Forbes' olive branch

If government raises taxes, will it slash regulations in kind?

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We appreciate and respect magazine magnate Steve Forbes and his announced acquiescence to higher tax rates on the wealthy.

Coming from Mr. Forbes, a clear-headed fiscal hawk, the concession may encourage leaders in Washington to arrive at a consensus to avoid the infamous “fiscal cliff” the country is headed for at the end of the year: massive tax increases on everyone, as well as blunt, inartful cuts to the federal budget that no one seems to favor.

What may get lost in his unexpected peace offering is what he is asking for in return – which is that, if we’re going to return to 1990s-style tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, let’s at least reduce government regulations to comparable levels as well.

Democrats, including President Obama, are nearly as nostalgic for the Bill Clinton years as Republicans are for the Reagan years. But are Democrats willing to really go there – complete with a more business-friendly regulatory environment?

The ’90s also were quite contrary to today in the way we approached dependency on government. Bill Clinton liked to talk about “ending welfare as we know it.” Today, record numbers of Americans are on government assistance – and the Obama administration has been advertising to put more people on food stamps, and recently even put up a “welcome package” on a federal website directing recent immigrants (illegal too?) directly to public assistance programs.

A return to fewer regulations, Forbes notes, also would include the repeal of Obamacare.

In summation, Forbes wrote just before Thanksgiving that a return to a Clinton-era economy must include more than just a return to similar tax rates; it must also include a freer economy, similar federal spending levels and a strong and stable dollar.

If Mr. Obama is serious about getting the economy moving again, Forbes wrote, “he has to combine Clinton tax rates with the former president’s wise management of the economy that encouraged free enterprise and a true recovery. If not, we will see a return to recession in 2013 and continue on our current path toward European-style malaise and stagnation.”

Forbes is right.

We hope Democrats in Washington will acknowledge it, just as Forbes and others are beginning to acquiesce to higher tax rates for some. We wish they would accept that there’s simply not enough wealth in America, much less in a few hands, to support the kind of suicidal spending the federal government is engaging in. Our leaders also need to deal with entitlement spending, which, alone, will bankrupt America in just a few years.

People like Steve Forbes have spread the seeds of compromise. Pray they grow.

Prayer may be the key. And we appreciate the sentiments of the Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, who – about the same time Forbes was extending his olive branch – issued a call to prayer for unity and humility and cohesion in the country:

“Having just come through a divisive national election, I am urging pastors across this country to lead their congregations in praying daily for our president, Barack Obama, and all of our elected leaders – for wisdom, Divine guidance, and that God would accomplish His will and purposes.

“While politics is noticeably partisan, prayer must never be partisan. Americans need to come together, and people of faith should lead the way, by praying diligently for our leaders whether or not they agree with them or their policies. God’s Word commands us to pray for ‘kings and all who are in high positions’ (I Timothy 2:2).

“When we look at the moral and economic decline of our nation and the international threats before us, it should be clear that we cannot solve these monumental problems without the help of Almighty God.”

Amen.

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Young Fred
19310
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Young Fred 11/30/12 - 01:45 am
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How do you define

How do you define compromise?

We've a spending problem pure and simple. We can raise taxes on successful job makers, just to make a point, but until somebody has the 'nads to take on the insatiable appetite of our bloated government nothing will improve.

I forsee deficit spending and an increasing nat'l debt into the the short-term future. Our recently re-elected president is feeling his oats and cares nothing about problems that will rear its head well after he's left office.

Techfan
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Techfan 11/30/12 - 05:08 am
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Forbes:Make your money the old fashioned way. Inherit it.

Has Forbes ever been right about anything?

"Mitt Romney will win big tonight. His popular vote margin will be between 3 – 5%. He will win the Electoral College I believe by a vote of 321 to 217, and with luck, even more. He will win all of the states McCain carried in 2008 which will give him 180 electoral votes. He will also carry the three states that normally go Republican that in 2008 went for Obama – Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia. That brings him to 219. He will also take Florida, which will bring him to 248 votes. Although the Obama campaign will deny it, it effectively wrote off Virginia and Florida several days ago.

