TANSTAAFL


Once there was a man who held a political make-work job like so many here…shining brass cannon around a courthouse. He did this for years…but he was not getting ahead in the world. So one day he quit his job, drew out his savings, bought a brass cannon — and went into business for himself.
– Robert A. Heinlein, “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress”


We Americans have a weird habit of claiming we want politicians to tell us the truth and then getting mad at them when they occasionally do. Mitt Romney is the latest victim of our hypocrisy.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.


I’m not going to quibble over the percentages because I think they are way too high, but Mitt Romney’s basic point is correct. The Democratic base includes a large segment of people who think they are entitled to stuff.

I know what some of you are thinking. (Right-wing trope! Right-wing Trope! Ratfucker!!) If you are thinking that you are wrong.

Let’s start with a basic principle – Nothing is free. Or, as the acronym “TANSTAAFL” stands for, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Even freedom isn’t free – our forefathers and foremothers paid for our freedom with blood.

Government cannot give us free stuff. We can pass a law giving everyone “free healthcare”, but it’s not free, somebody still has to pay for it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but we need to be honest and realistic about what we are doing.

We all benefit from government. Some of us benefit more than others. But we don’t all pay for government. Some people pay nothing. Some people pay for less than they receive. Some get what they pay for, and some pay for more than they get. That’s pretty much inevitable because the poor simply can’t afford to pay.

That’s not a problem in a prosperous nation that provides limited benefits. For most of our history the federal government didn’t need much money because it didn’t do much except fight an occasional war. The government often had surpluses and literally gave land away.

That changed, beginning with the New Deal. I am not being critical of the New Deal (or the programs that followed over the next couple decades) when I say that it vastly expanded the size and role of government. That is simply an undeniable fact. We can argue that all that social and domestic spending was worth the cost, but we cannot deny the existence of that cost.

I would be remiss if I did not point out that beginning with World War II we saw a massive increase in military spending as well. Prior to WWII the United States did not keep a large standing army or navy during peacetime. Ever since then we have been the dominant military power in the world. That cost quite a bit too.

Our current situation is due to Ronald Reagan. The New Deal and WWII put us in the hole but the government was mostly living within its means afterwards. But since spending increased dramatically in the decades following WWII, so did taxes.

New Deal liberalism built roads, dams and bridges. It electrified homes across the nation. We built schools and colleges. The post-war era was unusually prosperous for the nation so the increased taxes didn’t seem to be much of a burden.

Then the Sixties brought two things – a slowdown of economic growth and an huge increase in government spending with the Vietnam war and the Great Society programs. Times were still prosperous but taxes were beginning to pinch. In the Seventies an anti-tax movement swept the nation.

Along came Ronald Reagan. He campaigned on promises to cut taxes along with the size of government. But when he was elected he only cut taxes.


Here’s the cold, hard truth – Socialism works only until you run out of other people’s money. Guess what? We’re running out.

The classic leftist answer is “tax the rich.” That sounds nice until you do the math.

Our current national debt is over $16 TRILLION. That is $1,000,000,000 each from sixteen million millionaires. (As of 2008 there were only an estimated ten million millionaires in the whole world.) Even if we didn’t borrow another nickle we’re already that deep in the hole.

But we keeping digging deeper, and fast. We’re going deeper in debt about $3.5 billion every damn day, including Sundays and holidays. There are currently estimated to be 403 billionaires in this country. If we took a billion dollars from each of them it would only balance the budget for a little over three months. Before long we would start running out of billionaires.

We are currently borrowing about .40 cents out of every dollar the government spends. Paul Krugman wants us to do another stimulus. That’s not a bad idea if you’re old, because you won’t have to worry about paying it back. It’s not such a sweet deal for your grandkids though.

We should have had this discussion thirty years ago but a bunch of craven politicians just kicked the can down the road.

We need to get government spending under control, and we need to so it soon. That doesn’t mean we need to throw granny off a cliff. We will have to make some tough choices, however.

Most importantly, we need to understand the limits of government. We’ve let government spend money like a crackhead with a stolen credit card. That has to stop.

No more free stuff. That doesn’t mean abandoning the social safety net, it means understanding and accepting the cost of it. We have to meet our obligations to the weaker members of society, but we also need to live within our means.

I believe we can do both.


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163 Responses to TANSTAAFL

  1. votermom says:

    A big giant HONK!!!! to your post!

    • myiq2xu says:

      One change I think we are going to see (we are already seeing) is a shift back to the family-centric model we see in most of the world. It’s a model we used to follow.

      That’s where we see multiple generations of a family living under one roof or in close proximity, along with family businesses. Less independence.

      Obviously that model doesn’t work for everyone, but we already see more adult children living with their parents, and more retirees living with their kids.

      • gxm17 says:

        Yep. My house has four generations under one roof. We are very fortunate that we all get along, and that we were able to afford a house large enough that everyone has their own space.

  2. votermom says:

    Btw, too funny if true – Newsmax says Jimmy Carter’s grandson is behind the secret Romney video

  3. catarina says:

    No more free stuff.

    Sorry, Sandra.

