Democrats Republicans please share your honest view State, National, International, posted by voter, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm
OK, so we all know that we need something serious done about the job situation - it's getting depressing.
I'm a Democrat who voted for Obama who has recently signed up as a Republican. I'm seriously concerned that the country is heading the wrong way. I've also recently moved to California and seeing the problems here and how they developed has opened my eyes.
I'm annoyed by both parties now though.
Republicans - I cannot understand why you support extending the Bush tax cuts, but not the recent payroll one set up by Obama last year that helps middle and lower income earners.
I would think that you have to go one way or the other here. If you don't think the tax cuts work - don't extend any of them. If you do think they work, extend all of them.
But picking out the one middle class tax cut as the one not to extend seems like political insanity. I certainly don't get it. I'm OK with all or nothing depending on what you think is best for the country, but not something in between. Isn't this somewhere that you can compromise with the president and pick up some credibility for being level headed along the way?
If you want to win an election do you seriously think people are going to vote for a party that fails to extend the middle class tax break, but supports the wealthy tax breaks? You're losing me here.
Democrats - if Obama is really trying to help create jobs, why did he make the speech he did today? It was all political. He sounds like he doesn't like successful people and it really annoys me where he talks about people not paying their fair share when half the country pays nothing. I'm right in the middle, not rich, but a taxpayer and I don't like how he talks about people who are doing well. Sure ask for changes, but not in that tone of voice.
Obama knows perfectly well that the Republicans are going to have a tough time with the tax issue, so why present it this way? Both parties seem to agree that revenue could be increased by simplifying and modifying the tax code, so why didn't he take this angle if he really cares about jobs as it's one both parties could work on?
I didn't love his plan in the first place, but there were parts that were good. Why can't both parties actually try to make the good parts work (I like the one where unemployed people get jobs that the government pays for temporarily to gain recent experience and in hopes of it turning into the real deal), get rid of the giveaways to the states who need to and are solving their own problems, try to make the cost of creating each job lower and have a sensible plan to pay for it.
Honestly do we really have to wait until after an election to work on a decent jobs plan? People are hurting!
Posted by Amy, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2011 at 9:17 pm
I applaud you for changing your political preference FROM Democrat to Republican. I did too when I saw the light that Democrats were for growing government...at the expense of private sector job creation. I also realized that Democrats were primarily AGAINST nearly every Amendment in the US Constitution. Further, I came to the conclusion that they were against every unalienable right...Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
They are largely against Life (e.g. pro-abortion, pro-death panels, many other examples); against Liberty (i.e. they are all about Control and more and more regulation until it chokes the lifeblood out of the economy; and they are against the Pursuit of Happiness (e.g. they are largely against private property rights...and in favor of collectivism...and the State controlling property).
Further, they are for outrageous taxes and the growth of government. And they are for a dramatically weakened U.S. military.
These reasons are but a few that have made me switch. Never again will I vote for a democrat. NEVER.
Posted by Amy, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm
From your posting, I assume that you have not heard of the Cloward-Piven Strategy. If I am correct, I would encourage you to conduct an internet search on this. Obama is following this Strategy 100%. It is his blueprint, along with Saul Alinksky's "Rules for Radicals."
I hope you will begin to see that all this destruction of our economy is deliberate and consistent with the Cloward-Piven Strategy. Obama even appointed Frances Fox Piven to the Board of Project Vote...which is an organization the focuses on expanding voter fraud.
Here is one article on the Cloward-Piven Strategy...
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm
The economy had collapsed before Obama showed up, remember? That was why Americans would take a chance on an unknown like him. Too bad things turned out the way they did.
Republicans and Democrats share the blame for this crisis, they both played major roles in building the financial house of cards that led to the financial panic, credit freeze, and bailouts. We need to fix the mess with the big financials like AIG and Fannie Mae before we can make significant progress on the economy.
Posted by steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2011 at 9:40 am
Good topic write up and good posts. Aside from real cuts in expenditures (espcially entitlements) it would be a major step forward to immediately start reforming the tax code, including removing most tax shelters and loopholes. But, that would take a lot of political will and all we're seeing is posturing and endless campaigning. I'm not really optomistic, and I thank God I'm still gainfully employed.
