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Obama proposes the largest single year debt increase ever!





Voodoocat
What is wrong with this man? The country is in dire economic straits, unemployment is stubbornly sticking to 9 percent, the housing market is still in shambles, social security has run out of money, and the national debt is a whopping 72% of the gross domestic product.

What solution does the community organizer offer? He wants to add more debt Shocked The great community organizer has apparently used all of his vast economic experience gleaned while community organizing and offers to solve the nation's debt problem by recommending the largest single year national debt increase in our nation's history: he wants to add almost 2 trillion dollars to our national debt in 2011 alone Evil or Very Mad

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/14/debt-now-equals-total-us-economy/

Unbelievable. Once again, this is change I certainly cannot believe in.
handfleisch
Voodoocat wrote:
What is wrong with this man? The country is in dire economic straits, unemployment is stubbornly sticking to 9 percent, the housing market is still in shambles, social security has run out of money, and the national debt is a whopping 72% of the gross domestic product.

What solution does the community organizer offer? He wants to add more debt :shock: The great community organizer has apparently used all of his vast economic experience gleaned while community organizing and offers to solve the nation's debt problem by recommending the largest single year national debt increase in our nation's history: he wants to add almost 2 trillion dollars to our national debt in 2011 alone :evil:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/14/debt-now-equals-total-us-economy/

Unbelievable. Once again, this is change I certainly cannot believe in.

Vood, you don't care about the truth. Why even post? You've been shown concrete examples of how these stupid right wing rags just make fools out of people, but you keep on taking their BS and spreading it around.

Voodoocat wrote:
What is wrong with this man?


What's wrong with you is the question.

Here's a recent example of character of the Washington Times, supporting dictators:
Quote:

Support Mubarak
If U.S. turns against an ally, our prestige will crumble worldwide

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/31/support-mubarak/
jmi256
Voodoocat wrote:
What is wrong with this man? The country is in dire economic straits, unemployment is stubbornly sticking to 9 percent, the housing market is still in shambles, social security has run out of money, and the national debt is a whopping 72% of the gross domestic product.

What solution does the community organizer offer? He wants to add more debt Shocked The great community organizer has apparently used all of his vast economic experience gleaned while community organizing and offers to solve the nation's debt problem by recommending the largest single year national debt increase in our nation's history: he wants to add almost 2 trillion dollars to our national debt in 2011 alone Evil or Very Mad

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/14/debt-now-equals-total-us-economy/

Unbelievable. Once again, this is change I certainly cannot believe in.


Are you really surprised? Obama’s administration seems to pride itself on saying one thing and doing the opposite. Our national debt is now equal to GDP, but yeah, let’s spend some more money in the red on pet projects. Let’s piss through some more money. Screw the future. Every single issue he decides to take on seems to have only one solution in his mind: Spend more of other people’s money. Never mind that this “solution” has consistently failed throughout his administration. And many of the hardcore open-mouth breathers on the Left simply eat it up without even thinking on their own for a second. In fact, some are even moaning because he’s not wasting more money. When the American people finally get rid of Obama in the 2012 elections and elect someone with some common sense, he or she will have a lot of fixing to do. I really don’t care what party he/she comes from, as long as he/she knows some basic economics and a bit on the separation of powers.
deanhills
I guess Obama was just starting the Republican Democratic negotiating game again, as they had done in December. Time.com put it well:
Quote:
What he didn't say is that the December compromise followed a tried and true formula of Washington deal making. In a contest that pitted competing interests, both sides got paid off. Republicans won a tax break for wealthy Americans, while Democrats won continued tax breaks for middle class Americans. Faced with a choice, both sides ate the cake. The loser was the national debt, which will increase to record levels to finance the compromise.

By definition, a serious approach to deficit reduction would have only bigger losers and lesser losers. Deficit reduction is about taking away the cake--increasing taxes or decreasing spending. Any compromise, unlike the December deal, would by necessity be painful, and the most obvious fixes would target the most powerful interest groups in Washington--including oil companies and retirees. President Obama's strategy for approaching this conundrum remains as shrouded in secrecy as the strategy of Republican leaders.


Also:
Quote:
On Monday in Maryland, the president said he wanted the federal government to behave more like a regular family. "That's what families across the country do every day--they live within their means and invest in their family's future," Obama said. "And it's time we do the same thing as a country."

It was a nice thought, using rhetoric that tests well among focus groups. But President Obama has still not presented a plan on how to make it happen. Nor, for that matter, have Republican leaders. By all appearances, the song remains the same.

Source: Time.com
jmi256
deanhills wrote:
I guess Obama was just starting the Republican Democratic negotiating game again, as they had done in December. Time.com put it well:
Quote:
What he didn't say is that the December compromise followed a tried and true formula of Washington deal making. In a contest that pitted competing interests, both sides got paid off. Republicans won a tax break for wealthy Americans, while Democrats won continued tax breaks for middle class Americans. Faced with a choice, both sides ate the cake. The loser was the national debt, which will increase to record levels to finance the compromise.

By definition, a serious approach to deficit reduction would have only bigger losers and lesser losers. Deficit reduction is about taking away the cake--increasing taxes or decreasing spending. Any compromise, unlike the December deal, would by necessity be painful, and the most obvious fixes would target the most powerful interest groups in Washington--including oil companies and retirees. President Obama's strategy for approaching this conundrum remains as shrouded in secrecy as the strategy of Republican leaders.


Also:
Quote:
On Monday in Maryland, the president said he wanted the federal government to behave more like a regular family. "That's what families across the country do every day--they live within their means and invest in their family's future," Obama said. "And it's time we do the same thing as a country."

It was a nice thought, using rhetoric that tests well among focus groups. But President Obama has still not presented a plan on how to make it happen. Nor, for that matter, have Republican leaders. By all appearances, the song remains the same.

Source: Time.com
well, to be fair, I’m not all that happy with Republicans either at this point. They were elected to make meaningful changes to wasteful government activities and size, but the cuts they’ve been working on, while real cuts as compared to Obama’s spending spree, fail to do the job. To really get back to health, we need to take a considerable chunk out of the government and let taxpayers keep their own money and inject it into the economy.
handfleisch
Here's the real deal -- this budget calls for an overall increase in military spending. Repeat: We're cutting public benefit programs and increasing the military budget! And the media is basically reporting the opposite with headlines about cuts in certain military programs even though overall spending is increasing. If they mention the military spending increase at all, it's buried in one line in the article

C'mon you conservatives, why don't say something about that? How does this fit into your "liberal agenda" propaganda? How does the media covering up this fact fit in with your "liberal media" malarkey? Or are you waiting for FOX or Limbaugh or Glenn Beck to tell you what to think?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123903026250593091.html#mod=rss_Page_One
Quote:
Pentagon Pushes Weapon Cuts
...
Mr. Gates's proposed baseline 2010 Defense Department budget of $534 billion is up 4% from last year.
...
emanuel2
... money easily saved by stopping the one or other war
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Here's the real deal -- this budget calls for an overall increase in military spending. Repeat: We're cutting public benefit programs and increasing the military budget! And the media is basically reporting the opposite with headlines about cuts in certain military programs even though overall spending is increasing. If they mention the military spending increase at all, it's buried in one line in the article
C'mon you conservatives, why don't say something about that? How does this fit into your "liberal agenda" propaganda? How does the media covering up this fact fit in with your "liberal media" malarkey? Or are you waiting for FOX or Limbaugh or Glenn Beck to tell you what to think?


I can assure you, I don’t need anyone to tell me what to think, and I get my news from a variety of sources, including many leftwing fringe sites. For rationale why defense spending is a legitimate item in the budget, you have to look no further than the US Constitution. While I agree the amount of spending should go down, it is still a legitimate budget item, unlike most of the pork and pet projects politicians like to throw in for no other reason than paying back donors, as Obama and Democrats have proven especially adept at, and the occasion bone thrown to people in their districts. Republicans and Democrats alike do it, but arguably the Democrats are more ideologically geared toward robbing from Peter to pay Paul. All you need to do is look at their class warfare rhetoric to see it in action.

Quote:
Section 8 - Powers of Congress
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;


Source = http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html
coolclay
Quote:
Vood, you don't care about the truth
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! Handfleisch debate the issue and stop spewing your crap, and stigmatization.

Neither side has the answer. Both are so involved in continuing the status quo (but in different ways) that they both continue to push us deeper in the hole.

I hate to say it but we need to suck it up and all pay slightly higher taxes, we need to suck it up and make cuts to military funding, public services, pet projects and other spending. This is a 2 sided approach where we all will feel the pinch. There is no easy solution whatsoever and Obama is not helping anyone (except himself) by giving everyone what they want.

I wouldn't mind spending an extra 1% or $130 in taxes out of my $13,000 a year income, as long as everyone else had to pay a similar percentage. In combination to significantly reducing our expenses we could significantly reduce our debt in no time.

Oh well our time will come due, our country will declare bankruptcy and everything will be in chaos, then we will wake up.....

Great quotes by the way Deanhills.
ocalhoun
coolclay wrote:

Neither side has the answer. Both are so involved in continuing the status quo (but in different ways) that they both continue to push us deeper in the hole.


Quite true.
The Democrats will say they want to spend lots of money, and then they'll increase the debt by spending lots of money.
The Republicans will say they don't want to spend lots of money, and then they'll increase the debt by spending lots of money.

Gotta hand it to the Democrats, at least they're honest about it.
jmi256
ocalhoun wrote:
Gotta hand it to the Democrats, at least they're honest about it.



Really? Do you not recall all the lies and nonsense regularly posted on this very forum about how Obama and the Democrats are reducing the budget/deficit and cutting taxes? You call that honest?
ocalhoun
jmi256 wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Gotta hand it to the Democrats, at least they're honest about it.



Really? Do you not recall all the lies and nonsense regularly posted on this very forum about how Obama and the Democrats are reducing the budget/deficit and cutting taxes? You call that honest?

More honest.

They sometimes lie about it, and sometimes tell the truth.
Republicans on the other hand, pretty much always lie about it.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
They sometimes lie about it, and sometimes tell the truth.
Republicans on the other hand, pretty much always lie about it.
Wow! So Ocalhoun, does this then mean that you see the Dems as the lesser of two evils, from a Libertarian point of view? So looks as though there has to be some synergy between Libertarians and the Democratic Party after all? Interesting .... Think Very Happy
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
So Ocalhoun, does this then mean that you see the Dems as the lesser of two evils, from a Libertarian point of view?

The more honest of two evils, not necessarily the lesser.
Quote:
So looks as though there has to be some synergy between Libertarians and the Democratic Party after all? Interesting .... Think Very Happy

There is, when you're talking about real Libertarians and not Republicans who call themselves Libertarians.

On most civil issues Libertarians and Democrats will agree, actually.

The best way to tell the difference between a Libertarian and a Republican that calls himself one: Ask him about drug legalization, legalizing gay marriage, and immigration.
Voodoocat
Quote:
On most civil issues Libertarians and Democrats will agree, actually.


I would disagree. I believe that libertarians are in favor for small government, lower taxes, and more personal responsibility. This directly contradicts most of the Democrat agenda of larger governement, more Federal control and higher taxes.

