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Huan Yi
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0 posted 09-27-2011 03:05 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

“With its leader having proposed to expand our deflating economy by redistributing another $1.5 trillion from private-sector producers to public-sector gluttons, the Obama Left’s talking point du jour is: “We are just asking the rich to pay their fair share.” The point here is not to rehearse the illogic of that assertion. The top earners in the economy already pay all of the income tax and virtually all of the taxes, period. You could look it up.

What I’d like to home in on is the single number the president and his diminishing ranks studiously ignore — the “x” in the equation that never quite gets a value assigned. “Fair share” — what is it?

Want to make a cable-news Democratic party-strategist squirm? Ask her what she means by the “fair share” that must be paid by the rich. (No point further tarrying over what she means by “the rich,” since we already know they are billionaires and millionaires who jump about in corporate jets while somehow making only $200,000 a year.) In response to the “fair share” question, you will hear how Bush single-handedly destroyed the economy. You will hear about the diabolical Republican plan to desert the elderly, starve the young, and exploit everyone in between. You will hear a vague concession that “the rich” must be allowed to keep some semblance of their wealth — enough, at least, to keep them in the game of “paying it forward” to future generations of government wards. But what you won’t hear is a number.

This week, I had the pleasure of watching the Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney expertly press the Obama Left’s glib evaders on the subject. How much is a “fair share,” he doggedly inquired? A quarter? A third? Should the rich have to split their take 50-50 with Leviathan? Or is their success such a blight on social justice that the government (and the Teamsters, and the teachers’ unions, and the basket-case blue states) should get something much closer to all of it?

No answer. They cannot answer it.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/278246/can-we-tell-truth-andrew-c-mccarthy

It’s a pretty good question.

I remember as a public accountant decades ago running into an IRS
agent who pretty much expressed the attitude that the government’s
tax role was to determine not how much it would take but how much
it would let anyone keep.  At the time he was excited about finding a way
to tax singles living together, (which then touched me personally), at
the higher married rate.

.

Local Rebel
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1 posted 09-27-2011 05:49 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Do conservatives ever tire of shooting straw men?
Balladeer
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2 posted 09-27-2011 07:45 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I hear the Dems have the FBI out destroying all of the old "It's The Economy, Stupid!" buttons so they can't be used against them in the elections.
Huan Yi
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3 posted 09-27-2011 08:25 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Anyone care to answer the question
with a number?


.
Local Rebel
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4 posted 09-27-2011 08:26 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Duh, of course, straw men don't shoot back, and it is shooting none the less,

quote:


Last June, my colleague Bob Williams posted a TaxVox article that reported 47 percent of American households paid no federal income tax in 2009. Bob was exactly right, but rarely has a bit of data been so misunderstood, or so misused.
Let me explain—repeat actually—what this means: About half of taxpayers paid no federal income tax last year. It does not mean they paid no tax at all. Many shelled out  Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. In fact, only 14 percent of Americans didn’t pay either income or payroll taxes. Some paid property taxes and, it is fair to say, just about all of them paid sales taxes of one kind or another. So to say they pay no taxes is flat wrong.
However, this class warfare-like rhetoric plays to a perception that the income tax is a chump tax: Only hard-working folks like us pay it. The welfare queens don’t. The super-rich don’t. It is a powerful emotional argument. It is also flat wrong.
So who are these folks who pay no federal income taxes? Mostly, they are people who don’t make very much money. Many are elderly: Think a widow living only on Social Security benefits. Others are parents earning less than $20,000. Only about 5 percent are non-elderly households making more than $20,000. 
It is no accident, btw, that the number of people not paying income tax was so high in 2009. You may have noticed that we’ve had a recession lately. And here is a powerful insight: When people’s incomes decline so too does their income tax (at least most of the time).  At the same time, many working families have benefited from temporary tax cuts aimed at boosting the economy, and as a result some did not pay income taxes last year. As the economy improves and those tax cuts expire, it should also be no surprise that the share of people who don't pay income taxes will likely shrink from half last year to less than 40 percent by 2012.
There is, however, another reason why some people don’t pay. For decades, both Democratic and Republican governments have made conscious policy decisions to remove low-income working families from the income tax rolls. And, guess what, sometimes government policy works exactly as intended. That’s what happened this time.
Let’s take one of the biggest drivers: the Earned Income Tax Credit. Based on an idea (the negative income tax) originated by conservative icon Milton Friedman, the EITC is refundable, so that people who work for low wages can not only wipe out their income tax liability, they can even get a cash payment from the government. The EITC was enacted in 1975 under President Ford, greatly expanded in 1986 under President Reagan, and expanded again under presidents Clinton and Bush (both of them). It's been the very model of bipartisan tax policy (which, I suppose, is why some dislike it so).  
Both the EITC and the child care credit are explicitly designed to encourage people to work—a goal most of us (including Friedman and Ronald Reagan) thought was a very good thing.
http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2010/04/15/about-those-47-percent-who-pay-“no-taxes- ”/




I guess it makes sense that the billionaires are jealous of the orphans and widows, they have it so good.

