ObamaCare and the Constitution

Lance McMillian's picture

The Framers of the Constitution created a federal government of limited, enumerated powers. In the words of James Madison, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Throughout the country, federal courts are presently considering whether this original design has any remaining viability. The question before these courts asks: Is Obamacare constitutional?

Regulation of economic transactions, of course, is unremarkable, and Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the power “to regulate Commerce ... among the several States.”

Obamacare, however, goes far beyond garden-variety regulation. The law’s centerpiece, the much-maligned individual mandate, compels every American – at the risk of criminal penalties – to purchase health insurance from an insurance company. And therein lies the rub.

It is one thing to regulate all those who choose to engage in an economic activity; it is another thing entirely to force an individual to engage in a particular economic activity in the first place against that person’s will.

Such a shift dramatically alters the nature of congressional power under Article I. The power to regulate something already in existence becomes the power to compel something into existence.

Even the laws we typically conceptualize as mandatory are different than the individual mandate in critical respects. Yes, everyone must pay taxes, but only if they choose to earn an income. Yes, everyone must buy auto insurance, but only if they choose to drive. Yes, criminal law details a whole host of things we cannot do, but it does not say that there are things we have to do.

Obamacare, on the other hand, directs this: Simply by being alive, each of us must do business with an insurance company. This total deprivation of choice is unprecedented in American law and constitutes a form of coercion that poses a significant threat to individual liberty.

Allowing the federal government to exercise this type of unconstrained power removes any pretense that the Constitution limits the reach of Congress in any real way. Words have meaning, and danger looms for all Americans when politicians and judges cast aside the plain meaning of words for short-term, partisan ends.

If the text of the Constitution can blithely be ignored in this way, then it follows that placing faith in that document to safeguard our civil liberties is a grave miscalculation. Our rights devolve to only those that the Supreme Court allows us to have. When this happens, the rule of law gives way to the shifting rule of five-justice majorities on the Court.

And that brings us back to Obamacare. The highly politicized manner that accompanied its passage likely dooms any effort to reach consensus on its constitutionality as the merits of the law have long ceased to matter.

Still, there is hope. Despite the many differences between liberals and conservatives, the two sides do share a distrust of government overreach that sometimes – albeit all too infrequently – overlaps. Perhaps the vast tentacles of Obamacare can awaken this common fear to produce an unexpected unity.

The chief discomforts with the new healthcare law need not – and indeed, will not – be the same. For the conservative, allowing Obamacare to stand would remove any constitutional constraint on centralized regulation as well as obliterating any pretense of state autonomy.

For the liberal, permitting government the power to mandate that every person enter into a contractual relationship with insurance companies gives enormous power to big business at the expense of individuals, especially those presently without insurance on the lower end of the economic ladder.

While the sources of uneasiness in these respective critiques differ and reflect the competing ideological concerns in the liberal and conservative worldviews, both analyses reach the same conclusion: this law goes too far.

The Constitution ultimately protects all of us from the strong hand of government. While we may disagree over the exact contours of these constitutional safeguards, Americans of all political stripes agree that (a) there should be meaningful limits on government and (b) the Constitution should supply these limits.

The individual mandate, however, mocks both of these baseline premises. A federal government that can force its citizens to engage in particular activities is a government unrestrained by the words of the Constitution. Power and politics – not the rule of law – become the order of the day.

Lance McMillian is a Fayette County resident and law professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.]

PTC Observer
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kchiefandy - Obama's auntie

Why should this surprise anyone? Mr. Obama wants everyone on the dole and he's working hard to put us all there.

After all how do you get re-elected unless you have a large dependent population waiting in line for a helping hand?

kcchiefandy
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This was one main reason...

...I didn't vote for him, as I am not a die-hard GOP'er. This act (or refusing to act) showed a lack of character in my eyes. I am glad my gut instinct has been proven to be correct.

Davids mom
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AHG

My check is going to the Treasury Department to help pay down the deficit. . not to insure anyone getting a check. With this Congress, check today's news. FAA??

G35 Dude
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DM's check

And you trust this government to use your check as you designate? I really thought you were smarter than that.

Davids mom
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G35

So what are you doing to bring down the debt?

lion
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Teas and the economy

Dow drops 500 points today. More results of hostage taking.

