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Author Topic: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party  (Read 6125 times)

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Offline TriesteTopic starter

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"GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« on: December 01, 2010, 11:51:33 AM »
How is this not obstructionist? How is this not the political equivalent of stamping your feet and threatening to hold your breath until people do what you want? Explain this to me, please. I would like to understand it in terms of the GOP not being stupid. And you can't even say it's 'just the extremists', because it's every Republican in the Senate. Unless every single Senate Republican is an extremist now?

Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved


Offline Jude

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 12:23:19 PM »
DISCLAIMER:  There is sarcasm, snark, and irritation in this post, though it is not directed at anyone reading this.

1)  Even if the tax cuts are not extended, this does not amount to the Democrats raising taxes.

I'm so tired of hearing this idiotic point repeated over and over again ad naseum.  If you make the argument that this tax cut being allowed to expire, as it was designed to by Republicans years ago, is somehow the Democrats fulfilling the "tax and spend liberal" prophecy, then you need to go sit at the kiddy table so the rest of us can have a serious adult conversation.  It is ridiculous to claim that the Democrats would be responsible for a tax increase that was planned years ago by Republicans.  I heard this argument propagated yet again today by Orren Hatch, and found myself hoping that the roof of the Capital Building would cave in, crushing him to death on national TV.

2)  You can't have it both ways America.  Either you're worried about the deficit so you can't support increased spending or you believe in Keynesian Economics.

The fact that the same people who are supposedly so concerned about the debt are now crying for the extension of this tax cut (even those who only want the Middle Class part extended -- who are undoubtedly Middle Class) is ridiculously hypocritical.  You mean you're against spending that doesn't benefit you?  Wow, I'm shocked.

3)  Making the argument that tax cuts aren't stimulative because we've lost jobs while these cuts were enacted is stupid.

-3 + 1 results in -2, which is still a negative number.  This does not mean that 1 is negative.  I watched this argument made on the floor of the Congress on Cspan by a Democratic senator who should probably be unplugged from the feeding tube and breathing machine she's on.

4)  Hey Republicans, remember that "listen to the American people" argument you made in relation to healthcare?

Well, the American people are against extension of tax cuts for those making over $250,000.  Please adhere to your own rationale or stop spreading populist rhetoric.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 12:26:28 PM by Jude »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2010, 12:26:23 PM »
I don't think either party has a sole claim asshatery, though I will grant you this a new level of party stupidity.

I do think that the Democrats were more than happy to sit on the clock and quietly let the tax cuts run out. That way they can honestly claim that they 'didn't increase' taxes.

Two sides.. two stories.. two parties playing games rather than doing what they promised and be active and help the public.

Though, I think the ultimatum is a bit on the heavy handed side of things Trieste, but was I expect of the type of republican that learned how to play back in the 80s/90s.

Additional note: Of course the idea of either side, sitting down and working out a bipartisan compromise is utterly silly and shouldn't be expected of politicians. Statesmen and LEADERS work in comprise and bipartisan policies that work for the people, and we've not seen any of those in the halls of congress in a long time.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 12:31:58 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Jude

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2010, 12:36:52 PM »
The compromise is pretty obvious.  Extend the tax cuts for everyone but the richest people, then give the richest people a cut that is smaller than what it was.  Cut it in half -- tadaaa, basic math wins again!  Or they could scale it down by a factor of those who are for and against, say previous tax code * 42/100 (since 42 want the tax cuts for 250k+ extended).  It won't happen though.

Offline Noelle

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2010, 12:48:43 PM »
I read an article similar to this earlier and was hoping to see it discussed here.

Quote
"Last month, the American people issued their verdict on the Democrat's priorities," replied Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. "We need to show the American people that we care more about them and their ability to pay their bills than we do about the special interests' legislative Christmas-list."

This makes me especially angry -- I'm so tired of politicians thinking they're speaking for "the people", this big, mythical, like-minded group that frankly does not exist when really they're just using "the people" as a workaround to say "people that agree with me". Both sides do it and they need to knock it the fuck off. These douchebags especially aren't speaking for me, they're certainly not representing me, and they're most definitely not acting the way I would act.

Most of all, they need to stop supposing that just because one party gets voted out, it means the other party has all the right answers. It's been all over the media that supposedly "the people" are pissed with both parties, that "the people" supposedly want bipartisanship, and yet here we are watching the tragicomedy that is our politics degrade into what is essentially a large, elephantine (pun intended) child with its fingers in its ears screaming LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU until the exasperated mother just gives it what it wants or is removed by Child Services when it finally breaks down and shakes the child into a coma.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2010, 12:49:07 PM »
The compromise is pretty obvious.  Extend the tax cuts for everyone but the richest people, then give the richest people a cut that is smaller than what it was.  Cut it in half -- tadaaa, basic math wins again!  Or they could scale it down by a factor of those who are for and against, say previous tax code * 42/100 (since 42 want the tax cuts for 250k+ extended).  It won't happen though.

Oh but that wouldn't do. You would have to work with *gasp* the democrats/republicans. You'd have to cross the party line, hold your hand out and meet your fellow congressman/senator from the other party and TALK things out.

That's not good.

Partisanship is good to a POINT.

The last two decades have been a steady tide of steadily rigid outlooks and the collective retention of sticks up the collective assess of both parties.

I started to feel this way when Nancy Pelosi held a press conference berating a handful of Republicans for not going along with her initiative while by my count there were more than a few of her own party who didn't support it. (Wish I could recall what this vote was about).

We need to get our elected officials to pull the sticks out and pull up the Websters dictionary to word 'compromise'.

Offline Kaizen

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 05:15:15 PM »
How is this not obstructionist? How is this not the political equivalent of stamping your feet and threatening to hold your breath until people do what you want? Explain this to me, please. I would like to understand it in terms of the GOP not being stupid. And you can't even say it's 'just the extremists', because it's every Republican in the Senate. Unless every single Senate Republican is an extremist now?

Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved

It is obstructionist, but they are acting together, as one unified party to get their goals met.  Is not every other political party that ever existed guilty of the exact same thing? It's politics.

Online Oniya

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 05:33:25 PM »
However, by accepting that it's 'just politics', aren't we virtually encouraging the behavior?  Instead of an Adult-Adult interaction, they're going for Child-Parent (or more likely, Child-Child) situation.

Offline Kaizen

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2010, 05:56:04 PM »
However, by accepting that it's 'just politics', aren't we virtually encouraging the behavior?  Instead of an Adult-Adult interaction, they're going for Child-Parent (or more likely, Child-Child) situation.


