Cindy Antonucci-Ameen: Righting a Congressional wrong

Advertisement

— After listening to President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner talk about the impasse Congress is at regarding raising the debt ceiling, it took several hours to log onto Rep. Scott Tipton’s website to express my views. Apparently many in our fair state heeded the president’s call to let our elected officials know how we feel about this stalemate in Washington. Hurray Colorado! Way to stand up and be heard.

And while I was waiting to vent to Rep. Tipton, I decided to dialogue with Steamboat Pilot & Today readers. There are reasonable, fair-minded, hard-working, voting Americans here, and I want to ask you, voters of Routt County, do you think this impasse has more to do with maintaining the debt ceiling or making sure that Obama, and in turn the rest of America, fails?

What is wrong with solving this with a balanced approach that cuts spending and tries to generate more revenue?  Do you really think closing the tax loopholes for corporate jets will eliminate jobs?  When will this argument go away that raising taxes on billionaires will eliminate jobs? Those jobs are gone. They’re not coming back. We’ve let Halliburton, Ingersoll-Rand and some of the largest corporations receiving American government contracts move out of the country and in effect pay zero taxes. Halliburton, which is drilling here in Colorado and which the federal government says is responsible for some $2.7 billion in overcharging and waste in Iraq, is not paying U.S. taxes. American manufacturing has moved to countries that don’t require health care or minimum wage benefits. We won’t see those jobs again. The only chance we have to create jobs in our country is to utilize and fund our national brain trust, incentivize new economies like renewable energy and technology. And this requires investment capital.

The president has asked for a balanced approach to raising the debt ceiling. Boehner says the president wants a blank check. Therein lies the disconnect. I believe that asking the hardest hit Americans, the middle class, to pay more in the form of higher interest rates and declining Social Security benefits without asking the wealthiest Americans to help out is criminal. We did not hear the speaker say one thing Monday night about cutting tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans. He repeatedly mentioned cutting our “entitlement programs” — those programs we decided long ago were best for the majority of Americans living past their working years.

Here’s what I know: If circumstances changed and my husband and I were in dire straights, I’m certain we would look at every avenue to rectify our situation. We wouldn’t just decide to sell the car, sell the house and cut off funding for our kids’ education without also looking at how we could generate income. I know my mother and mother-in-law, like many Americans, live on Social Security. I know they both depend on Medicare to cover some of their medical costs. I know my daughters and sons-in-law, all part of “big government,” are teachers and firemen living on tight budgets. I know my husband and I pay our 35 percent in taxes to live here and support our country. And I know that these freshmen Tea Partiers in Congress are on track to punish the most vulnerable — the middle class and America’s financial systems — with their ignorance of how things work in Congress.

Listen again to what the president said Monday. President Ronald Reagan raised the debt ceiling 17 times in his tenure. President George W. Bush raised it seven times. Congress supported them each time. Our president is asking for this at a time of great need in our country’s financial future, for reasons that cannot be laid entirely at his feet. The interests of a few who refuse to compromise, who are beholding to their corporate benefactors or are just simply tools, should not hijack the interests of the many, the middle class Americans who pay our share, who worked for our retirement, who do not hide behind tax shelters but willingly pay our fair share. We can cut our spending when it is expedient to cut our defense budget and draw down troops around the world, hopefully soon. We can generate revenue when more Americans are back at work, paying taxes. With time, our economy will revive.

Don’t let Congress undercut the president and the country at this moment. Write or call Rep. Tipton today. Stand up, Routt County, and let your voice be heard. We may not have well-paid lobbyists fighting for our interests in Washington, but we can certainly clog those Congressional websites and phone lines with our righteous indignation.

Cindy Antonucci-Ameen is a Steamboat Springs resident.

Comments

SPARKYINSTMBT 3 years, 4 months ago

Thank you Cindy for putting this mess into a perspective that the American Public can understand and embrace. The fireman and the teachers are feeling the squeeze, not the mention the small independant contractors out there. Small business owners are barely hanging on and are the ones that are feeling the squeeze the most. Tax shelters don't exist any longer for the middle class, The interests of the few in congress who refuse to compromise do need to stop hijacking the interests of the middle class Americans who are already scrapping the mayonnaise jar. Yes it is important to send your voice to Washington write or do call Rep. Tipton and lets stand up and be heard.

0

carlyle 3 years, 4 months ago

To all. Our political representatives have done a terrible job on educating us. Specifically, the top 1% of tax payers paid 38.02% of all revenues received in 2008; The top 5% paid 58.72%; The top 10% paid 69.94%. The top 25% paid 86.34%. The top 50% paid 97.30%. That top 1% had incomes of ~380k, the top 5% ~160k, the top 10% ~114k, the top 25% ~67k, the top 50% ~33k. Even if we took ALL the money from the top 10% of tax payers we still would not come close to balancing anything. Huey Long expressed our tax policy years ago: "Don't tax me, don't tax thee. Tax the man behind the tree." We either REALLY tax the middle class - because that's where the money is - or we REALLY cut a lot of spending. Or we REALLY do a lot of both. Using 2008 data, if we took everything over 100k from people who earned that much, we would generate ~1.5 trillion dollars. That isn't one year's deficit. You, me and all of our friends simply have to pay a lot more money to the feds. Or do a lot of cutting.

