published Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Budget Battle

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about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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blackwater48 said...

Clay, you forgot the Tea Bagger with a chain saw.

February 19, 2011 at 1:06 a.m.
hambone said...

Typical!

One wants to put the budget to work.

The other wants to play games with it!

February 19, 2011 at 1:34 a.m.
Clara said...

I rather like the idea of pulling in all the military bases we have in foreign countries and tending to our own business. We sure didn't help even our multi-national businesses. Remember the oil fields going up, and our hotels bombed down and the thousands of innocents killed in useless wars.

I would definitely reduce the bureaucracy and the redundant government departments.

Look at the useful stuff the CCC did if you want people to work.

The ACE built us a beautiful lake, which is now a toxic waste dump with mercury and other chemicals after 30-40 years, and wants to permit uranium mining with more toxic waste draining into it. It was built for flood control and recreation. The claim is the toxic waste was there but just became evident.

What about Health and Human Services? Even the Agriculture Dept. has departments that overlap.

I invite you to walk through Agriculture's halls during business hours.

What does the Labor Dept. do?

There are probably overlaps and redundancy in ALL the government departments whose heads increase their workforce to gain a larger slice of the budget.

February 19, 2011 at 1:56 a.m.
canarysong said...

Or.....

Democrats want the 'budget horse' to be put to work to benefit the common person - jobs programs, health care, etc.- and republicans want the 'budget horse' to serve the interests of the very rich who are the only ones that can afford to play polo.

February 19, 2011 at 2:05 a.m.
canarysong said...

Clara;

Sorry you are sick (and still awake). If I didn't live 2000 miles away I would bring you chicken soup! Hope you feel better soon.

February 19, 2011 at 2:11 a.m.
fairmon said...

Clara,

You are correct. I have walked through and dealt with many government bureaucracies. The over lap and waste are so evident I wish everyone had an opportunity to observe it. The budget process is spend your allocation for the year and justify more for the next year. The department heads all want to grow their department and add people. Some could be abolished with no adverse impact on the country and others could and should be drastically reduced.

It is naive to think either party has a grasp of where the money goes, where the inefficiencies and waste are. Plastic face Pelosi and now boo hoo Bahner can't do anything with the "budget horse", they don't even know which is the working end. They both make me sick. They think it is the horse manure they cover us with that is important.

Canarysong and those that insist the government can provide employment and the "be all for all" without creating an environment where businesses grow and produce competitively priced American made products seem to think there is an endless supply of money for the government to spend. They are like a young kid that thinks all mom or dad has to do for money is go to the teller machine and get it. they never question how the money gets in the machine. They would support a process where if their account was empty just get some from some else's account, we must share you know.

The myth or spin that one party is for the working class and the other for the wealthy is horse manure. Both are only interested in what gets votes for their party. They support reduced spending in districts other than their own and those entities affected by the committee they are a member of.

February 19, 2011 at 5:49 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

What about our budgets? Taxes shrink our budgets, inflation shrinks our budgets, borrowing shrinks our childrens' budgets, all to pay bureaucrats who get more than the average American, not by selling us what we want--as Bill Gates got his money--but by harassing us and eating out our substance.

Remember the Jonathan Gurwitz column about Obama's SOSU addresses promising to cut wasteful spending, veto earmarks, etc? Our President has been gaming budget words since inauguration day. By "cut spending," the new GOP actually means "cut spending," not reduce growth while squealing like a stuck hog.

February 19, 2011 at 6:33 a.m.
canarysong said...

harp3339;

Suggesting that some funds be allocated to jobs creation during a time of economic crisis is hardly irresponsible. The CCC to which Clara referred was one such program that put Americans to work during the great depression. This not only gave some of the unemployed a temporary lifeline but left us with a number of important projects from which we still benefit all these decades later. I'm sure you have used some of these yourself.

In my post yesterday I suggested that some of the 250 BILLION that is spent each year to maintain our military bases abroad might better be spent domestically to create jobs that rebuild our dangerously dilapidated infrastructure, improve mass transit, and transition to sustainable alternative energy sources. Indeed, some highly respected economists have suggested that such a focus on 'green technology' would be our best chance for reviving our economy and regaining some ground in a CHANGING global economy.

I'm not suggesting that money simply be pulled out of a hat, but that money already being spent might be MOVED where it would do much more good. With economic recovery being stagnant, it makes sense to put everything on the table, think outside the box, and try to come up with new and innovative solutions to the tough problems facing us.

I am a small business owner myself and if my profits are down for an extended period, I have to re-evaluate what I am doing and consider trying a different approach. Certainly our policies of the last decade or so have not worked; we did not arrive at this point overnight. We need to summon that spirit of innovation that once made our country into a world leader in science, industry, technology, and business. We need to redirect our focus in order to remain competitive in a rapidly changing world. We have the resources to do it; we must use them creatively and wisely.

February 19, 2011 at 7:28 a.m.
alprova said...

AndrewLohr wrote: "...as Bill Gates got his money--but by harassing us and eating out our substance."


What....the.....flip?

February 19, 2011 at 7:52 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

The GOP just proposed cutting Americorps. That's hardly in the right direction. Obama had just increased its size. Americorps workers get paid a bare subsistence living (they qualify for food stamps) and contribute to inner city schools and communities 7 days per week. I doubt they save much by removing the program, but some conservatives called it "liberal brainwashing", so of course it went first.

Cut waste first. In all areas.