Nothing creates market uncertainty like when the crazy Teas take our Government and economy hostage.

The economy needs jobs and growth before debt reduction.

Thanks again Fayette County Teas.

BHH
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Whatever you think of the Tea Party

they are taking action and getting noticed.

They are doing something even if it's wrong.

They have found an avenue of waking up the politicians and creating a stir of activity.

That's what this government needs.

The Teas are average citizens who have become a force to be reckoned with.

And that's a good thing for all of us.

Davids mom
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BHH and the T's
Quote:

They are doing something even if it's wrong

This is a sad truth.

BHH
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DM, the sad part is we don't know what to do.

http://winning--thearmyway.com/?p=231

If you don't know what to do, doing something even if it's wrong is the best thing you can do.

Trial and error is the best teacher.

Davids mom
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BHH

We now know what doesn't work; we know what did work years ago - certainly there are experts on the planet who can work with global leaders to continue to try! To keep doing the same thing with the same tired rhetoric and expecting a different outcome is crazy!!! We are going under because of 'lack of political will - votes'. The debt ceiling is /was a smokescreen, Boehner and Obama had a deal. The extremes of both parties need to support their leaders/ the American people need to let the extremes know that their willingness to bring this country down is unwanted.

Germany is doing something right. What?

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Parable of the Donkey

DM, PTCO, and OOFU were riding a donkey to the Bryan Adams concert. Suddenly the donkey pulled up with a broken leg after stepping in a pothole. DM said, let's take care of this poor donkey's leg now, then he will be able to carry us in the future. I don't mind missing the concert. PTCO said, I'm not spending any of my time or money on this sorry old, broken down donkey--let him take care of himself. I'm able to walk there on my own! OOFU said let's break his other three legs and see what happens!

Go Braves! Fry the Fish tonight!

BHH
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And in the end Ninja, they

all took turns kicking the donkey down the road and they never did get the pothole repaired.

The moral is if you fix your potholes before your donkey steps in them you won't have to kick him down the road with all four legs broken.

Davids mom
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BHH

.. . .but no one is knowledgeable enough to fix it - and too arrogant to ASK!!!! :-)

Davids mom
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Ninja

A humble smile.

Gort
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BHH, the same thing could be

BHH, the same thing could be said about Bonnie and Clyde. They too were drunk with power and on a rampage.

BHH
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They were very popular.

Probably for trying to make a difference in hard times.

And very successful right up until the end.

Gort
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BHH, oh yeah, I see what you

BHH, oh yeah, I see what you mean.

Quote:

Bonnie and Clyde robbed banks and shot policeman, the Teaparty wants to rob the middle class and fire civil servants.

8 - )

BHH
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I can't find that quote anywhere Gort.

But I believe in the Tea Party.

It is a new avenue for every citizen to take advantage of.

We need more individual participation of this type.

It's the true voice of the people coming back into government and bypassing the mouths of the politicians.

It's a law of nature that everything takes the path of least resistance.

They are providing resistance where they think it will do the most good and take the path of least resistance to accomplish it.

When government builds road blocks someone will always find the best path around it and our political system has become a road block to progress so they have opened a new path.

Gort
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BHH, you can't find that

BHH, you can't find that quote anywhere because I just wrote it myself and used the quote feature to highlite what I wrote.

You're free to believe whatever you want. I believe the Teaparty is the roadblock to progress.

BHH
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Gort, the the Tea party is the new avenue to progress.

And this nation's credit rating dropped because of people like you who would not heed their warnings and hold the line on the national debt limit.

Just like when an individual is over extended on their credit and the purse strings begin to tighten.

It will take a few years but if you start listening to the Tea party now and follow their advice we can get our credit rating back.

Don't continue to be so naive.

JeffC
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Bull BHH

The country's credit rating dropped because the TEA Party convinced the world that they didn't give a damn about America's prestige in the world and they were willing to trash the country's reputation and credit standing, which they did.

Congratulations.