0

sledneck 3 years, 4 months ago

Your answer, Cindy, is that this is about an electorate that will not live within its means and those who are elected by them to blame the "others" for the whole mess.

Just being in "dire straits" would not give you the ability to waltz into your bosses office and demand a raise, nor would it be sufficient reason to demand your "customers" (if you were a small business) automatically pay higher prices for your products or services.

I am all for raising taxes. Let's start by defining "fair share". Can we all agree that everyones share is more than ZERO? Then lets raise taxes on the 51% of people who pay NONE, employ nobody, create no jobs and barely do their own, how 'bout that, Cindy?

0

Stan_Dup 3 years, 4 months ago

Cindy, Nice editorial.

We are all to blame for this debt - including the Republicans, TeaPartiers and corporations. Bush not only raised the ceiling, he cut taxes for his friends, started a very expensive war, spent the surplus he had when he entered office leaving a debt when he left, and turned a blind eye to the corruption of his cronies. They helped create this economic mess. They can help repair the damage.

-Stan_Dup for common sense.

0

Melanie Turek 3 years, 4 months ago

YVB: The president was required to ask for an increase by law, and the spending was mostly incurred by his Republican predecessor.

0

heboprotagonist 3 years, 4 months ago

All "comments" aside, it was nice to read a viewpoint other than those sponsored by the Steamboat Institute.

0

housepoor 3 years, 4 months ago

The Washington Post, reported that the cost of policies that began under George W. Bush top out at more than $5 trillion -- this includes long-term and recurring spending from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, decreases in revenue like the Bush tax cuts, as well as additions to the structural deficit like the Medicare prescription drug plan. The cost of policies beginning under President Obama top out at $1.44 trillion, and these policies are largely one-off, short term, or non-recurring spending -- like the stimulus package.

0

Marie Matta 3 years, 4 months ago

Thank you, Cindy, for your thoughtful commentary, and thank you Melanie and housepoor for correcting those who continue to defend the Bush administration and place the full blame for the national debt on President Obama.

I got onto Congressman Tipton's website around noon on Tuesday, and by then I had no trouble submitting a comment. Whether it will be heeded or not is another matter.

Getting back to one of the original questions in your commentary, I definitely believe that the Republicans are maintaining the impasse to force a default and thereby have the economy fail. Perhaps they think that strategy will allow them to ride in like knights in shining armour and win the next election, but I am hopeful that the majority of the population will see their hypocrisy and ensure their defeat. It's ironic that they are the party who bleat the loudest about patriotism, because their actions in recent weeks show a total lack of concern for their country. Patriotism is not just demonstrated by waving the flag, putting your hand on your heart during the national anthem and supporting the military. Now is a time when patriotism can be shown by a willingness to compromise and to support the President's conciliatory plan.

0

sledneck 3 years, 4 months ago

Speak for yourself, Stan. I vote Libertarian. No republican or Democrat has gotten my vote since 1982 ish. I suppose the kids we are leaving this mess to are "all to blame for this mess" too? Do not attempt to drag me into this "mess". I am NOT responsible in any way, shape or form.

0

NamVet 3 years, 4 months ago

What got us in this mess was first and foremost the Bush Tax Cuts. It reduced government revenue from 22% to 14 %. That amounts to over $ 3 Trillion in borrowed money. At the same time Bush took us to war in not one but two countries and instead of paying for it he borrowed the money to a tune of over $ 1 Trillion dollars plus. Then he added a new entitlement program called Medicare Part D with guess, borrowed money that added another Trillion to the deficit. Add in the Greatest Recession since the Great Depression which sucked out another $ 3 Trillion in revenue. The last Bush budget which was into 2009 had $ 1.2 Trillion in deficit spending. That is what Obama inherited. I might add that the Republican Speaker of the House as did Eric Cantor voted for all of this deficit spending. On top of that they both voted to raised the debt limit 7 times under Bush without question.. How about the Republicans pay back all their deficit spending first by cuts to Defense, Congressional pensions & health care, tax breaks for corporations etc.and Obama pay for the Stimulus and his Health Care. That comes out to $ 6 Trillion for the Republicans and $ 2 Trillion for Obama. After they both do that then we can tackle the future of Medicare, SS and reforming the entire tax code. The Republicans broke it so let them fix it providing they can stop acting like spoiled brats.

0

Jeff_Kibler 3 years, 4 months ago

"Party trumps person."

"Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil."

I don't recall feeling more conflicted than the present.

"I'm overwhelmed with apathy, my give-a-sh**ter has run dry."

0

carlyle 3 years, 4 months ago

Didn't any of you attend Paul Volker's presentation last year? None of you seem to realize that, since the end of WWII, marginal tax rates have ranged from 70% to 28% and yet, in periods when the economy was in recovery, tax receipts as a percent of GDP averaged a little over 18%. You Democrats seem to have forgotten JFK's cut of marginal tax rates (and you Republicans seem to have forgotten the Interest Equalization Tax that Republicans demanded because of the (mistaken) belief that tax revenue would decline). NamVet, do you realize the recession, according to the NBER, ended in June of '09? That's two years ago! This is the worst recovery in the last 100 years! You raise marginal tax rates on the wealthy and they will change their behavior. Half the people who filed returns in 2010 paid no income tax. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Anarchist, Socialist, wherever you come from, the current tax structure, no matter where you put marginal rates, is not going to cover expenditures. A VAT is in the cards and the fight over how to protect the poor from that distinctively regressive tax will tear this country apart.