February 19, 2011 at 8:02 a.m.
Francis said...

another piece of manure by bennett.

this cartoon is simply democrat party propaganda to push the myth that the democrat party is for the working class and the republican for the rich.

it may make the liberals on this forum happy, which i think that's what he's aiming for, but it contributes nothing.

both the republican party and the democrat party have to answer for the corruption and waste in governement. but, it's becoming quite clear that the new crop of republicans, like scott walker and chris christie are a new breed who respect the tax payer and their hard work.

what's happening in wisconsin demonstrates that the democrats like the way it is and will do nothing to change it, while the new republicans, who take their role seriously as stewards of tax payer dollars, want to clean house.

these new republicans have evolved, while the democrats just want to con- tinue to pander to parasites who feel they're entitled.

obama, the irresponible jackass that he is, will continue to push the lie that republicans want to get rid of unions so things will return to the way it was before unions. only a literal dumb ass would believe that and only a dema- gogue, like obama, would push it.

obama isn't capable of taking the high road...he's just a shakedown artist who gets his way through threats and intimidation.

only a fool would believe america will have compassion for a bunch of very well paid and overstuffed entitlists having a tantrum because they can't get everything their way.

February 19, 2011 at 8:26 a.m.
khargis said...

it's nice of clay to show us that closed-minded partisanship can also come from the left

February 19, 2011 at 8:41 a.m.
fairmon said...

canary,

I am familiar with the CCC and WPA of that era. I am not aware of anything like that being active or proposed. I see nothing such as community service or assistance to charities by those healthy and able to work but receiving welfare from several sources.

I agree on the need to be creative and innovative I just don't see either party doing it. I agree the military industrial complex is a black hole sucking up more money than is needed for defense. We still invent a lot of improved and new products but we don't create a business environment that encourages producing them in America. California may be the worst state for destroying the ability of a company to be competitive in the U.S. or world markets. Do you have several employees in your business? Does your product or service prices reflect all the taxes you pay?

I think the whole 11,000 plus pages of tax code should be canned and replaced with a simple post card filing. The most innovative and fair way would be to pass the fair tax bill held in committee to die. The wealthy and compromised politicians will make sure it never gets to congress for a debate and a vote.

We have the ability to be energy independent but government prohibits it and fails to encourage private industry to pursue it. There are other examples of government intervention having adverse economic consequences for no good reason.

February 19, 2011 at 8:56 a.m.
Clara said...

Thank you much for your concern Blackwater and CanarySong.

Dr. gave me a weeks worth of antibiotic after a culture, so I haven't a virus. All kinds of weird things turn up in old age. I remember my mother catching mumps while in the hospital. She was 82 at the time. This last hospital visit is the least of my health concerns. Medications are scary though. You should read the warnings on my prescriptions, as if I didn't have enough on my plate dealing with the diagnosises. Spelling? C:-)

February 19, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
librul said...

Get out your pitchforks and torches ...

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27513.htm

February 19, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
Francis said...

yeah, librul...and march right for the white house.

February 19, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
Clara said...

librul,

That was some article. Who sponsors the site?

Guess i'll look it up and then go back to bed.

POO

February 19, 2011 at 10:08 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Wit a minute! This shows a Democrat ready to go to work. That's the party of the poor and downtrodden, I mean lazy and illegal welfare recipients who choose not to work. Better have their only true advocate, the gullible Clay, draw that right and repost it.

February 19, 2011 at 10:08 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Canarysong wrote, "With economic recovery being stagnant, it makes sense to put everything on the table, think outside the box, and try to come up with new and innovative solutions to the tough problems facing us."

It's a brave new world folks. The economic recovery is better than stagnant and actually seems to be improving, not that many people seem to be noticing.

For years, Middle Eastern autocrats could remain in power by controlling radio, TV, and newspapers. Great plan until the internet came along. We need innovative thinking and the willingness to embrace radical economic ideas.

But as long as we have two parties constantly battling each other in a political farce with the same old plot run in a continuous loop, the interests of the Country will always come second. Sometimes third.

I blast republicans more often because they are so proud to be the whores of Corporate America, but now democrats are letting them frame the argument.

Wisconsin is the latest example. A republican governor takes office, passes tax cuts for his cronies, and then tries to gut the Unions that always support democrats. Is that really putting the people of Wisconsin first?

House Republicans want to eliminate programs that were created by Democrats. That's their entire strategy. Democrats don't fight for what they supposedly believe in, they just don't want the bullies to beat them up too badly.

Hey, Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

February 19, 2011 at 10:31 a.m.
Francis said...

blackwater....you're a democrat party whore.

your idea of a "radical economic idea" is pretty much the same old crap that's been tried and failed since 1917..it's called communism or socialism..

scott walker is looking really good right now...and it kills you libs.

he did great work in the city of milwaukee..that's why he was elected gov.

he ran on his record

tax cuts for cronies?...i don't think do....scott wald walker corrupt...sorrry...it's not going to fly.

obama is the poster child for waste and out of control spending...you can't cover up his record......

the people of wisconsin have spoken, blackwater..they elected scott walker.. he won....now he's trying to do his job....

squeal all you want about about both parties "battling each other"...

but right now...these new republicans at the state and federal level are the only ones whore are seriously taking action......and you just don't like it because they're republican.....be glad someone is doing it.

regarding "bullies"..those would reside in the democrat party.....as in wisconsin....they're called unions, teachers and state workers....

scott walker told obama to butt out of his state's issues.....keep it up scott ....you're fighting the ultimate bully in obama

February 19, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.
carlB said...

