Greeted by Anti-Obama Demonstrators on the Lawn of the Southeastern Post Office

My outing to the Southeastern Post Office at noon today was much more than buying a few stamps.  I was greeted by a couple of women on the front lawn of the post office with table, chairs, umbrellas and anti-Obama paraphernalia.  I was intrigued by the situation and stopped for a 20-min. chat.  These women (one African-American and the other white) were indeed passionate about their cause.  I asked many questions and they were only too happy to respond. 

They were from the national organization of [Lyndon] LaRouche Political Committee and they were out of the Upper Darby office.  My first question was how could they be allowed on the lawn of a Federal building.  They explained they could be there (1) because it was private property that the post office leased and (2) the 1st amendment gave them the right to free speech.  They did go on to explain that they could not be next to the front door of the post office and hand out political information and they were not allowed to solicit (although I was asked to be on their mailing list, which I politely declined). 

They told me that they have been going from post office to post office with their cause . . . I asked them what kind of response had they received in Tredyffrin.   They replied, ‘very polarized’ and that they were looking for open minds.  As we talked, cars would drive by and honk . . . I asked if honking meant that the drivers were supporting the ‘impeach Obama signs’ placed on the road.  Not necessarily they explained; some of the drivers honked and gave a ‘thumbs up’ of support but other honkers screamed obscenities at them.  While there, I witnessed several honkers in the screaming obscenity category.

I had heard of this LaRouche fellow (long, long ago – honestly, I thought it was in the Richard Nixon era) and frankly would have assumed the man had died.  No, Mr. LaRouche is alive and apparently enjoying good health (based on photos, he appears to be in his 80’s).

The LaRouche supporters explained that their organization is endorsing 3 young candidates for US Congress – told me all about the 3 candidates and referred to the young people as the new leaders of tomorrow.  LaRouche endorsed Congressional candidates are  Kesha Rogers (TX – District 22), Rachel Brown (MA – District 4), and Summer Shields (CA – District 8).  After researching the candidates, I found that Ms. Rogers won her primary on a platform,  “Impeach Obama and Save NASA”.  Rachel Brown is running a campaign against Barney Franks for his Congressional seat in Massachusetts (primary September 14) and Summer Shields is running in California for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s seat.  After beating Pelosi as a write-in candidate, Sheilds intends to ” . . . orient California towards the newly emerging Pacific-centered civilization, turning San Francisco into the gateway to Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Powers” — Russia, China, and India in partnership with the United States”.  Interesting (?) group of young Congressional candidates. It was particularly important that the LaRouche supporters pointed out that 2 of these candidates were African-Americans (Rogers and Shields) and that they supported the ousting of President Obama. 

Fascinated by my post office experience, I came home to research Lyndon LaRouche and discovered he doesn’t play political party favoritism when it comes to his desire to  impeach presidents (past and present).  Back on November 6, 2006 after watching the then President Bush give a press conference, LaRouche made the following remarks:

“Bush Press Conference shows total denial of reality; impeachment is the only option to save the country.”  LaRouche described President Bush as “crazier than ever” and in a state of “total denial of reality,” on both the Iraq war and the collapsing U.S. real economy. “Both Bush and Cheney have got to be impeached at the earliest possible date. Otherwise the nation has no chance.”

After reading about the specific  issues LaRouche had with former president Bush, I guess that I should not be surprised he  would characterize President Obama as Hitler and call for his immediate impeachment with signs claiming ‘He’s Nuts’.  LaRouche refers to the president’s health care plan as Obama’s Adolf Hitler Memorial Health Bill.

The women took my questions to mean that I was interested in their cause and were only too happy to oblige.  They did ask if I was with the newspaper and I was briefly torn how much to say.  In the end, I did tell them about Community Matters and gave my name when asked.  If I was going to tell the story and use the photos, I felt an obligation to be honest.

So what did I learn from today’s experience . . . I guess I was just surprised.  Surprised that this political organization could set up shop on the lawn of a Federal building.  Surprised that this happened in Tredyffrin Township.  And regardless of political affiliations, I guess  surprised (and distressed) by the defacing of our president’s photo with the addition of a mustache and referring to him as Hitler.