This is the first item in the Libertarian platform:

Quote:
Platform
Libertarian Party 2010 Platform
Adopted in Convention, May 2010, St. Louis, Missouri

Preamble
As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.


http://www.lp.org/platform

Compare this to the platform of the Democratic party:
Quote:
Democrats believe that each of us has an obligation to each other, to our neighbors and our communities


http://www.democrats.org/issues

These are antipodal statements.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
On most civil issues Libertarians and Democrats will agree, actually.

The best way to tell the difference between a Libertarian and a Republican that calls himself one: Ask him about drug legalization, legalizing gay marriage, and immigration.
On what issues would Libertarians and Democrats disagree?

And, in this example, how would Libertarians agree and differ with Democrats on the current budget?
ocalhoun
Voodoocat wrote:

I would disagree. I believe that libertarians are in favor for small government, lower taxes, and more personal responsibility. This directly contradicts most of the Democrat agenda of larger governement, more Federal control and higher taxes.

And that's where they disagree.
They're not identical by any means - but they do have things in common.

deanhills wrote:
On what issues would Libertarians and Democrats disagree?

See above, mostly.
Most Democrats I'm familiar with would be unabashedly in favor of larger, more intrusive government, as long as it's for 'the greater good'.
Libertarians, on the other hand, (generally) think that having smaller, more limited government would be best for the greater good, overall.
Quote:

And, in this example, how would Libertarians agree and differ with Democrats on the current budget?

Any Libertarian-inspired budget would include some huge cuts - in many different areas. They often disagree about what exactly should be cut, however.
My personal choices:
-Cut defense waste: there are some pretty blatant (and very expensive) pet projects out there which don't serve much purpose other than bringing money to some senator's home state.
Consider consolidating various bases together into larger, more efficient bases. Institute some contracting reform to help prevent future abuses.
-Personalize social security: Make social security into a per-person savings account, the money you put in is the money you take out. Let it stay mandatory though. The compensations to injured/disabled workers can be funded by a new, smaller, more focused system, still funded by payroll taxes.
-Welfare changes: Able bodied and able minded persons on welfare would need to do (at least) 1 of 4 things to continue receiving benefits - A) Attend a (government provided, including daycare) trade school, or pursue other education; B) Work at least 25 (documented) hours per week at a charity; C) Do odd manual-labor jobs for the government, like highway cleanup or national forest maintenance D) provide daycare services to those doing A, B, or C (if qualified). It would increase expenditure at first, establishing the system, especially the schools, but would pay for itself quickly, reducing future budgets drastically by reducing welfare rolls and by getting use from some of the people on welfare (B, C, and D).

That's just the 'big three'; the three federal budget items that dwarf all the others -- any serious deficit-reducing measures need to include cutting at least one (or vastly raising taxes); I've mentioned how a Libertarian could cut all three. The other budget items would also be reviewed, to identify and remove waste, but since that's not my (tedious) job, I'll just focus on the big three for now.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
On what issues would Libertarians and Democrats disagree?

See above, mostly.
Most Democrats I'm familiar with would be unabashedly in favor of larger, more intrusive government, as long as it's for 'the greater good'.
Libertarians, on the other hand, (generally) think that having smaller, more limited government would be best for the greater good, overall.
I understood exactly that, which is why I can't understand that they could ever agree on anything. As far as I can see Dems are for MASSIVE Government, rules and regulations. The cuts are also just lip service ones. How can cuts ever be meaningful when the Dems are notorious for accumulating so much debt, now running in the trillions and no longer in the billions. The word "cut" then becomes an enormous irony bordering on an enormous lie.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
On what issues would Libertarians and Democrats disagree?

See above, mostly.
Most Democrats I'm familiar with would be unabashedly in favor of larger, more intrusive government, as long as it's for 'the greater good'.
Libertarians, on the other hand, (generally) think that having smaller, more limited government would be best for the greater good, overall.
I understood exactly that, which is why I can't understand that they could ever agree on anything. As far as I can see Dems are for MASSIVE Government, rules and regulations. The cuts are also just lip service ones.

You can't see any possible agreement because you're only looking at a fiscal management perspective at the moment, which Libertarians and Democrats have hardly any common ground in.

On personal freedom issues, Libertarians and Democrats often agree.
(With the notable exception of gun control.)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
On personal freedom issues, Libertarians and Democrats often agree.
(With the notable exception of gun control.)
Now that I can't understand either. As the more regulations the less personal freedom one has. The less regulations and less Government, the more personal freedom one has. Question
coolclay
Quote:
Any Libertarian-inspired budget would include some huge cuts - in many different areas. They often disagree about what exactly should be cut, however.
My personal choices:
-Cut defense waste: there are some pretty blatant (and very expensive) pet projects out there which don't serve much purpose other than bringing money to some senator's home state.
Consider consolidating various bases together into larger, more efficient bases. Institute some contracting reform to help prevent future abuses.
-Personalize social security: Make social security into a per-person savings account, the money you put in is the money you take out. Let it stay mandatory though. The compensations to injured/disabled workers can be funded by a new, smaller, more focused system, still funded by payroll taxes.
-Welfare changes: Able bodied and able minded persons on welfare would need to do (at least) 1 of 4 things to continue receiving benefits - A) Attend a (government provided, including daycare) trade school, or pursue other education; B) Work at least 25 (documented) hours per week at a charity; C) Do odd manual-labor jobs for the government, like highway cleanup or national forest maintenance D) provide daycare services to those doing A, B, or C (if qualified). It would increase expenditure at first, establishing the system, especially the schools, but would pay for itself quickly, reducing future budgets drastically by reducing welfare rolls and by getting use from some of the people on welfare (B, C, and D).


I vote Ocalhoun for the next presidential election! Oh and bring back the CCC for unemployment compensation.
jmi256
coolclay wrote:
I hate to say it but we need to suck it up and all pay slightly higher taxes, we need to suck it up and make cuts to military funding, public services, pet projects and other spending. This is a 2 sided approach where we all will feel the pinch. There is no easy solution whatsoever and Obama is not helping anyone (except himself) by giving everyone what they want.

Actually, there is another solution that involves cutting spending, which is the better long-term solution. The size and scope of the federal government has grown far beyond what it was ever intended to be, and the cost of that is what’s killing us. Raising taxes would only have a very, very short-term effect – until some brainiac politician decides on a new pet project/entitlement that eats up any excess revenue from the tax increase. Meanwhile, those who are actually producing and paying for all the waste and mismanagement see their freedoms taken away from them more and more.

coolclay wrote:
I wouldn't mind spending an extra 1% or $130 in taxes out of my $13,000 a year income, as long as everyone else had to pay a similar percentage. In combination to significantly reducing our expenses we could significantly reduce our debt in no time.

(I’m not trying to pick on you and am only using your post to illustrate a point, so please take my own post with a grain of salt.) If you really want to send more of your money to the government to fund all the pet projects, feel free to. I personally can think of better things to do with the fruits of my labor, but no one is stopping you from doing what you want with yours. In fact, here’s the address to the US Treasury for you to send your check:

Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220

But don’t expect to force others to act the same as you do just because you think it’s a good idea. That’s the core problem I have with progressives/Lefties/Statists/Communists/Socialists/Facists/Liberals/whatever they’re calling themselves this week. In their minds everyone else is supposed to give up their rights of personal choice and property just because they think they should.

While many people make comments like your own that they would hand over more of their own money “as long as everyone else had to pay a similar percentage” and like to feel they are somehow being noble by offering up more of their own earnings, they are really being schmucks. And in order to not feel like schmucks, they want everyone else to make the same mistakes they are. They know sending more money to the federal government isn’t going to solve anything but rather make things worse, but if they aren’t the only one doing it, they don’t feel as bad. You can make the argument that some people on the lower end of the social economic scale don’t have ability to send more money, which I can agree with and understand, but since when does the extent of someone’s freedoms diminish with the amount of money in their savings account? Does someone who is making more than me have less of a right to speech? Or religion? Or to vote? Or to life? Of course not. But then why do they have any less freedom of choice and personal property, which is exactly what is diminished when they are forced at the business end of a gun to hand over more and more of their own earnings.

ocalhoun wrote:
The best way to tell the difference between a Libertarian and a Republican that calls himself one: Ask him about drug legalization, legalizing gay marriage, and immigration.


I have said many times, that I only speak for myself, but I vote Republican mostly (I vote mainly on issues, but Republicans – with some exceptions – tend to better align with my views), and here’s what I believe on each of these topics:

Drug legalization: I’m against it, but for a different reason than you may be considering. I don’t believe the federal government has the authority to make drugs illegal, so “legalizing” drugs seems counterintuitive to me. I don’t see that power provided to the federal government anywhere in the Constitution, and as soon as you give the government additional leeway in deciding what it deems legal and not for citizens to do/consume/etc, the door is wide open for more and more government intrusion. As soon as you start thinking the government has your best interests in mind, you’re doomed. As a caveat, however, I want to be clear that I think that people who use and abuse drugs are idiots. I myself have never touched any drugs (unless you consider alcohol a drug), but more out of luck that anything else.

Legalizing gay marriage: Again, I’m against it, but for a different reason than you may be expecting. I believe the government should be out of the business of saying who should and shouldn’t get married altogether. Once you agree that the rights to personal property and choice are fundamental, you quickly realize that contracts, such as marriages are natural offshoots of those rights. If two guys or two girls what to entangle their assets and liabilities in a contract, they should go ahead and do that. The act of declaring that contract a “marriage” should fall to whatever religion they subscribe to (or don’t for all I care). If church X says they can get married in their church, but church Y says no, then they should get married in church X. But what is not fair is to then try to force church Y to somehow “acknowledge” it as a marriage. Which brings me to the government: The main reason this becomes a government issue is that the government decides how much of your own property to take from you based on whether you are married or not (marriage penalty, which Bush temporarily halted), and also decides how much of your own property it will return (entitlement benefits) based on marriage status. I’ve used a similar example in the past, but two single people living together earning $50k each are each taxed around the 25% rate, meaning combined, they pay $25k in taxes (for simplicity sake, I’m using round numbers and ignoring any deductions). If the same two people were married, their combined income would put them in the 35% tax bracket, meaning they would pay a total of $35k. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Instead, the federal government should get out of the marriage business and combine that with a fairer tax system (and to press things further, I would say out of the personal income tax business, but that’s another story).

Immigration: I assume you mean illegal immigration. As an immigrant myself, I am in favor of legal immigration, and I also think our immigration policy should be as liberal (little “l”) as possible. Anyone who wants to come here, can pay their own way, will not be a public health problem, and can provide a reasonable expectation of supporting themselves should be allowed to come here. I think quotas are simply wrong and un-American. On the other hand, those who have broken our laws and come here illegally should be kicked out and barred from reentry. Simple as that. But when the issue of immigration comes up, it is almost always coupled with the problem of “what do you do with them when they get here?” But there is an assumption in that question in which the problem lies. The problem is that our society has been twisted in such a manner by progressives/Lefties/Statists/Communists/Socialists/Facists/Liberals/whatever they’re calling themselves this week that the idea that “society” (i.e. working people”) somehow owes free healthcare, a job, retirement income, a cell phone (don’t laugh, it’s a “right” here in NYC) and other benefits to everyone else has made personal freedom and accountability almost nonexistent. While I believe that everyone who checks out on that small list of qualifiers should have the right to legally immigrate here, that should not then create an obligation on everyone else to support that person, at least not from a federal government standpoint. I am fine with private organizations providing that type of assistance and donate some of my own money for those, but I don’t believe I or anyone have the right to confiscate anyone else’s property to do so.