    That doesn’t mean abandoning the social safety net, it means understanding and accepting the cost of it

    Amen. And expanding that safety net to young, able bodied people for political reasons? That is bullshit, and a great way to perpetuate poverty.

    • myiq2xu says:

      I really liked Romney’s answer in the video. I wonder if it was staged.

      • votermom says:

        Heh. Could be.

        Must post my helpful reminder that the corollary to big govt is forms, forms, and more forms:

      • catarina says:

        It was an excellent answer.

        This issue needs to be finally dragged into the sunlight. Obama and The Democrats started all this class warfare nonsense and it *is* time to tell the truth.

        One point that’s sadly overlooked is the politicians aren’t paying for the goodies-the “free stuff” comes from your neighbor’s hard earned money.

        When the shit finally hits the fan and taxes go up to pay for the hole made by free stuff, it will be the middle class that’s made to pay, not the 1%-ers.

        Anyone can go look at the Federal tax tables and see the fine line between the so called deserving non payer and the family who’s far from rich but paying their fair share and then some.

  4. wmcb says:

    HONK! Gee, what forthright sensibleness, myiq! Is that allowed?

    You have spoken of the reality of the finances here, but I’d like to add a comment I said earlier about the attitudes of the parties. Most republicans have no problem at all with keeping a social safety net. Indeed, they wish to do so.

    It’s kind of like asking if the genuinely homeless person comes up to you and asks for food, should you give it? 90% of the public will say “Of course you should,”

    But if you change the scenario to the homeless guy coming up and DEMANDING that you empty your pocket because he has a fucking RIGHT to it, and you OWE him, so pay up you bastard, most people will say tell him to fuck off.

    The Democratic party, more and more, paints our “social responsibilities” as the latter, with their insistence on every damn thing being a fundamental RIGHT, and any refusal to meet every demand, for any reason, as cold-hearted selfish miserliness. Can you think of a single bennie, no matter how ludicrous, that the Dems don’t scream like it was genocide and starvation were it even reigned in, much less taken away?

    We crushing debt and two credit downgrades, and some are parading around INFURIATED that a tiny tiny percentage of women who happen to voluntarily work for/attend catholic orgs/schools might not get a “free” $9 pack of pills. This the veritable holocaust of 2012?

    And taxpayers are sick of it. Even many of the poor, who see the fruits of generational dependency all around them, are sick of it. You want to hear some folks BLAST the “welfare state”? Follow as many black conservatives who grew up in poor neighborhoods on Twitter as I do. They are disgusted with its failure.

    IT’S NOT WORKING. IT IS FAILING. And saying that is not the same as saying, “Screw the poor, let’s not worry about them” though the Dems insist it is. We need to have an honest discussion about what we can provide, and at what cost, and how to pay, and what are the societal effects.

    • myiq2xu says:

      We need to have an honest discussion about what we can provide, and at what cost, and how to pay, and what are the societal effects.

      So far liberals and Vile Progs have been avoiding that discussion at all costs. Everyone needs to be involved in that conversation, and we need to be honest with each other.

      No more kicking the can down the road.

      • wmcb says:

        They remind me of children when mom and dad are over their heads and have to budget.

        “Okay, I’m still going to provide for you. But you can’t have piano lessons AND dance lessons. You will have to get the $30 backpack, not the $80 one. You will have to eat meatloaf most nights, not order pizza and chinese.”

        Kid: “You’re STAAARVING MEEE! You’re ruining my life, you meanies! I have no cloooothes! I’m naaaked!”

    • The Democratic party, more and more, paints our “social responsibilities” as the latter.

      And I would add- what about the social responsibilities of those receiving aid to DO SOMETHING about their situations?
      There has been some kind of shift in the last 20 or 30 yrs. Being “on the dole” used to be something people worked HARD to get OFF. We (yes, been there, done that) were ashamed and humiliated- and GRATEFUL the help was there. Never thought it was a ‘god given’ right to live off the hard work of others.
      There seems to be no more shame, no more accountability, no personal responsibility. But then- schools now teach that shame is bad for a child’s self esteem.
      To which I answer, self esteem doesn’t pay the damn bills.

      • yttik says:

        I think it’s even worse than feeling entitled or as if assistance were a God given right, many people feel as if our government were so greedy and out of control, that they might as well get what they can out of it. They don’t see it as the taxpayers owing them, but rather this huge bureaucratic nightmare that exploits people and gets wealthy off the backs of others, owes them.

      • wmcb says:

        Bingo. And that shift in attitude has been outright nurtured and encouraged by the Democratic party.

        And don’t even spin me with “How dare you! No one wants to be on welfare!”. Because yes, yes many do, and are perfectly content to remain so. I meet them every day. Not all, but a lot.

        Don’t tell me I don’t see what I see, because it’s not PC to see it. Fuck that.