I’ll be thinking about today for a long time . . . .

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  1. This guy LaRouche and his followers are really scarey. I don’t like what’s going on in this country right now but I know that we don’t need someone like LaRouche involved.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    ANON, he is a fringe looney, and we have enough of them right now. Some too close to the seat of power!. It does not do the cause for “change again” much good, but they have a right to their expression too.

    [Reply]

  2. by the way, they did this earlier this summer, the police were called and apparently it is legal. Kind of ironic. But I have to think the Obama administration and its acolytes have precipitated a movement against it, that has a very wide spectrum of detractors. WOW!

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  3. I am not a fan of the President, in fact I think he is doing an awful job. However, flyersfan is mistaken – nothing the President has done has precipitated the LaRouche movement. They have been spewing the same vile crap since at least the first Clinton administration and all the way through both Bush terms.

    I don’t know if these folks are inherently liberal or conservative but I know they are CRAZY! With these guys whomever is President at the time is going to get compared to Hitler.

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    flyersfan Reply:

    I dont think I said the President precipitated the larouche movement. He has been around a long time. And he is wacky. For all I know, he and his followers have protested everyone and everything not associated with them.

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  4. Assuming it is legal to use federal property to protest, the Lyndon LaRouche supporters had every right to express their views. Troubling though it was to see our President’s image defaced and signs characterizing Mr. Obama as “nuts” and worthy of impeachment, LaRouche supporters are no different than the KKK or any other organization pushing an agenda most people find objectionable.

    It was interesting to see the varied reactions to LaRouche signs and literature by the people who typically visit the Southeatern post office. Though some were hostile, spewing expletives from their car windows, others gave a thumbs up sign, – probably not knowing a thing about LaRouche or what he stands for. And a good number of people approached the table set up with literature – probably out of curiosity. (The material , some of it written by LaRouche himself, was nearly unintelligible.)

    BTW, for those who only vaguely remember, the 88 year old LaRouche ran for President back in the 80’s.He is also a rabid anti-semite and homophobe who led a movement to keep all children with HIV out of public schools. He believes forces within our military planned the September 11 event as a coup d’etat, that climate change is a fraud, and a number of other troubling fringe conspiracy theories.

    LaRouche opposes a woman’s right to choose.

    He calls himself an economist and promotes the abolition of the Federal Reserve and the reinstatement of the gold standard.

    On the fringe indeed. But far less dangeous than a few high-profile media nut jobs who propagate lies and engage in a constant attack on our president’s character .

    The question is, will most people do their own thinking and look at their options,or will they be led by demagogues framing false choices?

    I hope and pray that people will give our president more than 19 months to move this country in a better direction. Those of you who voted for George Bush in 2004 were willing to give him a second term to “fix” the wars he started. Faced with the consequences of all of Bush’s bad decisions plus a raft of his own troubles, President Obama deserves more time to right the ship – not two more years of gridlock , partisan rancor and obstructionism.

    [Reply]

    Toshiro Takashi Reply:

    “The question is, will most people do their own thinking and look at their options,or will they be led by demagogues framing false choices?”

    Are you referring to ‘informed’ voters like Peggy Joesph?

    It’s amusing to me that you put forth the notion that the past two years have been filled with “gridlock , partisan rancor and obstructionism”. If only that were the case!

    But then again, what else can you expect from someone who believes that any skepticism of man-made global warming is considered a “troubling fringe conspiracy theory”.

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    And what serious comment can one expect from a cartoon character?

    There is no serious scientific support that refutes climate change.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    u mean global warming? What will the term be next year?
    You mean the climate is changing? Are we aging? Maybe you aren’t, for most that is the change we can believe in

    Toshiro Takashi Reply:

    Cartoon character? I don’t get it.
    But if you must ask, I would say that Smokey the Bear has offered some pretty serious comments over the years. Why don’t we ask Peggy Joesph what she thinks, obviously she is an informed individual who does her own thinking and is not led by demagogues framing false choices.

