I said Palin was NOT that rich.
    It's not the size of the bank account;it's the vote.
    All those mentioned will vote against giving tax cuts to the rich.
    Except Issa.
    McCain is rich but he was against tax cuts for the rich.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:27 p.m.

  • Rich politicians, that made me go look, of course the most current list I could find only dealt with members of congress, and I must say the ketchup business is very good!

    5 Richest Members of Congress

    1. Rep. Jane Harman (D, Calif.): $215.11 million
    2. Sen. Herb Kohl (D, Wis.): $215.85 million
    3. Sen. John Kerry (D, Mass.): $213.8 million
    4. Rep. Darrell Issa (R, Calif.): $158.58 million
    5. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, W.Va.): $79.4 million

    I make no claim as to how accurate this is, but the link is...

    I thought it was a good example of the party of the rich.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:41 p.m.

  • Mike if you think Palin was blasted because she said some things that were not smart, you are the one who is naive.

    I didn't pick her as a vp candidate, and no, I do not think McCain did a good job of managing his campaign.

    I have been, and have voiced as much on this site, in favor of the parties working together, but understand why they cannot. I asked, if you remember, over and over for moderate democrats to resurface, but they have gone so far to the left, that we are destined to swing hard back to the right, and that is not my choice.

    I do stand for conservative values, but I am not in favor of one party rule. I would back a moderate Republican, heck I would back a moderate Democrat if there are any out there.

    August 5, 2010 at 6:06 p.m.

  • jbj

    She's not that rich and it's the tea party conservatives that buy her books and paraphernalia; then there's Fox News who gives her a platform. Liberals are not donating to her PAC.... She makes news for saying" stupid things." You can't blame the liberals for that, it's those that like to have their ears tickled, that keep her in business.

    I see you're pretty naive when it comes to wing nut Sharron Angle because she is not getting the moderate republicans to back her campaign; Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn are also keeping their distance. Another fact, moderate republicans are coming to their senses; look at the last primary elections where three tea party candidates, lost. Voters don't want to go that far out on the deep end.

    The fact that you think Palin has some good ideas, leaves me wondering because she did quit her job as governor. If you think she was put in the limelight before she was ready, then that is the fault of the party you support. Fact is, Sarah Palin is an air head, she does real good with a base that loves divisive politics. The campaign was two years ago; she's not any smarter today. I would love to see her on " Meet the Press.".... Politicians would be talking about that for years.

    Joe Biden is as good as they come when it comes to foreign policy; he has been prone to gaffes throughout his career but he is very knowledgeable.... That's the difference.

    Got to go; I'm sure supper is just about done

    August 5, 2010 at 5:43 p.m.

  • I am sure Sarah Palin feels real uneasy all the way to the bank. The Liberals made her rich, if they keep going, no telling where she will end up.

    Sharron Angle has alot to learn, she and other newly discovered politicians think because they win a primary it is time to brag about their unproven theories of management of the country. Well they won because the people were convinced they would best represent them, then they get farther down the road and forget why they are there. Probably Angle will make a great rep, but if she forgets why she is where she is, we will not ever know. Palin is the same way. She goes out on a limb thinking she can get away with saying things like she says, and it gets a point across but may not get her the type of backing she needs. They will learn or they won't. I think Palin has some good ideas but she was thrust into the limelight before she was ready, and has had to sink or swim.

    I really liked Joe Biden, but he is realizing sometimes it is hard to get away with saying things he really thinks. So I guess it isn't just the new ones.

    August 5, 2010 at 5:10 p.m.

  • Mike.

    Personally, I don't care, but it would proves my point about them along. Second, I want to them to be uneased.

    August 4, 2010 at 4:55 p.m.

  • And you should care because?

    August 4, 2010 at 4:52 p.m.

  • Mike.

    If I were running for office or in office. I bet people like Victore, DDherring, edpost and others would believe I am apart of plot to destroy because I am not one of them.

    August 4, 2010 at 4:44 p.m.

  • Writein

    Many times you have to consider the source.

    This past Sunday, I had to shake my head in amazement at the way Sarah Palin answered the questions of Chris Wallace; she sounded like a programmed 6th grader. This was a friendly venue for her! Then there is Sharon Angle and Michelle Bachmann, either running for high office or are in office.....Even, Fox’s Carl Cameron had to laugh at Sharon Angle, when she said the media was supposed to be her friend. She should be able to write out the questioned for them to ask her. After the interview, she could use the media to direct funds to her website.

    Laura Ingraham is just another right wing ideologue, with no creditability but some fools will purchase her

    August 4, 2010 at 4:38 p.m.

  • Folks. Just because Victore reads a book, doesn't mean it’s true. Just like how the same person called me un-American and unpatriotic because I do not believe in his rose colored Ronald Reagan vision of the world. This is the type of mentality I am talking about. This” My way or the hi way” mentality. Anybody can write a book. Hitler wrote one that was best seller .

    August 4, 2010 at 4:10 p.m.

  • You're welcome. This is the typical late season Astro rally don't get your hopes up - oops off topic :(

    August 3, 2010 at 5:43 p.m.

