re: blog from Everwas #86

What should I be voting for?

re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:38 am

Hey MadCat, what Republican stance are you specifically referring to in the blog?

I myself agree with the Republican agenda that a greater emphasis on tax breaks would be of greater benefit than the government spending stimulus package that Obama just signed. (Although, I'd also likely disagree with HOW the Republicans would want to cut them.) We need fiscal responsibility, and rampant and quickly conceived spending rubs me the wrong way. We're on the road to bankruptcy, and ANOTHER $800 billion that we the taxpayers will have to repay with interest? I dunno...

Man, I hate to even say this, but even Bush's tax rebates were probably of greater benefit - at least that put funds directly in the hands of lower to middle class people: the kind of people that would actually use the money and put it immediately into circulation.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby MadCat on Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:14 am

Here's the thing: I don't know much about anyone's agenda. I'm not very interested in politics; I don't care about Republicans versus Democrats. All I'm looking at is the fact that our country's infrastructure is crumbling, hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs and homes, and need serious help.

People are hurting, and when the government tried to pass a bill that would rebuild infrastructure, create jobs, give people health care or any kind of social services -- no matter how flawed the bill is, it's better than doing nothing and letting people continue to suffer-- the entire Republican party (minus 3 people, and plus however many Democrats) simply said, "No, we don't want to help you help anyone. We want you to do what we say or fail." Never mind that failing here means that people will continue to be hurt and nothing will improve. (Though I am pissed at all the people who supposedly stuck in extra pork and unnecessary spending in an attempt to take advantage of the fact that people need serious help in a hurry.)

This situation isn't supposed to be about politics, about who's "better" or whose agenda should prevail. It's about people needing help, and the people who can help needing to offer them a hand. I'm only angry at the Republicans in this case because they're most recognizably the ones who are standing idly by, refusing to help, hoping that any attempts to render aid fail. And I'm not just angry at them - I'm angry at anyone, regardless of political alignment, who ignores the suffering of others and attempts to gain more for themselves (power, money, prestige, whatever) at the expense of other people's lives.

I want whatever plan actually helps people to be the one that gets enacted; I don't care if it's tax cuts or stimulus spending or either/neither/both/whatever, as long as it improves the situation. I want a plan that gives people a place to live, food to eat, and jobs so they can support their families. I want people to feel secure, happy, healthy, and unafraid -- not cry themselves to sleep wondering how they'll feed their families or if they'll still have somewhere to live at the end of the month.

I want people to help each other, and care about the welfare of their fellow beings. I want people to put the lives of others around them ahead of the money in their own wallets. I want human lives to be seen as important, not expendable for the sake of someone's agenda.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:59 am

Well sure, we all want our government to act in the best interest of our nation, and provide relief where it can. The issue is whether it's prudent.

I'm nervous about throwing that much money virtually blindly at a problem. Once again, I see little oversight or accountability, and it was very hastily assembled. You want to throw money in an effective manner where it'll stick, or it'll just go to waste. I also have grave concerns as to whether it'll even work - it sounds to me like the equivalent of an "energy drink", as opposed to healthy preventative/curative medicine. Then there's the possibility that it'll inflict more long term harm than good. Like my "energy drink" simile implies, it will definitely impart a short term boost. But at what cost? We'll have to borrow even MORE money we don't have to pay for this, and it'll be repaid by slicing chunks out of my kid's paychecks.

Yeah, it's politics as usual, but to place all of the blame at the Republicans' feet is too simple. They can make a perfectly legitimate case that their stance is to protect your hard-earned money, which is all the more precious during times like these. You can just as easily accuse congressional Democrats of the exact same sort of politics - not one of them had the courage to stand up for fiscal responsibility. EACH AND EVERY ONE of them are towing the party line in support of an EXTREMELY popular executive, regardless of what their intellect or conscience might be otherwise arguing. I'd expect that at least a few of them are worrying that this sort of recklessness is what got us into this mess in the first place, but they're buckling to the political pressure to keep their mouths shut.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby MadCat on Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:34 am

MadCat wrote: I'm only angry at the Republicans in this case because they're most recognizably the ones who are standing idly by, refusing to help, hoping that any attempts to render aid fail. And I'm not just angry at them - I'm angry at anyone, regardless of political alignment, who ignores the suffering of others and attempts to gain more for themselves (power, money, prestige, whatever) at the expense of other people's lives.

