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September 2, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

The middle class is being destroyed

I loved the freeway signs blaming Wall Street. They say it all. Why are people offended by hanging dummies representing the plight of the middle class but not offended by Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers for trying to steal the election?

The only reason they can say what they are doing is legal is because rich people influenced politicians to make it legal. The Supreme Court can say that money is free speech until the justices are blue in the face, but saying it doesn’t make it so. The Constitution gives even the poorest of us the right to vote, so it seems that the Supreme Court’s ruling goes against the intent of the Constitution.

The top 1 percent and the Republicans who support them owe a debt of gratitude to the American middle class for providing the stability that allowed the rich to prosper. This is what I read into President Barack Obama saying, “You didn’t build that.”

The middle class is now being systematically destroyed. Read about the French and Russian revolutions. He who does not learn from history is destined to repeat it.

Nadia Romeo, Las Vegas

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  1. The Romney-Ryan tax plan: it gets worse for the middle class.

    Under the Romney-Ryan plan, Romney would raise the cost of college education by eliminating the American Opportunity tax credit for higher education.

    The Romney-Ryan plan would allow he expanded refundability of the child credit to expire, as well as the expansion of the earned income tax credit.

    But if you're wealthy? You're showered with tax cuts.

    Wealthy married couples would enjoy a huge tax break, while working families would see their tax deductions reduced or eliminated completely.

    Oh, and corporations also get a healthy tax cut... at the expense of the middle class.

    Romney-Ryan favor slashing regulations, reducing oversight and accountability for Wall Street.

    The Romney-Ryan plan would take us right back to the George W. Bush plan of no regulation or oversight, while showing the rich and corporations with tax breaks at the expense of the middle class.

    Voters will have a very stark choice in November. They will vote based on issues like the Romney-Ryan plan to increase taxes on the middle class, or Romney-Ryan plan to replace Medicare with CouponCare, or Paul Ryan's sponsorship of the federal personhood amendment, or his opposition to birth control.

    Nevada voters won't fall for Romney's trickle-down snake oil.
    http://youtu.be/9FKi2rtxCIU

  2. The Romney economic program is an invitation to repeat the economic collapse of 2008. Slack government regulation and Wall Street excesses led to the near collapse of the financial system and trillions of dollars in property valuation losses. And while Capitalism and the free market did not quite succeed in their suicide attempt, they managed to inflict severe damage to the Middle Class.

    The Romney plan has been tried and we all know the result.

  3. Wall Street allowed Mainstreet to prosper. The upside of Wall Street is that it allows all people, regardless of political affiliation, to enhance and elevate their wealth. The downside is not all can/will. And some that do, won't. Still the opportunities exist for those who are so inclined and can weather the markets' ups and downs in good times and bad. And there are both.

    CarmineD

  4. This is the classic liberal witch hunt.

    The Middle Class is being systematically destroyed by rhe current policies of a far left president whose food stamps and handouts are favorored by him over demand creation and jobs. Under Romney-Ryan the middle class will be given a chance to work, and move up. Under Obama, they will be compensated for no work.The only trickle down snake oil derives from the handouts from government largess that the Obama administration is sucking out of anyone who it can rob blind.

    The only ones who can put a stop to the fiscal bleeding and restore the middle class hope which Obama is destroying is Romney-Ryan.

    Returning Obama would be a return to the inept days of the past three failed years and more of the same dismal economic performance we had under Carter, the worst president in history up to Obama.

    This president has failed to pull the economy back and restore order.He has missed his opportunity to create a demand based economy. His ACA was a missed opportunity to restore a demand based economy. Enough is enough--move Obama out.

  5. Everyone should remember that the housing meltdown was planted in the seeds of the weakened mortgage lending standards promoted by Senators Dodd and Frank beginning during the Clinton Administration, and continued by them during the Bush administration. The housing meltdown was ignited by the housing bubble which was the result of these two liberals promoting a house in every low income drive way--even if it could not be afforded--which is could not. That's where the main line of defense was destroyed which in turn led to the eventual meltdown.

  6. News clip video on mortgage standards

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63siCHvuG...

  7. Based on most of the comments I read here, a substantial number of Americans still don't get it. Most should go back to school and take a Civics class.

