or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Steve Ballmer cashes $1.3B in Microsoft shares, Apple was given first
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Steve Ballmer cashes $1.3B in Microsoft shares, Apple was given first - Page 6

post #201 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

It's an attitude founded on ignorance and arrogance, and, unfortunately, all too prevalent today.

There's the pot calling the kettle black. If the figures from this trip are ever made public (which they won't be because this administration would no doubt be humiliated at the beating they would receive in the public) we'll see who thinks costs like these are insignificant drops in the bucket.

And programs that cost hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars but never work even after years or decades of development are the very definition of waste. And they are numerous within our government. You can only tax a person's dollar once, but these are the projects that keep on taking from America. It doesn't take a genius to understand that when you put billions in and get nothing out YOU LOST!

Feel free to keep your head in the sand if you like.
post #202 of 250
This has turned into a debate between talk radio logic and everything else.
Please don't be insane.
Reply
Please don't be insane.
Reply
post #203 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

This has turned into a debate between talk radio logic and everything else.

And perhaps a little more heated than is necessary (which is to say they really needn't be heated at all). I'm sorry for the harsh tone. Perhaps the one thing we can agree on is that we'll just have to disagree.
post #204 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

And perhaps a little more heated than is necessary (which is to say they really needn't be heated at all).

I thing that's bound to happen in a discussion like this where people tend to be very passionate about their believes. Talking politics, religion, Macs vs PCs (which is a bit religious in nature as well, innit?!?); usually these get a bit heated
post #205 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

This has turned into a debate between talk radio logic and everything else.

Amen, brother. (Oops!)
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
Reply
post #206 of 250
deleted
post #207 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhende7 View Post

Unbelievable nieve these comments are. I honestly pity your outlook on the world. Communism has been shown to destroy nations, yet you postulate that North America become communist?

What I'm advocating is a fair distribution of wealth to allow a higher minimum standard of living rather than individuals living with wealth beyond there needs while huge numbers live in poverty. I pity the fact that you deride fairness as a communist regime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhende7 View Post

I think what a lot of these people don't realize, is that all these wealthy venture capitalists are there to help ideas grow. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak didn't have the necessary capital to start Apple, so they turned to Mike Markkula (an affluent angel investor).

Good ideas should be allowed to develop without the need to pander to investors. You'd rather have a system where a multi-billionaire who makes his wealth from investing in oil companies decides on the success or failure of someone who has invented a renewable energy source that would cut the valuation of oil company stock overnight?

Again, there should be an unbiased system of investment for startup companies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhende7 View Post

Or, Buffet could administer 37B directly to these truly needy individuals?

That's a naive assumption right there. Every charitable foundation has overheads:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...s-charity.html

What makes you think donating to the Gates Foundation is going to be any better?

Besides, I've said quite clearly that I don't condemn Buffet giving the money to charity, just that no single individual should decide what happens with such a large amount of money. I'm not condemning Buffet himself as he said:

"I am not an enthusiast of dynastic wealth, particularly when the alternative is six billion people having that much poorer hands in life than we have, having a chance to benefit from the money"

My problem is that if he hadn't been so inclined, such vast amounts of wealth could have been used to devastating effects when it's controlled by the feelings of one person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual

And while it's all well and good to say that people should be selfless by nature, it's simply not reality.

Which is why they shouldn't control vast amounts of wealth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual

The sooner we accept facts like this rather than trying to force the larger part of humanity to change through some means of government control, the better off we will all be.

At least with government, there's a certain degree of accountability. If they aren't funding education or businesses etc then they can be criticised for it. An individual can do whatever they personally feel is best even if that acts against society as a whole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdawso

Better left to Political Outsider, then a lengthy political statement. Typical - rules don't apply to the ruling class.

To some extent but the topic discussed investment, someone decided to use that to directly insult a political figure. The thread topic is obviously going to have some link to political systems but statements like "butthead BO" cross the line into unnecessary territory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA

Do you think that when people sell personal property, something should be limiting how much they can make from that sale?
How about when you sell your house? You should be limited to what you can get for it.

There are exemptions for personal property. If you have two or more homes then yes you should be limited by what you can get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john galt

Nor would I. However, your implied comparison between Mr. Buffet and "someone who wins the lottery" is insulting beyond description.

His success had had little to do with luck. You should educate yourself about him - I suggest the book "The Warren Buffet Way". I'm not being facetious - it's a very good read.

It doesn't have to be about luck and you're right, it's not comparable to winning the lottery from the investment angle, I was talking about the process by which money is acquired. The investment angle is closer to a professional gambler who researches the system being invested in to ensure success. I accept your critique though and I will read that book and educate myself about his process more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john galt

Where does wealth originate? Who should be able to accumulate and control it? How much should one be able to accumulate and control? Is there a wealth limit? What is it? Who decides what this limit should be? Hundreds of millions of people live on about a dollar a day. Perhaps they should decide?

