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Conservative questions; more progressive answers (updated)

Let’s look at questions 2 and 3

  • When did it become fashionable to make too much money, to work too hard and do really well for your family?
  • When did it become good business sense for the country to own two of the three American auto manufacturers?

How about a history lesson? In the 1960s the top marginal was 91%. Now, it is 35% for federal income tax. Yet, conservatives whine and whine about how they are paying too much. Under President Clinton the rich did pretty well. I don’t remember hearing about rich people deciding not to work because they didn’t want to pay the 39% income tax. Do you? So now that we have given billions of dollars to the rich without paying for the tax cuts, we are asking for them to pay a little more. That’s the crime? Give me a break. Back to history, remember Teddy Roosevelt? He said, “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.” This is clearly a dig at the railroad monopolies. He also said, “This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.” This is a big swipe at the rich. So, any student of history should be able to give the author a nice list of patriotic Americans who didn’t stand up for greed.

The second question is once again a clever way of dancing around the problem and trying to get an emotional response. Obama didn’t wake up one morning and look in the Wall Street Journal and ask himself, “What industry should I take over?” How about a million more Americans out of work? How about the employment rate in the 13 – 15% range? Obama thought that would be bad. He thought that GM and Chrysler should be saved, saving millions of jobs along with them.

Update: So, how has this experiment in progressive government worked out? The liberal rag, the

  • Wall Street Journal
  • (may need a subscription to open), called the plan Capitalism at work. A plan to buy a failing company, restructure then re-sell the company. I wonder if capitalists have ever done this. Hmm, only about a thousand times in the ’80s and ’90s when that was a very popular Wall Street strategy. GM has repaid over $8 billion and has filed to go public. They are making a profit. Chrysler has announced that they are planning their first in a series of IPOs in late 2011.

    So, the government has propped up two large American companies and plans to slowly decrease its stake in both companies over the next few years as they become more profitable. What’s the issue with saving American jobs that conservatives hate so much?

    By |2010-10-05T07:52:04-04:00October 5th, 2010|Economy, Party Politics|4 Comments

    Conservative questions – Progressive answers

    On a conservative blog I found the following list of questions –

    So I ask…

    • When did the government begin to try and take over what we eat and what doctor we use? When did that start?
    • When did it become fashionable to make too much money, to work too hard and do really well for your family?
    • When did it become good business sense for the country to own two of the three American auto manufacturers?
    • When did it start making good business sense for the U.S. to hold preferred stock positions in small local banks as the new small business stimulus allows?
    • When did it become fiscally responsible to have to borrow just to pay interest on the National Debt?
    • When did it become fiscally responsible governing to owe so much money to a country like China?
    • When did we become a nation that  WE THE PEOPLE said to do what we wanted, and that was ignored by those we voted into office?

    I’m going to attempt to answer a few these questions today and I’m going to leave a few of them for later on. Let’s look at the first question, when did the government try and take over what we eat? As far as I know this never happened. I guess what the author is referring to is the fact that the government is suggesting that we eat healthier. Isn’t it in our government’s best interest for its citizens to be healthier? Doesn’t it cost all of us more if we can’t curb the costs of Medicare and Medicaid? The answer is of course. Instead of honestly looking at the question, the author is posing this as some sort of invasion of personal rights, an extension of the government into our private lives. The food pyramid been around for over 20 years. The food pyramid replaced “food groups” which are classified by types and nutrition. This has been around since the 1980s, yet the author of this question seems to be pointing a finger at President Obama for designing something so intrusive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatives jump up and down about government spending but when progressives try to do something about the rising costs conservatives will have none of it.

    Let’s look at the rising cost of obesity. According to the CDC, Americans spent $92.6 billion in 2003 on obesity and obesity-related illnesses. This would include diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, strokes, renal failure, skin infections, loss of eyesight (in relation to diabetes) and many other diseases. Multiple studies have clearly shown that prevention costs significantly less than treatment. So, let me ask the question again. Why wouldn’t it be in our best interest for all of us to eat healthier?

    Many of us do not see the problem in our society. I would say that the problem is rampant and then relate the tale of one single patient whom I took care of some years ago. She and her family had been out on a boat and got severely sunburned. The four-year-old daughter, who was sunburned basically from head to toe, was morbidly obese. I placed the child in the hospital for pain control and care of her burns. I sent pediatrics to see the patient and to counsel the family on nutrition. The pediatrician asked the mother if she ever fed her child any fruit. The mother replied, yes, enthusiastically. She then went into her purse and pulled out a fruit rollup. Now, before you roll your eyes, go out to your local mall and just sit down on a bench and watch the crowd. What percentage of kids are obese? I’m not talking about kids that are just a little chubby. I’m talking about obese. We have to fix this. BTW, do you think that this patient’s family could benefit from some nutritional information?

    The second part of the question is simply sad. The question is – when did the government began to try and take over what we eat and what doctor we use? What doctor we use? The government has never tried to tell us which doctor we use. Never. This is been reiterated over and over during the health-care debate by both President Obama and others who are pushing for reform. You can choose your own doctor. Quoting from – “You select the doctor: The new rules permit you to choose any available participating primary care provider as your doctor and to choose any available participating pediatrician as your child’s primary care doctor.”

    More on these questions later. What are your thoughts? Are these questions specifically designed to elicit an emotional response or do you think are they designed to elicit a thoughtful discussion about the role of our government and our society?

    By |2015-01-21T20:11:47-04:00October 4th, 2010|Healthcare, Party Politics|11 Comments

    Remember the auto bailout?

    Remember the auto bailout? This happened a lifetime ago, back in 2008. Americans were uneasy. We were losing jobs at the rate over 500,000 per month. We shouldn’t, we couldn’t get into the auto industry. Well, that was then. Now, what’s it looking like in the auto industry?

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    From Political Animal:

    As we’ve been talking about over the last couple of days, President Obama’s decision to rescue American auto manufacturers looks awfully good with the benefit of hindsight. Republicans were apoplectic at the time, but more than a year later, we now know the GOP was wrong and the Obama White House was right.

    The more amusing angle, however, is watching Republicans scramble to justify their enormous mistake. At a moment of crisis, and with the GOP’s credibility on the line, Republicans made the wrong call — but with a little revisionist history, they’re hoping you won’t notice.

    Early last year, as this clip helps make clear, the GOP saw the bailout of the auto industry as a policy that wouldn’t, and quite literally couldn’t, work. It was deemed wholly unacceptable for practical reasons (it would waste money and the industry would fail anyway) and for ideological reasons (it was “Marxism” in practice). Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) proclaimed Obama’s actions “truly breathtaking” and said the government ownership roles at Chrysler and GM “should send a chill through all Americans who believe in free enterprise.”

    Now that this same policy has been deemed an unqualified success, most Republicans are biting their tongue, embarrassed about having been wrong once again. But some GOP officials are nevertheless still talking — and taking partial credit for the policy they perceived as the end of American capitalism.

    “The ideas [Republicans] laid out there were followed through,” Corker told the Washington Post. “I take some pleasure out of helping make that contribution.”

    Got that? Corker hated the policy last year — it offended his notion of how the government should operate on a fundamental level — but now that it worked, and the evidence is clear that Obama was right, he wants the public to think the president succeeded thanks to the Republican “contributions” to the policy.

    This is not only a reminder of just how shameless this crowd really is, it’s a reminder how fortunate America was that Republicans weren’t calling the shots when the pressure was on.

    By |2010-08-01T21:42:42-04:00August 1st, 2010|Business, Economy, Obama administration, Rachel Maddow Show|Comments Off on Remember the auto bailout?
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