  • Thank you and good night.

    Got to go see the new look Astros...6 in a row..maybe 7?

    August 3, 2010 at 5:17 p.m.

  • No, I read your blogs they are mostly gibberish and filled with little fact - mostly just your opinions, yawn.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:15 p.m.

  • Rollingstone
    Lol.... Oh I can find word for word where anyone cuts and paste from; that's not a problem. Occasionally posters don't find my links but I don't accuse them of having trouble finding links.

    "The estate tax effects the behavior of small business owners.".... I've heard that ad nauseam but they are no credible stats that prove that...That's just a therory.

    I'm not arguing about whose fault it is but I've been finding more and more republicans backing away from supply side economics'..... Alan Greenspan admitted that tax cuts don't pay for themselves. Even the number two republican in the house,Eric Cantor admitted tax cuts increase the deficit,when he said ""[I]f you have less revenues coming into the federal government, and more expenditures, what does that add up to? Certainly you're gonna dig the hole deeper." We are are going to continue paying for two wars and entitlements.

    You must just skim over my blogs because I've always said that entitlements and defense spending need to be cut.... I want is to get out of this recession... What ever it takes.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:50 p.m.

  • The estate tax effects the behavior of small business owners. The fact that few pay it, to quote you, is irrelevant. Taxes are an expense that most sane people try to avoid "legally," if I may quote you again.

    I didn't post the link to the WSJ article because you seem to have trouble with the links. But I agree the article was irrelevant, why? Well it's because you said so Mike - that was a great assessment and quite a comeback, in fact it was brilliant :)

    And thanks for all that gibberish about Republicans. Yeah, what we need now is to argue about whose fault it is - that will surely give us satisfaction, the same satisfaction that they probably got from arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    And finally you've made your opinion perfectly clear about taxes on the rich - tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for the rich, ad nausea. But what about spending? You have also made it clear that we need more of that to "create or save" jobs.

    Tell me, post a link, how many jobs were "created or saved" by four trillion dollars of deficit spending? Oh, that's right three million were "created or saved" while six million were lost. Let's see that means that each job "created or saved" only cost the taxpayer 1.3 million dollars - quite a bargain and a terrific strategy.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:29 p.m.

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    August 3, 2010 at 3:04 p.m.

  • Rollingstone

    I can understand why you didn't post a link to your cut and paste.... It was dated March of 2009 and I couldn't find an author. Three months after the Obama Administration took office the right wing Wall Street Journal started predicting gloom and doom tax increases. The article is irrelevant.

    In one post you stated

    "If the "death tax" will effect so few and result in only a small amount of revenue why not get rid of it? As was stated most get around it anyway by making trusts and other accounting tricks

    BTW I never said accounting tricks;just legitimate trusts.

    Now you are trying to convince me that Larry Summers thinks......"He finds that the long-term impact of eliminating the death tax would be to increase small business capital investment by $1.6 trillion. This additional investment would create 1.5 million new jobs.... That was his March 2009 assessment.

    Which is it? It's hard to believe that a tax that only affects 1/3 1% can create 1.5 million new jobs.

    I would be for repealing the tax cut on the top 2%, cutting that corporate tax rate, and repealing the estate tax if we could get a guarantee that: jobs would not be outsourced, benefits would not be cut, and hiring would begin immediately with a cost of living raise.

    More republicans are coming out of the woodwork denouncing Reagan's supply side economics'

    My own TO DATE cut & paste with a link.

    Republicans, the “conservative economic party, the party of discipline, the party of restraint,” have their lost way, leaving the U.S. with “two free-lunch parties and a $9 trillion debt that’s rising at a really dangerous rate,” Stockman said during a radio interview with Tom Keene on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
    In a July 31 op-ed article in The New York Times, Stockman criticized Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and others in his party for working to preserve the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest U.S. taxpayers. He said it follows a pattern of abandoning conservative fiscal principles.
    “Over the past 30 years, the Republicans, component by component of the budget, have ruled spending cuts out,” Stockman said today. “They won’t cut Social Security, they won’t cut farm subsidies. They’re as big on education spending as the Democrats.”

    He said abandoning the Bush tax cuts would yield $300 billion in federal revenue, but added he is not optimistic.

    David Stockman was the conservative icon Ronald Reagan's OMB Dir.

    From July 22-25 Pew Research
    30% (that' you) want to renew all Bush tax cuts
    27% want to let tax cuts fro rich expire
    31% want to repeal all Bush tax cuts

    August 3, 2010 at 2:04 p.m.

  • Here's the books that she has written. Seems to be a theme going on.


