Bush On The Recession: "The Average Person Doesn't Really Care What We Call It"

Do you care whether or not we’re in a recession? If so, do you care what people call whatever it is that we’re in? President Bush thinks that you don’t. He gave a press conference this morning in which he blasted congress for blocking his economy-fixing legislation, according to CNN:

“I repeatedly submitted proposal to help address the problems. Time after time, Congress chose to block them,” he said.

Bush called on Congress to send him sensible and effective bills to keep the country moving forward before taking questions from reporters.

Asked if he was premature in saying the economy is not in a recession, Bush said “the average person doesn’t really care what we call it.”

“The average person wants to know whether or not we know that they’re paying higher gasoline prices and they’re worried about staying in their homes,” he said.

Bush then went on to explain that he wants to end farm subsidies and give the government more authority to purchase student loans. Do you care what Bush calls the “economic slowdown”? Or is it enough that Alan Greenspan told CNBC that “we are in the throes of a recession?”

Bush says Congress blocking progress [CNN]

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  1. zentec says:

    Listening to George Bush talk about the economy is like listening to Paris Hilton give a lecture on differential equations.

    The difference is that Paris Hilton knows she’s way over her head, and her mistakes don’t result in an entire nation being burdened with them.

  2. billbillbillbill says:

    Opinions of Bush aside, he is right in saying I don’t care what they call it.

  3. EllenRose says:

    I like political gridlock — neither party gets to play Fixit with the country. And while economists like neatly-defined labels, the price of gas and rice and so forth are more important to most people.

    One of the current problems is the mortgage meltdown. Seems to me that’s the direct product of the gov trying to fix the way banks used to get so fussy about whether you really could be trusted to pay back the loan.

    So: gridlock now, gridlock forever!

  4. ian937262 says:

    Gee y’all I just care about the free money I’m gittin. That’s s’posed to fix everythin right?

  5. lightaugust says:

    … Thank God that man is wearing his flag pin. Otherwise I’d have a hard time believing he gives a good damn.

  6. BigElectricCat says:

    Who really cares what President Bush thinks about the economy? Congress gave him what he wanted for six solid years, and with their help, all he managed to do was to drive the economy into a ditch. His ‘sensible and effective’ measures to address the issue seem to include taking a cash advance on our VisaChina card and then throwing money at every American. I’m sorry, but didn’t this President say that ‘throwing money at education’ wouldn’t fix its problems?

    I’ve heard enough from Mr. Bush. The faster he’s evicted from his government housing, the better.

  7. Scalvo2 says:

    266 more days

  8. EWGF says:

    I somewhat agree with Bush, if only because some of the what the Federal Reserve has done hasn’t exactly been welcomed by a number of businesses.

    I’m personally more concerned about inflation.

  9. lpranal says:

    I care about it, like I care about my inflatable raft having a hole in it. I don’t care if you call it an “air-pressure adjustment”, all I care about is the damn thing is sinking in shark-infested waters.

    I hope that wasn’t too alarmist…

  10. savvy9999 says:

    That the president is buying and wearing $4 green ties is proof enough we’re in deep doo-doo.

  11. Pinget says:

    Let’s call it Fred. Or Susy.

  12. SkokieGuy says:

    The average person doesn’t need the government’s help to know if we’re paying higher gas prices. We’ve already figured out that difficult question.

    What we can’t figure out is why Bush and Republicans have blocked attempt to end the multi-BILLION dollar subsidy to oil industry.

    [Despite a corporate tax rate of 32 percent, the oil industry has an effective tax rate of only 11 percent. Major multinational integrated oil companies pay even less. A conservative estimate of subsidies going to the petroleum
    industry each year places them at $84 billion]

  13. Carencey says:

    I’ve actually been patiently waiting for the White House brain trust to invent a new word, so that they can say that this is clearly something other than a recession. I guess no one has come up with any bright ideas yet!

  14. ian937262 says:

    @Scalvo2:
    More exciting than X-mas countdown as a kid. Can we get an advent calendar made up??????

  15. forgottenpassword says:

    I dont care what they call it…. I just want them to DO something about it! I really think they(those in power) could care less how much the common man has to suffer to survive these days. As long as the rich can keep being rich.

  16. tunaman says:

    LOL, are you kidding EWGF? Businesses should LOVE bush. He lowered their taxes, reduced federal oversight of banking and investments, reduced or obstructed environmental controls on pollution, and on and on. Oh… you mean small businesses? Sorry. All of his changes were for the big businesses. All he did for small businesses was make sure the IRS audited them more.

  17. bohemian says:

    It is not a recession, it is Mission Accomplished wealth and prosperity!

    I’m counting the days until this underachiever is gone…

  18. bohemian says:

    Three little words:

    Windfall profit tax

  19. evslin says:

    Call it whatever the hell you want, but do something about it that doesn’t involve blaming another party for it.

  20. crabbyman6 says:

    He should have had a sign behind him that said “Books Balanced!” then maybe I would know what to expect…

  21. crabbyman6 says:

    Oh, also, I don’t really care what they call it, I know what it is when I see it. I’m surprised he didn’t call it Billy Bob so that he had an easier time spelling it.

  22. Erwos says:

    End distortionary government subsidies (which would be all of them). That’s the best anyone can do, and I’m glad to see Bush is open to doing so.

  23. katylostherart says:

    i think i’d prefer to call it “epic government failure”. so much for we the people.

  24. bsalamon says:

    wow, he actually makes sense. honestly, who the heck cares what they call the recession. They could call it electric bugaloo for all I care. The economy sucks no matter what you call it

  25. smartmuffin says:

    Totally with Dubya on this one.

    The media is completely and totally obsessed over nomenclature; whether or not we meet the arbitrary definition of a recession or a depression or a correction or whatever.

    As if a working family is going to suddenly not be able to pay their mortgage just because the vocabulary has changed.

  26. elislider says:

    @zentec: thanks for reminding me, i have a my Diff Eq final in an hour

  27. katylostherart says:

    @BigElectricCat: you know the average work week with the republican majority congress was two days. since dems got it it’s been 5. i wish they’d grow some balls and make sure all the other plans go into action. freaking pussies.

    @Erwos: actually if we just taxed the top 10% of the income bracket at something like 80% and the lowest at 0% (which is currently 25k and under) they’d still be surviving and the taxes would be a little fairer. also huge corporate profit taxes would be awesome. ending government subsidies just screws over people like farmers and teachers, you know, people we like, NEED.

  28. edosan says:

    @Carencey: My bet is that they’ll call it an “economicatastical victorybration.”

    Either that or “it’s the Democrat’s fault.”

  29. unklegwar says:

    Yay Bush. Closing the barn door after EVERYTHING is out. Woulda been nice if you didn’t create this mess in the first place.

  30. BigElectricCat says:

    @katylostherart:

    Word.

    My conservative associates point at Congress’ low approval rating and crow that obviously, duh peeple must hate that Congress is trying to stop President Bush. Strangely, when I point out the President’s low approval rating, they’re not so quick with a soundbite.

    IMO, Congress’ lousy approval rating is reflective of its utter failure to do anything to restrain this President and hold him accountable for his (thus far) admitted lawbreaking.

    President Bush = EPIC FAIL

  31. milk says:

    frightening, i agree with him. granted i can count these times on one hand, but it’s still disturbing when a new one pops up.

  32. ironchef says:

    worst president ever. If there was a douchebag more incompetent than Herbert Hoover, Bush-lite is it.

  33. RagingBoehner says:

    @bohemian: I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but what do you think the criteria should be for such a tax? Dollars per share, Dollars per market cap, per market cap per shareholder?

    Because obviously Exxon is going to have more profit than a smaller oil company or an independent — but what if an independent is more profitable per dollar of market cap?

    I think there’s definitely some excess in the system, especially with regard to the tax breaks, but I haven’t seen a concrete proposal for what constitutes a windfall profit other than “that guy’s business is more profitable than mine and that’s bad”

  34. m1k3g says:

    Can we please fast forward the calendar to January 1st, 2009? The faster we get Mr Brainless Idiot Bush out of this country’s hair, the better off we’ll all be.

  35. RagingBoehner says:

    @katylostherart: I’ve got the Legislative Calendar for this week here at my desk:

    Monday: No Votes
    Tuesday: Votes postponed until 6:30 PM
    Wednesday: Votes
    Thursday: Votes
    Friday: No Votes

    It’s easy to criticize members for not working hard, but tell that to Sen. Inouye or Murkowski who have a 7 hour commute.

    There are some things that the Dems have done differently for better or for worse, but the Legislative Calendar is virtually the same.

  36. katylostherart says:

    @BigElectricCat: i like how if you do the math bush’s current approval rating is almost equal to the percentage of the population that actually voted for him.

    @m1k3g: yeah i’d say that’d be great, except i think mccain’s gonna be the next president. which probably won’t be any better.

    @RagingBoehner: what smaller oil companies? at this point they’re all pretty giant. any corporation that generates enough profit to be considered a windfall will be able to afford it. any company that couldn’t afford it didn’t have a windfall. there would just have to be some really really intricate specifications in the wording of that tax law in regards to the profit margins. until they figure out yet another way to get around it.

  37. Jim says:

    “Bush then went on to explain that he wants to end farm subsidies…”

    Cool. Slap the folks that elected you twice now that you’re on the way out.

    I guess cutting farm subsidies would work…if people can’t afford to grow food anymore, you won’t be able to eat, so you won’t buy food, so you’ll have more money for gas.

  38. CaliforniaCajun says:

    Sure. It’s all the Democratic congress’ fault.

    Even though they’ve held a very slim majority for less than 18 mos.

    Even though we’re in an endless war that’s sucking us dry.

    Even though the Republicans were in charge since 1995, and have held the executive and legislative branches since 2001.

    Sure. It’s all the Democratic congress’ fault. Whatever. Mr. 24%-and-falling should try something else – like rescinding his tax cuts for the rich and inventing a time machine – or he’s going down as the worst president in the history of this nation.

  39. Bladefist says:

    @m1k3g: Oh the new president takes over Jan 1st? Nice.

    Bush is right here. Congress blocks him in everything, ever since 2006 when congress became majority democrat.

    And if you look at all that is wrong with the economy, and look at H.C or B.O’s promises, you’ll see they will just make it worse. Congress currently has a fundamental ignorance with big oil, and how it all works.

    You can spout that Bush is stupid all day long, but really you just don’t like his policy. And I agree his policy isn’t always spot on, but the othersides solution will upgrade this fake recession into a real depression.

    With adding global healthcare to the mix, and getting government involved in oil. I wish you guys would learn about how oil works before you shoot your mouth off.

  40. Bladefist says:

    Regardless of the attacks I’m about to be faced with, ALL of our problems stem from when congress went Democrat in 2006. ALL. Look it up.

    The only exception would be the war, which currently is a great success.

  41. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @Bladefist: You can spout that Bush is stupid all day long

    I’m just going by his record of failed business ventures, inability to actually win the 2000 election, and his failed initiatives – from the war on terror (where’s Osama?) to the Iraq war to “privatizing social security” to his inept cabinet.

    I love the way Republican will blame EVERYTHING on Democrats – even when the democrats haven’t held a majority in either house since 2001. Get real, dude.

  42. katylostherart says:

    @RagingBoehner: i’m not going to feel bad for any senator that fails to show up to do his job. if you don’t want to do it DON’T RUN FOR OFFICE. they vote for their own pay raises, after two terms they’re paid for life at full salary and so far, they’ve helped screw this country into the ground. i’d especially like to mention my senator, joe lieberman, who lost the democratic nomination because he was a dick and then ran independent because “that was what he felt was better for the voters”. so he split the party vote between dem and independent and got back in when he clearly did not represent his party’s values. if he had, he would’ve been voted in.

    i have no sympathy for politicians who bitch and moan about the requirements of their jobs considering their idiocy has consequences for usually everyone but themselves.

  43. jpdanzig says:

    I call it the “Bush Depression” — the worst since the dustbowl days of the 1930s.

    People, tinkle-down, I mean trickle-down economics doesn’t work!!!

    It didn’t work for Hoover, it didn’t work for Reagan, and now it’s made the American dream a nightmare for millions of us.

    I am a boomer, an Ivy League grad, and I am the first generation since WWII who will do WORSE financially than my parents.

    We’re in deep shit here, and I don’t see much light at the end of the sewer…

  44. orielbean says:

    Thank god we got a president with an MBA. I don’t think he’s used it even once so far in the past 7+ years.

