Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thom Hartmann Show: "What Could Have Been and What Was": The Story of The 112th Congress

First of all I don't judge a Congress's production or lack of production by the amount of legislation. That they pass thats stupid, I judge Congress's by the quality not quantity of legislation that. It passes and that the President signs meaning they were able to work with whoever the President. Is to pass key legislation that the country needs that expands or protects individual freedom in this country. And advances the cause of freedom in this country, that is also Constitutional, so even though the 112th Congress. Which is a divided Congress, Republican House and a Democratic Senate and they didn't pass much legislation together. The House passes something the Senate refuses to take it up, the Senate tries to pass something else. The Senate Republican Minority blocks them because Senate Democrats can't get sixty votes and so fourth. So the fact that we have a divided Congress and the 113th Congress will be divided again even. Though it will have more Democrats in both chambers in it, the 113th Congress probably won't be very. Productive either because the two parties and chambers are still very far apart on basically every key. Issue that the country faces.

The fact that we have a divided Congress alone should tell you that Congress probably wasn't going to. Pass much legislation, not necessarily bad if Congress were to pass a lot of bad legislation Constitutional Amendments. To throw out much of the freedom we have in this country and taxes and regulations so high and complicated. That most of the country couldn't afford to pay and comply with them, you could make a case that Congress. Was a productive Congress, the problem is that they passed a lot of bad legislation and we lost a lot. Freedom in the process and the country suffered as a result, so again I judge Congress by what they. Passed not by how much they passed and on that scale as far as what Congress passed and what they didn't pass. I give them an overwhelming F, I'm part of that 90% of America that disapproves of the 112th. Congress but thanks to the Tea Party its either our way or no way approach to governing and that Speaker Boehner. And Minority Leader McConnell aren't strong enough Leaders to confront their own caucus's in the. House and Senate not a lot of quality legislation that needed to be passed came out of Congress.

I'm not making the case that only Republicans are at fault, the fact is had President Obama gone through. On some of the compromises that it would've taken to address the problems in the country like tax reform. The debt and deficit, economic and job growth and that assuming that House Republicans would've. Given up anything key in return on these issues, the far left of the Democratic Party would've. Given the President such a hard time that he might not of gotten reelected but at least the President. Came to the negotiating table willing to negotiate even though Speaker Boehner had nothing to give in return. And thats the main problem with the 112th Congress President Obama and Leader Reid in the Senate didn't have a partner in the House. That they could work with and deliver the votes to pass key legislation.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

AlterNet: Opinion: Steven Hill: "Don't Cut Social Security, Double It": Another Big Government Socialist Solution We Don't Need

Don't Cut Social Security -- Double It | Alternet

I've been waiting to hear some Progressive/Social Democrat to propose a single payer national retirement system. That of course would replace the private retirement system, which in English means Americans would no. Longer be able to make their own retirement decisions because the Federal Government would do that for them. Under this system states who provide pensions for their workers and perhaps even for some of their private sector workers. Would no longer be able to set up their own pension systems, so not only would Americans be out of the loop. About their own retirement, other then calling their Representative or Senator in Washington. Perhaps writing a letter to the President but Americans themselves would not only have their economic freedom. Taken away from them as far as how to plan their own retirement and be forced to give that up to the states. But all of this power, the ability for one to plan their own retirement and be able to manage their own money that. They worked for would be stripped away from them and given to the Federal Government, which would make. Those decisions for them.

Even Canada and Europe countries that are for more Socialist then us have private retirement systems and then. The Federal Governments there have an insurance system their version of Social Security for people who don't. Have a big enough pension to take care of them, because they understand again countries on average who. Have public sectors that are twice as large as ours on average as far as how much of their GDP the government spends. They have public/private retirement systems, they also have public/private healthcare systems, actually Germany. Has a private healthcare system period, so for a Progressive to say now that this idea is not radical or extreme. Because the rest of the industrialized World does this, would be simply false, all of these countries are Democracies. Yes not as Liberal as America and more Socialist but the people in these countries all have the freedom to make. These decisions for themselves instead of the Federal Government doing it for them.

This idea that the United States Government an organization now running a national debt of 16T$ which is. On course to reach a new limit by Monday according to the Secretary of Treasury and running a deficit of. Approaching 2T$ and has fraud, waste and abuse across the board all over the Federal budget, yes in defense as well. But also in social insurance and agriculture is in better position to manage the peoples money better for them. Is nuts, every worker understands what he makes and what they need to survive and how much they can afford. To put away and what they'll need to be able to pay their bills long run, its just a matter of can they afford. To put enough money away to be able to take care of themselves as they get older, its not so much. That they are ignorant and don't understand money as if the US Government does, again look at their system. And balance sheet right now but more of a question of they can afford to put enough money away right now.

What we need to do as a country and again its gets to do you believe in Liberal Democracy or Social Democracy. Is empower Americans to be able to take care of themselves and empower them to have their own economic freedom. And be able to plan their own retirements which is what planning for a pension is all about, which is what. You do in a Liberal Democracy, rather then saying look we have too many people in this country without the. Economic freedom to make their own decisions, so instead of empowering them to be able to make their own. Decisions we are just going to make those decisions for them which is what you get in a Socialist system.

MLord and God: Did Anti-War Activist & Lifelong Democrat Tom Hayden Send Generation a Huge Message?

Source: MLord & God- Tom Hayden & Jane Fonda-
Source:The Daily Journal

The Left, which is a diverse movement of Liberals such as myself who are center-left and more Progressive to Socialist Leftists in America, have been around a long time. And the Progressives emerged in the Progressive Era in the early 20th Century with their economic agenda that eventually became the New Deal in the 1930s. President Truman’s proposed Fair Deal that was to build on the New Deal, that never became law in the 1940s and then of course the Great Society of the 1960s.

Economic Progressives have been vocal and vibrant for really a hundred years now. But Social Liberals really didn’t emerge until the 1960s. They started coming alive in the 1950s when the civil rights movement came of age. But is really the 1960s when the Baby Boom Generation came of age that Social Liberals made their feelings known across the country on issues like civil rights. But we had a real anti-war movement then and a women’s movement, environmental movement as well as the homosexual movement. So homosexuals would be treated equally under law.

There are plenty of things that I like about the 1960s as a Liberal. The Hippie movement to me was really about individual freedom. Young Americans tired of being conformed to having to live one type of life. That Americans in previous generations lived and didn’t fit into the American life that their parents and grandparents. And so-forth lived under and decided to rebel and tell the establishment, “that we are not looking to overthrow you. And we are not dangerous, but we simply want the freedom to live our own lives.”

Thats what the mainstream Hippie movement was. And I like the civil rights movement of course and what came from that. But there was this fringe in the Hippie movement that was almost anarchist if not anarchist. That was not only anti-war and anti-Vietnam was and I would’ve been against the Vietnam War was if I was alive and an adult back then. But the problem I have with the anti-war movement was that it wasn’t just anti-war, but anti military all together. And treating soldiers, sailors, Marines, sailors like they were evil murderers or something which they weren’t, they were all American Patriots instead.

The Left at its best and the mainstream faction of it the Liberals represent the best of what Leftists and leftism have to offer America. This idea of Liberal Democracy, individual freedom and self-determination. A system where all Americans would benefit from and where we would all as a country have the freedom to chart our own course in life. And make out of it what we put into it. But like the Right, we also have a fringe from Socialists when it comes to economic policy and people who are called non-interventionists. Who only use violence to confront people they don’t like when they are doing something they don’t like. Like war to use as an example that give all Leftists a bad name.
MLord and God: Did Anti-War Activist & Lifelong Democrat Tom Hayden Send Generation a Huge Message?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

AlterNet: Opinion- Michael Moore: 'Three Reasons America Is Falling Apart And How We Can Save Ourselves'

Source: AlterNet- The American Flag-
Source: AlterNet: Opinion- Michael Moore: 3 Reasons America Is Falling Apart And How We Can Save Ourselves

I'm not going to argue that America is a perfect country. I'm not going to argue that any country is a perfect country. Sorry Socialists, I'm not going to argue that even Sweden or Canada are perfect countries. The fact is we don't have a socialist utopia on this planet, that idea is some made up fantasy from books and movies. Where no one is poor, no one is rich, no one is hungry, no one is sick, no one is anything bad, nothing but positives, everything looks like everyone's best pot fantasy of a paradise.

