Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — Why don’t Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things. One of those valuable things is that government creates jobs — yes, really — and also the conditions under which more jobs can be created.

You probably read that and thought: But don’t Democrats and liberals say this all the time? Actually, the answer is no. It’s Republicans and conservatives who usually say that Democrats and liberals believe in government. Progressive politicians often respond by apologizing for their view of government, or qualifying it, or shifting as fast as the speed of light from mumbled support for government to robust affirmations of their faith in the private sector.

This is beginning to change, but not fast enough. And the events of recent weeks suggest that if progressives do not speak out plainly on behalf of government, they will be disadvantaged throughout the election-year debate. Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in the Wisconsin recall election owed to many factors, including his overwhelming financial edge. But he was also helped by the continuing power of the conservative anti-government idea in our discourse. An energetic argument on one side will be defeated only by an energetic argument on the other.

The case for government’s role in our country’s growth and financial success goes back to the very beginning. One of the reasons I wrote my book “Our Divided Political Heart” was to show that, from Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay forward, farsighted American leaders understood that action by the federal government was essential to ensuring the country’s prosperity, developing our economy, promoting the arts and sciences, and building large projects: the roads and canals, and later, under Abraham Lincoln, the institutions of higher learning, that bound a growing nation together.

Both Clay and Lincoln battled those who used states’ rights slogans to crimp federal authority and who tried to use the Constitution to handcuff anyone who would use the federal government creatively. Both read the Constitution’s commerce clause as Franklin Roosevelt and progressives who followed him did, as permitting federal action to serve the common good. A belief in government’s constructive capacities is not some recent ultra-liberal invention.

  • PingMan0843

    The founding Fathers carefully constructed the constitution to LIMIT the government. They feared what large government had done in the past and would do in the future if not held in check. The primary reason we are stuck in this recession is because government has begun to push out the private sector in our economy. Regulation is so out of control and tax policies so unstable that the small businesses that drive our economy are struggling while the large companies are holding on to their cash instead of investing it and hiring more employees. Just examine the economic data: economies where the percent of GDP taken by government grows to more than 20%, you find economies that are stuck or in decline. The U.S. is now approaching 30%. If government stimulus worked, Greece would now be at the top of prosperity instead of approaching bankruptcy. The Federal government needs to do what many State governments are doing — get their budgets balanced, get rid of needless regulations, and reduce taxes.

    • I DISAGREE, what caused the financial mess was weakened regulations, no enforcement of regualatios & regualaors asleep on the job!

      • PingMan0843

        Over-regulation creates a business environment where only large companies can afford to meet them; this leads to crony capitalism and loss of competition. Just look at what has happened to banking — 5 or 6 years ago there were hundreds of banks, mostly small, local ones investing in local businesses; now we have a handful of huge banks that spend millions of dollars each year to lobbyists to keep regulations in place that keep out competition. This has resulted in “too big to fail” and the protection of those big banks from the consequences of taking on too much risk.

        • SaneJane

          Could this have anything to do with DEregulation?

    • SaneJane

      Which former large governments did the founding fathers fear? If I remember my history correctly their most recent experience was with a monarchy. Deregulation is what is out of control in this country and your statement about Greece is just nonsense. Austerity is destroying Greece and other European countries and yet you advocate the same for our nation.

      • PingMan0843

        Just examine the facts regarding Greece. The majority of employees in that country are now present or retired government employees with big paychecks and benefits. Greece is proving the adage that big governments always fail because sooner or later they run out of other people’s money to spend. Just examine the world economies and rank them from top to bottom based on the percent of GDP government has. The larger the percent of GDP attributed to government, the worse off people are economically. Governments destroy wealth; only the private sector creates wealth. The founding Fathers were afraid of both loss of liberty and loss of economic freedom that characterized the monarchies of Europe of that period.

        • SaneJane

          So their fears were based on the monarchy? I still think you are wrong. Everyone keeps beating up on Greece but if you just wait a while you will see the other Euro countries fail also. The real root cause of these problems is the unnatural union formed around a common currency. You cannot have different countries with different governments, different economies, different social programs and different people held together by nothing but their currency. When each of these countries relinquished control of their currency to an outside entity they were doomed. The private does create wealth but not on their own and who does it benefit. Exactly how do governments destroy wealth?

          • ObozoMustGo

            InsaneJane… like I replied in my other post… they were not affraid of a “monarchy” per se, but rather they were afraid of tyranny… a heavy handed all powerful central government. They basically attempted to create a government that was close to anarchy (that’s no government for you guys on the left), but which gave the Feds extremely limited responsibilities and a lot of restrictions over their power. They sought to keep Fed government small and limited and leave more power to the states while retaining a cohesive purpose of common defense amongst the states. It’s the only way the Constitution could have been ratified.

            Governments destroy wealth because they create nothing. They can only take wealth out of the private sector. Some of this, like defense, is needed but not for transfer payments by taking from one person and giving to another.

            Have a nice day!

          • PingMan0843

            Yes, most of Europe were monarchies. The reason they were all overthrown is because that centralized control of the economy results in a wealthy few and abject poverty for the masses. Only private enterprise creates wealth. Basically this is how it is done: a business person buys raw materials and pays employees to make those into widgets. The widgets have value to some customers who are willing to pay more than the widget maker spent to create it — that difference is new wealth. By contrast, governments take money from those who earned it (by working for or owning a business) and transfer it to pay government workers to write more regulations, inspect something, prosecute people, spy on something, conduct war on someone, or pay private companies to build roads and bridges. The reason no wealth is created is that no customer buys what the government is producing– the wealth is merely transferred from one place to another. Once government grows so big that it reaches 20%+ of all the wealth produced in an economy, it takes so much from the private sector that the economy stops growing. If nothing is done to stop this, the economy gradually wanes and can even go bankrupt. This happened to Egypt & Rome 1000’s of years ago, the Soviet Union in the 80’s and now is happening to Greece, Spain and others. All of these declines were brought on by central governments growing too large and reverting to printing money (fiat currency) that is not backed by anything but a promise of the government printing it. This happened to the US in 1974 when Nixon took the US off the gold standard. The dollar bills used to be backed by gold and silver and it said so on the bills themselves. Now it is backed by the Federal Reserve – a private bank that can print US money. For almost 40 years now, the US dollar has been dramatically de-valued largely because the Federal government has no restraints against printing money without having anything of value to back it up. Our government started destroying wealth the moment was created — but for the first 200 years, it was less than 5% of the GDP. It was during this period that our economy created more wealth than any other economy every had. Under these conditions, everyone’s boat floats higher. Sure some people get extremely wealthy but everyone benefits. Look how the poor in our country live today compared to even 100 years ago. They have plenty of food, air conditioned homes, cars, cell phones, etc. compared to what poor people had at the beginning of the 1900’s. The middle class is now really living well compared to the middle class in 1900. Who do you think knows how best to spend the money you make? You or some government bureaucrat?

            Hopefully this explanation makes sense to you.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Hello InsaneJane! I hope you are well today. In response to your post, you are only partially correct in that our founders dealt with the monarchy as the example of what not to do. Though the monarchy may have been a smaller government, it was not the size that concerned the founders, it was the tyranny of the minority. Tyranny was what they were concerned with. In addition, if you think our founders were stupid and were unaware of the world around them, you are wrong. They were very educated and many of them were masters of history, being fully aware of civilizations back to Greece and further. It’s why we have a Representative Republic, NOT a democracy.

        As far as Greece is concerned, how can you say that austerity is destroying Greece? Please consider the following:

        1) Where does their government get the money to spend? Any clue? That’s right… taxation OR debt.
        2) What is debt? Debt is FUTURE taxation that must be levied to pay for today’s spending on goodies.
        3) Why are they having trouble spending more money? BECAUSE THEY HAVE TOO MUCH DEBT, that’s why.
        4) For how long do you think they can just keep going into debt before payment of interest on the debt consumes too much of the government budget?
        5) Do you think that people that buy government bonds are interested in giving Greece more money? If they do, how much interest should the charge to reflect high risk? Look up the interest rate on Greek debt. Just Google it.
        6) Would you buy a Greek Government bond with your retirement savings? PLEASE ANSWER THIS ONE QUESTION. Thanks.

