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Anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist: Did the "liberal" media exaggerate his influence?

Since Grover Norquist's name has popped up several times in comments to this blog (upstate), I recommend you read this provocative - and sometimes seemingly contradictory - commentary about the anti-tax crusader from The NEW REPUBLIC on line...


http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/110499/the-illusory-power-grover-norquist



You can hear my interview with the author of this TNR piece....


Audio Here

Posted at 7:47am on November 28, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

teatime
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 8:03am


At least 11 of Norquist's TEA Party allies lost their elections in Congress. So, it seems Norquist's greatest power is to sink Tea Party wingnuts.

kavips
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 9:16am
"seemingly contradictory?" (Allan quote above...)

I seemed to have missed that. I thought it was rather straight forward. Could you explain either here or on air, what parts of this article seem to clash with other parts?

However, I was grateful to finally learned how he came into that position. However, growing up, I was always under the impression, Washington National Airport was simply because of the city, sort of like New York's JFK airport. I never associated that name as being named after George Washington.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Airport

It appears that I was right. The "Washington" was added to the title over a period of years. (It was first called the Hoover Airport)... It appears that the airport was "lobbied" as being named after President George Washington, by Northern Virginia natives who didn't want the name changed.... (By saying it was already named for a president, they could undercut the momentum for finally naming it after a real human being.... ) However, the Washington name is still in the official title. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport...

And... I saw this several years ago, and though it took me a few minutes to find it, if you have a couple of seconds, you can pretend like you are Mike Protack for a couple of minutes... Lol. lol. lol.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lAsALc6-mA

Allan Loudell
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 9:34am
kavpis,

For me, the "contradictory" part is just the argument that Norquist's powers were greatly exaggerated by a "liberal" media intent on typecasting Republicans as puppets, yet precisely because Norquist has had big-moneyed interests backing him over the years (starting with big tobacco) he WAS able to threaten G.O.P. lawmakers to tow the line... else, they'd face a blizzard of retaliatory attack commercials and potentially primary challengers, fueled by that big money. Timothy doesn't quite cover that part, although he DOES note how the first President Bush's defeat (indeed, more a manifestation of Mr. Bush's "Read my lips, no new taxes" pledge) allowed Norquist to harness that defeat to his own ends!

Allan Loudell

kavips
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 2:03pm
Ok, thank you for clearing it up... I got that part, I guess I just didn't see it as contradictory.

I would take issue with the call that the liberal media are what made him popular. The liberal media for as long as I remember, have been devoted to pointing out the silliness of a lobbyist holding the Republican Party hostage. I would offer it was the Conservative or Financial media that gave him the limelight, media outlets like CNN Money, CNBC, Bloomsberg, & The Wall Street Journal, to name a few.

In fairness, up until recently, his philosophy was in tune with America's financial spokespeople. Only recently, did the concept get mainstreamed, that tax-increases actually pump investment back into the economy, thereby allowing the middle-class to spend more, helping drive the accumulation of wealth forward. It is this recent development, the notion that cutting taxes is to blame for all our nation's economic woes, which has put those who signed the Norquist pledge, at risk.

It appears that this fact, that higher marginal taxes are good for the economy, is what did Grover in;

kavips
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 2:11pm
I overheard you asking someone on air, who the left's equivalent of Grover Norquist might be?

I believe that person said ... there wasn't one.

I offer that had we had someone similar who caused legislators to sign a pledge back when the surpluses stretched as far as the eye could see, a pledge that said, " I will not create an expense without a method of paying for it," we would not have a deficit now....

The Trillion-and-a-half dollars spent on Iraq & Afghanistan, and the Trillion spent on Medicare Drug Prescriptions, and the 2-Trillion written-off in the Bush tax-cuts, are the 4 reasons why we are even talking about a fiscal cliff or the debt-ceiling being raised...

Had we had a pledge for "a balanced budget", something Democrats are more prone to enforce than Republicans, believe it or not, we actually might have found ourselves on a very lucrative economic footing right now...

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:42pm
I found this white paper by Del. Senator Chris Coons on the Fiscal Cliff; thought all here would be interested in reading what he has to say about it.

http://www.coons.senate.gov/issues/fiscalcliff

kavips
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:12pm
This is changing topics, and I hope Allan gets to this before going off air, but outside until about 6:30 this evening the two brightest objects in the night sky will be under one degree of separation. That, of course, would be Jupiter and the moon, which is full btw...