0

the_Lizard 3 years, 4 months ago

Carlyle, yes! I couldn't agree more, it's not the tax rate, it's the state of the economy that dictates the amount of money going into the treasury. I had to smile at the Washington Post's Ezra Klein being used as a factual source for Obama being a modest spender. Since 2007 Congress has been in the hands of the left, and for almost a year the left had a super majoirty. So, since spending is introduced in congress much of what Ezra claims belongs to Bush really doesn't. Tarp, for instance. Then, he claims tax cuts as a cost. A cost? The federal government's main priority is to protect so people will be able to pursue "happiness", Even though many disagree with the reasoning behind Iraq and Afghanistan, that is the main reason we fund the federal government. To protect and defend. I think Bush's medicare drug plan is indefensible as well as much of his other liberal spending ways. Anyway Cindy, I did call Tipton, but I told him to hold fast against the extreme leftist ideologues that wish to destroy our country through continual spending extemes. I've ask this question before, but have never had an answer to it. Can any of the progressives here tell me why they want more money sent out of Routt county in the form of federal taxes to be lost in Washington's wasteful ways? Why is it better that money earned here and that could be spent here "belongs" to Washington. I don't understand the desire to hurt your own community.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Same old song, different tune: Somebody better cough up, or there will be Hell to pay.

You need us, first to fix your budget problems, then defeat the damn Al-Queda. All these threats to our way of life in America. The Commies were good for a good run and milking, nuclear holocaust the alternative. Seems our head is always over a barrel. Oh the threats. And Our Saviors.

Sure, sign over the farm, the Chinese can't wait to take possession. Don't ever work for $12/hr again, so the jobs will never come back. Just claim unemployment. Your grandkids won't be saddled with the bill; America as we know it will no longer exist.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, Mom, and anyone else on Social Security; my comments were meant to be facetious. We all know Uncle Same will come through in time (no typo, ha ha) to save the day.

0

Cooke 3 years, 4 months ago

YVB: To say that Reagan raised the ceiling for an average of six months a time is bofoonery...he still raised it 17 times! Who cares if it was for six months at a time? He STILL raised the debt ceiling more than a dozen times! If I hit my limit on my credit cards, raising the spending limit until the card expired is the SAME THING as raising it every time a bill comes up. Don't defend Reagan with more "smoke and mirrors"!

0

NamVet 3 years, 4 months ago

Cartyle I was at Paul Volker's seminar last year. You are right that everyone loves tax cuts. Do you know of anyone that likes paying taxes. I don't. The problem which you left out was that you don't cut your revenue and then turn around and go on a massive spending spree. In our history have we ever gone to war and cut taxes at the same time? No. Remember we were told that the Iraqi oil revenues would pay for the war by VP Cheney. Have we seen a dime of that? I can't imagine any businessman cutting his prices by 25 % then turning around and giving his employees a 25 % raise. If he did he would be out of business. That is how we have gone from a balanced budget in 2001 when Bush was sworn in to a $ 1.2 Trillion deficit budget in 2009 when Obama was sworn in. In other words, he did not create the mess he just can't turn it around due to the recession and his inability to deal with Congress especially the Tea Party.. Personally I won't vote for Obama in 2012 because I don't like the way he has handled the mess. He has been ineffective in dealing with Congress. The only thing that will change my mind is if the Republicans nominate an extremist nut case like Santorum, Bachmann or Palin to name a few.

0

grundy 3 years, 4 months ago

Google trickle down economics statistics and read some of the evaluations of its efficacy. Or google supply side economics or reaganomics. If you find a comprehensive statistical analysis showing a significant correlation between lowering taxes on the wealthy and boosting the economy, please post the link. Keep in mind, the analysis cannot focus on one specific time period and the economic indicators needs to be valid. I have seen no compelling evidence that this approach works. Focus on the stats, please, not the theory. Communism works in theory too.

0

the_Lizard 3 years, 4 months ago

Naturally, grundy when you google using a pejoratve such as "trickle down economics" you'll be rewarded with the information you desire. Hauser's law concerning consistency of tax receipts as percentage of GDP despite a wide range of marginal tax rates is provable by looking at tables on websites provided by the gov. Fairly easy to find ;-)

0

sledneck 3 years, 4 months ago

Nam, You are stuck on your talking points but they make no sense. Just ignore reality and keep on talking about taxing corporations (which is only taxing ourselves). Rockefeller made oil so cheap that the price went down and he and his employees made way more money (ie "got a pay raise). Microsoft's first computers were way more expensive (in real terms) than today's but Microsoft makes way more proffit today because they sell way more computers.

