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Greg

As someone who you would label as a liberal I must disagree with you again with this false characterization of liberals. We do not seek to take from the rich and give to the poor. That is a generalization and a false one in my opinion.

As liberals we seek to have a level playing field, and feel that the government has a role (as well as society as a whole) in making sure that there is a level playing field. I also believe that government can play a role in making sure that there us a a safety net for those that at times find themselves on hard times. That would include children, and various members of our society who at times need a hand. That doesn't mean that anything should be taken from anyone else, just that things are equal and fair. In my opinion and experiences with liberals that is what we believe, and that is coming from someone whom has no problem with identifying myself as a liberal. But it is only my opinion so one can take it for what's it's worth.

LLR

Very good analysis of the left vs. right poverty fighting. I fall on the right side of the “war on poverty.” I understand that there are people in our society that can’t help themselves. I also realize that there are people in our society that won’t help themselves.

As someone who you would label as a liberal I must disagree with you again with this false characterization of liberals. We do not seek to take from the rich and give to the poor. That is a generalization and a false one in my opinion.

Just listen to John Edwards and Hillary Clinton talk and you’ll see that he want to take from the “rich” and give to the “poor.” A lot of Democrats are calling for universal healthcare. How does Edwards intend to pay for it? One of the funding methods is to roll back the bush tax cuts on people making $200K or more a year. If that’s not taking form the rich and giving to the poor, what is?

Why do we need any new poverty fighting programs. There are tons of them out there funded by both federal, state and local governments. The very existence of the War on Poverty is proof of its failure. After trillions of dollars spent we still have poor people. After major and minor changes we still have poor people.

Greg

Recent polling suggest that the majority of Americans would prefer universal health care. It has always been my contention that our major companies such as General Motors would be better off is they stayed in the business of making cars, and not health care. A good chuck that goes into the sticker price of our automobiles come from the cost of the health care of it's employee's. I am not positive on this portion, but I believe that leaves in a uncompetitive with many other countries. With universal health care it is somewhat reasonable to assume that the GM could focus on making cars, and we would be more competitive with other countries in this new global environment. Besides our health care system is up to snuff. If you are rich, do not get me wrong, you will find the best doctors in the world here. But, for the vast majority of Americans this not the case. Our health care system is the most expensive in the world, yet we rank #37 in total outcome. In fact things have gotten so bad, many companies are electing to send their sick employee's overseas to India and other places for operations and surgeries.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0816/p03s03-usec.html
http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/03/24/business/24offline.html

This is just crazy. But hey, this is just my 2 cents.

As for your arguments on the rolling back of the Bush tax cuts, the it is a completely fraudulent argument. First of all, we are in the middle of a war, and until George Bush took office, there has never been in this country a time when we cut taxes at a time of war. There is little wonder why our troops do not have all the body armor they need. But I debunked this raising taxes will hurt people theory already (just read the comment I made on 1/25/07 on the post titled "The Stats Are In").

Finally you write about the number of poverty fighting programs. Which poverty programs are you speaking of, and tell me how have they been funded under the Bush Administration? As I have commented many times on this blog, poverty has risen under the Bush Administration. In fact,on 2/26/07 I highlighted that the numbers of those living in poverty, and those living in severe poverty rose to a 32 year high of 16 million people. So if poverty and severe poverty is rising, I am wondering what is your remedy for all of this? I have never called for new programs, all I have ever said is give people a level playing field, and deal with many of the problems I believe trap some people in poverty. Peg and I basically agreed on the several principles in dealing with the poor just a few days ago (3/1/07), and this is something that is new.

LLR

Greg,

Universal healthcare sounds real good on paper. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of people support it. I just don’t support it. The last thing that I need is the same healthcare that the people in Walter Reed are getting. According to the Democrats it’s horrible. Our healthcare systems needs less red tape and more competition. Haeve you ever noticed how the more the government gets involved in something, the more expensive it gets?

Allow small business that employ more Americans to unite and buy healthcare like big businesses do. Tell our politicians to quit adding regulations to the insurance industry. They are always mandating that insurance companies cover things that cause insurance premiums to increase. After the price increases go in those same politicians are the ones talking about how healthcare prices are out of control.

