Why I Have Been Cheering For a Government Shutdown

According to a 2006 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median family income in the United States of America is $56,194.  Monthly, that works out to be $4,682.83 in gross income per family.  That’s $4,682.83 for everything from a mortgage or rent payment to educational costs to food for the kids.

A family that finds a way to spend less than that $4,682.83 per month on essentials might have some room for fun stuff; putting some of that money away, before or after allowing for some family fun, will allow for financial security and freedom in years to come.  A family that spends more than that $4,682.83 per month, however, will quickly find themselves on the road to financial ruin.  This much is obvious, or so you would think.

If the federal government were an average American family, pulling in $4,682.83 per month, last month that federal “family” spent $38,399.23.  At that pace, the federal “family” will have spent $460,790.80 by year’s end.  That’s $460,790.80 in spending, and only $56,194 in income.

Financial ruin?  Try financial catastrophe.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what awaits our nation as a whole.  According to the U.S. Treasury’s final statement for the month of March, the federal government received $128.179 billion in net federal tax revenue while paying out a total of $1.0528 trillion in federal expenses.  As the folks at CNSNews pointed out in an attention-grabbing headline, dividing the net federal tax revenue into the federal expenses reveals that, in March, the U.S. Government Spent More Than Eight Times its Monthly Revenue.

Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the Obama administration’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, was quoted by CNSNews as being “really concerned.”

“I’m really concerned,” Bowles told the committee last month. “I think we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. A lot of us sitting in this room didn’t see this last crisis as it came upon us. But this one is really easy to see. The fiscal path we are on today is simply not sustainable.

“This debt and these deficits that we are incurring on an annual basis are like a cancer and they are truly going to destroy this country from within unless we have the common sense to do something about it,” said Bowles.

“I used to say that I got into this thing for my grandchildren,” Bowles said. “I have eight grandchildren under five years old. I’ll have one more in a week. And my life is wonderful and it is wild. But this problem is going to happen long before my grandchildren grow up.

“This problem is going to happen, like the former chairman of the Fed said, or the Moody’s said, this is a problem we’re going to have to face up,” he said. “It may be two years, you know, maybe a little less, maybe a little more. But if our bankers over there in Asia begin to believe that we’re not going to be solid on our debt, that we’re not going to be able to meet our obligations, just stop and think for a minute what happens if they just stop buying our debt.

“What happens to interest rates?” asked Bowles. “And what happens to the U.S. economy? The markets will absolutely devastate us if we don’t step up to this problem. The problem is real, the solutions are painful, and we have to act.”

This morning, I caught Jason Chaffetz, the freshman GOP Congressman from Utah, on Fox & Friends.  I was scrambling to make coffee (sleep, with a newborn in the house, is causing me to run through my coffee stores like Charlie Sheen through a briefcase of cocaine), dress a four-year-old, put on cowboy boots, transfer some money between paltry savings and paltry checking, and shovel a peanut butter-covered english muffin into my mouth, but I’m pretty sure I heard Rep. Chaffetz put his foot down when it comes to the ongoing debate over budget cuts on Capitol Hill.

The highlights from that interview:  Republicans were elected on the promise of cutting $100 billion from the budget.  President Barack Obama and the Democrats want to cut nothing.  House Majority Leader John Boehner has compromised at this point on $65 billion in cuts.  His Democrat counterparts are claiming that a deal has been made, and $33 billion will be excised from the budget.  Congressman Chaffetz said that under no circumstances would $33 billion be enough.  “The federal government is spending $4 billion each day,” Chaffetz said, noting further that the more freshman Republicans involved in the budget cutting process, the better.

I happen to agree with another freshman Republican making waves in Washington.  On February 7, Sen. Rand Paul wrote in The Wall Street Journal that he could cut $500 billion and still keep 85 percent of government funding — without touching Social Security or Medicare.  For details as to where the cuts would be made, read the op-ed by clicking HERE.  For those who believe that it cannot or should not be done, read the following excerpt:

For those who take issue with any of the spending cuts I have proposed, I have two requests:

First, if you believe a particular program should be exempt from these cuts, I challenge you to find another place in the budget where the same amount can feasibly be cut and we can replace it.

