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bifcake
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Interesting OpEd

They just pierced the Holy Cow. It's another nail in the coffin of the Regan revolution.

Say YES to taxes

JIMV
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Re: Interesting OpEd

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

I am at a loss how you don't see that the Republican policies have brought nothing but misery for the majority of the population. If anything, we had been jumping into the pit for the last twenty years and this is the beginning of us climbing out. THIS, today is morning in America. It's darkest before dawn, but this is indeed morning. Mark my words, this country will be better off eight years from now.

JIMV
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Re: Interesting OpEd

Being firmly in the middle class, I managed to live very well over the last few decades. I spent less time worrying about the wealth of others better off and decided instead to make my own life as comfortable as possible.

I bought a home, saved money for retirement and, seeing the current mess, protected it. I have traveled as desired or needed, eat every day, own my car, have few debts and do not expect government to give me goodies I have not earned.

Now if your 'majority living in misery' are in fact the greedy left, lusting after the success of others and willing to use the power of bought politicians to get it...well, I cannot deny that a majority of the left are most assuredly living in misery...the problem is, they created it themselves.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

How has the "left" created this mess? This mess was created by successive republican administration (with one lowly democratic administration stuck between them) and a Republican congress that reigned for 12 years. How is this the "left's doing"?

Secondly, you seem to go out of your way to defend multi-national corporations, but take every opportunity to pounce on the poor. The poor have been pounced upon enough, I assure you. How about giving a rat's ass about your fellow citizens? How about having a bit of compassion? How about taking just a bit of money away from the defense industry, which has been heavily subsidized for many, many years and distributing that money in essential social services? How about propping up Social Security? How about universal health care? How about ensuring that the American workers, white collar as well as blue collar don't live in constant fear that they will be canned, cut, downsized or "retired"?

Thirdly, have you ever considered that you may not be all that smart, but lucky?

JIMV
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Re: Interesting OpEd

"The Poor"...you say that as though it is genetic and 'the poor' have no impact on the quality of their lives...

As we have spent over 10 trillion since LBJ's war on poverty began and we have the same number of folk in poverty today as we did then, one would think perhaps government is not the way out of poverty.

The biggest difference between the right and left is in this area. Conservatives believe the lions share of ones life output is due to the person and the left blames other meanies making the victim free of responsibility.

Put another way:

Are there no schools?
Are there laws limiting ones aspirations?
Do we not let everyone vote (often twice)?
Do we indenture folk forcing them to remain where they are?

No country on the planet has done as much for the poor and nowhere else in the world is 'poor' defined so high.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

The government absolutely has a place when it comes to improving the lives of the poor and the government can make a big difference. Look at Europe where you don't see the kind of poverty you see in the US.

The private industry is not the solution to poverty because the private industry's primary concern is profit. So, unless they can make a profit, they couldn't care less about the poor.

There are schools and there are opportunities but the schools and opportunities were provided by the government. It's a step in the right direction, but it's not enough.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

Europe? You got to be shitting them. They are the most selfish nations on earth. Give me a break.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

You are joking, right?

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

No, and I think you should move over there if you think they all have little pink houses for you and me, nitwit.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

I live where I should be living. I moved to where I feel I belong. So, my place of residence is not an issue here.

As far as Europe is concerned, if I could get a work visa in Europe, I would move there in a heart beat, but that's me.

As far as being a nitwit, I will relent and allow you to claim monopoly on stupidity.

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Re: Interesting OpEd

Are there no schools? Yep- with VAST disparities between them. The school in a wealthy suburb is nothing like one in an inner city, an isolated rural town, or any other town with a low tax base.

Are there laws limiting ones aspirations? No, but not a lot to stop discrimination by race, name, sex or color of socks. You ain't got money, you ain't gonna sue for justice.

Do we not let everyone vote (often twice)? Um- and how does that fix the above problems when who gets in office is largely an exercise in money and marketing? You got money and influence? Your guy is much more likely to get in and stay there.

Do we indenture folk forcing them to remain where they are? Not exactly, but we do give huge latitude for wealthy influence and behavior that practically insures the continuation of all of the above.

JIMV
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Re: Interesting OpEd


Quote:
The government absolutely has a place when it comes to improving the lives of the poor and the government can make a big difference. Look at Europe where you don't see the kind of poverty you see in the US.

That might fly with folk who have never been to Europe but not with me...Europe has every bit as many poor, they just are not in center cities...travel the suburbs of Paris some time, but don't try it at night. Just because Europe has provided cradle to grave support for generations of their citizens, expecting nothing in return, does not mean this is a good system...Europe's unemployment rate is always at least 5% over ours BECAUSE they expect nothing from their non hackers.


Quote:
The private industry is not the solution to poverty because the private industry's primary concern is profit. So, unless they can make a profit, they couldn't care less about the poor.

Yea, sure

Corporation gave $18.6 BILLION to private charities in 2006.

If someone was really concerned about the poor, they would demand programs that work, that reduce poverty instead of simply assigning the responsibility to government and then turning a blind eye to the result.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

What? Not any facts about the great economy in Europe? About the lack of poor there? How Bourgeois!