What I'm going to argue is that America is the best country because we have the best Constitution, the best values and believe in individual freedom and individualism, diversity, to the point that if you make it in, America you are entitled to keep most of the benefits of your creations for what you produce for the country. That Americans are not expected but required to take as good as care of themselves as they can and then government can come in and help people who can't take care of themselves. But its not the job of government to provide people with quote free services that of course aren't free. So-called Progressives need to get past the idea that public services are free because they simply aren't, they are paid for through taxes.

The problem with America is not that we have too much freedom, in some cases we don't have enough freedom. The War on Drugs is a perfect example of that, the problem is we don't have enough people who have the freedom to take care of themselves because we don't have an education system thats providing enough quality education for everyone who needs it. Which is anyone born and raised in the country, 35th in the world where we are competing with emerging economic superpowers like China, Brazil, India, and Russia is simply not good enough.

Thats why we have so many people in poverty because we simply don't have enough workers in this country with the skills to be able to take care of themselves. Because we still have an education system where the parents and economic level you are born to determines how good of an education you are going to get in life and where you grow up. Also determines what kind of education you'll get in life, rather than what's the best school for you. And until we fix these problems we'll never have a working class that can bring down poverty in this country.

Liberal democracy is about the people having the freedom to live their own lives as long as they aren't taking away the freedom of others to live there's. So when you hear Liberal Democrat, think of someone who believes in liberty and democracy. The problem with America is not that Americans have too much freedom, but the problem is that not enough Americans have the freedom to live their own lives because they are uneducated. Or undereducated and the answer is not to give more power to government over us to take care of us and show us the right direction in life. But the answer is to empower more Americans with the liberty to live their own lives and we only get there with a better education system, a great education system. Thats based on what's the best school for the student to go to instead based on where the student lives.
Michael Moore: A Brief History of America

ABC News: ABC Evening News-March 1972- Campaign News

Howard K. Smith-
This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

One way to sum up the 1972 Democratic presidential primaries, is to say it went to the guy who was damaged the least. And not to the best candidate, because there was really never any real danger to President Nixon losing reelection. But about how big of victory he would get and what he would do with it. The Democratic race for president between Senator’s George McGovern, Ed Muskie, Hubert Humphrey and others, was great TV and very interesting. And a very good look inside of the Democratic Party was between its establishment Center-Left, that Senator Muskie and Senator Humphrey represented and the more social democratic New-Left that Senator McGovern represented in 1972.

The story about the Black Panthers a New-Left social democratic if not communist group interested in the state of the African-American community, was interesting. They were in and outside of the Democratic Party back then and much further left of the NAACP which is more of a progressive Center-Left civil rights organization who are definitely tied to the Democratic Party as their supporters are. The word militant is perfect for the Black Panthers, because that is what they were. And at the very least were linked and associated with known terrorists and criminals. And were accused of being part of terrorists acts in the 1970s. They were looking for a much more radical direction for the African-American community than the NAACP.

Apparently big business’s and other special interests on the Democratic Party and Republican Party was also a big issue in 1972. Of course it was which is why I still don’t know why Congress has never passed a full-disclosure law on all federal candidates and incumbents. Actually I do, because neither Democrats, or Republicans want to disclose who contributes to their campaigns. Because a lot of those contributors are controversial and Democrats and Republicans don’t want to officially be associated with groups like that. But that along with ending gerrymandering completely is the only way you weed out corruption in American politics. Because of how liberal our First Amendment is.

Monday, December 24, 2012

RT: The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann: Bruce Bartlett: "Republicans Hate Democracy": How The Far Right Would Govern America

As a Liberal Democrat I could easily right a partisan blog about how Republicans hate Democracy period. Liberal Democracy, Social Democracy or whatever form of Democracy you want to talk about but I'm. Not going to do that for the very simple reason I disagree with that, news flash not all Republicans. Or not everyone on the right hates Democracy and I could run you off a list of Republicans and other. Rightists who don't hate Democracy and if anything are big fans of it and if you want me to do that. For you send me an email but the far right in America and certain elements of the Tea Party aren't fans of Democracy. Especially Liberal Democracy where the people are literally in control to live their own lives. And thats putting it nicely not liking Democracy would be more accurate and I could go further then that. But the far right in America that has taken over the GOP would take us back to the 1950s, where people. Who don't vote Republican today for the most part would have very little if any say in what happens. In America or even go back to the 1800s where people who don't vote Republican today for the most. Part would be outlawed from the country or essentially would be slaves and America would go back to being. Run by nothing but Caucasian men who would have all the power, similar to how the country was founded.

Its a good thing that Republican Party is not called the Democratic Party, because there's a big group. Of Republicans who aren't in favor of Democracy as we see with their proposals to take away the peoples. Vote for Congress and giving that back to the states, wanting the Federal Government to decide who can. Get married and so fourth, whether minorities can have the same constitutional right as majorities. Whether women can work and vote and so fourth and I would go further that the Republican Party perhaps. Shouldn't be called Republican anymore since there's a large faction in the party that doesn't believe. In Republicanism anymore but would like to see the country become a Theocracy or some Statist Republic. Where a small faction of the country would control most of the wealth and how Americans can live their lives. And so fourth which is common in the Middle East so perhaps the GOP needs a new name and call themselves. The Neoconservative Party, or the Theocratic Party or maybe the Theocratic Republican Party but. Republican Party is not where they are right now.

On the other hand at least we do have a real Democratic Party in America that by in large believes in. Liberal Democracy but its a party thats made up of both Liberal Democrats and Social Democrats who. Would like to see America become more Socialist and more like Europe but at least we still have a. Democratic Party that believes in Democracy and then its just a matter of what type of Democracy we should have.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

David Pakman Show: Politifact: "President Obama Keeping His Promise on First Time Drug Offenders: How To Combat Narcotics Addiction in America

President Obama taking two big positive steps this week in the failed War on Drugs in America which. Is a really War on Personal Choice and Individual Freedom where President Obama has had a role in. Prosecuting those wars unfortunately but where President Obama took some positive steps this week. Is relating to marijuana where he says thats his administration has better things to do then to arrest people. For smoking marijuana and hopefully possessing marijuana as well, which was probably his response towards the. Marijuana legalization referendums in Colorado and Washington State and the other positive step that. The President took this week was the news that the Obama Administration has kept its promise. To not prosecute and send first time non violent drug offenders meaning people who were arrested. For possessing or using illegal narcotics wouldn't get sent to prison but that they would be sent to drug rehab. instead which means we'll have fewer people in prison as a result of getting caught using or possessing illegal narcotics.

I would go much further then this but because someone takes a positive step or two positive steps in. The right direction at least as I see it as a Liberal, doesn't mean that I won't credit people who aren't. As Liberal as I am which lets face it Barack Obama fits that build, he's not a Socialist obviously. Which is actually something I like about him but he's a Moderate-Liberal at best with leftist leanings. On economic, foreign and social policy but not Liberal enough for me on social issues even though. We tend to agree on economic and foreign policy but this doesn't mean I'm going to say that because. President Obama takes two positive steps in the War on Drugs this week I'm going to act as if he's. Changing the errors of his ways and will go in a much more Liberal direction where Americans would have. More individual freedom in this area, as well as getting help for people who are true addicts and not. Criminals but going forward we need a much more Liberal policy when it comes to dealing with narcotics in America.

