Uncle Tom's Travelin' Salvation Show

A Field Guide to the Apocalypse

Tom King

Tom King
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Puyallup, Washington, USA
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April 19
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Freelance Commercial Writer
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The Orion Project
Bio
Minor pundit, major pain, conservative community activist, author, Christian and Texan, I believe all we can take with us is our character and that the train is arriving soon. As a conservative activist for seniors, children, people with disabilities and low-income families, my liberal buddies think I should spontaneously combust. Many hope I will do so as soon as possible.

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JULY 23, 2012 9:07PM

Do We Need A Second Bill of Rights?

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Myself, I Like the First One Better
(c) 2012

I received an invitation from a friend in the Occupy movement to sign a bi-partisan "petition" to "Refocus National Debate on Economic Opportunity and Middle-Class Rights


So, I check out the website and lo and behold, to my great surprise, the whole deal was organized by AFL-CIO president, Richard Trumka, with the object of, as he put it, " insisting that the power structure in America pay attention to the needs of the men and women whose labor drives this country." This "petition" is linked to something called "America's Second Bill of Rights", which we are also invited to endorse.

So, I read the petition and the "Second Bill of Rights".  While as a conservative I share the concern for providing economic opportunity in America for all people, I disagree profoundly, however, with what lies buried in the fine language of these two documents.  There is a poison pill in them that makes these petitions anything but bipartisan.. 

The original bill of rights is a document which limits the power of government to interfere with the ability of its citizens to speak assemble, worship, write, conduct business and defend themselves. The president has called it a bill of "negative liberties" in that it tells the government what it cannot do. He does not like this. President Obama has called for a bill of positive rights that tell the government what it "must do".

This so-called second bill of rights, seems just what the president had in mind in that it instructs the government to provide a basic level of employment, education, health care, access to collective bargaining, voting and retirement to everyone whether they want it or not. 

The first bill of rights says the government can't interfere with you doing what you want to do.  This second "bill of rights" says the government must give you certain things whether you want those or even stir yourself to work for those things.  The documents my friend wanted me to sign are a baseline socialist model for the US government.

The document practically ossifies the social structure in America into a ruling class and a working class proletariat.
  Those who have a position in the ruling class will continue to have that position. Rather than creating a classless society, this unionized vision of America will create just two classes - workers and their rulers.  Those of us in the lower ranks of the working class will all be smoothed out and leveled so that we share a common level of misery with the other workers with precious little opportunity to rise above the pack and achieve success.  In socialist systems, workers bees never become queen bees.

What is hidden in the pretty language is a surrender of our freedom to pursue economic opportunity. In exchange we receive from the government, a guaranteed job, retirement, health care and union membership.  I'd personally like to have something rather better than a guaranteed job, government health care or a union pension. 

This scheme of guaranteeing a minimum standard of living for everyone has been tried before. The trouble is that what you get when the government "guarantees" you a job is a job you probably don't want or ask for, but which is assigned to you along with a shabby house just like the other 10,000 government homes in your town, inadequate healthcare, a poor education and a loss of all that freedom you were supposed to get when you accepted all those "guarantees" in the first place.

Does no one read history anymore? Do we not remember the Soviet Union, China's Cultural Revolution, Cambodia and all those socialist banana republics down in South America.  Once they start going bad because their economies collapse, then you get the goose-stepping "security" forces and the gulags and everything goes downhill from there. 

You see when the "smart people" who think they should run everything for everyone else's welfare discover the beautiful system they've created, based on a flawed core belief in the innate goodness of man, doesn't work, they have to go blame it on someone else, so they turn on the very people they were trying to help.

Sadly, though the belief about people behind the drive to socialism is altruistic, it is a false belief. The core belief is that, relieved from want and assured of all the basic necessities, people will be freed to be happy and creative and they will all work hard for the greater good.  And it is all very comforting to believe this noble altruistic thing.  People who believe this feel very good about themselves and think the rest of us are just plain cynical..

The competing belief about humanity is that we're all basically selfish barbarians that need a reason to do useful work and consistent negative consequences for bad behavior.  While admittedly a cynical view of human beings, it turns out to be a more useful one.  Christians recognize the utility of this darker view of people because we believe in original sin.  Since people are no damned good, for civilization to exist, we must either cajole, punish and reward (as capitalism does so well) or we must convert (as the Christian church does so well). 

Despite socialism's well documented enmity to Christianity, the irony is that Christianity does a better job than any other social system for making people into the kind of people the progressive socialists would like to believe we all are naturally. 