They're all adults... and it is politics, not 'just politics'.

I for one support what they're doing.  They're doing what they think is right.

Online Oniya

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2010, 06:34:14 PM »
Transactionally, it's a case of 'Now we've got you...' (unless you do what we want, we're blocking these bills.)  It's as if they have a winning poker hand, and are now more interested in how much they can wring out of the other party than they are in the purpose of the bills in question.

Offline Kaizen

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2010, 06:43:18 PM »
The article was all about the bills.  The bills they wanted to focus on instead of the bills the other party wanted.

And yes, it is a case of 'now we got you'.  They want to get rid of the policies that conflict with their values and the values of those that voted them into office.  The other party is trying to pass as many bills as they can while they still have the upper hand.  I really don't see a problem with what the GOP is doing.

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2010, 06:45:50 PM »


They're all adults... and it is politics, not 'just politics'.

I for one support what they're doing.  They're doing what they think is right.

No, they're not.

They're protecting their campaign investors, or giving their quid pro quo. I know it's not statistical data, but every single person I've spoken to - including professors making quite a bit more than 250k a year - is against extending tax cuts for those above that benchmark. We can't afford it. We cannot afford it. And that's what this is about. That's the only goddamn sticking point. Everyone agrees that people below the 250k mark should get an extension (honestly, I'd probably drop the benchmark to 100k, myself, but whatevs).

Not to mention the points that Oniya made about parent-child interaction (at best).

They want to get rid of the policies that conflict with their values and the values of those that voted them into office.

This is naive.

Offline Kaizen

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2010, 06:57:44 PM »
No, they're not.
This is cynical.

They're protecting their campaign investors, or giving their quid pro quo.

Isn't every politician guilty of that? 

I think what the GOP is doing is fair play.


 

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2010, 07:04:21 PM »
Feel free to make some actual points, appropriate for P&R (which is a debate forum) and I'll be happy to discuss them. :)

Online Oniya

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2010, 07:09:47 PM »
Just because something is 'the way it's always been done' doesn't make it right or constructive.  The problem is that both sides have gotten to the point where they consider 'compromise' to be a dirty word, and tactics as shown in the article are the norm.  Politicians aren't debating and discussing, they're mudslinging and stonewalling.  Saying 'oh, but the other side does it too' is playground politics.  They get the thrill of having pulled one over on the other side and in the end, the work that we, the voting public, have hired them to do - doesn't get done.

Offline Kaizen

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2010, 07:28:03 PM »
My point:

They were voted into office to do exactly what they are doing in that article.  Block the Democrats from creating any more garbage.   



Offline Brandon

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2010, 07:46:53 PM »
Regarding the tax cuts. this really should have been taken care of months ago. Every politician has known this was coming for years and to not have come to a decision well before they ran out is IMO irresponsible. If the democrats wanted it to run out then they should have been upfront about it and explained why. I dont blame the republicans for doing this either, the tax cuts are a very big issue and need to be resolved yesterday, not tomorrow, and not a week from now. This way they can let everyone know they are trying to tackle this issue and hopefully get the opposing sides to talk faster


Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2010, 08:08:52 PM »
My point:

They were voted into office to do exactly what they are doing in that article.  Block the Democrats from creating any more garbage.

So, nothing about this seems immature to you in the least?

Offline Remiel

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2010, 08:16:00 PM »
I consider myself to be a moderate conservative, and I cannot in good conscience defend this.  Believe me, I've tried, but I simply cannot.  It's basically saying, "unless you let us win, we're going to take our ball and go home."  It's bad sportsmanship, and frankly, I believe it will ultimately hurt America.  At this juncture in history, we need more bipartisanship and less polarization politics, not the other way around.

Unfortunately, Kaizen does have a point.  It is what the Republicans were elected to do, and it's probably going to be politically efficacious.  The Democrats will probably ultimately cave out of sheer frustration and desperation, which will only serve to reward and reinforce the strategy.

It's sad, and disgusting, but the GOP knows what it's doing.

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2010, 08:28:32 PM »
Unfortunately, Kaizen does have a point.  It is what the Republicans were elected to do, and it's probably going to be politically efficacious.  The Democrats will probably ultimately cave out of sheer frustration and desperation, which will only serve to reward and reinforce the strategy.

It's sad, and disgusting, but the GOP knows what it's doing.

Yes, because a large portion of the country has been duped into this mentality where they treat politics like a spectator sport, and root for their party like it's a home team.  It's ridiculous.  This is not a game, where one side "wins;" these people have the ability to direct our country, and the obligation to do so in the way that best benefits us as a whole.  Not in the way that benefits the corporations that bought them, not in the way that most benefits the party apparatus that empowers them, and ESPECIALLY not in the way that the ignorant, radical-enabling morons glued to Fox News and MSNBC think they should. 

We don't elect these people as extensions of our will; at least, that's not my understanding of it.  We elect them in the hopes that they're qualified and responsible enough to make the right decisions, regardless of what "The American People" want.

Offline Kaizen

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2010, 08:35:12 PM »
We don't elect these people as extensions of our will; at least, that's not my understanding of it.  We elect them in the hopes that they're qualified and responsible enough to make the right decisions, regardless of what "The American People" want.

Am I reading this right?  Are you saying that Americans don't know what they want and they need someone else to tell them what is right?

Please tell me that's not what you mean.


Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2010, 08:39:08 PM »
I mean the average uninformed voter is easily swept up in rhetoric and/or lied to.  It would be nice to think that our politicians are better than that, and can make the right decision regardless.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 08:41:03 PM by Will »

Online Oniya

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2010, 08:42:29 PM »
The average American is interested in the space that immediately affects them - and I say this as a fairly average American.  If they aren't struggling to afford health care, they don't care about those who are.  If their kids are already through college, they don't care about student loans.  If that bailout of GM doesn't bring them a new job (despite working in a completely different field), then they don't want it. The guy next door to us doesn't have kids, and complains about having to pay school district taxes.

A responsible politician has to sort through all the things that their constituents want and don't want; and all the things that are going to benefit their constituents long-term and short term; and all the things that are going to be a detriment to their constituents long-term and short-term.  Some of those things are going to be in multiple lists:  A bill could benefit the constituents long-term, at the expense of a short-term detriment, and the constituents (seeing the short term) might not want it.  Similarly, a bill could be a long-term detriment, a short-term benefit, and be outrageously popular.

Offline Kaizen

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2010, 08:50:42 PM »
Saying the 'average uninformed voter' is easily swept up and lied to hurts your argument just as equally as it hurts mine, possibly more. 

