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Itís Time to Focus on Income Inequality in the United States
Flopping Aces ^ | 08-29-12 | Brother Bob

Posted on 08/29/2012 9:43:39 AM PDT by Starman417

The selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate sent a powerful message - that the economy will be the key issue of this election. As I go back and forth arguing with my lefty pals we naturally disagree over what ails our economy. Their arguments are that we're not doing enough to tax the wealthy and put it in the hands of our government to spread the wealth around and get our economy moving again. I always point out things like our trillion dollar debt, looming entitlements collapse, ever increasing regulation, and continuous threats of higher taxes from an economically illiterate president that are hurting our economy. The more I think about it though, they have a point - in the US the wealth concentration has become a serious problem and trickle down economics aren't working.

First off, I immediately separate from the leftists on the issue of wealth concentration. They are more concerned about the concept of the 1% - a group whose membership always changes and statistically must always exist. "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" argument is bunk, as we're enjoying higher living standards today than at any time in history, and that is across our society. Here is an illustration of how growing income inequality is not necessarily a problem:

You're living on your own for the first time, and money is tight. So you find a guy with a room to rent in his house (who we'll call Bob) and you go to live with your new roommate. Bob has far more money than you do and knows this, and it turns out you are both huge pizza fans. Knowing that you're strapped for cash when you two decide to order a pizza you decide to share a seven inch pie, and he pays for most of it. In fact, he pays for the whole pie and asks that you only tip the delivery driver. The pizza is not distributed equally, as Bob has a massive appetite for pizza. He eats six of the slices and you only get two, but for tip money this is a good deal. Then one day a breakthrough technology in pizza ovens hits and your local pizza shop can now sell you an 18 inch pizza for what a seven inch pie had cost, and you both eagerly jump on the deal. Of course, Bob is disproportionately benefiting from this deal, but he is still paying the bulk of your tab. Now you have two choices - are you happy that you are now enjoying more pizza than you did before or do you resent that fact that there is a growing gap in pizza distribution in your household?

I'm not as concerned about who the wealth gets distributed to as where the wealth is getting distributed geographically. Where our country's money is flowing should tell you where the most productive parts of our country are, right? So I looked at the top fifteen counties for household income in the United States, and nine or ten of them are all in the metropolitan are of one city. And what is this city's chief industry and it's contribution to our economy? High tech? Auto manufacturing? Mining? Gas drilling? Farming? Nope, this place's top industry is... government. Of course I am talking about Washington, DC, the city that's chief contribution to society is taking wealth from the rest of the country and redistributing it (after getting its cut) and providing us with rules to curb economic expansion.

(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics
KEYWORDS: income; taxes; wealth

1 posted on 08/29/2012 9:43:46 AM PDT by Starman417
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To: Starman417

Two ways to do this:

The Ryan way of pulling lower ladder up or the Obama way of dragging higher ladder down.

Which do you think is better?


2 posted on 08/29/2012 9:50:14 AM PDT by bestintxas (Somewhere in Kenya, a Village is missing its Idiot, thankfully.)
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To: Starman417

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.

I read that somewhere..........


3 posted on 08/29/2012 9:51:14 AM PDT by Red Badger (Anyone who thinks wisdom comes with age is either too young or too stupid to know the difference....)
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To: bestintxas

“They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.” - USSR


4 posted on 08/29/2012 9:52:02 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Starman417
in the US the wealth concentration has become a serious problem and trickle down economics aren't working.

1) Limiting consumption of the rich would result in the destruction of incentives to accumulate and maintain capital and to improve and maintain production.Losses in terms of innovation and the growth of major new industries would be substantial.

2) Limiting income of the rich would result in the decumulation of capital.

3 Limiting wealth of the rich by seizure and confiscation is an assault on private property rights and an assault on the improvement of productivity of labor and economic progress

5 posted on 08/29/2012 9:52:50 AM PDT by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: Starman417
While the article makes a good point about wealth being concentrated in government, the initial arguments were both wrong. It's neither the entitlements nor the concentration of wealth that ails our economy. It's the international competition for trade where we have lowered our import tariffs in the last 30 years from the traditional 15% to 1%.

