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      10-03-2013, 01:00 PM   #1
Andy H.
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Trusting the Folks

Amidst all the madness over Obamacare and the government shutdown comes a fascinating poll about "we the people." Beginning in 2005, the Gallup organization has asked the following question: Do you trust the American people to make good judgments about political issues?

Eight years ago, 63% of those polled said they had trust in the folks. This year that number had plummeted to just 46%.

The reason is President Obama. There is now much buyer's remorse about his reelection. All the polls show his job approval rating is below 50% and falling fast, the Syrian debacle and the Obamacare chaos adding to the general dismay about the soft economy.

The key disenchantment with the economy is that the median salary for American workers has dropped on Mr. Obama's watch. After five years, paychecks continue to be stagnant. Also, tax revenue is at an historic high. Doing the math, workers are paying more to the government and taking home less from their check.

Not good.

And it is the fault of the American people that our politicians continue to let us down. Let's be honest, many of us simply don't pay attention to our country. We are too caught up in our own situations to be bothered with public policy. And it has never been easier to escape reality. High tech gizmos give individuals the power to create their own isolated worlds. Millions of Americans now spend the majority of their leisure time texting, tweeting, gaming, porning, emailing, and surfing the net.

We are facebooking, googling, blogging, flaming, spamming and downloading. We are becoming a nation of cyberspace zombies; addicted to machines that shut out real life. H.G. Wells said it would happen and it has.

Talk radio hosts call them "low information voters." Americans who don't know much about history, current events or anything else and who often vote on pure emotion. If they like somebody, he or she gets the chad. And Barack Obama is a very likeable guy.

We live in a complicated, dangerous age. Democrats have seized on the economic collapse and a bad war (Iraq) that happened on President George W. Bush's watch. They have convinced the majority of voters to embrace a new America - one that gives the federal government extraordinary power. One that runs up a record amount of debt in pursuit of social justice and "income equality."

Well, it is simply not working out. The gap between rich and poor under President Obama is getting bigger because fewer well-paying jobs are available. Corporations are being taxed to the hilt and are loathe to add more workers. Thus, salaries fall because there are more than enough applicants to fill any job vacancy.

As the Gallup Poll suggests, we are beginning to blame each other for the confusing state of this country. And, indeed, it is collectively our fault. We should be electing problem solvers - not charismatic ideologues who can whip people up into a frenzy.

But in order to make the internet cut, you have to make a flamboyant play to a specific crowd.

Not a smart crowd, a specific crowd.
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      10-07-2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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Do you have original thoughts or do you just continuously cut and paste from right wing sheep sites? Baaaaaa!

Why not just link to the site you copy pasted instead of pretending to post original thought provoking text?
http://www.billoreilly.com/newslettercolumn?pid=41452

Seriously? Bill OReilly? Now there's an unbiased political thinker without an agenda!

Last edited by SheDrivesIt; 10-07-2013 at 04:40 PM.
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      10-07-2013, 04:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheDrivesIt View Post
Do you have original thoughts or do you just continuously cut and paste from right wing sheep sites? Baaaaaa!

Why not just link to the site you copy pasted instead of pretending to post original thought provoking text?
http://www.billoreilly.com/newslettercolumn?pid=41452

Seriously? Bill OReilly? Now there's an unbiased political thinker without an agenda!
Is he incorrect?
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      10-07-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheDrivesIt View Post
Do you have original thoughts or do you just continuously cut and paste from right wing sheep sites? Baaaaaa!

Why not just link to the site you copy pasted instead of pretending to post original thought provoking text?
http://www.billoreilly.com/newslettercolumn?pid=41452

Seriously? Bill OReilly? Now there's an unbiased political thinker without an agenda!
Who is pretending? If I post that it was written by O'reilly then the point of the issue gets overridden by ignorants, like yourself, you claim he is a right winger. Which, he is not. He is an independent.
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      10-07-2013, 06:51 PM   #5
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I disagree with his pointing to the ACA and Syria for why Obama's approval ratings dropped. It was holding close to 50% from before reelection and after until the whole NSA leak with PRISM which caused it to drop to averaging around 45% via gallup's poll.

Far too much emphasis is placed on the president's role in hiring. Businesses will hire only what they need to hire. They will not hire more people simply because the government lowered the CEO's and other executives taxes or lowered the corporate tax. That in itself does not mean they will start hiring again. They will only hire more people if demand far outstrips their current level of productivity. The economic recovery hinges on the middle class and their ability to feel confident to spend again.

Plus given the state of congress even if Obama was god himself, nothing productive will come out of the capitol building.
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      10-07-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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I think it should be noted that middle class median income has remained stagnant since the 70s. Obama certainly hasn't helped, but this is a problem that's been ongoing for a long time. No one in Washington has really done anything to address this issue. At the same time, the top 1% has seen their wealth shoot through the stratosphere.

I also wouldn't completely slam Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. They provide the US with high paying jobs.

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      10-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quagmire View Post
I disagree with his pointing to the ACA and Syria for why Obama's approval ratings dropped. It was holding close to 50% from before reelection and after until the whole NSA leak with PRISM which caused it to drop to averaging around 45% via gallup's poll.

