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November 21, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

We all must watch as U.S. moves left

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President Barack Obama and the left are salivating over the November election results.

Tax revenues and entitlement programs are the principle topics in the so-called “fiscal cliff” conflict that faces negotiators from both parties. Elections have consequences, and the Democrats are not showing any signs of compromising on either taxes or entitlement programs.

Obama and his team are entrenched over a tax rate hike on those earning over $250,000 a year and are refusing to alter either Social Security or Medicare.

The leftist base is seeking large cuts in defense spending. This at a time when a declining America is facing increasing threats around the globe. The plunge into a second-rate socialist society is occurring, and that’s a shame.

If Obama is successful, the debt crisis will balloon and prompt another downgrade in America’s debt rating, and Obama marches forward in a reckless path that leads to the further fiscal and strategic collapse of the nation.

Close to half of Americans are in disagreement with this path. Nevertheless, this is a democracy, and the consequences of the election are having their effects. The United States is now a decidedly liberal, left-of-center nation, and the majority of voters seem to like it that way. We must all bear the dire consequences.

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  1. "This at a time when a declining America is facing increasing threats around the globe"

    Bob - As I remember, if we lost Vietnam, the Communists would take all of Southeast Asia and beyond. Today, Vietnam is challenging China for oil rights in the China Sea.

    Iraq never had an atomic bomb project, never had chemical weapons stockpiles, never threatened America, yet the Iraq war was more costly than World War II in 2012 dollars. In both cases, this country fought a war of attrition against imaginary enemies. The Bush government had no capability to understand any other culture except Texas and the Bible.

    The GOP is constructing imaginary enemies because they have no diplomatic capability and want to use the military as a negotiating tool.

    The real issue is, that paranoia has been a part of the American experience since the Colonial days and if the country doesn't mature, more difficult times lay ahead.

  2. Letter writer may be right. President and country is moving down the leftward road. But not for long. Never underestimate the intelligence of Americans. As soon as you do, they'll surprise you. That is IF the GOP has the guts to stand firm on principle and not give away the farm [read country] in the name of political popularity.

    CarmineD

  3. I understand that for the hard core conservative correspondents like Carmine D, Bob Jack and Jerry Fink the election looks like a leftward move. The United States has, for quite some time, had primarily a centrist political and governance system when compared with the pantheon of Western industrial democracies or democratic republics. The big problem for conservatives in the United States is that they have a fine stable of think tanks and policy wonks but they have had minimal success in governing nationally. As Re points out they have had or have the opportunity to establish themselves at the state level but so far that has been a mixed bag. In addition, it is a far different thing with different rules and policy implications to run a state than it is to run the nation.

  4. Entitlement programs have ZERO to do with the Fiscal Cliff. They have no involvement in the question immediately in front of us.

    The writer has previously expressed views that some would describe as far right. So it should come as no surprise that he sees the country as left of center. Even the center can look distant from his perspective.

    It should come as no surprise that a political creed that favors tax cuts for millionaires, pay cuts for teachers, and cuts in Medicare and Social Security benefits is a tough sell.

  5. Bob Jack, North Las Vegas,

    What have been the benefits of being controlled by the "Right"?

    Either party will control the country at some point. What would you prefer, a party that benefits the many, or a party that benefits the few?

    Mr. Jack, are you part of the "Few" or part of the "Many"?

  6. @RefNV you have posted those very misleading stats on several thread, apparently under the delusions that misdirection printed numerous times becomes truth. I recognize that is the Republican bubble strategy, but it did not work for your soulmate Mitt and it won't work here.

    Source: Center on Budget and Policy, IRS data, Heritage Foundation

    Bottom 20% earners effective tax rate 16% federal, state and local combined

    Next 20% earners effective tax rate 21% federal, state and local combined

    Lower income folk pay a significantly greater proportion of their income in taxes even after adjusting for Earned Income credit, etc. For which, BTW, you can thank your sainted Reagan who understood that getting a dollar in circulation in the economy by folks who spend all that they earn was a pretty good idea,

  7. Jeff, great posts.

    Real-time information on how Reid countered McConnell and out maneuvered his obstructionist ways. McConnell is a malaise on America!

