I agree that Newt Gingrich is no conservative. When he was Speaker, both Newt and then House Ways & Means Chairman Bill Archer (R-Tx) both blocked Congressman Mark Sanford's well researched and prophetic Social Security Reform Act of 1997 bill that he proposed. Chairman Archer bottled Sanford's bill up in his committee and because Sanford had promised his district that he would be subject to a self-imposed term limit of three terms, the GOP leadership kept him from having a seat in Archer's committee.
With Social Security currently in deficit, Sanford's bill of almost 15 years ago would have phased in private ownership of Social Security for those under 35 years old, and given that option to those 35 to 50 years old while all over that age would remain on the existing Ponzi scheme which has currently gone into spending money it doesn't take in... just as Rep Sanford predicted.
Sanford's bill was based on the highly proclaimed Chilean/Galveston paradigm that, just like Federal employee's Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) would provide each taxpayer with a menu of privately managed mutual funds and allow the taxpayer to be in control of how his/her assets are invested. Upon retirement, the retiree is entitled to all interest revenue generated by the assets, but cannot 'invade' principal. Upon the retiree's death, that lump sum of a lifetime of savings and compounding would become part of the deceased estate and go to the heirs, beneficiaries and charities as decreed in the will. Such a system could very well wipe out poverty within two generations.
But this plan was blocked by Newt and his gang. It was not in their best interest to actually solve a pending problem, but only to 'kick the can down the road' until now the system is in deficit.
First and foremost, what in the hell does this piece have to do with faith and why did this become an ongoing semantic argument about it? Caring about your fellow man is simply "humanity" and if you need an organized religion to teach you that; then you're shallow. Being "human" you are either going to care about your fellow man; be ambivalent about your fellow man or not care about your fellow man... that's it. That's the problem with you people... always ready to tell other people about your convictions but never ready to listen to the convictions of others.
And Jack, I am personally willing to hand-deliver $5000 if you can manage to produce ONE piece that doesn't mention the word "neoconservative" or that doesn't suck up to the Paul family (Does that technically make you a "two-trick pony?)
Re= comments by worldofemotion and Yuengling and other Obama welfare-ites. I just love it when, time and time again, we can reduce another loser democrat welfare-ite into invoking Jesus Christ in support of their basic principal which is = the hard working minority (Repbulicans) are obligated by Christianity to support democrats and other losers.
May I make two points:
1. Most of us hard working Republicans don't give a damn about a welfare-ite
trying to steal our money through faking Christianity. If the true application
of Christian principles requires that I take from my family and give it to
an Obama welfare-ite, then to hell with Christians and Jesus too.
2. Being an Obama welfare-ite is, by definition, the opposite of Christianity.
"If you ask most Christians why they oppose health care, it is not because they enjoy seeing their fellow man suffer. It is because they have seen how government programs like Obamacare ultimately fail the intended beneficiaries, resulting in the erosion of freedom for their fellow man, and a bankrupting of the federal government."
How do "government programs like Obamacare ultimately fail the intended beneficiaries?" By keeping them from starving, like the SNAP progam does? By providing their children with an education, so they at least have an outside chance at being successful in life? Yeah, I know government programs aren't perfect, but I'm pretty sure most poor people would much rather have a flawed program than no food or education.
Ever read Ezekiel, Yuengling?
"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them, when I saw it."
Good thing you've got some heathens who actually care about their neighbors to keep God from "removing" you. I'm constantly appalled that there can be so many "Christians" who try to defend their own selfish greed and covetousness with cherry-picked lines from the Bible, usually out-of-context, that they learned from TV.
Pretty sure Jesus would advise you to sell your big-screen and buy dinner for the bum you look down on, not admonish the bum for having the temerity to presume that he, too, should not have to starve to death.
First to Christian Garfield. I hope you are happy with your little rationalization of greed. You will be explaining it the folks upstairs when they ask, Garfield, why were you NOT your brother's keeper?
Now to Newt. Newt has no problem with a company giving free loans to a Congressional staffer who is working for the committee the company is lobbying. Provided the staffer is his third wife, Callista.
The diamond and silverware firm, Tiffany& Co., gave the Gingrich’s a no-interest revolving charge account. No big deal, right? They’re rich, gaudy and like to flaunt their expensive lifestyle. We know that. Here is the ugly part of the deal. Tiffany was giving Callista Gingrich an interest-free loan, at the same time that the firm was spending big money to lobby Congress on mining policy and the House Agriculture Committee (HAC). Callista worked for the HAC at the time.
Government records show that Tiffany’s lobbying firm spent more money on mining law and mine permitting issues in Congress during the period when Callista Gingrich was at the HAC. Was Tiffany paying off Callista Gingrich by giving them an interest-free loan?
Check into that Jack!