  45. Bladefist says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: I love the way democrats blame everything on republicans.

    He won the 2000 election. Learn how our government works. You can debate our election process, don’t debate he didnt win.

    Well since we haven’t found Osama yet, I guess we shouldnt try? Just let those terrorist attacks go? Forget the fact we got Suddam.

    Privatizing social security is not realistic in our current dual-party system. It’ll never happen.

  46. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @Bladefist: What color is the sky on your planet, and how are you judging the war in Iraq as a “Great success”?

    Because from where I’m sitting, simply asserting that everything is the Democrat’s fault (even though Bush used his veto power for the first time to push back on Democratic-sponsored bills) isn’t enough to make it so.

    But then again, that’s a common Republican tactic – repeat something enough, and people will fall for it. See also: Saddam Hussein, 9/11, war on terror, etc. Even though Hussein was an enemy of al-Quada and actively denied them safe haven, we invaded, and now al-Q uses Iraq’s lawless lands and inept army/police as a safe haven. Because your president’s advisors decided to disband the Iraqi army, there was no hope for securing the country after “Mission Accomplished” – you know, when Bush declared that major combat operations were over – FOUR YEARS and 3500 dead troops ago.

    Seriously. You are deranged. A war that will cost over 3 Trillion when all is accounted for in a country that can’t govern or police itself, you call that a success?

  47. weave says:

    “The average person wants to know whether or not we know that they’re paying higher gasoline prices and they’re worried about staying in their homes,” he said.

    Wait, now he’s implying that he can lower gas prices? I thought he had no control over gas prices. Which way is it?

  48. cbartlett says:

    I think Pinget is right. We’re in a Fred now but might soon be in a Suzy.

  49. Bladefist says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: I’m deranged? No, I’m informed. I can tell by the way you speak you’re repeating some other nut case. If you spend less then 2 hours a day reading about politics and news, you’re uninformed. You’re just regurgitating the same crap the rest of the people in here are.

    So passionate about something that you know nothing about. You are all that is wrong with America. More misinformed then a box of rocks but a damn good keyboard warrior for the left. The joke is the two democrat nominees, the punchline is you.

    You know what country you live in? We are the ones who time and time again have come to the rescue of other nations. We disassembled the nazi’s. We have a free market where if you work harder, and are smart, you can become a billionaire. This is the way it has always been. Your socialist buddies can comment on here all day long, you’re liberal friends can only interrupt the process, not change it.

  50. katylostherart says:

    @Bladefist: ok so we entered iraq on lies, i mean they have reports saying “no nukes” well before we went in. we invaded a foreign country that we had no business being in because the president told everyone to ignore the facts presented.

    here’s debating on whether or not he won

    “WASHINGTON (CNN) — George W. Bush’s attorneys late Friday asked a U.S. Supreme Court justice to halt any vote recounts in Florida.

    The Bush request follows a Florida Supreme Court decision that revived Vice President Al Gore’s presidential hopes by ordering a manual recount of at least 43,432 “undervotes” from as many as 62 counties. “

    [archives.cnn.com]

    i’m guessing you don’t have to interact with anyone that’s dealing with the fall out of a badly run country. so that would be anyone sending their kid to college without being able to tap their equity, anyone in the military or related to someone in the military, anyone working full time and making poverty level wages, anyone who got any sort of illness whiel being unable to afford health insurance, anyone who’s graduated highschool without being able to read.

    people that support conservative politicians in nearly any country can mostly be divided into two types of people. they are the ones who make the policies that only benefit them and the ones that hope by sticking with the conservative group they’ll be considered “in the club” and will be safe from any collateral damage those policies cause.

    wake up.

  51. Tux the Penguin says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: Wow, its funny how an article on the fact Bush said “they don’t care what we call it” turns into another pointless argument over the past.

    In Iraq: Money has been spent. Lives have been lost. The old regime was toppled and now we’re faced with new challenges. What should we do now? Make sure that decision is based on the fact that no matter what we do, we will never get those soldiers back and we will never get that money back – sunk costs should NEVER enter into any evaluation of future plans.

    Republicans/Democrats and Congress: contrary to what you are saying, Republicans never “controlled” the Congress to the extent that they could do whatever they wanted. They never had the 60 votes in the Senate to break filibusters. So they did not do whatever they wanted – most of the time they had to broker and compromise. What Bush and Congress did with regard to the tax cuts was a brilliant move when it comes down to it: tax want you want to discourage, don’t tax what you want to encourage. Personally, I’d rather a VAT to the income taxes we have now. Why should the government know how much I’m earning?

    Not that the Democrats have done much better in their year and a half. Ethics Reform? Nope. Earmark Reform? Nope.

    Then again, the last year and a half are the PERFECT example of why you want a mixed government (Republican Pres, Dem Congress or vice versa): little gets done and what does is usually good.

    Me, I say vote them all out, take an axe to much of the federal government and let us live our lives.

  52. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @Bladefist: He won the 2000 election. Learn how our government works.

    I’m pretty certain the Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to stop the recount based on the edict of Katherine Harris (Bush’s Florida Campaign Manager, who also happened to be the secretary of state, in charge of the elections), then did exactly that. The final count of all votes cast, conducted after the court-mandated deadline, definitively shows that Gore won.

    That’s not “winning”. It’s called “being selected”.

    I don’t see how that means that Bush “won” the 2000 election, but you’ve established your break with reality.

    You can debate our election process, don’t debate he didnt win.

    Well since we haven’t found Osama yet, I guess we shouldnt try? Just let those terrorist attacks go? Forget the fact we got Suddam.

    It seems to me that if we’d put the resources poured into Iraq into getting Osama, he’d be dead or in prison. Saddam had absolutely nothing, zero, nada to do with 9/11. Period.

  53. Bladefist says:

    @katylostherart: Ya I want to be in the club. I have my conservative card. It gets me 50% off fries. Idiot.

    If you’re mad at college tuition, look at your own party. Liberals run the education world. You know professors are vastly liberal right?

    And the reason tuiton keeps going up is because they want to offer more scholarships. Basically its a trick. Offer you more scholarships so you’ll shut up, but then raise tuition so its all the same in the books. Wake up. Get out your excel and do a line chart of scholarship averages and tuition increase averages. Then wikipedia Deans of the large colleges, and the state education departments. Come back to me after that.

  54. RagingBoehner says:

    @katylostherart: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel bad for them at all. They have a steady job with a high incumbency rate and virtually guaranteed access to a high-paying private sector job after retirement. (Look at Trent Lott).

    All I’m saying is that the work week under the Dems is virtually the same as it was pre-2007. It’s still a 3-3.5 day work week in DC.

    [democraticleader.house.gov]

  55. Bladefist says:

    @Tux the Penguin: I could handle that.

  56. CaliforniaCajun says:

    Bladefist: I’m the only one in this argument that has actually presented facts to back up arguments. You seem to like calling me names, without any citations to back up your assertions – leraving them just that – the assertions of a partisan.

  57. katylostherart says:

    @Bladefist: “We are the ones who time and time again have come to the rescue of other nations.”

    we have had 11 major wars in about 250 years of existence. we can be considered the aggressors in 8 of them. we went into vietnam, that didn’t help vietnam. korea, not really. iraq, definitely not considering we’re going back into kuwait again even though saddam’s gone. afghanistan against the russians, we put the taliban in. civil war took care of most of the surviving native americans from the french and indian war.

    small south american skirmishes, oh yeah that fixed TONS. the cold war, yep really put a bandaid on cuba and russia. iran contra, yeah yeah, loads of course now they have nukes too.

    world wars 1 and 2 are two examples that do not fit the normal rules. fpor ww2 a) an entire continent was at risk of becoming a huge dictatorship under a guy that thought burning everyone that didn’t look like a kendoll was a great idea, b) japan attacked us, we entered the war a couple years after it started over there when we had had numerous chances during the 30s to deal with the nazi party.

    ww1 was nearly the same except on a smaller scale as far as fucked up things that were going on.

    we ignored tibet when they called for aid and china invaded.

    we don’t live in a democracy we live in a capitalist oligarchy. so are you benefitting from this or hoping you will? cuz if you’re just hoping you will you should realize you’re not in the club.

  58. Bladefist says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: Why would you want Saddam running a country? Forget how/why we got him. We found him in a hole, how is that not the best thing for everyone? Did you see his people pulling down his statue, and dancing in the streets? You didn’t feel proud to be an American on that day? Are you Rev Wright?

  59. Bladefist says:

    @katylostherart: Actually Korea was a huge success. And we are still there. And the second we leave, N. Korea will invade. I know a lot about Korea. I speak Korean as well. After you learn to speak Korean, go read their news sites and how appreciative they are of us being there. Once again, I feel proud to be an American.

  60. lightaugust says:

    @Bladefist: I’ve kind of always wondered why it was that conservatives (I’m assuming, such as yourself) don’t feel the most screwed over by this guy… Yep, I’m a Democrat, but I’ve never regarded Conservatism/ Republicanism as the enemy, per se. In my parents’ world, Conservatism was a fiscally responsible principle that really did put America first. This guy’s anything but fiscally responsible, and face it, America comes first in name only. Markets come first.

  61. htrodblder says:

    Its amazing how many people are on the anti Bush bandwagon. The american public voted him in, TWICE.

    The only thing sadder than that is what we are gonna find out he and his friends in Washington were really doing for the next ten years. Its gonna make Watergate and Monicagate look like a kids birthday party.

  62. Necoras says:

    Wait………. he wants to remove farm subsidies? BUSH? Our President? WANTS TO DO SOMETHING INTELLIGENT? It’ll never happen, but still, good to hear something like this come out of him. (of course he needs to cut the oil company subsidies at the same time, but I doubt that’ll happen)

  63. katylostherart says:

    @Bladefist: professors are vastly liberal, college boards are not. colleges are just businesses now. they have contracts with loads of benefactors to teach whatever makes the most money. if we had a socialist/liberal outlook on education we wouldn’t have to pay so much in tuition and a federal student loan would be enough to afford a state education in EVERY state. scholarships are still largely offered at a pittance rate. large scholarships that actually cover a tuition are program specific or part of special interest funding.

    i know in this state they do not offer more scholarships to offset the rise in tuition costs and this is one of the most expensive states in the nation with supposedly some of the best schools. the scholarships that are offered on a broad scale without qualifications beyond gpa are miniscule.

  64. RagingBoehner says:

    @katylostherart: In an ideal world, what would your proposal be?

    Say, any company with a market cap bigger than X with an annual profit more than Y? With Profit/Market Cap? If a big company makes 40b in a year, that may not be as much profit as a smaller company making $2b, in terms of the ROI for shareholders.

    Does it matter who holds the shares? Should public companies profit be taxed the same as private companies? Does it matter if a company has 10,000 shareholders or 50 million? Should we also tax windfall stock appreciation?

    Should it only apply to the oil industry? What if a furniture maker makes a lot of profits in a wood shortage? Or, a drug company?

    I suppose you could develop an “intricate” system that would deal with it. It could be my own ignorance but I haven’t seen a concrete proposal for a tax that seems fair to all players in the industry.

  65. Bladefist says:

    @lightaugust: I agree there is some fiscal issues with Bush. But I also understand how this government works, checks and balances, more so with congress. I know they have to make deals to get stuff done. May Bush wanted the Patriot Act, so he had to give up something else. Yes, our government right now is not being fiscally conservative. But I will not solely attack Bush on that issue, and to do so, is to sound like an idiot who thinks the President is a Dictator with infinite power.

  66. bohemian says:

    @RagingBoehner:
    IIRC there was a windfall profits tax in the 70′s? I heard something along those lines mentioned post Katrina. I think it is pretty straightforward, set up a percentage limit on actual profits and tax that overage at 50%.
    As for politicians whining about long commutes or travel times. Tell them to buy or rent somewhere in DC for their term. Other than Congressional vacations they need to be in DC working.

    @Bladefist: You really are part of the problem and every other person who thinks trickle down economics works and gutting every single social safety net is a good idea. It is people who hold your mindset that have driven the country right off a cliff. Those ideas don’t work in the real world. Every first world country has proven that having some level of social safety net and putting the people before their corporate masters works and sadly works better than this conservative fantasy world we are currently living in.

  67. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @Bladefist: Why would you want Saddam running a country?

    Because he was effectively neutered by sanctions? Because invading a Middle Eastern country with insufficient force, then disbanding the police and military of that country was a really bad idea and led to the influx of huge numbers of foreign insurgents?

