Will Righties Still Argue With Statistics?

Here's a link to "It's The Inequity Stupid," an article explaining what's wrong with America posted in the March/April edition of Mother Jones. The charts say it all.


Righties can't understand why so many American's are against Corporate America and those at the top. Well, it's the inequity, stupid.

What is disappointing to me is that, of the ten richest members of congress, seven of them are Democrats and all ten voted to extend the Bush tax cuts. Apparently, they are not representing the American people, though they always talk about what the American people want whenever they make speeches or are in an interview. It appears they are simply representing their own best interests and they have no clue what the American people want. Wouldn't it be interesting to know how members of congress, especially those who have been in office for a long time, can amass such tremendous wealth considering the kind of salaries we pay them.

While there are greedy pigs on both sides of the aisle, all Republicans take PAC money but 77 Democrats refuse to take any funding from PACs.

The bottom line is that PACs are controlling our government as opposed to ordinary citizens. The charts in the Mother Jones article show what has been taking place over the past 30 years. The top 20% has continuously gained while the bottom 80% has continually lost. Corporations are making record profits and executives are making more money than ever before. The "working class is making less. The right wants even more tax cuts and deregulation. They want to eliminate services many people desperately need which will cut government expenditures and allow for lower taxes for the top income earners. They are making a push for complete control over our government which will result in squashing American citizens. I believe the goal of the Right is not to squash the working class. It is simply to make more money no matter what. If it means squashing the rest of us, so be it.

Our politicians are bought and paid for. There is only one way to prevent Corporate America and it's executives from controlling us but the Righties seem to refuse to accept the obvious. They continually argue in favor of the top income bracket that takes more and more from the rest of us.

~ Take the money out of politics and all that's left is the best interests of "We, the people." ~

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  1. dreamshadow59

    Much easier said than done my friend…Never gonna happen.

    June 22, 2011
  2. VietVetTx

    What confuses me about the left is both the envy they have against those who have wealth and the notion that raising their taxes will somehow make a dent in the deficit.

    If you research the last tax roles completed you will not the breakdown is pretty staggering.

    For 2007:
    The top 1% wage earners pay 45% of all taxes collected.
    The top 5% pay 73% of all taxes collected.
    The bottom 39% pay no taxes.

    The problem isn’t taxation and the rates.

    It’s the spending.

    June 22, 2011
    1. gbakere


      June 23, 2011
    2. gbakere

      They’re both the same. The top 1% own 50% of the assets. We’re already missing an additional 5%. That’s huge! But regardless, we need the bottom 39% to do all the menial jobs out there – jobs that don’t pay enough for someone to be forced to have to think about taxes. Many of them work at McDonalds or as bank tellers or grocery clerks or whatever. Where would we be without that segment of society? I’m not a socialist, but if the people in the lower income bracket can’t get any kind of basic care, there becomes a spark of resentment that could ignite into some form of anarchy as we’ve seen in other countries including some European countries. Certainly, we can’t allow anarchy…yet…but the fact there’s resentment indicates a concerning problem.

      I believe that most people are a little jealous of those at the top. I’m not. I would never be capable of playing that game so I’m not inclined to play. Would I like their money? Of course…I only look stupid. The point is, not many of us are capable of playing that game. Should that mean that we don’t deserve to have healthcare? I know of a single woman and a family of four who have lost everything because of medical bills. The woman worked as a waitress and has always been rock solid about paying her bills. The family of four – dad was a welder and mom works at a bank. They were doing everything they were supposed to do – working, paying taxes. Both have diseases (Krones and degenerative disks) they couldn’t help – not in any way self inflicted.

      So I’m not denying, it’s the spending. I am saying we need to spend more in certain places and less in others. But that extra 5% would really come in handy. In fact, raise taxes even higher so people like my friends won’t be in debt for the rest of their lives or bankrupt. They worked so hard and had so little to begin with. Do we really want a society that says people are expendable based on their financial place in society?

      Anyway, I got a little off target. Simply put, if I’m working 40 hours a week in a warehouse and making $2,500 a month and I’m living about as cheaply as I can but my expenses rise to $2,600 a month – do I have a spending problem or a revenue problem? That warehouse might be owned by GE or Exxon.