Second, consider this: Is any particular program, whatever its merits, worth borrowing billions of dollars from foreign nations to finance programs that could be administered better at the state and local level, or even taken over by the private sector?

A real discussion about the budget must begin now—our economy cannot wait any longer. For 19 months, unemployment has hovered over 9%. After a nearly $1 trillion government stimulus and $2 trillion in Federal Reserve stimulus, the Washington establishment still believes that we can solve this problem with more federal spending and the printing of more money.

That’s ridiculous, and the American people have had enough.

Cutting $100 billion is a start.  Cutting any less–ANY less–is downright laughable.  The way I look at it, as we are motoring toward a government shutdown and each political party is positing why the other party wants it more, I challenge you to tell me why a government shutdown would be a bad thing.  Essential government services would be maintained; it’s the rampant frivolity is what would stop.

Look at it this way — if a typical American family finds that it is spending $33,716.40 more than it is taking in, it’s time to cut up the credit cards, start selling things, and find any way possible to increase revenue.  A complete and total shutdown is the ONLY solution.

Following that shutdown, the next step would be to sit down, make some difficult decisions, and set forth a brand new budget that begins the slow road back to solvency.  Thankfully, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan will be rolling out a 2012 budget tomorrow.  Politico has some highlights:

Ryan will roll out a blueprint Tuesday that could slash up to $6 trillion in the next 10 years from spending, reforms and cuts entitlements, and overhauls sections of the tax code. Never mind that Ryan’s ambitious vision has no chance of passing the Democratic Senate — the 2012 budget is likely to provide Republicans with a measure of unity they’ve been lacking as they try to wrap up work on the stalled 2011 spending plan.

The Republican budget is expected to include several major proposals: reduction of the corporate tax rate to 25 percent; elimination of corporate tax loopholes; spending cuts with enforceable caps; reforms to “save critical health and retirement programs”; health reform that “repeals and defunds the president’s health care law”; and a promise to restore “America’s exceptional promise,” according to GOP aides, lawmakers and a draft summary of the budget.

Sources said Ryan plans to lower spending below 2008 levels, a dramatic cutback. There was discussion about lowering to 2006 levels, but that won’t make it into the budget. Those huge cuts were suggested in January by Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) but received little support at the time.

Other plans include block grants for Medicaid, a proposal that many governors of both parties prefer, as it shifts control to the states. Those on Medicare would get to choose among competing private insurance plans — which advocates have described as “premium support.” The budget is also expected to kill funding for the health care law, likely by stopping the expansion of Medicaid and subsidies for private health insurance.

As Politico points out, the plan has little to no chance of passing a Senate held by Democrats and run by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  However, unveiling the plan allows for Republicans to point out not only that the Democrats made the purely political decision to refrain from issuing budget at all out of concerns for any effect on last year’s mid-term elections, but to get on the record showing that they are aware of our nation’s tenuous financial condition, and prepared to make the hard decisions and sacrifices necessary to reverse the momentum and halt the inevitable catastrophe.

I like what Jason Chaffetz had to say about involving more GOP freshmen in the process.  Freshmen representatives are inherently more in touch with the constituency they themselves were a part of only a year ago, and moving forward in the right direction will require an understanding of what American families are facing, and what American families are capable of.

For now, cutting the cards and shutting down the spending factory might be a good start.  Let’s stop approaching the looming shutdown as though it is somehow a bad thing.

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Comments

  1. Randy Wills says:

    Amen, amen, amen, brother Jeff. You’re a wise man.

    Look, the problem is NOT going to be solved through a process dependent on reason and fact. You, and others like you, have painted the picture as clearly as humanly possible and yet there remains approximately 50% of our population which refuses to recognize the obvious, so, as far as I’m concerned, it’s just a matter of time until the system collapses under the weight of its own intractability, and I say the sooner the better. The hole just keeps getting deeper, day-by-day, so I urge the Repubican freshmen to dig in and let destiny run its course.