The presidents propasal is very clearly enumerated John.... 39.5%.

Now,would you like for me to call the fire department before your burning strawman catches something else on fire?
Huan Yi
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5 posted 09-27-2011 10:50 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

So that's the value of fair.

How much extra revenue will that generate?
I thought history showed you get less . . .


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpSDBu35K-8

And so the secretary comparison has some history as well.


.

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (09-27-2011 11:21 AM).]

Local Rebel
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6 posted 09-27-2011 12:49 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

http://www.thewidowsmite.net/story-of-widows-mites.html

Math has a LONG history.
Bob K
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7 posted 09-28-2011 02:57 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     My understanding is that the 39.5% rate is supposed to kick in at 200,000 dollars, and that money earned below that level is supposed to be taxed at a lower level, pretty much as the taxes work at all other levels.  But that the tax cuts knocked that tax rate back to a much lower level, dropping the income of the country drastically.

     I also understand that there are very few people and exceedingly few companies that have ever paid that full freight, though the complaints certainly sound as though that were the case.  Perhaps you might let me know how many of these poor picked on millionaires and billionaires had to pay for all the money they actually earned, and how many managed to use tax attorneys and loopholes to their full advantage and managed to pay at a much much lower level or, on occasion,  to pay no money at all.

     Since you have managed to ask your interesting and provocative question, I was wondering how you might feel about taking a shot at answering mine?

     Since we have seen what the effect of these tax cuts has been on the economy, that is it has apparently been at least a contributing factor to a major recession which may be turning into a double dip recession, I am curious what the argument is that you offer for continuing the policy that some folks are reasonably sure may have precipitated the economic crisis in place?  It doesn't seem like good economics to my mind, since it doesn't put any money into the hands of people who are actually spending it in the domestic economy, where it might do some good as a stimulus.
Balladeer
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8 posted 09-28-2011 10:38 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

They are passing out ice skates in Hades.....Bob and I agree on something!

I also agree that they should go after the loopholes and dodges that millionaires use to avoid paying taxes. Even the new messiah of the Democrats, Warren Buffet, has been owing, and fighting with the IRS over millions of dollars for  almost a decade, trying to use loopholes to not pay it. One can't fault him, since loopholes are there to be used, but his TAX ME MORE chant sounds a little ridiculous for a man fighting so hard not to pay what he owes. Leave it to Obama to name a tax proposal bill after a man trying to evade paying taxes. What next? Appointing a man guilty of tax evasion to head up the IRS?? Oh, never mind..

What happens when you raise taxes on corporations anyway? DO they just pay it or do they simply raise the price of their products and/or services on to the consumers? Who winds up paying for those tax increases? Yep, you got it right...

Speaking of benefits, I don't see in the Constitution anywhere where congressmen are given limousines and large staffs at taxpayer expense. It rankles me that even a penny of my tax dollars may go into paying for Pelosi's limousine. I would prefer to pay for a Yugo for her....and a  bicycle for Reid. I don't see where they get an incredible retirement plan guaranteed in the constitution, either. Luxury jets that we pay for shoot them around the country in style so they can give speeches about how the rich are ruining the economy. Soros made almost 8 billion last year, producing nothing, and he a friend to Democrats everywhere, with an open door to the Oval office.

It's all for show...Obama's class warfare at it's finest, the same tactic used by Hitler, Castro, Chavez and everyone else who wants complete control of the country...incite the poor against the rich.

At the current demonstration on Wall Street, one demonstrator held up a sign of the times...




