Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Stop This Immoral and Un-Winnable War!

I have been thinking about the war, And I have decided that we need to pull out of it immediately. We are losing by anyone's standards, it is immoral and unjust, and the president lied about his reasons for engaging in it. It has hurt millions of innocent people, and has cost the taxpayers way too much money.

I am talking about the War on Poverty.(Which war did you think I was talking about?)

Since 1964, when president Lyndon Baynes Johnson declared War on Poverty, there has been enough money (Taxpayer money) spent fighting poverty to have handed every poor person in America at that time a Million dollars, but poverty still persists.

According to the Joint Economic Committee Study of May, 1996:

The burden of excessive federal spending and intervention on the economy is creating conditions in which one child out of ten is shifted into poverty.
Restraint of federal spending growth would boost economic and income growth, lowering the poverty rate.
Restraint of $100 billion in non-defense spending growth would lower the child poverty rate by 4.35 percentage points. This would reduce the number of children in poverty by 3 million.
For every $33,000 of federal spending restraint, one less child would grow up in poverty.
The excesses of the modern welfare state are one cause of the deterioration in a number of economic and social factors affecting children and families. The increases in family breakdown, illegitimacy, educational failure and other social pathologies are related to the perverse incentives of the excessive and impersonal welfare state, and its counterproductive effects on economic and income growth and poverty.

The top one percent of wage earners in America pay ten times more in income taxes that the bottom fifty percent. The top fifty percent pay roughly ninety-six percent of the tax burden. I think that it is high time that EVERYONE in America pay their fair share.

My wife and I don't have any children. We have chosen to wait until we feel that we are financially stable enough to provide for a child. We are not there yet.
She had a fifteen year old girl in one of her classes this past school year who talked things over with her boyfriend (of about two months) and decided to get pregnant. They went to the library, checked out books on the subject of conception, studied up and then went and practiced what they had learned. Sure enough, she got pregnant.
This young girl has no means by which to raise and care for a child. Her family doesn't really have it either. Where will the money to care for this child come from?
The government, that's where. It will be with held from my paycheck, my wife's, my brother's, my sisters, and your's.
She made the concious choice to put herself into a situation in which society will have to care for her and her child. Because of her, and thousands more like her, people like my wife and myself, who are trying to be responsible, will have to wait a little longer.
To some, the logical solution would be to try to talk her into having an abortion, but she doesn't want that. (At least she made ONE good choice...) Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe in a woman's right to choose whether or not to have a baby, but the time to make that choice is before she takes off her pants. I also firmly believe that parents should be allowed to kill their children, however, they should wait until the child is about twelve years old. That way the parents would know whether the child has any promise of becoming a productive citizen, or be an idiot all his life and a burden to society. (I am being absurd to make a point. Killing innocent children seems wrong to me whether they are twelve years old or twelve weeks in utero. If you disagree, I am never going to be able to convince you, and you are never going to be able to convince me. Just let it go.)

We have set up a situation in America in which irresponsibility is rewarded, and responsibility is punnished. People scream about tax cuts for the rich, when the rich are the creators of jobs. They scream about how much money the stockholders of companies like G.M. are making, when some of MY 401K funds are invested in G.M. stock. (Some of your's probably are as well.) Without the stockholders who put their own money at risk, there would be no G.M. to complain about.

Like it or not, we live within a capitolist economic system. To punish achievement and reward irresponsibility in a capitolist system supresses growth and job creation. It is time for this trend to stop.


Mark said...

"Killing innocent children seems wrong to me..."


Other than that, You explained the flaws in the welfare system pretty good as far as I can see, Though I am not an economist.

tugboatcapn said...

Well, I try not to speak in absolutes, only express my own opinion...

rich bachelor said...

