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On the road to Perdition

Terry Garlock's picture

As the Washington, D.C., standoff intensified over the last week, our mainstream media once again did what they do best: They missed the main story.

Whether in print or by TV news, the focus was on when and how a deal would be cobbled together to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default on U.S. interest payments to bond holders.

Personally, I don’t believe there would have been any default since there is plenty of revenue to pay those debts first, but other government spending of money we do not have would have been in jeopardy. Even so, the brinksmanship gives investors the jitters, and in this case, something worse.

With spin from both sides, Republicans were portrayed as the uncooperative obstacle, which indeed they were. TV news conveyed the notion that a deal, whatever it contained, would be the ultimate measure of success, suggesting that we should expect harmony in our government, smooth and cooperative functioning to get things done without these embarrassing eleventh-hour skirmishes. Are they right?

Let me reveal my sentiments this way. As a sometimes recalcitrant Republican, I had many occasions to yell obscenities at TV news while George W. Bush was president, like when he promoted the creation of a new entitlement program in Medicare Part D despite the fact we did not and will not have any money to pay for it. We couldn’t even pay for the wars we were fighting, and you would have screamed if asked to do so.

I felt quite lonesome yelling at the TV in the aftermath of 9/11 when our president created a new lumbering bureaucracy named Homeland Security. I’m sure many of you would think me irrational in my yelling, but I yelled my outrage when he turned a network of airport security workers into a new federal agency so we can now pay them for the rest of their lives.

My yelling at the TV became apoplectic in the Obama administration, to the point I had to stop watching and stick to the newspaper lest my heart or head detonate, because he raised the stakes by exploding the size of government with runaway spending that has now reached the stratosphere, doubling since Bush, with a deep ocean of red ink as far as the eye can see.

Since President Obama has proven to be an astonishing spender, and since he would spend more and raise taxes if Republicans would get out of the way, maybe it’s a good thing that he couldn’t lead a group of little old ladies through a pansy patch without serious consequences.

As the debt ceiling doomsday clock counted down to national default, he tweeted his finger-pointing from the sidelines, used a national address to do little more than criticize Republicans, and all the while never put forward a plan. Some leadership.

But that still isn’t the real story.

At this writing Sunday evening there is only agreement on a framework of a plan that trims $2.4 trillion of spending over 10 years while raising the debt ceiling an equivalent amount, triggers some automatic cuts this year if Congress does not act, adds a conditional vote on a balanced budget amendment and requires unspecified tax reforms. Much of the mud-wrestling would be yet to come, but the risk to the debt ceiling would be removed.

If this plan is enacted, I predict the Republicans will mislead you by celebrating their victory. After all, the President months ago demanded a “clean” increase in the debt ceiling, meaning without any conditions that required spending cuts, but Republicans refused to budge without the spending cuts that are part of the plan.

The President countered with tax increases, nicely disguised as “revenue,” but the tax increases the President wanted are gone from the plan. Nevertheless, watch for some spending cuts to morph first into “deficit reductions” and then become tax increases as part of the “tax reforms” called for in the plan. Call me a cynic.

Republicans will boast of their accomplishment, and it is true they did slow down the spending binge a little bit. In the grand scheme of things, though, these spending cuts are just tinkering at the edges; the spending cuts don’t go far enough to make much real difference.

Democrats will surely use their buddies in the mainstream media to successfully portray the Republicans as the bad guys, anyway, never mind the facts. But who is the real loser here?

That would be you. Well, at least those of you who pay taxes, federal income taxes for those who want to quibble. And therein lies the real story.

What if the $2.4 trillion were real, honest, spending cuts over the next decade, and not the gimmicks and accounting smoke and mirrors we have come to expect from Washington?

Even if those spending cuts are legitimate, the real story is in that same time period we will borrow $7 trillion more to add to our debt, with no plan even dreamed of to repay the debt we already owe. The real story is 43 cents of every dollar our federal government spends is borrowed from our children, a moral betrayal of the next generation, an egregiously irresponsible abdication of our duty to keep our nation strong.