Jack's assessment of Newt Gingrich is accurate from a fiscal standpoint, although he was certainly a part of the last balanced budget in this country. His other problems include being a loud, social conservative with a personal record of much of the opposite. He values family so much he can't stop making new ones.
TRUE conservatives are all in favor of reducing the deficit and ultimately the national debt UNLESS the idea on how to do it came from a Democrat, or even came from a Republican but was agreed on by a Democrat.
1. Individual mandate: 90s-era GOP
2. Bush tax cuts: 2000s-era GOP
Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act is designed (albeit with flaws) to address for the first time in decades the staggering rise of healthcare spending in the US, the largest growth sector in national deficits. It was vehemently opposed by the GOP despite it including much language that they wrote. Deficit reduction: not on their watch! The status quo was just fine for them.
The Bush Tax Cuts (and hey who doesn't love a tax cut) dropped federal revenue significantly in an era of broad federal expansion: OIF, OEF, DHS expansion, et cetera. Eliminating them would have been a step towards stemming the deficit, but it was roundly rejected by the GOP as that wasn't their idea. Deficit reduction? Who said anything about deficits?
Paul Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare is a bold one, and I give him credit for laying it out in clear English during interviews. It was more than notable that he actually answered questions when Robert Siegel interviewed him... pols never answer questions on NPR directly. The problem is that his "money saving" plan is already in place for Federal workers, and its costs have risen at a faster rate than Medicare's have. Gingrich's criticism didn't address that, he just fell back on the familiar being better.
If you want to really feel the love, listen to a recording of a question-and-answer session with Rep. Ryan on this plan:
Irate person: "WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO GRAMMA'S MEDICARE!!!!?!?!?!?!"
Ryan: "Nothing... anyone 55 and over will get the same benefits."
Gran-paw-paw: "BUT WHAT ABOUT ME, SONNY???!!!??"
Ryan: "Nothing... anyone 55 and over will get the same benefits."
Those "conservatives" don't give a crap about the debt or deficit either.
The answer to: "How can a Christian be against the health care bill? Don't they care about their neighbors? Are they so greedy and selfish that they really don't think everyone should have decent health care?"
The answer is quite simple. As a Christian, I am against theft. Theft is defined as coveting the possessions of another. When the uninsured take the position that they have less than me, and use the government to "even things out", it is a form of theft. That is called income redistribution. If I have health care insurance, it is because I earned it and paid for it, or someone, (perhaps an employer) has "given" it to me (still a form of earning). When the government confiscates wealth from another individual and gives it to me because I have less, it is theft.
Why don't doctors give away health care? Lawyers, as Mr. Forman can attest to, often provide "pro bono" work for those who cannot afford to pay for their services (and yes, they deduct those efforts on their income taxes).
If you ask most Christians why they oppose health care, it is not because they enjoy seeing their fellow man suffer. It is because they have seen how government programs like Obamacare ultimately fail the intended beneficiaries, resulting in the erosion of freedom for their fellow man, and a bankrupting of the federal government.
Social Security Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid will all be bankrupt within the coming decade, unable to collect enough revenue to pay out benefits to current recipients, let alone those who are in their forties.
Obamacare will be gasoline on the fire, and you want us to hand you a match?
Opposing an awful plan does not mean I want my fellow citizens to suffer, it just means that I live in reality, and I don't believe that good intentions promised by politicians will ever deliver satisfying results. The evidence backs up my position.
Shattter! Shatter! Shatter! But, alas, they won't.
When did "conservative" become the exact equivalent of "for smaller government"?
Maybe the middle class should change churches.
Americans deserve health care. Health care should not be reserved to the rich, the poor and those who can get their church to hold a fund-raiser for them. The middle class deserve health care, too.
How can a Christian be against the health care bill? Don't they care about their neighbors? Are they so greedy and selfish that they really don't think everyone should have decent health care?
I hope this is the year the GOP shatters.
"I am doing something right, then."
@mat - best of luck in your move!
nofaith is the second person in two days to tell me I should move out of the country.
I am doing something right, then.
@Nofaith: that was more like it. However, minimum wage laws are in place to counteract employment hegemony. Poor people have the least mobility, and so the jobs in their area are all the ones that they can exercise their control of labor supply over. Example: When Wal-Mart becomes (inevitably) the only game in a town, what then prevents Wal-Mart from depressing the wage rate indefinitely? Certainly not a sense of corporate citizenship! The workers cannot move, and they cannot change jobs, so the supply/demand relationship is completely skewed. Before long you've got the old "company store" trap of the industrial revolution mining towns.
Also, minimum wage laws drive up paygrades well above entry level. If minimum wage laws were such a giant punishment to business, why would the businesses do this instead of just diminishing the interval between pay levels to offset the cost of entry-level folks? At the lower end of the employment spectrum, a much higher portion of wages is expended on retail purchases... this leads to rewards for local businesses when such employees are paid better.
