In debt? Spend more!

Hurrah! Those mighty Democrats! Booya for them!

4 states, on the eve of a fiscal new year, are billions and billions in debt. The best example is California. Hardly surprising, the lines are entrenched with the Republicans wanting deeper budget cuts and the Democrats.....wait for it.........can you guess..?.....here it comes.......Raise taxes!

Hell yeah! Show a complete and utter lack of financial restraint, then get everyone to give you more money!!

Damn, I'm in the wrong buisness (well, sorta not actually...the past few years I've lost money for clients, but I keep asking them for more! Perhaps I'm a Democrat after all. :0 )

When do we say, "Hey, you know what? Ummm, you're not doing so well with the money you have....how about you..ummm....I dunno....try and manage it better? Then we'll talk about adding programs, or expanding the ones we do have."

I can't blame the fiscal issues just on the 'crats though. I do wonder; however, when enough is enough. I don't want to see schools closed, or criminals let out early, or old retired people turned away from care, but I don't want to keep everyone thinking that I'll continue to fund these programs no matter what.

Tighten up these damn things....find other sources of funding, streamline the efficiency. Don't expect me to keep paying you to f it all up.

Funny, I could''ve sworn the Federal debt was many times greater than the 4 states in question. Last time I checked, there wouldn''t be a spending cut on the Federal level. Nay, we''re getting a spending increase.

Yeah, the only difference being that the Feds could print more money or issue debt, whereas the states will have to default on payments, lay off thousands of civil workers and cease operations for many programs.

But other then that, sure....whatever you say.

Don''t worry about my main point being its time to hold folks accountable for their spending rather then give them more. Sort of like making budget cuts versus tax hikes.

Yomm the funny thing is you dont know the half of it in CA.

The governor sure as hell wants to be recalled as just as the Republican recall movement was cooling, he comes up with the brilliant idea to triple car registration fees.

Insurance and registration fees are already exhorbitant here. How would you now like to pay $6-700 for registering a car in CA?

Christ, while were at it, why dont they double our rent since we seem to be on a kick that increases already out of control expenses!

Here''s the real problem I have with the recall: what will change?

The legislature will still be the same.

The debt will still be there.

If a Republican becomes governor, there''d be no chance for a bipartisan compromise on the budget.

And $30 million would go out the window.


Here''s the real problem I have with the recall: what will change?

Of course. Anyone with common sense understands that a recall would change nothing or make things worse as the government stagnates during transition.

CA is not the best place to be right now...

I''ll say that the Repubs are making things worse in Cali....if I had to guess I''d say they are dragging the budget out as long as they can, just so Grey(?) will get the egg on his face, and perhaps be replaced with a Repub.
I would imagine a Republican governor would be more willing to accept budget cuts.

Though, you are right....I do feel bad for ya''ll. The whole electricty thing...these taxes.....earthquakes.....don''t know how you put up with all of it.

A Republican Governor would be more than willing to accept budget cuts...its just that Republicans only hold about 29% of the legislature.

"Rat Boy" wrote:
A Republican Governor would be more than willing to accept budget cuts...its just that Republicans only hold about 29% of the legislature.

Sweet! Another reason to dislike the ''crats!

Though, had I thought about it for a moment, I would have pieced it together (Cali=liberal=''crats).

Guess the entertainment industry doesn''t get the living snot beat out of them on taxes?

It''s an ideological difference, and one you''re never going to get past, Yomm. Democrats and Liberals believe (or at least I think they believe) that the value of the programs is worth more than the accumuluation of wealth. It''s not socialism entirely, but it is closer to it, believing that when times are tough the haves should contribute more than the have-nots. I supported increasing taxes in Minnesota during our budget crunch, not as the only answer but as one of the answers including some cuts where reasonable, increases in fees, and better more streamlined management. Instead we got teachers being laid off, a double-digit increase in tuition, a hefty and painful ""fee"" on nursing homes, decreased benefits for the infirmed and elderly, and more. That''s not to say there shouldn''t be some cuts, and trimming of pork, but the fundamental practices should remain supported. In this case, I see the conservatives as being narrow-minded, callous, and socially irresponsible.

Maybe I''m being simplistic, but to me rectangular green pieces of paper are less important than humans. Even if they are my rectangular green pieces of paper.

{note: I''m not talking about California here. I can''t really comment on that.}

I''m not talking about making a profit. I''m talking about being smart with your debt.

Look, you don''t give an alocholic keys to the liquor store. You don''t give a candy fiend gift certificates to Godiva.

By the same logic, you don''t give social programs that are bleeding money more cash. You tell them to get their priorties in order, streamline/combine services, cut overhead...do whatever it takes to stay in budget.

