Saturday, July 24, 2004

The Debate Continues...

LeftyJones has just informed me that my 'comments' section must be full (Under "Censorship" post) and won't allow for more submissions. I will post the 'debate' about the DNC schedule posting (see below) here and the discourse can resume:
  • this we'll defend said...

  • ...Yes I am left of center. If you promise not to believe everything that is said about liberals on Fox News I promise not to believe everything that is said about conservatives on AirAmerica. For instance, I believe in a progressive income tax system, for instance, and hate the Bush tax cuts. That doesn't mean I want to punish the rich for being rich or that I believe in income redistribution or communism (I am VERY capitalist because I think history has shown it to be a more effective system). Instead I believe that we are all better off when we invest in schools, infrastructure, enforcing the rule of law, ensuring poor children have a healthy diet, etc. Just like I believe tax dollars spent on defense can be good or bad depending on how they are spent - spend wisely and we are better off, spend poorly and it is a waste - such as national maginot line - I mean missile defense. And if you disagree with me - God bless America that you and I can do so and not want to imprison each other, or censor each other, or even hate each other. That is what scares me about how partisan and one-sided the nation has become. Next stop: one party state. I don't care which party it is - it is wrong and everybody that believes in democracy and our Republic should say STOP. That is why your "funny" DNC schedule of events really wasn't that funny. Flag-burning? Do you honestly believe that Democrats hate America when they oppose changing the 1st Amendment to prevent flag burning? Or do you think we really burn flags? Or that we want to appease terrorists? Why even suggest it? Don't give me the humor excuse. I'm not blaming you, it is acceptable these days. But that doesn't mean it is right......................So where did our informed, logical, honest argument about national policy go? And how can voters make intelligent decisions when this is the way we learn about the world around us? Don't buy into it. The democrats are not the enemy, but the loyal opposition. The republicans are not the enemy, but the loyal opposition. Anybody that thinks otherwise IS THE ENEMY. (shortened -read entire post under"Censorship")

  • ALa71 said...

  • TWD:
  • A progressive income tax system means that you do want to punish the rich --this doesn't effect the richest people (like Theresa H. Kerry who got their money through an inheritance) it effects the WORKING rich--that are already paying up to 60% of their income on taxes (meaning they are working more than half the year to pay taxes) The rich (1-5%) of this country carry 70% of the tax load --how is that fair and how is that not punishing the rich? Would you even bother to go to work if you were only going to be given 40 cents on each dollar?

  • I think that just as you have said that history has proven that capitalism works --it has also proven that government programs don't. Did you know that up to 73 cents on EVERY welfare dollar goes to administration cost? What business would be allowed to run that way --what charity wouldn't be criticized and scrutinized were this the case? When I give to charities, the first thing I do is look up what actually goes to the charity (Freedom Alliance 100% =Women for Women International 96%) This is why I believe in small government and private contribution. I can pick where I want MY money to go and I can ensure that the charities stay honest in competition for my dollars.

  • As for education the Teachers Union (NEA) has gotten more money than any time in history =average dollars per student $9,354, more teachers (one staffer for every 8.2 students), higher pay for teachers (average $44,642 for 9 months) --and has education gotten better? Average reading scores: (on a scale of 1-500) 1971= 285.2 / 2001=287.8 Average Math: 1971 = 300.4 2001=308.2 Illiteracy rates 2000 (4th grade): 63% blacks, 58% Hispanics, 60% children in poverty That is why I believe in School vouchers -pro-choice!

  • Obviously I cringe at the thought of 'free health care'. Not only did I live in England for a year and experience socialized medicine first hand, but when I was young we had to go to the Police & Fire clinic (as all Police and Fire families did then -now they have Personal Choice) and sit in a jammed waiting room for HOURS waiting for them to call you into the 'big bird room'. You went with a stomach ache and ended up with every ailment known to man after spending HOURS in that germ-infested non-ventilated waiting room.

  • You said:'spend poorly and it is a waste" I think I have illustrated --the government always spends poorly. It is inherent and too systemic to fix.

  • As for the DNC schedule...yes (obviously) it is a joke...meant as a slight departure from the stress of the 9/11 report, the election, the war and life in general -BUT it is also a satire of the direction that the Democratic Party is heading.