Counterpoint - Obama drew out more young and first time voters than any other politician ever.  The young and naive voters, the most gullable, the inexperienced, the ones caught up in the popularity of voting for Obama.  Now that those voters, the same ones that put Obama into office, now have a better handle on what's really going on and they switch their vote to bring in conservatives, all of the sudden they're morons?

« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 08:52:34 PM by Kaizen »

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2010, 08:56:37 PM »
I mean the average uninformed voter is easily swept up in rhetoric and/or lied to.  It would be nice to think that our politicians are better than that, and can make the right decision regardless.

It would be nice.  Problem is that Washington and the governmental system is working largely on a 'you scratch my back, I scratch yours' mentality, as well as the fact that there a zillion (Not really, but it does seem like a lot) special interest groups all screaming out there about how they need equality for whatever people they're representing, or tax cuts so that their industry doesn't suffer.  Especially when the truth is that the thing desired is a fraud. 


And Will, remember, those politicians?  Human beings, just like you and me.

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2010, 08:58:32 PM »
It's not actually the voters who are being morons. It's the voted. :P

So how about this: Explain, please, how cockblocking every single thing - indiscriminately, no matter what - is benefiting the larger population of the country? And why taxes, when the only dispute is over that 250k+ income bracket? Why not unemployment insurance? Oh, and what about that 'repeal and replace' thing I heard so much about a few months back? Oh, right: wildly unpopular.

How does doing this benefit people other than the 42 repubs in the Senate?

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2010, 09:05:41 PM »
Saying the 'average uninformed voter' is easily swept up and lied to hurts your argument just as equally as it hurts mine, possibly more. 

Counterpoint - Obama drew out more young and first time voters than any other politician ever.  The young and naive voters, the most gullable, the inexperienced, the ones caught up in the popularity of voting for Obama.  Now that those voters, the same ones that put Obama into office, now have a better handle on what's really going on and they switch their vote to bring in conservatives, all of the sudden they're morons?
How does it hurt my argument?  Please elaborate on that, if you would.  Specifics are good.

I don't really know where your counterpoint came from... Those people that came out and voted for Obama without educating themselves only serve to reinforce my point; they were caught up in rhetoric.  That sort of momentary shift in public opinion is exactly why I would like politicians to educate themselves and make responsible decisions, not argue back and forth like children.  Oniya actually explained it much better than I did.

It would be nice.  Problem is that Washington and the governmental system is working largely on a 'you scratch my back, I scratch yours' mentality, as well as the fact that there a zillion (Not really, but it does seem like a lot) special interest groups all screaming out there about how they need equality for whatever people they're representing, or tax cuts so that their industry doesn't suffer.  Especially when the truth is that the thing desired is a fraud. 


And Will, remember, those politicians?  Human beings, just like you and me.
I'm unclear on what you mean, with the human beings bit.  And yes, I know that the situation in Washington is terrible; note where I said "bought by corporations" and "empowered by the party apparatus."  But, just because things are a certain way, doesn't mean they were MEANT to be that way, nor that it's right for them to be that way.  It doesn't excuse individuals for behaving that way, nor does it excuse specific instances of the behavior.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2010, 09:07:48 PM »
Trieste, IMO...it's not.  The only people this action could potentially benefit are the Republican party, and even then it's not a sure thing.  To be honest, this is thing numero uno that I was worried about when I heard that the Republicans had taken the House - that they were just going to sit there for the rest of Obama's term and block every single piece of legislation that came along.

I talked to a lot of people about this - my parents, siblings, friends, and I never found the same opinion twice.  The range of responses ranged from "this is what's going to cause Obama to be a one-termer" to "this is what's going to guarantee Obama a second term."

Because the truth is that the country, as a general whole, aren't responsible, thinking, rational people anymore.  They wanna do what they wanna do, and to hell with everyone else.


And no, Will, it doesn't excuse people from behaving that way.  But that's the way that we have to work with, and improve.  It isn't going to suddenly turn around one night.

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2010, 09:16:07 PM »
And no, Will, it doesn't excuse people from behaving that way.  But that's the way that we have to work with, and improve.  It isn't going to suddenly turn around one night.

I agree completely, but bringing up that "that's the way it is" does nothing to help things along.  It's even counterproductive; it justifies the behavior and desensitizes people who might otherwise be enraged enough to speak up against it.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2010, 09:19:04 PM »
But that's not what I'm saying.  What I am saying is the following:

A: The situation in Washington is not an excuse for how some politicians behave.

B: However, that is the way they behave.

C: But that isn't acceptable, and we need to work within the system to get people from Point B to Point A in terms of behavior.

You follow?

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2010, 09:21:25 PM »
C was entirely absent from your first post.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2010, 09:23:12 PM »
Just to clarify: by 'first post' you mean the one that I ended with the 'Human Beings' statement, right?

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2010, 09:24:20 PM »
Yep, that's the one.  That was rather vague.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2010, 09:26:14 PM »
Well, first statements by me in P&R threads usually are.  I don't like to come out and declare my position right away, since at times that torques people off.

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2010, 09:27:21 PM »
Vagueness only leads to misunderstandings, which has a tendency to derail threads pretty handily.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2010, 09:32:18 PM »
That's why I latch onto something said by another party, and offer my own perspective on it.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2010, 09:57:55 PM »
Okay, how about this. Go ahead and raise the taxes on those making more than $250,000. But let's put into law that that revenue must got directly to paying off the deficit or other outstanding loans, like to China. I don't want more money to be take from citizens just for the sake of a larger, more bureaucratic government.

Offline Brandon

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2010, 10:04:12 PM »
Okay, how about this. Go ahead and raise the taxes on those making more than $250,000. But let's put into law that that revenue must got directly to paying off the deficit or other outstanding loans, like to China. I don't want more money to be take from citizens just for the sake of a larger, more bureaucratic government.

That is an idea I could get behind!

Offline Serephino

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2010, 10:23:07 PM »
If they really want to serve the people as they claim, they'd grow the fuck up!  Each year politicians find more ways to piss me off.  I'm sitting here watching the news and Unemployment benefits just expired.  Republicans don't want to extend them until they find a way to pay for it.  Here's a thought....  Let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire.  There's your money!

Yeah, I remember how these people promised that their top priority was going to be getting 'Obamacare' repealed.  I guess they lied; shocker there...

How does it benefit the country to let Unemployment run out?  It just means that the people depending on that money until they find a job are screwed.  They won't have any income, and there will be more foreclosures and homeless people.  But I guess that doesn't matter as long as the rich keep getting richer.  Trickle Down Economics has never worked, and will never work.  People are too self serving.