    Why in the world would we want to go “halfway” with those oppossed to fiscal sanity if all that means is the we join hands and go over the clif together a year from now rather than tomorrow? I don’t get what we’re afraid of by standing firm.

    It may be that the outcome of a government shutdown will be four more years of an Obama administration, and, if so, it’s likely that we will continue on the same path until the inevitable economic collapse happens, but so be it. I am firmly convinced that nothing less than a major – and I mean BIG major – socio/economic upheaval will reset our national priorities and place us on a sustainable path. Such a confrontation is what our educational system has been laying the groundwork for and, in the process, put us on an inexorably destructive course which will result in either the death of free-market capitalism or collectivism. One or the other. They cannot coexist in a peaceful relationship.

    So I say, bring it to a head while we – and our children and their children – still have a chance to recover, because the demographic trend makes it clear that time is not on our side.

    Randy

  2. Gail B. says:

    I am all for the government to shut down. It harms America more for it not to shut down, particularly with Congress in session!

  3. Kevin says:

    My employer was forced to return to 2006 staffing and budget figures, which amounts to a 28% reduction in both areas. The company is doing better, posting marginal profits (1-3%). We have funds for new equipment and much needed remodeling. Even though the cutback seemed devastating, in retrospect, we have learned how to do business more wisely. I believe this should be the goal of the Congress and the Senate of the United States. They need a lesson on how to conduct their business more wisely.

  4. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Great comment, Kevin.

  5. Bob Upton says:

    A Tale of Two Meltdowns:

    Japan’s tragic situation, caused by an unavoidable natural disaster, followed by the threat of nuclear meltdown, raises cries from the left to immediately halt nuclear power production worldwide. America’s tragic situation, caused by a series of avoidable man-made fiscal disasters, followed by the threat of monumental financial meltdown, raises cries from the left to stay the course?!

    Japan’s workers have pledged their efforts and their lives, if need be, to save their county and are hailed by the media as heroes. America’s newly elected have pledged their efforts and their political lives if need be, to save their country and are labeled as uncaring and heartless by the media.

    Japan’s tragedy might have been avoided with better preparedness planning. America’s tragedy would have been avoided were it not for those whose plan seems to be “to fundamentally change America”.

    Americans need to rally to our principles and be willing to sacrifice some before some are forced to consider sacrificing all for the sake of their country. I hope history does not have to repeat itself.

  6. whats_up says:

    @ Bob Upton:

    Americans need to rally to our principles and be willing to sacrifice some before some are forced to consider sacrificing all for the sake of their country. I hope history does not have to repeat itself.

    Bob,

    Exactly what are the Conservatives willing to sacrifice on their side. What are the rich willing to sacrifice? It seem to me that Conservatives only want certain groups to “sacrifice.”

  7. L. Banks says:

    I think this effort is a day late and a dollar short for the US economy. It is a drop in the ever increasing debt budget bucket of this administration. Please note the information in this article from CNS News.com:

    “The U.S. Treasury has released a final statement for the month of March that demonstrates that financial madness has gripped the federal government.

    During the month, according to the Treasury, the federal government grossed $194 billion in tax revenue and paid out $65.898 billion in tax refunds (including $62.011 to individuals and $3.887 to businesses) thus netting $128.179 billion in tax revenue for March.

    At the same time, the Treasury paid out a total of $1.1187 trillion. When the $65.898 billion in tax refunds is deducted from that, the Treasury paid a net of $1.0528 trillion in federal expenses for March.

    That $1.0528 trillion in spending for March equaled 8.2 times the $128.179 in net federal tax revenue for the month.”

    “The federal government’s cash-flow situation was summed up pungently in Senate Budget Committee testimony by Erskine Bowles, who served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and is now the co-chair of President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.

    I’m really concerned,” Bowles told the committee last month. “I think we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. A lot of us sitting in this room didn’t see this last crisis as it came upon us. But this one is really easy to see. The fiscal path we are on today is simply not sustainable.”

    “This debt and these deficits that we are incurring on an annual basis are like a cancer and they are truly going to destroy this country from within unless we have the common sense to do something about it,” said Bowles.