      The Right wants to cut taxes, cut benefits and trim down our budget. That’s all well and good but the salaries at the top continue to rise while most of the rest of us are losing ground. The government can’t force companies to pay their employees more money or to give them benefits. I believe the government is responsible for the security of the citizenry. That should include making certain they don’t get ripped off by the big boys. As pure capitalism is allowed to be more and more pervasive, the gap between the top and the middle widens creating the same result as pure socialism. We rank in the double digits (I forget the exact ranking) below the top in education and in infrastructure. We should at least be in the top three. It continues…as the top gains, the bottom loses. And it builds a justifyable resentment.

      June 24, 2011
    3. jillsthoughts

      Actually I just came across information that would dispute your facts, VVT. This is a common argument for republicans, but not true.

      In an April 13, 2011, interview on NBC’s Today show, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., offered a striking statistic describing how much of the tax burden in the United States is borne by the wealthy.

      In the interview, host Matt Lauer cited a deficit-reduction plan offered by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and asked why it included a major restructuring of Medicare but protected tax cuts for upper-income Americans.

      “If that’s on the table, then why shouldn’t the burden be equally shared?” Lauer asked. “Why shouldn’t we put some of that burden on the wealthy and corporations?”

      Bachmann responded, “Well, remember, again, already the top 1 percent of income earners pay about 40 percent of all taxes into the federal government. So if you want to talk about fairness, the top 1 percent are paying 40 percent of all of the income.”

      We wondered whether she was right that “the top 1 percent of income earners pay about 40 percent of all taxes into the federal government.”

      The most recent hard data on this question comes from the 2007 tax year. It can be found in a Congressional Budget Office report released in 2010. CBO’s report shows what share of the federal tax liability was carried by various income groups. Here’s the rundown of the federal tax burden for the top 1 percent:

      Federal income taxes: 39.5 percent share
      Federal payroll taxes: 4.1 percent share
      Federal corporate taxes: 57.0 percent share
      Federal excise taxes: 4.7 percent share

      Total federal tax share for the top 1 percent: 28.1 percent

      So — using 2007 numbers at least — Bachmann is off by quite a bit. She’s even further off if you use an estimate for 2010 by the centrist to liberal Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, which pegs the share of all federal taxes for the top 1 percent at 22.7 percent.

      Bachmann would have been right if she’d said, “the top 1 percent of income earners pay about 40 percent of all income taxes into the federal government.” But she didn’t say that — and even if she had, her decision to focus on income taxes, rather than looking at the whole federal tax picture, would have presented the numbers in such a way that wealthier Americans would look more heavily taxed than they are.

      As a general rule, the burden of the income tax is tilted heavily toward the upper end of the income spectrum. The payroll tax burden is also tilted toward the upper end, but the payroll tax differential for rich vs. non-rich is not quite as great as it is for the income tax. For instance, the top 20 percent paid 86 percent of the income tax, but 42.9 percent of the payroll tax. Also, the Social Security portion of payroll tax applies only up to $106,800 in income. Meanwhile, the middle 20 percent of earners paid 4.6 percent of federal income taxes in 2007, but 16.6 percent of payroll taxes.

      So for critics of taxes — and Bachmann certainly is one — it packs a greater wallop to cite income tax burdens for the wealthy than it does to cite their overall tax burden. But in this case, she didn’t define the statistic she was using correctly. So we rate her statement False.

      Update: The original version of this story said, “Also, the payroll tax applies only up to $106,800 in income, with no tax on earnings above that limit.” It should have noted that the income limit applies only to Social Security taxes.

      June 26, 2011
      1. VietVetTx

        I tried posting this in this thread but could not since it will not format correctly. So you will need to go to the link.

        These are taken from the IRS.

        Look at table six.

        Now look at the percentages of top 1% and the bottom 50%.

        Again this is gathered from the IRS.


        I cannot speak about the comments in your post. But I can read the evidence presented by the agency that actually does the taxing.

        And, if you are an employee, you do not pay 16.6% on Social Security. Your employer matches your contribution to make that figure.

        I’m not sure I can take politifacts as a reliable source over the IRS.