    It takes millions for an R or D member of Congress to be elected and millions more to be re-elected (this also applies to the President). Those positions are valuable, powerful and lucrative and people and groups that want government to do certain things know this. They hire lobbyists who provide the money and support for election and re-election efforts. (if you doubt me, read disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's book or watch his 60 minutes interview with Leslie Stahl - THE GUY TELLS THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT CONGRESS AND LOBBYING). A Great deal of the legislation we get... from both parties is the legislation wanted by powerful people and groups that employ lobbyists.

    Due to this 'system' every person we send to represent us (whether D or R) is held hostage. If they want to get into Congress and stay, they have to play the game Abramoff described in chilling detail. That game is trading money and support for legislation wanted by powerful interests.

    Nobody acts against this game... not R's or D's in Congress, not R Presidents or D's Presidents... and everybody plays... because if they don't, they are out.

    Complain all you want about evil R's or Evil D's, evil Progressives or evil Conservatives and support what you perceive to be the 'good' side.

    It's all a farce folks and until WE insist that the system we use to elect our representatives is 'changed' dramatically, nothing will change that matters.

    For those of you that think this started with citizens united, I again direct you to a Civics class. This has been going on for years and every year it gets worse. You can't fix it with all D's, all R's or reversing one decision. The whole system must be reworked.

    If you are concerned about the middle class, the growing disparity between the wealthy and the rest, government getting bigger and bigger and spending more and more, the debt and the deficit, stop foolishly believing that electing R's or D's (and not changing our election system) will fix anything. IT WON'T.

    Michael

  8. Bob,

    Connecting back to my comments of a few minutes ago, let's try not to invite another useless fight between conservatives and Progressives over this issue.

    The truth is that in Congress there are (and always have been) people who think (for example) that everybody should have a house and others that think we can never have enough fighter jets.

    In both cases, there are powerful people, companies and groups that benefit financially from this type of legislation. Once it is in place (home builders, realtors, banks, mortgage companies, etc) for housing legislation and (military contractors, the military, etc) for more fighter jets will and do lobby in favor of keeping and even extending this type of legislation. Why? BECAUSE IT MAKES THEM WEALTHY! They do not care if it is unnecessary, unwise or downright reckless. They use the power of lobbying in our broken Congress and election system to keep and expand this type of legislation, even when they KNOW it isn't right... and Congress goes along. Why? Because if they don't, they can't get the support and money they need to be re-elected from the people who employ the lobbyists.

    Conservatives can blame Frank and Dodd for proposing a dumb idea and Liberals can blame hawks in Congress for unnecessary and out of control military expenditures... and both are correct... but we all need to ask ourselves why these 'bad' ideas are not reversed when the facts show that bad unintended consequences begin to show up.

    IT IS BECAUSE OUR REPS ARE HOSTAGES TO OUR ELECTION SYSTEM... THE ONE WHERE IF YOU DO VOTE TO KILL OFF A PROGRAM THAT MAKES POWERFUL PLAYERS WEALTHY, YOU'VE JUST SIGNED ON TO THE END OF YOUR ELECTIVE CAREER. THE ORDER WILL GO OUT FROM THE POWERFUL TO THEIR LOBBYISTS.... SKEWER THAT GUY WHO VOTED AGAINST MY GRAVYTRAIN.

    Unless we force a change to this system in Congress and our money driven election system, we are doomed and will never again be the nation we once were.

    There will always be people in Congress with dumb ideas, but we used to have representatives that were not afraid to unwind or vote against a bad idea. Now we have representatives that have to make the following calculus.... my career or doing the right thing. It's an awful choice and we are seeing the results.

    Michael

  9. I intend to save the middle class.

    And the best way I can help to do that is to vote up and down the ticket Democratic Party. All the way down to Dogcatcher General of the United States of America.

    I don't care if there is a mass murderer on the ticket, I'm voting straight Democrat.

    The other side of the coin is to horrible to envision. Because you vote more of them Tea/Republican bums into power, they act just like kids in a candy store and help themselves to everything...including all the toilet paper in both restrooms.

    Obama/Biden 2012! And a Democratic Party majority in both the House and the Senate!