The real story is only half of us pay the taxes that fund our government, while those along for the ride are one of our only remaining growth sectors.

How bad does the story have to get, I wonder, before reporters finally catch on that we are galloping down the road to Perdition? The debt ceiling deal, the $2.4 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade, merely slows down our gallop, but we are still plunging ahead toward Perdition, not even yet slowed to a fast trot.

I am confident TV news will deliver a host of talking heads this week glowing in relief that a deal finally was cobbled together, because that’s the main thing, isn’t it, that our politicians just get along and compromise, split the difference, make a deal before the deadline? They seem to believe the fighting is the real problem.

I wonder if there is any principle the talking heads would stand and fight for themselves, or whether it is always resolution they would value, no matter which side prevails?

I don’t know. But I do know their tension will be relieved by this deal and their attention will move to another story, while our collective feet continue pounding the road to Perdition, still headed relentlessly toward our national demise.

I fear the rest of the world has finally realized the depth of our national dysfunction, our complete inability to plan rationally. International investors are likely now awakened to the fact we are a house irrevocably divided, most focused on fighting each other with little chance of sensible financial decisions.

Surely they now realize that while headed pell-mell toward Perdition, half of us want our government to spend even more money that we don’t have and thereby turn up the throttle in our speed toward doomsday.

Investors don’t want us going to Perdition at any speed. They want reliability, stability and to keep uncertainty from ever rearing its ugly head.

That’s why I doubt avoiding official default will matter too much. We cannot un-ring the bell. The financial condition of the United States is now widely known to be somewhere in the range of miserable, and the best we have been able to do is slightly slow the pace of making it even more miserable, akin to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The news often portrayed this fight as an unnecessary squabble that risked the AAA rating of U.S. government securities, with default narrowly averted.

Call me a contrarian, but I believe the damage is done, that international investors are now wise to our inexorable march on the road to Perdition, even while so many of us doing the marching refuse to see where we are going.

[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City contributes a column occasionally to The Citizen. His email is terry@garlock1.com.]

Comments

I always find it funny when conservatives say we do not want to burden our children and grand-chidren with a heavy debt.

How can one disagree with that?

But conservatives seem willing to burden our heirs with a decaying infrastructure, loss of financial safety net, loss of controls over clean water and clean air, loss of health care, and many of those other investments we need to make in America to make it great. We face an ever widening gap betweeen the working/middle class and the affluent in this country. Students who attend our state colleges and universities can barely afford to attend them and often graduate with incredible debt burdens

If conservatives really want to relieve the burden on our children, they could step up to the plate and be willing to pay more taxes.

But no, that is not the kind of sacrifice conservatives are willing to make. Sacrifice to conservatives means asking the less fortunate to give more. This is an ugly,greedy, unpatriotc politcal agenda that is a great disservice to our children and grandchildren.

lion

But you forget, we can't tax all of those thousands of "job makers."

Just give all those millionaires a place to invest their money, like in infrastructure, water, and health bonds at a higher rate of interest income than they can get elsewhere and they will buy those bonds.

They won't worry then about the debt for children.

Observerofu's picture

Under a rock maybe?

Uhh they breath air... drink water and have grandparents and kids too. At least I think so.

So why do they want to poison themselves and make their grandmother eat cat food?

Stupid idiotic rhetoric. Crawl back under the rock.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Mike King's picture

Come on you know that lion still lives with his parents, and I'll wager that Roundabout doesn't charge him rent.

And where has your support of the status quo gotten us? Our elected congresspersons need to cooperate and compromise or we vote them out. What we have is 92% of what the T Party / Republicans won. OK - come back and implement what you've won and if it doesn't work, talk with your elected colleagues to reach workable solutions. It"s a shame that Americans can't voluntarily help to pay off the deficit. Many are - just not in this conversation, but looking to 'government' to solve the problem. Go figure.

NUK_1's picture

Yeah, those damn Bush tax cuts and those "greedy" rich people are the only problem....with a budget deficit forecast at 1.5 TRILLION, the issue is hardly not enough taxation, it's SPENDING, duh!

