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Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 7, 2006 1:46 PM)
Posted by: Crazy Pete
Now, I like this cartoon. They stopped Bush from doing something that could do some good for this nation and the Demie's shoot it down, and why? Because they didn't think of it first, thats why! If a democrat didn't think of it, then its a bad idea. I was actually interested in the idea of privatizing social security, I think it was a smart move. Watch, the next Demie in office (God help us all) he/she will try to do the same thing and it will pass.

Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 8, 2006 2:01 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
>They stopped Bush from doing something that could do some good for this nation and the Demie's shoot it down, and why? Because they didn't think of it first, thats why! If a democrat didn't think of it, then its a bad idea.

Why do you think that? I do not really ever recall a Democrat proposing to destroy Social Security this way.

> I think it was a smart move.
Ever sat down with a spreadsheet and calculated what it would do to the stability and confidence of workers.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 8, 2006 2:55 PM)
Posted by: Invader Jim
I don't think the Dems would privatize SS. And that is how they will destroy it.

And have you ever sat down and calculated the return one gets with SS? Younger workers today can expect a 1.5% return when they retire, compared to private investment that over the past 70 years (which includes the last few years of the Depression, recessions, Carter's stagflation, and several wars) that had a return of 8%.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 9, 2006 1:24 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
>compared to private investment that over the past 70 years
You are probably comparing it to all successfull private investments. What about thousands upon thousands that failed? Remember Enron, Worldcom and etc? Thousands of companies, hundreds of Universities had investment in them for their retirement programs that were lost. Littirally billions of retirement money were lost.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 9, 2006 1:25 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
What I am saying that most investments could be very volitile and regular people are not experts on them. Hell, accountants and brokers were nto experts on them when it came to Enron and WorldCOma and such.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 9, 2006 1:43 PM)
Posted by: Crazy Pete
Thats why the would make it private! Your security does not lie in the corporations anymore, or with the spending of the government, it would be put in an account for you. ITs not all piled up with the rest of the money America blows away. ITS YOURS.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 9, 2006 5:01 PM)
Posted by: Steven McAllister
Ok, who puts it into an account? I mean, would your employers be required to withhold part of your check, or would you have to do it yourself? For that matter, what bank is going to be able to suddenly open millions of long-term savings accounts? The government is going to have to charter something, and congress has never chartered an organization yet where they didn't leave a back door just big enough for them to get at the money.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 9, 2006 7:14 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
I was a lot more than just interested in it, and the Democrats weren't the only ones who shot it down. At least we could see them coming, at least they came out and publicly said they were going to try and kill it. I shouldn't even get started on this one, the damn Republican back stabbing, power grubbing, pansy picker's in Congress that stood up and clapped and cheered when Bush was campaigning on S.S. reform and then lost their sand when it came down to get it done. Not all of them, but there was enough. Then they get up after Delay split and have the gall to sit there with that plastic grin and talk about getting back to business, back to the issues that Republicans stand for. Absolute, complete, total, GARBAGE!!!! Well at least we got school vouchers, oops, thats right, we didn't. Well at least we got Ted Kennedys education bill instead. Social Security is in deep water, shot full of holes, and the Democrats can't wait to take credit for forcing future workers to keep dumping their money in it knowing it probably won't be there for them. It's not a matter of just throwing money at it, it will get worse exponentially until it chokes the taxpayer and in turn the economy, TO DEATH!! Bush was not even implementing the plan to the extent that it would need to be implemented in order to save Social Security! It was like a pilot program to stick out there to see if it was going to be feasible and to fix problems that might arise before it got too large. IT WAS A VERY SMALL AMOUNT!! You can't have confidence in a program that has repeatedly been pilfered by our elected representatives, and that any business person who got at least a C- in the sixth grade would balk from investing their kid's milk money in!
The Democrats will have to do something similar if they are going to float it past any honest economist.
8% is a conservative estimate of what could be earned in a young pesons acceptable risk catagory!
You don't have to be an expert, that was a scare tactic the Demoncrates used to scare people who were not able or willing to look at it for theirselves!
Enron - Worldcom ? It doesn't matter if you DIVERSIFY. It really does not matter in huge fund type investments like the S.S. plan would be!
Crazy is right, it would be yours, and yes it would be deducted from your paycheck just like your 401 plan is now. And as to how they could get the money from you? It would be invested with normal investment firms, they would invest your money in the place you choose - and here is the meat and potatoes - It would resemble the current retirement plan that federal employee's already have. NO HIGH RISK CHOICES, you aren't gonna get rich with this one because your options would not include high risk, i.e. small cap, micro cap, limited international, individual stocks, etc. etc. investments. But your returns would put the current system to shame!
The thing that floors me is that people are not outraged at the Republican betrayal of trust, the half assed manner in which they educated their constituent's of the obvious advantages of this program, and the dirty ones, who's condesention, and lies, dissmissing this program when if you look back in time, were the same mouths who robbed the original program blind to begin with. The last part is even more true of the demoncrats, who know it's broken and resort to scaring old people with lies and their pet liberal organization's well funded propaganda. I thought the President controlled himself quite well when they stood and cheered!
Better than I could have done, yeah, I bet it made Belafont'e day when this died on the floor, one day closer to the systems collapse, one day closer to realization of theit social plan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 9, 2006 8:54 PM)
Posted by: Crazy Pete
Wow...that was insightful Ben, thankyou for that.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 3:49 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
>I shouldn't even get started on this one, the damn Republican back stabbing, power grubbing, pansy picker's in Congress that stood up and clapped and cheered when Bush was campaigning on S.S. reform and then lost their sand when it came down to get it done.