  10. Voting strictly a D or R ticket is NOT our last opportunity. In fact, if the Congress and Presidency went totally to one party, we'd still be stuck with most of the problems we have today. The claim that something else would happen is perpetrated by both parties and is a lie.

    Many people will not admit that powerful interests with lobbyists have the same message for D's and R's: Play the game; pass legislation we favor that benefits us and you will have our support and our money. Cross us and your elected career is over.

    Until that calculus changes, we will continue toward the abyss no matter who we vote for.

    Michael

  11. Ignorant as always, the leftists whine about Republicrats being "greedy" and blame them for the fact that we have the worst economic times in 70 years while all the time ignoring the truth and that is, it was two Dumbocrats that precipitated the whole mess by blackmailing financial institutions into making loans to borrowers who were never going to be able to repay them. Chris Dodd & Barney Frank, as chairmen of the Senate & House Banking Committees respectively, forced banks to make loans to unqualified borrowers or not be able to open new branches. And where are Dodd & Frank now? Well, Dodd is comfortably collecting a huge government pension and Frank is about to. We taxpayers were left holding the bag in the form of 100s of 1,000s in home equity losses plus the onerous task of cleaning up after those two criminals! Don't listen to the screwballs on the left who wear blinders and tell lies! Change the scenario this fall! Come November - vote Romney & Ryan!

  12. Michael

    Your insights are thoughtful and appreciated.
    I have a difficult time letting those with distorted views on
    the root cause of the housing melt down not accept the blame that
    Progressives like Barney Frank had for the great recession.
    It burns me up that the left is incapable of accepting its share of the blame for the lapses that led to this terrible collapse. I provided a video in which Barney Frank clearly uses his power to undermine a fragile part of the economy. Bush was not the only one to blame that collapse on. The seeds were planted before he ever came to office by progressive incompetents such as Frank.

  13. So many Americans seem to believe that if their party wins control in November, then all will be well for America, but if the other party wins, then things will just get worse.
    Well, I've got news for you. Neither Democrats nor Republicans will repair your economy. Although each party will rejiggle the winners and losers in society over the next four years to suit their respective philosophies, neither party believes in fiscal responsibility, so the annual deficits will continue unabated and the accumulated debt will be an ever heavier anchor stuck to the leg of a drowning America.
    In order to get elected, your politicians must promise only superficial spending cuts while hoping that a rising world ecomomy will save the day.
    The time to save America's economy probably occurred ten or twenty years ago, but that opportunity was lost in the subsequent orgy of overspending. Now America is hopelessly underwater on its mortgage, and only bankruptcy or drastic spending cuts can possibly save it. However, as I mentioned above, all of your powerful politicians believe that balancing America's budget would be disastrous. It's no wonder so many of your rich citizens hide their assets offshore.

    Donald Desaulniers

  14. Once the 50% line of entitlement is crossed, there is no turning back. Non productive, unmotivated, and just flat out lazy people will always vote for a government that will pay them for doing nothing.

    .

    Once democrats have ensured that line is crossed, there will never be a republican in office again, ever. You'll have your victory.

    .

    Of course, that victory will ensure we have a system of serf's and lords again. The middle class will indeed be effectively wiped out, as nobody in the entitlement class that actually did wish to better themselves will ever have that opportunity again.

    .

    Evidently the entire democrat party line is, "We can take care of you".

    .

    Whatever happened to, "I can take care of myself?"

  15. Donald

    Very thoughtful,and accurate insights. While difficult to admit total defeat on the fiscal front, I am leaning in that direction. One of my good friends recently bought a home in Canada, is moving assets there, and will be leaving if Obama wins another term.this trend will build and continue I am afraid. The benefits for the wealthy to invest here are on the wane due to our far left leanings. The progressives treat the wealthy like dirt,and in the end the goose that lays the biggest federal tax egg will be gone over time.

    Our society has started to crumble and we may end up like so mant previous power house nations. I would hope that a regime change might reverse the process. But in a video game society, based on greed and free handouts, the American society is in precarious shape.

  16. "Wall Street allowed Mainstreet to prosper"

    Well wasn't that sweet of them! Here I thought that a prosperous working class contributed something to Wall Street. Truth is that Wall Street barely knows there's a Main Street out there except for passing mention of "consumers". To them there's little of importance out there except portfolios.