Probably the only time in our lifetimes we can see this conjunction while the moon is full... I haven't checked, but I know it hasn't occurred in my lifespan.....

Everyone who reads this should tell everyone they know to go outside and look east .. RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Allan Loudell
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:15pm
...Although Venus is typically brighter in our heavens than Jupiter.

So is it Venus (a crescent) or Jupiter?

kavips
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 7:07pm
Jupiter. It's still worth seeing if you haven't already... although Jupiter is about to start pulling away very soon...

mrpizza
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 7:34pm
You're all wrong about Norquist. No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity, and most certainly hasn't borrowed itself into prosperity. In the coming years, America will suffer great consequences from throwing decent people like Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney under the bus.

mrpizza
Wed, Nov 28, 2012 8:08pm
The last paragraph of that article shows just how liberally biased the author is. Here's the paragraph, and then I will comment:

"You want to know Norquist’s true legacy? He got Washington National Airport renamed Reagan National Airport, removing the first president’s name in order to insert the name of a president whose only lasting contribution to aviation was to fire 11,345 air traffic controllers. To George Washington, never signing the Pledge was indeed fatal. For everybody else, Norquist has never been anyone to rationally fear."

I too am a Federal employee like those air traffic controllers. When you accept a job with the Federal government, you have to sign an agreement that you will not strike or take a job action against the federal government.
Those air-traffic controllers BROKE THE LAW. I should also point out that they were given a grace period to return to work before they were actually fired. So Reagan was willing even in their lawbreaking to show them some mercy and forgive them for striking IF they returned to work. They refused. So Reagan didn't really fire them. They GOT THEMSELVES fired.

I lived through the Reagan era. The 80's began with a country in despair, and ended with America being great once again. It truly had become the "shining city on a hill" that Mr. Reagan spoke of. I find it disgusting how Mr. Noah and others like him continue to try and re-write history or leave out important details in their reporting of that history, and even convincing some who lived through that time that it was all some kind of lie. Unlike the current White House occupant who has no concept of what America is about, Ronald Wilson Reagan WAS America. He represented the AMERICAN people and their will, not the will of the UN and the third-world dictators that run it. Perhaps this great man is now forgotten in the minds of many, but I'll NEVER forget. To this day, I still have the his portrait proudly displayed on my wall in the dining room, and it will remain there until I'm dead and longer if I can find somebody to pass it on to who still remembers and appreciates the greatest president of the 20th century, if not for all time.

When Ronald Reagan was president, I was PROUD to say he was MY president. He made me proud to be an American. And for the rest of my days, he will forever be MY PRESIDENT.

kavips
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 1:14am
Mr. Pizza, you have a selective memory. That decade started with a severe recession caused by Reagan's monetary policy-tightening, and ended with a recession caused by the 1986 tax-cut that cut taxes far too much.

Around Christmas of 1982, the national unemployment was 10.8%. (The record still since 1930's) Which is why we laughed when Romney complained about a 7.8% rate.... If you happened to live in Michigan, Alabama, West Virginia, your unemployment was over 14% back then. Those people don't think Reagan was such a great president... Ask them.

The very sad thing, was this recession was Reagan-caused. Paul Volecker raised the prime rate to over 20% peaking at 21.5% on June 1982.... Each time the rate dropped, unemployment dropped too. Each time he raised the rates, unemployment raised too...

What pulled us out of this abysmal recession was the deficit-spending Ronald Reagan did. (Give me a credit card when I'm broke and I'll live well too). Sadly, Reagan's successor tried to reign in Ronald Reagan's deficit, and that cost him his popularity. Clinton, once elected as you know, quickly raised the top marginal rate from Reagan's 1986 tax-cut of 28%, back to the 40% that created the best years of America.

The point of this is, to point out that it is you who seem to have the selective memory of Ronald Reagan, not the author in question. It appears that you are rewriting history, not Mr. Noah.

Although I certainly agree in your description of the Air Traffic Controllers' strike. That did happen exactly as you said....

Neither will I fault you for your admiration of the man. I also knew people who kept pictures of Herbert Hoover on their walls as well....

kavips
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 1:16am
background for the above... (didn't get included)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_1980s_recession

mrpizza
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 3:10am
Kavips: Most of what this Wikipedia article speaks of happened during and because of JIMMY CARTER. Where's your selective memory on that?

The economic growth that happened under Clinton was due precisely to the foundation that Reagan laid, not because of Clinton's tax increase. In fact, had we not elected Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congress in 1994, 2008 would have happened about 10 years earlier than it did.

