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Parties are missing the point
Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 12:48 PM:

I will be leaning libertarian in the next election. As an independent voter, there is time to sway my opinion.

1) Obama

-probably too late. You had 4 years. I like the direction of the tackling healthcare, but where is the deficient reduction? Too much waste in the stimulus. You had your chance and blew it.

2) Romney

-How on earth do you plan on reducing the deficit AND reduce taxes. It doesn't work that way. Are you really heading in to an election without a plan?

-I hear you talk about repealing Obama care...Really? Your plan to make sure my family has medical coverage is to repeal Obamacare? Why is you you have no plan for my family? Instead of repealing Obamacare, why not come up with your own plan to improve or replace it. T

-Ryan Plan, I have no problems with private sector, but there are too many immediate gaps in coverage. This does not help my grandmother or my parents.



Replies

If you are really leaning Libertarian why do you beleive, Obama, Romney, or anyone other than yourself is responsible for you and your family healthcare?

-- Posted by Joe Dirte on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:15 PM

How on earth do you plan on reducing the deficit AND reduce taxes. It doesn't work that way.Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 12:48 PM:

It nearly always works that way. Tax cuts have always lead to increased government revenue. How? Read below:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports...

-- Posted by Dug on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:36 PM

If you are really leaning Libertarian why do you beleive, Obama, Romney, or anyone other than yourself is responsible for you and your family healthcare?

-- Posted by Joe Dirte on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:15 PM

The federal government should only step in when the private sector screws something up.

The current system is broken.

Why are insurance companies routinely denying legit claims? Why am I paying over $2,000 out of pocket to have a baby in cape girardeau (with good insurance).

Why does a new titanium driver cost $400, but the same amount of titanium in a hip is $10,000?

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:48 PM

If you are really leaning Libertarian why do you beleive, Obama, Romney, or anyone other than yourself is responsible for you and your family healthcare?

-- Posted by Joe Dirte on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:15 PM

The federal government should only step in when the private sector screws something up.

The current system is broken.

Why are insurance companies routinely denying legit claims? Why am I paying over $2,000 out of pocket to have a baby in cape girardeau (with good insurance).

Why does a new titanium driver cost $400, but the same amount of titanium in a hip is $10,000?

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:48 PM

It nearly always works that way. Tax cuts have always lead to increased government revenue. How? Read below:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports...

-- Posted by Dug on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:36 PM

That link does nothing for your point.

Seriously, the deficit massively INCREASED under Reagan.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:50 PM

"Why does a new titanium driver cost $400, but the same amount of titanium in a hip is $10,000?"

Liability insurance. You don't see lawyer's offices advertising on television that "If you or someone you know has bought a titanium driver and not improved their golf score, you may be entitled to compensation".

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:59 PM

"How on earth do you plan on reducing the deficit AND reduce taxes."

Cut spending. Tax reductions don't cause deficits, spending does.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 2:00 PM

"Seriously, the deficit massively INCREASED under Reagan."

Because spending increased. Mostly entitlement spending, though Mr. Reagan did request and receive increases in military spending. The president can't spend a dime without Congress' approval. Thanks to the defeat of the line-item veto, he can't cancel a dime without them, either.

However, if you look at the record, tax revenues increased after the tax cuts. They also increased after the Bush Tax Cuts.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 2:03 PM

That link does nothing for your point.

Seriously, the deficit massively INCREASED under Reagan.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:50 PM

You had to completely ignore what the article said. It states that revenue increases when taxes are lowered, by Reagan's example it was up by 99.4%. Not just under Reagan, but under several others as well. It will never matter how much revenue is generated if government continues to spend more than they bring in though.

-- Posted by semofan23 on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 2:18 PM

Liability insurance. You don't see lawyer's offices advertising on television that "If you or someone you know has bought a titanium driver and not improved their golf score, you may be entitled to compensation".

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:59 PM

That was only one of the reasons.

If you remember Shapley, the liability cap was supposed to stop that. It didn't.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:38 PM

Cut spending. Tax reductions don't cause deficits, spending does.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 2:00 PM

Agree.