The Republicans told angry voters what they wanted to hear, and now they're going to do whatever they want.  I wish there was a way we could throw all these retards out on their asses and start fresh, and I'm including Democrats in this. 

Offline Vekseid

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2010, 10:41:00 PM »
Okay, how about this. Go ahead and raise the taxes on those making more than $250,000. But let's put into law that that revenue must got directly to paying off the deficit or other outstanding loans, like to China. I don't want more money to be take from citizens just for the sake of a larger, more bureaucratic government.

You need to be careful about that.

You can divide the country into three groups of people.

People who save or invest a decent fraction of their income. (top 5% or so in the US)
People who could save a small fraction, or otherwise spend it all. (next 15% or so)
People who can't afford to save a great deal (bottom 80% or so)

Now there are always going to be individual exceptions, based on education and individual ability. I'm referring to averages, here.

The top 5% earns 25% of the income, but spends 14%. This means they suck roughly 10% of the cash flow out of the country, each year. If nothing else is done, eventually, the dollar and the entire system will collapse, because eventually, no one can trade in dollars any longer, because it's all locked up in the top 10% or so - the wealthy find themselves worthless.

I believe there was a poll showing that two-thirds of those making more than 200k/year supported higher taxes for themselves.

It's not like they aren't aware of this. Unsustainable processes will stop. Simplest. Theory. Ever.



There are several ways wealth can be transferred from the top 10% back to the bottom 90%.

1) They can deposit it in banks, which then invest it in the population. However, banks aren't doing much lending.
2) They can invest it themselves. However, faith in the stock market has been rather poor until recently.
3) They can hire people themselves. Private sector hiring has only recently begun to increase.
4) They can donate it, in acts of charity. Charities are only now reporting increased donations.
5) They can lend it to the government (and are very willing to right now!) - in the form of government debt, who can then reinvest it for causes that (supposedly) benefit the country as a whole.
6) The government can tax them, for the same result.
7) The government can print money, again for the same purposes.

When 1-4 break, 5-7 make up the major options. A lot of them don't even add to bureaucracy, but are extremely beneficial - sustaining unemployment benefits, for example.

Your stricture also makes one ask - well, can the government pay down its debt to itself with it? That is a massive chunk of the debt.

Offline Remiel

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2010, 12:03:02 PM »
Okay, how about this. Go ahead and raise the taxes on those making more than $250,000. But let's put into law that that revenue must got directly to paying off the deficit or other outstanding loans, like to China. I don't want more money to be take from citizens just for the sake of a larger, more bureaucratic government.

I'd support that.  I think drastic measures need to be taken now, or else we'll soon find ourselves in the same situation as Ireland and Greece.  Right now the only thing keeping China from demanding its money back is that its industry is so tied in to U.S. consumerism -- if we stop buying, they'll also be up shit creek. 

This situation can't last indefinitely, though, and we'd be fools to expect it to.   Warren Buffet has warned for years about the perils of deficit spending; I really don't want to see him proved right.  I'm all in favor of increasing taxes across the board so long as we match that with real cuts in education, welfare, federal programs, and yes, defense, and make a real concerted effort to pay down the debt.

Of course, that will never happen.  People don't mind indulging in the short-term even knowing that they'll have to pay for it, and more, in the long-term.  Why? Because the long term is, well, the long term.  A politician who increases taxes and cuts services will not last long.  And so America continues on its collision course with complete and total economic collapse, and the only question will be when it happens.

Sometimes I'm glad I don't have any kids.  :-\
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 12:04:06 PM by Remiel »

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2010, 01:09:40 PM »
I'm all in favor of increasing taxes across the board so long as we match that with real cuts in education, welfare, federal programs, and yes, defense, and make a real concerted effort to pay down the debt.

I think this list is backwards, frankly. Our defense budget is overblown and bloated. It's full of suppliers who overcharge and then provide crappy products. It's bad. The defense budget needs to be slashed. Overseas military operations need to be obliterated. Let them come home, already, albeit only after some serious job growth (would hate for vets who fought a ten-year war to end up coming home to joblessness).

Federal programs: How about the fact that it's nearly impossible to fire a federal worker? Despite the fact that anyone who goes to a federally run office for help gets either snotty 'service' or the person doesn't know their job? Thank god for the small percentage of helpful, competent people in the federal workforce. I'm pretty sure they're the only folks who get shit done. So this needs reform, and badly.

Welfare: The 'welfare queen' is statistically nonexistent. She is a boogeyman to scare people into shying away from giving more funding to the welfare system, or from reforming it. She makes it easy for people to say, "The system is a failure. Rather than further funding it, or spending the money to reform it, we should just shut it all down." This is not the case. People who need help don't get it. They don't get the help they need because of spectres like the 'welfare queen'. If the welfare system were reformed to be more streamlined and less goddamn bloated with administration, its budget could be more efficiently spent and might even go down sometime eventually.

Education: Is deplorable. Needs more money. Needs reform. Needs help. We suck by world standards. End of story.

Offline Noelle

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2010, 01:24:10 PM »
Trieste, where have you found your stats for the existence of welfare queens? I know I've seen a few articles written about it before, but I've had trouble refinding the actual numbers lately, not particularly helped by the nonexistence of working internet around here D: Help a sister out?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2010, 01:43:42 PM »
I think this list is backwards, frankly. Our defense budget is overblown and bloated. It's full of suppliers who overcharge and then provide crappy products. It's bad. The defense budget needs to be slashed. Overseas military operations need to be obliterated. Let them come home, already, albeit only after some serious job growth (would hate for vets who fought a ten-year war to end up coming home to joblessness).


Okay.. you shut down the military but radically cutting us FURTHER down from where we are. Shut down MORE bases... (check the impact in Maine with the departure of the Brunswick Naval Station on the economy).

Fun note Trieste, every dollar that is put into a base/facility/military station moves through the local economy at LEAST four times before leaving the area. IE.. you downsize as radically as you suggest, as much as half the resturants, gas stations, banks, stores, services, real estate rentals ect ect in the area go away.

Does the fat need to be cut? Certainly. Do we need to downsize overseas? (Nato bases we support in Europe for example, our continued role as the Japanese Military 'crutch') .. absolutely. Killing military spending without finding a way to bring things back to OUR country to replace them?

Nope.

Stupid move.

Also, I think the kneejerk reaction to kill anything tied to the military is a bad move. (Particularly given the fact we HAVE treaty obligations to uphold..unless you want to further mortgage what little remaining credibility we have outside our borders)


Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2010, 03:11:39 PM »
Okay.. you shut down the military but radically cutting us FURTHER down from where we are. Shut down MORE bases... (check the impact in Maine with the departure of the Brunswick Naval Station on the economy).