I''m talking basic fiscal sense, not cutting programs. I''m all for helping out, just don''t bite me and expect me to be happy to give you more.

And we''re not talking about hemhoragging money, but these cuts are having a distinct social effect on the people they''re supposed to be helping. In the Republican persistence to give no quarter to increased revenue they''ve overcompensated at the expense of the people. We''re not talking about alcoholics and candy-addicts, we''re talking about public education, health care, and local support (police, firefighters, etc.).

Do you really think increased class size is going to help public education? Do you really think putting tuition out of reach of average american families is going to stimulate the economy? Do you believe that people too old or infirmed to take care of themselves should put their loved ones at thousands of dollars of additional expense? Do you think less police and fewer firefighters (considering how we praised them as heroes not two years ago) is a better world to live in?

"Elysium" wrote:

Do you really think increased class size is going to help public education? Do you really think putting tuition out of reach of average american families is going to stimulate the economy? Do you believe that people too old or infirmed to take care of themselves should put their loved ones at thousands of dollars of additional expense? Do you think less police and fewer firefighters (considering how we praised them as heroes not two years ago) is a better world to live in?

I think about 6 months of what you described should be enough that politicians will realize if they want to keep their jobs, then they damn well better start working towards an efficient and well managed budget.

Or, even worse, what you described happens and the public doesn''t hold their elected officals responceable. In which case, they deserve what they get.

You can''t expect, that as costs associated with these programs rise, that the tax payer will even be able to support the costs.

I live in Richmond, VA....home of Philip Morris (now Alteria b/c a name change is really to going to help their image ::::roll:::) and tobbacco is taxed like nuts here. I don''t have a problem with that (mainly b/c I don''t smoke) because its a tax that people choose to pay. But forcing me to pay for stuff I have no control over (sales, property, liscense...don''t even get me started on Estate) is bad enough.....increasing it b/c officals can''t manage their current assets is nothing short of insulting.

Why not privitize (sp) some of these programs. Let''s cut back the ones that aren''t being utlized by most people and so on....

There are things that can be done, throwing more money should not be one of them. Not until it can be proved that they are being run as efficient as possible.


Do you really think increased class size is going to help public education? Do you really think putting tuition out of reach of average american families is going to stimulate the economy? Do you believe that people too old or infirmed to take care of themselves should put their loved ones at thousands of dollars of additional expense? Do you think less police and fewer firefighters (considering how we praised them as heroes not two years ago) is a better world to live in?

I think you''re using too much of a straw man to make your points. You can cut state spending by going after bureaucracy and fraud. You cannot find any imperical data that shows larger class rooms hurt education. We spend more and more money each year on Education. State Governments were getting a long just fine in 1999 before the spending binges happened and not that much has changed in the world.

Here is a question: Are you saying increasing taxes will help stimulate the economy?

I believe you were the one who said that tax cuts wouldn''t stimulate the economy.

"Rat Boy" wrote:
I believe you were the one who said that tax cuts wouldn''t stimulate the economy.

Wrong. I said that tax rebates don''t. I wasn''t for this last round of cuts because I do not think the economy needed it. I think that money could have been used to pay off debt to ensure both short and long term growth.

Well, look what we''re getting. More of the same: more tax cuts and more debt. And nothing to stimulate the economy. No attempts to restore investor confidence by going after crooked investment bankers and brokers. No job creation incentives. No public works programs. You know, the kind of thing that can haul a country out of a recession.

No, it''s not a straw man, but I''m also not suggesting we tax excessively. The issues with nursing home fees in this state is atrocious, as they''ve just added a $5 per day charge. Further, I _am_ arguing that a strong education and university system attracts quality people to the state, creates a smarter population for high tech jobs, and affects a variety of factors that do stimulate the economy. Let me be clear:

You can cut state spending by going after bureaucracy and fraud.

I agree. I support that when married to reasonable state revenue increases. I don''t hear any Democrats arguing we shouldn''t do exactly that, but that these budget deficits are large enough that if we don''t assist with some tax increases people will suffer.

Note, I''m not even talking about income tax increases here, which is usually the tizzy conservatives get themselves wrapped up in. What''s wrong with a gas tax, a tax on tobacco, firearms, fireworks, alcohol, hell even fast food? Why can''t these luxury items be taxed additionally to help infuse some much needed cash?

Are you saying increasing taxes will help stimulate the economy?

I am saying that increasing certain taxes will help keep important funding to socially supported programs at an acceptable level. I think the economy is going to rebound eventually anyway regardless, so I support keeping programs that are important to me kept strong.

I think we can get a sense of a little bit of the chicken or the egg syndrome.

Its making do with next to nothing in the lean years that causes overspending in the fat years. Its overspending in the fat years that forces us to implement spending cuts in the lean years.