But we are in a huge hole right now that I don't see away around paying it down without increasing taxes.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:40 PM

Because spending increased. Mostly entitlement spending, though Mr. Reagan did request and receive increases in military spending. The president can't spend a dime without Congress' approval. Thanks to the defeat of the line-item veto, he can't cancel a dime without them, either.

However, if you look at the record, tax revenues increased after the tax cuts. They also increased after the Bush Tax Cuts.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 2:03 PM

Depends on what you consider entitlement.

Over half the budget is defense, social security and medicare.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:43 PM

You had to completely ignore what the article said. It states that revenue increases when taxes are lowered, by Reagan's example it was up by 99.4%. Not just under Reagan, but under several others as well. It will never matter how much revenue is generated if government continues to spend more than they bring in though.

-- Posted by semofan23 on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 2:18 PM

I did not ignore what the article said.

I pointed out it had nothing to do with what we are discussing. Deficit is simply spending more than what is being brought in. At this point, I don't see how we can cut taxes and make an impact on the deficit.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:46 PM

Rational.Thought, I don't think that you are leaning libertarian, perhaps Libertarian Party.

The two are not necessarily the same. I'm sure there are libertarians in the Libertarian Party, I have even met a few who thought of themselves libertarian.

My view: The Libertarian Party could not and does not represent libertarians. Many of us are anarcho-capitalists and cannot be represented by any political party. We can only represent ourselves.

-- Posted by BCStoned on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 2:19 PM

I consider myself in the middle. I am not a democrat, republican, or libertarian.

I like a lot of the libertarian ideals, but on somethings they go too far. Like legalization of all drugs and the flat tax.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:49 PM

"If you remember Shapley, the liability cap was supposed to stop that. It didn't."

What liability cap are you talking about? Some states have passed them, Texas being the most notable, but it's still relatively recent.

"But we are in a huge hole right now that I don't see away around paying it down without increasing taxes."

You may not, but others do. Most money is on increasing taxes, which is why there is so much uncertainty in the economy - businesses expect tax hikes but don't know what form they'll take. It is hard to formulate a strategy around such issues. What is generally accepted is that' if you make a sizeable profit, the Democrats are going to come after it.

If, however, you can grow the economy then increased commerce will mean increased tax revenue, even in the absence of increased tax rates. The trillion-dollar question, then, is how to grow the economy.

Generally, Republicans figure it is done by permitting investors to keep more of their earnings, and rewarding them for reinvesting those earnings.

Democrats seem to favour growing government and punishing success by taking the monies of successful investors and giving it to unsuccessful ones in the hope that they, too, will become successful. Then, those made succesful through the confiscated dollars can be punished as well. Eventually, we'll be punished equally and everyone will be happy, or something like that.

The one thing we have seen over the past four years is that paying people not to work tends to result in people not working. Mr. Obama has laxed the work requirements for welfare and extended unemployement benefits to the point that the incentive to work is diminished.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:56 PM

"Depends on what you consider entitlement."

In budgetary terms, entitlements are clearly defined. Sometimes also called 'mandatory spending', they are budgetary components that are driven by qualification rather than budgetary limitations.

For example: Social Security payments. The amount paid by Social Security is determined by the formula for payments multiplied and the number of recipients. Regardless of how much is estimated in the budget, if the number of recipients suddenly increases, Social Security payments will increase. There is no 'budget cap' on them, because they are not allocated through budgeted spending bills.

Defense, on the other hand, is discretionary. That is to say, a Defense spending bill is passed which identifies how much is to be spent on defense for that spending period. If war or other factor increases the need for spending, they cannot simply draw it out of the treasury, but a separate allowance, or special approporiation, must be passed by Congress.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, and Interest on the Debt are entitlements. Defense spending, education, and so forth are discretionary.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 5:04 PM

Seriously, the deficit massively INCREASED under Reagan. -- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 1:50 PM

Maybe you don't know the understanding or the difference between

"revenue" and "spending"???

Take your shoes off and use your toes. If you double revenues and triple spending - you've increased your deficit! Or try this - if I have one dollar and spend one dollar I owe nothing. If I have $2 dollars (double my original amount) and spend $3 dollars (triple my spending amount) I must have borrowed a dollar somewhere.

