Dylan Roberts: Collapse backward or continue forward?

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Dylan Roberts

— In 2008, I took a semester off college in order to work as the Northwest Colorado Field Organ­­izer for Barack Obama’s Cam­­paign for Change. I was proud and humbled then to work with the enthusiastic and dedicated Routt County citizens who put in hours of time and effort for that campaign. I am proud now of the progress that President Obama and his team have made. True, we did not get out of the worst recession since the Great Depression as fast as we wanted and millions of families still are struggling, but we are moving forward in the right direction.

There have been nine consecutive months of private sector job growth. More than 3 million jobs were created or saved as a direct result of the stimulus — many of which were jobs crucial to communities: teachers, firefighters and law enforcement officers.

We elected Obama and a Dem­ocratic majority in 2008 because we wanted officials who would move our country forward economically — and they did. We wanted health care reform — and we got it.

Republicans are using that reform as a major selling point in this campaign. They say Americans do not want it and we cannot afford it. This is simply not true.

The health care reform bill actually will reduce the deficit by $110 billion dollars in the first ten years and by another astounding $1.2 trillion during the second decade. It is a fiscally responsible bill. That is not even to mention the 5.6 million Americans who no longer will be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions and the 6.7 million small businesses that now are eligible for health care tax credits.

Despite these major successes, the Republican campaigns this fall have attacked them as unbelievable overreaches by the federal government. This is just blatant hypocrisy.

The stimulus bill cut taxes for 95 percent of American families. It actually consisted of more tax cuts than anything else. Who knew that Republicans were against tax cuts? The health care reform bill is going to reduce the federal deficit by more than a trillion dollars. Who knew that Republicans were against reducing the deficit?

This election will have far-reaching consequences for our nation — not just for the remaining years of Obama’s first term, but also for many years to come. We worked so hard in 2008 because we knew that our country needed a new direction. Do we really want to go back to where we were two years ago so quickly? To put a screeching halt to this progress is a dire mistake.

The 112th Congress that will commence in January has a serious chance of being controlled by Republicans. Should this happen, political paralysis is assured.

If Republicans are serious about their desire to vote on repealing health care reform, abolish federal agencies and deregulate Wall Street, we should fear a completely futile government. Those efforts would serve only the political needs of the Republican Party because none of them have any prospect of passing. They only will distract from the serious work that needs to get done. Given their “Hell No” agenda, do not be surprised if the Republicans force our government to shut down.

The choice could not be more vivid this year. We must not let ourselves fall prey to the drumbeat of negativity and hypocrisy that would drag us backward. We have the opportunity to forge ahead with the progress that we already are seeing. Our new economic policies are working; conservative and liberal economists acknowledge that the dire economy we inherited in January 2009 would be markedly worse without the Recovery Act. Health care reform is covering more people, and it is fiscally responsible. We have a great start in economic recovery, job creation, renewable energy production and education reform.

On Tuesday, Routt County and America face a clear decision.

With your vote, you have the power to choose between the same backward and irresponsible policies that a Republican victory will ensure, or you can chose to make sure we continue to stride toward a better tomorrow.

Roberts was Barack Obama’s field organizer for Northwest Colorado during the 2008 presidential campaign. He is a senior at Boston College pursuing a degree in political science and environmental studies.

Comments

aichempty 4 years ago

Health insurance premiums are going up over 40%. $160 a month may not mean anything to you, but the people around here will feel it when that money doesn't show up in local cash registers. It will put my 24 year old back on my family plan, however, so in that sense the increase is worth it. Thanks go out to all the other people whose increased premiums will help to fund her health care under the Obama plan.

The people who will spend money here on tourism are not in the 95% that will pay less in taxes. They are among the 5% who take ski vacations costing around $1000 per day for a family of four when you add it all up.

The recovery act funded public sector jobs that would have been lost due to local tax revenue shortages. I would say it redistributed tax dollars from federal to local accounts, except that it only redistributed the deficit.

The reason the budget was balanced under Clinton was that he cut spending for the military, and also put lots of defense related workers on the unemployment line. I lived in a town in California where half the houses were empty because of military spending cuts under Clinton. Those cuts required massive spending increases after 9/11/2001 in exactly the manner contemplated by Clinton; if we needed to go to war again, we'd spend the money on contractors for support and activate the reserves rather than maintaining those capabilities within the active duty services. Today's deficits are a Clinton legacy. Call it the "peace bubble collapse." Woulda been great if it had worked out, but it never does.