  • Do I think that the far left hates American and really burns flags, you ask? Absolutely! If you don't please visit and watch 'operation wolverine'. I am TERRIFIED of the far left. What's in the video: burning American flags with Palestinian and Communist flags flying high, people dressed as homicide bombers, blood stained Israeli flags...SCARY. I hope you watch the video. It's not 10 or 50 people -thousands. Groups like ANSWER/ NARAL / NOW (all lobbyists and contributors to the Democratic Party). So do I think you (no I am sure not you) burn flags...YES. Or that you (once again, I would bet my life not you) want to appease terrorists...YES. So I am not giving you the humor excuse, I am giving you the "I have seen it with my own eyes and I hope you will too" excuse. This is why I said that you must be a Democrat and not a 'left liberal' (big difference). If you have not seen these 'protest' and heard all the anti-American statements made abroad by the likes of Michael Moore and others in the far left --you should before you align yourself with them. As I do not put myself in the same category as the rev. Jerry Falwell and others of that ilk.

  • So I say don't go to the media. Watch real life. Watch the video, watch the politicians, check the statistics and then decide. I don't hate anyone (well maybe Michael Moore -but I believe in free speech -not libel and slander). I think that most of us have the same goals -just very different methods of achieving them.

  • The informed, logical, honest argument about national policy is right here -right now...that is in fact why most of us are here right?


    this we'll defend said...

    Posting this here again because I didn't realize the debate had moved (with a little editing):

    You are right that confiscatory income tax rates are counter-productive. That is taking a logical argument out to illogical ends however. Our nation has one of the lowest tax rates in the industrialized world, and experience has shown that confiscatory rates lower govt revenue intake because rich people take their money elsewhere. I don't want confiscatory income tax rates but progressive rates that are good for all. Read about the "veil of ignorance" and why income tax rates are progressive. As Oliver Wendell Holmes (a notable Republican) said, "taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society."

    Your stats on 70% of the tax load carried by 5% of the population is a little off - well, a lot off actually. The middle class carries the load. Still if 5% of the population owns 70% of the property shouldn't they pay 70% of the taxes? I just made that statistic up, but it is true that a small percentage of the population owns a huge percentage of the national wealth.

    Ever hear somebody complain that they moved into a higher tax bracket? That means they don't understand tax brackets. Bill Gates and you and I and everybody pay the same tax on our first $10K of income. Everybody does. We pay the same on the next $10K, but slightly more. Eventually you and I run out of additional taxable income as the rate creeps up on each additional dollar, but he keeps going and each additional $10K is taxed at a slightly higher rate up to the 40% you speak of. The 40% doesn't get applied to the whole. So moving into a higher tax bracket does not mean your entire income is taxed at the higher rate but only the additional income - you are always better off than somebody in a lower tax bracket. If you earn $50K after taxes and I earn twice as much as you, only my dollars above that first $50K are taxed at a higher rate than you. I have the same $50K left over as you before the top half of my income is taxed. Why is that fair you ask? Because people with more disposable income have more income to dispose of, while people without disposable income (defined as necessities like shelter, food, etc.) will be harmed to a greater degree.

    Your comment on Teresa Heinz points out that income tax is only on "earned" income, while unearned income is different. You are right that it is wrong to tax dollars that somebody worked for and not tax unearned income. Why should the Hilton sisters get millions tax free without lifting a finger while working stiffs pay for everything? They shouldn't. So why end the inheritance tax or capital gains tax? Hmmm.... The inheritance tax was never intended as a revenue generator, by the way, but a way to limit the rise of an American aristocracy. Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia is still the best argument for why inheritance taxes are a good thing. I won't go into it here.

    Your anger at misspent govt dollars is well-placed. Limiting the anger ony at govt programs you disagree with is a little selective though. Misspent dollars are misspent, whether the program is welfare, education, defense, or the Lawrence Welk Museum. Regardless of the tax rates the money should not be wasted.

    Your support of smaller govt is interesting given that misspent education dollars that so incite you (and should incite you) don't come from the federal govt but from state and local govts. The federal govt spends a very tiny % on education. Still, your basic argument is valid. Govt works better the closer it is to the people because it is more accountable. So if the govt always spends poorly, as you say, then why do you support a president that is spending more than his predecessor, increasing the size of the federal govt to unprecedented proportions, and paying for it all with IOUs that the next generation will have to make good?