        June 27, 2011
        1. jillsthoughts

          From the article I posted, "Bachmann would have been right if she’d said, “the top 1 percent of income earners pay about 40 percent of all income taxes into the federal government.” But she didn’t say that — and even if she had, her decision to focus on income taxes, rather than looking at the whole federal tax picture, would have presented the numbers in such a way that wealthier Americans would look more heavily taxed than they are."

          Your chart shows what was taken in by the IRS/ income tax. But your statement, and Bachmann’s as well, is deceiving because you both say they pay 40% of ALL taxes, which is not true. The top 1% paid 28% of ALL federal taxes in 2007.

          June 27, 2011
          1. VietVetTx

            Your chart shows what was taken in by the IRS/ income tax. But your statement, and Bachmann’s as well, is deceiving because you both say they pay 40% of ALL taxes, which is not true. The top 1% paid 28% of ALL federal taxes in 2007.

            I said they pay 40% of federal income tax on earned income. Period. I posted a link to a chart that verifies that from the IRS.

            The article you posted has problems.

            1st NBC and Jeffrey Imelt are so entrenched with Obama, and any real journalism proffered is suspect more than even the complaints about Bachman. Or did GE’s tax break get past all of you? The good old boy system in action.

            Further Imelt had a very large hand in writing the healthcare legislation. Since GE will benefit greatly from universal healthcare, one would think a conflict of interest would have arisen which would excused him from both using his media arm to skew the truth and his involvement in the fashioning of socialistic healthcare.

            But it didn’t.

            So MSNBC and NBC write scathing articles using statistics to skewer the rich. Those greedy people who create jobs, match SS when workers pay.

            The system for SS has been in place for decades. Why was this not an issue before the failure of Wall Street.

            Then you take information from politifacts.com as proof of who pays what ignoring the cold hard facts gathered from the IRS. Then you mix in Social Security as part of taxes collected when I am speaking about one aspect only. The percentage of earned income taxes paid by what percentage group of the US.

            If you have an argument with the statistics, then argue with the IRS. They posted them as public record.

            I also notice not one of you folks defending the sketchy information spoke once about the contributions of the bottom 50% as far as personal income. It’s pretty difficult defending a position of the down trodden when they contribute a total of 2.71% of taxes collected for personal income.

            Further, since this is a general response. I owned a business. I paid all my taxes. I also worked twice the hours of the people who worked for me. I started from scratch and there were times I was behind on my personal bills so the employees could get paid. The idea the rich, and by the standard of what this administration believes is rich, I qualified, somehow are screwing the worker is laughable.

            I took the risk. I gathered the money from when I worked for others. I also took short term loans when the business needed it. I made the decisions and if they were wrong I ate the cost out of my end.

            Not once did I miss a payroll nor SS matching for employees nor a quarterly tax payment. Because when you run a business you pay taxes every quarter.

            I also had to work through a percentage of my work force that did enough not to get fired. That in and of itself says a great deal to those who have managed businesses for others ( I did) and managed them for themselves, (I did that as well.)

            Reread that paragraph again. There are a percentage of employees that see the vision and are the core of the business. Then there is a larger percentage that works hard. Then there is a group that does the bare minimum to keep the job. They usually are the most vocal as well.

            The real truth in this thread is this. If you want more, then do what it takes to earn more. There are opportunities everywhere, but there are those who think a forty hour work week is enough.

            If that doesn’t move you to another tax bracket, and you find that appalling then perhaps you should use your noodle and be more successful.

            I thought I worked a great deal when I spent 85 hours a week at a management job I had before owning my own business. But the guy I worked for who made millions spent 95 plus. I asked him why he never took vacations or have hobbies just to get away and he told me something that has stuck with me for thirty years.

            “This business is my hobby. Everyday is like a vacation because I am doing what I enjoy. This isn’t work to me at all.”

            That is the secret.

            By the way, how did the French revolution work out for the French. They were starving when they revolted. Once they removed the nobility (read rich) they starved worse.

            When I was young I worked in the warehouse sweating and lifting. They hired my back and not my brain. I thought i worked harder than anyone in the business.

            Up until the day I was moved into management. Then the real work started. Because it normally was hours 41-55 that set the course for the company. When the workers went home and the decision making commenced.