    What is more important is the information you provided at the end of your post Dec, 8 2012 at 7:15 am. That tells the story of how the Republicans and the republican advocate made a conscience decision to obstruct President Obama at ever turn, before the President stepped foot into the White House.

    This is part of the "Special Treatment" the President has received from House Republicans and republican advocates, telling Americans the President is not one of us. He's different. So lets treat him differently. And they have treated him differently. From Joe Wilson shout of "You Lie" from the House chambers, to John Sinnunu saying, the President is "lazy" and "should learn how to be an American."

    In the real world these type of actions are called having a Bias, having a Prejudice, or in the case of the First Black President, some see this as being a racist. Especially, when majority of the opposition against the President comes from elected officials and republican advocates from states formerly known as Slave States as defined from the Slave State map from 1854.

  8. "The United States is now a decidedly liberal, left-of-center nation, and the majority of voters seem to like it that way. We must all bear the dire consequences."

    Jack -- the opposite is alive and well and beating our children to death in the name of Biblical principles, as the Palmers recently demonstrated to us here. This seems to actually be a serious opinion among the biblethumpers, who want the death penalty for "rebellious children." Check that out @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08...

    "...this country fought a war of attrition against imaginary enemies. The Bush government had no capability to understand any other culture except Texas and the Bible."

    SunJon -- amen to that!

    "Being a conservative in America traditionally has meant that one holds a deep, abiding respect for the Constitution. We conservatives believe sincerely in the integrity of the Constitution. We treasure the freedom that document protects.... By maintaining the separation of church and state, the United States has avoided the intolerance which has so divided the rest of the world with religious wars. Throughout our two hundred plus years, public policy debate has focused on political and economic issues, on which there can be compromise.... The great decisions of government cannot be dictated by the concerns of religious factions. This was true in the days of Madison, and it is just as true today. We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups and we mustn't stop now. To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic." -- Barry Goldwater, US Senate Address, September 16, 1981

  9. Jeff,

    McConnell's filibustering ways soon will be no more. In January 2013, the Senate will vote to change the filibuster rule. The new rules will requires a Senator to filibuster by talking instead of objecting. Currently, to stop a filibuster in the senate, you need 6o votes. Let see how long the Senate Republicans can talk after January.

    One reason why Jim DeMint quit the Senate and ran away like a whipped puppy.

  10. Bob Jack - "This at a time when a declining America is facing increasing threats around the globe"

    Paranoidal dribble! We still control global economics and the United States out spends by 58 percent of the total defense of the next 10 military powers, which includes Russia and China.

    CarmineD - "Letter writer may be right. President and country is moving down the leftward road. But not for long. Never underestimate the intelligence of Americans."

    Right, do not underestimate the intelligence of Americans which is exactly why President Obama won the election and not the forever flip flopping on issues Mitt Romney.

    One day you people will wake up and realize that Republican ideology is off track and voters refuse to accept it. You can't insult American voters by rigging elections using voter fraud as an excuse. You can't insult women placing them in a secondary class citizenship status. You can't insult people in general stating some off the wall psuedo science and expect them to forgive in the voting booth. Boftx posted a comment last week about the GOP being too extreme because they were influenced by the religious right. He is right on target with that insight. Radicalism and extremism is killing the GOP and they refuse to acknowledge that fact.

  11. Jeff - Great 7:16 AM post!

  12. "Right, do not underestimate the intelligence of Americans which is exactly why President Obama won the election ....." @Vernos Branco

    Let me finish the statement for you...And Americans voted in a majority of republicans in the House, and the Governor State Houses. With the majority of the 30 GOP State Governors having majority GOP legislatures.

    Obama won because he is the incumbent, never stopped campaigning since 2008, and had a great political ground game for getting out the vote, DESPITE the fact that 8 MILLION fewer voters went to the polls to vote for him in 2012 as 2008.