    The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places, first published June 2000, while the author was a talk show host on MSNBC, was updated and reissued in paperback December 25, 2005. It analyzes and reinterprets Hillary Clinton as a faux feminist,[14] whose "liberal feminism has created a culture that rewards dependency, encourages fragmentation, undermines families, and celebrates victimhood".[15]

    Shut Up & Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the U.N. are Subverting America, published October 25, 2003, decries liberal "elites" in politics, the media, academia, arts and entertainment, business, and international organizations, on behalf of "disrespected" Middle Americans, whom the author praises as "the kind of people who are the lifeblood of healthy democratic societies".[16]

    Power to the People, a New York Times number one best seller,[17][18] published September 11, 2007, focuses on what Ingraham calls the "pornification" of America and stresses the importance of popular participation in culture, promoting conservative values in family life, education and patriotism.[19]

    The Obama Diaries, a New York Times number one best seller, [20] published July 13, 2010, the book is a collection of fake satirical diary entries by and criticizing Barack Obama, his family and officials in his administration.[21]

    August 3, 2010 at 12:43 a.m.

  • Victore,

    You do realize Laura Ingraham's book is a work of fiction right?

    I read about 100 pages of that drivel - I would read an infant a better written book than this one. Even Glenn Beck can string a more cogent and engaging sentence together

    I found the book laughable in almost every aspect except the sadness I felt upon reading other reviews where some truly believe this to be a true account of events.

    August 2, 2010 at 11:16 p.m.

  • Mike, I have just finished reading Laura Ingraham, “The Obama Diaries”. I don’t think you or anyone else can discredit her, she is as straight and honest as anyone can be as a conservative or liberal, she tells the truth whether you like it or not.

    The book alone is worth $17.50 just to read the introduction on how she received the information to write the book. So some advice from your own writings-reading comprehension read the damn book and shut the hell up. I dare you to prove this book to be incorrect, so you put your best foot and skills forward and lets just see how for you get… Mike, that is a challenge, name your price, lets see if your liberal butt can wing your way out of this one!!!

    August 2, 2010 at 11:02 p.m.

  • Yeah, I'm sure you're right John Kerry is all in favor of taxing the rich. I'm sure he will man up and not try to avoid the higher taxes.

    From the WSJ = a cut and paste:

    The announcement of this tax increase is buried in footnote 1 on page 127 of the President's budget. That note reads: "The estate tax is maintained at its 2009 parameters." This means the death tax won't fall to zero next year as scheduled under current law, but estates will be taxed instead at up to 45%, with an exemption level of $3.5 million (or $7 million for a couple). Better not plan on dying next year after all.

    And that is no doubt why the Obama Administration wants to make sure it never hits zero. It doesn't seem to matter that the vast majority of the money in an estate was already taxed when the money was earned. Liberals counter that the estate tax is "fair" because it is only paid by the richest 2% of American families. This ignores that much of the long-term saving and small business investment in America is motivated by the ability to pass on wealth to the next generation.

    The importance of intergenerational wealth transfers was first measured in a National Bureau of Economic Research study in 1980. That study looked at wealth and savings over the first three-quarters of the 20th century and found that "intergenerational transfers account for the vast majority of aggregate U.S. capital formation." The co-author of that study was . . . Lawrence Summers.

    Many economists had previously believed in "the life-cycle theory" of savings, which postulates that workers are motivated to save with a goal of spending it down to zero in retirement.

    Mr. Summers and coauthor Laurence Kotlikoff showed that patterns of savings don't validate that model; they found that between 41% and 66% of capital stock was transferred either by bequests at death or through trusts and lifetime gifts. A major motivation for saving and building businesses is to pass assets on so children and grandchildren have a better life.

    What all this means is that the higher the estate tax, the lower the incentive to reinvest in family businesses. Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin recently used the Summers study as a springboard to compare the economic cost of a 45% estate tax versus a zero rate.

    He finds that the long-term impact of eliminating the death tax would be to increase small business capital investment by $1.6 trillion. This additional investment would create 1.5 million new jobs.

    August 2, 2010 at 6:10 p.m.

  • Those are all right wing talking points they have been exposed; with a little of John Kerry's yacht parking fees thrown in..... Jobs are being lost because of the estate tax, show me one article that proves that.

    Not so, the rich will have you believe that, but look at the stock market; it will tell you that the rich are sustaining the economy right now because they're the ones spending. You cannot have a stock market at over 10,000 if the rich are not spending.... It's all about greed; the rich don't want to pay any taxes.... Going from 35% to 39% will not hurt them or ruin in this economy. That's a myth.

    It's the middle class and unemployed we should be worried about; not the rich. As the panel on Meet the Press said yesterday,the corporations are doing good ($1.8 trillion surplus),Wall Street giving out big bonuses again,stock market up,it's small business and middle class that are hurting.

    Again, I'm not gonna lose any sleep over the rich and their taxes or the 1/3 of 1% that are paying the estate tax..... That dog won't hunt anymore; those talking points are long gone. I believe KyleC left a good link to prove all that.
    Supply side, trickle down economics no longer an accepted economic policy... It has failed too many times.

    August 2, 2010 at 4:08 p.m.

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    August 2, 2010 at 3:44 p.m.

  • lol...Yea, the Estate Tax is just chump change....