Tell u what....rescind all the Bush tax cuts(not just for the wealthy but all of them), and that gains at the most about 125 billion in revenue for a year. Hey, not bad, but what about the other 1.3 TRILLION left as an annual deficit? WAIT! DON'T CUT SPENDING! NOOOOOOOOOO!The horrors!

You can't raise taxes high enough to cover the incredible spending orgies of Bush and now Obama who has taken it way beyond that. While I know a lot of Americans have no idea of simple math and think that spending way more money than you take in is perfectly fine because the govt will take care of them, but this is the government that is going insolvent. Who is going to foot the bill for taking care of all financial obligations accruing daily in the future? Hey, just keep kicking that can down the road for a few more decades as has been standard MO forever.

Observerofu's picture

at least this is what the progressives are saying.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

The math works out, except when the interest rate on the loans is 25% and it takes over half the budget to pay the interest! And our citizens don't start selling the notes.

Families who are fortunate to still have an income are curbing spending while still paying their bills and feeding their children. Some are actually helping family members and neighbors during these tough times. Our country will survive if we as a country take the necessary steps to improve our credit rating/financial standing. . . like many American families are doing. We were warned that we were playing a dangerous game by not getting our financial house in order. By not preparing a fiscal plan in a timely manner our government is being treated the same way that a citizen would be by a 'lender'. Not naive. Not ideological. Reality. The message to Wasington: Stop the wrangling/ put your citizens back to work / get cooperation between your private sector and the government. GROW UP! Congress, cut your vacation and come back and do your job!

It is my understanding that the conservatives do not want Washington to provide any jobs or money for them!

They want IBM, Exxon, HP, Delta, and the Coal Operators to do all of the supplying of jobs. These people are currently holding onto their money for the stockholders but as soon as they don't have to pay any taxes they will provide a few under minimum wage jobs as Texas did.

If the private sector and 'Washington' can't work together - the US goes down. Some conservatives think you can have a 'balanced budget' with no revenue. Interesting take on economics - or lack of knowledge of a budget. Now we know that certain segments of this 'government' stated that their purpose was to make sure that Obama was a one term president. (M.McConnell) He represents the Republicans in the Senate. The Republicans have proudly identified themselves as 'conservative'. We'll see what happens in 2012. The Congressmen are getting an earfull in their respective districts. Their poll ratings are poor. The 'job providers' are holding on to their 'jobs' - and when one does some research, many of these CEO'S are giving the bulk of the financial support to Republicans - because they are counting on no regulations (safety or otherwise), and not having to deal with those ugly, unreasonable unions. Where is the concern for Joe the Plumber? (who is out of work)

Anyone who has had the opportunity to work with anyone in the White House knows that the President (regardless of party) takes a VACATION. You don't get those gray hairs and aging facial lines by 'vacationing'. They change location - and spend private time with family - but they are still very connected to the overwhelming job of US President.

NUK_1's picture

The US has estimated revenues of around 2.1 trillion for this budget year, yet 1.5 trillion more in expenditures. It's insane for anyone to think that balancing a budget can happen from tax increases. Repealing ALL the Bush tax cuts from the wealthy to the 40%+ non-taxpayers(some of whom get EIC to boot) adds a whopping 150 billion in revenue. That leaves 1.3 TRILLION dollars to make up. It's a spending issue above everything else.

Obviously, one way to increase revenues is for the economy and job market to improve, increasing tax revenues. Despite all of Obama's shortcomings, there truly isn't a lot a President can do to positively affect the economy short of simply getting out of the way of it. Adding layers of regulation and adopting a very pro-union stance that only furthers the exodus to outsourcing and offshore doesn't help and neither does trying to shame corporations into building plants only in unionized states or telling car mfgs to make a ton of electric cars they are having a next to impossible time selling.

I hear you. Surely among our leaders there is someone who can find a reasonable way for government and the private sector to work together so that we put people back to work and add revenue the budget equation. No one realistically expects this situation, which is global, to be solved overnight - and we are learning what doesn't work. Some of the politicians have bragged that they got over 90% of what they wanted. They'll have to live with that in 2012.