This pattern of taking the workers negotiating "rights" away is not new but since the days of Ronald Reagan when he started busting the Unions it has been occurring instead of having reasonable negotiations. How many people have bought into the negative PR of "hate the union and their workers" as the middle class citizens helped decrease the wage gap between the rich and the poor? As we see what is occurring in Wisconsin and other States in the "name" of "insufficient funds" The question which should be asked; Why are there insufficient funds and where has the money and the manufacturing jobs gone to? We are aware of what has occurred to this Nation's manufacturing base and the union and non union workers' jobs which have been disappearing over a long period of time. Now, after the build up of American's middle class, these middle class jobs have been disappearing and the "wage gap" has been incresing/broading. Therefore, the "Capitalist" have been successful in "busting" and reducing the number of union and non workers' manufacturing jobs as they have gone "global." It would seem that since we have lost the balance between the service jobs and the manufacturing jobs, the best solution is to rebuild our manufacturing base here in the USA for getting the balance back?

How were the "Capitalist" able to destroy most of the manufacturing union and non union workers jobs here?
The "Capitalist" shutdown their plants here and moved them to the lowest total cost countries for getting their goods manufactured. Apparently since the PR for "hating the unions" had worked the US consumers helped the "global corporate monopolies" to develop to the point of not being able to buy goods made in the USA?
Since the "service workers jobs in Wisconsin and other states were needed here in the USA, their jobs could not be done away with and shipped to the low labor cost in the lower monetary value countries, as the manufacturing jobs have been done. These newly elected Republican Governors are now trying to "bust" the unions of these service workers by taking away the negotiating/bargaining rights of everybody leaving each individual standing alone, while demanding a sudden too high of a percentage from them in helping pay for their benefits. Let us not forget the discussion of the "race to the bottom" condition being created by the "Capitalist" and the broadened wage gap occurring. Are the richer people picking up the void left by the lost middle class income of the manufacturing workers in this "global economy"? It would appear NOT?

February 19, 2011 at 11:11 a.m.

blackwater48 wrote: "Hey, Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?"

One month. I hope you're kidding.

It's a least clear so far that you and I won't be paying the salaries for the new jobs (Obama's failed solution to unemployment.)

February 19, 2011 at 11:18 a.m.
Sailorman said...

There are plenty of jobs. You're just not looking in the right place.

"The Obama administration says the government will grow to 2.15 million employees this year, topping 2 million for the first time since President Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over”."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2...

I hear the IRS is on a hiring binge.

February 19, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.
Reardon said...

It blows my mind reading some of these comments, how there exists such a lack of clear understanding of how the free market works exponentially better than the public sector.

Some of you talk of the President proposing economic ideas as if he's Stalin himself proposing America's new 5-year plan.

And to talk of WPA and CCC as having real, substantive impact. I guess it takes 2+ generations removed to analyze the real waste of resources that it was.

February 19, 2011 at 12:05 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

WWWTW said, ""Hey, Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs? One month. I hope you're kidding."

Nope. The midterm campaign was all about jobs, jobs, jobs. Remember? It was all over the news. The first thing they were going to work on was jobs. That's why they were elected, that's what they would do when they got to Washington.

So far the 'new' House Republicans are attacking Health Care Reform, Abortion Rights, Planned Parenthood, the EPA, the SEC, Credit Card reform, and the USDA food inspectors.

Spared are oil companies like BP and Exxon that will continue receiving tax payer funded subsidies because if any industry needs our financial help it would certainly have to be the richest corporations in the history of the galaxy.

And guess what? It's all a farce. Republicans know it has no chance of passing in the Senate. They're putting on a show, tossing red meat to their base.

When asked if these proposals could cost jobs, Boehner said, "So be it."

So government jobs, like the work performed by congressmen, police, firefighters, teachers, soldiers, etc., are somehow not important, but adding a million to the unemployment roll is okay.

Seriously, Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?


Francis, I don't usually engage in name calling, but all you have is a fifth grade vocabulary so that's probably all you understand.

Calling you fascist is accurate but a waste of time because you don't know what it means. You toss around the terms fascists, communists, nazis, socialists etc. like they're the same thing. You are clueless and yet you truly believe you have something worthy to add to the discussion.

That makes you a spineless sack of crap.

February 19, 2011 at 12:33 p.m.
floridabb said...

blackwater,I like what the governer is doing in wis.,DO YOU?

February 19, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.
hambone said...

blackwater48,

DITTO!

February 19, 2011 at 12:45 p.m.
carlB said...

blackwater,I like what the governer is doing in wis.,DO YOU? Username: floridabb | On: February 19, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.


Reply to floridabb:

If you want to go along with what the Wisconsin Governor is trying to do then you must be against employees having any "rights," period?
I will not repeat what I wrote in the above post.

February 19, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.
fairmon said...

Librul,

I read your 9:35 a.m. posted link article. No one here or in the article ever names the hand full of oligarchs they think control everything. One of the richest men in America, Warren Buffet, is a democrat. He owns companies not just stock in companies. Is he one of the bad guys? Bill Gates, another most wealthy owns one of the most successful good paying companies with thousands of well paid employees, is he one of the bad guys? They both donate huge amounts of their wealth to charities and good causes. Should the government seize their wealth and spend it as the government prefers?

There was an interesting comment that successful and educated women use birth control while the uneducated, impoverished on welfare proliferate like crazy which increases our dependent society. May have some validity.

I would like to see deductions, reductions and grants for any company abolished, including the oil companies and let prices go where they will. I would like to see a corporate tax rate of about 15% instead of the advertised 35% which only half or less pay. The banks, brokers and others in the favored financial sector would go crazy if that were to happen. It won't, the financial sector is the favored investment of our wealthy members of congress, both parties.

February 19, 2011 at 1:47 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Harp, if you really want to know what's going on behind the curtain you should have come across the Koch brothers by now. I got this from an article published yesterday:

"The Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party group that is a Koch Brothers front, has put up a website and petition called www.standwithwalker.com. The website attacks all collective bargaining – not just for public employees’ unions. Americans for Prosperity is also organizing a rally tomorrow (Saturday) in Wisconsin to support Gov. Walker."

