Beyond one man

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For those of us alarmed about federal spending, it's music to our ears: John McCain promises to balance the budget and even overhaul entitlement programs.

Since the long primary season began over a year ago, we were pining for candidates who would make federal overspending a central issue to his or her campaign. Only Fred Thompson did.

But now, McCain seems to be doing so, and we applaud him.

Not only is the national debt over $9 trillion, but future spending on so-called entitlement programs Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is going to cost tens of trillions more as baby boomers retire in the years to come.

Recently, McCain promised to balance annual federal spending by the end of his first term, and to overhaul entitlement programs.

As much as we appreciate hearing that, we worry about the details.

If McCain thinks he can reform entitlement spending with sheer force of will -- even the force of will that got him through five years in a prisoner of war camp -- he's giving himself too much credit.

This job is beyond one man.

Indeed, even if it weren't, does the nation want a top-down approach to entitlement reform? Evidence indicates it does not: When President Bush attempted to reform Social Security in 2005, he fell flat on his face, largely because of a top-down approach.

There were sham hearings at which public "input" was invited, but the public wasn't really invited.

Any attempt to reform entitlement programs must provide more than token efforts at public input. It cannot be imposed on us.

We like several bills in Congress, including the Cooper-Wolf bill -- named for Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., and Frank Wolf, R-Va. -- that would set up a blue ribbon panel to recommend entitlement program solutions. As with the Base Realignment and Closure process, Congress then would vote up or down on the recommendations.

The reason: Like it or not, our leaders in Washington appear unable to do what's necessary to secure the longterm financial future of the country.

If Congress can't muster the will, then even a strongwilled president needs help.

We appreciate Sen. McCain's spirit, and the fact that he's at least put this on the radar screen.

But this can't be a solo flight. He needs a squadron behind him.

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DeborahElliott2
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DeborahElliott2 07/16/08 - 03:07 am
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Well, yes, but he is proving

Well, yes, but he is proving to be not for the people, and that may swing my vote towards Obama.

SisterAbdullahX_
0
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SisterAbdullahX_ 07/16/08 - 04:50 am
0
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Deborah.....don't let Obama

Deborah.....don't let Obama fool you either. The only "people" he is for is his wife and himself.....maybe not even his wife.

christian134
1
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christian134 07/16/08 - 05:31 am
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If you believe Obama will

If you believe Obama will provide that change Deborah then please look at this man with eyes wide open and ears that hear...Obama is for Obama. That being said it is going to take a united people to bring this change in policy about..We must have a Congress, Senate, House of Representatives, a President with all the peoples interests not just a few at heart plus the people at large that will work toward a united goal...The overhauling must be in less entitlements, a return of homegrown jobs, a fair tax implemented on everyday essentials so all people will pay the needed taxes for revenue, as well as fuel that must come from our land...More importantly, we as a nation, would have to repent, call on God, turning from our immoral behaviors and I can and will guarantee this land will begin to heal...

Ga Values
27
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Ga Values 07/16/08 - 05:42 am
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Talked with God last night,

Talked with God last night, he/she said vote Bob Barr, none of the above less bad than the others.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 07/16/08 - 06:10 am
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Who supported the Rep changes

Who supported the Rep changes to the The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, no not Kennedy, not Clinton, not McCain, but the man who would inherent the executive authority Obama. Deb you are looking foolish supporting this man who will say and do anything. A friend was telling me a poll of Obama supporters indicated that 60% didn't actually know what he stood for but they were supporting him. I hope you are not amongst that crowd.

rainh2o
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rainh2o 07/16/08 - 06:15 am
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According to Obama's

According to Obama's television ad he has already personally reduced the welfare rolls by eighty percent, so that aspect of the entitlement question should be moot. Right?

Reality
3
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Reality 07/16/08 - 06:15 am
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bizarro, I don't know where

bizarro, I don't know where that statistic came from but it is probably more right than wrong....