First of all we need to get the Federal Government out of the way when it comes to marijuana and for. Them to take the position that they are at least not going to prosecute marijuana in America at least. In the states that have legalized it if not taking the position that the Federal Government will. No longer prosecute marijuana at all and leave it up to the states to make that decision instead. And then what we need to do is not decriminalize cocaine, heroin and meth in the short term but move to. Decriminalize them which means that that people wouldn't be arrested for possession or using. Those other narcotics but that they would be stripped of those drugs instead and then fined based. On the amount of illegal narcotics that they have but not sent to jail or prison and that for drug addicts. Instead of sending them to jail or prison, we would send them to drug rehab at their expense instead.

I'm glad that President Obama is moderating and perhaps even move in the Liberal direction on the War on Drugs. But he should go further and him alone could move the country in a completely different direction. In the next four years and end the failed War on Drugs.

Friday, December 21, 2012

CBPP: Off the Charts Blog: James Honey: Protecting Public Assistance in Deficit Reduction

Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | Don’t Forget: Protect the Poorest Americans in Any Deficit Savings “Backstop”

I agree when it comes to deficit reduction that one of the first targets from both Republicans and Democrats sadly. Is public assistance, why because thats where a lot of money is, not enough to balance budgets but still in the. Hundreds of billions of dollars and even when we are talking about budget deficits approaching 2T$, hundreds. Of billions of dollars is still a hell of a lot of money when it comes to deficit reduction, even in Washington. Enough money that if it were invested in infrastructure could put hundreds of thousands of people back to work and the other reason. Being we are talking about low income people who simply don't make enough money to pay their own bills. The key reason why they are living on public assistance and because they lack money compared with big oil. Or tobacco or alcohol or labor they simply don't have the resources to lobby Congress when it comes time. To cut the Federal budget but it doesn't have to be this way we could literally prevent Congress and the. Administration from slashing public assistance by simply getting their hands off of it and forcing them to go where most of the money is when it comes to deficit reduction.

By simply making these programs self reliant financially meaning they would have dedicated revenue to just fund them. Not have to compete with other tax revenue to finance them and reform them by designing them to empower the. People who depend on them by working their way off of them and becoming more independent and self sufficient. So they wouldn't have to live off of these programs for as long and then we could block grant them to the states. With basic regulations, that the money for them would only go to finance them and whatever surplus's come from them. Could be used to fund other things and that anyone whose eligible for them that these programs have the funds. To cover would be eligible to receive that assistance and then the Feds would be there to oversee them not. Run them but conduct oversight to see how they are working, we could go a long way to helping the. Federal Government get its fiscal house and order and also moving millions of Americans out of poverty. And into self independence.

Balancing budgets off the backs of the less fortunate in America is not only wrong abandoning people who need us. But it also doesn't work because it causes future problems for society down the road and it also doesn't work. Because there's simply not enough resources there to get the Federal deficit under control if this is the only. Area you target when it comes to deficit reduction but moving people out of poverty solves a lot of problems. For society as well as getting the Feds out of the way.

Salon: Irin Carmon: "The Latest War on Single Moms": Why Subsidizing Work Over Dependence is The Answer

The latest war on single moms

Again another proposal from the Progressive Great Society supporters and saying that we should be more like Europe. That when low parents have kids whether they are working or not, that government meaning tax payers should. Subsidize them when they make those decisions of having kids before they are financially and emotionally. Ready to raise kids, I'm not talking about throwing families off of public assistance but I'm certainly not in. Favor of subsidizing the parents of these kids for making bad decisions that result in them not making enough money. To support themselves and their kids, what we should be ding is recognizing that we have too many people. Living in poverty in America especially kids and that we have too many people in this country that are having. Kids before they are ready to raise them on their own and live up to their own responsibilities and we have too. Many parents fathers and mothers who walkout on their kids and aren't around to take care of them financially. And emotionally and not living up to their responsibilities as parents and that we need to fix these problems. If we are ever going to bring down poverty to a level thats more competitive with our competitors.

Like I said last night we know what works and what doesn't when it comes to helping people out of poverty. Yes kicking families off of public assistance who haven't broken any laws which seems to be what the Tea Party. Wants to do doesn't work but subsidizing people indefinitely on public assistance and allowing them to live. Off of people who made good decisions in life doesn't work either, they stay in poverty indefinitely and their. Kids are basically subjected to the same future which is what the old system was at least as it related to Welfare Insurance. Was up until Welfare to Work was created in 1996 that produced Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Or TANF for short, you want to help people out of poverty, empower them to get an education whether they are. Currently working or not and subsidize them more when they work rather then when they aren't working. To show them that work pays and not working keeps you in poverty without much hope for a future. And then of course penalize parents for not taking care of their kids, absentee fathers and mothers.

Instead of giving single moms and dads indefinite financial assistance, help these kids out poverty through. Education, job training and job placement and track down absentee parents and have them pay for their kids. In raising them by forcing them to pay child support by making it illegal to walkout on your kids and the penalty. Being no not sending them to jail but forcing them to pay child support for their kids based on what they make. Out of their paychecks or public assistance checks and we could move millions of more Americans out of poverty. By educating parents and their kids and making illegal to not live up to your responsibilities in raising your own kids.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Nation: Today in Poverty: Greg Kauffmann: An Education Wish List: How To Cut Poverty by Reforming Education

Today in Poverty: An Education Wish List

You want to reduce poverty and help people out of poverty and even prevent their kids from having to live in poverty. Then you would support proposals that would move people out of poverty and if you want to support parents. Who raise their kids in poverty, then you would support proposals that would help them move out of poverty. Its that simple or otherwise all we are doing is talking about helping people in poverty get by if that but still leaving. Then and their kids living in poverty and still having this endless discussion of why we have so many people in poverty. In America and how disgraceful it is and so fourth but never ever really doing anything about it that actually. Moves people out of poverty because we already know what we need to do to help people out of poverty. Because we have experience in doing this and we know what doesn't work in helping people get themselves out of. Poverty because we have experience in doing that as well so what we need to do is what works, which is empowering people. In poverty to get themselves out of poverty and stop just subsidizing people to help them pay their bills. But do nothing to help them out of poverty or just cut them off and tell them they are on their own.

The best and fastest ticket out of poverty is through education for adults and their kids and that means stop trapping. Students in bad schools just because of where they live and empowering their parents to be able to send them. To the best school thats for them, having a public education system thats funded based on need for each school. Rather then funding public schools based on where they are located which is the system of today along with. Kids being forced to go to school based on where they live, rather then what's the best school for them and the Federal Government. Should help with more funding and less strings in both areas. Stop paying teachers based on how long they've taught. Which is the system of today and start paying teachers based on how good of a job they are doing as teachers. And for parents of these kids, empower them to go back and finish school so they can get themselves the. Skills that they need to be able to get themselves a good job that gets themselves out of poverty. And you do this with adult education, job training and job placement.

At risk of sounding partisan but so what but a difference between a Liberal and Progressive when it comes. To poverty is that Liberals actually want to liberate people out of poverty and make public assistance. So effective that it becomes obsolete and no longer needed and Progressives know that if that were to happen. Then they would have a harder time arguing for more funding of the safety net and more public assistance. For the needy and so fourth because there would be less of a need for it. We know what works to move people out of poverty and its just a matter of doing it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Baltimore Sun: News: Senator Barbara Mikulski to Chair Senate Appropriations Committee

Mikulski to lead Senate Appropriations Committee

Another porker chairing the Senate Appropriations Committee but this is what you get from Congress and an example. Of why Congress has such a low approval rating because it has members that uses tax dollars to get reelected rather. Then being able to pass budgets and set priorities for what the Federal Government should be doing instead. Rather then what's popular to spend money on.