Despite intense efforts, Obama will lose both Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Ohio the voter turnout for Republicans will be more like 2004 instead of 2008. Southeastern Ohio has a number of evangelical voters and the area also has a coal industry. Romney should win the state by up to 200,000 votes. He will also win Pennsylvania where he has not been damaged by a long-lasting barrage of negative ads.

Romney should also win narrowly in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Iowa and Colorado. He even has a chance to take Nevada. That gives him 321 electoral votes."

wayne2410
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wayne2410 11/30/12 - 05:17 am
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I think Techfans comment
Unpublished

I think Techfans comment shows us just how much comprimising the liberals plan to do. Not that I'm surprised

carcraft
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carcraft 11/30/12 - 05:44 am
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3
Has Obama been right on any

Has Obama been right on any thing? The unemployment rate was over 8% after Obama promised it would never get there if we spent $800 billion dollars. Well it was above 8% for 40 some months. We will be more respected over seas. That is why they shut shut down the embassy in indonesia, we had oout embassies demonstrated against from England to Egypt to the far east huh? You can keep your health care insurance if you like it. uh, no, I now pay higher premiums fo lower coverage and the cost of health insurance is hurting people and local governments across the country. What has Obama been right about ? LOL

carcraft
27773
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carcraft 11/30/12 - 05:45 am
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Could I throw in balanced

Could I throw in balanced budgets and cut deficits?

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 11/30/12 - 07:23 am
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Same old same old

Obama won by 3.5 million votes (332 to 206 in the Electoral College), the 5th out of the last 6 elections Democrats have won the popular vote. The Democrats picked up 2 Senate seats, despite having 21 seats up for election (and 2 Independent) vs 10 for the GOP and 8 House seats (and if it wasn't for gerrymandering it would have been many more). If a 2 million popular vote and 286 to 251 electoral college win, and a 3 vote pick up in the House and 4 in the Senate was a mandate for Bush in 2004 (and you can be sure Bush and all of the right wing media, including this newspaper, sure claimed it was), why wouldn't Obama's win be claimed the same. You sure didn't see the AC or any of the other right wing media saying that Bush sure swing to the Democrats side after that election. No, he "political capital" and he intended to use it with all of the right wing saying he should essentially just run over the Democrats. If all of that held true, then Forbes and all of the other talking head of the far right should shut up and try the Presidents plans for a change instead of blocking everything, even if it would help the country, just to make Obama look bad. Maybe they'll change the filibuster rules so McCain, McConnell will have to keep their rear ends on the Senate floor and run their mouths 24/7 like the old days. I also say, since Obama and the Democrats won a mandate, don't allow chairs, make them stand the whole time. Maybe the GOP will back off on their rcord number of filibusters and cloture votes.

justthefacts
23734
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justthefacts 11/30/12 - 08:18 am
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Techfan is correct

Unfortunately, the inmates are now running the asylum.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 08:51 am
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"Has Forbes ever been right
Unpublished

"Has Forbes ever been right about anything?"

Well...he's a multi-millionaire...must have made some correct decisions. What's YOUR net worth?

I did notice one thing about Techfan's post.....it was just as most of his posts.....don't attack a single thing in the editorial....just attack the person.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 11/30/12 - 09:14 am
8
2
Same old same old......yes it

Same old same old......yes it is Techfan.

You asked the question “Has Forbes ever been right about anything?”. Then you proceed to give us three tired paragraphs on a comment the man made about who, in his opinion, would win the election. So this man’s opinion concerning the election, although incorrect, determines that he has NEVER been right about anything? He wasn’t right about this so he must be wrong about everything else. Makes sense to me (sarcasm).

Then when a poster makes a comment about things President Obama has been incorrect on, and how his decisions have negatively affected this country, you still want to laminate on Obama winning, how many popular votes, how man electoral votes, blah, blah, blah. That has nothing to do with this article and its comments concerning Mr. Forbes, taxes, and the disastrous economy. But like you said Same Old, Same Old.

