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Thread: Explain Conservatism

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Today's conservative is the same as he was when Goldwater wrote his book. Reagan summed up his conservative view by saying:

    The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

    Conservatives: Smaller Government
    Liberals: Bigger Government
    What, then, is the difference between a conservative and a libertarian in your view?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I see a lot of Trump hating going on here.
    Guilty.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I didn't vote for him. I couldn't hold my nose tight enough to keep on the smell of his past and some of the statements made here that are criticising him.
    That's great!

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    However, I must say the man has become a far better president, so far, than I thought it possible for him to become. He has rolled back tons of regulation that have been stifling the economy for quite a while. In one go he rolled back enough regulation that it is estimated was sucking $3 trillion a year out of the economy. That right there is more than any president in several decades has done for the little guy in America for that means more jobs and a better life for a lot of people.
    Every regulation has two sides, and you can have pathological growth that doesn't help either the little guy or liberty. One man might feel that it is his liberty to pollute a residential neighborhood, and anything that prevents him from doing so is an abrogation of that liberty, but the people living there might have a different opinion. I think liberty includes protection from that sort of abuse, and that such protections are worth even pretty large reductions in GDP growth. How do you feel about these sort of regulations?

    In any case, this is a testable claim. If the regulations that Trump has eliminated add $3 trillion to the economy, we should see GDP growth increase by that much more. The last few years, the GDP has grown by 2-2.3%, and the number for 2016 (the last complete year) was $18569.1 billion. Assuming 2017 will end up comparable, it will be around $18,940.482 billion. So, the target for Trump to hit that goal is $18,943.482 billion.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp
    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-...-growth-annual

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    He has also rolled back things that were clearly unconstitutional which have been limiting the free expression of religious freedom. When the Constitution says there shall be no law limiting the free expression of religion that is exactly what it means. If someone doesn't support the LGBT agenda for religious reasons that right cannot be abridged as the Constitution guarantees them that right, and it is the supreme law of the land.
    I guess the question is, how far can that right be extended. Can it trump civil rights legislation? If so, no civil rights legislation ever would have worked, since the reasons given for racial segregation were traditionally religious. The standard that civil rights laws draw, typically, is that a person who operates a "public accommodation" incurs responsibilities to serve people fairly, and not discriminate, and then the liberty of their would-be customers take precedence over the owners' sentiments.

    Would you feel that you had liberty if you were theoretically allowed to drive, but no one would sell you gas? Or let you stay in their hotel?

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    So what if some baker doesn't bake a cake for gay couple. That baker is not stopping, and cannot stop, that couple from marrying or from having someone else bake them a cake. That couple can simply go to another baker who is friendly to their cause and have them make that cake. The couple is deprived of nothing.
    The couple is deprived of a cake, that any other citizens would be entitled to.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    When that couple goes to court to sue they are, in fact, desiring to limit that baker's right to the free expression of his religion. Oh, I hear the argument that if you go into business you give up your rights, but that is simply a logical fallacy. No where does the Constitition say that you have rights that are abrogated by being in business. That is so far outside the intent of the creators of the Constitution it's laughable. Those men were almost all businessmen, and very deep thinkers, so to say that they wrote a document that would stop they themselves from enjoying the rights they were granting to the rest of the nation is ludicrous beyond belief.
    But nowhere in the Constitution is your right to be in business guaranteed, either. If you choose to be in business, the state can legitimately place limits on how you can conduct your business.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I also hear the argument against Trump that he isn't perfect. Really? That is one of the, pardon the terminology, stupidest arguments I've heard.
    I agree. But then, I wouldn't argue that he isn't perfect. I would argue that he isn't adequate. He's almost perfectly inadequate, in fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Just when have we had a president who was a perfect human being?
    A year ago.



    Ok, I'm joking. Mostly. But I would say that he was a lot better.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    We never have, and it is a logical fallacy to insist that we must have a perfect human being for president as such a person does not exist.
    It's also a logical fallacy to set up a straw man, if we're counting.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    So Trump isn't a born politician, so what? Look at where "born" politicians have taken us. Our constitution is in tatters. Our national debt is so high that if we cut spending tomorrow so that we could pay off what we owe at $1 trillion/yr it would take us more than two centuries to pay off all our debts.
    Trump's tax cut is going to increase the debt. As GW Bush's did. But the Republicans are too craven to face economic reality. Democrats are the true fiscal hawks, Republicans believe in tax cuts that we can't afford.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    We are, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt as a nation. Our politicians have been stealing us blind for a long, long time. They have cooperated with the Federal Reserve to bankrupt us by stealing, through means of inflation and debt, the value of our currency.
    Our currency consists of Federal Reserve notes, which are subject to the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve Bank. None of that is secret, or undisclosed. If you don't like the deal you get by holding onto Federal Reserve notes, take your notes and buy something else with them. Buy some gold. Buy some bitcoins. Buy some stocks. Buy some foreign currency. All of those are potentially more exciting, and better at holding and gaining value. But don't pretend you don't know the deal with the notes. People hold US dollars because they are stable and reliable, and that stability and reliability is the result of the policy decisions of the Fed. You can't get that stability and reliability without the monetary policy backing it. That is really the whole point.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Right now the real value of the dollar is about $.05.
    That is literally impossible. That's like saying that the number 1 is actually 0.05. There's no set value that a dollar is supposed to hold. It inflates, occasionally deflates, and changes based on the economic inputs to the system.