Three things come to mind.
Unlike Bush many of those Republicans have to actually answer to their constituency in the next election. Potentially they might have thought people they actually work for (and keep in mind thats not the Republican Party but their constituency) might not like that idea.
Also why do you think every Republican = ardent Bush supporter.
>Social Security is in deep water, shot full of holes
Prove it. Break it down it to me by numbers and please no talkign points. Just math.

>Enron - Worldcom ? It doesn't matter if you DIVERSIFY. It really does not matter in huge fund type investments like the S.S. plan would be!
It does not matter to you that companies that invest in lie. Hundreds of companies "restated" their earning in that time. More over average folks are not EXPERTS in the markets. Saying DIVERSIFY is like saying well you car is taking too much gas? So tweak this here and that there and it will be better. Dude on large average peopel have no idea how to invest well. And all those lying companies are not helping that.

>yes it would be deducted from your paycheck just like your 401 plan is now
Not really like 401.

>It would be invested with normal investment firms
If I recall correctly a number of investment firms were investigate, charged and fined for misleading their customers.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 4:47 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
Yep, you got me there. It's almost impossible to understand all this really complicated stuff like many different investments to spread risk and not many investment's increasing your risk. Hey here is a really really really hard one. Don't put your eggs in one basket! I know I know, you are saying what in the hell does that mean. What is an egg?
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 4:57 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
It does not matter to you that companies that invest in lie.
Every company I've ever worked for has lied, I'm supposed to sacrifice my retirement and then sit there and wait for the Government to bail me out, By taxing my grandchildren to death because I didn't want to trust the BAD company. Next time I buy something in the store and I think I got a good deal on it I think I'll take the moral high ground and give them more than it cost's so I can claim to have been overcharged. Poor me!
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 5:00 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
Here is a News Flash, the government lies,
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 5:39 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
The Congress runs the budget like most people are running their personal finances, by borrowing more money than they can afford. Loans from foreign countries, like China, who already have us running around the board, like a king from a rook and a queen. They get their oil from Iran. Where is ours going to come from when Venezuela cuts us off? Here's another one that too complicated for a simple mind like you apparently believe "most people" have. China is kicking our tail in the manufacturing - production arena. How are we going to compete with a country that gets most of it's work done for free, can control it's spending because the government doesn't care if people starve, and has millions and millions of people to do exactly when and what the red government tells it to?
Companies lie, give me a break. The lying crooked companies employ people. Everyone can't work for the government, that is unless your boy's and girl's get their way. At least the companies produce something and provide products that sell overseas', making Americans who invest money for some kind of retirement more money than burying it in the backyard. Of course burying it, well, how is a normal person supposed to know how to bury something? Maybe if they just pitch it out the back door someone will find it and bury it for them.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 8:07 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
> Here is a News Flash, the government lies,
Lets see. Bush = government. Bush said NSA _WARRANTLESS_ spying is illegal
Now lets apply your statement:
NSA program is illegal.

>The Congress runs the budget like most people are running their personal finances, by borrowing more money than they can afford.
Wait does the President propose the budget, Did not we borrow heavily to pay for this Iraq debacle?

>China is kicking our tail in the manufacturing - production arena.
Well maybe we should accept good that are made in horrid condition in sweatshops. How about trade deals that include sections on workers rights and etc?
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 10:33 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
Lets see. Bush = government. Bush said NSA _WARRANTLESS_ spying is illegal
Now lets apply your statement:
NSA program is illegal.

Been listening to Air America have we? Read the fourth amendment* wiretapping against Americans* hmm.. sounds illegal. I thought so too at first, but the more I read, the more I thought about it the grayer it seemed. I will readily admit to not being a constitutional scholar, but I understand this much, whether the lower courts rule, or whether FISA rules, or whether the President's claim of constitutional rights rule, its beyond my ability to say.
The more I looked the more my head hurt. But I can say this, your above, dare I call it, attempt at logic? Is, at the very best an oversimplification of a matter that should probably be decided by Samuel Alito.
Oops, I really meant to say the Supreme Court.
Now lets see how the shoe fits you, you say the wiretap was illegal, prove it.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 10:34 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
>The Congress runs the budget like most people are running their personal finances, by borrowing more money than they can afford.
Wait does the President propose the budget, Did not we borrow heavily to pay for this Iraq debacle?

Yes on both counts!
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 10:44 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
>Yes on both counts!
So you see. Its not all lefties fult the country is going down the drain financially.

>Now lets see how the shoe fits you, you say the wiretap was illegal, prove it.
Please note the WARRANTLESS part. Definately illegal.
You won't find a single law in US that say you can conduct warrantless wiretapping.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 10, 2006 10:56 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
>China is kicking our tail in the manufacturing - production arena.
Well maybe we should accept good that are made in horrid condition in sweatshops. How about trade deals that include sections on workers rights and etc?

Mabye we should accept goods that were made in horrid conditions in sweatshops? Are you serious? Those poor children working 16 hours a day to make your shoes, breathing those fumes that render them brain damaged by age 16. You are really really mean.
I screwed up too and didn't mean to say in the last point that Iraq is a (your words) debacle. Just that we borrowed heavily to fund it.
Back to China, I have for a long time now been against trade with those people. But the time to force them to adhere to trade agreements is past. We are at a serious disadvantage because we need them more than they need us. Not a good place to be.
It's so bad now you can't not shop China.
Imagine now that they are in the position they are in, we demand this __________. They would laugh in our face.



Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 11, 2006 2:31 AM)
Posted by: Good Will
>Mabye we should accept goods that were made in horrid conditions in sweatshops? Are you serious? Those poor children working 16 hours a day to make your shoes, breathing those fumes that render them brain damaged by age 16. You are really really mean.

I was being sarcastic.

>But the time to force them to adhere to trade agreements is past.
None of our agreements with them have anything about workers right in those.

>Imagine now that they are in the position they are in, we demand this __________. They would laugh in our face.
Actually, if we demanded they woudl have to adhere.
I do nto know if you know this but China's economy litterally rests on their trade with US and Europe and Australia.
If tomorrow US and Europe would declare embargo on CHina's goods their economy would nearly collapse. Why? Because currently nearly 85% of their factories work to produce goods for trade. Without that, those folks would all be unemployed real quick. This is not just wishful thinking.
Take a step back and think about it: If every 4 out 5 (~80%) factories you have work to produce goods for the trade and there is no more trade, those factories and everyoen who works for them are screwed. Granted there might be some markets in Latin America, Africa, and Russia but those locales are much more poor then US/EUROP/Australia and would never be the market that we are.
So yes if in tomorrows agreement US woudl say that we will accept good from places where no sweatshop, child and etc labor is used and where working conditions are good and we would stand by it, China woudl have to listen.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 11, 2006 10:45 AM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
>So you see. Its not all lefties fult the country is going down the drain financially.

No, it's not, but at least the conservative model looks for a way to grow our economy. Not just go and get the money from the people and then when they have a little left over find a way to waste it. Power to the people! Not the government.

>You won't find a single law in US that say you can >conduct warrantless wiretapping.

I,m not going back through all that crap, google FISA 1802, and see what you find. And don't just cut n paste an opinion because thats what you'll find, He said She said.

>Actually, if we demanded they woudl have to adhere.

I still have to disagree, It would crash their economy alright, but we would go first, and I'll tell you why. They find billions they didn't know they had, yeah right, we lose billions we don't know what happened to it. Who knows how much they have socked away, or where they got it, while we operate in the red. The other thing is the debt they hang over our head, not to mention the cultural differences, they just have to feed their people and make do. Do you think that we with our lifestyle could live a month without a check, gas, or groceries on the shelf? They are practical, wrong but practical. They will eat anything that flys, swims, crawls, or runs, and most people in this country would refuse deer meat. Even when hungry!
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 11, 2006 2:55 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
>conservative model looks for a way to grow our economy
The conservative model just run up teh biggest deficit in our history on a war taht had nothing to do with 9/11 and a country who unlike North Korea for example did not have WMDs.

>Do you think that we with our lifestyle could live a month without a check, gas, or groceries on the shelf?
When push comes to shove...sure.

>I,m not going back through all that crap, google FISA 1802, and see what you find. And don't just cut n paste an opinion because thats what you'll find, He said She said.
I NOT am pasting an OPINION. There is no law in this country that says WARRANTLESS wiretapping is legal. None. Null. Nada. If you gonna claim that warrantless spying is legal you have to show me what law makes it legal and whether that law trumps teh 4th Ammendment. Otherwise you are saying stuff, and by responding hwo you did, just trying to cut and run away from teh subject.

>I still have to disagree, It would crash their economy alright, but we would go first, and I'll tell you why.
I did nto say it would pleasant for us. But China woudl not risk bringing down their economy. They would cave. I thought conservatives say they are tough when things got tough?
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 14, 2006 6:58 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
I wondered why libís were pushing for action elsewhere,back when this thing was just getting started, who knows, maybe they suggest we wait until a country gets nukes then attack so the horrific results will be like WW1. The war to end all wars.

>nothing to do with 9/11

Somebody said they had terroristís training camps in northern Iraq, and were giving rewards to the families of suicide bombers. Mind to back up that claim? Leave oil out of it if you donít mind, I concede that itís a major component.

>biggest deficit in our history

Itís true no defense for this one.

>When push comes to shove...sure.
>I did nto say it would pleasant for us. But China woudl not risk bringing down their economy. They would cave. I thought conservatives say they are >tough when things got tough?

Wow, completely twisted logic again! My apprehension was not that, Oh no! People with a conservative mindset wonít be able to cut it! Weíll have to hope the liberal big city people who are so sophisticated, will provide for our inadequacy. It was closer to the opposite! Who? By their own admission, are barely makin it? Canít figure out that when someone gives you your own money, it might be a good thing? Canít seem to find a way to register to vote during the year, but when they show up at the polls, are denied their right to do so, not because they couldnít register but because they canít seem to produce simple ID! If so many Democrats canít get an ID, or register to vote, or much else that takeís any effort, whoís going to be coming to the rescue? The federal government? Have fun waiting for that, Katrina ring a bell? Oh yeah, I know, if the Democrats were in there everything would be fine. Just fine. Just relax and surrender, theyíll provide.

>I NOT am pasting an OPINION. There is no law in >this country that says WARRANTLESS wiretapping >is legal. None. Null. Nada. If you gonna claim that >warrantless spying is legal you have to >show me what law makes it legal and whether that law trumps teh 4th Ammendment. Otherwise you are saying stuff, and by responding hwo you did, just trying to cut and run away from teh >subject.