The troble with the economically illeterate is that they fail to think dynamically. They think in constant terms. Hence ignorant comments about how someone couldn't possibly cut prices and give raises to employees at the same time. The truth is that exact thing has been done thousands, no, millions of times by innovative businesses. The fact that economically challenged individuals say otherwise is not only a testimony to their economic ignorance but their ignorance of, even their utter REFUSAL to accept recent historical FACTS which run counter to their WISHES.

0

grundy 3 years, 4 months ago

Liz, are you saying Hauser's law is proof positive that supply side economics works? I think that's a giant leap but I'll listen if you care to present your case.

0

the_Lizard 3 years, 4 months ago

Grundy, I said no such thing. What I did say is that it's easily demonstrated that marginal tax rates have little effect on federal tax receipts as a percentage of GDP. So perhaps you would care to show me how higher tax rates improve the economy and bring more money into the coffers, (2007 most income tax receipts ever collected BTW)

I will tell you on a purely anecdotal basis that the semi- supply side economics of Bush created one heck of a lot more wealth and prosperity than the Keynesian economic nightmare we've been living under Obama and according to Ezra Klein (since he is so quotable) two of the most influential Keynesians of our time. Lawrence Summers and Christina Romer.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

I had to Google the difference between GDP and GNP, to relearn that he former represents the total output produced within our borders, while the latter is our total output worldwide. And in 2009 we produced about $150 billion overseas. Presumably much of that was collected by Nike and Fruit-of-the-Loom from their Far East operations, and redistributed to their employees there.

My software specializes in industrial construction, and the other day one of my customers wanted me to run some test numbers for him. The labor rate he wanted me to use was $93/hour!! This was for an auto plant in Detroit, Union, of course. No wonder American junkers start at $25K. I've heard of Union city bus drivers back East making $60/hr. Get it while you can.

Factories and textile mills grow cobwebs, nationwide, as more and more businesses outsource. Owners have learned, the lazy American is also fat.

What we need to do is get the GDP and GNP a lot closer together, bring some money back into the country, before the whole balloon pops.

0

sledneck 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey Jimmmmmmmmmm, still waiting for your answer to my question... Why do you support socialism? Instead of calling me names can you just answer the question...?

0

Jason Krueger 3 years, 4 months ago

Nice Rhys. It's been a while since someone blamed unions. "$93/hour...No wonder American junkers start at $25k!". What is an OK wage? Here in Steamboat, landscape companies bill at $80/hour for sprinkler maintenance. Snow shoveling is billed at $40/hour. Rhys, what is your billed rate? According to Sledneck's post, product cost and employee payments have nothing to do with each other ("...Rockefeller made oil so cheap that the price went down and he and his employees made way more money".)

American labor is "lazy" and "fat" but hedge fund managers are worth their salaries. CEO's "earn" their millions because they "create" jobs. "Taxes are too high on business", "American labor costs are forcing jobs oversees", "Employee pensions are ruining industry". (Have I covered everything?) Wake up middle class. Every time you join in on this mantra you're contributing to your own demise. Those supposed high taxes pay for YOUR schools, YOUR roads, YOUR Arts, YOUR safe drinking water, YOUR military. Those "high labor costs" are paying YOUR and YOUR NEIGHBOR'S salary which, in turn, allows YOU to buy stuff from business; it's putting food on YOUR table. Those pensions are paying for YOUR retirement.

To the vocal "pro-Gary Hoffmeister/business saves the day" crowd, I call your bluff. Just because you "own" a business doesn't mean you're carrying the financial health of the planet on your shoulders. The vast majority of you "business" folks aren't John Galt (to quote Ayn Rand) and haven't "created" a thing. You're merely shuffling money around.

To the entire "anti-tax" crowd, America enjoys one of the lowest tax rates in the first-country world. It costs money to run a country- to keep roads maintained, to support our elderly (because you've also made it clear death panels are bad), and to have a military. We all benefit from these and many other government services. It is taxes that allow for parks, Core Trails and Tennis Bubbles. It is taxes that help support ballet, opera and football stadiums. As long as corporate America is interested in quarterly profits, it is NOT in their interest to support any of these services. It is, however, in their interest to increase the work week to +50 hours, eliminate employee benefits, and fund executive "team building" retreats. Restoring tax rates to the levels before the "TEMPORARY Bush tax-cuts" is NOT A TAX HIKE. It's a RESTORATION!

To every business out there: I (the consumer) don't work for you. You work for me. Start taking care of your work force instead of your Board of Directors, start regulating yourselves voluntarily rather than spending money on lawyers and lobbyists to circumvent consumer protection laws and, in return, I'll start buying what you're peddling.

And, one last rant. Stop lumping the words socialism, fascism, nazism, keynesian (it's not even a word!) into the same sentence. They aren't synonyms.

0

jimmmmmm 3 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Neck,

I didn't answer your question the way you wanted. That's all. I don't support socialism, not nearly as much as you support Sean Hannity. Quit with the Sean Hannity talking points please.

All I'm hearing is how wonderful supply side economics is-well I'm glad you've drank your Murdock tea. In a perfect world, where everyone is working, spending, buying, etc., our economy thrives. Probably the key word is "working". Capitalism would work much better if so many jobs hadn't moved out of the country. Capitalism works so much better when people are working.