Before we had currency, people would exchange goods or services. When this system was abstracted to be about the digits on the cash machine when you put your pin number in, the whole direction of the system changed, especially when money makes money. It changes the focus from 'what service or goods can I offer for the best return' to 'how can I get that number on my bank account to go up'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNSF

The issue is not whether is it right for someone to control great wealth. The issue is how they get it and what they do with it. Steve, Bill, Steve and Warren have benefited us all. In contrast, the bankers on Wall Street gave out poisoned candy on Halloween.

But that's still an uncontrolled system where you just have to hope the right people acquire the wealth and it doesn't work because generally good people don't have the desire to acquire vast amounts of wealth. That's perhaps too much a of generalism but isn't it selfish to say 'I deserve to be the sole owner and decider over what happens to $x billion of wealth'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J

Unless he had been able to amass that wealth, those charities would remain less funded, unable to help as many people.

Wrong assumption. I didn't attack Buffet's decision to be charitable, just that he was the sole decider. Charities should be helped not by some vague hope that someone nice like Buffet comes along to do it. It should be by law that people worldwide are granted a minimum standard of living.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous

It's human nature to assume that the successful, "had what it takes," but lots of people have what it takes and simply don't have the same luck.

Excellent post, I would agree with it entirely. One aspect of acquiring wealth compared to say minimum wage earners that I contend with is the notion of working equally hard to acquire it. You may work an 80 hour week like a small business owner but if you make $1b in that time when they make $20k then the valuations of the work are entirely disproportionate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual

Just let the rich handle it, because we know they have the money!

Why do you have an issue with that? If it doesn't affect their standard of living, what's the problem?
post #208 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

... I was talking about the process by which money is acquired.

... Before we had currency, people would exchange goods or services. When this system was abstracted to be about the digits on the cash machine when you put your pin number in, the whole direction of the system changed, especially when money makes money.

Sure, but before you get distracted with reasons currencies were developed, don't make the mistake of equating "currency" and "wealth". They are unrelated concepts.

It seems to me that your statement about money "being acquired" suggests that you believe wealth is something taken from one entity and delivered to another. It can be, just as money may be redistributed, but doing so does not create wealth. Currency can be created (easily), but doing so does not create wealth either. In fact, such acts are far more likely to diminish it, and undermine the possibility for true wealth creation that results in economic growth and prosperity.

Capitalism isn't a closed system, like some chemical reaction in a test tube. Thinking of it in such terms will prove incredibly limiting. Unfortunately it is all too common, even among those appointed to positions that require such knowledge.

I apologize if this mischaracterizes what you think - a forum like this removes several dimensions from effective communications. Thanks for keeping an open mind.
A is A
Reply
A is A
Reply
post #209 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Why do you have an issue with that? If it doesn't affect their standard of living, what's the problem?

I take issue with it because I don't believe it will solve the fundamental problems that will be the ultimate undoing of our nation: the overspending of a poorly constrained government and poor corporate policies. It's a band-aid fix for a gushing wound. I'm not saying that raising taxes on the individual will always be wrong, but it should be one of the last steps taken. Our national debt is at the point where we couldn't pay it off if we managed to obtain every amount of currency in circulation worldwide. We're going to need a lot more billionaires in order for higher taxes to be the singular right answer.

The issues that are seriously hurting us have less to do with the fact that there are a few people with a lot of money and more to do with the fact that our government has crafted terrible policies that incentivize companies leaving our shores for cheap-labor and tax havens. In addition, companies like Google use loopholes to pay only 2.4% corporate tax, and it's 100% legal. It's much easier to attack individuals because it gives you a face to focus the blame on (and lets face it, a series of rainbow colored letters doesn't really seem that threatening), but there are dozens of reasons our economy is in the tank right now and blaming it all on the rich people seems like such a cop-out (no offense). The rich didn't screw up the California budget so badly that the fed is spotting them $40 million a day to cover unemployment. The rich didn't vote on the policies that allowed China to become our main supplier of rare earth metals, essentially opening us up to blackmail should we try to bring technology production back to our country. The rich didn't enact environmental standards so stringent that it is nigh impossible to build any sort of factory or fabrication plant in the parts of the nation where they would provide the most gain. Unless you mean to lump the lifelong glad-handers and back-slappers we can't seem to get out of office in with the rich.

And if the government is influenced by those with money, is that the rich person's fault or the government's fault? I contend that it is the latter. Even if the rich gave them the shovel, nobody is forcing our leaders to dig the hole. If some can say we should live in a world where we should all be less selfish, then I contend that we should all live in a world where the people we trust to provide for the general welfare are not corrupt. We deserve people that understand that funding education and infrastructure are important rather than those who sell their votes to the highest bidder and pile on the pork so that they can bolster their resumes for those re-election campaigns. But being a responsible leader just doesn't sell to all of the American public it seems. These puppets will only be held accountable with action, not criticism. If we continue to throw our money at them and let them continue to squander it without fear of retribution, then shame on us.
post #210 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

I take issue with it because I don't believe it will solve the fundamental problems that will be the ultimate undoing of our nation: the overspending of a poorly constrained government and poor corporate policies...

