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The 2012 Presidential Election Thread

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#31
norcalgreendayfan

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At this point I would vote for Obama again. None of the republican candidates that may run certainly don't appeal to me. I feel that if a republican won the presidency that the common man would get the old screw job while corporations and big business would continue to reap all the rewards.

I also think that if there was a republican president they would immediately work to repeal the health care act which was by no means perfect but still better than what there was beforehand. It allows people with a certain level of protection and for them to lose that would be devastating

Iraq was just a big clusterfuck from the beginning and there was no business to go in there in the first place. The whole thing about WMDs was bullshit and a lot of it was Bush Jr.wanted to finish what his daddy started by taking out Saddam. Now was saddam a bad guy yeah probably but the United States supported worse and him before he decided to cut the puppet masters strings so the US turned on him. There was never any clear exit strategy from the get go and the job was never going to be finished there.
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#32
mechanicalman

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Palin-Bachmann '12.


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#33
EvanAsFuck

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If I could pick.. I would love if Bernie Sanders (Vermont) ran for president

Amen. Bernie's awesome. He seems to really get it, and he's definitely done a hell of a lot of good for Vermont specifically. I've met him on a few occasions and he's really down to earth and extremely interested in what "the people" (even the kids) have to say and what they think. He even took the time to personally write me a letter of recommendation for a job application to be a page at the state house.
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#34
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I know a lot of people may say that Obama has done nothing or very little, but it's not like he started out with a clean slate. I'm glad he's at least trying to pull us all together and i'm sure that if he's elected again, then we'll start seeing some "real" changes, like he promised. I still have trust and hope in him and it's safe to say, that my vote, as of now, is going to be towards President Obama. It'll be my fist time voting too! :happy:

and as for Trump... :lol:

#35
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Obama '12, because I really wanted to vote for him the first time, but wasn't yet of age. :P

Seriously though, I'm not thrilled with... anything that he's doing (he's totally pussing out in order to appease the Republicans on everything he wanted to accomplish, which I get he has to do to an extent, but still) right now, but putting a Republican in office would be a horrible mistake, and since he's the Democratic President, no one will run against him, so he's it.

Plus, I'd still like to believe that he hasn't accomplished anything much because you can't build Rome in four years a day, especially when Bush essentially air-raded any prior progress on Rome, and that maybe by 2016 we could have a few buildings that are on solid ground if he sticks around for another four years.
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#36
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Plus, I'd still like to believe that he hasn't accomplished anything much because you can't build Rome in four years a day, especially when Bush essentially air-raded any prior progress on Rome, and that maybe by 2016 we could have a few buildings that are on solid ground if he sticks around for another four years.


Very well said!

#37
mmmcrazypills

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The number of purportedly intelligent adults I know who think Trump will be totz awesomesauce bb is scary. They seem to think you can run a country like a business. They also don't seem to realize he's completely devoid of common sense.

#38
The Bunny Abides

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I think Nader is due for a win...just saying...
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#39
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We have a national debt approaching $14 trillion, which I admit is a leviathan problem that must be dealt with sooner or later. But China are only holders of somewhat more than $1 trillion of our bonds. The fact is that most of the debt is the taxpayers' debt. China and the USA have strong economic interdependence. We are their number 1 trading partner, and Japan, which is also in high debt, is second. They cannot make a spontaneous decision to demand repayment without risking major economic strife. Also, China's artificial devaluing of their currency is unsustainable, and sooner or later their impressive surplus will collapse. And further, China still has their own public debt of $400 billion, and that is not counting what they have taken off the books. They introduced a system similar to our federal reserve of having private banks buy up their debt. They are spending, essentially, in the same circular way as we are. To summarize, our debt to China is a problem, but it is not an apocalyptic threat. At worst we risk rising inflation, but inflation has been steadily rising more than half a century and we have dealt with it. I don't think we are going to find ourselves in a situation of hyperinflation, nor do I think China will refuse to buy our bonds. They enjoy the illusion of leverage over us, they are trying to escalate themselves into a superpower, but what we have with China is a rivalry, not a fight. It is not as if it were cold war times and the Soviet Union held our debt, our relationship with China is much more complex and far more interdependent.


The real concern with China is how quickly they're globalizing. Take the aircraft industry, for example. Used to be that the only people who flew on Chinese planes were Chinese citizens. Now? They've got two civilian airliners in development with a great deal of foreign interest (one of which they designed using tooling we gave them so they could help build McDonnell Douglas airframes...whoops). For the first time in decades, Boeing and Airbus have a serious third competitor, and it's coming from China. They've had a hand in component assembly for American products for a long time, but now they own a significant chunk of the US computer market through Lenovo's purchase of the ThinkPad design family. "Made in China" used to kill a product before it launched; now, people look for it.