        • I see it as well. Gaming the system is no longer something of which to be ashamed.
          Long ago, the State of MA ran some ads about insurance fraud. Pointing out that those committing that fraud were not just harming some giant heartless company- they were hurting their fellow citizens by driving up costs for all.
          Somehow we need to make the people who have been taught that they are victims see that they have been USED by the Ayers/Alinsky/Sharpton types. And that they are not just hurting some dead entity named “Big Government”- they are hurting themselves, their neighborhoods, their communities, their children, their country.

        • angienc says:

          Nancy Pelosi’s did a video — it was on Bill Maher. Here’s a clip:

    • angienc says:

      We crushing debt and two credit downgrades, and some are parading around INFURIATED that a tiny tiny percentage of women who happen to voluntarily work for/attend catholic orgs/schools might not get a “free” $9 pack of pills. This the veritable holocaust of 2012?

      Speaking of which, I got a call from NOW just 20 minutes ago. Anyway, the first thing the man (yes, a man calling me from NOW) is “It is a critical time — women’s rights are under attack.”
      I couldn’t take it — I told him that I’m sick of these scare tactics & lying about issues to women & trying to equate taxpayer funded birth control as a vital “right.”

      He hung up on me. Hopefully he has the good sense to take me off the call list, but I doubt it. 🙂

    • angienc says:

      And further speaking of “critical time to be a woman”

  5. fif says:

    Now why can’t our leaders explain it so honestly, simply & clearly? Inevitably, they make it confusing, or complicated and/or include inflammatory comments so people with common sense cannot hear the basic truth through the ensuing media noise. It’s just math: if we ran our own homes this way we’d be bankrupt.

  6. swanspirit says:

    Romney is the one that understands how money works. Obama is hopeless with money . He is of the bottmless pit mentality , and I really think he would bankrupt this country. P

    • catarina says:

      Obama said, “At some point, you’ve made enough money.”
      (I always wonder how that flies with Michelle.)

      So he thinks he knows exactly what people should *and* shouldn’t have?

    • votermom says:

      Swan, “bottomless pit” describes Obama perfectly. America has to continually give him all our money, all our praise, all our protection — it’s exhausting! And it prevents us from addressing real life because everywhere we turn, there he is, sucking up all the resources in the room.

  7. wmcb says:

    Another thing. Continually expanding benefits is one of the things that has allowed administrations, R and D, to utterly ignore the hollowing out of our jobs base, our lack of a healthy thriving economy. So long as the govt keeps stepping in, people aren’t as likely to get out the pitchforks over lack of jobs.

    The best thing any president could do for the poor is to get going on a booming economy and JOBS. Lots and lots and lots of jobs jobs jobs jobs.

    Then you have a safety net for those who can’t, who fall through the cracks. The safety net is necessary, but ought to be *secondary* in focus, not the goal.

    • wmcb says:

      I’m always way to wordy. Let me try that thought in shorter form:

      Government benefits should not be THE plan for what we build. Jobs should be THE plan that we build. Benefits are spackle for the holes – they can’t hold up the wall.

      • Lulu says:

        The last resort and really receive secondary attention in that someone has to be working to pay for it. There really is a disconnect between who pays and who receives.

  8. swanspirit says:

    Romney is the one that understands how money works. Obama is hopeless with money . He is of the bottmless pit mentality , and I really think he would bankrupt this country.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Obama is either incompetent or doing it on purpose, either way, he must go.

      Scanning conservative sites this morning, Romney’s statement is firing up his base. The faux rage is being fired up by Obama’s media, who are avoiding Obama’s kerfluffle in the middle east. A high ranking squadron commander was killed during Islam’s I Hate America Tour (I think at Prince Harry’s base?). Just noticed on Drudge.

  9. yttik says:

    I don’t want a country that demoralizes people with messages like “you belong to the government” and “you didn’t build that.” A safety net is one thing, but convincing people they are so helpless they need the Gov to provide for their basic needs is entirely different. If you want to see what that does to people’s spirits you just have to visit a reservation or an inner city somewhere. It’s not really about the money, welfare, food stamps, is not what’s making us go broke, that’s a drop in the bucket. The waste is what we are doing to our people who are really our greatest resource.

  10. indigogrrl1 says:

    If I might add my 2 cents… we need to stop this bottomless $$$ pit of war. No one on either side seems to want to talk about the endless wars and the drain on our resources.

  11. myiq2xu says:

    Oh yeah – something I was gonna talk about but left out:

    OWS represents the middle class version of the welfare state. Instead of a monthly check and some food stamps they want government to pay for their college educations and provide them with high-paying jobs.

    • wmcb says:

      Bingo. The culture of whining dependency is not limited to the poor.

    • yttik says:

      Much more harmful to our economy then welfare, is crony capitalism and white collar welfare. For instance, in the name of helping the poor, my state just spent 100 million contracting with this big corporation to regulate home care workers for the elderly and disabled. The workers didn’t get anything out of the deal but more red tape and headaches and the clients lost some of their benefits to off set the costs. When we were opposing this thing, of course we were dismissed as greedy people who hate the poor. The problem is, a lot of tax dollars are funneled into corporations in the name of helping the poor, and of course, the poor never get anything out of the deal.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Reminds me of the Hannity interview with one of their “leaders” and offered him an entry level job on his staff. The kid wanted more money and not have to come to work before noon or work weekends. Hey, don’t we all.