In a sinful world, socialism doesn't work.  The reason it doesn't is that it's based on giving power to government on the false premise that "power does NOT corrupt" and that smart people, given the power of government, would arrange society for the benefit of all and the socialist utopia would break forth.  But power does corrupt. And, as the old adage says, if it's absolute power, it corrupts absolutely.

Mr. Trumka and his ilk initially mean well.  The call for bipartisan support for workers rights seems essentially benign; something we can all get behind. Mr Trumka is, unfortunately, either deluded or power hungry. He believes, perhaps quite honestly, that smart people like himself, if given sufficient power, can arrange things so that everyone will be guaranteed, not antique ideas like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but jobs, housing, health care and a pension.  The Roman high society types called it "bread and circuses".  Instead of an idyllic society (where deranged mobs regularly rose up and murdered the swells in their beds), what the Romans got, instead, was a succession of brutal, corrupt and often insane emperors who used the Roman people like cattle.  

As one of the potential cattle in the socialist world the authors of this "second bill of rights" envision, I want neither to be fattened up nor to have my hide protected so people can make unblemished shoe leather out of it. I want to live, to be free and to find happiness the best way I can.  I want to choose my job, my home, my doctor and how I end my life.

It's unlikely the two sides will ever come together because of the fundamental distance between these two beliefs. It's too hard for either side to make the cognitive leap across the abyss. One says we are basically good and need no God. The other says that God is basically good and we aren't and that the only way we can be good is for God to change us.  There is a third version that Ayn Rand articulated - that man is a greedy barbarian period, there is no hope for us but a system of survival of the fittest.

Either say, sorry Mr. Trumka. I won't sign this. Not ever!

Just one man's opinion.

Tom King


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The Bill of Rights is about negative liberties, for the reason Obama stated in that interview, no matter how ignorant the video itself.

Obama did not call for any sort of amendment to create positive liberties, so you are wrong to say that. What he says is, rather than doing battle in the courts on all such issues, there needs to be a political effort to build support so that reforms can be democratically enacted by legislation.

After assigning him a position that President Obama never took, you erroneously attach it to the "2nd bill of rights." From there, just another ideological flight into imaginary socialist land.

Creating laws to redistribute wealth has been going on in earnest since the Reagan years, when laws were passed that began stripping the middle class of wealth and redistributing it to the already wealthy. This is why you won't see our economy recovering any time soon. It's funny to know some see that as perfectly acceptable capitalism, and laws that would reverse that and recreate the middle class and a healthy economy as socialism.

Ya got ya ol' noggin screwed on backerds, Tom.
Actually the president has floated the idea that the constitution ought to state what the government must do - sort of a minimum standards for government meddling. The only way to do that is to either revise or amend the constitution.

I fail to see how protecting the fortunes of corporate CEOs and billionaires while taxing the working wealthy, the very people who create jobs, into inactivity helps the economy. The president promised no new taxes on the middle class and has busily slid stealth taxes like the Obamacare tax into place through regulation and sneaky little tax riders that have increased the cost of goods and services to the middle class while protecting CEO bonuses and propping up the very same greedy corporations he rails against. Obama ain't getting that billion dollar war chest of his from poor people. Do you really believe that all that cash doesn't come with strings attached?

I think there ought to be a battle royale in the courts every time the government attempts to meddle with the liberties guaranteed us in the bill of rights.

That's where guys like you, PJ, just don't get it. The constitution is about protecting the rights of the American people NOT telling our government what benefits it must give back to the people after it first takes money away from them. The constitution lays out the mechanism of government and the checks and balances that are specifically designed to prevent the government from over-stepping its bounds. The bill of rights describes what the government can't do to its people.

I like that in a constitution. Clever to blame Reagan for starting the redistribution of wealth move, though. I always enjoy how Democrats misdirect like magicians before they show you the flim-flam. Actually, the redistribution of wealth idea goes back rather farther than that to FDR's New Deal - which happened last time the economy collapsed in a big way and arguably prolonged the Great Depression. It looks like we've got another president creating New New Deal programs that are also prolonging the high unemployment and stagnant economy. They even managed to pin the problem on George Bush the way FDR pinned the Great Depression on Hoover. History repeats itself. You have to wonder if Obama will try for four terms.

As to Obama's lean toward socialism, that's well documented in his own words and the words of the parade of socialist advisors that traipse in and out of the White House.

