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Letter: Organized opposition

Could it be that most Republicans in Congress really don’t want the economy to improve much before the next election?

Maybe that’s why they refuse to vote to extend unemployment benefits, refuse to vote to raise the minimum wage, and refuse to vote for comprehensive immigration reform now – all of which, according to most economists, would help to improve our national economy.



Legacy Comments43

extending unemployment or increasing minimum wage are unfortunately the only ideas democrats have in their bag of tricks. Those measures are in no way sound economic policies in an economic downturn nor are they even a proper economic solution to the democrat created economic malaise. democrats hoodwinking people into those ideas shows the democrats contempt for the citizens

Unemployment benefits were meant to last for 13 weeks, approximately three months. At one point, these unemployment benefits were extended to 99 weeks, almost TWO years! Extend them more? NO!! As for immigration reform, the laws currently enacted should be enforced. Why should those who broke the law by entering our country illegally be rewarded with a path to citizenship ahead of those who have followed our laws by waiting in their home countries? Raise minimum wage? Fine. Are you prepared to pay $10 for a Big Mac or Whopper?

Actually Fearless, Progressives believe that extending programs, works. Yet when you cite govt stats, they do not discuss them, like Bruce they cite a source that promotes their agenda. They always want to have it both ways, Govt knows better, but when govt reports stats they disagree with politically, they go to their liberal spin sources. I know about immigration. Daughter married a Brit. The hell they were put through was unbelievable. My son in law was held at JFK in a cell, on one of his visits from the UK to the US. Treated like a terrorist. They had to hire an immigration lawyer and that was not cheap. He never broke any rules by the way on his visits, and they are now married. But it was an awful experience and a costly one financially for young folks first starting out. The idea that folks who break the law should be given a pass, is based on votes. They are called illegal for a reason. But Progressives want to allow this to continue. If it is easier to gain entry into the US, of course more will come. That means that immigration will not be divided among countries equally. There is a reason they only allow so many in from so many countries. Raising minimum wage will cost 500,000 jobs according the CBO. More youth not working. It goes against logic to believe that a political party who champions govt taking care of all your needs, has any clue about the economy, creating jobs, or how to stop the flow of our declining workforce. Their record tells the story. They refuse to look at that record, and fix anything. The answer is always more revenue thrown at failed programs.

You're constructing a strawman construction that fits YOUR narrative, but is not an accurate accounting of mine. For example, you continue to claim that the war on poverty failed, when the figures clearly show that between 1964 and 1973,the poverty rate was lowered from 17% to 11%. After this time, politically expedient changes have been made to the programs that have reduced the effectiveness of the programs . You've also got cause and effect backwards--blaming long-term unemployment benefits for joblessness, when they're a symptom of other, long-standing issues with our economy that BOTH parties have had a hand in creating. Our economy no longer produces enough good jobs at good wages, while producing McJobs in abundance. We can thank trade agreements like NAFTA that effectively sucked jobs and factories out of this country, and weak immigration policies that boosted the supply of low wage/low skill labor and put further downward pressure on wages. All this in service of the race to the bottom that we call globalization. For an example of a different path, see what Germany did: its strong labor union tradition, and its nation's industrial policy aimed at preserving and growing its industrial base, have made all the difference: high wages, a strong middle class, partnerships between labor and management that include a strong labor representation on corporate boards, CEO pay that is not out of whack , with executive performance that far out-strips our own sorry-a**ed business school graduates who focus on the short term and "share-holder value" at the expense of the long term. And that's just for starters.

Before I respond I just want to be clear on what you are referring to as the failed programs that we throw money to. If you are referring to the unemployment extension, then you are sorely mistaken. 100% of that money immediately goes back into the economy. That is where it was needed, it was also the source of a Catch 22. Many potential employers would say point blank that no long term unemployed need apply. For those receiving the extended benefits it meant the difference between welfare and food stamps. Not that the NH rate allowed for more than a very austere existence. I wouldn't even broach the subject of using liberal spin sources, that is something that each party does equally well. Originally in 1924 the first immigration laws were passed in an attempt to stop the mass arrivals of the Irish, Italians and the Chinese had already been excluded. The Irish and Italians were targeted because of religion, they were catholic and at that time most Americans were protestants and also Jews were restricted for religious reasons. The history of immigration law in the US shows us in a not so flattering light. So yes there was a reason but it was not a pretty one. Check the National Archives under Immigration Law, at least it's not as bad as the hidden history of the widespread eugenics practiced and developed here in the 1930's, OK that was off topic but it is scary what you find if you look too hard. Things just can't always be boiled down to GOP good, Democrats bad or the reverse.