Except when you're speaking in absolutes, that is...
Very nice, very full of that righteous indignation which, as we all know, makes you right. However, that there war on poverty you hate so much is far, far surpassed in cost by our war on the brown people on the other side of the world. If you're going to act like a fiscal conservative, see what unnecessary expenses could be eliminated from the budget.
Remember? "Mission accomplished"? We're supposed to be gone by now. Hey, do you think the war on drugs is a silly waste of money too?

tugboatcapn said...

Oh, hi bachelor.
Yes, as a matter af fact, I do think the war on drugs is a silly waste of taxpayer money. I think that everyone should be allowed to bake their brain with whatever chemical seems good to them. The problem with that is after people cripple themselves with drug abuse, then these people will be on the government dole, right along with the unwed mothers, and the people who don't, for whatever reason obtain any marketable skills.
It is my vision, that one day in America, everyone can be responsible for thier own rearend, keep the rewards of their own labor, and pay for their own mistakes.
Seems to me also that we still have troops in Bosnia, and the people there are white (All except the brown ones...)and your boy Slick Willy and your buddies in the U.N. got us into that one. Why aren't you screaming about that??

tugboatcapn said...

Oh, and by the way, truth can only be stated in absolutes.

Erudite Redneck said...

Like it or not, so to speak, this country is has a mixed economy, not strictly a "capitalistic system."

rich bachelor said...

As Mistah Reagan always used to say, "There you go again..." I've told you more times than is necessary that I was furious at Clinton more often than not. He was a crap president, with only the Earned Income Credit (if he can even claim that one) to his name. So quit calling him my boy, alright?
I don't know whether or not we still have a troop presence in Bosnia. But mind you-I'd say it's a stretch to say that Clinton started that one: the first troops went in under George H.W. Bush.
Lastly, haven't you found that Truth is often not one side or the other at all, and often somewhere in the middle, thereby making it hard to even express in absolutes?

tugboatcapn said...

I have actually found that there have to be some absolutes in the world or else there is only confusion.
Raping little children seems right to a pedophile, however i think that this practice considered to be wrong by everyone else.
The subject of my post was the welfare state and the war on poverty, by the way, not moral relativism...

tugboatcapn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Erudite Redneck said...

What disappointed me about Clinton was NAFTA. I'm pretty much a protectionist.

Toad734 said...


So you are saying that Paris Hilton and the Walton kids who inherited billions of dollars and have never worked a day in their life are creating jobs????

What jobs has Paris Hilton created?

Yes it is time for people to start paying their fair share and here is what is fair:

Yes the top 1% of wealth holders in this country pay 25% of all federal income taxes but they own 38% of this nations wealth; doesn't it stand to reason that they would pay 38% of all the taxes if they have 38% of the money? How is anything else fair?

I want an answer on that!

Plus the bottom 40% of all Americans only accounted for 12% of the total income in 2001. The poorest 60% of Americans, who only own 5% of this nation’s wealth, pay 14% of all federal taxes. Shouldn't they pay 5% of all taxes since they only own 5% of the wealth? Isn't that fair, or do you think the mere head count of people is a basis on which to tax? Do you really think the top 1% of wealth holder should only pay 1% of the federal taxes? These are multi billionaires we are talking about.

From 1977 to 1997 the tax burden on the wealthiest 1% has decreased by $48,000 per year, while my tax burden has increased by over $300 per year; I am neither rich nor poor.

The elimination of the Estate Tax (known to republicans as the death tax) results in the loss of 30 billion dollar per year, and affects about 2% of the population, of which you know none and you will never become and who probably never lifted a finger to do a days worth of work; talk about welfare!

In talking about the welfare state you must look at the 15 richest people in the country, only 7 of them worked for their money, the rest got it through our nations true welfare system which is called inheritance.

As far as your stocks are concerned I must say that is the one thing Bush has done that I agree with; the elimination of capital gains on stocks. However just so you know, the top 10% of this nations wealthy own over 85% of the value of all the stocks, bonds and retirement accounts.

Bill Gates owns more wealth than the entire bottom 40% of Americans, which includes you and me. Do you really think someone who makes $5.15 per hour should pay 20% of their wages in taxes but multi billionaires should only pay 1%?