            June 27, 2011
            1. jillsthoughts

              Another source for tax information: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/04/18/super-rich-see-federal-taxes-drop-dramatically/

              “Still scrambling to file your taxes? You’ll probably take little consolation in hearing that the super rich pay a lot less taxes than they did a couple of decades ago. And nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all.

              The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.

              Over the same period, the average federal income tax rate for all taxpayers declined to 9.3 percent from 9.9 percent.

              The top income tax rate is 35 percent, so how can people who make so much pay so little in taxes? The nation’s tax laws are packed with breaks for people at every income level. There are breaks for having children, paying a mortgage, going to college, and even for paying other taxes. Plus, the top rate on capital gains is only 15 percent."

              Go to the link for the rest of the article. They state that the top 10% of taxpayers pay 44%, which would not account for the top 1% paying 40%.

              As a small business owner, I ended up paying 11% taxes for 2010.

              June 27, 2011
            2. jillsthoughts

              The wealth also control 42% of the money, so there is that, as well… http://www.mybudget360.com/top-1-percent-control-42-percent-of-financial-wealth-in-the-us-how-average-americans-are-lured-into-debt-servitude-by-promises-of-mega-wealth/

              June 27, 2011
            3. gbakere

              No one should try to diminish what you’ve accomplished or how you accomplished it. I have a problem with some of the things you’ve stated.

              1. Jeffrey Immelt is not the only one ripping off the government. I know that you know that but it is becoming more and more obvious that it happens across the board by top corporations and their executives. In addition, politicians on the right take PAC money more than those on the left. There are 77 legislators in Congress who take no PAC money. They are all Democrats except for one independent. I’ve never heard of a single legislator on the right that doesn’t take PAC money.
              2. You assume that everyone has the same abilities that you have. If you succeeded in business because you found a passion you capitalized on, that’s great but if you were to ask most people what their passion is, they either don’t have one (or more) or it would be something like fishing or baseball or their kids or something they probably wouldn’t stand a chance of building a business on. Even that is assuming that simply having a passion and working hard at it can make you successful. Many people are completely incapable of running a business where they could work at their passion – if they have one.
              3. Most people have absolutely no desire to own a business and deal with all the headaches that go with it. You must also have a passion for business. In addition, most people are not risk takers. Most people do not have the intellect or the education necessary to run a business. For that matter, when it comes to people skills, most business owners don’t have the intellect or education to run a business. In today’s times, they can thrive in spite of it because where jobs are concerned, it’s a buyer’s market.
              4. What most people want is simply to have a job that’s tolerable, work 40 hours, and be able to make a reasonable living. Most people are reasonably good workers – yes, some are great and some are garbage but the average worker is more than willing to do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage.

              We see our economy deteriorate at a nearly unprecidented rate. We find out that it was Wall Street and the lack of regulations on the way they conduct business that caused it. We find out that The Koch Brother and others not only contribute huge amounts of money to political campaigns, but they have set up think tanks to develop marketing techniques for politicians on the Right – many of those techniques include outright lies. “Repeat it often enough whether it’s true or not and people will believe it.”

              My philosophy is definitely left of center. I voted for Obama but finding out his 2012 campaign could cost as much as $1 BILLION is something I find absolutely appalling. Whose hip pockets is he in?…GEs?…others?…no question. So, while I believe the Left is perhaps a little less guilty of being bought and paid for than the Right, there is no question in my mind that virtually all politicians are guilty. I have a particular problem that our Commander In Chief who is a Democrat is one of the most guilty ones.

              As I have said over and over, we can’t even have a real discussion about many of our differences because the environment is so muddied up by the flow of big money sponsoring not only our politicians, but many of the causes they represent. It’s all designed to widen the gap between us. If anyone wonders why we are so polarized these days, all one needs to do is follow the money.

              ~ Take the money out of politics and all that’s left is the best interests of “We the people.” ~

              June 27, 2011
      2. gbakere

        As we all know, there are statistics, and there are statistics which was the point of this post to begin with. First of all, I think the most telling stat in the article is how the incomes of the wealthy have so radically increased while the "working class’ incomes have remained virtually unchanged or actually dropped after taxes. Taxes on the wealthy have gone down while taxes on the working class have gone up and the gap widens. It simply seems unfair that the wealthy continue to see prosperity and growth while fighting to cut programs for those in need. Production is up 80% and only the wealthy have benefitted from that.