The problems of this country have little or nothing to do with overspending. At present, the main problem is actually underspending. The economic problems in this country have everything to do with the voodoo economics introduced by Ronald Reagan where people believe that relentless tax cuts and policies the result in the redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich are actually rational. This country is in the dire financial condition it is in precisely because it has largely followed the disastrous economic policies of the right over the last 3 decades. It was a nice fairy tale that appealed to the electorate, but how they can continue to believe this nonsense when the enormity of just how wrong it was is staring them in the face is simply astonishing.
post #211 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The problems of this country have little or nothing to do with overspending. At present, the main problem is actually underspending.

I suppose that depends on your outlook. I see a nation that has to beg to borrow now because we haven't been able to balance a federal budget in decades. I see over a trillion dollars in added debt each year because of this. What are we going to do when we raise the taxes and then still have to borrow just to make ends meet? Even when the wars are over, you're only saving $140 billion per year, and thus still in the red.
post #212 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

I suppose that depends on your outlook. I see a nation that has to beg to borrow now because we haven't been able to balance a federal budget in decades...

Yes, and that all started when we began, under Ronald Reagan, to use insane tax cuts for the rich as our primary, often only, economic policy. The problems of the federal deficit and national debt are directly the result of right wing economic insanity. But, now, in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression is not the time to tighten the purse strings. Doing so will just ensure a slow and anemic recovery.
post #213 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

I suppose that depends on your outlook. I see a nation that has to beg to borrow now because we haven't been able to balance a federal budget in decades. I see over a trillion dollars in added debt each year because of this. What are we going to do when we raise the taxes and then still have to borrow just to make ends meet? Even when the wars are over, you're only saving $140 billion per year, and thus still in the red.

The fundamental problem with this argument is that nobody in either political party is seriously concerned about reducing deficit spending, let alone, balancing the budget. Republicans are great for jawboning the issue, but their performance is certainly less than convincing. Even the Republican cosponsors of the bill creating the Deficit Reduction Commission voted against it. Apparently they're not even in favor of talking about deficit reduction, except when they're out on the campaign trail, when they don't have to own up to what would have to be cut to get there. You can slice the cynicism with a knife.
Please don't be insane.
Reply
Please don't be insane.
Reply
post #214 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, and that all started when we began, under Ronald Reagan, to use insane tax cuts for the rich as our primary, often only, economic policy. The problems of the federal deficit and national debt are directly the result of right wing economic insanity. But, now, in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression is not the time to tighten the purse strings. Doing so will just ensure a slow and anemic recovery.

We'll see what happens then. The purse strings are likely going to be tighter for the remainder of Obama's term, and probably even tighter in two years. If the recovery fails, then drinks are on me (assuming there are still bars in the end of days). Deal?
post #215 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

The fundamental problem with this argument is that nobody in either political party is seriously concerned about reducing deficit spending, let alone, balancing the budget. Republicans are great for jawboning the issue, but their performance is certainly less than convincing. Even the Republican cosponsors of the bill creating the Deficit Reduction Commission voted against it. Apparently they're not even in favor of talking about deficit reduction, except when they're out on the campaign trail, when they don't have to own up to what would have to be cut to get there. You can slice the cynicism with a knife.

This is very true. With one exception, the deficit and national debt has ballooned under every administration we've had since 1980. That exception was Bill Clinton, a Democrat, who actually tried to pay down the national debt. A policy that was promptly reversed in the next, Republican, administration, where the policy, once again, was massive tax cuts for the rich, with no benefit to anyone else and, once again, deficits and the debt ballooned. Every Republican economic policy that's been enacted, from tax cuts to deregulation, over the past 30 years has been an abject failure, and led us to where we are today. Yet, for some reason, some people seem to believe that, magically, it will work now to get us out of this mess.
post #216 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

The fundamental problem with this argument is that nobody in either political party is seriously concerned about reducing deficit spending, let alone, balancing the budget. Republicans are great for jawboning the issue, but their performance is certainly less than convincing. Even the Republican cosponsors of the bill creating the Deficit Reduction Commission voted against it. Apparently they're not even in favor of talking about deficit reduction, except when they're out on the campaign trail, when they don't have to own up to what would have to be cut to get there. You can slice the cynicism with a knife.

Which is why I won't shill for either party. Nearly everybody that has a seat at the table has compromised the values they had when they decided to run for office for the sake of staying in office. Some of them never had values to begin with, but have silver tongues to convince us otherwise. So why are we in favor of giving them more money again? Right, because they're from the government, and they're here to help...
post #217 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

We'll see what happens then. The purse strings are likely going to be tighter for the remainder of Obama's term, and probably even tighter in two years. If the recovery fails, then drinks are on me (assuming there are still bars in the end of days). Deal?