-- Posted by Dug on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 5:11 PM

But we are in a huge hole right now that I don't see away around paying it down without increasing taxes. -- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:40 PM

Great! Then quit listening to Rachel Maddow and read some facts on taxes and revenues. Cut tax rates, and revenues increase! Raising tax rates will lower revenues. Follow history.

-- Posted by Dug on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 5:13 PM

"If you remember Shapley, the liability cap was supposed to stop that. It didn't."

What liability cap are you talking about? Some states have passed them, Texas being the most notable, but it's still relatively recent.

"But we are in a huge hole right now that I don't see away around paying it down without increasing taxes."

You may not, but others do. Most money is on increasing taxes, which is why there is so much uncertainty in the economy - businesses expect tax hikes but don't know what form they'll take. It is hard to formulate a strategy around such issues. What is generally accepted is that' if you make a sizeable profit, the Democrats are going to come after it.

If, however, you can grow the economy then increased commerce will mean increased tax revenue, even in the absence of increased tax rates. The trillion-dollar question, then, is how to grow the economy.

Generally, Republicans figure it is done by permitting investors to keep more of their earnings, and rewarding them for reinvesting those earnings.

Democrats seem to favour growing government and punishing success by taking the monies of successful investors and giving it to unsuccessful ones in the hope that they, too, will become successful. Then, those made succesful through the confiscated dollars can be punished as well. Eventually, we'll be punished equally and everyone will be happy, or something like that.

The one thing we have seen over the past four years is that paying people not to work tends to result in people not working. Mr. Obama has laxed the work requirements for welfare and extended unemployement benefits to the point that the incentive to work is diminished.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:56 PM

Missouri Passed a liability cap with Matt Blunt. I did nothing except illustrate how that was not the root cause of the problem. The supreme court struck it down recently.

Both parties are guilty of growing government.

Agree about extending benefits. However, that is really doesn't put that big of a dent in the budget.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 6:09 PM

"Depends on what you consider entitlement."

In budgetary terms, entitlements are clearly defined. Sometimes also called 'mandatory spending', they are budgetary components that are driven by qualification rather than budgetary limitations.

For example: Social Security payments. The amount paid by Social Security is determined by the formula for payments multiplied and the number of recipients. Regardless of how much is estimated in the budget, if the number of recipients suddenly increases, Social Security payments will increase. There is no 'budget cap' on them, because they are not allocated through budgeted spending bills.

Defense, on the other hand, is discretionary. That is to say, a Defense spending bill is passed which identifies how much is to be spent on defense for that spending period. If war or other factor increases the need for spending, they cannot simply draw it out of the treasury, but a separate allowance, or special approporiation, must be passed by Congress.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, and Interest on the Debt are entitlements. Defense spending, education, and so forth are discretionary.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 5:04 PM

I agree with that you are saying here.

But how do you end it?

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 6:11 PM

Maybe you don't know the understanding or the difference between

"revenue" and "spending"???

Take your shoes off and use your toes. If you double revenues and triple spending - you've increased your deficit! Or try this - if I have one dollar and spend one dollar I owe nothing. If I have $2 dollars (double my original amount) and spend $3 dollars (triple my spending amount) I must have borrowed a dollar somewhere.

-- Posted by Dug on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 5:11 PM

I understand it completely.

I also understand debt. I don't think we are at a point where we can reduce revenue and pay down the debt.

If I owe a billion dollars and I am having trouble paying interest, reducing how much I have to spend in hopes of having more to spend is not the answer.

When you have increased sales, you need increased business. More workers, expansion, etc. Reduction income tax on the rich does nothing to improve jobs, or grow the economy.

A reduction should be looked at with a surplus. Unfortunately, we have built a society of debt and its going to take a while to get out of it. And this is not an Obama issue. He is just the latest in the line.

I have yet to have a line item budget based on tax. My labor budget is not dependent on taxes.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 6:15 PM

A person should have the say of what goes into their body, not the state.

As an anarcho-capitalist, I say there should be no taxes.

-- Posted by BCStoned on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 5:47 PM

Unfortunately, pure capitalism doesn't work. Look at mining towns. Look at the railroad industry. Look at communication.

Remember the time when phone companies could charge you monthly for each phone line in your house? Remember how long distance rates bottomed out with arrival of sell phones.