    Call that a strategy if you want to. I would just as soon have put the resources into getting the guy who actually knocked the buildings down on 9/11. Saddam hasn’t caused material damage to this country since 1991, when he actually had resources to fight in the first Gulf War.

    I’m through with you – obviously you are neither a student of history or a resident of reality.

  68. Bladefist says:

    @katylostherart: Liberal politicians will lookout for liberal professors who further the conditioning of liberal students.

    As far as your benefactors, I’ll need examples. I’ve never seen Diet Pepsi 101. But, nothing is free in life. And if Scholarships go up, so does tuition. Don’t know why you care, they all go the illegal immigrants anyway :)

  69. katylostherart says:

    @Bladefist: we had nothing to replace him with and we ousted an entire party because of one shitty ruler. good idea that. “sorry you’re ba’ath, fuck off” yeah that’s the way to make a change.

    guess what, iraq’s still fucked, we’re still not making the country better than saddam did and with the history of life in the middle east if we stick around as long as it takes to “fix” the ideologies and religious problems that cause all the problems in the first place we’ll never, ever leave.

  70. Bladefist says:

    @bohemian: I didnt say get rid of any safety nets. I would say don’t add any more.

  71. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @htrodblder: No, the American people voted him in ONCE.

    Read the history of the 2000 election. The vote, when counted, was for Gore. Definitively. The reason Bush was given the state’s delegates is that the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the vote-counting stopped, in contravention of the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling, but in keeping with the Florida Secretary of State’s mandate.

  72. Tux the Penguin says:

    @katylostherart: Wow, this is like pathos-filled argument.

    1st: the Recount and Bush v. Gore – many, many, many newspapers went back and did a complete recount of Florida in 2000, even the NYT. That’s what Bush was fighting for; if we’re going to recount, then lets do the entire damn state. By all their counts, Bush won. Can we please let this die now?

    As for your other points:

    1. Sending kids to college without tapping their equity: WHAT? Why didn’t they save for their kid’s college? What about scholarships, grants, et al? You make it sound like its impossible to get a college education without tapping equity. Worst case, they can attend a community college for two years then go to a university, they can work through college, or they can enlist in the military, serve a term and go to college on our dime. Oh, but you get to that here:

    2. Anyone in the military or related to someone in the military: last I checked, we have a fully volunteer army. If you signed up for military service but didn’t think it might be possible to go to war, fight and possibly die, then you’re just plain stupid. What did they think they would be doing in the military?

    3. Working Full Time and making poverty level wages: Poverty for 1 in 2008 is $10,400. So, lets do some quick math: 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year comes to $5 an hour. Wait, that’s below minimum wage, so you’re statement is a lie. Want to do a family of four? That’s $21,200 or an hourly income of $10.19 an hour or two people at $5.10 an hour. Oops, still under minimum wage. So if you have a family of four and two wage earners, you’re guaranteed to be over minimum wage. On top of that, we have all sorts of government programs to help them (Food Stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid, etc). Last I checked, Bush didn’t make many changes to these programs… Clinton did many, many more.

    4. Ill without health insurance? This is much more complicated because it usually comes down to one of two issues: either you choose not to get health insurance or you have a preexisting condition and cannot get health insurance. Money isn’t an issue: either you make enough to not qualify for Medicaid but choose to “live larger” than you would if you had medical insurance, or you don’t make enough and get to use Medicaid. The second situation: that’s what we need to discuss. But that’s not a need for a UNIVERSAL health care system. Oh, and before you answer, remember that you can get free health care anytime – check Parkland Hospital in Dallas if you don’t believe me.

    4. Graduated High School without being able to read: bypassing logic for a second, how is this the government’s fault? I knew how to read before I even got into school – my parents taught me. Even still, literacy rate in the US is 99% according to the CIA Factbook.

    But back to logic: it takes 12 years to get through public education. If you graduated last year, that means you spent 1st through 6th under Clinton-run education and 7th through 12th under Bush-run education. Which of those two groups do you think focuses more on teaching people to read?

    Lastly, you’re comment about conservatives can easily be tagged onto liberals as well, which slight alterations:

    “people that support liberal politicians in nearly any country can mostly be divided into two types of people. they are the ones who make the policies that only benefit them and the ones that hope by sticking with the liberal group they’ll be considered “in the club” and will be safe from any collateral damage those policies cause.”

    Hmmm… except that “in the club” means that they won’t have to pay for all the programs they want the government to do to take care of them.

    Compared to conservatives who say that you should do it on your own.

    And compared to me who says “Just leave me the hell alone and let me do what I want.”

  73. zentec says:

    @elislider:

    Good luck!

  74. @Bladefist: So what should have the Democrats have given Bush that would have made everything all right? Can you tell me this? Educate me.

  75. Coelacanth says:

    @bsalamon: Even a cadre of mindless monkies typing away at a keyboard will eventually write something profound.

  76. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Bladefist: Well since we haven’t found Osama yet, I guess we shouldnt try? Just let those terrorist attacks go?

    “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
    - G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

    ALL of our problems stem from when congress went Democrat in 2006. ALL. Look it up.

    The Republicans have controlled both houses of Congress for 12 of the last 13 years, and the Oval Office for 7 of the last 13 years.

    Further, the Republicans have spent the past 18 months obstructing every effort of the Democrats – they filibustered more bills in their 1st session than any other Congress in the history of this country has during two terms.

    But somehow, everything that’s wrong is somehow the fault of the Democrats? You’re either a)trolling, or b)stupid.

    @Bladefist: ALL of our problems stem from when congress went Democrat in 2006. ALL.
    @Bladefist: I love the way democrats blame everything on republicans

    Hahaha, nevermind – I know which it is now. Carry on.

  77. @Tux the Penguin: Shorter Tux:

    1. Service Guarantees Citizenship (TM). Where have I heard that before?

    2. Those who have volunteered for military service have no right to complain about how the military is being misused by our misguided leaders.

    3. People who don’t qualify for Medicaid, yet don’t have insurance merely CHOOSE not to. I guess feeding your family and paying the rent qualifies as “living large” in Tux’s world.

    4a. People can live pretty well in the USA on ten grand a year.

    4b. Students are to blame for substandard public schools.

    How much of this utter bullcrap do the rest of you believe, and where are the guys in the white coats when you need them?

  78. giggitygoo says:

    I love the partisan garbage that is epidemic on any internet site with a forum. If only the government could tap the brilliant minds that post online, as they are all apparently world renowned experts in the intricacies of foreign policy and macroeconomics!

    Also, it seems that poster intelligence is inversely proportional to the number of insults and trendy political phrases in a post. (“Neocon,” “Warmonger,” “Barak HUSSEIN Obama”, etc..)

  79. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @TinyBug: Seriously. The reading comprehension of the person in question isn’t quite up to the third-grade level. See the comments on the NetFlix discs to see why.

    Bush needs something to salvage his “legacy”. Unfortunately, he is beholden to the very ideas and organizations that are making life in this country such a mess – he and the 24% of the people who still find him “favorable” will be mocked for decades – if this country survives.

  80. katylostherart says:

    @RagingBoehner: bohemian said it. you can set up any sort of calculation to figure out what percentage of the net profit would count as above a reasonable amount of profit for that industry would be. even if they wanted to tax every other penny that an oil company listed as income they could still afford it. i’m surprised the world isn’t more pissed at our oil companies. we export it and they see our finance reports. 10.7b profit in one quarter? that was averaged out to like 116mil a day.the dollar’s value falls and the price of oil for gas and industry balloons.

    “Exxon Mobil described its earnings in a conference call yesterday in which analysts said the company went out of its way to downplay its profits and emphasize increased spending on new production.”

    at what point does that much bullshit become too much of a pile for the average consumer to wade through? tax law is already set up to protect the people with the highest incomes. the ones that don’t need it. simple if you put $10 into your company and you make $40 back why isn’t higher taxing over $20 reasonable? that was cost of original production, cost of replacing original production and cost of future funding of original production. that $100b in sales didn’t all go back into the company. enough of it went back into the pockets of the highest ups. the lowest employees get a 3% raise per annum and maybe a christmas bonus but here rex, have a few mil, you so NEED it, you DESERVE the bonus. and hell, he’s only paying 35% tax on that federally.

    when your profits so out pace your production costs and you don’t put a reasonable percentage into the actual business as opposed to a few people in the business you should get that taxed heavily.

  81. disavow says:

    Instead of ending farm subsidies…how about ending ethanol subsidies? Biofuel is widely acknowledged to be the main culprit in rising food prices. We can drive smaller cars and move our homes, but there are definite limits to eating less.

    @RagingBoehner: Members of Congress get per diem, right? They can rent hotel rooms or buy condos like any other working stiff.

  82. Bladefist says:

    @Steaming Pile: I think what he is trying to say, and he can correct me, is that its not our problem. There are means by which anyone here can live. You have the right to seek prosperity, not have it. It is not my job, to provide funds for someone else to have any of lifes amenities.

    Yes healthcare is an amenity. And hospitals do not refuse treatment for the uninsured. Liberals have great intentions, I’ll never take that away from them. But I have constitutional rights also. Other peoples hardships are not my problem.

    Doesn’t mean I wont contribute to charity, and other things to try and help, but that is voluntary.

  83. Bladefist says:

    Check out this oil link. This is defense against liberal big oil thinking.
    [money.cnn.com]

  84. CuriousO says:

    Is it just me or does he look like the Joker?

  85. boandmichele says:

    wow, i wish i could live in the warm, sheltered world of fox news.

  86. katylostherart says:

    @Tux the Penguin:
    1. the average cost of college is $13-25k/year depending on public vs private. savings with a family is a lot more difficult. yes it can be done. our banks also have pathetic savings rates. one of the points of buying real estate is for the equity build up. otherwise a mortgage has no more value than renting really. because if you can’t get anything out of your investment it’s not an investment.

    2. yes, our military is completely volunteer, which is why we’re so hurting for personnel that they are now giving waivers for convicts with violent crimes on their record. how wonderful. a lot of people (in fact most i’ve ever known) join for the gi bill for school. it’s great that now they have to worry about the rapist sleeping next to them.

    3. Working full time at poverty wage results in less than $9k take home. i realize they do the calculation as gross income, but that’s ridiculous if you never see it and still pay taxes when you make that little. for instance in england, the first £6k is not taxed, and it’s immediately not taxed, not given back in a rebate at the end of the year. the food stamp thing was pretty much refuted when they found that the average weekly payout was about $21. you cannot buy nutritional food for one healthy adult on $21/week.

    4. i can’t afford healthcare. if i get ill i’m ill without health insurance. with my income i qualify for a “discounted” rate of $300/mo which is about 30% of my take home pay. i do not qualify for medicaid, i’m too young to qualify for medicare. i make about double your previously listed poverty wage. it’s not enough to live on without a lot of help from family. even with a second job. best part about having another job is then i don’t qualify for any sort of discount and i have to basically PRAY they have health insurance. it’s one of the sad reasons why america needs companies like starbucks.

    4. schools get gov’t subisidies based on the success rates of their students. the more students fail, the less money you get. logic and people don’t have to have anything to do with each other. on top of that, if you’re passed despite literacy, you’re considered literate aren’t you. i mean, of course logically, you must have passed, so of course you can read. so 99% – at least one person that i know of who went through reagan and bush1 and only one term of clinton.

    the thing about supporting liberal/socialist “agendas” for lack of a better word is that they generally benefit everyone, not just everyone who can afford it. so if you’re going to support a group you should probably support one that helps you back not just helps you if you’re the right type.

  87. landsnark says:

    @Bladefist: After you learn to speak Korean, go read their news sites and how appreciative they are of us being there. Once again, I feel proud to be an American.”

    Nope, wrong, the S. Koreans are basically ambivalent toward the U.S., 55% pro and 45% against, and the Iraq War is turning them against us:

    [rand.org]
    “two out of three South Koreans characterized the relationship between South Korea and the U.S. as “pretty bad” or “very bad,” and 26 percent said they thought that the U.S. was the most threatening country to South Korea.

    “The September 2003 JoongAng Ilbo-CSIS-RAND poll, for example, showed a slight rise in pro-U.S. sentiment to 50 percent”

    [www.upiasiaonline.com]

    “According to another Gallup poll in 2005, 65 percent of South Koreans aged between 16 and 25 said they would side with North Korea against the United States if the two engaged in armed conflict.”