    “This problem is going to happen, like the former chairman of the Fed said, or the Moody’s said, this is a problem we’re going to have to face up,” he said. “It may be two years, you know, maybe a little less, maybe a little more. But if our bankers over there in Asia begin to believe that we’re not going to be solid on our debt, that we’re not going to be able to meet our obligations, just stop and think for a minute what happens if they just stop buying our debt.

    “What happens to interest rates?” asked Bowles. “And what happens to the U.S. economy? The markets will absolutely devastate us if we don’t step up to this problem. The problem is real, the solutions are painful, and we have to act.”

  8. Bob Upton says:

    @ whats_up

    I am a Christian Constitutional Conservative and I am NOT rich. Please educate yourself on the IRS own data of the percentage of the total tax revenues paid by the “rich”. They pay far more than they should, as do we all, because our government takes far more than it should.

    My small business has shrunk from six people down to my partner and myself as our customers have left my overtaxed state, our taxes and regulations have increased and all costs have gone up. I have voted against tax hikes and for government cutting it’s costs to no avail. My household income has dropped to the U.S. median level that Jeff talked about. Before I had to lay off my employees I saw them annually get back all the taxes they had paid, plus again as much or more, while I continued to pay more and more.

    The “principles” I spoke of are the foundational principles this country was founded upon. Small, Constitutionally controlled government that protects my right to life, liberty and property and never redistributes one persons earnings or property to another. A government that taxes legally and fairly according to the limits of the Constitution.

    I have sacrificed. Now those that reap what they did not sow are going to have to sacrifice. The “system”, and those that live off of it, are going to have to face the reality that there is not only no money left, but there is far less than no money left! This is not a negotiation where we ask “Well what are you willing to sacrifice?” This is a reckoning that must be faced by us all but those that must change the most are those that have been taking.

    Please read Frederic Bastiat’s essay “The Law” linked below:
    http://bastiat.org/

  9. Gail B. says:

    @Kevin ~
    Has your boss considered running for POTUS? Please thank him for us, would you?

    I called my congressman today and asked the woman who takes the calls to please tell him not to back down on cutting the budget! “DON’T BACK DOWN!” I told her that if we don’t cut spending dramatically and quickly, we’re going to lose America. She promised to pass it on to him.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Shut it down for good. Reboot.

  11. Larry the Cable Guy says:

    Shut-R-Down!

  12. whats_up says:

    @ Bob Upton:

    “My small business has shrunk from six people down to my partner and myself as our customers have left my overtaxed state, our taxes and regulations have increased and all costs have gone up. I have voted against tax hikes and for government cutting it’s costs to no avail.”

    Bob it looks like others in your state have disagreed with your viewpoint, which they are allowed to do by the way. You are free to move to any state that you want. Sounds to me like you dont like the way people are voting and think that only your viewpoint is valid. I hate to break it to you, but that is not how it works.

    “A government that taxes legally and fairly according to the limits of the Constitution.”

    The govt is following the Constitution, check out the 16th Amendment.

    “This is not a negotiation…”

    My four year old nephew tries this tactic as well, he stomps his feet when he doesnt get what he wants, he screams and yells. Doesnt seem to work for him, why would you think “demanding” something will work for you? In America this country was founding on working TOGETHER (compromising) to get things done, not demanding that your viewpoint be the only one available.

  13. Bob Upton says:

    @ whats_up

    You compared me to a petulant child who is not getting his way. The same comparison used by a certain King against some petulant colonists who wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it..”

    You are defending a viewpoint, I am not. I am advocating a return to foundational principles of God and government. The people in my state, and those in many others, have voted themselves into debt. It is our responsibility to get ourselves out even if many don’t want to change. Ben Franklin said, “When the people find they can vote themselves money,that will herald the end of the republic.”
    A “viewpoint” is merely a person’s opinion. A “principle” is something that guides, and changes, a person in spite of their opinion.

    Our country was not freed by a majority vote of all the colonists.
    It was freed by the faith, courage and insight of a relatively few great men. A majority vote would have us singing “God Save the Queen” today. Those men were willing to sacrifice their fortunes and their lives for a set of ideals that you would probably have called a “viewpoint” had you lived then.