People at the bottom of the earning scale are affected more than just the 8 hours per day worked. The cost of healthcare, child care, and other services have risen consistently in real dollars (especially healthcare, greatly outpacing inflation). Reducing the worker's wages increases the number of job seekers, because now that one job doesn't fill the need. That same worker is also seeking other employment, thus driving up unemployment as part-time labor is cheaper than full-time. The cycle then repeats.
And what results from parents being away 12, 14, 16 hours out of the day working two or three jobs? The answer is not "better-performing students that later bolster the local economy." Short-term, it sucks and long-term it sucks.
@sark - when you are forced to give what you earn to others it stifles ambition which in turn will stifle innovation. Maybe not for everyone but for many it would and does. China is obvioulsy not a paradise because it is a communist country and communism, which by the way does things like limit peoples income, does not work no matter how much the liberals in this country want it to. Not everyone is going to be a CEO or a wildly successful creator but limiting (or eliminating) the reward for taking those risks certainly does not provide incentive for ever pursuing it.
As to your insipid analogy, no, the earner and producer will not go work at IHOP (there probably would only be one IHOP to work anyhow because no one would have worked hard to build it into a chain like it is now.) But if they do work valued at $2 million and only get to keep $750K I guarantee they will not be too worried about producing $2 million again. If you say you would do differently I would have to throw Christo sized bullshit flag. They don't produce, others don't get to sell them other companies and fancy cars and big houses and land and TVs and golf trips and whatever else that they want to buy with their wealth. That means people that could have had jobs and income and maybe even learned how to be as or more successful as the person that started them will never get to do so because it isn't fair to the people who can't be as successful. Maybe in the next Olympics we should weigh down the fastest runners to slow them down so that everyone can cross the finish line at the same time. Sounds pretty dumb, doesn't it? So does limiting income.
And if you think Jonas Salk was not rewarded handsomely for his efforts it is you that is hiding under the rock. Yes, he gave away the patent, but he lived a pretty fruitful life and I am sure he wasn't worried about his wife learning how to do extreme couponing.
No faith: you're an idiot if you think China's an example of a left-wing paradise. Either that, of you've been living under a rock since the 80's. Just because someone calls themselves 'communist' doesn't mean they are.
This stifling innovation thing baffles me. Let's say we set a maximum wage at, say $750,000/year. Do you really think the CEO and capitalist class would say, "ah well, I can only make three quarters of a million. Why bother with all that work? I'll just work doubles at the IHOP for the rest of my life."
Never mind the fact that not everyone is motivated by greed. See Jonas Salk.
@factory - you misread my comment. Both do a tremendous amount of harm in different ways and someone who does not understand why a minumum wage is not good, especially entry level employees, has no understanding of basic economics. If you set the minimum wage at a rate that is higher than the intersection of supply and demand for labor (which it sometimes is depending on the task) then you will have people unemployed that would normally not be. Forcing employers to pay more than the market forces require them to makes them to employ less people and in turn be less productive. That also keeps entry level people out of the job market and prevents them from gaining skills so that they will not be entry level very long and making entry pay forever.
@mat - why don't you just move to China or some other communist country? I am sure you would be much happier there. Maximum wage is a really good way to stop innovation and growth of an economy in it's tracks and shows even less understanding of economics than supporting a minimum wage. It's like telling all the kids in the class you get a C even if you do A level work. Feels good for the masses, takes away the incentive for the people who will exceed expectations and create rather than just be.
@BourbonandBranch, Good eye on the missed "of." Shame on me. Thank you also for providing another favorite of the ill-prepared debater: attack the messenger. Fortunately, we're not in high school anymore so calling me a brainiac doesn't hurt my feelings. I also wear glasses, so if you'd like to make yourself feel any better you can call me "four-eyes" as well. I figured that the Southern Avenger would be quite familiar with everything I discussed at the level I discussed it, even if you aren't.
In the interest of fairness, my previous comment in knuckle-dragger-ese:
"Irregardless of the fact I ain't about to argue his point on the drug thing, Jack is bullshitting us about the minimum wage. It ain't got nothin' to do with this here Obammy's war on drugs. He's just blowin sunshine up our ass about the marajawanna and sneakin' in all that about minimum wage ruining the country."
Is that better? I can't bring myself to put any more misspellings or moron-speak to page. I'm already burning with embarrassment over yesterday's mistake.
@Nofaith: present an argument instead of just assuming that "the minimum wage is bad" is correct because you say so. You've just put down a very serious charge that the minimum wage is doing greater harm to the US than the war on drugs. Now convince us with facts and citations... no blogs please.
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