    The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that this would reduce revenues by $290 billion through 2015, including $72 billion in 2015 alone. But this estimate essentially captures only the cost of four additional years of estate tax repeal; the revenues losses associated with 10 more years of repeal — for the period 2012 through 2021 — are much higher, about $745 billion. And when the associated $225 billion in higher interest payments on the debt are taken into account, the total cost of repealing the estate tax for a decade would be nearly $1 trillion.

    Why the conservative republicans hang onto this issue is beyond me.... They will cut entitlements, welfare, unemployment benefits, and god knows what else but they will try their damnedest to justify repealing the estate tax.....Frank Luntz sure has them snookered...Just rename it, call it the "Death Tax."

    August 2, 2010 at 2:51 p.m.

  • I'm not really into conspiracy theories specially when it involves our economy but your link lead to FRED'S GRAPH , I clicked on the site but I couldn't find a related story.... Not saying it's not true but several sites indicate foreign countries are still lending us money at a low interest rate.
    NEW YORK/LONDON, July 19 (Reuters)2010 - Demand for short-term U.S. paper remained strong on Monday as the U.S. Treasury conducted its weekly sales of three- and six-month bills.
    The Treasury said it sold $30 billion in three-year bills at a high rate of 0.155 percent, with the ratio of bids received to those accepted 4.29 percent.
    Foreign ownership of U.S. debt, including not just short- and long-term Treasuries but also T-bills and government-sponsored agency debt, has risen to $5 trillion, from near zero 30 years ago. China is the largest foreign owner, accounting for $868 billion, or 21.9% of all foreign purchases of U.S. Treasuries outstanding. That's up from $298 billion, or 15.8%, just five years ago. Hong Kong owns $146 billion, or 3.7%, putting it in fifth place.

    In a sign of shifting global fortunes, China edges out Japan, the one-time biggest U.S. debt holder, currently with $787 billion, or 19.8%. Its portion

    August 2, 2010 at 2:36 p.m.

  • As Chris Wallace always tells the republicans " that tax cut for the wealthy will add $678,000,000,000 to the deficit." Wrote it out to emphasize how large it is.

    If we allow the Bush tax cuts to expire; it will lower the deficit by 30%; immediately.

    As many economists have been saying all week long, there is no optimum tax level but we do have a successful model to go by.... Clinton administration raise taxes and republicans cut spending; allowing us to have three successful budget surpluses. Sure, they did have not two wars, a seven trillion dollar Medicare Part D and stimulus and TARP funding to account for. .... Everyone loves tax cuts but the 2003 tax cut for all was irresponsible.

    Greenspan was talking about the fact that we would have to borrow the money for tax cuts or any other expenditures.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:57 p.m.

  • Oh, and one more thing. Foreign countries are no longer buying our debt. Their holdings have remained fairly constant and even dropping slightly. So who is buying all this debt we are generating, hmmmm....I wonder?

    August 2, 2010 at 1:52 p.m.

  • So why did Obama "give" a tax cut to 95% of American taxpayers? And if I read Greenspan correctly he was against tax cuts with two trillion dollar deficits.

    It's the spending that crushes an economy. But taxes on employment are particularly destructive, that and high "minimum wages" that prevent first time job seekers from ever getting started.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:34 p.m.

  • Mr. Obama doesn't care one way or the other..The treasury sec.,Larry Summers and Paul Volcker,and the Fed chair and congress will decide....Find that quote yet?

    August 2, 2010 at 1:24 p.m.

  • Mike, the quote was on the site but I cannot tell that it is part of the CNN and am looking for the source. There is a paragraph quoting Obama, I will post when I can verify it.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:23 p.m.

  • Greenspan shot down that myth yesterday...He said tax cuts don't pay for themselves and economist agree they don't create jobs.

    We need to let ALL the Bush tax cuts expire & cut spending as I bet my bottom dollar the budget deficit will recommend....The world will not end with today's debt & deficits numbers;we have to think long term...Consumers are still in debt,so spending will be down for a while.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:21 p.m.

  • From all I can find, we are likely to have at least a one million dollar exclusion. Mr. Obama actually was in favor of a 3.5 million dollar exclusion taxing at 55% anything over that amount. So either or somewhere in between seems to be likely.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:20 p.m.

  • Thanks KyleC
    I've been looking for a site like the one you posted.

    We have a progressive tax system...I won't lose any sleep because some rich farmer or rancher with a $4 million estate was either too cheap to hire an estate atty. to bypass the tax for his heirs or didn't take advantage of the Gift Tax to lighten the load on their heirs....I care about the unemployed and the struggling middle class, not the 1/3 of 1% who pay this tax.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:16 p.m.

  • If the "death tax" will effect so few and result in only a small amount of revenue why not get rid of it? As was stated most get around it anyway by making trusts and other accounting tricks.

    What the tax does do is it reduces the incentive for small business owners to further invest in their businesses. The WSJ estimates that reinstalling the tax will reduce investment and cost 1.6 million jobs - jobs? We don't need no stinking jobs.

    And oh, one more thing Obama's 10 year budget assumed the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. It also assumed no adverse effects on the GDP, but unfortunately the deficits were still over a trillion dollars every year of his budget - so good luck with that "no new taxes on the middle class."

