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J. KARL MILLER: Obama, Democrats failed to anticipate mood of electorate

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 9:23 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 3, 2011

By the time you read this, I am confident an agreement will have been reached and the debt ceiling raised, as it has become a necessary evil as a result of unchecked spending. If, by some yet unseen road block, the ceiling remains unchanged, I am also confident that Armageddon will not occur — that the United States will not default on its obligations. And, Grandma and Grandpa, do not be afraid: Your Social Security checks will have arrived on time.

The most perplexing and difficult thing to understand is just how we managed to arrive at this financial precipice without the president and the Senate anticipating the trouble ahead in River City. It is hard to believe the president and his party failed to recognize the mood of the electorate in the landslide victory of Republicans in November 2010 in winning back the House and gaining six seats in the Senate.

Perhaps Democrats chose to ignore the loss as a meaningless phenomenon, as the late ABC News anchor Peter Jennings chose to dismiss the Republican Congressional takeover of 1994: “The American people threw a temper tantrum.” They should have recognized there was a new order in the offing when they could not pass the “business as usual” spending resolution at the end of 2010 and were thwarted from ending the “odious Bush tax cuts for the wealthy” when the majority of economists sided with the Republicans in the obvious danger of raising taxes during a recession. Albeit grudgingly, the administration agreed.

Among the themes of common knowledge by virtually all concerned from the seating of this 112th Congress were that the debt ceiling had to be raised, that deficit spending was averaging more than $1.5 trillion annually for 2 ½ years, that the debt ceiling would not be raised without concurrent spending cuts and that the Republicans would not acquiesce to raising taxes. 

With full knowledge of this climate, the president offered a budget in February calling for the highest spending in history; it received bipartisan rejection: The vote was 97-0. In April, he demanded Congress pass a debt ceiling increase — one that was “clean,” including not one solitary spending cut. Not until the House passed sweeping budget reform did the White House climb on the bandwagon of reducing deficit spending.

The current impasse has been fueled by the Senate’s insistence that entitlements not be cut, the White House demand that health care, green projects and high-speed rail be off the table and that any hike in the debt ceiling be large enough to slide through the 2012 election.  The straw that broke the camel’s back, halting the negotiations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, is the president’s insistence in raising taxes on “those who can afford to pay more” as a condition in raising revenue to offset the cuts.

It is here that we see a favored ploy raise its ugly head again — the Robin Hood class-envy tactic wherein the wealthy become the villains. President Obama has played this theme to the hilt, calling on the wealthy (those millionaires and billionaires who make $250,000 per year) to “pay their fair share” in taxes. Everyone knows the Republicans ignore the middle and lower classes and pass on tax cuts exclusively to the wealthy — we know this because the Democrats tell us so. Would they lie? But, just what is their “fair share?”

Contrary to what we are led to believe, the rich are not exempt from paying taxes. For example, the 2008 tax year shows the top 1 percent paid 38 percent of income tax revenue, the top 5 paid 58 percent, the top 25 paid 86 percent and the top half paid 97.3 percent, according to the National Taxpayers Union. We also see that the bottom 50 percent paid but 2.7 percent — that more than 40 percent pay no income tax at all, many of whom receive an “earned income tax rebate” for not earning enough to be taxed.

Attacks on the “fat cat rich and Wall Street bankers” may play well in some arenas, particularly among those voters who pay no taxes but, just who is not paying their fair share? Since 2002 and 2003, the Democrats have demonized the Bush tax cuts as a boon for the rich, ignoring that the cuts provided tax relief for anyone who actually paid taxes. And anyone who can count past 10 without removing one’s shoes must realize that when taxes are cut, those who pay the most also benefit the most.

Ironically, in today’s reversal of form, the Bush tax cuts are trumpeted as the savior of the middle class; however, those accruing to the wealthy are an abomination as they can afford to pay more. Never mind that the government could appropriate all earnings over $250,000 per year and fail to dent the deficit.  This quest for tax increase must be recognized for its two-fold intent — to increase that available for spending and to get to the next election by kicking the can down the road.

The requirement for more revenue to cut deficit spending and pay down the debt is not a matter of dispute. But, the only operative path to that achievement is to have more people paying taxes by increasing employment. The notion of levying yet more taxes on those who already pay the lion’s share as a solution defies logic — what happens when the government's perceived need exceeds the number of pockets to be picked?

The government does not create jobs; instead, it has a responsibility to create a climate conducive for the private sector to produce new business opportunities, expansion of existing businesses and investments, all of which stimulate employment. Raising marginal tax rates on those most capable of stimulating the economy is hardly a recipe for producing a lasting economic recovery. 

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via e-mail at JKarlUSMC@aol.com.


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Comments

Ellis Smith August 3, 2011 | 5:04 a.m.

One could say that the Democrats were in denial, and we aren't referring to the name of the famous river that flows through Egypt.

One thing not mentioned is that our bond rating could still be reduced from AAA to AA. The latter rating would probably better match the state of federal finances.

(Report Comment)
James Terry August 3, 2011 | 10:49 a.m.

Recent high federal deficits were caused by:
1) Two disastrously expensive, unnecessary, undeclared wars initiated by President Bush;
2) The Bush administration's failure to minimally regulate Wall Street, which necessitated massive bailouts and resulted in a prolonged recession;
3) The Bush tax cuts;
4) The Bush administration's Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, which was unfunded.
The Congressional Budget Office reported a federal budget surplus in 1998, 1999 and 2000--the last three years of the Clinton Presidency. It will be a long, painful process to dig us out of the mess created by President Bush and the Republican party, but at least President Obama has been brave enough to make an unpopular start.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield August 3, 2011 | 11:03 a.m.

James, did you refuse to accept all of the tax cuts by using the previous rates and then paying that amount instead?

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 3, 2011 | 11:39 a.m.

James terry -

1. The two wars were absolutely necessary and voted on by both houses of Congress.

2. The Bush administration as well as J, McCain saw the disaster brewing from the Clinton Dodd, Frank meddling with real estate lending regulations and made at least 4 legislative attempts to control "fanny & freddy" lending and prevent the disaster. All were stopped by Democrats and the 60 vote rule in the Senate.

3. The Bush tax cuts put an end to the recession He inherited and led to the low 4.6% unemployment we enjoyed until the Clinton, Dodd, Frank debacle took hold.

4."Bush" prescription drug act was written and promoted back and forth across our Country by Senator Eward M Kennedy. The act was taken from a Democrat model that they had wished for for years. Bush signed it.

The budget surplus of the Clinton presidency was created by legislation enacted by Republican legislators who took over Congress in 1994. Clinton signed it. (after 8 mos)

Things ain't as simple as you prefer to perceive them.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush August 3, 2011 | 11:42 a.m.

Irony: when a person who has had a government career, says the government does not create jobs.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 3, 2011 | 2:10 p.m.

Frank, the Iraq war was absolutely not necessary. I'm reminded of that every time I hear of a local service member being killed so that Bush the Younger could try to finish off what his daddy didn't. I agree that some operation in Afghanistan was needed, but now it's time to bring our troops home.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 3, 2011 | 3:12 p.m.

John Schultz - "Frank, the Iraq war was absolutely not necessary." I saw that and prepared for debate. Wow! You are "reminded of that every time I hear of a local service member being killed so that Bush the Younger could try to finish off what his daddy didn't." Pardon me I if I find that shallow if not down right stupid reasoning. We are trying to isolate al Qaeda. Where do you think their new base would be with despot Saddam Hussein ruling his country with an iron fist and wishing for the destruction of the USA as badly as al Qaeda or any in the Taliban?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 3:14 p.m.

Okay, let's review Iraq. In 1991 we signed a cease fire with Iraq. Iraq violated that cease fire at least half a dozen times by firing on our aircraft patrolling the no fly zone.

As part of the cease fire, the UN resolutions were imposed by force. It was not up to us to prove Saddam had WMDs. It was up to Saddam to prove he DID NOT have WMDs. The House Select Committee on Intelligence release documents showing Iraq was hiding 500 chemical filled munitions containing mustard and sarin gas. While these were not necessarily lethal, they could have been easily replenished with high grade components had they not been found.

Before Bush 43 was elected, virtually every major Democrat said Saddam had WMDs, and he must be forced to give them up. Read the quotes for yourself:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdqu...

But here's what is really important to remember. Saddam had WMDs. Saddam USED WMDs, Saddam failed to prove he destroyed WMDs. Only a fool would think Saddam didn't have them, and would risk letting Saddam use them.

As for the length of time we are in Iraq or Afghanistan, I will remind you that the British troops were in Northern Ireland from 1969 to 2007....THIRTY EIGHT YEARS.
In 1980, after 10 years, if somebody had said that someday Catholics and Protestants in N. Ireland would stop killing each other, you would have laughed. It took a whole generation plus some to bring that to an end. It took the lives of several thousand British troops.

Was peace worth it?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 3:28 p.m.

Regarding Fannie and Freddie, let's not forget too that those Democrats running Fannie and Freddie were cooking the books so that they could received millions of dollars in unearned bonuses at the taxpayers expense, based on fraudulent presentations of financial positions. Not even included in those listed below was Herb Moses, who was having intimate relations with Congressman Barney Frank, who was charged with oversight of Freddie and Fannie (no pun intended).