      • Lulu says:

        Corporations that contract for the government are the biggest welfare recipients in terms of dollar amounts. The wealthy love their welfare too and they also need their checks cut.

      • So he doesn’t really want a career then, which is usually paid via salary and in reality you have no 40 hour work week. You want a paid straight 40 hour work week? Work in a factory.

  12. Additional thought on Mitt’s statement. Yes, there is an entire subset of our populace that has a victim mentality- and Neblett, Sharpton, Jackson, OWS, Ayers et al feed the flames constantly. Constantly harping on how downtrodden and victimized everyone is, by the “rich” the “man”, the “government”, the “other.”
    We used to teach our kids that this is America- where everybody has a shot- if we work hard and keep plugging. Now we have our fellow citizens being told subtly and not so subtly- that they can not win, they can not get ahead, it is not their fault-
    How sad. And dangerous.

    • myiq2xu says:

      This video was edited dishonestly:

      Mitt’s next words were “I was born in the United States.”

      • DeniseVB says:

        I’m at the point Mitt can be doing Crush Videos and I’ll still vote for him over Commander-in-Chief Bunnypants.

      • myiq2xu says:

        Here is the full quote:

        “There is a perception, ‘Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth,'” he says. “Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America.”

      • yttik says:

        It’s really a beautiful quote and kind of sums up why we see such difference between the success rates of some immigrants versus those who were born here. Attitude matters. If you grow up believing this is the land of opportunity, that you have been given a gift, you’re more likely to succeed than somebody who grows up hearing that this is a mean country that hates you, and will do everything it can to make you fail.

  13. Constance says:

    I checked out the comments under the Yahoo article about the Romney secret tape. Many people are calling Romney greedy. Romney didn’t take a salary when he was Governor and when he took over the failing Olympics he said he wouldn’t take a salary unless it made a profit. When it made a profit he took his salary and gave it to charity. That is not greedy. He is very rich and never HAS to work another day, and yet he does.

    • yttik says:

      Finding meaningful work is one of the keys to the pursuit of happiness. Rich people that don’t have to work, often choose to. We try to find jobs for disabled kids, not because we want them slaving away, but because it improves their quality of life.

      For some reason, this country has started to view work as horrible, unpleasant, exploitive. Allegedly the only reason rich people do it is for greed. There are a whole lot of other reasons to work, besides money, but I think many in this country have forgotten that.

    • DeniseVB says:

      He’s also turned down lucrative offers to make millions a year with private companies to run for President. On the other hand, Obama became President to make millions.

  14. Lulu says:

    There also used to be a now foreign concept when people received help or assistance for whatever. It is called gratitude. Now they demand it and bad mouth you at the same time they get it. And I am not talking about Social Security or unemployment which are a social insurance program that people pay for by being employed when they are employed. I am talking about all the other stuff.

  15. angienc says:

    HONK! Great post, myiq. It’s what happened in Greece — politicians making promises & “keeping” them with borrowed money & having 50% of the workforce in the public sector. Eventually the money runs out.

    Remember the “Life of Julia”cartoon? Jim Treacher (at Daily Caller) points out that the Dems are all excited that Romney “disqualified” himself for presidency by revealing THEIR strategy — and that about sums it up.

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/18/democrats-think-romney-just-self-destructed-by-pointing-out-um-their-entire-strategy/

  16. gxm17 says:

    Word to any pro-choice lefties, like me, here’s my response to the “Romney has written off half the population” meme the progbots are trying to push: You mean like Obama did when he signed the Stupak Amendment?

  17. foxyladi14 says:

    yes like that. 🙄

  18. DeniseVB says:

    Oh this is why Obama’s doing so well in the polls !

  19. DM says:

    The Gallup poll says that Obama at 47% holds 1 point registered voter lead over Romney at 46%. The DNC bump is gone. It should be noted, that if Gallup were to release the likely voter numbers, it would show like Rasmussen that Romney is up one or two points over The One.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/150743/Obama-Romney.aspx

  20. DandyTiger says:

    Notice in those graphs how things got better during the Clinton years. But of course if you’re a new Dem / Obot, Clinton was worse than Reagan.

  21. Constance says:

    After this election is over we should start an effort to topple the Corporate Media monopoly by forcing them to let us choose only the channels we want and pay for only those channels. Because we are all subsidizing MSNBC etc with our cable payment. In a free market MSNBC would be long gone and real news could have a chance to replace them. All we have to do is encourage people to cut the cable cord and pay for only the info they value on the internet. It is bad enough that Corporate Media has monetized our elections but the way they are hyping Obama propaganda is intolerable.

    I am hoping to watch the Obama loss on MSNBC however so I don’t want to cut the cable yet. I am so going to enjoy that!

  22. gxm17 says:

    The scrubbing bubbles are back! My comment on the CNN article never was posted, and on FB I’ve been unfriended once (good riddance) and another friend is deleting my comments. UFB.