    People talk of “compromise” as if it is a virtue when, at best, it is a necessary evil. When something is “compromised” it is, by definition, reduced in quality or value and exposed to danger, suspicion or disrepute. Doesn’t sound too virtuous to me. The fight to establish our free nation is not called “The American Compromise”. It was a REVOLUTION! A revolution fueled by ideas, and ideals, not held by those in power nor many of those subject to that power.

    Thank God some people are willing to be changed by, and stand for, things greater than themselves.

  14. Bob Upton says:

    @ whats_up

    If I were to hazard a guess, I take it you may not have read any of Bastiat’s works I linked above or you would have commented. He espouses the American government he saw in the early 1800′s. A government which, you will see via his writings, was a virtual antithesis to the one we have today. I want what he saw, not what we have. We have become the France he was fighting against then.
    His writings reflect the writings of our founding fathers.

    If we leave our foundation we fall down or at least cease to be what we were and become something less and something worse. I, for one, don’t want that to happen and will do what I can to prevent it.

  15. Randy Wills says:

    To “whats-up” @ 10:54 AM:

    What’s the point in “negotiation” if the “negotiated” solution leaves us on the same path to self-destruction, albeit with the “can” kicked a little farther down the road?

    It’s our children and grandchildren that we need to be thinking about.

    And I have another question for you; Where in the Constitution does it empower the government to make all things right, regarding individual wealth distribution? Are we to expect that a government, populated by individuals of the same human nature as those who liberals might call “the enemy of the common man”, is capable of “making all things right”? The “government” is no more capable of moral behavior on a consistent basis than the “rich and greedy capitalists” that progressives like to obsess about when it comes to taxation.

    I, like you, am appalled by the inequallity of standards of living in our society and I do what I can, on a personal level, to alleviate that disparity, but I believe that it’s totally useless to think that that problem can be rectified by the government forcilby taking from one to distribute to another. Taxation is necessary and proper, but not for the purpose of redistribution of wealth, or for that matter, compensating for individual’s self-destructive behavior.

    Sounds like an exercise in futility to me.

    Respectfully, Randy

  16. Dee says:

    I think it should shut down. The military will still work. The air traffic controllers will continue to work. Hospitals will not close. All we will miss are the politicians. As long as the BO supporters are not personally effected (i.e. having the amount of the welfare cut back or being asked to do some community work for their check) by his policies, I feel that he has a good chance to be re-elected. The other side had better come up with a good, strong candidate.
    I think that Paul Ryan is by far one of the most intelligent persons in Congress. BO was condescending and rude to him during the so called healthcare debate and I am sure that BO does not want to hear Ryan’s budget plan.
    I don’t see any of those in Congress who are telling us we all have to sacrifice giving up any of their goodies. Whats_up asked what the Conservatives are willing to sacrifice but did not say what the Liberals are going to sacrifice. The IRS has repeatedly shown data that the rich pay most of the revenue they collect. If they raise the amount of taxes on the rich (a level to be determined as rich), there will be no incentive to earn above that number. Nancy Pelosi is warning that if the budget is cut, the elderly will not be able to get hot meals. Maybe if they take the turtle crossing out of the budget, the elderly can get hot meals. If she is talking about the Meals on Wheels program, I have met many senior citizens who were getting those meals and did not like them. They threw the food out.
    There have been ads running on our local stations showing a Chinese professor teaching his students why certain empires failed and he included the USA. In the end he says that they overspent, took over private businesses and overextended their government and now they work for China. It is rather disturbing when you realize what this administration is doing. Sorry for the long rant.

  17. susan jones says:

    It always amazes me how literally blind people on the left can be. They scream that anyone with a faith in God and a belief in absolute truth is “intolerant” or worse yet, “racist.” These names they call us, the vitriol with which they speak to us and about us, is the very example of behavior the “accuse” the right of exhibiting. Rich people are not our problem. Our problem is corruption,(in both parties) greed, dishonesty, and envy. Hard working “rich” people are not the enemy. And if people are “rich” by ill-gotten means, they should be prosecuted, and held accountable. Want to go after those who pay no taxes? Look first at the people in Washington elected or appointed to oversee the rest of us. It is not the working man causing the problems our country faces…quite the opposite. It is the non-working man (by choice) with his hand held out.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Whats_up said “In America this country was founding on working TOGETHER (compromising) to get things done, not demanding that your viewpoint be the only one available.”

