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Daddy Goose38
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0 posted 07-26-2011 03:22 PM       View Profile for Daddy Goose38   Email Daddy Goose38   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Daddy Goose38


NOW
do you understand?
Balladeer
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1 posted 07-26-2011 11:52 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, they don't....except they do.
Bob K
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2 posted 07-27-2011 01:15 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Somebody care to supply a referent?  Or are others simply supposed to know what the objection may be this time without clues or hints?  And is the thing Mike seems to be saying that he understands the same thing that Daddy Goose38 seems to be saying?  How do the two of them know?  I didn't think Mike believed in ESP, yet here he is, apparently reading Daddy Goose's mind.  What gives?
Ron
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3 posted 07-27-2011 07:35 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I kind of thought Daddy Goose was talking about Obama's remarkable display of leadership recently? I didn't hear his speech, save for the sound bites on the local news, but the response was apparently pretty impressive.

The President asked the American people to contact their legislative representatives about the deadlock in Washington and the result was crashed web servers and phone backlogs exceeding an hour. Even more impressive? The number of people who waited that hour or more to make their opinion known.

Let's hope someone was listening. Let's hope someone, in Washington, now understands.


Balladeer
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4 posted 07-27-2011 07:52 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Let's hope someone in Washington listens to those millions of opinions called in. Obama history says he won't, unless they favor him. Leadership? Obama did the only thing he can do....go to the people. He can't go to congress because they make evil demands, like "show us your plan instead of trashing ours."

You had said once, Ron, when I mention public opinion that it didn't really matter that much. We hired the politicians to do the right things for us. Others of you spoke of the uselessness of polls. Others said how the people weren't smart enough. Now, all of a sudden, it's great leadership to go to the people? Uh, ok then.......
Ron
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5 posted 07-27-2011 12:38 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
You had said once, Ron, when I mention public opinion that it didn't really matter that much.

I still feel the same way, Mike. Public action, however, is not the same as public opinion.

It's rarely difficult to get people to say what you want them to say so long as it doesn't cost them anything meaningful to do so. Asked a question on the street by a stranger, people essentially have three choices: Walk away and ignore the questioner, give an off-the-cuff answer that is likely shaped by the way the question was phrased, or actually stop for a few minutes and think about an honest response. The second choice is the only one that doesn't carry a cost and it's the one I think most people choose. Polls are worse than useless; they're misleading and dishonest.

The only way to get an honest opinion from someone is to make the expression of that opinion cost them something. There's still a dozen things that can interfere with that process, a dozen things that can skew the results horribly, but assigning a cost is nonetheless the first prerequisite. The people who spent an hour on the phone waiting to talk to someone paid that cost and should be commended for their legitimate concerns, regardless of whether one agrees with those concerns or not. Their President asked them to step forward, to make an effort that far exceeded offering a simple ten-second comment, and tens of thousands of them (at least) answered his call. I find that impressive and, in a country too often ruled by apathy, more than a little encouraging.


serenity blaze
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6 posted 07-27-2011 01:33 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"I want something DONE!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5NyyC-UjBM

Huan Yi
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7 posted 07-27-2011 02:11 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"The people who spent an hour on the phone waiting to talk to someone paid that cost"


wow


.
Balladeer
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8 posted 07-27-2011 02:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Keep in mind that under a balanced approach, the 98% of Americans who make under $250,000 would see no tax increases at all. None.
What we’re talking about under a balanced approach is asking Americans whose incomes have gone up the most over the last decade – millionaires and billionaires – to share in the sacrifice everyone else has to make.


He talks about millionaires and billionaires and sets the bar at 250,000. Excuse  me?

he debate is about how it should be done. Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get.

Again, he pretends that those tax breaks were not of his own making as part of the stimulus plan. Isn't there one honest reporter to say, Excuse me, didn't YOU give the tax breaks to the jet owners?