Robert W. Morgan
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I thought the Tea Party sent a cut spending message

to Washington in 2010 with those 65 Congressional wins and that the purpose of cutting spending was to preserve the AAA credit rating. Using your "logic" next year's 100+ Congressional Tea Party wins (people who want to cut spending) will give the Teas free run of the place and they will really cut spending and then our credit rating will drop again. Huh?
Don't you stupid liberals even try to test your talking points out on real people before spouting off?
I do think the timing of market crash is perfect because it will galvanize a lot of candidates and voters who can simply run and/or vote against "more of the same old hope and change"

Joe Kawfi
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The nut doesn't fall very far from the tree

Robert,

What do you expect from the spawn of Jimmy Carter? Jimmy Carter - who drove the U.S. economy right into a ditch. Thank the Lord Carter lost in a landslide and we were able to get a real man in office who brought our great country back to prosperity.

Ninja Guy
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Technically Joe, JC Didn't

drive the economy in the ditch, he just took over the driver's seat as the wreck was coming! The money supply swelled because of loose money policy under Nixon and Ford, maybe starting with Johnson and war spending and all that. Remember Guns AND Butter! Carter appointed Volker, who took down inflation like Hulk Hogan--Carter got the blame. Every good and true lover of Austrian Economics and the 1970s Braves featuring Mike Lum knows this!

Deflation is Not the Illness But the Cure!

Braves sill up 3-0 in the 7th. A Little League game would be over by now!

mudcat
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Jeff? Jeff?

Dude's got a point.
What say you?

roundabout
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RWM

Dream on!

Observerofu
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Jeff-S&P it's the debt stupid

John Chambers manager of S&P just stated it was the debt not any actions by a party that caused them to downgrade our rating.
He stated that they wanted to see at least a $4 Trillion dollar cut in spending NOT a $2.4 Trillion dollar raise in debt.

He said our DEBT is the cause of the downgrade that enough was not done to control that debt. Our Debt to GDP is over 75% which caused them to lower our rating.

So Jeff who was trying to bring spending under control and who was trying to raise the debt?

You are right congratulations is in order, because this is exactly what I think the Progressives want.

Cloward and Piven strategy working to perfection in the Progressive Socialist agenda.

JeffC
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Read the downgrade statement OOU

S&P analysts David Beers and John Chambers said that the “extremely difficult” political discussions over how to reduce the more than $1 trillion budget deficit carried more weight in their decision than the nation’s debt. The “debate this year has highlighted a degree of uncertainty over the political policy making process which we think is incompatible with the AAA rating,” Beers said on an Aug. 6 conference call with reporters.

S&P Seen Surrendering to Tea Party

Your TEA Party instigated this. They manufactured the crisis. Then your candidate Bachmann and the TEAs continued to say there would be no consequences because they are fools. Mitch McConnell says that they are going to do it again. Your Party deliberately sabotaged the United States for no reason except as a political ploy.

You can spin it however you want but if the TEA Party had not caused this crisis it would not have happened. If they wanted to reduce the debt, they could have done it in the budget they will produce.

They are traitors who deliberately harmed America.

roundabout
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OOU: S & P

HE SAID: CONGRESS COULDN'T AGREE ON DEEP ENOUGH CUTS (DUE TO THE TEAS).

One hears what one wants to hear!

Observerofu
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Round

You are right one hears what one wants.

You just made my point.

S&P wanted cuts not a raise in the debt. SO who was trying to cut and who was trying to increase debt?

The Tea-party wanted cuts and the Democrats wanted NONE.

roundabout
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OOU--you don't get it

The S & P guy said the DISAGREEMENT was the problem, not the wants!

S & P doesn't now trust the makeup of the congress to resolve our problems!

What is different about the makeup? A bunch of TEA electees, who want re-
elected in 2012. To hell with the ratings!

Observerofu
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Round-Oh I get it all right

You are an Progressive ideologue. You have a scipt to hell with the truth.

BHH
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JeffC, wrong again.

The credit rating dropped as the logical progression of events regardless of what the Tea party was doing.

If the Tea party did not even exist, the credit rating would have dropped anyway.

It was just for maneuvering and power that this was done in conjunction with the budget discussions. The rating agencies want to control things just like everyone else does. They are much happier when the Democrats are running rampantly out of control with their borrowing. Their biggest fear is that we will get control of our spending and not need their services.

T-Man
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Need revenue to over come the debt

All the credit agencies have said without revenue the ability to reduce debt is impossible. The teas didn't want the bush tax breaks to expire. Plain and simple. We all see it no matter how you want to paint the picture. 2 trillion in cuts is a long way from the 4 trillion which is the number the agency said is required to keep our AAA rating. The Teas high jacked the system.