        Anyone that thinks they can go into debt until they are prosperous is clearly NOT in their right mind.

        Awaiting your response I remain…

        Have a nice day, Jane! 🙂

        • SaneJane

          Clicked the like button by mistake and can’t take it back.

          Your argument contains such a mash up of economics and politics that it sounds like rant. Maybe I am crazy but there are many world famous, well-respected, award winning economists who have the same views as I. Starving an economy to create prosperity is an exercise in futility. It won’t work. Maybe you will get your wish and the Republicans will get the opportunity to prove one of us wrong.

        • SaneJane

          Also, regarding the monarchy, I only mentioned this in response to PingMan’s post that begins “our founding fathers”. He said they feared big government and I asked what big governments did they fear as their most recent experience had been with the monarchy.

    • William Deutschlander

      PingMano – you have been drinking too much GOP Tea that was subjected to polluted drinking water and Polluted air, it has poisoned your mind.

      I am positive that without Government Regulations the Monopolies would be bountifull, water would be putrid and air would be unbreathable! We would have a population of 99% SERFS in failing health and near death!

      Without taxes you have no INFASTRUCTURE and everything comes to a HALT!

      Get REAL PingMano!

      • PingMan0843

        How do you explain these data? Some taxes and some regulations (mostly establishing the rules for how the economic games are to be played) are needed — but fewer is always better.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Ping… Great post! Simple economic stats bolster your point. The funny thing is InsaneJane’s response to you. I actually like InsaneJane, but she’s a duh on this matter. If only we knew before that everyone could work for the government, and that all we have to do is run up our debt to be prosperous, we could all be like Warren Bufftett today. Why didnt someone tell us that long ago???? If only………

      Have a nice day!

      • SaneJane

        Where do you think money comes from in this country? Everyone doesn’t have to work for the government but all dollars originate with the government. You could try making your own currency but I understand that it is severely frowned upon. When the government creates a dollar by spending a dollar it puts $1 in their liability column but it puts $1 in someone else’s asset column. Therefore, debt is money creation where the government is concerned. Even if you ran up your own debt you have created an asset for someone else. However, you cannot create money to pay your debts so you are different than the government.

        • ObozoMustGo

          InsaneJane… so what you are saying is what? Please clarify.

          1) that all money basically belongs to the government?

          2) The government can create money to pay their own debts?

          Please confirm so I don’t misunderstand.

          Have a nice day, Jane!

          • SaneJane

            As I said in my previous post, money originates with government. That doesn’t mean it stays with government, what would that accomplish? It is put into circulation. Some goes back in the form of taxes, etc., but the act of sending it back takes it out of circulation and it is thus effectively destroyed. Yes, the federal government can create money to pay it’s debts. Our debts are in dollars, payable in dollars, and we control the dollars. If you enter into a contract that says you will pay someone X amount of dollars and the dollar became worthless you could still pay your debt with dollars. Theoretically, the US could pay all it’s debts at once with a few key stokes. There are reasons that this is not desirable or advisable but it is possible. Look at the makeup of the national debt, how it came into being, what it’s functions are and you will see why this should not be done.

          • ObozoMustGo

            Hi InsaneJane! Sorry for delay in getting back to you. If by money, you mean “currency”, then yes the government prints the currency. This has not always been the case throughout American history. In fact, during the Great Depression, there were towns in America where they created their own currency to facilitate trade because FDR screwed so many millions of people with the confiscation of gold, price controls, and deliberate destruction of food supplies. This is true. Look it up. There are towns in Greece that have abandoned the Euro and now have complex barter markets set up to facilitate trade, as well. So when we talk about currency, we have to be careful to note that currency is only a unified measure of wealth. And while currency printing currently resides with the Federal Reserve (neither Federal nor Reserve by the way) wealth only comes from the private sector.

            I am, however, quite relieved to see that even a lefty like you understands in some way the printing currency to pay down debts is a REALLY BAD idea. In economic terms, this is called monetizing the debt. By the way, our current Fed calls this a fancy phrase known as “Quantitative Easing”. And if you think that our Fed and Government are NOT monetizing our debts, think again. I challenge you to look up a chart in the growth rate of money supply. You should be shocked what your government is doing to you, and especially to seniors and others that live on fixed incomes. Unfortunately, Europe is doing the same thing.

            Follow me on this next paragraph, Jane….

            We have major financial problems coming and anyone reading this should take heed. The combined national debt of the G10 (the ten largest economies) exceeds $70TRILLION. That’s about 140% of global GDP. The US is by far the largest debtor nation. The debts are held predominantly by the banking system that has been encouraged by the politicians to keep financing their profligate spending on social programs over the decades. As the risk of not being paid begins to grow, these financial institutions try to hedge their bets. Hedging a bet to a financial institution is like buying insurance. This is what is known in common language these days as “derivatives”. There are approximately $700TRILLION in derivatives that are collateralized by that $70TRILLION in sovereign debt.

            You see, this is why even a little piss-ant country like Greece with an economy of only $300B is such a worry. You see, the entire global financial system is actually a very large house of cards. Greece is only one of those cards, but like a set of dominoes, once it is tripped, it ripples through the system. Spain and Italy are the next ones to fall. Both of them have very large economies and banks that are far more important to global trade that Greece is. Right now, if you are paying attention to the financial news, and I dont mean the garbage on CNBC, you know that the likelihood of real trouble is greater than the likelihood of smooth resolution.

            The only choice the Fed or the European Central Bank have is to create an illusion that everything is OK while in the background bailout after bailout of banks and countries occurs with a crank up of the printing presses. It’s going on right now beneath our noses, and unless you are tuned in, you’re just a sheep going through your daily grind being led to your slaughter.

            I haven’t even gotten into the issue of China and how they have been hoarding gold for the past 10+ years. Last month alone they bought 228 tons of gold. They have been waging a currency war on us for some time and our leaders have been letting them get away with it. At some point, since we owe them about $2T, they will get tired of us paying them in increasingly worthless dollars. When that happens, they will announce the convertability of the yuan into some form of backing by gold or a basket of varying precious metals. What do you think happens to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency at that point? It’s GONE! All of the trillions of printed US dollars that currently reside in countries’ national reseves for trade will begin to be returned to us. What do you think happens when all of that currency floods the market? You’re correct if you said massive hyperinflation.

            We are at the precipice of a financial calamity, Jane. I have not posted this anywhere in these blogs until now when you kind of dragged me into it. Looking at things objectively, Obozo was not the cause of this, but he certainly has hastened it with his 1930’s mentality of borrow and spend, borrow and spend, as his solution to economic recovery. The problem is that the cure he has prescribed is far worse thant the disease ever could have been. I’m not sure if Romney will be better, frankly, but I do know that Obozo’s ideas have been a massive failure at a time when we can least afford it. Even with Romney, or anyone else short of the courage and leadership of a George Washington or Abe Lincoln, I honestly don’t think it will matter much at this point.

            That’s my 2 cents. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’m that far off.

            Have a nice day, Jane!

      • You have obviously never taken macro economics — or you have been listening to all the deficit-mongering by Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh & Fox “New.” The fact is, a large federal deficit is not a problem when long-term interest rates are low — and right now America’s long-term interest rates are the lowest they have been in history. When the economy is slack, every dollar increase in federal spending (in America) adds at least $3-$4 dollars to our gross national product — in fact, some economists say that it adds up to $7 dollars to our gross national product. So Congress needs to pass Obama’s stimulus plans, not block them — in order to help the economy. Stopping federal spending during a recession is like taking food away from a starving patient.