  17. Anchor bind
    Your post is so correct.

  18. For a trillion a year in social welfare, the rich cannot pay it all. The middle class has to pay for it--unless we CUT SPENDING on welfare, on illegals who steal benefits and services, on fraud waste and abuse.... With about 100 million actual taxpayers, that means $10,000 a year for giveaways, plus $12-$13K per K-12 student, plus tuition grants/loans, plus plus plus.

  19. I understand that we all have to vote for someone for President and have to endorse either an R or D plan for our future, but I have many worries are here are some of them:

    The R plan doesn't get to balanced budgets until 2030 . Until then, even with a 16 trillion dollar debt, we just keep spending way more than we bring in. On top of that, the R plan includes no tax increases but in fact tax cuts for many groups, plus increases in military spending.

    The D plan doesn't even set out a time for a balanced budget. It just keeps spending, including another huge but unpaid for stimulus bill. The only entitlement reform offered is to take money away from Medicare Advantage to use to help subsidize health insurance premiums for younger Americans. The only tax change offered is to raise the taxes slightly on the wealthy. All this with a 16 trillion dollar debt just getting bigger every day.

    All this frightens me to death and when I watch Obama/Biden or Romney/Ryan give a speech where they tell me voting for them is the way to go, I cannot help but note that how what each of them proposes 'totally' pales in comparison to what my common sense and logic tells me needs to be done.

    No matter who wins in November, I will still feel that what they are offering is wholly inadequate...gigantically inadequate...I don't even have proper words to express just how inadequate...

    Michael

  20. "Wall Street allowed Mainstreet to prosper."

    Did it? For over 35 years the middle class has been in decline, their wages stagnated and more people are in poverty. Jobs are gone, overseas, to never return while the economy shifted to global banking. Banks are still cheating while they launder drug money and fix LIBOR rates, the Kochs and other companies ignored sanctions on Iran, and the whole system is skewed by the wealthiest to benefit themselves. When Wall St. put the screws to the economy they had middle class Americans bail them out. Where is the bail out for the middle class? The banks are robo signing people into living on the streets and many of those banks don't hold those mortgages.

    A proven fact, cutting taxes DOES NOT create jobs. If Republicans win Congress and Romney/Ryan are elected, who will pay for the huge tax cuts they intend to pass for the wealthiest one percent in the country? Have you people considered why these candidates run to Adelson, the Kochs or Trump to kiss arse? What will these people require of their recently purchased politicians?

    Ms. Nadia Romeo is correct in her observations, "what they are doing is legal because rich people influenced politicians."

  21. Middle class????Half the country can't come up with $2,000.00. 46% of the elderly are dying with almost no financial assets. While living record numbers of seniors are trying to get buy on a $1,200.00 a month SS check.
    Half the folks are getting some type of entitlement and tens of thousands are signing up daily.
    We have the affluent, the struggling and the dirt poor. No middle class!
    http://moneyland.time.com/2011/06/01/nea...

  22. In the early 2000s we had the lowest savings rate in recorded American history. Wealth starts with savings. Our rate has been lousy for decades. People have engaged in an orgy of domestic consumption refusing to defer ANY consumption to build a secure future. Now the hen has come home to roost and the welfare lines stretch from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

  23. There have been 47 recessions in the United States. One every few years. Number 48 is going to hit us in the next year or two. At that point unemployment will be back up to between 9% and 10% and we will be struggling to get it back down to 8%. Economies are cyclical and no political leader has ever been able to and the boom bust cycle.

    As the remainder of the 78 million baby boomers retire you will see entitlements in the pockets of two thirds of the nation. This is just the way it is. Currently people are saving about 4% of their income. That translates to about $2000 a year for the average 50K family. NOTHING!

    For people in this country to be self-sufficient they need to start saving about 20% of their income at 20 years of age. There is no chance of that happening. People will be relying on welfare for as far as the eye can see and deficits around the world will continue to grow until they wipe them off the books. This has happened all over the world in the last hundred years. Germany, Asia, Russia, Latin America. It's nothing new.

  24. Vernos,

    It has been reported that the R party has about 175 million dollars left to spend on the election. D's haven't reported yet, but it is estimated that they will have slightly less, a paltry 150 million dollars, when they do report.