Our jobs and industries are fleeing overseas to cheaper labor and will continue until our standard of living approaches theirs or we reverse course and protect our market and industry with the protective tariffs that our founding fathers thought wise.

6 posted on 08/29/2012 9:53:25 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Starman417

When I sold real estate back in the early 80’s I learned that “the rich” are a fairly transient group. It seemed that the more money someone made, the harder it was to remain at a particular income level. The houses in upper income neighborhoods seemed to come up for sale more because the once rich owner had a turn of events that made him not rich.

But in a neighborhood of people with 9-5 jobs, stability is the order of the day, relatively speaking, barring periods of huge layoffs.

There is risk at the top. It is real. It’s why so many don’t go for the brass ring and are relatively happy in the cubical farm or factory floor.


7 posted on 08/29/2012 9:54:22 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: bestintxas

Neither see post 6.

Obama does drag the ladder down, but Ryan doesn’t pull the lower ladder up, he simply cuts the lower ladder’s support and lets it die.

Neither is doing anything to improve the economy.
Obama is actively suppressing the economy while hoping to redistribute wealth.

Ryan simply cuts entitlements and safety nets and hopes that alone will be sufficient to restore the economy.

They are all idiots!!!!


8 posted on 08/29/2012 9:57:18 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Starman417
As long as there is an equality of opportunity in this country (and the US has THAT in spades) it is your own call as to how much money you want to make.
9 posted on 08/29/2012 9:58:01 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: Starman417

Income inequality is a great thing.
Without it there is no incentive to better yourself.


10 posted on 08/29/2012 10:00:52 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (The First Amendment is a large caliber weapon. USE IT !!!)
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To: Starman417

The ONLY way to have income equality is to assure that everyone is poor.


11 posted on 08/29/2012 10:01:02 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: DannyTN

It is not a safety net any more. It has become a hammock and its time to cut it down.

The simple fact is that we’ve run out of money. We can’t keep paying people to simply exist.


12 posted on 08/29/2012 10:04:46 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: bestintxas
The Ryan way of pulling lower ladder up or the Obama way of dragging higher ladder down.

We will always have poor people however when the rich get richer the poor get richer along with them.

Once we stop pitting social class against social class, we can let freedom make us all richer.

As long as politicians control the strings we will have richer politicians and less freedom thus all will be poorer in the long run.

13 posted on 08/29/2012 10:07:08 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: Little Ray
"The simple fact is that we’ve run out of money. We can’t keep paying people to simply exist.'

The reason we are out of money is that our government has taken steps that has destroyed our economy. Letting people die is not the answer. Cutting off their support without first restoring the economy so that they can get jobs is not the answer.

Neither candidate has a clue.

Restore the economy and government revenues will rise and government outlays will fall. That's the main thing you need to do to fix the budget and neither candidate is talking about it.

14 posted on 08/29/2012 10:26:03 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: EGPWS
Our founding fathers understood freedom quite well. The first thing they did is to put protective tariffs in place to help American industry grow.

We have left our market wide open to attack for the last 30 years and our economy is reflecting the damage done.

15 posted on 08/29/2012 10:27:50 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

Right.
And you don’t think the entitlement hammock is part of what is hurting the economy?


16 posted on 08/29/2012 10:34:41 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Starman417

It is not “income inequality.” It is economic diversity. And this kind of diversity really is a positive thing.


17 posted on 08/29/2012 10:36:51 AM PDT by MissNomer
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To: DannyTN
Restore the economy and government revenues will rise and government outlays will fall. That's the main thing you need to do to fix the budget and neither candidate is talking about it.

The only way to restore the economy is to cut back on government. Spending, rules, regularions etc, all government interference in business needs to end before teh economy will really take off.

People with the money are NOT going to invest it when they can lose their entire investment at the whim of some petty bureaucrat.

The absolute best thing we can do for the "poor" is to cut entitlement spending. The work is out there, they just refuse to do it. (someone's got to be paid for sweeping those floors etc. There is something for everyone)

18 posted on 08/29/2012 10:40:56 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: Starman417

The War on Poverty has been won. Poverty has been outlawed (minimum wage, zoning laws, etc), and anyone unable to achieve a minimum standard of living some 20x the world median income will be handed enough to.

