Skip to main content

I see a lot of posts here demonizing republicans as cold hearted, evil, hateful human beings who want nothing more than to stand on the backs of the poor and the weak to enrich themselves.

I also have seen a lot of posts by those who actually recognize that republicans are not a monolithic group any more than democrats are. If you look polls you rarely see republicans agreeing at a more than 70% rate on just about anything. This gallup poll (http://www.gallup.com/poll/107458/Abortion-Issue-Laying-Low-2008-Campaign.aspx) indicates that even on abortion there are approximately 30% of republicans who are pro-choice.

To win elections you need to turn out your base and get these "swing" voters. Obama did this, partially because the republicans screwed up so badly. Now that they have been out of power for 2 years, the question is how do you get those voters in 2010 and beyond.

I believe one group that can actually swing to vote democratic is the fiscally conservative/socially liberal faction of the republican party. According to this article, around 17% of the republican party is made of fiscally conservative-socially liberal voters

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/...

Obama won the 2008 election, ultimately because of the financial crisis. It is estimated that between 9-11% of republicans voted for Obama. There is even a website called "Republicans for Obama" although I have no idea what kind of volume they have.

I voted for Obama and I committed to voting for him in 2012 as well, primarily because the republican party really screwed up fiscally. I imagine that there is a cadre of old white guys who maintain power regardless of which republican candidate is in office. Most likely they ascended to power with Reagan and have been controlling the strings of the republican party for 30 years. They are probably all getting quite old and I felt 8 years of out of power may be enough to get a new group of puppet masters. At the very least the republican party would have time to figure out a new direction - hopefully away from fiscally liberal-socially conservative. In any case the economy will be good in 2012 and Obama will be able to take credit for it and will be reelected.

Most of the people I know, democrat or republican, are also fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Typically the difference between them is that the democrats believe that social justice and civil rights are more important and the republicans believe that property rights are more important. I don't think either group is fundamentally wrong, it is just a matter of priorities.

There are obviously republicans that you have no hope of converting, but ultimately the question is how do you attract this group to vote democratic? I have seen a ton of people attribute all sorts of nasty things to republicans - I have clipped a few. I can tell you that thinking this way isn't going to send you down the path to win any votes.

* [new] I hate all Republicans. (8+ / 0-)
They are scum.

Bush Bites is a subsidiary of Bush Bites Inc., a registered corporate personhood.

by Bush Bites on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:24:53 PM PST

Republicans are evil. (35+ / 0-)
Straight evil.

"I guess I'm gonna fade into Bolivian." -Mike Tyson

by AmbroseBurnside on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 05:43:28 PM PST

The GOP hates America (17+ / 0-)
Republicans despise us.  They have nothing but contempt for the working folk of this country, and their only purpose is to service their corporate whoremasters and permit us to be run to ruin at their benefit.

Which is why, as I have stated repeatedly, I hate all Republicans.  Every last one of them can go to hell.

Republicans and personal responsibility are distant, estranged acquaintances.

by slippytoad on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 10:53:02 AM PST

I don't think of myself as evil, but I'm sure that many liberals probably think my beliefs are evil. In any case, understanding people like me who possibly could vote democratic is one necessary step to getting a winning majority. Below I lay out my beliefs and some arguments that to some extent may be used to sway your (thinking) republican friends and relatives.

Federal Power - I believe that the role of the Federal government is the 16 powers enumerated in the constitution. Any other interpretation makes available anything the federal government wants to do just by saying it is for the "general welfare". It doesn't make sense to enumerate specific powers if this is the case.

However, the constitution also says the supreme court gets to decide how to interpret the constitution. They have said that the more liberal interpretation rules and so by the rules of the constitution itself the more liberal interpretation wins.

Everything else is up for grabs by the states. The best governance happens at the lowest level possible because then people have the most say in how they are governed. My HOA says you can't park in the street and I'm fine with that. But I don't want the federal government telling me where I can park my car.