    By ‘climate change’, are you referring to the natural cycles of our environment that have been effecting the earth’s climate long before humans ever existed and will continue long after we are gone?
    Or are you talking about the Al Gore “Inconvenient Truth” type of climate change hysteria? You know, the kind of fodder that inspired James Jay Lee?

    flyersfan Reply:

    tak

    and don’t forget the “man made over seas disaster” or whatever these loons running our government now call terrorism.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    opposes a womans right to choose…

    Where are the womans groups who should be standing up for the liberty of Iranian women and other Muslim women who are stoned and repressed? NOW? silent. Hiliary CLlinton? Silent. Left coast liberals? silent.

    Kate, have no worries, I and most agree that he is a wack job that is why he is a distraction to the discussion about politics today. Those like me who can’t wait for “change you can believe in”, again are probably not happy that this movement wants the same end, but for entirely different reasons. They are entitled to their opinions, but clearly they are well, a distraction.

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    flyersfan Reply:

    for him to “right the ship” he will have to change course dramatically. The interesting thing is when he gets a Republican House, and maybe Senate, he may do better and that will be reflected in his polling.

    I do like loyalty, though. And you are certainly loyal.

    [Reply]

    Bill L. Reply:

    Really Kate??? Talk about detracting from the conversation… It all leads back to it’s still Pres. Bush Jr’s fault…. 2 years later, it’s all his fault still. And the wars that HE started? Laughable…

    And Gridlock???? It’s been a Democrat President, and a Democrat Congress. Where’s your gridlock???

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    Whatev. Some people never liked Obama , have been very upset since the day he was elected and have found non-stop fault with him and his adminisatration. There is nothing the man could do to change your minds.. So…..you’re one on the 47%. who voted for McCain and “Tina Fey”, and entitiled to your opinion.

    As am I.

    I found the Bush/Cheney years to be the most discouraging time to be an American. Their administration lied us into wars, arranged billion dollar no-bid contracts for their Republican friends and the hope of perpetual war , threw the door wide open to unfettered markets and bad trade deals – while the rest of the country was treading water. From my point of view, the list could go on and on.

    Let’s agree to disagree. Thankfully, it’s one person, one vote in this country. And each of us is free to try to influnece whomever we choose to vote with us.

    [Reply]

    Toshiro Takashi Reply:

    “have been very upset since the day he was elected and have found non-stop fault with him and his administration. There is nothing the man could do to change your minds..”

    Sounds like a pretty good description of the Bush-Hating phenomenon.
    Tell us Kate, did you feel that way about Bush? In your eyes, was he ‘selected’ and not elected? Did you have a 1.20.09 sticker on your car? Did you allow the constant anti-Bush rhetoric spew from the media to influence your opinion of him, or was it already set in stone the day he was sworn in?

    Based on your “Tina Fey” remark, I’d guess that your are exactly the kind of close-minded, win-at-all-costs-regardless-of-the-truth robot that you accuse others of being.

    Have you seen this video?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm1KOBMg1Y8

    Bill L. Reply:

    I love how you still don’t respond to any of the points in my post, but merely deflect and just drive on. Haha.

    So let me address just one of your cited issues in particular Kate:

    ” arranged billion dollar no-bid contracts for their Republican friends and the hope of perpetual war ”

    I’m going to assume you mean contracts such as the KBR and Halliburton ones (because those are two of the names that continually pop up by the uninformed and ignorant anti-war crowds). Despite the fact that they have had contracts with the US Gov and military dating back to pre-Viet Nam. But since the evildoer VP Cheney was in Office, of course it’s an evil Republican conspiracy. And then the Blackwater, et al. security companies. That must be an evil conspiracy to line the pockets of Pres. Bush, VP Cheney supporters. You’re right. And I’m sure the need for all of the Security companies had absolutely nothing to do with the disgustingly massive and and controversial sweeping downsizing enacted by the Clinton Administration. You see, when you reduce your total military strength by almost 50%, and military actions follow, there are going to be shortages. And the only way to fill those shortages in a timeframe of anything less than 4-5 years is by outsourcing. So please go away with all of your evil Bush/Cheney business conspiracy b/s…

  5. This is where the comment applies:
    “It is a very basic rhetorical technique, not very clever and therefore easily learned, to try to win an argument by framing it in a way that admits only one conclusion.”