So that’s over.

But those who rely on such “wars” need a new one to replace that one - hence the War on Wealth (aka Income Disparity).


19 posted on 08/29/2012 10:42:00 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: Starman417

“lefty pals”

Right there is his biggest mistake>

There is no such thing as a “lefty pal”. There is ONLY “lefty enemy”.


20 posted on 08/29/2012 10:54:13 AM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (I wanna start a Seniors' Motor Scooter Gang. Wanna join?)
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To: John O
"The only way to restore the economy is to cut back on government. Spending, rules, regularions etc, all government interference in business needs to end before teh economy will really take off."

You can end all taxes and all regulations and we still won't be able to compete with Communist China's $2/day wages until we've lowered our own standard of living that far.

Taking advantage of cheap overseas labor only makes sense when you are at full employment.

"People with the money are NOT going to invest it when they can lose their entire investment at the whim of some petty bureaucrat."

They aren't going to invest here where they have to pay high wages, when they can invest overseas and sell their products cheaper to our markets. We need protective tariffs like our founding fathers put in place.

"The absolute best thing we can do for the "poor" is to cut entitlement spending. The work is out there, they just refuse to do it. (someone's got to be paid for sweeping those floors etc. There is something for everyone)"

There is not that much work out there. Even some Mexicans are going home because there are no jobs. You are delusional if you think 25% of Americans are sitting around on their ass because they are lazy. We have wrecked the economy with unwise policies and neither candidate has a clue what we did or how to reverse it.

Neither is talking about reducing the labor supply by closing the border and deporting illegals and reducing H1b's.

People respond to ads and are competing against several hundred other candidates. They respond to hundreds of ads and get no response because there is that much competition.

21 posted on 08/29/2012 10:55:58 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN
"Our jobs and industries are fleeing overseas to cheaper labor and will continue until our standard of living approaches theirs or we reverse course, by destroying the unions, and protect our market and industry with the protective tariffs that our founding fathers thought wise.
22 posted on 08/29/2012 11:00:10 AM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (I wanna start a Seniors' Motor Scooter Gang. Wanna join?)
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To: cuban leaf

I’ve worked in the richest neighborhoods where I live. In the most luxurious homes most of the rooms were bare...empty...no furniture...devoid of life. Also, the air conditioners were set to 85 degrees. One could break-out in a sweat while sitting idle. People living beyond their means.

It adds creedence to what you say.


23 posted on 08/29/2012 11:06:06 AM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (I wanna start a Seniors' Motor Scooter Gang. Wanna join?)
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To: DannyTN

“Ryan simply cuts entitlements and safety nets and hopes that alone will be sufficient to restore the economy.”

I’m not an economist so that I have no idea if Ryan’s plan will restore the economy. However, the 100% cutting of welfare and freebies is an excellent idea and should have been implemented “yesterday”.

I don’t even like the word, “entitlements”. In my opinion no one...NO ONE is entitled to anything at all.


24 posted on 08/29/2012 11:10:12 AM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (I wanna start a Seniors' Motor Scooter Gang. Wanna join?)
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To: spel_grammer_an_punct_polise
"In my opinion no one...NO ONE is entitled to anything at all."

So if you pay insurance premiums for years, you're not entitled to the benefits you paid for?

And if government is the one that sells you that insurance, are you not entitled to it?

Medicare, Social Security, and Unemployment are just that. People paid premiums and are entitled to the benefits they paid for.

Now what about orphans? Orphans have always been a state responsibility in western civilizations since at least the 1500's. They certainly were during colonial times, although it was handled at the local and state level not the federal level. Are you going to cut state support for orphans too?

25 posted on 08/29/2012 11:20:07 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN
Letting people die is not the answer.

Who do you think will be dying?

26 posted on 08/29/2012 11:20:50 AM PDT by MEGoody (You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: MEGoody
"Who do you think will be dying?"

I think people will be literally starving, if you don't fix the economy but you cut out all the safety nets.

And you'll have a revolt on your hands that may give us something far worse than Obama and may keep conservatives out of government for a very long time.

27 posted on 08/29/2012 11:26:09 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

“So if you pay insurance premiums for years, you’re not entitled to the benefits you paid for?”