The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government. So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your Member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/25/president-obamas-east-room-speech-on-the-debt-ceiling-full-text/#ixzz1TKUOj4oi


Ron, we have a president and a congress elected to handle the workings of the country. That's why we put them there. They are supposed to  handle things like the budget, for example. If it gets tough, then tough. The president sits at the desk where the buck stops. He has submitted no plan and yet defies any plan  the republicans come up with. Why? Because he doesn't want  his spending ways curbed. He's had too much fun on his spree. So he berates the republicans. When they do come up with a plan that passes the House, Reid won't even let it come up on the floor of the Senate. Is that supposed to be some indication of thinking of the good of the country? Since Obama can't get his way as he stomps out of meetings, he appeals to the public. We didn't vote him in to appeal to the public. We voted him in to do the job. This is not Americal Idol....it's more like American Idle, with the way unemployment has shot up under his watch.  He's like a little boy running home, screaming "Mommy, they're picking on me!" He should be dealing with congress, not telling Sammy Sixpack to call his congressman because the bad republicans won't let him do what he wants to do. He didn't ask for the public's input when he spent the billions to raise the national debt to unseen-before heights. He didn't ask the public to voice their opinion of the stimulus plan or Obamacare. He simply sneaked them in and public be damned. Now, however, since he is not a leader enough to work with congress and come up with a viable solution to the debt ceiling, those same people he ignored for over two years he now appeals to......and this, Ron, is what you call a remarkable display of leadership? That is a new low in attempting to defend the indefensible.
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quote:
He talks about millionaires and billionaires and sets the bar at 250,000. Excuse  me?
Mike, anyone who makes just shy of $5,000 a week (income) and isn't a millionaire (assets) within just a few years should probably just give ALL their money to the government and stop wasting it on frivolities. More importantly, though, don't you think you're just picking nits? Would you be happy if the income level set for increased taxes was $500,000 a year? I suspect not, but I know most Republicans wouldn't be. It's not the income level to which they object, after all. It's the practice, rather, of taxing capitalists more than the working class to which they object.

quote:
Again, he pretends that those tax breaks were not of his own making as part of the stimulus plan. Isn't there one honest reporter to say, Excuse me, didn't YOU give the tax breaks to the jet owners?

What difference does that make, Mike? If a mother gives her child cough syrup for his cold that certainly doesn't mean she has to keep giving it to him when the cold is gone? By your logic, Mike, a Republican can't stop the unnecessary war in Iraq because, after all, it was a Republican plan in the first place. I would certainly hope the Republican party is a little more flexible than that (current evidence to the contrary).

quote:
Ron, we have a president and a congress elected to handle the workings of the country. That's why we put them there.

And hopefully all those phone calls and emails will remind the Republicans of that, Mike. 'Cause they're sure not doing their job right now.

quote:
The president sits at the desk where the buck stops. He has submitted no plan and yet defies any plan  the republicans come up with. Why? Because he doesn't want  his spending ways curbed.

The Republicans haven't come up with a plan yet, Mike. All they've come up with are ultimatums. The President, from what I've read, has proposed a balanced proposal of cuts and revenue increases which, whether you like the plan or not, is nonetheless a plan. Still the Republicans are adamant they will not raise taxes on the wealthiest two percent of the population. Why? That's the best part. Or, at least, the funniest. I heard a quick sound byte from Boehner the other night about how disastrous a tax hike would be for our unemployment problem? Right, John . . . and crashing Wall Street is going to create how many jobs? You yourself, Mike, talked about the effect uncertainty plays on the economy? And yet the Republicans insist on going through this same ordeal just a few months down the roads? Frankly, it seems very clear to me that the Republicans, and specifically the newly elected Tea Party Republicans, are far more interested in flexing their muscles than they are in "handling the workings of the country." It's the first taste of real power they've had since Bush nearly destroyed their party and it seems they don't want to let it go any time soon.

quote:
Since Obama can't get his way as he stomps out of meetings, he appeals to the public. We didn't vote him in to appeal to the public. We voted him in to do the job.