Here is how it works if you are a certain folks on this forum. Somebody posts something you do not like. The first thing you do is attack them personally. Never dispute what they said, even if it is a stat from a govt dept. ignore that, and accuse them of being everything from a racist, to a supporter of Bundy. The idea is not to discuss anything with the idea of compromise. The president has always set the tone of how his supporters should discuss any issue. Here is how he does it. He trashes those who oppose his policies, then adds, but I am willing to sit down with them and work it out. That is not how one conducts himself if they in fact want compromise. They do not say things, like sit in the back of the bus. Basically, the left do not want to discuss issues, they want to shut down discussion. They refuse to discuss any issue based on facts. Even if those facts actually come from govt depts. Instead they quote the exact lines the liberal media feed them. Ask a Dem on this forum who actually works for minimum wage, ask a Dem on this forum how many folks are without insurance, ask a Dem on this forum if after 50 years if the War On Poverty actually got folks out of poverty. They will not answer. Instead they will name call they cannot answer, because the stats prove them wrong. And if the stats prove them wrong, they would have to accept the fact they support some policies that just do not work. For them, it is not that the policies do not work, for them it is the policies are failing because they are not spending more money on them. I wonder with that line of thinking, how many of them have bought a money pit lemon car, poured money into it over and over, and finally realized it would always be a lemon I guess quite a few, because a Lemon Law has happened in many states.

I don't know what "stats" you're relying on for your information, but the War on Poverty dramatically cut the poverty rate in this country:"In the decade following the 1964 introduction of the war on poverty, poverty rates in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level since comprehensive records began in 1958: from 17.3% in the year the Economic Opportunity Act was implemented to 11.1% in 1973. They have remained between 11 and 15.2% ever since. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Poverty A few years ago, the government started using a new, more accurate way to measure poverty...which shows that government programs did indeed slash poverty—from 19 percent to 16 percent—between 1967 and 2012. And last month, a group of researchers at Columbia University released a report using a similar adjusted poverty measure that takes into account both non-cash government assistance and expenses, as well as today’s standards of living. With these adjustments, the poverty rate dropped from nearly 26 percent to 16 percent over that same time period.So have we won the war on poverty? If it means that the lives of millions of Americans in poverty have improved under the Great Society programs, yes. But by no means have we attained Johnson's goal of "curing" poverty. The poverty rates of certain demographic groups remain stagnant and racial disparities are as wide as ever." http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/charts-poverty-50-years-after-war-poverty

Be careful, Bruce. Suggesting the facts prove something contrary to their cherished dogma is construed by some as a personal attack. And never cite a study from Columbia University. Aren't you aware that it is in New York City and everything there is tainted by the International Socialist Jewish Bankers' Media Conspiracy?

Not to mention Social Security that lifted millions of seniors out of poverty.

Well Bruce, I feel that going from a 19% poverty rate to a 16% poverty rate in 45 years, is shameful and a failure. I definitely would not call that slashing anything. Poverty programs have never addressed the causes, but instead have addressed the symptoms. The idea of the War on Poverty was based on the idea if you give folks things, they will be happy and eventually get out of poverty. Instead, what has happened, is that the more govt programs we create, the less incentive folks have to change their behavior. The govt cannot change human behavior, If they could, we would not have a drug issue, a crime issue, the breakdown of families and a whole other list of decay here in the US. The other issue that is never discussed here is why when Clinton reformed Welfare it had very successful results. The reason it was successful is that it required those receiving welfare to get out of it. You had to show you were trying to improve your situation. And it worked very well. Reform does not mean that you eliminate programs across the board, it means that you fix what is not working to make it a better program. Not throw more money at a failed program. Nobody wins if you do that. And as we know with our kids, if you hand them things, without requiring them to contribute, they will expect handouts, with no incentive on their part. But today, we have dropped the idea that govt programs are meant to help lift people out of their situation, and the goal is to make sure they have material needs, like food, clothing and housing. Evidently if you have those things you will be inspired to do better. Not the case. If it were, then every govt program that was designed to help lift folks out of poverty would be working, instead the roles are increasing. And when progressives look at these programs, they do not look at them as failed policies, they look at them as policies that are not funded enough. That idea does not work with a lemon car that you keep throwing money into, why would it work at throwing money at programs that are failing, instead of fixing them? Social Security was based on the idea that if the govt forced you to save, you would have some help when you retired. SS was never based on the idea you could live off it when you retired. Most of us cannot live on 40% of our income after we retire. That is a drop of 60% of what you lived on when you were working. Just think if I had taken that money and put it in a savings account at a bank and earned a return on it. I would have made money on my savings, instead of giving it to the govt with no return on it. That is common sense. And besides no return, the govt robbed your savings account. You cannot dictate human behavior. You can reward bad behavior though. And that seems to be what we do.