    You seem to know and are very concerned about where the R's money comes from but seem unconcerned about where the D's 150 million dollars comes from.

    Don't you understand that both the R and D parties have very powerful and wealthy contributors and that all these people and groups expect stuff in ex change for present and future contributions?

    Where is your indignation and your call for change for the election and lobbying system we have in place?

    Michael

  25. We live in a nation of uneducated buffoons. People that watch "Swamp people" and "The Great American Sandwich". Nothing Congress can do about it. Companies pay executives millions of dollars and provide them with lavish benefits in hopes of attracting the best people.

    As it is our congressional leaders make next to nothing. There pay is equal to what a first-year associate at a top law firm makes. There healthcare is the same healthcare that is provided to other federal employees. Lousy. Their pensions don't kick in until they have been in office for many years. Many never see a dime. They pay into Social Security and Medicare just like the rest of us. these people have to maintain multiple residences, deal with death threats, constant insults, constant fundraising and if they're lucky maybe they make a couple terms.

    How about giving them millions of dollars a year and offering them lavish perks in hopes of attracting top tier private sector people into the public-sector. If you pay nothing you get nothing.

  26. "The Romney-Ryan Plan eliminates taxes for the middle class on interest, dividends and capital gains..."

    Income from these categories for the middle class is nearly non-existent, whereas the privileged gain the majority and nearly all of their income (like Romney) from these sources.

    Romney is saying he will reduce his income tax to zero but tax levels for the middle class will not change. The privileged are those who believe they are entitled to an immense income and work only for themselves, all day, every day.

    They believe the masses are there to labor at the lowest possible wage and pass the fortune up to the entitled.

    The middle class will be put into chains and suffocated like it has with all failed societies in history.

  27. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress...
    For the congressional leaders that do have enough years of government service to receive a pension they average about 35K a year. A tremendous amount of money for running a country.

  28. Mr Becker is correct. Read my 0940 post. Investment income is a function of savings. Something in the neighborhood of 50% to 75% of Americans don't have a pot to urinate in. Taxes on interest, capital gains and dividends are of no concern to those folks.
    Handing everyone a Medicare card and setting up a national pension system would help the masses.
    Eliminate payroll taxes and pay for the programs out of the $700 trillion in consumption that will come over the next 40 years.
    Our income tax system is a farce that doesn't generate squat and payroll taxes and high medical costs are sucking people dry.

  29. Warrior...Don't forget Americans want everything but are willing to pay for very little. That causes a fiscal dilemma regardless of what party you belong to.
    Also Romney and Ryan were born into wealth and prestige. Most don't enjoy that leg up.
    We have many tough years ahead and there is nothing these guys can do about it.

  30. "Also Romney and Ryan were born into wealth and prestige. Most don't enjoy that leg up."

    \Romney's family had wealth, Mitt earned his way to sucess. Ryan was not born into wealth. His Mom had to support the family.His dad died when Ryan was 16.Are you saying that you can earn success?

  31. http://www.cnbc.com/id/48687305
    It has been reported Ryan's wealth is a product of inheritance and marriage. I don't now the guy. Romney spent his youth traveling the world and attending Ivy league schools. Nothing wrong with that but he views the world from a different perspective.

    A few million have earned success. A plan is needed for the other 300 million that will NEVER be worth millions. Gates, Brin, Trump, Koch brothers, Page and many others came from a very strong gene pool.

    Hell, George Washington married one of the wealthiest ladies in the country.

  32. wtplv - "You seem to know and are very concerned about where the R's money comes from but seem unconcerned about where the D's 150 million dollars comes from."

    Michael,

    You bet I worry about where the money comes from. It's donated secretly and when reports turn up citing the Koch brothers spending $400 million, Karl Rove's superpac $300 million and Adelson's solo spending of $20 million plus should cause any sane person to worry about the reprecussion of our elections. Especially since bogus "voter fraud" laws are attempting to block and deny people the right to vote.

    If you think Congress is owned by the money people now, wait a few years. Voting will become a privilege, not a right, as one of those clowns sitting on Fox's morning show couch announced.