If it gives the Republicans a wakeup call, Mike, it IS doing the job. Last I checked this country was still ultimately run by us, comprised of a government "of the people, by the people, for the people," and every president since Lincoln first wrote those words has occasionally appealed to his constituents when he felt he needed their support. Reagan, like Obama, was particularly good at it. (Ironically, we wouldn't have to talk about raising taxes on the wealthy if Reagan's 1981 appeal to the public, just 48 hours before the House voted on Reagan's 25 percent tax reduction, hadn't been so successful.)

quote:
He should be dealing with congress, not telling Sammy Sixpack to call his congressman because the bad republicans won't let him do what he wants to do. He didn't ask for the public's input when he spent the billions to raise the national debt to unseen-before heights. He didn't ask the public to voice their opinion of the stimulus plan or Obamacare.

Mike, that's just more Republican grandiosity. If you want to raise issues without the "have you stopped beating your wife" rhetoric, I'll be happy to discuss one or two of them. The bottom line, however, is that President Obama didn't need to appeal to the people to do what he said he would do in his campaign. There weren't a whole lot of surprises in what has happened in the past three years, you know.

Now, would you like to tell me which Republicans ran on a platform of intentionally disemboweling the American economy? I'd like to have a few words with them.

For the record, Mike, I would indeed be much more impressed with the President's leadership if he had successfully persuaded the Republicans to accept reasonable compromises. Unfortunately, I suspect he'd have more success talking to a rock. It wouldn't even have to be a particularly smart rock.
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10 posted 07-27-2011 05:26 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


What difference does that make, Mike? (with regards to luxury planes)

What difference? Obama institutes a plan and then denounces it, as if it were a republican plan, and you say what difference?????

doesn't mean she has to keep giving it to him when the cold is gone?

Oh, the cold is gone? Those tax breaks for the corporate jets did their magic and all is well now so he can call for their removal and pretend the republicans were nuts for even  suggesting them?? Do you hear yourself, Ron?

Mike, anyone who makes just shy of $5,000 a week (income) and isn't a millionaire (assets) within just a few years should probably just give ALL their money to the government and stop wasting it on frivolities.

...and you speak of nits, Ron? So anyone making 250,000 a year should be millionaires or they are just frivolous? I guess you are right. Their kids don't really have to go to college. They can live in 2 bedroom apartments and save money. If they are making that much they will be a millionaire some day so why not tax them now for the millionaires they are going to become...is that your philosophy, Ron? America has been a place where the possibility has existed to work hard and be successful and be able to afford the finer things in life through one's efforts. You are saying if they do that and don't save their money to become millionaires, they are just frivolous?? Obama is not throwing around the words millionaires and billionaires for no reason. He knows how it would damage the argument to be throwing around two hundred thousandaires.....even though that's what his plan calls for.  

And hopefully all those phone calls and emails will remind the Republicans of that, Mike. '


I see. Remind the republicans.....I suppose democrats don't need to be reminded of anything. Seems to me they just got reminded on the last election, if my memory serves me correctly. You think all of the  people who called in were democrats, echoing Obama sentiments? I think you are wrong and I think your words "remind the republicans" is pretty telling.

Yes, the republicans have entered plans. If Obama doesn't like them, he calls them ultimatums. Obama, on the other hand has entered no plan at all. He has been asked for one countless times. He gives opinions....he doesn't put anything in writing. He just sits there torpedoing and republican plans that do not allow him to raise taxes.

Yes, you are right, Ron. Republicans are rockheads, democrats are marvelous American and Obama is a great and courageous leader....I'll leave it at that.
Bob K
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11 posted 07-27-2011 05:53 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



    Hmmm.

     Ron made a lot of sense there, Mike.  And he was even fairly explicit about what he was talking about.  I don't always agree with him, but I certainly do this time.

     I believe the President may be willing to set some limits this time around.  If the debt extension hasn't been ironed out in the last six months and the President grants a six month delay on working this out, it simply takes pressure off the Republicans to deal realistically with the issue.