    No degrees of separation….everything begins and ends with anything that happens being tied to Kampf and Lamina.

    [Reply]

  6. “where is there outrage over this display at the Post Office?”

    I agree, where is Paul Drucker on this? Has he issued any statements regarding this issue? Obviously he has something to hide, right John?

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    President Bush was called everything under the sun. Perhaps I remember him being compared to Hitler and other vial sorts. But who really cares? I mean, sticks and stones, grownups. Stop crying. Consider the source of this and move on with your lives.

    [Reply]

    StyleObserver Reply:

    Why does WK have anything at all to do with this topic? I seriously doubt that Kampf had a problem with your right to speak — just with the fact that you bothered to….I’m guessing he feels about you about the same way you feel about him. No purpose in his being on the planet.

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    Toshiro Takashi Reply:

    Warren’s position is not predicated on Drucker’s position.
    Perhaps if the LaRouche supporters were holding up signs that depicted Kampf as a Nazi, he would speak out.
    Do you see the difference John? Or do you feel that Kampf must spend all of his spare time searching for people who liken others to Hitler and writing press releases condemning those actions.
    The LaRouche people are no doubt wacko nut-bags… as is anyone who would minimize the atrocities of the Holocaust by comparing a political figure to Hitler for the sake of trying to score political points.

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  7. Typical Petersen paranoia! We get a story about 2 pathetic old ladies protesting Obama on behalf an even kookier left wing political leader, and John Petersen has to somehow work it into an attack on Warren Kampf.

    Hey John. . .I thought you would have been out there with the LaRouche supporters because you certainly seem to be one of their kind.

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  8. Pattye: I am kind of surprised that you never heard of the LaRouche supporters.

    Old Lyndon has been around for over 40 years. Back in the ’80s, he used to run for President on the Democratic ticket and would sometimes run 1/2 long commercials on the major networks.

    Also, his followers have been on street corners for years peddling their kooky beliefs. Some of his most off the wall ones (no joke): Quenn Elizabeth II is a Coke Dealer; Al Gore wants to bring back the Confederacy; and, Henery Kissinger is a gay despot.

    As for protesting on USPS property: They are permitted to stand on the property but cannot be in the building nor can they block access to the building. They also are not permitted to place signs, chairs or table on the ground (signs can be held, however). Check the CFR governing the USPS. Your photos appear to show them violating that rule, but it is an obscure provision and the Postmaster probably did not know about it.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    I did say that I had heard of LaRouche — but said that it was a long time ago and I didn’t know that he was still around. Yes, there were tables, chairs and signs on the ground but the women maintained that it was ‘private’ property which the PO leased and therefore it was OK. They did say that they couldn’t be right next to the door handing out literature or soliciting for names. So . . . the parking lot seperated them from the PO building so not sure how that comes out with the rules.

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  9. Toshiro Takashi,

    It’s hard to address with any seriousness someone whose chosen blog name hung around with Booger on Revenge of the Nerds….the same guy (Brian Tochi) who did the voice of my favorite teen-age mutant ninja turtle, Leonardo.

    Based on my Tina Fey remark, you can make all those assumptions about me? Amazing! And pretty ridiculous.

    I respect your right to spew invective, believe whatever you wish and vote for those who “share your values”. I ask that you respect my somewhat more civilized comments.

    I plan to continue making judgments based on facts, the personal integriy of candidates and office holders, and my beliefs about the role of government.

    [Reply]

  10. I guess it is a fact that Tina Fey looks like Sarah Palin. You should be so lucky!! But what relevance to the discussion? It tells about your level of invective. So be it.

    [Reply]

    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    An interesting opinion piece in today’s WSJ by Arthur Brooks and Rep. Paul Ryan, “The Size of Government and the Choice This Fall”, presents the alternative viewpoints well…

    [Reply]

    Ray Clarke Reply:

    Economic systems are so complex that I’m reluctant to wade in here, but I have to say that it’s hard to give much credibility to an article that poses the choices as: ” a free enterprise society with a solid but limited safety net, or a cradle-to-grave, redistributive welfare state”. I think that even Kate would vote for the former!