Lamont Sanford
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Quote:

Corporation gave $18.6 BILLION to private charities in 2006.

If someone was really concerned about the poor, they would demand programs that work, that reduce poverty instead of simply assigning the responsibility to government and then turning a blind eye to the result.

Ouch!

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

It is the fundamental role of the government to take care of its citizens. Charitable organizations can supplement the government's role and perhaps fill in the cracks, but you can't rely on charitable organizations for complete and total support of your underprivileged class.

I guess really this is what we're arguing about. We're arguing about the role of the government and our social contract. You state that the role of the government is to provide security, legal venues for dispute, foreign diplomatic relations and that's about it.

I think that the role of the government is much greater than that.

I think where you fail to see the role of the government as it stands with the majority of republican administrations is that they don't just try to fulfill the basic role as you outline, but they subsidize the upper class through various contracts, tax codes, trade agreements etc.

We can argue the details until we're blue in the face, but that's really the crux. The bottom line is that I am glad that there is going to be a fundamental shift in the role of the government. You don't like it, that's fine. We've lived with your idea of government for the last 30 years and I didn't like it. Now, you get to live with my idea of government for 30 years and not like it.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

Our government's gives you the right to pursue happiness. It does not guarantee it and rightly so. Our government doesn't play God. Look out your window. See those streets, cops, firemen, and so forth. That is government taking care of its citizens. The Constitution and The Bill of Rights are our government's social contract. It is written in plain English. And it isn't poetry for silly people to interpret any way that fits what they want to pursue happiness. To do that you need to leave or start your own country. One with flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the people dance and laugh and play with gumdrop smiles.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

I already left, so for me, this is a purely philosophical discussion.

rvance
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Re: Interesting OpEd


Quote:

I think where you fail to see the role of the government as it stands with the majority of republican administrations is that they don't just try to fulfill the basic role as you outline, but they subsidize the upper class through various contracts, tax codes, trade agreements etc.

Yea, welfare for the corporate beggars is sound investment capitalism. Welfare for the poor is rapacious socialism.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

Oh, you already left? Why didn't you say so? In that case, go fuck yourself.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

That's ok, dude. Pretty soon you'll be on a plane to some fascist run banana republic to escape the socialist menace that's going to take all your money away and give it out to single mothers. While you're at it, why don't you declare a war on single mothers? We've tried declaring wars on poverty, drugs, terror, and crime. You can become Generalisimo Lamont and make the trains run on time.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

Tee hee....

JIMV
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Re: Interesting OpEd


Quote:
It is the fundamental role of the government to take care of its citizens.

Really? I look forward to your Constitutional cite.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

We have gotten from the letter of the constitution a long time ago, so my constitutional cites will have no relevance. Where in the constitution is there an EPA, DEA, NSC, CIA, FBI, etc, etc?

As the world changes, we reinterpret the constitution to fit our needs. Now, our needs dictate that we need universal healthcare, or some other social program. So, some constitutional lawyer will find justification in the constitution for that. They'll find some less than clearly spelled out article and spin it to make it fit the need of the day.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd


Quote:

As the world changes, we reinterpret the constitution to fit our needs.

There isn't one justice on the Supreme Court that would agree with that absolutely stupid statement. Especially the idiotic, "reinterpret" and "fit our needs" part. What planet do you live on? NYC? But you answered JIMV's question spot on by admitting up front that your constitutional cites would be irrelevant. In other words, the Constitution is irrelevant.

freenwood
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Re: Interesting OpEd

Re. the Constitutional citation - it's in the preamble man:

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." [emphasis added]

The idea of the social contract that AlexO brings up is mainly rooted in Rousseau and Locke, who were towering influences on our founding fathers in America. It is irrefutable that government at least has a role (however limited) in the "general welfare" of its citizens. Otherwise, why have a government at all? I think the perceived difference here stems from semantics, i.e. differences in what "take care of its citizens" should mean.

As for "reinterpret[ing] the Constitution to fit our needs," the entire point of the judiciary branch IS to interpret the law. And historically, the Supreme Court has habitually overstepped its authority from the very beginning when Chief Justice Marshall established the concept of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison.

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Re: Interesting OpEd


Quote:
We have gotten from the letter of the constitution a long time ago, so my constitutional cites will have no relevance. Where in the constitution is there an EPA, DEA, NSC, CIA, FBI, etc, etc?

As the world changes, we reinterpret the constitution to fit our needs. Now, our needs dictate that we need universal healthcare, or some other social program. So, some constitutional lawyer will find justification in the constitution for that. They'll find some less than clearly spelled out article and spin it to make it fit the need of the day.

Which is to say that your view of what government is to do is not based on law or our history, but simply your wishful thinking.