FISA law that says that warrantless wiretapping is legal if certain conditions are met: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50/usc_sec_50_00001802----000-.html
So much for none, null, nada. It still ainít the point, No one knows who the wiretaps were conducted on! So no one really knows whether or not they are illegal! As to how this law stands beside the Fourth Amendment, that is for The Supreme Court to decide.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 14, 2006 7:02 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
>I wondered why libís were pushing for action >elsewhere,back when this thing was just getting >started, who knows, maybe they suggest we wait >until a country gets nukes then attack so the horrific >results will be like WW1. The war to end all wars.

Remember "Stop America's Racist's War", now all the libs' say we should have gone into Afghanistan but not Iraq.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 15, 2006 2:53 AM)
Posted by: Good Will
Cut and run from subject allert!! Cut and run alert!!!
Its not he said, she said.
Show me one law that say warrantless spying is legal. In the letter of the law.

>FISA law that says that warrantless wiretapping is legal if certain conditions are met:
No it does not. It says that you can obtain a warrant retroactively within 72 hours. A warrant is STILL REQUIRED!!! Any wiretapping for which no warrant was not acquired with that period is ILLEGAL!! More over, if noone is even ATTEMPTED to acquire one it is definately illegal.
So lets recap! 72 hours is a grace period so to speak in emergency situation!! You MUST acquire a warrant within that 72 hours from the FISA court!!! If you do not even attempt to do (which Bush did not) IT IS ILLEGAL, because its WARRANTLESS WIRETAPPING. So as I said: None. Null. Nada.
Please read the actual law.

>I wondered why libís were pushing for action elsewhere,back when this thing was just getting started, who knows, maybe they suggest we wait until a country gets nukes then attack so the horrific results will be like WW1. The war to end all wars.

Well Noth Korea actually has WMDs and Iran is openly trying to develp them. Are not they the Axis of Evil according to Mr. Bush. Why are nto we attacking them to prevent the war?

>northern Iraq
That was a camp in Kurdish lands. Which in fact was protected by our planes (do not flip, I mean the land, not the camp). Do your research. More over even a terrorist training camp in Iraq does not link it to AL-Queda and 9/11. There are plenty of terrorists out there. It does not mean they all are connected with Al Queda. Ever heard of IRA? The Irish terrorists? They did not have any links in Al Queda, but sure had training camps.

>It still ainít the point, No one knows who the wiretaps were conducted on!
Well maybe if they told someone we know. I do not trust the Bush administration. A LOT OF PEOPLE DOES NOT TRUST THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

>So no one really knows whether or not they are illegal!
Am....lets go over once more: No warrant = ILLEGAL.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 16, 2006 1:21 AM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
Huh, I never thought of that, I wonder if those were IRA training camps in Iraq? Mabye the Catholics were teaming up with Sadam? I wonder if you have ever even considered that perhaps, just mabye the NSA isn't the boogyman you claim? We're in Iraq on one side, Afghanistan on the other, and right there in the middle is IRAN making nukes. I at least think about it, you guys just assume that they're spying on Americans and trying to destroy the world. You seem to be hung up comparing Iraq to Vietnam, but now we're threatened on our own soil, possibly with nuclear weapons. And there are all these people talking about America sucks because this, and sucks because that. You know there are still parts of this country where talk like that puts you in a different pair of shoes than everyone else. What do you think about that?
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 16, 2006 11:44 AM)
Posted by: Good Will
>Huh, I never thought of that, I wonder if those were IRA training camps in Iraq?
Ok, now you should look up the word Analogy!!!

>I at least think about it, you guys just assume that they're spying on Americans and trying to destroy the world.
No oversight!!! How about some oversight on who we are spying on. Or is the system of checks and balances is foreign to you?

>You seem to be hung up comparing Iraq to Vietnam
Have I even mentioned Vietnam? Or do you just make up what you think I said and answer that.

>but now we're threatened on our own soil, possibly with nuclear weapons.
A man once said: "Give me liberty or give me death"
But hey to Republicans its, and I quote one of your Republican Senators,: "liberty does not matter if you are dead" == Oh the horror, we might be dead. I'll just give up all my libertie just do not shoot me...

I see you are no longer mentioning the ILLEGAL WARRANTLESS WIRETAPPING.
Way to go off topic. Throw in Vietnam, try to scare peopel with terrorist. Politics of fear eh? Do as we say and we will make you safe. Thank you but no thank you.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 16, 2006 5:29 PM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
How did this get so far from privatizing Social Security??? I could respond to all this about Iraq, and wiretaps, and all that digression, but instead I'll get to the point.

Bush's bill that got shot down by Dems (and some spineless Republicans caving to Dem pressure) was *not* a bill to immediately, *or even gradually* eliminate or privatize all of SS. It would have taken a very small percentage of accounts (though I don't recall how they would be chosen) and used them to study the benefits and drawbacks of the idea. Any economist who's honest will admit that you can't fully study an economic plan without implementing it.