"Fannie Mae reported paying the following executive bonuses in 1998: chairman and chief executive James A. Johnson received $1.932 million; Franklin D. Raines, chairman-designate, received $1.11 million; Chief Operating Officer Lawrence M. Small received $1.108 million; Vice Chairman Jamie S. Gorelick received $779,625; Chief Financial Officer J. Timothy Howard received $493,750; and Robert J. Levin, an executive vice president, received $493,750.

Raines and Howard were ousted by the Fannie Mae board in December after the chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission agreed with OFHEO's criticism of the company's accounting, including the 1998 bonus maneuver. He directed the company to correct financial statements, a move that could wipe out $9 billion in reported profit dating to 2001.

Falcon, during congressional testimony and in comments afterward, publicly drew a link for the first time between the falsified signatures, which his agency disclosed last month, and the accounting manipulations that led to bonuses, which OFHEO disclosed in the fall. A Fannie Mae employee has told investigators that financial records from 1999 to 2002 bore his name and signature but were not prepared by him, Falcon testified.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 4:06 p.m.

Frank, liberals are still having grasped the meaning of the words War on Terror. It was not a war on Saddam or bin Laden. Saddam was involved in training and funding of terrorist. His whole government was a terrorist operation against his own people. Casey Owens related to me that after entering one of Saddam's palaces which had been previously inhabited by one of those two monster sons, he opened a small drawer on a lamp table in one of the larger room. The draw was filled with human fingers.
Remember CNN reporter Peter Arnett admitting he allowed Saddam to edit all their copy and suppress information Arnett knew about the rape and torture rooms just so CNN could keep their Baghdad bureau open? Remember Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings saying they would not warn American soldiers of an impending ambush just so they could get a story?

This is the media of the liberals. It's what we expect. it's why we don't trust them at all. And it's why FOX is kicking their tails in ratings year in and year out, with the top 12 cable news positions.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 4:09 p.m.

Jimmy Bearfield - liberal are alway very generous with other people's money. But every study shows that per capita, conservatives give much more to charity as a percentage of income, and per capita, do more volunteer work than do liberals.

Of course if you ask liberals, this is because conservatives are rich and can afford to do this. Yet liberals also say they are much smarter than conservatives. Quite a quandry, isn't it?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 3, 2011 | 4:15 p.m.

DonM: Remember Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings saying they would not warn American soldiers of an impending ambush just so they could get a story?
______________________________

Yeah, and for those who need a refresher, here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGg_dpGhl...

Stick around 'til the 3:30-or-so time and see what the colonel has to say about Wallace and Jennings.

(Report Comment)
matt arnall August 3, 2011 | 4:20 p.m.

You may want to rethink your statements following the upcoming election. I think the majority of Americans have seen the Tea Party and the Republican party of "NO" for their true colors. If I must choose, I choose educated and reasonable over ignorant and childish any day.

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub August 3, 2011 | 4:20 p.m.

This is great, now I know what the purpose of government is, been wondering for a long time now. But, I want to make sure I get it right; the purpose of our government is to serve and protect business, and should not be compensated by the business'. All the while doing this with no employees. Is that right or did I miss something?

(Report Comment)
matt arnall August 3, 2011 | 4:36 p.m.

Oh Don, you are so cleaver. How did you know about my drawer of fingers, and my unwillingness to help my fellow man. You, sir, are a joke.
I recieve no government hand outs. I work a full time job, then get off to take care of my family and farm.
Your statement of FOX news leading in viewership is total nonsense.
I am liberal because I concern myself with the good of all people, not just my own. I don't judge people negatively if they don't believe what I believe, don't look like me, don't think like me.
Your statements are offensive to say the least, and really make you just look like you think the Boogieman is coming after you and your small-thinking, self-centered ways.
Please re-read your post and tell me what point you are trying to make. Seriously, it is people like you that make intelligent debate impossible. Maybe your finger is next, oooooooooooooo..............

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 4:41 p.m.

Matt, as adults, tea party members have found it necessary to say NO to the childish liberals who are screaming they want to buy everything that catches their eye, and are hellbent on emptying the national wallet and mortgaging the future of every American, including the unborn....providing the liberals will allow them to be born at all.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 4:48 p.m.

Matt, thanks for helping to make my point.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 4:53 p.m.

Gary, the purpose of government is to ensure that citizens are free to operate businesses, whether they be sole proprietorships, partnerships, or corporations, and not be taxed and regulated in such a manner that their profits are eaten up and they are forced to send their operations to foreign countries which do not create an atmosphere which crushes their ability to effectively operate. Business in general is not there to serve the government. Rather, government is there to serve the citizens, which includes business.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 3, 2011 | 5:06 p.m.

Looks like the tea party is the boogymen of the day, week, month, and year 'til the election.

A focal point...which some folks seem to need for assignment of blame. Makes 'em feel better, I suppose.

PS: Of course, I ain't happy with the recent deal, either. Apparently, the markets ain't happy either (or with the start of the infamous "double dip". Can you say "More layoffs and higher unemployment?") I'd say the data is in...the "fix" didn't work.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 3, 2011 | 5:12 p.m.

The Dow dropped below the 200 day moving average, and the 50 day moving average is about to cross the 200 to the downside. That's never is a good thing unless you view the occurrence as a short timer and, therefore, a good buy-op.

The Dow also dropped below support levels, and the next support is around 11200....that's another 10% down.

We're gonna get a short relief rally, then all indicators point.....down....to the next support level. After that, who knows?

But, it's a double dip. The only question is....how much of a dip? The next GDP number will prolly determine how dippy is the dip.

(Report Comment)
matt arnall August 3, 2011 | 5:15 p.m.

Don, just as I thought you are a member of the tea party. If you have not heard, even people in your own party are distancing themselves from people like you. Deregulation of business has proven to be damaging to our economy. The statement that government’s purpose is to ensure that citizens are free to operate businesses etc etc shows that you need to read the constitution. I, as a liberal, don’t want to government to “buy everything that catches my eye", and again your statement about liberals allowing unborn babies to be born is grossly offensive as I am awaiting the birth of my first child. By all means continue to parade yourself and you thoughtless, insensitive comments on a public forum, as it is you that is making my point.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 5:29 p.m.

What businesses were deregulated?

(Report Comment)
matt arnall August 3, 2011 | 5:32 p.m.

defense, banks, mortgage.......which one do you want to discuss. How about just insulting me and my unborn child. That might fit into your theme a little better.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 3, 2011 | 5:36 p.m.

Frank, I don't believe there was any proof that Saddam was harboring terrorists. The conventional wisdom I remember hearing from a couple years back is that he didn't want Al Qaeda in Iraq since they could cause power struggles for him. However, I note that you and Don both have a fallback since there's no links to document what you've claimed. I sure as hell don't recall Dubya saying we were headed into Iraq to take on Al Qaeda as you claim.

I do a tiny bit of volunteer work with a local Marines charity. Before one of its care package days, they played a video someone else had compiled. I don't care who you are, but it's not easy seeing a picture of a soldier on a 10' x 10' screen with the words KIA Iraq and a date at the bottom. Makes me a bit pissed off actually when people defend that military action that has wasted thousands of US lives in a country that doesn't want us.

(Report Comment)
matt arnall August 3, 2011 | 5:40 p.m.

As a matter of fact Don, I have scrolled through your comments that you have made here on the Missourian. I can see that you are a lost cause, meaning that you don’t debate things. You take a right wing stance and attack people that are stating their opinions. I have better things to do with my time than argue with you. I feel good about my beliefs and what I do in my day to day life, and I am not interested in someone that acts like you do. You are offensive. I hope you have a good evening and find someone else that thinks differently than you to jump on. I hope that you are not as unhappy as your comments and thought make you appear. Take care.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 3, 2011 | 6:12 p.m.

matt arnall has proven here, as always do all the liberals, that he can recite their talking points and can sarcastically ignore the validity of the facts presented. We now know that he has a full time job, is concerned with the good of all people, statements of truth cannot sway his shallow knowledge of the world he lives in. "While Fox's viewership was up for the full day in total viewers and the 25-54 demographic, those numbers went down by 3 and 8 percent respectively in prime time.

Still, Fox remains leagues ahead of its competitors, as it has been for some time." Reuters, yesterday." No other information has been forthcoming. Claiming inability to debate this issue in this venue is an insincere comment designed to allow him to wiggle out. He might have at least noted which Article or Amendment to the Constitution, we who believe as Don does, need to study in order to straighten out our lives in this capitalist society of the U.S.A.

People of this ilk are here. The only thing we can do is keep they and their favored candidates out of our governments.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 3, 2011 | 6:27 p.m.

John S. If you don't know, rather than depend on "The conventional wisdom I remember hearing from a couple years back", why don't you dig into it. If you honestly do, you will find that most of your statements so far have been inaccurate.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 3, 2011 | 6:34 p.m.

Don M. - One bit of information from matt arnall that I forgot to note, is his intense dislike of you and people who think like you. Do you suppose I have now made the list?

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller August 3, 2011 | 7:03 p.m.

Mr Foote--I don't know what you think of the military or if you do. However, your implied putdown of my military service: "Irony: when a person who has had a government career, says the government does not create jobs." by lumping it with WPA, CCC or other shovel leaning employment indicates a shallow or contemptuous opinion of that calling. If you will but read Article I, Section 8 of the U S Constitution, you might discover that "The Congress shall have the power to raise and support Armies and to provide and maintain a Navy and to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces." all of which imply a need for national defense.