  33. zippert and company: Can we rationally expect a "middle class" to save for retirement, for long term unemployment, for home ownership? There seems to be NO MEDIA coverage of how tough things get when you become senior. Nothing about the "age discrimination" where many people (in their 40's, 50's) find themselves out of work so employers (government and private industry) can cut costs by paying someone younger to do the job. Sure, they find other "reasons" to eliminate YOUR job and open something with a similar title for the younger guy. Got to avoid age discrimination complaints and lawsuits. But what I'm getting at is that people don't realize how slow the money flows after age 45 or so. If you can find employment, it's for much less than you used to make--even pre-great recession days. Reverse the thought process: consider how many times coworkers with kids get preference--in vacation time off, in work schedules, in pay raises and promotions--even though they don't do the work as well as the singe/divorced coworkers. Guess who gets laid off first? So anyhow, once you're of age that kids could or should be all growed up, work becomes much more "difficult" cause you no longer get all the breaks. And when you're working for much less money, if you're working, it's tough to maintain the life style you HAD. Sure you can downsize--but that would be much easier if you anticipated this situation and had moved to smaller digs when the real estate market was better. You might not have purchased that last car / truck / suv. You might have stopped using credit cards or carrying credit card debt. You might not have co-signed for the kids or spent so much on their higher ed--cause you're broke now.
    Granted TWO adults can live off SS benefits IF both receive $1200 checks AND the house is paid for AND their is no other debt. So the FORMERLY MIDDLE CLASS, are now the "fixed-income" seniors who ask for senior discounts cause they NEED discounts. Many seniors qualify and receive food stamps--but many of those who don't, who are just a few bucks above the limits, still have financial problems. And gee, medical costs are climbing up. So WHY DON'T WE KNOW ABOUT THIS? Why are we spending every last dime on kids, illegals and wars? Would your priorities change IF you knew how tough you're going to have it?

  34. The net worth of a A hypothetical median family dropped to $77,300 in 2010 from $126,400 in 2007 - the Fed said. This is the equivalent to loosing 40% of retirement savings.

    The crash of housing prices directly accounted for three-quarters of the loss. Those wage earners (middle class and lesser privileged) who turned 65 in 2010 will face austerity and perhaps bankruptcy in their retirement years.

    There is no question - the middle class homes are being foreclosed and sucked up by the investors, particularly in Las Vegas.

    Next the GOP wants to privatize retirement funds - that is, allow Wall Street financiers to 'look after our retirement'. The 'Occupy' group will look like Sunday Schoolers when 20 million retirees loose their savings. The key buzz words at that juncture will be "Regime Change", not Climate Change.

  35. Looks like Romney found an Etch A Sketch buddy to play with.

    Paul Ryan supports Keynesian economics:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p09X8hohv...

    CNN Aired January 4, 2009

    BLITZER: Do you have confidence that the incoming president is, from your perspective, going to do the right thing as far as the Middle East is concerned?

    ROMNEY: I believe that Barack Obama is firmly behind Israel's right to protect itself. He said so time and time again in debates as well as in statements since his election. The United States is committed to doing what's right here. This is obviously a big question for a lot of countries because they look at the opportunity to trade with over a billion Muslims, many of them angry with regards to the Palestinian effort. But, in fact, Israel is in the right in this circumstance. They are an independent nation. They've been attacked time and time again by Hamas. And an independent nation has a right to protect itself against this kind of attack.

    BLITZER: He's talking about a $750 billion economic stimulus package. He wants it to be passed as soon as possible. It's unclear if whether it can be passed before he's inaugurated on January 20th. What do you think about this proposal?

    ROMNEY: Well, I frankly wish that the last Congress would have dealt with the stimulus issue and that the president could assign that before leaving office. I think there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth. That translates into about $400 billion a year less spending that they'll be doing, and that's net of additional government programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance. And government can help make that up in a very difficult time. And that's one of the reasons why I think a stimulus program is needed.

    I'd move quickly. These are unusual times. But it has to be something which relieves pressure on middle-income families. I think a tax cut is necessary for them as well as for businesses that are growing. We'll be investing in infrastructure and in energy technologies. But let's not make this a Christmas tree of all of the favors for various politicians who have helped out the Obama campaign, giving them special projects.