Fun note Trieste, every dollar that is put into a base/facility/military station moves through the local economy at LEAST four times before leaving the area. IE.. you downsize as radically as you suggest, as much as half the resturants, gas stations, banks, stores, services, real estate rentals ect ect in the area go away.

Does the fat need to be cut? Certainly. Do we need to downsize overseas? (Nato bases we support in Europe for example, our continued role as the Japanese Military 'crutch') .. absolutely. Killing military spending without finding a way to bring things back to OUR country to replace them?

Nope.

Stupid move.

Also, I think the kneejerk reaction to kill anything tied to the military is a bad move. (Particularly given the fact we HAVE treaty obligations to uphold..unless you want to further mortgage what little remaining credibility we have outside our borders)

I'm not sure if you missed where I said we needed to take care of job growth first, or misunderstood what I meant. Regardless, I'll clarify that what I meant by "after some serious job growth" was "after we make sure that the people we'd be bringing home from overseas have jobs to come home to".

Trieste, where have you found your stats for the existence of welfare queens? I know I've seen a few articles written about it before, but I've had trouble refinding the actual numbers lately, not particularly helped by the nonexistence of working internet around here D: Help a sister out?

I actually have never been able to find reliable stats online. Most of the stats that I've seen have been in resources that I was pointed to by the sociology department here. I'll see if I can hunt up some citations when I get home.

The citations I have at home are also a few years old, but unless there has been an utter explosion of welfare queens in the last five years... *shrug*

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2010, 03:42:06 PM »
I'm not sure if you missed where I said we needed to take care of job growth first, or misunderstood what I meant. Regardless, I'll clarify that what I meant by "after some serious job growth" was "after we make sure that the people we'd be bringing home from overseas have jobs to come home to".


How are we to do that? Bring the jobs back I mean?  I've been looking for a job in my field for a year. Aside from five pending background checks the best I've seen is flight line maintenance for 8.50 a hour. (That's like 1/3rd the money I had before Lockheed let me go)

I'm all for shutting bases overseas down but there aren't a lot left. We don't really have much military left to downsize and still fulfill our treaty obligations in Europe, Korea and Japan. Thin them down by negotiation keep or manning at current levels and we could save a ton!

Online Oniya

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2010, 04:00:52 PM »
It might be a good idea to see how much gets saved by trimming the fat, as Callie says.  It's possible that might count as 'slashing', especially if the overcharging suppliers get regulated.

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2010, 04:03:02 PM »
I don't know, Callie, and you may have noticed that you aren't the only one trying to find a job in the last few years. I'm hardly the only one who's not sure how to stimulate jobs. If the thread was about that, I could probably throw around some ideas - but it's not, so I'm not going to start.

Additionally, our defense budget doesn't go entirely (or even, I suspect, mostly) to our overseas bases, personnel, and whatnot. I'm talking about contract reform.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2010, 04:28:54 PM »
I don't know, Callie, and you may have noticed that you aren't the only one trying to find a job in the last few years. I'm hardly the only one who's not sure how to stimulate jobs. If the thread was about that, I could probably throw around some ideas - but it's not, so I'm not going to start.

Additionally, our defense budget doesn't go entirely (or even, I suspect, mostly) to our overseas bases, personnel, and whatnot. I'm talking about contract reform.

Part (not all) of that bloat is to have the contractors hold onto the materials on hand. You do a contract for 300,000 widgets. You have to store them somewhere. Hammers, Jet Parts and everything else takes space and you don't know where they are needed or when (I've dealt with the War Locker clerks.. they're DICKS.. ) but this shit takes SPACE. GODS above does it.

Long term preservation methods for components take up space, require extensive packaging. SERIOUS packaging. An example: Long term preservation for an ESM antenna (about the side of as Mac Mini) requires the thing to be packed in a electro-static protective pouch, then in a moisture protective bag, THEN in crash padding box that comes up to my mid thigh. Which is sealed shut and double wrapped.

Which is stored in an environmentally controlled warehouse, and routed to the unit that needs it through a company maintained network to a point of contact for the military (someplace like San Diego, Philly, or such).

And let me tell you. This shit ain't cheap. There is bloat in the costs, yes, BUT it's still a lot of cash.

Now, consider. How much does it cost to run the storeage facility. Utilities. Inventory Control. Transportation. Securicty.

That is why I get twitchy with the 'cut it all since it's graft' comments. It's bloat..

And a lot of it is Payola to congressmen/senators to keep their districts happy.

Offline Vekseid

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2010, 08:31:08 PM »
Okay.. you shut down the military but radically cutting us FURTHER down from where we are. Shut down MORE bases... (check the impact in Maine with the departure of the Brunswick Naval Station on the economy).

Fun note Trieste, every dollar that is put into a base/facility/military station moves through the local economy at LEAST four times before leaving the area. IE.. you downsize as radically as you suggest, as much as half the resturants, gas stations, banks, stores, services, real estate rentals ect ect in the area go away.

Does the fat need to be cut? Certainly. Do we need to downsize overseas? (Nato bases we support in Europe for example, our continued role as the Japanese Military 'crutch') .. absolutely. Killing military spending without finding a way to bring things back to OUR country to replace them?

Nope.

Stupid move.

Also, I think the kneejerk reaction to kill anything tied to the military is a bad move. (Particularly given the fact we HAVE treaty obligations to uphold..unless you want to further mortgage what little remaining credibility we have outside our borders)

This, in a nutshell, is why government spending is not inherently economically bad (though rather than our enormous military budget, it would be more beneficial to provide universal healthcare and use our space program as an inspirational drive instead).

The trick is, you want to make sure government spending targets areas where central planning is a strength, rather than a weakness. Any good that doesn't obey the traditional supply-demand structure qualifies. Research and reporting (only a few people need to study and verify for the whole country or world to benefit), insurance programs (not just health care, but also national defense - and the only serious military threat to America right now is bioterrorism, so these are quite interlinked), identification assignments (ICANN and IANA, for example, provide the numerical groundwork for the Internet), ecosystem management.

Reading over US water management is awe inspiring. The amount of data gathered and analysis done to make sure the entire country gets its water. The amount of care and dedication given to perhaps humanity's most vital resource. Anyone who says that degree of research and management is 'waste' is a liar, plain and simple.

The rate at which money moves through an economic system is a function of both the savings rate (the more a group of people save, the slower money moves through them) and the tax rate (the more a group of people are taxed, the less they have to spend). If a group pays no taxes and saves 3% of what they make in a year, then a dollar will circulate among them (roughly) 33 times in a year (100%/3%).