You'll be buying for the millions of unemployed? We know what will happen, we've seen it all before in 1937.
post #218 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

Which is why I won't shill for either party. ... Right, because they're from the government, and they're here to help...

Yet, here you are, shilling for Republican economic policies.

If you elect people who think government can't or shouldn't do anything positive, do be surprised when the government doesn't do anything positive. Witness FEMA under both George Bushes (Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina).

Of course, the idea that the government can't do anything positive is contradicted by so many counterexamples, from the interstate highway system, to FEMA when it is properly managed, to the FDA, USDA, EPA, OSHA and CPSC keeping dangerous substances and products out of the environment, off the store shelves, out of your medicine cabinet, and out of your workplace or home, that to say something like that just indicates that you have not actually thought about it in an intelligent way but are only parroting the catch phrases of the radical right.

EDIT: Let's throw in a few more examples of the government helping: The air traffic control system, law enforcement, fire departments (at least with a government run FD, as opposed to a private subscription FD, they don't stand around and watch your house burn down if you haven't paid up), sanitation, sewer & water services, the CDC & NIH, ... I could go on and on and on. The idea that the government isn't helping you is beyond stupid.
post #219 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

This is very true. With one exception, the deficit and national debt has ballooned under every administration we've had since 1980. That exception was Bill Clinton, a Democrat, who actually tried to pay down the national debt. A policy that was promptly reversed in the next, Republican, administration, where the policy, once again, was massive tax cuts for the rich, with no benefit to anyone else and, once again, deficits and the debt ballooned. Every Republican economic policy that's been enacted, from tax cuts to deregulation, over the past 30 years has been an abject failure, and led us to where we are today. Yet, for some reason, some people seem to believe that, magically, it will work now to get us out of this mess.

But the economy grew faster with Clinton's tax cuts than it did with his tax hikes, and it was those later years of his presidency that the budget was closest to balanced. Of course one could point to the dot-com boom as a source of increase for capital investment, but capital investment continued to increased through the GBII administration and tax revenues from capital gains far outpaced estimates in many years.

This really could keep going, but everyone has a different take on the same data. I know people will disagree with me, they know I will disagree with them... it's not exactly like we are going to come to a consensus here.
post #220 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yet, here you are, shilling for Republican economic policies.

If you elect people who think government can't or shouldn't do anything positive, do be surprised when the government doesn't do anything positive. Witness FEMA under both George Bushes (Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina).

Of course, the idea that the government can't do anything positive is contradicted by so many counterexamples, from the interstate highway system, to FEMA when it is properly managed, to the FDA, USDA, EPA, OSHA and CPSC keeping dangerous substances and products out of the environment, off the store shelves, out of your medicine cabinet, and out of your workplace or home, that to say something like that just indicates that you have not actually thought about it in an intelligent way but are only parroting the catch phrases of the radical right.

Even democrats have argued for lower taxes at times...

And it's not that the government can't help, but like you said it has to be properly managed to be particularly effective. I don't think all facets of it are. You have a different viewpoint.
post #221 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

... but capital investment continued to increased through the GBII administration and tax revenues from capital gains far outpaced estimates in many years....

Artificial stimulus from ill-advised tax cuts that led directly to our current economic mess
post #222 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

Even democrats have argued for lower taxes at times...

And it's not that the government can't help, but like you said it has to be properly managed to be particularly effective. I don't think all facets of it are. You have a different viewpoint.

I argue for lower taxes... on the poor and middle class. The rich need to step up to the plate and start handing over their ill-gotten gains.

And, as I pointed out before, if you elect people who don't want the government to do anything, it's a guarantee that they won't properly manage what the government does. The previous administration is a perfect example of this, where important positions were regularly filled by Bush cronies because there was a belief that these agencies weren't important and it didn't matter. Where the justice department was stuffed with political hacks and top staff were fired for political reasons, because they were doing their jobs too well.

We won't even get into the billions of dollars of tax money handed out in no bid contracts to Bush and Cheney cronies while they paid lip service to responsible government, told you the surpluses that should have been used to pay down debt were yours and the government had to give it back, and that those same cronies needed big tax cuts, and kept the Iraq war out of the budget.
post #223 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

EDIT: Let's throw in a few more examples of the government helping: The air traffic control system, law enforcement, fire departments (at least with a government run FD, as opposed to a private subscription FD, they don't stand around and watch your house burn down if you haven't paid up), sanitation, sewer & water services, the CDC & NIH, ... I could go on and on and on. The idea that the government isn't helping you is beyond stupid.

Sorry, but not all of these fall under the federal government. I have fewer issues with many state and local governments, probably because they manage much less and do it to greater results (with some exceptions).