And on to the next type of welfare;
The corn farmers or the corn syrup industry receives an annual subsidy of 800 million dollars per year. Look at ADMs P and L statement and what their CEO makes and tell me if they really need that money. Then look at GE, Rockwell Intl, United Airlines, Chrysler, GM, Boeing, and every mining and logging company etc. and tell me they need that money and some shoeless family in WV doesn't!

In 1995 125 companies received over 85 billion dollars in subsidies, i.e. corporate welfare! Ford, Chrysler and GM received 333 million in subsidies in 1994 when they posted profits of 13.9 billion dollars.(Cato Institute)

So cry me a river over the single mom with 2 kids who gets $100 worth of food stamps per month. These people I am talking about are laughing at you. The greatest trick the Republicans ever pulled was convincing the poor that the rich shouldn't be taxed because they wouldn't want to be taxed if they got rich, which they won't.

By the way 40% of the poor you are talking about are under the age of 18 and are not allowed to work, are you calling them lazy?

40% of the rest of the poor work at least part time, probably harder than you or I.

Next weeks lesson will be on outsourcing and how over the last 25 years the average CEOs pay has went from 42 times the amount of his average worker to 411 times the amount of his average worker while the net worth of the poorest 40% of Americans has steadily decreased at a time of record corporate profits and compensation packages.

Toad734 said...

RE: Tugboat

As far as the drug addicts, every study shows that if we just give them the drugs we want and support them it would be much cheaper than dealing with their children, their crime, their jail sentences, their court costs and their medical costs they endure from turf wars, and overdoses on inconsistent drug sources. We would sterilize them of course in exchange for free drugs and free residences.

Toad734 said...

RE: The Press

Yes NAFTA sucked! So Will CAFTA! Call your congressmen and tell them you want to keep your job and that the CEOs and stock holders already have enough money and that Guatemala already has enough pollution and corruption.

Was the earned income credit on Clintons watch too? Strike two.

Of course Bush has enough strike outs for an entire season.

tugboatcapn said...

Boy Howdy, I sure put Toad to work today, didn't I?

From your comment:

Yes the top 1% of wealth holders in this country pay 25% of all federal income taxes but they own 38% of this nations wealth; doesn't it stand to reason that they would pay 38% of all the taxes if they have 38% of the money? How is anything else fair?

I want an answer on that!

Okay, here we go.
The Federal government does not tax WEALTH. They tax INCOME.
The subject of this arguement is not the confiscation of wealth from rich people, It is the transfer of wealth from producers to non-producers. From the working rich and upper-middle class to the poor.
Bill Gates already paid income tax on his wealth while he was making it, and i think he created a few jobs along the way as well.
Toad, it seems to me that the basis for your whole argument is jealosy. You are so focused on the size of the other man's pile that you are willing to give up your ability to create a pile of your own.
By the way, the best trick that democrats have ever pulled was convincing poor people that they would look after them. The Democrats have been in power more often than Republicans over the last 40 years, and they have done NOTHING about the plight of poor people except constantly try to raise taxes and create government dependency.
To make my point once again, When you steal from the rich and give to the poor, all you do is remove motivation from the poor to improve their own circumstances (I have faith that individuals can succeed on their own when properly motivated and unfettered by intrusive government policies...) and remove motivation from the rich to grow and expand their buisinesses, thus suppressing the creation of jobs.
As far as that single mother you are talking about is concerned...
As long as she continues to rely on the government for her sustenance, she had better be ready to survive on $100 a month, because she has people more powerful than her in charge of deciding what she NEEDS, and the only one who should be deciding that is HER.
During our lesson on outscourcing, be sure to include the fact that more foriegn companies outscource to America than American companies outscource to other countries. Oh, and do some research on the Hienz Ketchup corporation while you are at it.

tugboatcapn said...