    It seems to be accepted that there is a sweet spot for government spending. Perhaps one of those dreaded European socialist countries like Germany with its current higher GDP growth and lower unemployment but government spending at ~40% of GDP has it more right than the US at ~35% of GDP? Maybe part of the difference is accounted for by less spending on healthcare consumption and overhead and more spending on productive investment?

    Those government spending percentages may be higher now, especially for the US, but is there any real question that it was right for the Fed and the US Government to step in to counter the sudden private sector deleveraging and expenditure reduction, which unabated surely would have caused even more social dislocation than we have now?

    Just a reminder: the US government spending percentage decreased fairly consistently through the 1990’s and then just as consistently increased under the last administration.

    It may indeed be that a consumption-related taxes (what a European socialist idea!) are more efficient than direct income taxes. However, the income disparities between the top and bottom quartiles in our society seem so large that Kate’s “class warfare” would indeed be likely.

    Clearly the country’s finances have to be got back in order. My thoughts on components of the solution:
    – Scale back cost-of-living increases for social security, but maybe don’t be too ready to increase the retirement age. Active volunteers can do a lot for society.
    – Keep working to fix a healthcare system that incents providers and consumers (for different reasons) to over-utilize and adds a 30% overhead
    – Carry through with the high rate tax expirations on which Obama was elected
    – Reduce some of the seemingly cast-in-stone public sector retiree entitlements: pension rate calculations, healthcare benefits

    FWIW.

    [Reply]

    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    Ray, 40% of GDP for government is still too high! Germany is doing better than the rest of Europe, which is a disaster, because they “got religion”, in terms of austerity. From today’s excellent WSJ article describing our challenge, “A Nation of Entitlements” – “Germany slashed benefits for the long-term unemployed in 2004, a step that analysts credit with prompting more Germans to get jobs as well as improving the country’s budget balance.” And please, no VAT – talk about regressive.

    Ray Clarke Reply:

    I brought up the consumption tax issue based on this comment from Kate:

    “Congressman Paul Ryan’s Roadmap was hyperbole. However, as a serious plan, it has one gigantic flaw : it falls a trifling $4 trillion short on the revenue side over a 10 year period.

    Why? Because it assumes much lower tax rates for the wealthy and proposes to shift to a consumption tax, which would fall disproportionately on the middle
    class and working poor.”

    Is that the same Paul Ryan you reference? Is that in fact his plan?

    I have stated here before that any steps to subsidize something inevitably create more of it – case in point: unemployment.

  11. Mike,

    Read an equally thought-provoking piece by Prof. Paul Krugman on the NY Times’s Aug. 5 Op-Ed page.

    The Nobel-Prize winning economist calls Ryan
    ” a flimflam man who’s serving up leftovers from the 1990’s”.

    Krugman cites an estimate by the Tax Policy Center that Ryan’s “Roadmap” would not only make steep cuts in government entitlement programs, it would reduce revenue by $4 trillion over the next decade, resulting in an estimated $1.3 trillion deficit..

    Thus the “Roadmap” would not reduce the deficit but WOULD involve cutting benefits for the middle class while slashing taxes on the rich – giving the top 1 % 117% of his plans’ total tax cuts.

    You read correctly. . More than 100% because iRyan’s plan would raise taxes for 95% of the population.

    The Ryan Plan is a fraud masquerading as serious fiscal plan. Everyone needs to do their own homework.

    [Reply]

    Hockeypuck1987 Reply:

    Paul Krugman? You have got to be kidding. Keep reading the times for all your information

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    Your comment is a prime example of the gaping political divide in this country. The NY Times is certainly one of the premier newspapers in this country and probably in the world.. As a former New York area resident, I have read this paper all of my life – along with good newspapers from all over the country, to which I subscribe online. I also read Newsweek, a number of business magazines and blogs. I look for different sources of information.

    How about you?

    BTW, Paul Krugman is a gem – a view shared by many, I’m sure. You just don’t want to hear what he has to say, but his accomplishments are unassailable.