I want whatever plan actually helps people to be the one that gets enacted; I don't care if it's tax cuts or stimulus spending or either/neither/both/whatever, as long as it improves the situation.


Bolded and italicized for emphasis.

I don't care if it's a Republican or a Democrat who's doing it. I just want people to stop focusing on their politics and their own profit, and start working on helping those who need it. Party affiliation shouldn't matter right now; towing any party line is just getting in the way of getting help to those who need it.

What we've been doing so far doesn't work, obviously, or we wouldn't be in this mess. We need to think of something else that does work, and do that instead. Everyone in government needs to work together, work smart, and do what actually helps people, instead of making the situation worse; and they need to do it asap, because things are pretty darn bad right now.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:00 am

MadCat wrote:I don't care if it's a Republican or a Democrat who's doing it.


That's the key to this discussion, really. Both parties are equally culpable for our predicament, and I was wondering what specifically it was that had you all hot and bothered at the Republicans. I wholeheartedly empathize with your zeal to relieve the suffering of Americans; believe me, this downturn has DEEPLY hurt my own wallet. I just wanted to note that pointing fingers only perpetuates the cycle that you're decrying.

The fact that something needs to be done isn't in question. We just need to be smart about it. I was just trying to observe that burning up $787,000,000,000.00 of OUR money for what might be a short term gain is extremely dangerous, and might just cause even greater hardships down the line. This financial crisis is unique - as far as I can tell, productivity is high, innovation is strong, and we're not short on any crucial commodities. The money is there; we just need to repair the mechanism that kept it moving.

I agree with you in principle, but we need to keep a level head about us. It's reactionary knee-jerk responses that got us here, and the odds of more such reactions getting us out are pretty slim. I suppose this particular issue is moot now, since the stimulus package did pass. But it's NOT the cure. If we're very lucky, it's the emergency epinephrine that keeps a heart attack patient going until surgery can be performed. If we're not lucky, the inevitable waste of such a measure will do more harm than good.

Regardless, the point of this long winded post is that it's the "surgery" that matters. To put blanket blame on Republicans for idleness or blocking aid is too simple. I'm just trying to make the point that $800 billion is a lot of money to pay back, and it doesn't even address the real problem. You should join me in blaming both parties for STILL failing to attack the true culprits of this recession.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby MadCat on Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:26 am

I was slightly confused that you kept talking about blaming solely the Republican party when I'd mentioned several times I wasn't doing that, and was placing blame more generally on all the people who were greedy or more concerned with their own wallet than other people. But to try and be more clear about it:

I definitely agree with you that both parties deserve blame. Heck, the whole government and the entire way we've designed our economy deserve blame. I will certainly spread the blame around to all culprits responsible. The Republican Party's recent actions made them the poster children for resistance and bull-headed party unity at everyone else's expense (they've made this quite clear lately), so they became convenient shorthand for "people who are actively trying to stop any efforts to fix the problem, and are focusing on their own political gain instead". But they don't have a monopoly on those things, and aren't the only thing contributing to the problems in our country.

I also don't like the idea of throwing around money that doesn't fix problems. I don't like that a lot of useless pork has been stuck on the stimulus bill, misappropriated, and will be misused. All the people that are taking advantage of this situation for their own ends also piss me off. Like I said in a prior post:
Everyone in government needs to work together, work smart, and do what actually helps people, instead of making the situation worse;


In other words: everyone in government right now needs to quit the infighting, quit using this opportunity to make grabs for money for themselves at the expense of what actually needs to be done, and actually think about what needs fixing, then fix it.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:00 am

I *think* we worked out our perspectives in this chat:

[23:29] vawce: Heya! I hope I wasn't antagonizing you in the forums; was trying to set forth an even perspective.
[23:30] madcatmonkey: I was just posting again! Hehe!
[23:30] vawce: :D
[23:30] madcatmonkey: I think I was more 'confused' than 'antagonized', lol
[23:30] vawce: It's a very confusing situation, and our politicians aren't helping :P
[23:30] madcatmonkey: Yeah, I agree. >_<
[23:31] vawce: I used to think that Obama was smarter than he was idealistic, but I think I might've had it reversed.
[23:31] madcatmonkey: Heh.
[23:31] madcatmonkey: I thought he had a lot of good ideas, but that once he got in office, reality was going to slap him in the face.
[23:31] vawce: Now that this band-aid is passed, I hope he has a meaningful plan of attack.
[23:32] vawce: Oh, he knew that.
[23:32] madcatmonkey: I hope so. >_< I don't think the bill was very well done, but I think it had some of the right ideas.
[23:32] vawce: I don't :(
[23:33] vawce: None of it will have a lasting effect.
[23:33] madcatmonkey: Yeah. :P
[23:33] vawce: And it's disproportionately expensive for what it does.
[23:33] madcatmonkey: Yes.
[23:33] vawce: If we had the money to simply throw around...eh, why not?
[23:34] vawce: But, considering how far in the hole we are, ugh.
[23:34] madcatmonkey: I am also angry that lots of people stuck on their pet projects that really shouldn't have been on there, and are basically wasting money at taxpayer expense.
[23:34] vawce: The federal government CANNOT declare bankruptcy :P
[23:34] madcatmonkey: Yep.
[23:34] vawce: Oh, that's a given, though.
[23:34] madcatmonkey: Yeah, I know, and that makes me upset. >_<
[23:34] vawce: Don't.
[23:34] vawce: It's part of the cost of getting things done.
[23:35] vawce: And they're just doing their jobs - trying to get stuff done for their constituents, that they'd have no other recourse of doing.
[23:35] madcatmonkey: That's true. I guess I'm being too idealistic myself.
[23:35] vawce: Not at all - you just have to aim it better ;)
[23:36] madcatmonkey: I just really want to see everyone sit down and actually *think* about what the country needs, and how to best accomplish it.
[23:36] madcatmonkey: lol!
[23:36] vawce: It's when people get jaded that the worst of things occur.
[23:36] madcatmonkey: I guess that's true - I swing between 'idealistic' and 'jaded' a lot. ;) lol
[23:36] vawce: Yeah, but we live in a democracy! Which means dissent and gridlock lol
[23:36] madcatmonkey: LOL! So true!
[23:37] madcatmonkey: I think part of the reason I was upset at the Republicans was because I was happy when I heard everyone talking about wanting to work in a bipartisan manner, wanting to have both sides sit down and work together.... and then the GOP basically said, "We're not going to work with you, we're just going to shut you down unless you do what we want." That's what it felt like, anyway.
[23:37] vawce: Yeah, I cycle a bit myself. I think we need to be idealistic in terms of goals, but pragmatic -even cynical- in the execution thereof.
[23:37] madcatmonkey: That's a good point!
[23:38] vawce: Oh, the GOP is totally irrelevant atm - it's the Democrats chance to show what their made of *crossed fingers*
[23:38] vawce: They knew they didn't have the votes to block it.
[23:39] vawce: The fact that three Repubs crossed over does speak volumes about bipartisanship.
[23:39] madcatmonkey: Yeah. I'm really hoping that what they're made of isn't more "give us all your money and we'll waste it on irrelevant projects" and is actually "let's fix the broken things that need fixing"
[23:39] madcatmonkey: Yeah.
[23:39] madcatmonkey: I'm not sure exactly what it says, though. lol.
[23:39] vawce: Well, yeah - I see this 787 billion as the former.
[23:40] vawce: If you want to tackle infrastructure upgrades, that should be part of the actual annual budget.
[23:40] madcatmonkey: I really wanted to see more of what was talked about : creating jobs for people, fixing the infrastructure that actually needs fixing.
[23:40] vawce: If you want to tackle healthcare, that should be it's own initiative.
[23:40] vawce: This....this is just random hucking of moneybags and praying.
[23:40] madcatmonkey: Yeah, I think some people mentioned that.
[23:41] madcatmonkey: That if we would take it one part at a time and deal with each issue, it would be a lot more successful.
[23:41] madcatmonkey: The way to solve problems isn't always "Throw more money at it."
[23:41] madcatmonkey: Especially when we have so little money to throw.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby MadCat on Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:44 am

Yeah, I think we pretty much agree on a lot of points. :) Less wasteful spending, more intelligent thought about what needs to be done, more bipartisanship.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby Mike on Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:33 pm

Go socialism, imo!

That is all.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:52 am

You DO realize that it's raw capitalism that produces just about everything you like, right? :mrgreen:
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