Now, tell me this: *if* (and I'm not saying this is the Bush plan necessarily - I don't recall if it is) a law was passed to say basically, "The same SS deduction will still be made from your pay, *but* you can *choose* to let the government take it and invest it (at the aforementioned measly 1.5% rate) *or* invest it yourself - with the only restrictions being that you cannot touch it until you retire and that it will only be released to you in installments (so that it still forces even the most financially moronic citizen to save for retirement, as it does now)." If that were passed, what would be the problem? Sure, some people would opt to invest themselves, and would make bad investments... but consequences are the price of choice. I think the *real* problem the Dems have with it is that with private accounts, we would no longer be paying into one large lump account in which those who contribute more end up taking up the slack for those who contribute less - people would have to get out of the system *only as much as they put in!* Oh! The horror!

Additionally, what would be wrong with investing in a "safe" fund like most managed investment funds are? I admit, I'm not well-versed enough in econ or finance to do all my investments myself. That's why I have my investments spread over 4 or 5 different mutuals, all run by a highly reputable nationwide financial company (whose name I omit only because I don't want it to sound like I'm plugging them). My average return over the period from now to my retirement will be about 10%, and it's set up to warn me of any trouble that the funds run into. All of this took no more than a 1 hour trip to see a representative of the company, and cost nothing but the investment itself. Anyone could do it, and it's almost as safe as a plain old savings account (and much *safer* than SS, because my retirement money can't be stolen to pay for pork and for bloated or frivolous social programs).
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 16, 2006 11:54 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
Again somehow this assumes the average folk are savvy at investing.
Hell a number of own coworkers, republicans by teh way, pulled out the stock market after Enron and Worldcoma and other company "restatements of proffits"....err...fraud.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 17, 2006 2:11 AM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
Huh? Good Will, did you *read* my post, or just get the general sense that I was defending privatization of SS and pull out a canned response?

For one thing, my proposal had *nothing* to do with direct investment in the stock market (though I suppose that's *one* option of where people could put *their own* money). I said that first of all they *could* choose to still leave it in the hands of the Mommy State/Big Brother. Second, I specifically suggested a plan for very safe private investment that requires no greater knowledge than being able to find the number of a good investment firm on their website. My idea did not require people to privatize at all if they don't want to, and if they did, they by no means would have to choose to actually invest the money by *personally* choosing what specific things to put it into. The reps from any of the good firms will sit down with you *at no charge* and explain in layman's terms the benefits and disadvantages of each fund they offer.

Now, if you'd like to respond to my *actual* post, not burn a straw man and not bring up some random tangential jab at Republicans, I'd be more than happy to answer any objections you may have.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 17, 2006 12:10 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
I did read your post, I made extrapolations of your arguments and presented mine. Maybe I skipped steps. So let me rewrite the last post with more detail.

And rather frankly I think you are grabbing at straws. One, to have social security where some people give and some do not, is kinda like riding half a horse. Second when you say "being able to find the number of a good investment firm on their website." this naturally goes to the stock market...because those firm usually do invest relatively heavy in the stock market. Basically you told me: if you do not know the stock market giving your money to firms that know it and do it for you. But the problem remains that a person has to trust these firms and can not check them because rather frankly most people are nto expert at the stock market.

>The reps from any of the good firms will sit down with you *at no charge* and explain in layman's terms the benefits and disadvantages of each fund they offer.
The problem is that, after so many "restatements" of profits in the last several years and fraud prosecutions, I simply do not believe taht this rep is not just a lying salesman.

Also I will point out to you that a number of those investment firms have been fined heavily in last several years for fixing prices and etc. Basically, it is really hard to trust them.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 17, 2006 1:00 PM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
OK, now tell me why this rampant cynicism over investment firms makes them worse than letting the government handle it (who *blatantly and openly* skims from SS to fund pork and new programs... under *both parties equally*). Also, you're wrong about the stock market. My investment portfolio, which is one of their standard ones, is more than half bonds and money market. Less than 50% is stock, and only 10% is in high-risk stocks.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 17, 2006 3:08 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
OK, now tell me why this rampant cynicism over investment firms makes them worse than letting the government handle it (who *blatantly and openly* skims from SS to fund pork and new programs... under *both parties equally*).

Thats because you assumed that I think its ok to skim from Social Security and I like how its handled now. I just do not like the solution proposed by Bush, I think it is making a bad situation worse.
I just want to mention something on the debating with no malice intended: Just because I disagree with you point it does not mean I agree with the point you disagree with.

Basically what I am saying is this (an example):
Lets say we are both doctors and are look a t a patient with an injured leg.
You say: Lets amputate it
I say: No lets not

it does not mean I do not want to do anything to heal the person with an injured leg just because I do not like your solution for it.
See what I mean?
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 18, 2006 5:50 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
>See what I mean?

No.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 18, 2006 5:51 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
I see you are no longer mentioning the ILLEGAL WARRANTLESS WIRETAPPING.
>Way to go off topic. Throw in Vietnam, try to scare peopel with terrorist. Politics of fear eh? Do as we say and we will make you safe. Thank you but >no thank you.

Iím sorry, the stick broke that I was using to beat this dead horse, and I had to go find another one. Iím going to try to make it simple this time so you can follow it. You are probably the only person in the world that still does not understand this. The seventy two hour retro period does not matter if the people that you are wiretapping are not what can be considered ďUS personsĒ in the law. I know that it doesnít seem fair that US law only applies to us, but maybe when the democrats regain power they can require the NSA to get a warrant no matter who they are listening to, or where. That would really tie their hands behind their backs. Wooo Hooo. Go terroristsí! Since we donít know who they were listening to, we donít know if they could be considered US persons or not. So unless you are privy to information that no one else knows you canít say that they were illegal or not! Comprendeí! The argument that the more attentive citizensí of this country are using is going on the foregone conclusion that the people who were listened to were ďUS personsĒ. I hate to have to help you along by telling you what your argument should be, but I kind of feel sorry for you as your analytical abilities seem to have been compromised by your hatred for the President and in turn the National Security Administration. Assuming that the wiretaps were conducted on ďUS peopleĒ, the argument is then, how can we be sure they are conducted within the boundaries of the Constitution? Do you think that they should be put before the people on the front page of every newspaper? Or examined by a congressional committee, behind closed doors?