Taxes have a similar equation - but they also funnel money back into the system, just slower. Money circulating only four times is, as I recall, actually pretty low. It could in fact be better spent elsewhere. Rates as high as 30x do occur in poorer groups.

That is the reason for the progressive tax system - it works. Everyone pays the taxes of the poor. Even the rich. The war on that over the past forty to fifty years has a lot to do with the current economic crisis - the savings rate fell below zero, and when that  ran out, it was over.

No one should be paying taxes on their first ~$60-70k of non-passive income. Because everyone ends up paying that - the rich see it as a loss in income. Just because they are paying less in taxes, does not mean that they are actually paying less.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2010, 08:45:07 PM »
Let's bear in mind it is that same military that is able to reach out to victims of tsunamis, earthquakes, local conflicts and what not. Yes, the military is also used in ways some of us disagree with. You cut it's budget significantly and who will suffer as a result of our decreased capacity? Who else can reach out with actual aid around the world, 24 hours and within a relative short span of time?

Again, I do understand some disagree wholly with how our military has been used, but can you deny its usefulness in time of emergency? Perhaps we can maintain a level of twenty-four hour global readiness and reach while paring down some of the unnecessary leviathan functionality.

Offline Vekseid

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2010, 08:56:50 PM »
Any major job creation program would probably involve a new Works Progress Administration. At least we'd get something for it, even if it was notorious for taking on slackers. But that's not happening with the current political climate.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2010, 09:00:32 PM »
Any major job creation program would probably involve a new Works Progress Administration. At least we'd get something for it, even if it was notorious for taking on slackers. But that's not happening with the current political climate.

It will never happen again. The current environment politically is too divided and resistant to cooperation. A lot of that I blame on the change in the way the media works.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2010, 12:56:20 PM »
Let's bear in mind it is that same military that is able to reach out to victims of tsunamis, earthquakes, local conflicts and what not. Yes, the military is also used in ways some of us disagree with. You cut it's budget significantly and who will suffer as a result of our decreased capacity? Who else can reach out with actual aid around the world, 24 hours and within a relative short span of time?

Again, I do understand some disagree wholly with how our military has been used, but can you deny its usefulness in time of emergency? Perhaps we can maintain a level of twenty-four hour global readiness and reach while paring down some of the unnecessary leviathan functionality.

Why is this all on the United States China, the EU, India and Russia all have military forces for humanitarian missions and security on regions we should use our forces to secure the nation from invasions that would truly destroy our nation. I mean another nation or nations with large armies invading North America first and foremost, everything else second.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2010, 01:17:10 PM »
Why is this all on the United States China, the EU, India and Russia all have military forces for humanitarian missions and security on regions we should use our forces to secure the nation from invasions that would truly destroy our nation. I mean another nation or nations with large armies invading North America first and foremost, everything else second.

We tried that a couple times. The second time it happened the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Pulling in completely won't be useful, smart or easy.

We have the navy out on the ocean to maintain the rightful flow of American shipping. If you don't have the folks in uniforms outside our borders things happen to American's outside them.

Look over the history. We pull in and folks think they can do what they want to American citizens. The english impressing American's into service, the assault on Tripoli was to stop piracy against American Flagged ships at the time.

And it continues to this day. Somali pirates have a fairly open hand because they know they can act unimpeded since the American Navy is constantly shrinking. I'm sure there are some areas where the lawlessness will get just as bad.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #55 on: December 03, 2010, 01:54:49 PM »
This is the modern age we have a huge nuclear arsenal I have to ask who do you think would dare risk attacking our nation, any such threat would demand they either nuke us making invading useless and likely ending in the annihilation of the world OR if a conventional attack us attacking with nuclear tactical weapons as they come in. We are far more secure than we ever have been in history.

Somolian pirates (I would be simple buy them off say so much per ship paid by the shippers and use them to maintain a counter to the real terrorist Islamic forces there) and terrorism threaten many nations I have no issue being a fair partner but proportional if we put out one unit, I expect China to have one, Russia one, the EU one etc. As for terrorism keep them from getting nukes nothing else is a mortal threat and anyway our CIA should handle that with special forces not our armies. That is why we are in this mess we placed our men and women right where the enemy wants us in their front yard, they are making us burn trillions on security measures and war far over the threat and are winning. We are losing. And no major power wants to see terrorists use a nuke we have ample allies among the world powers that matter.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #56 on: December 03, 2010, 02:09:36 PM »
This is the modern age we have a huge nuclear arsenal I have to ask who do you think would dare risk attacking our nation, any such threat would demand they either nuke us making invading useless and likely ending in the annihilation of the world OR if a conventional attack us attacking with nuclear tactical weapons as they come in. We are far more secure than we ever have been in history.

Somolian pirates (I would be simple buy them off say so much per ship paid by the shippers and use them to maintain a counter to the real terrorist Islamic forces there) and terrorism threaten many nations I have no issue being a fair partner but proportional if we put out one unit, I expect China to have one, Russia one, the EU one etc. As for terrorism keep them from getting nukes nothing else is a mortal threat and anyway our CIA should handle that with special forces not our armies. That is why we are in this mess we placed our men and women right where the enemy wants us in their front yard, they are making us burn trillions on security measures and war far over the threat and are winning. We are losing. And no major power wants to see terrorists use a nuke we have ample allies among the world powers that matter.


I disagree for:
1. Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nukes) aren't a good deterrent for small actions. Tell me how that discourages folks from aggression on our citizens. Kidnapping is getting to be the crime of choice in a lot of regions. Lack of control of the sea lanes is making piracy a viable choice of business again. Paying them off will only encourage them, and bring more, like sharks to chummed whater.

2. What special forces? The CIA? Oh, you mean the folks that have been constantly and steadily curtailed by a growing policy of regulating what they can and can't do by the folks in the White House and Congress? Special Warfare action is limited to the movies and video games largely do the the constricting rules of engagement we've steadily put on them over the years. Bad Press upsets politicians. I sincerely doubt anyone in office, or likely to be in office will have the intestinal fortitude to change the rules of engagement to the point where we could deploy the special warfare groups like they do in movie, books and video games. And the CIA is predominantly set up to gather, collate and supply intelligence to the government not kill folks in other countries. (They likewise are curtailed by rules of engagement and anxious politicians.)

3. And if you think a major power would be smart enough to not give the 'bad guys' nukes. Sorry, their politicians are as short sighted as ours. Not to mention with the collapse of the Soviet Union there is tech, and the men who made them, out there for sale. Don't assume your (or our) outlook is the same as those elsewhere. That is a common fallacy of counter intelligence.