Posted by Bill, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2011 at 10:56 am
Why stop at Republican. Switch over to Independent.
I was a life long Republican until the 3 stooges came along, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.
As to the tax code, do you realize how many people make a living because tax filing is too complicated. If the federal and state government made everything sensible and efficient, we would have 50% unemployment.
Posted by Joe Hill, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm
Amy might try actually reading books written by Piven and Cloward. (They do have a lot of words, though, so maybe that rules Amy out.)
Piven and Cloward have written extensively on how the state has used social welfare policies as a means of staving off public protest from the working classes and unemployed. That is what all capitalist systems must do in order to ensure a 'stable' system: 'buy off' the poor in an effort to discourage them from revolting. Based upon nearly a 1/2 century of studying/analyzing poor people's movements, P and C recommend that poor people mobilize as a political force in order to place additional pressure on the state. The wealthy have those who lobby on their behalf; the poor only have their own voices which need to be amplified time and again if they are to compete with any degree of effectiveness against the rich.
Wake up, Amy, and attempt to educate yourself. Your 10 year-old rants against Democrats are nothing but an embarrassment to anyone with any degree of intelligence.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm
The couple you refer to did argue that "the state has used social welfare policies as a means of staving off public protest from the working classes and unemployed," but others might argue that SWPs developed as an expression of our nation's Christian/ Islamic tradition of charity and providing for society's most vulnerable. One might also argue that the existence of welfare systems in the majority of countries around the world suggests that such systems might have been established to care for the needy rather than control them.
Posted by Joe Hill, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm
You mention others who might take issue with the "couple"[?], Piven and Cloward. Do you have anyone in particular in mind, Mike? And are you yourself making that argument -- namely, that social welfare programs are established to care for the needy rather than control them? Or are you simply presenting the obvious -- that there are other points of view beyond those of Piven and Cloward?
Have you read Piven and Cloward such that you have valid basis for your claims? Have you read the evidence they advance to support their view? Which evidence did you find inadequate such that you seem to be inclined to accept some other point of view?
Also, you mention our "nation's Christian/Islamic tradition of charity".... Care to expound on that one?
Posted by Joe Hill, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm
Well, Mike, since it is my words you quote and respond to, I'm not clear how what you said would be more appropriately addressed to Amy rather than myself. Nevertheless, your apology for your confusion is accepted.
I'm still curious, though, based upon your comments to Amy (I guess), how much knowledge you have of Piven and Cloward and why, apparently, we should not privilege their view over, say, the one you suggested.
Also, your comments to Amy seem to carry some idiosyncratic references with which I lack familiarity. For example, I've never heard Piven and Cloward or indeed any other co-writers referred to as a "couple". Is this your own private definition of the two academics?
And then there is your reference to this "nation's Christian/Islamic tradition of charity." I guess I'm unaware of this nation's Christian/Islamic tradition of anything, and so I'm requesting that you share with us what you may have meant. Or was there confusion in this reference as well?
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2011 at 11:31 pm
That's a long list of questions on a busy day, but I'll give it a go.
1. My knowledge of Piven and Cloward is limited to reading them back in college, which I'll admit was a while ago. What I remember thinking, though, was that their reasoning seemed to suggest the contemporary anti-capitalistic sentiment in vogue during their development and wondering if they would do any better than the Chinese or Russians realizing a guaranteed income for the entire population. I had grown weary and wary of attempts at Utopian engineering.
2. I value all views, so in a sense I don't think that any one view should be privileged. In the end, however, I have come to the conclusion that system we have is the system that works, not because it's the best, but because it is the one that has survived the failures. Now, where that system ultimately had its beginnings, I feel, can be traced back to a number of possibilities - in terms of this discussion, to, for example, either a means of control or simple charity. That is, a number of arguments would provide reasonable explanations.
3. I thought that Piven and Cloward were married, though I could be mistaken.
4. Sorry, I play fast and loose with distinctions between Christianity and Islam because I feel their evolution from Judaism makes their differences small change in comparison with their underlying similarities. Certainly both place a significant emphasis on charity that I feel informs social attitudes over a large part of the world toward providing for the less fortunate.
Again, sorry for having misdirected my previous post.
Posted by Joe Hill, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2011 at 6:13 am
Well, Mike, it comes as no surprise that you either misread Piven and Cloward or you've forgotten what they wrote.