When you tax an activity, you have less of it. When you reward it, you always get more. Reagan believed in rewarding those who contributed to the betterment of society, the same people you and Mike from Delaware refer to as "fat cats". Thankfully, we still at least have some of the economic capital remaining that the "fat cats" gave us. When Clinton was president, good things happened IN SPITE OF his policies, and perhaps good things will happen in spite of Obama's policies, if his policies don't totally drive the "fat cats" out of the country altogether.

Sorry Kavips, but your argument is full of holes. There was a reason the founders of this great nation escaped from the king of England and much of that had to do with excessive taxation. America has come full circle as it now has not a president, but an elected king imposing the same tyranny our forefathers came here to escape from and that many Americans throughout the ages have fought and died for. I hope their sacrifice will not now be in vain.

mrpizza
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 4:19am
BREAKING NEWS: Obama and Romney to have lunch together at the White House! Real consultation or just a big show? Guess we'll find out!

http://news.yahoo.com/victor-vanquished-obama-romney-lunch-080241495--politics.html

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 8:04am
Mrpizza: From what they were reporting in the news (CBS, NPR, and ABC), no press would be there. So if that is the case, that gives both men the opportunity to speak frankly with the other. Obama's not a dumbbell; he probably wants to pick Mr. Businessman's brains for any good ideas he can offer. That's not a bad thing. Romney is more of a moderate than he portrayed himself during the election so he may have some middle ground ideas that Obama could accept and hopefully be able to bridge the gap between the two parties in the Fiscal Cliff issue.

I give Obama credit for being open to meeting with Gov. Romney and to try to enlist his help. Wise leaders aren't afraid to seek advice from others who have knowledge they might be lacking.

Oh by the way, Mrpizza, you are using selective memory in regards to Reagan. I remember all those things Kavips referred to, and it was as he said. Your memory of the Air-traffic Controllers issue was also correct. They violated law, they did have to sign a no strike statement, so did it to themselves. I guess, because Reagan had been a former Union President (Screen Actors Guild) they figured he'd give them a pass and support their strike.

I didn't agree with Reagan on many issues, but totally agreed with him on how he handled the Airtraffic Controllers.

Allan Loudell
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 8:37am
Even if the Obama---Romney lunch is more symbolic than anything else (It's difficult to imagine these two men becoming great pals!), it's worth noting defeated Presidential candidates have seldom been given this sort of opportunity.

For example, former Vice President Walter Mondale told POLITICO he never had as much as a single telephone conversation - much less a visit to the White House and a meal - with President Reagan, following Mondale's concession call to Mr. Reagan.

Similarly, Senator John Kerry had - by all accounts - an amicable phone conversation with President George W. Bush when the senator placed his concession call to Mr. Bush, but nothing came of it. According to former Kerry adviser Bob Shrum, the two men NEVER spoke again, let alone share a meal together. Even though Kerry remained in the Senate. In fairness, it doesn't appear Kerry did much to reach out either. Kerry was bitter over the some of the Bush campaign's tactics.

I realize the counter-argument, of course. With the country so divided, President Obama and his people may think such a meeting could do a little something to mend the partisan divide. Indeed, President Obama spoke with former President George W. Bush several times, and (then) President Clinton sought out President Nixon.

Presidents Carter and Ford became very, very close. President George Herbert Walker Bush - ever the gentleman - invited Michael Dukakis to the Naval Observatory after the Mr. Bush's 1988 defeat of ex-Governor Dukakis.

Allan Loudell

kavips
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 10:25am
Mr. Pizza, that is why I posted the source.. Although Unemployment was 5.6% in Carter's third year, from which point it began rising, it reached 14% in certain parts of the country 2 years well into Reagan's term. As the source points out, it was Reagan's fault that unemployment was so high. It was a direct result of policy implimented upon his coming into office.

Which proves the point that selective memory plays a gigantic part in your idolization of Reagan... The blame Carter for everything meme, though popular in culture because that theme was drummed throughout the Reagan years,has little fact to back it up. Carter still has the best record when it comes to growing new jobs... I've posted the source on this site before.

Bottom line: Reagan needed to blame someone for his dismal failures early in his term, and the Republican machine used Carter. Like this election, the election in 1980 was very close up till the last weekend, with many regular poll exit watchers thinking Carter had pulled it off....