Now, to comment on a few issues you addressed:

ocalhoun wrote:
-Cut defense waste: there are some pretty blatant (and very expensive) pet projects out there which don't serve much purpose other than bringing money to some senator's home state.
Consider consolidating various bases together into larger, more efficient bases. Institute some contracting reform to help prevent future abuses.

I agree that cutting spending is important, but you’re not going to make a real dent until you change the fundamental relationship between the military and our foreign policy. I prefer a very, very small standing army, which requires mobilization and more recruits when we’re attacked. The business of having a huge military 24/7 is unnecessary and costly. Americans have mobilized in times we were under attack, and I see no reason to believe we wouldn’t do so again. To make this happen, we need to adopt a policy of non aggression, which is stronger and better defined that our current stated policy. While it may be debatable that the War on Terror falls under this definition, we should only attack once attacked or attack in imminent (I would prefer only after we’re attacked, but the nature of weapons today makes that a scary proposition.) But once we are provoked, all h#ll should break loose. Serious h#ll. I’ve always been a fan of playground politics when it comes to fighting. You/the enemy may get a cheap shot in and bloody my nose, but I’m going to break your nose, and anything else I can get my hands on. If we do that a few times consistently, no one messes with use.


ocalhoun wrote:
-Personalize social security: Make social security into a per-person savings account, the money you put in is the money you take out. Let it stay mandatory though. The compensations to injured/disabled workers can be funded by a new, smaller, more focused system, still funded by payroll taxes.

The problem with that is that’s what Social Security was supposed to be when it was first created. It was supposed to be an individual account in which you and employers paid taxes into, and would be available when you retired. But politicians couldn’t keep their hands off the repository of funds and borrowed against the money. And now we find ourselves in the situation where we have a huge unfunded liability. The worst part is that many people who have paid into the fund will never get to see their money. I would rather see a system in which the tax-free contributions for 401ks, IRAs, etc. have their limits removed (I believe it’s $16.5k per year now). Even better, combine the advantages of Roths and IRAs/401ks, and allow tax-free contributions and withdrawals. And allow people to pass the balances down to whoever they want when they die. That will boost the saving rate quickly.


ocalhoun wrote:
-Welfare changes: Able bodied and able minded persons on welfare would need to do (at least) 1 of 4 things to continue receiving benefits - A) Attend a (government provided, including daycare) trade school, or pursue other education; B) Work at least 25 (documented) hours per week at a charity; C) Do odd manual-labor jobs for the government, like highway cleanup or national forest maintenance D) provide daycare services to those doing A, B, or C (if qualified). It would increase expenditure at first, establishing the system, especially the schools, but would pay for itself quickly, reducing future budgets drastically by reducing welfare rolls and by getting use from some of the people on welfare (B, C, and D).

Sorry, but it sounds like you’re just rearranging the deck chairs on this one. It just reinforces the idea that the state (and by extension the productive members of society) somehow owe a living to those who refuse to work. I think as individuals we’re called to help our fellow man, but that is a private concern, not one for the state. And why the h#ll are any “able bodied and able minded persons” persons on welfare to begin with?
ocalhoun
jmi256 wrote:

I have said many times, that I only speak for myself, but I vote Republican mostly (I vote mainly on issues, but Republicans – with some exceptions – tend to better align with my views)

You realize that the Republicans in general have the exact opposite views on two out of three subjects discussed here, right?
Generally, the Republicans are all for making/keeping all drugs and gay marriage illegal.
(The whole 'family values' thing, along with the 'tough on crime' thing.)
Quote:


Drug legalization: I’m against it, but for a different reason than you may be considering. I don’t believe the federal government has the authority to make drugs illegal, so “legalizing” drugs seems counterintuitive to me.

If you want drugs to be legal, you're for drug legalization.
The best and simplest way to legalize them is to simply repeal the laws that make them illegal.
(But other options are acceptable, as long as they have the same effect.)
Quote:

Legalizing gay marriage: Again, I’m against it, but for a different reason than you may be expecting. I believe the government should be out of the business of saying who should and shouldn’t get married altogether.

You do realize that this is the normal Libertarian position, and quite opposite of the usual Republican position, right?
(The usual Democrat position being that the government can dictate who can and can't get married, but that it should dictate that gays can.)
Quote:

Immigration: I assume you mean illegal immigration. As an immigrant myself, I am in favor of legal immigration, and I also think our immigration policy should be as liberal (little “l”) as possible. Anyone who wants to come here, can pay their own way, will not be a public health problem, and can provide a reasonable expectation of supporting themselves should be allowed to come here.

Uh, you realize that this statement, and then the restrictions placed contradict each other somewhat, yes?
Quote:
I think quotas are simply wrong and un-American. On the other hand, those who have broken our laws and come here illegally should be kicked out and barred from reentry. Simple as that. But when the issue of immigration comes up, it is almost always coupled with the problem of “what do you do with them when they get here?” But there is an assumption in that question in which the problem lies. The problem is that our society has been twisted in such a manner by progressives/Lefties/Statists/Communists/Socialists/Facists/Liberals/whatever they’re calling themselves this week that the idea that “society” (i.e. working people”) somehow owes free healthcare, a job, retirement income, a cell phone (don’t laugh, it’s a “right” here in NYC) and other benefits to everyone else has made personal freedom and accountability almost nonexistent. While I believe that everyone who checks out on that small list of qualifiers should have the right to legally immigrate here, that should not then create an obligation on everyone else to support that person, at least not from a federal government standpoint. I am fine with private organizations providing that type of assistance and donate some of my own money for those, but I don’t believe I or anyone have the right to confiscate anyone else’s property to do so.


The problem isn't the immigrants taking advantage of the programs. The problem is that the programs exist to be taken advantage of in the first place.
It doesn't matter at all who takes advantage of them, be it natives or immigrants (legal or illegal).
Quote:

I agree that cutting spending is important, but you’re not going to make a real dent until you change the fundamental relationship between the military and our foreign policy. I prefer a very, very small standing army, which requires mobilization and more recruits when we’re attacked. The business of having a huge military 24/7 is unnecessary and costly. Americans have mobilized in times we were under attack, and I see no reason to believe we wouldn’t do so again. To make this happen, we need to adopt a policy of non aggression, which is stronger and better defined that our current stated policy. While it may be debatable that the War on Terror falls under this definition, we should only attack once attacked or attack in imminent (I would prefer only after we’re attacked, but the nature of weapons today makes that a scary proposition.) But once we are provoked, all h#ll should break loose. Serious h#ll. I’ve always been a fan of playground politics when it comes to fighting. You/the enemy may get a cheap shot in and bloody my nose, but I’m going to break your nose, and anything else I can get my hands on. If we do that a few times consistently, no one messes with use.

I was talking about more realistic, short-term cuts.
I wouldn't advocate cutting actual fighting ability until we manage to get out of the two wars we're involved in now.
Even once we're out of the wars, I would do so carefully. The strong military is one of the few things America still has the advantage in over most other countries; it shouldn't be thrown away lightly.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:
-Personalize social security:

The problem with that is that’s what Social Security was supposed to be when it was first created.

Going back to what it was intended to be is a problem? How so?
Just this time, keep the porkers' hands off it. Make a constitutional amendment if you have to.
Quote:
I would rather see a system in which the tax-free contributions for 401ks, IRAs, etc. have their limits removed (I believe it’s $16.5k per year now). Even better, combine the advantages of Roths and IRAs/401ks, and allow tax-free contributions and withdrawals. And allow people to pass the balances down to whoever they want when they die. That will boost the saving rate quickly.

That system would be very open to abuse by tax-dodgers.
Quote:

Sorry, but it sounds like you’re just rearranging the deck chairs on this one. It just reinforces the idea that the state (and by extension the productive members of society) somehow owe a living to those who refuse to work.

How so? It forces those people to work (in one way or another) in order to earn their living.
Quote:
I think as individuals we’re called to help our fellow man, but that is a private concern, not one for the state. And why the h#ll are any “able bodied and able minded persons” persons on welfare to begin with?

That's the main point of my plan - to get them off of welfare.
(Or at least have them earn the money.)
A simple abrupt stop of benefits to all of them would not be fair, nor would it be anywhere near politically feasible.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
Actually, there is another solution that involves cutting spending, which is the better long-term solution. The size and scope of the federal government has grown far beyond what it was ever intended to be, and the cost of that is what’s killing us. Raising taxes would only have a very, very short-term effect – until some brainiac politician decides on a new pet project/entitlement that eats up any excess revenue from the tax increase. Meanwhile, those who are actually producing and paying for all the waste and mismanagement see their freedoms taken away from them more and more.
TOTALLY agreed. That is why I find it absurd when Obama is bragging about cuts in his budget! After creating trillions in debt. It sounds almost hypocritical to say "See, I've done all these cuts, I'm all for cutting costs". There should be cuts on both ends, less debt and less cost.
jmi256 wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
The best way to tell the difference between a Libertarian and a Republican that calls himself one: Ask him about drug legalization, legalizing gay marriage, and immigration.


I have said many times, that I only speak for myself, but I vote Republican mostly (I vote mainly on issues, but Republicans – with some exceptions – tend to better align with my views), and here’s what I believe on each of these topics:
You have very interesting points of view and I agree with all of them for the reasons you gave. I think I have an understanding for where you may be coming from. You're a liberal freethinking Republican as much as one would find a liberal freethinking Democrat? There are a number of freethinking Republicans like that, who may have a different opinion than the party line? The democrats are too much into socialized type projects and programmes, too many rules and regulations and I would tend to vote Republican as well, but like you not agreeing with all of their policies. I'm for semi-legalizing drugs, i.e. there are certain drugs that do definitely need input by physicians, but anti-inflammatories type drugs are plain silly for needing doctors' appointments. A pharmacist can easily help with dispensing those.

jmi256 wrote:
To make this happen, we need to adopt a policy of non aggression, which is stronger and better defined that our current stated policy. While it may be debatable that the War on Terror falls under this definition, we should only attack once attacked or attack in imminent (I would prefer only after we’re attacked, but the nature of weapons today makes that a scary proposition.)
But is the US really the aggressor? As far as I can see it is perfectly justifiable in defending itself against terror attacks on its own soil by keeping terrorists in check in the Middle East and through its presence there collecting as much intel as it can in order to prevent terror attacks from occurring in the US. I'm not so sure that a policy of staying at home and waiting for the terrorists to visit would be in the interest of public safety. I'm almost certain if there were any chance of such a policy (no warfare until attacked) working that Obama would have welcomed that with open arms, as that is what he wanted to happen was it not? Remove all troops and stay at home until attacked. But instead he is asking for more troops now. Something must have caused him to change his mind.
jmi256
ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:

I have said many times, that I only speak for myself, but I vote Republican mostly (I vote mainly on issues, but Republicans – with some exceptions – tend to better align with my views)

You realize that the Republicans in general have the exact opposite views on two out of three subjects discussed here, right?
Generally, the Republicans are all for making/keeping all drugs and gay marriage illegal.
(The whole 'family values' thing, along with the 'tough on crime' thing.)