Nice work, Mister B.
Huan Yi
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9 posted 09-28-2011 12:16 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


What's surprising is Mr. Buffett's apparently unquenchable desire for attention at his late stage of life. He seems to exult in media turns as the slightly dotty, ukulele-strumming uncle, a kind of plush-toy version of an animated Fox-TV tycoon. What's dismaying is that Mr. Buffett has reached well beyond his area of expertise to embrace a bad political idea. This Obama-Buffett idea --to soak the rich in the current economic environment -- is so egregiously bad that, remarkably, it appears to be about neither the money nor the principle of the thing. According to a recent Wall Street Journal story, the so-called "Buffett tax" would have hit only 22,000 taxpayers in the most recent year for which data are available. If the taxes on those taxpayers had been doubled -- and assume for the moment that, for the first time in history, the rich would not have mobilized lawyers and accountants to avoid the tax -- the total additional revenue to the government would have been $19 billion. Back in his role as a financial analyst, Mr. Buffett would have scoffed at this "millionaires and billionaires" tax as a serious way to close a trillion-dollar annual deficit.

If it's not about the money, then, it must be about the principle of the thing, right? As far as I can determine, there has been no argument advanced by either President Obama or Mr. Buffett drawn from economic or political principle. They do not bother to contend that the "Buffett tax" will either raise significant revenue or incentivize employers to hire more workers or in any way revive a sick economy. Their argument for the tax-the-rich offensive, rather, has been based on "fairness," which is an emotional rather than an analytical term.

The number that all sides seem to agree on is that the top one percent of earners currently pay 40 percent of all income taxes. It would not be unreasonable to look at that number and say, "Uh oh, that's too high in a society that still pays formal allegiance to the principle of shared responsibility. That's got to be unhealthy for a middle-class economy." President Obama looked at the number and concluded otherwise: to him, 40 percent appears to be intolerably low and the rich should thus be made to "pay their fair share." And what might that be, their "fair share"? Would that be sixty percent? Eighty? One hundred percent? The answer for Obama is that the rich must be made to pay enough so as to give emotional satisfaction to their fellow citizens who pay no income taxes themselves. This is not about economics, remember. This is about the politics of division, the politics of bitterness. Obama is not appealing to our better angels, which is precisely why the angelic Mr. Buffett has been so useful to him.

In the fiscal debate now unfolding in Washington there are two statistical tent poles between which are strung all of the subsidiary arguments about tax policy. At one pole is that stunning 40 percent number. At the other is the fact that fully 50 percent of the 144 million tax filers pay no Federal income tax at all. To me, that is an even more stunning number. What it means is that -- in what we still like to think of as our middle-class society -- half of the middle class (along with a handful of rich guys) pays all of the income taxes while the other half pays none. The Jones family pays, the Smith family doesn't. Forget about economics. By what standard of "fairness" is that fair to the Jones family? President Obama would respond that the folks at the bottom of the ladder deserve a break, but the numbers are clear on this point: the tax filers in the lower half are not, most of them, anywhere near the bottom of the ladder. By definition, they are, most of them, smack dab in the middle and they are in the process of becoming a powerful and self-defining political class. Call them the non-tax-paying class and understand that, almost always, they will support both higher taxes on the other half and increased government services for themselves. Understand, too, that they have centered their natural enemies in the crosshairs of tax policy: not just the few rich but the vastly more numerous savers and scrimpers and people who play by the rules.

Over the course of his first term, and with its implications now marbled through his proposed reforms and early campaign rhetoric, President Obama has made a historic decision to stand for re-election as the representative of the non-tax-paying class. Depending on the outcome of the 2012 election, that decision could play out as farce, one hopes, or as constitutional strain, one fears. Americans have always had a problem with taxation without representation, and, with Obama reinstalled in the White House, the taxpayers would be effectively unrepresented in the Executive branch of the government.”


http://spectator.org/archives/2011/09/28/the-market-sends-a-signal-shor#


.
Bob K
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10 posted 09-28-2011 07:43 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     At least this time John quotes and article that does suggest, if only briefly, that not all people who so far below the poverty line that they are excused from income tax do actually pay other taxes as well.  That I consider an improvement, even though John’s article, like so many articles from the far right, in the end tends to brush that distinction under the table.

quote:

President Obama has made a historic decision to stand for re-election as the representative of the non-tax-paying class.



     It manages to suggest that these people are persecuting the top 1% or so of the population that controls the vast majority of the money and power in the country, and which has continued to do so with increasing success for over a hundred years through the method of class warfare.