    So I just posted on MoJo. We’ll see if they disappear me there too. Here’s what I said. No profanity. No snarking. I really tried to behave myself:

    I’m a Stein supporter and I’m quite baffled at what the Obama supporters see in this video. First, it’s campaign strategy, not policy. And it should come as no surprise that he is writing off socialist-leaning voters like me. Frankly, it’s smart because he really shouldn’t waste his time on me. Second, I’m more concerned with the candidate’s legislation record, and while many Obama supporters keep trying to push the notion that Romney is “writing off half the population,” the truth is that Obama is the candidate who has a record of, literally, writing off half the population with his signing of the Stupak Amendment. This video seems like just another distraction from real issues and Obama’s record which, in case you need to be reminded, is abysmal.

  23. votermom says:

    Bwahahahaha

  24. DM says:

    I don’t know how to put the chart up, but here is a visual of the 47% (the correct percentage is between 46% and 47%)

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/charting-romneys-47-that-dont-pay-income-tax-2012-09-18

    • propertius says:

      At the risk of “quibbling over percentages”, I don’t see how the raw data on the IRS web site squares with this figure:

      According to the IRS (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/11db03nr.xls), there were 143,607,800 individual tax returns filed in 2011. According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States, the number of Americans over the age of 18 was 234,564,000 (in 2010 – figures for 2011 aren’t yet available on the web). In 2009, 53,639,038 of those returns were “married filing jointly” and therefore represent two taxpayers rather than just one. And that means that over 197 million adults (or 84% of adults) were represented on a tax return. Or conversely, that a mere 16% were not. According to the IRS, only 828,798 returns showed a tax rate of 0 in 2009 (234,579 of these were joint). In other words, 196 million adults were represented on a “taxable return” – 83.6% of the total number of adults. 16.4% is not 47%. Given that this includes the elderly, the disabled, and the poor schmucks who can’t find a job in the New Depression, I’m surprised the figure is that low.

      You can make absolutely gorgeous charts with completely false data. Until I see how that 47% figure was derived, I don’t buy it.

      • The difference between not owing any federal income taxes on your Federal TAX RETURN and not paying any taxes at all is being lost in the noise, propertius. Only about 18% of Americans pay no taxes.

        The debate about how big, fine, thick the safety net should be, or if we even want one at all is a crucially significant one for voters/citizens to have. I’m very persuaded by Catarina’s insights about the tax code and abuses etc.

        And myiq’s substantive analysis of the problem of “how the hell are we going to pay for all this” is also what the election should be about — what all elections should be about until our fiscal house is in order.

        But I do think this “gaffe” is pure demagoguery on Romney’s part., whether intentional or not. If it’s strategy and he’s doing it on purpose, well that’s politics. I dont have to like it but I dont expect politicians to not be craven to get elected.

        I mean, hell. Romney himself doesnt owe any federal payroll income taxes (that’s what they’re talking about — federal payroll income tax), and he’s friggin RICH. Are we supposed to believe that Romney thinks he himself expects the government to take care of him and pay his mortgage, health care, and so forth?

        • catarina says:

          Wtf is ‘federal payroll income tax?’

          Federal Income Tax is Federal Income Tax.
          And 47% either pay zero or get a check back, courtesy of the other taxpayers, some of which didn’t make all that much more than they did.

          The “Payroll Tax” is another thing that gets withheld from a worker’s paycheck.

          It’s actually Social Security but the Dems dug up and dusted off this old term so people wouldn’t know it was their own contributions to Social Security that Obama was reducing by 2%.
          Now, *that’s* disingenuous.

        • propertius says:

          That 18 % is way too high, Darragh, given that only 16.4 percent pay no *income* taxes. Include FICA, Medicare, and excise taxes and the figure is probably quite close to zero for Federal taxes alone.

          As for how we get out of it, it’s certainly not by cutting spending in the middle of the worst economic crisis in almost 80 years. That’s what Japan did in the late 90s, and they’ve never recovered from it.

          If you’re going to deficit spend, the time to do it is:

          1) In the middle of a demand recession where the private sector has completely stagnated (i.e., the Federal government is the “consumer of last resort), and

          2) When interest rates are so low (effectively 0) that they’re less than the inflation rate (i.e., the cost of borrowing is actually negative).

          That would be, ummmm, right f-ing now (to put it bluntly).

          It would, however, be nice if we actually spent the money on something useful rather than just throwing it at the banks and at political cronies.

          I think the 47% figure is pure fantasy that has become accepted “truth” through repetition. It was certainly a deliberate lie to start with, but I’m not sure Romney can be faulted personally for repeating a factoid that’s in general circulation.

        • jjmtacoma says:

          yes, exactly. I think this should have started about 3 years ago but all the spin is looking for green shoots and doing the happy dance when people fall off the unemployment count because the rate went down..

        • wmcb says:

          With all due respect, DM, if it were about land, then they would be demanding the same concessions from Jordan and Syria as they do Israel. ALL of that land had Palestinians living in it (as well as Jews and others.). So why aren’t they all pissed off at Jordan and Syria for “stealing their homeland”? If it were about land, they would be.

