Who's being 'extreme' here?

In debt debate, media perpetuate myth of intractable Republicans

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Never have the news media or the news makers been more disingenuous.

If the Democrats who control the White House and Senate and the Republicans who control the House can't agree on a deal to raise the nation's debt limit by Aug. 2, it will most assuredly be the fault of only one of the parties, in the "mainstream" media's view: the Republicans.

And, of course, the Tea Party. CNN's Fareed Zakaria over the weekend lamented the rise of the conservative movement, noting that "many people" -- the media love to use "many people" as cover for "here's what I think" -- are pointing fingers at the Tea Party, blaming them for the loggerheads in Washington.

"Why has the Tea Party become so prominent?" he asked plaintively. "Why is it able to dominate Washington?"

Well, perhaps because their concern for the country's financial future won the election last year, Mr. Zakaria. Maybe they're right that the country is headed off a financial cliff. And maybe a lot of folks agree: Your own CNN poll last week said 66 percent of Americans agree with the House Republican Cut, Cap and Balance Act -- including 63 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents -- in which "Congress would raise the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved."

It's interesting that leftists in the media ignore the will of the people -- and then try to blame one side completely in a disagreement.

Let's turn this around for Fareed: Why are Democrats so opposed to badly needed spending cuts, Mr. Zakaria? If Tea Party balanced-budget dogma is to blame for the debt impasse in your eyes, isn't it just possible that others could see the left-wing soak-the-rich hysteria as the problem?

Moreover, consider: For two years now, Democrats in the House, and now the Senate, have failed to produce a federal budget. Just haven't even tried to write one. The Democratic president wrote a budget that was literally a joke: It earned not one vote in the Senate. Not one.

And yet, Mr. Obama tries to pretend as if he's the adult in the room, that he's the responsible budget-cutter. That's another joke.

He's hanging the country up precariously on a hook, making world markets and ordinary Americans jittery, to press his ideologically rigid view that the half of Americans who pay all the income taxes in this country aren't paying their fair share!

You want to talk "extreme, refuses to compromise, and cares more about purity than problem solving," Mr. Zakaria? Talk about the president.

Mr. Obama tried to make this about corporate jet owners, when he knows the real problem in the federal budget is untold trillions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid promises we've made that we can't keep. He tries to claim the Republicans are walking away from talks, when sources say what is really happening is that he keeps changing the terms he'll accept (from $800 billion in new revenues to $1.2 trillion).

Have you noticed that the Republicans are the only ones that have put forth a plan? Where is the president's plan? For anything ?

The federal government is on track to consume its host: Historically around 18 percent of the economy, the federal government has grown to about 25 percent. Even Cut, Cap and Balance would allow it to remain at about 20 percent.

It's just the responsible thing to do -- for today and for future generations.

The Washington Post reported Monday that a Republican aide wrote this in an e-mail: "The Speaker, Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell all agreed on the general framework of a two-part plan. A short-term increase (with cuts greater than the increase), combined with a committee to find long-term savings before the rest of the increase would be considered. Sen. Reid took the bipartisan plan to the White House and the President said no."

Yet, perversely, the "mainstream" media are bent on tarring Republicans as irresponsible and, by extension, the plurality of Americans who put them there.

Sadly enough, it just may work.

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1SGEssick
5
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1SGEssick 07/26/11 - 01:44 pm
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0
It is time to stop looking

It is time to stop looking backwards at who is to blame or who is to be diefied and instead look at the present and the future. It is entirely immaterial if our economic mess has its origins in Reaganomics or the aftermath of September 11. All that matters is that we have a serious economic problem.

In my family we understand that it is sometimes acceptable to borrow money. But, when we borrow it is always with the knowledge that we have the income to pay the bill. I suppose that I can accept a government that does the same.

What my family does not do is borrow without the ability to pay the bill. And this is what America has been doing.

Clearly the answer is to do one of two things. Either we must spend less so that our income covers our expenses or we must earn more. We have a number of options within those two basic methods -- including doing both for a short time.