        Certainly, there is nothing in writing that says workers should reap any portion of the benefits when a company becomes more profitable but in contrast, nor should the workers be expected to pay more for for essentials such as SS and Medicare and/or healthcare in general. Also, according to the chart, the top 10% were not hit nearly as hard by the housing crunch as average Americans because their investment in housing amounts to a much smaller percentage of their net worth.

        mnicholson2 put up a great post about the right-wing propaganda machine that’s really worth taking a look at. http://www.thoughts.com/mnicholson2/the-inner-secrets-of-the-right-wing-echo-chamber

        Its bad enough that our politicians (both sides) lie and distort the facts to fit their own interests. It’s even worse when the media does it and worst of all, in my opinion is the idea there is collusion between our (bought and paid for) politicians and those who pay for their campaigns to deliberately distort the picture to Americans in order to gain votes.

        The #1 problem in our country today is that our government is bought and paid for. Please make this a priority point in your blogs and comments that relate to our political system. We need for our government to work for US again.

        ~ Take the money out of politics and all that’s left if the best interests of “We the people.” ~

        June 27, 2011
        1. jillsthoughts

          I agree with what you have to say here.

          June 27, 2011
      3. jillsthoughts

        I am looking at what Bachmann said in the interview as she used the same statistics as VVT, which are being used in a deceiving way. I am sure you were equally upset with her interview with Chris Wallace this weekend? Ouch!

        June 27, 2011
      4. numenian

        We are at a definite and mortal crossroads in America. Forget the differences, please. Yes, those differences as to our direction and purpose are important, vital, yet continuing to back extremist and deepening the divide is not helping.

        June 27, 2011
    4. gbakere

      Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

      June 24, 2011
    5. VietVetTx

      I read the article on Yahoo – that bastion of right wing consevative thinking – and now cannot find it. I did however find this.


      This doesn’t support what I said, but be advised I was not trying to mislead. However there are some graphs that illustrate how taxes are collected.

      It does show however the top 1% paid 40.42 % of all taxes collected in 2007.

      The fundamental point I am making is this.

      Why should one American pay a higher percentage of his or her income in taxes than any other American just to be an American?

      Now if your answer is because they can afford it then this takes the discussion down a completely new path.

      Envy is a terrible thing. An emotion which erodes common sense. Envy is the foundation of those in politics who use the catch phrase, “the rich don’t pay their fair share.” This is a simplistic comment with a specific target in mind. Politicians of today know the power of the soundbite. They understand using this phrase will echo through the rank and file of the electorate who somehow feel disheartened by life.

      The truth is this. If you vote for me, I will go get that greedy person’s money and you shall share in what I make him tithe.

      This is simple class warfare. What makes it even more disingenuous is the fact that the person uttering this comment in most likelihood is rich and makes well over the government’s Mason Dixon line of what is defined as rich. That figure is an individual who makes more than 250,000 a year.

      If you review table 6 you will note since 1980 the bottom 50% pays less than 8% of all taxes collected. And during the Bush era, one known for the greediness of the haves over the have nots, the bottom 50% paid less than 3.91% and dipping to finally bottoming out at 2.70%.

      So with this information, doesn’t the rich don’t pay their fair share kind of ring hollow?

      The problem in this country is not the taxes collected. Fact is we have collected more taxes recently than ever before.

      The problem is both Democrat and Republican politicians using their ability to write laws and spend money using these to buy votes.

      If I bring home the bacon, you will vote for me no matter what. One only need witness tax cheats from both sides of the aisle that continue to get reelected.

      Stop borrowing money to ship it overseas. Reduce spending until you are at a point you can both pay for monies borrowed and our requirements to keep society running.

      If this government stopped shipping trillions overseas, and invested that money in the return of production to this country where Made in America again meant something, then a great deal of our troubles would go away.