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 07/16/08 - 07:15 am
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If only 60% said they didn't

If only 60% said they didn't know what Obama stood for, that leaves about 35% in denial. The 5% that do know what Obama stands for are voting for him anyway.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 07/16/08 - 07:21 am
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McCain has spent so many

McCain has spent so many years straddling the fence, he's going to find it difficult to take a stand. If he had competent competition, this election would be over, instead of a dead heat.

justthefacts
21805
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justthefacts 07/16/08 - 07:24 am
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How would anybody know what

How would anybody know what he stands for, it changes by the hour.

shivas
2
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shivas 07/16/08 - 07:35 am
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8 years of failure and you

8 years of failure and you still take shots at Obama who has electrified the country and brought interest and integrity back to politics. You right-wingers hate McCain because he refuses to sling mud and slander like you salivate to see and hear. Pitiful people who hate America. All you have is a negative message, lies, and 8 years of proven failure. C'mon, let's get back to scaring people with the secret Muslim talk, and black nationalism. This is what America has come to expect from you fringe right-wing fanatics, and why your politics of hate are overwhelmingly being rejected.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 07/16/08 - 07:52 am
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Shivas are you talking about

Shivas are you talking about the Dem or Rep seems a good description of both? Seems the Dem are good mudslinger also so that is a neutral argument. Both ultraconservatives and ultraliberals are antithetical mirror images. You must be an ultraliberal. I don't really care for McCain but given his vote against FISA and other changes of late he may have hope. More importantly we don't need a Dem Prez and Congress again as with the Rep mishap. Vote either for an Indep or if you have to McCain. Obama's support of FISA against all his Dem friends indicates he wants the new executive powers in that regard. Obama will be another Bush as far as being a dismal failure.

Republicant
3
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Republicant 07/16/08 - 08:01 am
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Seriously, if you want to

Seriously, if you want to discredit Obama, simply attack him on the issues. No need for all the b.s. rumor about his faith and patriotism. If he truly is not ready for presidency, that should be enough.

sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 07/16/08 - 08:17 am
0
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"Recently, McCain promised to

"Recently, McCain promised to balance annual federal spending by the end of his first term, and to overhaul entitlement programs." Uh, no Chronicle he has "revised" that (i.e. flip-flopped) and now says it will be the second term... after he wins the 100 year wars in Iraq and Afghanistan of course.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 07/16/08 - 08:37 am
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Well every news agency says

Well every news agency says the surge in Iraq is a success and even Obama has taken his rhetoric off his webpage and now is complaining about Afghanistan. Wah, Wah, Wah Obama, McCain grit, grit, grit his teeth. Gee this is it. huh. Flip flopping is good to a degree it means you realize your error and are correcting it. The greatest complaint concerning Bush is that he hasn't flip flopped on anything even when it was failing. People like sjgraci would have us leaving in caves because gee we don't want any change. Looks Obama is flapping them pancakes too.

justthefacts
21805
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justthefacts 07/16/08 - 08:49 am
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0
Repub, who as attacted his

Repub, who as attacted his faith. Only shivas mentioned it. Why can't we be critical of Sen Obama without being accused of attacking him. There was a story yesterday about how the late night comedians cannot do material on Obama. If they do, they get in trouble. So, they keep a steady diet of jokes about McCain's age. If and when Sen Obama quits running from debating Sen, McCain, I can't wait for Sen Obama to mentioned that 100 yr. war slogan.

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 07/16/08 - 08:57 am
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I hope America has not become

I hope America has not become so politically correct as you speak about late night comedians justthefacts. I would equate that to living in Iran.

DeborahElliott2
4
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DeborahElliott2 07/16/08 - 09:02 am
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Believe me people, I don't

Believe me people, I don't like either candidate, but I don't like McCain. I don't like abortions, I don't like our economy the way it stands now, and I don't like Bush. If McCain is going to be another Bush twin, he will definitely lose my vote.

justthefacts
21805
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justthefacts 07/16/08 - 09:10 am
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just the facts Biz, just the

just the facts Biz, just the facts. Sen Obama is above criticism.

DeborahElliott2
4
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DeborahElliott2 07/16/08 - 09:16 am
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I used to think America was a

I used to think America was a land of the free, home of the brave, but look at how our brave come home. Benefits are denied, no proper medical treatments until someone yells loud enough or puts it on YouTube to embarrass the government officials, and now they are saying we don't have enough government to run our lives, and trust me, I don't need anymore government to tell me how to live my life when they pass out laws that are so left field and then it gets interpreted wrong.