Piven and Cloward did not write about "Utopian engineering" as you mistakenly suggest, but actually quite the opposite. Radical democrats, they argued that the state's implementation of social welfare policies was itself a form of social engineering meant to control a populace -- specifically the poor and working classes. Your fantastic notion of the two scholar-activists being Utopian engineers could not possibly have come from actually reading them, but rather can only have been gleaned from some baseless, half-baked, right-wing conspiracy rag that spews other ridiculous notions as well -- such as the accusation that Acorn 'fixed' the 2008 presidential election, among other things.
You go on to state: "I value all views, so in a sense I don't think that any one view should be privileged." I guess that pretty much rules out the possibility that one view is better -- i.e., more valid -- than another, eh? Everybody's welcome to their own arguments, I guess. Democrats, fascists, monarchists. Everybody's welcome to their own facts, I guess. Mike's fantastic notion, with no basis in fact, and aligned with right-wing conspiracy theory, that Piven and Cloward are Utopian engineers is as good as any other, eh? Interesting perspective, Mike. It explains, among other things, why you feel you can be so free and easy with distinctions between, say, Christianity and Islam.
Yep, like you say, they're so similar. And both have state economic distribution polices that are based upon charity, right? So, when after recent tumultuous events in Egypt and Tunisia, the Saudi state suddenly decided to give lump sum "windfall" payments of cash to all its citizens, this was a matter of a Judeo-rooted sense of charity suddenly kicking in, right? And when social welfare allotments skyrocketed immediately after the urban riots in the US during the late 60s and early 70s, this was on account of the Nixon administration's intrinsic Christian/Islamic charitable nature, right?
I'll stop at this point, on a note of disappointment. I was hoping for an intelligent exchange, but instead I've encountered someone who doesn't read very carefully, who admits to privileging no one view over another, and who is glib and carefree in his (mis)representation of facts. You're right. You should be having this conversation with Amy, not me. Thanks just the same.
Posted by Joe Hill, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2011 at 6:50 am
I see. Mike thinks that anyone who reveals the obvious inadequacy of his views must be engaging in uncivil discourse. Instead of dealing with others' truth validity claims, Mike resorts to ad hominem remarks.
In Mike's world, all must adhere to Mike's idea of civil discourse. This means not privileging any one view over another; and should you argue that one view is indeed better (far better) than Mike's, then you are being uncivil. When Mike's ideas are challenged and refuted, he simply resorts to his ad hominem name-calling card: YOU ARE BEING UNCIVIL!
Very disappointing. Hoping for a spirited debate; instead, I get denial (I quoted you, but in addressing your quote I actually was addressing Amy, honest! -- a laugh and a half, that one), deflection (oh, I don't mean to say that one view is better than another), and name-calling. Ah well, there's always filling those fortune cookies at the Kwong Tong Noodle Company.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2011 at 7:11 am
Sorry for the distraction, I'm conferencing with one of my clients in Europe.
Beyond your incivility, your posts are chock full of inaccuracies, both factual and logical. I wonder if you have delved deeper than Wikipedia in your understanding of this well-known couple. Please verify your statements and lose the attitude before you post them if you wish a serious response.
Yes, there's a million. I'll be enjoying my morning coffee.
Posted by Joe Hill, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2011 at 7:27 am
"there's a million." A million what? Fortune cookies that need filling?
Mike has no intention of actually backing up his claim that my posts are chock full of inaccuracies, both factual and logical. He hasn't revealed a single one, nor is he apt to. No, instead of backing up his claims, he can be relied upon to fall back on his tired "you're sooooo uncivil" mantra.
Lots of fortune cookie platitudes, but whenever Mike is called upon to defend his claims by giving evidence or good reasons, he scurries away and hides under his rock where he repeats to himself: "They are so uncivil, they are so uncivil, they are so uncivil."
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2011 at 8:12 am
Not surprised to return to find Jake/Caesar/Nate/etc. now posting as Joe Hill. If you feel so strongly about everything you have to say, could you please provide readers the courtesy of posting under one anonymous name? I know . . . you don't have to . . . but if you have a philosophy you hold dear or set of principles you live by and you wish to share them, why not make it easy for others to follow?
