osb wrote:i appreciate your willingness to debate this topic... let me reply
first of all, like i said before, i don't really see any big difference in the two major groups we have that are constantly vying for the upperhand in America... i think that they both distort the truth to fit their own agendas and they make every election an 'us versus them' proposition.... with that being said though, i usually tend to agree more with the democrats over the republicans. to me it seems that most of the people in the republican hierarchy believe that they were sent to do "God's work" and to disagree, question or even debate their positions gets you labeled as "unpatriotic" or as a "liberal"(somehow, somewhere that turned into a bad word... thank you mr hannity & mr o'reilly), or even worse, A BUSH BASHER!!!.... the absolute smugness and condescention with which they speak at press conferences is absolutely sickening...
first of all, bush says he cuts taxes, but he forgot to mention that 25% of americans were left out of his tax cut plan... he says that he cut taxes for "those that paid taxes". well, everyone that works pays taxes for social security and medicare, yet 15.1 million people that work and PAID TAXES got nothing... secondly, when speaking of his tax cuts he sites a national average that each family can expect, yet this number is also skewed by the amount of money cut from the taxes that a relatively small amount of people at the top of the tax scale pay... his number was around $1600, when in actuallity the average american only recieved a $500 tax break. while americans making $200,000 and up were awarded an average tax break of more than $45,000!!!... yes, bush cut taxes... for the rich, and remember, the last time we had a huge tax cut president, Ronald Reagan, the NEXT year he increased taxes to more than what they were BEFORE he lowered them... why? to pay for the massive national debt he got us into... kinda sounds like deja vu all over again... and lets not get into the discretionary spending increases bush has allocated since he's been in office... even his own supporters have been amazed at the rate he's spending money... i mean a 250 billion dollar budget surplus to a 600 billion dollar deficit in 4 years? and at the same time, how many people have lost their jobs?
as far as defense, i agree republicans have always been the party of defense spending... but what are they going to do now that the cold war is over? "hey, lets try to tie saddam and osama together and invade iraq"... i agree it's sickening that most of americans have forgetten about 911, but add our president to that list... he left afganistan like a red headed stepchild out in the cold to go after his daddy's nemisis saddam... and he and his administration trumped up the evidence in order to do so, knowingly or unknowingly, it doesn't matter much now does it?... he's forgotten about terrorism just like the rest of americans... conveniently until it's time to run for reelection and then, of course, it becomes a major part of his platform... and what about homeland security? he favors an open border policy with mexico... he wants to cut funding for first responders... if he wants to prove to me that he is tough on terrorism, then he should go to where the terrorists are and wage war there and stay the course, not invade a sovreign country unilaterally with trumped up evidence and at the expense of you and i and our fellow citizens and soldiers when he can't find osama...
as far as affirmative action, i agree, it sucks, but instead of just doing away with it and instead of using buzz words like "quota" that bush seems to like so much to scare people, why don't we try to fix it?
as far as i'm concerned, it's time for bush to go... he's spent his entire life screwing up time after time with little or no consequence being paid, well, he's screwing with how many lives now? ... i think it's time for that to change...
yea, I guess I do consider "liberal" a bad word. It implies a looseness in the spending of public funds, often on programs that only benefit a small fraction of the electorate, and a softness on other issues such as crime. It infuriates me every time I read about how some little kid was kidnapped and murdered and almost invaraiably the monster that did it was convicted of a viloent crime before. Conservatives typically support tougher sentencing and also support the ultimate penalty for the ultimate subhuman f***s. I could go on but I'll focus on rebutting the points you made above.
While not a tax expert, I do understand that the Bush tax cut was across the board. The selling point was that anyone paying taxes would get a tax cut. The fact that it included the wealthy seemed to be a major gripe for some. I really don't see this as a problem. I could look up figures but sufffice it to say that most tax revenue comes from a relatively small group of tax payers. It really isn't fair to endlessly penalize our most successful with higher and higher taxes. Isn't part of the American dream financial success? Liberals like to wage class warfare and it isn't productive. Allow me to generalize - they are in love with the lazy and they want to punish the successful. But the biggest problem I have is their definition of what "wealthy" really is. Recent democrat tax initiatives all seem to define wealthy as gross annual income of 50-60k or more. I would argue that that's upper middle class. A college graduate with a good degree can make that in his first job. Good money, but not wealthy and certainly deserving of a tax cut when our federal government so graciously reduces our insanely high taxes by a tiny sliver. You just can't call someone making 50k who has student loans and a mortgage to pay the same thing as someone that's a multi-millionaire with 2 homes, a yacht, and a garage full of luxury cars. But the dems like to redefine wealthy and then include POOR in the "middle class" so their programs that only help the poor sound better to the real middle class when they go to the polls. I am not wealthy by any definition you come up with as my student income is $0.00. But I would like to be and I think that eventually I will be. Hard work should not be penalized by a socialistic infatuation with redistributing wealth from those that have it to those that do not. Capitalism is about going out and making things happen for yourself. It rewards ambition, creative thought, and hard work.