The Koch brothers. Start with Google and follow the money trail.

February 19, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.
Clara said...

OH JOY! The site by librul,

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27513.htm

also contains a link to a page that offers links to 2,194 mirror sites for Wikileaks.

Just click the heading to get to the main page.

February 19, 2011 at 2:07 p.m.
fairmon said...

carlB,

Do you have a workable solution that will encourage those capitalist that go to where they are treated best to build and produce in America? In most production operations the wages and benefits are less than 4% of the unit cost of the product. If the reason is not wages and it isn't as most companies will confirm then what is it? There is some advantage to producing what is sold in a country in that country. It seems that enabling them to produce a more competitive U.S. produced product may be a solution. If legislatively imposed cost in an American made product adds over 30% to my cost who is actually paying for those imposed cost?

February 19, 2011 at 2:19 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Blackwater48 said: "Harp, if you really want to know what's going on behind the curtain you should have come across the Koch brothers by now."

I just posted a comment to Harp3339 on our last thread involving this same issue, Blackwater48. It seems to me that one of the most important questions that we should be pondering in this country is: Why does a corporation like Koch Industries and its leadership concern itself with what is happening between citizens and their government?

Is it any of their business? Is it a legitimate role of a corporation and its leadership to interfere? It is ethical for a corporation to try to impose the personal philosophy of its corporate owners on a community? Is it fair for a corporation to use its political power and financial resources to infringe upon the rights of citizens in a community?

February 19, 2011 at 3:29 p.m.
Francis said...

blackwater...

your cheap attempt at stereotyping repbublicans and "the rich".....has bombed......

you're obsessed with proving that democrats are for the common man and republicans are for the wealthy........doesn't work...nobody buys it. "the rich" have influence in both parties....so do large corporations... so do lobbyists..........warren buffet voted for obama....george soros, that anti-american trash pours millions of his foreign money into the democrat party........

what you have in wisconsin, dumb ass, are a bunch of spoiled, rich, elitist, and taken care of for life zombies who are democrats.....who are throwing a mass temper tantrum....it's disgusting.....they , like you, are democrat party whores who care little about where their guaranteed money and lifetime security comes.. from as long as you get it.

nothing wrong with my vocabulary or ideas.....you're just a punk, like most of the union thugs, you say are being kept down by " the man"....

there's not one repubican or conservative leaning contributor on this forum who hasn't criticized the republican party....and not one, including me, who would'nt hesitate to dump them if some other better party came along....

it's dems like you....who love dividing...like obama does....that's what you do best...

liberalism is dying a painful death, blackwater... what's happening in wisconsin is doing more damage to liberalism and the democrat party than you know.

there's not sympathy out there for all those overstuffed and greedy protesters by everyone who doesn't work for a state, belong to a union or is a teacher...and that would be most people in this country...

February 19, 2011 at 3:50 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Mountainlaurel, a short while ago I noticed additional posts off Clay's last cartoon and was pleased to see you were all over the Koch involvement. I earlier mentioned on this site that all the Tea Baggers owed a great deal to the brothers Koch.

You can image how well that was received!

Anyway, riffing off your last post let me offer a link to an article which appeared yesterday in the New York Daily News:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2011/02/18/2011-02-18_wisconsin_protests_kill_the_bill_angry_public_workers_chant_at_state_capitol.html

February 19, 2011 at 3:53 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Been away producing for the economy and making jobs… Boy, I have not missed a thing here!

thebama and the democrats in Congress have been "going to work" with our tax dollars? What a friggin’ JOKE! They have been squandering money literally faster than they can print it. They are so out of control they did not even have time to draft a budget the first two years thebama was in office, while the democrats had complete “control”. Their behavior is criminal and people should be going to jail for what has gone on the last couple of years!

There is only one way you could suggest that the republicans are playing games, and that is that they are not cutting enough. $40B? $100B? $60B? Not nearly enough! That message is completely lost because bennett the retard puts the "hard working democrat" into the picture and makes this cartoon another one of his typical pieces of partisan toilet paper.

What a looser! How does someone so terminally STUPID get a job working the editorial pages of the Chattanooga Times Free Press… tells me something about the IQ of the owners of this rag.

February 19, 2011 at 3:54 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Francis, since your fifth grade vocabulary does not include the word 'debate' there is no point in trying to exchange ideas with you.

But the concept that the Republican party is for the common man is as tragically comical as your comments. Bereft of ideas, you punctuate your meandering rants with insults. Your last post, at 3:50, contained these: "dumb ass, democrat party whore, and "a punk," but I could have missed a few.

Insults like that do not make you sound intelligent. Just more proof, as if more proof were needed, that you're just a pathetic, spineless, sack of crap.

You're not fooling anyone, by the way. Many people are already on to you and they're all having a big laugh at your expense.

February 19, 2011 at 4:05 p.m.
canarysong said...

Reardon, re 12:05pm post;

The CCC programs of the 1930s have been widely hailed as successful by historians of varying political backgrounds. On what basis are you calling them a waste? I'm very curious. I hope it is based on something more substantial than the efforts by the far right to demonize FDR, who pulled the country out of the depression and set it on a course to eventual prosperity. Such rewriting of history seems a pretty transparent attempt to discredit any such efforts at dealing with the current unemployment situation.

February 19, 2011 at 4:17 p.m.

"So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system." - Milton Friedman

February 19, 2011 at 4:49 p.m.

Want to lower the decibel on partisan bickering?