    Poor national health care is, as you portray, a bad thing. So is NO health care, by the way. The US spends a higher proportion of its GDP on health care than any nation but a huge percentage of the population does without. This results in costs for all of us, even the insured and the healthy. I don't think the way to fix this is to adopt systems that have been shown not to work. But I don't think ignoring the issue fixes it any better either. This week's Economist has a survey on health care that might shed a little light on the subject, but if I were you I wouldn't be so eager to defend a system that doesn't work any better for the average American than the PHS system in Britian that you despise. You can get great health care in America - if you have insurance or are rich. If you don't you get dead. Is that good enough for you?

    Your fear of the far left is justified. I question why you aren't just as afraid of the far right, or why you insist that being a Democrat and a liberal means I have adopted the positions of the far left or aligned myself with the likes of flag-burners or those who hate America.

    You've "watched the videos." If I provided a link to KKK rallies and Neonazis and, yes, Jerry Falwell saying American deserved 9/11 as punishment from God for homosexuals, would that prove to anybody that this was the position of the Republican party? So why suggest people check out protestwarrior to learn about Democrats?

    Bottom line is that you and I disagree on tax rates, health care, and many other issues, but I don't think that means you are a Nazi or a fascist or a racist. You shouldn't believe that the democratic party (which more of your fellow citizens belong to than your party) is filled with subsersive traitors and fools. That is itself disloyal and unAmerican. It is easy to demonize those that disagree with you, to convince yourself that they are foolish and wrong. That way you don't need to bother with their arguments or do any critical thinking at all. Whether that is an effective way to make good decisions about complex, nuanced problems is a little problematic.

    Thanks for posting people who don't share your views on this site - we can all learn from each other.

    ALa said...

    I enjoy hearing views that I don't agree with because I have never been a follower --I like to read, talk and figure things out for myself, and even if we don't agree on many things I enjoy reading your posts and hearing your take on issues. Unfortunately, we are probably both the minority.
    I will address a couple of things that jumped out at me (I will try to be quick)...
    1) As for the Hilton sister/Theresa H. Kerry --this is a lose/lose situation. If my understanding (and I may be wrong about this because it is not something I have taken much time with) that the inheritance tax was taken away because of mid-west farmers. People who had farms in their families for years/generations and when it was left to them they couldn't afford the taxes and would end up losing the farms. (My sister and I were just talking about that too, if my mom were to leave us her house now we wouldn't be able to keep it). So this is a hard subject...
    I am NO tax expert to say the least --what I wrote is what I have read/heard in various 'money' mags and shows --I have been making an effort to watch/read these lately. I also just bought a book about unions because I didn’t know much other than I hate them --they are corrupt and horrible, but I figured I needed a better argument than that. Playing into both the tax & union issue is: my husband is the two-year owner of a mechanical company and from what I do know about tax laws (being a sole proprietor) Kerry's would REALLY hurt us (told to us by lawyer and accountant -both Kerry supporters).
    My anger wasn't limited to the programs that I mentioned -nor to a specific party. Congress (as a whole) is very guilty of mis-allocating & wasteful spending. I am sure that in a perfect world we could use all the money that is already there for the programs that you want in keeping with the tax limits that I want.
    2) As for health care --I am not being facetious, but I don't really get this... There are free clinics (same as any I was in England), there are medical cards with Welfare, there is CHIP so no kid is without, and there is now HMO Individual plans that are quite reasonable. As I said my husband started his own business 2 years ago (so obviously we are not rich--everyone tells us if we can make it through the first FIVE years we will be fine...) and we have to pay for our own HC. We have a full coverage plan with no deductibles and $15 co-pay (maternity/hospitalization/prescriptions) for $452/mo (Family rate). Hardly as good as the free Personal choice that we had when he was working for someone else, but really not that bad. I also honestly don't get how anyone who was concerned about this could vote for a ticket with Edwards on it (but that is for another post). I guess in Pennsylvania we are SO aware of the sins of the trial lawyer (sorry if that's what you want to be) and SO many of our doctors have left (including MY OBGYN!)
    3) Here's the problem with your 'far right' comparison. I have never seen a KKK rally/cross burning/Bush rally. I have never seen members of the KKK at a GOP convention. I've never met someone from the KKK so I have no idea if they are 'right'...if they vote...or anything about them. Considering Bush has so many African Americans on his Admin. and Bush Sr. was one of the primary fund raisers for the NAACP at its inception --I am quite sure they wouldn't be Bush supporters (not to mention that Jeb is married to a Hispanic woman). And I specifically mentioned Jerry Falwell and said that I would not align myself with him!
    Maybe we are getting crossed on terms...when I say liberal I mean the far left -anyone else to me is a Democrat. I have no problem with Democrats. I have no problem with some liberals (my brothers are); I just don't want them in power.
    Anyway, I don't write off or tune out anyone with something to say who is willing to have a discussion about it --only those who spit hate and vitriol (on either side) and words would only be wasted.