Well, look what we''re getting. More of the same: more tax cuts and more debt. And nothing to stimulate the economy. No attempts to restore investor confidence by going after crooked investment bankers and brokers. No job creation incentives. No public works programs. You know, the kind of thing that can haul a country out of a recession.

The economy is stimulated. The 2Q has been the best in three years. Investor confidence is back. Job incentives are there and so have public works programmes. Federal spending has increased and is only getting larger. Bush wants a huge Medicare programme. Again, you hate Bush and work backwars. The Economy will grow at 3% by the end of the year. Things are fine. That is why I wasn''t for the tax cut (the last one). I hate rebates. If I have a choice between a tax cut and a rebate, I always vote for a cut.


No, it''s not a straw man, but I''m also not suggesting we tax excessively. The issues with nursing home fees in this state is atrocious, as they''ve just added a $5 per day charge. Further, I _am_ arguing that a strong education and university system attracts quality people to the state, creates a smarter population for high tech jobs, and affects a variety of factors that do stimulate the economy. Let me be clear:

That doesn''t do anything for the short term. I thought you were talking about the short term which you were way off.


I agree. I support that when married to reasonable state revenue increases. I don''t hear any Democrats arguing we shouldn''t do exactly that, but that these budget deficits are large enough that if we don''t assist with some tax increases people will suffer.

Democrats are in Wisconsin, California, and lots of places. Tax increases on who and on what? Should we tax small business? I think we need to do both depending on what state. Wisconsin has really high taxes on a population with lower than average income. It also has a huge state government. I agree with raising taxes if you cut spending.

Note, I''m not even talking about income tax increases here, which is usually the tizzy conservatives get themselves wrapped up in. What''s wrong with a gas tax, a tax on tobacco, firearms, fireworks, alcohol, hell even fast food? Why can''t these luxury items be taxed additionally to help infuse some much needed cash?

Gas taxes hurt everyone and increase prices. If you are for sin taxes that is fine.


I am saying that increasing certain taxes will help keep important funding to socially supported programs at an acceptable level. I think the economy is going to rebound eventually anyway regardless, so I support keeping programs that are important to me kept strong.

Important social programmes are fine. Waste and Fraud isn''t.

"Ulairi" wrote:
The economy is stimulated. The 2Q has been the best in three years. Investor confidence is back. Job incentives are there and so have public works programmes. Federal spending has increased and is only getting larger.

So did the economy back during the Depression, then it fell apart again. Is there any attempt being made on the federal level to have sustained, long-term growth? No! Absolutely not! More interest rate cuts and tax cuts will inevitably make the bubble burst again, and worse than it did in 2000/2001. I give the economy a year before everything starts unraveling again.

I thought you were talking about the short term which you were way off.

I know, and I wasn''t talking about Short Term. In fact, I think part of the problem is that everyone''s always talking short term, which is the sort of talking that got us here in the first place.

Democrats are in Wisconsin

In Madison yes, in Wisconsin no. C''mon you''ve had a Republican governor there for what, a hojillion years? I know you''ve got folks like Feingold, but having grown up in rural Wisconsin I just don''t think you can characterize the state as democratic. Centrist perhaps, but not Democratic.

Gas taxes hurt everyone and increase prices. If you are for sin taxes that is fine.

Even a five cent a gallon gas tax would do nothing to me. I have a sensible car that gets 40 miles per gallon. If you drive an SUV I say you''ve earned the right to have the living sh*t taxed out of your gas. Yup, I wouldn''t call it sin taxes, but luxury taxes that I''m for. I don''t even mind fee increases for hunting licenses, fishing licenses, and the like. These recreations can help everyone at a time when states are in trouble.

Important social programmes are fine. Waste and Fraud isn''t.

I agree, but right now Republicans are throwing the baby out with the bath water.


So did the economy back during the Depression, then it fell apart again. Is there any attempt being made on the federal level to have sustained, long-term growth? No! Absolutely not! More interest rate cuts and tax cuts will inevitably make the bubble burst again, and worse than it did in 2000/2001. I give the economy a year before everything starts unraveling again.

You base this on what? The Federal Government can only do a few things to stimulate growth: Tax cuts, interest rate cuts, and debt. Debt isn''t the problem. You have no experiance to base your claims on. The economy is too big for Uncle Sam to fix all the problems. Hard economic data is getting better. What we need now is more Capital Investment and that is getting better.

The bubble burst in 2000, we felt it in 2001.

"Ulairi" wrote:
You base this on what? The Federal Government can only do a few things to stimulate growth: Tax cuts, interest rate cuts, and debt. Debt isn''t the problem. You have no experiance to base your claims on.

Oh, and I guess you some how magically have TWO business degrees to my one.