In his book, ' Dreams of my father', Obama refers to his VERY brief time working in the private sector as 'working behind enemy lines'.

Difficult to work together with an administration that thinks the private sector is "the enemy". The sooner that the walking, talking turd Obama leaves office, the better.

Surprised you read the book! :-)

kcchiefandy's picture

...CONTINUE to wrangle, to stop out-of-control spending, to stop the current administration from shoving unpopular and unsupported programs down the Nation's throat, get your hands out of the private sector, and get the President back from his numerous vacations and trips to the golf course. Such 'wrangling' is the noise of democracy at work.

No increase in the debt ceiling is going to get us out of the current mess. The only people who will get our citizens back to work are the businesses of America - provided the can afford to pay their taxes and have something left to invest in the labor force. We'll improve our credit rating when Congress STOPS using the credit card and our citizens start living within their means. Many may be suffering compared to days past, but I haven't read a story about anybody starving to death.

Depending on Washington to fix it all...not the answer, except to Democrats and their ilk.

Git Real's picture

Most people are clueless as to how much a trillion dollars really is. And they are equally clueless as to how our monies are wasted.

I say don't give the bastages another dime until they can prove they can be fiscally responsible with the billions of dollars taken in and wasted on a daily basis.

But what the heck.... Lynn Wastemoreland will one day enjoy the benefits of his lucrative and unearned congressional pension. How does that make you feel? Same with John Lewis and the rest of our nation's royal class. And that includes our gumament workers.

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>

It is hard to find slaves to be the government. In order to compete we simply have to take care of them as best we can.

We could do without the Central Government I suppose if we allowed each state to take over a part of their duties.
The South Atlanta people could help the people from Brooklyn handle our foreign relations.

People from Southern California could work well with Middle Alabama groups to oversee the Military operations. Build a Pentagon in Montgomery, and Fort Myers in San Francisco.

We could solve the congressional retirement money by allowing only one term for all---no after money. Hire them on contract instead of on the payroll.

As to us not paying taxes until they prove they will stop wasting the money, the only way I know to do that is to allow them to keep all they don't spend.

As to Mr. Westmoreland, we need people like him to balance out Barney!

And you are correct, people are really bad in Math anymore. Just look at how many buy lottery tickets---heck they keep 60% of it right off the top and then sell hundreds of millions of tickets to just anyone---the odds are horrendous!

Yet Gov. Deal wants to close down non-state gambling. (gambling that Georgia doesn't get a cut). Sunday alcohol OK as long as a church is 25 feet away from the store. Competes with the Catholic wine sellers. (cellars?)

TinCan's picture

Got this in an e-mail several days ago.

THIS IS THE BEST EXPLANATION I HAVE SEEN...

U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
• Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
• New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
• National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
• Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000

Let's remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700
• Money the family spent: $38,200
• New debt on the credit card: $16,500
• Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
• Total budget cuts: $385

Git Real's picture

Maybe even David's Mom and those of the Flash Mob big gumament mentality might possibly wrap their minds around the severity of of this financial Armageddon and start calling for massive cuts in waste and spending.

Nah... silly me... what was I thinking...... For most union minded, gumament dependent, Flash Mob Democrats and RINO's this budget would appear to be perfectly acceptable to them.

Whatcha gonna do? Maybe we can watch live feeds of Obama's vacation to take our mind off the fact that Rome is burning and collapsing all around us.

<em><strong>Stupid can't be fixed. We can only vote him out</strong></em>

PTC Observer's picture

naive. It's hard to face facts when you're naive. The state can't save us Lion, no matter how much we tax the rich, the state can't and won't save us.

This is an inescapable fact, you're delusional if you think otherwise.

Should we all worship at the feet of the private sector and the free market and hope, yes hope and plead, that the private sector save our economy?

But what if the private sector does not want to or cannot save our economy?

Then I want our government which represents the people and the public interest to step in and create jobs and yes take a big step toward "saving the American people."

lion

Observerofu's picture

What jobs? Are they production? What does the Government produce? How about service? What Government agency produces a service?

What jobs lion can the Government create without the private sector which you so obviously disdain?