There is nothing inherently wrong with both spending less and earning more in order to reduce our debt load. Democrates appear to want only one option -- increase revenue. Republicans appear to want only one option -- decrease spending.

I say we do both. We drastically cut spending short term and eliminate all of the pet projects and special interest programs while simultaneously raising taxes. We give both parties what they want and force both parties to accept what they do not want.

That is true compromise.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 07/26/11 - 01:47 pm
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nofanofobama. The "new

nofanofobama. The "new reagan" is currently having his/her childhood, school records, adulthood, political career, personality, appearance, accent, intelligence, personal health, friends & family ripped apart and attacked mercilessly by the state controlled main stream media and the progressive machine.

As long as they remain in charge, the "new reagan" will likely never surface to save us. We need inspiration, vision, hope, leadership and love of America from our President. Sadly, he was the last one who had that.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 07/26/11 - 01:48 pm
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1SGEssick Your compromise is

1SGEssick Your compromise is a fair one. The problem is, I don't trust the govt one bit. I believe they will raise our taxes and then just keep spending. They might not do it day one but they will definitely do it.

It's unfortunate, but politicians in this nation have gotten so money and power hungry that they will do just about anything - including bankrupting us- to gain both.

How do we guarantee that they will stop spending? Stop giving our money away to those who can but won't work? Stop giving our money away to every other nation arount the world? We can't. At least no way that I can see. Partly because 50% of America is asleep and will vote for whoever promises them the most. Politicians know this. So....they keep right on spendin'!

Chillen
17
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Chillen 07/26/11 - 02:35 pm
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Here's what happens when hard

Here's what happens when hard working Americans and Business Owners get fed up with our ridiculous govt and its regulations, spending, and nonsense.

This coal mine operator sat in a public meeting and listened to the uneducated masses gripe & complain to federal officials about businesses polluting the drinking water & causing cases of cancer. Blah Blah Blah.

So, the operator said "I give up. I quit."

125 jobs. Lost due to wacko environmentalists and the govt.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/right-out-of-atlas-shrugged-hear-an-exas...

This administration and our federal govt are not on the side of progress or success. It is becoming more & more crystal clear with each passing day.

1SGEssick
5
Points
1SGEssick 07/26/11 - 02:38 pm
0
0
"How do we guarantee that

"How do we guarantee that they will stop spending?"

We live in a representative democracy. We guarantee what we want as a people by electing people who share our values.

In such a system you can never have absolute guarantees. But you always have the ballot.

The power of the people is in their ability to vote.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 07/26/11 - 02:43 pm
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50% of American pay no

50% of American pay no federal taxes. Half of those are living 100% on welfare or unemployment.

Do you think they will vote for politians who will cut spending? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that 99.9% of them will not. Why would they?

So, it sounds great to say that people in a democracy will elect people who will do the right thing. But. They haven't and they won't. Unless we cut off the entitlements and make sure that EVERY American pays at least some taxes (or they should have no vote, it's not fair to have Representation without Taxation).

1SGEssick
5
Points
1SGEssick 07/26/11 - 02:39 pm
0
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"125 jobs. Lost due to wacko

"125 jobs. Lost due to wacko environmentalists and the govt."

Did the mine polute, did its operation cause cancer? If so then the loss of 125 jobs seems a small price to pay to protect our fellow citizens.

Progress and success do not have to come at the price of health and lives. A prudent society ought to be able to achieve both -- progress and success along with health and life.

As with our national debt crisis this is another example of both sides wanting only their way and unable to find any other solution. And, like with our debt crisis, it is an example of why extreme views on either side are bad for our nation.

allhans
23537
Points
allhans 07/26/11 - 02:47 pm
0
0
Obama confessed in one on

Obama confessed in one on his many (campaign?) appearances in the last few days that the national debt was one trillion when he took office.

I'll bet you can find this if you research his speeches for the last week.

1SGEssick
5
Points
1SGEssick 07/26/11 - 02:53 pm
0
0
"50% of American pay no

"50% of American pay no federal taxes."