And I apologize if my intentions with the dig at the end were not clear. I thought I had been fairly clear in my stance in that while well-intentioned, the reality of the federal government (and many of its agencies) is that it is mismanaged. The dig was in reference to our federal elected officials, which I thought was clear from the context. Mea culpa if it was not.
post #224 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

Sorry, but not all of these fall under the federal government. I have fewer issues with many state and local governments, probably because they manage much less and do it to greater results (with some exceptions).

And I apologize if my intentions with the dig at the end were not clear. I thought I had been fairly clear in my stance in that while well-intentioned, the reality of the federal government (and many of its agencies) is that it is mismanaged. The dig was in reference to our elected officials, which I thought was clear from the context. Mea culpa if it was not.

Federal, state, local, it makes no difference, it's all the same country and they all depend on each other or the whole country collapses. However, there is much more corruption at local than federal levels, so it's hard to see why you think they are the answer.

The problem with your dig at elected officials is that the problem isn't the government, it's the fools that keep getting elected by bashing the government, and then you seem surprised that they don't govern effectively, when they already told you they wouldn't.
post #225 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The problem with your dig at elected officials is that the problem isn't the government, it's the fools that keep getting elected by bashing the government, and then you seem surprised that they don't govern effectively, when they already told you they wouldn't.

For better or worse, those elected officials are part of the government. And both sides bash it, you just prefer one side's argument to the other.
post #226 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

For better or worse, those elected officials are part of the government. And both sides bash it, you just prefer one side's argument to the other.

FEMA under Bill Clinton worked great. FEMA under both Bushes was a disaster. You know the differences in their philosophies and rhetoric. The lesson is that if you want your tax dollars wasted, vote for people who say government is the problem. If you want your tax dollars used effectively, vote for people who say government has an important role to play in making this a better country to live in.
post #227 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

FEMA under Bill Clinton worked great. FEMA under both Bushes was a disaster. You know the differences in their philosophies and rhetoric. The lesson is that if you want your tax dollars wasted, vote for people who say government is the problem. If you want your tax dollars used effectively, vote for people who say government has an important role to play in making this a better country to live in.

The two statements need not be mutually exclusive. It is possible to believe that government is important to people and at the same time point out its deficiencies. We can argue back and forth about which leaders have done what right and wrong, and despite whatever biases we may have it is clear that good and bad has come from both parties.
post #228 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Federal, state, local, it makes no difference, it's all the same country and they all depend on each other or the whole country collapses. However, there is much more corruption at local than federal levels, so it's hard to see why you think they are the answer.

I think I agree on the premise that they are interconnected, but they are not the same. Mismanagement and corruption at a local level hurts a small group of people and neighboring communities can be entirely unaffected, At the federal level, mismanagement and corruption can hurt the entire nation.

And I never said local governments are a replacement for federal government; I only said that I generally see decent efficiency from them in my personal experiences. I even noted that there are exceptions to this.
post #229 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

The two statements need not be mutually exclusive. It is possible to believe that government is important to people and at the same time point out its deficiencies. We can argue back and forth about which leaders have done what right and wrong, and despite whatever biases we may have it is clear that good and bad has come from both parties.

No, you can't have it both ways.

Before you implied that the government helps no one, and that government is the problem. And that's what the Bushes thought, too. And that's the result you get when you vote for people who talk like that -- i.e., Republicans and TEA Partiers -- and of course they waste your money despite their rhetoric to the contrary, because they don't want the government to do anything effective.

Those who believe government is a force for good and improving citizens' lives act accordingly, so when you vote for them, you are voting for your money to be put to work to those ends.

This isn't about biases and opinions, it's about what has historically happened as a result of elections. And no good has come from any Republican administration or Congress in my lifetime, only harm, only the dismantlement of everything that makes this country great, only the disintegration of this country's infrastructure, only the decline of the middle class and millions more impoverished, only suffering and pain for millions of Americans, including many of the people who voted them in.
post #230 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

There's the pot calling the kettle black. If the figures from this trip are ever made public (which they won't be because this administration would no doubt be humiliated at the beating they would receive in the public) we'll see who thinks costs like these are insignificant drops in the bucket.

And programs that cost hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars but never work even after years or decades of development are the very definition of waste. And they are numerous within our government. You can only tax a person's dollar once, but these are the projects that keep on taking from America. It doesn't take a genius to understand that when you put billions in and get nothing out YOU LOST!

Feel free to keep your head in the sand if you like.

The figures will never be made public because they NEVER are. And I don't know about you, but I prefer to have a President who interacts with world leaders, not one who has never left the United States before becoming President. No one complained when George Bush went to Europe so he could play with Merkel's shoulders and everyone thought that Nixon's trip to China was one of the greatest presidentiall ventures ever. So what this is really about is doing everything possible to place Obama in the worst possible light in order to defeat him in 2012. And today you can do that without the slightest evidence because all the radio and TV commentators do is quote each other instead of doing any real journalism. Where is the evidence for $200 million a day? A blogger?