  36. Vernos,

    You just restated what you stated before. I know about the Koch brothers and Karl Rove's superpac and Adelson and they do concern me. Do you also worry about these numbers at all:

    SEIU - Over $ 5 million (100 % to D's)
    American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees - Over 4 million (100 % to D's)
    AFT - Over 3.3 million (100 % to D's)
    Operating Engineers Union and the Communications Workers of America - about 5 million (95 % to D's)

    This is just a small part of a large list that doesn't even include George Soros or Hollywood.

    I am concerned Vernos, but unlike you, all of it concerns me. The people, groups and PACs you mention, the ones I list and many others ARE the reason we get the best government money can buy. These groups don't just bribe one side. If you check, you will find alot of groups, businesses, etc that donate to both sides. None of this is altruistic. Everybody wants something. We can't just rail about one side and expect anything to change. It can't be alright for Soros to 'buy' his vision for the country anymore than it can be ok for the Koch brothers to 'buy' theirs.

    That's my point....

    Michael

  37. Vernos,

    I quote you who quoted Romney: "We'll be investing in infrastructure and in energy technologies. But let's not make this a Christmas tree of all of the favors for various politicians who have helped out the Obama campaign, giving them special projects".

    President Obama said the shovel ready projects were not as shovel ready as we thought... and laughed. Relatively little of the stimulus went to infrastructure projects. Instead of investing in energy 'research' Obama invested directly in retail green energy projects, some of which, even when subsidized, failed and others that survived can't be competitive without subsidies. There are many of Obama's donors tied to some of the stimulus money.

    This stuff always happens with government projects, whether it be R's or D's so I'm not here to 'just' criticize Obama.... but the way the stimulus was handled has 'earned' criticism and so have the results.

    Michael

  38. "Romney's family had wealth, Mitt earned his way to success". That statement is a total oxymoron. Romney didn't "earn" squat. I'll give him credit for making sure he keeps his "earned" wealth; off shore corporations, and secretive and off shore bank accounts. This will ensure he maintains his wealth that he "earned". Fact: he inherited wealth, and made more money by scamming companies he was hired to "help", and then throwing them, and their employees under the bus. As for RyAYN, he did his homework, and decided, rightfully, that he could scam the American taxpayer, by making a CAREER out of politics.

  39. "These groups don't just bribe one side. If you check, you will find alot of groups, businesses, etc that donate to both sides."

    Michael,

    I'm not concerned with groups, I'm concerned with individuals pocketing politicians. A handful of billionaires have enough money to out spend the entire population of this country. They will call in their chips and sway policy. There is a long list of corrupt political machines from both sides of the aisle, Boss Tweed's Tammany Hall and Huey P. Long being examples.

    Problems already exist with unethical lobbying practices; why make things worse? The SCOTUS with Citizens United really hurt the democratic process. I notice you don't have much to say about the Jim Crow type voter fraud laws.

    I'm looking at the overall picture and what the far right Republicans suggest, and what they are doing, is setting a very dangerous precedent for everyone in this country, not just Democrats, liberals, progressives or otherwise.

  40. Had Minimum Wage been indexed to inflation the wages for the lowest paid workers would be Double. Had Herman Cain not lobbied as Chair of the Restaurant Association for a Sub Minimum wages - those workers would have been included. Yet the Millionaire and Billionaire Class is doing very well having bought off Republicans and Blue Dog Democratic Politicians.
    Without the Middle Class even the Rich will eventually loose substantial wealth. After raiding Government Health Care, Pensions and Social Security - there will be very little left, except for them to devour each other.

  41. Vernos,

    It is foolish to ignore groups and organizations because 'names' and big amounts make the news. These groups and organizations are just as big a part of the problem as individuals are. An even bigger problem that gets a lot less attention than Citizens United is the hundreds of lobbying firms in Washington DC, whose job it is to buy our Congress so their employers can get what they want.

    I am pragmatic about what you call voter suppression. It is true that some Conservatives would like to suppress the vote among the poor and minorities because they mostly vote D, and they don't care if the suppression is legal or not. It is also true that many Progressives want as many votes as they can get and it concerns them little if any of that vote is legitimate or not.

    I do not find it unreasonable to ask that one present a photo ID to be able to vote. I don't deny that the poor and minorities are less likely to have that than other groups. But the proper solution is to work to get everyone an ID, and not just letting anyone vote.... questionable ID, no ID, etc.