    [Reply]

    Toshiro Takashi Reply:

    Kate,

    I love how you accuse Hockeypuck of being a prime example of the gaping political divide, while nearly every post you write is constructed of left-wing talking points focused on bashing the republicans!

    ‘Darth Cheney’ – Which informative magazine/paper did you pick that name up on? Newsweek? lol

    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    Again, Kate, I would be interested in your thoughts on the question the authors pose re the size of government.

    Otherwise, continue to use this thread wringing your hands over the “gaping political divide”, while repeating Paul Krugman’s opinions as fact and personally attacking Bush, Cheney, Palin, Giuliani, Ryan and most of the posters here.

  12. I’ll get to Krugman, but the the authors’ point is to clearly define the framework for the current debate over the role of government, as it is fundamental to the differences among the political parties. How big should government be and what are we willing to pay for(and borrow for)? By its nature, the question is not partisan. “”Overall, would you prefer larger government with more services and higher taxes, or smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes?”

    Just as at the federal level, we face the same question in Tredyffrin Township. Over time, programs or projects that might be worthwhile individually, together can add up to a government that’s larger and more expensive than the voters want to support. In this vein, especially in 2009, Township staff and the Supervisors made some difficult and unpopular, but in my opinion, necessary choices.

    TBO – thank you for the link! Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in Economics specifically “for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity” – that does not make him an expert on all things economic, as confirmed by many of his ideas. Many economists were very upset with the award as he has not done substantive economic research in more than a decade and his NY Times columns and media appearances clearly reveal an undisguised political agenda. His blog is titled “The Conscience of a Liberal” . For example, of his recent suggestion to impose a 25% tariff on Chinese goods, likely starting a global trade war, the Telegraph says “sometimes the cleverest of people can also be the most stupid”.

    He also is also known to play fast and loose with the facts. For example, The NYT instituted a “Krugman Truth Squad”. Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent wrote in 2005, “Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes”. Further, recently, he was reminded by Andrew Ross Sorkin, also of the Times, of his urging to nationalize the US banks in 2009 – Krugman denied it despite the clear written record. Hardly an objective, credible voice on Ryan’s plan.

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    A thoughtful, reasoned response, Mike. Thank you. . I think we can agree that even well-respected economists and Nobel Prize winners have political bents which inform and impact their opinions. That makes them no less credible than their right-leaning counterparts who worship at the altar of Milton Friedman.

    I sense an unshakable sense of correctness among some commenters – as if they possess a deeper understanding of economic issues and therefore stand on more solid ground. Meanwhile, I’m just regurgitating empty left-wing talking points from pointy heads like Paul Krugman. You really know how to flatter a person.

    Really, it’s no fun to dialogue with with you guys. You already know all the answers. Perhaps Krugman’s use of the word “fraud” when assessing Congressman Paul Ryan’s Roadmap was hyperbole. However, as a serious plan, it has one gigantic flaw : it falls a trifling $4 trillion short on the revenue side over a 10 year period.

    Why? Because it assumes much lower tax rates for the wealthy and proposes to shift to a consumption tax, which would fall disproportionately on the middle
    class and working poor. And don’t forget the deep, deep cuts in entitlement programs that will lower the quality of millions of American lives.

    Would Ryan’s plan trigger class warfare? Without a doubt.

    The basis for the “divide” is a fundamental disagreement over the fairness of progressive taxation. The Republican Partyy is totally devoted to sheltering as much individual and corporate income from taxation as they possibly can without awakening the masses to a second Gilded Age and triggering a revolution..

    Clearly, deficit reduction needs to be seriously addressed, but it has been high as a percentage of GDP before, and a healthy economy has always served as the best antidote. That’s what President Obama is inching toaward now. Unlike Republicans, he’d like to “float all boats”, just as Bill Clinton did, creating 20 million jobs over 8 years (vs. George W. Bush’s anemic 1.5-2 million jobs created during that time period.)

    Don’t any of you deficit hawks ask yourselves (in private) why this topic was of no real concern over most of the last 10 years – especially when defense spending for questionable wars was going through the roof ? I distinctly remember V. P. Cheney waving his hand dismissively and declaring that even long-term deificts don’t matter.