The profession of arms is hardly a mere "government job" rather, it is the arm of the government which ensures that you and I and all U S citizens may offer our opinions freely and without fear of repression. I would venture that most look upon the Army, Navy and Air Force as the nation's insurance policy and upon the U S Marine Corps as the nation's 911 force. It is not a job but a professional call to duty--so long as brave men and women stand ready to answer that calling, we remain free.

As for the reference to Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace, my opionion of that pair along with that of Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite is not suitable for print in a family newspaper.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 7:41 p.m.

Frank, you may have confused me with somebody who cares what liberals think. Nov 2010 proved what Americans think of liberal policies once they are put into action. Dems took the worst defeat in 72 years.

The GOP gained 5 governorships and 20 state legislatures. They gained 65 seats in the US House, and seven in the Senate. And 2011 was redistricting, which is sure to add to the woes of liberals.

Now that Americans have seen the disastrous results of liberal policies in action, they have totally rejected the Democrat message....or lack thereof.

Nov 2012 will see even more Dems added to the endangered fec....errrr....species list.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 7:42 p.m.

Colonel, I suspect civil service employment would decline rapidly were they subject to an occasional rocket and mortar attack every couple of months.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 7:45 p.m.

Unlike civil service, military members are fired and imprisoned when they fail to do their job. I don't remember the last time civil service employees needed to fear IED's during their drive to, from, or at work.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 8:49 p.m.

John Schultz August 3, 2011 | 5:36 p.m. Frank, I don't believe there was any proof that Saddam was harboring terrorists.

U.S. officials say Abu Abbas, a notorious Palestinian terrorist who masterminded the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in the Mediterranean, has been captured by U.S. forces in Iraq.

Abbas, who had moved to Iraq to escape the reach of American law enforcement, is wanted for the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound American passenger who was shot and tossed overboard.

This video is from LtCol Buzz Patterson, who was a military aide who carried the nuclear football for President Clinton. In his own words, LtCol Patterson will tell you directly what President Clinton heard about Iraq's/Saddam's connect to terrorists. Now if you just choose to not believe this, there is nothing I can do about that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq-0u9Cbk...

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 3, 2011 | 9:00 p.m.

Don Milsop - I had given up hope that Democrat majorities could ever be removed from our Congress, that they could keep stealing from this great country and those receiving would continually out vote those "giving". Then came Clinton(s)meddling with health care and then low and behold came '94 Republicans. Those freshman R's closed the illegal "House Bank" and House "Post Office"(slush funds accessible only to Congressmen.) They stopped the annual $10,000 "stipend" given to to each member of the House "black caucus". Freshman Congressman J. C. Watts (former black QB at OU) told that he eagerly attempted to join the black cacus, but was unceremoniously told that black Republicans were not to be included in the Democratic Black Cacus. The R's eliminated the deficit and balanced the budget. Reduced the debt by 590B$. Then came liberals W. Bush and B. Obama and our condition today. The only point of all this is that we Must care what liberals think. They are the only real problem that we now face.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 3, 2011 | 9:16 p.m.

Mr Miller: You attributed Gregg Bush's comment to Mr Foote (Chris?). Was this simply an error on your part, or do you believe they are one in the same?

Thanx.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 9:18 p.m.

I will be curious now to see if John Schultz admits that Saddam was actively abetting terrorist.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 3, 2011 | 9:25 p.m.

Did Mr. Foote's comment get deleted by the editorial review board?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 3, 2011 | 9:59 p.m.

Don: Gregg Bush wrote the comment. It is still there (11:42 am). I think Mr. Miller just wrote the incorrect name as a carryover from a prior article/thread.

Or, he thinks they are the same person.

I don't know which.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire August 3, 2011 | 11:11 p.m.

Maybe he put his foot in his bush.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance August 3, 2011 | 11:51 p.m.

The Colonel wasn't compelled by the government to make a career either. He enjoyed government pay with government funded health care. Sounds like a government job to me.

@Don

Your butt kissing to the Colonel is rather obvious and multiple rants in secession doesn't make your point any more valid. At least wait for a few replies before you cut and paste your next plagiarized item.

@Colonel

Not class envy. They defrauded America and need to pay their share of the burden. I find it incredibly pathetic that people of modest means keep defending the fraudulent rich. Let me say this again. Trying to talk "rich" will not make you rich. It is a big club and get this conservative middle class, You're not in it!

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 7:59 a.m.

Tim Dance - "Trying to talk "rich" will not make you rich."

Demeaning a group of people many of which You do not even know, because they have earned more money than you does not make You smart either. It does advertise a severe case of Stupid.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield August 4, 2011 | 7:59 a.m.

"I find it incredibly pathetic that people of modest means keep defending the fraudulent rich."

Because we're not naïve enough to believe that simply increasing taxes on "the rich" will erase the debt and deficit.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle August 4, 2011 | 8:27 a.m.

@Don Milsap:

If your best evidence for Hussein's strong links to international terrorism is Abu Abbas (whom Israel let in and out of Gaza numerous times in the 1990s because they determined he was no longer committed to violence, nor a threat--as someone committed to the Oslo peace process, ISR saw him as a *good* influence in Gaza) and whom Italy allowed out of their country without arrest, that's not so good.
.
As for "Buzz" Patterson, he is a military extremist who has written wildly-bombastic, inaccurate diatribes with titles such as "Obama's Secret Link to Hamas"--crap that doesn't pass basic rules of logic and decent journalism. Patterson is seeking to carve out a career as a voice for the outrageously ultra-right. He's an embarrassment, whose post-retirement conduct is dishonorable to the service.
.
Crap like "the liberals are trying to run down the military" just bugs the hell out of me--such melodrama has no place in a mature discussion about the very real budgetary problems our out-of-scale military establishment poses to this nation's future. Those who start flinging accusations of lack-of-patriotism at people who suggest it's time for a sustained, hard look at military spending should hang their heads in shame.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 8:31 a.m.

"I find it incredibly pathetic that people of modest means keep defending the fraudulent rich."
_____________________

That's ok. I find it incredibly pathetic that people keep making stupid decisions that prevent accumulation of wealth of ANY magnitude whatsoever.

But mainly I find it incredibly pathetic that anyone would expect more from the government than a TEMPORARY sop of diluted financial vinegar.

PS: "Fraudulent rich?" You wanna 'splain that?

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller August 4, 2011 | 8:33 a.m.

Mr. Williams--Thank you for catching my error. Obviously, I owe Mr Foote an apology for mistaking him for Mr Bush. It probably was a carryover from previous columns--but that is is an inexcusable error on my part. I did not go back and check the source before printing the comment. Too err is human..to forgive is divine--but, I will understand if forgiveness is slow coming.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 8:41 a.m.

TimT says, "it's time for a sustained, hard look at military spending".
________________________

Actually, I agree with this. We should look at our military needs through the lens of US national security and NOT through the lens of local or regional economics. In doing so, we have to recognize, understand, and accept that the jobs of many skilled workers will disappear and local/regional economies will suffer. (By example, what would be the impact on Missouri if Ft. Leonard Wood disappeared? Or if Boeing closed in St. Louis?)

As far as I'm concerned, national security (and war) should not be a game of shirts and skins. In such serious matters, I like the ability to reach out and touch someone; the most important thing is that we citizens are kept safe from outside enemies by our government, that we win any conflicts, and our guys/gals come home. When it comes to our national security, I don't care much about the fate of the other guy.

So, I'm in favor of a close scrutiny of military spending so long as my criteria listed above are met.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 8:50 a.m.

Mr Miller: I doubt Mr Foote will worry about it too much. Even though I don't often agree with him, he is a reasonable and thoughtful person. I'm the one who should apologize since I was wondering if Mr Bush was really Mr Foote.

Which means I've insulted Mr Foote. Not so for Mr Bush for which such a comparison would be an upgrade.

Sorry, Chris.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 8:53 a.m.

"Crap like "the liberals are trying to run down the military" just bugs the hell out of me-"

Stay "bugged", Timmy! Every Republican President since Reagan has had to re-build a military decimated by the previous Democrat.

Clinton was able to announce that he had reduced the public work force because while hiring thousands of new bureaucrats, he reduced our armed forces by tens of thousands. The Church Committee in U.S. Senate dismantled our foreign intelligence capabilities. W. Bush had to re-build from scratch. Revising the Democrat installed regulation that no U.S. operative could solicit information any source whose personnel history was not above reproach, was one the first changes W. had to make in his effort to protect the American people.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 9:21 a.m.

Speaking of the "mood of the electorate"......

Lots of new fear. We are on the verge of a market crash. Right on the precipice. And I don't think the administration or the Fed can hold the line on this one.

Gawd, I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am. This will be fugly. The current unemployment numbers will seem paltry by comparison.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 9:21 a.m.

Under Bill Clinton the military lost one half of its tactical ground and air assets. But you can't just blame that on Clinton. That started under Bush 41 with the base realignment program after the fall of the Soviet Union. Every politician in Washington wanted to suddenly get their hands on the money that had been going to the military as part of the so called peace dividend. This, plus the money from SS was the only way they were able to calculate a surplus. If you took out SS money from the general fund, we never got closer than $60 billion to being in balance. Clinton bragged that under him the size of the federal government, ie, employees, was reduced. Actually the civilian sector of the government grew. Only the cuts in the military made overall government employment fall.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 9:27 a.m.