    And one last little detail in 2019 the interest on the debt is approaching a trillion dollars a year and that's at a 5 percent interest rate - again good luck with that.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:11 p.m.

  • jbj
    That was a one day proposal to get "reaction" it was quickly dismissed....AGAIN,where is the quote" "they knew when they took those jobs...." about the military"....

    August 2, 2010 at 1:06 p.m.

  • I don't know how to post a link, I guess, but this was according to CNN. Of course, this was abandoned, as the idea is terrible. But Obama defended it with, "it is a volunteer army..."

    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Proposal to Have Soldiers Pay for Service-Related Injuries with Their Own Private Insurance
    I'm not much for government spending, but asking soldiers to pay with private insurance for their service related injuries would be about the last thing I would do.

    But, according to CNN:

    Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed...that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

    No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

    Apparently, the plan has been worked into the budget. There is an increase in "third-party collections" estimated in the 2010 budget proposal, under veterans care. Veterans group say this couldn't be achieved unless Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

    Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under "consideration."

    "A final decision hasn't been made yet," he said.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:02 p.m.

  • Estate Tax from CNN in 2008 :

    Sorry, too busy to quote etc.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.

  • Mike...How do you figure that the government has any claim on the estate of anyone after death? The money was taxed when made, real estate taxes were paid when due. By what right does the government expect to step in and claim more than half of a person's large estate? What, they couldn't steal it while he was alive, but figure they can after he's dead? And, no, it won't affect my meager estate at all, but just because it won't affect me, doesn't mean it's right.

    August 2, 2010 at 12:08 p.m.

  • Mike...First responders are just that. Fire fighters, EMTs and police are the ones on whom we depend to help when bad things happen.

    There was a firefighter killed near Wharton a couple of weeks ago. Do you suppose he suffered less or his family is less devastated because it was only a fire that didn't make the news more than two hundred miles away and not an attack by terrorists? The point is he did his duty as a fire fighter just like the fire fighters in New York did and he paid the ultimate price just like a great many fire fighters in New York did. The biggest difference between the two incidents is that the Wharton fire fighter's family isn't getting a million bucks in compensation from the federal government.

    But, I'll be fair. I'll support the compensation bill when I can be assured that there is NOTHING in the bill that does not concern the compensation for the first responders who were injured, killed or died of their injuries later as a result of the 9-11 attack. Do you think I'll be supporting the bill?

    August 2, 2010 at 12:01 p.m.

  • Mike, I don't have a link. I don't get all my info from the computer. The comment Mr. Obama made was made last year and it was in the news on several channels, not just Fox. I will look for some old news sources, but I am busy until this afternoon.

    The estate tax, if it is not addressed will be the 55% and 40%, unless there is an amount excluded. Right now I am not sure it has been addressed for next year, but several amounts are being considered and probably will be at least a million dollar exclusion. No one wants this to go into effect with no exclusion. It would affect everyone.

    The blogger asked who it would affect, I answered that it could affect many, and I added that if they put amounts free of the tax, it will be more fair. I did not write the post to deceive. This is a problem both parties are working on, and there probably will be a bottom figure as there has been in the past.

    I will locate and forward more info, but it will have to be later than noon.

    August 2, 2010 at 11:58 a.m.

  • jbj

    I will be fair..I will give you two hours to produce evidence of "one plan for the Estate tax is for anyone dying with over a million dollars to pay 55% and anyone dying with under that amount to pay 40%. That means that if a parent of an adult dies with a home worth $100,000 the heir would have to sell the house to pay the tax or come up with $40,000 to keep it.

    I want Who,what,why and when with a link.

    Same for your comment of "Mr. Obama made the comment "they knew when they took those jobs...." about the military and he was wrong, in my opinion..

    Are you referring to conservative humorist ,John Semmen's remarks,when he quoted Obama saying"Nobody makes these guys go to war"...That was debunked by Snoops

    Another case of low information intelligence.

    Provide the evidence and I will apologize for doubting your word OR I WILL DELETE FOR Advocate policy of posting unsubstantiated material.

    You keep posting stuff that you never verify...If it's common knowledge say so and if it is your opinion that's OK ,but verify those two comments...You still have that option of writing your own blog.

    I will be back @12:00 to read your links.

    August 2, 2010 at 11:32 a.m.

  • As of July 2010
    One bill under proposal

    On July 28, 2010, Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] introduced S. 3664, the Family Farm Estate Tax Deferral Act of 2010. There are four cosponsors. S. 3664 is very similar to to a bill introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Thompson’s [D-CA], H.R.5475 -- Family Farm Estate Tax Relief Act of 2010.

    S. 3664 would exempt certain farmland from the estate tax, and other purposes. Sen. Feinstein’s press release states that the bill is “simply a deferral” that is “fair and reasonable.”

    August 2, 2010 at 10:54 a.m.

  • The 9/11 First Responders bill was just a piece of legislation that would have and will eventually pass on a bipartisan basis either this year or the next....Rep. King (R) and Rep. Wiener of New York are passionate about this bill.