    A growing economy typically experiences some amount of inflation. And it's a perfectly healthy sign. Inflation has the beneficial impact of eroding both accumulated debt and accumulated wealth, which I count as a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    This is why prices are so high, jobs are so scarce, and very few people have the money to actually pay their bills.
    Unemployment is at a 40 year low. Jobs aren't scarce. Good jobs are harder to come by, but this is largely a product of wealth concentration. Low inflation, as we are currently experiencing, actually reinforces that problem. Yes, inflation without wage growth is bad, but if we have inflation while wages keep up with inflation, it can be good.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Politicians are to blame.
    Agreed. Specifically, the politicians promising trickle-down gains to the poor and the middle class to justify tax cuts for the wealthy. The most stimulative thing that can be done for the economy by the government is injecting wealth into the bottom of it, because the poor spend every dollar, generating jobs and economic growth. Giving money to the people with plenty of it doesn't help anyone but them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    All those politicians who keep on promising "free" stuff are lying to you. Where do you think that money comes from?
    Taxes and debt.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    It comes out of your pockets. You pay those bills. Every cent the government spends comes out of the pockets of its citizens. Trump is trying to do something about this, but he is being fought by both Democrats and Republicans. You know, the "born" politicians who are absolutely corrupt. And then the media, and you Trump haters, blames Trump because his economic agenda isn't being passed. What baloney.
    Here's what I support: Tax the rich. Like, a lot. Expand the support to the poor and the middle class. This isn't "free stuff". It's a component of living in a free and prosperous society. And if you are fortunate to become very successful, you incur the responsibility to share that burden. If you're rich, you don't need the help. And they can afford it. Trump's approach is upside-down, will only make the problem much worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    To tell the truth, I'm sick of politicians. They are all liars, and yet the great drumbeat is "Trump's a liar". Really? You're going to focus on him alone and let all the other liars who the ones who are actually responsible for the condition our country is in off the hook?
    That's an unfair and inaccurate broad-brush. I've never voted for a single politician who I thought was a liar. But Trump is a standout among liars. He has no concern for the truth whatsoever.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    The so-called conservatives like McConnel, Ryan, and those of that stripe have lied to us for years.
    That they have, and I don't defend them. But not like Trump. Trump could teach a masters class on shameless lying.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Oh, when they couldn't repeal Obamacare because they didn't have the votes they promised every with their hands over their hearts that they would do it.
    That was quite a spectacle, wasn't it? All these years, all these symbolic votes, all the promises to repeal and replace. And it was all for the cameras. Trump got some flack for saying he expected there to be a bill on his desk on day one, but I thought he was absolutely right. If you'd believed Republicans, you'd think it would be easy, but it was all posturing and pandering. Of course, I knew there wouldn't be any such bill. The math doesn't work out. But no one on the Right wanted to hear that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    When they have the power to make change will they? Not on your life. They are the real liars. All those so-called "conservative" pundits who bash Trump on a regular basis support all those politicians who have been lying to us for decades. What does that tell you about them? It tells me they are just as corrupt as the politicians they align themselves with.
    It tells me Republicans are liars or deluded. Vote Democrat.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    All I can really tell you guys is stop believing the MSM. They are corrupt beyond belief. They are now political tools, not the fourth estate that our founding fathers saw them as when they gave them gave them special protections. The founding fathers saw the media as way to check government power, not to collude with it and protect it from the consequences it deserves when it becomes utterly corrupt as it is now.
    I watch the mainstream media, and they prepared me to expect the Republicans plan to either 1. throw millions of people off of health care or 2. never pass. So far, they lead me right. But it matters who you get your information from. It's wrong to apply the "MSM" broad brush. Fox News are liars.

    If there's one thing that's important to learn about politics, it's that the simplistic and cynical position that all politicians lie actually gives cover to the worst liars. All politicians try to present themselves in a positive light, from wearing makeup when they appear on television, to soft-peddling their most controversial positions, to outright untruth. But if you just flatten all of that out to the same thing, it actually gives them all permission to be their worst selves, because it doesn't matter what they do. There are actually many, many honest people trying to do public service in the best way they can for money that doesn't reflect the weight of the decisions they make, and they deserve credit for those efforts.
    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

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  5. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I see a lot of Trump hating going on here.

    I didn't vote for him. I couldn't hold my nose tight enough to keep on the smell of his past and some of the statements made here that are criticising him. However, I must say the man has become a far better president, so far, than I thought it possible for him to become. He has rolled back tons of regulation that have been stifling the economy for quite a while. In one go he rolled back enough regulation that it is estimated was sucking $3 trillion a year out of the economy. That right there is more than any president in several decades has done for the little guy in America for that means more jobs and a better life for a lot of people.

    He has also rolled back things that were clearly unconstitutional which have been limiting the free expression of religious freedom. When the Constitution says there shall be no law limiting the free expression of religion that is exactly what it means. If someone doesn't support the LGBT agenda for religious reasons that right cannot be abridged as the Constitution guarantees them that right, and it is the supreme law of the land. So what if some baker doesn't bake a cake for gay couple. That baker is not stopping, and cannot stop, that couple from marrying or from having someone else bake them a cake. That couple can simply go to another baker who is friendly to their cause and have them make that cake. The couple is deprived of nothing. When that couple goes to court to sue they are, in fact, desiring to limit that baker's right to the free expression of his religion. Oh, I hear the argument that if you go into business you give up your rights, but that is simply a logical fallacy. No where does the Constitition say that you have rights that are abrogated by being in business. That is so far outside the intent of the creators of the Constitution it's laughable. Those men were almost all businessmen, and very deep thinkers, so to say that they wrote a document that would stop they themselves from enjoying the rights they were granting to the rest of the nation is ludicrous beyond belief.