    [yaleglobal.yale.edu]

    “An August 2002 poll by the Pew Research Center revealed that South Korea ranked eighth among the 44 countries surveyed in terms of unfavorable attitudes toward the U.S, with higher rates of disapproval than Indonesia and India. Only 53% of South Koreans had a favorable view of the US, while 44% were unfavorably inclined.”

  88. katylostherart says:

    [en.wikipedia.org]

    on american literacy.

    functional literacy vs literacy.

  89. Bladefist says:

    @landsnark: I’ll keep that in mind, however, Polls typically mean nothing to me. We’ve seen how good the polls are in the democrat race. And being pretty good at statistics, I know you can take your data and plug it into any various number of equations to give the outcome you need.

    Nevertheless, thanks for the links.

  90. lightaugust says:

    @Bladefist: Nice… I take the debate to your table on your terms and you respond by saying anyone who takes the other side “is to sound like an idiot.” I guess if you’re gonna whip that out everytime, you’re gonna win by default everytime. The reason the mess has been this one sided in the 2000′s is that the Neo-Rights have been able to define what it is that everyone else believes ever since 9/11. Mainly by calling them unpatriotic issues and hiding from actual issues.

    Enjoy the depression, pal. Maybe you and George can just name call your way out of it.

  91. @Bladefist: Tell you what. Next time you’re in the emergency room, and the place is packed with all those people who can’t afford the “amenity” of health coverage, let’s hope you’re not in too much pain.

    And while I will generally agree with you that people claim many “rights” that simply do not exist, we are better off as a nation with certain things taken care of. The current argument is that health care ought to be one of them, and I agree. My emergency room argument is one key reinforcement of this belief. I don’t know if you spent any time in an ER recently, but they tend to be packed with people who might have been taken care of by a regular doctor, if they only had one available. By the time they reach the ER, the problem has become many times worse, and who pays for that? For want of ten minutes of an MD’s time and a few pills, you now have a guy in the ER who will cost the taxpayers thousands. That and the ridiculous administrative overhead (for those who actually have insurance coverage) are the reasons the US spends more on health care, and gets less for it.

    So yes, for me health care ranks right up there with highway maintenance and law enforcement as “yes, it is our problem,” concerns.

    As for the other “amenities” Tux was talking about, it is unfortunate, and in my opinion, unacceptable, that one must serve in the military in order to afford a university education, all other avenues toward this goal being strategically shut off in the name of meeting recruiting numbers. It is unacceptable that certain general officers and their (usually GOP) sympathizers in Congress to argue that enhanced GI Bill benefits for those who did volunteer to serve are not in the nation’s interest due to the fact that it gives noncoms a reason not to re-enlist, recognizing that feelings of hopelessness about life after the military being the one thing that keeps many of them in uniform. I think people who think that way are despicable.

    Perhaps you are perfectly comfortable with the USA becoming a Third World banana republic, but I am not.

  92. boandmichele says:

    @Bladefist: are you as good at statistics as you are at the Korean language?

  93. lightaugust says:

    @lightaugust: Grammatically, I mean ‘taking the other side “is to sound like an idiot.”

    Man, I sound like an idiot.

  94. camille_javal says:

    @Bladefist: Well since we haven’t found Osama yet, I guess we shouldnt try? Just let those terrorist attacks go? Forget the fact we got Suddam.

    I’m sorry – we’ve been trying to find Osama bin Laden? Seriously? I really don’t think so.

    And this war is destroying our standing military. God fucking help us if there’s an attack on American soil anytime soon, because we’ll have nothing. We’re trying to gimp back into Afghanistan, but under conditions that put the soldiers there at significant risk, because there just aren’t enough of them. The veteran’s system is completely crippled; there isn’t enough money for benefits. The military medical system is crippled; the numbers of unexamined cases of mild traumatic brain injury are going to cause serious problems down the line.

    I am damned proud of the men and women serving right now, and I know many who would never, ever call this war a success. Many are also angry about the bad intelligence that was used to start an unjustified war that is overstretching our resources. Did I want Saddam running Iraq? No. Did I think we should break the back of our own military to stop it? No.

    I am in a military family; I’m also in the midst of a lot of research about what five years of combat is doing to the military.

    And, by the way, liberal politicians helping liberal academics? Really? And you’re mocking other people for regurgitating pundits? You haven’t been near an actual university campus in some time, I gather. I’m not saying that even most academics don’t have a liberal bend, but I go to one of the most liberal of the ivys and there is a very strong conservative voice. And, most of them are intelligent and can carry on a conversation without claiming some kind of persecution.

    Go enlist and do something worthwhile.

  95. bobblack555 says:

    Bush is an asshole and a failure.

    That’s what I call it.

  96. BMRFILE says:

    Bush gives everyone in America hope: You don’t have to be smart, well-educated, and competent to be the President.

  97. Tux the Penguin says:

    @Steaming Pile:

    2. As my CO once told me, “we are here to defend democracy, not practice it.” I could complain about where I’m going and whose doing what, but I knew the risks when I joined.

    3. One thing I’ve learned in all the years I’ve worked as a CPA is that if you want to “find” money in your budget, you can. I usually tell clients to track every dollar they spend for a month and come back in a month with all your receipts. We sit down and find where they are spending money and where they can save it. I can only think of a few times that I haven’t been able to find slack for them. The most common list? Soda, alcohol, smokes, and eating out. When we, for that one month, figure out how much they would have saved if they hadn’t done those things, it amazes them. Compare a $5 McDonalds meal to a $2 lunch-meat sandwich for lunch every day. There’s $90 dollars. Its not fun living on a tight budget, but if its important enough to you, you can do it.

    4a. How many people live at minimum wage the entire year? How many for two years? The median income in the US is over $48,000. Take a look at the quintiles according to the Census. Its not until you get to the 27,500 to $29,999 range that you get a mean number of earners above 1… that should tell you something.

    4b. No, but the government is not any more to blame than the students and his or her parents.

    Oh, and I hope for your sake you don’t have my put into an asylum, otherwise how will you be able to get me to pay for all the programs you want?

    @katylostherart:

    1a: But nowhere do you say it can’t be done. If its important enough to you, take on the debt and work. It can be done.

    1b: The point of buying a house is to earn equity, I agree. However, if you buy a house planning to tap the equity to pay for something you know is coming, move to a smaller place and save that money you would have spent. Even if the rate is crap, its a safer bet than playing the real estate game.

    2. Then instead of granting waivers, lets get out of Germany, South Korea, Japan and everywhere else. Trust me, coming from the military, we aren’t as stretched thin as we are saying. Its just that politicians don’t want to take drops from where they really aren’t needed. I served in a few of those places for a few years. Nice places, but pointless assignments.

    3. Your numbers are right, but how many people who live totally on their own make minimum wage? The argument is one of futility since there are so few its not worth the effort. But again, how many stay at that level for an entire year? Two?

    4(1). So you take home $12,000 a year, which means you gross about $15,000 or so, right? That’s roughly $7.50 an hour. Are you married? At that level, you qualify for government assistance as well. How many hours a week do you work? If you’d like, I’d provide the same service I provide here in Dallas for free to you. Just let me know.

    4(2). Schools are probably the best example of what a socialist program will end up as. There is no semblence of free markets in our education system… If I want my daughter to go somewhere else, I have to not only pay for the “government” school, but also the second school.

    “If you’re going to support a group you should probably support one that elps you back not just helps you if you’re in the right type.” Everyone does that. The poor support liberals who want to give them things off of my buck. They’ll raise my taxes to give my money to the others.

    When the tax rates were lowered, it gave me more money. I used that money to expand my practice and now its also twice what it was before. I employ 20 people directly, not including the services I pay for (payroll processing, janitorial, courier, etc). Trust me, those additional 9 people I hired are better of me using my money as I see fit than me sending it to the government for them to decide.

    That’s the difference between essential conservatism and liberalism. Who decides what is best for you.

  98. dorkins says:

    Ha ha. And I bet all these Bush-bashers have bumper stickers that read “Hate is not a family value.”

    I love hypocrisy!

  99. I’m not a fan of congress, but Bush stating that they’re not rubber-stamping everything he wants means they’re at least doing something right.

  100. Bladefist says:

    @boandmichele: Yes. I’m a lifetime student. I’m trying to achieve self actualization. Which is impossible for me probably, but the journey is fun.

    [en.wikipedia.org]‘s_hierarchy_of_needs

  101. theblackdog says:

    @ian937262: My parents sent me a keychain that is counting down the days until he is gone.

  102. Tmoney02 says:

    @Jim:
    “I guess cutting farm subsidies would work…if people can’t afford to grow food anymore, you won’t be able to eat, so you won’t buy food, so you’ll have more money for gas.”
    Your joking right? Food prices are thru the roof and there are in fact food shortages around the world. The demand won’t be going away, especially if we continue to use ethanol.

    I don’t think we need to continue subsidies for the farmers any more, especially the ones that pay to keep land vacant. The hard times are over. Time for farmers to survive in the market like everyone else. If a farmer can’t make enough money to run his farm in this market, he needs to find a new line of work. And this is coming from a member of a farming family.

  103. @Tux the Penguin: I’m still getting mostly boilerplate Limbaughisms from you. How is running deficits of $300B, $400B, $500B helping the economy? With that kind of pump priming going on, our economy ought to be white-hot and we should be at the kind of full employment we haven’t seen since the 1990s. What is wrong with this picture?

    Airlines got tax breaks. The CEOs pocketed the money and laid off the workers anyway. Oil companies still get tax breaks even though they’re raking it in by the tankerload because of $120 oil. “Manufacturing” companies are getting tax breaks, then sending all the jobs actually making stuff to China. What is wrong with this picture?

    I don’t believe you have any kind of “practice” whatsoever. Small businessmen tend to be more aware of their surroundings, especially when it comes to people who are expected to feed their families, pay the rent, and have health insurance (have you any idea what that costs?) on six bucks an hour.

    Schools serve the community. If they aren’t serving yours, why aren’t you attending school board meetings raising hell? Could it be because you want science teachers to teach “intelligent design” or some similar nonsense, and you got laughed out of the room the last time you tried it?

    In a way, I’m kind of glad we’re divvied up into blue states and red states. You can have the red states. I’ll stay up north where the civilized people live.

  104. rbartlet says:

    Tux the Penguin: The average cost of college is between $13-25K? It really must have been a while since you were in college. I graduated in ’05 and my tuition was capping around $40,000 which was pretty average for private school at the time. I can only imagine it has gone up since then.
    Also, as far as the literacy argument. It is absolutely apparent that you have never taught in school nor do you know any teachers. I taught seniors in the inner-city of Baltimore and I can recall maybe 15 to 20 out of the entire class of 80 students that I would consider literate. Most of my students were barely on the second and third grade reading level, some worse off than that. That is not only a failure of the school system, but also due to a complete failure of the government by implementing NCLB which only concerns itself with test scores. Most schools could care less about the actual competency of their students, they just push them through to raise attrition rates and get more federal money. You want to talk about college becoming a business, secondary school is on the same path. So, no, just because you pass does not lead to the conclusion that of course you can read.

  105. People responsible for the U.S. being flushed down the toilet:

    The Democrat Congress
    Illegal Immigrants
    The Evildoers
    The rotting corpse of Saddam Hussein
    Not Bush

  106. Tmoney02 says:

    @Bladefist:
    “If you’re mad at college tuition, look at your own party. Liberals run the education world. You know professors are vastly liberal right?

    And the reason tuition keeps going up is because they want to offer more scholarships.”

    Not sure where your getting this crazy idea that they are raising tuition just so they can take all that money and put it back into scholarships. Perhaps a small percentage of the money goes to more scholarships, but more are needed due to the rising costs.

    The far larger reason tuition continues to go up, up, up, is because:
    1) State and federal spending/funding for colleges keeps going down, down, down. Thus the students have to pay to make up the difference every time this happens.

    2)Programs such as engineering, science, computers, etc. require ever more complicated equipment, expertise, and resources resulting in far higher costs than ever before, and these costs most likely will continue to rise over time. That is why I believe colleges need to implement tuition based on degree earned rather than a flat system, as a English major costs the school far less to educate than more technical degrees. (And has far less earning potential.)

  107. EyeHeartPie says:

    @postnocomments:
    You forgot El Nino, global warming, bears, and tree-hugging pot-smoking hippies.

  108. nadmonk says:

    Calling a boat a submarine does not make you any less screwed when it sinks.