Tim, I suspect you wouldn't pass SAS/PAL screening. You make wild, unsubtantiated statements about a man who carried the war codes and daily sat in on the Presidential daily briefings. You weren't there. He was. You sources are far less reliable than others who sat in the room. Your aspersions on LtCol Patterson's patriotism and post service actions make you a disgrace to America and a prime example of why liberals will continue to get pounded at the polls. There are many words I could use to define what you are, but they would all fall short of defining what a pathetic twit you are.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 4, 2011 | 9:38 a.m.

Don, thanks for reminding me about Abbas. I had a suspicion I was forgetting one example, but was Al Qaeda ever in Iraq until after Saddam was ousted? If not, do you think we should send the military into Iraq and Pakistan in case there are a few terrorists hiding around there? And it seems we're about 20 years too late messing around with Libya. More nation building, I suppose.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 9:42 a.m.

Tim Dance August 3, 2011 | 11:51 p.m.

They defrauded America and need to pay their share of the burden.

Tim, are you talking about the Democrats I mentioned above who bilked the taxpayers out of millions in unearned bonuses at Fannie and Freddie by falsifying documents, yet never served a day in prison?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 9:43 a.m.

Come on John. That jetliner they were using in that terrorist training camp in Salmon Pak was for the kids to play in?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 9:52 a.m.

Matt, I find the murder of 3,000 babies every day of the year for 37 years grossly offensive. Your offense is way back in line behind that. Trying caring about all the unborn children, not just your own. By the way, my daughter is adopted, so don't give me any garbage about putting my words into action. Her birth mother had severe mental and physical issues. And if you can't stand my challenging your opinions and pointing our your obvious distortions of fact, then maybe you're not mature enough for this debate.

Tim Dance, sorry, but you don't get to make the rules. I'm five hours behind you in time. While you're watching NCIS and American Idol, I'm in the middle of the afternoon. I'll post when I please and what I please as long as I'm within the guidelines. Keep your nose here and you can respond in a more timely fashion.

I suspect you liberals would have been aghast that the Declaration of Independence referred to King George as a tyrant. Shame on us for calling him names, right?

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 10:14 a.m.

John Schultz - You sound more like a simplistic liberal with every post.

(Report Comment)
Brian Wallstin August 4, 2011 | 10:29 a.m.

Don: at the risk of provoking more of your incoherent and sputtering outrage, i must say you are the single most obnoxious person i have ever encountered on a comment board. you suck all the fun out of following the conversations here. and to what end? why are you here?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 4, 2011 | 11:02 a.m.

Frank, if I gave a rat's tuckus what you thought about my posts, I wouldn't dare to turn the computer on. Get it?

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 11:02 a.m.

brian wallstin _"at the risk of provoking more of your incoherent and sputtering outrage" You have provoked mine as well. Unable to accept the true statement of fact you can read here, you must resort to insult.

"you are the single most obnoxious person i have ever encountered on a comment board. you suck all the fun out of following the conversations here." How many do you suppose are intent upon following your "conversation"? With no more logical input than this, I am left to wonder, "Why are You here?".

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 11:07 a.m.

Well, Brian...Don is certainly NOT incoherent, and a reading of his posts bear no image of "sputtering" outrage. I don't find him obnoxious at all; indeed, I find his posts to be "on point" and a mirror of reality (i.e., the way things "are") in contrast to many who post here whose heads normally reside in clouds, ivory towers, or where the sun never shines (maybe all three are the same place?).

I read your post as the position of someone with no rebuttal to his points. But the words "sputtering" and "obnoxious" do apply to your post, although I do give you bonus points for being coherent.

Why is he here? Probably because (1) he wants to be, and (2) he's following the rules. If you were the king censor of this place, would you ban him?

Just askin'. I'd like to know where you stand on the matter.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire August 4, 2011 | 11:10 a.m.

Send him to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire August 4, 2011 | 11:16 a.m.

Well, Brian...Don is certainly NOT incoherent, and a reading of his posts bear no image of "sputtering" outrage.

"Matt, I find the murder of 3,000 babies every day of the year for 37 years grossly offensive. Your offense is way back in line behind that."

I suppose that wasn't a sputter, but you should admit that he was pretty far off of the topic. And if that isn't outrage, then tell me what it is.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire August 4, 2011 | 11:26 a.m.

'I don't find him obnoxious at all; indeed, I find his posts to be "on point" and a mirror of reality (i.e., the way things "are") in contrast to many who post here whose heads normally reside in clouds, ivory towers, or where the sun never shines (maybe all three are the same place?)"

First I apologize to the readers who may have read the top line of my last post and not noticed that I was quoting Mike.

Mike, did you really find that someone taking a few sentences to scream "Bloody Murder" about abortions to be significant in a discussion about the national debt? Did you find your line, which I quoted here, to not be offensive? If not, then why? Maybe because YOU said it?

(Report Comment)
Brian Wallstin August 4, 2011 | 11:35 a.m.

Frank, Michael: Just my opinion, and I'm not surprised y'all don't share it. And of course i wouldn't ban him. But nor do I find it interesting or illuminating to be sneered at because I don't agree with his position.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote August 4, 2011 | 11:38 a.m.

No offense taken, misquotes/mistaken posts are an internet tradition. When I first saw my name referenced, I had to go back and check to see if I actually posted anything. I was having a senior moment, and I'm not even a senior!
Here are my thoughts on our debt and the debt ceiling debate (data from the CBO):
http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/0...
For those that don't click the link the chart shows all new spending initiatives over the last two presidencies. Obama's costs have been extended out to 2017. It's roughly $5 trillion for Bush and $1.4 Trillion for Obama. Our current large short term deficits are due mainly to the great recession, not liberal overspending. The tea party should be mad at the recession not Obama.

My approach to the debt would be to fix the economy and do everything possible to generate more jobs. Since many don't see how the government can accomplish this, here's an example of a government initiaitve that created jobs and private wealth (hat tip to my conservative friends):
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/29/138716091/...
Shorter version: Republican Mayor convinces city to spend $13 million on a new park, in less than two years this leads to $100 million in private investments around the park. Not a bad return on the government's dollar, and a good example of Keynsianism at work.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire August 4, 2011 | 11:43 a.m.

And Mike, I know you try hard to sound like an oafish ass every time you get an opportunity. Discussing drinking beer, and picking the lint off of your belly button is not a good way to cause anyone to think you are less than disgusting, possibly even disgustingly stupid. But I'm not convinced. I believe you do that mainly to offend those who disagree with you and to have some sort of common ground with those who you agree with.

However, when you defended what you just did as being "on point" you indicate that you have compromised any amount of integrity which you may or may not have had simply to prop your side in an argument. This allows me to more readily think of you in the disgusting terms of the mental imagery that you have provided so repeatedly, generally whenever you are attempting to gloat about something. I suppose that might make you a hit with the tea party crowd, but I don't really know. I don't party with them...

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 1:01 p.m.

Brian Wallstin - Where in your post of 10:29a did you mention Milsop's position on anything? Your view of his personality is all I could gather there.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 1:04 p.m.

John Schultz - You sound more like a simplistic liberal with each post.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 2:09 p.m.

I responded directly and in detail to John Shultz with our reasons for being in the war.

I responded with additional information directly to Frank Christian's post about the collusion of major Democrat party figures in financial malfeasance which brought down Freddie and Fannie, and was the engine that began the economic turmoil that began in 2007.

I responded directly and in detail to all the wimpy criticism I received on my position which attacked me and did not intelligently refute a single one of my positions.
All I saw were milktoast cries of no you're wrong.

If you are going to say I'm wrong, do so with facts and sources that are irrefutable, not infantile screaming.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 2:14 p.m.

Paul, let me ensure I understand your position. Matt Arnall can find one of my comments grossly offensive about unborn children, but I can't find the position of liberals on unborn children also grossly offensive. Is that correct?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 2:18 p.m.

3,000 unborn babies being murdered every day for 37 years adds up to 40,515,000 lost taxpayers. That's not significant to the economy?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 2:25 p.m.

John, I don't believe we had any business in Libya. As far as I knew, he was no longer aiding terrorists like he did before Reagan showed him what could happen. I do find the Obama administration aimlessly wandering here, not knowing who the opposition party really is. If they are radical Islamists, then we are helping the wrong side. I'm pretty sure you meant Iran and Pakistan. Regarding Iran, I do think we should send in the military for whatever time is needed to completely destroy their nuclear capability. Go down the tunnels, wreck all the equipment beyond behind useful, and seal the tunnels from top to bottom. Should be a 24 to 96 hour operation. Then we are out of there.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 2:32 p.m.

Mik W. - See what happens when one lures C. Foote, Froth, or whomever out of his hole? We get this: "My approach to the debt would be to fix the economy and do everything possible to generate more jobs." Wow! Why hasn't Obama thought of this? Our debt has increased 5T$ since N. Pelosi put Congress on "PayGo" and promised "no new deficit spending!" With all the new deficit spending approved by the Democrats notwithstanding, why on earth would Chris have to turn to a Republican project to show how Keynesian spending works? We know that little of Obama's Keynesian spending went to construction of any sort, because the "shovel ready" projects weren't as shovel ready as they thought. Here is the truth about Obama deficits: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/07/28/the-...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 3:38 p.m.