It makes no sense, PJ to try and fix the economy by stripping the jobs creating engine of the economy of ready cash and giving it out like payola to a permanent dependent class in order to generate a reliable voting block for Democrats. Giving fistsful of cash to people who have failed doesn't work with your 30 year old son who's still living in your basement and it won't work to stimulate the economy to work either.

The left and right believe two different fundamental things.

The left believes people are basically good and that if you give them enough stuff, they'll all miraculously become good hard-working citizens and crime, hunger and war will magically disappear in a burst of rainbows and unicorns (sorry - my sarcasm is leaking out).

The right on the other hand believes in original sin - that mankind is basically corrupt. The only way to efficiently manage that basic corruption is to create a system that rewards work and punishes sloth and evil - i.e. capitalism.

The left calls their brand of government managed capitalism as if a group of central planners can somehow command the economy to behave according to its ideology. Richard Nixon tried that with price controls and it was a disaster that was later made worse throughout the 70s under Jimmy Carter. I lived through that and believe me Carter was right when he called it a malaise that afflicted the country. It was a malaise all right, but what caused it was the fact that the country's economy was in the dumper and people were holding back to avoid high taxes from jumping to a new tax bracket and to avoid having to deal with increasingly burdensome regulation.

Carter was mystfied that Americans didn't just perk up and pretend everything was okie-dokie because the president was telling them it was.

Big investment is required to create wealth and jobs. Government jobs don't pump money into the economy, they suck money out of it. And if you punish people for becoming wealthy, why should they take the risk of losing everything, especially if they are going to be punished for succeeding. For some altruistic purpose? People aren't like that as a rule. Politicians pretend they are, but then they have nice secure government jobs, pensions and benefits. They can afford to pretend to be altruistic. It's their job. Politicians don't even live in the real world anymore, especially the career pols - both parties.

If the left is correct that people are basically good if you give them all the basic necessities, then a socialist state (for that is exactly what the whole food stamp/Obamacare/free housing/mass transit/sustainable urban world he envisions is) should make everyone happy and productive.

Only in practice it doesn't.

In the real world greed and corruption are the norm and the more power you give to people to control the lives of others, the more greedy and abusive they get. That's why the founding fathers wanted the three branches of government to be in opposition to one another - to act as counter-agents to any one branch's over-reaching grab for power.

So far it works. That's why the president's ideas as outlined in his own books and speeches disturb me greatly.

Where these ideas he advocates have been tried on their own two legs, they've failed. Even Marxist model China hasn't managed to make socialism work. They're one big giant communist corporation with an IV stuck into the veins of the United States. If we go down, that bubble is going to burst and China will go nuclear because their leaders believe they are entitled to that trade surplus and theyhave nukes and the will to use them.

States that have tried the entitlement economy are crumbling all over the world. Greece is just the most visible. Others will follow as the US economy drains down to a dessicated husk.

Finally, you go back to the idea that allowing the wealthy to keep more of their earned income in the form of non-confiscatory tax rates is somehow stealing from the middle class (I note you guys aren't saying "the poor" anymore - at least not for this election).

The two documents I discussed in this blog advocate a form of government that the president HAS advocated in the past. The principles in the two "petitions" would create the minimum set of entitlements that the government would have to provide.

This is nothing like what this country was intended to be. NEGATIVE LIBERTIES? My heavens, what is negative about the right to speak, assemble, worship, bear arms and operate a free press? What is negative about telling our government in our nation's charter that it may not mess with these rights and if any branch tries to, there will be hell to pay in the courts or the congress or the administration.

Obama wants an obedient legislature and court system in order to bring about the change in America he envisions in his writing and speeches. Perhaps he is even certain that his own party will have the strength of character to always be benign and altruistic.

I wouldn't bet on it PJ. I know too many Democrats (and Republicans for that matter). I don't trust anybody short of God with that much power and I mean anybody.
Tom,
"Negative Liberty" isn't something Obama made up. It is what one would learn in any class teaching the Constitution, a document you know very little about. And that Obama recommended applying "positive liberty" to the Constitution is simply a lie in the face of the obvious.

The rest of your comment is a textbook example of right-wing propaganda and sheer economic ignorance. After the New Deal, in post war America, wages went up in concert with productivity and corporate profits. That is what created the middle class and made the American economy the envy of the world.

Reaganomics, simply stated, left wages stagnant for the last 30 years, replacing rising middle class income with credit and shoveling actual wealth ever-upward and narrowing the group that holds it. That's just stupid capitalism, as it cannot be sustained and will not, ever, result in a healthy, functional economy.