The government may be trying to scare people with terrorists, but I ainít. Itís just that you people act like they donít exist!
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 19, 2006 5:01 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
>The seventy two hour retro period does not matter if the people that you are wiretapping are not what can be considered ďUS personsĒ in the law.

You need a warrant to wiretap in US. Just because some one is in US but not a citizen (or legal alien) it does not mean they have no right. Take any foreign national. A Briton, a Canadian, for example, he is no American Citizen, does it mean it is legal to wiretap his conversations without warrant?

>Or examined by a congressional committee, behind closed doors?

Never happened with this program!!! NEVER HAPPENED. Bush wiretapping has not been examined by no congressional hearing, by no court. Yay for an executive branch who has no checks and balanaces, its like 1776 never happened.

I get the feeling you never read the law.

> to have been compromised by your hatred for the President and in turn the National Security Administration.
Tell ya what, when they stop using KGB handbook as their source on how to deal with tehir own citizens we will talk. And no I do not mean it literally. What I mean is that China, Russia, Cuba, ALbania, North Korea and other countries do warrantless wiretapping at their pleasure. Its lovely to see that Bush wants us to join their ilk.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 19, 2006 8:35 PM)
Posted by: Patricia Gruffs
"Its lovely to see that Bush wants us to join their ilk. "

Actually it was the Chairman/Founder of the ACLU that "wants us to join their ilk" Will...(see quote)

"I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. *Communism is, of course, the goal*." óHarvard Class Book of 1935, spotlighting Roger NashBaldwin's class of 1905 on its thirtieth anniversary

Seeing as how the ALCU hates right wingers with a passion, I think they are more YOUR crowd, Will, for as you should know by common sense a house divided against itself will fall, thus Bush and the Communists couldn't very well be in cahoots, or they'd lose, just like the Democrats...loser dumbasses.

As far as the wire tapping topic, you've had it explained to you, Will, if you haven't gotten the point yet, I guess I can only think of you as...a DUMBASS.

By the way..."dumbass" is much funnier than "vilify" and in Will's case, I better stick with it...to make my point that Will is, in fact, a dumbass, because as Will has shown us, if you say it alot, that makes it true.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 19, 2006 9:02 PM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
OK, aside from saying to Patricia that though I agree with you *on your salient points*, flaming doesn't advance an argument at all, I will stay on my topic of SS.

Good Will, I do see your point, I think it's a very valid principle of debate, and I admit to making the false assumption... I do not, however, admit to making it in my post, only in my head. In my actual post, I asked you a question ("Why is my idea *worse* than the current system?") that did not rely on the assumption that you *like* the current system, but only on the assumption that you must like it better than my idea. My rationale for that is simply the general principle that a rational person (which I believe you are when you don't get suckered into a flame war with someone) will always prefer the lesser of two evils. Therefore, since you have raised objections to my idea, yet proposed no alternative, I have to assume that the alternative you favor is the current system - even though you don't like it on its own merits.

By the way, I agree, debating with no malice intended is the best way to do it. If my starting premise is "You're a liberal moron," I have no chance at all of convincing you of anything (and the reverse applies equally), but if my starting premise is of the general form "I disagree with you, this is why, and this is what I think would be better," then we can trade ideas, and *maybe* even come up with better ones by playing off each other. That's the difference between a mere argument and a real debate.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 19, 2006 9:11 PM)
Posted by: Patricia Gruffs
"That's the difference between a mere argument and a real debate. "

I don't know if you noticed yet Anthony, but Will just pretty much ignores what your point is and repeats what he's said in a less coherent manner. As for me, I love what you got, keep bringing it, but I gotta call 'em like I see 'em. Some people you can get through to only by slapping them around, especially the airheaded lefty libs. It's not like anything I'm saying isn't true.

However, please keep at it with your method. We'll do a "good cop/bad cop" thing on him.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 20, 2006 2:39 AM)
Posted by: Good Will
>Actually it was the Chairman/Founder of the ACLU that "wants us to join their ilk" Will...(see quote)
Patricia...lets drag in some more dead people in it.
For example the founding father were slave owners, I guess it means that US should still have slaves.
Here is some some food for thought for you as to whom ACLU has defended:
http://www.aclu.org//religion/tencomm/16254res20050302.html

September 20, 2005: ACLU of New Jersey joins lawsuit supporting second-grader's right to sing "Awesome God" at a talent show.

August 4, 2005: ACLU helps free a New Mexico street preacher from prison.

November 20, 2004: ACLU of Nevada supports free speech rights of evangelists to preach on the sidewalks of the strip in Las Vegas.

November 9, 2004: ACLU of Nevada defends a Mormon student who was suspended after wearing a T-shirt with a religious message to school.

July 10, 2004: Indiana Civil Liberties Union defends the rights of a Baptist minister to preach his message on public streets.

June 3, 2004: Under pressure from the ACLU of Virginia, officials agree not to prohibit baptisms on public property in Falmouth Waterside Park in Stafford County.