Chris: Glad to see yer back, even if it took a case of mistaken identity to do it....

I'd like to modify one of your sentences in your post, to wit:

Columbia's Mayor convinces city to spend $13 million on an upgraded airport, in less than two years this leads to $100 million in private investments around the airport once the local environmental lobby decided to shut up.

As for Keynesian economics, I think it's dead and buried. The last few years demonstrated that quite well. In fact, we are headed for a double-dip, 3 or more years of poor GDP, and unemployment that will make 9.5 seem low. Keynesian economics, in this instance, did not address the REAL issue....investor (entrepreneur) sentiment. Quite simply, the program failed to make investor's and entrepreneurs risk their money. Until investors and entrepreneurs and businesses feel the risk is sufficiently low, there will be no new jobs.

Do you see...anytime in the next 3 years...monthly employment numbers of 250-300K?

I can only hope we are now seeing the kind of economic progression we've seen in the past, where lean businesses accumulate sufficient stores of cash (couple of years) before expanding. Gawd, I hope that's the case. Problem for me is...for the first time in my 62 years (ok, 40 years since I started paying attention to things besides girls and cars) I see those lean businesses getting even leaner.
___________________

Paul, if you will read the exchange between Don and Matt, you'll see that Don originally noted the mortgaging of the unborns' finances, then he threw in an aside "if the libs allowed them to be born anyway". This latter snide comment was a small portion of his overall post and point.

After that, Matt got offended and showed that offense in a second post.

So, either keep up or head for Iraq.
___________________________

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote August 4, 2011 | 3:38 p.m.

Hi frank,

I don't know if you realize this or not but in your link to the comparison of Obama's plan to current law (the baseline scenario) the reason the deficit is worse under Obama is not due to new spending, but rather taxes won't go up as much under Obama's plan vs. current law. When the Bush tax cuts expire in 2012, revenue jumps $200-$300 billion per year compared to Obama's budget. You can see that in the CBO estimate here: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/121xx/doc1213....
Compare revenues of the Baseline vs. President's budget. Obama's budget retains a portion of the Bush tax cuts, and thus revenues are lower versus the baseline.
Also note that there is an outlays column. You will notice that there is little difference between current law and the President's budget in outlays, i.e. there is not an increase in spending.
Are you endorsing the do-nothing budget (otherwise known as the base line scenario)? http://www.slate.com/id/2291054/
That would be amusing because that's the plan I support as well: No Bush tax cuts extension for anyone, no AMT adjustment, no doc-fix for medicare...much lower deficits going forward. I'm going to guess you don't support this though and are just confused as to what Obama's budget was scored against.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 3:46 p.m.

Chris: I wish I had a source (link), but I read the other day that the number of planned layoffs is going up in a real hurry.....60K or so in the near term.

Investors are currently pricing in a renewed recession through 2012...and possibly beyond. Today was capitulation day. If the payroll numbers tomorrow disappoint, you'll see the Dow dip below the next support level at 11K. Both the Dow and the all-impt SPX shattered their 200 day moving averages to the downside, and the 50 day is about to go negative re: the 200 day. That points to all-bad. And the administration and helicopter Ben have no more ammo than QE3. Look for it. I don't think it can hold the line. The safety net provided by the Fed is gone and used up.

If you haven't detected it, I'm extremely pessimistic about the next couple of years.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 3:55 p.m.

What happened today was positively surreal. The global financial markets sold off hard and...what the hell?...gold and silver sold off, too? A global cash glut...where's it going??????

Sitting there earning 1 x 10^-8% interest.

Point is....it ain't working anywhere.

And "money not working" is about as useful as a nipple ring.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 4:33 p.m.

Chris - Are we discussing Obama's budget for 2012? We must be because no other Democrat has produced any plan, other than "How to Spend More Money Before Jan 2013", much less a Budget. Assuming that is what we are discussing the question remains, why? His Budget was presented to the U.S. Senate and voted down 95-0.

"No Bush tax cuts extension for anyone, no AMT adjustment, no doc-fix for medicare...much lower deficits going forward." A false premise from top to bottom. You and yours always consider your numbers to be static and assume that you can change one and your desired answer will always be reflected in the others. This is seldom true due to the only factor you can't change and so ignore it completely - human nature. I agree with Mike on our economy and today's sell off of stock market is only the latest, greatest, I fear. I am losing my medical Dr. He wants to retire from the association he works with but says they are losing Doctors "hand over fist". Didn't say why. I believe I have shared with you before, that the time for mathematical thought problems is past. We know that the Democrats cannot be negotiated with. Democrat Sen. Kurt Warner said yesterday, yes Fox Bus. Channel, that he wants on the bi-partisan spending Commission to be formed. He sheepishly grinned and said, I don't want to raise taxes, I want to cut 4T$ from the deficits. They (H. Reid)will never allow me on that Commission. These people (liberal D's) must be defeated at the ballot box. That's the only "plan" I favor.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 4:33 p.m.

Read this story from an "investor sentiment" view:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/geithne...

The article is spot-on.

Are you investing new money?
Are you spending more money?
Or are you sitting tight and purchasing ONLY essentials?
Do you expect anyone else...rich, poor, middle, blue collars, white collars, stock owners, business owners...to behave differently?

Me neither.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 4:37 p.m.

Frank says, "...that the time for mathematical thought problems is past."
_____________________

Yep. Throw out all the graphs and charts from the past.

We're in entirely new territory.

We're gonna make new ones up as we go....

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 4:54 p.m.

I erred in mine above. The Democrat Senator is from Virginia and is named Mark Warner, not Kurt. The new commission is Debt Commission not "spending"

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle August 4, 2011 | 4:54 p.m.

@Don Milsap:
Don ought to know that the truth about the airliner at Salmon Pak has not been established. A significant amount of information has pointed to the plane being used to help train COUNTERterrosist forces. After all, Iranian-backed terrorists did hijack an Iraqi jetliner in the mid-80s, crashing it with the loss of several dozen Iraqi passengers. Terrorists don't train on airliners; they don't need to. But to take an airliner *back* you need to have a plane for practice.
.
I am *not* saying that is the definitive answer as to Salmon Pak. But we should note that it is a sure possibility. The evidence is murky on both sides. But consider Hussein's major enemy in the 1980s: Iran and Iranian-back subversion within Iraq. Counter-terrorism training would only have been a reasonable response.
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As for Buzz Patterson, I stand by my read of him. I make no judgement of his service while in uniform, but his retirement career is dishonorable work.
.
As for those who offer as evidence that liberals tend to "decimate" the US military, that remains an absurd and melodramatic accusation. One person's "decimation" is another's "proportional adjustment." Folks can have an argument about prioritization and policy, but wild-eyed accusations don't persuade. Meanwhile, the US's military remains (and will remain, under ANY administration) streets ahead of any challenger.
.
It's so easy to be self-righteous on the internet. Folks who might knock back a glass together in a bar instead start flinging around the worst at each other. That's toxic.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 4, 2011 | 5:32 p.m.

Tim....One person's "decimation" is another's "proportional adjustment.
______________________

Well, not quite. Depends upon whether a bad outcome after a "proportional adjustment" could have been prevented by not adjusting in the first place.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle August 4, 2011 | 7:24 p.m.

@Michael Williams, who wrote "Well, not quite. Depends upon whether a bad outcome after a "proportional adjustment" could have been prevented by not adjusting in the first place."
-----
Sigh...well, yes. Any sane person would agree that careful and smart prioritization regarding military cuts is very important. Are you aware of anyone who disagrees? I'm not.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 7:56 p.m.

I never said liberals decimated our military. In my post of August 4, 2011 | 9:21 a.m., I clearly stated facts that we lost one half of our tactical air and ground forces. I also stated this occured under Bush 41 and Clinton, and that both parties were responsible for it. However, losing one half of your tactical air and ground forces does decimate your military capability. Our military standard since the end of WW2 was that US forces would have the capability of being able to handle TWO high intensity conflicts simultaneously. In military planning, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan would be considered high intensity conflicts. WW2 amounted to high intensity conflict. No war we have participated in since WW2 would meet that standard. Keep in mind though that during WW2, our population was 130 million, and we had 16 million citizens in uniform. To reach a proportional size today would require we have 38 million Americans under arms. We don't have one tenth of that amount. So when you lose one half of your military strength, it's decimated. While the other forces are quite capabile, they can't be everywhere at once.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 8:03 p.m.

GlobalSecurity.org is one of the most respected private intelligence groups in the world.

Here is what they write on Salman Pak:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/...

You might also find this interesting reading:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,2022...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 4, 2011 | 8:05 p.m.

Americans are going to love the market's reaction to the new debt ceiling plan.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle August 4, 2011 | 8:23 p.m.

Don, I'm aware of what GlobalSecurity.org has claimed about Salman Pak. But the principle witnesses their report relies upon have been called into question, because they were members of the Iraqi National Congress, a group which on several occasions provided misleading testimony to the US gov't to help build support for US invasion.
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Like I said, the evidence is murky, and given what Hussein's security concerns were in the 1980s--and well into the 1990s as far as the Iranian threat goes--the idea of SP as a *counter*-terrorism site makes much sense.
.
As for military readiness, the end of the Cold War inevitably meant the end of the High-Intensity X 2 rationale. Planners have been searching for a new formula ever since, but why should we treat a dramatically scaled-back military as an ipso-facto bad decision, when that dramatically-reduced military still has capability that *far* exceeds other states?