    I also hear the argument against Trump that he isn't perfect. Really? That is one of the, pardon the terminology, stupidest arguments I've heard. Just when have we had a president who was a perfect human being? We never have, and it is a logical fallacy to insist that we must have a perfect human being for president as such a person does not exist. So Trump isn't a born politician, so what? Look at where "born" politicians have taken us. Our constitution is in tatters. Our national debt is so high that if we cut spending tomorrow so that we could pay off what we owe at $1 trillion/yr it would take us more than two centuries to pay off all our debts. We are, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt as a nation. Our politicians have been stealing us blind for a long, long time. They have cooperated with the Federal Reserve to bankrupt us by stealing, through means of inflation and debt, the value of our currency. Right now the real value of the dollar is about $.05. This is why prices are so high, jobs are so scarce, and very few people have the money to actually pay their bills. Politicians are to blame. All those politicians who keep on promising "free" stuff are lying to you. Where do you think that money comes from? It comes out of your pockets. You pay those bills. Every cent the government spends comes out of the pockets of its citizens. Trump is trying to do something about this, but he is being fought by both Democrats and Republicans. You know, the "born" politicians who are absolutely corrupt. And then the media, and you Trump haters, blames Trump because his economic agenda isn't being passed. What baloney.

    To tell the truth, I'm sick of politicians. They are all liars, and yet the great drumbeat is "Trump's a liar". Really? You're going to focus on him alone and let all the other liars who the ones who are actually responsible for the condition our country is in off the hook? The so-called conservatives like McConnel, Ryan, and those of that stripe have lied to us for years. Oh, when they couldn't repeal Obamacare because they didn't have the votes they promised every with their hands over their hearts that they would do it. When they have the power to make change will they? Not on your life. They are the real liars. All those so-called "conservative" pundits who bash Trump on a regular basis support all those politicians who have been lying to us for decades. What does that tell you about them? It tells me they are just as corrupt as the politicians they align themselves with.

    All I can really tell you guys is stop believing the MSM. They are corrupt beyond belief. They are now political tools, not the fourth estate that our founding fathers saw them as when they gave them gave them special protections. The founding fathers saw the media as way to check government power, not to collude with it and protect it from the consequences it deserves when it becomes utterly corrupt as it is now.
    I sure am glad to have you here. Many here agree with your ideas but lack the ability to express them with such articulateness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    Guilty.



    That's great!



    Every regulation has two sides, and you can have pathological growth that doesn't help either the little guy or liberty. One man might feel that it is his liberty to pollute a residential neighborhood, and anything that prevents him from doing so is an abrogation of that liberty, but the people living there might have a different opinion. I think liberty includes protection from that sort of abuse, and that such protections are worth even pretty large reductions in GDP growth. How do you feel about these sort of regulations?

    In any case, this is a testable claim. If the regulations that Trump has eliminated add $3 trillion to the economy, we should see GDP growth increase by that much more. The last few years, the GDP has grown by 2-2.3%, and the number for 2016 (the last complete year) was $18569.1 billion. Assuming 2017 will end up comparable, it will be around $18,940.482 billion. So, the target for Trump to hit that goal is $18,943.482 billion.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp
    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-...-growth-annual



    I guess the question is, how far can that right be extended. Can it trump civil rights legislation? If so, no civil rights legislation ever would have worked, since the reasons given for racial segregation were traditionally religious. The standard that civil rights laws draw, typically, is that a person who operates a "public accommodation" incurs responsibilities to serve people fairly, and not discriminate, and then the liberty of their would-be customers take precedence over the owners' sentiments.

    Would you feel that you had liberty if you were theoretically allowed to drive, but no one would sell you gas? Or let you stay in their hotel?



    The couple is deprived of a cake, that any other citizens would be entitled to.



    But nowhere in the Constitution is your right to be in business guaranteed, either. If you choose to be in business, the state can legitimately place limits on how you can conduct your business.



    I agree. But then, I wouldn't argue that he isn't perfect. I would argue that he isn't adequate. He's almost perfectly inadequate, in fact.



    A year ago.



    Ok, I'm joking. Mostly. But I would say that he was a lot better.



    It's also a logical fallacy to set up a straw man, if we're counting.



    Trump's tax cut is going to increase the debt. As GW Bush's did. But the Republicans are too craven to face economic reality. Democrats are the true fiscal hawks, Republicans believe in tax cuts that we can't afford.



    Our currency consists of Federal Reserve notes, which are subject to the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve Bank. None of that is secret, or undisclosed. If you don't like the deal you get by holding onto Federal Reserve notes, take your notes and buy something else with them. Buy some gold. Buy some bitcoins. Buy some stocks. Buy some foreign currency. All of those are potentially more exciting, and better at holding and gaining value. But don't pretend you don't know the deal with the notes. People hold US dollars because they are stable and reliable, and that stability and reliability is the result of the policy decisions of the Fed. You can't get that stability and reliability without the monetary policy backing it. That is really the whole point.



    That is literally impossible. That's like saying that the number 1 is actually 0.05. There's no set value that a dollar is supposed to hold. It inflates, occasionally deflates, and changes based on the economic inputs to the system.

    A growing economy typically experiences some amount of inflation. And it's a perfectly healthy sign. Inflation has the beneficial impact of eroding both accumulated debt and accumulated wealth, which I count as a good thing.



    Unemployment is at a 40 year low. Jobs aren't scarce. Good jobs are harder to come by, but this is largely a product of wealth concentration. Low inflation, as we are currently experiencing, actually reinforces that problem. Yes, inflation without wage growth is bad, but if we have inflation while wages keep up with inflation, it can be good.