Mike King
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T-Man

It is my belief that ample revenue continues to flow into federal coffers, but could they use more if it were specifically targeted toward our debt, sure. The mindset of entrenched politicians continues to be spend each and every dime it gets while playing word games to appease the nation. I was and still am a proponent of a balanced budget amendment which would have served this country well, it may well have (if passed) prevented the S&P downgrade by simply demonstrating a willingness on the part of Congress to address the issue seriously.

The TEAs only have proven themselves so far to be a speed bump to an out of control federal government, my opinion. Time will tell if those elected as TEA Party stalwarts succumb to the corruption that is our nation's capitol.

carbonunit52
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Mike and a balanced budget amendment

I know that we need a balanced budget, but I believe that the cure should not be worse than the disease. With a constitutional amendment to assure that there would be enough income to equal the spending, the congress would be relieved of the responsibility of justifying taxes. It does not take long to formulate a nightmarish scenario out of that raw material.

Power to the people.

Mike King
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carbonunit52

Congress will never abdicate the responsibility of levying taxes, but they owe the nation an understanding of what the 'bottom line' is that is required to fund our obligations and operating costs.

We as a nation do not have a revenue problem, especially since a total revamp of the tax code would generate substantially more revenue. For example, should corporate taxes be reduced wouldn't the number of American businesses headquartered overseas begin to return? Eliminate capital gains taxes on matured accounts and, imagine how much revenue could be freed up for possible investment.

Currently, with the worst economic calamity of the last century, looming can anyone explain why our Congress on vacation and our President likely playing golf?

And the TEA Party is being blamed for the downgrade, give me a break!

carbonunit52
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Mike, a reply
Quote:

Congress will never abdicate the responsibility of levying taxes

Agreed. My point is that with a balanced budget amendment, both parties could then say: "The amendment made me do it".

Mike King
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Carbon

Congress pretty much does that 'double speech' now which is why I see the need to reign in their control.

T-Man
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M King

Agreed. A balanced budget is what was needed to prevent the downgrade. Congress just wanted to make a stand for the TEAS, What's that about?

roundabout
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KING & T-Man: Balanced budget

What good would a "balanced budget" do?

Bush fought two wars, "Off the books," and wasn't included in the "balanced budget," only showed up in the 14 trillion deficit. (between 1 and 2 trillion dollars so far--not including taking care of the vets and aid to the two countries in the future.)

Are wars (and such) OK whether the budget is balanced or not?

No other country of significance has such a thing to deal with!

We could never agree whether to tax the rich or the poor to balance it.
This would be true particularly in a recession or a depression of the future.

I am a little fed up with the proposals by such as the TEAS and right wingers, and even many of the liberals.

We have to pay our debts but not at the expense of the poor nor the rich.
Don't say something stupid like, "don't make the debts," it is NOT going to happen.

We have sufficient resources to get the money from those who have it, domestically and internationally!

Mike King
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Take Your Meds Roundabutt

I would ask an octogenarian who happens to be a veteran to answer your first question.
I would guess you haven't spoken with a Greek, Irishman, or a Spaniard about their debt.
Why not tax us all at the same rate?
I suppose you approved of Mr Obama's first budget proposal, the one defeated in the Senate 97-0.
OK, so pay up!
Then you agree with Trump about confiscating $2T worth of crude as a war debt.

roundabout
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MIKE K.

Is there something wrong with an Octogenarian? Will you never get there? I doubt it.

All of Europe and the Greeks are losers.

I'll go along with the "same rate" providing there are no deductions!

Didn't Obama propose nearly 3 trillion in cuts over 10 years, and all it took to get it resolved was to eliminate loop holes and raise upper taxes 3-4%?

Trunp is a very loose cannon just because he is flambuoyant and Hollywoodish!
However we are fools if we don't rake a cut of the Iraqi oil for our trouble. Bush said it would pay for the war! Or was that Cheney?

There are other places and ways also to get more income===tariffs on the Chinese, etc.

Long range-----start up manufacturing again with a new middle class as labor and corporations who will invest their cash into the start up.