Thanks for showing us all your economic wisdom all-you can all pat yourself on the back. I for one am very impressed. It doesn't mean squat when all the jobs are created over seas.

That will be the toughest challange facing us in my opinion. How do we bring the jobs back, so our populace is a working populace. The race for the Presidency is ripe for someone with new, fresh ideas, moderate ideas. Republican, Democrat, Libertarian-I don't care. There are many voters like me out there-waiting for someone to dump the Sean Hannity talking points and get real. Someone who could care less about the base, and cares about jobs. I'm waiting for someone with ideas on how to bring the jobs back.

Hey wait, wasn't that what everyone campaigned on in 2010? Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

0

jimmmmmm 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh,

The Lizard,

Pretty sick of hearing how great the Bush years were for creating wealth. Creating wealth in a bubble is nothing to be proud of. Where did all that wealth go? What's the percentage of those who really became wealthy, and maintained that wealth through the recession? Not good numbers unfortunately.

0

Troutguy 3 years, 4 months ago

It's as true then as it is now. What's your point?

0

Troutguy 3 years, 4 months ago

And to those of you who keep chirping in with the nugget "50% of Americans pay no income tax". Do you ever wonder why that is? Maybe you should do some research on the subject and find out exactly how that happens instead of regurgitating some empty talking point.

0

Melanie Turek 3 years, 4 months ago

While it is true that about half of all Americans pay no income tax, three factors account for almost 90% of them: incomes that fall below the standard deduction and personal exemptions; the exemption for most Social Security benefits; and tax benefits aimed at low-income families and children. In other words, they don't make enough money to pay federal income tax. Here's the full study all those sound bites came from: http://taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/1001547-Why-No-Income-Tax.pdf. Also, the fact that half of Americans do not pay federal income taxes does NOT mean that half of Americans pay no taxes. Most people who don’t pay federal income taxes still pay payroll taxes, excise taxes, sales taxes, state income taxes, and property taxes.

0

the_Lizard 3 years, 4 months ago

jimmmm, here go your jobs, Thank You Barack Obama and Obamacare, "Yesterday’s move, a day after Boston Scientific disclosed it was investing $150 million and hiring 1,000 people in China, raised fears that the company will gradually shift more work to foreign sites with less government oversight and lower costs than the United States." http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2011/07/29/boston_scientific_to_lay_off_1200_plus/ It's not working liberals, the grand Obama plan is destroying jobs and our economy, can't you see that? For Jason : Keynes·i·an (knz-n) adj. Of or relating to the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes, especially those theories advocating government monetary and fiscal programs designed to increase employment and stimulate business activity. n. A supporter of Keynes's economic theories. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Keynesianism

Keynesi·an·ism n.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Okay, I've been working on it all night, now here's a plan:

Remember the WPA, which got us out of another jam back in the '30's, by creating jobs for Americans, right here in America (not overseas killing foreigners, yet) building the TVA dams, and the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon? (Fantastic structure, by the way, entirely hand-made, the end of every log carved into a different animal.)

Okay. How about Lincoln Logs? Pre-cut and notched little logs, where you could build any variety of play cabin, depending on your supply.

So we've got all these piles of dead trees, perfectly good. We've got all these homeless, and unemployed. And all this empty land in Nevada, Arizona, and Utah.

Anybody see where I'm going with this? We can kill several birds with one stone here!!

Then we can build the viaducts I've been squawking about, to alleviate flood threats in the Midwest and make the deserts bloom, give these folks a drink of water, and go back to the new cornfields.

I could think of worse ways to waste our energies and resources.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

I meant aquaducts; that's what this country really needs. Invest in America.

0

jimmmmmm 3 years, 4 months ago

Yvb,

I'll take a look at Rick Perry, as long as he comes up with more than just cutting taxes for the rich. Sorry lizard, your game is so old it pains me to listen. "thank you Obama and Obamacare"? Are you kidding me? Can't even debate you with that crap. Not even worth it. The economy was fine until Obama? Serious? We're done. Go back to trying to impress us with your knowledge of economic theory. Unbelievable.

That's my biggest gripe these days. People like lizard. She's so impressed with her own knowledge of economic theory, that she loses touch with reality. Here's some economic theory I learned in life 101. The economy tanks when no one is working. Here's a perfect opportunity for lizard to state, once again, the obvious. Corporations are taxed too much, so they move to where they aren't taxed too much. Sorry lizard, I know you were hoping to point that out to me again.

I can't debate with lizard, because all she can do is bash Obama and tell us how well supply side economics works (how's it really working lizard), and how everything was fine until Obama's keynsian policies. What Keynesian policies have really been instituted? None really. I'd just like to hear you say, just once, that the economy tanked prior to Obama. Is that possible?

Time for a new approach lizard. Time to get real. The voters are really tired of the politics.