Little Lamb
47853
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Little Lamb 11/30/12 - 09:15 am
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Take it or leave it

Here's Obama's non-negotiable offer tossed to the Republicans:

Raise marginal income tax rates to married couples and S Chapter small businesses reporting more than $250,000 gross income (single taxpayers get hit if they report more than $200,000) and leave the rates for everyone else the same. Do it before Jan. 1. Then in 2013, Congress can form a sub-committee to discuss a total re-vamp of the tax code. I will not participate in those discussions because I am the president and I need to go play golf in Hawaii.

Did you note that there is nothing in there about spending cuts? Not one thing.

This is a recipe for status quo. It is a recipe for a downward spiral for a great deal of Americans. Dependency on government for food, housing, medical care, education, entertainment, etc. is destroying our moral fabric.

burninater
9783
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burninater 11/30/12 - 09:22 am
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Defense, social security, and

Defense, social security, and major health programs constitute 61% of our federal spending. Safety net programs constitute 13%. An unrelenting obsession with safety net spending, at 13%, while ignoring the rest of spending, at 87%, indicates an unwillingness to address the majority of our spending problem.

Don't get me wrong, if we ended safety net spending, I wouldn't complain about a 13% tax decrease. Unfortunately, knowing that the majority of safety net spending recipients are children and the elderly makes it impossible for me to be as disgusted with them as many seem to feel comfortable being.

Think about that situation for a moment. People complain the liberal media has portrayed the Right as heartless and greedy. Yet in their own words, the constant theme of our fiscal dilemma is that safety net spending is to blame. Obama handouts, they say. A gimme gimme voter base, they say. The obsession with the 13% component of spending, primarily on children and the elderly, while staying for the most part comparatively silent on the supermajority of federal spending, raises serious doubts for many about the seriousness of the Right's claim to want to rein in spending, and serious doubts about their basic understanding of the nature of the problem.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 09:20 am
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Little Lamb.....but he
Unpublished

Little Lamb.....but he promised to talk abou spending cuts next year....and we all know, Obama has NEVER broken a promise......right?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 09:24 am
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I would be happy if the
Unpublished

I would be happy if the Government cut me a check for all the SS and Medicare I have paid them, and I wouldn't ask for one cent from them again.....With that check I could probably retire.

burninater
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burninater 11/30/12 - 09:26 am
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Incessantly attacking

Incessantly attacking Obamacare also raises problems concerning one's seriousness about tackling spending. A full 21% of our spending is on healthcare programs. The Democrats are attempting a reform to decrease costs. It may not work, but for goshsakes, at least they're TRYING. The opposition standpoint of doing nothing in hopes the exploding trend in healthcore costs of the past two decades will magically self correct inspires zero confidence.

Little Lamb
47853
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Little Lamb 11/30/12 - 09:31 am
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Burninater:

It is the democrats who refuse to discuss cuts in Obamacare (of which Medicare is now a component) and cuts in Social Security. Now, for myself, I'm a big proponent of cutting bloat in Defense programs, but Defense should not be the only agency cut. The scalpel needs to be applied broadly.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 09:32 am
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It would be easier to take
Unpublished

It would be easier to take the Democrats seriously about attempting a reform to decrease costs if they hadn't passed Obamacare. It does NOTHING to decrease costs.....even though without reading it, they assured us that it would. Telling the American people that we must pass a bill so we can see what's in it inspires less than zero confidence.

Riverman1
90136
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Riverman1 11/30/12 - 09:43 am
5
1
Go back to Clinton's taxes AND spending.

The key under Clinton-Gingrich is that spending was a lower percentage than it is now. Plus everyone paid a little in taxes. Thank Newt because Clinton fought all the Republican measures to decrease spending. Some things never change. Go back to Clinton's taxes and spending.

effete elitist liberal
3173
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effete elitist liberal 11/30/12 - 09:50 am
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oh, by the way....