    Tammi said...

    Personally, I want to thank you both for the education. It's been delightful to read you agree to disagree. It's rare to find a place where open conversation occurs without all the mud.

    And I won't comment on the content as you both know you're stuff on this much better than I do at this point.

    Just wanted to thank you for the great read!

    ALa said...

    Top 96.03% of Inome Taxes are paid by the top 50%

    this we'll defend said...

    Ala71 - I enjoy your posts too. :)

    The inheritance tax was portrayed as taking away mid-west farms that have high net worth but no assets or cash flow. It was a successful strategy for the Republicans until during the Iowa caucus race a few years back the Democrats asked to be shown one farmer that had lost a farm due to the estate tax. Just one. There weren't any. After that the Republicans stopped using that argument.

    The estate tax applies to VERY few, and then it is (was) full of restrictions to avoid those kind of situations. The reason for it is to avoid the rise of a moneyed aristocracy with inherited wealth and power that would damage our democracy. If the estate tax does apply to you then AFTER the tax is paid you are one of the richest 2% of Americans. From what it sounds like you don't qualify, so I wouldn't worry even if the estate tax returns. I am not tax attorney (I'm not an attorney at all yet) but I remember that when you inherit a house you get what is called "stepped-up basis at death" which should result in NO taxes on your mother's house if you sell it when she dies. If you keep it then there shouldn't be taxes at all - not until you sell. Consult a tax lawyer, but I don't think you have to worry and if there are taxes then a trust should be established.

    As for whether Kerry's programs would hurt you - they might. The "veil of ignorance" I mentioned before is how tax systems should be designed to be fair. The person drafting the tax laws should assume that he doesn't know how much money he will be making - he pretends he isn't born yet and doesn't know his lot in life. Now he designs a system to be fair to all because he doesn't know his individual circumstances. As a result it is possible that a system that is better for the nation and fairer to the most people will cost you more money. I can't say I feel great when I write that check to the IRS or see the deductions. IT sucks. If your argument is that you won't vote for Kerry because it will hurt you financially then there is no way for me to argue with you because it is math - either you come out ahead or you don't in dollar terms. If your argument is that you won't vote for Kerry because it hurts everybody financially I would want to see more data because the current enormous tax cuts for the wealthy and small tax cuts for the middle class are running a huge deficit that will later choke off investment to small businesses just like yours and steal savings away in the form of high inflation or devaluation. The data seems to run against the current administration but because it is tough to explain and the negative impact is not felt right now it doesn't sway many voters. Explaining why a person shouldn't max out their credit cards on luxuries to a person who never expects the bill to come due is tough.

    Your health care argument is something better explained in this week's Economist. It is conservative (perish the thought) but I think it is a well-reasoned magazine and worth reading. Check it out.

    I want to be a trial lawyer. I will NOT defend trial lawyers who prey on the system or huge judgments for sticking a screwdriver in your eye. I once had a sunscreen for my car (the kind you put in the windshield when you get out so your car doesn't heat up - do they have them in Philly? They sure do in SoCal). The sunscreen had a sticker that read "WARNING - do not operate vehicle with sunscreen in place." That kind of thing pisses people off. It should. It is stupid.