    Agreed. Specifically, the politicians promising trickle-down gains to the poor and the middle class to justify tax cuts for the wealthy. The most stimulative thing that can be done for the economy by the government is injecting wealth into the bottom of it, because the poor spend every dollar, generating jobs and economic growth. Giving money to the people with plenty of it doesn't help anyone but them.



    Taxes and debt.



    Here's what I support: Tax the rich. Like, a lot. Expand the support to the poor and the middle class. This isn't "free stuff". It's a component of living in a free and prosperous society. And if you are fortunate to become very successful, you incur the responsibility to share that burden. If you're rich, you don't need the help. And they can afford it. Trump's approach is upside-down, will only make the problem much worse.



    That's an unfair and inaccurate broad-brush. I've never voted for a single politician who I thought was a liar. But Trump is a standout among liars. He has no concern for the truth whatsoever.



    That they have, and I don't defend them. But not like Trump. Trump could teach a masters class on shameless lying.



    That was quite a spectacle, wasn't it? All these years, all these symbolic votes, all the promises to repeal and replace. And it was all for the cameras. Trump got some flack for saying he expected there to be a bill on his desk on day one, but I thought he was absolutely right. If you'd believed Republicans, you'd think it would be easy, but it was all posturing and pandering. Of course, I knew there wouldn't be any such bill. The math doesn't work out. But no one on the Right wanted to hear that.



    It tells me Republicans are liars or deluded. Vote Democrat.



    I watch the mainstream media, and they prepared me to expect the Republicans plan to either 1. throw millions of people off of health care or 2. never pass. So far, they lead me right. But it matters who you get your information from. It's wrong to apply the "MSM" broad brush. Fox News are liars.

    If there's one thing that's important to learn about politics, it's that the simplistic and cynical position that all politicians lie actually gives cover to the worst liars. All politicians try to present themselves in a positive light, from wearing makeup when they appear on television, to soft-peddling their most controversial positions, to outright untruth. But if you just flatten all of that out to the same thing, it actually gives them all permission to be their worst selves, because it doesn't matter what they do. There are actually many, many honest people trying to do public service in the best way they can for money that doesn't reflect the weight of the decisions they make, and they deserve credit for those efforts.
    I'm not going to respond point-by-point, but will address what I see as the fundamental difference in how we think. As that is the real difference between us, that is the point worth actually talking about.

    You, from what you say, believe more government is the solution to every problem our society faces. Where that leads is directly to totalitarianism. You'll most likely react in anger to that perception, but if you will stop and actually consider the facts you will see I am correct.

    Every time you give government more power to affect the lives of citizens it removes just that much more liberty. It is a slippery slope to embark on for where does it stop? There is always someone who wants the government to stop one more type of thinking/behavior or another so government power just keeps on growing, and liberty just keeps on shrinking. After a while there will be no liberty to lose, for the government will control everything. And that is totalitarianism.

    The successful solution to the issues that preserves libery is not government, but individuals who live by self-respect, self-discipline, morality, respect for others, etc... for people who are self-governed by these principles do not need a government to tell them what to do and how to act to create a successful and open society. They will act appropriately on their own. The problem in this country right now is that it has left decency, morality, love for our fellow man, self-respect, self-discipline, etc... far behind. It's now all about the big I. It's all about me, what I want, my jealousy that someone else made good and I didn't. It's all about lust for things and lack of desire to earn personally earn them. If it wasn't, people wouldn't respond to politicians who play on these desires by promising more and more government entitlements.

    We've already spent ourselves into bankruptcy and very few people will admit it. They just want more and more given to them. Well, someone has to pay for all of that, and those who keep on clamoring for more goodies from the government are the ones who will have to pay in the long run. They and their children, their children's children, and so on for many generations for all government spending is paid for by it's citizens. That's just fact. There is no way around it. Unfortunately these same people who keep on clamoring for more government force the rest of us to pay for all this madness too. They have no respect for people with my point of view whatsoever. They all just basically give us the Hawaiian good luck sign.

    Right now your children's children are so far in debt that they will never be able to pay it off. If the Federal government cut spending to the point we could begin paying off our debt at $1 trillion a year it would take more than 2 centuries to pay off the debt, and that doesn't count any interest on our debt. And yet you want government to keep on spending more money, keep on getting more powerful, and adding regulations that reduce wealth. Your descendents will be nothing more than slaves to the government for many generations to come, and yet you don't care a whit for that. You need to remember, debt is a form of slavery. And right now we are all slaves to debt.

    Let's look at how much we owe. We have two forms of debt. One is the published debt. That is spending congress has taken responsibility for and said how it will be paid. It is a very small part of what we actually owe. The other part of our debt is called unfunded liabilities. That is spending congress has authorised, but made absolutely no provision for paying for. It is by far the largest part of our debt, and it is absolutely unconstitutional. Let's figure, in round numbers so it's easy to see, our published debt at $20 trillion. Our unfunded liabilities at this point are now at a little more than $205 trillion. That makes our total debt $225 trillion. Now, if we figure our population at 300 million people it gives a round number for the math, and doesn't substantially affect the result. Oh, it will affect it some, but when you see the results you will understand that the increase is basically meaningless. So, let's divide 225 trillion by 300 million. The answer to that is a debt, for every man, woman, and child in the US of $750,000. How do you plan on paying off your share of the debt? Do you understand that you and your descendents have been saddled with this slavery unconstitutionally? In other words, illegally? Yes, that is what your beloved government has done to you and your children. Basically though, you have done it to yourself.