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Government spending creates jobs. Real jobs. Jobs that provide services and value to our society.

You apparently do not know what the Government does. I suggest you consult the U.S. Government Organization Manual for a description of all those things your Federal Government does for you.

If that is too difficult, then look at those government jobs local government creates, like teachers, policmen, firemen. Not real jobs??

lion

Observerofu's picture

The Government creates Police, Fireman and Teachers really.

So if there is no town can the Government create a job?

So is it the Government creating a job or the people that the Government is function for creating that job? If the Government created that job why is it that the people can remove the employee?

Lion suffice it to say you are wrong. Local Governments hire and then pay for services IT'S CITIZENS ASK FOR. If the City or Town does not wish to pay the tax necessary there are no services. Thus Government did not create that job. The people did by asking for and then paying for those jobs and services.

The Government cannot just establish a Police Department Lion without the consent of the people to whom are the taxed to pay for the service. Thus it is impossible for Government to create the job.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

PTC Observer's picture

Like I said earlier Lion, you cannot argue with a naive man.

PTC Observer's picture

tell it to S&P, they should understand your thinking and put us back to a AAA rating. Government does not create jobs, it doesn't create anything, it consumes Lion. It is consuming us and the economy at this very moment.

It is not the job of the private sector to save us Lion, the private sector is there to give a return on invested capital to its shareholders. To the extent that government impedes this, it consumes wealth that it has no right to consume.

Now about that S&P thing, you go right out and tell them Lion that their thinking is all screwed up, you get our AAA rating back for us, in fact you get all your statist buddies to go with you.

Good luck, you'll need it.

Oh yes, your naive Lion.

PTCO1: The state can't save us!
PTCO2: We must have a HUGE state-operated police and military to protect our property rights, which are handed down directly from God!

PTCO1: Taxes redistribute wealth, which is very bad!
PTCO2: We must tax citizens to raise a 4-million man army and multiple law enforcement agencies to protect our property! If you don't own property, well get some! If you don't pay, off to the state-run jail!

PTCO1: We all have a right to life!
PTCO2: Unborn babies are just like house guests, which can be evicted anytime!

PTCO1: The Constitution is our scared governing document!
PTCO2: Except the amendments that I don't like, such as the one permitting income taxes and the direct election of senators. Back to a Republic! The first 10 amendments are the only good amendments because they happened a long time ago!

PTCO1: The Civil War was about states rights and some other stuff like that!
PTCO2: It was not within the scope of states rights for the Northern States to refuse to enforce fugitive slave laws! Why, because they were in the North dummy!

Keep it up PTCO! You are cementing your place right behind Hizzoner as the biggest ignoramus on the blogs!

Braves vs. Mets tonight at 7:10PM. Only good and true Americans will be watching!

The state is the great fiction!

PTC Observer's picture

words in my mouth again Ninja? You seem to be only good at this and nothing more. You are laughable at best Ninja.

Are you good at anything besides watching games of some sort.

Ninja says: "I am pretty happy with government, I think it's services are just about right."

Just about right! Who are you trying to kid Ninja?

disappointment! Even after all of this wisdom I have imparted to you, you still don't get it! The reason I say that the level of government is about right is that, unlike you, I am a true believer in the free market! Government is a product of the market just like anything else! The coming cuts in government service are a function of the market--if and when the level is reduced, that level will be 'about right' as well!

Your support for allowing eight-year-olds to smoke legalized crack--now that's a principle I find interesting! Tell us more about that side of liberty and property rights!

Braves lose last night--PTCO and Garlock must have been watching!

PTC Observer's picture

found that real job yet?

You'll need one. Oh yes, take some good hand gun training before it's too late. You can do that can't you pal? Look after your family for a change and get you head out of that TV.

your meds again, right? I've said on here from the beginning that I don't have a TV! What do you mean by real job? One that pays in gold bullion? I guess I don't have a real job because my customers only pay me in dollars, which everyone down in Auburn knows is not real money, right? What time is the mother ship picking you up in K-mart parking lot? I want to wave goodbye!

Be sure to stay off those communist paved roads when riding your bike!