That sounds about right. In my family we have two incomes and two school children. So half of us are paying no federal taxes.

"Half of those are living 100% on welfare or unemployment."

That sounds wrong. Unless feeding my kids and sending them to school counts as their being on welfare. I thought it represented family values and civic responsibility.

There is no question that we have a large welfare population. But it scarcely compares to the number of people who work. And it is pure hysteria to act as if the welfare population is large enough to sway elections.

carcraft
25206
Points
carcraft 07/26/11 - 03:05 pm
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0
I haven't heard much from

I haven't heard much from Jimmy Cater recently. I think he is at home praying Obama gets to finish his term so he will be the worst President!

carcraft
25206
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carcraft 07/26/11 - 03:12 pm
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0
1SgEssick- Uh that would be

1SgEssick- Uh that would be house holds that pay no income tax-www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html- 47% of American families do not incur an income tax liability. Why would the adult members of those house holds vote to decrease the tax rate on those that pay income tax?

carcraft
25206
Points
carcraft 07/26/11 - 03:18 pm
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1SGEssick- The mine didn't

1SGEssick- The mine didn't even open. We are facing job losses here in Georgia because the cost of meeting the new EPA guidlines is forcing Georgia power to close two coal fired plants. (Obama said he would bankrupt coal fired power plants and it looks like that is one promise he is actually fulfilling.) Increasing the cost of energy to everybody and destroying the jobs those two plants produced. Look no further than al Gore and Ethanol to see how quickly government can screw something up. According to Reagan the most terrifying words you can heard are "We are from the Government and we are here to help you"!!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 07/26/11 - 03:39 pm
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1sgessick. 50% of Adults pay

1sgessick. 50% of Adults pay no taxes. But you already knew that....didn't you?

Carcraft is right, the mine never opened. Govt regulations stifle business.....again. No wonder unemployment is so high & we have so much tax burden on only a chosen few. Most of those 125 people would have paid taxes!!! But now, they collect unemployment instead.

That is not just a large problem, it is a giganic, severe problem. And the govt is just adding to the problem by blocking these 125 people from finding gainful employment.

More than 1 in 5 adult Americans are receiving food stamps and/or welfare. 10% of adults receive unemployment. That means that 25% of able bodied adults do not work. They live off the govt instead. 50% of adults pay no federal taxes. That's a mighty big voting block.

rmwhitley
5542
Points
rmwhitley 07/26/11 - 03:35 pm
0
0
Has anyone thought to change
Unpublished

Has anyone thought to change obama's diaper, lately?

1SGEssick
5
Points
1SGEssick 07/26/11 - 05:26 pm
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The discussion illustrates

The discussion illustrates why compromise does not occur. We spend more time jumping on the smallest available point in order to push our view of the facts than we do on trying to understand the entire scope of an issue.

"47% of American families do not incur an income tax liability" is not the same thing as "nearly half of all Americans do not pay taxes." And, it is more than just semantics.

A fundamental flaw in our tax system is the ability of people to reclaim the taxes paid because of the various shelters and rebates and exemptions that exist.

This is part of the problem and any real finance reform must include tax code reform so that every tax payer pays taxes. Does anyone even know what the gross taxable income is in America? Before a single penny is sheltered, exempted or returned in rebate, what is the total amount of taxable income reported to the IRS by all individuals and buisinesses?

Until we focus on the real issue instead of putting our various spins on things we won't be able to find solutions.

The vast majority of the 47% paid taxes -- and had those taxes returned to them because of our tax code.

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 07/26/11 - 05:38 pm
0
0
End Bush tax cuts. Cut

End Bush tax cuts. Cut spending. Leave debt cap as is. Recognize that a balanced budget is a bad idea. Admit that Jon Stewart is way funnier than Glen Beck, but that he's more political than he admits to be.

That's my formula for compromise.

1SGEssick
5
Points
1SGEssick 07/26/11 - 05:35 pm
0
0
"More than 1 in 5 adult

"More than 1 in 5 adult Americans are receiving food stamps and/or welfare."

