31 October 2012
30 October 2012
29 October 2012
I am against " big government " & all for " personal responsibility ", but when the storm hit & wiped out everything I had, I called 911 & some union socialist thug answered the phone & I yelled " Help !!!! " I was told that funding had been cut by the GOP & to pick myself up by my boot straps. I told them my boot straps were lost in the storm. I was told President Romney would send in people like Bain Capital to offer cash ( pennies on the dollar ) for my land & give me a payday loan at 6759 % interest to tide me over & that there were charities that would feed me but not which ones.
28 October 2012
27 October 2012
26 October 2012
25 October 2012
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23 October 2012
22 October 2012
Reposted from Jobsanger
When Willard Mitt Romney (aka Wall Street Willie) debated the president, he tried to defend his 20% tax cut plan. He said he would make sure that plan did three things:
1. Not raise taxes on the middle class.
2. Not lower taxes for the rich.
3. Remain revenue neutral (not add to the deficit).
His problem is that every organization that looked at his plan said the plan definitely would lower taxes for the rich, and either raise taxes on the middle class (by eliminating deductions) or increase the deficit -- including the bipartisan Tax Policy Center. When Willard was called on this by the president, he had no answer. Well, he has now come up with a revision to his plan. He says he will just cap deductions at $25,000 (and a family could use any deductions they wanted to use, as long as those deductions don't add up to more than $25,000).
This revision would solve one of the problems his old plan had. It would eliminate a tax rise for most of the middle class -- since it is rare that middle class voters have more than $25,000 in deductions, and the deductions they have been taking would not be eliminated. But the plan still fails in the other two aspects he said it would achieve.
As you can see in the chart above (compiled with information from the Tax Policy Center), the plan would still substantially lower taxes for the rich. Even after capping deductions at $25,000, the top 1% would see an average tax cut of $105,000, millionaires would see an average tax cut of $173,000, and the top 0.1% would see an average tax cut of $496,000. This should surprise no one, since the original goal of Willard's plan was to give the richest taxpayers (those he has dubbed the "job creators") a big tax cut.
Of course, this also means the plan would not be revenue neutral. Since the rich would still be receiving large tax cuts (and presumably the middle class would get small cuts), the government would be receiving less in tax revenues -- and that means the plan would significantly increase the already large budget deficit.
In short, Willard may have changed some of his tax cut plan's language, but it still has the same old problem. It would give the rich a big tax cut, and it would explode the deficit.
21 October 2012
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18 October 2012
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09 October 2012
08 October 2012
Once again Antonin Scalia shows that while he may be living in the 21st Century, he would probably be much more comfortable living in the 18th Century. He seems content to stay with values from that century, and recently admitted that. Scalia told a Washington audience the other day that he is a "textualist", and defined that as applying the words of the Constitution "as they were understood by the people who wrote and adopted them".
My first thought on reading that was that he must consider himself an exceptionally talented mind reader, who can not only read the minds of others but can also read the minds of people who have been dead for a couple of hundred years. What makes him think he alone knows what the men who wrote the Constitution meant when they wrote each word in that document? There is no evidence that those men always wanted the document considered in terms of the predominant 18th Century values.
In fact, those men were actually liberals who wanted to change the values of their century. One of the dominant values of that century was the divine right of rule by kings, which those men rejected in favor of a brand new value -- the idea that men could rule themselves through a representative democracy. Since those men were able to embrace new values themselves, why should we think they would not think that even those values would evolve and get better through the passage of time?
His view also assumes that all of those men agreed on the values of that time. We know that is just not true. One of the biggest arguments in writing the Constitution was the question of slavery. Some thought the ownership of slaves was their right (and a right protected by the christian religion). Others thought slavery was an indefensible abomination (and used that same religion to justify their views). Values are not as absolute as Scalia (and other right-wingers) would like to believe, and they evolve over time.
Even after slavery was abolished and the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, there was a difference of opinion in exactly what rights were guaranteed. Many believed in a doctrine of "separate but equal", and that doctrine was backed by the court for many years. But that belief was never shared by everyone in the 19th Century. And by the values recognized today, we know that separate is "inherently equal". Both the value of equality and the court's view of it have changed over the last century.
In both the 18th and 19th centuries, the "value" known as equality never did include everyone. We have progressed, and so have our values. A majority of Americans now believe that equality should include everyone -- even if that belief was not shared by most people in the 18th or 19th centuries. The disagreement between liberals and social conservatives is this -- liberals believe we can do better than was done in the past, while social conservatives believe we must remain tied to the beliefs of the past.
Using his belief that we must cling to 18th Century beliefs and values, Scalia told that same crowd:
"The death penalty? Give me a break. It's easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state."
I would partially agree with Scalia. Those are easy choices to make. But they should not be made by clinging to 18th century beliefs. We do not live in the 18th Century. We live in the 21st Century, and we must make our choices using 21st Century beliefs and values -- and one of those beliefs is that equality applies to everyone. If the government grants any right to one person or group, then that same right must be granted to all people or groups. That may not be how some in the 18th Century viewed fairness, but it is certainly how we in the 21st Century view it.