        The problem with Spain & Greece etc., is that their long term interest rates are extremely high — The interest on Greece’s ten year note is around 28% for cripe’s sake, so, in their case, having a large deficit is the worst thing they could do.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Patty… You must be a teacher. Book smart, but no common sense whatsoever. I am very well versed in Keynesian theory as well as the Austrian school (Ludwig von Mises). I read a good deal about economics from Freidman to Sowell to even Krugman. One of my college econ professors was nominate for a Nobel and served for 2 or 3 presidents including JFK.

          You’re quoting of the Keynesian “multiplier effect” is not at all about what YOU know. Instead, you are getting that information from one of the Obozo campaign propaganda sites like MoveOn or any other nutjob site. Not even Keynes suggested such a wild multiplier effect as even $3 -$4 let alone the pipe dream of $7 per dollar spent. How stupid can you be to believe that? Any idiot that believes that also believes that we can spend our way to prosperity, but then again, that is the hallmark of being a useful idiot…. you’ll believe anything AND defend it!

          Setting aside all the of the above, let us just analyze a simple concept, Patty.

          Why are Greece’s interest rates 28%? Is it because people with money do not want to lend it to them without a high rate of interest that reflects the high rate of risk they are taking? Of course it is. Anyone that lends money charges higher interest to higher risks. This is common sense.

          Knowing that tidbit of common sense, how did Greece’s interest rates go so high? Was it because they spent waaaayyyy more than they take in for a long period of time? Of course it was. What is Greece’s national debt? Do you know? I do. Their GDP is about $310 Billion, total debt is about $380 Billion, or a little more that 120% of GDP. Their annual budget deficits are about 15% of GDP. [note, ours are 20%] Greece is the 32nd largest economy in the world. Why is such a small country creating such global problems? hmmmmm

          By your rationale and belief in the “multiplier effect”, Greece should be wealthy. All that government spending over the years should have been multiplied into wealth of 3 – 400% of spending BEFORE they got into all this trouble, shouldn’t it have? Of course, according to Keynes, Greece should be wealthy and doing just fine. There should never be a debt crisis if your “mulitplier effect” is true. Of course it’s not.

          In the real world, Patty, what happens first BEFORE interest rates go up is that governments borrow money through the issuance of bonds. They keep borrowing more and more and more and more until the guys that loan the money begin to question their ability to pay off the loan. This has nothing to do with government established rates. It has to do with the bond markets. Traders that assess market risk. Ratings agencies that assess future risks. Not politicians or your beloved bureaucrats. They are the idiots in this game, not the traders.

          Why do you think that America is NOT like Greece? I am attaching a picture of a chart that shows America’s Per Capita National Debt is even higher than Greece’s, or anyone elses for that matter. Look it over and weep.

          Face the facts, Patty. We are facing a fiscal disaster. Bush made it bad, Obozo has made it worse. MUCH WORSE. And he is doubling down on his theory of spending more and borrowing more will make us prosperous. He is a fool! And anyone that believes him is a fool, as well.

          Have a nice day!

  • montanabill

    That’s Putin’s mentality too! He’s probably still ticked at Reagan.

    • William Deutschlander

      Appears you have not been able to pull your head out yet!

  • RIGHT ON!!!!!

  • hilandar1000

    This article is 100 percent correct. It’s privatization of everything that is ruining our society. It puts business and greed in control, instead of the people. Too much privatization in our health care field has become a horrible drain on our society. Until we face that fact and get it under government control, our society will keep going towards an aristocracy that will wipe out the middle class. Obama tried his best — and did make some progress, although it was not enough because of the strong lobbies against it. We need MORE government control — not less, and it’s time we faced that fact head on.

    • ObozoMustGo

      hil…. Please respond to these questions:

      1) Who is it in government that is smarter than everyone else?

      2) How did they get smarter than people in the private sector?

      3) Why are they not subject to greed and corruption?

      Awaiting your response I remain…

      Have a nice day!

      • SaneJane

        Your questions are simplistic and vague. Let’s reverse each of them and see if you can answer them. Either one of us can provide answers but it would still be meaningless. There is no one person in the public or private sector who is smarter than everyone else. Since they don’t exist Questions 2 and 3 are mute. There are things that only government can do for the people of a nation.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Hi InsaneJane! Anyone that doesnt have answers for simple questions obviously has NO answers.

          The FEDERAL government should ONLY do for people what they cannot do for themselves. Like:

          1) assemble an army and manage national defense
          2) Run a judicial system that enforces contracts and laws
          3) Insure commerce amongst the states is not restricted
          4) Manage foreign affairs
          5) Minor regulatory functions like the FDA and EPA, so long as they are limited.

          Outside of that, the Fed should not be doing anything else. Fire, Police, Ambulance, Roads, Schools, etc… are all functions that are State and local responsibilities.

          If you dont like what the Constitution says, go through the amendment process. But dont make up things.

          Have a nice day, Jane!

          • awakenaustin

            Ah, there is the rub. What does the constitution say?
            Please don’t say it is very simple and straight forward.
            If that were correct there, wouldn’t have been any need for the Federalists Papers (one group of folks opinions) and people would not have been arguing about its limits and meaning almost from the day it was adopted.

            Didn’t that great big war they fought between 1861 and 1865 have something to do with the meaning of the Constitution?

            There were three baseball umpires arguing about how to do their job calling balls and strikes.

            One says, ” I call them as they are!”

            Another slightly more insightful says, “I call them as I see them.”

            The third says, “They aren’t anything until I call them.”

            The meaning of the U.S. Constitution is what we agree it is. Contrary to what Antonin has to say about original meaning, there is no immutable meaning to it. An idea he honors when it serves his purpose. So the founders thought corporations were people. A lifeform which did not exist then.

          • ObozoMustGo

            Hello awake! You’re baseball analogy is a phony one as it applies to the Constitution. They are not similar. The Constitution is NOT a “living document”. Nor is it as pliable as judging a baseball pitch. It’s a piece of paper with words. An inanimate object with words that are written in English with plain meaning. The idiot that came up with the concept of the “living” document was a leftist (it might have been Woodrow Wilson) that did not like the constraints on government that were written in plain English. Instead, this concept of a “living document” enabled them to twist the meanings of words and stretch them to justify going outside of the constraints on government. And that was the beginning of the downfall of Liberty and the enormous growth in government.

            No where in the Constitution does it indicate that the Fed should be involved in healthcare, education, agriculture, energy, housing, food, police, fireman, ambulance, and the litany of other services that are to be left to the states as CLEARLY indicated in the 10th Amemdment:

            “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

            It means exactly what it says. If a power is NOT given to the Fed Govt in the Constitution, then it is left to the States. Plain and simple. No equivocation!

            You lefties really need to read the Constitution.

            One more point…. how many friggin times do I have to explain this? A corporation is a legal document filed with a state. Those pieces of paper are not rising up from their filing cabinets to attack America, I can assure you of that. All a corporation is is people who get up and go to work every day like you or me trying to provide for our families. They have a common purpose to produce products or services that others want and/or need. That’s all it is. A group of people with a common purpose. JUST LIKE A UNION. The union is not a person, but the people that make it up ARE. Both unions and corporations are groups of people that have right to have their interests and views heard by their political leaders. Both groups of PEOPLE have a right to express their views without restriction. Any group, however organized, is made up of PEOPLE, all of which have the same rights granted by God and protected under the Constitution.

            You need to wake up, awake. Do I still get love and kisses? 🙂 🙂

            Have a nice day, my lefty friend!

          • awakenaustin

            No where in the Constitution does it say money is speech either .Clearly in a purely contextual and hard and fast view of the meaning of the word speech at the time of the passage of the First Amendment speech is speech, i.e., talking.

