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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Check Out This Post

You MUST check out this post on the Smirking Cynic. Nicho has published a post about defining oneself as a liberal or conservative, and extoles Socrates mandate to "know thyself."

I urge you to go there, read the post, and thoughtfully post a comment about this topic. I tried to post a lengthy response a few minutes ago, but there was an error that either originated with my laptop(I am traveling and have a compnay one, so I don't know what the deal with it is) or with his site's host.

Either way, I will try to post again shortly. I emailed my comments to him, so maybe if I can't post then he can generate my comments in a post.

This is one of the most thoughtful, and if you are conservative, important points to be made.

6 Posts From Readers:

Laurie said...

Robert, I have your above-mentioned post bookmarked for later reading, but I'd like your opinion on something. The latest polls suggest that Americans will be voting Democrat this November, as conservatives feel that Republicans have lost touch with their constituents. I'm interested in your take on exactly which issues the right believes the Bush administration is addressing properly and which are better left for someone else.

Robert said...

I would be happy to answer that. First, polls don't mean much at this point. I do agree that the GOP will probably lose the majority in at least one house, and it is their own fault. I guess something could change, but the GOP doesn't get it and they have squandered their opportunity exercise leadership.

I am a true conservative in the vein of wanting government to do what it is supposed to do. Since 1965, we have spenyt $120 billion on the Department of Education and there is no measureable progress in any area. In fact, Americans ability to compete with other countries in math, science, and reading have declined. For some reason, no one will stop funding it. In 2001, before 9/11, the GOP and the President increased its funding by something like 6%. It is disgusting.

I think the administration is doing the right thing on the GWOT. We can, and have, discussed specifics elsewhere, and I am happy to do it anytime. I will save that topic for another time, though.

I will concentrate on the subjects where I believe that we need another leader to solve.

1) Immigration. The entire congress, especially the GOP, is playing politics against the best interest of America. The administration has led the failure.

2) Smaller government. Of course, Homeland Security was needed, but smaller government in general. The DOE needs to go, the NEA needs to go, public broadcasting, and other boondoggles that waste public money. Americans need more control over their lives, not more regulation.

3) Government spending. Need I say more? This and immigration policy are my biggest disappointments.

4) Social security reform. This isn't the Presidents fault alone, and it isnt the GOP's fault alone. Americans really need some true education on the facts. Not spin, not politics, not partisan facts, but FACTS. The fact is that it now take 6 taxpayers to support 1 recipient. It increases every year.

5) Tax reform. People have too high a tax burden. What we need is a flat tax, or a ntional sales tax along with abolishingt he income tax. I haven't made up my mind which I prefer, but one of those is the most fair and the least intrusive into my pocket.

As you can see, despite the absurd people on some blogs, I am not a Bush "lapdog.' I disagree with many policies, and i am disappointed in the outcomes of many initiatives.

happy to discuss any/all of these with you!

Laurie said...

Robert, I had no idea about the Department of Education numbers--that's very interesting. Given the history of failure, why do you think it is the government refuses to abolish this department? What's your take on FEMA? Should that have been incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security, or should it have been left as an entity all its own?

Regarding tax reforms, Bush's big tax cuts didn't take that burden off of your back?

Robert said...

It isn't just the government, it is the people. Why do you think that so few people vote? Because they don't care. If anyone makes an attempt to abolish these things, there is so much screaming and bloodletting that nothing is done. This occurs more often on the left than the right, because it guarantees jobs and money to programs. Most conservatives I know are all for abolishing it. Ask a teacher how often the DOE actually educated a child....the answer is never. All of the mandates, except for things like No Child Left Behind, come from the states. The DOE is simply a middle-man for distributing money for no worthy end. Congress keeps votes by keeping people employed. And the people let it happen. Same with the social security reform. As soon as Bush started talking about reform, the left distributed FEAR to the elderly - "They are going to take your social security" and things like that. So, because the government became involved in something where it should never have been involved, we can't get rid of it or even modify it, except to waste more money?

BTW, do you know how much of the "debt" and "deficit" that everyone screams about it owed to the "Social Security Trust Fund?" Look it up. Social security was incorporated into the general budget decades ago. Now, a huge percentage of the deficit is owed between federal programs, not to anyone else. It is simply money printed to pay off programs that congress increases, gets nothing in return, and guarantees them votes.

Tax cuts? I am all for cutting taxes every chance. I am not talking about cuts, I am talking about a reform of the entire system. Take a look at four decades and four administrations - JFK, Carter, Reagan, and G.H.W. Bush. Three of them cut taxes...Carter raised them and instituted price controls. Then look at the economic performance. Tax cuts spur the economy. Tax cuts cause every boat to be lifted. So the talking point is then "Yeah, but look at the deficit." It is up to congress to cut spending equivilent to the tax cuts. All of the major tax cuts have led to increases to the treasury MORE THAN THE AMOUNT OF THE CUTS. So congress not only doesn't stop spending, they actually increase spending because they know that more money is coming.

You have my blood boiling at 700 a.m. LOL

Robert said...

Oh, and FEMA. I havent made up my mind about that one.

Thee should be a single chain of command for disasters, and since DHS has spun up to manage and mitigate huge crisis, then it makes a certain amount of sense to have them under DHS. Then again, FEMA really should be as poitic free as possible.

So, I am still straddling the fence.

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