0

NamVet 3 years, 4 months ago

YVB we had a balanced budget in 2001 the day W and the Conservative Republican Congress took over the entire government. They successfully trashed the Deficit Reduction Act which prevented deficit spending and went on a $ 6 Trillion spending spree which included Trillions in tax cuts, a new $ 1 Trillion entitlement program called Medicare Part D, 2 $ Trillion wars which continue today, a Wall St. bailout etc all WITH BORROWED MONEY. They had absolutely no problem raising the debt limit when they were in charge 7 times. You can also add in the great recession which cost 8 million jobs that cut revenue by another $ 3 Trillion. All this happened prior to Obama being sworn in so please take responsibility for the mess your Conservative Party caused. You can blame Obama for the spending after he took office like the Stimulus and Health Care. But give credit where credit is due for getting us in this mess over the last 10 years.
Cut, Cap and Balance is a joke. It says it will cut $ 6 Trillion out of the budget by using a % of GDP formula. It specifies no actually cuts but exempts Defense Spending, Congressional pensions and benefits and any revenue increases which means most of the cuts would have to come out of Medicare and SS. This is a back door approach to getting rid of Medicare which they have tried to do since 1965. A Balanced Budget Amendment cannot pass Congress where it takes a 2/3 vote and the States where it takes a 3/4 ratification. It cannot pass under any circumstances so it is a waste of precious time. If we had a Balance Budget Amendment in 1941 we'd all be speaking German or Japanese today especially with the clowns we have in Congress (Republicans especially the Tea Party and the Democrats) who can't agree on anything right now.

0

the_Lizard 3 years, 4 months ago

Jimmmm, Just sitting here enjoying your comments. (I'm not debating you lizard, any more and that's final, well after I say this one more thing ;-) Not saying Bush was a fiscal conservative, never did, nope. The increase in spending started way before Bush, but IMO it's come to a head under Obama's dumb-a$$ policies. (like that better then the keynesian economic theory thing) The dumb-a$$ policies Obama institued, and then doubled down on are heavy handed and costly regulations, Obamacare, stimulus, Dodd-Frank act , the uncertainty and so on and on and so forth. The American people are sick to death of crisis after crisis and the we've got to act now or the end of the world as we know it mentality yadda yadda. I'm quite frankly crisised out. ..and now Jimmmm, just this once and just for you; the economy tanked prior to Obama, and it's tanked before that, but we've always recovered, it just generally doesn't take this long. Why?

0

JLM 3 years, 4 months ago

The class warfare aspect and inartful symbolism of "corporate jets" is typical of the shallow and partisan discussion that an important subject --- balancing the Federal budget --- has become.

Some background --- President Obama's Stimulus plan provided an incentive to buy corporate jets --- in order to spur employment in the aircraft manufacturing industry, a particular American global manufacturing strength.

You either like the idea to spur aircraft jobs or you don't but it was the President who signed the law. So, he and his pal, Warren Buffett (owner of NetJets a big aircraft fractional ownership and charter company), must have thought it a worthy idea.

What the law did was to "accelerate" the depreciation deduction for corporate aircraft ownership. The entire cost of a Gulfstream V --- between $42MM and $65MM --- could be written off as a business tax deduction in the first year of ownership.

What this means is that a big corporation could go BORROW THE MONEY and buy a $50MM aircraft and be able to reduce its adjusted gross income by $50MM in the first year.

This is what is called a "tax advantaged" policy and strategy. You put in no real cash, borrow all the money and get a huge tax deduction and America sells one more aircraft thereby creating or retaining some very good manufacturing jobs.

Still with me?

Well --- who signed it into law? Barack H Obama

So now he takes a dump on the policy he created and we are supposed to take the guy seriously. This is not the change I hoped for, how about you?

0

JLM 3 years, 4 months ago

Everybody knows that Social Security is going to get fixed by doing the following:

  1. The eligibility age will be increased by 2-4 years. This will only apply to folks who are currently younger than 50 but not for folks who are older than 50. If you are young, you are going to get screwed. And why not, you are not as consistent voters as the old farts in Florida. Sorry.

  2. Cost of living adjustments will unlinked from the CPI and why not --- older folks do not have the same cost structure as that employed by the CPI and their cost of living is not going up as rapidly as a young family with young children. If you are old, you are going to get screwed.

  3. It will become "means tested" which means if you have considerable wealth and/or income, you will not get back the money that YOU paid into the system. It is already partially means tested in that the funds can be subjected to current taxation. If you are well to do, you are going to get screwed. And why not, the rich guys only control a few votes anyway.

  4. Some folks will be able to opt out of Social Security and still have to pay something in as a "tax" though you may be able to escape the march to slaughter. You are, however, going to get screwed.

Social Security was never intended to be a "retirement" program, its was intended to be a social safety net of last resort. But it was intended to be a separately funded enterprise account which was never intended to be commingled with the "general fund". However, it has become a piggy bank which was cracked open by politicians who just looted it and left a bunch of worthless IOUs. And why not, you never did anything to prevent this from happening and kept sending the same bunch of thieves back to DC.

And now the chickens have come home to roost.

The problem is really as simple as that but NOBODY wants to tell the truth --- everybody is going to get screwed --- because nobody wants to piss off their voting constituency.

This is the only reason why Barack Obama and all politicians do not want to expose the harsh reality of what has to be done until AFTER the next election.

BHO doesn't give a damn about the people, he just wants to keep his own subsidized housing.

And there you have it.