I am for competition in the market place. unfortunately, it doesn't always happen naturally.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 6:22 PM

Yes , I agree .

The Great Anti-Doping Act of 1937 took these rights away .

Ben Franklin "Nothing is permanent except death and taxes"

My questions , how many tax laws are actually needed ?

Or better yet , is there anyone who even understands and knows them all ?

-- Posted by Rɨck on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 6:21 PM

Agree. The drug act was not about taxes, but about an end around to making something illegal. Is the 1937 Act the one that made it illegal to posses certain drugs without out a stamp? So it was the act of possession that made it illegeal?

I am for the decriminalization of marijuana, but I can't say I feel the same for other drugs.

-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 6:27 PM

"But how do you end it?"

They Republican plan is to begin shifting the entitlement burden gradually into a budgetable entity. This is to be done gradually so it does not affect those currently dependent upon the programmes, while 'weaning' future generations off them and into a system more dependent upon personal responsibility.

The growth of the programmes will be controllable because they will be budgeted. No more automatic growth, after the 'weaning' period is ended.

As near as I can tell, The Democrat plan is to ignore the problem. They shot down Mr. Bush's plan

and the oppose the Ryan plan, but have not proposed a plan of their own. Hell, they don't even propose a budget of their own anymore. Mr. Reid refused to allow a budget to come up for a vote.

So, the first step in doing something about it would be seem to getting the Senate out of Mr. Reid's hands.

They laughed at Sarah Palin for suggesting that the Vice-President, as President of the Senate, could work to get things done. Mr. Biden, even though he sat in the Senate for many years, did not know the Vice-President was president of the Senate. I don't know if he even knows that now.

As President of the Senate, the Vice-President has the authority to step in and demand that certain things, such as a budget, be brought to the floor. On the the chance that Mr. Reid does not lose his majority leader status, it would be wise to replace the Vice-President with one that has the gumption to make the body over which he presides do their duty. I think Mr. Ryan has that kind of gumption.

The last is to get a President that actually knows how to work across the table, instead of just complaining that the other side won't play ball with them. I think Mr. Romney can do that. He was able to get things done in Massuchusetts, albeit I do not agree with all that he did.

I'm not saying the Romney/Ryan ticket is the answer. But we've seen the Obama/Biden ticket, and it aint' gettin' us anywhere. It's time for a change.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 9:16 PM

"Remember how long distance rates bottomed out with arrival of sell phones."

You can hardly call the phone companies 'free markets'. The FCC operates with a stranglehold over communications. Deregulation permitted the reduction in long-distance rates, as you could then choose your long-distance carrier yourself, rather than have your local provider choose it for you. MCI, LDD, and so on were vying for your phone service, and brought down prices before cell phones arrived on the scene.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 9:21 PM

You beat me to it Shap. Dropping the regulations opened up the free market.

-- Posted by We Regret To Inform U on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 9:49 PM

"The last is to get a President that actually knows how to work across the table, instead of just complaining that the other side won't play ball with them. I think Mr. Romney can do that."

There is a clear problem with your premise. During the last four years, from a purely political standpoint, compromise (working across the table) was advantageous to President Obama and detrimental to republicans. Recall the republican dictum, "if the President's for it, we're against it."

Should Governor Romney be fortunate enough to win the election, it is possible that the democrats will adopt the republican strategy of the past four years. I would hope that they will not, and they won't explicitly declare that their primary goal is to make "President Romney a one-term President."

Just because the republicans put the interests of their party ahead of the good of the American people, does not mean the democrats should do likewise.

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 8:03 AM

"They laughed at Sarah Palin for suggesting that the Vice-President, as President of the Senate, could work to get things done."

No. They laughed at Sarah Palin's claim that the vice president is "in charge of" the Senate.

I thought the voters of the respective states were "in charge" of the senators.

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 8:09 AM

Just because the republicans put the interests of their party ahead of the good of the American people, does not mean the democrats should do likewise.

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 8:03 AM

Both parties have been putting party interests ahead of the good of the people for decades. Time to exit fantasy land.

-- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 8:10 AM

Mr. Obama couldn't even work on his own side of the aisle to get the Senate to pass a budget. He's not an effective leader.

"Should Governor Romney be fortunate enough to win the election, it is possible that the democrats will adopt the republican strategy of the past four years."