Toad, I don't like NAFTA, or CAFTA, or the fact that NO politician(Republican OR Democrat) seems to be willing to stand up and address the issue of securing our national borders and stopping the invasion by Mexico. I don't like the farm subsidies or the corporate subsidies and the prescription drug benifit makes me sick to my stomach. There are a whole host of things that President Bush has done that I have MAJOR problems with, but I can't stand the idea of turning our national security during a time of war(we were attacked on 09/11/2001 you know...) over to that Lilly Livered fake war hero pansy John F. Kerry.
As far as I can determine, George W. Bush has tried to do everything that he campaigned on (even the things that I didn't like.) He hasn't tried to promise one thing and then do another.
If you guys ever want me to vote for your guy, you should try to find a Democrat candidate who has more character than the other guy. So far you have failed miserably on that one, and Hillary ain't going to get it either.

o-likewoah said...

you missed your calling - you could have been the first consirvative activist rocker,,, but you didnt ever get signed

Mark said...

Tug, you've got cahones, I'll say that for you. Toad is a very intelligent, informed commentator, however, he tends to resort to insults, leaps of logic, and personal attacks. I have decided to ignore him. I wish you luck dealing with him.

tugboatcapn said...

What I love about Toad is that he is very thorough and very talented at the art of starting with a conclusion and then looking up random evidence to support his point.
One of the reasons that I wanted a blog of my own was to sharpen my debate skills, not to state oppinions and then sit back and recieve pats on the back for always being right. Toad makes me examine everything that I believe with a microscope, and I respect him very much for that.
The other thing that I love about Toad is the fact that he is so consistently wrong on every issue. He may be a more effective communicator than I, and he certainly puts in the research, but he is still usually on the wrong side.
I know that he and I will never be able to convince each other of anything, but if I ever reach the point when I can argue HIM down,My training as a Jedi will be complete.

tugboatcapn said...

You see, Mark, I haven't yet figured out how to make millions of dollars writing my blog like you do...I'm still in it for the love of the game. ;)

Xena76 said...

Toad, I have read a lot of your comments on several blogs. I thought at first you were a socialist, in my mind a little misguided, but you made your points well. However, your most recent rant on this blog has made me think otherwise. If I am reading this correctly, you believe that people should be taxed on what they have, not what they earn; you think that people should be allowed to keep only the part of their earnings that they "need"; and that the government should decide who gets what drugs and that those who are given these drugs should be sterilized. Based on this I must revise my earlier opinion, I think that your political preferences fall somewhere between communist and dictatorship. Do you really think that you, or anyone in government (especially) can be trusted to make choices like that? I certainly don't want them making those choices for me, my family, or anyone I know. Hypothetically, of course, what if this current government had that power and had been in office when you were born. Would they have allowed you to live? (since any government with the power to sterilize would probably have the power of forced abortion) I doubt they would have allowed me to, you see I came from a family without any money. Regardless of the taxation issue, or really any other, the government in it's scope and purpose MUST be limited for a society to thrive.

Toad734 said...

One point you guys are missing here; the reason they have so much wealth is because they weren't taxed appropriately in the first place. The Walton’s would never have 9 billion dollars of wealth a piece if they paid more in estate taxes.

I never said people should be taxed on what they have! They should have been taxed before they got it!

The numbers on income aren't as drastic as the numbers on wealth, one reason is the way compensation packages are now organized for CEOs; very little is an actual salary. However the top 5% of INCOME EARNERS earn over 21% of all income, the top 1% earn almost 13% of all income and the bottom 20% earn only 3.5% of all wages paid in the US. Over the last 20 years the top income earners saw a 200% increase in their incomes while the bottom 20% saw only a 9% increase mainly due to minimum wage increases. Don’t you realize you guys are fighting for the people in this world who are most qualified to fight this fight for themselves; they don’t need your help!