     Failure to raise the debt ceiling now degrades the whole country's credit rating on the world bond market.  If we want to finance our country and the military, at the least, will probably say we do we immediately have to pay higher interest rates to those who we want buy our bonds.   This immediately drives up our national debt and it means that private citizens who want to borrow money from their banks or other sources will have to pay higher interest rates.

     In case you hadn't thought this through, THAT means what amounts to a tax increase directly affecting those who want to build, buy or finance anything.  Want to finance a short term loan to cover the cost of inventory, sheets or computers or watermelons.  Every item automatically becomes more expensive at every point along the supply chain.

     You think we have unemployment problems now?

     You think we have problems with the middle class being under attack?

     At the same time, you may notice the Republicans are focusing a lot of energy on the support net designed to protect us against the consequences of this sort of thing.  The ability the country has to bounce back from this sort of concerted attack is heavily compromised already.
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12 posted 07-27-2011 06:00 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Once more, with feeling...

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/256199/obama-not-always-fan-upping-debt-ceiling-katrina-trinko
Bob K
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13 posted 07-27-2011 06:14 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:


Yes, you are right, Ron. Republicans are rockheads, democrats are marvelous American and Obama is a great and courageous leader....I'll leave it at that.




     I saw nothing of the kind in Ron's comments.  Point out where you saw them, please.  It appears to me that you are exaggerating what Ron said for the purposes of distortion, making fun of the distortions you created, then trying to dismiss your conclusions as unworthy of further discussion as if they were Ron's original statements.  If you want to discuss rather than ridicule, it might be a good idea to take Ron's statements in as near a distortion-free manner as possible and discuss their plusses and minuses on that basis.

     As for myself, I'm a Democrat, and I would never say that Democrats are always in the right and that Republicans are always in the wrong.  I'd want to look at specific issues and how the various parties approach them, and how the various partisans of those parties approach them as well.

     I think you may have a point about the respondents not all being Democrats, by the way, and possibly a good point.  I would point out the Mr. Boehner had a chance to respond, and that perhaps those who responded to him were largely Republicans and that a minority were Democrats, and that the reverse might also have been true, but that is clearly an assumption on my part.  I didn't see the addresses, and all I know of them is what I've seen here.  Perhaps the President had a better response set up for callers than Mr. Boehner; I simply don't know.

     What was the actual case?  Did either party release figures?
Uncas
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14 posted 07-27-2011 06:21 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Failure to raise the debt ceiling now degrades the whole country's credit rating on the world bond market.


It's actually worse than that Bob. The credit ratings agencies also want some evidence of a credible long term plan to reduce future deficits and also reduce the overall debt. Even if Congress raised the debt ceiling tomorrow there's a good chance that the triple A rating is toast, especially if the debt ceiling is only raised short term.

.
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quote:
If they are making that much they will be a millionaire some day so why not tax them now for the millionaires they are going to become...is that your philosophy, Ron?

Apparently my parenthesis weren't entirely clear, Mike. Millionaire is a noun determined by assets. We don't tax assets, we tax income. The vast majority of people in the $250K a year income range already ARE millionaires.

quote:
You think all of the  people who called in were democrats, echoing Obama sentiments?

I sincerely hope not, Mike. I hope there were a whole lot of Republicans and every single Independent out there calling to tell the Republicans to get with the program and do their jobs.

quote:
I think you are wrong and I think your words "remind the republicans" is pretty telling.

Pretty telling? I certainly hope so. I was trying very hard to be clear.

Please note, Mike, I'm not arguing for one plan over any other plan. I'm arguing for ANY plan (within reason, of course) that prevents a default that should never have been allowed to be on the horizon. From what I can see, Mike, the Democrats have offered concession after concession, until the bill now on the Senate floor is almost a mirror copy of Boehner's own plan. The only really significant difference between the two plans is that the Democrat plan raises the debt ceiling sufficient until 2013, while the Republican plan puts our country through the ringer again early next year.