    I remember when the head of the EPA, Christine Todd Whitman, and FEMA said it was safe for the first responders to enter Ground Zero.....I think 9/11 responders take precedence over a warehouse fire.

    This is the official GOP response

    "“Republicans continue to believe that those who responded to the [World Trade Center] attack should get the treatment and liability protection they need because they dutifully answered a call for help,” the policy statement reads.
    But this bill, according to Republicans, “creates a massive new entitlement program, exposes taxpayers to increased litigation and is ‘paid for’ with tax increases and potential job losses.”

    The Dems response: from the same website

    The would provide medical monitoring to those exposed to toxins at ground zero, bolster treatment at specialized centers for those afflicted by toxins on Sept. 11 and reopen a compensation fund to provide for the economic loss of victims.
    And it’s all paid for by closing a tax loophole on foreign companies with U.S. subsidiaries, Democrats said.

    It’s not really about the bill; it’s about anger & frustration....IMO

    August 2, 2010 at 10:31 a.m.

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    August 2, 2010 at 9:55 a.m.

  • First responders were involved in an act of war. Yes, they knew they were putting their lives in danger, but wouldn't it be terrible if no one took those jobs because they are dangerous? They did not know for sure the cause at first, and they responded. Guess not many had time to think, "Maybe I better not go today, I could be injured and my insurance might not cover it." I have no problem with covering their injuries but I do have issues with legislation that goes beyond what it claims to cover.

    Mr. Obama made the comment "they knew when they took those jobs...." about the military and he was wrong, in my opinion.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.

  • The first responders all had insurance from the fire and police departments and didn't they receive money from the first round of compensation from the government? I'm sorry they may still be having respiratory and other problems, but did they not understand when they applied for the jobs that there were hazards involved? If they had been injured in a warehouse fire, do you think congress would be falling over themselves to pass legislation to compensate them -- again?

    August 2, 2010 at 7:37 a.m.

  • Legion, one plan for the Estate tax is for anyone dying with over a million dollars to pay 55% and anyone dying with under that amount to pay 40%. That means that if a parent of an adult dies with a home worth $100,000 the heir would have to sell the house to pay the tax or come up with $40,000 to keep it.

    The people it affects mostly are those who work on family farms and inherit the land that has been in the family. They lose their careers with the loss of the land unless they have the money to pay the estate tax. While the family may have paid a low price long ago for their 200 acres, today that land is worth more than most people can afford to pay the tax on.

    Lately there has been discussion on this and if they will allow the first million dollars or, even better, 3.5 million, this would allow farms and small businesses to stay in operation, and would allow a person to leave heirs what he or she has worked for.

    August 2, 2010 at 5:05 a.m.

  • Mike get your damn facts in order before you accuse me of being someone else. I sure as heck don't need your left wing lies!! You are truly a saint when it comes to left wing BS!

    August 1, 2010 at 3:45 p.m.

  • It is not the rich they want to appease. It is the massive amount of money they put into the economy. Time has shown that money filtered through congress is much like feeding a dog a hamburger. It does not come out the same.

    August 1, 2010 at 3:26 p.m.

  • Mike, read the first sentence in your second paragraph. That is where I got the idea you might be referring to the GOP.

    August 1, 2010 at 3:23 p.m.

  • jbj said"Mike, two years ago, in fact, four years ago, Democrats took over the majority of Congress. So you have to go back farther than that to blame the GOP."

    If you read any line of the blog; I did not put any blame on the GOP AT ALL; before they were hiding the weeds just voting no; now there are making their plans known. That's what this blog is all about... Read a title; read the contents.

    You can be an apologist for the GOP all you want but it's a lonely position.

    I'm gone for the day; back Monday

    August 1, 2010 at 10:58 a.m.

  • jbj/Victore/itisi (all the same?)

    I'm not going to waste my Sunday arguing with someone that only knows what he has been spoon fed by the right wing media.
    The entire bill is called H.R. 847 RH (PDF format) in its final version.... You are trying to spread a conspiracy... Prove it! Or..!!!!

    Get your talking points correct: a news legislative body gets voted in November i.e.2006 congress... They don't actually take over committees until January 2007... Congress is well aware of the presidential veto; which takes 2/3 to override.... Anyone paying any attention knows that the democrats don't vote as a single unit; unlike the current republicans.

    New York representatives Anthony Wiener (D) and Peter King(R) are passionate about this current bill because in their duties as representatives it's not hard to imagine that they had friends, acquaintances, relatives and constituents that died, or were injured, and in some cases still suffer from 9/11. I am not going to question their compassion. Rep. King, cosponsored the bill and 12 republicans voted for the bill. Four democrats voted against the bill.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:51 a.m.

  • Writer, the last paragraph in the blog is the most ridiculous statement I have seen you make. The Democrats have pulled off more tricks and schemes to pass bills in this session of congress than ever before. Wiener the whiner is a New Yorker control freak that would argue with his on mother just to make a wrong a right. There is nothing more entertaining than watching two New Yorkers fight like a couple of pit bulls. And for the democrats to get a spine is a joke, they should try common sense and accountability, then listen to the folks that don’t like their stupid legislation and bills that are laden with “PORK” that the taxpayer has to pay for and maybe stick the their pay as you go rule, then again just another democrat joke.