4. Just because we crawl back home with our tails between our legs does not mean they'll leave us be. We're open, free and tolerant. That means that we are a threat to the radical elements out there because we're successful, rich and growing while the people they oppress aren't.  To the men in control of such places, distance matters little in our rapidly shrinking global community. You, and most of the folk here, are 21st century thinkers. The folks who do acts of terrorism in the Gulf are not. They are bandits and brigands with 21st century gear and an much more primitive and intolerant view of things. To them, we'll always be a threat.


Online Oniya

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #57 on: December 03, 2010, 02:18:48 PM »
Lack of control of the sea lanes is making piracy a viable choice of business again. Paying them off will only encourage them, and bring more, like sharks to chummed water.

Seriously.  Paying off a criminal for safe passage would be like handing money to a local gang leader so that you didn't get beaten up when you left your house.  You might - might get that gang's protection against rival gangs, but any time they wanted to, they could jack up your 'protection fee', or threaten to withdraw that protection and start beating you up again.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #58 on: December 03, 2010, 02:29:54 PM »
Seriously.  Paying off a criminal for safe passage would be like handing money to a local gang leader so that you didn't get beaten up when you left your house.  You might - might get that gang's protection against rival gangs, but any time they wanted to, they could jack up your 'protection fee', or threaten to withdraw that protection and start beating you up again.

Not to mention any such payments are reflected in the cost of the goods when you pay them off. Take a look at the amount the ships that ransomed ships cost. Consider this, that is money insurance companies paid these thugs. Where do they recover their costs. That's right.

Us.. the average joes that 'aren't involved' with the stuff overseas. The world is shrinking as transportation speeds up, as well as communication, and we are effected greatly by things elsewhere that wouldn't have done us so badly in the past.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #59 on: December 03, 2010, 06:31:02 PM »
Well in an attempt to bring this back around to the subject at hand, yes I think we can cut the military budget some and I agree with Trieste that there should be better controls over how much we pay contractors (though I suspect she would go further with that than I). That should help in finding some wiggle room the budget.

Military readiness though isn't something you can let slide, it's like technology, you'll be left in the dust if you don't stay on top of it. What happens in say 10 or 15 years of putting off military expenditures only to find Russia, Venezuela and company have passed us up?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #60 on: December 03, 2010, 06:51:33 PM »
Well in an attempt to bring this back around to the subject at hand, yes I think we can cut the military budget some and I agree with Trieste that there should be better controls over how much we pay contractors (though I suspect she would go further with that than I). That should help in finding some wiggle room the budget.

Military readiness though isn't something you can let slide, it's like technology, you'll be left in the dust if you don't stay on top of it. What happens in say 10 or 15 years of putting off military expenditures only to find Russia, Venezuela and company have passed us up?

I think a lot of our readiness issues are tied to the 'tech-sizing' the military under Donald Rumsfeld. He did a lot to screw up things. He torpedoed a lot of careers of officers who disagreed with him. Their job is to advise, he wanted 'yes men'.

Now we got a lot of neat 'tech gear' but he forgot the first rule of holding a piece of ground.

It's not this months widget that hold the ground.. but men.

Had he not downsized us, we wouldn't be seriously undermanned. I mean the Air Force and Navy have to supply manpower to aid the Marines and Army in their operations. Not whole units but singlular service members. I know something like two dozen guys I worked with that did their sea tours, came back to shore duty and spent a year or so standing guard in Iraq or working with some guys in Afghanistan.

Offline Vekseid

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #61 on: December 03, 2010, 11:19:35 PM »
Well in an attempt to bring this back around to the subject at hand, yes I think we can cut the military budget some and I agree with Trieste that there should be better controls over how much we pay contractors (though I suspect she would go further with that than I). That should help in finding some wiggle room the budget.

Military readiness though isn't something you can let slide, it's like technology, you'll be left in the dust if you don't stay on top of it. What happens in say 10 or 15 years of putting off military expenditures only to find Russia, Venezuela and company have passed us up?

Ideally we'd help pay for our military by selling hardware to the likes of Vietnam, India, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Korea (or South Korea if the Norks don't collapse before something like this takes place). We're already doing this to some extent, but it's not bringing in enough to cover the costs of our overseas presence - and it certainly ought to.

A lot of money for contractors goes to
1) Things that have no business being contracted out, such as mercenary units.
2) Union-protected jobs. The unions are on a bit of thin ice here, but you ever wonder why missiles cost $100k each? Automation and a bit of cleaning house would cut that cost in half, easily.
3) Outright fraud or graft. Sometimes it's typical fraud, sometimes it's about being good friends with a senator. This is honestly a tiny portion compared to the above two, but still.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #62 on: December 03, 2010, 11:30:32 PM »

A lot of money for contractors goes to
1) Things that have no business being contracted out, such as mercenary units.
2) Union-protected jobs. The unions are on a bit of thin ice here, but you ever wonder why missiles cost $100k each? Automation and a bit of cleaning house would cut that cost in half, easily.
3) Outright fraud or graft. Sometimes it's typical fraud, sometimes it's about being good friends with a senator. This is honestly a tiny portion compared to the above two, but still.


I cannot begin to say what sort of chills that 1st one gives me Veks.. Honest to go chills.

And there are some sheer BS on the 3rd one. I've heard of contractors hired to build something (and not the small groups like I worked for) that would hire 20% more manning get way ahead of goals and at the 75% mark can like 60% of the staff and say they needed more money to keep up the work routine.. and then a year later rehire the same folks at starting salary and no seniority.

That is why I don't think Unions are bad.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2010, 02:35:18 PM »
Seriously.  Paying off a criminal for safe passage would be like handing money to a local gang leader so that you didn't get beaten up when you left your house.  You might - might get that gang's protection against rival gangs, but any time they wanted to, they could jack up your 'protection fee', or threaten to withdraw that protection and start beating you up again.

Not really the pirates are not generally successful decent security on the ships and alternate sea routes would suffice, so just pay them off enough not to go after ships. And Somolia has a radical Muslim element big time in the south and other locations where the pirates are moderates. They will see reason if we supported them with money, economic aid and maybe better weapons than the wackjobs have. Its not the first time we supported unsavory elements for our greater good that is stopping a more serious threat. We can keep them fighting it out for decades for a modest fee to shipping. If they refuse we can always bomb the crap out of their towns and kill their families if they piss us off they are no match for a carrier battlegroup and attack subs.