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 4, 2011 | 9:03 p.m.

Don - I believe I am the culprit accused by tim trial of misusing the word "decimated" in regard to the reductions in our military by both J.E. Carter and W. J. Clinton. Decimated, it seems is from Latin, and was used by the Romans to describe a disciplinary measure taken against soldiers of Caesars army. "The word decimation is derived from Latin meaning "removal of a tenth." As you state, reductions in our military have gone far beyond that description and I feel safe in my statement.

Those that are interested only in the most social programs they can provide for the people, continue to tell themselves, "if we leave them alone, they will leave us alone." Then, "Defense spending interferes with our domestic needs." There is little intelligence in that thinking and they too must be defeated at the ballot box

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 4:09 a.m.

Is anybody on the left concerned with Chinese military expansion?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 5, 2011 | 4:48 a.m.

"I find it incredibly pathetic that people of modest means keep defending the fraudulent rich."

[Are the rich fraudulent because they aren't really rich, or because they became rich through fraud, or because they are able to remain rich through fraud, or does it make much difference?]

It could be the "defense" of the rich is the result of a chemically-induced psychosis: all those toxic fumes of socialism emanating from Washout, D.C.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 5, 2011 | 5:51 a.m.

Don Milsop wrote:

"Is anybody on the left concerned with Chinese military expansion?"

Well, I'm not sure if I'm on the left or not, but China is expanding its military just like they're expanding everything else. Soon they will have the most powerful military in Asia (if they don't already). They have adapted and improved many excellent Russian designs, and we all know about their prodigous manufacturing capacity.

The 20th century was the US's century. Like it or not, the 21st will be China's. If we are wise, we'll accept that gracefully and not risk certain defeat fighting over territory or resources with them.

DK

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 6:48 a.m.

Mark, in what manner will China use their military. That is the question. A war with China would be no different than a war with the Soviet Union. Couple of days of shooting, then nuclear incineration.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 5, 2011 | 7:14 a.m.

Mark F. - "and not risk certain defeat fighting over territory or resources with them."

What if the territory is our CA coast line? "CA? Let them have it." and "Better Red than dead" are not acceptable answers.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle August 5, 2011 | 8:23 a.m.

Breaking my rule to respond to FC on his clever use of the etymology of "decimated", referring to Roman military discipline. The Roman process he refers to *randomly* selected a tenth of a given unit for execution. Thus, use of the term to refer to a process that is not randomized doesn't hold true to his example. No one is suggesting mere random cuts to the military; I don't think anyone is suggesting drawing lots.
.
Lesson: we can all be pedantic and clever with our language games.
.
Back to my rule now, as difficult as it is to hold to it.
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As for claims that Democrats will continue to get hammered at the electoral polls, have a look at the first serious poll taken in the aftermath of the debt-ceiling "crisis." Yes, yes, it *is* NYT/CBS News, so some here will reject it out of hand. However, they should do so based on the actual methodological shortcomings (rather than kneejerk claims of "lamestream" media bias), so I'll post the "how the poll was conducted" link as well. First, some excerpted results:
.
Poll conducted 2 and 4 Aug., 2001
Approval rating, Pres. Obama: App. 48%; Dis. 47%
App. rating Congress: App. 12%; Dis. 82%
Republican tactics on debt-ceiling: App. 21%; Dis. 72%
Democratic tactics on same: App. 28%; Dis. 66%
Most trustworthy in making good decisions about US economy:
***Congressional Republicans: 33%
***Pres. Obama: 47%
***Neither: 14%
Should taxes on those making $250K or more/year be raised to help deal with the deficit?:
***Yes: 63%
***No: 34%

Poll respondents (their general political temperament):
*** Liberal: 22%
*** Moderate: 43%
*** Conservative: 32%

.
Full poll results:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/...
.
Methodology:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/us/pol...
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Of course, there are margins of error to take into account, but *if* (note that word) this poll reflects public sentiment in any close-to-accurate way, it shows a very *mixed* public mood towards Republican *and* Executive policies and tactics.

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub August 5, 2011 | 10:49 a.m.

I am a progressive, but I don't sit on the left side of the aisle or the right, and I have discussed the China factor with those on the far right who believe no matter how much money we give to the military industrial complex, it is not enough. I remember a conversation a few years back when I said China is the one we need to be watching not the middle east. His reply was the typical arrogant "China is a third world country and are not a threat, they can't even make a missile that could reach here. Of course that was when they were actively sending satellites into orbit for the private sector. My point is they would not be as far advanced if all the pseudo patriots were not buying their little flags and flying them on their cars at 80 MPH.

China is not the threat because of their military but because they found the world's weakness - insatiable desire to own everything and to obtain it at the lowest price. The same reason Walmart's parking lots are always full. Now they hold not only the largest trade deficit we have, but they are our biggest lender, next to social security.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 5, 2011 | 10:56 a.m.

Tim Trial - The Roman example of decimation was the punishment imposed upon a specific unit deemed by the leaders deserving of punishment. This included the random selection (by lot) of one to be killed. The others received poor rations and camps separated from the rest of the army.

Clinton reduced our armed forces by 15% more than HW Bush had asked. Both Reagan and W. Bush would agree in their time, that our forces were "decimated" or would not have instituted the spending to rebuild them.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield August 5, 2011 | 11:17 a.m.

"Now they hold not only the largest trade deficit we have, but they are our biggest lender, next to social security."

It's a common misconception that China holds most of our $14.3T government debt. In reality, they own 8%, and the total owed to all foreign countries is $4.5T. The rest of the debt is held by us. For example, the Social Security trust fund owns 19%.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 5, 2011 | 11:47 a.m.

Gary Straub, is a progressive and not like those with the "insatiable desire to own everything and to obtain it at the lowest price." Yeah, right!

"My point is they would not be as far advanced if all the pseudo patriots were not buying their little flags and flying them on their cars at 80 MPH." Gary, Chinese would not be as far advanced if Bill Clinton had not personally approved the sale to them of our nuclear technology along with "chips" needed to devise nuke weapons.

Must be OK though, Sec of State Madeleine Albright stated publicly back then that, "there should be more than one super power". In my opinion progressives such as these, as well as you may well be the death of our country.

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub August 5, 2011 | 1:38 p.m.

Jimmy, I said China is the source of our largest trade deficit, not debt. They are the largest foreign lender.
http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/...

Frank, I don't see how their use of nuclear technology has anything to do with their wealth. If so then Pakistan, who GW allowed to obtain and sell nuclear weapons tech, to N. Korea, will be next. By your logic, then N. Korea will be the next rising star.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield August 5, 2011 | 1:55 p.m.

Gary, you also wrote that China is "our biggest lender." They're not. We are.

Or did you mean to write "our biggest foreign lender"? That's true. In case anyone is wondering, Japan is No. 2, at 6.4%.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 5, 2011 | 2:32 p.m.

G. Straub - It's good that I have plenty of time for this. It would otherwise be a complete waste.

"If so then Pakistan, who GW allowed to obtain and sell nuclear weapons tech, to N. Korea," is a false statement! The confessed Pakistani who sold the tech for money did so in the 90's. When was Bush elected?

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/...

You report, "China is not the threat because of their military but because they found the world's weakness - insatiable desire to own everything and to obtain it at the lowest price. Now you seem to admire their "wealth" while you criticize us (Americans) for ours. Would it be easier for you to just announce that you feel communism is the best system and then post what you like about it? Might be hard, but would be more honest.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking August 5, 2011 | 2:45 p.m.

Don Milsop wrote:

"Mark, in what manner will China use their military."

To take Taiwan, and perhaps later Japan (an age old rivalry). They may take the Spratly Islands (contested between China and Indonesia, and may have 30 billion barrels of oil). There are many way China could use an advanced military.

frank christian wrote:

"What if the territory is our CA coast line? "CA? Let them have it." and "Better Red than dead" are not acceptable answers."

No foreign power would physically invade the US while we're still reasonably functional as a nation. We're too heavily armed. Like Switzerland, we have enough private firearm ownership to outgun any likely invading force.

I was sent an email recently that stated the number of rifle hunters in the Midwest alone was greater than the size of any standing army. Big deterrent - would you want to invade an area with 10 million potential snipers?

The big risk would be nuclear war with China. It would end them as a world power, and I don't think they'd do it unless we did it first. That's why I think we should be gracious about losing first place in the world. No one needs to be exploding hundreds of nuclear warheads unless they really have to.

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 5, 2011 | 2:54 p.m.

The comment about Walmart parking lots remind of an old Readers Digest anecdote from "cold war" times. An American delegation in cooperation was taken on tour of USSR industrial accomplishments. They visited three factories humming along. The Russians were asked who owned the factories? The Americans at each factory, were proudly told,"We the people own these factories!" Every factory had two or more beautiful automobiles parked outside. When asked , who owned the cars? The Russians named the Commissars that owned the cars and what division of the government they controlled.

In reciprocation the same groups were given a tour our industrial progress. At a Ford Motor plant a Russian asked who owns this factory" The answer was Henry Ford owns this factory. This provoked knowing smiles from the Russians. Another pointed to the expansive parking all around the factory filled to the brim with employee autos. Another Russian asked who owns all those autos? The answer, of course was: We the people own those cars!