May 11, 2004: After ACLU of Michigan intervened on behalf of a Christian Valedictorian, a public high school agrees to stop censoring religious yearbook entries.

March 25, 2004: ACLU of Washington defends an Evangelical minister's right to preach on sidewalks.

February 21, 2003: ACLU of Massachusetts defends students punished for distributing candy canes with religious messages.

July 11, 2002: ACLU supports right of Iowa students to distribute Christian literature at school.


HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE RELIGION ACLU eh?
Have you ever even read their mission statement?
Their client is mainly the Bill of Rights and the Ammendments.
They are there to protect from wackos on the left or the right. Or the middle.

>We'll do a "good cop/bad cop" thing on him.
That kinda only works on emotion and when a person is nto given time to think. Where as I have tons of time to reply :) Free lesson in psychology for you.

Anthony, I'll have a reply for you tomorrow. Your arguments require some thinking :)

Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 20, 2006 2:50 AM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
No hurry ;-) The more thinking, the better the reply.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 22, 2006 4:06 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
>In my actual post, I asked you a question ("Why is my idea *worse* than the current system?") that did not rely on the assumption that you *like* the current system, but only on the assumption that you must like it better than my idea.

Well my true feeling about it are those:
I do not think the solution you are proposing is good. I am VERY SERIOUSLY concerned that people do not really know how to save money. More over I am very sure an average person knows how to invest. I mean a lot of folks out there still answer "Nigerian scam" emails. I mentioned in a different post here: "Personally I think one class was missing was a class on personal finances in nowaday America. I saw tons of kids run up credit card debt when they turned 18 and got a credit card." (see http://www.conservativecartoons.com/forum/message.php?id=832)

Just a small addition:
I would like to present this to illustrate my point on how we are lousy at savings:
--snip--
According to the latest Government report the personal savings rate has plunged to negative 0.7% in December from negative 0.2% in November. This was the seventh consecutive negative savings rate. Note that the average of the savings rate since 1959 stood at 7.2%.
--snip--
interesting story, though I do nto agree with a number of points on it. Interesting if you like to follow the economy and appreciate economics: http://www.mises.org/story/2067 :-D

Now I am not saying its the only indicator. But as Enron, Worldcom and the rest showed us (and keep in mind A LOT of companies "restated" REPORTED earning. And in this case "restated" means the lied before.), that big companies will lie thru their teeth and commit fraud, that investmentors can be lied to even by Fortune 500 companies. I am verys seriously telling you that people right now have lost a lot of confidence in investing. It is always eben a risk, but this time around it was huge and purposeful fraud.

What would I do to change SS?
For starters, I'd make it a closed fund. NO BORROWING from it for any unrelated projects. I mean its like a cookie jar EVERYONE is dipping into (again do not care about party affiliations here). Social Security is there social security projects, not something you borrow from to build a bridge or something. There are other ideas, but right now I do not have to have a phrasing correct. I'll post it another day.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 22, 2006 4:31 PM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
OK, I see your point... you're still making a false assumption here though. You're assuming that I was suggesting that people be allowed to do *anything* with their SS money (such as pyramid schemes and scam emails). I only said that the person could "decide how to *invest*" their money, not use it on anything they want. Perhaps you say they can only put it into 4 categories: stocks, bonds, money market, or managed funds... and they have to go through a certified broker (for free). Also, like I said, sure, some people *will* make bad investments, like choosing to buy stock without an advisor, and will lose it all. However, the price of freedom (among others) is the risk of failure. That guy who lost it all in the market would have *had* the choice to leave it with the government instead, where it would be safe but stagnant. He *chose* to invest it himself, and in doing so, took upon himself the risks that go with it.

It's the whole "personal responsibility vs. hand-holding" debate. Sure, if the government gives people no choice about how to invest, then there's no risk that they might invest poorly... but there's also no choice. If I've got a teenage kid (which I don't, I'm 20 :-p), I *could* chaperone him everywhere he goes and make all his decisions for him, and I'd then be certain that he'd never get into any trouble. He also would never have the chance to be a man instead of a boy, and to live his own life. There's a country song I heard once... I'm not a huge fan of country, and I only remember one line of the song, but it was about this guy who I guess had just lost his wife or something, and was reminiscing about when they first met and he first asked her to dance (like I said, my memory is fuzzy). He says something like "I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance." Now, I don't typically take my life lessons from songs I can't even remember, but that line seems relevant - we can be protected (by our parents, our government, or simply our own caution) from almost every risk, but then we're also "protected" from every opportunity for greater gain.

As for your ideas on SS, I'll wait until you post the full thing before I respond.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 22, 2006 7:20 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
>It's the whole "personal responsibility vs. hand-holding" debate.
Unfortunately its not that simple. Social Security was created after the Great Depression when millions of people lost jobs, livelehoods and savings thru no fault of their own.
For example take the example of the United Airlines and their pension plan. Less then a year ago they announced that they didn't have to fulfill its pension obligations. Now those retirement plans have to be revised since the pensions they will receive will be reduced significantly.

So these folks had an agreement with the company that they will work for such and such terms. Those terms include money they get on month bases (salary), health insurance (which is also money they earn but do not get as cashe since dedicated for a specific benefit), and pensions (again money they earned and are put away for the future). Those are the terms the company agreed to and the employees agreed to. And now they are dropping those employees on their asses. Now you can throw legalese at me and say the federal court allowed bancrupcy. But that is irrelevant.