However, you also said something very curious. You said...The economic growth that happened under Clinton was due precisely to the foundation that Reagan laid, not because of Clinton's tax increase".... That is contrary to most commentary, facts, and insight. Could you elaborate?

As for giving credit to Republicans, there is a problem with the timing. The recovery began as soon as the tax increase was signed. The stock market jumped that day. Newt took over in January of 95. Usually budgets are done for the following year. Therefore the first of anything the Republican House could accomplish, would have hit in 2006. The recovery was so far ahead, that poor Bob Dole never got a chance...

And it would be wise to remember the debacle the Republicans got when they tried to shut down government. The Americans turned on them, drumming Republicans out of Congress in near record numbers ....

So again, selective memory is vitally important for any Republican to hold his head up in public..... :)

As for the Obama=Romney breakfast/lunch/dinner. Those of you who underestimate Obama will be surprised. There is an offer going out to him today, not sure if he will accept, but, we elected a real president this time, and this meeting is vital to moving this nation forward.

kavips
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 10:30am
According to former Delaware Governor Petersen, who recently passed away, from inside his biography, both Ford and Carter had a common enemy, which could explain their friendship into the latter years. He was Ronald Reagan.

Ford confided to Petersen that conservatives scuttled his presidential campaign against Carter to run Reagan in 80. The worst snake? Dick Cheney...

mrpizza
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 6:49pm
Kavips: I agree about the common enemy. Gerald Ford was part of the Republican country club establishment. I applaud Dick Cheney and especially give credit to the late great Lee Atwater for getting the anti-establishment candidate elected. Reagan revolutionized and revitalized America in a big way. So you guys can believe what you want. At some point, America will be crying out for another Reagan to come rescue them. I don't know when - it could be beyond my lifetime, but it will eventually happen.

mrpizza
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 9:32pm
Here's a statistic for you: In 1984, Ronald Reagan was re-elected by 49 states, with 525 electoral votes to 13 for Walter "Fritz" Mondale, who carried Minnesota (where he came from) and Washington, DC.

In 2012, Barack Obama was re-elected by 27 states + DC and 332 electoral votes, vs. Romney's 23 states and 206 electoral votes.

Why is that? The answer is very simple. Ronald Reagan united America into a great nation once again, as evidenced by his "blow-out" re-election. Obama, on the other hand, is proven by his re-election statistics to be the most divisive president in American history. What's the next step after divide? Conquer.

Now how's THAT for "selective memory"?

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 10:10pm
Mrpizza: The reason Reagan won was Carter's administration had the US in double digit inflation, his fouled up rescue mission to get our folks back from Iran, etc. It was a time of being tired of America being on the skids. Remember the Charlie Daniels song "In America" was popular during that time. Reagan had a way of inspiring folks. The nation knew that Reagan would get our people back, and he'd somehow end the inflation that had crippled our economy. He was a no non-sense sort of man. The world was afraid of him, because they figured he'd Nuke them. Reagan had a quiet, calm, confidence that the nation needed. He was what the US needed in 1980, especially after 4 devastating years of Jimmy Carter. To be fair, Jimmy Carter was a good, honest, honorable man, a faithful Christian (his faith wasn't a show - he was the first openly Born Again Christian to be President), but Carter just wasn't Presidential. He could teach a Sunday School class, but he just wasn't cut out to be President. Oddly enough, he's done far more good after being President than while sitting in the White House.

mrpizza
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 10:54pm
MFD: You've given an excellent and objective analysis of both men which I can't argue with. I hope our current president will find some useful value in both of their legacies.

kavips
Sat, Dec 1, 2012 1:59am
Just wanted to tie up some loose ends in the above posts...

In regards to Reagan's win versus Obama's... one has to be careful in extrapolating broad sweeping generalizations from data.... One, Reagan didn't run against Romney. Mondale was a hard sell. He was Carter's Vice President... running to unseat Reagan. Two, Reagan didn't have to contend with a billion dollars being spent against him.
Three, unlike this election, it was not a battle between two centrists. Mondale was pretty far out there, and so was Reagan...

So to use these results to come to the conclusion that Reagan unites, Obama divides, simply doesn't work. One very valid point that needs aired, is, when you have a divisive government fostered by a minority party, it bodes ill on that minority party, not the majority.... Most of the America voted for the majority. It is time the Republican minority accept that, and work to put the will of the majority into action as quickly as possible.... If they don't; the failure America will endure, is entirely theirs, not the majority...