Gort
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BHH, thank you for pointing

BHH, thank you for pointing out I was the cause of the S&P downgrade of the US credit rating. I didn’t realize I had that kind of power. I thought I was just a shinny headed working guy living on a cul-de-sac in Sharpsburg.

At your request, I took a long and heart wrenching analysis of my political position and came to the following conclusion:

I would rather drown myself in a five gallon bucket of snot before I would affiliate myself with the Teaparty. ! - )

Just my opinion, like I told you before, you’re free to believe whatever you want to.

BTW, are you an active member of the Teaparty or an armchair sympathizer?

BHH
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Gort, enjoy your bucket of snot. You asked for it.

"I would rather drown myself in a five gallon bucket of snot before I would affiliate myself with the Teaparty."

That's very interesting the way you refer to our countries smothering debt figures.

"BTW, are you an active member of the Teaparty or an armchair sympathizer?"

I'm not as active as I would like to be but I respect those who are and take progressive and productive action rather than smothering themselves in snot which is your activity of choice.

Gort
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BHH, actually I don’t think I

BHH, actually I don’t think I have to worry about drowning myself.

If you’re earnest about becoming more active in the Teaparty then you’re in luck. The US Congress is on August break and they will be doing town hall meeting throughout the state.

The Teaparty summer program is to show up at these town hall meetings and snarl at worried pensioners that ask questions and voice concerns about Social Security and Medicaid that they depend on.

Check your soul at the door and let me know how it goes for you.

BHH
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Gort

I'm certainly not for eliminating anyone's pension.

But this fool of a President has thrust our country deeper into this recession by trying to activate his "forced insurance for all" plan at a time when we are struggling just to buy groceries.

You can't eat insurance and it has no benefit if you are not in need of medical attention.

Many people never see a doctor by choice and others never need a doctor.

These are the people you would have drown in snot while trying to pay for a service they do not want instead of having groceries.

For many of these people a pension is a luxury too.

Eliminating federal agencies like the EPA and a host of others would reduce the budget significantly with no immediate negative effects to anyone other than those employed by this struggling government.

They recently stopped funding the FAA and most people didn't even notice.

They could close all government offices on Fridays and the employees would love the extra time off and people would barely be affected.

That is almost a net savings of 20% to the budget.

Certainly in this slow economy the need for government services has slowed also, but there has not been enough cut back in these areas.

Gradually raising the qualifying age and other requirements for social services is the smart thing to do at this time.

That doesn't mean taking food out of anyone's mouth to replace it with snot.

It only means they work a little longer to get services.

Gort
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BHH, I can tell right off the

BHH, I can tell right off the bat with your opening statement, you’re just not Teaparty material.

Quote:

BHH wrote:

I'm certainly not for eliminating anyone's pension.

You just don’t have that killer instinct it takes to be in the Teaparty.

It’s not the end of the world though, maybe they’ll let you perform as a ‘meat puppet’ the next time they have a rally. You can hold up a sign and growl on command can’t you? Well sure you can.

Observerofu
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Fact check please on Gort

"Ryan's proposal "leaves Medicare totally untouched for three years."

Ryan's budget does indeed leave Medicare alone for the near-term. On this point, Stockman is on firm ground, and we rate this point True.

"Ryan's proposal "leaves Social Security totally untouched for 10 years."

The CBO report plainly states, "The proposal does not involve changes to Social Security."

Stockman is accurate here as well, and we rate his statement True.

This from Politifact. If you are on it you stay on it.

So Gort who is not telling the truth here?

Gort
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Lion, On Monday, Republican

Lion, On Monday, Republican House Speaker John Boehner bragged to CBS News the final agreement gave him “98 percent" of what he wanted in the debt deal.

With the DOW free-falling 500+ points today, it looks like Boehner is collecting the final 2%.

roundabout
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Gort, OOU, etc.

It is NOT FUNNY that the average 401-k retirement savings of workers have lost about 35-40,000 dollars so far in this total fiasco!

Especially those who had to retrieve the rest of what they had left to live on due to the recession and no job! It is all gone forever.

Isn't it time we had several grand juries all over the country and find out who is the most to blame for these loses and impouind any money that they HAVE TO DISTRIBUTE?

Even Bush, jr., Cheney, etc., and Obama if they can find any fault there.