    When do economic realities take over? When does how much you spend have anything to do with how much money you actually have? Do you spend a few hundred dollars a month more than you earn to personally feed refugees, or donate to support transgender operations? Why not? Don't you care about them? If you're not spending more than you earn in this line you are defeating your own point of view, for this is what you think the government ought to do on every issue you support. When all the time the government is spending not only your money but the money of generations to come. It's utter financial madness.

    The Federal government has some constitutionally mandated functions it is required by law to do, but it has spread far, far beyond those mandates, and is thus far outside the law, as the constitution specifically says all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government are withheld from it.

    So, that is where our fundamental differences lie. I don't think we ought to spend far more money than we have. We ought to live by financial realities. We must live by financial realities. And, we must become a society in which individuals live by self-government, self-denial, and respect for others, if we are to survive as a nation. Anything else leads to a complete collapse of the United States as a nation and we will become the slaves of other nations. There is no way around it, for there is no free lunch. Someone always pays.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I see a lot of Trump hating going on here.

    I didn't vote for him. I couldn't hold my nose tight enough to keep on the smell of his past and some of the statements made here that are criticising him. However, I must say the man has become a far better president, so far, than I thought it possible for him to become. He has rolled back tons of regulation that have been stifling the economy for quite a while. In one go he rolled back enough regulation that it is estimated was sucking $3 trillion a year out of the economy. That right there is more than any president in several decades has done for the little guy in America for that means more jobs and a better life for a lot of people.

    He has also rolled back things that were clearly unconstitutional which have been limiting the free expression of religious freedom. When the Constitution says there shall be no law limiting the free expression of religion that is exactly what it means. If someone doesn't support the LGBT agenda for religious reasons that right cannot be abridged as the Constitution guarantees them that right, and it is the supreme law of the land. So what if some baker doesn't bake a cake for gay couple. That baker is not stopping, and cannot stop, that couple from marrying or from having someone else bake them a cake. That couple can simply go to another baker who is friendly to their cause and have them make that cake. The couple is deprived of nothing. When that couple goes to court to sue they are, in fact, desiring to limit that baker's right to the free expression of his religion. Oh, I hear the argument that if you go into business you give up your rights, but that is simply a logical fallacy. No where does the Constitition say that you have rights that are abrogated by being in business. That is so far outside the intent of the creators of the Constitution it's laughable. Those men were almost all businessmen, and very deep thinkers, so to say that they wrote a document that would stop they themselves from enjoying the rights they were granting to the rest of the nation is ludicrous beyond belief.

    I also hear the argument against Trump that he isn't perfect. Really? That is one of the, pardon the terminology, stupidest arguments I've heard. Just when have we had a president who was a perfect human being? We never have, and it is a logical fallacy to insist that we must have a perfect human being for president as such a person does not exist. So Trump isn't a born politician, so what? Look at where "born" politicians have taken us. Our constitution is in tatters. Our national debt is so high that if we cut spending tomorrow so that we could pay off what we owe at $1 trillion/yr it would take us more than two centuries to pay off all our debts. We are, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt as a nation. Our politicians have been stealing us blind for a long, long time. They have cooperated with the Federal Reserve to bankrupt us by stealing, through means of inflation and debt, the value of our currency. Right now the real value of the dollar is about $.05. This is why prices are so high, jobs are so scarce, and very few people have the money to actually pay their bills. Politicians are to blame. All those politicians who keep on promising "free" stuff are lying to you. Where do you think that money comes from? It comes out of your pockets. You pay those bills. Every cent the government spends comes out of the pockets of its citizens. Trump is trying to do something about this, but he is being fought by both Democrats and Republicans. You know, the "born" politicians who are absolutely corrupt. And then the media, and you Trump haters, blames Trump because his economic agenda isn't being passed. What baloney.

    To tell the truth, I'm sick of politicians. They are all liars, and yet the great drumbeat is "Trump's a liar". Really? You're going to focus on him alone and let all the other liars who the ones who are actually responsible for the condition our country is in off the hook? The so-called conservatives like McConnel, Ryan, and those of that stripe have lied to us for years. Oh, when they couldn't repeal Obamacare because they didn't have the votes they promised every with their hands over their hearts that they would do it. When they have the power to make change will they? Not on your life. They are the real liars. All those so-called "conservative" pundits who bash Trump on a regular basis support all those politicians who have been lying to us for decades. What does that tell you about them? It tells me they are just as corrupt as the politicians they align themselves with.

    All I can really tell you guys is stop believing the MSM. They are corrupt beyond belief. They are now political tools, not the fourth estate that our founding fathers saw them as when they gave them gave them special protections. The founding fathers saw the media as way to check government power, not to collude with it and protect it from the consequences it deserves when it becomes utterly corrupt as it is now.
    Welcome to TOL. It's a pleasure to see another member that has some positive things to say about Trump and his job so far. You might see a couple Trump haters that will never acknowledge anything good is possible from Trump. You will likely run into a plethora of left wing talking points that are exactly what Trump is trying to work on and are designed to bash Trump. I've noticed you used the word "brainwash" which I also use to describe what MSM and the internet are doing to many Americans. You'll get to know who's who eventually, have fun.
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  8. #36
    Over 5000 post club rexlunae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I'm not going to respond point-by-point, but will address what I see as the fundamental difference in how we think. As that is the real difference between us, that is the point worth actually talking about.
    Well, if you must. Though, that does leave a lot of point on the table. I understand it's a lot of points, and it takes a lot of time, but I also did invest quite a bit of effort into responding by the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    You, from what you say, believe more government is the solution to every problem our society faces.
    No I don't. I believe that government can be a constructive force in the lives of its citizens, and that's why we have one. That doesn't equate to believing that government is the solution for every problem, or even most problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Every time you give government more power to affect the lives of citizens it removes just that much more liberty.
    Every time? Then what is the government for? Are you a conservative, or an anarchist?