Reality
3
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Reality 07/16/08 - 09:19 am
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If you criticize McCain it is

If you criticize McCain it is all taken with a grain of salt, if you criticize Obama you are a racist.....America is too politically correct...

getalife
4
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getalife 07/16/08 - 09:36 am
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How did Obama reduce the

How did Obama reduce the welfare rolls in Illinois by himself? Sounds a little far-fetched like many of his positions. Saw on the news last night where Obama's tax plan will further penalize small business owners with additional taxes. That should help more small businesses to fail and more people lose their jobs. All you people that are on welfare and plan to vote for Obama, better get your work clothes out, as he plans to put you to work, ha,ha!!

I4PUTT
5
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I4PUTT 07/16/08 - 09:38 am
0
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Has anyone read the basis for

Has anyone read the basis for the Cooper Wolf bill? Dire predictions! While we waste all of our time on being petty about the two less than desirable canidates for the White House our country is going to Hades in a hand basket. Social Security and Medicare/caid are going to bankrupt this country if nothing changes. Our tax rate will triple in the next 80 years. The presidential election is what it is...let it go. We need to become actively involved with our representatives at all levels and get the right folks in office doing what's best for this country. Foreign aid must be thoroughly evaluated as we can no longer afford to support everyone else.

ITDoc
1
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ITDoc 07/16/08 - 10:25 am
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In the days prior to our

In the days prior to our information society, voters made choices in elections by actually exerting effort to learn about the candidates. The voters attended speeches, debates, even visited personally with candidates prior to voting. With all the information available to today's modern voter, it amazes me the number of people who make uneducated votes. Relying on any one source or party affiliation to decide is a disservice to all Americans. Behind every sound bite or post on a blog are paragraphs of information a person should know before coming to a conclusion. We (myself included) rant and rail against our current Executive branch. We (myself included) are the guilty parties for the state of affairs in our country because we elected them and that is GREAT news for WE are also the solution. Vote for your candidate based upon what you believe that candidate will do to improve the quality of life for YOU and yours. Then and only then will the majority rule. Using your vote unwisely (voting choice due to religion, race, sex, party affiliation) takes away your true chance for changes that benefit you. No one on Earth cares more about you than you. Use your vote to benefit yourself.

constitutionnow
0
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constitutionnow 07/16/08 - 10:30 am
0
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The ONLY way we'll ever get

The ONLY way we'll ever get this country back to the type of REPRESENTATIVE REPLUBLIC that the founding fathers intended is to get government OUT of our lives as much as possible. The ONLY way to do that is to vote for REAL change. Check out www.baldwin2008.com and vote for someone who really means what he says and says what he means!

griesella
0
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griesella 07/16/08 - 11:12 am
0
0
Putt . You say get involved

Putt . You say get involved on all levels...I agree..but Putt, almost 4,000 voters voted for Marion Williams. Someone has to educate the voters before you get change. There are those who will vote for a Barr, a McKinney, why?...They SAY they want something different, but they will never get it by making such a senseless decision. Until people genuinely want to put country ahead of self, we will get the same kind of politicians.

grouse
1635
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grouse 07/16/08 - 11:12 am
0
0
I'd rather funds
Unpublished

I'd rather funds "entitlement" programs that benefit all of of us than invasions and war which benefit no one.

griesella
0
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griesella 07/16/08 - 11:17 am
0
0
grouse..Yes, Put self ahead

grouse..Yes, Put self ahead of country...Let us continue down the same road. Let the poor remain chained to the government and the politicians who keep them there.

jack
10
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jack 07/16/08 - 11:34 am
0
0
DE2, in what way is McCain

DE2, in what way is McCain NOT for the people? Specifics instead of your usual DIMocRAT drivel.

jack
10
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jack 07/16/08 - 11:41 am
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ShivASS, any DIMocRAT

ShivASS, any DIMocRAT speaking of political hate by Republicans is laughable. The DIMs started the hate politics with Bork, continued with Clarence Thomas and knows nothing else. One only has to read the hateful left wing blogs such as moveon.org, dailykook, Media Matters, Left Angeles Times to see the real hate in politics. Repubs have never wished anyone in politics would die like you radical leftists have Cheney-not even Chappaquidic Ted..

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