As for military readiness I'm all for being able to arm up to a war footing within six months, and feel a large army reserve and adequete forces are needed but its hard to get people to sign up for reserve or national guard duty when they are going to go overseas every time we decide we have to fight someone. Our war upon war is not allowing us to build up the forces we need for a direct immediate threat. And beyond that we need to be able to mobilize via the draft, train and arm forces with the ability to arm up using domestic industries.

I for one still consider a strong missle defense and a strong nuclear arsenal offering us options as the best defense with the willingness to treat low level devices just like we do any weapon as one we might use first, say up to 5kt to take out a military target.

Online Oniya

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2010, 03:37:09 PM »
Not really the pirates are not generally successful decent security on the ships and alternate sea routes would suffice, so just pay them off enough not to go after ships. And Somolia has a radical Muslim element big time in the south and other locations where the pirates are moderates. They will see reason if we supported them with money, economic aid and maybe better weapons than the wackjobs have. Its not the first time we supported unsavory elements for our greater good that is stopping a more serious threat. We can keep them fighting it out for decades for a modest fee to shipping. If they refuse we can always bomb the crap out of their towns and kill their families if they piss us off they are no match for a carrier battlegroup and attack subs.

Suuuuurre.  If we hand money to them, they'll leave us alone.  They'll be reasonable, and won't ever say 'Hey, we're able to get 10 million dollars out of the US - why not up our demands to 100 million?  We can use the money they gave us, buy some better weapons, and be even more dangerous to shipping.'  Look up 'Mafia protection racket' and you'll see just how successful 'paying them off' is going to be.

And as soon as you try to implement that 'bomb the crap out of their towns and kill their families if they piss us off,' you'll have every humanitarian group in the world pointing out how we bomb defenseless women and children.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2010, 08:54:52 PM »
Not really the pirates are not generally successful decent security on the ships and alternate sea routes would suffice, so just pay them off enough not to go after ships. And Somolia has a radical Muslim element big time in the south and other locations where the pirates are moderates. They will see reason if we supported them with money, economic aid and maybe better weapons than the wackjobs have. Its not the first time we supported unsavory elements for our greater good that is stopping a more serious threat. We can keep them fighting it out for decades for a modest fee to shipping. If they refuse we can always bomb the crap out of their towns and kill their families if they piss us off they are no match for a carrier battlegroup and attack subs.



You know..this 'buy them off and sic them on the folks that don't like us' idea didn't work too well in Afganistan and Iraq in the 70s and 80s.. Gee.. the folks we paid to give the Russians/Iranians crap and trouble were the ones we had to deal with in this century. You know we're responsible for the ONLY proven WMD use by Saddam (He gassed Kurds with tech WE gave him because he was a force we can use against the Iranians.. and the Taliban? Some of them used to be mujahideen. The guys WE helped arm, train and finance)

The lesson. You feed the wolf to sic on someone else, remember he's got an appettite so when you stop feeding him, you better hope there are more sheep around. (A lesson some of the more moderate Islamic governments who discretely finance terrorist would do well to learn when they stop paying them).

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #66 on: December 07, 2010, 12:49:04 AM »
getting back on the subject, if the GOP continues to block all legislation because they want to see Obama fail what then?

Offline Noelle

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #67 on: December 07, 2010, 12:52:02 AM »
Then come 2012 they'll spin it and go SEE LOOK THE DEMOCRATS DON'T DO ANYTHING and probably take office because of the extremely narrow and short attention span of the American people.

This post brought to you by: Optimism!

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #68 on: December 07, 2010, 06:57:20 AM »
*just sighs and nods*

And people are screaming about UI expiring. Ahem. *pulls out soapbox and stands on* This is what happens, America, when you elect the fucking "small-government" Tea Party. You get smaller government, all right.

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #69 on: December 07, 2010, 06:48:41 PM »
So angry with Obama right now.

Offline mystictiger

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #70 on: December 07, 2010, 07:27:31 PM »
On the Piracy question - there is a signficant flow of ransom received to terrorists. In the area. Paying them off will just create problems down the line. Kind of like arming Bin Ladin via the Pakistanis back when he was a good anti-Soviet terrorist.

On the question of what Obama has done - shock horror - a president takes measures to keep himself in power and prep things for a second term bid.

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #71 on: December 07, 2010, 07:36:37 PM »
On the question of what Obama has done - shock horror - a president takes measures to keep himself in power and prep things for a second term bid.

Please don't be dismissive. I don't want two years of this, and I'm frustrated with the President for bowing to it. I hope that the Dems in the Senate don't pass it. He claims he made the deal because it will stimulate the economy, but I don't really see how maintaining the status quo will do that. I'm glad the made the extension of UI part of the deal - it's hurtful to think of millions getting cut off on top of months of joblessness - but the tax cuts extended to the top percentages of the country do nothing for us. Nothing. It goes into a bank account somewhere to rot.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #72 on: December 07, 2010, 07:41:47 PM »
On the Piracy question - there is a signficant flow of ransom received to terrorists. In the area. Paying them off will just create problems down the line. Kind of like arming Bin Ladin via the Pakistanis back when he was a good anti-Soviet terrorist.

Not commenting on the President's action.. I'm split on the move.

As for the Piracy issue.. someone a while back asked why they (the ships) go elsewhere instead of the waters.. well.. Somalia sits on the entrance to the Red Sea.. if you want to use the Suez, you have to all but go through their waters (save a very small segment of ocean by the other side.) Sort of like transiting into the gulf, you have to pass within missle range of the Iranians. (not a fun transit in a carieer let me tell you, sitting in a plane on deck with the systems up, watching the missile radar pop up and down along the west side of the group)

Offline Serephino

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #73 on: December 07, 2010, 08:43:08 PM »
Obama is between a rock and hard place right now.  He really wanted UI to continue, but the Republicans refused to let him unless he extended ALL the tax cuts.  That's how the Republicans play ball.  They make demands and dig in their heals until they get their way.  I can only pray the American people see that these stupid Republicans are the problem....

Even Bush did this.  I still remember when he asked for more money for Iraq and Congress tried to give to him with the condition that he pull out by a certain time.  He refused to accept that.  He kept turning the money down, and called Congress Un American because they weren't giving him the money to fund our troops.  Eventually Congress had to cave and give him the money without strings so the troops wouldn't suffer.

They don't care what damage they cause, as long as they get their way.  I swear, had Obama not extended tax cuts for the wealthiest, they would have kept blocking Unemployment out of spite and things would have gotten worse.  They wouldn't have cared.  Like I said, they're a bunch of two year olds that need a time out and good spanking.