    What is the right size for government? Is compromise even possible, or will it remain a pitched battle? I think it will depend on whether regular people become engaged enough to demand that their elected representatives stop the charade and get down to work..

    [Reply]

    Mike in Berwyn Reply:

    A few thoughts, Kate:

    – I have not studied the Ryan plan closely, so I cannot specifically comment on all of its element .

    – You say, “The basis for the “divide” is a fundamental disagreement over the fairness of progressive taxation.” Yes, the essence of the discussion on the revenue side. We HAVE progressive income taxation – it’s a matter of degrees. Those in favor of raising taxes in 2011 clearly state that “those with incomes over $250,000 are not paying their fair share”. Isn’t that class warfare? A married couple with Taxable income of $250,000 will pay about $53,000 in Federal income tax – of course, they will also pay almost $8,000 in PA income tax, about $9000 in Social Security, plus real estate taxes, sales taxes, local income taxes, and assorted other taxes. In 2011, their Federal tax would increase by about $8000 to roughly $61,000. Remember, this group (about 2% of filers) already pays well over 40% of all of Federal Income tax. Almost 50% of all filers pay $0 in Federal tax.

    – The “questionable wars” line is well worn. In my view, the single most important thing the Federal government does is protect us. To the extent our military has heroically protected our country from attack for more than 9 years, knock on wood, every penny spent has been worth it. I don’t know if we would have been attacked, absent the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and neither does any body else.

    – You ask, “What is the right size for government?” In my view, a good bit smaller than it is now – as Brooks and Ryan point out, while any one program may seem harmless, the accumulation of many is corrosive and undermines many citizens’ faith in the role of government.

    – Clinton had the good fortune to be in office during the technology boom. Just because two things happen at the same time, doesn’t mean one caused the other. Just the same, his move to the center after the ’94 Republican sweep did create a more pro-growth environment – Mr. Obama could learn from that period.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    Mike I could not have said it better myself. But ideology/hysteria trumps reason, logic and compromise.

    The country is changing again. They will be screaming and hollering…

  13. In response to Bill L’s 9/14 post:

    I’m neither anti-war nor ignorant, buddy. And you are perpetuating an old right-wing talking point repeated over and over by the discredited liar, Rudy Giuliani.

    In fact, much of the military downsizing that took place happened under George H. W. Bush.
    In 1989., the military stood at 2,130,229 . Over the next four years it was reduced by 20%,.At the time Secretary of Defense Darth Cheney bragged openly about “the peace dividend” – presumably the result of Bush 1’s invasion of Iraq.

    Guiliani’s talking point was that the army was downsized from 725,000 to 500,000. That was true EXCEPT it was already down to 572,000 when Clinton took office.

    Get your facts straight, Bud, and stop calling people ignorant.

    See factcheck.org.

    [Reply]

    Bill L. Reply:

    Really? You cite Factcheck? What’s next, MediaMatters? lol Plus, it is well known by most of the world, including most Democrats, that the New York Times is a Left-leaning newspaper. No matter how “esteemed” you believe it to be. It does have a bias.

    Under Pres. Clinton, Active Forces went from 1.8 million to 1.4 million, Fact. I guess that the early retirements being offered/forced when I retired (on time, thankfully) were my imagination. Guys with 15 years being made to retire. Being forced to cancel excerices and trainings for “Government Closure days” because the Government didn’t have any money to operate that day were a part of my imagination. These are facts. These are things that did happen and I witnessed firsthand. So YES, that is ignorance. Ignorance of military. Ignorance of politics and how political decisions affect world affairs. Pres. Bush Sr. did cut the Troops from 2.2 to 1.8. But the true “hamstringing” was done upon Pres. Clinton’s decision to downsize even further. Well, that and the fact that he failed to show any kind of strength in the face of adversity (i.e. Somalia, NYC bombings ’93, multiple US Embassy bombings during his term, the list goes on and on… Pres. Clinton did more to demoralize our military then anybody I had ever seen. Even Pres. Carter…

    ig·no·rant/ˈignərənt/Adjective
    1. Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
    2. Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular: “ignorant of astronomy”.

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