I'm not supporting the Republicans either, because their greed and naive belief that people would "do the right thing" didn't work either. People are selfish, irresponsible and lazy in general, and trying to believe that giving them mortgages would change their basic nature didn't work. Some people use opportunity to thrive. Most piss it away and do something easier or more self-indulgent, and that's how we get to where we are today.

That 89 cent non-stick friendly spatula made in China ought to cost $3.50 and be manufactured in the United States. People making those spatulas ought to be paying rent and saving up for a down payment on a modest home of their own in some modest little town with not much to offer except steady jobs. Savings and investment at all levels of income are required to grow a strong nation with a robust economy, and that's what we have to get back. If we don't go back to the America that provided jobs and modest lifestyles for 90% of the population, we will forge ahead into a new era of Dark Ages where Depression style living will be the norm. (cont)

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aichempty 4 years ago

Mt Werner was built on the promise of prosperity and leisure time. The ski industry and tourism in general cannot continue to prosper on speculative wealth which can be lost overnight when people cannot come up with the money to purchase homes at inflated prices. The meager "positive" signs we see in the economic indicators are not a promise of recovery. They are a sign that we've dropped about as far as we're going to, if we're lucky, and our current level of income, housing values and unemployment are the new normal. That's good in a sense, because it means prices have stabilized, but it also means that appreciation is a thing of the past, and anybody who bought a house between 1995 and 2005 needs to face the fact that it is worth about what they paid for it back then, and will be for a long time to come.

For most, "get rich quick" is over, and it's back to the model where you have to work hard, save money, work your way up, and if you're lucky, have a paid-for home to live in when you reach retirement age at 67. Or 70. That's "normal." It worked well in this country for many years, and will work again, but people are going to have to understand that manufacturing, extractive (mining, oil, gas), agricultural and new technology with "hard" products (not software, media content, etc.) industries are our future if we're going to have a decent standard of living. Soccer moms in mini-mansions driving SUVs with cell phones plugged into their ears, arranging play dates, are going to become rare. All that stuff takes money which no longer exists. A few will have it, but most will not until they have worked a long time to accumulate the wealth to fund it because borrowed money no longer turns into equity three or four years down the road.

So, unfortunately, kids in their 20s who think that going to college is a ticket to prosperity are wrong. Personal responsibility, integrity, productivity and sacrifice are going to be the keys to financial security IF you're in the right place at the right time.

Nobody in Washington, D.C. is going to deliver the goods to make it the way it used to be during the days of loose credit.

This country gained its independence from Great Britain because people were willing to take a risk and sacrifice to be free. Very few got rich in the process. There have been a lot more folks who perished in mines, worked in meat packing plants, cleared land with hand tools to grow crops, etc., than ever became rich in business or made a good living servicing the needs of commerce working in an office. There's nothing wrong with working hard at a dirty, meaningless job to support yourself and your family until you end up in an early grave. It's just not any fun. And that's where a lot of people alive today are headed, like it or not.

And that's what the Democrats are not going to tell you.

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sledneck 4 years ago

Nobody in Washington tells Americans the truth. If they did, they would not get elected.

There is a great deal of reality and truth (in my opinion) in what you say, Aich.

Unfortunately, the kids (20-40 year olds) today have so much "self esteem" that I do not believe they are able to stop themselves. This is why democracies don't last as permanent forms of government.

Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1742-1813) said "... they can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess (goodies) from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benifits from the treasury, with the resulst that a democracy always collapses over lose fiscal policy... always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the worlds democracies has been 200 years..."

People in America think so much of themselves that they are unlikely to dicipline themselves... even for the sake of their children. Why do the hard thing when I can have a politician put a gun to the head of my neighbor? After all... I'm worth it. I'm special. What Washington has "delivered" to a nation of would-be-pillagers is bankruptcy, envy, dependancy, self esteem, ignorance, and comming slavery.

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seeuski 4 years ago

It will only take a few key strokes to respond to Dylan. We have heard this exact script from Obama on a daily basis the last few weeks and the best I can say to you Dylan is thanks for leaving out the "car in the ditch" comparisons. Jobs created or saved and Obamacare lowering the deficit? And which Conservative economist? Please kid. On November 2nd we are rejecting the "fundamental change" to total Socialism that you are proffering on behalf of Obama, The Tides Foundation, SEIU and George Soros. Thanks but no thanks.