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    It is a slippery slope to embark on for where does it stop?
    It stops where we say it will stop via our democratic process. Where do you think it should stop.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    There is always someone who wants the government to stop one more type of thinking/behavior or another so government power just keeps on growing, and liberty just keeps on shrinking. After a while there will be no liberty to lose, for the government will control everything. And that is totalitarianism.
    Well, lets set aside the "thinking" part of that, because there's no one who argues for that. But do you deny that there are behaviors that should be stopped? Maybe you are an anarchist, but I think you're not being honest with yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    The successful solution to the issues that preserves libery is not government, but individuals who live by self-respect, self-discipline, morality, respect for others, etc...
    I think that when you are trying to get treatment for a potentially terminal illness, you won't find it very liberating for the government to say "you're on your own, pay for it yourself or die". Sometimes liberty requires a bit more than hands-off policy (aka laissez faire).

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    ...for people who are self-governed by these principles do not need a government to tell them what to do and how to act to create a successful and open society. They will act appropriately on their own.
    I think even most people who are honest and self-sufficient need a rule-book to live in a shared society with others. They can't make that up themselves. That has to be a matter of consensus.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    The problem in this country right now is that it has left decency, morality, love for our fellow man, self-respect, self-discipline, etc... far behind. It's now all about the big I. It's all about me, what I want, my jealousy that someone else made good and I didn't. It's all about lust for things and lack of desire to earn personally earn them. If it wasn't, people wouldn't respond to politicians who play on these desires by promising more and more government entitlements.
    ...culminating in the election of Donald Trump?

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    We've already spent ourselves into bankruptcy and very few people will admit it. They just want more and more given to them. Well, someone has to pay for all of that, and those who keep on clamoring for more goodies from the government are the ones who will have to pay in the long run. They and their children, their children's children, and so on for many generations for all government spending is paid for by it's citizens. That's just fact. There is no way around it. Unfortunately these same people who keep on clamoring for more government force the rest of us to pay for all this madness too. They have no respect for people with my point of view whatsoever. They all just basically give us the Hawaiian good luck sign.
    Then we can't afford a tax cut. Right?

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Right now your children's children are so far in debt that they will never be able to pay it off. If the Federal government cut spending to the point we could begin paying off our debt at $1 trillion a year it would take more than 2 centuries to pay off the debt, and that doesn't count any interest on our debt.
    It's a $12 trillion dollar external debt. My math says that take 12 years at $1 trillion per year. Throw in the debt owed to Social Security, and it's $20 trillion. Still not out of line. It requires discipline, but it's not just something we can't do. And if we're going to do it, we can't do tax cuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    And yet you want government to keep on spending more money, keep on getting more powerful, and adding regulations that reduce wealth.
    As I pointed out earlier, it's Democrats who are fiscal hawks. I think there are some things that we could pay for with debt, and it would be worth the trade-off, i.e. increase our collective wealth, but all the policies Democrats try to pass, they also try to pay for. It's Republicans who want tax cuts and defense spending without finding a way to pay for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Your descendents will be nothing more than slaves to the government for many generations to come, and yet you don't care a whit for that. You need to remember, debt is a form of slavery. And right now we are all slaves to debt.
    I think that's more than a little hyperbolic. Yeah, you take on debt by giving someone else a right to demand something from you later, but most of our debt, we owe to ourselves, and just like personal debt, we take it on with the understanding that we get something worthwhile for it. That can be liberating, because it affords you the chance to do important things without first raising all the funds you need.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Let's look at how much we owe. We have two forms of debt. One is the published debt. That is spending congress has taken responsibility for and said how it will be paid. It is a very small part of what we actually owe. The other part of our debt is called unfunded liabilities.
    Well, but it is important to keep track of the distinction. $20 trillion is the realized debt. It's money we actually owe right now. The unfunded liabilities are projections of what we will owe in the future. But you have to go out decades to get the big sort of numbers like $100 trillion, $200 trillion. And it's based on the assumption that we're going to keep running deficits the whole time. But we can choose not to do that. And again, the Democrats are the more likely party to do something responsible about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    That is spending congress has authorised, but made absolutely no provision for paying for. It is by far the largest part of our debt, and it is absolutely unconstitutional. Let's figure, in round numbers so it's easy to see, our published debt at $20 trillion. Our unfunded liabilities at this point are now at a little more than $205 trillion. That makes our total debt $225 trillion. Now, if we figure our population at 300 million people it gives a round number for the math, and doesn't substantially affect the result. Oh, it will affect it some, but when you see the results you will understand that the increase is basically meaningless. So, let's divide 225 trillion by 300 million. The answer to that is a debt, for every man, woman, and child in the US of $750,000. How do you plan on paying off your share of the debt? Do you understand that you and your descendents have been saddled with this slavery unconstitutionally? In other words, illegally? Yes, that is what your beloved government has done to you and your children. Basically though, you have done it to yourself.
    I'm not sure where you get this idea that it's illegal for the government to raise debt. I suggest you review Article I, sections 6 and 8 of the US Constitution for the applicable law.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    When do economic realities take over? When does how much you spend have anything to do with how much money you actually have?
    Here's an economic reality for you: Single payer health care is cheaper than any other kind. We can't afford not to adopt it. It's costing us trillions of dollars by doing this private insurance system with no price controls, and maximizing the power of for-profit health care companies.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Do you spend a few hundred dollars a month more than you earn to personally feed refugees, or donate to support transgender operations? Why not?
    The amount of money the government spends on feeding refugees is very, very small compared to the whole budget. As far as transgender operations go, that presumes that the government pays for it sometimes. I'm not sure that's happened yet. Maybe for a trans veteran. It's a thin, thin slice of a huge pie, and at the moment it would only come from an obligation that the government incurred for some generally accepted service. The biggest welfare program we have is Medicaid, which is for citizens, many of whom are elderly and unable to work. If you want to cut that, you better hope you never need a nursing home. It's hard to see where that could be cut without being inhumane, and also, the costs would just get shuffled from the government onto the people directly, at a higher price because they would be far less powerful individually than as a group. And that's still a pretty small portion of what we spend overall.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    Don't you care about them?
    You're right that I don't spend more than I make on charity. But then, I'm not a Republican, so that's just how I roll. I pay for what I spend.