Gort
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Round, I take no pleasure in

Round, I take no pleasure in watching the stock market drop 500+ points in a day. My 401K is taking the same hit as everyone else’s.

OofU is the only one acting delighted by the tragic event. He’s been bragging, “I told you so,” since the decline started. He’s thinks he is some sort of local Nostradamus.

Observerofu
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Gort sour grapes

upset that you are so wrong. Don't shoot the messenger just because the messenger happens to have brought bad news.

A simpleton or a non-ideologue could have predicted the results and prepared for them.

Gort
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OofU, I don't want to shoot

OofU, I don't want to shoot the messenger or anyone else. 8 - )

I just pointed out you were gloating.

carbonunit52
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Gort,

I believe the stock market taking a dive is part of the "low" component of the "buy low" strategy, and I imagine it goes quite well with the short selling of stocks. I'm just sayin'.

Gort
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Carb, you’re probably right.

Carb, you’re probably right. I just see it as Wall Street’s little way of saying, “We are not happy with the way Congress is behaving!” Then they punch the country in the stomach.

American companies are posting good profits and have plenty of cash on hand. Plus the rest of the world is still throwing money at our US Treasuries so I’m not sure what to make out of what happened today.

PTC Observer
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Gort - Company Profits

Gort,

Companies are making money offshore, they are not investing in the USA mainly because of the uncertainty of tax policy but also because of increased regulations here. In the meantime, they can make investments outside the USA without the risk. In fact, the cash reserves that these companies are accumulating are mostly outside the USA. There is a tax penalty imposed based on current tax law on profits repatriation coming back into the country. Basically, these profits are taxed overseas, then taxed again when they want to move the cash back to the USA. This policy starves the capital markets here at home and holds down investments here.

Tax policy in the USA I predict will cause a number of global "American Institutions" in the next few years, to move their headquarters offshore, including offices, so they can avoid the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We do not have a business friendly environment in the USA compared to say, Singapore.

Those are facts Gort and of course an opinion or two from yours truly.

Davids mom
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PTCO
Quote:

uncertainty of tax policy

No PTCO - business is making money because of current tax breaks for large business. They are making record breaking profits during this period. No need to create jobs for Americans. Right?

Quote:

Tax policy in the USA I predict will cause a number of global "American Institutions" in the next few years, to move their headquarters offshore, including offices, so they can avoid the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We do not have a business friendly environment in the USA compared to say, Singapore.

Cheney's Halleburton is already headquartered in Dui Bai(sp?). Why? Profit! The bottom line. They're comfortable with the tax structure. They answer to shareholders, not Joe the plumber.

PTC Observer
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DM - The Market

What we saw in the market today will continue it is saying plenty about the forward look at the world economy. We can expect this uncertainty to continue until there is stability within the government. This includes a stable tax policy.

IMHO this will not happen until after the 2012 election. The worse case for the economy will be when President Obama is re-elected.

Now about US corporations, they are not in business to create jobs for America. They are in business to make a return on investment for their investors. I hope this clears up any confusion on your part about the role of corporations.

Gort
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PTC_0, Singapore might be too

PTC_0, Singapore might be too far away from home. How about Mexico?

Mexico has the lowest taxes in the northern hemisphere. Corporate executives can commute to work on their US taxpayer subsidized jets so they won’t have to actually live in Mexico.

Or maybe it would just be cheaper to just get a PO Box in the Cayman Islands, call it headquarters, and commit fraud like others like to do.

The possibilities are endless. 8 - )

PTC Observer
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Gort - Mexico

Too many guns, drugs, and kidnappings in Mexico. Executives like safe places for them and their families. Singapore has a very friendly business culture and the hang you if you bring drugs into the country. One of the safest places on earth, clean too. Of course it's run by a benevolant dictator and people are watched like hawks to make sure they don't chew gum (which is illegal), but we are talking business, right?

As far as those PO Boxes in the Cayman Islands, this is a symptom of US tax policy gone bad.

The left needs to give the class warfare thing a rest if it wants to have some come back in the US economy, or as I have said repeatedly it will just go someplace else. Just remember this Gort, if you could "equalize" income by magic, about 10 seconds after you did this, there would be some people richer than other people.