            What kind of speech did that mean? Only political or also economic speech? How do libel and slander fit in there. Are you free to tell scurrilous lies about people without any fear of legal recourse by them? Is assassination okay as a form of speech? Am I free to shout you down when you give a political speech as long as I am not the government? Are the States free to limit speecha any way they want to? Why does the 14th Amendment apply the 1st to the States? Surely someone had to interpret something there. I think it is called the incorporation doctrine. Without it the Supremes don’t get to strike down campaign financing laws passed by the States.

            See there is lots to be interpreted about the Constitution. To pretend otherwise is to pretend. Once again the fact that you simply assert something does not make it accurate or true.

            Neither unions or corporations are people. They may made up of people, but the are not people. One of the criticisms anti-union people make of unions is they speak the voice of their leaders and not their members. Doesn’t that criticism apply to corporations also? Do they represent the single united voice of their employees and shareholders?

            We have gone way beyond the 10th and we aren’t going back. Bush v. Gore was a clear example of the Supremes ignoring the States and the 10th Amendment. It was clearly a political decision and not one based on the clear unadulterated meaning of the document or it would of left the decision up to the Florida Supreme Court.

            Sorry, my wife says I can’t give you love and kisses anymore. This despite the fact that I told her I thought you could use some man love. 😉

          • ObozoMustGo

            awake… hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ROFLMAO!!!!!!! I’m in complete agreement with your wife! Thank you Mrs. Awake! Like I said before, my acceptance was condition on whether or not you were female. hahahahahahahahaha….

            Thanks for the good laugh, my lefty friend! 🙂

            Regarding speech…. the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech has nothing to do with money, or no money. In fact, it can be argued quite effectively that restricting money is tantamount to preventing one from having their voice heard, and is therefore a restriction on speech. For what good is freedom of speech if I am restricted to only communicating with others within the sound of my voice. When the Constitution was written, freedom of speech also included freedom of the press, correct? Of course it did. With technological advancement, the definition of “the press” has become vastly expanded. However, whatever form “the press” takes, it is still solely a means of communicating ideas to large numbers of people who are not within the sound of your voice. Hence, keeping a group of people or individuals from having legal access to have their voices heard outside of the sound of their personal voices IS, IN FACT, a restriction on speech and is clearly unconstitutional. The Constitution and the courts have not made any distinction between individual or groups in the definition of what is speech.

            Clearly there are limits to speech insofar as you cant put other people in harms way by screaming “FIRE” in a crowded theater. Nor can you spread public lies in print about another private person that harms them in reputation or financially. Clearly, the courts have held public figures to a higher threshhold of proof for libel or slander specifically for the protection of free speech and the right of people to speak out publicly against their leaders.

            In short, I’d rather err on the side of free speech than to have political leaders be involved in the decisions about whom and how people can speak. To me, this is the slippery slope toward tyranny when we give up our liberties for the sole reason that we don’t like someone else’s speech and we want it restricted. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean you should want it restricted. For whenever the political winds shift as they inevitably do, your ox may be the next one to be gored, and there will be no one to speak up for you.

            Have a nice day, awake! Send my regards (and thanks) to your bride! 🙂

          • serge

            As you have renamed SaneJane “InsaneJane,” I shall now rename you “BozoMustGo.”

          • ObozoMustGo

            whatever makes you happy, serge!

      • hubydoll166

        Our government is suppose to be the voice of the people and how we want our country to operate..Its a huge corporation that we all have a share of. I think that one of the best reasons for government is to protect the citizens from private corporatioons who seek to enslave us. Just look at what BIG Pharma and energy business are doing to this country..if there were no government then we would literally live in a waste land. People who say that we dont need or should have limited government are the one’s who want to do bad things..our govt should be giving value to its people. Big business can operate here but they must do it under our rules and regulations..we are the asset to business but yet some would have us think that its the other way around. Think about it? Why did our founding fathers give us this freedom? To be ruled and governed by “profiteers? I dont think so..People better wake up in a hurry and figure out whats going on and install politicians for the people again…its either going toi gvet very dismal or good again…DONT GIVE UP YOUR DEMOCRACY!! I have nothing against everybody being fair biut this is what the big uproar is about!! somebody want to keep gaming our democracvy and create new world order of slaves because they have so much money that there is nothing left to do but rule the people…do we want a society and government like syria? Thats what you get when people dont have a say in their counytry…wake up nand stomp out the extreme right/tea baggers who are making our lives worse..reform everything and if corporations would create jobs then people can get off welfare..big business sucks the welfare nipple just as hard if not harder…PEOPLE MUST UNITE..MAJORITY RULE AGAIN! i WATCHED MAJORITY RULE GO OUT THE WINDOW..

        • I can choose which company I work for…or not work (as proven by all the multi-year unemployed)…but I cannot chose which government to live under.

        • ObozoMustGo

          huby…. where to begin? So much fantasy about so many things that just are NOT so.

          1) Our government is NOT a huge corporation that we all have a share of. That is utter nonsense. The only reason we have a Federal Government in the first place is for common DEFENSE and Justice. The purpose of the government is to protect and insure the rights that God gave you are not taken away by tyrants in centrally controlled, all powerful governments. The government’s duty is NOT to spread goodies out among the people.

          2) Big Pharma and Big Energy? What kind of leftist nutjob and useful idiot thinks like this? I’m sorry, huby, but really! What’s wrong with you? You dont like antibiotics or medicine? You dont like gas in your car or lights in your home? Where do you think these things come from? Where?

          You leftists love to criticize “profiteers”. What is a “profiteer”? Please explain what exactly that means.

          3) How many friggin times do I have to explain this? A corporation is a legal document filed with a state. Those pieces of paper are not rising up from their filing cabinets to attack America, I can assure you of that. All a corporation is is people who get up and go to work every day like you or me trying to provide for our families. They have a common purpose to produce products or services that others want and/or need. That’s all it is. A group of people with a common purpose. JUST LIKE A UNION. The union is not a person, but the people that make it up ARE. Both unions and corporations are groups of people that have a right to have their interests and views heard by their political leaders. Both groups of PEOPLE have a right to express their views without restriction. Any group, however organized, is made up of PEOPLE, all of which have the same rights granted by God and protected under the Constitution. It’s that simple. No grey area to it.

          4) Did the freedoms the founding fathers gave us apply to someone that starts a business, regardless of the formation of that business? Why do they have to comply with what YOU tell them they must do? Why are their rights less than yours?

          5) This whole paranoia about corporations wanting to make slaves of people is just so stupid that it defies logic. Why would a company want all of it’s people broke and slaves? It’s just so dumb of a notion that it boggles the mind.

          6) You talk about this “new world order” and then equate the Tea Party to the government of Syria? Are you frigging kidding me? What kind of drugs are you on? How stupid can a person be to think like this. You say this crap about a new world order, but you support Obozo who is signing treaties that GIVE AWAY our sovereignty. You support organizations and philosophies of George Soros, who openly states that he wants and supports a new world order. You have no idea what the hell you are talking about. Tea Party supports limited government, individual liberty, fiscal responsibility, and free market economics. THATS IT! How is supporting our Constitution as it was written and intended taking your freedoms away?

          Huby, I am sorry to say so, but you must either be:

          a) completely high
          b) a college student who has no clue about the real world
          c) a teacher/professor who has no clue about the real world
          d) a government worker
          e) unemployed and/or never had a real job
          f) some combination of the above

          Anyone that works in the real world and provides for themselves simply does not have a brain that is so jumbled that it concocts such goofy ideas. That is, unless you are a committed socialist or statist.

          Have a nice day, my confused friend!

      • hilandar1000

        What is your point in asking these questions? Intelligence is only one of a number of considerations in the selection process of leaders in either government or the private sector. Another important consideration of primary importance is accountability. The CEO of a corporation is accountable to his stockholders and is focused on making a profit. In government, our leaders are accountable to the voters and the focus is on serving the needs of their constituency.

