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Hover Round Republicans and Clueless Progressives

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
I suspect many people know that guy. The passionate libertarian or conservative who talks the talk, but opts not to walk in favor of using a personal scooter covered by Medicare. The guy who preaches self-reliance and small government and complains about the restrictions on his EBT card. The guys and gals I call Hover Round Republicans.

In light of these individuals, who can be found at Tea Party rallies or watching Fox News; we have to ask what it means when they speak of reducing government spending. If the tenets of the Tea Party consist in balancing the budget, reducing government spending, and decreasing taxes; we can easily see that reducing spending is a vital component to this platform which would otherwise be contradictory. Yet, I have yet to see popular support for concrete proposals as to what should be cut. Social Security, Medicare, food assistance, unemployment benefits, TANF, etc; appear unassailable.

In light of this, it seems the main realistic expectation of conservative politicians is that they cut taxes, thereby providing a small handout to their voters; whereas Democrats promise little and deliver less. Is this the political calculus that ultimately motivates the Hover Round Republicans? The Democratic establishment seems to have bought into the rhetoric of conservatives, without understanding what ultimately drives the populist vote.

The Democrats of today are acting much like the bumbling progressives who proceeded FDR, and who failed to hold office for such mistakes as prohibition. They channel populist sentiments into policy that misses the mark on what is actually desired by the populace. Contrast this with the popular success of the New Deal, which led to liberalism being considered the American way for much of the 20th century. Nothing like that is being offered today, because of the false belief that ideologies primarily drive voting habits. People do not care if a solution is socialistic or market based, just that it provides them some substantial benefit.

If Democrats continue to fail to put something on the table, the Republicans will be successful in removing the influence of the democratic will from public affairs, even as that is not what the American people want. By offering insurance mandates instead of single-payer coverage, and smoking bans instead of an easing of drug laws, though, they end up aiding the process and indeed offer comfort and support to the idea that the American people cannot be trusted to rule themselves. Liberalism is fundamentally about the empowerment of those who lack power, and unless Democratic politicians remember and actuate that goal, we the people will not even be given a chance to once again prove ourselves worthy of democracy.
 
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dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
We're a republic not a democracy, neither the Delcaration of Independence or the Constitution say we are a democracy but rather a Republic.

What benefit would people be gaining if the government goes bankrupt?

Unfortunately neither party has a good solution to our problems, which gives us the option to vote for what we believe to be the lesser of two evils.

whereas Democrats promise little and deliver less.
The Democrats promise little?
-Healthcare
-More open government
-jobs
-tax relief on most Americans
-cut spending in half by 2012
-bailouts

There's a lot more than that too, but to me it seems like big promises and delivering quite a bit less.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
America's a republic and a representative democracy. Always has been. Look up "representative democracy" if you don't believe me. We qualify. Though, I'm not sure why it matters. As for the government going bankrupt: the people (or things, actually...) who benefit are international corporations who want the government out of the way. Excessive tax cuts, constantly ramped up military spending, and endless military campaigns overseas will bankrupt the government just as surely as the implementation of too many and poorly thought-out entitlement programs. I don't support either of these things.

As it is, I might vote for the lesser of two evils, but I'm not going to pretend like it's not "evil", and hence the OP.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
I suspect many people know that guy. The passionate libertarian or conservative who talks the talk, but opts not to walk in favor of using a personal scooter covered by Medicare. The guy who preaches self-reliance and small government and complains about the restrictions on his EBT card. The guys and gals I call Hover Round Republicans.
Opts not to walk? Interesting! Should those that paid medicare taxes their whole lives not take the benefit of the "insurance" premium that they had no choice to but to pay.
In light of these individuals, who can be found at Tea Party rallies or watching Fox News; we have to ask what it means when they speak of reducing government spending. If the tenets of the Tea Party consist in balancing the budget, reducing government spending, and decreasing taxes; we can easily see that reducing spending is a vital component to this platform which would otherwise be contradictory. Yet, I have yet to see popular support for concrete proposals as to what should be cut. Social Security, Medicare, food assistance, unemployment benefits, TANF, etc; appear unassailable.
Social Security and Medicare are plans forced upon taxpayers. We do not have a say in those matters. Had Social Security not been treated as a slush fund to be raided at will, maybe it would have enough assets to cover the liabilities. Unemployment benefits used to be insurance that was funded by a tax on employers, and was rated based on the claims history of the employer. Now it has been turned into a two year free ride at the expense of the taxpayer.
In light of this, it seems the main realistic expectation of conservative politicians is that they cut taxes, thereby providing a small handout to their voters;
They must also cut spending, and the entitlement programs that you have noted are not the only spending by congress. There is plenty of room to cut spending.