But let's take the numbers at their absolute worst: even though there isn't a shred of evidence that the trip will cost $200 million a day, let's say it will cost $200 million a day. That's 65 cents per U.S. citizen per day. In addition, even if that number were accurate, much of the cost (aside from hotel rooms and the like) is already accounted for because the security forces, the secret service, etc., are salaried employees and don't receive extra money for the trip. What I would suspect happens, although I don't know this for a fact, is that if the army, for example, supplies services to the President, the defense department probably bills the trip back to the White House, but it's just an accounting exercise - it doesn't actually cost taxpapers more money, at least insofar as labor charges are concerned.

People like you talk about these mysterious failing programs. But the reality is that almost 70% of the discretionary budget goes to the military and veterans benefits and most of the non-discretionary budget goes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That's why Republicans haven't really come up with any specific proposals for cutting the deficit - if they're not willing to touch SS, Medicare or the Military, there really isn't that much to cut. If you want spending reduced, we have to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and cut the military budget to match. Everything else is pennies in comparison and has more to do with politics than reality.

We can argue all day over whether the bailouts and stimulus were appropriate responses to the financial crisis. IMO, without bailouts and the stimulus (which were started under Bush, not Obama), even if they were not executed as well as they could have been (no employee of a bailed-out firm making over X salary should have received a bonus until the Government was paid back), we would be currently living in a depression with 25%, not 10% unemployment. And there are those who argue, like Krugman, that problem with the stimulus was that it was too small, not too large.
post #231 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

No, you can't have it both ways.

Before you implied that the government helps no one, and that government is the problem. And that's what the Bushes thought, too. And that's the result you get when you vote for people who talk like that -- i.e., Republicans and TEA Partiers -- and of course they waste your money despite their rhetoric to the contrary, because they don't want the government to do anything effective.

Those who believe government is a force for good and improving citizens' lives act accordingly, so when you vote for them, you are voting for your money to be put to work to those ends.

This isn't about biases and opinions, it's about what has historically happened as a result of elections. And no good has come from any Republican administration or Congress in my lifetime, only harm, only the dismantlement of everything that makes this country great, only the disintegration of this country's infrastructure, only the decline of the middle class and millions more impoverished, only suffering and pain for millions of Americans, including many of the people who voted them in.

It's not having it both ways, it's believing there are nuances of the system beyond just intentions. You inferred an implication from a misunderstanding, so that argument is specious at best.

Government exists for the purpose serving its constituents. My stance is, and has been since the beginning, that it is not in the best interest of the constituents to have waste, fraud, or abuse go unchecked while the government asks for more money. How is that unfair? We have hundreds of redundant federally funded programs and agencies, which while I'm sure are all well intentioned, the interests of the people can still be served by eliminating some, consolidating some, and re-appropriating funding as necessary. We also have billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid fraud annually. That does not mean I think these programs aren't useful, it's just a fact. The President even admits this a problem and has vowed to correct it. I just want to see it happen. We have billions of dollars in federal contracting fraud annually, particularly in homeland security and defense. We spend billions annually maintaining unused government property. I could go on but it won't make a difference. The point is that the government is throwing money away. Not all of the money we give them mind you, but certainly enough to give me pause.

I just want to see some action taken to trim the fat before they tell us to open our wallets wider. I'd surely agree to tax hikes if there is a legitimate effort made to squelch the waste and we're still short. Why is that so hard for you to accept?
post #232 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

It's not having it both ways, it's believing there are nuances of the system beyond just intentions. You inferred an implication from a misunderstanding, so that argument is specious at best.

Government exists for the purpose serving its constituents. My stance is, and has been since the beginning, that it is not in the best interest of the constituents to have waste, fraud, or abuse go unchecked while the government asks for more money. How is that unfair? We have hundreds of redundant federally funded programs and agencies, which while I'm sure are all well intentioned, the interests of the people can still be served by eliminating some, consolidating some, and re-appropriating funding as necessary. We also have billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid fraud annually. That does not mean I think these programs aren't useful, it's just a fact. The President even admits this a problem and has vowed to correct it. I just want to see it happen. We have billions of dollars in federal contracting fraud annually, particularly in homeland security and defense. We spend billions annually maintaining unused government property. I could go on but it won't make a difference. The point is that the government is throwing money away. Not all of the money we give them mind you, but certainly enough to give me pause.

I just want to see some action taken to trim the fat before they tell us to open our wallets wider. I'd surely agree to tax hikes if there is a legitimate effort made to squelch the waste and we're still short. Why is that so hard for you to accept?

First of all, there are not hundreds of "redundant federally funded programs and agencies." If you believe there are, I challenge you to list them and describe the redundancies, and I challenge you to list the ones that can be eliminated without compromising government services. Hint, that last list is the list of the ones that don't do anything.