Debt on the federal level is never a problem, since they can print all the money they want. Tax cuts must be targeted at those who drive the economy in order to generate spending within the economy. So far, you have yet to provid impirical data that the latest round of cuts are targeted at the real drivers of the economy: the middle class. Interest rate cuts can do a lot of harm in terms of financing; people wanting to earn more interest will have to go to the still-volatile market. Over-investment in the market (the ""drunkeness of the 90s,"" as your ilk called it) is what brough about this economic downtrend. Recall that rates were hiked in the late 90s to stave off inflation; we could very well be on the way to another inflationary crisis. Also recall that interest rates in Japan are about 0. Just look at how well their economy was doing when they made all the cuts.

"Elysium" wrote:
What''s wrong with a gas tax, a tax on tobacco, firearms, fireworks, alcohol, hell even fast food?

What is wrong is that all those things will increase taxes more on the folks you''re trying to help than on the ones you''re not. Additionally, I believe it is wrong for the state to tell me what I shouldn''t being doing through the tax code. A gas tax to raise funds for programs related to gas usage (ie roads) is fine, but to raise the gas tax to fund general programs is punative. If the state wants to make a law against buying gas, fine, but puishing me through the tax code just isn''t right.

"Elysium" wrote:
Maybe I''m being simplistic, but to me rectangular green pieces of paper are less important than humans. Even if they are my rectangular green pieces of paper.

Feel free to use your own green pieces of paper to help, but quit pointing a gun at my head so you can help by taking mine.

I started to counter-point but I can tell we disagree on a much more fundamental level than point/counter-point is going to resolve. I just believe more greatly that when you participate in a society and you have much that you can give (enough so that you have a disposable income for things like an SUV, cigarettes, and so on) then you have an obligation to pay a little more.

Like I said, ideological.

"Elysium" wrote:
I started to counter-point but I can tell we disagree on a much more fundamental level than point/counter-point is going to resolve. I just believe more greatly that when you participate in a society and you have much that you can give (enough so that you have a disposable income for things like an SUV, cigarettes, and so on) then you have an obligation to pay a little more.

Like I said, ideological.

We agreed on more than I thought we would. I''m just surprised you are willing to cut spending at all. I''m much more for sin taxes than income tax. No one needs to smoke, drink, eat fast food, etc. People need milk, etc.

I think California''s problems are beyond the help of an ordinary human. California''s only hope is if we can create a time machine to transport a cybernetic Republican Terminator to the year 2003 and change the doomed future of California. But, that would undoubtedly require a tax increase to pay for such a program.

I agree with the tax cut, but what''s the point if you are going to just create new entitlement programs like prescription drugs for the elderly? Bush is trying to have it both ways in an effort to steal issues from the Democrats. A socialized health care system would be disasterous for this country. Ask Tennessee about their $6 Billion dollar a year folly.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...

Terminator 3 this weekend!

You guys couldnt be more wrong. The people that work for the industries of fast food, alcohol, gas and tobacco need for people to keep ""sinning"" with them.

I would hate to see what would be left of America if those industries ceased to exist. Our economy and well being are highly dependant on these industries.

Im not saying they dont need to be healthier or safer, however. They is no reason why every cigarette shouldnt have at least a minimum of filtration and limits on the amount of nicotene present. Alcohol has regulations such as beers can only be a certain percentage.

Fast food could use limitations on calories, grams of fat, sugar content and fillers. Trust me, people wont stop going to fast food if you put lettuce and tomato on every burger or chicken sandwich.

McDonalds has tremendous research resources. Its time to stop the search for cheaper ingredients and start the research for healthier ingredients that maintain or improve taste. Oh and dont call it the McLean Deluxe.

I don''t think a sin tax is going to curb dangerous habits. Ultimately, despite the constant increase of Cigarette prices, millions of Americans continue to smoke. People will choose happily (or not in some cases) to pay for their vices. Since these vices often have an effect on issues like Health Care (alcoholism, cancer, etc.), and/or the Environment (natural resources, pollution), there''s no good reason not to tax these folks a little more.

Wow, me and Ulairi mostly agreeing. It leaves me a bit troubled.

Millions of Americans continue to smoke and millions of Americans will start to smoke.

Of course increased sin taxes will cause nothing more than some griping. However, I just wanted to make sure everyone was clear how much we rely on these industries while we were spouting how evil they are. (My god I''m defending cigarettes *smacks forehead*)

Also, if we continue taxing, we dont want it to get to a point in the future where bootlegging becomes attractive... again.

Lastly, once we tax the sh*t out of current sins, what will newly constitute as a sin? Tax condoms and birth control? What? Surely people can abstain. Tax video games? Plastic surgery?