China's not dumb enough to say, "Hey America, your bills are due," because they know that it would cripple their economy to do so, and seriously piss off a big-time trading partner. What bugs me is that Obama, instead of paying China back, has borrowed an additional $295 billion from them in addition to the $489 billion Bush borrowed (and the $250 billion or so that previous Presidents had borrowed). We should be scaling back our dependence on foreign money, if for no other reason than to curb inflation at home and build a security blanket so that if China's economy tumbles, we don't fall with them.

Also, let me be clear that I think health care reform possessed numerous flaws, and they need to be fixed sooner than later. One thing that is irrelevant however, that most people were upset about, is the insurance mandate. And it is a little known fact that before the final bill was passed, all provisions for enforcing the mandate were removed from the bill. (This, by the way, was not a demand made by conservatives, but by progressives, and it is thanks to us that happened) So the infamous "mandatory health insurance" is purely symbolic because the government has no legal means of taxing someone for refusing to buy insurance. It was surgically cut from the bill and all that remained of the mandate was its place on paper.


Oh, my issues with Obamacare. There are many; too many, in fact, for this one post. I'm not in any way, shape or form a fan of having to report the "value" of my health care benefits on my W-2. The federal government only wants something on a W-2 if they want something to nail you for on an audit--this is an outright money-grab by a Democratic Congress that knew they weren't going to hold on to the majority in 2010, so they crammed every last bit of legislation they could through while they had it. Can't say I fault them, but it does make the actions of the Wisconsin state Democratic senators look hypocritical by comparison. But I digress.

And there actually is a "mandatory health insurance" penalty. $95 per individual (scaling to $695 per individual over time, with a maximum penalty of $2,085 per year for a family) for not carrying health insurance, with exemptions for religious reasons and financial hardship. Health insurance is a choice. If someone wants to roll the dice and not carry any form of insurance at all, then that's on them, and they shouldn't be required to pay a "stupid tax." The law also defines health insurance poorly--if someone's in a $29 a month discount health plan, is that health insurance for the purposes of taxation? If it's not, they can't claim financial hardship because they're paying for a health maintenance plan that is not health insurance. So they get hit with a "stupid tax" for taking care of themselves.

Ok, done with Obamacare. Let's just say it's not my favorite piece of legislation ever crafted. It was poorly-conceived, poorly-written, and forced through when Democrats knew they couldn't be stopped. Frankly, I think it did more to ensure Democrats wouldn't maintain their majority in the House than anything else did. The only piece of forced-through legislation I like less than Obamacare is Dodd-Frank, specifically one subsection of it, which I won't get into because, well, it's boring as hell.

Tort reform should have happened, and we'd be spending significantly less on health care if it did. That is one reason health care is so expensive, because doctors order unnecessary procedures, not to personally profit, but just to cover themselves in the event of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Health care can never be perfect and mistakes will happen, there should be means to separate a doctor who followed procedure and made a mistake from a constantly negligent doctor, who of course should be fired and should be sued.


No argument here. I used to work in the dental field, and I've had more than one young-ish dentist tell me that of the $120k starting salary they get out of school, $40k goes to the government, $40k goes to student loans and $20k goes to malpractice insurance. Leaves them with a first-year income of about $20k. And that's for one dentist. Imagine how much a rookie heart surgeon pays! Eliminate the frivolous bullshit lawsuits, and insurance premiums come down for providers and health insurance companies. It trickles down from there, with lower premiums and lower copays for procedures. If you want to make health care affordable, tort reform's the way to do it. Not the price-fixing that Obamacare engages in. But I digress...

And the public option should have stayed on the bill, it would have been a deterrent to insurance companies raising premiums to compensate for the health care bill. I blame the failures of the bill on the Democrats alone. Had they had a crystal ball with which to look into the future, and seen not one Republican would cast a vote for it, and seen it would have been used against them regardless, they certainly would have implemented all the serious reforms and not compromised and buckled under the pressure. Chances are, they would have lost the House anyway, but I can almost guarantee the 2010 election results would have been less devastating had many progressives not been so disillusioned with the neutered reform bill that was finally passed.