"The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom." - Milton Friedman

February 19, 2011 at 5 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Blackwater48,

Thanks for the info and update. What sticks out like a sore thumb in all of this is the blatant hypocrisy, double standards and intrusiveness of corporations like Koch Industries.

On the one hand, corporations like Koch industries complain about any kind of government involvment in their businesses, but, yet, they spend bucks trying to manipulate not only the laws in this country, but what individual citizens and communities can or cannot do.

What right does a corporation like Koch Industries have to butt in and try to manipulate the amount of what any citizen can or cannot earn for a living OR what any citizen can or cannot say to their employer? If the citizen were an employee of their particular corporation, it obviously would give them the right to set a wage, but, clearly, this is not the case.

February 19, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.
fairmon said...

I am familiar with Kock Industries. The father started the privately held conglomerate. His start was in the oil business. The two brothers are now owners of Kock Industries. They have bought for cash and credit several large and declining businesses and turned them around. Their approach is to allow the managers to continue running the company with reasonable expectations of a return on their investment. I see no problem with them promoting their political views. Citizens don't have to agree or act as they suggest. No one seems to think or talk about the philanthropy comparable to Buffet's and Gate's. David Kock alone has donated 100 million to renovate the Lincoln center, 20 million to the American Museum of Natural History, 40 million to the Kettering cancer center, 10 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Are they crooks? Are they members of the few controlling the country? So what if they don't like Obama or some of the regulations imposed on them? I don't have to agree with them and don't on many issues, I don't feel threatened by the Kock brothers. I do fear the ignorance prevalent in congress.

Wisconsin; The actions taken were part of the campaign platform and people elected them so there must be significant support across the state although the media only shows the Madison madness. It is a Wisconsin problem. I am willing to let it be that if I don't have to pay for it.

Unions: They have no investment in a company, no personal investment risk, no obligation to stock holders or anyone expecting a return on their investment. They can't require an employer to agree to any new terms and conditions of employment. They can strike and do irreparable harm to the business and themselves. The trades unions are among the better and needed although some of their rules are detrimental to their own members. Employers that fail to meet regulatory requirements, especially safety and health, and mistreat workers should be union and if they continue not complying be closed.

Both political parties like a high level of unemployment. It makes unions essentially impotent regarding wages and benefits. The best way to improve wages is to have extremely low unemployment causing employers to have to pay more to attract and retain the knowledge, skill and ability they need.

Do you remember at under 5% unemployment the fast foods were adverting and paying well above the minimum wage plus benefits. It is part of the law of supply and demand. Early computer geeks were recruited and naming their own price, they are now a dime a dozen if they don't have advanced and unique skills to offer.

February 19, 2011 at 5:09 p.m.

mountainlaurel wrote:

"Is it a legitimate role of a corporation and its leadership to interfere? It is ethical for a corporation to try to impose the personal philosophy of its corporate owners on a community? Is it fair for a corporation to use its political power and financial resources to infringe upon the rights of citizens in a community?"

Large corporations are whores, just like politicians.

“AT&T, Boeing Buck Anti-Incumbent Trend in Giving to Democrats” by Jonathan D. Salant (Bloomberg Business Week, June 10, 2010) http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-06-10/at-t-boeing-buck-anti-incumbent-trend-in-giving-to-democrats.html

“While Americans may be eager to vote congressional lawmakers out of office, U.S. companies are pouring money into incumbents’ campaigns. And Democrats are the biggest beneficiaries.

“Democrats fighting to maintain control of the U.S. House are drawing funds from companies such as AT&T Inc., Boeing Co. and Honeywell International Inc. Their corporate political action committees are among the top donors to 31 Democratic incumbents seen by analysts as the most endangered this year, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.

“Corporate PACs have given the campaigns of those Democrats 14 times more money than they’ve donated to the Republican challengers in the midterm congressional elections.”


P.J. O'Rourke: "Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us."

February 19, 2011 at 5:22 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said Re. Koch Industries: "Are they members of the few controlling the country? "

I'd said when a corporation like Koch Industries tries to interfere and manipulate the amount of money a kindergarden teacher in Wisconsin is making, they are trying to control something, Harp3339. Do corporations like Koch spend money trying to interfere and be so "hands on" in regard to the employee salary/benefit amounts of their corporate peers? I don't think so.

February 19, 2011 at 5:32 p.m.
hambone said...

Francis, A terrible mind is a thing to waste!

February 19, 2011 at 5:41 p.m.
Francis said...

* you hambone......that's all the response you deserve.

there is no debating with dumb asses like you, blackwater...you don't set' the rules for this forum..it's for commentary.....liberals need to be exposed for what they are...debating and trying to change your minds is futile. liberalism is a disease....

what's happening in wisconsin right now is the largest mass tantrum in the history of the world....

we will have our way, and you unfortunate souls who do not belong to unions, or are teachers..or are state workers... will continue to subsidize our guaranteed lifestyles no matter how you're struggling, no matter how you're overtaxed and no matter how the economy is doing. find a way to get the money......who gives a crap how you do it.

i fear for scott walkers safety...there's nothing more dangerous than a spoiled brat who will stop at nothing to get his or her way..right now, madison, wisconsin is swarming with them.

those who struggled to form labor unions..who risked their lives, would be appalled and sickened by what unions have become. teachers unions are particularly sickening......or, should i call them educaTORS.

February 19, 2011 at 6:50 p.m.
trburrows said...

Insults like that do not make you sound intelligent. Just more proof, as if more proof were needed, that you're just a pathetic, spineless, sack of crap.