Braves pitchers gotta get that mojo back!

When Bastiat was 25, his grandfather died, leaving the young man the family estate, thereby providing him with the means to further his theoretical inquiries.

PTC Observer's picture

1. Don't take meds, but if I keep reading your posts I may start.
2. Sure you don't LOL
3. One that's not attached in some way to the government, it's going to be downsized significantly.
4. No
5. Money is what people are willing to exchange for goods and services in the place of goods and services. In our case dollars Ninja. A exchange medium that is being depreciated daily, backed by nothing accept "faith".
6. 3:00PM today or tomorrow why don't you come out early, I could be wrong on the day, so just come out every day until it arrives.
7. Thanks for waving goodbye.
8. OK I will do that, I usually just fly over the top of them.

Bastiat didn't last too long himself.

AMEN! Cooperation has become a dirty word to some. <cite> I have mine, you get yours . . .and I' m not going to share any of what I have with you - but will enjoy the fruits of your labor.</cite>

PTC Observer's picture

you have that last bit wrong, should read: "but I will enjoy the fruits of MY labor."

Is there something wrong with enjoying the fruits of our labor mom?

What right do you have through your elected special interest representative to my labor (aka my life). Is not my property the output of my labor, and therefore my life? If this is not so then you are saying the opposite, if you advocate the opposite you are advocating slavery. A slave uses his life, and labor output to the benefit of others without his consent. He gets fed whatever the master puts on his table, it doesn't matter whether he wants it or not, it is what he will get whether he likes it or not.

Your belief system is beyond me DM, your philosophy is founded upon socialist ideals and "vision" of the way you want things to be, not the way they are.

Think about it DM, think about what you believe. It's is morally wrong.

We should never, never cooperate with those that would enslave us.

It"s wonderful that you have accomplished your goals in the US without the cooperation of anyone else. You"re quite a guy!
Cooperation and compromise is not socialist - but the basis of democracy. Look where we are with very few participating in our democratic system (voting) and the tail wagging the dog. No new taxes = higher interest rates. Thanks.

Observerofu's picture

in the recent Debt ceiling debate? Where was the cooperation?

One side fielded what 4 plans the other side said don't bother it's DOA.

Are you against prostitution? Is it against your principles?

You rent out a room in your home to a nice young lady and she starts a bordello in your home. Would you kick her out or compromise on the hours?

Just asking.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

PTC Observer's picture

Voluntarily associations - not forced associations are a keystone of freedom mom. It is quite amazing what diversity you find in business, people gathered around a common goal, increase personal wealth based on self interest. No one can as an island increase their wealth alone, no matter what country.

Cooperation and compromise are hallmarks of capitalism mom. Democracy has as is fundamental principle "majority rules".

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” Thomas Jefferson

Observerofu's picture

[quote]But conservatives seem willing to burden our heirs with a decaying infrastructure, loss of financial safety net, loss of controls over clean water and clean air, loss of health care, and many of those other investments we need to make in America to make it great. We face an ever widening gap betweeen the working/middle class and the affluent in this country. Students who attend our state colleges and universities can barely afford to attend them and often graduate with incredible debt burdens[/quote]

So your plan, if I can extrapolate from your rant, is to have Government run our lives ever more tightly. How much do we need Government to do for us? Do we need them to run businesses for us? How about take over all financial institutions? College and Universities too Lion? Just how far to do want Government to intrude in our lives?
Does personal responsibility factor into you world at all? So you believe Government should provide Social Justice?

[quote]If conservatives really want to relieve the burden on our children, they could step up to the plate and be willing to pay more taxes.[/quote]

We already do lion. The Top 1% of taxpayers earn 15% of all income but yet pay 29% of all taxes.
The Top 5% of taxpayers pay 50% of all taxes.

But hey the entitlement class needs more stuff right?

>Forty-three percent of all poor households actually own their own homes.

>The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

>Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

>Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

>The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)

>Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.

>Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.

>Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.

>Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.

But yet these pay no Federal Income tax.