John, John, John, John, John. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a libertarian. Not one of those bat-shit-crazy Tea Partiers who claim to be libertarians, but a true, Lockean, Murray Rothbard Libertarian. If it increases my taxes, screw that. If it increases government interference in or oversight of my life, screw that. Government exists to provide a nation safe from foreign invaders, to ensure adherence to necessary laws so that those who choose to prosper may do so, and to provide basic but necessary services for a capitalist economy to thrive under its own influence. So you can see why I'd be irritated with the government pushing a health care bill with so much spending attached through without a true two-party discourse. A public option would've pissed me off even more, because that almost certainly would have led to tax hikes on everyone except for the lowest tax brackets, and, well, I'll stop there, because this would inevitably lead into my views on welfare, and those discussions always go south in a hurry. Let's just say that the concept of unlimited free money and benefits equivalent to a $24,000-a-year lifestyle (bound to increase with Obamacare) are the ultimate deterrent to capitalism for those without the work ethic to feel rewarded by their job.

Despite all these flaws, I do not advocate repealing health reform in any way.


I do. I'm not anti-health care reform, but I think the bill that was passed is deeply flawed, to the point that it needs to be thrown away and a long-term plan to re-draft it in a bipartisan fashion put in place. Any successful health care reform has to address tort reform, or it's just an expensive bandage. Problem is, Congress is kind of populated by lawyers who, um, make money on class-action suits against, you know, doctors.

First, many of its provisions have already been implemented. It cost money to do so, and it costs money to reverse anything that already costs money. We will only devastate the economy more and raise our debt higher with an outright repeal.


Duly noted, though I believe the overall harm of leaving Obamacare in place as-is would outweigh the short-term costs of starting over.

Second, the following were accomplished

- The end of "pre-existing conditions"
- Guaranteed coverage when you get sick, rather than being dropped
- The ability to stay on your parents' insurance until age 26

The third one is vastly taken for granted, but I think almost any GDCer here who is an American youth is better off from it, and example of the government's actions directly affecting your life. Before health reform, it was projected that soon people might spend a full third of their income on health insurance. This would have hit college students the hardest, and cause a fall in the amount of students who can afford to get degrees. Young adults have security now. Most college students can not realistically afford health insurance. They had only the options of making sacrifices to their education, or going uninsured, which would ultimately burden taxpayers. That is a provision that has given me personal benefit and something I can say I am much better off for it being passed.


I'm all for all three of those accomplishments. I've been caught in the pre-existing condition dilemma myself very recently, and it's frustrating as fuck to keep getting rejection letters in the mail. Those are all things that needed to happen, but the framework of the bill around them is troubled.

And even if health care reform needed to be radically amended, it is still better it stays in place. Do we really want to give insurance companies back the power to drop people after years of paying their premiums? Do we really want people with pre-existing conditions to be screwed? No amount of corrections to the health care bill can be worth some of those people dying too young, can be worth the increase in those peoples' own debt that would lead back to recession.


As long as Obamacare is in place, there's a template that one side will be working towards, and the other side against. A clean sheet is needed. If Obamacare is left in place as an obscenely-expensive stopgap plan, so be it, but ultimately, it needs to be torn up and replaced by something that doesn't report the value of benefits to the IRS for audit and tax purposes, doesn't spend money like a drunken sailor in a strip club, and adequately addresses tort reform.

To summarize: If conservatives have full power again, everything about the health care bill, good and bad, will vanish. If progressives have full power again, we can fix it, keep what is already good, and cut out what is harmful and replace it with true health care reform America deserves.


Really? Because as I see it, if those who call themselves "progressives" end up with unchecked power again, the first thing they'll do is re-enact the sections of Obamacare that were left out last time because even the Democrats who pushed it through saw how onerous they were.

I think the best thing that could happen to American healthcare is Obama being re-elected, but Republicans taking a filibuster-proof majority in the House and Senate. Not bloody likely, I know, but the Republicans would shred Obamacare and enact a more reasonably-priced health care bill that still addresses the core problems that Obamacare does, and President Obama would still have veto power over those changes. Both sides would be forced to work together to draw up revisions to Obamacare that everyone can stomach.

Though I still wouldn't hold my breath on tort reform. Seems like the only people who want to see that are socialists and libertarians. Oh, and Democrats and Republicans...until they make it to DC.
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#40
captain peroxide

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Both sides would be forced to work together to draw up revisions to Obamacare that everyone can stomach.

That's never going to happen. One side is just going to keep blocking the other until they get what they want. I've never see politics more stubborn than it has been the last 2 years.
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#41
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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That's never going to happen. One side is just going to keep blocking the other until they get what they want. I've never see politics more stubborn than it has been the last 2 years.