These kinds of statements miss the mark. Unemployment in the US is very high but it is not a stigma on the unemployed. The jobs simply do not exist right now. And, the traditional jobs that use to fuel our economy may be lost to the US forever because of the cheap labor costs in other countries.

Historically the unemployment rate has been significantly lower and if employment rebounds then the number of people getting government assistance will decrease. The solution to this issue is to create more jobs.

But more importantly, none of this even remotely suggests justification for the fears being expressed -- that we will not elect officials who will pursue the will of the people.

Even if those who are elected do not pursue our specific, individual will we have no right to complain. The basic principle of America is one of majority will. Our recourse then is the same as it has been for more than 200 years. We can illustrate institutionalized discrimination and favoritism and seek redress through the courts. Or, we can go elsewhere.

It is not my right to always get my way. It is only my right to express my point of view and to let the people decide.

carcraft
25206
Points
carcraft 07/26/11 - 05:56 pm
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0
burniator-Why is a balanced

burniator-Why is a balanced budget a bad idea? I have to live with in my means why shouldn't the governmant? Maybe if the government agencies had to face fiscal contraint we would not have idiocies like Ethanol subsidies that cost more in energy in the production of ethanol than is obained from ethanol. What about watching Stossel where the government was giving away bike helmets in wealthy neighbor hoods. Stimulus money went to build windmills in China and Spain and how to teach African men to wash thier genitals. The idiots in Washington will tell you it is only $800,000.00, only? It takes me over 4 years to make that and about 8 to 10 years to net that much but hey we are talking about IDIOTS in Washinton..

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 07/26/11 - 06:06 pm
0
0
Carcraft, how much of America

Carcraft, how much of America was built without government bonds? How many of our wars were fought? How much of our military built? How much of our infrastructure? All of these things were done with unbalanced budgets.

Alternatively, consider it on a personal level. For you to have a balanced budget, you must not have a mortgage or a car payment, never get an advanced degree unless you can pay out of pocket, and never start a small business if it requires business loans.

I don't think people are really thinking about what a balanced budget means. Sure sounds catchy though, huh?

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 07/26/11 - 06:40 pm
0
0
BURN, "recognize that a
Unpublished

BURN, "recognize that a balanced budget is a bad idea?" You really are an Obama follower.

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 07/26/11 - 06:55 pm
0
0
Southern, seriously. America

Southern, seriously. America was built on investment. From day one.

We can dislike Obama without losing the ability to think. Even if some seem completely determined to prove otherwise.

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 07/26/11 - 07:00 pm
0
0
Is America a hobo? I'm not

Is America a hobo? I'm not sure that anyone in the modern economy, besides hoboes, operates on a balanced budget.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 07/26/11 - 07:52 pm
0
0
So I did what I should have

So I did what I should have done in the first place. I read the proposed amendment, and I take back what I said, because it really isn't a balanced budget amendment.

The amendment calls for no outlays above and beyond fiscal year receipts. Sounds balanced, right?

Except that borrowed funds are not considered receipts, and debt payments are not considered outlays.

So how, pray tell, does this change anything about Washington's spending problem?

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 07/26/11 - 08:03 pm
0
0
If I managed my finances by

If I managed my finances by this amendment, I could apply for as many lines of credit as possible, max them out while making the minimum payments, default when the minimum payment became too great to pay, and claim the whole time that my budget was "balanced".

Somebody else read the amendment and tell me if I'm missing something. Cause if I'm not, I really feel bad for anyone that thinks this crew is doing something different than what got us into this mess in the first place.

carcraft
25206
Points
carcraft 07/26/11 - 09:10 pm
0
0
Burniator- You are confusing