     The only class warfare that I can see is plainly visible in the way the economy is structured.  Those rich folks continue to stockpile a larger and larger proportion of the total resources available for the entire species.  The others subsist on a smaller and small proportion of what is left.  If we are to credit the notion of class warfare, then it is being perpetuated with incredible success by the wealthy upon the poor, while the wealthy have appropriated only the term.  They apply the term on whatever efforts the dispossessed used to slow down the depredations that are being made against their health and their very existence.

     The article invites us to “forget about economics” and to “think about fairness.”  This sounds like an openhearted emotional appeal, right up to the moment when we must consider that the economic questions here are the measure of fairness, and that the guys with the most to lose are asking those with the most to gain to stop considering those facts, and to stop examining the full range of facts against which these right wing claims should be tested.

     When was this country most prosperous as a whole?  What were the tax rates at that time?  What are they now?  Why would the wealthiest 1% of the population, then, be suggesting that we should tax ourselves at the rate that is most to the advantage of the very very very rich, and not to what has been historically to the overall advantage of everybody, including the ultra rich, though certainly not as such obscene levels?  And why would we be thinking of throwing out the programs that seemed to help the country maintain much of that advantage for the population as a whole.

     The ultra rich are apparently telling us that the middle class, once the backbone of the America that made this country the envy of the world, is now composed of people who are now shiftless and lazy and no-good, and who cannot be counted on to produce a fair day’s work for a good day’s pay.  I would suggest to you that the radical right is lying to the public about this, and that the reason for the lies is the same reason for most lies — monetary advantage, and the potential for future gain at the expense of one’s fellows.

      Mr. Buffet points out a basic truth about the way we deal with money in this country, and suddenly the right is talking about him as though he were a criminal or an idiot, while at the same time acknowledging that he is doing what he’s supposed to be doing under current law.

     My understanding is that this is the same thing that all the right wing folks are doing, which is to take legal advantage of the loopholes built into the law to maximize profits for himself and his investors.  He does run an investment company, you know, with some fiduciary responsibility for his stockholders, just like all those right wing folks.

     The difference is that he is trying to make people aware of the disparity and is trying to get the laws changed, to make them generally more fair for more people.  Are the Right Wing Gazillionaires doing the same, or are they doing something different?

      
Huan Yi
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11 posted 09-30-2011 03:57 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1192505402001


Does Obama's Buffett Tax tie in with
what Buffett is saying or go beyond?


.
Bob K
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12 posted 10-01-2011 12:15 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     Seems like Buffet is making sense.  He's pretty much saying what I thought he was saying.  A lot of folks in the very very very wealthy catagory are paying taxes as though they weren't in that catagory on the money that they're earning that falls into that range.  That was not the intention of the tax legislation, near as I can tell.

     Do you disagree?
Bob K
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13 posted 10-03-2011 02:57 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     My understanding of "fair share" would actually be to pay the taxes in the tax bracket that you owe without trying to get special privilages passed by congress to be able to avoid those taxes.  Well, when you have a major corporation that does very well for itself and has the government pay it substantial tax rebates, or when it pays no taxes at all, I would call that a case of special privilages, I guess.  I'm not a homeowner right now, but I think a deduction for owning a home is a fine idea.  It helps people into the middle class and helps them feel they have an investment in America,  An Oil Depletion allowange doesn't seem like such a great idea.  It suggests we want to keep drilling for oil when oil and petroleum might really not be such a great product to encourage as a source of power for any number of great reasons, and paying oil companies to keep doing it when they're already making enormous money doing so seems like a bad idea.

     We did better when the tax rates were even higher than what they are now.  People seemed to act as though they had a greater sense of civic responsibility because they had a greater stake in what was going on.  I thought we showed more concern for each other and a greater sense of corporate and personal responsibility for each other's welfare.  Now we seem to make big demands about how other people are supposed top act, but we don't seem to actually be willing to do very much ourselves, from what I've seen.

     I'll be the first to admit there are some exceptions.  But there are very few people that I've seen who are actually proud of the taxes they pay.  I used to see that, sometimes.  People didn't always like paying, but they were sometimes proud that they were supporting he country.  A lot of us were proud of what we were doing domestically and abroad.
Bob K
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14 posted 10-04-2011 06:05 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Apparently trying to offer a reasonable answer to the "impossible question" posed in the initial posting has stricken the questioners into some sort of paralyzed silence.  Surely the response cannot have been that unpredictable?

     Is there something about the response that is unfair and does not deserve as direct as response as it attempted to offer to the somewhat provocatively phrased initial question?  I did try to offer a fair and straightforward response.

