We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You can't IGNORE Wienergate. Aside from the obvious temptations, the fact that these individuals do something stupid (typical High School stuff), then lie about it, then admit it, then say they're OK to remain in office is......well....absurd.
As one person said to me "he doesn't preach family values, so his only problem is he got caught". I replied "when my 14 year old son got caught with beer, and a neighbor said his only problem was that he got caught, my answer was simple:
'he knew he was doing something wrong. Getting caught was the least of his worries when he was doing it. Once he got caught, how did it become his only problem?'"
Nobody ever stops to think that just because 'everyone does it' (and I still haven't met that everyone) doesn't mean it's only wrong when you get caught. If, indeed, everyone is doing it, then the law wouldn't exist because everyone would change it.
On another note - the economy. When the economy first crashed, I wasn't very worried. I felt that certain steps could be taken to mitigate it. As Congress took the steps they took, I began to worry. I saw the damage they were inflicting on the system, and I realized it was going to be worse than the problem itself. Obama's "stimulus" made the problem even worse. Obamacare made it EVEN WORSE.
I compared it to losing your job and taking out a home equity loan to pay the mortgage. Sounds like a great plan until, after a few years, you haven't found a new income source and you're not only running out of the HELOC, but you're paying double interest. What looked like a great plan suddenly became a disaster and your home is at risk. And many think the solution is what? To create a new source of income by - taxing the "rich"!
Never mind the lack of definition of the term "rich". By all accounts, I am "rich". I admit, I'm not badly off. But hardly "rich". At best middle class. You see, these nimrods forget that $100,000 income for a single man living in Paducah is very, very different than $100,000 income for a family of 4 in the NY, Chicago or LA regions (as well as a host of others). I know they've drawn the line at $250k. But even that level of income is absurdly middle class in most urban areas for a family of 4.
I could move another hour and a half west and my financial situation would improve. But I'd be commuting for 4 1/2 hours a day, I'd have a worse school district and have to pay for private school, and I'd be driving more to do the things I need to do (something the AGW nuts would want to put me in jail for).
There are no easy answers to our problems. But I can think of one easy response that politicians need to start employing:
Stop believing our options and our future are limited. Unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the US by encouraging more activity, not with money, but with reduced regulations.
Has anyone tried to start a company lately? The barriers to entry are intolerable...make it easier and cheaper. And make the tax code simpler, fairer, and more transparent by reducing rates and eliminating loopholes. Cap the mortgage deduction, so that the incentive to purchase homes we can't afford is off the table.
A while back I was talking with my brother about the depressed economy. His POV: tax credits etc. should have encouraged more business activity. My POV: the onslaught of increased regulations and the uncertainty of future laws and regulations are discouraging entrepreneurial activity.
Ironically, my brother, as he and his wife run a bed and breakfast, is an entrepreneur. Could it be that his wife being an MSNBC-watching [on all the time] Yellow Dog Democrat have something to do with his POV?
I watch Morning Joe on MSNBC, and consider it the best on air TV for morning consumption. The rest of MSNBC can go hang itself. Whether watching it "informs" her view is something else altogether. I can watch MSNBC all day and I won't stop yelling at the screen. I believe people watch what is comfortable for their viewing pleasure, even when it comes to "news". Not me, I like uncomfortable viewing. It makes me think and form (as well as inform) my thinking.
I believe you're correct, with regard to regulations. But I do believe the tax credits were terribly misguided. Had the money gone to a middle class target, we'd have seen a very good return for the money.
That is, pick a "target range" of a pre tax income that is $50k-75k for singles, then adjust for married & married w/kids. Give them the breaks up the wazoo.
Example: in 2008, I paid a certain amount in taxes to the federal government. By any standard, I'm middle class. But if I'd gotten the breaks, I'd have been able to buy the new car I desperately need and get my roof fixed. This would have spurred jobs and economic activity.
Instead, the money went to banks to "loan out" (why? in a debt driven recession they want more debt??? More importantly, the banks never loaned it out, they invested in Treasury Bonds to get the guaranteed return. So I guess they did "loan it out" in a sense).
Or it went to the very poor in mortgage assistance. Which is interesting, because if these people knew how to manage money they wouldn't be in the situation they were in, would they? So we'll give people who have no idea how to manage money MORE money....good policy.
This is why we're in the position we're in.
And, let's face it, politicians don't know how to manage money. Which is why taxing us more is a BAD idea.