    In 1776 we REALLY worked together and demanded our viewpoint over King George’s.
    No compromise. History repeats itself.

  19. Nicknack says:

    What is wrong with just doing what you said you were going to do. And by saying it you drew a crowd that agreed with you? That is what the freshmen Republicans did and what happened was historic. Now that the levers of one half of one branch of goverment has been transfered to those who will bring us to fiscal sanity by cutting the budget by a mere 65 billion there should be no negotiations. The time has come to do what was promised and if a shutdown is the response from those you share power with then so be it.

  20. Bob Upton says:

    @ whats_up (again)

    RE: 16th Amendment

    I have thoroughly checked out the 16th Amendment to the Constitution but I’d bet you have not.

    Do you know:
    > The amendment did NOT expand the government’s right to tax?
    > Congress is still bound by Article 1 restrictions?
    > The difference between direct and indirect taxes?
    > The requirements of apportionment?
    > The definition of “income” in regards to taxation?

    You must research the writings of President Taft, the records and ruling in Supreme Court cases (Peck & Co. v. Lowe and Bowers v. Kerbaugh-Empire Co.) and why several Senate resolutions to introduce a 16th amendment were proposed and rejected before one was passed.

  21. whats_up says:

    @ Bob Upton

    You are correct that the Revolution was not a compromise. However the greatest founding document that we have, the one that governs what power our citizens have over their government is one big compromise. The Constitution of the United States of America was written as a group of compromises. Compromises that were made in order to get all the respective colonies on board. History has show us that only twice has America not compromised, once in 1776 and once in 1860, both times leading to war. One which was good for America and one which was decidedly not good for America.

    Every piece of major legislation passed by Congress since the founding of this country has had some kind of Compromise involved with it, some compromises were bigger than others, but compromise they did. Our form of government only works with Compromise, otherwise nothing gets done and no one leads. You may call compromise a necessary evil, I dont agree. Compromise is the greatest virtue that man has, only through compromise do people come together to get things done, otherwise we would live under a system of tyranny and dictatorship, things which we correctly fought to get out from under.

    I appreciate that you and many others would like to return to a “time” in which you believe Government to have worked the best. However no amount of wishing will change the fact that it is 2011 not 1804 and governments have to change to keep with changes in social and economic systems.

    In regards to the Sixteenth Amendment, you state that you dont believe that I have studied the matter, you would be wrong.

    1. You are right the 16th Amendment did not expand the Governments right to tax, however what it did do was stop courts from taking the power of income taxation possessed by Congress from the beginning out of the category of indirect taxation to which it inherently belongs. See the decision of the Supreme Court in Stanton v Baltic Mining company.

    2. Congress is still bound by MOST of the Article 1 restrictions, but no longer by all. Apportionment and Enumeration being the ones it is no longer restricted by.

    3. There are really only three kinds of direct taxes (the definitions that are used by the Constitution) 1. A Capitation, 2. A tax upon real property, 3. A tax upon personal property. Indirect taxes (or event taxes) are such as Gift taxes or Estate taxes, or income derived from personal services such as wages.

    4. Apportionment no longer applies via the 16th amendment.

    5. There are five definitions of income relative to income taxation in the United States. Personal, Corporate, Payroll, Inheritance and Capital Gains.

  22. whats_up says:

    @ Dee,

    “If they raise the amount of taxes on the rich (a level to be determined as rich), there will be no incentive to earn above that number”

    Dee this is simply false, there will still be incentive to earn above that number. For example lets say that magical number is one million and then we tax at 50%. People will still want to earn four or five million dollars because they would still come out with two million dollars even after taxes. Anyone who tells you that they would only earn one million over two million is either not very smart or lying to you. The CEO of JPMorgan just came out saying that the rich should pay more in taxes. Many millionares have come out on record as saying that they should be paying more in taxes.