Secondly, it's ridiculous to claim the government isn't doing anything to combat fraud. (Well, OK, the Bush administration did nothing to combat Halliburton fraud, but that's another issue.) There's plenty of action being taken on these fronts, but, sadly, it's a fact of life that there will always be fraud and that some people will get away with it. As pointed out in a post above, there is really no fat left to trim. The idea that there is tons of "fat" just waiting to be trimmed is simply false. The idea that the government is throwing away piles of money is just false. If you think these last two statements are incorrect, provide some details on exactly where you think this is happening.

Lastly, if you're one of the rich, you really have nothing to complain about: you've been getting a free ride for years. If you aren't one of the rich, then no one is saying you need to open your wallet.

And, no, there are not nuances. Republican economic policies over the last 30 years have gutted this country and its citizens, and the primary component of those policies is relentless tax cuts that fly in the face of all reason.
post #233 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

The figures will never be made public because they NEVER are. And I don't know about you, but I prefer to have a President who interacts with world leaders, not one who has never left the United States before becoming President. No one complained when George Bush went to Europe so he could play with Merkel's shoulders and everyone thought that Nixon's trip to China was one of the greatest presidentiall ventures ever. So what this is really about is doing everything possible to place Obama in the worst possible light in order to defeat him in 2012. And today you can do that without the slightest evidence because all the radio and TV commentators do is quote each other instead of doing any real journalism. Where is the evidence for $200 million a day? A blogger?

Of course $200 million was an inflated figure, but the real argument is what we gain from the trip. Some PR opportunity for deals that were finalized before he even got on a plane? I don't think it's right when other presidents do it either. But I suppose one can see visiting a country no American President has ever visited before is a landmark achievement (which was not the case here). Stopping in another country with a substantial entourage to "shake on deals" and give some speeches to me is being irresponsible with our money. Attending the G20 is another issue entirely. He deserves to face our creditors after the Federal Reserve's latest currency manipulation.
post #234 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

First of all, there are not hundreds of "redundant federally funded programs and agencies." If you believe there are, I challenge you to list them and describe the redundancies, and I challenge you to list the ones that can be eliminated without compromising government services. Hint, that last list is the list of the ones that don't do anything.

Secondly, it's ridiculous to claim the government isn't doing anything to combat fraud. (Well, OK, the Bush administration did nothing to combat Halliburton fraud, but that's another issue.) There's plenty of action being taken on these fronts, but, sadly, it's a fact of life that there will always be fraud and that some people will get away with it. As pointed out in a post above, there is really no fat left to trim. The idea that there is tons of "fat" just waiting to be trimmed is simply false. The idea that the government is throwing away piles of money is just false. If you think these last two statements are incorrect, provide some details on exactly where you think this is happening.

Lastly, if you're one of the rich, you really have nothing to complain about: you've been getting a free ride for years. If you aren't one of the rich, then no one is saying you need to open your wallet.

And, no, there are not nuances. Republican economic policies over the last 30 years have gutted this country and its citizens, and the primary component of those policies is relentless tax cuts that fly in the face of all reason.

You are obviously firmly entrenched in your position, so there is no point in arguing with you. I have already provided examples of where fraud exists to date. You think our enforcement is enough, I think the cracks are still too wide. You think all of the services are necessary, I think some of them overlap. If you want a list of those that do you can find one yourself. I don't think you really do, and I'm tired of being baited. Have a good one.
post #235 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

Of course $200 million was an inflated figure, but the real argument is what we gain from the trip. Some PR opportunity for deals that were finalized before he even got on a plane? I don't think it's right when other presidents do it either. But I suppose one can see visiting a country no American President has ever visited before is a landmark achievement (which was not the case here). Stopping in another country with a substantial entourage to "shake on deals" and give some speeches to me is being irresponsible with our money. Attending the G20 is another issue entirely. He deserves to face our creditors after the Federal Reserve's latest currency manipulation.

That's not a "real" argument, it's a phony-baloney argument. National heads of state travel abroad constantly. Whether you like it or not, or understand it or not, this is a fundamental part of international diplomacy. I have NEVER heard any griping about it before, and if it wasn't for the right-wing noise machine, we wouldn't hear it about for this particular presidential trip either. This completely artificial controversy has been whipped up from nothing into yet another an ersatz argument against this president.

Do yourself a favor. Turn off cable news. Turn off talk radio.
Please don't be insane.
Reply
Please don't be insane.
Reply
post #236 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I argue for lower taxes... on the poor and middle class. The rich need to step up to the plate and start handing over their ill-gotten gains.

The poor don't pay any federal income tax and very little tax otherwise. But they do cost the govt money in terms of social services. In fact, the bottom 50% pay zero federal income tax. The rich pay the vast majority of taxes. We have a progressive income tax system.

Those are the facts that liberals just can't grasp.