      June 24, 2011
      1. gbakere

        You said a mouthful here. I agree with the premise that all should pay an equal percentage. Steve Forbes ran for president a few years back and he was running on the idea of creating a “flat tax” system. I don’t remember what year he ran but I’m guessing it was back in the late 80 – early 90s. He proposed that a family of four, making $36,000 or less would pay no tax. Anything over $36,000 would be taxed at a percentage rate in the teens. I thought this was a wonderful idea. You should know, at the time I considered myself to be a conservative though I had some problems with the development of certain philosophies the right was beginning to embrace. The idea of a national sales tax was discussed. Excluded from that sales tax would be basic necessities – food, clothing, other things. I also thought that sounded good as well. After that year’s election, we heard almost nothing of these ideas for change. Either one would eliminate the IRS as we know it and would make paying taxes a relatively easy, painless process. AND IT WOULD BE FAIR! At least it would be much closer to fair than our current system.

        I am in a lower income bracket. I fully believe I should pay taxes. Though the amount I pay is negligible, most people should pay taxes if for no other reason than to be part of the support system in this country. What I have a problem with is the wealthy paying a lower percentage than their employees. THAT’s the discrepancy. That gives the ones who can most afford it a break and puts the burden on those who can least afford it. That’s just wrong.

        I don’t believe anything will change until we outlaw campain bribery. The wealthy benefit most from our very confusing tax system the way it stands. The rich will pay to keep the status quo.

        June 24, 2011
      2. Earlisms


        June 24, 2011
  3. VietVetTx

    My problem with flat taxes, national sales tax, or any type of tax that tries to level the playing field is this. We still have the dogs who are both willing and able to scuttle this country for their own gain holding the law in their hands and can raise rates as they see fit.

    Let’s say suddenly the country goes to a flat tax. 12% of your adjusted income after food, rent and transportation. What stops these carpetbaggers from merely adjusting that up to 22% at their whim?

    Or if you like a national sales tax. So how quickly will a black market be formed and now housewives who are trying to make a paycheck meet a budget get arrested for shopping illegally because politicians used the bait and switch to ramp up higher taxes?

    I’m all for fixing this problem. But first we need to remove the useless rhetoric and then install something fair for all and without a doubt untouchable by the very politicians who so sanctimoniously tells us what is good for us and then we find out was a ruse to get what they wanted.

    June 24, 2011
    1. gbakere

      With all due respects, I suspect that what you’re suggesting is impossible. If we took away campaign financing, we might be much closer to ending the useless rhetoric, but isn’t it possible that tax rates should be allowed to fluctuate to some extent? Markets change, costs change – many factors can change. Shouldn’t our tax rates be based on a percentage of GDP? Even at that, should there be a high and a low based on needs – needs for infrastructure, education, healthcare, disasters, etc.? I know, it seems likely we’ll always be at the highest end of that scale. But if it were based on a percentage of another number that we can all understand, we can have a better idea as to whether or not we’re spending our money relative to what we’re bringing in. Right now, the government is speculating with tax rates as if they were investing in the stock market. Nothing relates well to anything else and they keep all of us confused as to why things are done the way they’re done. Even still, without eliminating campaign bribery, all arguments are moot because we can never know if our politicians are working for the benefit of the people who elected them or for the benefit of their sponsors. The way it is now, we can only assume they are working for their sponsors.

      June 24, 2011
  4. VietVetTx

    I posted this in another thread. It’s kind of herky jerky but it tells a true story. This is our govt in action.

    When I was in Viet Nam I drove a truck. I was assigned a detail in which I would supervise six trucks taking depot crated combat boots to be burned. What that means is these were brand new boots still in crating with plastic protecting the boots taken to be burned. There were two hundred pair per crate. Fourteen crates per truck. Six trucks three times a day, six days a week for three weeks. Each pair cost the govt 9 dollars.

    That is 453600 a day times six days. Which equates to 2,721,600.00 dollars.

    The point of telling you this is the following. This was a supervised effort which ended up sending more boots than needed. They were burned to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Viet Cong.

    Now the Army has a section called the Inspector Generals office which audits things of this sort to prevent us from throwing away money.

    But this is not about the waste of the military, which there is no doubt is huge. This is about the entire government that wastes so much money we can’t even begin to understand the loss.

    Until we rein in spending, no amount of job creation will do much. Because the facts are that spending is the problem. To be sure people out of work is significant.