In the current situation, where everything is divided, yes. If Republicans controlled the Congress beyond the range of a filibuster, but lacked the supermajority needed to override vetos, they'd be inclined to make significant changes to Obamacare, and Obama would be under intense political pressure to work with them on revisions so as not to ruin Democrats' prospects in 2016 and beyond.

But yes, it does seem as though the leadership of both parties has slipped more to the extreme on either side, even though polls have shown that the typical American is still pretty centrist and moderate.

#42
Boston

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That's never going to happen. One side is just going to keep blocking the other until they get what they want. I've never see politics more stubborn than it has been the last 2 years.

That's the saddest truth of Obama's administration - nothing is getting done because there is no room for compromise, and Obama has to back down in order for things to move forward. I feel like the two-party system has not been this divided in a really long time - its almost like living with two governments who are both vying to take sole control.
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#43
Matt.

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I think we'll end up seeing Obama elected again. As much as I hate to say that, I think that'll be the case.

I'm conservatively moderate (if that makes sense) so I tend to vote for the Republicans or very moderate Democrats. I would continue that trend in 2012 but at this point, it seems all the Republican front-runners are really crazy and extreme. I'll keep an eye on Pawlenty as he would be the Republican I vote for if I do end up swinging that way.

So again, I see Obama getting re-elected because of the lack of competition (at this point).

#44
Kayfabe

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who do you guys think will be the republican candidate? I hope it's sarah palin, that way obama will win.

actually that's too big of a risk. bush got elected twice so you never know with this country :unsure:

#45
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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who do you guys think will be the republican candidate? I hope it's sarah palin, that way obama will win.

actually that's too big of a risk. bush got elected twice so you never know with this country http://www.greendaycommunity.org/Forum/p...


I could see Romney or Pawlenty getting the bid. I think Sarah Palin is seen as too much of a joke (if she even runs) to win anything but the Alaska primary and a pair of moose antlers, and Donald Trump seems like a novelty candidate to me who, if he even runs, will have a hard time getting people to take him seriously.

I think Gingrich and Bachmann are limited by their allegiance. The Tea Party is a small (but very vocal) subset of the Republican Party, and the fact that Gingrich and Bachmann are now two of the leading figures of that movement will severely limit their mainstream (i.e., non-bat-shit-crazy) appeal. Tea Party candidates do well in state and local elections with a more limited voter base, but struggle on the national scale because of how far off-center they are.

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#46
captain peroxide

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I'd be relatively okay with Pawlenty running.

#47
Trotsky

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Bachmann is way worse than Palin. By far. Just wanted to add that.
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#48
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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Bachmann is way worse than Palin. By far. Just wanted to add that.


+10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

(at least Palin's kinda hot)

P.S. - Your move.

#49
fadi_7

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i would love to see obama stay in his position cause until now he is doing great job i like him ........................

i would love to see obama stay in his position cause until now he is doing great job i like him ........................

#50
Trotsky

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P.S. - Your move.


By the end of the day, my friend.

#51
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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By the end of the day, my friend.


I'll be at a Skywarn training session this evening, but I look forward to stretching my brain muscles again tonight. :)

#52
Trotsky

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P.S. - Your move.


Well, I can't argue for who has a superior ideology, it seems we'd agree on much socially and enough in foreign policy, though have a gap between our personal economic preference. Therefore I can't really defend the value of the public option in terms of how beneficial it would be, if you are inherently against increased redistribution of wealth. I can defend the fact that the public option would make healthcare easier for the poor at the expense of the wealthier, though it seems we're on the same page with that.

Now onto the insurance mandate. There was initially a tax penalty proposed on people who did not find health insurance by 2014, except for many exemptions including not being able to afford it.

But before the bill passed and was signed into laws, Congress then added this clause

(2) SPECIAL RULES- Notwithstanding any other provision of law—
(A) WAIVER OF CRIMINAL PENALTIES- In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.
(B) LIMITATIONS ON LIENS AND LEVIES- The Secretary shall not—
(i) file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section, or
(ii) levy on any such property with respect to such failure.


This is an unprecedented exemption that exists to no one else. Hence, should someone fail to receive health insurance by 2014, they can refuse to pay the tax, and the government may do nothing about it. The individual mandate becomes not so much a law than a goal.

It was recognized by people on both sides that no public option and mandatory insurance would be a handout to the insurance company. This broad and permanent exemption made sure there is no use of force in Americans getting insured.