The rich ARE stepping up to the plate. They would love to be creating more jobs and prosperity, but under Obama, uncertainty rules the day. Looming massive tax hikes from the expiring Bush cuts to billions more spread throughout Obamacare and the cap and trade legislation favored by anti-business liberals has shut down small business.

People have had 2 years of liberal policies and as far out as we can see, it's massive new taxes and crushing levels of spending to match. America has woken up, smelled the coffee, and thrown these tax and spenders out.

If the Repubs cut govt spending like they did when they came to power during the Clinton admin., we have great hope for a dramatic recovery. Hopefully, Obama recognizes this and works with Repubs as Clinton did.

If the Repubs blow it and spend big as they did under Bush, we will be in serious financial trouble ala Greece.

Tax hikes do not create wealth. As liberals squealed during the early Bush years as he cut taxes at ALL levels, treasury revenues skyrocketed to record levels. The problem under Bush, as it is the same now, is govt SPENDING. Our govt simply costs too much.

You are correct that the meat is in the entitlement programs. But you didn't even flinch as Obama and crew created yet another massive entitlement program, the most expensive in history. These have to be cut for any serious deficit reduction to take place.

Lastly, I do want to point out another common liberal mistake and that is your reference to rich people's Ill-gotten gains. This is common liberal speak as they can't stop themselves from stoking class warfare or playing the race card.

We need to grow our economy and cut govt spending. If Obama is Jimmy Carter II and we get a Reagan in the white house next, we could be in for a very strong period of growth.
post #237 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

That's not a "real" argument, it's a phony-baloney argument. National heads of state travel abroad constantly. Whether you like it or not, or understand it or not, this is a fundamental part of international diplomacy. I have NEVER heard any griping about it before, and if it wasn't for the right-wing noise machine, we wouldn't hear it about for this particular presidential trip either. This completely artificial controversy has been whipped up from nothing into yet another an ersatz argument against this president.

Maybe because other presidents living in the age of instant communication didn't do it under a time of such economic turmoil. Fact-to-face diplomatic relations and negotiations have their time and place and due to the security and financial implications of foreign travel should be limited for our head-of-state. Can you say with certainty that this was one of necessity? Am I not allowed to have my own opinion that it wasn't? Does the fact that I don't agree with it mean that I have to be your enemy? I personally thought Bush's frequency trips to Texas were similarly wasteful, but the Obama trip to India was the first thing that popped into my mind because it was recent and I think it is an unnecessary use of funds. Millions of dollars may be a "drop in the bucket" to some people, but that's millions of dollars not being spent here, and to me that still means something. But I guess I never got the memo that said a trip where a foreign dignitary is involved should be immediately above scrutiny.

As I said to the other poster, you all have your opinions and I have mine. But since civility is not on the agenda I'm going to get on with my life and let you all stew. To both of you I say feel free to respond; you can take a free shot because I'm done here.
post #238 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

You are obviously firmly entrenched in your position, so there is no point in arguing with you. I have already provided examples of where fraud exists to date. You think our enforcement is enough, I think the cracks are still too wide. You think all of the services are necessary, I think some of them overlap. If you want a list of those that do you can find one yourself. I don't think you really do, and I'm tired of being baited. Have a good one.

Actually, you haven't provided any examples, you've just made unfounded allegations. Anyone can claim anything they like about government waste; without citations it's meaningless.
You can't stop it.
Reply
You can't stop it.
Reply
post #239 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by signal View Post

Actually, you haven't provided any examples, you've just made unfounded allegations. Anyone can claim anything they like about government waste; without citations it's meaningless.

I hear Google has a pretty good search engine.

http://www.aipnews.com/talk/forums/t...d=9335&posts=2

Have fun crafting Google searches to refute all of those "unfounded allegations".
post #240 of 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by sexualintellectual View Post

Maybe because other presidents living in the age of instant communication didn't do it under a time of such economic turmoil. Fact-to-face diplomatic relations and negotiations have their time and place and due to the security and financial implications of foreign travel should be limited for our head-of-state. Can you say with certainty that this was one of necessity? Am I not allowed to have my own opinion that it wasn't? Does the fact that I don't agree with it mean that I have to be your enemy? I personally thought Bush's frequency trips to Texas were similarly wasteful, but the Obama trip to India was the first thing that popped into my mind because it was recent and I think it is an unnecessary use of funds. Millions of dollars may be a "drop in the bucket" to some people, but that's millions of dollars not being spent here, and to me that still means something. But I guess I never got the memo that said a trip where a foreign dignitary is involved should be immediately above scrutiny.

As I said to the other poster, you all have your opinions and I have mine. But since civility is not on the agenda I'm going to get on with my life and let you all stew. To both of you I say feel free to respond; you can take a free shot because I'm done here.

No. They still do it. Your other questions are ridiculous, and you should have no complaints about civility.
Please don't be insane.
Reply
Please don't be insane.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Steve Ballmer cashes $1.3B in Microsoft shares, Apple was given first