    August 1, 2010 at 10:32 a.m.

  • Weiner acted like a child having a tantrum. They do not need the Republicans, they have a majority. He is reacting to his own party waking up to the fact that this administration is against most of what the majority is for and failing to back legislation that has unpopular issues in it.

    August 1, 2010 at 9 a.m.

  • Mike, two years ago, in fact, four years ago, Democrats took over the majority of Congress. So you have to go back farther than that to blame the GOP.

    August 1, 2010 at 8:56 a.m.

  • do a search, you will find that Republicans did not vote for this bill due to the back door amnesty. Why do you want people to not know the truth, Mike? Is what the Democrats are doing so bad that you do not want people to know about them? Be proud of what your party does or change.

    Read the bill.

    August 1, 2010 at 8:04 a.m.

  • Jbj
    I have warned you several times,I do not host a blog for your lies.
    This blog is not about illegal immigration.
    Leading republican. Did not mention that as reason for voting and as usual ,you didn't leave a link or proof....Want to post lies ,write your own blog.

    August 1, 2010 at 7:10 a.m.

  • jbj jbj

    This comment was removed by the user.

    July 31, 2010 at 9:24 p.m.

  • born2Bme "History does repeat itself and people never seem to learn that"

    As if the Reagan's '80s S&L disaster wasn't enough, we did bigger and better under W. I can't wait for the next one.

    July 31, 2010 at 7:06 p.m.

  • Anthony Wiener missed an opportunity to take off his shoe and pound the podium with it to drive home his point - nonetheless very impressive display of mock outrage over the allocation of other peoples money.

    And a tip of the hat again to the logic that if George Bush had huge deficits, it's OK to continue that practice. Not only continue it, but double and triple the deficits.

    Rise in Federal Debt by Year:

    Year $ Billion

    2001 133
    2002 420
    2003 555
    2004 596
    2005 553
    2006 573
    2007 501
    2008 977
    2009 1889
    2010 1910 * estimated

    July 31, 2010 at 7:06 p.m.

  • I was under the impression that family farmers started losing their backsides because of the glut of products on the market brought in from other countries.
    The average family farmer has no choice but to sell their crops right after harvest when the prices are low, and the ones who can afford to hold it until the prices go up, get the higher price and start a glut on the market right before harvest.

    July 31, 2010 at 6:45 p.m.

  • Very much on topic but don't expect me to shed any tears for the less that 1/3 of 1% who did not hire a attorney to set up a Bypass Trust Fund....Congress will probably go back to 2009 rates where there was a $3.5 million Gift & Trust exemption plus deductions before paying the 45% rate....This bill helps those from Montana,the Dakotas and Nebraska because Ben Nelson and other western states senators want this for their large ranches..They don't want to pay taxes or lawyers..:-)..

    Got to go watch the new Berkmanless,Oswaldless Astros...:-)

    July 31, 2010 at 6:02 p.m.

  • A little off topic, concerning the estate tax. IMO, the estate tax was the principle culprit in the demise of family owned farms and ranches, thus allowing corporate farming and ranching interests to buy up the land and control a large portion of US food production.

    A farmer dies and leaves his farm to his two sons, the land value of the farm is $X, pick any large number you want. The farm makes a profit of 4% of the land value a year, but the two sons are hit with a tax bill of 25% or more of the land in one single year. They don't have the cash to pay the tax, a federal tax lien is issued against them, their credit to buy feed, fertilizer and fuel is cut off due to the lien. No crops to recoup another 4% the next year and the farm goes up for auction.

    "Land rich, money poor."

    July 31, 2010 at 5:23 p.m.

  • Legion357
    You had me confused but maybe it needed more info..Rep. King co-sponsored the bill and even voted for it,he is for it but he was mad because his cohorts were not allowed to add amendments..12 Republicans voted for the bill and 4 Dems voted for it....This bill will eventually pass either by the current Dems or the new makeup of Dems & Republicans.

    I not sure about the pecking order but I'm sure we will have a comprehensive veterans bill next session because of all the suicides and extra care our vets will need, when they come home....This 9/11 responder bill has been pending for quite a few years.

    July 31, 2010 at 5:19 p.m.

  • Well Mike, other than one comment at the end of my copy and paste job, (sources provided), I guess I was just providing more information on one topic of your blog.

    Rep. King does have a point in his tit for tat with Rep. Wiener on a source I sighted.

    "This bill should be more important than a campaign talking point. You could have passed it any time during the past three and a half years but you want political cover," King said.

    Then Mr. Wiener bowed up, (That sent queens Democrat Anthony Weiner into a red-faced rage. ) to Mr. King. But Mr. King does have a point, this is a heart string issue, (bill), it could have been introduced numerous times and passed, why now? Politics, I know both Reps. are correct.

    Also why does the benefits paid out rank higher on the pecking order than health care for veterans?