Big government vs. companies - Any human organization that gets too big, whether corporate or government becomes a bureaucracy that cannot serve its customers. Government or big business is inefficient, bloated and corrupt. Businesses are somewhat less so because they have lots of competition so if they don't serve their market they go out of business very quickly. What many republicans dont understand is that there are certain problems that businesses cannot solve. A business optimizes for itself and for its customers over a short period of time. Yet that may not optimize for the overall marketplace. Imagine a city block that has cool and funky restaurants and stores that attracts a lot of foot traffic. Each building is owned by a different landlord maximizing his interest. It turns out that starbucks wants to move in because it is a cool funky area. The landlord is really happy because he doesnt have to worry about starbucks going out of business, paying rent on time, etc. So even though starbucks is willing to pay less rent, he decides to rent to starbucks. Then the gap moves in next door, next thing you know the area is all chain stores and it loses its vibe and no one goes there anymore, rents drop and the landlords make less money. Explain to your republican friends that you are not anti business, just that there are certain problems that businesses can't solve. Companies are one way people organize to create value, government is just another way for people to organize to create value. They both have their place, neither is inherently good or bad.

Gay marriage - I am ok with this, but primarily because I am not religious. If you want to get the rights associated with them, call them civil unions that are essentially contracts focusing on inheritance rights, medical choice, taxation and public benefits. Marriage is fundamentally a religious construct and if they want to define it as between a man and a woman, then it is.

Entitlement programs - Economics proves that whatever you reward people for they will do more of. Anecdotally I have had employees say that they are quitting or having another baby so they can get more benefits. I have had friends who go on vacations Europe (during the dot com bust) while they were collecting unemployment benefits. That being said, these programs do serve a useful purpose. Almost all republicans I know (even the very conservative) just want the programs to be used to help for short periods rather than become used for a lifetime. But we all believe that these programs actually hurt the very people they are supposed to help. The more cynical people believe that the democratic leadership know this but get people addicted to welfare programs to get more votes. Almost everyone, including many republicans, would support jobs based entitlement programs. Finally, you can explain that just like the top 10% of the population are very gifted, the bottom 10% are incredibly ungifted. Through no fault of their own they lost the genetic lottery and it is in our best interest to at least keep them somewhat content. The bottom 10% is roughly 30 million people in the US.

Education - everyone gets that education is important. We all want an educated community. What actually is the problem then? Most of the problem is that despite more money, kids are learning less. One possible reason is that because it is free people take it for granted and dont value it. Another reason is that schools don't have much incentive to improve. I'm a big fan of vouchers, most liberals are against vouchers primarily because they don't want public dollars to go to religious schools. Teachers unions are against vouchers because they dont want teachers to be held accountable. So what about vouchers that allow you only to go to the public schools in the existing public school system? You will very quickly see schools improve and people spending "their" money/vouchers will generally be better consumers.

Healthcare - I don't believe healthcare is a right. I don't believe access to the most modern healthcare is a right either. We all are going to suffer and die, some earlier, some later. When you ask the government to pay for your healthcare, you are really asking me to pay for your healthcare. Maybe you are a fat slob who wants his third triple bypass, maybe you are a saint that got breast cancer. I don't hate you, but I don't necessarily want to pay for your health care either. Maybe I would rather donate that money to starving children in Africa where my dollar has a lot more impact on saving lives.

Healthcare is broken for a number of reasons that republicans (and most people) may not really understand

  1. Most people don't see the true cost. This means we don't make choices to reduce cost
  1. Insurance companies are monopolies
  1. Companies get tax breaks for offering insurance, individuals dont
  1. AMA has a stranglehold on the # of doctors produced
  1. The US subsidizes R&D for drugs for the rest of the world.

If you focus on and get agreement on the problems. Then it is much easier to find a solution - such as medicare for all or whatever. I think the senate bill is actually pretty good. Talk about the problems with your republican friends first, then start discussing solutions and how the current health care bill resolves those problems. Focusing on the uninsured is not really the right approach.

Middle east/terrorism and wars - we need energy, our standard of living is nothing without cheap energy. Right now that energy is oil so we must protect our oil interests. You may be able to convince republicans though that alternative energy such as nuclear, wind and solar plus higher mileage cars etc all will reduce our dependence on oil. If we take away the middle east's money, we take away their significance (and our need to meddle).

environment - we all know that people will pollute to make a buck. This is related to companies seeing the short term at the expense of the long term. Many liberals take it too far though - not every single species is important. In the same way that many liberals paint all republicans with evangelical brush, conservatives paint liberals with the PETA/tree hugger brush. With regards to climate change, I haven't looked at the data and without the data I'm skeptical either way. I do know that they use complex modeling that is subject to lots of error. Ultimately it comes down to trust of the experts. Climate science is a lot like economics and the same liberals who believe in climate science are often against the free market theories espoused by economists (lets protect industry with protectionist policies!). To be convinced I would need to actually read the journal articles and then read pro/con reviews.  Ultimately it will work better to push for cheaper alternative energy to make the middle east irrelevant than to try to convince people to use less fossil fuels.