It's quite possible, given that it was the prtty much the strategy they adopted in the last two Bush years. They might even declare him an 'illegitimate President' from the outset, in order to justify their claim that he 'lacks a mandate'. But they wouldn't do something so crass as that, would they?

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 8:11 AM

"No. They laughed at Sarah Palin's claim that the vice president is "in charge of" the Senate."

So, you're saying the President of the Senate is not 'in charge' of the Senate? Judges, who preside over courts, have been noted to say they are 'in charge' of the court. Similarly, the President of the United States is said to 'in charge' of the government of the United States. And yet, you laugh at the idea that the Senate President is 'in charge' of the Senate. That's curious.

You've also overlooked Mr. Biden's gaffes in rsponse to it, yet again.

Here's what he said in response to her:

"Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

"And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit."

Atricle I is the Legislative Branch, not the Executive Branch, and that is where the duties of the Vice President are found. Also, the Vice-President is always the President of the Senate, but he/she only has a vote if there is a tie. Apparently, Mr. Biden doesn't understand the 'pro tempore' aspect having a President Pro Tempore. That's pretty sad for a man who spent so many years in the Senate.

"I thought the voters of the respective states were "in charge" of the senators."

She didnt' say the Vice-President was in charge of the Senators, she said the Vice President was in charge of the Senate.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 8:29 AM

I don't think we are at a point where we can reduce revenue and pay down the debt.-- Posted by Rational.Thought on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 6:15 PM

Good - then cut taxes to raise revenues - as John F. Kennedy did, Reagan and Bush did.

-- Posted by Dug on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 9:24 AM

"...as John F. Kennedy did, Reagan and Bush did."

Clinton did, too, though they seldom talk about it. He repealed, retroactively, the disastrous Bush I 'luxury tax', the one the Democrats insisted on to 'tax the wealthy', which broke Mr. Bush's 'no new taxes' pledge.

Democrats have not proposed a 'luxury tax' since. Nor do they mention that one very often...

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 9:35 AM

"Judges, who preside over courts, have been noted to say they are 'in charge' of the court."

Of course they are. Judgea are in charge because they rule on motions, are the authority on legal issues, can remove participants from the court (including lawyers), make the final decision in bench trials, advise the jurors, etc. etc.

The Vice-President breaking a tie vote is not being "in-charge." I believe that he is not even there in the Senate, except when there might be a contentious vote.

Perhaps one should poll the senators to see if any of them believes that the Vice-President is "in charge" of them.

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 10:48 AM

A Judge does not vote on guilt or innocense either, and yet they 'preside over' the court, which you acknowledge as being 'in charge'.

The Vice-President is the President of the Senate, period. That he can vote only in the case of a tie does not alter that fact.

"I believe that he is not even there in the Senate, except when there might be a contentious vote."

In modern times, he is not, except for the counting of the electoral votes. That is more a matter of custom and Senate Rules than it is a matter of any Constitutional change in his duties.

An officer of the Senate may force a bill to the floor for a vote. However, Senate rules do not permit the Vice-President to participate in Debate.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 10:57 AM

"Apparently, Mr. Biden doesn't understand the 'pro tempore' aspect having a President Pro Tempore."

Do you really think that Vice-President Biden does not know that Senator Inouye is the President Pro Tempore of the Senate?

Furthermore the Vice-President is not even allowed to speak in the Senate, except by unanimous consent. So much for being "in-charge."

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 10:59 AM

"Perhaps one should poll the senators to see if any of them believes that the Vice-President is "in charge" of them."

If they are all as clueless as Mr. Biden, then a poll will have little meaning. Just because they think it is not so does not mean it is not so.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 11:07 AM

"Do you really think that Vice-President Biden does not know that Senator Inouye is the President Pro Tempore of the Senate?"

Misquoting me, again. I said he does not understand the 'pro-tempore' aspect of Mr. Inouye's position.

The Consititution is clear about the role of the President Pro-Tempore, who presides over the Senate in the Vice-President's absence. He does not wrest power from the Vice-President and, as President of the Senate, the Vice-President retains all the powers of that position when he chooses to assume the role.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 11:10 AM

"...all the powers of that position..."