          The reason why their ONLY focus is on the small sliver of their “ancestral homeland” that Israel has, and not the much larger swathes that Jordan took, is because it’s not about land – it’s about driving out the Jews. They could care less who has “their” land, so long as it’s not a filthy Jew.

      • yttik says:

        “According to the IRS, only 828,798 returns showed a tax rate of 0 in 2009”

        propertius, I had a tax rate of 33% last year and still owed no federal income tax. A tax rate of zero is only for the very poorest among us. The “tax rate” measures your taxable income, not how much you’re going to have to pay.

    • votermom says:

  25. tommy says:

    Test? I’m having difficulty posting comments due to server issues. Been trying for the last hour. Will this get through? God knows.

  26. jjmtacoma says:

    I think Romney is right but I don’t resent the kids for wanting more help. Generations before them have had more help getting started and getting an education. Tuition costs have increased faster than inflation for years – those football coaches cost a fortune! Kids will pay more for education, have a harder time finding a job and seriously, will they ever see a dime of the social security they are paying?

    Too much money was spent bailing out at the top without actually producing meaningful results for “main street”. I guess I can understand the politicians helping the people they know personally and then casting the wants of the little people as looking for handouts. OWS is wrong too, but really where are the jobs going to come from?

    If the endless wars are stopped, the manufacturers (like Boeing and GE) will start job cuts and the returning vets will need work. Would the government be able to funnel the savings into balancing the budget after increasing the unemployment numbers?

  27. votermom says:

    OT – about john smart’s blog – I admit I was a bit unsure a while back when ppl were saying zal is a troll, but he has been really been full on anti-mitt obot lately, hasn’t he?

    • DM says:

      And that makes him a troll? Is there no difference between a disenter and a troll?

    • DM says:

      I really wouldn’t mind having a pro-Obama voters discuss with me why he’s an Obama supporter. I’ve never found a logica Obama supporter that can clearly spell out for me the reason for the support.

      • votermom says:

        It’s always because the GOP are so evil.
        He’s a troll because he won’t admit he’s pro-Obama, he just happens to constantly say Romney is the worst and Obama does stuff better than Romney.

        • DeniseVB says:

          There’s a closed group on FB Obama vs. Romney and all the obots do is post anti-Rom OFA talking points. The Rom people are mostly from Ace’s group and rapid fire back calling them on the b.s.

          I’d post the link, but the OvR group just split to another group and watching to see which one is worth the time. So far, the same Obamacrats are posting on both with more troll spamming than actual debate. Gives me a headache 😉

        • DM says:

          I’m a troll under that definition. Not here, but at another website. If I said I was pro-Romney, I would be kicked out. So my only option to bring balance to the discussion, is to keep my voting preference undeclared. Sometimes, my comments relate more to their distortions. Here is an example: When Ryan was selected for the VP, I read a few comments at that obot website, that Ryan was a “power hungry” politician. I commented then, that I did not see Ryan as power hungry as Obama. To support my contention, I said that Ryan had served in the House of Congress for several years, whereas Obama moved from one office to another, even if he had not accomplished or completed his term. That shut them up.

          See what I mean? I don’t consider myself a troll, but a “lightbringer”. I shine light into the darkness.

        • DM says:

          Btw, just now a commenter at the obot website said that contrary to Romney’s contention, many of the 47% paid taxes, such as social security and other taxes. I then posted the correct Romney quote. He said “income taxes”, and that we had to always quote correctly. but then I made assertions that Romney was wrong in saying that the 47% were supporters of Obama. The truth is, I said, that many of those poor earning wage workers live in the red states, hence they vote for Romney.

        • gxm17 says:

          Actually, zal has stated he is a Stein supporter. But I’m still not sure where he’s coming from. He always attacks Romney and leaves Obama alone (except when pressed). It does seem that he feels Mitt is the bigger threat, even though Obama is the one who is in office and has done the most actual damage (and even though he keeps saying Obama will win a second term), which seems to support the conclusion that zal is an Obama supporter posing as a Stein voter. But who knows. I have a hard time following his comments. They get a bit word fog-like.

  28. Lulu says:

    I have had the only Romney sign up for a few weeks and I thought I was going to be it. There was one Obama sign but they had to take it down because their house was for sale and no one wanted to look at it per the realtor. I drive the 1.3 miles to the grocery store and counted 63 Romney signs as of 11:30 CST. I drive it again as I cannot quite believe I counted correctly and it is 63 again. Ten years ago this area voted 50%-50% with a lot of state and local Democrats in office. In 2008 it was 65%-35% Republican with a lot of down ticket Democratic voters. Based on the signage it is going to be landslide and there are no Dems running for anything, not even dogcatcher. I’m not even sure if there is a county Democratic chairperson this year.

    • Constance says:

      You are brave to put a yard sign out. I live in Seattle and don’t want to deal with my limo liberal neighbors political yammering. I wish there was a secret society of Independents for Romney so I could have someone to talk politics with without having the non stop talking points recited to me like some strange prayer mantra.