As far as GM, Ford and Chrysler are concerned the unions are the ones responsible for those hefty healthcare plans that add over $1,000 to the cost of every new car. It hurts my heart to see that a Ford and Chrysler are losing money left and right. Drop the unions and see them flourish again.

Rolling back the tax cuts are just one of the ways that Edwards intends to pay for universal healthcare. I’m not a HUGE Bush fan, but any tax cut is a good tax cut in my book. Our government doesn’t have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. The reason why politicians can send millions to their states/districts is because the money is there for the spending. You have to starve the beast. The latest Iraq spending bill is a clear example of this. It was full of pork spending!

There are tons of poverty fight programs from the welfare check to assistance for heating bills to lifeline. In my opinion we need to find the ROOT of poverty. Now poverty may have risen under Bush but so has illegal immigration. Also remember that illegal immigrants are counted in most stats. College Students are also included in a lot of poverty stats. So if we have a huge influx of students going to college and illegal immigrants coming into the country we will have more poverty. Close the borders off from illegal immigrants and let’s see where our poverty stats are in a few years.

I too am for a level playing field. I think that it’s a shame that more “liberals” don’t support school choice which would allow poor people to send their kids to good schools. I think that it’s a shame that our public schools aren’t better. I think that it’s a shame that our school systems are controlled more by the teacher unions than by parents and school boards. Education can be a ROOT of poverty. All we ever hear is more money more money. They get the money but education never improves. We spend thousands of dollars a year per child. The cities that spend the most seem to be the ones with the worst educational systems.

Isn’t it strange that the industries that are controlled by the government are the ones that we complain about the most. Take a look at the post office, DMVs, and schools. I am not saying that we should abolish them as much as we need to reform them. Take a look at the industries like the IT industry and the cell phone industry. Sure they used to be expensive but now they are somewhat affordable. Computers prices have less than half of what they were just 5 years ago. Cell phones companies are always competing for our business. It’s not a coincidence that these industries aren’t heavily regulated by the government.

I will also say this. We are a great country. I bet that we are the only country where “poor people” can have a car, cell phone, and cable TV. The funny thing is that the government will help you pay for your cell phone.

Peg

Greg, I do believe in progressive taxation (at least, to some degree). And in a wealthy society, I do think it superior that the richer among us help out with some items. (For instance, I do not believe that we should refuse all medical care to those who are unable to afford it on their own.)

Still, it is correct to say that we do take income from the wealthier and give it to the poor to cover some items. If the wealthiest are paying far more of the total income taxes collected, then they are paying for services and products that those earning less are receiving. That IS taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

In some instances and to some degree, I do approve of this. Too much of it, however, and it is counterproductive and harms the poor rather than helping them.

LLR

Here’s a quote form one of my favorite columnist, Thomas Sowell:

When the Constitution's protection of private property was disregarded, so that politicians could rob from the rich to give to the poor, that also gave politicians the power to rob from the poor and give to the rich -- such as seizing homes in low-income neighborhoods and turning that property over to developers.

This one sentence speaks volumes about our country. I think that it’s a shame that people use the constitution for personal gain. The Kilo decision is a prime example of this. It kills me that poor people are being taken advantage of so that rich people can have nice strip malls. Oh and yeah it was the “liberal” faction of the SCOTUS that was in the majority in this decision.

Also remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be the rich that are paying for the poor. Take a look at your home or cell phone bills. They start out at like $50 but end up at $60-$65. All of those are fees and taxes. If you’re poor, the gov’t will help you out a little bit on your phone bill. If you’re sick, the gov’t has Medicaid for you. If you’re hungry the gov’t has food stamps for you. What about the family that has a household income of $50K and is seeing it’s medical premiums go through the roof. What about the their phone bills that they are struggling to pay. What about them pinching pennies to get enough food to feed themselves.

I was talking to a friend the other day we I made a psychic prediction. Pretty soon the government will be paying for funerals for poor people so they can die in “dignity.” Politicians are already talking about giving each child born $500. That will complete their cradle to grave welfare.

Don’t get me wrong, I want love reading stories about poor people that have pulled themselves up. AS a matter of fact I think there are too few stories being written about it. I guess it doesn’t make for good press. I just think that the current system is broken and needs major reform and accountability for the funds that are spent.

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