You're not fooling anyone, by the way. Many people are already on to you and they're all having a big laugh at your expense.

this is the perfect antidode for bw. you are so one sided that even the rank demos are laughing at you. your vocab is so elementary and your thoughts are so young and stupid the repubs are rolling with pitiful song. if you done everyone a favor and left for good no body would ask about you. bw, the true 63 year old dump asp

February 19, 2011 at 6:57 p.m.
canarysong said...

Trburrows;

Speaking of "elementary vocab", what on earth is an "antidode"? I have a hard time even forcing my computer to make mistakes like that. Do us all a favor; if you can't write, then at least turn on spell check. Jeesh!

February 19, 2011 at 7:07 p.m.
canarysong said...

Also curious about "dump asp", but I'm pretty sure I woudn't really want to know. The only person you've made look stupid is yourself, tr.

February 19, 2011 at 7:17 p.m.
fairmon said...

Mntlaourel,

You are confusing me, which I admit is not difficult or and not an accomplishment you can boast about. Do you think the Kock boys should be prohibited from supporting the governor in Wisconsin? Do they own a business in that state? I would prefer no corporation or conglomerate participate in trying to influence state politics if they don't have a business or family in the state. But, I would never condone any law preventing anyone from actively supporting or resisting any legislation. They are open about their positions and it is well known they are libertarians. I know they don't attempt to influence their employees to be libertarian. Their size prevents them from being directly involved in running any of their businesses. They endorse the principles and expectations and are aware of the performance. I have worked with some of their companies and I can assure you they may be one of the strictest in assuring compliance with all regulatory requirements whether they agree with them or not is never mentioned. Failing to know and comply is likely to result in being unemployed.

February 19, 2011 at 7:49 p.m.
trburrows said...

Also curious about "dump asp", but I'm pretty sure I woudn't really want to know. The only person you've made look stupid is yourself, tr.

now the same can be said of you. you and bw should lay side by side.

February 19, 2011 at 7:54 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

TR, any original thoughts? I am wondering how you are related to Francis.

Anyway, yes, I did insult Francis because I have tried for months to reason with him to no avail. When he made outrageous claims I ask him for proof to no avail. Like when I asked you to provide a link or a source to a claim you made.

All I get in return is an, 'everybody knows it,' or another insult. Since I am yet still trying to communicate, I figured an insult was the only language left. I was weak. I sank to your level.

Again, any original thoughts? Would like to call me a liar again?

February 19, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.
trburrows said...

look, you libs can hollar all you want. truth of the matter is, we repubs dont like you bleeders living off our money. and you dems love to live off our money. thats the major problem. we believe in making it on our own and you dont. you want to pool all money that every human makes into a pot and devide it up equally. well guess what, stalin and lenin and hitler did that and it is called communisum. here is what we think, you dont work, you dont eat. you dont work, you dont complain. you dont work, shut the ....up. this is what we did untill the 1920's and wpa and soup lines. if you get fed and clothed without working you will do it forever. and so will you CHILDREN.

February 19, 2011 at 8:16 p.m.
canarysong said...

tr;

Seriously, I thought that I could guess what you were going for, but unless your keyboard is different than mine it couldn't be a slip. Maybe I'm just not as well versed in crude epitaphs. I'm glad for that!

February 19, 2011 at 8:17 p.m.
trburrows said...

can so

maybe you should stay on the sidelines.

February 19, 2011 at 8:29 p.m.

trburrows - I mean blackwater48 wrote:

"But as long as we have two parties constantly battling each other in a political farce with the same old plot run in a continuous loop, the interests of the Country will always come second. Sometimes third."

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty. – Thomas Jefferson

February 19, 2011 at 8:44 p.m.
canarysong said...

tr;

sigh......

Go read a book,...PLEASE!

Hitler was not a communist. Hitler did not divide up the wealth equally. He did steal property from Jews and others that he sent to the death camps, but he certainly didn't distribute it to the poor!

As far as your repeated accusations that liberals are slackers wanting to sponge off of the system, I started working at 15, worked my way through college and graduate studies while maintaining high grades, raised great children, and have done volunteer work (sometimes up to 60 hours in a week!) for my entire adult life. I have pushed myself to my limit not only for the benefit of myself and my family, but for the common good as well. I am hardly unique among the liberals that I have known, and I'm sure that other liberals on this forum have similar stories.

It seems that the only way that you can feel better about yourself is to demonize everyone who thinks differently. .....Sad, really.

You should really stop before you incoherently dig yourself deeper.

February 19, 2011 at 8:47 p.m.

canarysong,

Why should blackwater - I mean trburroughs want to stop posting? He makes you "libs" look really good. What would you guys do without strawmen like Francis and him?

February 19, 2011 at 9:04 p.m.
fairmon said...

Canarysong,

Please I can match your efforts in pursuing independence from no in door plumbing and growing what we ate. I can point to just as many conservatives and independents that contribute and do volunteer work. I know one habitat group that would all be labeled as conservatives when it comes to the government created dependents.

I will compare my donations to charity on a percentage basis with anyone but rest assured I resent the government taking from me and wastefully distributing it. Charity, education, health care and incarceration are and should be state issues.

February 19, 2011 at 9:07 p.m.
trburrows said...

well

my last 2 posts have been deleted before they were posted. so i'll bid you libs ado since you cannot stand to have the other side on here with their opinion. good bye clay, you worthless bruce plante wantabe

February 19, 2011 at 9:12 p.m.
canarysong said...

harp3339;

That is exactly what I would expect of you, to be hard-working, honest, and generous. I have conservative friends who have given much of themselves to help others and I have a lot of respect for them.

Virtue, or vice, is not unique to any political party.

We also grew much of what we ate when I was growing up. I didn't appreciate what a blessing that was until many years later

February 19, 2011 at 9:23 p.m.

outstanding bw - I mean trburroughs - I mean francis.

