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Author Topic: The Reign of Witches
Godot
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"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt. If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."
-- Thomas Jefferson

All taken from a more accurate view of the state of the union by William Rivers Pitt written before the President's speech.

Love the Jefferson quote and agree with most everything he says. There's more good stuff if you follow the link.

quote:

THE ECONOMY
Since 2000, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen to nearly 37 million. More than 13 million of these are children. More than one in four American families with children make less than $30,000 a year. Look within that number and you will find 46% of African American families with children and 44% of Hispanic families with children fall below this mark. Average annual income for Americans fell once again in 2005. 46 million Americans live without health insurance.

The response to this? Vice President Cheney, three days before Christmas, cast the tie-breaking vote on a spending reduction bill that will fall most heavily on the poor, the infirm and the elderly. Funding for health care, child support, and education subsidies for low-income families has been gutted. Medicaid benefits for the poor were cut by $7 billion, and Medicare programs for the elderly were cut by $6.4 billion. Federal student-loan programs were cut by $12.7 billion.

On the very same day, the Senate passed legislation that drastically cut funding for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The Head Start program was hit especially hard: the cuts here eliminate some 25,000 slots for low-income children. All in all, these spending reductions are expected to save $40 billion.

Meanwhile, recently-passed tax cuts ravage the budget far more deeply than these drastic budget cuts. Two tax cuts in particular that went into effect on New Year's Day will cost $27 billion, more than half of what the spending reductions are supposed to save. These cuts will cost more than $150 billion over the next ten years. 97% of the money from these cuts will go to households making more than $200,000 a year. Households with incomes under $100,000 will get 0.1% of these cuts.

If all of Mr. Bush's tax cuts are stopped or allowed to expire, $750 billion will be added to the federal budget. That is more than enough to pay for the programs that have been eviscerated. It won't happen, not with the priorities of this administration, but that is the simple math of the matter.

The Unitary Executive Tapping Your Phone

Mr. Bush and friends have been jumping through flaming hoops to justify the blatantly illegal policy of spying on Americans by way of the National Security Agency. Their tortured arguments in favor of this action, and their flat-footed declaration that the policy will continue, makes confetti of the Fourth Amendment.

More than that, however, it moves this nation one step closer to having an Executive Branch that supersedes all others in power and scope. Not only will Mr. Bush spy on whomever he pleases, but he will also torture whomever he pleases. Put simply, the constitutionally-required separation of powers, the checks and balances that have maintained the stability of this republic, is being destroyed. This will echo down the corridors of our history long after Mr. Bush has left his office.

On Monday afternoon, Senate Democrats failed to muster the necessary 41 votes needed to avoid cloture on the nomination of Samuel Alito. The man will be elevated to the highest court. Beyond the fact that Alito is hostile to a woman's right to choose, hostile to privacy rights in the face of unwarranted police intrusion, and hostile to the poor and disadvantaged, there is the matter of his opinion on the powers of the Executive. In short, he agrees with Mr. Bush.

The Reign of Witches

The state of this union is not good. We are poorer, frightened, faced with the swelling ranks of enemies our leaders have created, and hell-bent to do away with the most precious aspects of our system of government. We are surveilled, propagandized, intimidated. We empower the radicals and disenfranchise the common good. We are fed swill via the television and thus convinced that what they tell us is what we already believe. We are bought, and we are paid for.

The radicals running this country have long desired to destroy the government's ability to govern - they found things like taxes intrusive, which is amusing when one hears them now defending warrantless spying on Americans - and they are well along the path towards success. The budget is destroyed, spent on tax cuts and the Iraq occupation, while millions of Americans suffer the loss of necessary services. The one percent of the one percent is making a killing, and the rest of us are left behind.


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Lifewish
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I think that's a little unfair on witches. I know a couple of wiccans and they're very nice (if slightly strange) people.
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javelin
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Wow, yeah, that's spin. Guess that's a good response to Bush's spin, if you are trying to cancel the two out. But then, if you do that, you find there are no facts buried in either speech. How disappointing. [Smile]
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Adjudicator
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Check your spinnometer whenever anyone cites raw numbers as opposed to ratios, and doubly so whenever someone fails to cite valid comparisons.

With that said- yeah, we really really need spending cuts. Whatever is chosen to receive cuts will feel it. I agree with the spending cuts with the exception of cutting pell grants. I wish they would reach farther and cut a lot more stuff.

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Richard Dey
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"We are bought, and we are paid for."

What is not mentioned is who is paying for the poor -- or wasn't the original gripe that the poor weren't being paid for? Either I'm confused, or they, whoever they are, are confused.

"Two tax cuts in particular that went into effect on New Year's Day will cost $27 billion, more than half of what the spending reductions are supposed to save."

Two tax cuts ... will cost $27 billion? Will cost whom billions?