AlterNet: Richard Eskow: "Eight Tips on How We Could Cut the Deficit": Now Here's a Real Plan to Do It

8 Tips on How We Could Cut the Deficit, Since Slashing Social Security Benefits Won't Help | Alternet

I just read a blog from Progressive blogger Richard Eskow who writes for America Future's blog, as well as AlterNet. And from time to time for Huffington Post and he was basically saying that the way to cut the deficit is through. Cutting the defense budget and raising taxes on the rich, at least this time he left out the middle class when it came. To tax hikes which is something I haven't seen much of lately where everyday I'm reading from some Progressive. That we need to raise taxes on everyone including the middle class, so government can invest in America's future. Before we can cut the deficit, I have couple problems with the Eskow approach. One it leaves the entire Federal budget off the table when it comes to deficit reduction except for defense as if there's. No room for savings and improvement from the rest of the Federal budget, except of course the only improvements. Can come from spending more which means we can't find any other ways to find savings in the Federal budget. Except the defense budget, in a Federal budget total of roughly 4T$. Thats just not believable for anyone who understands the Federal Government.

I agree that the defense budget has to be on the table when it comes to deficit reduction, USDOD is simply overcommitted. Around the World and we are paying for the defense of developed countries that can afford to defend themselves. And going forward we are going to have to stop doing that but here's a problem with doing that now. The fiscal cliff if different from the broader long term debt and deficit outlook, the fiscal cliff is automatic. Tax hikes and budget cuts that will hit the country if Congress and the President fail to resolve the issue and fix the problem. So what Congress and the President could do is fix the fiscal cliff, hopefully sometime this month, come up with the savings. And revenue to pay for it and then come up with a plan in 2013 to fix our long term debt and deficit outlook. Also there's a practical problem with the defense budget when it comes to Europe and other developed nations. We simply under law can't pull out of those countries now, we have agreements with them and is something. We could do in 2013 but not in the next two weeks.

I'm not interested in across the board budget cuts to the Federal Government and I'm not interested in across. The board tax hikes either but what we should do is like a doctor or a coach taking over for an athletic program. Is examine what's working and what's not and where we can make saving all over the Federal Government. Including in defense and social insurance, to give you an example about Medicare I wrote a blog about this. Ten days ago about Medicare and Medicaid reimbursing doctors and hospitals based on how much healthcare. They deliver for their patients, instead of how healthy their patients are, so lets stop doing that and pay for quality of healthcare. Instead of quantity of healthcare, you want to talk tax hikes and a way to find more savings in Medicare, Medicaid and Food Assistance. Lets stop subsidizing junk food and drink through Food Assistance and tax those things instead. Lets end corporate welfare and agriculture welfare as well and instead subsidize jobs that are created in America.

Its important in this debate that we separate the fiscal cliff from the overall debt and deficit and understand. That in a Federal budget of roughly 4T$ that there's room for savings and improvement everywhere. And things like common sense is a much better way to solve problems like this then taking ideological positions. From the far left or far right of don't touch me but hit the other guy, that the fringes aren't responsible enough. To be running this debate because its too serious and we need to be responsible here because it effects us all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

TheRealNews: Socialists Sweep Venezuelan State Elections as President Chavez Recovers in Cuba

Its easy to win elections for the Chavez Socialists in Venezuela when the Chavez Administration prevents. The Liberal Democratic opposition from getting their message out to the people and being the real opposition. To the Socialists Statists who I see as at least borderline Communists in Venezuela rather then Democratic Socialists. Thats common in Europe, had these elections been fair and Democratic, the Democrats would've done much better in Venezuela. And Hugo Chavez might of lost his Presidency and the Socialists might of lost control of the Assembly.

AlterNet: Thom Hartmann: "Why Do We Get Riled Up About Gun Rights, and Not Rights to Healthcare and Education?": What The Right to Life Should Mean

Why Do We Get Riled Up About Gun Rights, and Not Rights to Health Care and Education? | Alternet

If you want to know what my position on gun control is as a Liberal, I would tell you honestly its complicated. Because I believe the state meaning government whatever the level is and especially the Federal Government's. Number one role is to protect its innocent citizens not from themselves but from people who would do innocent people harm. But at the same time as a Liberal who values individual freedom for people who wouldn't hurt innocent people. Over anything else, our lives are our responsibility as long as we pay for the consequences of our own decisions. And we are not hurting innocent people with what we are doing, thats a classically Liberal idea, might sound Libertarian. But its actually a Liberal idea and since I do believe that, I'm a little reluctant even as a Democrat to give the. State more power over the people but at the same time I recognize the state's responsibility to protect the innocent. From those who would do us harm, so what we need is balance that protects individual freedom as well as gives. The state the resources to protect the innocent.

As a Liberal I do believe in the second amendment, always have and always will and will always defend it from. Statists that would seek to repeal it or to place intrusive restrictions on it but like the first amendment, the second amendment. Is subjected to regulation, we don't have a first amendments right to libel people or yell fire in a crowded room. Or threaten to harm or kill people and we don't have a second amendment right to murder people and irresponsible. People meaning career criminals who represent a physical threat to innocent peoples safety in the country. At least as far as I'm concern don't have a second amendment right to own firearms in this country and I just wrote. A blog last week arguing that one of the roles of organize labor is to protect the jobs of good workers. And see that they are compensated for the work that they do and no less or more, well I believe one of the roles. Of the National Rifle Association is to protect the second amendment right of responsible gun owners. But not for criminals or mentally handicapped people who have no business owning firearms.

Look if I had my way I would treat firearms in America like we treat automobiles and that all gun owners. Would have to be licensed to own, purchase or use a firearm and that the states would run this licensing. Like they regulate automobiles or marriage and this would be financed by the people who use firearms and that. Mentally handicapped people or career criminals or people under twenty one wouldn't be eligible to use, possess or purchase. A firearm in this country but as long as Republicans control at least one half of Congress, we aren't going to be able. To pass a law like that in this country so what we need to do are things short of that can past both chambers of Congress. And get signed by the President into law that would get the job done and that means things like mandatory security. At all public schools, funding mental healthcare in America and things like background checks for all gun purchases.

The right to life for me at least means that all Americans have the right to chart their own course in life and. Be able to make out of it what they put into life until they give up that right by taking an innocent person's life. And as long as we have all of these innocent people dying due to gun violence, we have too many Americans. Who are losing the right to life and we need to take steps to prevent Americans in the future from losing the most. Precious life that we have in this country.

Monday, December 17, 2012

New America Foundation: The Next Social Contract: What is Economic Liberalism

I read a blog today in the New American Foundation which is a mixture of Progressive and Liberal thinking. That was about essentially the next social contract in America and what it should be about and what. It should include and the person making the case was talking about a healthcare system that would be funded. By tax dollars and run by the Federal Government at least when it comes to health insurance, a retirement system. That would be expanded and universal at least in the sense that all Americans would have access to a pension. Not necessarily run by the Federal Government but it would be expanded and a public education. System where the idea of reform would be the Federal Government to spend a lot more money on it and. Of course a VAT or consumption tax to go along with the income tax to fund all of these new social investments. Made by the Federal Government, this what a social contract would look like if it was written by. Progressive/Social Democrats and it exactly what economic Progressivism as I would call it Democratic Socialism. Looks like whether its in America or somewhere else.

To me as a Liberal I guess a social contract would be the safety net that would be there for people. Who need it and there for people who want to pay into it, meaning Medicare wouldn't just be there for seniors. But non senior adults who are working would have the option to use Medicare as their health insurance. To use as an example but for the most part for people who for the time being can't support themselves financially. But the safety net really only provides the basic needs for people to survive who can't at the moment. Take care of themselves but for everyone else there should be what I call an opportunity society. Or a Workers Bill of Rights which would not be a collection of current or new social insurance programs but the. Opportunity for workers to chart their own course in life built around universal access to a quality. Education from K through higher education that would be affordable to everyone and have the freedom. To take out of life what they put into it and taxed based on what they take from life rather then. What they contribute to it at a fair percentage but not taxed a lot just because they are wealthy.