    Anyway, the tax cuts to expire? What you pointed out in your blog makes it clear that the benefits the top 2% receive does not have the effect on business growth presented by the GOP. They mainly save money on their investment (stocks/bonds) income. Good info.

    The estate tax? Although unfair, taxes where paid when the estates where built, I agree, how many people right here on this forum are heirs to a estate big enough to worry about it?

    July 31, 2010 at 5:03 p.m.

  • I am writing about a pattern Rep. Anthony Weiner style...Want to vote against extending unemployment benefits,health care for NYC first responders (which GOP rep. King co-sponsered)a grant for small community banks ,so they lend to small business ,small business tax cuts,Wall Street Reform,and a jobs bill;do it but have some conviction...It's not because Pay Go or the deficit because the GOP will cut taxes on the rich in heart beat and repeal the Estate Tax...

    July 31, 2010 at 4:40 p.m.

  • Legion357
    Do you have a point ;somewhere in between all the cut & paste?

    July 31, 2010 at 4:26 p.m.

  • TXwader
    I guess we don't see eye to eye because you don't stay on topic. This blog is not about welfare,babies,retirement...Please try to stay on topic;it's simple...Why does the GOP won't ~95% against unemployment benefits,benefits for 9/11 first responders,and the jobs bill?..I can see many 25 senators but all 41......This blog is about how they will govern...They are for tax cuts for the rich and repealing the Estate Tax...

    July 31, 2010 at 4:23 p.m.

  • * Businesses in New York City, particularly in lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center, have received $23.3 billion in compensation for property damage, disrupted operations, and economic incentives. About 75 percent of that came from insurance companies. More than $4.9 billion went to revitalize the economy of Lower Manhattan.
    * Civilians killed or seriously injured received a total of $8.7 billion, averaging about $3.1 million per recipient. Most of this came from the Victim Compensation Fund, but payments also came from insurance companies, employers and charities.
    * About $3.5 billion was paid to displaced residents, workers who lost their jobs, or others who suffered emotional trauma or were exposed to environmental hazards.
    * Emergency responders killed or injured received a total of $1.9 billion, with most of that coming from the government. Payments averaged about $1.1 million more per person than for civilians with similar economic losses, with most of the higher amount due to payments from charities.

    July 31, 2010 at 4:18 p.m.

  • TXWader,

    You are not looking as to why so many people are on welfare, food stamps, medicaid, unemployment, SS, etc.
    It's Republicans that cater to the big businesses that are moving jobs overseas, moving offshore to get out of paying taxes, cutting wages here, are against livable wages for our citizens and for tax cuts for those that do not need it, as apposed to those that will spend the money, banks who will not lend to small businesses, wall street that is allowed to steal everything from everyone that they can, and a war that is sinking us into the pits of hades.
    Oh yeah, republicans policies are what got us into this mess, so put the blame squarely where it belongs.
    I do not, however, agree with the amnensty thing. We need to take care of our own first.

    July 31, 2010 at 4:01 p.m.

  • H.R.847

    Introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-14th Dist-NY) the bill has 115 co-sponsors including a few Republicans. The legislation would cover approximately 50,000 responders and survivors of the World Trade Center attack.

    Some Republicans oppose the funding of the bill

    Some Republicans have expressed concern about the way the bill is to be funded. The bill is introduced as a mandatory spending bill and will run for 10 years.

    Mandatory funding of legislation means the program would be automatically funded every year just as Social Security and Medicare are. It would be exempt from annual Congressional review and would not have to go through the appropriations process every year.

    Republicans point out that other medical programs, such as health care for veterans, are not given this special treatment.

    Named after James Zadroga, an NYPD detective who died from respiratory disease related to 9/11, the $7.4 billion bill would provide healthcare and compensation payments to those still struggling with exposure to Trade Center toxins.

    Watching it all from his home on Long Island was John Foal, a responder who lost half his foot in the days after 9/11.

    "We need healthcare. We need that compensation. So many men and women are financially burdened," Foal said.

    What about the new health care bill? would they not be covered?
    Or maybe it is the $148,000 each for 50,000 people they would be eligible for?

    July 31, 2010 at 3:40 p.m.

  • It's funny Mike that you see one side and I see another. I see democrats doing the same tricks that you accuse the republicans of doing but I don't see you writing about that.

    With that idiot Peolosi wanting to tax our retirement and with the democrats wanting to pardon illegals...please try to concentrate on those types of criminal acts.

    What I'll never understand about a democrat is that they think it's okay to take from those who earn their money and to give it to those who do not. That it's okay for people not to work and to simply live on the tax dollars that WE pay. That it's okay to have baby after baby when there is no way to pay for their delivery or care; let those who actually work for a living pay for that as well.

    Would you, Mike, as a die hard democrat please tell us why you support this type of governing?

    July 31, 2010 at 1:58 p.m.

  • oh goody, do we get to go back to the Reagan/Bush years fiasco in January?
    I better start putting my money away now because it isn't going to be any better this time than it was last time. History does repeat itself and people never seem to learn that.

    July 31, 2010 at 12:38 p.m.