The conflation of confusion, however, is fatal for the argument. Meanwhile, cut taxes. Starve a cold-hearted government.

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canadian
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They won't starve, they feed on souls.

Or borrow...I'm not sure which.

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WarrsawPact
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It's funny, I thought government spending is what cost us money. Now I hear that lower taxes cost us money.

The logic is straightforward: cut spending, and we won't have to buy so many securities. But when you argue aganst cutting spending AND cutting taxes, that leaves you in the wonderful position of arguing for higher spending and higher taxes. Which costs consumers a LOT more.

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LetterRip
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quote:
It's funny, I thought government spending is what cost us money. Now I hear that lower taxes cost us money.
It is government debt that 'cost[s] us money'. The government spending more than it recieves in tax revenues. So lower taxes DO cost us money if the spending isn't cut first.

quote:
But when you argue aganst cutting spending AND cutting taxes, that leaves you in the wonderful position of arguing for higher spending and higher taxes. Which costs consumers a LOT more.
No a lack of cutting is not 'higher'. Also reducing debt through maintaining or raising a tax rate can 'cost' consumers 'a LOT' less.

Also ignored is the distribution of the burden of taxation and of benefit of the government spending. Also ignored is that there are plenty of individuals who are willing to shift a much greater burden onto future generations, for a tax cut now.

LetterRip

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flydye45
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Did Head Start work? If it didn't then I have no problem with cutting a useless program? Of course the people who are employed by the program probably have a different take...

Questions Mr. Numbers needs to answer:

What is the rate of population increase versus poverty increase?

How does he define "family"? A college student "lives below the poverty line", as do many other single teens and twenties, but using them to bolster poverty numbers is dishonest.

Are illegal immigrants used to inflate the numbers of "poor"?

Details of this $27 billion tax. Perhaps the reason the rich get the cut is only the rich pay the tax, like 80%+ of all taxes.

Are the departments of labor, HHS, and education getting a "cut" or is their proposed increase and/or rate of growth being curtailed? Libs get funny definitions of "cuts" when instead the budget increases are slightly dampened.

And is it wrong to force these departments to assess their programs regularly? The immortality of government programs are well known (mohair anyone?), however they also need to determine where the money is best spent for the most good, just like every other kitchen table in America.

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Ivan
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I find it interesting that no one has contested the most important stat (IMO) in that thing:
quote:
Average annual income for Americans fell once again in 2005.
Not sure if that's pre- or post-inflation. Either way, it's bad news.

[ February 02, 2006, 12:55 AM: Message edited by: Ivan ]

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
I think that's a little unfair on witches. I know a couple of wiccans and they're very nice (if slightly strange) people.
Wicca has nothing to do with the witches referenced by Jefferson.
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LetterRip
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flydye45,

quote:
Did Head Start work?
I vaguely recall that it had significant impact on outcomes such as going on to college, staying out of jail, and teen pregnancy, but I don't think it had much impact on grades or related measures.

Here is a reference

http://www.nber.org/digest/aug01/w8054.html

Was the rest of your question addressed to Godot?

LetterRip

[ February 02, 2006, 08:15 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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Daruma28
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quote:
Since 2000, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen to nearly 37 million. More than 13 million of these are children. More than one in four American families with children make less than $30,000 a year. Look within that number and you will find 46% of African American families with children and 44% of Hispanic families with children fall below this mark. Average annual income for Americans fell once again in 2005. 46 million Americans live without health insurance.
William Rivers Pitt is a DemocraticUnderground regular, with all the lefty moonbats that post there consistently kissing his ass for all of his eloquent and locquacious diatribes against Bush and the NeoCons...but most of his writing is basically just verbose, intellectually self-stroking-class- warfare-injected rhetoric that pushes the "America is racist" meme.

But thats all beside the point.

I want to see his citations for all of the numbers he puts forth so that we can get a closer look at methodologies of the think tanks/researchers behind those numbers.

Otherwise, it just looks like Pitt is just mixing up the batch of Kool Aid the rest of the DemocraticUnderground chugs with great gusto...

"Growing economy under a Democrat Administration means Democrat policies are GREAT; Growing economy under a Republican Administration means we should not focus on a growing economy, we need to focus on other issues and numbers to prove that Republican policies help the rich at the expense of the poor."

[ February 02, 2006, 08:32 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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flydye45
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Funny. CNBC who keeps watch of real money numbers cited that labor costs went up 2.5 percent last year, the highest since 2000. Where did they go?

Investor's Business Daily mentioned that while salaries on average were flat (NOT a decrease, FLAT), the cost of healthcare expanded by 171%.

So the Benefit of healthcare shows that workers are getting compensated, but not in real dollars. And yes, I know some of that cost is taken up by the employee (voluntarily) but not all of it.

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flydye45
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Nice source. No numbers. And at a cost of $5400 dollars, there better be a more significant improvment then a few percent.
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