        I am opposed to privatization because I have had ample opportunity to observe the consequences of it. The consequences are sky-rocketing, out-of-control pricing and lower quality of services. Are you aware of the effectiveness of various industries in regulating themselves? Do you recall that Haliburton charged the government for serving 4 times as many meals for the troops as they actually served? Do you recall the name Blackwater and the actions of Blackwater employees in Iraq? Does the term “too big to fail” have any meaning for you? Do you realize that before privatization was introduced into the health field, people who made a median income of $3,000 per year in 1950 could actually afford medical care — without insurance? In order for households to keep up with the rate of rising medical costs, the median income level would have to be in excess of $275000 in 2012.

        Do you remember the death of the miners whose lives were lost because the republican party, in keeping with their devotion to less regulation for businesses, did not enforce the regulations for which the company had been cited for some time? And you must recall the financial collapse of 2008, due in large part to the lack of regulation of that sector of our society.

        Yes, I am well aware of instances of corruption in government, but the people do have a vote and can vote those officials out of office who are held accountable for that corruption. The people have a voice in choosing their governments leaders. They do not have a voice in choosing the CEO’s of corporations.

        In a democracy, the people must be able to hold their government accountable. That cannot be done with rampant privatization of needed services and lack of regulation when the health and safety of citizens are at risk.

        • ObozoMustGo

          hil… you did not answer the questions. No problem. I know you dont want to answer because the honest answer will not suit your fantasy well. Let’s get this straight right now… you are not opposed to privatization… You’re opposed to PRIVATE and PROFITS.. period! Let’s just be honest.

          Any idiot that actually believes government is more efficient than private business is a complete moron that simply does not understand the world around him. You cannot say that government could make ANYTHING cheaper. In fact, it’s precisely BECAUSE of government involvement that costs go up so high. Witness healthcare and college education.

          Where is your brain, hil? You wrote the following:

          >”Do you realize that before privatization was introduced into the health field, people who made a median income of $3,000 per year in 1950 could actually afford medical care — without insurance?”<

          uhhh… hil….. uhhhh…. health care was completely private in 1950 and EVERY year before that since the beginning of time in America. You have actually proven your own argument wrong. The growth in the cost of medicine began when the government became involved. The more involved they are, the higher the cost, the lower the level of service. Why do you think Obozo originally said Obozo care would cost $800 BILLION. Now, today, before it's even implimented, the CBO is saying that it will cost $2 TRILLION over 10 years. WE HAVENT SEEN DAY ONE OF THIS DISASTER AND ITS COSTS HAVE ALREADY MORE THAN DOUBLED. What kind of idiot supports this nonsense.

          You have this unwaivering faith in government, hil, that is totally unjustified. Just like all of you leftist nutjobs do. You ignore the past, ignore the realities around you, and have this never ending faith despite the consequences of failure that stare you in the face. Typical leftist idiot.

          This is why I say that Liberalism is the disease that presents itself as its own cure. The sicker you get, the more you want the cure that makes you sick.

          As to Blackwater or Haliburton, there are more examples of government corruption than there is private corruption. And that's giving you the benefit of the doubt about what you say is true when in all likelihood, it's probably more propaganda from some leftist nutjob site on the web. Assuming true, the employees who did wrong should be punished.

          Have a nice day!

          • hilandar1000

            Oh, Bozo, Bozo — this is getting very boring. First you ask questions for which you know there are no answers, (unless you can direct me to a website which gives a comparison of the IQ’s of all government employees with the IQ’s of all people in the private sector). I’m not sure what relevance that has to this discussion, but that was your first question. Then you asked a question that would involve comparing the educational achievement and environmental background of all those people in the above-mentioned groups in order to ascertain why one group is more intelligent than the other. Okay, I give up — I don’t know the answer to those questions — would you like to tell me? (Let me give you a little tip here — in a political debate, you never ask a question that you, yourself are not able to answer). However, I’m not sure why you even brought those questions up, because there was no prior mention of IQ’s in the original article. The original article being discussed was governmental control versus privatization. Let’s try to stay focused — okay?

            Then you go on in your “faux refutation” to ignore certain words that are not convenient for your argument — like the word “before”. I stated very clearly that 1950 was BEFORE privatization was initiated. I did not say that privatization was initiated IN 1950, as you mistakenly seemed to infer. I chose the 1950 date because that is roughly when other industrialized countries started setting up state-run universal health care systems. As a matter of fact, I do not know the precise date on which privatization was initiated in this country. I was first made aware of it when a large corporation bought a hospital near the place where I lived. I personally witnessed the level of care declining very rapidly and prices sky-rocketing after that time. I followed similar reactions of patients in other parts of the country as more hospitals were taken over by large corporations. (Often those corporations were ones that had previously been connected to the hospitality industry, but were in no way connected to the medical field). By the time people realized the negative effect of corporate-run hospitals, prices had risen so much that people were forced to have medical coverage in order to receive medical care. By this time insurance companies and corporations had negotiated on the length of stay and services allowed for patients. It didn’t matter what the doctor thought necessary for his or her patients. The insurance companies and corporations had decided the level of care available for each patient, regardless of the recommendations of a patient’s personal physician. If you really want to have your eyes opened about our health care system as compared to others, you could check out a group on Facebook called Americans Abroad in exile for affordable medical coverage.

            But then, in view of your posts here, I guess you really don’t want to know the truth. So go ahead and wander off into your own little far-right fantasy world where you can make up your own facts and support your arguments with whatever you manage to conjure up in your safe little uninformed world — and be happy with that.

          • ObozoMustGo

            My Lord, hil… you are one stuck-on-stupid leftist nutjob, arent you?

            To borrow a phrase from your messiah, Obozo… Let me clear! You say that “1950 was BEFORE privatization was initiated”. How dumb can you be? Your implication is that prior to 1950, healthcare was NOT private. That is patently false. It has been since the beginning of time in America. If it was not private BEFORE 1950, what was it exactly? Explain, you dope!

            While I know you like to avoid the central theme of this discussion with typical leftist topic changes, I’ll keep you focused on the original point. Your point, NOT MINE, was that government control over healthcare was good and that privatization was bad. By implication, your belief is what it is because you think government can run it better. If you think government can run it better, the only reason you think that is because you have more faith in government than private citizens. My questions were designed to elicit a response from you about why you have this faith in government? Despite the proof to the contrary where we have seen the utter failure of government run anything, you still have this unwaivering faith that defies objective analysis. Why?

            Awaiting your response I remain….

            Have a nice day!

          • hilandar1000

            I understand that your verbal skills are limited. However, it seems that it is impossible for you to make any point without trying to add emphasis by means of name-calling. It is not only ineffective, but also highly offensive — especially so when your pompous pronouncements are riddled with misinformation. It is getting very tedious to have to explain history to you as well as English language usage. The word “privatization” in the article referred to the takeover of various necessary services by large, “for profit” corporations. Before 1950, hospitals were run by non-profit charity or church organizations or by communities. I am so sorry for the confusion. I naturally assumed that, since you became involved in this discussion in the first place, you would have some basic knowledge of the terms that were being used. However, it seems that, for someone of your intellectual capabilities, we have to start at square one.

            Your logic is non-existent. You latch onto one point that you happen to consider useful for your purposes and then ignore all the steps in-between and jump to whatever conclusion you want to draw — including telling me what I think. But then, I guess that’s part of the paranoia of the voices in your head that tell you that you are always correct in your thinking, and anyone who disagrees with you is wrong. If you had read my earlier replies to you, you would know that I have faith in government BECAUSE of its accountability to private citizens. Therefore, I feel that government can exercise more control over unreasonable pricing for necessary services for all people (like medical care) than is possible with a “for profit” corporation.