I don’t know what Republicans generally are for, but I can tell you that from my conversations with the few Republicans I personally know here in NYC, most feel the same way – or close to it. The underlying principle is personal freedom/choice over intrusive and invasive government. If you’re talking platforms, the Republican platform, just like the Democratic platform, doesn’t necessarily represent all or even the majority view, but rather addresses the views of the specific candidate running for office. The platform is created in totality in hopes that certain aspects attract some people to vote for the candidate, and certain aspects attract other people to vote for a candidate. I have never seen a platform in which I 100% agreed or disagreed with.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Drug legalization: I’m against it, but for a different reason than you may be considering. I don’t believe the federal government has the authority to make drugs illegal, so “legalizing” drugs seems counterintuitive to me.

If you want drugs to be legal, you're for drug legalization.
The best and simplest way to legalize them is to simply repeal the laws that make them illegal.
(But other options are acceptable, as long as they have the same effect.)

I agree that the right course of action would be to remove any federal laws that overreach. But I would be against any federal law that attempted to “legalize” anything (if not provided in the Constitution since that document outlines the role and responsibilities of the federal government) unless provided in the US Constitution. State laws fall under the jurisdiction of the individual state constitution as long as it does not conflict with the US constitution.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Legalizing gay marriage: Again, I’m against it, but for a different reason than you may be expecting. I believe the government should be out of the business of saying who should and shouldn’t get married altogether.

You do realize that this is the normal Libertarian position, and quite opposite of the usual Republican position, right?
(The usual Democrat position being that the government can dictate who can and can't get married, but that it should dictate that gays can.)

I don’t agree that it isn’t a Republican principle (again that overarching principle of personal freedom/choice over government intrusion). While individual politicians may express their own views, I would argue that most Republicans would agree with my comment as it aligns with personal freedom/choice. As you pointed out Democrats argue that they endorse gay marriage (which they then fail to act on, btw) on the principle that the federal government gets to dictate who and who can’t get married. Republicans argue that it is not a role provided in the Constitution. Now there are some who do see it as “wrong,” which is an opinion they are entitled to hold. And they then argue further for an Amendment, which is the procedure outlined in the Constitution for providing the federal government more power than it is supposed to have. Of course an Amendment has stricter thresholds in Congress and also have to be ratified by the states, so if an amendment was passed it would be by the consent and will of the citizenry, not some bureaucrat. While I personally could give a rat’s arse whether two guys or girls get married, I don’t believe that what is permitted or not permitted should solely be determined what I “like” or “dislike.” Democrats/those on the left simply want to usurp that power with no legality whatsoever. That of course is a very slippery slope since it provides almost limitless power to the federal government with no checks or balances (or at least cripples the checks and balances provided in the US Constitution intended to protect the citizenry from an oppressive federal government.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Immigration: I assume you mean illegal immigration. As an immigrant myself, I am in favor of legal immigration, and I also think our immigration policy should be as liberal (little “l”) as possible. Anyone who wants to come here, can pay their own way, will not be a public health problem, and can provide a reasonable expectation of supporting themselves should be allowed to come here.

Uh, you realize that this statement, and then the restrictions placed contradict each other somewhat, yes?

Not really. I said “As an immigrant myself, I am in favor of legal immigration, and I also think our immigration policy should be as liberal (little “l”) as possible.” The criteria I set out are very low. Basically potential immigrants can’t assume the US will pay their way to get here, can’t be riddled with some diseases that would cause a public health issue, and should have some type of ability to work, family to support them, money in the bank to provide for them, etc. I wouldn’t want someone coming here and starving to death once they got here. I don’t think 100% open borders is something anyone wants, though.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I think quotas are simply wrong and un-American. On the other hand, those who have broken our laws and come here illegally should be kicked out and barred from reentry. Simple as that. But when the issue of immigration comes up, it is almost always coupled with the problem of “what do you do with them when they get here?” But there is an assumption in that question in which the problem lies. The problem is that our society has been twisted in such a manner by progressives/Lefties/Statists/Communists/Socialists/Facists/Liberals/whatever they’re calling themselves this week that the idea that “society” (i.e. working people”) somehow owes free healthcare, a job, retirement income, a cell phone (don’t laugh, it’s a “right” here in NYC) and other benefits to everyone else has made personal freedom and accountability almost nonexistent. While I believe that everyone who checks out on that small list of qualifiers should have the right to legally immigrate here, that should not then create an obligation on everyone else to support that person, at least not from a federal government standpoint. I am fine with private organizations providing that type of assistance and donate some of my own money for those, but I don’t believe I or anyone have the right to confiscate anyone else’s property to do so.


The problem isn't the immigrants taking advantage of the programs. The problem is that the programs exist to be taken advantage of in the first place.
It doesn't matter at all who takes advantage of them, be it natives or immigrants (legal or illegal).

Agreed, that’s why I said the problem lies in the assumption made that they have to “be taken of.” The way progressives/Lefties/Statists/Communists/Socialists/Facists/Liberals/whatever they’re calling themselves this week have twisted our society is the core issue. That’s one of the problems I have with Obamacare. By making healthcare a “public welfare” issue you now make whether Bobby down the street wants to smoke a cigarette or eat a steak, or put a little salt on his food, or not go for his annual checkup, etc. everyone else’s business. The idea of “public rights” is a misnomer that really means the deterioration of an individual’s rights. And when individual rights mean nothing, the aggregate “public rights” also mean nothing.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I agree that cutting spending is important, but you’re not going to make a real dent until you change the fundamental relationship between the military and our foreign policy. I prefer a very, very small standing army, which requires mobilization and more recruits when we’re attacked. The business of having a huge military 24/7 is unnecessary and costly. Americans have mobilized in times we were under attack, and I see no reason to believe we wouldn’t do so again. To make this happen, we need to adopt a policy of non aggression, which is stronger and better defined that our current stated policy. While it may be debatable that the War on Terror falls under this definition, we should only attack once attacked or attack in imminent (I would prefer only after we’re attacked, but the nature of weapons today makes that a scary proposition.) But once we are provoked, all h#ll should break loose. Serious h#ll. I’ve always been a fan of playground politics when it comes to fighting. You/the enemy may get a cheap shot in and bloody my nose, but I’m going to break your nose, and anything else I can get my hands on. If we do that a few times consistently, no one messes with use.

I was talking about more realistic, short-term cuts.
I wouldn't advocate cutting actual fighting ability until we manage to get out of the two wars we're involved in now.
Even once we're out of the wars, I would do so carefully. The strong military is one of the few things America still has the advantage in over most other countries; it shouldn't be thrown away lightly.

I didn’t say anything about weakening our military, but rather having it scale as needs ebb and flow. In times of war or threat, it should increase. In times of peace, scale back. But a question arises from your response:
Exactly what advantage does a huge military provide (to do what exactly), except to kick someone’s arse in a conflict? We aren’t going to use it to intimidate anyone I hope. Instead of spreading democracy and freedom from the end of a gun, the best course of action would be to do so through economic efforts (i.e. capitalism). I understand the need of a strong military when conflict arises, but that is why I say it should scale.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Quote:
-Personalize social security:

The problem with that is that’s what Social Security was supposed to be when it was first created.

Going back to what it was intended to be is a problem? How so?
Just this time, keep the porkers' hands off it. Make a constitutional amendment if you have to.

Yeah, because the Constitution is followed, right. It’s not like restrictions on rights outlined in the Bill of Rights have ever been imposed, such as on free speech or freedom of religion, right? And it’s not like the federal government would take any power not outlined in the Constitution, such as the power to force citizens to buy a private product, right? Sarcasm aside, what makes you think politicians would be able to control themselves if the exact same system is set up? Or even with a few minor changes? When a system is create to fail, it will. The problem doesn’t lie with those who follow the natural and logical course of the system, but rather the system itself. First of all, though. the rule of law (i.e. the Constitution) must be respected and adhered to. Without that, nothing else really matters.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I would rather see a system in which the tax-free contributions for 401ks, IRAs, etc. have their limits removed (I believe it’s $16.5k per year now). Even better, combine the advantages of Roths and IRAs/401ks, and allow tax-free contributions and withdrawals. And allow people to pass the balances down to whoever they want when they die. That will boost the saving rate quickly.

That system would be very open to abuse by tax-dodgers.

How so? It’s your money you put in, your money you take out. It incentivizes people to save for retirement and provides them control over their own property. The vehicles exist today, but just need to have their limits removed.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Sorry, but it sounds like you’re just rearranging the deck chairs on this one. It just reinforces the idea that the state (and by extension the productive members of society) somehow owe a living to those who refuse to work.

How so? It forces those people to work (in one way or another) in order to earn their living.

The issue isn’t with forcing anyone to do anything. If someone refuses to work, fine let them make that choice. But the consequences of their choices shouldn’t then become the responsibility of someone else, enforced at the end of a gun.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I think as individuals we’re called to help our fellow man, but that is a private concern, not one for the state. And why the h#ll are any “able bodied and able minded persons” persons on welfare to begin with?

That's the main point of my plan - to get them off of welfare.
(Or at least have them earn the money.)
A simple abrupt stop of benefits to all of them would not be fair, nor would it be anywhere near politically feasible.

Fair to whom? Is it fair to the poor guy working so that some idiot can sit at home watching Judge Judy and mooching off the system (i.e. his wages)? Fair to the landlords who have to provide low-to-no cost housing to Section 8 recipients due to federal and state regulations and who then destroy the units? And how much time is needed before it isn’t considered an “abrupt stop?” 3 months? 6? How about a year? Or maybe 2 years. Or how about 5? Or should it be 10? Maybe an even quarter century? Half a century? You see what I’m getting at. The welfare problem has been an issue since its inception in the 1930s, and I don’t think concerns about an “abrupt stop” are justified.





deanhills wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Actually, there is another solution that involves cutting spending, which is the better long-term solution. The size and scope of the federal government has grown far beyond what it was ever intended to be, and the cost of that is what’s killing us. Raising taxes would only have a very, very short-term effect – until some brainiac politician decides on a new pet project/entitlement that eats up any excess revenue from the tax increase. Meanwhile, those who are actually producing and paying for all the waste and mismanagement see their freedoms taken away from them more and more.
TOTALLY agreed. That is why I find it absurd when Obama is bragging about cuts in his budget! After creating trillions in debt. It sounds almost hypocritical to say "See, I've done all these cuts, I'm all for cutting costs". There should be cuts on both ends, less debt and less cost.

Seriously, are you really surprised? Obama has a track record of saying one thing and doing another. Only Obama and the Democrats have the ability to call a huge tax hike a tax cut and have the public (at least some of it) believe them.



deanhills wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I have said many times, that I only speak for myself, but I vote Republican mostly (I vote mainly on issues, but Republicans – with some exceptions – tend to better align with my views), and here’s what I believe on each of these topics:

You have very interesting points of view and I agree with all of them for the reasons you gave. I think I have an understanding for where you may be coming from. You're a liberal freethinking Republican as much as one would find a liberal freethinking Democrat? There are a number of freethinking Republicans like that, who may have a different opinion than the party line? The democrats are too much into socialized type projects and programmes, too many rules and regulations and I would tend to vote Republican as well, but like you not agreeing with all of their policies. I'm for semi-legalizing drugs, i.e. there are certain drugs that do definitely need input by physicians, but anti-inflammatories type drugs are plain silly for needing doctors' appointments. A pharmacist can easily help with dispensing those.

I was talking more along the lines of drugs used for recreational use.



deanhills wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
To make this happen, we need to adopt a policy of non aggression, which is stronger and better defined that our current stated policy. While it may be debatable that the War on Terror falls under this definition, we should only attack once attacked or attack in imminent (I would prefer only after we’re attacked, but the nature of weapons today makes that a scary proposition.)