    Right now neither party is willing to share the sacrifice. Instead they are looking at what pet projects from the other party can they gut. Until this changes I will remain skeptical of any “reforms” put forth by Conservatives. However there is much in Rep. Ryans proposal that I could agree with, much that I dont as well.

  23. whats_up says:

    @ Randy,

    Thanks as always for insightful and respectfull commentary.

    I agree that it is our children and grandchildren that we need to be thinking about. However when the Conservatives plan guts our social safety net and continues tax breaks to the rich, oil companies and other corporations I will stand up and denounce it for what it is. That is not a serious proposal, it is a political one. As soon as Conservatives get on board for “shared sacrifice” lets talk, until then I will not be taken advantage of on those things that I believe in.

    “Are we to expect that a government, populated by individuals of the same human nature as those who liberals might call “the enemy of the common man”, is capable of “making all things right”?

    Randy it sure seem that Conservatives believe the government is the answer when it comes to social issues, as they are trying to use its power to correct those “ills” that they see in society. I would ask you if that is the case, what is wrong with using that same system to correct the “ills” that I see in society? Dont tell me that liberals shouldnt use the power of government and then turn around and applaud Conservatives for doing the same thing (I dont know if you personally believe this or not, however many Conservatives do). Also there is a moral obligation to take care of those less fortunate than us. Without social security how many Seniors would be below the poverty level and not able to live a full life? In 1959 one in three lived below the poverty level, now it is less than one in ten. How many would not be able to afford healthcare due to the price were it not for Medicare and Medicaid? Are there areas within these programs that need to be fixed, no doubt there are.

    As always respectively
    Whats_up

  24. Randy Wills says:

    To “whats-up”:

    Thanks for holding up your end of the conversation, and I look forward to responding as best I can, but I’m heading out the door for a meeting as soon as I put the final period on this, so it will have to be later.

    I just want you to know that I think that you make a valuable contribution to the exchange of ideas on Americasright.

    Randy

  25. Randy Wills says:

    To “whats-up”:

    O.K., I’m back.

    I don’t want to take advantage of the things that you believe in, but I sure would like to get you to see things a little differently.

    I deplore greed, conspicuous consumption, and immoral behavior at the expense of others, as I’m sure that you do, but I can’t agree that government is the answer. “Government”, as the term is commonly used, is just another name for a group (a very large group) of individuals who are engaged in a certain type of employment. They, collectively and individually, are no purer in their motives and actions than the public at large. That being the case, they will devise infinite ways to twist all laws to suit their own advantage and serve their own goals.

    The only remedy for the societal ills which you allude to which is not inherently flawed and doomed to self-destruct rests completely on the shoulders of individuals guided by Divine principles embodied in Jesus’ command to “love your brother as yourself”. An infinite number of man-made laws will not suffice to accomplish the essence of His words.

    Other than the solution, we probably agree on most of the issues that are making our society ill. I would simply ask that you give serious consideration to my perspective on the source of the problem and, in so doing, see clearly the inefficacy of man-made laws to rectify the problem.

    Randy

  26. Dee says:

    Whats_up, if the government wants to “redistribute” the wealth, then you end up with 2 classes, the Ruling Class (those in government) and the rest of us. The “rest of us” don’t share in good fortune, we share the miseries. There would be no reason to attempt to better yourself because whatever excess goods you would have would be taken away by the Ruling class and given to someone else. I agree with Randy that taking care of our brothers less fortunate should come from individuals freely. As he said, no amount of laws can change that. In my line of work, I have seen such abuse of the welfare system and free give aways, that I do alot of research before donating my money to another individual or charity.
    When I was growing up my family had very little but my parents worked hard and did what was needed to improve our way of life. They never wanted welfare and as I mentioned in a post long ago, when my father lost his job in the steel mill and was out of work for over a year, someone gave them a package of government cheese. My mother hid it in the back of a cupboard so no one would see it. They were embarrassed by it. I was taught to depend on myself to survive and improve my lifestyle if that is what I wished. I was not to depend on the government to take care of me or my family.
    Always nice to chat with you. Take care.

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