Free market - I'm ok with a regulated free market. The question is really how much regulation is the right amount. The key benefit of a free market is free exchange of goods and many choices. Regulation must exist to protect those key aspects. Because of the "too big to fail" concept, I think it would be easy to convince republicans to limit the size or scope of any company so that it will never be "too big to fail". When whole industries need a bailout, they certainly should take on extra regulation. Most of the republicans I know agree that it is ok for handouts to come with strings attached. The strings dont necessarily need to go away when the handouts get repaid. When talking to other republicans I point to china as a demonstration of the benefit that our government has in looking at product safety and workplace safety.

Unions - Unions arent inherently bad. Just like any large organization they can suffer from corruption. If unions were to disappear, companies would immediately begin exploiting their workers. So even though I do believe unions have killed a large number of companies and industries, overall I think we are all better off with unions than without. Republicans tend to focus on the bad part-killing companies libs tend to gloss over the bad part. You only have to point to working  conditions in other countries to show what life would be like without unions.

Fiscal conservatism - no one ever wants to cut programs. Every program has someone that says it is a must have. Just like in your life, it is hard to disconnect the cable tv until you are really forced to do it. How many people who got foreclosed on still had cable tv, cell phones and car payments? There is a pot of money that the government collects, you will never convince me that the federal government couldnt cut 10% across the board today. I'm ok with the level of taxes today but the federal government should cut programs rather than increase taxes. The federal government should definitely live beneath its means. When you raise taxes you are truly killing the goose that laid the golden egg. All the fiscal conservatives want is to control government spending - keeping it to inflation would be a good start. Clinton (who many of you hate) actually managed to cut spending in a number of areas - he was practically a fiscal conservative. I think obama is quite similar which is why I voted for him. The reason you arent getting a public option from him is because the budget people couldnt make it work without  massive taxes.

If the dem party can be fiscally conservative/socially liberal then I think they will win for years to come.

Originally posted to TXConservative on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:18 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  Sticking Around? (0+ / 0-)

      I hope you'll stick around for the discussion. You know what Republicans say about people who cut and run?

      "I call on all governments to join with the United States ...in...prosecuting all acts of torture." GW Bush

      by Reino on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:04:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Depends on (6+ / 0-)

    ...what you mean by fiscal conservative.  Clinton balanced the budget and Gore was headed toward using the surpluses to pay down the debt.  Where were these fiscal conservative/social liberal Republicans in 2000?

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:31:27 PM PST

  •  Important diary for discussion (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Reino, sberel, DWG, poliwrangler

    purposes, which is why I tipped and rec'd.

    I'm a proud progressive so I definitely don't see eye-to-eye with you on, e.g., health care. If for no other reason, a healthy and educated populace is a huge asset to society, and saves everyone money in the long run.

    A quibble:

    If the dem party can be fiscally conservative/socially liberal then I think they will win for years to come.

    It is. And has been for quite a while. The party just hasn't been able to shake that particular meme. It seems that President Obama might actually be able to.

    The biggest hurdle in winning over Indies and potential Republican voters lies not in the party or its platform, but in media framing and public perception.

    Let's remember that we should care about people even after they're born. - Rep. Alan Grayson

    by StepLeftStepForward on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:40:26 PM PST

    •  agreed, (0+ / 0-)

      If more diarists from the other side would come here to speak like this, it'd be awesome.  I know I've tried a couple on the other side and if your comment is even allowed to be seen, it's quite quickly screamed at.

      Perhaps TX could point out a couple for us?

      It's easy to be a destroyer.

      by poliwrangler on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:58:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You lost me here (9+ / 0-)

    Teachers unions are against vouchers because they dont want teachers to be held accountable.

    Do you really think that's why the teacher's unions oppose vouchers? They oppose vouchers because the religious schools that usually benefit employ teacher who are often not certified.

    Your assertion that unions are actively fostering mediocrity is bullshit. Likewise that unions have killed a large number of companies. Got any examples?

    Unions created the middle class.

    And raising taxes doesn't kill the goose that laid the golden egg. A progressive tax structure that funds the government adequately is vital to a robust economy. History bears this out.