My source also debunks the claim about massive IRS expansion.

http://www.opencongr...ealth-Insurance

#53
November's Storms

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Hate following up such an in depth argument with something so much more trivial but this comes to mind in with this thread



#54
captain peroxide

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It's like watching two giants hit each other with hammers :mellow:

#55
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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It's like watching two giants hit each other with hammers http://www.greendaycommunity.org/Forum/p...


Light sabers, dammit. We're using light sabers.

John, not sure that I have a ton else to add. Seems like we're more or less in agreement (or, at least, understanding).

I doubt there will be any major IRS expansion, but let's be honest. Anything on your W-2's is one more thing that will scrutinized by the IRS and audited against your tax return, and reporting the value of benefits on there gives them another avenue to find a "mistake" and bring you in for an in-person audit. I've heard rumors (and that's all they are at this point, as the IRS doesn't even know how it's going to handle auditing benefits yet) that they'll be looking at benefits vs. income ratio, and actual income vs. usual income for your job description in the region. Kind of similar to what they do with reimbursement now; if your salary's low for the area you live in and/or your reimbursement is higher than a certain percentage of your salary, you get audited because their computer identifies you as being very likely to owe additional taxes on hidden income.

Supposedly they'll do the same thing with benefits. If you only make $50,000 per year, but your benefits are worth $30,000 a year (for example, I doubt the number exists yet), you'll get a letter telling you to bring all your financial and tax records from the last three years to the local IRS office for an audit. The logic will be that you're probably hiding income as an FSA/HSA, and they'll audit your credit card statements to try and prove it and collect the tax due, plus interest and penalties.

And that's why I really don't like the IRS having access to anything more than they absolutely need to see on my W-2. Benefits are not something that I think they need to see, especially now that you're posted the "neutering" provisions of the stupid tax. There's no reason to do it other than for auditing purposes.

And yes, I think a public option is unnecessary. I stand by my belief that if you pass meaningful tort reform, insurance companies will see their settlement and malpractice insurance expenses go down dramatically, and if you audit their (publicly-available) financials every year and ensure that they're lowering rates commensurate to the lower expenses, you'll find that virtually every American with a full-time job can afford some level of health care without the massive spending required by a public option.

And less spending = less money coming from China = less chance of us getting BuFu'ed again if/when China's economy takes a hit.

#56
Trotsky

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And less spending = less money coming from China = less chance of us getting BuFu'ed again if/when China's economy takes a hit.


I agree. But cutting spending cannot be all, we still have to raise more revenue.

I understand you have a libertarian view, that you think the free market just needs to flow without government interference. But all I ask currently of corporations is that they pay a tax, any tax. General Electric pays nothing. You alone quite literally contribute more to the government every year than GE, do you agree with that? And it's not just GE, Exxon-Mobil is in the same exact situation, as are many other powerful corporations.

But even if we somehow leave them with a ZERO percent tax rate, which is what they pay after they exploit every last loophole, can we at least stop spending by giving them handouts?

Wouldn't that be the genuinely libertarian thing to do, to abolish all government handouts to businesses? To end farm subsidies too? Because as we know, farming in America is no longer like the movie Babe, almost all farms are sprawling corporate businesses, and the proprietors too are extraordinarily wealthy.

This is why I get so irked with spending cuts. Because we don't raise enough revenue, and we hand out money to those who should be paying money.
  • November's Storms likes this

#57
lastnightonGDA

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You guys should make yourselves a special thread to have your little political cat fights in.

#58
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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You guys should make yourselves a special thread to have your little political cat fights in.


Actually, this isn't a cat-fight. Unless I'm reading John wrong, I'm pretty sure we're in agreement on about 95% of topics, it's just the economic aspect of government that we disagree on (well, so far, anyway).

John, got something to do on my end, then I'll be back later to reply in full. But yes, in general, I am against government subsidies to private businesses. Very few government actions have ever pissed me off more than the bailouts, particularly GM (build shitty cars long enough and people will stop buying them, duh) and the banks. If you trust the free market, it will correct itself as if guided by an invisible hand (Adam Smith FTW). If you try to steer the free market, you'll eventually crash into the rocks. More on that later.

Maybe this does require a new thread. "The John and Ben Ideological Debate Show". :lol:

#59
lastnightonGDA

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Maybe this does require a new thread. "The John and Ben Ideological Debate Show". http://www.greendaycommunity.org/Forum/p...

:thumbsup:
Not that I don't love reading your beautiful, well thought out arguments.

Note: This is just a joke, keep flaunting your intelligence. It's sexy. Both of you. :P

#60
November's Storms

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I may not be contributing but am happily following. Keep posting gents!



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