Impressive amount of effort to make liberalism (sic) appear intelligent.

What the "crap?"

Outsmarting mountainlaurel the other day should have been a dead give-away. And kudos to Clay on Thursday's set-up. He deserves a couple of rounds on the house.

February 19, 2011 at 9:40 p.m.
sd said...

trburrows wrote, "well guess what, stalin and lenin and hitler did that and it is called communisum."

Godwin's law strikes again. Alright, everyone, pack it up and go home. Nothing to see here.

February 19, 2011 at 9:44 p.m.

I'm trying to decide which of the three (f,trb,or bw) is the biggest "sack of crap."

I see that the guy in the overalls is heading to the end of the horse where they get their arguments about issues like the federal budget.

February 19, 2011 at 10:47 p.m.
acerigger said...

"A number of the big business interests standing with Walker are beneficiaries of his administration’s tax giveaways. But the greatest ally to Walker is the dirty energy company Koch Industries. In response to the growing protests in Madison, Koch fronts are busing in Tea Party protesters to support Walker and his union-busting campaign. Last night, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz reported on the involvement of Club for Growth and the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity in the pro-Walker protest scheduled tomorrow. Koch Industries is a major player in Wisconsin: Koch owns a coal company subsidiary with facilities in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Ashland and Sheboygan; six timber plants throughout the state; and a large network of pipelines in Wisconsin. While Koch controls much of the infrastructure in the state, they have laid off workers to boost profits. At a time when Koch Industries owners David and Charles Koch awarded themselves an extra $11 billion of income from the company, Koch slashed jobs at their Green Bay plant: Koch Industries was one of the biggest contributors to Walker’s gubernatorial campaign, funneling $43,000 over the course of last year. In return, Koch front groups are closely guiding the Walker agenda. The American Legislative Exchange Council, another Koch-funded group, advised Walker and the GOP legislature on its anti-labor legislation and its first corporate tax cuts.

According to the EPA, Koch businesses are huge polluters, emitting thousands of pounds of toxic pollutants. As soon as he got into office Walker started cutting environmental regulations and appointed a Republican known for her disregard for environmental regulations to lead the Department of Natural Resources. In addition, Walker has stated his opposition to clean energy jobs policies that might draw workers away from Koch-owned interests. "(ht;think progress)

February 19, 2011 at 11:11 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: You are confusing me, which I admit is not difficult or and not an accomplishment you can boast about. . . Do you think the Kock boys should be prohibited from supporting the governor in Wisconsin? . . . They are open about their positions and it is well known they are libertarians.”

Sorry, if I’ve somehow contributed to your confusion, Harp3339. It certainly wasn’t intentional, and on top this, I’m confused as to what has confused you. [grin]

As to what is happening in Wisconsin, I believe the most important issue involves the freedom of speech rights of these public employees. A governor takes an oath to uphold the constitution and I believe he/she is obligated to respect the first amendment rights of every citizen. Congress certainly does not have the right to violate a citizen’s first amendment rights, and I believe the same applies to a governor in the State of Wisconsin and/or any other State:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

As for Koch Industries and its owners, I believe these brothers are more like right wing corporatist zealots than libertarians. In fact, I think most libertarians refer to them as corporatists or oligarchs and have pretty much concluded that the real ambition of the Koch brothers is power and the establishment of a Republican totalitarian state or as Lew Rockwell calls it a “facist regime.”

The fact that the leaders of a corporation like Koch industries are using their power, influence and financial resources to infringe upon the first amendment rights of citizens in this country is something I think we should addressing as a nation - it's dangerous and out of line.

February 19, 2011 at 11:48 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

It seems that the Republicans are trying to wipe out those in poverty. After all, they don't "contribute" to corporate welfare. If they get rid of the moochers, then they can raise taxes on the middle class, pay off their corporate sponsors by relaxing any regulatory laws, and sit up on the Hill and reel in more money.

If the law said that the Congress would be the first ones laid off if the government shut down, I bet that things would be a lot different.

February 20, 2011 at 12:16 a.m.
fairmon said...

Mntlaurel,

I haven't seen anything that would suggest people should not assemble, protest or not be allowed to dissent. How are their fist amendment rights being infringed upon? The Kock brothers are citizens and have the same first amendment rights as other citizens. How would you propose the nation address the issue of those with financial resources donating to and supporting the views of those they agree with?

I made a donation to Nancy Pelosi's opponent in the last election, was I wrong in doing that? Did I infringe on someones first amendment rights by financially supporting someone in another state? I personally believe she may be the most dangerous office holder in history but apparently those in her district don't agree. The system makes it difficult to unseat an incumbent but that is the way it works and changing anything can have unintended consequences.

Would you support stifling George Soros who is much more active in political matters than essentially any wealthy individual. He became wealthy short selling the British currency and he is a short seller of the dollar which is further increasing his billions of wealth.

February 20, 2011 at 6:14 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: “How are their fist amendment rights being infringed upon?”

Because the governor of Wisconsin is trying to establish a law prohibing this particular group of people from speaking and negotiating collectively with the state in regard to their salaries and working conditions. Do you think a governor has the right to establish such a repressive law?

I know from reading your posts that you have sort of a negative view of public employees, and have suggested they are overpaid compared to the private sector, but this does not appear to be the case in Wisconsin. A number of commentators have pointed out that Wisconsin public employees earn 4.8% less in total compensation than comparable private sector workers.