But is the US really the aggressor? As far as I can see it is perfectly justifiable in defending itself against terror attacks on its own soil by keeping terrorists in check in the Middle East and through its presence there collecting as much intel as it can in order to prevent terror attacks from occurring in the US. I'm not so sure that a policy of staying at home and waiting for the terrorists to visit would be in the interest of public safety. I'm almost certain if there were any chance of such a policy (no warfare until attacked) working that Obama would have welcomed that with open arms, as that is what he wanted to happen was it not? Remove all troops and stay at home until attacked. But instead he is asking for more troops now. Something must have caused him to change his mind.

Well, I didn’t want to get into the details/debate over the War on Terror, so I think that would be better served in another thread since it is a topic unto itself. But in a nutshell, I think that if a “clear and present danger” presents itself, the US should take decisive, measured action. And that doesn’t need to mean full-scale warfare.
jmi256
jmi256 wrote:
I don’t agree that it isn’t a Republican principle (again that overarching principle of personal freedom/choice over government intrusion). While individual politicians may express their own views, I would argue that most Republicans would agree with my comment as it aligns with personal freedom/choice. As you pointed out Democrats argue that they endorse gay marriage (which they then fail to act on, btw) on the principle that the federal government gets to dictate who and who can’t get married. Republicans argue that it is not a role provided in the Constitution. Now there are some who do see it as “wrong,” which is an opinion they are entitled to hold. And they then argue further for an Amendment, which is the procedure outlined in the Constitution for providing the federal government more power than it is supposed to have. Of course an Amendment has stricter thresholds in Congress and also have to be ratified by the states, so if an amendment was passed it would be by the consent and will of the citizenry, not some bureaucrat. While I personally could give a rat’s arse whether two guys or girls get married, I don’t believe that what is permitted or not permitted should solely be determined what I “like” or “dislike.” Democrats/those on the left simply want to usurp that power with no legality whatsoever. That of course is a very slippery slope since it provides almost limitless power to the federal government with no checks or balances (or at least cripples the checks and balances provided in the US Constitution intended to protect the citizenry from an oppressive federal government.


And here’s a perfect example of what I mean when I say these things shouldn’t be decided on the whim of some bureaucrat, in this case the president. Either it is legal or it’s not. The role of the federal government to decide or not, as provided in the US Constitution. Whatever Obama’s “feeling” or “personal view” is should have no bearing on the issue.

Quote:
WH: Obama still 'grappling' with gay marriage

WASHINGTON – The White House says President Barack Obama is "grappling" with his personal views on gay marriage even as he's ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of a law that bans it.

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that, at Obama's direction, it would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act in a court case where it's being challenged.

Spokesman Jay Carney said Obama has always opposed the Defense of Marriage Act as "unnecessary and unfair." But Carney said there's no change to how Obama views gay marriage itself.

Obama said in January that he is still wrestling with whether gay couples should have the right to marry. He said his feelings on the issue continue to evolve but he still believes in allowing strong civil unions.


Source = http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110223/ap_on_re_us/us_gay_marriage_obama
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:


And here’s a perfect example of what I mean when I say these things shouldn’t be decided on the whim of some bureaucrat, in this case the president. Either it is legal or it’s not. The role of the federal government to decide or not, as provided in the US Constitution. Whatever Obama’s “feeling” or “personal view” is should have no bearing on the issue.


Life, the Constitution and its history are just not that simple. Even Lincoln's view of slavery and how/when to abolish it evolved over the years. Indeed there is no single, simple Constitutional answer to many questions like this one.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:

Life, the Constitution and its history are just not that simple. Even Lincoln's view of slavery and how/when to abolish it evolved over the years. Indeed there is no single, simple Constitutional answer to many questions like this one.

Well, actually there IS a simple constitutional answer to questions like this one (gay marriage being the context).
Is it in the constitutionally enumerated powers of the federal government to dictate who can and cannot get married?
No.
Therefore, the decision should get passed down to the states.
(And the states have the option to let the counties within the state decide. The counties have the option to let municipal governments decide. And municipalities have the option to let individuals decide.)
Ideally, no level of government would find it within their mission to dictate this, and the decision would be passed on to individuals.

(ie. Obama's answer to the issue should be "I don't have the authority to make that decision, so it doesn't matter what I think/feel about the subject.")



jmi256 wrote:
the few Republicans I personally know here in NYC, most feel the same way – or close to it. The underlying principle is personal freedom/choice over intrusive and invasive government. If you’re talking platforms, the Republican platform, just like the Democratic platform, doesn’t necessarily represent all or even the majority view, but rather addresses the views of the specific candidate running for office. The platform is created in totality in hopes that certain aspects attract some people to vote for the candidate, and certain aspects attract other people to vote for a candidate. I have never seen a platform in which I 100% agreed or disagreed with.

If the positions of the party do not match the majority of the members, why do you vote for them?
This 'only 2 viable parties' junk needs to end, seriously. Neither one represents what voters want. Ever.
*edit*
Except maybe for handfleisch. The Democrat party apparently represents exactly what he wants.
^.^
Quote:

While individual politicians may express their own views, I would argue that most Republicans would agree with my comment as it aligns with personal freedom/choice.

Again, if most Republicans disagree with the 'individual politicians', why vote for them?
A vote for a losing candidate is less of a waste than a vote for a candidate you don't like.
Quote:

Not really. I said “As an immigrant myself, I am in favor of legal immigration, and I also think our immigration policy should be as liberal (little “l”) as possible.” The criteria I set out are very low. Basically potential immigrants can’t assume the US will pay their way to get here, can’t be riddled with some diseases that would cause a public health issue, and should have some type of ability to work, family to support them, money in the bank to provide for them, etc. I wouldn’t want someone coming here and starving to death once they got here. I don’t think 100% open borders is something anyone wants, though.

100%? No.
99%? Yes.
Immigration Questionnaire:
Are you a terrorist? Y/N
Are you smuggling anything in? Y/N
Are you have any warrants out for your arrest? Y/N
If the answer to all 3 is no (and this is verified), congratulations, you're a citizen now. Here's your social security number.
(ie. at the border station, you should either be given citizenship or arrested, no turning you away. There should be no difference between an illegal immigrant and an 'illegal' citizen -- both could only be illegal by doing illegal things.)

A free country has no business restricting who can come in (or out for that matter).
Quote:

Agreed, that’s why I said the problem lies in the assumption made that they have to “be taken of.” The way progressives/Lefties/Statists/Communists/Socialists/Facists/Liberals/whatever they’re calling themselves this week have twisted our society is the core issue. That’s one of the problems I have with Obamacare. By making healthcare a “public welfare” issue you now make whether Bobby down the street wants to smoke a cigarette or eat a steak, or put a little salt on his food, or not go for his annual checkup, etc. everyone else’s business.

And it also makes it 'everyone else's business' when somebody immigrates who already needs help.
Fix this, and immigrants who can't support themselves would not be a problem.
Quote:

I didn’t say anything about weakening our military, but rather having it scale as needs ebb and flow. In times of war or threat, it should increase. In times of peace, scale back. But a question arises from your response:
Exactly what advantage does a huge military provide (to do what exactly), except to kick someone’s arse in a conflict? We aren’t going to use it to intimidate anyone I hope. Instead of spreading democracy and freedom from the end of a gun, the best course of action would be to do so through economic efforts (i.e. capitalism). I understand the need of a strong military when conflict arises, but that is why I say it should scale.

A- Since we're already in a conflict, it shouldn't 'scale' down yet.
B- Scaling takes time, and in an abrupt conflict, there may not be time to 'scale up' to meet it.
I'm in favor of relying more on guard/reserve/other part time troops, but you can't just hire a bunch of new recruits, stick them in/on/with freshly made (or old, unmaintained, obsolete) equipment, and call it an army.
Quote:

Yeah, because the Constitution is followed, right. It’s not like restrictions on rights outlined in the Bill of Rights have ever been imposed, such as on free speech or freedom of religion, right? And it’s not like the federal government would take any power not outlined in the Constitution, such as the power to force citizens to buy a private product, right? Sarcasm aside, what makes you think politicians would be able to control themselves if the exact same system is set up? Or even with a few minor changes? When a system is create to fail, it will. The problem doesn’t lie with those who follow the natural and logical course of the system, but rather the system itself. First of all, though. the rule of law (i.e. the Constitution) must be respected and adhered to. Without that, nothing else really matters.

So,
1- The constitution will not be followed; this is inevitable.
2- If the constitution is not respected and adhered to, nothing else matters.
Therefore:
3- Nothing matters?
Quote:

How so? It’s your money you put in, your money you take out. It incentivizes people to save for retirement and provides them control over their own property. The vehicles exist today, but just need to have their limits removed.

Yes, you take out what you put in, both times without taxes.
So, the people who wish to avoid taxes will just put everything in, take everything out, and nicely avoid paying any taxes.

Under the FairTax system (which I advocate) this would not be a problem, but with the current tax system, it would result in reduced revenues... and wasn't the point of this whole discussion to fix the deficit?
Quote:

The issue isn’t with forcing anyone to do anything. If someone refuses to work, fine let them make that choice. But the consequences of their choices shouldn’t then become the responsibility of someone else, enforced at the end of a gun.

If they make the choice of refusing to work (along with refusing the four options I outlined), then they won't receive benefits, so they won't be any body else's responsibility, at the point of a gun or otherwise.
Quote:

Fair to whom? Is it fair to the poor guy working so that some idiot can sit at home watching Judge Judy and mooching off the system (i.e. his wages)?

Yes, that's the one it wouldn't be fair to.
Suppose you take in a wild animal, feed it and care for it, domesticate it, and it forgets how to fend for itself.
Would it be fair to then abruptly release it into the wild again?

Many people on welfare would need to be rehabilitated before they could fend for themselves. It's an ugly situation, and may require an ugly solution.
Their problems shouldn't be our responsibility... but when we started caring for them, those problems became our responsibility.
This should be ended, but simply reneging on that responsibility is NOT the ethical way to do so.
Quote:
The welfare problem has been an issue since its inception in the 1930s, and I don’t think concerns about an “abrupt stop” are justified.

The time-frame isn't the issue; the issue is the lack of 'rehabilitation' before the end. No matter how much warning you give them ahead of time, the change will still be 'abrupt' when it finally occurs, unless you've taken time and effort to prepare them for it.
handfleisch
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Life, the Constitution and its history are just not that simple. Even Lincoln's view of slavery and how/when to abolish it evolved over the years. Indeed there is no single, simple Constitutional answer to many questions like this one.

Well, actually there IS a simple constitutional answer to questions like this one (gay marriage being the context).
Is it in the constitutionally enumerated powers of the federal government to dictate who can and cannot get married?
No.
Therefore, the decision should get passed down to the states.
(And the states have the option to let the counties within the state decide. The counties have the option to let municipal governments decide. And municipalities have the option to let individuals decide.)
Ideally, no level of government would find it within their mission to dictate this, and the decision would be passed on to individuals.

(ie. Obama's answer to the issue should be "I don't have the authority to make that decision, so it doesn't matter what I think/feel about the subject.")