    And I think most of the "I hate Rethug" comments are aimed at politicians and the Republican party's anti-American platform.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:44:44 PM PST

  •  After the 50th time (6+ / 0-)

    I was told that "I hated America", that "I wanted the terrorists to win", or "that I should be hung/shot/raped/tortured" by a Rove/Atwater Conservative Republican I knew... I stopped worrying about concern Meta in regards to individual posts and their effects on broader attempts at politically appealing to the Right.

    Its simply not serious for a Republican in the post Lee Atwater current Karl Rove era of the GOP to be casting aspersions based on civility meta.

    I could go to FreeRepublic.com and cut and paste some quotes right back at you.

    It's just not a valid tactic for framing a debate.

    We can't control everyone who posts on a forum where all you have to do is sign up. There are going to be posts where somebody vents their spleen. Always. They cannot be eliminated.

    If I had a nickle for every time a conservative told me online that I should be mutilated and sexually assaulted for not voting Republican I would be rich.

    There were a lot of good points in this diary.

    But I think one of the greatest flaws in how Republicans argue is that they do what you did.

    You took something scathing and raw and highlighted it in isolation, and by implication extrapolated it out, to apply broadbrush to everyone else to bolster one of your process points.

    Also, I not only don't agree with Republicans on fiscal policy, I don't see a lot of credibility on the buget, on deficits, and taxation and expenditures with the GOP.

    You framed a lot of this as if its a given that conservatism is the answer or the baseline for a discussion. I don't believe that. I don't believe its in the best interest of the Democratic Party or the country to do that.

    The reason I am not a Republican is because I have ideological beliefs I'm not willing to abandon.

    Fiscal conservatism - no one ever wants to cut programs. Every program has someone that says it is a must have. Just like in your life, it is hard to disconnect the cable tv until you are really forced to do it. How many people who got foreclosed on still had cable tv, cell phones and car payments? There is a pot of money that the government collects, you will never convince me that the federal government couldnt cut 10% across the board today. I'm ok with the level of taxes today but the federal government should cut programs rather than increase taxes. The federal government should definitely live beneath its means. When you raise taxes you are truly killing the goose that laid the golden egg. All the fiscal conservatives want is to control government spending - keeping it to inflation would be a good start. Clinton (who many of you hate) actually managed to cut spending in a number of areas - he was practically a fiscal conservative. I think obama is quite similar which is why I voted for him. The reason you arent getting a public option from him is because the budget people couldnt make it work without  massive taxes.

    1. Every Democratic President in my lifetime, from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, has cut government programs. All of them.
    1. Every Conservative President has increased the size and intrusive power of the Federal government. All of them.
    1. A person ending his cellular phone service is not going to save his house if its underwater. The reality that somebody who is behind on his House still owns a car is not a sign of fiscal irresponsibility. In many parts of the country, where their is no public transportation, you can't keep a job to pay for your home without the ability to communicate and transport yourself to a job outside of your home. It's not a serious argument.
    1. The Public Option was not an entitlement. It was an optional choice that cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the Federal budget over the next two decades without adding a single dime to the deficit.

    There wasn't any need to raise taxes to pay for it, because it wasn't an entitlement program. It's hard to take conservatives seriously when they can't even discuss something like the Public Option without botching the basic facts on its impact on the budget.

  •  It's Always Good To Reexamine Your Positions (2+ / 0-)

    The fact that you are willing to vote for Obama shows that you are not a typical Republican, so you shouldn't take the Republicans Are Evil comments personally. They are directed at people who remain Republicans even though they should know better and people who are filled completely with hate.

    However, give some thought to your positions.

    Your position on gay marriage assumes that there is a unified religious position against gay marriage in our country. That simply is not the case--there are ministers and churches willing to perform the ceremonies and sign the contracts, but they are usually blocked by state law. Also, there are plenty of marriages in this country performed by justices-of-the-peace which have no religious context. Given that, why are you against giving people the freedom to marry who they want to marry?

    Also, with regards to climate change, take some time and look at the data. If you think some species are unimportant, perhaps you could draw up a list for us.

    With education, you state that it is getting worse, which is not true, because it is free, which is not a change. You believe that the reason is that schools don't have an incentive to change, but NCLB has given schools an incentive to change and has been a complete failure. NCLB also tried giving public school vouchers, which was one of its many ideas that did not work.

    I'm glad you're here, and I'm glad you're voting for Obama. Keep in mind, though, that on this website people have reasons for their beliefs. Many of us study different policies and learn.