I simply can’t buy into your argument that the Koch brothers are just citizens who are expressing their first amendment rights. When I look at some their activities and the causes they're promoting, I have to agree with the libertarian description in that the Koch brothers are a pair of corportist oligarchs whose real ambition is to establish a “facist regime.” Indeed, if they were leaders of some foreign country, I think the U.S. would have cause to declare war on this destructive duo.

February 20, 2011 at 9:02 a.m.
fairmon said...

If they are so destructive and doing something illegal then why is the government not declaring war in some manner on them? I am thinking your paranoia may be different but like the sign painter in the 'toon. Your paranoia seems to be those big old corporations are plotting against us. Have you ever worked closely with a CEO of a huge international corporation? Have you ever met and talked to one? Have you ever heard a talk by or interview with David or Charlie Kock? I would bet a king's ransom if you had a casual dinner with either of them one evening you would have a totally different view.

People can only be influenced if they want to be or allow someone to persuade them. Unfortunately some people believe those publications by the check out are the gospel truth. Others are just as gullible to regular media sensationalism about wealthy people.

February 20, 2011 at 6:06 p.m.
fairmon said...

Mntlaurel,

Obviously those commentators did not review a valid wage survey of the metropolitan supply area they were talking about. The validated surveys are often at a cost and it takes more time than most reporters would allocate to analyze the data. Some commentators say they are paid more and some even reported they made over $85,000 in wages and benefits annually. I take those and your sources with a grain of salt, both are more than likely wrong.

Yes I do think the governor has and should have a right to take the action he is taking. I see nothing wrong with the teachers negotiating with the mayors in the locations in which they work. Who represents the tax payer when public employees make demands that are beyond what people are willing to pay. I don't think public employees should be allowed to have unions. If someone wants to work where there is a union they should work in the private sector for a company that is unionized.

It sounds like you are saying those protesting the governors actions are justified in their assembling and hell raising but those supporting his actions should not bring in people to show support? That doesn't sound fair.

February 20, 2011 at 6:25 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: "Obviously those commentators did not review a valid wage survey of the metropolitan supply area they were talking about. The validated surveys are often at a cost and it takes more time than most reporters would allocate to analyze the data."

Harp3339,

The wage info that I posted in regard to the Wisconsin private sector VS public employees came from the Economic Policy Institute in Washington D.C., and I believe the info IS accurate.

“When we compare apples to apples, we find that Wisconsin public employees earn 4.8% less in total compensation than comparable private sector workers. The comparisons—controlling for education, experience, hours of work, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and disability—demonstrate that full-time state and local public employees earn lower wages and receive less in total compensation (including all benefits) than comparable private sector employees."

http://www.epi.org/page/-/old/policy/EPI_PolicyMemorandum_173.pdf

February 20, 2011 at 8:55 p.m.
fairmon said...

mntlaurel,

Your faith in the data source exceeds mine. Do you understand the adjustments or what you stated as controlling. But, if it is accurate why do those in the public sector not seek employment in the private sector. Should enough do that then the public sector would have to bid more for their services to obtain the necessary staffing. You are getting close to justifying my position that public education systems are no longer valid or necessary. The current system evolved over time from the old one room community school where the three "Rs" were the basic curriculum.

A voucher system that would enable parents/students to select the education source based on their own criteria would work much better. It would also require those in the profession to accept compensation consistent with what they have to offer in terms of knowledge, skill and ability without incompetence being protected by tenure and unions. It would require reasonable local and state regulations which may limit the amount per student that could be spent or charged to the student.

February 21, 2011 at 1:45 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339,

You’ve lost credibility with me on this. There is lots of evidence showing that the public employees in Wisconsin earn less in total compensation than private sector workers. The only people that seem to be saying something different are individuals like Tim Phillips who have no credibility with ethical and fair-minded people. The man is a sleaze bag who slings dirt for a living.

I also noted today that Wisconsin’s Governor Walker has been less than honest about the status of that pension fund for Wisconsin’s public employees:

"WASHINGTON -- While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has painted a dire picture of his state's pension obligations, Wisconsin's pension fund for public employees is among the nation's strongest, according to a report by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

The Pew report, issued last year, concluded that Wisconsin is a "national leader in managing its long-term liabilities for both pension and retiree health care." Walker has cited the fund's lack of sustainability as grounds for his plan to revoke collective bargaining rights for state employees. . .

. . . Wisconsin pension fund is simply not in fiscal trouble. Its managers weren't burned by subprime mortgage assets or mortgage-backed securities as the housing bubble collapsed. The fund also relies on an automated dividend system, which pays out benefits in years the system is making gains while restricting payouts in years when it takes losses. And while the pension fund had a rough year during 2008 due to stock market losses, it remains robust, both in terms of fundamental financial stability and in comparison to other state pension programs.

According to the Pew study, Wisconsin had about $77 billion in total pension liabilities in 2008. But according to that same Pew study, those liabilities were 99.67 percent "funded," giving Wisconsin one of the four-highest of such ratios in the nation. Other states had funding ratios as low as 54 percent. For comparison, expert analysts and the Government Accountability Office consider an 80 percent level to be a good benchmark for pension fund stability, while Fitch Ratings considers 70 percent adequate. . .

According to the Wisconsin pension fund's own 2010 annual report, the system had $69.1 billion in total assets at June 30, 2010, while paying out $3.7 billion in benefits over the course of the previous year. The value of those assets has since risen. According to Dave Stella, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, the retirement system's assets were worth $79.8 billion at the end of last month. The most recent solvency test for the fund was conducted for the fund's operations at Dec. 31, 2009. At the time, the funding ratio was 99.8 percent. The next solvency test is scheduled for June of this year."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/22/wisconsin-pension-fund-among-healthiest-us_n_826709.html

February 22, 2011 at 10:37 p.m.
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