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hereandthere 4 years ago

And we all know that Democrats are against personal responsibility, integrity, productivity and sacrifice.

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NamVet 4 years ago

If anyone actually thinks there will be a fundamental change in Washington after the Republicans take back power they are smoking the funny weed too much.. All you have to do is go back to the 2001-2009 years when they DID have all the power. They campaigned then and now on lower taxes, smaller gov't and a balanced budget. That was all in place in 2001 and they did the exact opposite. The collapse of our economy was on their watch as was massive gov't spending. If you listen to the Republican politicians today they ALL will not answer the simple question and that is where gov't spending will be cut. They want the Bush tax cuts made permanent which will add to the deficit almost $4 trillion, they refuse to cut defense spending which has increased by 100% in the last 10 years not counting 2 grossly mismanaged wars(another $1 trillion). They gave us Medicare Part D which added $1 trillion to the deficit and the list goes on. According to Republicans all our problems can be solved with tax cuts. In the decade 1990-2000 when marginal tax rates where higher the economy grew and created 23 million jobs. The Federal Budget was $1.8 trillion with a $200 billion surplus. In the decade 2000-2010 since the Bush tax cuts were enacted the economy lost 8.5 million jobs and the Federal Budget grew to $3.2 trillion with a $1.3 trillion deficit which was Bush's last budget and Obama's first budget. If you subtract $1.3 trillion from $3.2 trillion you come up with $1.9 trillion which was almost Clinton's last budget and Bush's first budget. When the Bush tax cuts were enacted the unemployment rate was 4.7% and has increased steadily every year till it reach near 10%. At the same time gov't spending increased by 68%. So much for tax cuts will be our savior. What needs to be done is to go back to the 2000 Federal Budget of $1.8 trillion and eliminate all the increases from the Bush tax cuts, defense spending, Medicare Part D, etc. And while we are at it bring home ALL our troops from most foreign countries especially the Middle East. We don't need troops in Western Europe and Japan anymore. They are only there to help foreign economies who depend on the US taxpayer. We also don't need military hardware that the Congress makes the military buy in order to create spending in their home districts like 2 engines for the F-35 and 10 extra unwanted C-17's. Neither party has the will power to do what is necessary to get our financial house in order because it will take shared sacrifice which has been lacking for the last 10 years. The bottom line is don't expect things to change. In 2 or 4 years we will be throwing out all those who get elected Tuesday because what they are promising will all be forgotten once move to inside the Beltway and the money comes pouring in under the table from the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdock, Defense Contractors etc.

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seeuski 4 years ago

Bush is not on any ticket, give it up already nam.

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

And Dylan, by not proving Obama was born in the USA, you accept that Obama is a Muslim sleeper agent set on destroying the USA. Deal with those facts, not your facts from Washington D.C.

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Fred Duckels 4 years ago

Dylan, You seem to be well versed on talking points. I appreciate your participation, while most others your age have a negative political IQ. It does concern me that you seem to be an idealogue at such an early age. Your youth limits you, and it is hard to swallow your rhetoric.I have lived a lifetime studying politics and I'm still looking for answers. Super partisans are always with us, but in the end they never seem make a difference. Keep working!

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NamVet 4 years ago

Seeuski, I can assure you that the great majority of Americans would like to forget the Bush years. However each and every day our men and women in uniform have to relive his legacy with no arms, legs or brains while he plays golf at his Country Club. Their families have to deal with this plus the fact that many children no longer have a Father or Mother. Maybe as Scott said he was a sleeper agent set on destroying the USA.
However that was not my point which is that once the election is over and Republicans are back in control nothing will change. The only difference between the parties is WHO they spend our money on. If you look back there has not been one Republican or Democratic Congress/ President with the exception in the late 1990's Clinton/Gingrich Deficit Reduction Act that has cut gov't spending. This is why when Republican candidates are asked where the cuts will come from they refuse to answer.
Maybe this is why the number one recipient of Wall Street money this year much of it from the bailed out(TARP) financial institutions is the next Speaker of the House, John Boehner. Want to guess why? The actors may change but the play remains the same.

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

Fred, Seriously? You argue that his opinions can be dismissed because he is younger than you. How about at least using the wisdom of your age and explain to him why he is wrong? Explain to him why the tax cuts in the stimulus bill were wrong and so on.