No I am not socialist, I don't think everyone should earn the same amount of money and I don't think anyone should ever pay more than half of their income in taxes no matter how rich they are. But I am tired of seeing middle class people flip the bill for corporate welfare but hearing them bitch about welfare moms taking all their tax money.

Just as most Republicans, I don't like the idea of someone getting something for nothing; that is why when Bill Gates dies his wealth should be turned into food for the poor, medicine, housing, infrastructure, small business loans or what ever benefits society, not wealth and riches for one or two people who didn't work for it. Bill Gates owes the US for giving him the opportunities to make that much money. How much has Microsoft made as a result of the Soviet Union collapsing and the end of communism in Europe? Who do you think was responsible for that free market shift, which now allows US companies to sell their products there? That's right, the US government; so when they die, its pay back time.

And Bill Gates still has ample income every year as does Dennis Kozlowski and every other CEO, and doesn't it stand to reason if the top 1% owns 38% of all wealth that at some point that money was either given to them or they earned approximately 38% of all wages at one point? If those wages are being diverted to pay the top 1% of wage earners, who winds up getting less?

I agree that poor people have no right to bitch about taxes or tax cuts because they don't pay taxes to begin with, so naturally tax cuts benefit the people who pay them, which are the people who are making enough to be taxed in the first place. However that doesn't mean that we should just hand someone 9 billion dollars for doing nothing other than having the last name of Walton, at the same time bitching about welfare moms not pulling their weight.

Toad734 said...


No I don't think most people in government can be trusted, and yes this country will be a lot better off when I am dictator.

Yes I would be allowed to live because my parents were not drug addicts.

The point I made was that several studies in Europe show that giving drugs to drug addicts, providing them with consistent doses, giving them clean needles, giving them a place to do it in, ends up being cheaper than paying for their hospital bills, or putting them through the legal system or paying for their AIDS treatment. But I take that a step further and say that if you qualify for this program and you want to be a subsidized drug addict, you must first become sterilized.

Let’s look at gun shot victims in the US which we can all agree, a high majority of will be drug related. From the time of the treatment of the uninsured victim, the, investigation, trial and incarceration of the accused you are looking at a cost of over 1 million dollars per incident.

Let’s also look at my brother who is/was a drug addict and how much money has been spent by the state of Indiana, me and my parents, and his friends due to his addiction.

His worst and most expensive overdose/hospital stay racked up $40,000 worth of medical bills in which the Hospital never saw a penny. Then add up at least two other hospital visits that weren't as costly. Who do you think ends up paying for that? That isn’t including the 4 times he has been arrested, the several nights of jail, the cost of public and private attorney's at 4 different trials, the amount of goods he has stolen from people, the people he robbed, his own money that was spent on dope, the possible diseases he could have spread and although this hasn't happened yet, you have to ask yourself what the average funeral runs these days.

Is this someone you want bringing children into the world?

tugboatcapn said...