[quote]But no, that is not the kind of sacrifice conservatives are willing to make. Sacrifice to conservatives means asking the less fortunate to give more. This is an ugly,greedy, unpatriotc politcal agenda that is a great disservice to our children and grandchildren.[/quote]

You would have the Government take from the earner and producers in our society and re-distribute it to those that pay the least. It is not the Governments job nor yours to decide the winners and losers in life are.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

JeffC's picture

Arguing against the TEAs and their captive Party is useless. These people are fanatics. The don't care about the country. They manufactured a crisis and purposely used it to damage the national and international standing of the United States. They gleefully undermined America's credit and intentionally weakened the United States.

Here's Mitch McConnell: “I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,” he said. “Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming.”

They have discovered that Democrats will cave before we inflict harm on the reputation of the United States, that we will bend before willfully damaging our country. To them, that is a flaw to be exploited; a weakness. If humiliating our country is the price to be paid for scoring political points against Obama and the Democrats, well then the price is free to them. Humiliating America simply doesn't matter to them except as a tool to be used against their opposition. Take Mitch at his word, they fully intend to take America's international standing and reputation hostage again for ransom.

They will deny that they manufactured this economic crisis in the middle of a recession even though there have been 72 uncontested votes raising the debt limit since Nixon and this is the first and only one ever challenged. They will say it's good for the economy even though the market crashes and loses 1000 points after passage of the plan in which McConnell says they got 98% of what they wanted.

In any event, you're arguing is going to be totally ineffective. You are not arguing with a political opponent, you're arguing with a fifth column that has no patriotic standards that will inhibit them. Make no mistake, they are now questioning what other aspect of America's eminence and esteem the Democrats might not be willing to sacrifice for political gains. I shudder to think what the next aspect of America's trustworthiness and stature they might next decide is just a hostage to be taken and squandered.

Mike King's picture

Great spin Jeff!

I suppose the grassroots effort of the Tea party is fanatical to you just as those surly rebels were fanatics to the Tories a couple centuries back.

I suppose the TEA Party had control of S&P and directed the downgrade.

I suppose that you believe the fiscal calamity facing the nation has little to do with spending.

I suppose you're going to tell us that had we lifted the debt ceiling by another three trillion the credit rating would have remained AAA.

I do agree with your referral of a fifth column in that those elitists from both parties or professional politicians inside the beltway are going the way of dinosaurs.

Oops!

Suppositions = empty spin of bovine excrement. LOL !

JeffC's picture

Well Mike, your implication that there is nothing wrong with a fanatic per se is well taken. However, using your analogy, which side was trying to undermine the economy of America, the Tories or the Patriots?

You asked: "I suppose the TEA Party had control of S&P and directed the downgrade."? No, but the real answer is far worse. The TEA Party had control of the United States government and they used that position to intentionally damage the country. The S&P officials specifically cited this is their downgrade decision:

Amid Criticism on Downgrade of U.S., S.&P. Fires Back

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/business/a-rush-to-assess-standard-and...

OK.. the hyperlink ain't working for me. Here's what it says:

"... senior S.& P. officials insisted the ratings firm hadn’t overstepped its bounds by focusing on the political paralysis in Washington as much as fiscal policy in determining the new rating. “The debacle over the debt ceiling continued until almost the midnight hour,” said John B. Chambers, chairman of S.& P.’s sovereign ratings committee."

Then get this from the Bloomberg's:

"DeMint added: “For months [Geithner] opposed all efforts to reduce the debt in return for a debt ceiling increase. His opposition to serious spending and debt reforms has been reckless and now the American people will pay the price.” Republican presidential hopefuls congresswoman Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota and businessman Herman Cain have also called for Geithner to quit."
DeMint has the gall to say that Geithner was reckless when DeMint was an instigator who manufactured this whole completely artificial crisis? There was no linkage at all between raising the debt limit and budget reductions in the previous 72 votes raising the ceiling. The House Republicans used the issue and sacrificed part of the standing of America in the world.