    The facts are that the average settlement is tiny, that (as explained in this week's Economist) more patients die due to medical malpractice than are killed on our nation's highways, and that most of the time the little guy who has a valid case and tries to sue will get his butt kicked. And the news only reports sensationalism - like the McDonald's hot coffee case. Most people think an old lady spilled hot coffee, sued, and won a million dollars. Now there is a stupid warning that says "contents may be hot." Duh. Except that isn't what happened at ALL. Instead a local McDonald's was warned several times that the coffee was WAY hot - something like 300 degrees - and that it could be dangerous. After being warned about it the restuarant did nothing. It later served coffee to an old lady who put the coffee between her legs and drove off. The top came off and the coffee spilled on her - it has happened to all of us. Except that this time the coffee was so hot that it caused 3rd degree burns all over her lower torso and genitals, and she almost died. She was scarred for life and in intense pain (pour boiling water on your genitals to see - and the coffee was hotter than that), needed skin grafts, etc. She sued and she won - but she didn't get rich. Her medical bills were paid, her lawyers were paid (they didn't get rich either) and she got a little for pain and suffering. Who is the bad guy here? Yet almost everybody knows the case of the old lady who spilled coffee and sued and use it to show how broken the system is - but the system worked. And if the same case happened again the little 'warning coffee may be hot' sticker would not protect McDonalds. That was merely a way to help McDonald's avoid people wasting their time with frivolous attempts to get a free meal by threatening to sue - imagine talking to the manager and saying "your coffee was hot - give me a free meal or I'll sue." The manager points out the warning, and idiot freeloader gives up and walks off. Putting a warning on something that says "WARNING: we may be doing something negligent that will hurt you so be careful" won't go very far in a court of law. It will with the majority of people with no legal training.

    Another reason that "trial lawyers" and "dirt" are considered equal and many people would come to the defense of dirt over that line is because the media only gives half the story. Let's say I decide to sue you for disagreeing with me on this blog. I file a lawsuit for $1 billion dollars. Headlines scream "woman sued for $1 billion for writing a blog!" The next day it gets to court and is summarily dismissed and I am fined for wasting the court's time in filing a frivolous lawsuit. Next day's headline: nothing. It won't be reported because that happens all the time and it isn't "news" when a frivolous case is dismissed. So most people will assume the system is broken and that you can get sued just for posting a blog. The costs of litigation are so high that most people with a VALID case will not pursue it or will settle for less than it is worth.

    When you say liberal you mean the far left. The DNC schedule you posted didn't say "liberal convention" but it was far left mud you were slinging. And when I say I am a liberal I am not far left. When you say conservative do you mean far-right? Just wondering. Especially since your party keeps calling my party's candidate "the most liberal" and I wonder if that means they are implying he is anti-American, burns flags, loves terrorists, etc.

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." (btw if you don't know who said it find out first before you think I am blasting patriotism - I'm patriotic as hell).

    leftyjones said...

    Someone whose posts are as long as mine.
    I've enjoyed the debate from the sideline as it's refreshing to see someone besides me doing the arguing.

    The only quick comment I'll make here is that I could not agree more with TWD when it comes to the discussion about the far wings of each party.
    I feel that ever since Bush Sr. did a masterful job of painting Dukakis as a "liberal" (and in so doing turned the word into a political curse) there has been an unfortunate tidal wave of belief among most Republicans I know that all liberals are far left wing socialists. It's just not true and never was. Most of America sits fairly close to the middle and leans a bit one way or the other. If we could agree that this was the case and that we're more alike than different, we could spend more time debating policy and affecting positive change in this country and less time attempting to destroy civil discourse.

    ALa said...

    I feel as if I shouldn't be getting tag-teamed on my own page!!! hahaha Were are all my comrades?

    I think it is those big Mickey D's cases that scare the crap out of insurance companies and drive up the prices...Wait, I am channeling John Edwards channeling a baby in the womb..."I hear Jennifer...she is saying 'Get me out'". WOW. That was crazy.
    Oh poor baby, Senator Edwards will sue the crap out of someone based on a fact that has never been proven and say that your cerebral palsy was caused by Doctor error --but we know that this is all a lie because he voted AGAINST the Laci Peterson law & partial birth abortion. It would have been OK if-on that same day- the doctor had delivered your body -making sure to keep your head firmly inside your mother, slipped a sharp instrument inside to puncture the base of your skull and sucked out the contents. It also would be OK if the doctor had taken a pipe and beat your mother to death (well he would have gotten in trouble for killing her, but not you). THAT would be OK...But you see he wouldn't have made 6 million dollars. He will also not take the cases of your little friends who didn't make it through childbirth because without someone like you (in a wheel chair to parade into the courtroom) the payout would be considerably less... Strange to you Baby?, I know it is strange to me too...
    Gotta go now --channeling is tiresome as you remember from Ghost.

    this we'll defend said...

    Wow Ala71, that was really OT. I bring up valid points and call for less partisanship, and you respond with dead babies? Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

    So that is how we debate?


    Me: I think national missile defense is a waste of money that could be better spent on ground troops already at war.

    You: Babykiller. Flag burner. LIBERAL.

    Good response, that. Well said. Got right to the point. Just like the President you don't do "nuance."