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trump_suit 4 years ago

Dylan, Keep living your dream and believe in yourself. The future is already here and it is indeed bright. The Conservatives like Duckels, See and YVB would have you believe that this country is headed for dark days when nothing could be further from the truth. It is their last dying gasp to scare you one more time into voting for their old stale agenda.

See you all at the Polls, and I encourage each and everyone one of you to vote regardless of your personal beliefs. Our country is only as stong as we make it. Expressing your beliefs and coming to a common consensus is what makes us great.

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seeuski 4 years ago

I love the Progressives, NOT!!! Vote for the USA or the USSA, it's up to you.

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sledneck 4 years ago

Trump, If you really believe Americas future is bright then I envy your optimism and pitty your foresight.

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trump_suit 4 years ago

They told us the best days were over when I graduated High School in the Late 70's. Oil crisis, rampant inflation, high unemployment, banking crisis. We were never going to have it as good as our parents did and would be the first generation since the Great Depression to take a step backwards.

Funny, didn't turn out that way, did it? Won't this time either, America has a resiliency built into the capitalist spirit that can never be broken. For all of the talk about Socialism, nothing could be further from the actual truth and in the end America will stand proud.

When you look deeply into the data you will find that the pessimissim is being generated by the older generations and the youth of our country are excited about their future. Perhaps you have all just gotten too set in your ways to see another way and it is the youth like young Dylan that will lead the way to America's future..

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Chris Kipfer 4 years ago

It really is refreshng to see some optimism in the younger generatnion. Don't let these "know nothings" get you down. It may take another politcal season of lies and deceit, throwing epithets like "socialism" as though they actually understood what that word means. This country has always managed to recover from bouts of madness in the past and will eventually become sane again.

. Our current problem with the growing national debt can only be solved by reducing spending on the items that represent 95% of the budget,defense,social security,and medicare/medicade and increasing tax revenues. The bipartisan Debt Reduction Commission appointed by executive order will report back after the election. Mitch Mcconnel's Republicans who blocked any legislative Debt Reduction Commission will soon have to consider these recommendations,like it or not. So, distract the voters with some scape-goating,and lies. They were afraid of asking any sacrifice from the voters,especially the wealthiest ones, just before an election,so they allowed the congress to have another year at the trough,and,based on past performance will soon be at the trough again.

I was in high school when Eisenhower took office and the highest tax rate on the top income was 90% during his administration. Unemployment was so low that summer jobs were plentiful, and no one worried about Mexican workers.. I had my pick of jobs in 1958 graduating from college. In those days the wealthiest citizens believed in a system based on Freedom WITH Responsibility. Do you enjoy the Interstate Highway System? That was stimulus without the current Republicans at the trough.

My Aunt Emma in Peoria thought that the stimulus programs of the 30's were pointless,but then she also thought that Hitler was doing a better job until the invasion of Poland. By 1936 my parents were optimistic enough to have another baby,me, thank goodness employment was recovering. No, the 30's efforts of the Roosevelt Administration were not enough. We needed the largest deficit in per cent of GDP that we have ever had with WWII as justification. The restucturing from agricultural to manufacturing economy was accelerated further in the post-war economy by a big government program called the GI bill that along with Corporate training programs created the well trained highly skilled workforce that sustained the average economic growth rate. Only a few young people are eligible for GI bill help today,and concentration on next quarter profits has doomed corporate training programs. We felt that we lived in the most freedom in the world back then with those big government programs,and a responsible business community working together.

Obama's task of herding cats may seem impossible,but Roosevelt managed with the help of the political center, Eisenhower the same. Where is that center today? It's torn between Fox News and MSNBC.

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Jeff_Kibler 4 years ago

Weren't social security and medicare designed to be self-funding via the FICA taxes most of us pay? Unfortunately, social security has been raided and left with IOU's, and is in the red for the first time.

Medicaid? A mess funded by state and federal governments.

Military? This is one case where I agree with NamVet. We can no longer afford to be "Team America: World Police." We dump way too much money into NATO and other treaty organizations. If Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan et al want the 7th Fleet to hang around, they should foot the bill.

I'm aware that seems isolationist and that these treaties are complicated, but it's time to put a foot down and say "enough".