  109. azntg says:

    Hmm, the CNN article link posted on the Consumerist article seems to link to a different article. Am a little lazy to dig up the original article… so, going by the Consumerist interpretation:

    Indeed, the average people doesn’t care what you call the current economic condition. Contrary to what the “hard” data presents, quality of living today sure doesn’t seem to be as good as a decade ago. Something needs to be done. Something big, meaningful and impacting (for better or for worse, at this point).

    Too bad President Bush loves to blame Congress after bending Congress to do everything after September 11. Apparantly, backlash is something new. Too bad the Republicans and Co. are too busy trying to rip apart the Democrats and just about anything else that stands in their way. Too bad the Conservatives can do nothing more than call names and spewing fear and BS. Can’t really live up to their old reputation, now can they? Too bad the Democrats and Co. are too busy fighting each other. They’re stretched out too thin just like our very own military! Too bad the Liberals can only raise voices but not do anything about anything more. Can’t really live up to their old reputation, now can they? The other political parties have too little clout to actually do anything.

    What a lovely mess we’re in!

    @Bladefist: I agree with you on one count. Polls mean nothing.

    Since you claim you know a lot about Korea and the language, go on the streets of South Korea and ask people directly what they think of the US presence. If you’re gutsy enough, step into one of those bars and streetside restaurants at night and ask the people there too.

    Do you seriously think Koreans truly and unconditionally appreciate the US presence? About as much as the Americans overall loved the British presence in the late colonial period.

    @Steaming Pile: Well said. Thank you.

  110. katylostherart says:

    @Tux the Penguin:
    at your reply to steaming pile, most people that are going to a cpa to work a budget out are just spending like idiots. if you need someone else to run your money for you then the gap is your fault. if the money’s just not there you can’t rework the numbers to magically add a zero to the end of a paycheck.

    no, i said i take home roughly double of what you stated as poverty wage. that’s about 20k/year, full time, after taxes. i do not qualify for gov’t assistance as i’ve tried. i’m in the process of getting unmarried and i will not be getting alimony. however, i live in fairfield county ct. i’m trying to switch locations. but since i’m making roughly half of what i need to be considered a “living” wage in this area that’s difficult. if you just look up the cost of living you’ll see how hard that is. i’m sure you’ll be excited to know that this is the most money i’ve ever made in a year despite and i’ve had a full time job year round (except for three months once) every year since i was legally allowed. i have had a job every year since 16 beyond that.

    i completely agree about trimming the fat from the military by closing unnecessary bases. i don’t see hitler coming back any time soon, i’m sure germany wants the real estate back. although for places like guam and the philippines we inject a lot of money into their economy, they might not like the pull out.

    if you know actually know somewhere that provides free healthcare around here i would be grateful. and not on a sliding scale, and not just billed later, but actually free or affordable that’d be great. cuz i have yet to find any. i went to a walk in clinic a couple years ago and they billed me $400 for basically a signature and less than 5 mins of a doctor’s precious time.

    i for one would gladly pay higher taxes for affordable schooling and social healthcare. there’s a difference between waiting in a long line to get something necessary and never receiving it at all because you have no money or the “bill me later” process ends up crippling you. people under a certain wage shouldn’t pay taxes at all if they’re expected to pay out the ass for things considered necessity in this country.

  111. BigElectricCat says:

    @Bladefist:

    “Regardless of the attacks I’m about to be faced with, ALL of our problems stem from when congress went Democrat in 2006. ALL. Look it up.”

    No. YOU look it up. Present your evidence, as a responsible adult would do.

  112. elephantattack says:

    @EWGF:

    The Federal bank is the true reason we’re staring down the barrel of total economic collapse.

    Bush? Bush is their stupid puppet. They elected him into office because he wouldn’t get in their way. In addition, Bush has been quite effective at keeping the American population busy. We’re so enamored by how evil this puppet is we fail to notice not only the strings being pulled, but more importantly the puppet masters themselves

    [zeitgeistmovie.com]

  113. katylostherart says:

    @rbartlet: the cost of schooling comment was from me.

    [financialaid.uconn.edu]

    there’s the worksheet for our large public state university. notice the instate final estimated cost. and considering university educations rarely end at the 4 year mark nowadays, consider stretching that out to 5 or even 6 years. 100-120k? that is absurd for a public state university. just freaking absurd.

  114. BigElectricCat says:

    @disavow:

    “Biofuel is widely acknowledged to be the main culprit in rising food prices.”

    If this is true, then where, exactly, is all the corn-derived ethanol?

  115. Angryrider says:

    “I repeatedly submitted proposal to help address the problems. Time after time, Congress chose to block them,”
    Gee I wonder why Congress doesn’t listen to him. Could be of his horrid grammar?

    I somehow feel what Bush said is true. The AVERAGE person isn’t worrying much about the recession, they’ve seem to got American Idol on their minds. I do, because as prices rise, I get angrier and angrier until I…

  116. Tux the Penguin says:

    @Steaming Pile: Well, maybe the problem isn’t “boilerplate” but rather logic that’s cramping your style.

    First, basic economics: what would you do to decrease the deficits? Increase taxes? That would lead to lower growth which leads to overall lower revenues in the future when compared to leaving them alone. I would agree with you, the war in Iraq costs way too much, but as quickly as I would trim that, there are plenty of other areas I would trim.

    But even more, lets say we raise taxes, implement a national health care system, what happens if there is a deficit then? What are you going to cut? Or are you going to raise taxes again?

    Airlines: that isn’t exactly the best industry to talk about “tax brakes” were you still have some folding and other merging to survive. Executive pay is a whole different animal, one that I’m not as different than you on, trust me.

    Manufacturing: why would I pay someone here $20 an hour to make a widget when I can pay someone in India $5 and ship it over here for $10? Are you willing to pay more for everything? That’s why we’re giving them tax breaks, to make the incentives even. Unfortunately, its still not working. Oh, and please remember, businesses never pay taxes. People do. Either shareholders or customers.

    As for my practice: I pay more out of pocket for my own healthcare than probably anyone on this board. I’m self-employed, a partner of my own small accounting firm, so I can’t get benefits. And I provide benefits to my employees. Any idea on what the employer side costs are? The lowest paid person at my practice is at $12 an hour. I hire accounting students during the busy tax season for extra help, usually around $10 an hour, but that’s part time. I try to take care of my employees the best I can.

    And what do you really know about your community? How many of the “people” working at $6 an hour do you know? Where did they grow up? Where did they go to school? The glorious thing about this country is you can pretty much be whatever you want and accomplish as much as you want. But don’t you dare after I served in the military, worked my way through college and a masters (first in my family), worked my way to partner in public accounting when 80-hour weeks were the norm, then put out my own shingle when I “retired,” all on my own, that I somehow then am obligated to help someone who hasn’t tried as hard as I have.

    I know there are people who are unlucky and have bad things happen. That’s what charity is for, whether churchs, the Red Cross or United Way. And I give to all three. So don’t then tell me that you want to take more of MY money to pay for you. /rant

    Schools: I was at my school board. I served on a redistricting committee. I’ve had people yell at me at my son’s football games when their next daughter will go to a different high school than they would like. So I understand that side. I understand so much that my daughter goes to a private school. I pay dearly for her education, not only out of pocket, but through taxes as well. As for my stand on evolution/ID, I fall more in the clockmaker camp (wind it up and let it go).

    But a quick question: how many people do you employ? How many people do you provide health care for?

  117. @dorkins: It’s different if the one you hate deserves it.

  118. But a quick question: how many people do you employ? How many people do you provide health care for

    Well, my son drives a Ford…

  119. Tux the Penguin says:

    @Steaming Pile: No one deserves hate. Period. Pitty and prayer for no other reason that hate does nothing to the target but does affect you.

  120. Tux the Penguin says:

    @Steaming Pile: Then I’ve got you beat by 24: all twenty of my employees, my wife and three kids. Well, then of course myself.

    I think you need to open your wallet a bit wider, you’ve got some catching up to do.

  121. ironchef says:

    when will this AWOL president come to terms with the Quagmire (aka the War on Error.)?

  122. katylostherart says:

    @Tux the Penguin: increase taxes of the wealthy, not all around. increase corporate profit tax and have regular auditors on staff to make sure they’re not just finding loopholes to dodge expenses.

    we pay large corporations to provide us with goods and services. in return they increase prices so that we can no longer afford to pay them. they don’t seem to give a shit that they’re bankrupting their customers. china won’t pick up all the economic slack when american can no longer afford to buy all that outsourced manufactured garbage.

  123. Tux the Penguin says:

    @katylostherart: Wow

    1. You can only tax the wealth so much before they start moving funds around to hide them… or just move to tax friendlier countries. I pay just over 40% of all my income in taxes (self-employment as a partnership has several drawbacks). Is that enough? Or should it be 60%? Just let me know how much of my income I get to keep.

    Taxing corporations sounds great, but in reality its just sleight of hand; businesses don’t pay taxes, people do. The business is going to pass on the extra tax to the consumers as much as they can, “remove” non-essential personnel, then the shareholders get to take the rest of the burden.

    Then you want to put auditors at the corporations?

    And then you wonder why they are raising prices. Contrary to your belief, its not like you can go in and take 10% more of their profits.

    I find it so contrary that you abhor corporations trying to make as much money as possible, yet you then complain when you have to spend more money. The more they charge, the less you have. The more you tax, the less they have.

    Same thing, just the other side of the loop.

    Oh, and back to taxes: you realize those in the top 5% of wage-earners already pay 50% of the taxes? What percentage should they pay? 100%?

    The top 1% earn about 15% of the income, but pay 30% of the taxes.

    Those making over $35,000 pay almost 95% of the total taxes. The median income in the US is $48,000. The “rich” you speak of is yourself.

    “Taxing the rich” sounds great, but you’d be surprised who’s “rich” according to the IRS.

  124. rbartlet says:

    @katylostherart:
    I completely agree with what you are saying about tuition being out of hand. However, I was referring to Tux the Penguin’s comment that university tuition was affordable (citing 13-24K a year) as long as parents save. As your link points out and what my personal experience paying college tuition shows, 13-24K is not accurate and therefore not suitable grounds for his argument.

  125. rbartlet says:

    @rbartlet: oh ok, sorry I did not think it was katylostheart that made that comment, but it was. so I guess to you, where do you get those figures? as to your link, out of state tuition for even public schools is nearing 38K. and my second comment referring to literacy rates was directed at your previous comment that more than 90% are literate as well.

  126. katman2 says:

    somehow I just don’t see the economy improving drastically in January 2009. It does seem that people think the President has unlimited power.
    Regarding making the rich pay more taxes…comeon, why should they be punished for working harder and earning more money? Where would be the incentive to work hard to earn more money if it’s all going to be taken by taxes? And before you ask, no I am by no means rich, I’m struggling to pay my mortgage. I have health insurance but due to numerous surgeries in the last 2 years (9 so far) the amount I’m responsible for is adding up very quickly. Americans don’t have a “right” to health insurance, or to be rich, you have the right to pursue happiness, nothing guarantees you’ll get it. The reason I am not liberal is because I don’t think the government should be so involved in my life. My opinion is less taxes so that people can take care of themselves. If you’ve ever dealt with any government office I don’t see how you would want them in charge of your healthcare. As for college tuition, boohoo. I would love to go to college too, but I can’t afford it, nor could I afford to send my kids, I was struggling just to put food on the table. I could have worked 2 or 3 jobs so we could have more money, but I felt I needed to only work 1 full time job so I could raise my children. If you want something work for it. If sending your children to college is so important to you, start saving when they are infants, instead of counting of a free ride or having to take equity out of your house.
    My opinion, the economy is cyclical, just like the weather. It can’t stay perfect all the time, it always equals out, regardless of who the president is. If you want affordable health care start pushing for bills to limit the malpractice suits. When people are responsible for themselves everyone wins, when the government is responsible for everything, nobody wins. Personally I would be in pretty bad shape if I was on government healthcare having to wait for my necessary surgeries just because they felt someone elses surgery was more important. The only kind of government healthcare I would agree with is when it’s an option, not a requirement. I’ll stick to my private healthcare so that I can choose my doctors and lookout for my health without regard to millions of others priorities. When it comes right down to it, my being in chronic pain matters more to me than someone else being in chronic pain. Given the choice I’m going to take care of my problem first with government healthcare, that wouldn’t be an option

  127. phimuskapsi says:

    @Tux the Penguin: Manufacturing: why would I pay someone here $20 an hour to make a widget when I can pay someone in India $5 and ship it over here for $10? Are you willing to pay more for everything? That’s why we’re giving them tax breaks, to make the incentives even. Unfortunately, its still not working. Oh, and please remember, businesses never pay taxes. People do. Either shareholders or customers.