Far too much emphasis is placed on the president's role in hiring. Businesses will hire only what they need to hire. They will not hire more people simply because the government lowered the CEO's and other executives taxes or lowered the corporate tax. That in itself does not mean they will start hiring again. They will only hire more people if demand far outstrips their current level of productivity. The economic recovery hinges on the middle class and their ability to feel confident to spend again.

Plus given the state of congress even if Obama was god himself, nothing productive will come out of the capitol building.
I attended a presentation earlier this summer with a fairly well-known economist. He said US businesses typically have $800-900M in cash on hand, to fund operations. Right now, businesses have well over $3T in cash, because there is too much uncertainty - primarily around hiring, and primarily due to the cost of health insurance. He was predicting that the economy would come back strong after the first of the year, once the impact of healthcare was known. Looks like it may be a bit longer than that, now that Obama pushed the employer mandate by 12 months.

The ACA stops insurers from up-charging for pre-existing conditions. The unintended consequence is that people will wait til they get sick to buy insurance - otherwise they will pay the fine. The risk pool, therefore, gets much smaller, and the price skyrockets. We are seeing this happen on the Insurance Exchanges now - wait til employers start getting their prices for next year's employee health insurance - look for layoffs and cutbacks to part time.
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      10-07-2013, 08:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
I attended a presentation earlier this summer with a fairly well-known economist. He said US businesses typically have $800-900M in cash on hand, to fund operations. Right now, businesses have well over $3T in cash, because there is too much uncertainty - primarily around hiring, and primarily due to the cost of health insurance. He was predicting that the economy would come back strong after the first of the year, once the impact of healthcare was known. Looks like it may be a bit longer than that, now that Obama pushed the employer mandate by 12 months.

The ACA stops insurers from up-charging for pre-existing conditions. The unintended consequence is that people will wait til they get sick to buy insurance - otherwise they will pay the fine. The risk pool, therefore, gets much smaller, and the price skyrockets. We are seeing this happen on the Insurance Exchanges now - wait til employers start getting their prices for next year's employee health insurance - look for layoffs and cutbacks to part time.
This is true. The money in the US has been in business bank accounts for the last 3 years. And we're holding on to our shit until we know what's going to happen. There is far too much uncertainty for business (large and small) owners right now.

As quagmire pointed out most business don't just hire for the sake of hiring. BUT, many businesses have the funds available to expand operations, open another branch, expand their product offering, etc.... But they aren't doing that because they don't know what tax/health care expenses that is going to come with. We're not necessary talking about a small business hiring 1 more person, we're talking about a business making anywhere from a $100k investment to a multimillion dollar investment possibly making 100s of new jobs. But you can't make that kind of investment if you don't know what all the variables are. 5 years ago, people know what costs were associated with hiring new personnel. Not so much anymore.
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      10-07-2013, 09:41 PM   #9
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True the ACA is definitely a factor in whether a company hires or not.

Just stating though too much emphasis is put onto the president. That also stands for when companies are hiring.

I get the premise of a low corporate tax, etc. If it's too high than companies that are not well off financially can't hire more even if they want to or will go off shore for those jobs. Though I do not understand how lowering the taxes on individuals can help hiring outside of a small business( where the CEO/founder are more likely to put their own money into the business).
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      10-08-2013, 04:34 PM   #10
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I think it should be noted that middle class median income has remained stagnant since the 70s. Obama certainly hasn't helped, but this is a problem that's been ongoing for a long time. No one in Washington has really done anything to address this issue. At the same time, the top 1% has seen their wealth shoot through the stratosphere.

I also wouldn't completely slam Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. They provide the US with high paying jobs.
I'm not sure that the middle class has been stagnant at all - might just be a myth? It bears investigation - I was alive in 1970, and thing for everyone are WAY better than then. There was some study done in the 1990's that showed it took two incomes to generate what a single income generated in 1970 - so couples were both working to provide as one did before (the study pointed to the effect of higher taxes). Here's an article I found (there are many more):

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...138161566.html

I also remember reading something about the "poor" in America owning their homes, and having multiple cars, televisions, etc. I also remember reading how disposable income under Reagan increased 18%, in 8 years.

I agree about Google, FB, etc, although they are the Devil...
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      10-08-2013, 07:25 PM   #11
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      10-10-2013, 12:08 PM   #12
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Looks like the GOP isn't polling too well at the moment. Guess it's time to start attacking the pollsters now:

GOP Favorability down to 28%
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      10-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #13
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Can't/won't dispute the GOP polling numbers but the 43% rating for the Dems is hardly an overwhelming mandate itself.