You make some good points about the war in Iraq. While hindsight is 20/20 and it appears that the crisis was not the imminent threat our intelligence lead us to believe, the world is still a better place w/o Saddam Hussein in power. And keep in mind that the war in 1991 ended because Hussein SURRENDERED to the coalition and agreed to obide by certain conditions. He repeatedly ignored many of those conditions in the 12 years that followed including ejecting weapons inspectors years before we removed him from power for good. We would have been well within our rights to resume the use of force against him at any time he was not in compliance with the terms of his surrender. We opted not to until last year but imo, the timing is irrelevant and describing it as us attacking a sovereign nation is simply not accurate. HE attacked a sovereign nation which we proceeded to liberate and HE was forced to surrender to remain in power himself. But enough about the semantics of it, I support the war in principle because I would rather err on the side of caution in removing a perceived threat than wait for a nuclear/chemical/biological weapon to be detonated in the US or against US interests abroad. We know that Saddam had WMD before. Did he desroy them all as he claimed? Did he move them to Syria? Who knows. All he had to do was provide evidence that he did destroy them and he would still be in power murdering his own people today. oh, did I say murder? The fact that we removed a brutal dictator that murdered his own people is almost ignored because of some paranoid fear that we're over there to take free oil. By removing Saddam, we also were able to begin restoring some semblance of an economy in Iraq where the people have suffered under a UN embargo that was necessary as long as Hussein was in power. But I won't try to sell the war as a soley humanitarian mission. We were there primarily for our own interests and in this case our security. Why is it that when we send our sons and daughters over to Somalia and Bosnia to die for causes that have little or no impact to our interests, the same nay-sayers of the situation in Iraq have no complaints? But then when we use force for our own interests, in this case security, we get compared to Hitler? Simply put, the interests of France and Germany, of Europe in general, of the world in general do not necessarily coincide with the interests of America. The leaders of those countries are going to strive for what is in the best interests of the people they represent, as they should. But our president, should first and foremost do what he thinks is best for AMERICA, not what is best for France, and not what is best for anyone else. In this case, there was a threat, we went in and removed it. I also don't buy the argument that by stomping out one threat, we instigate more. The people that attacked us already hate us sufficiently imo to do as much damage to us as they are capable. We cannot expect them to go away by ignoring them. Their hatred of us stems from our support of Israel and unless there is a major shift in US-Israel relations, that hatred will continue. Another area where hindsight is 20/20 only in this case it is 50 years later. Would the world have been better served if Israel wasn't formed? That's a subject for another discussion. But the hatred of radical Islamics toward America and the West in general is nothing new (see Iran hostage crisis '79, Pan Am bombings, etc.) What's new is their capacity to inflict massive damage. If preemptive attacks are necessary to avert these, even if sometimes our perceived threats don't always turn out to be as dangerous as we thought originally, I am in full support.
Since I'm working on a book already, I'll be short on the quota thing. I don't think any part of the problem is creating buzz words like "quota". The problem is exactly that - quotas. The 80% diversity candidate policy I mentioned before was a quota. You can sugar coat it and call it something else but it isn't going to change what it is, an absolutely unfair policy that favors certain groups of Americans over others, that in no way rewards qualifications but instead rewards something arbitrary. It's wrong, it's inefficient, and it breeds more racism. When you say "fix it", I wholeheartedly agree. But my "fix" is the removal of these policies and their replacement with a policy that states that race/gender/sexuality/etc. cannot be considered for hiring, college enrollment, promotions, etc. They should be strictly based on qualifications and then nobody has any reason to be bitter if they are passed over.