The common notion of what a social contract is basically what a so called welfare state looks like which. Is a collection of government programs that are there to take care of people but economic Liberalism. Is about equality of opportunity empowering everyone in the country to be able to take care of themselves. And independent of government to provide for their economic well being because they have the freedom to take care of themselves.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

AlterNet: Sam Sacks: "Why You Can Kiss Public Education and the Middle Class Goodbye": Why This Article is Dead Wrong

Why You Can Kiss Public Education (and the Middle Class) Goodbye | Alternet

I'll admit I don't read the AlterNet because I see it as a great wealth of facts and knowledge, actually its a good. Source to find out what's not going on in the World and from time to time it has some good columns in it that are provocative. And gives me something to think about and a chance to write a counter to it on my blog but the article I just read from them. Is not even interesting in the sense that wow they make some good points, I disagree with them but I could. See why an intelligent person would believe that, this latest article about public education would be an example of that. About charter schools where the writer made the claim that charter schools are private and privately funded. Which is completely false charter schools are publicly funded and are independent public schools that don't have. To deal with the red tape of the public education system and doesn't pay teachers based on how long that they've been teaching. But pays teachers based on the work that they do and what their students are learning and now much they are learning. Doesn't promote students to the next grade because of their age but promotes them when they are academically ready. For the next level to use as examples.

I can understand why people would support public education, I'm a product of public education myself and also support it. Thats not the question, the question is are we in favor of good public education where all students no matter. What the income level of their parents are, has the opportunity to get a good education in life or are we going to support. Public education no matter how well its doing, because we have some ideological belief that Progressives tend to have. That education is the role of government and we should only have public schools and we should always be. In favor of teachers no matter the job that they are doing because they are teachers and shouldn't judge teachers. Based on the job that they are doing but how long they've been doing that job and we should've advance students based. On how well they are doing academically but how long they've been in school, I just laid out some of the main. Differences between a charter school run independently and a public school run by the system.

Education like any other profession if it doesn't have choice and standards and people aren't help accountable. Its going to suffer and most importantly the people who are the customers of the system are going to suffer even more. Which is why we have to hold teachers and students accountable to get the most out of them which is why charter schools. Is an answer to reforming public education in America but not the only answer, we are going to need to do more as well.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Salon: The Crime Report: Graham Kates: Re-Inventing College For Prisons

Re-inventing college for prisons

Because of the fact that we have such a high level of prison inmates going back to prison after they are released. And in a lot of cases within a year of getting out of prison the previous time and in a lot of cases because they. Simply don't have the skills that they need to be successful legally on the outside, which means that society. Meaning tax payers get stuck with the bills of having to take care of these people while they are in prison and then. Get stuck with the bills of having to pay for them while they are back in prison, because these inmates enter prison. As criminals and leave prison as criminals, screw ups going in and screw ups going out and coming back in. They aren't even very good at being criminals because they keep getting caught and in a lot of cases get caught. Pretty easily, knowing all of these things you would think that society would get the message that there's a better way. In how we could incarcerate our prison population then having them remain uneducated screw ups who repeat. Their same mistakes from the past that landed them in prison in the first place.

Some say that funding education and schools for prison inmates costs money and of course they are right. Anything worth doing does but done well its cheaper to pay for that then funding things that aren't worth doing. Like inmates to remain criminals while in prison with no hope of making it on the outside once they leave prison. And end up coming back to prison and once again being wards of the state which is exactly what they are. Adult children who can't make it on their own and can't be taken care of by anyone and must live in an institutional environment. To be able to function at all but if we give them the opportunity to improve themselves with skills that they can use. Once they leave prison and something like 7-10 inmates leave prison while they are still young and healthy enough to work. So instead of having no hope of making it on the outside we could empower them to get the skills so they can become productive citizens.

We could fund education for prison inmates through things like Pell grants and student loans that they would pay. Back while either still in prison or once they are out of prison and also by putting inmates to work in prison. With what's called prison industries which would be companies that operate inside of prison that would hire inmates. And pay our inmates for the work that they do to cover their room and board but its just a matter of priorities. What we believe we should fund in this country.

Friday, December 14, 2012

American Prospect: Anna Clark: "Far from the Final Defeat in Michigan": What Organize Labor Should Be All About

Far from the Final Defeat in Michigan

The number one thing that organize labor should be about in America is to serve as a check against employers power. Thats their number one function, the other to insure that employees and their members be paid fairly for the work that they do. Not overpaid or underpaid, especially if they are public sector unions, where money tends to be very limited. Because these aren't for profit organizations obviously, if this is the mission of organize labor, then sign me up. Because I'm a supporter of that, once organize labor is in the business just to save jobs and prevent people from being fired or laid off. Even if they deserve to be fired or laid off, unproductive or low performing employees to use as examples. Employees who are about ready to retire and are basically taking away opportunities for younger well qualified employees. And we see this all the time with public sector unions especially in public education, where they seem more interested. In protecting the jobs of teachers, even of bad teachers then they are interested in the students. So these students can go to a good school, because again who does organize labor represent, the teachers. Not the students, so thats who they are going to represent.

Its not really the rights of organize labor that should be the issue but the rights of the people they represent and. Their ability to decide for themselves who should represent them or not, if they decide to go with the union. Then of course they should be required to pay the dues but if they decide to represent themselves, then they shouldn't. Be subjected to the union dues and be eligible for the benefits that come from serving in the union, organize labor. Should be about the best interest of their employees, not about the best interest of the union itself, if they do a good. Job of representing their employees, then they'll be rewarded for that by having more members, its really that simple. But while they are also about being in the best interest of their employees, they should also be concern with the. Organization that their employees work for, because the better the organization does, then the better the benefits. That the organization will be able to give their employees.

Another thing that organize labor should be concern with are the people that their members served which is. Their customers, because at the end of the day if you just look at from a selfish reason the customers are the people. Who give the employees their jobs who pay the bills of the employee and the protecting the jobs of bad employees. Doesn't do anyone any good and those customers will simply take their business elsewhere and the employer will lose out.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Roosevelt Institute: Daily Digest: The Public Goods Value Pack: The Role of Government

Daily Digest - December 13: The Public Goods Value Pack

Nothing like a crisis if you want to call the fiscal cliff that to get people to think about what the role of government. Should be in the lives of all Americans and what exactly do we need it to do for us and the key word being need. Which is different from want, if we don't need the government to do something for us, because it can be done better. By something else, then we shouldn't be paying government to do that for us and a so called crisis like the fiscal cliff. Gives the Federal Government and the country as a whole to think about what we need Uncle Sam to do for us at our expense. And how we can make the US Government more affordable and more efficient, to help the United States. To begin to get our debt and deficit under control and allow for the economy to finally take off again and of course. There are plenty of different perspectives for what exactly what government should be doing for us, ranging from. Almost nothing, to practically everything and hopefully these two fringes as I call them won't be running the. Negotiations and the adults from both sides will be in charged instead.

I'm going to focus on what the two fringes, Social Democrats on one side who have this grand vision that America. Will become some type of Socialist Democracy like in Canada and Europe, where more power and money. Is centralized with the Federal Government at our expense and for our benefit, that government is in the business. To not only look out for our welfare and well being but to guarantee that we have those things and that government. At our expense would provide for us, which would basically be risk free where we would have no poor people. No rich people where we would all be in the middle but what we would give up in exchange, is the power to govern. Our own lives, how we pay for healthcare, how we finance our own retirement to use as examples and anytime. We are out of work, government would come in to take care of us at our expense, to the point where we. Wouldn't have to go back to work even, thats the vision of Social Democrats.