Burniator- You are confusing two concepts. You can barrow money and still have a balanced budget. You are able to budget the money you have coming in to adequately pay the bills such as a mortgage etc. The trick is to insure that your assets are equal to or greater than your debt. The problem America faces and anybody who files brankrupcy faces is when we can't pay our debt. Our expendatures and the cost of paying our debts exceeds our income. So we are becoming like the people who need to get more credit cards so we can use money from our new credit cards to make payments on our old credit cards. There are rules for barrowing. Your mortgage should never exceed 25% of your net income etc. People who violated these rules are the ones that are in trouble. The house I own is worth more because we have done remolding and have paid extra on our principal. If I defaulted to day I could sell the house pay the mortgage and walk away with cash even in todays market. I owe nothing on credit cards or car payments. What is wrong with the goverenment operating that way? Instead the government has promised people retirements, health care senior citizen health care and barrowed money it doesn't have to fulfill obligations it should have never made. Obama wants to keep offering people things that the government can't afford period and thinks that America can fulfil the promises the politicians made. The government has even barrowed money from social security so the government is using money from todays workers to fulfil promises made to yesterdays worker like a gaint ponzi scheme. Explain to me how we can go on like this?

carcraft
25206
Points
carcraft 07/26/11 - 09:14 pm
0
0
Burninator- Obama is

Burninator- Obama is increasing the debt by about 4X the rate Bush did, how is that sustainable?

eagle
94
Points
eagle 07/26/11 - 10:12 pm
0
0
Is it 2012 yet??? I'm so
Unpublished

Is it 2012 yet??? I'm so tired of Obama's socialist agenda!!

burninater
9396
Points
burninater 07/26/11 - 11:18 pm
0
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Thanks for separating those

Thanks for separating those out for me, carcraft. I agree current spending is unsustainable, I'm not arguing against that. What I'm curious about is if Congress is sincere about changing that. The balanced budget amendment has no provisions that limit Congress' ability to do exactly as it has done to get us exactly in the position we are in now.

It allows Congress to spend as much as it can borrow, with no cap on allowable debt.

This amendment looks more like a Trojan Horse than anything else, as it provides that any future tax increase must have a two-thirds majority to pass. This, I suspect, is the true purpose of this amendment. The rest looks like window dressing, particularly in light of the fact that it let's Congress spend whatever it can borrow.

1SGEssick
5
Points
1SGEssick 07/27/11 - 02:26 am
0
0
"Why is a balanced budget a

"Why is a balanced budget a bad idea? I have to live with in my means why shouldn't the governmant?"

There is a difference between living within our means and having a balanced budget. Many Americans owe for home loans, car loans, student loans, credit card loans.

We borrow the money far in excess of how much we have available as income. We do not have balanced budgets. But, we live within our means because we are able to pay the principle and interest on our loans on time every month.

We have the means to pay what we owe only because we do not have to pay back everything all at one time.

A balanced budget means that we must pay back everything and can never borrow on the promise of future repayment. That may sound like a good thing to do in normal circumstances. And, it might even sound reasonable to allow for borrowing in genuine emergencies -- such as going into debt to pay for changes that occurred after September 11.

But, I would suggest to people that we do not even do that ourselves most of the time. We do not pay with cash or debit cards. We pay with credit cards. We don't look at our bank accounts and say, "I can't afford that." We look at our credit limit and say, "I'll take two."

A balanced budget amendment is not a guarantee of fiscal responsibility. The vast majority of people are, or at least try to be, fiscally responsible. And they do so without balanced budgets but by managing their debt load.

Personally, I'd prefer an unbalanced budget. That would enable me to save money so that if a future crisis develops I've got cash in the bank to see me through.

1SGEssick
5
Points
1SGEssick 07/27/11 - 02:42 am
0
0
"Does anyone even know what

"Does anyone even know what the gross taxable income is in America?"

I asked that question. I have not found a good answer yet. But, I did find this: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/tables/11s0480.pdf.

Note table 480 where the total income for individuals in 2007 is $8.69 trillion and total tax collected is $1.12 trillion. Compare that to table 478 where the total tax collected in 2007 was $2.69 trillion.

The average tax rate in 2007 after adjustments was 13%.

Why not tax reform? Eliminate all deductions, credits, exemptions and so on. Just tax everyone, big and small, 13% taxes.

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