    Like I said before, the Democrats are the party of fiscal discipline.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    If you're not spending more than you earn in this line you are defeating your own point of view, for this is what you think the government ought to do on every issue you support. When all the time the government is spending not only your money but the money of generations to come. It's utter financial madness.
    If you're serious about that, how about we balance the budget? Lets tax the rich. We can do it, and I would support it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    The Federal government has some constitutionally mandated functions it is required by law to do, but it has spread far, far beyond those mandates, and is thus far outside the law, as the constitution specifically says all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government are withheld from it.
    The same sentence of the Constitution that tells Congress to appropriate funds to provide for the common defense also tells them to serve the general welfare. In both cases, if it were absolutely clearly laid down what that should encompass, we wouldn't need a legislature, they'd just have put it in the original document.


    Quote Originally Posted by ffreeloader View Post
    I don't think we ought to spend far more money than we have.
    Then vote for Democrats. Republicans say they believe in that, but they never ever do it, even given the chance.
    Global warming denialists are like gravity denialists piloting a helicopter, determined to prove a point. We may not have time to actually persuade them of their mistake.

  9. #37
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by User Name View Post
    What, then, is the difference between a conservative and a libertarian in your view?
    What is it in your view?

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    Over 1500 post club User Name's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    What is it in your view?
    Personally I don't see much difference between the two. There is a lot of overlap, so it depends on who you ask.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User Name View Post
    What, then, is the difference between a conservative and a libertarian in your view?
    Libertarians want NO government involvement in anything, healthcare, infrastructure, banking etc. That's true Libertarianism. They also say no drugs should be illegal or something along those lines, basically let people do whatever they want to themselves as long as nobody "gets hurt."
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    Over 1500 post club User Name's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick jane View Post
    Libertarians want NO government involvement in anything, healthcare, infrastructure, banking etc. That's true Libertarianism. They also say no drugs should be illegal or something along those lines, basically let people do whatever they want to themselves as long as nobody "gets hurt."
    What did Barry Goldwater want?

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    TOL Legend patrick jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by User Name View Post
    What did Barry Goldwater want?
    Goldwater Girls like Hitlery
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  14. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick jane View Post
    Goldwater Girls like Hitlery
    What do you want?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aCultureWarrior View Post
    Please expound on that statement.
    Sorry about responding so late, I didn't see this until now.

    I don't really understand the question as my statement seems pretty self-explanatory, but I'll give you an example or two.

    First example: The local Nazi here, I forget his name, says a lot of stuff I completely disagree with, but under our constitution has every right to say it. I would not remove his right to say what he thinks, but I would certainly express my disagreement with him and combat his ideas.

    Second example: I find socialism, and all forms of collectivism for that matter, completely reprehensible as an ideology, but I would not stop anyone from speaking in its favor. They have the right to disagree with me, and they have the right to hold to ideas I completely reject just as I have the right to speak out against the ideology. It's a two-way street. I don't want my ability to speak my mind removed, therefore I do not want the ability of those I disagree with to have their ability to speak out removed. I guess you could say it's the Golden Rule of speech. Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them.

    The only thing more reprehensible to me than the above is the idea that liberty of thought and conscience would be removed. That is what makes for a truly viable society. These things are God-given rights, and actually cannot be removed by any outside force. Oh, an outside force may punish a person for exercising those rights, but they cannot stop a person from exercising them. The inquisition is proof of that, and so are the Soviet gulags and Nazi concentration camps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    Well, if you must. Though, that does leave a lot of point on the table. I understand it's a lot of points, and it takes a lot of time, but I also did invest quite a bit of effort into responding by the point.



    No I don't. I believe that government can be a constructive force in the lives of its citizens, and that's why we have one. That doesn't equate to believing that government is the solution for every problem, or even most problems.



    Every time? Then what is the government for? Are you a conservative, or an anarchist?



    It stops where we say it will stop via our democratic process. Where do you think it should stop.



    Well, lets set aside the "thinking" part of that, because there's no one who argues for that. But do you deny that there are behaviors that should be stopped? Maybe you are an anarchist, but I think you're not being honest with yourself.



    I think that when you are trying to get treatment for a potentially terminal illness, you won't find it very liberating for the government to say "you're on your own, pay for it yourself or die". Sometimes liberty requires a bit more than hands-off policy (aka laissez faire).



    I think even most people who are honest and self-sufficient need a rule-book to live in a shared society with others. They can't make that up themselves. That has to be a matter of consensus.



    ...culminating in the election of Donald Trump?



    Then we can't afford a tax cut. Right?



    It's a $12 trillion dollar external debt. My math says that take 12 years at $1 trillion per year. Throw in the debt owed to Social Security, and it's $20 trillion. Still not out of line. It requires discipline, but it's not just something we can't do. And if we're going to do it, we can't do tax cuts.