    But focusing on a govt, both Dems and Reps who use our taxes to stay in office then retire on 160K a year for life is a huge problem.

    June 24, 2011
    1. gbakere

      Amen…but who manufactured the boots that were over ordered, and what campaigns did they contribute to…or whose cousin were they? It’s not just Exxon and Citibank contributing to political campaigns.

      June 24, 2011
  5. VietVetTx

    gbak, it was a common belief Pacific Architects and Engineers was owned by Ladybird Johnson. the wife of the President. I don’t know that as fact, but the scuttlebutt was all the fire bases were built by a company which was tied to the White House.

    June 24, 2011
    1. gbakere

      Not at all surprising. Like I said, our government has likely been corrupt for a long time – probably as long as big money has been allowed to contribute to political campaigns. It just seems more blatant than I ever remember and it seems time to do something about it. Virtually everything in our government is about corruption and bribery. It seems addressing those issues should be the people’s #1 priority. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have someone run completely the premise that he/she would make that change and threaten to call everyone out who would vote against campaign finance legislation. The last time I remember anyone even making an attempt was the McCain / Feingold bill and…let’s see…how’s that working? I think it never passed – or if it did, it didn’t go far enough – I don’t remember.

      June 25, 2011
  6. VietVetTx

    gbak, I’d like for you and crazy to consider something. Now I’m being serious here.

    This country we live in is the most wonderful place on the earth. There are more opportunities for those willing to take responsibility and make the needed sacrifices and success is attitude more than anything else.

    I can spend my time looking for the enemy, pointing fingers, lamenting the inequity of life.

    Or I can use mental discipline to focus on achieving.

    I challenge both of you to ignore the demons in our society, be they real or perceived, and be focused, be happy and be what you can be. So many people get caught up in the small shate and ignore that life is a success when you bring a positive attitude.

    I’d also like to say this to both of you. Being conservative doesn’t mean lacking compassion for others. But it does encompass an idea that giving a man a fish feeds him today. Teaching him to fish means he not only feeds himself for life but passes it on.

    I believe the cruelest of all inequities foisted on our society is the reality that writing a check strips one of pride of achievement and self sufficiency.

    It also is the least effort you can offer. Especially when you are taxing others for the money to cover the check.

    If this country spent more time teaching people how to be successful instead of writing a check so they can always be what they are now, then how can we lose?

    My current job requires I know a great deal about proprietary software and hardware. The learning curve for my job is well over a year. I am surrounded by those who have been hired within the last six month.

    I spend my days not just giving them the answers, but teaching them how to solve problems. My biggest reward is when someone i have taught teaches someone else.

    I’m not suggesting you are not happy, or successful. But the greatest gift is not to fret about the impoverished, but reach out and teach them the gifts you possess.

    Just a suggestion.

    June 25, 2011
    1. jillsthoughts

      Nice post, VietVetTx. As I read this, I sense that you are a true conservative, and you do realize you’re a rare breed. right? I have a couple other forum friends who are also true conservatives. I have the ultimate respect for them as well. While I tend to be more liberal (do not think “democrat party”) with a need to have a balanced budget, I appreciate someone who is well spoken. As I read this post, I take from it that you support programs that will help people build job skills and become independent. Is that correct? Because I very much agree with you on this. I like Clinton’s Welfare reform, though I really have no idea where it is at, these days. But the idea that we offer support, while pushing people to be independent, sits with me. As they get into the work force, they can start giving back what was given to them.

      June 25, 2011
      1. VietVetTx

        Thanks Jill.

        My thoughts are we need to focus more on training and teaching. Instead of giving a welfare check – and some are deserved – let’s give an education.

        I mean it’s trite but what if we really did teach the world to sing in perfect harmony?

        I despise the notion that “you are poor, and always will be so I will abandon you but soothe my conscience by giving you a check.”

        Breaking the cycle of dependence on the govt check is self serving. I wish it were more noble than that. But I also believe The Great Society legislation enacted by Lyndon Johnson had a sinister plot which was to placate the poor and keep them out of the way.

        This world is a big pond stocked full if fish for all. Everyone can dip a hook.

        It’s just some need to be taught the best and most effective ways that suits their situation.