As to when America will cry for another Reagan, I would venture to say, when we have inflation over 5%... At that point the policies of conservatives do make a positive difference... and many who refused their message this time, may listen more closely next if that comes to pass.

I would agree with Mike's assessment of the perception of Carter and Reagan. However on paper at least, Carter did extraordinary things with the economy, and with streamlining government.... These only come to life when one looks over the results of all president's on the same list....

And although I will argue that Reagan's policies are not the proper way to grow economies long term, I will say that he taught this old dog a couple of tricks I use almost every day... The best compliment I can give Reagan, was that he was not prisoner to his own philosophy. When he needed tax hikes after his first tax cuts were too low, he raised taxes... took the heat, but simply did it. Of course, there were no Grover Norquists back then to publicly point that out.....

Likewise I have great admiration for George W. Bush for doing the same thing in the financial crises of 2008.... He went from being a neocon to socialist in about 20 minutes. As a result, he saved the entire economy as we know it today....

I don't have respect for people like Ryan, Cantor, Walker, Scott, and O'Donnell who rule by philosophy. Like dinosaurs, if facts don't fit in with their philosophy, they don't include them.... That kind of person is really hard to like....or trust that when confronted with challenges, they have enough brains to get us out of them.....






mrpizza
Sun, Dec 2, 2012 10:27pm
I have the utmost respect for Paul Ryan. In 2011, he presented a real budget containing real cuts that didn't hurt people. Had that budget been passed, we would be well on our way to fiscal sanity.

I'm glad he's still in Congress and hope that he can achieve there what he was unable to achieve as a Vice Presidential candidate.

kavips
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:01am
ha, ha.. That wasn't a real budget. That was a joke. No Medicare. No Social Services. No Education. No Arts and Humanities, no unemployment; and he increased his own salary by a large percent...

If that is your idea of a "real" budget, I wouldn't recommend anyone investing in your pizza place.. :)

kavips
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:08am
I predict that if Republicans don't go along with Obama's small tax-increase, and push us over the fiscal cliff, there will never be another Republican voted into any office in any blue state. I don't think the opposite will hold true for red states.

Republicans will moan, wail, and gnash their teeth, and try to say the Democrats are not negotiating in good faith. No one will listen. Bottom line, their philosophy is wrong for the economy at this time. And all of America knows it.... All the House Republicans have to do to prevent us going over the fiscal cliff, is pass the Senate Bill and Obama signs it. If we go over the fiscal cliff, it will because Republicans want to keep tax-cuts for the two 1%... Republicans will be blamed for all the hardship. Massive defense contractor's unemployment; harsh recession; no new investment. 30% drop in customer spending. All will be laid at the feet of the pompous Republican party.

mrpizza
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 5:37am
You're right about the Republicans being blamed, but then that's always been the strategy of the left.

There's nothing small about your president's tax increase. And he wants $50 billion in new stimulus spending? We're still on the hook from the last waste of borrowed money. What's he thinking?

And his demand for Congress to hand over the power to raise the debt-ceiling further proves the point I've been making all along that he's a Soviet-style dictator who thinks the Constitution is something to be trampled.

Just remember one thing, Kavips. You voted for this clown, so now you own the recession, the wasteful spending, the exploitation of the underclass, and everything else he's doing to reduce America to a third-world nation. You won, so the consequences are on your dime.

kavips
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 8:18am
Agree with you there... and thank goodness it is so.. Now we can begin finally rebuilding this nation to what it used to be... :)

And speaking of Paul Ryan, I saw this the next morning... Americans are polling more in favor of Socialism..... and Republicans are getting the credit for making it so..

As the Nation puts it... "Anything that Paul Ryan does not like must have some merit."

http://www.thenation.com/blog/171557/paul-ryan-making-americans-more-favorably-inclined-toward-socialism#

It appears that having Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh, Breitbart, and Sean Hannity deriding Socialism, has actually made the concept MORE POPULAR with the rest of America...

In fact, the number of Conservatives supporting Socialism jumped from 20% up to 25%....

That last line humbled me. If 25% of Republicans are in favor of Socialistic Policies, I have been too harsh in my characterization of them.... There are some humans in that party after all.... :)


Mike from Delaware
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 1:18pm
When most folks, especially the Right, think "Socialism" they think of the old USSR, and the old Soviet Bloc and tend to overlook that Norway and Sweden are also socialistic nations, which apparently are doing quite well, prosperous, democracies, with happy citizens, etc., etc. Maybe it's nation's like these that are causing Americans to not see Socialism as the evil it once was.