On the other side what we get from Libertarians or economic Libertarians even, is that we would return to. The 1920s economically and from Neoconservatives we would return to the 1920s culturally as well but thats. For a different discussion, where we wouldn't have a public safety net or it would be run by the private sector. Again at our expense, with the services that have the most influence in Washington, having the most power over our lives. Where things like Social Security would be privatized and if you make bad decisions with that money, you are out of luck. Where Medicare would also be privatized and if a private health insurer no longer wants to cover you, even if you. Can make the premiums, you are out of luck, we are basically all on our own and if we fall down, hopefully someone. Will be generous enough to help us back up but if that doesn't happen, we are out of luck.

The Liberal vision that I have and hopefully the vision that President Obama is adopting, is where we all have. A good opportunity to chart our own course in life and what we do with that opportunity or opportunities. Is up to us rather then success being guaranteed for us or we having no solid recourse when we happen to fall off of our feet. And that we are able to take out of society what we produce for it and taxed based on our ability to pay but taxed. Based on what we take out of society, rather then what we produce for it, another words a consumption tax vs the income tax. And when we do fall down, there's  a safety net to catch us and help us back up but not there to take care of people. For the rest of their lives, just to help them back up for the people who are physically and mentally capable. Of working full time.

What I basically just laid out is what President Bill Clinton called the opportunity society, where we would all. As a country have the opportunity to be successful in life, based on what we produce for the country and what we do for ourselves. Based on education where we would have a system where the whole country would access to a quality education. No matter their income levels or their parents income levels and then what we do with these opportunities is up to us. And then be able to keep most of the benefits from the production that we create and then be taxes based on. What we take out of society, rather then what we create for society, this is economic Liberalism 101, power to the people. Not to government or private enterprise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Salon: Alex Halperin: "McDonald’s Pay Chasm": $8.25/hour to $8.75 million/year: The Price We Pay For Education and Not Having Enough of it

McDonald’s pay chasm: $8.25/hour to $8.75 million/year

Progressives are constantly complaining about how much more CEO's of companies make compared with their. Employees especially in the service industries like fast food and say that this is some type of crime that well. Skilled white collar workers make so much more then low skilled workers, not realizing that American workers. Are paid based on their skills and production what they bring to the table as employees and just finishing high school. Or not even doing that, limits the amount of jobs you'll have a shot at in life and how much money you'll be able to make. Unless you are an athlete or an entertainer, have some raw and natural ability or abilities that you don't need a college education. To accomplish, so when you see minimum wage workers or people making just above that, that probably has. Something to do with the skills or lack of skills that worker has, where all they really need is a basic education. To perform those jobs, as well as training on the job to do that, which generally takes a few days.

We now live in a knowledge and skills based economy, we have now for at least twenty years, where just a high school diploma. No longer guarantees that an American worker will be able to live in the middle class, as factory worker or a truck driver. To use as examples that those are also highly skilled jobs that requires a formal education to be able to perform and perform well. So the better your education and skills are, the better job opportunities you'll have and the better opportunities you'll. Have to make good money in life and be able to be a white collar worker that manages or runs a company that. Has service industry workers working for you, rather then quite frankly being one of those service industry. Workers making 8$ an hour and probably has another low skilled job just to be able to pay their bills, its really simple. You more you know, the better you'll be able to do in life.

We have a lot of these service industry workers and I'm not talking high school adolescents who work at McDonalds. Or some place on the weekend but grown adults who might of been working a job like this for twenty years. Because they didn't graduate from college or even go to college or perhaps even didn't finish high school. But it doesn't have to be this way, we can empower more people in this country to get a good education, a college. Education even whether they are in high school right now or are working adults who are working low skilled jobs. For basically the amount of money that we spend in Afghanistan and Iraq, its just a matter of priorities, where we want to spend our tax dollars.

AlterNet: Via Blog For Our Future: Richard Eskow: "Four Terrible Arguments for Raising the Medicare Age": How We Should Reform Medicare

4 Terrible Arguments for Raising the Medicare Age and Why They're Wrong | Alternet

Just to write the counter to what Progressive blogger Richard Eskow said about why raising the Medicare age. Would be a bad idea, its pretty simple if raising the retirement age is done right. That one it wouldn't effect current. Medicare retirees, even if they are currently younger then what the new retirement age would be. Two that there would be a couple exceptions to the new retirement age, it wouldn't effect people who work very physically demanding jobs. So these workers wouldn't have to work longer before they could collect Medicare and Social Security. And it wouldn't also effect low income workers, so these people could not only collect Medicare early. But also continue to work while they are still collecting Medicare and Social Security, because they simply. Need to in order to pay their bills. There's bogus info coming from both the right and left when it comes to Medicare and how it could be reformed. And what certain reforms would do to the program, saying that more people would be uninsured if the retirement age. Were to be raised, is example of a false attack from the left.

But raising the retirement age is simply not enough, we have to go much further but we don't have to do anything. That would hurt the people who depend on Medicare, like requiring wealthy people older and people who aren't. Retired yet to pay more for Medicare, before they retire and once they are on Medicare, turning Medicare into a public option. Where non seniors would be allowed to buy into Medicare and use it as their main source for health insurance. Which is what Democrats attempted to do by in 2009-10, House Republicans will probably never go along with this idea. Unless maybe if the states were allowed to set up their own public option as it relates to Medicare, something I would be in favor of doing. Congress is up for reelection again in 2014 and if Democrats were to hold onto to the Senate and take back the House. Democrats could do this is under what's called budget reconciliation starting in 2015.

When you hear Progressives go off on how horrible or mean spirited an idea of raising the retirement age would be. All I ask that you do, is one consider the source the only reforms Social Democrats tend to be interested when. It comes to Medicare reform is turning it into Medicare For All Single Payer and then look at the proposals yourself. To see what they actually would do and also notice that both Liberal Democrats and Conservative Republicans support this idea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

AlterNet: Ellen Brown: "Let's Take Back the Banks From Greedy Financiers": How Public Banks Would Bring Good Competition to the Banking Industry

Let's Take Back the Banks from Greedy Financiers | Alternet

I just wrote a blog about ten minutes ago laying out why I'm against Big Government, so writing a new blog. In favor of public banks might sound like a contradiction because just the idea of public banks sounds like Big Government Socialism. And I agree it would be if we were to nationalize the banking industry, which we are not and I'm against doing that. But anyone whose a true believer in American Capitalism, a believer in the private market, whether they are on the right or left. Should be able to agree on a few things, that open and fair competition is a good thing, that the more business's that we have. That are successful and competing for the same market and provide a quality and affordable service is a good thing. And that monopolies, public or private are bad, thats why public banks could be a good idea, again if they aren't. Directly run by government but an independent service owned by tax payers and that they don't serve as a replacement. For private banks, just as competition for them.

Another thing that we should be able to agree on, is that too big to fail is too big and that government should. Never be in the business of bailing out these banks, especially at tax payers expense again and that we need more banks. More power in the hands of the many and less power in the hands of the few, another words more free, fair and open competition. Thats replacing monopolies that can essentially do whatever they want at our expense within the law, because their customers don't have another option.

Salon: Michael Lind: "Big Government Isn’t The Problem": Defining Big Government and Why It Is a Problem

Big government isn’t the problem

Before I go too far into this, I should layout exactly what Big Government is or at the very least what I see Big Government. To be as a Liberal and before I'll do that I'll just explain that I'm not anti government, before I'm accused of being a Libertarian or something. I'm against bloated, inefficient government, especially since its funded through tax dollars, if you like big inefficient. Organizations, then start one of your own but as long as we all fund the same government, it should be as efficient. And as effective as possible, which is one reason why I'm against Big Government, because the definition. For me at least as a Liberal of what Big Government is, is simply government trying to do too much for the. People with other peoples money, basically trying to do things for the people, that they can do for themselves. Like making peoples education and healthcare decisions for them to use as examples.