Gort
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PTC_0, so your idea of a

PTC_0, so your idea of a corporate utopia is a country run by.., “a benevolent dictator and (the) people are watched like hawks to make sure they don't chew gum.” Do the trains run on time? When you leaving? 8 - )

Before you go you should know that your benevolent dictator has revenues of $29.87 billion but spends $34.01 billion according to the CIA website. Public debt is 102% of GDP. They owe most of it to their pension fund. Perhaps when corporations relocate to Singapore they can make up the difference for him? Did I mention they have government health care?

PO Boxes in the Cayman Islands is US Tax Policy. That’s why the tax code is so complicated. If you can afford the lawyers and contribute to enough political campaigns, you can probably get almost anything written into the tax code you want. That’s why Speaker Boehner turned down the “grand deal” he didn’t want to upset his base by closing loopholes in the tax code.

I don’t know anything about “class warfare.” What I do know is this. I file a joint return with my wife, take standard deductions, have a marginal income tax rate of 25%, and pay social security on 100% of my income. From my point of view, as a percent of income, I’m in the income group with the highest effective tax rates in the US. If there is “class warfare” going on it was declared on working people from the middle class.

PTC Observer
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Gort - You're

not listening, I said Singapore has a better

    business environment

      than the USA. Yes, the trains run on time. I have already been there and there are a lot of businesses considering moving there. This is not about personal freedom Gort, it's about where are the US jobs going and how US tax policy is forcing them out of the country.

      I have been at many of their hospitals too Gort, you wouldn't want to be treated there.

      US Tax Policy is complicated so the politicians can get re-elected, you know the professional political class. Let's go to a flat tax the moment we repeal the 16th Amendment, no loopholes, no one is exempt,no brackets. Finally, you are correct there is a war on the middle class and the poor with current tax policy.

Gort
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PTC_0, actually I thought you

PTC_0, actually I thought you were talking about corporate headquarters moving overseas.

Quote:

PTC_0 wrote:

I predict (it) will cause a number of global "American Institutions" in the next few years, to move their headquarters offshore, including offices, so they can avoid the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

My opinion is, most corporations move ‘operations’ overseas to gain access to emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India China. Others do it to exploit cheap labor and/or avoid pollution regulations. I don’t see taxes as such a big deal for corporations. There lobbyist, lawyers, and accountants can take care of those problems.

I was just teasing about you moving to Singapore. 8 - )

I don’t see any advantages, for anyone in my income bracket, with a flat tax arrangement.

As a matter of fact, I want personal income taxed like corporations. That way I can deduct all my operating expenses, depreciate my home and car over the life of the loan, and only be taxed on my meager savings, (profit.)

From my point of view, compared to what I got now, that’s a pretty sweet deal. Don’t you think so?

PTC Observer
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Gort - You're right

it is a sweet deal. Now if you can simply raise your salary each time they raise your income tax you have it made.

You see, it's a myth that corporations pay tax (any tax). Corporations get a return on their invested capital, and if that return is high enough then they attract investors. So, to get a good return on their capital, they simply raise prices. Now if a corporation can avoid paying taxes, like moving offshore, then they can get a higher rate of return. If one company has a tax advantage over another, it is a competitive advantage in raising capital in the equity market, and generally in the debt market. So, corporations have every incentive to move offshore, unless.

Unless they can buy off politicians to get "exemptions" to the tax code. So, you can see where this is going right Gort? Corporation A gets an exemption in the form of a subsidy, the politician get support for his next campaign and everyone wins, except of course the taxpayer. That's why the big oil companies get billions in the way of "oil depletion allowances", you think they pass this off to the consumers in lower prices? I don't think so.

Gort
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PTC_0, I’m glad you liked my

PTC_0, I’m glad you liked my tax policy!

Don’t get the idea that I don’t like corporations. The ones I’ve worked for have been very good to me. What I don’t like is crony capitalism. I’d rather work for a company that valued good products and/or services above having good lobbyist.

Be careful about how you talk about ‘big oil’ companies on the forum. You’ll have the Teaparty crowd after you! 8 - )

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Gort - "crony capitalism"

Crony capitalism, aka neo-capitalism, would not exist if outlawed government involvement in the market. The lesson learned by the capitalists following the Civil War was that it was much easier to use the government to protect markets than compete. Ever since they have been using the government to write laws to protect their interests at the expense of the consumer. Every tariff, subsidy, and grand program the politicians come up with is an effort to protect neo-capitalists from the power of the market.