Posted by Joe Hill -- the same Joe Hill who has posted previous posts on this discussion board, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2011 at 8:59 am
Mike has no reply after being asked to provide evidence or reasons for his baseless claims. Instead, suddenly Kathleen Ruegsegger/voter appear to do his bidding. Imagine that.
Anything to get the poor clown, Mike, off the hook, eh? Kathleen Ruegsegger/Jimbob/voter/Mike/Amy or whatever name you are today going by, kindly address the issues and claims that have been made rather than criticize another poster who, like yourself, may use different anonymous names.
As you know very well, this isn't a matter of civility; it is a matter of poor intellectually challenged Mike being unable to defend his baseless claims.
C'mon folks/folk. Mike has charged that many claims I have made are chock full of inaccuracies, "factual and logical". (I'll leave it up to you to interpret what a logical inaccuracy might look like.) It should be pretty easy for him/you/you-him to cite some of those inaccuracies and demonstrate why they are such.
And BTW, voter, I did not change the topic to the so-called Cloward-Piven strategy; that was Amy/Jimboy/steve/chris/stacey, to whom I responded. Nice attempt though to steer the discussion away from the topic "she" initially raised and to which others, not only myself, have been responding.
Posted by Just the facts, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm
Overspending on military and social programs are both issues.
FYI, government transfer payments have increased from 5.9% in 1959 to 16% today. When large amounts of people can get free money from their government, what do you think happens to their work ethic? Is it any surprise that we have an overweight, undereducated, underprepared population? I don't buy into this line that there are few opportunities for poor people to improve themselves. There are plenty. What is missing is self motivation and self discipline.
It is just a matter of time when the rest of the world gives up on loaning money to the US. Until then these left/right arguments are just silly diversions. The real discussions will come when we really don't have any more money - e.g. Greece. Do you realize that the US will need to suck up 20% of the ROW savings just to continue our current level of deficit spending?
When we do run out of debt sources, the only choice then will be debasement of the dollar, which will hammer the poor and middleclass. So we can either start taking our austerity medicine slowly now or large doses of it will be forced upon us by the bond the bond vigilante later.
Get real folks - this goes to people on both sides of the isle. You can only spend other peoples' money for so long.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm
Why is that all the intellectuals can't stay on topic? Is it possible they're to busy impressing themselves with meaningless rhetoric - like congress? Something about "as Roma Burns comes to mind". Supernova Joe Hill and his inflated sense of self put an end to the off-topic dialogue that was somewhat interesting. I acknowledge the possibility that "I don't know what I don’t know" and maybe he made sense to himself, others, and believes he actually contributed. He sounds like a politician that focuses on sidestepping/distracting from important issues because that's what his constituency demands.
I wasn't impressed with Obama’s claim that we can do x, or cut Y. He fails to acknowledge that Z, reducing the size of government, and reducing the rapidly escalating government employee compensation that is still increasing as revenue decreases, is an option. He is presenting a false argument. And, not coincidently, that is the same “public employee” union argument we're hearing in CA about our state, county, city, and special district budgets. The compensation for all these employees, and the enhanced pension benefits for all these employees, continue to head north while revenue has gone south.
Obama stimulus part two won't do anything more than Obama stimulus part 1. Most of the money will fund public & private union benefits and jobs. The funding for public safety is a union payback for campaign contributions, endorsements, and putting feet on the street during the campaign. No state pays what California pays for public employees, and certainly not CA public safety employees which are the highest paid in the nation. I read an article where the average employee cost for Vallejo PD is 231K per employee. For the Vallejo FD, under the reduced contract, the average employee cost is 211K (Pleasanton is right there with Vallejo). Those numbers are understated because the pension costs are grossly understated because CalPERS is lying about the actual cost. Do we need more stimulus funds to support these groups - at the expense of natural market corrections? I don't think so. The Obama policy is ONLY propping up a market that needs correcting by providing federal stimulus dollars and grants. Both PD and FD are overpaid when looking at total compensation.
The school teachers are another issue. Part of the Obama stimulus plan 2 is to provide an additional 35 Billion to teachers that have been “receiving thousands of pink slips”. I'm sorry, but the teachers union has been using a district procedural requirement that forces them to send pink slips to every possible layoff candidate as a marketing campaign. The layoffs rarely if ever happen but the unions promote this day to every media outlet that will listen - and they all do.