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sledneck 4 years ago

I believe the biggest danger to America is its people. They have little to no understanding of history. They actually think that the default position to which America will always return is the position of freedom and prosperity. I think many assume this is some kind of birthright we have as Americans. They think the ship will always right itself because it always has. I think this is an assumption of fools!

"America has a resiliency ... that can never be broken..." Although I am sure many, if not most Americans hold this view, I genuinely do not recall a phrase filled with more hubris.

History shows that ALL empires fall. No exceptions. Unfortunately, like crashes on wall street or in real estate, it happens when we think it can not. In fact, it happens BECAUSE we think it can not.

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Jeff_Kibler 4 years ago

This is for fans of political trivia and vagaries and anecdotes. Dad turned 90 last week, and there are times I question his recall and veracity. He described the 2 gentlemen running for sheriff in his county. After his lengthy dissertation of their backgrounds and qualifications, I asked about their political affiliations.

"They're both Republicans!"

"How can that be?" was my reply.

In Washington State, the two people that gather the most votes in the primaries, oppose each other in the general election. Party affiliation does not matter.

http://wei.secstate.wa.gov/osos/en/Pages/Top2PrimaryFAQ.aspx

BTW, Dad votes Democrat ~ 95% of the time. He still has his moments.

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freerider 4 years ago

Americans have become fear based morons

Sell fear ...Vietnam . Iraq , Aganiscam Bottle fear...drug war Political fear ....Bush , Rove , Limbaugh ,Palin

As long as stupid Americans keep buying it they will keep shoveling it

Just like flies to meadow muffins

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Chris Kipfer 4 years ago

Kennedy could lower the tax rate because Eisenhower left a surplus. Kennedy was a charmer like Reagan but he raised the Defense budget and got us into Vietnam. This was the first nail in the coffin. The final result was the Lyndon Johnson deficit that led to double digit inflation finally controlled by the Fed with double digit interest rates. The Nixon Dollar devaluation was offset somewhat by his appointment of inflation hawk Paul Volker to the Fed chairmanship. That growing crisis was far worse than what would have been a normal cyclical recovery from a mild recession. Mild recessions are a necessary co commitment of a market economy. They have an actual benefit in squeezing out the inefficient. Bush made most of the same mistakes all over again in a very short time, and worse allowed the concept that everyone could simultaneously get something for nothing. That religion is still the cool-aid of the Tea Party. This current recovery is much harder because it is from a much deeper recession accompanied with a near financial collapse that closely resembles the Great Depression. The Bush tax cuts combined with two unfunded wars and his expansion of entitlements along with further deregulation of the financial markets (Clinton and a Republican congress get some blame here) make government and Fed intervention imperative. We will be very lucky if they get it right. If not,we will go through the same scenario of inflation and high interest rates. The alternative of deep deflation would be far worse though. The only consistent element of this extreme economic cycling is that some of the folks who produce nothing but are finance wizards get richer while most of us get poorer. And yes,they really hate to pay taxes.

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Chris Kipfer 4 years ago

yampa vallee boy is a conservative??? He likes liberal democrat Kennedy. I guess that a Libertarian doesn't actually have to be a conservative. You see,a true conservative is for fiscal responsibility,whatever it takes. Taxes are part of the equation that includes spending cuts. I suppose that it would be nice if we could fund our roads and bridges with tariff receipts and the heck with anything else. You know, take-the-country-back to the Monroe administration. The restructuring of our economy is going to take some willingness to sacrifice. I guess the spirit that we are all in this together and have to spread the pain at least a little bit more evenly is a liberal idea. Does that mean a conservative has to believe that uninlightend selfishness is the highest good. Obama hasn't asked for any real sacrifice so I guess he must be a Conservative. Today's politics seem to be approaching the kind of conflict that occurred in the streets of Berlin with open battles between the Commies and the Nazis approachig 1932. Name calling and distortion of fact lead to this kind of resolution. The end time approaches,etc. I prefer even a panglossian optimism to these harbigers of doom.

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John Fielding 4 years ago

.

It is certainly possible that this nations best days are yet to come, but only if we maintain the fundamental source of prosperity, that is productivity.

Government policies can be powerfully supportive of productivity but generally are the opposite.

At least one candidate for the next presidency has a well articulated program for returning the function of government to this worthy end, described in detail in the book "No Apology, the Case for American Greatness".

http://freestrongamerica.com/stand-with-mitt

.