Maybe its not the socialism part that's bad, but the government that's running it.

Allan Loudell
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 3:01pm
Kavips & Mike from Delaware...

I would differentiate between "socialist" nations where the state had control of just about everything (i.e., the old Soviet Union) and capitalist nations which happen to have generous social safety nets (Sweden & the Nordic countries generally, Switzerland too), including health-care, child-care, and senior-care.

Big difference. IKEA, Volvo, Polar Recording Studios (including ABBA), were all private Swedish start-ups and remained so (except for Volvo's recent sale to a Chinese "company").

Put in another way, you have a capitalistic system with a "socialist" safety net vs. a Stalinist, state-controlled system. Also, the Nordic countries automatically funneled money to their official state churches (Lutheran); the Soviets, of course, officially promoted atheism.

Switzerland provides another stark example of the nuance. Banks & other capitalistic entities thrive. With Switzerland's tiny cantons functioning as quasi-independent republics (that's why it's officially the Swiss Confederation!) - which the Swiss equivalent of a Tea Party person could only cherish for its local governance, but NOT the high taxes! - Switzerland combines all the trappings of capitalism with its social safety net.

I'm not sure most young people get rigorous instruction on communism, socialism, capitalism, libertarianism, etc., so don't really appreciate the nuances. As one commentator pointed out (I forget whom), many young people may have gotten their definition of "socialist" and "socialism" from right-wing talk-show hosts who have labeled President Obama and the "D's" as "socialists". Hence, with that broad, almost useless, definition, socialism is no longer something to be feared, in fact, to be embraced.

Allan Loudell


Mike from Delaware
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 3:30pm
Allan: Thanks for the additional info on the "good" socialist countries in the Nordic region and Switzerland (didn't realize it was capitalistic, but with a socialist safety net). That's sort of what American DEMS want, I believe. Maybe they need to better educate folks in the US, because from what I see Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland seem to be able to do the capitalistic thing and at the same time do the socialistic safety net thing and have a nice happy nation. Sounds like the best of both worlds. OK, we'd not want to have the state supporting any church, etc, but other than that part, it sounds pretty good.

mrpizza
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 9:30pm
I do acknowledge the difference between the Nordic states and Stalinist type regimes. Keep in mind Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland are all small countries where they're able to contain costs. America is much different as we have 50 different diverse states with 50 different needs. Federal programs tend to be one size fits all and most of the time they just don't fit. We already have a national debt that's larger than the gross domestic product, and I don't see any way out of it at this point except to tell all the bondholders "sorry, but we're out of money. You'll have to eat it."

All this fiscal cliff stuff will be settled the way it always is - by kicking the can down the road. I don't know how much road there is left, but if we run out of it, America will learn a very hard lesson like no other nation including Greece has ever known.

I should also point out that I've heard several people who came here from Eastern Europe call in to various talk shows and express their concern that Obama and the Democrats are imposing the same kind of tyranny they came to America 20 or more years ago to escape from. I think we should heed their warnings, even if they don't turn out to be as dire as feared. In other words, don't totally dismiss them.

kavips
Tue, Dec 4, 2012 9:30am
As I was reading Allan's post, I could hear my high school civics teacher in the background, going over the differences between Socialism and Communism.... Communism was something practiced in the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba. (Angola, Nicaragua, Eastern Europe, and Albania (oddly never considered part of Eastern Europe -- it was always lumped with the Chinese back in the day).... Did I forget one? Socialism was what was found in Western Europe...

I do think young people do not even know that distinction.
Communists waited in line for bread. Socialists could buy all the bread in any flavor they wanted.

From my travels in my youth, I would venture that there is a big difference in the basic philosophy on either side of the Atlantic. One side is concerned with accumulating money. The other side is more concerned with living well.

That philosophy determines our choices. Should I buy cheap cardboard beer to save the money? Or, should I buy the expensive beer to thoroughly enjoy it and live well enjoying my time upon this planet....

Most Americans are the former... Rick Jensen and his Thirsty Thursday ilk, are the latter... lol.

kavips
Tue, Dec 4, 2012 9:38am
As for solving the fiscal cliff, the Republicans need to capitulate and just let the Democrats run things... "ok, whatever you want to do, we're behind you", they need to say.

Once we stop having Republicans tearing up the roads of progress before we build them, we will finally get our road laid down to get us out of this slump...

It will be done through higher taxes on the wealthy and on capital gains. That hole causing money to exit our economy needs to be plugged asap.


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