If that is the case, Toad, then why aren't the bottom 50%, who basically aren't taxed at all, rich by now?
You can cry all you want about how much money or wealth someone else has, but in the end, the only really fair way to tax people is a flat tax, or a consumption tax. If we are really interested in being fair, tax everyone at 10% of the money they generate, whether that is ten dollars per year, or one hundred bajillion gazillion dollars a day. THAT would be everyone paying their fair share. No one benefits from punishing achievement, nor rewarding failure.
As for confiscating everyone's wealth upon their death, that idea would limit the growth of family businesses to what can be accomplished in only one generation. This would be disasterous to the U.S. economy.While the Waltons or Bill Gates are very extreme examples, most of the people you are talking about are the owners of small to middle sized companies, for whom most of the U.S. workforce are employed.
Bill Gates and Microsoft have been sufficiently attacked. (The breakup of the "Microsoft Monopoly" by the Clinton Administration was one of the major contributing factors to the NASDAQ collapse and the subsequent recession of 2001. Had it not been for President Bush's eee-vill tax cuts for the rich and the suppression of interest rates by the FED during his first term, we would have been in a full fledged depression by now. (THAT would really help out the poor, wouldn't it?)
You are still operating on the premise that the American economy is a zero-sum gain. I don't believe this. I believe that the only thing that limits an individual's ability to create wealth for him or her self is their immagination, work ethic, and oppressive government policies, whether they are tax policies or excessive regulation.
As for the corporate welfare issue, that money is given under the premise that it spurs expansion of business and discourages outscourcing. After all, there is nothing to prevent Bill Gates from moving Microsoft in it's entirity to Guatamala if he wants to.(Talk about a giant sucking sound...) The most sensible plan is to make him want to keep it HERE.
And by the way, If we suddenly put policies in place which confiscated the estates of the fabulously rich so that the money that they amass can be turned into food for the poor, or drugs for all of the poor unfortunate sterilized drug addicts, these people would renounce their citizenship and flee this country en-mass.( And take the economy with them.)
And you are exactly right. These people do not need me to fight this fight for them, they are doing a marvelous job looking after themselves by buying politicians (from both sides of the aisle.)
The single mom you are sticking up for would be much better off with a job working for Microsoft than she is living hand to mouth off the government. I mean, sure she would have to work, but then I have to as well. I can't generate much sympathy for her on that point...
Our system is not perfect, but it is still the absolute best in the world, and radical change enacted for the purpose of taking people down a peg, or to redistribute wealth would collapse the whole thing.

Toad734 said...

So would your flat tax be applied to SS too? Because currently, you and I are the ones who are flipping the bill for SS; SS is a regressive tax and if congress wants to fix SS all they have to do is turn it into a flat tax.

6.2% of my taxes goes towards paying SS but for someone who earns 500,000 per year or over, only 1% or less of that goes toward SS.

So let’s say over the course of a year I will pay in 4800, if I were to make close to 80Gs, into SS and if we take the CEO of GM and make him pay the same rate as me, he would pay $527,000 into SS per year, instead of the $5,394 which is what he currently pays. Imagine if the top 20% income earners, who earn 50% of all income in America, paid the same rate into SS that the rest of us do, we could all retire rich!

Fair is fair right?

tugboatcapn said...

It would only be fair if you then allow these CEO's to draw back out at the same rate that they paid in, and that would do away with any benefit that the rest of us would get from them being forced to pay the larger ammount.
I agree with you that social security is crap. I would like it better (if we HAVE to have this stupid system) if it WAS based on a flat tax system, but it was set up by rich democrats, and they looked out for themselves. I can't help that.
In my opinion, the only fair way to handle social security is to do away with the program altogether.
There is no constitutional provision for social security in the first place.
You are forever hung up on trying to figure out a way to get the government to take money that belongs to someone else, and give it to people to whom it doesn't belong. My mom taught me not to take things that belong to other people. Why didn't yours??

Toad734 said...

But that isn't how SS works, not now anyway. And if you wanted to solve the "SS Crisis", the flat tax on SS is the way to go.

The LAW said...

This article only highlights the typical inadiquacy of the US government when it comes to oversees aid. It currently stands at 0.16% of the US GDP. This is a paltry sum compared to it's actual capabilities. The UK has managed to outstrip every other western nation in terms of generousity in oversees aid with Africa (What Live8 was for!) and the Tsunami disaster in Indonesia. Does the US not care? Does it not need to? Why is it that the USA is always willing to demonstrate to the rest of the world it's military prowess (Great in frontal attack, but clumsy in occupation. Never has occupied a country before. Look at UK occupied Basra. The place is a haven compared to everywhere else in Iraq. Why? We don't humiliate our prisoners. Please, someone sort out Guantanamo, it's just inciting more religious hatred, so listen to the UN next time, and leave Iran alone too, the American empire doesnt extend that far.) but not it's ability to alleviate world hunger using it's vast resources? I think you'll find the only un-winnable war on poverty is in the minds of the stubborn republican US government. Ps. We're watching.