    This is much more about two sides trying to gain advantage than it is about fairness. Let's just provide an 'easy' opportunity for any American to get an ID, require one to vote and move on.

    Michael

  42. "I do not find it unreasonable to ask that one present a photo ID to be able to vote. I don't deny that the poor and minorities are less likely to have that than other groups."

    Michael,

    Why would anyone in a large city need a photo ID? They don't drive or own cars, and in most cases public transportation is superior. I know for a fact that over 50% of people in New York do not have a drivers liscense, a trivia question on Jeopardy. Eighty percent of the American populace live in urban areas. And let's not forget, there are no real cases of voter fraud. It's another boogey man the far right uses to frighten white people into believing non whites are cheating the system.

  43. Anyone so green to not have a photo I.D. needs to clue in. We are not living in that world, that world in your mind. Anyone living/existing so far off the grid that s/he is unwilling to "compromise" enough to carry a photo I.D should not vote.

  44. Vernos,

    Are you telling me that you would place voting on the honor system? Just tell the person at the polling place your name, sign the book and that's it?

    Would you also use the honor system to allow people on an airliner? How about crossing into the US? Would just saying you are a US citizen be ok?

    If people were perfectly honest I'd love to have no ID required for anything and to use the honor system everywhere. But Vernos, I know people and we are not perfect.

    You say there is no voter fraud. Ok... Then why do casino's here bother to have camera's everywhere and security personel? Cheating isn't common now but without camera's and security, the temptation to cheat would be very strong.... and Vernos, people would cheat. It's knowing human nature that causes the casino's to have camera's and security. it's a deterrent.

    Look at the two parties today and what is at stake for them. Will both lie about the issues, the other party, the other candidate? Yes! Will they skirt the campaign finance laws? Yes! Will they promise things they cannot or will not deliver to win? Yes!

    Is it conceivable that they'd cheat at the voting booth to help them win? You bet it is.

    The ID doesn't have to be a DL... an ID card with a picture would do. Something Vernos... something that a person that wanted to cheat the system would have to have to accomplish the cheating. I hardly think it is too much to require.

    Michael

  45. "You say there is no voter fraud. Ok... Then why do casino's here bother to have camera's everywhere and security personel?"

    Michael,

    I can't understand how an intelligent person as your self attempts to compare apples and oranges.

    What do casinos have to do with denying hundreds of thousands of people the right to vote. Yes, hundreds of thousands of voters will be ineligible to vote who have voted in past elections. Admit it Michael, it's a ploy to help Romney win and that is a fact! Voter supression has returned and Republicans might as well reenact Jim Crow Laws. Voter fraud is virtually non-existent, it is nothing less than another "boogey man" conjured up by the Republican Party.

    Penn. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, "Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."

    Ohio GOP election official Doug Priesse, "I guess I really actually feel we shouldn't contort the voting process to accommodate the urban African-American voter-turnout machine,"

  46. Vernos,

    There are some people in the R party that do want to suppress votes of groups that support D's... no doubt about it.

    Those people and what they want have zero to do with the question surrounding whether a picture ID should be required to vote. I say again... that requirement is a reasonable one. If an easy way is provided to allow people to get an ID, if people are disenfranchised, it will be because they did it to themselves.

    Michael

  47. Some people forget they are better off financially than others and ignore the hardships working poor must face on a daily basis. Especially in towns and cities like Las Vegas where public transportation is absolutely horrible and day care is far too costly.

    http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story...

    "Every voter without a government-issued ID would have to go to a DMV office to obtain one, bringing an original Social Security card or birth certificate. Each time a voter moves, he or she would have to obtain new ID. These voters would have to find transportation to a DMV office because, of course, they do not drive. This would be a real hardship on those voters who are elderly or disabled, and very inconvenient for those who work and have young children."

    "College students would have to go home to vote, instead of voting on campus, because student IDs don't generally show the student's current address."

    "We might choose to ignore all of this inconvenience and hardship if there really were a voter fraud problem, but the fact is, the problem does not exist. In 2008, elections officials found only 18 votes to have been cast fraudulently."

  48. The Lost Decade of the Middle Class

    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/08/2...