    I hope that was an aberration because it seems that most of the time you are well-informed and well-spoken.

    justrose said...

    God, will someone tell a joke or something?

    ALa said...

    I actually had to go to a car/motorcycle show for WWII vets this morning that my grandfather was volunteering at (he was at sea for 3 yrs. on the SS Sigourney and has some really great stories --he actually ran away from the orphanage that he was in & lied about his age to enlist)...
    So being pressed for time this morning I thought I would just keep in line with the "angry right wing blonde" persona (thank you leftyjones) and go out with a BANG! Maybe I was actually channeling Ann Coulter and not the baby...Feeling like this is all too heavy you guys have those days? I live, sleep and eat politics --I LOVE it. I would rather name the dignitaries at the Reagan funeral than watch the Oscars...but some days (rarely) I do just want to 'talk about toilet paper'...(family expression)

    ALa said...

    and come on, you have to admit that.......
    "Recognizing Hate Crimes" workshop by Senator Robert C. Byrd
    was really funny...

    this we'll defend said...

    Actually, I thought the Sen. Kennedy toasts were amusing.

    Frater Bovious said...

    Wow. Pretty intense at times. Saw a couple of lines of thought that I'd like to higlight.

    1. A lot of political mischief-making gets attributed to the wrong people. The president is an easy target since he's there and just one person. The 'administration' is marginally more difficult to attack. But get into congress, Senate and House, and well, that's more trouble than most people want to jack with. But, if people spent any time picking their congressional leadership, the political landscape would be far more productive.

    2. The presidential job description is fairly simple as that position has basically three Constitutionally defined responsibilities. A) Defend and Uphold the Constitution. B) Commander in Chief of The Armed Forces. C) Receive Foreign Visitors (interpreted over time to encompass Foreign Policy.)

    Now, a whole lot of what people get upset at the president or congratulate the president on things not really in his purview. So, lots of bad election decisions are made due to focusing on what they say. For example, I have no interest in what the Presidential Position is on abortion. He don't write those laws. Yes, he can appoint folks to the Supreme Court, but they are subject to Congressional Approval. Have you watched that scene in the past? So, I don't care if he feels like post uterine 'abortion' during the first three months of life is a good plan, or if he wants to outlaw the whole thing totally. It's not up to him.

    More attention to local politics is pretty critical.

    3. This has been pretty educational. Which is really good. An informed voter is a politician's worst nightmare.

    4. Someone wanted a joke: A buddhist priest walks up to a hot dog vendor and says "Make me one with everything."

    ALa said...

    Frater Bovious_ i have enjoyed reading your comments...i hope you continue to join the insanity!

    Kat said...

    Ok..into the fray as they say.

    Thoughts on the labeling, etc of people with political leanings in either direction. The first time I ever posted on a blog comment section (about 2 months ago), I was on an Iraqi blog. The blogger was all excited about his new freedoms. Me...I was excited for him, so I posted that comment. Said in essence, "congratulations". Never said anything remotely political. Came back later and found about 4 posts attacking me as a "neo-con" "flag waving" "warmongerer" and a few other epitaphs.

    Wow! I was surprised. But being the person that I am, I decided to embrace it and claim it for my own. Frankly, I am a "neo-con" in the most basic sense of the word. I have just recently switched by party affiliation to Republican. "Flag waving" as a matter of fact, I have a huge flag flying in my front yard. Terrible isn't it? "Warmongerer"...ok, can't lie. Don't really like violence, but, there are some people that just need a good ass kicking and, even in my youthful,liberal days, I wanted us to kick Saddam's butt. I am.

    Kerry and Edwards...Two Americas? This from the guys with more money than God. Which America do they represent? I don't know about you guys, but my private leer jet has been in the shop for weeks and I'm not sure how I'm going to pay for the repairs. Maybe Mr. Kerry will lend me some money? Maybe he just wants to take my extra $60 per paycheck back because, you know, it's for the greater good. I don't need to put it in an IRA. The government is sure to invest it for me better and make sure I have enough money to retire on. I surely am not smart enough to figure out my own retirement plan. Surely, when I retire, the inflation will have disappeared and I could live on $800/mo from social security. That's what I hear from Mr. Kerry. Let the government have the money. They know what to do.

    I have some ocean front property, right here in Missouri. maybe mr. kerry would like to invest in my future retirement plan by buying it from me.