So what will this 35 billion dollars do to save teachers jobs? Maybe we should look at what the 100 billion in Obama/Biden stimulus 1 accomplished in the way of saving teachers jobs in the TRI-Valley, and probably the entire democrat controlled state of CA. Did the stimulus funds actually save jobs or was the entire dollar amount placed in the general fund and then used to cover pension costs?
From an article in the Independent:
PLEASANTON SCHOOLS ACT ON FUNDING
“In the Pleasanton school district, assistant superintendent Luz Cazares noted that… The money next year (for pensions) would come from the general fund. This year and last year, the district used federal stimulus money….
In the Livermore school district, chief business official Susan Kinder said that the district has no liability issues with STRS, which covers pensions.”
What? “…Susan Kinder said that the district has no liability issues with STRS, which covers pensions.”
Our school districts don’t seem to have a clue. We, and our students, are in big trouble because the people that are supposedly looking out for their best interests aren‘t, or aren‘t qualified to hold for the position they‘ve been entrusted with.
Back to the point, how will the 35 billion Obama/Biden stimulus 2 save teachers jobs? Or is it just a pension bailout/pay back for support?
Posted by Hermione, a resident of another community, on Sep 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger says "Not surprised to return to find Jake/Caesar/Nate/etc. now posting as Joe Hill."
to return??? Who do you think you are fooling, Kathleen? You never leave, as you park yourself in front of these discussion boards all day and all night in the saliva-induced hope that someone will mention your name.
Posted by Zelda, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2011 at 10:26 am
nick, the ....: self-appointed content supervisor and beater of dead horses. Get back to the topic, please and comment on this: "Both parties seem to agree that revenue could be increased by simplifying and modifying the tax code, so why didn't he take this angle if he really cares about jobs as it's one both parties could work on?"
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm
Nick, et al, You won't find any posts from me because I was not in town. I believe the last thing I said, to you even, was not everything is a conspiracy.
Otherwise, I commented here because when I see your use of multiple names on one topic, I'm going to call it in case others don't see through your identity crisis.
As to the topic at hand, the time to stop believing what most elected officials have to say is the day they are sworn into office. No one political party, particularly Democrats or Republicans, is able to represent me. I do my best at the booth with what is offered.
Posted by Taxpayer, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm
Thanks Stacey for pointing out the Friedman oped.
Why am I reluctant to offer up additional tax revenue at this point? Because all I see it going to is:
- More mal-investments
- Over-compensated public employees
- Bloated military
- Medical expenditures for a generation that refused to take care of themselves (what is the latest stat - 30% of US is obese?)
Why throw good money after bad? If government got serious, truly acknowledged its deficiencies, and brought in some change agents to streamline things, I'd be more inclined to support revenue enhancements. So for now, I'm in the "starve the beast" camp.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm
I don't think posts are removed simply because the poster is attempting to refute this or that position, even after repeated failure to do so. My understanding is that posts are removed because they are off-topic, repetitive or offensive.
Posted by steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2011 at 8:33 am
Patriot, try to segregate in your mind Social Security from the national debt and Dem's overspending. If the politicians could keep their hands out of the SS til, they'd have to look elsewhere for their true social engineering, entitlement programs. SS would be self-sufficient with the continuation of the previous payroll withholding rates in place (with no caps) to fund the program. The problem is, no one has the will power to keep theri hands off the money supposedly in a lockbox set aside for the people that have paid into the programs for years. Just like kids with their hands in the cookie jar.
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2011 at 11:44 pm
Why should we segregate Social Security? Social security taxes are no different from any other taxes. Current retirees' benefits are paid by current workers. It has always been this way, right from the start. It isn't your money. It has never been in a "lock box" If you die before receiving the benefit, you heirs don't inherit it. It is a form of welfare. It is a big government socialist program that most of us are glad to have, and I don't mind calling it that. It's costs are going up as more and more retirees are paid by fewer and fewer workers.
Medicare will be an even bigger challenge to fund for the same reasons.
The biggest contributors to federal spending are Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Defense, and interest on the debt. Everything else is small potatoes. If you don't do something to reduce the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Defense, you can't balance the budget regardless of what you do with everything else.