1. ) If something is paid for then it is not an “entitlement”. It is something earned.

“And if government is the one that sells you that insurance, are you not entitled to it?”

See Answer 1. )

“Social Security”

See answer 1. )

“Unemployment benefits”

See Answer 1. ) but only to the extent of the amount that one paid into it. If one paid $1,000 into those benefits then one should get $1,000 and not a penny more. Extensions of unemployment benefits should cease immediately, period. No entity can pay for something with money that that entity doesn’t have.

As a matter-of-fact, see Answer 1. ) for all you have said except “orphans”. The issue of orphans should be returned to the states/local gov’t.

It seems that there is an issue of semantics between the two of us.

The left has changed the word “welfare” to “entitlements”. You never hear anyone use the word, “welfare” anymore, thanks to the left and the spineless repubs who went along with the change. I am against welfare, in other words, freebies to lazy b_______ who simply don’t want to work, period.

That’s my issue.

I want to strike the word “entitlements” from politics and reinstitute the word, “welfare”.


28 posted on 08/29/2012 11:38:57 AM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (I wanna start a Seniors' Motor Scooter Gang. Wanna join?)
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To: DannyTN
"In my opinion no one...NO ONE is entitled to anything at all."

So if you pay insurance premiums for years, you're not entitled to the benefits you paid for?

And if government is the one that sells you that insurance, are you not entitled to it?

Medicare, Social Security, and Unemployment are just that. People paid premiums and are entitled to the benefits they paid for.

We're talking apples and oranges here.

A benefit that you've contracted for (and paid for in some form) is not an "entitlement" but rather a "benefit". People who don't buy life insurance aren't entitled to receive any benefit from any life insurance company. People who have paid into Social Security or Unemployment Insurance can draw those benefits. Those who haven't, can't.

An "entitlement", on the other hand, is an unearned benefit that's based only on the recipient's need for it. People can draw welfare, food stamps, etc without the requirement to have ever contributed a dime to earn those benefits. They're entitled to them because they need them, not because they've earned them.

29 posted on 08/29/2012 11:41:02 AM PDT by Bob
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To: spel_grammer_an_punct_polise; Bob
Okay if you want to play the semantics game.

Take Medicare and Social Security off the table as well as most of Social Security disability, that's an insurance benefit too. What's left?

Medicaid and Food Stamps. Less than 10% of the Federal Budget.

Cut that 10% out completely and what have you accomplished?

You haven't solved the budget problem. You certainly haven't solved the structural issues in the economy.

But you will have created enormous ill will towards Republicans and Conservatives. And you will probably have incurred the Almighty's wrath who repeatedly warned kings to consider the cause of the poor and needy.

30 posted on 08/29/2012 11:50:31 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: spel_grammer_an_punct_polise

Man, that is amazing. Things are often not what they appear to be.


31 posted on 08/29/2012 12:03:44 PM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: DannyTN

But you may also have created a will and motivation for some people to actually work to better themselves. And I continue to be dismayed by the duplication of many of these programs (along with legitimate charity). How many meals a day do we have to provide to the children who get 2 or 3 free meals a day at school, year-round, plus sending food home with them on weekends - AND - they get food stamps every month, which are not adjusted for the freebies coming in? How much in school supplies do we have to provide if they are already paid for by our tax dollars, and then collected by charities to give to these same students? How much health care do we pay for, when they have “free clinics” at the schools, and the people are also on Medicaid?

I don’t mind helping the truly needy, once, but I find it offensive that some of these “benefits” overlap so much and are so vulnerable for corruption, that many of those who receive some of these benefits (free cell phones, subsidized rents, financial assistance with utilities, etc., etc.) have a standard of living that many hard-working, tax-paying Americans cannot afford.


32 posted on 08/29/2012 12:09:42 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: NEMDF
"I don’t mind helping the truly needy, once, but I find it offensive that some of these “benefits” overlap so much and are so vulnerable for corruption"

I agree with that. But the solution there is to manage the programs well, run audits and sting operations and to put all such benefits under one department and enumerate the benefits for each recipient so such overlap can be identified and corrected.

But poor management is not an excuse to shirk your duties completely. We (the electorate) need to put people in charge that can manage right.