Have to laugh at ACES adding as a mere aside, "A return to fewer regulations, Forbes notes, also would include the repeal of Obamacare."
As in, oh by the way, Forbes' deal includes ending Obamacare, all of it.
This provision by itself means what ACES promotes as a fair and reasonable balanced deal that both sides can agree to will NEVER happen. If any of you on the right believe Obamacare will not continue to be the law of the land for the foreseeable future, you are living in fantasyland. Get serious!

TParty
6003
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TParty 11/30/12 - 09:54 am
3
3
"Go back to Clinton's taxes

"Go back to Clinton's taxes AND spending."

Yeah- the cry for taxes to go up is pretty high right now, and the Clinton era is being used as the example. But no one is shouting what the spending was like during Clinton!

Of course- Clinton did cut back on the military, and I'm all for defense cuts, alongside other cuts.

Investments for infrastructure, science and research need to be a priority- however cuts in other areas HAVE to be done. It's going to hurt for a year- maybe two, but we have to live within our means. We are Americans- we can cut back and sacrifice some. The Greatest generation did so.

justthefacts
23734
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justthefacts 11/30/12 - 09:55 am
5
2
Burn

" An unrelenting obsession with safety net spending, at 13%, while ignoring the rest of spending, at 87%, indicates an unwillingness to address the majority of our spending problem." You know that's not true. How can your forget the Democrats constant accusations about Romney/Ryan's plan to push Grandma off the cliff? Who again was unwilling to dicuss the tough issues?? It wasn't the Republicans.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 09:55 am
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3
"If any of you on the right
Unpublished

"If any of you on the right believe Obamacare will not continue to be the law of the land for the foreseeable future, you are living in fantasyland. "

Problem is, the foreseeable future isn't very long with the out of control spending we are seeing, and the other economy damaging policies.

effete elitist liberal
3173
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effete elitist liberal 11/30/12 - 09:56 am
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tax increase

Thought experiment (warning, requires actual thought....) President Obama proposes raising the top marginal federal income tax rate from the current 35% to 39.5%, the rate in place during the Clinton boom years. Conservatives are acting like this is outrageous. In Georgia today, total taxes (federal, state, and local) on a gallon of gasoline are 47 cents per gallon. A 4.5% increase in those taxes would amount to about 2 cents, raising the cost of a gallon of gas from say $3.22 to $3.24. Outrageous? Think about it.

Little Lamb
47853
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Little Lamb 11/30/12 - 09:59 am
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Where?

TParty posted:

Investments [i.e., government spending - LL] for infrastructure, science and research need to be a priority - however cuts in other areas HAVE to be done.

Show me where the president or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi have offered up one program, one bureau, one agency (or even one federal job) to be cut before Jan. 1.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 10:00 am
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Conservatives aren't acting
Unpublished

Conservatives aren't acting like raising the marginal rate is outragous. What is outragous is the idea that it will make a difference without cutting spending, which the President and the Democrats REFUSE to even discuss. Not to mention, it was the President, himself who said you shouldn't raise taxes during a recession....was he lying then or is he lying now?

effete elitist liberal
3173
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effete elitist liberal 11/30/12 - 10:01 am
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Humble....the foreseeable future

"The sky is falling!!....The sky is falling!!" Again, FDR had it right, "The only thing to fear is fear itself."

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 10:04 am
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I get it. If we ignore the
Unpublished

I get it. If we ignore the fact that we are just a few years behind what is going on in Greece, then it won't happen. Good plan. It worked well for THEM.

TParty
6003
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TParty 11/30/12 - 10:12 am
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1
"Show me where the president

"Show me where the president or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi have offered up one program, one bureau, one agency (or even one federal job) to be cut before Jan. 1."

I've been out of the loop for maybe two weeks- so I'm not caught up on negotiations.

But I know Obama has spoken a lot about getting rid of inefficient programs, agencies that do the same job and are redundant, while streamlining things.

This is a good example:

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/01/13/obama-to-merge-6-governme...

dichotomy
36046
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dichotomy 11/30/12 - 10:16 am
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2
"Techfan....."Has Forbes ever

"Techfan....."Has Forbes ever been right about anything?"

Forbes has been right about the economy and Obama has never been right about the economy.