    Because if you outsource all of the work to overseas then there will be a vacuum of jobs here in manufacturing plants in America. Kodak is a perfect example. Kodak went to China and said we’d like to make film here, China gave them 95% of the market share and said sure! In my town (Rochester,NY) we are the home of Eastman Kodak and I can tell you that the entire East Side has been decimated by lay offs and abandoned buildings. Our area alone has had 60,000 jobs cut in the last 10 years due to outsourcing. This is a major problem.

    This doesn’t even cover all of the IT firms that have done the same thing (Dell, Compaq/HP, etc. etc.). What is going to happen when we finally do outsource all manufacturing jobs? All the blue collar workers are going to have a hell of a time buying anything.

    @Bladefist: Removal of Saddam by force when we weren’t asked for reasons that were INVENTED by the CIA about WMD’s that don’t exist is NOT worth 4000 lives. Especially when people who don’t really get a choice what they do after high school. Several of my friends in HS (in ’00) joined up simply because they couldn’t afford to go to college, others still joined up because they weren’t smart enough to get into college and didn’t want to work at McDonald’s for the rest of their lives.

    They had a problem my parents had when I went, if you try and get Federal Assistance you have to meet strict guidelines to get anything at all. In fact my family didn’t qualify for anything because it was simply stated that they made too much and I can argue the case that they didn’t. So we got loans. Guess what, I’m still paying them off, most students get out of school with 100K plus in debt, what a way to start life, and you were concerned about Heathcare and said people simply choose not to have it? Well let me run it down for you…(note I get it as a benefit in my job deducted from my paycheck)

    I make roughly $850 every two weeks:

    - Rent: $340 a month
    - Food/Gas: $400 (gas costs have doubled for me and I drive a 4cyl)
    - Car: $353 a month
    - Car Insurance: $120 a month
    - Cable: $50 a month
    - Heat/Gas/Electric: $75 a month
    - Student Loan: $205 a month
    - Cell Phone: $20 a month

    Total: ~$1563 a month. That’s to live a normal life, where I eat, have transportation and more. You subtract that from $1700 a month and get $137 left over to ‘save’ but how often does that happen. Never. Life is full of unexpected expenses, tires, a tow, cell phone dropped, etc.

    That shows right there that there are money problems, 95% of taxpayers are in the 30k to 40k bracket, most of which are facing similar expenses that I am. If no one has disposable income then there is a recession. Gas prices have cut $100 a month out of my budget, then food costs have risen as well. How can we expect someone to live at the poverty level (even with government programs) and survive?

  128. Tux the Penguin says:

    @phimuskapsi: In regards to the manufacturing jobs, would they have been willing to take pay cuts? Would they be willing to give up benefits?

    Corporations think long and hard before outsourcing. But between consumers wanting the lowest possible price (heck, they had an article about getting out of cell contract because of an increase of less than a dollar in fees) and the shareholders wanting the biggest return, things like this happen.

    Now, as for your budget: your car costs more than your house, that’s a no-no. How much is the loan and how much is it worth? You might want to consider selling it and buying a car that gets you from point A to point B. Second, drop cable. If you’re that tight, free TV is more than enough.

    If you were able to get a car free-and-clear by getting rid of your current one and drop cable, that frees up another $400 a month, or almost 25%. Sure, its not attractive, but if you want to get rich and start savings, you have to swallow your pride. Also, check your car insurance, that’s awfully high premiums. Sometimes raising the coverage amounts actually lowers your premiums…

    Anyway, that’s my advice. I hope it helps.

  129. katylostherart says:

    @Tux the Penguin: i would be willing to pay more for things if that meant i was paying my neighbor. in turn i make something he buys it. no country can have a completely closed economy, but we’re reaching the point where all the people buying every day items, the ones we relied on being produced here so that we could by them in the first place, are finding themselves unable to spend. the super wealthy are not the legs of the economy, the average person is.

    if the median income in the country, or really in any given state, is not enough to cover the cost of living then it is not enough to keep an economy from tumbling into a depression.

    i have the same above budget as phim basically except i take home $125 less every two weeks and have no car payment. i put $43 in my tank yesterday and i drive a honda civic which has the best gas mileage for a nonhybrid car currently on the american market.

    to someone who said they’re in the 40% bracket, your federal income taxes are 35% at the minimum cut off of 357k. if you can’t live on nearly half a million dollars a year you are definitely doing something wrong. if 60% of that income was taxed and you still couldn’t live, you’re still doing something wrong. do you think it’s fair that someone who makes less than the poverty wage pay taxes? how bout less than the median income paying 15%? 60% of a million dollars and you can’t live? how bout 80% tax of 10 million? still can’t live on that a year? then perhaps you shouldn’t be in business. this is what the ceos of exxon get for christmas. what the bank ceos got when a good chucnk of america just lost their homes. how can you seriously say to anyone that 35% of a million dollars is unreasonable? i say 800 from an $8k year paycheck is unreasonable. that’s more than a month’s pay. $4800 at $32k5 a year. is that reasonable? what would you do without that much money? could you live missing more than a month’s pay at that level? simple answer: no.

    could i live missing 40% of 350k/year. most definitely i could live missing 60, or 80.

    i know who’s rich according to the irs. but that’s because our country’s broken. we need to redefine this stupid place.

  130. Tux the Penguin says:

    @katylostherart: The point isn’t whether or not I could live off of my income, but rather that the government is now wanting to take what I spent a life sacrificing and saving for. I can understand taxing first-earned income (salary) but then taxing my savings, mutual funds, investments and real estate, that’s what burns me.

    I started out from a family with literally nothing. My father worked two jobs, my mother worked as a housekeeper. I went through the Marines for the GI Bill, stayed for two extra tours to earn some money. I lived on base and didn’t drink, eat out, lived like a pauper. I was able to then pay for most of my college, worked for the rest, and then played it safe for the rest of my life. I lived off of 50% of my income. I didn’t have my first new car until I was 45. I didn’t have cable until the cable companies began to offer high-speed internet. I still don’t have a personal cell-phone.

    I sacrificed and worked HARD for what I have. And you just want to take it from me because “I can afford to not have as much.” My children know what I went through to now given them all the advantages they now have. And I would like to leave what I have to them. But you’d rather take it so you can live more comfortably.

    Tell you what, you can take whatever money I have if I can then tell you how I want you to live.

    Does that sound like a deal?

    Like it or not, you CHOOSE to live like you are. You could give up watching TV, playing games, hanging out with friends to work an extra job. That would give you more cash. You could then save all of that or put it to health care. But you CHOOSE to do otherwise because it wouldn’t be “fun”.

  131. Bladefist says:

    @Tux the Penguin: He doesnt want you to fix his budget. He wants to whine and complain about how this country sucks and is not fair.

  132. wildness says:

    What Bush needs to understand is that we don’t really care anymore what HE calls ANYTHING as we can assume he is lying, lying, lying.

  133. zolielo says:

    Come on no depression… ;)

  134. Ariah says:

    There are endless political blogs and only a handful of consumer advocacy blogs. I wish you guys would stick to the latter.

  135. Skankingmike says:

    @Bladefist: as a Conservative and Republican i can safely say that BUSH IS NOT A REPUBLICAN he’s a damn NEO CON fake republican who pretends that big government isn’t his game while in turn sells out our own troops in favor of some damn private government funded militia.

    So please, in a republican world we would ignore the damn middle east drill the hell out of Alaska and then create tax free situations for alternative fuel and let the economy fend for itself.

    or you can keep believing that us being in Iraq is some how good for anybody except Sultans and EXON/MOBILE

    This is the same war we’ve been fighting for thousands of years. The Middle-east will never ever be free of war I say we ignore and increase border security and move the hell on before we cause a nuclear holocaust.

    on the topic of recession i for one welcome our new Chinese over lord Walmart.

    Now excuse me i have to create a bomb shelter.

  136. disavow says:

    @BigElectricCat: So far it’s serving to phase MTBE out as a fuel additive.

  137. fever says:

    I agree, I don’t care what this moment in our country’s economy is called. Food & Fuel are expensive, it blows. I don’t need to label it a “recession” to know that instead of buying one case of beer, I should now buy as much as is prudent to make the fuel expenditure more worthwhile.

  138. BigElectricCat says:

    @disavow:

    Do you have anything more current? The data on that site are anywhere from two to six years old.

  139. BigElectricCat says:

    @Tux the Penguin:

    “I sacrificed and worked HARD for what I have. And you just want to take it from me”

    And here’s where the “fuck yous” come out. Ultimately, the conservatives accuse the liberals of wanting to bleed conservative wallets dry, while the liberals accuse the conservatives of bleeding poor people dry.

    Here’s the thing — a balance must be struck. You’re *going* to be taxed, like it or not. The amount and form and vector of that taxation will depend on what society wants. If Americans decide that they want a single-payer healthcare system, then you’re going to be taxed to support it, unless you choose to leave (and depending on what the current expat laws are, you might still be taxed after you leave).

    At the same time, there’s a difference between people who worked hard to build their own success, and people who get paid fat salaries to drive companies into the ground. If you’re showing a profit and you’re able to expand and pay decent benefits, that’s great. OTOH, if you’re pulling down millions in pay and perks while your company’s market cap is falling off a cliff, then something’s wrong with that picture.

    Poor people aren’t automatically lazy and venal. And rich people aren’t automatically hardworking and virtuous.

  140. Norcross says:

    I can’t believe I am about to say this, but I agree with Bush. Heck, there are different definitions of ‘recession’, so the same ignorant bible-thumpers that voted for him only care about how much it costs to fill their SUVs with oil from dinosaurs that never existed.

  141. Bladefist says:

    @Skankingmike: I kinda agree with you. I’m not Bush’s best friend, and I dont advocate everything he has done. But it seems like he gets blamed for everything. And when he makes an achievement, we dont report about it.

    I’m not sure he is a neocon, I would say he not being fiscally responsible. But again, he is not the dictator, and he has to compromise.

    As far as the oil/iraq thing, for the record I disagree. BUT, if Bush came out today and said “Yep, you caught me, I just went to IRAQ for big oil” I would be completely in favor. This country runs off oil. My car doesn’t run on happiness. As far as tapping into ANWAR, fully agree. However, we are still unsure how much oil is really there. I agree with a lot of your points though, but I am not naive enough to think its a total lack of responsibility on Bush, and it *could* have to do with checks/balances.

  142. Tux the Penguin says:

    @BigElectricCat: Then what is the balance? Please tell me how much money I can take home from my own efforts. Can I take home 40%? What about 30%? Is that enough? Or should I just turn all my income over to the government and they give them back to me what I “deserve”.

    Its a sad state that Americans are cozying up more and more to the government teet, especially when the government is failing at many things it tries to do. You want the government to run health care when it can’t even run Social Security. Its failing our students in the schools. But you want to turn over MORE power to them?

    Its so sad that you look at the “rich” like we’re just a bank account you can tap. I doubt there’s a CEO that intentionally is trying to run his company into the ground. He gets paid all that money because he’s being asked to do a job that I’ll admit I don’t have the stomach for. He’s paid all that money because the stockholders, the owners of the company, decide that he should be paid that. What business is it of yours what happens in a private transaction between two private parties? Mind if I come to your job and evaluate what you get paid?

    This all just boils down to the fact that Americans, in general, are getting lazier. Look at our waist-lines for proof. Look at what all three candidates are espousing. “We’ll take care of you” and we’re eating it up like its candy. “We’ll make the “rich” pay.” Well, that’s great so long as you don’t want to become one of those rich. Now that’s a perverse incentive.