Fortunately the USA is not a States Rights/Libertarian Serfdom like you describe, where the answer would be "simple". Fortunately the USA has a Constitution that guarantees our rights. Since the beginning of our country, Americans have recognized that the due process clause of the Constitution means that states and local governments cannot (in the normal scheme of things) deprive citizens of life, liberty, or property. This is how the Bill of Rights was made to apply to the states. Reject this concept and you reject the Bill of Rights applying to the states. Unfortunately that is exactly what a lot of reactionaries want, whether out of delusion, fantasy-based thinking, malicious/greedy intent or whatever.
jmi256
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Life, the Constitution and its history are just not that simple. Even Lincoln's view of slavery and how/when to abolish it evolved over the years. Indeed there is no single, simple Constitutional answer to many questions like this one.

Well, actually there IS a simple constitutional answer to questions like this one (gay marriage being the context).
Is it in the constitutionally enumerated powers of the federal government to dictate who can and cannot get married?
No.
Therefore, the decision should get passed down to the states.
(And the states have the option to let the counties within the state decide. The counties have the option to let municipal governments decide. And municipalities have the option to let individuals decide.)
Ideally, no level of government would find it within their mission to dictate this, and the decision would be passed on to individuals.

(ie. Obama's answer to the issue should be "I don't have the authority to make that decision, so it doesn't matter what I think/feel about the subject.")

Agreed. It’s actually quite easy to determine whether the federal government has been provided powers within the Constitution. Despite objections to the contrary, it’s actually quite easy to read.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
the few Republicans I personally know here in NYC, most feel the same way – or close to it. The underlying principle is personal freedom/choice over intrusive and invasive government. If you’re talking platforms, the Republican platform, just like the Democratic platform, doesn’t necessarily represent all or even the majority view, but rather addresses the views of the specific candidate running for office. The platform is created in totality in hopes that certain aspects attract some people to vote for the candidate, and certain aspects attract other people to vote for a candidate. I have never seen a platform in which I 100% agreed or disagreed with.

If the positions of the party do not match the majority of the members, why do you vote for them?
This 'only 2 viable parties' junk needs to end, seriously. Neither one represents what voters want. Ever.
*edit*
Except maybe for handfleisch. The Democrat party apparently represents exactly what he wants.
^.^

I never said I only vote for Republicans, and in fact I don’t think I have ever vote a straight ballot. Instead I vote for an individual. And if I don’t really know the individual (happens a lot in NYC due to the myriad of city councils, community boards, advocacy boards, etc.), I usually write in a name (often my own=). I’m just saying as a whole, the Republican party more closely aligns with my beliefs, and especially more closely than Democrats.

ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
While individual politicians may express their own views, I would argue that most Republicans would agree with my comment as it aligns with personal freedom/choice.

Again, if most Republicans disagree with the 'individual politicians', why vote for them?
A vote for a losing candidate is less of a waste than a vote for a candidate you don't like.

See above


ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Not really. I said “As an immigrant myself, I am in favor of legal immigration, and I also think our immigration policy should be as liberal (little “l”) as possible.” The criteria I set out are very low. Basically potential immigrants can’t assume the US will pay their way to get here, can’t be riddled with some diseases that would cause a public health issue, and should have some type of ability to work, family to support them, money in the bank to provide for them, etc. I wouldn’t want someone coming here and starving to death once they got here. I don’t think 100% open borders is something anyone wants, though.

100%? No.
99%? Yes.
Immigration Questionnaire:
Are you a terrorist? Y/N
Are you smuggling anything in? Y/N
Are you have any warrants out for your arrest? Y/N
If the answer to all 3 is no (and this is verified), congratulations, you're a citizen now. Here's your social security number.
(ie. at the border station, you should either be given citizenship or arrested, no turning you away. There should be no difference between an illegal immigrant and an 'illegal' citizen -- both could only be illegal by doing illegal things.)

A free country has no business restricting who can come in (or out for that matter).

I think we’re pretty much on the same page here. In essence we agree that the cost/hassle of entry should be low, but maybe disagree on what should be checked. What I’m not sure is what you would do with those who enter/have entered illegally. My view is that they get booted and forced to apply for legal immigration like everyone else (and maybe with a bad Indian burn for good measure=)



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Agreed, that’s why I said the problem lies in the assumption made that they have to “be taken of.” The way progressives/Lefties/Statists/Communists/Socialists/Facists/Liberals/whatever they’re calling themselves this week have twisted our society is the core issue. That’s one of the problems I have with Obamacare. By making healthcare a “public welfare” issue you now make whether Bobby down the street wants to smoke a cigarette or eat a steak, or put a little salt on his food, or not go for his annual checkup, etc. everyone else’s business.

And it also makes it 'everyone else's business' when somebody immigrates who already needs help.
Fix this, and immigrants who can't support themselves would not be a problem.

Exactly. I don’t think we disagree here either.


ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
I didn’t say anything about weakening our military, but rather having it scale as needs ebb and flow. In times of war or threat, it should increase. In times of peace, scale back. But a question arises from your response:
Exactly what advantage does a huge military provide (to do what exactly), except to kick someone’s arse in a conflict? We aren’t going to use it to intimidate anyone I hope. Instead of spreading democracy and freedom from the end of a gun, the best course of action would be to do so through economic efforts (i.e. capitalism). I understand the need of a strong military when conflict arises, but that is why I say it should scale.

A- Since we're already in a conflict, it shouldn't 'scale' down yet.
B- Scaling takes time, and in an abrupt conflict, there may not be time to 'scale up' to meet it.
I'm in favor of relying more on guard/reserve/other part time troops, but you can't just hire a bunch of new recruits, stick them in/on/with freshly made (or old, unmaintained, obsolete) equipment, and call it an army.

Point A: Ok, fine I see your point. But I think we can withdrawal rather quickly. If you read my older posts, you’ll see that one of my criticisms of Bush was that he overreached with the Iraq and Afghan Wars. I think he could have made his point by bombing the crap out of Afghanistan/Iraq until the other side gave up. Instead, by committing troops on the ground he opened the US up to the responsibility of a post-arse-whooping government.
Point B: The nature of conflict in the immediate future (at least for the next 10-12 years in my estimation) seems to be more low/medium-level engagement, where a few divisions could be used at a time to perform operations if needed. (One of the keys would be to stop getting involved in the UN’s debacles.) I’m not saying get rid of the military altogether, but rather bring down troop levels and therefore costs in times of relative peace. For larger conflicts, I think we’d see the trouble brewing and would have time to scale up. I really don’t see a sneak attack happening from a formidable country happening without some warning. Instead, it will be smaller, terrorist-style attacks from terrorist organizations. Yes, some will be state sponsored, but the reason they act through those organizations is because they know we’d clean their clocks in a matchup.




ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Yeah, because the Constitution is followed, right. It’s not like restrictions on rights outlined in the Bill of Rights have ever been imposed, such as on free speech or freedom of religion, right? And it’s not like the federal government would take any power not outlined in the Constitution, such as the power to force citizens to buy a private product, right? Sarcasm aside, what makes you think politicians would be able to control themselves if the exact same system is set up? Or even with a few minor changes? When a system is create to fail, it will. The problem doesn’t lie with those who follow the natural and logical course of the system, but rather the system itself. First of all, though. the rule of law (i.e. the Constitution) must be respected and adhered to. Without that, nothing else really matters.

So,
1- The constitution will not be followed; this is inevitable.
2- If the constitution is not respected and adhered to, nothing else matters.
Therefore:
3- Nothing matters?

I was being sarcastic. But at the end of the day, the rule of law is what will keep things on track. When we abandon that, we simply become a gang of hooligans, taking and doing what we want by force.


ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
How so? It’s your money you put in, your money you take out. It incentivizes people to save for retirement and provides them control over their own property. The vehicles exist today, but just need to have their limits removed.

Yes, you take out what you put in, both times without taxes.
So, the people who wish to avoid taxes will just put everything in, take everything out, and nicely avoid paying any taxes.

Under the FairTax system (which I advocate) this would not be a problem, but with the current tax system, it would result in reduced revenues... and wasn't the point of this whole discussion to fix the deficit?

If they put in 100% of what they make, they wouldn’t have anything to live on. They wouldn’t be able to withdraw money until they hit retirement age, which I’m not 100% sure of, but I think with the current Roth and 401k programs set as 62 and a half. If they take it out early they are hit with the normal income tax, plus a 10% penalty. At the end of the day, it’s their earnings and if they want to squirrel it away for retirement and/or for future generations, they should be able to. The deficit would have to be paid by keeping tax rates at the Bush levels (or even reducing them to spur the economy) while at the same time drastically reducing costs.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The issue isn’t with forcing anyone to do anything. If someone refuses to work, fine let them make that choice. But the consequences of their choices shouldn’t then become the responsibility of someone else, enforced at the end of a gun.

If they make the choice of refusing to work (along with refusing the four options I outlined), then they won't receive benefits, so they won't be any body else's responsibility, at the point of a gun or otherwise.

But why have the government involved at all? If their labor is productive, the “benefit” they will get is a JOB. If not, it’s just a healthy portion of busy work, with a side of government bureaucracy, mismanagement, waste and corruption on the side. At the very least, you’re cutting out the middle man.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Fair to whom? Is it fair to the poor guy working so that some idiot can sit at home watching Judge Judy and mooching off the system (i.e. his wages)?

Yes, that's the one it wouldn't be fair to.
Suppose you take in a wild animal, feed it and care for it, domesticate it, and it forgets how to fend for itself.
Would it be fair to then abruptly release it into the wild again?

Many people on welfare would need to be rehabilitated before they could fend for themselves. It's an ugly situation, and may require an ugly solution.
Their problems shouldn't be our responsibility... but when we started caring for them, those problems became our responsibility.
This should be ended, but simply reneging on that responsibility is NOT the ethical way to do so.

I simply believe differently. I believe that at his heart, Man is a magnificent creature, and to treat him like an animal is an abomination. The welfare system is a disaster that destroys lives. Look at the black community as an example, which is especially plagued by the welfare mentality. Families are almost nonexistent since they are rewarded by more “assistance” if they stay single rather than marry (joint income is considered when determining welfare payments and other benefits), a culture of “us” vs. them has been nurtured, abortion rates in black communities are at sky-high rates, so much so that it is often referred to as “the Black Genocide,” children who are being born are being raised in kinship care because their mothers don’t have the social support structure the marriage unit provides, etc. The list can go on and on. Most people who I’ve spoken to and are on welfare hate it. But they are more comfortable receiving welfare than they would be without - at least in the short term - that they refuse to leave the system.

I recently started calculating the value of services offered here in NYC for low/no income people, and the amount when free rent, welfare payments, free metrocards (used to ride subways and busses), free cell phones, free school clothes (actual clothes and gift cards to stores), free utilities, free healthcare, free computers (the city has a program that hands out laptops), free food (again, actual food as well as gift cards and debit cards), etc. are all added up comes to a little over $50k according to my estimations. In fact, I was considering writing a book titled, “If you’re working in NYC and making less than $54,237, you’re a schmuck” (the exact number added for effect). But the sad truth is that for someone on welfare, they would have to earn more than that number for working to “pay.” And if the increase in nominal, then they face the decision of “do I sit on my arse all day and get everything or do I get up at 6 am like everyone else, commute to my job, which I’m at all day, commute home and all the other stuff that everyone else does and get the same stuff?” For many it’s an easy decision to make. For most in the country, $50k is a lot of money, but in NYC it’s pretty attainable and rather quickly after being in a job for not that much time. So someone starting out has to bite the bullet and work hard for a few years, but eventually they are doing pretty well. But because that initial short term shock is there, many simply refuse to take the leap. To support such a system is NOT ethical.



ocalhoun wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The welfare problem has been an issue since its inception in the 1930s, and I don’t think concerns about an “abrupt stop” are justified.