            Your statement that “government is an utter failure at running anything” is mind-boggling. If that is your true feeling, why do you remain in this country? Why not move to someplace like Somalia, where there is no government? It is true that forms of government do evolve in order to meet the needs of citizens. They don’t immediately get things right in the process of evolving. However, the citizens in a democracy have a right to voice their opinions, and, when something proves unsuccessful for the majority of the people, adjustments can, and are, made, and the people and the government survive. If we continue on the current path of privatization of the health care field, it will not be long until only the people in the top income level will be able to afford health care. The top income levels would be faced with an unhealthy population to draw on for workers, and they, too would suffer from such an outcome.

          • ObozoMustGo

            hil… your being stuck on stupid is a statement of fact, not an insult! (just kidding with you, for Pete’s sake)

            First off, charities and church organizations ARE private. Sorry, they are.

            Second, only an ingorant big government leftist could harken back to the good ole days of pre-1950 medical care because there was no “evil profits” in your opinion. Fact is, ANYONE objective would look at the immense progress in medical care since the 1950’s and without question, would immediately know that such progress was initiated with the private incentive for profits. And America led the world for decades (and still does somewhat) in medical and pharmaceutical innovation. This is NOT a deniable fact.

            It’s clear that you are either an academic or a government bureacrat or some other parasitic profession, but you certainly are NOT a business man. You would have failed at that long ago, for certain. The profit incentive IS the main driver behind innovation and the main driver behind cost cutting for competitive survival. Witness the following example:

            Car Insurance – Car Insurance is what we call REAL insurance. It doesnt pay for your maintenance, breaks, tires or gasoline. It only pays when you have a large expensive or catestrophic loss. You bear a little burden in your pre-agreed upon deductible, they pick up the rest. The market is quite efficient and cost effective. If you are a bad driver with higher risks, then you pay more. Good driver, low risk, low premium. Very simple. Auto repair is exceptionally competitive and cost effective, as well.

            What do you think the cost of car repair and car insurance would be if they also had to pay for your oil changes, breaks, tires, routine repairs, and gasoline? Then, place the industry under the watchful eyes of government bureaucrats, whose bureaucracy must be paid for some how. Add to that, the fact that both State and Federal governments must be involved in oversight and the costs of the “oversight” increase even more. Every repair results in a mountain of paperwork by the mechanic’s growning adminstrative staff so that the customer can only pay $5 for his oil change and the mechanic will have to file papers to collect the other $25. When he does, the insurance company disputes his charge for the oil change saying that it is not “ordinary and customary”. So his admin has to fight it to collect.

            I could go on and on and on and on with this example, but any reasonable thinking human being NOT committed to socialist ideals would understand that under the scenario of making auto insurance and auto repair follow the same model as government controlled health care, costs of auto insurance and auto repair would necessarily SKYROCKET! Just like healthcare costs have skyrocketed with the involvement of more and more government.

            Does ANYONE seriously believe that auto maintenance or auto insurance would be cheaper with more government involvement? You cannot say so with a straight face. Sorry. You cannot.

            Your faith in government is wildly misplaced with this notion that they are accountable to the citizens. Like HELL they are. Since when has any overly bloated government bureacracy EVER been accountable to citizens? They are overly bloated precisely BECAUSE they are NOT accountable to the citizens. You are living in a pipe dream. That’s like saying the State DMV gives you better service than your local bookstore. Bullsheet! Show me one socialist government, or even one socialist program or government service that is better than any local business! You show me that and I’ll show you a business that has/will be going under. Fact is, going to any government service is notoriously a joke to nearly 100% of Americans.

            Now, this is not an argument for anarchy (like Somalia). We do need government. You leftist nutjobs assume that because we conservatives recognize the pathetic record of government services that we dont believe in any government at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. The hard part is balancing the necessary evil of government with the protections that prevent it from consuming everything in our private lives as it grows beyond control. And that is where we are today. A government that has grown so large that it is consuming our economy.

            Like I have said in multiple posts before, the debate we need to have is over what we believe the proper role of the Federal Government should be in America. We have a Constitution that defines this question very well. You guys on the left don’t like the constraints placed on government. Fine. But we conservatives know that all government devolves toward tyranny to the degree that it gets bigger and bigger and “provides” more and more “services”. It is the natural order of things.

            Hope this clarifies some things for you, hil.

            Have a nice day!

  • This is for President Obama , what this man wrote is right so if you read this by any chance
    you need to do what is right and put your foot down and say to them all that you are the
    head man in charge and it is your responsibility to take care of this country and the people in it .and the hell with the rest .

  • quasm

    Mr. Dionne;

    Go for it. Government jobs are a real benefit. Just look what government employment has done for Greece.

    Dik Thurston
    Colorado Springs

    • ObozoMustGo

      quasm/Dick…. Stop that nonsense of talking common sense around this sea of leftist insanity. You’re gonna cause a few heads to explode. hehehehehe

      Have a nice day!

  • Hundreds of thousands of hard working individuals are not working right now and more are being layed off daily because the tea party republican house didn’t pass a highway bill by April. Now states are cancelling projects because they cannot be completed before the winter. What do you suppose motivated the tea party republicans to do this to the American people?

  • Republicans do have a gift for spin, and I agree speaking the truth has a way of unspinning the spin. There are plenty of examples of the good that comes out of pooled resources through common government. Socialized police, schools, fire protection, and military have worked on a worldwide basis for centuries. Socialism is not a bad work and we should not let them make it one. Once more there are so many modern examples of the failures in the Private sector and with privatization of our socialized service there should be no problem illustrating the point.

  • Robert Yates

    The “Privatization” of federal programs not only makes them totally non-functional, it turns the federal budget into a private slush fund for the big corporations who take over. Hey here is an idea, lets give even more taxpayer money to the top 1 %.

  • David L. Allison

    It is not only the privitization of federal programs that is swamping the economy but the privitization of the commons. Clean air, fresh water, national forests, national lands, marine fish and fisheries, subsurface oil and minerals, are all being swallowed up by corporations intent on controlling – by owning – natural resources that belong equally to all Americans, not just the industries that exploit them.

    The government should, and could, insist on acting as the common property trustees of such resources and in so doing rein in the greed let loose in the privitization frenzy of the past three decades.

    E.J. is spot on in saying that progressives must take back the honor of the language that describes the reasonable and rational role of the Federal Government in healing both our economy and the national dialogue.

    • ObozoMustGo

      David… I think you leftist nutjobs miss the whole point…. trying to “take back the honor of the language that describes the reasonable and rational role of the Federal Government….” is in itself a foolish endeavor. We already have a document that describes the reasonable and rational role of the Fed Govt…. it’s called THE CONSTITUTION!!! If you dont like what it says, then there is a process by which to change it. It’s not easy, but it can be changed.

      Interestingly, I do agree with you and EJ quite frankly. EJ is one of the few leftists that will actually take a stand and be honest about his beliefs. I would welcome this election cycle to be about honesty, about exactly what all of you think. I would love for Obozo and the DemocRATS to stand up and state it loud and clear, unequivocated, they you all believe in a bigger, more controlling Federal Government. PALLEEEEAAAAASSEE do that. I am begging you Dems to do that.

      Nothing could make for better politics than to be 100% honest about what both sides want. Stop the demonizing and the demogoguery. Just lay it all out there and let the American people decide.

      But the DemocRATS will not do that. They cant. It will be the complete and final step in the marginalization of a once proud party that has been taken over by the radicals of the 60’s and those that support socialist policies and beliefs. This is why they all lie about their beliefs, or run and hide from them, like EJ says. They know to be honest is to lose.

      Have a nice day!

      • David L. Allison

        Funny man: you talk about stopping demonizing but fill your post with mean-spirited name calling. E.J. does not say to be honest is to lose, just the opposite. Your party has moved so far to bend over to the radical right that it makes those of the 60s look prescient in their call for an end to constant war and corruption of America by the oligarchs and the republican corruption in the White House and the republican administration.