In all fairness, many of the Republicans, including Boehner, have also been willing to offer concessions. It's called compromise and it is NOT a dirty word. Indeed, in any human endeavor the only alternative to compromise is totalitarianism. Unfortunately, the Republican party is fragmented and Boehner isn't strong enough to bring the Tea Party outlaws into rein.

So, Mike, just in case I wasn't being clear enough before?

I believe this entire debacle is to be laid at the feet of the Republican party, who has essentially tried to take this country hostage as it presents its list of demands. I have never in my life voted a party ticket before, but I'm sure starting to lean in that direction right now. And I suspect there are a lot of people in American feeling much the same way.

quote:
Once more, with feeling...

Again, Mike, that's just more Republican rhetoric. It's trying to blame one party for a deficit that both parties have been riding roughshod over for decades. It's blaming one party for a deep recession that grew its roots under the watch of the other party. It's sound bites and grandstanding in place of reasoned discussion of specific issues.

Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent, the so-called "sign of leadership failure" would be exactly the same today for anyone who was put in the White House back in 2008. The worst thing is, I suspect the people who are writing all the rhetoric know full well they're serving nothing but lies and half-truths.


Bob K
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16 posted 07-27-2011 06:33 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Of course not, in response to your Number 12 above.

     Perhaps you could fill me in on how the situation is exactly the same, and I can fill you in on why the solution should be different, hey?

     You understand the old comparison thing about comparisons being valid between apples and apples, but not between apples and anabaptists?  Since The National Review is once again doing this sort of thinking, I've got to  be more understanding about your willingness to do so; so I hold no grudge.

     Do you happen to remember if The National Review denounced the increase on the debt ceiling when Bush did it?  I know I did.

     I made an argument close to the one you're making now.  I predicted the situation we are now in, in case you don't remember.  You've seen what I have to say about the current situation.  As they say, past performance does not guarantee future outcomes; so, no, I won't say I'm absolutely certain I'm right, but I've at least laid out my thinking.  You have a chance to poke holes in it.  I'm sure there are holes there; there must be.

     You also have a chance to lay out your own thinking.  Why not take a shot?
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17 posted 07-27-2011 07:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Again, Mike, that's just more Republican rhetoric

Obama's speech condemning raising the debt ceiling is Republican rhetoric???? Scotty,......!

Daddy Goose38, you have your answer yet?
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18 posted 07-27-2011 07:29 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I have never in my life voted a party ticket before, but I'm sure starting to lean in that direction right now. And I suspect there are a lot of people in American feeling much the same way.

I suspect you are right, Ron, and that's why I have hope that Obama will be a one-term president.
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Sorry, Mike, if that was an Obama quotation I clearly didn't read it clearly enough. Color me sheepish.  

(In my own defense, be it ever so meager, you didn't exactly attribute the quotation, nor was the link you posted clickable. It's still my fault, though, for not taking the time to copy and paste it into a browser window.)

Truth is, however, garbage is still garbage, be it Republican or Democrat, and I tend to tune it out after about the first ten or fifteen words. My bad, and I sincerely apologize for my carelessness. I'm not entirely sure, though, what your point was in posting it? The American economy is poised on an abyss and you want to talk about one politician's lack of consistency?
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20 posted 07-27-2011 09:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Sorry, Ron, I thought you were familiar with that comment from the other thread or by reading the title of the link.

Why post it? One politician's inconsistency??

I would call it a little more than that. First of all, that one politician is the president. Second, it is the president speaking of how raising the debt limit is a sign of leadership failure....and he is now the leader pushing it. It is that same president speaking of the danger of depending on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. He speaks of how raising the debt ceiling increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally.  