The time-frame isn't the issue; the issue is the lack of 'rehabilitation' before the end. No matter how much warning you give them ahead of time, the change will still be 'abrupt' when it finally occurs, unless you've taken time and effort to prepare them for it.

People are stronger and more adaptable than you may think.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Life, the Constitution and its history are just not that simple. Even Lincoln's view of slavery and how/when to abolish it evolved over the years. Indeed there is no single, simple Constitutional answer to many questions like this one.

Well, actually there IS a simple constitutional answer to questions like this one (gay marriage being the context).
Is it in the constitutionally enumerated powers of the federal government to dictate who can and cannot get married?
No.
Therefore, the decision should get passed down to the states.
(And the states have the option to let the counties within the state decide. The counties have the option to let municipal governments decide. And municipalities have the option to let individuals decide.)
Ideally, no level of government would find it within their mission to dictate this, and the decision would be passed on to individuals.

(ie. Obama's answer to the issue should be "I don't have the authority to make that decision, so it doesn't matter what I think/feel about the subject.")


Fortunately the USA is not a States Rights/Libertarian Serfdom like you describe, where the answer would be "simple". Fortunately the USA has a Constitution that guarantees our rights. Since the beginning of our country, Americans have recognized that the due process clause of the Constitution means that states and local governments cannot (in the normal scheme of things) deprive citizens of life, liberty, or property. This is how the Bill of Rights was made to apply to the states. Reject this concept and you reject the Bill of Rights applying to the states. Unfortunately that is exactly what a lot of reactionaries want, whether out of delusion, fantasy-based thinking, malicious/greedy intent or whatever.


You should really consider learning a bit about the Constitution works to avoid making such idiotic comments. The Bill of Rights do not only "apply to the states" but are federal protections. The federal government is provided certain powers under the US Constitution and all other roles are assumed to reside with the individual. People residing in individual states may or may not then allocate certain powers to their state government through the state constitution. And the same may work down to the local level, depending on how their government is designed. This is a simple enough concept taught in grade school in the US.
watersoul
jmi256 wrote:
The Bill of Rights do not only "apply to the states" but are federal protections. The federal government is provided certain powers under the US Constitution and all other roles are assumed to reside with the individual. People residing in individual states may or may not then allocate certain powers to their state government through the state constitution. And the same may work down to the local level, depending on how their government is designed.

Thats the way I understand it myself as a foreign person, and forgetting the politics for the moment, I've always been impressed with the written (and at the same time arguable) constitution which you have in the US.
We have nothing really in the UK which is legally comparable with it Sad
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:


Fortunately the USA is not a States Rights/Libertarian Serfdom like you describe, where the answer would be "simple". Fortunately the USA has a Constitution that guarantees our rights. Since the beginning of our country, Americans have recognized that the due process clause of the Constitution means that states and local governments cannot (in the normal scheme of things) deprive citizens of life, liberty, or property. This is how the Bill of Rights was made to apply to the states. Reject this concept and you reject the Bill of Rights applying to the states. Unfortunately that is exactly what a lot of reactionaries want, whether out of delusion, fantasy-based thinking, malicious/greedy intent or whatever.


You should really consider learning a bit about the Constitution works to avoid making such idiotic comments. The Bill of Rights do not only "apply to the states" but are federal protections. The federal government is provided certain powers under the US Constitution and all other roles are assumed to reside with the individual. People residing in individual states may or may not then allocate certain powers to their state government through the state constitution. And the same may work down to the local level, depending on how their government is designed. This is a simple enough concept taught in grade school in the US.

Thanks for the lecture, perfesser, but being called "idiotic" by an unhinged fabulist doesn't count for much. You might want to go back to your basics about the Due Process clause and the Bill of Rights since what I wrote is just that -- basics. Or ignore that and just continue on your sparkling voyage into the scifi realms of Constitutional theory.

On edit, on looking I found my statement echoed in every analysis I checked. For your further education:
http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_bor.html
Quote:
The "Due Process Clause" has been interpreted as applying the Bill of Rights, which lists the rights (or privileges and immunities) of the citizens, to the states.


Now I am sure you could find that the Constitution says whatever you want it to say on whackedideas.com or townhall.com or your favorite Breitbart.com, but I'm referring to legitimate sources.
jmi256
watersoul wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The Bill of Rights do not only "apply to the states" but are federal protections. The federal government is provided certain powers under the US Constitution and all other roles are assumed to reside with the individual. People residing in individual states may or may not then allocate certain powers to their state government through the state constitution. And the same may work down to the local level, depending on how their government is designed.

Thats the way I understand it myself as a foreign person, and forgetting the politics for the moment, I've always been impressed with the written (and at the same time arguable) constitution which you have in the US.
We have nothing really in the UK which is legally comparable with it Sad

Yes, it really is pretty solid.


handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:


Fortunately the USA is not a States Rights/Libertarian Serfdom like you describe, where the answer would be "simple". Fortunately the USA has a Constitution that guarantees our rights. Since the beginning of our country, Americans have recognized that the due process clause of the Constitution means that states and local governments cannot (in the normal scheme of things) deprive citizens of life, liberty, or property. This is how the Bill of Rights was made to apply to the states. Reject this concept and you reject the Bill of Rights applying to the states. Unfortunately that is exactly what a lot of reactionaries want, whether out of delusion, fantasy-based thinking, malicious/greedy intent or whatever.


You should really consider learning a bit about the Constitution works to avoid making such idiotic comments. The Bill of Rights do not only "apply to the states" but are federal protections. The federal government is provided certain powers under the US Constitution and all other roles are assumed to reside with the individual. People residing in individual states may or may not then allocate certain powers to their state government through the state constitution. And the same may work down to the local level, depending on how their government is designed. This is a simple enough concept taught in grade school in the US.

Thanks for the lecture, perfesser, but being called "idiotic" by an unhinged fabulist doesn't count for much. You might want to go back to your basics about the Due Process clause and the Bill of Rights since what I wrote is just that -- basics. Or ignore that and just continue on your sparkling voyage into the scifi realms of Constitutional theory

I find it pretty difficult to take advice to learn more from someone who doesn’t know how to spell “professor.” But carry on and continue proving me right.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:


Fortunately the USA is not a States Rights/Libertarian Serfdom like you describe, where the answer would be "simple". Fortunately the USA has a Constitution that guarantees our rights. Since the beginning of our country, Americans have recognized that the due process clause of the Constitution means that states and local governments cannot (in the normal scheme of things) deprive citizens of life, liberty, or property. This is how the Bill of Rights was made to apply to the states. Reject this concept and you reject the Bill of Rights applying to the states. Unfortunately that is exactly what a lot of reactionaries want, whether out of delusion, fantasy-based thinking, malicious/greedy intent or whatever.


You should really consider learning a bit about the Constitution works to avoid making such idiotic comments. The Bill of Rights do not only "apply to the states" but are federal protections. The federal government is provided certain powers under the US Constitution and all other roles are assumed to reside with the individual. People residing in individual states may or may not then allocate certain powers to their state government through the state constitution. And the same may work down to the local level, depending on how their government is designed. This is a simple enough concept taught in grade school in the US.

Thanks for the lecture, perfesser, but being called "idiotic" by an unhinged fabulist doesn't count for much. You might want to go back to your basics about the Due Process clause and the Bill of Rights since what I wrote is just that -- basics. Or ignore that and just continue on your sparkling voyage into the scifi realms of Constitutional theory

I find it pretty difficult to take advice to learn more from someone who doesn’t know how to spell “professor.” But carry on and continue proving me right.

Um, that was a joke; "perfesser" is kind of hillbilly-speak for professor. I should have known not to be subtle with you. But typical that you would even think a misspelling somehow proves you right and leave it at that. By the way I edited my post with citation. But please feel free to ignore reality and continue with your Constitution-as-seen-from-Klingon diatribe.
jmi256
handfleisch wrote:
Um, that was a joke; "perfesser" is kind of hillbilly-speak for professor. I should have known not to be subtle with you. But typical that you would even think a misspelling somehow proves you right and leave it at that. By the way I edited my post with citation. But please feel free to ignore reality and continue with your Constitution-as-seen-from-Klingon diatribe.

Sorry, didn't realize you're a hillbilly. But since you feel compelled to inject yourself into a refreshing conversation, please tell me it is that I wrote that you seem to have a problem with. As you can tell by the rest of the thread I have no problem breaking it down by point and talking about specifics and ideas, but if you would rather simply spew nonsense and muck up yet another thread with your usual talking points and tactics, I'll leave you to it and concentrate on discussing the topic with people interested in a real discussion.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
The idea of “public rights” is a misnomer that really means the deterioration of an individual’s rights. And when individual rights mean nothing, the aggregate “public rights” also mean nothing.
This is extremely well said! Totally agreed. Is there anything like individual's rights anyway? There seems to be a piece of paper of license in the way of any activity we want to perform in the "public interest". For example, if I want to scuba dive, I have to have a license. If I am a kid, I have to go to school. If I want to visit another country, I have to have a passport. If I want to marry someone, I have to get a license. If I have to drive a car, I have to have a license to drive and a license for my car. Etc. Etc.
jmi256 wrote:
Well, I didn’t want to get into the details/debate over the War on Terror, so I think that would be better served in another thread since it is a topic unto itself. But in a nutshell, I think that if a “clear and present danger” presents itself, the US should take decisive, measured action. And that doesn’t need to mean full-scale warfare.
But isn't that the case anyway? In order to get the support of Congress, the President has to prove his case, i.e. that there is a "clear and present danger"?

ocalhoun wrote:
Well, actually there IS a simple constitutional answer to questions like this one (gay marriage being the context).
Is it in the constitutionally enumerated powers of the federal government to dictate who can and cannot get married?
No.
Therefore, the decision should get passed down to the states.
(And the states have the option to let the counties within the state decide. The counties have the option to let municipal governments decide. And municipalities have the option to let individuals decide.)
Ideally, no level of government would find it within their mission to dictate this, and the decision would be passed on to individuals.
I really like this point of view. It makes GREAT political sense. And just imagine the savings that can be obtained in terms of legal fees, and Congress time by letting individuals decide who or what they want to marry. And do it in a legal contract.

ocalhoun wrote:
This 'only 2 viable parties' junk needs to end, seriously. Neither one represents what voters want. Ever.
Well said. Totally on the number.
ocalhoun wrote:
A free country has no business restricting who can come in (or out for that matter).
I don't agree with this statement at all. In order for me to feel free, I have to feel safe as well, and if the country allows people in willy nilly, there is a good chance that there will be a real big problem in terms of safety. For example, where I am in the UAE, I feel VERY safe, and as a consequence freer, than I would have in a country where there is a good chance that I may be mowed down by bullets, like for example in Florida by drug pushers. There is a pretense of democracy and "being free", but in reality that is a pretense. There are so many rules and regulations, tax laws, limitations on business operations, etc. etc. that one can hardly call oneself free.

watersoul wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The Bill of Rights do not only "apply to the states" but are federal protections. The federal government is provided certain powers under the US Constitution and all other roles are assumed to reside with the individual. People residing in individual states may or may not then allocate certain powers to their state government through the state constitution. And the same may work down to the local level, depending on how their government is designed.