The reason the economy won't recover is that, contrary to your parroted script, increased consumer demand, not The Wealthy, create jobs. Stripping the middle class of wealth, therefore, will never create jobs...in America...it's helped China, however.

I'm a smarter, better capitalist than you'll ever be, Tom. In all my years of owning and operating a small biz manufacturing company, I was never so stupid as to think I created any jobs, though I ran through hundreds of employees. My customers created the demand I filled by employing people and the only times jobs were created that way was when demand rose. All the jobs I facilitated by taking customers from competitors were simply shifting that worker from their payroll onto mine.

You wouldn't know socialism if Marx rose from his grave and bit your butt, or capitalism if Adam Smith rose from his and slapped you with the Invisible Hand. Your entire shtick is regurgitated right-wing babble.

You don't know anything worth knowing, Tom, and your comment isn't a result of learning or research or effort on your part. It's yet another example of parroting a spoon-fed script that could not be defended if made to address reality.

No sense is trying to educate an indoctrinated ideologue, so I'll just have a laugh at your history and fact evasive drivel and leave you to imagine that repeating unexamined propaganda shows insight and intelligence.
And there we go descending into name-calling when people don't buy your ideas. While consumer demand does create jobs, consumers only demand things when they can afford to buy them.

There are two philosophies as to how to do that.

One says the government takes away money from the rich, gives it to the poor and middle class and then the poor and middle class create demand for goods and services (after taking its cut).

The other says, investors watch trends in markets and invest money in meeting consumer demands as they happen on the chance of being rewarded for that investment with profits.

The gaping hole in the first system is that it treats wealth as a magical bottomless pit that it can draw from without consequences.

Without the profit incentive (say if we go back to taxing 75-90% of income from the "wealthy" as we did during the failed war on poverty of the 60s) investors do not make risky investments - the kind that result in the creation of companies and jobs and new industry. And you get the malaise of the 70s where people just give up because no matter how hard they work, the tax man is going to take it away. I lived in the 70s. I was a school teacher and nearly everybody felt that way - so much so that the president made a speech telling us to stop feeling malaiseful and everything would be fine. It wasn't until Reagan lowered taxes and gave business an incentive to get off its duff and make some money.

I did better under Reagan and I was working in the nonprofit sector. Yes wages didn't skyrocket during the Reagan recovery. That's true. But then neither did our cost of living. Wages didn't skyrocket under carter either, but we had double digit inflation that pretty much robbed us of what we were making. I remember the shortages under Nixon's price controls and Carter's gas lines.

But less pretend those never happened because they don't fit the ideology. We were going after those richy rich dollars and had all kinds of government programs.

Ever applied for food stamps? I did back then. Humiliating. I'd rather get up and go to work every day and I did. 5am every damned day I road a bike five miles each way in the dark on rural roads dodging dogs and rattlesnakes to catch a converted school bus and ride 45 miles one way to work at miserable grinding work building a nuclear power plant (riding past liberal protesters at the gate every day who wanted to shut the project down). I clawed my way out of poverty, but I had to get off all those helpful government programs in order to do it. I couldn't keep up with the paperwork and work full time too. And as soon as I went to work I lost wll those helpful benefits anyway. I was fortunate to find a nonunion job working for Haliburton's Brown and Root. My wife was pregnant. B&R paid for my wife's childbirth even though I'd only been working for them for a month.

I believe in the private sector because I've seen the charity delivered by both. The welfare system seemed designed to keep the poor in their place. When I escaped it, I was able to pull myself out of poverty. It was hard. I drove a cab 18 hours a day, worked 50 to 60 hours a week during the early 80s till I finally started my own business. Ran it till it failed, worked 25 more years in the nonprofit sector, started 5 nonprofit organizations and worked my butt off just to stay afloat. I have no retirement, no pension, no savings. I plan to work till I drop over dead and hope in the years I have left to still get ahead.

And if I do finally take a risk and see it pay off, I don't want to see the president standing there on TV telling me somebody else made my success for me and demanding 75% of my income.

Government is historically the most greedy, oppressive, cruel and heartless organization man has ever come up with and don't tell me the church is worse, because the church at its worse was only ever a government in priestly robe and no true church at all.

The US government has a history of committing a whole host of outrages over our history. It has only been kept in check by the limitations of the US Constitution. Of course Obama didn't make up the idea of "negative liberties". The man hasn't an original thought in his head. He's serving as a tool to other masters, a figurehead to be used in a takeover of power, his way paved by others. In his case his success is not his own. Others did that for him. And I do not think I trust those people with my liberties and my liberties are positive.