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

Just a point of clarification, the marginal rate was very high, but it was rarely paid because there was a tax shelter for just about everything. The effective tax rate (that actually paid) was far lower. Then it was all about having the best tax shelter. I recall someone bragging that they had a shelter that cost them $1 and qualified for three different tax credits so it saved $3 on their taxes. It was obvious that every dollar dropped into the shelter didn't do any economic good, it only saved on taxes.

Somewhere along the way our government reduced tax shelters and reduced peak rates. It generally makes more sense to encourage authentic encouraged investments instead of wasting money on schemes that only have the benefit of reducing taxes.

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JusWondering 4 years ago

We are in a new normal; one that probably started prior to Bush's presidency or very early in it. We are going to have to work harder to maintain the same standard of living as our parents. We are going to have to work longer; the days of retiring at age 55 are over unless you are a governmental employee and that can't last. We will be holding on to vehicles for longer than 7 years repairing them instead of replacing them. We will be repairing appliances hoping to get another year out of them. We will stop looking at homes as if they are disposable and hold on to them living in the same home for most of our adult lives. We will be paying more taxes regardless of who is in leadership. We will experience inflation... there is a move now being proposed by the Fed that would slash the value of the dollar by 20% over the next few years! http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A055R20101102

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John Fielding 4 years ago

.

"It was obvious that every dollar dropped into the shelter didn't do any economic good, it only saved on taxes".

Every dollar "dropped in" was an investment on some sort of enterprise the government was encouraging by these reduced tax rates, generating employment, producing goods and services.

Every dollar saved on taxes was retained by the person who had earned it, and was probably not stuffed under a mattress but invested in stocks or bonds, or spent on ski vacations, further stimulating economic benefit.

.

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Scott Wedel 4 years ago

John, Those tax shelters had two goals, be designed to qualify for multiple credits and lose 100% of invested money to maximize tax benefits. That is not effective economic investment.

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aichempty 4 years ago

They're already named a new sandwich after Nancy Pelosi. It's made with dried meat on toast.

The new Republican majority in the House now has two years to fix this mess or I'll vote for Obama in 2012 to teach them a lesson.

What's the biggest change? There's a sudden spike in the D.C. market for clown shoes . . .

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wickie 4 years ago

Thank you, Dylan. Well said.

With all the news about bullying, what kind of example do you people think you are with your comments? It really distracts from what your message might be. Anyhow, I am proud of the willingness of the Obama administration to work together. It is a shame that the Republicans are acting so immature. What has happened to respectful disagreement.

Just a note about the mentioned medical premiums... ours have gone up 25-35% every year for several years. I could be retired if it wasn't for paying medical premiums - so that is a job taken that a younger person could have. I think universal health care would be a huge job stimulus - people benefit tied to their jobs could go out on their own and start a business which may develope more jobs.

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wickie 4 years ago

Thank you, Dylan. Well said.

With all the news about bullying, what kind of example do you people think you are with your comments? It really distracts from what your message might be. Anyhow, I am proud of the willingness of the Obama administration to work together. It is a shame that the Republicans are acting so immature. What has happened to respectful disagreement.

Just a note about the mentioned medical premiums... ours have gone up 25-35% every year for several years. I could be retired if it wasn't for paying medical premiums - so that is a job taken that a younger person could have. I think universal health care would be a huge job stimulus - people benefit tied to their jobs could go out on their own and start a business which may develop more jobs.

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sledneck 4 years ago

Yeah, it's a shame the American people are so stupid.

Universal health care is a job stimulus? Yeah, and burning half our houses would be a great "stimulus" to the construction industry. Wherever you got your "masters degree" in economics you should ask for your money back.

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wickie 4 years ago

I may view health care selfishly because we do have pre-existing situations to deal with. My "masters" is from the "school of hard knocks" - working a career in the health care industry (insurance rep, clinic billing, and... as a consumer) so it is a "special interest". We have friends who are benefit tied to their current jobs and developing hobby careers on the side. They would go full time into their hobby career and open up the job they are leaving if they weren't benefit tied. It is a small scale thing admittedly. The current for profit insurance system is costly too and the system is discriminatory. There are providers who won't see medicaid patients-the low reimbursements don't cover basic overhead. In the long run the lack of access to care can be more costly health care.

Anyhow, I love that there is discussion and people aren't being apathetic about their government on any level.

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