Aside from voting in a tie, what are all the powers? They are a few responsibilities, but little power. At least PresidentPro Tempore can speak when he wants to.

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 11:15 AM

"At least PresidentPro Tempore can speak when he wants to."

The President has all the powers of the President Pro-Tempore. The power to speak rests with the Presiding officer of the Senate, which is the President of the Senate when he chooses, or the President Pro-Tempore, or his appointed president officer, when the President of the Senate is absent.

I am unsure of the rules and customs under which the Vice-President may wrest his power back from the President Pro-Tempore and assume the presiding role, but that power exists.

If the President Pro-Tempore (acting President) has a power, then that power also rests with the actual President. Since the President Pro-Tempore acts locum tenens (as a placeholder) for the President, logic dictates that, when he is not absent, the President is not replaced with said placeholder.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 11:23 AM

"The President has all the powers of the President Pro-Tempore."

OK, what are the powers?

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 12:02 PM

"OK, what are the powers?"

I grow rather tired of this game. Look it up yourself. The President of the Senate, or the President Pro-Tempore, maintains order and rules on points of order and Senater rules and decorum, among other duties. He also presides over impeachments, except in cases of presidential impeachment, when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 12:15 PM

As I mentioned, there are a few responsibilities, but the Vice-President who is seldom there, is not really "in charge" of much.

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 1:27 PM

Sounds like VP is a useless position that should be eliminated.

-- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 1:41 PM

"but the Vice-President who is seldom there, is not really "in charge" of much."

The person who presides over the Senate is 'in charge' of the Senate. However, since the presiding officer is acting President, the President, like the captain of a ship, retains the ultimate authority even when he is away from the helm. Ask Joseph Hazelwood about that.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 2:22 PM

"The(y) Republican plan is to begin shifting the entitlement burden gradually into a budgetable entity. This is to be done gradually so it does not affect those currently dependent upon the programmes, while 'weaning' future generations off them and into a system more dependent upon personal responsibility."

If it is such a great idea, why not do it now for everybody. Oh yes, that would cost votes, so it appears to be better to profess continuation of the current insurance systems, while planning to totally convert what has worked for a good number of years.

The democratic plan has always been to repair Social Security and Medicare, by raising payment percentages, monthly premiums, eligibility ages, and payout amounts. This would allow the programs to get over the "baby boomer" hump, retain the insurance characteristic and continue operating to provide the most benefits to the most Americans.

"Shifting the entitlement burden gradually into a budgetable entity" converts them into basic savings plans, which while making the easy for Congress to budget for, deprives Americans of what has worked (and will continue to do so with appropriate adjustments.) The new basis for the "you're on your own" mindset.

There is no reason why this should be considered not taking "personal responsibility." And this is eerily similar to Governor Romney's claim that 47% of Americans don't take "personal responsibility." Under that definition Americans that buy car insurance, health insurance, crop insurance, travel insurance, liability insurance, etc. are all failing to take "personal responsibility."

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 4:26 PM

"...retains the ultimate authority even when he is away from the helm."

But not when he is physically not present on the Exxon Valdez.

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 4:28 PM

"But not when he is physically not present on the Exxon Valdez."

Not entirely true. Ask Captain Francesco Schettino.

The Constitution does not say that he is the President of the Senate only when he is in the Senate Chamber.

Is the President of The United States only responsible when he is in the Oval Office? Only when he is in Washington D.C.? Only when he is in the United States? If he is President, he is President, the title does not remain with the cathedra.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 4:40 PM

"If it is such a great idea, why not do it now for everybody. Oh yes, that would cost votes, so it appears to be better to profess continuation of the current insurance systems, while planning to totally convert what has worked for a good number of years."

What 'has worked for a good number of years' is a Ponzi Scheme that is on a collision course with disaster. When President Bush tried to change course in 2005, the Democrats charged that the best solution was to 'do nothing'. The Congress accepted that and did nothing.

But the Democrats didn't do nothing. When Mr. Obama took office, they cut the payroll taxes which fund the programme. That was worse than nothing. Instead of applying the brake as we continued along the collision course, they hit the accelerator. So much for fiscal responsibility.

"The democratic plan has always been to repair Social Security and Medicare, by raising payment percentages, monthly premiums, eligibility ages, and payout amounts."