  143. katylostherart says:

    @Tux the Penguin: but don’t you see that you shouldn’t have had to risk your life just to be able to go to school? you joined the military, that should not be the only option for a citizen to be able to afford a decent education. i don’t even have that option because of my freaking knees.

    don’t you see it’s wrong that your dad had to work two jobs and your mom had to work just to keep your family alive?

    don’t you see it’s wrong that the gov’t expects us to drop being human in order to pay for our living and THEIR living and for things like money to send to africa when we can’t even afford to get medication as we age?

    depending on the investment, some of those taxes are i think are valid, personal savings no, mutual funds yes, personal real estate (1 business and 1 residential property) no.

    why don’t you think it’s wrong that you pay taxes and yet you and your children and your parents can’t turn to the government and go “look, i’m having trouble getting healthy food and going to the doctor, can you help me?”

    why do you think that’s ok? for any hardworking citizen to pay into the system since they were elligible to work and then be told “tough shit” when they need help is a disgusting state of affairs.

    i don’t go out very often, it’s averaging out to less than once a month right now which drives me freakiing INSANE because people need recreation to be healthy. they need to go out once in a while to offset the stress of being overworked and underpaid and generally uncared for. i don’t go on lavish vacations, i don’t even take meager roadtrips to the next state. i don’t go out and party. i don’t eat out a lot. i don’t go out drinking. shit i’m lucky if i can buy a $20 bottle of wine once a month. i AM looking for a second job but i have yet to find one that pays enough to offset the cost of having that job (the gas to get there). why do you think that’s ok?

    why do you think it’s ok that paying taxes doesn’t afford me the right to a free education? i’m not talking about yale or harvard, but a local instate public university. the max you can get on stafford loans don’t even cover one year’s tuition a most places around here.

    why do you think it’s ok that as a taxpayer i can’t go to the doctor when i need to? that i have to pay $900 just to show up at the er? that a non english speaking person with no social security number can get free healthcare but someone who just doesn’t make enough can’t?

    why do you think it’s ok that our gov’t doesn’t require any employers to provide healthcare or reasonable wages and is ok with the poor or middle class people picking up the slack when it shows we obviously can’t?

    don’t you think that’s pathetic? why don’t you think a government supposedly controlled by the people should take care of those people? why don’t you think paying taxes gives you rights to get that money back in the form of having basic needs met?

    what happens when your kids can’t afford something and you can’t help them and they say to the state, “help me” and they get told to fuck off?

    ok so you’re not super rich, got it. so do you think maybe we should redefine taxes for the super rich? i do. $10mil christmas bonus. THAT’S NOT EVEN THE YEAR’S SALARY. why is that ok with you?

    why is it ok with you that baby boomers can’t retire? that even having a 401k or having saved for your entire life is not enough to keep them from ending up being a bagger at walmart?

    WHY IS ALL OF THIS OK WITH YOU?

  144. katylostherart says:

    AND I DON’T EVEN HAVE CABLE TV DAMMIT IT COSTS TOO MUCH.

  145. Skankingmike says:

    @Bladefist: oh i don’t care that we’re in Iraq, i care that we are funding Iraq with large military contracts to private Militia that get more funding than our own troops

    that’s what i care about.

    we need Oil pure and simple. The liberal hippies that think the world can all get along are quite confused, but I’d rather not fight some damn holly war on my tax dollar with a bunch of ungratefully people.

  146. Tux the Penguin says:

    @katylostherart: One at a time…

    1. I didn’t join the military to go to college. I joined because I didn’t want to work in my father’s shop. It wasn’t until I got sick of answering to officers who felt they were better than me I decided I needed to go to college so I could become an officer (never did become an officer). I’m not sure what university you’re referencing, but here in Texas there’s UTA that costs just under $7000 for tuition. Add another, what $1000 for books? That’s $8000 a year. You can work and take on debt to pay for that. I’m quite sure of that. People buy into that you need to graduate from Havard to become a success. I graduated from (what is now) UNT. The degree is what you want. And don’t get it in Arts or History, get it in something that will set you into a job… like Accounting. Want to make $50k right out of college? Get a 5-year degree in accounting. Or Education. My daughter-in-law earns $43k being an 8th-grade science teacher. It can be done.

    2. You’re misinterpreting my statement. My father worked his hands off because that’s what he was taught to do. He wanted us to live comfortably, not like the hellhole he grew up in back in Mexico. I’m one generation removed from that. Trust me, even if you’re struggling here in the US, you are BLESSED.

    3. Drop being human? Does that mean not drinking, smoking, going out? No, I delayed living in the now to live better in the future. A dollar saved is a dollar earned, my father told me. I never forgot that. My wife still yells at me because we still by store-brand. Does that now make me less human?

    4. Why should I be taxed multiple times on money I earned only once? Anything that goes into savings has already been taxed, it was at one time someone’s income. Why should it be taxed again?

    5. I don’t think its wrong that we can’t because its NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. “Health” food is remarkably cheap. Buy 1 loaf of bread ($6) and 1 pack of lunch meat ($6), a few cans of corn (4 for $2-3) and green beans (4 for $2-3) and a whole chicken ($6). Lunch is two slices of meat between a slice of bread. Dinner is that chicken cooked up, chopped up and eaten over a few days. That’s less than $30 dollars. Heck, throw in some eggs and top it at $30. You now can eat for probably a good five days on that $30. I did it. You can too. And that’s HEALTHY eating.

    5. I’ve paid into a system that will give me a negative return. Why? Its government-run. They get their money no matter what happens on the other side. Yet you want to give them MORE power.

    6. “Recreation” to be healthy: ever tried getting friends together to go outside and play football (either yours or mine)? What about running? What about hiking? There are plenty of nearly FREE recreation opportunities. My children never got to “vacation” growing up. Well, they did get to see their great-grandparents in Mexico one summer, but that was the exception, not the rule.

    And $20 bottles of wine? I don’t drink that except on special occasions. I typically buy a jug wine for $10 (Sutter Home, Beringer) and drink on that for a few days.

    7. I’ve already said this: I don’t like government education. I would rather not pay property taxes and have every parents actively pay for their kids to go to school. Granted, it wouldn’t cost any more or less, but at least they’d see how much they are really paying. Nothing in the Constitution guarantees you a free education. Nor should it. We are CREATED equal. Results are based on our own work ethics with a little providence thrown in.

    8. Since when did paying taxes equal free private services? Oh, does that mean I get free massages and a new computer because I paid taxes? And, with your line of thinking, shouldn’t I then get so much more than you because I pay more taxes?

    9. How about this: lets raise minimum wage to $100,000 a year. Wouldn’t everyone be happy then?

    10. You think the government should take care of you. I think I should take care of myself. I think CHARITIES should be there to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.

    11. What used to happen in this case? You simply didn’t get it. There’s nothing wrong with that. I assume you’re talking medical care in this case. Try getting your care in Mexico from the government.

    12. Why should I care what two private entities agree to? He’s obviously providing much more than $10 million in value to his company. OTHERWISE THEY WOULDN’T PAY HIM THAT.

    13. What makes you think you have the RIGHT to not work after the age of 65? Either you sacrifice before then to get a big enough nest egg to live off of (and live off only the interest) or you work until the day you die. Those are your two choices. Its not my fault that I chose one route and others chose another.

    I find is so sad that you just expect all these things to be given to you. For thousands of years, people survived without the government giving them free health care, food, water and shelter. The idea that the state is supposed to give you all of that is a relatively new idea.

    It all comes down to choices. You can better your situation no matter where you start. I’m living proof of that. But don’t expect to get my results if you don’t try just as hard. It comes down to that.

  147. smartmuffin says:

    Positive growth in the first quarter was announced today. Guess Bush was right after all!

  148. katylostherart says:

    @Tux the Penguin:
    1. i have stated before i reside in ct. after moving back here from wa i tried to stay with my mechanical engineering program but the nearest school that offered that degree was 34k a year. i’m trying to go school in another country now because it’s actually cheaper for me to go there, get the degree and become a teacher than it is here. plus i get the free healthcare even if i have to wait in line.

    2. good for your dad (not sarcastic)

    3/6. people do need recreation. really. part of being mentally balanced is taking time off. america’s one of the most ridiculous western countries because we don’t take vacations enough when places like spain actually take naps in the afternoon. i do go hiking, i do loads of free stuff cuz that’s my price range. i save up for everything. i miss out on tons of stuff with my friends because i can’t chip in the cash for gas/food/lodging etc. my free stuff i do alone basically because travelling to my nearest and dearest isn’t all that affordable. of course the solution to that is move closer but for a slew of other reasons that’s not even close to feasible for the next at least 5 years.

    you keep mentioning texas. texas is CHEAP. cheap cheap cheap. another reason people stay in expensive areas is because it becomes nearly impossible to move. i have been saving for a while now and i still can’t make reasonable to the next place.

    4. maybe your savings accounts are different than mine because they’re so much smaller. my interest is taxed, not the balance deposited by me from my paycheck. i don’t have a 401k to draw from and only one unmatured cd. mutual funds are gambling and iras depending on the type are tax deductible. i think it’s wrong people get taxed again and again, but at the same time you’re paying for your community to exist. the cops, the firefighters, the hospitals, the roads, the electricity in some cases. you had children, you and other parents and people without children all paid for them to go to school. hell, in my town i’m really pissed because my city taxes go to supporting 1/3 of the population which isn’t even here legally.

    5a – health food. if i could actually live on pasta and bread i would, but as it stands wheat turns my intestines inside out and makes me sick. people used to be able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. i buy frozen veggies personally, but my cousin wanted to by oranges for her kids. $8 for 4 oranges. but she can go get fruit snacks at 6-10 packs for about $3. so she has a choice, they get the good for you fruit now and have half a week’s worth, or she gets the sugar loaded garbage and the kids get a snack every day. my wine is a rare treat. and it lasts for a week as well. people need to spoil themselves now and then. not get everything new as it comes out, or having the latest car model, but if you can’t give yourself, or people you love a treat now and then it wears at you.

    7. socialized education works pretty well in most of europe. the kids pay far less or in some cases nothing and get a better quality education than we do here. and if they aren’t accepted into a university they have apprenticeship programs. everone basically can be useful. the american back up to a university education is basically mcdonalds, or if you’re lucky, a family business.

    8/10. i said basic needs for paying taxes. you are completely stretching that as far as you go. under no reasonable interpretation could you put a free massage or computer on the same level as food and medicine and a place with plumbing and heat in the winter. as far as charities go, it’d be nice if the gov’t supported places like good will, food banks and the redcross as much as they’re willing to support thirdworld nations halfway across the globe. where’s the balance there? hmmm we can help fix up some urban war zones, or we can give this money to nigeria where it goes straight to the pockets of whatever dickhead is in charge that month. and sure, why not. maybe you should get more for paying more taxes. i mean i’m asking for pretty simple things here, maybe you should get better food, but that doesn’t mean i deserve rotten apples for my contribution.

    9. again, blowing things out of proportion. why don’t we at least make it standard to pay minimum wage in EVERY industry across the nation. just as effective as your solution. or we could just do things like require large multinational billion dollar employers to take the cost of living of their lowest paid employees into account. that sounds pretty fair.

    11. apparently you’re unaware how many american citizens go to foreign nations (including mexico) for necessary operations, not just cosmetic. even with the travel and the lodging and equivalent safety standsards it’s cheaper to fly to thailand than to go to your local hospital. look that up.

    12. you should care because they’re passing the cost of that obscene bonus onto YOU. he’s obviously not worth that much money if they keep spewing bullshit about the company hurting with record profits. and specifically in oil, why give that 10mil when you can try and capitalize on green energy and have a guaranteed out for your company when people really can’t buy gas any more? why not research alternative ways to monopolize the energy industry instead of attempting to exhaust one avenue, proclaiming there’s no other way, when they could just extend their reach into other branches of the same industry and secure a future for their company while making customers happy.

    13. would you want to see your 80 year old father working in a grocery store? arthritis and senile dementia setting in, driving with glaucoma and cataracts so they don’t have to eat cat food. live expectancies now outlive benefit payouts from social security. what about my generation with the 100k or so veterans? what do they deserve? you were a marine. what do your brothers deserve? i’m sorry you lost your legs, your face, your arm, your sanity, but here’s a wheelchair and a good place to park on the corner. what happens if your kids can’t help you? what happens if you run out of money?

    when people start poor they very very rarely get much above their income status. it can take generations to build up from scratch and often does. good for you, you did it. all people are not created equal. you’re assuming because you did it, or your father did it that everyone can. personally, if i say had a downs baby, i want to be sure it’s cared for after i die. my mother, must ALWAYS have health care otherwise she would be dead already because of something she was born with.

    it does not come down to just effort. it comes down to mental and physical ability, then determination. education, money, background, where you’re born, all of that matters.

    and no for thousands of years people relied on each other. we are social creatures that live in structured communities. we always have been. whether it’s by one small family unit or a surfdom in russia. you carried the children and the sick old man, you hunted and shared, you farmed and tithed. we never ever as a species have been without some form of social structure that supports the weak.