        The latest findings about Nixon show that the 60’s rebellion was directly on point, the entire party was corrupt. Now the Kochs and their ilk are bringing the corruption back, courtesy of the radical right wing supreme court.

        The Constitution includes the Commerce Clause and all of the history of the cases decided under the Commerce Clause. You may hate it or reject it but U.S. law says that there is far more that the Executive Branch can do to assure the common good than President has even mentioned doing. Stopping the privatization of the common property that belongs to all Americans would be a great and justified first step.

        P.S. Stop your really not very cute name-calling and whining and make some positive proposals and you might actually get some respect for your opinions and maybe even some of your radical right republican rhetorical ranting.

      • Robert Yates

        Can you please try making a valid point without the mud slinging and name calling, especially when you are asking for an open and honest discourse. Thank you.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Rob… I mean the term “leftist nutjobs” affectionately. Those that have been here for a while going back and forth with me know that.

          Have a nice day!

      • holyreality

        I think you right wing-nuts support the wrong founding document.

        If you would have listened in civics class instead of fantasizing about bedding your cousin, you would have learned that the Articles of Confederation is the “Constitution” you worship so much.

        A weak Federal government with strong States Rights, where Tea Party fanatics would live in their Galt Utopia was detested by Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin.

        The Constitutional Convention fixed that mistake, and created a “limited Government” with interstate commerce authority to preserve the union, and set rules to make America competitive in a burgeoning world marketplace.

        Government is the solution, it is limited by the Constitution written in what government cannot do, and only holds power in the interstate commerce clause.

        • ObozoMustGo

          holly… The AoC was a failure precisely because it did not give the Federal Govt the ability to raise funds for it’s only intended purpose, common defense. The Constitution was the compromise that gave the Fed just enough power to raise revenue for it’s primary purpose, common national defense. The Constitution was NOT written for the purpose of creating an all-powerful central government leviathan that meddles in EVERY aspect of our lives, and provides the neccessities of life to people.

          So which side are you on? You criticize the Tea Party for wanting limited government, then you turn around and say that “government is the solution and it is limited in what it can do?

          Only a useful idiot like you can make such stupid statements. Either you support Constitutionally limited government or you dont.

          Have a nice day!

          • holyreality

            Thanks for the straight talk,
            This mistaken idea that Government is so limited by the Constitution it is drownable in a bathtub, enables the John Galt utopia cult fantasy of Unicorns and Rainbows the invisible hand of the Freemarket we see normally intelligent, good people espouse.

            Get over it, the founding fathers were not Ayn Rand Acolytes. The Commerce Clause is the sole lever Congress can legislate their power into our lives. There is no other authority the Feds have over us, that is the limited part of “limited” every Reagan worshiper chants whenever they have a chance.

            This is not about “meddling in every aspect of our lives”, it is about making the Union stronger than the competition. It is not about providing necessities for lazy moochers by stealing from heroic producers.


          • ObozoMustGo

            holly… unfortunately, the more entitlements we have, the more lazy mooochers we have. Whatever you subsidize, you tend to get more of. Whatever you punish, you tend to get less of. Reward sloth, you get more sloth. Punish wealth creation, you get less wealth creation. It’s that simple.

            And while you cite The Commerce Clause as the only lever for the government to excercise control over people, that is entirely NOT true. The 16th Amendment gives Congress the power to tax income. That’s the single biggest influence on our lives. The manipulations and gyrations of human behavior that has become our leviathan tax code is the single biggest influence over American life.

            Even though most of the Constitution outlines limited parameters of what the government can do and lots of parameters about what it cannot do, the problem has become that those parameters have been largely ignored with the justification of the Commerce Clause and the freedom to screw the people through the tax code.

            You leftist nutjobs, for 100 years, have been using limited components of the Constitution as justification for saying the rest of the document doesnt matter. This is where we differ. The rest of the document DOES matter, and it’s about time that we begin to reexamine exactly what the Constitution says and what it means. And have a debate in America over what is the proper role of the Federal government, and what is not.

            Our Fed Gov’t is too large, consumes way too much of our economy (closing in on 30% of GDP now with Obozo in charge), and is way too far in debt. This is how the debate is being framed today. And unfortunately for an Obozo Zombie like you, but fortunately for America, Obozo will be thrown out on his incompetent Chicago thug butt come November. Thank God!

            Have a nice day!

      • hilandar1000

        Speaking of once proud parties — have you studied enough history to remember the devastation that the John Birch Society brought to the Republican party? Eventually the Republican party realized that their party could not survive the paranoia of the right wing radicals and completely disavowed them for a good number of years. I read a commentary recently which is very true, and describes the devastation that is unfolding before our eyes in the Republican party. It said basically that right wing extremists were like Herpes — they seem to go away for awhile, but then they come back again and cause a lot of problems. Bozo — you and others of your ilk are a disease in our American society. Wish the government would allocate funds to find a cure for it.

        • ObozoMustGo

          hil… if seeking to promote adherence to a Constitutionally limited government, individual freedom and liberty, fiscal responsibility, and free market economics is considered a “disease”, call me infected!

          In truth, the real disease is you leftist nutjobs that attempt to distort our founding principles and Constitution into supporting your leftwing social engineering goals. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is NO WHERE in our founding documents anything that says the Fed Government must take care of people’s basic needs. No where does it say the Feds should be involved in the vast majority of what they do.

          Your DemocRAT party needs an internal revolution like the Tea Party is doing to the Republicans. You need to start throwing out incumbents like 3-day old fish and start bringing in regular citizens with every day common sense. People that know what the real world is like and can defend DemocRATic principles with an American point of view, not a Euro-Socialist-Democracy or even Marxist point of view, which by the way I know is the same as your point of view. Unfortunately for you Dems, the radical socialists of the 60’s have hi-jacked your party. It will be the marginalization and demise of your party unless common sense Americans can take it back from socialists that currently control it.

          Have a nice day!

          • hilandar1000

            Okay, you’re infected — now go away.

          • ObozoMustGo

            That’s the sort of thoughtful response I expected out of a leftist nutjob like you!

            Have a nice day!

  • ObozoMustGo

    EJ… why doesn’t EVERYONE just work for the government? Why have a private sector at all?

    Any takers to this question? I know EJ wont bother responding. Anyone?

    Have a nice day!

    • SaneJane

      What is wrong with having a healthy private sector AND a robust government that does for the people what the private sector cannot and would not do? I read an article recently where people were being interview about they political views. One man said “I used to be a Libertarian until I realized how much I need, and enjoy, many of the things only government can provide”. I live in Alabama in a sea of people who think just like you. I wish I could speak to them as freely as I do to you but I don’t want to be an outcast among my family and friends. You would fit in beautifully here.

      • rustacus21

        This is the real quandary facing voters, being the intelligence level to multi-task & SEE the benefits of BOTH!!! Good point, but also a better example is it ALWAYS works w/Liberal/Progressives in the W.H. Do the math & confirm it, as well as the results of conservatives since 1928 (w/the exception of the very able & quite sane Eisenhower)… The truth does what…? & it doesn’t discriminate!!! It even ‘free’s’ conservatives…

      • ObozoMustGo

        Hi InsaneJane! You should speak you mind, whether people agree with you or not. And yes, I actually fit in beautifully everywhere, my friend.

        By the way, a man that said he “used to be a Libertarian” until he figured out how much he needs government was never a Libertarian to begin with. It’s a made up story by leftists.

        Have a nice day!