He speaks of all the ways raising the debt ceiling is disastrous for the country and he is now pushing doing exactly that and calling anyone who says what he used to say working against the best interest of the country. A simple matter of inconsistency? That's very generous of you.
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21 posted 07-27-2011 09:42 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     Taken out of context and applied to a different situation with only superficial resemblences to the first, I would have to say, Yes, it is Republican rhetoric.  If it were applied to the same situation and used in context, no, it would not be.
Ron
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Mike, are you suggesting we shouldn't raise the debt ceiling? The only reason I can think of for your quotation would be if you agreed with Obama then but disagree with him now? That's the only context that doesn't seem trivial in light of the deadlock.

In any case, my response would still be the same. It's political rhetoric, entirely without meaning or sense. It's your average Washington politician who feels he has to say night just because his opponent said day. While I personally think there's some truth to the essence of his complaint, I wouldn't assign the blame so narrowly, nor would I assign it so spitefully.

It is a bit ironic, though. I don't think I've ever heard you say President Obama was right about something? It would appear his seeming inconsistency means even you have to admit he was right one of those times. LOL.


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23 posted 07-27-2011 11:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ron, when you takes both sides of an issue, you have to be right....and wrong. That's not comedy...that's logic.  


Bob, I assume you are prepared to show how his speech was taken out of context??
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24 posted 07-28-2011 03:09 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     The Bush debt cap extension spending was one in which a high proportion of the spending was concealed from the public.  You may not remember that major parts of that budget were not voted on as part of the budget and included as part of the yearly legislation for open consideration.  This was the case, however.  The parts of the budget that were  involved with war expenditures were concealed from the public as supplemental expenditures, as though they had no effect on increasing the national debt at all.  

     This made the Republican budget look much much smaller than it in fact was, and it sought to stick the winners of the 2008 election with the results of that improvidence.  It also was not clear about the financing of the payment for the tax cuts, which was a large part of the reason that the debt ceiling needed to be raised in the first place.  We were financing a tax cut by borrowing money from other countries to pay for it.  We didn't simply say, "We'll no longer charge you so much;" we had to buy money to pay off the richest people in the country.  And we did so.

     This was not the impression that the Republicans gave at the time, was it?  Not to me, certainly.  Perhaps they gave that impression to you, Mike, that the country would have to borrow large amounts of money to pay for this stuff.  The impression they gave to me and the rhetoric they used was that this money belonged to the taxpayers, and that it was simply sitting there in the coffers, waiting to be handed back.

     Senator Obama's comments, the one's quoted in The National Review flowed from this context, didn't it?

     In the time since President Obama's election, despite Republican complaints of everything not being clear and transparent as promised, the place where things have been reasonably clear and transparent has been in the matter of finances.  The war expenses have been right there on paper, and have been part of the budget.  I don't like them, but they're right there in the open.  What we've had to borrow is right there as well; there don't seem to be any hidden surprises.

     You may not like the nature of all the expenses, you may quarrel with them, but they haven't been hidden from anybody.  The need for the rise in the debt ceiling has been obvious for quite a while.  It was obvious from the point when President Bush pushed through his first bail-out package.  I agreed with the need for that, by the way, and I still agree that that package was necessary.  I still believe that President Obama's package was necessary as well, and I believe that it was probably too low.  It helped stabilize the economic situation for a while, and provided a lot of help for public services for state governments for about two years.  It helped pull GM out of a death spiral that the Republicans had no wish to do anything about.

     So yes, the context was considerably different, as I've just described.  I've also spoken about the consequences of not raising the debt limit would be this time around.  It would amount to a de facto tax increase on the middle class, as I outlined above.  This is different now, I believe, in severity than it was at the time of Senator Obama's previous statement.

     For those reasons, I feel that the contexts of the two situations are substantially different.

     If you disagree, I'm interested to hear what your thinking on the matter is.

     For that matter, I'm interested in hearing what anybody's thinking on the matter may be, whether they agree or disagree with me.  I'm pretty clear on my own thinking here, but if somebody's got a more convincing, rational or beautiful point of view, I'm up for learning from it.  I may even be convinced by it, or by part of it, into changing some or all of my thinking.

     But for now, you asked, Mike, and I did my best to lay out a clear and straightforward response.


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