0

JLM 3 years, 4 months ago

Is it unfair to note that Sen Obama routinely voted AGAINST the increase of the debt ceiling during his long fortnight in the Senate? Or would that be tacky?

Just wondering.

0

George Hresko 3 years, 4 months ago

On reading JLM's comment of 2:38 today then the 5:45 by yvb these quotes came to mind:

GeorgeOrwell-All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can see the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

ThomasPaine-A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.

And that great philosopher, Casey Stengel: If we’re going to win the pennant, we have to start thinking that we are not as good as we think we are.

Finally, my personal favorite, Pogo: We have met the enemy and he is us!

Cheers.

0

NamVet 3 years, 4 months ago

Personally I don't give a damn about Democrats or Republicans. I only care about Americans and the state of our country. Both parties are to blame for this mess from wars to stimulus etc. The President does not spend a dime only the Congress can spend our money and the debt ceiling is all about what is already spent and promised by this Congress and many before them. What these clowns are doing borders on treason and they all should be fired.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Amateur Psychologist, reporting back in, with yet another theory. Bear with me for just a moment of background... but as I'm sure many are aware, there is a recent school of thought in Psychology, which suggests that over-active people may have neural systems which actually suppress transmission more than normal, and they seek heightened activity to satisfy their needs, whereas a person with a more active neural system is more easily entertained, or at least not as compulsively driven.

Now lets imagine politicians, of every stripe. Over-achievers since grade school, many, winners of popularity contests, high school quarterbacks, lawyers, cheerleaders, even weather persons [cheap dig]. I would propose that there is not ONE elected politician in Washington, who is there out of truly altruistic motives, and not their own quest for glory. Even if they had some when they got there, the powers that be soon set them straight, so they are content to play their roles and milk it while they can.

We're doomed.

0

JLM 3 years, 4 months ago

@highwaystar

Your point is well made and certainly plausible when one considers that this entire matter has been initiated because the most recent crop of Republican politicians have been unwilling to go along w/ the old boy network.

Still being imbued with the governing philosophy of their constituents rather than that of their party or DC, they have used the leverage of their votes to force the administration to confront a spending program which will literally bankrupt the country.

Here is the big question --- if this band of brothers did not stand firm would anyone in DC ever, ever, ever have confronted the spending crisis?

I think not.

When one uses the analogy of a family with an income that does not cover their spending and lifestyle coupled with a credit card upon which they are making the minimum payment each month --- this debate is all about the credit limit on the card when it should be about the level of spending and the lifestyle.

You cannot solve the underlying problem by increasing the credit limit every 6 months.

0

NamVet 3 years, 4 months ago

You are right except you leave one very important aspect of our debt problem. That is a family or even a State does not have to fund a gigantic Military Industrial Complex. We spend more on Defense(Over $700 Billion a year) than every other country added together. It has tripled over the past 10 years. Are Republicans willing to cut Defense to Pre-Bush levels. It cuts both ways. In the last 10 years the Republican Congress under Bush spent $ 6.1 Trillion in deficits and the Democrats under Obama has spent $ 2.4 Trillion and climbing. How about the Republicans cut $ 6.1 Trillion from their favorite programs like Defense and Corporate Welfare and Democrats cut $ 2.4 Trillion from entitlements. That should be the starting point. Each side takes responsibility for what they did first.

0

JLM 3 years, 4 months ago

@NamVet ---

Why are there any "sides"? Spending is spending. Do you spend Rep or Dem $$$? Of course not.

War is expensive and it does not make a damn bit of difference who initiated the war or who continued the war. One of the things which must be stopped is the war expenditures.

The philosophical manner in which it is terminated IS very important --- victory or withdrawal. Victory will be cheaper in the long run.

As to weapon systems currently under development, there is absolutely no reason why huge dollar ticket items such as aircraft carriers, the next generation jet fighter, advanced laser weapons cannot be "delayed" for 5 years and thereby make huge short term savings.

There is no reason why the US continues to provide the world's defense for free.

No reason why we guarantee the safety of Europe through our position in NATO or for that matter why we provide the physical plant and a disproportionate share of the funding for the United Nations.

France --- the third largest nuclear power in the world --- rejoined NATO in 2009 after a 40 year estrangement. Let the Frogs pick up the defense of Europe.

With the advent of global travel, teleconferencing and the Internet, there is no reason why the UN even exists --- the necessity to come together face to face is outmoded and an archaic throwback to a different time.

The US has about 20% of the world's GDP and provides 24% of the UN budget and 27% of the UN's peacekeeping budget. It is silly given that we are funding all of Iraq, Afghanistan, a big chunk of Libya, the war on terrorism and still funding a big chunk of NATO, SEATO, ROK, etc.

Everything should be on the table and why not?

0

JLM 3 years, 4 months ago

Corporations do NOT really pay taxes.

Have you not been following the three card monte game of GE wherein they have made huge profits including huge profits overseas and have neither repatriated their profits --- which would create US tax liability --- nor paid US taxes.

Jeffrey Immelt, Chmn of GE, is a huge buddy of the President and is giving him the thumb in the eye as it relates to paying taxes. GE pays NO taxes.