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Re: Interesting OpEd


Quote:
PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE

What did that mean to the folk who wrote it? Not what you think it did


Quote:
"[We] disavow and declare to be most false and unfounded, the doctrine that the compact, in authorizing its federal branch to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States, has given them thereby a power to do whatever they may think or pretend would promote the general welfare, which construction would make that, of itself, a complete government, without limitation of powers; but that the plain sense and obvious meaning were, that they might levy the taxes necessary to provide for the general welfare by the various acts of power therein specified and delegated to them, and by no others." --Thomas Jefferson: Declaration and Protest of Virginia, 1825. ME 17:444


Quote:
"Our tenet ever was... that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated, and that, as it was never meant that they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money." --Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1817. ME 15:133

I can go on...

Jefferson believed that the General Welfare Clause was not a key to expanding government power but a purpose to which the good governance of the government could be described, limited to the areas and powers delineated in the Constitution, not as an excuse to create new powers and grow government.

freenwood
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Re: Interesting OpEd

Please do not presume to know my politics or thoughts based on the fact that I added emphasis to the preamble according to the context in which it was requested. And lets keep this about ideas and leave personalization out of it.

Outside of above, I would never argue the legitimate point re. Jefferson's philosophy. Yes, Jefferson was a fervent supporter of small gov't, individual liberty, etc. He would be most in line with what we call libertarian philosophy today, agreed?

Notwithstanding his original intent, much of the beauty of this governing document lies in its flexibility. A man as wise as Jefferson surely understood some of the conflict inherent in his words. The point is that they speak to ideals, not rote prescription. Aren't liberty and equality often mutually exclusive in certain arenas?

I would add that the ratification was based on the document, not Jefferson's own thoughts in its regard. He understood that politics is an art of compromise.

JIMV
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Re: Interesting OpEd

The founders never intended the document to be 'flexible' to the point that it no longer meant what it said.


Quote:
"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." --Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823. ME 15:449

I am not going after your politics but to the idea that this particular clause was intended to allow government grow to allow any governmental excess outside of the powers expressly granted by the Constitution.

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Re: Interesting OpEd


Quote:

Quote:
We have gotten from the letter of the constitution a long time ago, so my constitutional cites will have no relevance. Where in the constitution is there an EPA, DEA, NSC, CIA, FBI, etc, etc?

As the world changes, we reinterpret the constitution to fit our needs. Now, our needs dictate that we need universal healthcare, or some other social program. So, some constitutional lawyer will find justification in the constitution for that. They'll find some less than clearly spelled out article and spin it to make it fit the need of the day.

Which is to say that your view of what government is to do is not based on law or our history, but simply your wishful thinking.

Quite the contrary. My view is based solely on our history and law. We have interpreted and reintepreted the constitution throughout history to suit our needs at the time.

For example, where in the constitution do you see the Federal government involved in law enforcement? What's the constitutional justification for the FBI or the CIA or the EPA or DEA? What about NTSB? Whenever the need arose, we have interpreted that such needs fall under whatever article in the constitution. The same will be done with the current need to provide safety netting, social welfare and universal healthcare system.

JIMV
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Re: Interesting OpEd

I do not know where federal law enforcement came from nor can I find case law on the subject, which make me believe it was never considered a constitutional issue, at least not seriously. Do you have any case law on the issue? it is a good question. As far as I know the first federal law enforcement was the Secret Service and they have been around for 150 years or so.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

To promote the general welfare. It does not guarantee it no different than pursuit of happiness.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

The CIA was created at the same time as the National Security Council under the same act. All this easily researched. The FBI was an offshoot of the Secret Service. The U.S. Marshalls were created in 1789. And on and on and on. Federal law enforcement agencies are a result of judicial and public law. All created to promote the general welfare among other things. In order to find any arguments against the creation of these agencies you need to go to the law that created them.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd


Quote:
I do not know where federal law enforcement came from nor can I find case law on the subject, which make me believe it was never considered a constitutional issue, at least not seriously. Do you have any case law on the issue? it is a good question. As far as I know the first federal law enforcement was the Secret Service and they have been around for 150 years or so.

I'm not a lawyer, much less a constitutional lawyer. My point is that there's nowhere in the constitution that allows the creation of national police and spy agencies. Yet, they found some way to justify it. I really don't want to get into an argument of what's constitutional and what isn't. The point being is that when they want something done, they will find a constitutional argument for it.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

I know you're not a stupid person so start with the Judicial Act of 1789. And then go from there for each agency.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

My point is that every agency that's created has some sort of justification within the constitutional framework. As such, agencies will be created, justified within the constitutional framework and expand the role of the government to include social programs.

Let's move on. I don't want to dwell on the constitutional arguments. The law is what the judge says it is and the judge is told what to say.

JIMV
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Re: Interesting OpEd

I do not disagree that the government has perverted its powers over the years. I am just noting that past excess is not an excuse for future acts.

As Jefferson so loudly noted, the purpose of the phrase was not to allow the government to grow and seize power under the guise of "general welfare"...

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Interesting OpEd

Well of course governmental social programs can be created under the same framework as any other governmental agencies. That's how it works.

bifcake
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Re: Interesting OpEd

The government is going to pervert its powers, it will usurp more power and it will get bigger. As such, I prefer that it gets bigger by offering better infrastructure and social services rather than something else.

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