I can see how the bill of rights could be considered negative liberties. They are negative liberties for the government.

The government doesn't have the liberty to prevent me from speaking.

The government doesn't have the liberty to prevent me from worshiping as I please.

The government doesn't have the liberty to take away my means to defend myself and my home.

The government doesn't have the liberty to keep me from meetin where I please and with whom I wish.

The government doesn't have the liberty to prevent me from writing and publishing what I wish.

The government doesn't have the liberty to take away my life or liberty without due process.

In that respect I agree, they are "negative" liberties.

So what's your point. Are you looking for a bill of rights outlining the government's rights. What a horror that would be!
I'll always wonder what color the sky is in your world, but your history and economics are alien to planet reality.

Those negative liberties are about defining what We, the People cannot coerce We, the People to do. I'm not looking to do anything here but defend the truth. You're the one thinking the term has some nefarious meaning, though it is well defined in political philosophy.

Because you don't really think in terms of reality, but shopworn slogans and political fairy tales, I wouldn't waste time trying to enlighten you about realistic economics. But if you ever do decide to perform something resembling learning, you might observe that those high marginal tax rates of the 50s and 60s went along with the most vibrant and expanding economy in US and world history.

Lowering those taxes led to instant and persistent debt creation, that, along with those efforts to lower US wages, led to the middle class being sandwiched between federal debt and stagnant incomes and growing personal debt in place of wages.

The resulting pile of wealth among the .001% that holds it was taken, by bribing pols and writing laws, from the middle class. The obscene amount of money is well beyond having enough legitimate investments to finance, so it seeks increase by manipulating commodity prices, gambling with pension fund money and bank customer's money. This pile of money you strangely praise as Great and Wonderful picks your pocket in so many ways you couldn't list them in a lifetime. You pay, at times, a dollar a gallon more for gas, 40% more on near every purchase you make just paying the hidden tax of financial manipulation.
Your privatized taxes are much higher than the government's.

Now, those guys who fought WW2, known as Our Greatest Generation, were not so easily duped (FYI, neither were those generations of Founding Americans). They knew which way the wind blows, so they safeguarded against the destruction caused by concentrated wealth.

When conservatives blew away those protections and destroyed the economy and middle class, along comes ol' Tom, duped to the gills by the cheap whiskey of propaganda. Tom figures the Greatest Generation were lazy welfare slacker socialists looking for a handout, and the cretins who killed the capitalist Golden Goose are the greatest thing to happen since sliced bread.

You don't get it, Tom, and likely never will.
And during all that destruction of the economy -the slow drain of the economy who ran the Congress. Till 1980 we had big government Republicans and Democrats trying to tinker with what you call the most vibrant economy managed in its early stages by conservative Democrats (whatever their flaws) and Republicans like Eisenhower. When the Dems turned hard left, the burst of Great Society programs began to suck the life out of the economy giving us the misery index of the 70s. People wanted a change and thought James Earl Carter was the man for the job. We got a quick demonstration of what the problem with the dying economy was.

That's when we elected Ronald Reagan and the American economy burst back into life. I was there. I watched it happen. I've heard the slogans from the left and the Great Society baloney and I've seen first hand what it does to us.

Take the final word PJ. Repeating a thing does not make it true.
The 70s--
Oil embargoes, abandon Bretton Woods (gold standard) Vietnam costs, inflation, stagflation.
What you think was an economic reaction to marginal tax rate cuts was simply Volker standing firm on high interest rates until inflation ceased. When they came down, pent up demand reacted.
The tax cuts led to immediate deficits, so Reagan raised taxes 11 times to make up for some of that while doubling the debt he campaigned on eliminating. Meanwhile, what I said above applied--lowering American wages and expanding credit. From there on, one bubble after another.

I was there too, Tom, but I base my thinking on facts, not fables. Reagan made people feel good, but his presidency was the beginning of the end of the middle class and American fiscal viability. Partisans are blind, but historians tend to use both eyes.
It's not capitalism that ends the middle class. It's always lop-sidedly powerful governments, central planning and rule by the elite (whether hereditary nobles or party insiders) that is fatal to the middle-class. Talk about over-looking history, dude. The evil rich people you want to soak always get loopholes to protect their hereditary piles of loot. Look at a recent example - Warren Buffett. Buffett makes a lot of empty statements about how he ought to pay more taxes and next thing you know the Keystone Pipeline gets cancelled. Who gets left transporting that oil at nearly twice the cost? Burlington Northern Railway which is heavily owned by - wait for it - Berkshire Hathaway and who runs Berkshire Hathaway? You guessed it. Uncle Warren the good and altruistic rich person. Can you say "Payback from Obama"?