    • DM says:

      That’s what I think. It’s gonna be a Romney landslide. I live in one of those super blue counties. In 2008 the Pepsi-Obama bumper sticker was just about on every car. There were no McCain stickers. Today, there are no Obama stickers. Once in a while, I’ll see an Obama sticker.

  29. “”I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way,” Romney said in the latest video clip published by liberal Mother Jones magazine.”

    Haha does the left wing actually think this is a GAFFE?

    He’s frigging right! The Palestinians want peace the way the Democrats in power want the anti-abortion right to go away. When hell freezes over is when they want those things.

    This will absolutely gain Romney new voters and lose him zero.

    Like the 47% comment it may motivate obama’s base more and perhaps that’s bad strategy but who knows? Maybe his team calculated that making provocative and right wing comments that are “leaked” to the press was a smart bet.

    • wmcb says:

      Yep. And like you, I expect pols to be pols, and do what it takes to win. I don’t LIKE that, but they all will do it. It’s not like it’s a shock. I don’t hero worship.

      If Obama is going to go full-on class warfare (and he has been, for months), then Romney may well have decided he has to go there too. It’s a bit stupid to expect Mitt to keep his hands utterly clean of any class comments at all, while Obama is allowed to demonize business etc to his heart’s content.

      The palestinian comment was the bald truth. That’s going to win some votes.

    • DM says:

      I don’t believe that anything that Romney said to his donors will be on voters’ mind on November 6.

    • DM says:

      Darrag, I see both parties, the Palestinians and the Israeli not wanting to make peace. To say that’s just the Palestinians is not to look at how Israel has moved the goal post from the beginning of time. I’m old enough, therefore I remember, when Israel demanded that they would only negotiate if Arafat recognized Israel. When he did, that wasn’t enough. Then, when Clinton was president, from everything I’ve read, Bibi sabotaged that agreement. They were really close.

      Then the Palestinian Authority has not been good broker of peace for their own people. I will agree to that. The Palestinian Authority is more interested in the power it has if there’s no peace than peace itself.

      • I guess after 50 years of hearing the Arab world say they want Israel destroyed, I’ve started to believe what they say.

        As far as I know Israel has never ever said anything even remotely as provocative as that about any other country or state.

        But regardless, in your opinion, why does it benefit Israel for peace to be endlessly just out of reach? It’s clear why Palestine and the greater Arab world would want peace out of reach.

        Feel free to ignore this question/comment. I’ve caused enough trouble lo these last few threads and dont want to wear out whatever welcome I may have.

        😉

        • angienc says:

          Good observation, darragh. Arab nations are on the record– in public- saying it wants Israel wiped off the face of the map. Israel has never made such comments about the Arab nations.
          If all bets were off & Israel was completely disarmed, would Palestine “want and maintain peace?”
          Romney was only stating the obvious.
          HOWEVER, and this is what is being left out of the coverage — in the very beginning of the tape he says there are 2 views. First is that Palestine doesn’t want peace (and we get that answer). Then he say, but X (can’t remember name of person he names) says there is possibility for a lasting peace –that is where the tape cuts off. So, it was TWO part answer & we only got the FIRST part. We don’t know for a fact that he only believes the first part — he could very well be laying out (if the tape wasn’t cut off) a Plan A/Plan B kind of thing in his answer — try for the peace, but be prepared for status quo. Which is way more thinking on the matter than Obama has given it.
          Of course, the MSM aren’t going to bother with that.

        • DM says:

          I think that Israel doesn’t want peace because its aim is to abolish any land controlled by the Palestinians. It’s not difficult to see that. After the 1967 war, the occupied lands came under Israel’s authority and it will be difficult for Israel to give those lands back to the control of Palestinians. C’mon, that’s easy to see, but also shown by the historical actions Israel has taken, such as building in areas that are currently Palestinian lands.

        • yttik says:

          As we’ve seen from the recent Obama foreign policy fumbles, trying to appease people who are hell bent on destroying us may not be the way to achieve peace. A step in the right direction would be to at least acknowledge that they are hell bent on destroying us.

          LOL, thinking psychology here, but nothing frustrates people more than not being heard. They’re burning our flag, burning Obama in effigy, chanting death to America, and the white house says, this isn’t a protest against America.

          You can’t have peace if you don’t first at least acknowledge where each side is coming from.

        • DM says:

          Ytik, what is happening in the ME is as old as the land itself. I don’t believe that Obama, GW, Clinton, H.W.B., Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, etc., etc. could have done anything about the instability of those nations. It’s in their DNA to always be at each other’s throat. The only way to have any sort of peace in that region is forced peace, such as Iraq with Saddam Hussein, Assad, Gaddafi, and other dictators, or an occupation. But that peace is not long lasting because it’s forced. Those who immigrated into Israel after WW2, either were naive, or had forgotten their own history.

          It’s how it is and how it will always be, imho.

        • yttik says:

          “It’s how it is and how it will always be, imho.”

          Maybe, but striving for peace should still be the goal.

        • wmcb says:

          DM, a lot of land came under control of others after WWII. The thing that makes me think the Palestinians aren’t serious? Jordan and Syria took MORE land than Israel did, yet you never ever hear them demading THAT land back- only what Israel is sitting on.