Obama just released his budget. Believe me, the fiscal cliff looks like a better choice. Nothing but spending increases and tax increase from Obama. He wants $1.6 trillion in tax increases immediately and MAYBE $400 billion in taxes cuts IN THE FUTURE...MAYBE...BUT NOT NOW. Stand your ground Republicans. No immediate tax increases without equal immediate spending cuts. The $400 billion in proposed FUTURE cuts is PIE IN THE SKY and is not even A DROP IN THE BUCKET. The lying hypocrite Obama seems to have forgotten his 4 year campaign slogan of "a solution that includes both" and his Kool Aid drinking worshippers either agree with him lying or were too high on socialism and pot to remember 30 days ago. Either way I have no compassion for them as they will suffer the hardest if we go over the cliff because of Democrat obstruction on the issue of spending cuts. The Republicans are NOT obstructing here. They have put immediate revenue on the table. The obstructionist lying Democrats have not put a single immediate spending cut on the table.

Obama hasn't been right about ANYTHING in his first four years except letting the SEALS kill Bin Laden. Even a broken clock is right twice a day and Obama has not been right twice in a 4 year term. Look at unemployment, look at the economy, look at the middle east, look at your food bill, look at your fuel bill, look at your health insurance bill, and the stuff that he has engineered to happen after the election is even worse.

Obama did not get a mandate for spending increases with no spending cuts. He campaigned on "a solution that includes both". He LIED and less than 30 days later does not offer ANY immediate spending cuts to go along with his $1.6 trillion in tax increases. Obama got a mandate but it was a birth control pill, gimmee free stuff, and illegal alien mandate. He did not get a mandate for huge new taxes and zero spending cuts. Techfan is mistaken about Obama's mandate OR Techfan is saying that the people who voted for him were too stupid to understand how big of a LIAR he was when he was saying "a solution that includes both".

And now Obama is asking for the POWER to raise the debt limit on his own....without Congressional approval. Another in his Morsi move to become a dictator with no oversight. And bless my soul Harry Reid and Obama now want to change the rules of the Senate to do away to the filibuster. Something he and then Senator Obama adamantly opposed and railed against from the Senate floor in 2005 when the Republicans were talking about the "nuclear option" saying it would "take away the right of free and open debate". Now the lying hypocrites want the "nuclear option". We are facing a coup d'etat from the TAX and SPEND BROTHERHOOD. When will "more see" that we have our own Morsi right here?

You cannot negotiate with terrorists and you cannot trust terrorists. The same applies to Democrats. Now that they have shown they lied during the campaign about compromise and a "solution that includes both", now that they have shown their cards, it is time for the Republicans to stand their ground and hold the Democrats feet to the fire of compromise and demand both revenue increases AND spending cuts together.....like they campaigned on.....like they promised.......like they accused us of not offering.....at the same time.....or we should hold them to their agreement of sequestration.

The fall off of the cliff will be a much shorter drop in January 2013 than it will be in January of 2017. I recommend that Congressman Boehner adjourn the Congress, let them all leave town to go play golf or whatever congressmen do when they aren't stealing our money. Then he should leave Obama and Reid his cell phone number and put the "call me maybe" song on his voice mail.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 10:25 am
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"But I know Obama has spoken
Unpublished

"But I know Obama has spoken a lot about getting rid of inefficient programs, agencies that do the same job and are redundant, while streamlining things."

He's TALKED about a great many things. Like closing GITMO, posting bills for the public to read before signing them, unemployment not going over 8%, not having lobbyists on his cabinet.

He's real good at TALKING.

effete elitist liberal
3173
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effete elitist liberal 11/30/12 - 10:31 am
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"what is going on in Greece..."

The sky is falling, Humble, the sky is falling! The right's whole Greece shtick is getting very old. There is not now, and never will be, any comparison between the US and the Greek economies. It's a completely phony analogy. The reason Greece is in so much trouble is that their "economic engine" has never been capable, and never will be capable, of supporting Greece's levels of public spending. The US economic engine supported massive levels of public spending as recently as the Clinton administration, and even produced surpluses. It can and will again.

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