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush August 5, 2011 | 3:32 p.m.

"...other shovel leaning employment indicates a shallow or contemptuous opinion of that calling."
Ouch!
Not only do you not seem to understand irony, but ouch! You disparage the good men and women that build and maintain our roads and bridges...our infrastructure.
The Navy had a recruitment campaign in the early '80s -"It's not just a job. It's a career."

I've read the marines and seamen don't get along, but sheesh. I got ya readin' bush and typin' foote.
"[The government] has a responsibility to create a climate conducive for the private sector to produce new business opportunities, expansion of existing businesses and investments, all of which stimulate employment."

I prefer the phrasing of Gouverneur Morris: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 5:03 p.m.

Some correction may be necessary, or I might need to be better educated. As far as I know, we did not give the Chinese nuclear weapons information. I recall what we gave them was our ICBM staging and guidance technology under the guise of assisting them in putting satellites in space. Never mind that this techology would also allow them to increase their ICBM accuracy from hitting Texas to targeting the corner of Texas Avenue and Main Street. In exchange, Red Chinese intelligence funneled $6 million in badly needed illegal campaign contributions to the DNC through the Riady family of Indonesia. Clinton rewarded the Riady's by turning the very valuable, low sulphur coal deposits in Utah into a national park, which could not be mined, thereby removing any competion from the Riadys, who owned the only such other deposits.

The DNC returned the $6 million after the 1996 election, and the Riady's were fined $12 million. Pocket change for the benefit the Riady's got from the deal. And by this, Clinton removed the ability of any US President to deal with Red China from a position of nuclear strength for the decades it would have taken China to acquire this ability.

Too bad Ron Brown died before he could testify to all of this.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 5:21 p.m.

Gregg, minor correction to your Navy slogan: It’s Not Just A Job, It’s An Adventure

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 5:25 p.m.

We need to ensure that Taiwan has nuke as a deterrent to Red China. They may already have them since we let Taiwan have nuclear triggers several years ago.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 5:42 p.m.

Gregg, the Marines and Navy get along just fine. We serve together at sea and ashore. Navy corpsmen have saved the lives of tens of thousands of Marines in battle. There is only a problem when some sailor has imbibed a sufficient amount of liquor ashore to think he can kick a Marine's butt.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 5:46 p.m.

Gregg, your last post sorta sounds like what I put on my August 3, 2011 4:53 p.m.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 5:52 p.m.

The idea that millions of armed Americans could repel an invader is not as valid anymore. With modern weaponry, the odds have dramatically shifted. Assault rifles are not going to stand up to tanks and jet aircraft. Nuclear deterrence is the only way to prevent large scale war. What we must do is to return Taiwan to a recognized nation in the UN, and to let China know without question that an invasion of Taiwan would be met with complete commitment on our part to defend them. It does however put that element of risk into play.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush August 5, 2011 | 6:30 p.m.

Corporations are not people.
There is no mention of corporations in the Constitution or in the Amendments.
Business is not mention either - except regarding a quorum is needed to do the legislative body's "business".
Business and corporations are servants of "people" not the other way around.

Your posts remind me of Smedley Butler - what he didn't like.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 5, 2011 | 6:38 p.m.

Don M. - "As far as I know, we did not give the Chinese nuclear weapons information" If you will, we sold missile technology and they stole our nuclear weapon tech. Hazel O'Leary, if you recall, abandoned all security classifications for entrance to the Energy Dept and it's information in the interest of "fairness". J. Carter created the Energy Dept. to insure smooth flow of gasoline and other energy products to the American people. Have you ever wondered why on earth our secret nuclear information wound up being stored there?

The links below have to do with Clinton shenanigans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of...

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/arti...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 5, 2011 | 7:17 p.m.

Business and corporations are servants of "people" not the other way around.
___________________________

Huh?

Personally, I'd say, "Neither". The only servant of the people I know is SUPPOSED to be our governments.

But, the writer's belief explains a lot of desired subsequent actions. Actually, it's at the heart of much of the political conflict we observe today.

PS: When I started my business, I did NOT enter into any form of servitude to anyone. I DID enter into negotiations with customers (people)....ino, there were bargains....I have what you want (chemistry) and you have what I want ($$$). Deal? I signed no terms-of-indenture papers to ANY member of the populace. I was under NO obligation to serve my "customer", and my customer was under NO obligation to serve me. We simply did a deal if the terms were mutually satisfactory.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 7:40 p.m.

Smedley Butler's isolationist position would have gotten us killed. Great man, but wrong idea.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 5, 2011 | 7:49 p.m.

"Corporations are not people."

Actually..... Believe it or not, a corporation is in fact considered to be a person; at least in the legal sense of the word..... Funny as it may seem. LOL.

"Corporation: cor·po·ra·tion/ˌkôrpəˈrāSHən/Noun1. A company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law."
http://bit.ly/qGLwiO

C- Corporations

A "C-Corporation" is a general-for-profit, state-formed corporation. C-Corporations are treated as though they are a living and breathing entity.
http://www.phxbusinesslawyer.com/index.p...

2: a body formed and authorized by law to act as a single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of succession. Merriam Webster Dictionary.

In a legal sense, a corporation is often defined as "a living and breathing entity"... Understanding this is helpful in understanding some of the protections that a corporation offers the people that formed it.

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 7:59 p.m.

For those of us who deal in business law, we knew a corporation was a legal person. I just didn't want to get into it with somebody who doesn't real with that issue. The recent USSC decision that struck down much of the campaign finance law that was such a slap in the face of the lst Amendment.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 5, 2011 | 8:05 p.m.

Businesses of any type are the servants of their owners. Not their employees. Or at least they shouldn't be.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush August 5, 2011 | 8:36 p.m.

If you think that I'm not familiar with Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific nor the First Amendment protections afforded in Citizens United...please.
It is funny to see "corporations are considered to be a person" in print.
It plays so well in the electorate.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 5, 2011 | 8:46 p.m.

It's a bit shocking that an educated adult would not know that a corporation is a legal "person." We were taught that not in college but in 9th grade.

There are a number of words and concepts common today that can't be specifically found the the United States Constitution. There are also a number of words and concepts common today that can't specifically be found in the Synoptic Gospels.

Governments (federal, state, local) are supposed to serve the people, not the other way around. We were taught that in 9th grade as well.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 5, 2011 | 8:46 p.m.

"I was under NO obligation to serve my "customer", and my customer was under NO obligation to serve me. We simply did a deal if the terms were mutually satisfactory".

Interesting...? All of that to me, simply means that you never used contracts with your clients..... That's not really "smart business"....

Personally, I am a pretty firm believer in the contract...

Ricky B. Gurley.

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 5, 2011 | 9:28 p.m.

Am not able to find anywhere on Missourian, that S&P has downgraded United States of America rating from AAA to AA+. Elsewhere, the Tea Party is already being blamed.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 5, 2011 | 9:49 p.m.

Could Mr. Bush "feel" (he has strong feelings), that Corps. are not people because of the practice of any alert businessman extending credit to another business entity always requires and acquires the signature of an Individual that will accept personal responsibility for the purchases or services provided by the seller? Is his position that Corps are not people until someone signs on the line?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 5, 2011 | 9:52 p.m.

Yes, Frank, S&P has downgraded United States' bond rating.

Columbia Daily Tribune has the story. So does Yahoo!

If the Tea Party is guilty of anything it's that they finally forced everyone admit that "the Emperor has no clothes." The Emperor has been running around buck naked for several years but everyone pretended that he was clothed.

A case of blaming the messenger.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley August 5, 2011 | 10:22 p.m.

"Corps. are not people because of the practice of any alert businessman extending credit to another business entity always requires and acquires the signature of an Individual that will accept personal responsibility for the purchases or services provided by the seller?"

Perhaps if that statement were accurate, Mr. Bush would have an argument......

But....

While the signature of a person may be required to receive goods and/or services for a corporation, the signing party does NOT accept "personal responsibility" for anything, IF the signing party is signing on behalf of the corporation...

The corporation assumes responsibility if the bill is not paid for which that credit was extended. As a matter of fact, that signing party would not risk any of his or her assets whatsoever, however the corporate assets may be attached, but only after there is a judgment granted against the corporation, IF the corporation is sued...

There is only one way that the signing party's personal assets can be attached, and that is if the suing party can prove that personal assets and corporate assets were co-mingled; and then the moving party has to move to "pierce the corporate veil".

Of course all of this is a bit more complicated than my condensed explanation as to why your statement is not completely accurate. But my explanation does hint at one of the protections afforded by incorporating...

Ricky B. Gurley

RMRI, Inc.
http://www.rmriinc.com
(573) 529-0808

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 6, 2011 | 7:30 a.m.

Normally when a credit manager decides on the credit worthiness of a customer, he must establish whether he/she is dealing with a sole propriater, for which no personal guarantee is necessary, a partnership (what kind), or a corporation. If the business is a corporation, the credit manager is going to look at how long they have been in business, their financial strength, their payment history, and the background of the officers and the length of time they have been with the business. The policy of obtaining a personal guarantee varies from business to business. There is no set rule, and that is not even consistent within a seller because of the factors I mentioned above. You are not going to get a personal guarantee out of Exxon/Mobil or General Electric. If you ask for one they'll take their order somewhere else where there are no idiots in the credit department.