This went beyond politics. If the Republicans in the House want to cut Medicare, adjust Social Security, cut out shrimp on treadmills, do away with the EPA, cut the Department of Education, whatever; then so be it. They were elected, they are in power, and it is their Constitutional duty to produce next years budget and I know the Democrats were craven miserable failures when it was their turn. We can certainly agree that abject failure of the Democrats to fulfill their Constitutional duty is not an excuse for it happening again.

The upcoming budget the House Republicans produce is the proper venue for this fight; not deciding on the 73rd procedural vote that now was the time to escalate the debt ceiling into a crisis during a critically weak economy. Not waiting until America is vulnerable and then using that vulnerability as leverage for a political deal. Their artificial crisis damaged the country. And they are celebrating it. Mitch McConnell has pledged to do it again; says he's learned his lesson, and it was that if the Republicans are absolutely and provably willing to wreck America's financial standing and prestige in the world, those wimpy Democrats will fold.

They are correct, of course. So now there is no depth to which the TEAs will not presumably go. Apparently every aspect of America's prestige is now negotiable for the Republicans. Over a tax deal.

The Republicans used a never before used venue to reach a political deal. The venue had never been used because everybody in both Parties would never have dreamed of intentionally undermining America's international prestige. Until the TEA Party took over that is. And the outcome of this manufactured crisis was undeniably that America has been harmed directly attributable to their actions, which they are celebrating. What about that isn't true? Where's the spin?

at least 20% of the "TEAS" are Democrats.

Can we assume you’re willing to kill off that small majority so that you can keep preaching?

Have you not looked at the latest polls that show that the current entitlements will bankrupt us short of 2040?

I didn't think so.

The Dem's got their asses kicked for a reason.

JeffC's picture

You don't think I know the projections of the debt? I specifically said: "If the Republicans in the House want to cut Medicare, adjust Social Security, cut out shrimp on treadmills, do away with the EPA, cut the Department of Education, whatever; then so be it."

The fact is that the TEAs invented this crisis unnecessarily and it damaged America. The Dem's got their asses kicked for a reason. Yes, you are right. The Democrats were not prepared for the suicide-bomber mentality of the TEAs who are willing to damage the country. Which they did.

kevink's picture

Bad_PTC, there have been special elections since the Tea Party came to Washington; in New York. In Minnesota. In Wisconsin. There will be more in Wisconsin this week. How have they gone for conservatives* Bad_PTC? not well, mate. The writing is on the wall. Just saying no to EVERYTHING is not acceptable. Let's check back after Wisconsin's recall election this week.

Cheers

Vote Mytmite in 2012!

PTC Observer's picture

According to their website at http://www.teapartypatriots.org/mission.aspx

Doesn't sound like a fifth column to me Jeff. Seems like a pretty simple message Jeff. I couldn't find a word about destroying the country, the government, or anything else.

Tea Party Patriots Mission Statement and Core Values

Mission Statement

The impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values.

Core Values
• Fiscal Responsibility
• Constitutionally Limited Government
• Free Markets

[quote]I couldn't find a word about destroying the country, the government, or anything else[/quote]

Actions speak louder than words. What non- ideologues are sharing: Reform Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security ; cut the waste in military expenditures; invest in private sector/ government projects that provide jobs. Invest in the future; education, infrastructure, scientific research. We have a responsibility to work together to leave this country as a world leader - for our children and grandchildren . That is what we received. We need statesmen, not more 'politicians'. The Democrats caved, the Republicans claimed victory, How have the American people fared?

An example of the need for statesmanship, not more playing of the blame game. He showed no attempt at 'forward ' thinking in his statement this morning- at least not beyond getting in points for the 2012 presidential election. We are in the grip of a dysfunctional Congress! 82 % of the American people agree with this assessment. It was pathetic to see the Governor of Utah try to defend the Tea Party actions with 'rhetoric' regarding their principles. No one disagrees with their principles - it's their willingness to throw out the baby with the bathwater in order to 'return' to these principles that is disconcerting. Oh well, we'll see what Monday brings. I'm cutting my spending, paying down my credit card debt, increasing my savings - and grateful that I have a steady revenue. I think these actions will help my credit rating. The country hopefully will see the need to do the same. Jobs = revenue. WE NEED JOBS !

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