So the poster who introduced himself by slamming Ray Duckler and decided to make comments about my mental state says he is above the backbiting. And he is probably serious. It is really amazing how people can not see themselves.

Glass Houses again, babe. For the record, my posted opinion on Ray Duckler's writing wasn't my first rodeo. I had been posting on this forum for quite some time. No surprise one in her own little world didn't notice. I think you're starting to grow on me, tillie. Kinda remind me of that lady from my childhood who refused to give our baseball back when it landed in her yard. At first we kids were outraged. But after awhile we began to aim for her yard, just to see her put on a show...lol.

Oh tillie, yes you can not see yourself. CWMoss has a point.

There is nt glass house, Moss. if you do not like my posts, fine. I don't like yours most of the time. But you and Itsa, to my knowledge are the only two posters on here that get personal and make remarks about my age, mental abilities or where I live. That crosses the line.

What? Personal? Age? Where you live? I stabbed at that after one comment you made about Epsom, that was obvious. Mental abilities? No chance on 3 out of 4 points.

But tillie, nobody would have any clue as to your age or location, if YOU didn't post it in here. I don't archive these things, but believe one of your posts went something like, "I'm just a little old lady from Epsom.". That was just before you mugged one of your enemies. Btw, didn't you commit to disassociate yourself from me? Another broken promise.

tillie, tillie, tillie...If you don't want your approximate age &/or location known, then don't post it in here. Because that's exactly where I got it. One who can't even remember her own posts shouldn't be chiding others about their lack of self awareness, ma'am. You also go after people, then cry foul when they put you in your place. None of it speaks well for your mental state.

Mr. Haynes, unemployment benefits have been extended how many times? Minimum wage is not a solution to unemploymet or prosperity. Democrats getting out of the way of business and corporations is the answer. And immigration reform? No thank you. That is not good policy and it won't help employment and it will develop many more dependents. Finally, the only reason Democrats wants immigration reform is that they seel those folks as voting Democrat.

Dead on, Mr Haynes. And I don't expect any better out of the Dems, if/when a Repub ever again occupies the Oval Office. It's gotten beyond out of control, and is not in the best interests of the citizens of the United States. If the system isn't "broke", it's something very close to it. Not much consolation, but at least the partisan pathology in our government gives the 'usual suspects' in this forum something to do.

"And I don't expect any better out of the Dems, if/when a Repub ever again occupies the Oval Office." Funny how your expectations are so out of phase with historical reality. Democratic senates have almost always confirmed Republican presidents' nominees - and no, don't try to tell us that John (let's cover up Lady Justice's boobs) Ashcroft or "great job, Brownie" were highly qualified for the posts they were confirmed to. OTOH Republican MINORITIES perennially obstruct Democratic presidents' nominations. May I suggest you change your moniker to "ClivenBundyFan."

spoken like a true "solid phalanx"...get over yourself

lol...and maybe you should change yours to "not_very_gracchus". Clearly, I wasn't referring to the past. This partisan BS seems to be getting worse by the day. I don't see it subsiding anytime in the near future, so the Dems will be sure to reciprocate upon next opportunity. And that won't serve their constituents very well, either. That was my point, grac. But you probably shouldn't waste a political post on me. I don't run with your crowd. The incessant backbiting you people engage in doesn't do a thing for me. It's like some drunken PTA meeting.

Just for a bit of information, Gracchus refers to Roman reformers. Tiberis tried to redistribute public land and violence ensued with Tiberius being killed followed by his successor Gaius being killed. So Gracchus sees himself as a "redistributionist' or reformer.

The problem with Itsa's story is that is totally dependent on Cicero's one-sided vision of the Roman Republic. Cicero was an unabashed defender of the prerogatives of the property owners who gouged tenants while providing unsafe housing and also the wheat oligopoly that controlled the price of Rome's most important staple food. The brothers Gracchus were murdered by oligarchs terrified by the world's first recorded populist movement.