    CarmineD

  13. Comment removed by moderator. Personal Attack

  14. http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/08/1...
    Many Corporations pay no tax but they are overtaxed.
    The right predicted the end of America when Elvis shook his ass on television. If we can get people educated and contain medical cost inflation we should have a few hundred good years left.

  15. The worse thing the GOP can do is give in to the President on raising taxes WITHOUR COMPARABLE SPENDING CUTS. Then, Presiddent wins and tells the Americans in 2014 that the GOP raised tax rates TOO so you can't blame him [Obama] and the Dems.

    Here's your option GOP. Give the President his higher tax rates on top 2 percent and let him sign it into law [his pen is ready!]. Then GIVE HIM NOTHING UNTIL HE CONCEDES SPENDING CUTS. And he won't. Then, the President and the Dems fingerprints are all over the fiscal cliff dive and bad economy. Simple.

    CarmineD

  16. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0908934.h...
    Yeah, lets have more war spending and pay for it for the next hundred years plus. The last Civil War widows died in 2003 and 2004.
    We spend massively on defense because it creates jobs in the defense industry. Period! Most countries that have carriers have a few. We have had so many it is hard to add them up. Each new carrier budgeted will put thousands to work. The USS Gerald R Ford will probably cost more than the entire pacific fleet in WW2. $14 billion. What the hell!!! Thousands have worked on it for years.

  17. RefNV your data only counts Federal income tax....the tax burden in the United States is spread across income, sales, property and other goods and, fees on services by Federal, State and local government and quasi-governmental organizations. It is misleading of you to to use the header "Income Level Range/Effective Tax Rate" when the only tax that you are referring to is the Federal Income Tax. But, more credit to you, that is what propagandists do.

  18. You are absolutely correct. These things don't happen often but they happen more than you think. Old farts marrying young women is very prevalent among cops and soldiers. The issue had to be addressed in the actual plan documents of the medical trusts I help set up years ago. We set a minimum age for collection of benefits among surviving spouses because there were so many guys in there 50s marrying gals in there 20s and 30s. We didn't want a primary beneficiary dying and then have to pay benefits to a surviving spouse for 70 years. Santa Monica was one of the first cities to recognize domestic partners. Because of this we had to include these benefits in the "Santa Monica Police Officers Association Medical Trust". Domestic partnerships get so complicated it makes your head spin. People will be getting Iraq and Afghanistan veteran benefits 150 years from now.

    I terms of the aircraft carrier we should launch it, use it for target practice, blow it up and build another. That is sort of the way defense works. Get rid of one and build another whether we need it or not. If another cold war erupts they will have to put stop lights in the middle of the ocean. Between cruise ships, cargo ships and war ships it is getting kind of crowded.

    They can build a massive cruise ship for a billion. $14 billion for the Ford seems a little steep. But if I were in that business I am sure I would love the $$$$$$$$.
    Have a great day!

  19. The current political climate is more like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" environment with such a dysfunctional government. All the LV Sun Commenters have made good, reasonable points. As a woman, and registered voter, Mitt Romney scarred the life and trust out of me.

    Bottom line: Everyone will have to experience cuts and compromise to get our country on a more functional course. As President J.F. Kennedy suggested, "Ask not, what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  20. If Bob Jack is talking about social issues, I agree that the country is moving to the left. That is part of the reason Republicans and Conservatives are having a harder time than in the past.

    On the economy, I don't think where we appear to be matters that much. Whether it is Republicans or Democrats in power, our government is unwilling to tax enough and or reduce spending enough to address the deficits and debt. Eventually, that inaction will force change. That forced change may be in the next four years or after that but it will come.

    We can be the world's policeman if that's what we want to be, but being that is expensive, and Americans must be willing to pay for being that policeman with higher taxes.

    We can have a giant social safety net and make no changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, if that's what we want to do, but Americans must be willing to pay much higher taxes to cover what that is going to cost.