Really? Where is the bill that does that?

"And this is eerily similar to Governor Romney's claim that 47% of Americans don't take "personal responsibility"."

As usual, you mis-state what was said. If his words were so damning, why do you feel the need to misquote them?

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 4:56 PM

"If it is such a great idea, why not do it now for everybody. Oh yes, that would cost votes, so it appears to be better to profess continuation of the current insurance systems, while planning to totally convert what has worked for a good number of years."

By doing "now" do you mean Obama's definition of now? That might take decades.

A "plan" is just that. A plan. The plan is phase out the methods used currently and gradually institute something that makes more financial sense, is sustainable and won't continue to bankrupt itself.

Also, if "what has worked for a good number of years" is working so great, why is medicare in such financial trouble?

-- Posted by dchannes on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 5:07 PM

"The democratic plan has always been to repair Social Security and Medicare, by raising payment percentages, monthly premiums, eligibility ages, and payout amounts."

"Really? Where is the bill that does that?"

It's in there with the Simpson-Bowles plan and can be finalized as soon as the republicans give up on demanding that tax reform be prohibited from raising more revenue.

-- Posted by commonsensematters on Tue, Oct 2, 2012, at 5:12 PM

"It's in there with the Simpson-Bowles plan and can be finalized as soon as the republicans give up on demanding that tax reform be prohibited from raising more revenue."

So, it's the Republicans fault that the Democrats have not submitted a bill?

It didn't stop them from submitting one to simply remove the cap on Social Security earnings:

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index...

That, of course, would turn what you call a 'social insurance' plan into simple welfare. However, I see a flaw with that plan. I am not sure how many people actually have payroll incomes greater than $250,000 per annum. There are lots of people with incomes greater than that, but those incomes come largely from sources other than payrolls. Thus, removing the payroll tax cap may not raise the revenue they think it will.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 8:23 AM

Of course, they've already altered Medicare taxes such that they are no longer a 'payroll tax' in all cases, as a result of the Affordable Care Act:

http://health.burgess.house.gov/uploaded...

So Medicare, at least, has already been turned into a welfare programme, courtesy of the Affordable Care Act.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 8:32 AM

There is no such Democratic bill to make the fixes you suggest, and you know it. It has been seven years since the defeat of President Bush's Social Security reform proposals, and the Democrat's controlled the House and Senate for four of those years. Even so, no such proposal has been raised.

They do not favour 'means testing', except in talking points. To actually propose it will cost them the votes of citizens who might see their Social Security income lowered due to having accumulated some savings. That is why they toss out the phrase, but never actually suggest a level at which Social Security would be lowered.

'Means testing' means simply that those who have most likely paid the highest 'premiums' for the 'social insurance' programme will have their payments reduced because of their success. That's a hard sell for any insurane peddler.

Nor do the Democrats actually favour raising the retirement age. They know that to do so would 'end Social Security as we know it', the very charge they constantly level against any Republican proposal to alter it. It also will cost them the votes of those nearing retirment age, who will see the carrot moved from them even as they get nearer to it. Another hard sell, I'm afraid.

So, they talk the talk but they don't walk the walk on Social Security reform. They cut the taxes that fund it and then complain that Republicans are 'raiding the lock box'. I wouldn't think they could get any more disingenuous, but I'm sure they'll try...

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 9:09 AM

Paul Ryan's bill, by the way, reportedly includes 'means testing'. I've not read the bill, but I've read the comments from Democrats attacking the bill because of it. Ergo, Democrats do not appear to be united behind the idea of 'means testing'.

I've been searching, and have yet to find evidence that the Democrats have proposed any fix for Social Security beyond eliminating the income cap, i.e., 'taxing the rich'. That seems to be their solution for everything.

-- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 9:36 AM

Spain's tax revenues have plummeted as unemployment continues to climb and business begin to fail under the debt. Again, their debt to GDP is 90% - America's debt to GDP is 101.5% today under Obama's leadership - under Bush it was 69%. And now Spain's tax take has taken a dive making the debt worse and more cuts likely to come. Obama in 2016??? Here is the full story on Spain:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49267996

-- Posted by Dug on Wed, Oct 3, 2012, at 9:50 AM


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