  • hubydoll166

    Our government is suppose to be the voice of the people and how we want our country to operate..Its a huge corporation that we all have a share of. I think that one of the best reasons for government is to protect the citizens from private corporatioons who seek to enslave us. Just look at what BIG Pharma and energy business are doing to this country..if there were no government then we would literally live in a waste land. People who say that we dont need or should have limited government are the one’s who want to do bad things..our govt should be giving value to its people. Big business can operate here but they must do it under our rules and regulations..we are the asset to business but yet some would have us think that its the other way around. Think about it? Why did our founding fathers give us this freedom? To be ruled and governed by “profiteers? I dont think so..People better wake up in a hurry and figure out whats going on and install politicians for the people again…its either going toi gvet very dismal or good again…DONT GIVE UP YOUR DEMOCRACY!! I have nothing against everybody being fair biut this is what the big uproar is about!! somebody want to keep gaming our democracvy and create new world order of slaves because they have so much money that there is nothing left to do but rule the people…do we want a society and government like syria? Thats what you get when people dont have a say in their counytry…wake up nand stomp out the extreme right/tea baggers who are making our lives worse..reform everything and if corporations would create jobs then people can get off welfare..big business sucks the welfare nipple just as hard if not harder…PEOPLE MUST UNITE..MAJORITY RULE AGAIN! i WATCHED MAJORITY RULE GO OUT THE WINDOW..Whats it gonna take to see that the GOP have slam dunked this country just to get power? they helped keep jobs low and were still trying to get out of the mess they created over the last 10 years biut lets not wish bad for your neighbor too…

    • PingMan0843

      I agree with part of what you are saying — big pharma, big banks, etc. The problem is that it is our overly large government that has produced them. Here is how it works: The larger Pharma companies spend millions of dollars lobbying Congress for special regulations. Congress passes a steady stream of regulations making it impossible for small or start-up Pharmas with innovative ideas, to comply. Only the very big corporations can afford to comply with all the rules and regulations; all the competition from these small companies are eliminated and innovation no longer comes from US Pharma companies. This sets up the opportunity to raise prices because without competition and innovation, the large Pharmas have no one to hold them in check. The government has created crony capitalism — where only a few companies with special relationships with government regulators & Congressmen are allowed in the game. This has happened with banking, toy manufacturing, agriculture, energy, health care, etc. The founding Fathers tried to protect us from the necessary evil of government with the Constitutional limitations, but unfortunately for all of us, the Constitution was not enough to contain the growing intrusion of government. Our government (at all levels) is choking out the small businesses that produced all the wealth over the past 200 years. It doesn’t matter which party is in power, the same increasing size of government marches on, undeterred. We are clearly on the road to serfdom.

  • What I learned about macro economics was that the federal deficit is not a problem when long-term interest rates are low — and right now America’s long-term interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in history. When the economy is slack, every dollar of federal spending (in America) adds $3-$4 to our gross national product. In fact, some economists say that it adds up to $7 to our gross national product. What Congress needs to do, is pass, instead of block, Obama’s stimulus plans. Stopping or curtailing federal spending during a recession is like putting a malnourished patient on a starvation diet — especially when your long-term interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in history.

    The problem in a recession is a lack of people buying things (demand). People are spending less money on things, so companies cut back on making things, and workers who make things start losing their jobs. The only way out of a recession is for demand to increase. And if the private sector is not buying enough it is up to the federal government to increase the supply of money to workers so that they can purchase more things, causing companies to produce more things, causing companies to need more workers, causing more workers to get hired. Austerity is never a good idea during a recession. If demand for things is already low, why would cutting demand even further possibly be a good idea?

    The problem with Greece, Spain, etc. is that right now their long-term interest rates are sky-high. Greece’s interest on its 10-year note is about 28% for heaven’s sake! That’s why it is much more difficult for them to tolerate a large federal deficit even though they are in the middle of a recession.

  • Disenchantedinthemidwest

    Kudos for getting to the heart of the matter; there are few journalists who maintain the standards as does EJ Dionne.

    His remarks and insights point out the great issue of policy “ignorance” and the weakening of an informed electorate. After years of media indoctrination via niche “news” markets and the continued dilution of genuine news coverage by major media outlets, most Americans have become totally cut adrift from the idea of a social contract, as well as from any informed awareness of the many aspects of their daily lives that benefit from the very existence of such a contract.

    What progressive officeholders, supporters, and all who believe in a truly democratic American need to do is re-educate people about the civic dynamics between freedom and responsibilty.

    The complete failure of the national discourse to defend the role of governement in maintaibing a healthy democracy is one of the greatest failures of our times.

    We need a statesman of integrity who can boldly and in plain speech lay out an argument that reaffirms value of investing in government projects and programs and at the same time, articulates the many things that citizens will lose if they continue to vote along Republican idealogical lines that would slash and burn the power of government.

    Among the myriad losses that would threaten us if a no-new-taxes and government-bashing extreme idealogy assumes dominance in our political systerm: the dismantling of strong public education systems (good luck to those of you who don’t cut it in the new privatized version of education), the underfunding and weakening of agencies such as the FDA to oversee the safety of our foods and drugs, the incapacitation of goverment oversight over corporate interests (including the very ones who precipitated our Great Recession” and many of them being the same companies who currently “game” the system and use their so-called U.S. status to claim for themselves the rights of individual citizens and at the same time use their multi-national connections to transcend the fair-trade and business regulations of our country that hurt our own economy). The list goes on.

    Progressive-minded thinkers and the Democratic National Party must find among themselves courageous and compelling individuals who can lay out the dangerous consequences of the current system of reward and wealth distribution. Ours has become a system in which financial leveraging ultimately leaves every hard-working man and woman whose main source of income is the pay they receive for their labor out in the cold!

    • hilandar1000

      Very well stated, Disenchanted!

  • hilandar1000

    There you go again, Bozo — ignoring important words that you don’t want to deal with. The key word in this discussion of providing services that are necessary for all is NOT “private”, but rather is “non-profit”. I have no problem with companies that are “for profit” for goods or services that are not a basic necessity of life. Medical care does not fall in that category.

    (By the way, if you are going to resort to your ludicrouly pompous tirade about someone else being “ignorant”, you would be wise to learn how to spell that word correctly).

    As a matter of fact, I have traveled out of the country, and have personally experienced the cost of medical care in other countries. In those countries, with socialized medical care for their citizens, I have found medical care to be quite affordable — even without insurance. Yes, indeed, there have been tremendous advances in the field of medicine since the 1950’s. However I have a hard time believing that the cost of purchasing and operating new types of equipment in the United States would be (conservatively) 5 or 6 times the cost of purchasing and operating the same equipment in another industrialized country. Check out the comparisons on the internet. As to drug company charges, on one visit to a European country, I found it necessary to refill a prescription because of an extended stay in that country. The cost of the medication there was one-eighth of the cost of the same (exact) medicine that I purchase regularly in the United States.

    What in the world does auto maintenance and insurance have to do with a this discussion? Are you trying to compare the health and maintenance of a car with the health and maintenance of a human being? (By the way, “brakes” is the correct spelling for the device that is used to stop a car, while “breaks” is the spelling used for describing a traumatic injury to a bone). Perhaps if you had given more respect to the “academic” who must have struggled with teaching you in second or third grade, you would be able to spell with more accuracy.

    How typical of you to jump to the conclusion of telling someone what his or her profession is — when you know absolutely nothing about that person, and to automatically label all academics and government workers as parasites. That is truly a sign of a pompous, narrow-minded, hypocrite who has no knowledge of anyone else’s field of endeavor besides your own (if, indeed, you even have an area of endeavor).

    Your quote, “going to any government service is notoriously a joke to nearly 100% of Americans.” proves that you really know how to throw percentages around and make it seem as if you might know what you’re talking about, at least to yourself, although I seriously doubt if anyone else is any more impressed with your intelligence than I am. What in the world are you basing your opinions on in that paragraph? I have no idea what you are even trying to say. When most people go to the DMV, they go there to get a driver’s license, which the DMV employees provide after checking documents and testing the applicant. If you went to a bookstore to try to get your driver’s license reinstated, I can certainly understand why you are so disgruntled — poor Bobo