        There is an organization here in Dallas that is brilliant. It’s called the Dallas Can Academy. You donate an old car, get a tax write-off, and they sell it and use the money to get kids who dropped out to finish high school.

        Now if Dallas can do this, why can’t this country do this with trade schools and colleges?

        So the question arises, ‘How can I not afford to get you a degree or a trade, but I can afford to give you a check every month for life and possibly your children as well because they learned it from you?’

        But Jill, I do believe that everyone who accepts a hand up needs to also be drug free. Thus your assistance is tied to you passing drug tests, which also create jobs. Maybe even a required volunteering for this endeavor.

        June 25, 2011
        1. jillsthoughts

          I am not convinced about drug testing being tied to getting assistance. I know of a few Vets who literally need pot to calm them because of PTSD. I also now of people who are addicted to prescription drugs who would pass the test and shouldn’t, based on your argument. I do think that an evaluation should be made before people receive assistance (not sure what they do now), but I can’t say I am for drug testing. It doesn’t sit well with me, is all.

          June 26, 2011
          1. gbakere

            I would agree. That’s a tough one too because it’s difficult to test for alcohol.

            June 26, 2011
      2. gbakere

        I’m chuckling as I read yours and VietVetTx’s posts. I want to include crazydog in this as well. It’s hard to express, but at the risk of sounding sappy or corny, I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to read the comments here. There are obvious differences of opinion yet we all seem to agree with the fact that America has problems and for the most part, we can all agree as to what those problems are. Usually when someone complains about the poor receiving welfare, it comes from an extreme right-wing stance that would allow those people to simply fall through the cracks. My comeback is often, “what about all the corporate welfare?” And…nothing gets addressed fairly. All of you have been open to dialog, respect and fair play and I just want to say how much I appreciate it. I also lean toward the liberal side of politics but I agree with VietVetTx’s approach to welfare. Why is our government so resistant to ideas like this that ultimately not only save money in the long run but improve the overall quality of our society? I have to say though, I have known people who need much more than simple education or job training. They’re not criminals or technically mentally ill but they are simply emotionally incapable. We would like to think that anyone can do anything in America but for some, whether it’s genetics or environment will always be lost causes…and they can’t help it because of their inability to grasp certain concepts of how society works or how they can be part of it. I’ve seen people like that at all levels but when someone is good at earning money, no one pays much attention to their emotional deficiencies.

        Anyway, I’m getting off track – Thank you all for some great thoughts here and thanks for the respectful interaction.

        June 25, 2011
        1. jillsthoughts

          I look forward to more conversations with you guys. I left Thoughts back when they made their format changes because I don’t care for this format (still don’t) but also because the level-headed people also left, and all that remained were some real goofballs (not naming any names). I just popped back last week, and I have found some good conversations, so I will stick around for awhile.

          June 26, 2011

    I’m not sure if this has been addressed yet as I don’t have time presently to read all these great comments, but I wanted to comment on the graft concerning the 10 richest members of congress and how 100% of them voted to extend the Bush era tax cuts.

    In one of my high school classes my teacher told me that there were 3 differing philosophies for those that get elected into office. One was the politician that would vote for whatever the populace requested because they felt that they were elected to represent a group of people. Another voted according to what they thought was best for the people regardless of what the populace wanted because they had the view that they were elected for their wealth of knowledge and skills to make the decisions that a legislator was tasked with. The third, as is often the case with a three-way comparison, was a hybrid of the two.

    What my teacher failed to address was a fourth type of politician, the one that will vote according to their own self interest without any regard at all for those they were elected to represent. In these 10 politicians named in the above graph I would place the stamp of this fourth category, the selfish category. I highly doubt the majority of their electorate will see any benefit from the extension of the B.E. tax cuts.

    July 07, 2011
  8. gbakere

    Please continue to post it. I don’t know how to put up the entire article. I think it tells the whole story quite well.

    June 22, 2011
  9. gbakere

    mnicholson posted the entire article on his page – not sure if that’s what you were looking at or not. http://www.thoughts.com/mnicholson2/its-the-inequality-stupid-part-ii/#002615832a004e022c44002615832a004e0383df

    June 24, 2011
    1. gbakere


      June 24, 2011