  149. katylostherart says:

    serfdom…

  150. bgrigson says:

    I don’t care what you call it or who fixes it. The fact is it costs more to eat and drive than I have ever witnessed. My pay is not climbing at the same rate food/gas are rising and until those things are fixed congress and the president can keep living in their fantasy world.

  151. MrEvil says:

    @Necoras:
    You think food prices are bad NOW? Just watch what happens when Bush takes away the subsidies and one or two bad harvests all the farmers (that have been keeping the prices low) go under.

    Do you happen to be in posession of a weather control device? Or a machine that can predict the weather to an exact science? I mean if you have either of the two then I’ll gladly turn away a government safety net.

    The problem we have in producing a crop is when the harvest is good it’s good. However, that’s absolutely NO Indiciation of weather or not next year is going to be the same or better. Last year Wheat harvest in my area was fantastic. We had lots of winter snow and even more rain in the spring. However, this year we got maybe 2 good snows and went the better part of two months without any significant rainfall. We’ll be lucky to break even if we get a harvest at all.

    That’s the thing, seed and diesel fuel cost money regardless of weather or not your crop makes it to harvest.

    Eliminating subsidies is all well and good on paper. However, would you rather have a little guy trying to make an honest living in charge of your food? Or a corporate suit in his ivory tower doing whatever he wants with your food as long as it means a higher stock price at the end of the trading day?

  152. Tux the Penguin says:

    @katylostherart: I’m just going to hit the lowlights since these are getting a little too long.

    4) When I get my income, its taxed. I decide to save it all, it gets taxed again once it starts earning interest. It you dropped taxed on investments, interest and the like, you’d see a lot of people start getting richer. Ever done the spreadsheet to see what damage a 25% tax does on savings after fourty years (ages 25-65). Let me give you a hint – it nearly cuts it by 1/3. And no, my income tax does not pay for the cops, firefighters, roads, etc. Those are my property and sales taxes. There isn’t an aspect of our lives that isn’t taxed. How sad is that.

    13. If we’re outliving social security, maybe we need to bump up the age that you start drawing it. When it was created, the life expectancy was really close to 65; it was a fool’s bet. Now, however, the start date should be around 75 to keep the same proportion. But as for my fellow Marines, that is why I donate heavily to organizations that I approve of and that I want to support. See, I get to pick who to help, as do my neighbors and my friends. We’re not forced to support things we don’t want to… yet. There is a thing called Charity that used to do all the things you now want the government to do. But with the government moving in, what point is there to them?

    The Poor: If a husband and wife work full time at near minimum wage (which is extremely odd, since minimum wage is for part-time usually), say $6 or so an hour, that’s $25k a year. That’s a pretty decent living considering you’re at the unskilled extreme of the job pool. But, according to the census, the “poor” households, on average, have less than 1 full-time worker in them. If a husband and wife work full-time, they are rarely “poor.” Now, that does afford a luxurious lifestyle, but that’s a style that can survive.

    Like it or not, it always comes down to your effort whether or not you make it in life. The only thing you are limited by is you. Maybe you don’t have the brain for accounting or engineering, but you can work hard as a plumber and make good money, start a business and become pretty wealthy. Or an electrian. I’m not saying that its not hard work, but it can be done.

    Lastly, you final paragraph, I think you miss the overall irony of your comments. You stated that “people relied on each other”, but the government. We relied on charity of others, working as a team, not sending our dimes off to some faceless entity who would then send something back to us. If we were sick, the neighbor would stop by with soup.

    You spend that last paragraph proving my position. You are wanting to change the way we’ve survived and prospered for 200 years.

  153. katylostherart says:

    @Tux the Penguin: the largest household demographic now is single mothers in their 30s. sure, if you have two breadwinners it gets easier. of course then you have to factor in child care.

    the poor: so basically if no one got divorced and joint custody was actually equal custody or more fathers stepped up to the plate or fewer women got pregnant that ideal of a two breadwinner house might be more of a reality but it isn’t. you neglected to take out all the deductions people have from their paychecks even at 25k/year. it’s closer to 20 take home with a rebate on the back end that’s usually used to play catch up.

    i don’t know where you think it is you only get paid minimum wage for part time jobs but there are plenty of places that pay minimum wage at “full time” hours. on top of that there is no federal definition of what full time vs part time hours are. most places i’ve worked at put full time at 32+ hours a week. it’s a relative statistic not a set number. and then to add more insult to injury, companies that do operate on a set number paying low wages LOVE flooding their employee stock so that they don’t have to have any single person on at a full time level, thus usually denying benefits.

    4. if we had reasonable savings rates you’d see more people getting richer. what’s the point of a .15% payout? nothing. that means on 100 i get 15 cents a year. oh joy. you know our cd rates are standard basic savings rates in england? this especially ridiculous when the bank is lending out that money at 6% and borrowing from the gov’t at less than 3%. again, i’ve never seen anything that said more than interest is taxed on savings, but i’m sure i have much lower savings account balances than you. and i said you were taxed to pay for your community, not that federal taxes went to your community although in some cases they can.

    13. raising the minimum age to draw social security is not a solution. that just puts more infirm people in a work force that doesn’t have many spots for them. you don’t have a strong back or a quick mind any more, you’re not getting hired. laws against age discrimination don’t actually prevent it. the point of paying a government is to have them do all this figuring out for you. we don’t need anyone in charge if they’re not actually doing anything to organize this giant country.

    to your last paragraph – you originally said thousands of years and then backed it down to 200. if we were sick back then, or hungry we wouldn’t necessarily go to a neighbor. we’d go to a prefect or lord if we were attacked. there were stores you could stand in line for. yes there was charity, there’s always been charity. caring for the society you belong to on a grand scale is something people have paid governments to do for ages either with crop share, hunks of meat, seashells or gold. for thousands of years we have been thinking on a grander scale about the people we put in charge. and now everyone only thinks of themselves and that’s the way to be? there’s no irony there on my end. you said thousands of years but history proves otherwise. i just have no idea how you’ve come to all these conclusions.

  154. katylostherart says:

    it really pisses me off when fucking replies don’t go through. so short paraphrase now.

    -all employers do not have to pay federal minimum wage
    -full time is a relative statistic used for averages and not a defined number of hours per week
    -there are plenty of jobs that pay minimum wage at “full time” and at part time because they’re usually defined at company level
    -many employers that have low paid employees flood the employee pool in order to keep everyone possible at part time so as not to pay out benefits

    -the largest head of household demographic now is single mothers in their thirties. maybe if fewer people got divorced, fewer women got pregnant, more men stepped up to the plate, or joint custody was more often defined as equal custody there would substance to the ideal of a two breadwinner house but right now that is not a reality.
    -two 40 hours a week workers at $6/hr is a take home of about 20k combined after taxes and deductions come out, that’s not 25k and at that level 5k makes a huge difference.

    -i didn’t say federal taxes paid for your city’s existence i said taxes do. in some cases federal taxes can go to individual cities or institutions within them but i know that is not the bulk of the money.
    -your savings must be different from mine, maybe it’s from the smaller balances, but my interest is what’s taxed, not deposits from my paycheck.

    -bumping up the social security age is not a solution. it just puts more infirm people into the work force without jobs to take them. when your body and mind start to fail people just used to drop dead. even walmart doesn’t need that many greeters. they cannot do jobs that could even feasibly support them. our gov’t gives charity to foreign countries at rates it doesn’t give to things that help american citizens, that’s ridiculous.

    -lastly there was no irony in my statements. you originally said THOUSANDS of years and now haved backed off to 200 of prosperity. people could go to their lord or prefect or council or whatever and get food and help. i’m not going to say being a fief was the best thing ever but at least it was an option. and sharecropping, crap like that. now it’s every man for himself and maybe his family if he can wing it. that was now how people made it this far.

  155. katylostherart says:

    I’M GOING TO STAB SOMETHING

  156. Tux the Penguin says:

    @katylostherart: I said 200 because the US isn’t even 250 years old. But you wouldn’t go to your Lord or governor and expect them to give you medical care…

    Savings: If you stopped taxing interest, you’d actually be earning that paltry .15%, not .12% or so. And, in money market accounts which usually demand 5k or more, you can get decent returns. Still, that’s not where you become rich. You become rich by saving you income. When I started my first civilian job, I made myself save 25% of my gross income into retirement and savings. That made things tough, but I did it.

    Assume these facts: a couple (both 25) working at minimum wage sacrifices and saves 15% of their gross income and gets a 4% return on it. They pay 35% taxes (way too high, but that’s the max US rate unless you’re self-employed) and NEVER GETS A RAISE. In 40 years, at age 65, they’ll have over $250k in savings. Now, say they get an average raise of 2% (fed’s inflation goal). Now we’re looking at 357k.

    Now, lets get realistic. You save 15% of your income at 6%, 25% tax and 3% raise, starting at 24k a year, you end with 640k. Not bad for someone making minimum wage.

    Oh, and for the median family, that savings plan would result in a savings of roughly 1.1 million. But to do that takes some personal responsibility.

    Its funny, I’m sitting here saying you can make it if you work hard, sacrifice and save. You’re saying its not possible. Who is really more caring?

  157. katylostherart says:

    @Tux the Penguin: the best part is all of this requires some sort of education which the majority of the us population doesn’t get. since we’ve now figured out that most of the country cannot balance a checkbook let alone understand more complex financial undertaking it’s not surprising that most of the country doesn’t do this.

    i’m not saying it’s not possible, i’m telling you why it isn’t happenign for most people. the pathetic thing is things like this do not cross people’s minds because they are brought up in complete ignorance. your parents instilled something in you about how to live and work this out. most people’s parents don’t do that. money is a magic concept to so many people. they can’t understand where all their money goes even if they sit down and look at it.

    also this part “Now, say they get an average raise of 2% (fed’s inflation goal). Now we’re looking at 357k.” that was another problem – pay raises are not keeping up with inflation. like for me that raise rate results in $15 more a paycheck. if i could find anywhere that would let me save 15% of my income at 6% i would totally put my money in that but i don’t have the minimums necessary to get that rate on any cds.

    you’re also assuming most people have 15% of their income to put aside. you’re considered in a bad way with your rent being more than 30% of your income. the reason i don’t live on my own is because the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in this county is my monthly pay. that goes back to getting a second job, which again i still haven’t found one to offset the cost of a job.

    i am not saying it can’t be done. i am saying most people lack the skills and education to do so, and that is another failing of our government.

  158. katylostherart says:

    @Tux the Penguin: also they didn’t have structured medical care until like 70 years ago so of course you wouldn’t go to a lord to get that. but you could go to a doctor for a chicken :D

    yet most people are still on a wait and see kind of existence when it comes to getting sick. MAKES NO SENSE.

  159. Tux the Penguin says:

    @katylostherart: So our government can’t provide skills and education, but you want them to provide health care? Where is the sense in that? Wouldn’t they just screw that up too?

    Part of the problem with health care is people want to live forever. They want whatever medical technology the can to try and prolong their life. We see it all the time on this board: some middle class family asking for the cutting edge, million dollar treatment that MIGHT save their kids life. Its a cold, hard fact of life, but you will die. We used to understand this a lot better before the reign of insurance companies (oh I wish we still had those times). If you 70 and got sick, you could either spend $50,000 and get another three years, or choose to die gracefully and pass it on to your kids.

    Those who got sick very young, that was a tragedy. But it was accepted. Not everyone is lucky and not everyone is blessed. Try as hard as you might, but you have to accept that fact at some time. I think its just a changing of the times.

    But back to money…honestly, the current “troubled time” we’re in right now is only going to get worse. People spend WAY too much of their income (over 30% on rent), they expect too many luxuries and have little to no financial sense. Cable used to be a luxury. Now its common place. That will come home to roost and we’ll see real pain. And that will probably usher in real socialism. And then successes like mine will be MUCH harder. You can still be something here in this country. But I’m afraid time is running out.

    But if I were you, I’d get out of the New England states as quickly as possible. I have a feeling that’s where the real pain is going to be. Plus, as you said, everything is cheaper down here.

    BTW, what’s your degree in? I know lots of people around here.

  160. bglav says:

    Nothing like totally skewing the words. He didn’t say (or imply) he doesn’t think we care whether we’re IN a recession. He said the American people don’t care what it’s CALLED.

    No matter my opinion of his other policy or history, I think he’s correct. I don’t think we (as a whole) care what it’s called. We just realize that it’s painful.

    Easy on the politics, Consumerist.