whereas Democrats promise little and deliver less. Is this the political calculus that ultimately motivates the Hover Round Republicans? The Democratic establishment seems to have bought into the rhetoric of conservatives, without understanding what ultimately drives the populist vote.
As noted they make big promises. Now that the popular opinion seems to swing more conservative they will adopt the language in hopes of remaining in the ruling class.
The Democrats of today are acting much like the bumbling progressives who proceeded FDR, and who failed to hold office for such mistakes as prohibition. They channel populist sentiments into policy that misses the mark on what is actually desired by the populace. Contrast this with the popular success of the New Deal, which led to liberalism being considered the American way for much of the 20th century. Nothing like that is being offered today, because of the false belief that ideologies primarily drive voting habits. People do not care if a solution is socialistic or market based, just that it provides them some substantial benefit.
The benefit I hope for is to be left alone to decide for myself how to apply my assets for the betterment of my family.
If Democrats continue to fail to put something on the table, the Republicans will be successful in removing the influence of the democratic will from public affairs, even as that is not what the American people want.
Or maybe they are a reflection of the democratic will.

By offering insurance mandates instead of single-payer coverage, and smoking bans instead of an easing of drug laws, though, they end up aiding the process and indeed offer comfort and support to the idea that the American people cannot be trusted to rule themselves.
And that is the way of the ruling class.

Liberalism is fundamentally about the empowerment of those who lack power, and unless Democratic politicians remember and actuate that goal, we the people will not even be given a chance to once again prove ourselves worthy of democracy.
Are democrat politicians the only hope? I think not, they have been in control of congress for 4 years and enjoy a supermajority currently. We can already see the results of their failed big government policies. Like 10% unemployment.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
You have Hover Round, don't you SmilinSilhouette? :) What spending cuts are you proposing, anyways? Go ahead and provide some suggestions, and we can roughly determine if they're enough to create a surplus.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
You have Hover Round, don't you SmilinSilhouette? :)
:lol: No, but my Dad has one of those things (probably a cheap one). I can assure you he would much rather be able to walk, and especially mow his own lawn.

What spending cuts are you proposing, anyways? Go ahead and provide some suggestions, and we can roughly determine if they're enough to create a surplus.
I think that there is plenty of room to cut when we spend over 1 trillion a year. I would start with government union employee benefits, making them comparable with the private sector. I'm pretty sure that there is also lots of redundancy and many bureaucratic positions could be eliminated.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
I think the question of whether we want a stimulus economy and a supply side economy is the key issue of the 2010 elections and the 2012 elections will not be about whether we should cut, but rather what should be cut. The budget hawks have been very wise to not take the bait Obama laid about what cuts are necessary. The federal government is not going to be doing anything for the next 2 years and we have the time to debate the best plan of austerity.
So, when people say the TeaParty lacks specificity they are getting ahead of the game a bit. Although I agree with you that once we get down to the nitty-gritty there will be many flag waving TeaPartiers that will jump ship when it starts to affect them personally.

As far as what to cut, I don't have a specific list myself either. I would start with the Presidents of the past to see what worked well previously specifically Reagan and the first term of Clinton:

And of course the mighty Calvin Coolidge.


Some loose ideas that I carry would be:
  • measured withdraw of military from Europe
  • combining the Air Force into the Army.
  • raising retirement age and eliminating SS for everyone under 45
  • ObamaCare repeal
  • Federal hiring/COLA freeze

Most people understand what spending cuts mean. Reagan's cuts in 1980 put a extreme strain on the economy for over a year and this time it will be worse. Most people also realize that there's no other option. The stimulus economy by every measure is a colossal failure and we just can't continue monetizing our debt.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
Just a couple of things I take issue with in this OP.