Bottom line is we need a wholesale house cleaning of elected officials in DC yet voters keep electing the same idiots. Guess everybody thinks their idiot is OK and it's the other state's idiots that are the problem. This country is in real trouble and I absolutely fear for my kids future...
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      10-10-2013, 12:25 PM   #14
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maybe politicians would be more in touch with reality if their wages were changed to the median salary of their constituents.
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      10-10-2013, 12:33 PM   #15
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Maybe the GOP should stop putting it's fingers in it's ears and yelling "wah wah wah".
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      10-10-2013, 01:05 PM   #16
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They were elected by their constituents just like the Dems were. They are doing what their constituents elected them to do. I agree the GOP is stomping its feet like a child but the then Dems are the other kids holding its breath until it gets its way. By refusing to talk at all, Obama and the Dems need to accept their fair share of blame for this mess
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      10-10-2013, 01:39 PM   #17
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They were elected by their constituents just like the Dems were. They are doing what their constituents elected them to do. I agree the GOP is stomping its feet like a child but the then Dems are the other kids holding its breath until it gets its way. By refusing to talk at all, Obama and the Dems need to accept their fair share of blame for this mess
The president has invited the GOP members of the House to the White house to discuss the shutdown. It's just that the GOP didn't accept the invite. All they will do is send in 18 "leaders" to meet with him.

http://www.politicususa.com/2013/10/...-232-show.html

Where's the party of personal responsibility? Oh them, they're out trying to blame everyone but themselves. Rep. Randy Neugebauer is the new face of the Grand Ol' Party, yelling at government employees, accusing them of being responsible for the shutdown, when in fact it was him and his group that forced the shutdown.
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      10-10-2013, 01:47 PM   #18
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"All they will do is send 18 "leaders" to meet with him." Sounds like they accepted the invite to me, just the Dems didn't like who got sent. Bottom line is I agree the GOP shoulders more of the blame for this mess but the Dems are not in the clear when the President repeatedly says he won't negotiate. It's not just the GOP being the foolishly stubborn child.

The two political parties got along for decades, passing legislation by negotiating, giving something to get something. And that meant both sides gave something to get something, not just one side. That has been thrown out the window now and both parties are equally guilty of it...
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      10-10-2013, 01:55 PM   #19
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"All they will do is send 18 "leaders" to meet with him." Sounds like they accepted the invite to me, just the Dems didn't like who got sent. Bottom line is I agree the GOP shoulders more of the blame for this mess but the Dems are not in the clear when the President repeatedly says he won't negotiate. It's not just the GOP being the foolishly stubborn child.

The two political parties got along for decades, passing legislation by negotiating, giving something to get something. And that meant both sides gave something to get something, not just one side. That has been thrown out the window now and both parties are equally guilty of it...
So what other laws would the GOP like repealed?
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      10-10-2013, 02:05 PM   #20
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You are clearly on one side of the issue and won't look at it objectively. I have repeatedly said I think the GOP shoulders most of the blame. But you have to agree that the Dems share some of the blame. You may not like the GOP and their views but they were elected and have a mandate from their constituents, like it or not. You can disagree with them but you have to respect the voters choices. If you can't respect their opinions/choices, why should they respect yours? Frankly I can't stand many of the GOP members of Congress but I also can't stand many of the Dem member either. Ultimately I think all (generalizing I know) all fools who only care about getting re-elected.
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      10-10-2013, 03:00 PM   #21
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I don't agree that the Dems share any kind of blame for this shutdown.

Before Ted Cruz threw himself into this, there was an agreement between Reid in the senate and Boehener in the house. In this agreement, Reid gave in to needs from Boehner. Reid wanted a funding amount of over $1 trillion and Boehner would only give in to $988 billion. That was an agreement they reached together, through negotiations. The republicans leadership should honor that agreement.

Now cut to many months later to Ted Cruz trying to inject defunding of the ACA into demands for the budget. A budget which had already been agreed upon by Boehner and Reid.

In my eyes, the GOP reneged on their previous deal with the dems. This shutdown could have clearly been avoided, but the Tea Party members of congress needed to fulfill their mandates from their constituents, like you said. Even if it did mean they would have to go back on their word.
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      10-10-2013, 03:15 PM   #22
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Afraid I quit following politics that closely as it only disgusted me, so not familiar with the particular agreement you speak of. I still stand by my view that when the President simply says I refuse to negotiate, then they do share some blame for the shut down. Numerous polls show that the voters share that view, most blame belongs to the GOP but the Dems are not without some fault. All in all, the crap coming out of DC really disgusts me. From both sides...

The US government and the elected officials need to make some hard choices. And soon. The growth of government spending and debt levels is not sustainable. They need to stop pointing fingers or kicking the can down the road. The world my children face is already going to be a much poorer place and if government doesn't stop absorbing capital that should be invested in the private sector it will only get worse. Government has its roll, I agree, but the growth in the bureaucracy is a real problem. Who is really managing it? Government employees have always been paid less than private sector workers but the job security and pension were the trade off. That is no longer the case as the average government employee makes more than their private sector counter party, but they still get huge pensions. We can no longer afford the pension liabilities, at the federal, state or local level. It is bankrupting us and no one is even remotely trying to address the issue. Other than the few municipalities that have already declared bankruptcy to try and resolve the issue. Add in social security, medicare etc and we are headed the way of Greece and Spain but no one wants to make the hard decision today to avert that outcome. Sorry for the rant.. Done!
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Last edited by kscarrol; 10-10-2013 at 03:23 PM.
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