Corporations pass their tax burden along to their customers in their cost accounting systems just like any raw material.

Corporations should pay no taxes as they are only conduits to pass them along to their customers.

0

NamVet 3 years, 4 months ago

JLM as an ex-military officer as myself how much waste did you see over your career in the military? How many weapon systems were built that did not work or were not needed which cost millions and billions? The Military is forced by Congress to accept hardware they don't even want because some Congressman's district is where the weapons are built. Look at the F-35 fighter that will cost over $ 1 Trillion over the next decade that is grossly behind schedule and over budget. I'd really like to fly one but too expensive in my book. The engines however are being built in the Speakers district. Pres. Eisenhower could not have said it better than anyone when he said in 1960 "Beware of the military industrial complex they will ruin our country." In my experience I would say that at least 30% is waste mostly all in procurement. Our troops are not getting rich but the Defense Contractors sure are. Right now this so called deal with the Debt is being hung up by the Tea-Party House Republicans because it includes Defense cuts as part of the deal. I'm very pro-military but not when it comes to Defense Contractors which I have dealt with first hand. Nice to see you back.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Back when I was a Jarhead, a certain percentage of our ranks was trained in mess, others in transportation, communications, etc. Now many of these services are privately contracted and subsidized, at vastly higher cost. This is no way to run wars, with a few privileged individuals fleecing this country. The Federal Reserve, unions, defense contractors -- those are our real enemies, not the Al Qeuda or the figurehead squawkboxes.

0

JLM 3 years, 4 months ago

@NamVet ---

I agree with you MORE than you agree with yourself.

The wasteful spending in the Pentagon is literally criminal. Much of it is just simple stupid procurement abuses.

I remember being unable to get Jeep parts until the Jeep got blown up and then I got a whole new Jeep. The question is --- who blew up the jeep?

The Pentagon needs a Tiger Team to root out waste in every single contract starting w/ the original specs.

What is a mouse built to milspec --- an elephant!

I am for the troops and getting them what they need to fight and win. Before we need it. In quantities that ensure victory.

Building weapons systems which are out three generations of perceived threat can be shelved for a decade and nobody is going to catch up to us.

Damn sure not any time soon.

We remain the only power in the world w/ a credible aircraft carrier threat. The Russians have one and the Chinese have just started on their first based upon an abandoned skeleton. We have some room to maneuver before anyone else catches up and we should use it to manage our finances.

Same thing is true of fighters.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

The Federal Reserve is in the business of war, business is good, and if we don't have an enemy we'll create one.

0

sledneck 3 years, 4 months ago

Nam, Now your july 30, 7:06 post... We agree there. Except it IS treason, and there was a time when that got you stood up in front of a firing squad...

Highway, Yes, we are as doomed as doomed can be.

JLM, "Victory or withdrawal..."

When Admiral Halsey was asked (WWII) how he planned to achieve victory in the pacific he said "Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill MORE Japs... UNTIL JAPANEESE IS SPOKEN ONLY IN HELL".
I Imagine if a General said something like that today he would be fired before sundown.

I used to be very pro-military but the more I see of the endless war and the less I see of victory, the less military I like. I am starting to see it as a perpetual money pit that yields no victory, pisses off the world and enslaves our children in debt.

If we need to kill some people and break some stuff do it and get it over with, for God's sake. Otherwise let the world fight it's own battles.

0

SPARKYINSTMBT 3 years, 4 months ago

I think that JLM, Sledneck,Namvet,YampaValleyBoy,and Jmmmmmmmmmmm just all need to get together and work this out...

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

We are in trouble...The population of this country is 300 million. 160 million are retired. That leaves 140 million to do the work. There are 85 million in school. Which leaves 55 million to do the work. Of this there are 35 million employed by the federal government. Leaving 20 million to do the work. 2.8 million are in the armed forces preoccupied with killing Osama Bin-Laden's followers. Which leaves 17.2 million to do the work. Take from that total the 15.8 million people who work for state and city Governments. And that leaves 1.4 million to do the work. At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals. Leaving 1,212,000 to do the work. Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons. That leaves just two people to do the work. You and me.

And there you are, sitting on your hinie, at your computer, reading my tripe.

Nice. Real nice.

0

NamVet 3 years, 4 months ago

You may want to check your numbers. According to the US Gov't there are 36.5 million retired(as of June 2011) in the US collecting SS. Add in all the others that are disabled and under 65 the total is 56 million. However the number will increase as the baby boomer generations retires over the next 25 years.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Everybody knows the government lies. Those numbers come straight to me over the Internet itself, in an attachment to a genuine email; I'm one of many enlightened recipients. Who would lie about a thing like that? And why? Just for a laugh? Get serious. Numbers don't lie. Liars use numbers. Stats 101. Believe it.

0

rhys jones 3 years, 4 months ago

Sorry to miss ya, folks. Busy, broke. Oh the Cross I bear... have fun!!

0

kathy foos 3 years, 4 months ago

Cindy,how about running for some office and help out the little people of Routt county to be heard?I think you are right in there on reality and I like your "call to arms"for action to call Tipton.Speak up people is the most important thing she said.Apathy is rampant in America.Apathy is killing America.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.