"I don't run with your crowd." Sure looks to me like running. And who specifically - no, very specifically - are "you people"? I don't suppose there's any resemblance to "those people," is there? Finally I really envy your ability to predict precisely what particular politicians will do in the future. The past is an imperfect indicator, but it's the only evidence we have. And I much prefer evidence to unsupported opinion pulled out of one's butt.

anything_but_gracchus, There's a fraternity of self-declared intellectuals in here who maintain a constant crossfire of political salvos. This daily discourse of distemper is barely a step above "my dad can beat up your dad". That's your "crowd", and that's your thing. But it comes as little surprise that you can't see it. Those (people) caught in the eye of the storm often lack awareness regarding their immediate surroundings.

This country can not go on with CEOs making over 200 times what a worker does. A worker can not afford to buy what he makes in a factory. Something has to give.

From what I can tell, CEO pay is up to the board of directors, shareholders, etc. You hire people to do the manual, day to day tasks and they enter into an agreement with the employer and either accept the offer of employment at the stated wage or they reject the offer. No one is forcing them to work there. Generally, pay is what the market will bear. The fact that progressives have no idea of economic, the market, commerce, inflation, etc. is truly stunning.

Again, you have no idea about the market, principles of economics, commerce or even inflation(???). CEO pay has no basis in reality, it even dwarfs European and Asian countries. Check just what Lehman Brothers CEO received as he drove his company into the ground. He walked away with millions as his employees were left to fend for themselves, same with Merrill Lynch, AIG, BofA and so many more. Such a simplistic view of the world we all live in. Not stunning but scary.

"President Obama has been quite up-front about it: he refuses to enforce laws he dislikes and unilaterally changes others without the consent of Congress. The Supreme Court may soon have to decide the constitutionality of all this but, in the meantime, many are wondering why Congress would believe they can trust the president to work with them in good faith on any issue. Still more are scratching their heads over the notion that now, when Obamacare is hurting millions and the economy is still sputtering, Congress should put off dealing with those problems and, instead, work with Mr. Obama on immigration." NOBAMA cant be trusted or Immigration reform would be done by now.

However, progressives refuse to acknowledge that under his oath, he is obligated to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States whether he believes in those laws or not. Continued refusal to do that is akin to tyranny.

FACT: The Fair Minimum Wage Acts of 2007 and 2012 have raised the federal minimum wage by 70 cents per hour, three times. In 2007 the minimum wage was $5.15 per hour, in 2008 it was raised to $5.85, in 2009 to $6.55 and in 2010 to $7.25. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Dept. of Labor; - in 2007 there were 37.3 million people living in poverty- in 2008 39.8 million , - in 2009 43.6 million, and - in 2010 46.2 million. FACT - by raising the minimum wage the democrats have put millions of people...... into POVERTY. I ask the readers this question - how much has the cost of living changed in America since 2010 to warrant such a massive increase? ANS. - the issue is politics NOT economics?

Really? You see the raising of minimum wage as the cause of increased poverty? Do you have any understanding at all of the concepts of correlation and causality? Could there possibly be ANY other factors in the increase in poverty? Like possibly the spike in unemployment after the housing and wall street bubbles burst? The lack of affordable housing? The lack of affordable medical care? Or could it be that the raise in the minimum wage was simply inadequate, and did not keep up with the rise in the cost of living?

"the rise in the cost of living?" - your kidding Right? .... that statement alone invalidates you as someone worthy of debating

Congressional Budget Office says up to 1 million workers will lose jobs if the minimum wage rises to $10.10....HMMMM.... but Field of Ferns economic Treatise was fun reading

I would sooner rip out my fingernails than agree with PBR, but he has a point, or at least the basis of one. Minimum wage increases historically don't accomplish the desired goal. They have a short term effect on employment and can actually cost the recipient money by putting some gov benefits just out of reach. The one thing that is really surprising is that 4.6% of the work force makes minimum wage and of that over half are 16-24 years old and 78% are white, mostly women, and most of the positions are part time. Raising the minimum wage is only for political show. Now I don't mean that PBR is actually correct, mostly because of his fanatical partisanship. He only see's things in black and white, well the world is and always has been gray. The question of do politicians go out of their way to make the opposing party look bad, that is a given. It happens all the time. I firmly believe that even the GOP wanted Obama to win his first term, why else McCain/Palin???? The smart politicians knew what was coming in 2009 and didn't want any part of it. Until we can get rid of this partisan blockage that exists in our country there is no winning. If you step back and look around at what we are all fighting about in this partisan mess. None of it's important, it's all created to keep us from talking about what is important - real jobs and growth. How much time has been wasted on the imaginary 2nd amendment issues and guns, attacking Obamacare when it has the chance of finally doing something for our spiriling health care costs. It's a framework now and it needs serious people to address real issues. All that's happening now is the GOP wants it dead and buried and not fixed. Go figure. The problem is no one is doing anything but fighting and name calling. Unless we want the epitaph in the history books to read USA born 1776 died 20xx, cause of death Politics, we need to start fixing and not fighting.