In light of these individuals, who can be found at Tea Party rallies or watching Fox News; we have to ask what it means when they speak of reducing government spending. If the tenets of the Tea Party consist in balancing the budget, reducing government spending, and decreasing taxes; we can easily see that reducing spending is a vital component to this platform which would otherwise be contradictory. Yet, I have yet to see popular support for concrete proposals as to what should be cut. Social Security, Medicare, food assistance, unemployment benefits, TANF, etc; appear unassailable.
First off I don't see how reducing government spending is contradictory since no one has called for cutting ALL spending. I have also seen popular support for the cutting of Medicaid, unemployment benefits, food assistance, etc..and thus I don't find them to be unassailable.

In light of this, it seems the main realistic expectation of conservative politicians is that they cut taxes, thereby providing a small handout to their voters; whereas Democrats promise little and deliver less. Is this the political calculus that ultimately motivates the Hover Round Republicans? The Democratic establishment seems to have bought into the rhetoric of conservatives, without understanding what ultimately drives the populist vote.
Cutting taxes is providing a small handout? Maybe you and I have a different definition of handout but letting people keep more of their own money is not a handout to me.

The Democrats of today are acting much like the bumbling progressives who proceeded FDR, and who failed to hold office for such mistakes as prohibition. They channel populist sentiments into policy that misses the mark on what is actually desired by the populace. Contrast this with the popular success of the New Deal, which led to liberalism being considered the American way for much of the 20th century. Nothing like that is being offered today, because of the false belief that ideologies primarily drive voting habits. People do not care if a solution is socialistic or market based, just that it provides them some substantial benefit.
Except that history doesn't back you up on this. The New Deal and The Great Society were hardly successful and did nothing but retard economic growth. I agree they may have been popular, I just disagree that they were successful.

EDIT: Let me also add I disagree that people don't care if a solution is socialistic or market based, most do care one way or another. Some don't consider socialistic solutions solutions at all and vice-versa.
 
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SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
@ CO: It always cracks me up when non-taxpaying youngsters don't mind about high taxes and big government deficit spending. They will either continue to be no-money low-earning lowlife slackers living in their parents basements or attics waiting for them to die or they will pay the price later on. Good luck with that, smartypants! :lol:
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
Well, fuck my internet connection. I wrote a lengthy response here and had it murdered by a disconnect. Bah. Oh well, I'll address a few points anyways.

First off, you can't really argue w/ the GDP growth that took place during the FDR administration, nor the manner in which it coincided with his actions. You also can't really argue with his popularity and how the political landscape changed because of him, nor with the long period of American ascendancy that followed his time as president.

Reagan could also be seen as a poster-boy for Keynesian economics, since he ramped up government spending to unprecedented levels, and saw economic growth as a result. So the wisdom of spending when the economies down and cutting when it's up, seems very strong, and is backed by most economists I know of. Supply-side economics, on the other hand, seems to be purely theoretical; and doesn't even hold up very well in theory.

As for cuts to government entitlements having popular support: it doesn't seem like the rhetoric and actions of conservative politicians is in line with their thinking as much. You rarely hear of someone running on any specific cuts to entitlement programs. As MIT suggested: "the budget hawks have been very wise to not take the bait Obama laid about what cuts are necessary". Also, I never said that reducing government spending is a contradictory part of the Tea Party platform, but rather that it's a vital part of the Tea Party platform, without which the platform would be contradictory (I just highly doubt it's something that will be actualized to the degree necessary to eliminate the deficit).

I'd also say that when the country is in debt, people are getting more than they're paying for, and thus tax cuts can be fairly called a handout.

MenInTights said:
eliminating SS for everyone under 45
Seems to me that cutting the disabled off SS is the last thing you'd want to do. It might have the potential to be politically popular, as I'm not sure how apt to vote most mentally and physically disabled individuals are, but it's pretty extreme in its heartlessness.

SmilinSilhouette said:
It always cracks me up when non-taxpaying youngsters don't mind about high taxes and big government deficit spending. They will either continue to be no-money low-earning lowlife slackers living in their parents basements or attics waiting for them to die or they will pay the price later on. Good luck with that, smartypants!
I hope that's not aimed at me, because it certainly doesn't describe me.
 
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