          Another test for me is – can a Jew walk around and do business in palestine or frankly most arab states completely unmolested? No. In Israel, they elect Arabs to political office. Sorry, but I will believe in the “peaceful intentions” of palestine or any other arab state toward the jews when they SHOW me the tolerance in their society. Until it exists with the RARE bigot, instaed of the other way around, I don’t trust any of them further than I can spit re: Israel. The whole culture is filthy with Jew hatred – in the writings, in the politics, and on their airwaves. Constantly. You amy as well ask me if I think David Duke is “sincere” if he says he wants peace w black people. Um, no.

          Also, regarding the partition, if you back the wrong guy (ie a genocidal maniac bent on world conquest) in a world war, guess what? You get the short end of the stick in the deals cut afterwards. Too fucking bad. Don’t get on Hitler’s bandwagon next time, and maybe you’ll get a better seat at the table.

        • wmcb says:

          Also, regarding the land Israel took in 1967, let’s not portray it as they just sashayed over and took it on a whim.

          It was strategic high land, from which the Palestinians were ceaselessly lobbing bombs at Israel. Israel finally got sick of it, and went and took it. And now they basically say ” No, we will not give you back the hill from which to rain rockets down on us.”

          And if I were in their shoes, I’d feel the same. It’s utter nonsense to claim Israel wants ro wipe out Palestine, when they have never once stated that goal. The Palestinians, OTOH, are the ones who put “kill all the Jews” ON THEIR FUCKING CHILDREN’S TV SHOWS.

        • DM says:

          WCBM, the big sticking point to achieve peace between the Israeli and the Palestinian is land. Another sticking point is land. And lastly, land. That’s it. As long as Israel is unwilling to put that on the table in a meaningful way, there won’t be peace. I suspect that there will never be peace because Israel doesn’t want to give to the Palestinians any land. It’s that simple.

          I don’t have any skin of what is going on between the Israeli and the Palestinians. I’m also immune to the propaganda that most Americans have endured since 1948. I can read history, and because I’m old, I know what’s been going on since the 1967 War.

          I’m not saying that the Palestinians have been doing their part, but both are stuck in war because there will never be a meeting of the minds as to whom it belongs the land that is called “Israel”. don’t believe that God gives land to anyone. My opinion is irrelevant too. I’m Hispanic and though I’ve befriended individuals from both groups at one time or another, I don’t care. I just a U.S. citizen who wants the U.S. to stay out of their little wars. Both candidates can’t do a thing about the coming war in the M.E. That’s for sure.

        • DM says:

          Correction: I don’t have any skin on the fight that is going on…

        • propertius says:

          And lastly, land.

          But wait! There’s more:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11101797

          As we say out here in cowboy country: “Whiskey’s fer drinkin, water’s fer fightin’ over!”

  30. swanspirit says:

    Obama exacerbated the relationship between Israel and Palestine rather than ameliorate it, regardless of history.

  31. yttik says:

    LOL, I just got yet another Obama letter telling me how evil Romney is. “If you want a president who stands up for all Americans, send five bucks today!”

    Dude! Hello! I’m poor. How is sending you my last five bucks going to help?

    • DM says:

      I just got a call from the DNC that I had won a gift. I told them to keep it and find someone else to give it to. 🙂

      • propertius says:

        The last time the DNC called me, I believe I referred to the President of the United States as “that slimy, lying little motherfucker”.

        They haven’t called since.

  32. gxm17 says:

    ObamaNation is in full meltdown. CNN has this as their lead story. The news about the assassination of our ambassador is regulated to the lower tier. It just gets crazier with each passing day. This Romney meme didn’t stick. Okay, let’s try this one. Nope, not that one. Let’s try this one… How about just reporting the news, asshats? You know, news, people dying, things getting blown up, embassies burning, little things like that.

    • Lulu says:

      I have been on the WaPo threads this morning and Romney has hurt their feelings. Everything is overwrought and emotional. It is all about how it makes them feel. Statistics and budget numbers are for losers and grown-ups.

  33. yttik says:

    Why are people arguing over Romney’s 47% depend on the Gov for some kind of assistance? President Obama claimed it was 100% of us! We didn’t build that, the government did.

    Studies have shown that nearly half of us are now dependent on the Gov for something. The true cost of living without any assistance from the Gov at all was estimated to be somewhere around180,000 a year, depending on where you live. Most of us don’t earn that much and are now dependent on something, college financial aid, free school lunch, subsidized flood insurance, medicaid. Close to half the country cannot meet their own needs in today’s economy.

  34. leslie says:

    myiq ~ I tried to comment before I got to work this morning, but I couldn’t –

    What I wanted to say is: this was a brilliant post and I am going to copy it and send it to my brothers, my sister and her husband. Because they will never listen to it coming out of my mouth. They seem to really enjoy ignoring anything I say about politics when it doesn’t completely agree with their opinion. And I’m going to be their captive the1st/2nd weeks in October so I’m going to keep repeating not only your post, but most of the comments as well.

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