    "I call on all governments to join with the United States ...in...prosecuting all acts of torture." GW Bush

    by Reino on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:58:59 PM PST

  •  I don't consider myself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poliwrangler

    'fiscally conservative'. I believe in 'fiscal responsibility'. Depending the circumstances it does at times make sense to run up debt. In the long run you need to pay for what you're doing. That also includes tax increases when warrented.

    There is no universal maxim on tax cuts and spending cuts. Targetted tax cuts that have a large positive impact are good. Targetted spending cuts on things not working or not needed are good (minus policy changes to improve the things not working).

    What I do believe is that supply-side economics has been terrible for the country. Getting money in the hands of the bottom 90% is what creates growth. Our best decades saw average income increase on pace with productivity. Over the last 30 years we've seen that almost flatline while the top few percent have seen their wealth increase massively. It does not create jobs or wealth. Instead it causes stagnation.

    On the health care front the scoring in relation to the public option from my recollection lowered debt and did not introduce a significant tax burden. From a fiscal responsibility standpoint, single payer is the only viable option. Removing the profit motive from some pieces of healthcare and creating one entity to bargain for prices results in a huge reduction in cost. For us to be competitive with the rest of the modern world we have to figure out how to cover everyone and reduce the cost to half of what we pay now. While there may be some small knocks on the various systems out there, overall they perform much better than what we're doing. I refuse to accept that we're unable to compete with the rest of the western world in this area.

    I absolutely understand where you're coming from. I have a number of family members with the same philosphy. It's just not a simple thing.

    Sorry to have focused on just a couple points as you covered much more in the diary. On another subject, overall I'm a fan of checks and balances. The free market requires honesty, integrity, and openness. When those are not in evidence I believe it is the duty of government to impose them. Whether it's regulation of industries or support of unions to counterbalance corporate power it's to the betterment of the country to have some sort of equal and opposite forces at work.

  •  You lost me when you conflated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arnie, happy camper, catchaz

    big government and big companies. The two are fundamentally different. Government is non-profit and does not have customers. We are citizens, not consumers. We chip in, via taxation, to do things we all need.  Business exists to profit its owners, not to serve customers. Business seeks to charge its customers as much as possible and deliver as little as possible. Business hates competition since it lowers profits, that's why they avoid competing unless forced by law. Any honest businessman will tell you this. Your basic confusion over the roles of business and government also colors your view of education. Education is not a service to the consumer, it is a requirement in a democracy. If you think non-profit, public education is expensive, wait until the profit motive kicks in. I suppose you believe that our for-profit healthcare system is the best in the world and would welcome an education system that operates the same way.

  •  I respect your viewpoints; (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catchaz

    but you're running into the same problems I see with other intellectual conservatives (like the ones I work with at my university): you're not remotely representative of the contemporary Republican Party.  Read your Buckley-esque libertarian-leaning bullet points, and then consume an hour of your party's most important opinion leaders.  Any overlap is purely coincidental.

    If you don't help us turn Texas blue, then you deserve whatever we do to your kids' textbooks.

    by cardinal on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 04:39:25 PM PST

  •  Sympathy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poliwrangler

    Because House and Senate Republicans and pundits present a monolithic set of positions, and because they have made "non-persons" out of all party leaders who oppose one or more of those positions it's easy to forget that "Republicans" are a mildly diverse group. It's an important point and shouldn't be forgotten.

    Most surveys have found that most Americans consider themselves slightly Conservative fiscally and slightly Liberal socially. Then the Republicans got control of the Administrative branch, the Judicial branch, the Legislative branch and the media. They trashed the economy. So much for those who leaned toward "slightly Conservative fiscally."

    They also trashed the Constitution, though that always takes second place in people's hearts to their wallets.

    Logically, most swing voters and a fair number of Republicans should vote for Democrats. Our policies are what they want. We should have a permanent 60+ percent majority.

    But when you factor in control of the media that all goes out the window. Republicans own it and it shapes people's thinking.

    I notice that most of the positions you take are ones of moderation and I'd like to see a discussion on specifics because that's where the problems arise. It's always a matter of degree and of getting the ideas across. It's hard for most people – and all media – to get worked up by moderation.

    A Southerner in Yankeeland

  •  Fiscal responsibility (0+ / 0-)
    Tipped and rec'ed as a very interesting and thoughtful piece, even if there's a lot I disagree with.