These folks have worked hard after agreeing to the above specific terms. They made an agreement, expected it to be honored and based their lives, investments and what not around that.

So now they pretty much just have their SS to count on. Tell me where they went wrong.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 23, 2006 12:10 AM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
They didn't. However, I've never liked pensions any more than SS. I'd rather get all my money *now* and make *me* responsible for saving it. That way if I lose it and fall on my ass, it *is* my fault and no one else's.

Furthermore, before the Great Depression, this was something people took as a *given* - that they were responsible for their own futures. Now it's true that the Depression didn't make that possible, but since we now have laws in place that make another Depression nearly impossible, I think we need to go back to that time when every man (and woman) was responsible for his own future, and if he fu**ed it up, the only face he could glare at was the one in the mirror.

The only reason the UA people were left with nothing to fall back on was because they assumed it would be the company's responsibility to provide for their retirement (not their fault - that's what society ingrained in them and what they signed up for). If they had assumed from the very beginning that it was their responsibility, they'd have something to fall back on now. Again, not their fault. I think we need to start *teaching* people to take responsibility for their own futures, not just pull the rug out from under them, but that still will require a gradual phase-out of all sorts of "safety-net" programs. Not completely - there should always be the net there for real catastrophes - but enough that each person's *primary* reliance is on himself, with the government only as a last resort when all else fails... not something that's factored in as part of the standard plan.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 23, 2006 3:42 PM)
Posted by: Good Will
> they assumed it would be the company's responsibility to provide for their retirement
Actually thats not true. Its part of their hiring agreement. Its basically the money they earn that goes toward a specific benefit. For USA to refuse them the pension is litterally liek stealing the money they earned.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 23, 2006 4:29 PM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
No, I know... I was saying they assumed it (based on the contract) not that it was *their fault* for assuming it. That's why I don't like the idea of a pension. It's an IOU. I'd rather just get a bigger weekly paycheck and take out a portion *myself* to put away for retirement.

Also, I *agree* that the pension is money they earned, and therefore it is wrong for them not to get it. I just think that the problem is that instead of *fixing* a fraying tightrope (the broken system of pensions), we're putting a safety-net (SS) *under* the tightrope, with more or less the *expectation* that people will fall with some degree of regularity.

I think *changing* the system is wiser than simply preparing contingency plans to *compensate* for it.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 25, 2006 1:40 AM)
Posted by: Vanessa C.
This certainly is an interesting discussion. The fact of the matter is, however, that at no point did anyone say that the stocks would be high risk or that there would be no saftey net should said investments not pan out. As far as I can see it, the idea was that some low-risk medium-yeild stocks and bonds would be put up as a choice in which the consumer could invest their money in. They would also have the option of placing their money in a no-risk low-yeild goverment security. This money, that Will points out, they earned, would then be available to them, their children, their grandchild and on, until such time as it was depleted. Unlike the current system that takes the money and hands you and IOU that may or may not be paid back.
I really don't see why so many people are fighting this. I for one would like the keep the money that I earned, and I would like to pass it onto my heirs should I ever have any. The current system actually makes people less willing to save on their own, while the proposed change might actually cause an increase in personal investoment as people find out how simple and easy it really is.
...and not to sound rude, but I really don't like being told that I, and my peers (I'm almost 21, and as such this is my retirement we're talking about), are too ignorant to invest our money properly by someone who doesn't have basic grasp on the english language.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 25, 2006 2:36 AM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
I'm having a hard time figuring out who you're accusing in your last sentence... Both myself and Good Will, though we disagree, post in clear, correct English (I'm just a bit more anal about it than he is). If you're parroting the perennial insult against Bush's speech though, then I suppose the speech thing makes sense but the "telling you you're too ignorant" part doesn't... since Bush is the one who *wants* to give you control over your own money.

Either way, I agree with your salient debating points.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 25, 2006 7:51 PM)
Posted by: Ben Sebaugh
C'mon people now, smile on yer brother, everybody get together, try an luv one another right now.
I like the Nirvana version, I think Tony probably likes the original better don't you Tony?
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (February 25, 2006 11:20 PM)
Posted by: Anthony Zarrella
Actually... though I probably would know the song you're quoting if I heard it, I'm drawing a weird blank right now :-P Oh, and no offense, but for reasons beyond my understanding I've never liked being called Tony ;-)

This is all meant to be good-natured though... don't want to accidentally give the impression that I'm not smiling as I type this.
Cartoon on Bush's State of the Union Address (March 7, 2006 12:33 AM)
Posted by: Good Will
No, I know... I was saying they assumed it (based on the contract) not that it was *their fault* for assuming it. That's why I don't like the idea of a pension. It's an IOU. I'd rather just get a bigger weekly paycheck and take out a portion *myself* to put away for retirement.

I understand your concern. But my point is still valid. The airlien literally stole their money.

>with more or less the *expectation* that people will fall with some degree of regularity.
Well some people of course. SS is designed to be that safety net.

Vannessa:
>...and not to sound rude, but I really don't like being told that I, and my peers (I'm almost 21, and as such this is my retirement we're talking about), are too ignorant to invest our money properly by someone who doesn't have basic grasp on the english language.

errr....no one said you specifically were ignorant. But on AVERAGE folks do not know how to invest. You may take offense at that but its still true. Also what makes you think we are not talking about outselves too.

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