     If we are to attempt an serious dialogue about such difficult questions — and they really are difficult questions, I think — then it is possible to continue these discussioins thoughtfully.  The magazines we quote can be helpful, but they will frequently be setting out a party line, a liberal line, a conservative line, and they will be useful to us only so far as we are willing to allow our own thinking to be governed by party thinking.

     That will be more at some times than at others, and it will be an individual decision exactly when and where we will want our thinking to be governed by the points of view that the parties would like to supply for us.  Left, right or center, they are excellent at letting us know what we should be thinking and what we shouldn't be thinking.  I find a lot of the people here pretty good at the same thing, and I find the discussion here pretty good for helping me form my own thinking, and for helping me change my own thinking in response to some of the points of view I encounter.

     Among those, I include my right wing friends here, incluiding Mike and John, by the way.  

     Just sayin'.

     Not to mention, L.R., and my left wing friends and friends who agree and disagree in such a wonderfully unpredictable fashion, Uncas, and Essorant and Ron.

     Sometimes it's nice to say I enjoy being here simply because I appreciate the company and the wonderful give and take.  Thank you, Denise, by the way, simply for being Denise, and everybody else for being yourselves and for making me think.

     I need to say these things every now and again.

    
Balladeer
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15 posted 10-05-2011 12:05 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

We have an interesting situation now. Obama, after traveling around the country, calling out "Pass the jobs bill NOW!!" goes on TV today and says directly to congress, "Pass my jobs bill NOW!!" The leading republican of the senate says ok and Reid says "NO WAY!!". One would think, in an orderly universe, Reid would be agreeing to do Obama's bidding but he is the one stopping the vote. Talk about a dysfunctional family!

Reid's logic is reasonable, of course. He knows it won't have the votes to pass, not even in the Democratic senate. One has to wonder why Obama doesn't know that.
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16 posted 10-05-2011 11:10 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Barack Obama continued his sales blitz across the country Tuesday, touting his jobs plan and scolding Republicans in Congress more than once to “pass this bill.”

There was only one rather embarrassing problem: his $447 billion proposal was blocked in the Senate—by his fellow Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stepped up to stop a vote in the Senate on the president’s measure, which had been requested by an obviously satisfied Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, because both men knew what the president cannot or will not admit— that he does not have enough votes within his own party, let alone from Republicans, to pass the bill he’s been hyping for weeks.

The last-minute move by Reid saved Obama from the immediate embarrassment of losing a battle inside the family, but it highlighted the gulf between Obama and Congressional Democrats, who now operate almost entirely apart from the White House and have, in many cases, decided that supporting their unpopular president today is not worth losing their own jobs next November.

http://news.yahoo.com/reid-blocks-obama-jobs-bill-vote-054100776.html

Ron
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17 posted 10-05-2011 12:26 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... it highlighted the gulf between Obama and Congressional Democrats, who now operate almost entirely apart from the White House ...

It's called Checks and Balances and is sorta kinda the way our government was designed to work. The Executive Branch isn't supposed to control the Legislative Branch; that would be dysfunctional. And potentially cataclysmic.

That shouldn't, however, stop the President from continuing to hawk his agenda in hopes of changing minds. That, too, is sorta kinda the way our government was designed to work.


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18 posted 10-05-2011 01:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

P.O. (pre-Obama) I would agree with you, Ron, but the Senate has done whatever bidding the president has offered without hesitation, from the stimulus to health care to anything he has introduced. It has all been rubber-stamped by Reid and the democrats of the senate. For Reid and the rest of the boys to go against Obama's expressed desire for immediate action is monumental....and telling.

Reid's plan to delay the vote  in order to buy time to come up with ways to get the democrats on board is what goes against what you correctly say is the constitutional way. This is not the f1rst time Reid had refused to bring up voting on a bill that he felt would not pass, which is also against that same constitutional way. It is, however, the first time he has ignored the president's wishes to do so.
Local Rebel
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19 posted 10-05-2011 03:33 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Shirley you jest.  Rubber stamped?
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20 posted 10-05-2011 04:29 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...and don't call me surely!
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21 posted 10-05-2011 07:23 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



      It's difficult to come up with Democratic 60 votes in the Senate these days, I hear.  How many votes do you believe that Reid can actually come up with, Mike?
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22 posted 10-05-2011 09:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

not enough
Bob K
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23 posted 10-06-2011 03:00 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Shirley, you jest!
 
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