Big Government is not law enforcement, unless they are violating our civil liberties or trying to enforce laws. That shouldn't be laws to begin with, take marijuana prohibition to use as an example. Big Government is not the military, unless they are involved in wars that they shouldn't be in. Take Vietnam or the second Iraq War to use as examples, Big Government is not public education unless. They are forcing people into schools, rather then  giving them a choice in where they should be able to go to. School, Big Government is not healthcare or health insurance, unless they are the only games in town and the people are. Required to use those public health services without a choice in where they get their healthcare. Big Government is government trying to do for the people that they can do for themselves and do better. Or government trying to do too much or government trying to protect people from themselves.

Another thing Big Government just doesn't come from Socialists on the left, people who believe in the welfare state. And Democratic Socialism but Big Government also comes from the right, Neoconservatives who now run the. Republican Party who believe Americans have too much social freedom to use as an example. There are Statists on the left and right and as strange as this may sound, they have two big things in common. They both love Big Government, people who I call Big Government lovers and they are both Statists, people who. Put a lot of faith in the state to protect people even at times from themselves, so when you hear. People like Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachmann go off on the dangers of Big Government, take that with. At least one grain salt after you stop laughing at hearing that.

I'm not in favor of Big Government obviously, I'm not in favor of Small Government, I'm in favor of effective government. Which comes from limited government, this is what we need government to do for us that we can't do for ourselves. Or do as well and this is the best way to fund it, thats the most economically and fiscally responsible manner. And in the future I'm sure I'll write a blog about what exactly I believe government should be doing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

AlterNet: Paul Buchheit: "Five Enemies of a Decent Middle Class Existence in America": Why Government Doesn't Have All The Solutions

5 Enemies of a Decent Middle Class Existence in the US | Alternet

So what I get from this column is that American Capitalism is the problem for why our middle class is not as big. As it could be and I agree that our middle class is too small, as far as a percentage of our country, especially compared. With other developed nations, even if they are Socialist Democracies and that 17-20% poverty is a disgrace in a developed country. But here's where I disagree, American Capitalism, another words economic Liberalism, sorry Conservatives is the problem. And that government or Socialism is the solution, our private health industry is a problem, so we should nationalize it. Not enough people have large enough private pensions, so we should nationalize the pension system and big banks are also a. Problem so we should nationalize banks, another words whenever there's a problem, Uncle Sam has the solution for us.

I'm a Liberal but quoting former UK Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher. Makes sense here, the problem with. Socialism is that you run out of other peoples money, that there's a limit of what government can do for its people. With their own money, that if you want money to be spent well, the people who have to deal with the consequences. Of how that money should be spent, should take a large responsibility for their own money, rather then holy catastrophe Batman. We have a huge crisis on our hands, lets call Uncle Sam to come save us from ourselves, another words. We have these problems in the society, so instead of jumping to government to solve these problems for us. Especially a government that has its own issues and waste in it and a history of making problems it intended to solve worse. Why don't we instead empower people to solve their own problems.

Instead of nationalizing the healthcare system and taking the power away from the people to make these decisions. For themselves, lets make sure we have as much competition as possible thats well regulated and let the people. Decide for themselves where they get their health insurance, instead of nationalizing the pension system. Lets empower more people to plan their own retirements with their own money and empower them to make more money. So they have more money to plan their own retirement with, because now they have the skills they need to get a good job. I'm all for public banks but not as a replacement for private banks, lets break up too big to fail banks. And have more smaller and local banks and let Americans decide for themselves how they do their own banking. Again with their own money and leave government to do only what we need to do for us.

The main problem that Progressive/Social Democrats have in America, besides being really outnumbered. Is that there's a limit to the amount of money that Americans are willing to pay for someone else to take care of them. That we prefer to make these decisions for ourselves, rather then someone from a far away place making our decisions for us. We prefer to solve our own problems and leave government to do only what we need it to do for us.

Friday, December 7, 2012

American Prospect: Steve Erickson: "I Was a Teenage Conservative": Some of The Differences Between Liberalism and Conservatism

I Was a Teenage Conservative

I can see how someone could go from a Liberal to a Conservative or vice versa, one's center left, the other's center right. You are basically taking one step over to the other direction and both ideologies are built around the same values. At least in the United States, individual freedom, the US Constitution, people should be judged based on their qualifications. Not by race, ethnicity, gender and so fourth, both believe in strong national defense, internationalist foreign policy. We both believe in American Capitalism, are differences are sorta in the details of what the role of government should be. How much the wealthy should be taxed, how government should help people who need it, if at all but we share. The same values, unlike lets says a Socialist and a Libertarian, where except for maybe some social issues. And foreign policy depending on what type of Socialist the person is, its hard to find any areas where they might agree on anything. One essentially believes in a superstate, the other believes in a small state.

But how someone would go from a Conservative to a Social Democrat/Democratic Socialist Progressive, someone. Who looks up to Senator Bernie Sanders and speaks highly of Democratic Socialism and the welfare state. And what government can do for the people and so fourth, which is the transition that Arriana Huhhington. The publisher of the Huffington Post did about ten years ago, is a little hard for me to believe, going from someone. Who was center-right on the American political spectrum, to someone whose more far-left on the same spectrum. Is a little hard to believe, you go from being a individualist someone who believes that people should be free to. Live their own lives and take out of life what they put into it, to someone whose a collectivist, that we as a people. Are no stronger then the sum of all our parts and that we need a central government to put a lot of the resources of the country. In one pot, so we don't have anyone who doesn't have enough and so fourth.

Going from an individualist to a collectivist, someone who believes in individual freedom, to someone that. Believes that a Democracy is a community that we are all part of and when we allow people to go out on their own. Some people will end up being a lot more successful then others and that we can't allow people to live their own lives. Because they might make mistakes, so in some cases we may need to protect them from themselves, is a little hard for me to buy. Unless they always had those feelings and perhaps weren't aware of it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Nation: L.R. Runner: "How to Save the Democratic Party": The Future of American Leftists

How to Save the Democratic Party | The Nation

I've been having this discussion with one of my friends on Google+, if you want to call someone you've never. Met in person and talked to on the phone a friend, about what the future could be for Progressives in America. This friend of mine is an admitted Democratic Socialist, thats how he describes his politics and if you read this blog on a regular basis. You know that I've been arguing that Progressive Democrats need their own party, that being spread out amongst. 4-5 parties in America is not doing them much good, because they end up competing against each other. As well as whatever Democrat or Republican they are running against but if these 4-5 Social Democratic parties. Including the Progressive Caucus in the Democratic Party, were to come together and to form one Progressive Party. Whatever that party were to be called, whether its the Progressive Party or some other party, that they may end up. Being large enough to compete with Democrats and Republicans and at least be able to get into the debates.

As I've said before the Democratic Party is a party made up of at least three different political factions, four if. You consider that there are Liberals such as myself. two different factions of Progressives, one faction that works. With the Democratic leadership, the Barney Frank's and Bernie Sanders of the World and another Progressive. That tends to look at compromising with Republicans as selling out and when Democrats compromise with Republicans. They are being fake Democrats, people like Dennis Kucinich and then there are people like Marry Landrieu whose. At best a Moderate-Liberal but basically a Centrist especially on economic issues, socially Liberal but doesn't really push those issues. And thats really why the Democratic Party has always been so big, the largest political party in the country. If not Democratic world, because we are represented by more then one political ideology and faction.

As a Liberal Democrat, I'm happy with where this party is ideologically, we are right where a majority is as a country. On social issues but also on economic issues, in areas like infrastructure investment and on things like taxes and regulations. Where you don't tend to see Democrats at least in the leadership, pushing for new tax hikes, except on the wealthy. And new big regulations, we believe in the safety net but also believe that people who are physically and mentally capable. Of working should be expected to do so, you don't see us trying to expand the safety net but trying to save it. And make it work better and the Liberal faction of the party is also the leadership, with Progressives looking in. Trying to push us left on economic issues.

Where the Democratic Party is politically right now, is not where Progressive Democrats in the party are not right now. At least in the leadership, Progressives are really a party without an official party and this movement that puts. So much faith in Democratic Socialism as their governing philosophy, doesn't have the leadership to accomplish what they want. Because they don't have the party to deliver that for them, which is something they need to think about going forward.