(Report Comment)
James Terry August 6, 2011 | 8:47 a.m.

Here's a useful graphic from the Boston Globe--helpful for explaining the deficit to those who are better with pictures than words:
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/arti...

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush August 6, 2011 | 9:52 a.m.

Solely legal terms
Misses worlds of poetry.
Talking down? Child, please.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith August 6, 2011 | 10:25 a.m.

@ James Terry:

Thanks for the information about the useful graphic.

S&P's announcement was probably timed with the weekend in mind. Domestic markets won't open until Monday, and it may be hoped that not making the announcement during a market day will calm some jitters.

I wouldn't bet on it. On Monday, October 19, 1987 I flew into Houston International from Central America. After clearing immigration and customs, and making sure my checked luggage got on the correct flight to St. Louis, I made my way to the boarding area for my domestic flight - only to learn from the TV monitors that the Dow had dropped more than 500 points and trading had been suspended. That event has become known as Black Monday.

Welcome home!

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle August 6, 2011 | 10:28 a.m.

"1. The two wars were absolutely necessary & voted on by both houses of Congress."
.
Referring the Iraq war open-and-shut as "necessary" is a minority opinion. Yes, in the end, House and Senate Democrats supported it, but that was also where the only real DC resistance came from.
.
"2. The Bush admin. as well as J, McCain saw the disaster brewing from the Clinton Dodd, Frank meddling with real estate lending regs & made at least 4 leg. attempts to control "fanny & freddy" lending ..."
.
The CRA had only limited effects on the subprime crisis, affected only 1 (or 2?) big banks. Moreover, since the crisis was also characterized by non-residential real estate, that weakens the case against Clinton, et al. Still, a contributing factor, sure. The decisive one? Make the case.
.
The myth that McCain was some kind of lone voice crying in the wildness for regulation of Fannie & Freddie is wildly overstated. His efforts did not concern Fannie/Freddie's risky loans, etc., but rather some accounting irregularities early in the decade. Later, when he signed on to an effort to regulate Fannie & Freddie, he did so only *after* housing prices had started to plummet--*after* a major report that signaled the crisis to all.
.
"3. The Bush tax cuts put an end to the recession He inherited and led to the low 4.6% unemployment we enjoyed until the Clinton, Dodd, Frank debacle took hold."
.
The tax cut was not designed as an immediate injection to alleviate the recession, but as a longer-term realignment of incentive. It probably did moderate that recession's effect, but economic growth from 2001-07 was only around 2.7%/year.
.
"4."Bush" prescription drug act was written and promoted back and forth across our Country by Senator Eward M Kennedy. The act was taken from a Democrat model that they had wished for for years. Bush signed it."
.
Can't have it both ways; the bill--as passed--was a profoundly Republican effort. It was deeply resisted by House and Senate Democrats, and only passed in the House 220-215 after Senate Republicans kept the vote open artificially in order for some "no"-voting Republicans to switch their vote to yes, as Hastert (who sponsored the bill) pressured them.
.
Moreover, when the chief actuary for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Richard Foster, sought to release a corrected revision of the estimate of the bill's costs, the Bush admin. refused to allow him to release it, and instead suppressed the estimate, so a handful of fiscally-conservative Republicans could be persuaded to support the bill. The bill passed with deep Democratic opposition.
.
Representing the drug prescription act as a primarily Democratic measure, the Bush only "signed" is intellectual dishonest. The administration and Congressional Republicans colluded mightily to get it passed, over substantial Democratic opposition.
.
"Things ain't as simple as you prefer to perceive them."
.
Yep.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 6, 2011 | 10:30 a.m.

D. Milsop - "The policy of obtaining a personal guarantee varies from business to business."

"Effect of Personal Guarantees

Anyone doing business with a corporation may require that the principal of the company give a personal guarantee of a corporate obligation. In simple terms, the person signing a guarantee promises to pay the corporation’s debts if the corporation is unable to do so. For example, if you wish to lease office or retail space for the business, the landlord may request a personal guarantee of the lease obligation. If the corporation fails to make its payments on time, the landlord can then collect directly from you. In this manner, a personal guarantee eliminates the benefits of the corporation’s limited liability."

"You are not going to get a personal guarantee out of Exxon/Mobil or General Electric"

I would imagine that you are correct here. I've never extended credit to either one.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 6, 2011 | 10:41 a.m.

T Trial - I've been over this too often to waste time with your vague assertions while not disproving a word of my post. Try to get a grip.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 6, 2011 | 11:47 a.m.

James Terry - Libs always show across the board tax cuts as expenses. If they showed the actual result of our historical instances of tax cuts folks would quickly see that Democrats and their "jobs programs"and/or "targeted tax cuts" are never needed. Here they refer to W. Bush cuts. Read:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010...

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle August 6, 2011 | 1:29 p.m.

@FC: Sorry F, but correcting your claims about the Prescription Drug bill (which you branded as mainly Democratic, and I showed--as if--that it was *not*) is certainly disproving "a word" of your post. So is noting that your (monocausal? simplistic?) claims that the Bush tax cuts "put an end" to the recession. Goodbye.
.
I can't believe I broke my rule, just for an unsatisfying exchange like this.... So I'm putting F back in the box now.
.
Oh, but...er...why did FC capitalize the "h" in "he" when referring to Bush in Item 3? (Just a joke! But still....)

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 6, 2011 | 10:54 p.m.

"So is noting that your (monocausal? simplistic?) claims that the Bush tax cuts "put an end" to the recession." Goodbye.

Did you miss,"http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010... ?
.

(Report Comment)
frank christian August 6, 2011 | 11:07 p.m.

TT - I can't show the link, I would believe because it is posted above in an attempt to clarify things for another that has contracted your malady. Look at mine to James Terry this am. (As tho you haven't read it.)

(Report Comment)
Mike Patnode August 9, 2011 | 12:12 p.m.

Wow. Do not have enough available time to read each of the comments. Col - be it know that you can pick and choose topics to write about well. No comments on the article. Republicans and Democrats.....oh my gosh.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 9, 2011 | 1:59 p.m.

Frank, many commercial credit managers stay away from personal guarantees. Most commercial credit is guided by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, regulation B. When you move into personal guarantees, the FCRA comes into play, and the documentation and notification requirements become much more onerous. It is not unusual for a company that has sales in the $100 million range to only have one or two people in their credit department if they are dealing primarily with other businesses (wholesale/manufacturing), and not with consumers. Commercial credit managers prefer that the company's credit worthiness can stand on it's own. Particularly with the bankruptcy laws, most times a personal guarentee isn't going to do you much good. Often times a debtors personal assets are protected in a trust. If the company is credit worthy, then sell. If not, make them pay one half in advance which should at least cover the cost of material/labor.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop August 9, 2011 | 2:06 p.m.

I really don't see the downgrade affecting consumers that much. Interest rates still have to be competitive for borrowers to loan money. Right now, even before the downgrade, there was virtually no lending going on. A rise in interest rates would only hurt that more. And if consumers aren't borrowing from the bank, banks aren't borrowing from the fed. I can see student loans going up, but even a percent or two more at today's interest rates on $50,000 over 10 years isn't going to amount to that much more.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 9, 2011 | 3:08 p.m.

Don: We are about to see unprecedented volatility. There is no cohesive leadership. Those who hire see significant risk to expansion which means little hiring for quite some time. Apparently the Fed sees the same thing, as exemplified by this paragraph in their statement today:

"The Committee currently anticipates that economic conditions--including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run--are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013."
_________________

2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Fed also mentioned that it would "...continue to assess the economic outlook in light of incoming information and is prepared to employ these tools as appropriate."

But, they are out of ammunition.
_________________

In all my years of paying attention, I've never seen such ineptitude. Only Jimmy Carter comes close. Our President speaks, and the market tanks while he is speaking. He commands neither respect nor trust among those who expand and hire. We've hired Bart Simpson.

Our President will NOT be judged on what he inherited. He will be judged by his outcome.
__________________

Re: the downgrade. Note that ca. a thousand munis have been downgraded also. THAT means you and me and wherever we live. This downgrade will cost billions.
__________________

This President and his administration has failed to understand that their position, their PRIMARY duty, is national "sentiment". He WAS elected based upon good "sentiment".

He has squandered that away. He speaks, and the market laughs.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 9, 2011 | 3:26 p.m.

This may be of interest to all you Exxon haters:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/U...

But I never hear complaints about Apple's profitability.

I don't know why......

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield August 9, 2011 | 3:35 p.m.

Regarding the munis, here's a list of 100 defaults so far: www.bondview.com/portfolio/classic/p/752...

Regarding Exxon, how many haters have purged it from their retirement portfolios? After all, oil stocks are among the most widely held.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams August 9, 2011 | 3:49 p.m.

Jimmy: Hell, the dividend is a good hedge from higher gas prices. Here's a stock selling for 72 bucks per share with an expected 2011 dividend of a buck-sixty.

Hell, own a hundred shares, and you just saved 50 cents per gallon on 320 gallons of gas.

PS: Oh, and earnings per share for 2011 are estimated at 8.70 or so. At current prices, that's over 10%. Of course, with oil prices plunging with the markets and economy, I don't know what XOM's price will be 6 months from now, or if they will even have a dividend!

(Report Comment)

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