I'll never stand for killing the programs or arbitrary cuts. Reengineering to prevent fraud is fine.

And still even with the fraud, it's not where our focus needs to be. Our focus needs to be on creating jobs so people can get off the welfare roles completely. Neither candidate is focused on that.

33 posted on 08/29/2012 12:16:34 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

The first thing that I said to you in the very first line is that I am not an economist and don’t know if Ryan’s plan would solve anything. All I said was that “welfare” should be off of the table, period...because I am simply tired of the feds taking...just TAKING my money to GIVE it to, at their discretion, anyone THEY so choose.

The budget problem/deficit problem can be solved only by eliminating MANY whole fed depts/agencies and jobs, from the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches.

Taxation WITH representation hasn’t worked out so well, either, has it?


34 posted on 08/29/2012 12:48:11 PM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (I wanna start a Seniors' Motor Scooter Gang. Wanna join?)
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To: DannyTN

“But the solution there is to manage the programs well, run audits and sting operations and to put all such benefits under one department and enumerate the benefits for each recipient so such overlap can be identified and corrected.”

Are you kidding me? Ever seen a govt program run like that?

I’ll give you some real meat: try someone like the Catholic Church or Salvation Army to dispense what amounts to “charity” instead of the govt.

Guess what? IT WORKS. Little overhead to speak of, and those receiving are vetted by those giving out far far better than a govt bureacrat who does not care.

You leave all this to the govt and think you can get efficiency, then you are in lala land


35 posted on 08/29/2012 6:26:11 PM PDT by bestintxas (Somewhere in Kenya, a Village is missing its Idiot, thankfully.)
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To: DannyTN
But the solution there is to manage the programs well, run audits and sting operations and to put all such benefits under one department and enumerate the benefits for each recipient so such overlap can be identified and corrected.

The federal government is not able to manage anything well. Esepcially something that it has no authority to do in the first place. Welfare is NOT a constitutional program.

But poor management is not an excuse to shirk your duties completely. We (the electorate) need to put people in charge that can manage right.

Show me were the "duty" is imposed to steal some people's money and give it to othes? It's definitely not in teh constitution. The bible tells us to support the widows and the orphans. Doesn't say a word about those who won't work (oops, sorry, yes it does, It says that he who doesn't work shouldn't eat). The bibel NEVER tells us to steal money from someone else to give to the widows and orphans.

There is no collective duty to provide welfare. None whatsoever.

I'll never stand for killing the programs or arbitrary cuts.

Then you are part of the problem.

Reengineering to prevent fraud is fine.

Reengineering something that should not even exists still leaves you with the same exact problem. It should not exist!

And still even with the fraud, it's not where our focus needs to be. Our focus needs to be on creating jobs so people can get off the welfare roles completely. Neither candidate is focused on that.

So how do you create jobs? get rid of government interference in teh marketplace. Cut taxes, cut spending. It has worked every single time it has been used.

The prevailing wages in other countries are immaterial. The productivity of the american worker outweighs the slave labor used elsewhere. Especially since labor costs are a small part of most items. Government regulation costs are higher than labor costs. Get rid of the governemnet interference (and forced unionism) and the jobs come back. Low government cost states with right to work laws see much better economic expansion than socialist states.

36 posted on 08/30/2012 5:36:59 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: DannyTN

Shove your entitlements and saftey nets up your backside!!!

Make your own way in this world or quit taking up space on this planet!!!


37 posted on 08/30/2012 5:51:26 AM PDT by dalereed
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To: dalereed; John O
Jer 22:15 Shalt thou reign, because thou closest [thyself] in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, [and] then [it was] well with him? Jer 22:16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then [it was] well [with him: was] not this to know me? saith the LORD.
38 posted on 08/30/2012 8:13:22 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: dalereed
"Make your own way in this world or quit taking up space on this planet!!!"

I pay plenty of taxes. And I'm willing to pay more if necessary if it means that we don't shirk our responsibility to the poor.

But I don't think that's necessary. I think if we first fix the economy, we won't have as many people depending on safety nets. And there are plenty of areas to cut without cutting the safety nets, or the entitlements or the benefits.

39 posted on 08/30/2012 8:16:24 AM PDT by DannyTN
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