CBPP: Shannon Spillane: Reducing The Deficit Without New Revenue, Would Shift New Costs Onto States

Reducing Federal Deficits Without a Significant Revenue Increase Would Shift Substantial Costs to States — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

One of the problems with going over the fiscal cliff, would be that there would be automatic across the board. Spending cuts, spending cuts is not the problem, anyone whose serious and has been following this debate, knows there. Will be spending cuts in whatever final deal is reached, the problem would be across the board spending cuts. Even in areas that don't need to be cut to get the deficit under control, like Federal mandates on the states, that the Feds. Are suppose to help pay for, like in the area of Medicaid, finding savings in safety net programs would be a good thing. So would decentralizing these programs and giving the people on the ground so to speak, more authority and input. In how these programs are run but forcing these programs onto the states without the revenue to pay for it. Would just be more unfunded mandates, requirements on the states to do things they want them to do without paying for it.

We could save hundreds of billions of dollars as a country, not by gutting programs, except for duplicate programs. Meaning programs that already exist but by simply reforming programs that we have millions of Americans that still depend on. Reforming them so people are on them can get themselves off of them by becoming self sufficient and letting the states. Run them which would give them more responsibility with the revenue to pay for them, so they don't have to raise taxes. Or cut other state programs that they depend on or a combination of both and then we could also fully finance all of these programs. Meaning they would all have their own revenue sources to pay for them, so the Feds and states wouldn't look to. Cut those programs, because the money will already be there and they wouldn't have to worry about general revenue to pay for these programs.

There are smart ways to finance deficit reduction and there are completely dumb ways to do it and there are. Smart ways to reform government and there are completely dumb ways to do it as well, so the idea is reform programs. That make them more effective, which will bring down the costs of them by itself, because they would simply be working better.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

RTAmerica: "Congress on The Hunt For Student Debtors": A Problem We Don't Have to Have

The whole student debt issue goes to the fact of how the weak the economic recovery from the Great Recession. And the fact that we have so many college graduates that can't find jobs or can't find jobs that meet their skills set. So they end up making a lot less money then their skills call for and also end up working a lot less then they normally would. Also based on their skill set and is a problem we really can't afford and a problem that don't have to have. And we could have a system that basically guarantees universal higher education for all high school students and adults. Who are already in the workforce but want to go back to school to get additional skills to get. Another job and is something that we can fund as a country, that the Federal Government wouldn't even. Have to run or takeover the college financing system but by setting up a system where parents and along. With their employers and their kids could pay into and payback once they start working again. Over a 15-20 year period or could pay it off before then.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Salon: David Woolner: The Next New Deal: "President Obama Needs to Channel FDR on the “fiscal cliff”": What The President Should Be Focused On

Obama needs to channel FDR on the “fiscal cliff”

If the President and Congress don't reach a deal to avoid the sequester and fiscal cliff but January 1, I believe. We are going to see a combination of middle class tax cuts, starting at a 50% tax hike for lower middle class workers. As well as across the board budget cuts in the Federal Government, which would also cost the country jobs, both in private and public sectors. The middle class tax hikes would result in a bigger punch or knockdown of the economy, because we would see millions. If not tens of millions of people spending less money because of the incoming tax hikes, which I don't believe is something that. Progressives understand at least the ones I've talked to, they tend to see this as another opportunity to generate. More money for the Federal Government to spend and don't seem to understand the consequences. Of what a middle class tax hike of this importance could do to an economy thats already sluggish, at 2.7% economic growth. With 7.9% unemployment these aren't good numbers but they could be worse.

So of course we need to avoid the fiscal cliff and the sequester and its just a matter of how we do it but the deal. Is already on the table, that involves savings in entitlements, savings in defense with Afghanistan and Iraq by. Not putting that money back in the defense budget and I would go further by closing bases in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea. All developed nations that can afford to defend themselves, that was already suggested by the Simpson-Bowles debt plan. And its a question of now can we get House Republicans to go along with taxing millionaires more to pay for deficit reduction. And if they do that and we can avert another crisis, then we can also put another economic growth package. On the table, that even the wealthy could benefit from, if they invest in America and create jobs here and. Not take those resources oversees, that would also include new infrastructure investment and new middle class tax cuts.

In case its not obvious enough, Barack Obama is not Franklin Roosevelt, I know shocking as it may sound kinda. Like hearing Jimmy Hendrix is not Frank Sinatra or something, Barack is not a Social Democrat and thats not who needs. To listen to, he's a Moderate-Liberal at best and his job right now is to advert another crisis and make Speaker Boehner take a deal like this. That has things in it that both sides want and will solve the problems.

Monday, December 3, 2012

American Prospect: Robert Kuttner: "Greedy Geezers, Reconsidered": What a Modern Pension System Could Look Like

Greedy Geezers, Reconsidered

I was in a debate on Facebook of all places yesterday that first started off about what to do with the Bush tax cuts. Let them all expire which is what a lot of Progressives or Social Democrats would like to do or let them just expire. For the high earners, which is what Liberal Democrats and now even some Republicans would prefer to do. Thats how the debate started off and I felt pretty good about it because I was arguing to keep the middle class tax cuts. As any real Liberal would and I even got a Progressive who previously had the position that we should let all of the tax cuts expire. Come around to say that maybe is not the time for tax hikes on the middle class, which I think is obvious but for a Social Democrat. Who always takes the side that its better for the economy for government to have more money, thats a big step for them. This discussion went to someone saying that if America wasn't so anti tax, we could fund a national pension system that would replace the private retirement system.

First I'm thinking, how we go from talking about tax cuts to nationalizing the pension system and how we go. From tax cuts to a system where we probably have to double our payroll taxes to fund this, so everyone can have a. Decent looking pension, well decent according to the government and then I though wait this is not so strange. Democratic Socialists like this come up with ideas like this all the time, I read Progressive. Economist Robert Kuttner's column in the Progressive magazine the American Prospect tonight and he was arguing. About the value of Social Security and comparing the returns that we get off of it compared with what people. In individual retirement accounts and so fourth and I was expecting him to take it to the next level of going to a Single Payer Retirement System. Where the whole country would be covered under the same pension plan, which is what  national pension system would be. But Bob Kuttner didn't go that far.

I'm not going to argue why I'm against a nationalize pension system, Social Security which is a pension insurance system. Which is different is a good thing to have so that all retirees have at least some income they can rely on once they stop working. Once I see someone with the guts to put a nationalize pension system on the table and I'm able to put that plan on this blog. Then I'll argue why I'm against that and I read the AlterNet, The Nation, American Prospect, Salon, I subscribe to the Roosevelt Institute. Newsletter, I read just about any publication the farthest left most Social Democratic or Democratic Socialist. You know publications out there and I've haven't seen that proposed in two years, I did once see this proposal in the Huffington Post. And I wrote something about that somewhere else then but I haven't seen that plan again yet.

What we need to so instead is create a pension system, again privately run not by government or by employers. But where the people would manage their own pensions and still have the original Social Security to go with their pensions. One plan, a Democratic idea is called Social Security Plus that Congressional Democrats proposed to sorta. Counter President Bush and his plan back in 2005, that would be the way to go but I would call it a Individual Retirement System. Social Security remains where it is but where workers would have the option of putting lets say up to 10%. Of their earnings in a IRA, that their employers would have to match up to lets say 5-6% of that, both would be taxed free. As long as its not spent until the worker retires and this could also benefit low income workers, by. Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to cover pensions.

Every time there seems to be some problem in the economy, Progressives argue that if only the Federal Government. Had more of our money, this problem wouldn't exist and they point to another country, generally a hell of a lot. Smaller then ours and say look it works there, without being able to argue why it  would work in America. When sometimes the problems are just that the people themselves, not government don't have enough power over their own lives.