It's pretty tough to "start fixing" when one of the sides refuses to acknowledge basic facts and arguably doesn't want anything fixed... unless, of course, the fix fits in their radical free-market shoebox. When the president offered a health insurance plan that was a slight variation on a theme created by Richard Nixon and later the Heritage Foundation and not a single Republican could be persuaded to support it, it became clear who was trying to fix and who was committed to nothing but obstruction.

Well, GCarson, one way for the Left to ensure that both sides will work together is to reach across the aisle half of the time. Unfortnately, they never reach, only Republicans are chastised for not reaching across the aisle. If Republicans just let a woman have her right to choose and Democrats stopped trying to outlaw guns, that would be a start. I don't like abortion and you don't like guns. Everybody gives a little and everybody wins something. If you want to compromise, let's repeal Obamacare and go back to work together on another plan, not a plan crafted by policy wonks, behind closed doors, making promises with politician who are gone from the scene and crafted over 2000 pages. Fixing is fine, but the Left keeps talking "progress" which is hyperbole for "Socialism". They need to give on that point like the Right needs to give on prayer in school They are both equally extreme.

Itsa your views are so far off in right field that you honestly have no clue how anything works. A certain faction of the GOP has a policy of no compromise. This means that they won't bend an inch. You can't sit there with a straight face and blame the democrats for failing to reach across the isle. That is not failing to compromise, unless your definition is the unilateral surrender of your position. The ACA is a textbook example, the GOP would not even participate in talks concerning it. They just sat by and complained and have continued to do so ever since. Their version of compromise was holding the country hostage until they got their way. They were perfectly happy to let the gov shutdown unless Obamacare was de-funded. You call this GOP action compromise, the GOP was at each others throats over these rea party idealists. ----- Where did you ever get the idea that I don't like guns, I collect AK's have AR's and Mauser's to list a few. I think owning a gun carries a responsibility and that there are a lot of crazies out there that are a danger. Groups from all over the country want gun control of some type. Sure Gabby Giffords is a democrat but she was first a victim. You have James Brady a republican who campaigned for better gun controls. Gun control is not a Democrat vs. GOP issue. The issue is that some power brokers in Washington know it is an issue that will polarize people so people we be distracted while they continue screwing us all over while we argue about guns. So missy (another assumption) take off the blinders and think before you type,

Actually, the ACA contained over 160 amendments from the GOP, and the Democrats gave up one of their key provisions, the public option, as a compromise to Republicans. So, Republicans got a whole bunch of stuff they wanted in the ACA, but were able to distance themselves from the whole thing by voting against it. In hindsight, we'd have been better off if the Democrats HADN'T compromised. Not that I'm advocating for that. I'm advocating for a little honesty on the part of Republicans.

I hate it when a reply doesn't show up where it's supposed to.

lol...hear ya loud & clear on that one. It usually puts a completely different slant on things. Same can be said the posts that go into some online abyss, and appear the next day...after you've reposted something similar. Makes one wonder if it's a glich in the system, or intentional. Btw, this post concerns the order of posts, just in case it pulls a Flight MH370 on me.

Actually the public option was given up by the Dems to Hospitals and Pharma in their backdoor attempts to get them on board to support the ACA. Both did not want the public option which if it had passed would mean they would be required to settle for lower reimbursements from the govt than they would get from private insurance companies. The deal with Big Pharma also got the govt to eliminate price restrictions on meds. In other words, Big Pharma will be able to charge you what they want for drugs. Now what I have read about the GOP amendments, in the ACA are ones like keeping your kids on your insurance till 26, mental health access and not being penalize for preexisting conditions. Those are hardly concessions by Dems. I admit I did not read them all, just a few. The reason you do not know about the backroom deals with Big Pharma and Hospitals, is because the Dems did not want you to know about it and the lame stream media hid it. President Obama sold that option to get support behind his plan. Without the support of Big Pharma and Hospitals, he would have gotten nowhere. He made deals with them period. And he does not want you to know what those deals are. He tells you what they agreed to but he never tells you what he agreed to. Get it.

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