Didn't think so. Doesn't fit your ideology and therein lies the problem. Let the excuses begin.
You conflate beneficial capitalism with outright privatized theft and stupid, unsustainable, nation-destructive capitalism.
It's not rocket science, nor is it so simplistic it fits in your narrow ideological sliver of a world view. You want all bad things to be caused by your usual suspects, and all good things caused by your ideological heroes.

What would you say if we applied strict laws to large for-profit corporations? Let's limit them to 20 year charters, forbid them from owning stock in other corps, force them to dissolve if they act against the public interest, hold the officers criminally liable, forbid them any political activity, limit them to a single activity and in some cases tell them what they could charge and how much profit they could make.

Would any of those conditions be acceptable?
Hell yes, PJ. The problem is, they've already bought the Dems and the country club Republicans. We've got all these lifetime politicians covering their fuzzy bottoms with loopholes and protections.

We shouldn't have bailed out the corporations. We should have let the marketplace hold them accountable and let them fail and prosecuted the heck out of the profiteering CEOs responsible. You want to redistribute wealth? Redistribute it from those crooks and make 'em pay back the investors they bilked. I'm a free market capitalist. I say if you screw yourself up like AIG and the rest did, you go ought to down in flames. The government has no business providing them a safety net.

Will people get hurt? Yes, but it won't take too many painful incidents of that sort before people get a whole lot more careful where they put their money. The pain will knock the economy for a loop, but because the risk of investing in rebuilding the capacity of the lost companies promises so much in the way of rewards, you'll see hundreds of investors flocking to take AIG's and Goldman Sach's place.

What I object to is the disingenuous tax-the-rich nonsense the politicians propose. They are no more going to tax the rich, than a Muslim's going to eat a pork roast. They're going to pretend to tax the rich, but it's the upper middle class job creators that are going to pay the price and our economy is going to get clobbered.

The trust fund babies and the old money elitists aren't going to be touched. I'd love it if the government went after the greedy crooks, but they won't. It's money from the greedy crooks that keeps the politicians reelection campaigns funded.

As usual, people on both sides agree as to what is the problem. Our ideologies just won't let us find a workable common solution. Too bad too, since both of us would like to see the robber barons taken down from their thrones. Problem is you have to take the politicians from their thrones too. We just trust different people to do the job.

The left thinks people like President Obama can be trusted to do that.

We on the right don't trust him any farther than a ten year old could punt George Soros or Warren Buffett.

Romney's a big compromise for us and if he crosses us, conservatives will eat him alive and pick our teeth with his bones.
Hell yes, PJ. The problem is, they've already bought the Dems and the country club Republicans. We've got all these lifetime politicians covering their fuzzy bottoms with loopholes and protections.

We shouldn't have bailed out the corporations. We should have let the marketplace hold them accountable and let them fail and prosecuted the heck out of the profiteering CEOs responsible. You want to redistribute wealth? Redistribute it from those crooks and make 'em pay back the investors they bilked. I'm a free market capitalist. I say if you screw yourself up like AIG and the rest did, you go ought to down in flames. The government has no business providing them a safety net.

Will people get hurt? Yes, but it won't take too many painful incidents of that sort before people get a whole lot more careful where they put their money. The pain will knock the economy for a loop, but because the risk of investing in rebuilding the capacity of the lost companies promises so much in the way of rewards, you'll see hundreds of investors flocking to take AIG's and Goldman Sach's place.

What I object to is the disingenuous tax-the-rich nonsense the politicians propose. They are no more going to tax the rich, than a Muslim's going to eat a pork roast. They're going to pretend to tax the rich, but it's the upper middle class job creators that are going to pay the price and our economy is going to get clobbered.

The trust fund babies and the old money elitists aren't going to be touched. I'd love it if the government went after the greedy crooks, but they won't. It's money from the greedy crooks that keeps the politicians reelection campaigns funded.

As usual, people on both sides agree as to what is the problem. Our ideologies just won't let us find a workable common solution. Too bad too, since both of us would like to see the robber barons taken down from their thrones. Problem is you have to take the politicians from their thrones too. We just trust different people to do the job.

The left thinks people like President Obama can be trusted to do that.

We on the right don't trust him any farther than a ten year old could punt George Soros or Warren Buffett.

Romney's a big compromise for us and if he crosses us, conservatives will eat him alive and pick our teeth with his bones.