    I believe that there's a fair bit of truth to the claim that a lot of people (probably Democrats, Republicans, and independents/third parties) are basically socially liberal and fiscally at least somewhat conservative (and when I say "conservative" I mean in the balanced budget sense, not the pro-big-business sense).  The classic (in my political lifetime) exemplar of this philosophy is William Weld.

    (BTW, I don't think a lot of us here hate Clinton by any means!  And I certainly don't.  He has his personal failings, but I think he was an excellent president.)

    The basic question I have for people who advocate balancing the budget is "over what period of time?"  People usually talk about the budget surplus or deficit over one year, but there's no inherent reason why that should be the case -- it's just a convenient period of time in terms of the change of seasons.  But we could talk about budget balance over any period of time -- a day, a month, five years, ten years, "the business cycle", whatever.  I don't think that anyone would argue that the budget should be balanced each day -- there are inevitably days when you have to spend more money than you earn or vice versa.  I personally think that a one year benchmark is also too short; there's just too much fluctuation in circumstances from year to year.

    Look at this at a personal level.  Maybe one year out of every five we have to buy a car (alternating between my wife and me).  Since we're fortunate to have enough savings to do so with headroom, we pay cash.  So that means that one year out of every five we're going to be taking a hit and will run a deficit that year.  Other years we may have other similar expenses -- replace the furnace and AC, replace the siding, we bought our house a while back with 20% down.  Is that a problem?  No, because most years we don't have expenses like that and we run a surplus.

    The application of this principle to the federal budget should be clear -- some years expenses will be higher and revenues lower and some years the opposite will hold true.  The government should generally run an annual surplus in boom years and deficit during bad times.  The fact that the previous administration didn't honor that principle is unfortunate, but it shouldn't be taken out on the most vulnerable members of society.

  •  We are. (0+ / 0-)

    If the dem party can be fiscally conservative/socially liberal then I think they will win for years to come.

    Eighty-four percent of the national debt assumed since 1950 was under Republican administrations. People should stop watching Faux News and listening to Rush Limbaugh and his many imitators, and actually start paying attention to what's going on out there.

    "I'm a bear of very little brain." -- with apologies to A. A. Milne

    by Arnie on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 06:46:21 PM PST

  •  healthcare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello

    Healthcare - I don't believe healthcare is a right. I don't believe access to the most modern healthcare is a right either. We all are going to suffer and die, some earlier, some later. When you ask the government to pay for your healthcare, you are really asking me to pay for your healthcare. Maybe you are a fat slob who wants his third triple bypass, maybe you are a saint that got breast cancer. I don't hate you, but I don't necessarily want to pay for your health care either. Maybe I would rather donate that money to starving children in Africa where my dollar has a lot more impact on saving lives.

    I'm not really sure how this differs from education. Most people believe that we should be willing to provide a quality education to all Americans and the we all should pay for it. I believe this is true as lack of an education means a lack of opportunity. There is nothing that kills opportunity in life more than lack of good health. Thus, in the interest of seeing that all our citizens have the opportunity to succeed and contribute to society it is in our best interest to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to remain healthy and we should thus make healthcare available for all Americans regardless of financial positions. Further, every other western country has done so and has achieved a level of security for its citizens that Americans can only dream of!

    Most people don't see the true cost. This means we don't make choices to reduce cost

    What sorts of choices are people supposed to make? Should they be making the choice to forgo certain treatments or tests?

    Other countries have managed to make healthcare available to all citizens at a significantly less cost than here without forcing the citizenry to lower costs by foregoing treatment... Why can't we do that here?

  •  gay marriage (0+ / 0-)

    Gay marriage - I am ok with this, but primarily because I am not religious. If you want to get the rights associated with them, call them civil unions that are essentially contracts focusing on inheritance rights, medical choice, taxation and public benefits. Marriage is fundamentally a religious construct and if they want to define it as between a man and a woman, then it is.

    But.. whose religion? For instance, in MA a gay couple cannot be married in a church that does not support gay marriage but can be married in a church that does. Further, they can be married in a civil ceremony if they so desire.

    You are suggesting that religions that choose to perform gay marriages not be allowed to do so, or have those marriages referred to as civil unions because some other religion doesn't support them?

    I would still disagree with you if religions were unanimous in their opposition to gay marriage (as I both don't feel marriage in the eyes of the state is a religious contract and don't feel religion should play a role in government), but I would think your point would carry more weight under those circumstances.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site