    What we MUST STOP doing is deciding we want to be the world's policeman and we want to keep entitlements just as they are and have a giant social safety net and put more than 50 % of that cost on a government credit card that already has 16 trillion dollars on it.

    If anyone thought that the election of Romney was going to change much of that, they were naive. If anyone believes that the re-election of President Obama is going to change much of that, they are naive.

    It is not in the interests of our elected leaders to do unpopular things and unpopular things are what we need to do to fix our economic mess. Until circumstances force us or we decide to force our leaders to act, we will continue in the wrong direction.

    Michael

  21. ...and you thought the use of this sort of conjecture was only available to Sarah Palin.

  22. We need to cut spending all over the place but I'm becoming concerned about SS and Medicare. Ja sure, we need to get into the details on Medicare fraud--beneficiary and provider fraud. And we need to stop the blank checks when there is little to no chance that the patient will every recover consciousness--25% of Medicare costs. Ditto the optional / elective procedures--like prostrate surgery that will probably leave you incontinent or on a catheter but 0-1% chance that the prostrate cancer will kill you. Health professionals are just not acting professionally. All they seem to do is find procedures, the more expensive the better. And no regard to your quality of life. Note the recent findings that hospitals are urging to forcing doctors to admit patients that have NO NEED for hospitalization. SS is of concern but not so much. Let's balance the concerns that the top 2% are afraid they'll have to subsidize the on-going underfunding without overdue corrections to the actuarial calculations--average life span, retirement age, amounts being paid out versus amounts being paid in. And then, we keep adding people to the SS roles without much if any contributions--illegals getting SSI and SSDI. Handicapped and disabled people put on SSDI despite never working--and we import every "needy" child we can find anywhere on the globe. Humanitarianism is a different story--we can not jeopardize our retirement and our solvency by giving it all away.

  23. Bob - Please share whatever it is you're smoking with the rest of us. Thank you.

  24. It's not moving to the left at any great speed and certainly without a mandate!! BHO can either move to the right or spend the next four years on another vacation....

  25. "AND PRESIDENT OBAMA will go down in history as
    one of the best presidents of all time." @ Teamster

    For sure...at spending the most amount of time playing golf.

    CarmineD

  26. "The United States is now a decidedly liberal, left-of-center nation...We must all bear the dire consequences."

    Review the wonderful economic stability of Canada and Australia for those dire consequences of liberal countries.

    In Australia, from 1894 until 1979 only three banks failed, all in 1931. After 1979, several shook but none failed.

    In Canada, there were no bank failures during the Great Depression compared to 9000+ in the US. Two small regional banks failed in the mid-1980s, the only such failures since 1923.

    Real Estate in Australia and Canada never experienced more than a momentary drop in 2009 and recovered almost immediately.

    The Canadians and Australians don't loose their savings between recurring boom and bust cycles as is so prevalent in America, nor is it possible to loose one's house because of a broken arm or need of an operation.

    Canadians and Australians enjoy life, travel, take more international vacations and have more time to relax and be with their friends and family than in this country. The (socialistic) British generally take an entire month off in the summer, like other European countries and travel to interesting parts of the world. In America, we look for second jobs to make up for the times of unemployment.

    Both countries, considered 'socialist' by American standards (not left-of-center), have a graduated tax system where the wealthy pay higher rates on their taxable incomes than those who are employed. Both countries have marvelous social and economic stability. In America, economic upheavals are habitual.

    In life expectancy, Australia is 6th with 81.2 years; Canada is 12th with 80.7 and the US 37th at 78.2, behind Cuba, Chile, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico to name a few. Sounds like we are dying young to become 'Competitive with the World' but it isn't working, we're just dying younger.

    What is the secret? To begin with, Australia's prime minister is an atheist and lives with a man to whom she is not married. Julia Gillard said specifically "[I'm] a great respecter of religious beliefs but they're not my beliefs".

    Rationality is the key to getting elected in Australia and fortunately, that just took place in America as well.

    If those are dire consequences, then bring them on.