    As I pointed out earlier, it's Democrats who are fiscal hawks. I think there are some things that we could pay for with debt, and it would be worth the trade-off, i.e. increase our collective wealth, but all the policies Democrats try to pass, they also try to pay for. It's Republicans who want tax cuts and defense spending without finding a way to pay for it.



    I think that's more than a little hyperbolic. Yeah, you take on debt by giving someone else a right to demand something from you later, but most of our debt, we owe to ourselves, and just like personal debt, we take it on with the understanding that we get something worthwhile for it. That can be liberating, because it affords you the chance to do important things without first raising all the funds you need.



    Well, but it is important to keep track of the distinction. $20 trillion is the realized debt. It's money we actually owe right now. The unfunded liabilities are projections of what we will owe in the future. But you have to go out decades to get the big sort of numbers like $100 trillion, $200 trillion. And it's based on the assumption that we're going to keep running deficits the whole time. But we can choose not to do that. And again, the Democrats are the more likely party to do something responsible about that.



    I'm not sure where you get this idea that it's illegal for the government to raise debt. I suggest you review Article I, sections 6 and 8 of the US Constitution for the applicable law.



    Here's an economic reality for you: Single payer health care is cheaper than any other kind. We can't afford not to adopt it. It's costing us trillions of dollars by doing this private insurance system with no price controls, and maximizing the power of for-profit health care companies.



    The amount of money the government spends on feeding refugees is very, very small compared to the whole budget. As far as transgender operations go, that presumes that the government pays for it sometimes. I'm not sure that's happened yet. Maybe for a trans veteran. It's a thin, thin slice of a huge pie, and at the moment it would only come from an obligation that the government incurred for some generally accepted service. The biggest welfare program we have is Medicaid, which is for citizens, many of whom are elderly and unable to work. If you want to cut that, you better hope you never need a nursing home. It's hard to see where that could be cut without being inhumane, and also, the costs would just get shuffled from the government onto the people directly, at a higher price because they would be far less powerful individually than as a group. And that's still a pretty small portion of what we spend overall.



    You're right that I don't spend more than I make on charity. But then, I'm not a Republican, so that's just how I roll. I pay for what I spend.

    Like I said before, the Democrats are the party of fiscal discipline.



    If you're serious about that, how about we balance the budget? Lets tax the rich. We can do it, and I would support it.



    The same sentence of the Constitution that tells Congress to appropriate funds to provide for the common defense also tells them to serve the general welfare. In both cases, if it were absolutely clearly laid down what that should encompass, we wouldn't need a legislature, they'd just have put it in the original document.




    Then vote for Democrats. Republicans say they believe in that, but they never ever do it, even given the chance.
    I have a suggestion to make these posts more manageable and easier to respond to. Let's take one aspect at a time of what we are talking about for it is clear that our understanding of the issues is at so wide a variance that it will take a lot of discussion on each point. To tell the truth I doubt there is any common ground in how we view things.

    Let's just address the debt issue first.

    Debt is not wealth. Period. Any time you figure your net worth you deduct what you owe from your assets. It is a negative on the balance sheet.

    Our government has been deficit spending for many decades and the problem is only increasing. Obama's administration basically doubled our published debt during his time in office To suggest that the Democrats are fiscal hawks is laughable. Listen to the screams of the Democrats whenever budget cuts are proposed. Obamacare is a massive financial sinkhole, and it is the exclusive brainchild of the Democrats. I compare it to the definition of owning a boat, which is a hole in the water you throw money into. Their patron saint of economics is Maynard Keynes. He is the author of the idea that deficit spending and debt is a good thing. The establishment Republicans have become just as bad, as there isn't a spending bill they don't like. They have long since left conservative economic principles far behind.

    Obama also devalued our currency by a lot during his time in office. How did he do that? Through what he called his Quantitative Easing programs. The reason counterfeiting is illegal is because it devalues legitimate currency. It adds to the total currency in circulation but it isn't based upon any generation of actual, tangible, wealth. Obama's QE programs printed money at around $85 billion a month for years. In other words, he just printed money. That causes inflation, which devalues the value of the dollar. At the same time as the economy sank they pumped that money into the stock market causing an artificial rise in the stock market. You don't believe me? There are a lot of traders, stockmarket analysts, and financial analysts who will verifty this.

    Let's look at some real numbers on the economy, as the Federal government has been lying to us about the real state of the economy for a long time. Let's look at it the way the Feds used to figure the numbers, rather than the new way they do things. I'll give you a link to a site that runs the numbers the way the Feds used to run them back in the 70s and 80s, and then compares them to what the official stats are. The author of the site is a very successful financial consultant and is well-versed in how government does things. He uses these numbers to help corporations plan their financial strategies, and if he wasn't accurate he wouldn't have any clients. As it is he has a very good reputation. Not with politicians, media, and the government, but with the people he works with because they can trust the info he gives them.

    On the page of the website I linked to are the real numbers for unemployement, GDP growth, inflation, money supply, and the value of the US dollar.

    http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data

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    LIFETIME MEMBER aCultureWarrior's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by aCultureWarrior
    So you're really not interested in what true conservativism is, you just want pseudo conservatives to tell you what their version of it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by rexlunae View Post
    I want what the mainstream of conservatism is right now under Trump. I recognize that this is not the same as other incarnations. This is, in part, why I've found myself agreeing with you way more often since this time last year than either of us have been accustomed to prior.
    By not affirming what true conservatism really is, you're allowing these Trump supporters to live a lie. That lie will not only have negative consequences on our country, but very well could have negative consequences on their souls for eternity.

    Isaiah 5:20
    Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16

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