Thats the way I understand it myself as a foreign person, and forgetting the politics for the moment, I've always been impressed with the written (and at the same time arguable) constitution which you have in the US.
We have nothing really in the UK which is legally comparable with it Sad
We have a Bill of Rights in Canada as well. And as an immigrant that impressed me in a great way.
Quote:
BILL OF RIGHTS
1. It is hereby recognized and declared that in Canada there have existed and shall continue to exist without discrimination by reason of race, national origin, colour, religion or sex, the following human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,

(a) the right of the individual to life, liberty, security of the person and enjoyment of property and the right not to be deprived thereof except by due process of law;
(b) the right of the individual to equality before the law and the protection of the law;
(c) freedom of religion;
(d) freedom of speech;
(e) freedom of assembly and of association; and
(f) freedom of the press.
2. Every law of Canada shall, unless it is expressly declared by an Act of Parliament of Canada that it shall operate notwithstanding the Canadian Bill of Rights, be so construed and applied as not to abrogate, abridge or infringe or to authorize the abrogation, abridgment or infringement of any of the rights or freedoms herein recognized and declared, and in particular, no law of Canada shall be construed or applied so as to

(a) authorize or effect the arbitrary detention, imprisonment or exile of a person;
(b) impose or authorize the imposition of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment;
(c) deprive a person who has been arrested or detained
(i) of the right to be informed promptly of the reason for his arrest or detention,
(ii) of the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay, or
(iii) of the remedy by way of habeas corpus for the determination of the validity of his detention and for his release if the detention is not lawful;
(d) authorize a court, tribunal, commission, board or other authority to compel a person to give evidence if he is denied counsel, protection against self-crimination or other constitutional safeguards;
(e) deprive a person of the right to a fair hearing in accordance to the principles of fundamental justice for the determination of his rights and obligations;
(f) deprive a person charged with a criminal offence of the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, or of the right to reasonable bail without just cause; and
(g) deprive a person of the right to the assistance to an interpreter in any proceedings in which he is involved or in which he is a party or a witness, before a court, commission, board or other tribunal, if he does not understand or speak the language in which such proceedings are conducted.
3. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister of Justice shall, in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Governor General in Council, examine every regulation transmitted to the Clerk of the Privy Council for registration pursuant to the Statutory Instruments Act and every Bill introduced in or presented to the House of Commons by a Minister of the Crown in order to ascertain whether any of the provisions thereof are inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of this Part and he shall report any such inconsistency to the House of Commons at the first convenient opportunity.

(2) A regulation need not be examined in accordance with subsection (1) if prior to being made it was examined as a proposed regulation in accordance with section 3 of the Statutory Instruments Act to ensure that it was not inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of this Part.

4. The provisions of this Part shall be known as the Canadian Bill of Rights.

Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
The idea of “public rights” is a misnomer that really means the deterioration of an individual’s rights.
Non-sequitur. 'Public' rights could refer to the rights of individuals in public life (and how they interact with privacy/confidentiality/secrecy law). Passing a general right does not necessarily mean a deterioration in an individual's rights. The general right to free-expression does not take away any right of an individual, except those 'rights' which previously relied on bias and/or discrimination/coercion (and therefore not really individual rights at all).
Quote:
And when individual rights mean nothing, the aggregate “public rights” also mean nothing.
Non-sequitur - see previous.
Deanhills wrote:
This is extremely well said! Totally agreed. Is there anything like individual's rights anyway? There seems to be a piece of paper of license in the way of any activity we want to perform in the "public interest".
Not really.
Quote:
For example, if I want to scuba dive, I have to have a license.
No you don't. You can scuba to your heart's content. You need a license to hire kit from reputable sources - quite rightly - but buy your own and you can dive all you like. You would be a fool, but a free fool.
Quote:
If I am a kid, I have to go to school.
Not really - home education is legal.
Quote:
If I want to visit another country, I have to have a passport.
Not always - I can travel within Europe without a passport (in theory, though I would take it and probably need it at some point). If you are wanting to be identified as a particular National - which I have no doubt YOU do, then a passport is protection, not a restriction. Countries have rights over who they admit - a western passport normally gets you in and ensures certain priviledges.
Quote:
If I want to marry someone, I have to get a license.
Only if you want to take advantage of special 'rights' which apply to married people.
Quote:
If I have to drive a car, I have to have a license to drive and a license for my car.
The alternative to which would be carnage. We demand necessary skills for many dangerous tasks, including potentially lethal ones like driving.
handfleisch
jmi256 wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Um, that was a joke; "perfesser" is kind of hillbilly-speak for professor. I should have known not to be subtle with you. But typical that you would even think a misspelling somehow proves you right and leave it at that. By the way I edited my post with citation. But please feel free to ignore reality and continue with your Constitution-as-seen-from-Klingon diatribe.

Sorry, didn't realize you're a hillbilly. But since you feel compelled to inject yourself into a refreshing conversation, please tell me it is that I wrote that you seem to have a problem with. As you can tell by the rest of the thread I have no problem breaking it down by point and talking about specifics and ideas, but if you would rather simply spew nonsense and muck up yet another thread with your usual talking points and tactics, I'll leave you to it and concentrate on discussing the topic with people interested in a real discussion.


Typical. You make an amazing gaffe (that a basic fact of Constitutional history is "idiotic") and then can't handle being wrong. As usual, you want your own private set of so-called facts and are hyper-sensitive to any reality that might contradict it.

Here's how it went: Not addressing you at all but ocalhoun, I post a basic Constitutional fact from history, the relationship between the Due Process clause and the Bill of Rights, in order to show that things are not as "simple" as some would like (that it's not just a case of the Constitution being "easy to read" as you humorously observed elsewhere). You reply to my post, calling it "idiotic". I tell you that a basic fact from history is just that, and I cite a source (though any basic textbook will tell you this).

Now you repeat that the Due Process-Bill of Rights connection is "nonsense". To you, a basic reality from Constitutional history is a just a "talking point", and pointing out that reality is some kind of "tactic" that interrupts a "refreshing conversation". It's very typical in this post-Neocon era -- a conversation is refreshing if both parties subscribe to the same false premises. You even accuse me interrupting and having a problem with something you wrote, when in fact you replied to my post and you had a problem with what I wrote. That's what the head doctors call "projection".

FYI
http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_bor.html
Quote:
Quote:
The "Due Process Clause" has been interpreted as applying the Bill of Rights, which lists the rights (or privileges and immunities) of the citizens, to the states.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
The idea of “public rights” is a misnomer that really means the deterioration of an individual’s rights.

Non-sequitur. 'Public' rights could refer to the rights of individuals in public life (and how they interact with privacy/confidentiality/secrecy law). Passing a general right does not necessarily mean a deterioration in an individual's rights. The general right to free-expression does not take away any right of an individual, except those 'rights' which previously relied on bias and/or discrimination/coercion (and therefore not really individual rights at all).

Please read the entire post, and you’ll see it is related. You pulled just one line. I was referring to the claims of “public rights” the Left commonly uses to justify their assault on individual freedoms. They also try to use innocuous and meaningless terms like “the public good,” “the public welfare” or “the public need” to sugar coat their actions. Pick your poison. And most times it does mean a deterioration of an individual’s right, but done little by little so as not to create an uproar. For example, freedom of speech is an individual right that I think most reasonable people can agree on. Attempts to censor that individual right deteriorates the right to free speech; what’s the point of the freedom of speech if you’re only allowed to express things that are approved? But the Left commonly uses the argument that it is in the best interest of “the public welfare” or “a public right” to protect people from speech some bureaucrat finds offensive (without much discussion of what qualifies that particular bureaucrat to decide what is or isn’t offensive, btw.) Usually it’s claimed that the actions are intended “for the children.” Simply rubbish.


Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
And when individual rights mean nothing, the aggregate “public rights” also mean nothing.

Non-sequitur - see previous.

See above.
Bikerman
'The Public Good' is not some nebulous phrase used to snare unwary capitalists. It would, for example, have been in the public good for the Bank regulatory structures and credit reference agencies to have done their ****** job properly and stopped the disasterous bank losses, resulting in the tax payer paying the bills of private wealth in a free market - simply because the regulators let thwm grow too big to fail.
The public good is (and I say this as a smoker) banning me from inflicting that on people who would rather I didn't.
Just what 'rights' do these 'leftists' demand and how would they impinge on your freedom? If someone on the left doesn't like the way one expresses oneelf then that is between them and 'one' Smile They have no 'laws' to stop one saying what one wishes - even extreme, racist, offensive things if one chose. That is what I mean by freedom of expression and as a 'leftie' I would have nothing to do with interfering with that basic right. I might condemn what one says, but I insist on one's right to say it.
The boundary is incitement to violence - at that point free speech can be rightly, I believe, curtailed.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
'The Public Good' is not some nebulous phrase used to snare unwary capitalists. It would, for example, have been in the public good for the Bank regulatory structures and credit reference agencies to have done their ****** job properly and stopped the disasterous bank losses, resulting in the tax payer paying the bills of private wealth in a free market - simply because the regulators let thwm grow too big to fail.
The public good is (and I say this as a smoker) banning me from inflicting that on people who would rather I didn't.

The problem comes in when different people disagree about what's for the 'public good'.
The more you use it, the smaller details you get down to, and pretty soon you start doing things for the public good that are not in the interests of many individuals.

One could easily make an argument that disallowing gay marriage or banning drugs is for the 'public good'. Heck, you could make an argument that eliminating the Jews is for the 'public good'.

Unless individual rights trump 'public good', you'll end up with an arbitrary rule by whoever gets to decide what's best for the public good.

jmi256 wrote:

But why have the government involved at all? If their labor is productive, the “benefit” they will get is a JOB. If not, it’s just a healthy portion of busy work, with a side of government bureaucracy, mismanagement, waste and corruption on the side. At the very least, you’re cutting out the middle man.

The government probably shouldn't be involved. BUT, now that it is, the government has taken part of the responsibility.
Quote:

I simply believe differently. I believe that at his heart, Man is a magnificent creature, and to treat him like an animal is an abomination.

Now... read that again from the point of view of someone who prefers animals over humans... ^.^
Quote:
The welfare system is a disaster that destroys lives.

Yes, it is a disaster that destroys lives.
Now that the government has helped destroy so many lives, it is the government's duty to rectify the mistake and help rebuild those lives.

Simply saying to them 'no more being lazy: go get a job!' does not help rebuild their lives.
They need education and training, and the ones who aren't suitable for that need a 'halfway house' type of arrangement to ease back into productive society. And a great many of the ones taking those two options need someone to take care of their kids in the meantime.

The measures I speak of would mainly be temporary measures; only previously covered people would be accepted into these programs, and after a generation or so, these programs could be terminated or greatly downsized.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
The problem comes in when different people disagree about what's for the 'public good'.
Agreed. And the better it is for the "public good", probably the worse off it is for the individual. There is probably a point where the two need to should at least be in enough of a balance so that the rights of the individual would not be eroded by regulations that are being made in the name of "the public good".
jmi256
ocalhoun wrote:
Heck, you could make an argument that eliminating the Jews is for the 'public good'.

It’s not something that has to be imagined, because it happened. Just as the Southern Democrats and KKK said that letting blacks vote was “against the public good” and promptly lynched quite a few to keep their hold by fear and intimidation.
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