I really don't understand why people complain about "big oil" and the like but at the same time support a system that is designed to tax them with higher prices.

How is it that the Tea Party supports "big oil" Gort?

roundabout
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Is Standard and Poor's Republican? (To all the Conserves)

One would have to say YES if logic is used to determine the facts.

First, why did they make the decision to downgrade the USA? It was because congress didn't cut welfare programs enough and some wanted to raise taxes on capitalists.
It was not due to the debt. We can and will pay that as needed.

Second, why didn't Standard and Poor's downgrade further AIG, BoA, WF, Countrywide, plus many others, and then all those Wall Street money grubbers?

Think seriously about that for a moment and you will know. This current mess could have been avoided then---five years ago!

Third, according to conserves President Obama is responsible for most of our troubles of today!
Let us look at just the very immediate problems and you explain how those things were caused in the last two years:
1. No child left behind--has created the Atlanta problem to get money.
2. Syria is wiping out much of their opposition population.
3. Iraq and Afghanistan can not self govern and won't be able to do so.
4. Yemen and Somalia are slaughtering their people.
5. Muslim Terrorists are killing off all of their children in Africa.

Then, just today we have:
Eight killed in an Ohio rampage; 160 arrested in London for insurrection;
Our Special Ops war is failing---we don't have enough of them due to attrition to succeed. (Petraeus plan).

You tell me what President Obama is faulted for in the above!

His mistakes so far in the time served is not recognizing that the TEAS would be able to influence the House to not agree to any compromise.
And, not telling the Pentagon a year ago to get the hell out---NOW! Heads to roll.

Observerofu
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Giant astroid to strike the Earth

all life to be extinguished.

Minorities and Children hit hardest.

Is Obama President of the World roundone?

Oh yeah right he is....."Barack Obama is 'President of the world'" CNN 2008

So yep it's his fault.

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PTC_0, people have their own

PTC_0, people have their own reasons for complaining about big oil. Some folks don’t like being addicted to oil, others don’t like the influence these companies have on the political system. Some don’t like the grip they have on the markets, some don’t like the pollution, on and on it goes take your choice.

Since I’ve been on this forum, any criticism of big oil, or anyone attempting to reasonably discuss energy policy for that matter, is usually met with repeated chants of “Drill Baby Drill” followed by you’re a tree hugging commie puke that wants everyone in America to sit in a dark cave with a candle made out of toe jam or some other nonsense! 8 - )

PTC Observer
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Gort - Oil

The oil companies are like any other company, they have a produce that the market demands. My beef with Oil is that they get "gifts" from the government. Why? Specifically they get "allowances" for when they hit dry holes, tax allowances. We all pay for these in the price of the products we buy. The impact of regulations on oil is significant. We keep complaining about how expensive gasoline is but we refuse to allow cracking plants to build here because it's "bad" for the environment. We haven't built a refinery plant in the nearly 30 years because the cost of construction here is just too high. It does no good to "drill baby drill" if we have no way to refine the oil we find. We would have to ship it offshore for refining.

I for one don't mind that they drill, refine, and distribute in this country as long as they don't violate property rights. I do mine that they get special "deals" and "protection" from the government. This has to stop and we need to look hard at our environmental laws to make them consistent with the rest of the world. The countries we compete against think we are a bunch of yahoos in this regard.

They happen to be right about this, we are yahoos and we are paying out the nose for it.

Observerofu
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Nah nothing to do with the debt

and the fact we are going the way of Greece.

Gort
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OofU, after eleven years of

OofU, after eleven years of the Bush Tax Cuts, we still don’t have enough jobs in the US for all the people that want and need them.

Just how long does it take for your “Magic Tax Cuts” to start working?

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Hi Gort - Here's

Where you been?

Here's something to ponder Gort, if the government taxes 100% of all income of $250,000 and above, that is it takes by force all the wages, profit, etc from the wealthy leaving them with nothing. They would raise $1.1 trillion dollars. In 2010 we increased the debt $1.7 trillion per year and it's increasing at an increasing rate. So, you can see that we would still be $600 billion short of break even based on the 2010 debt increase.

So, what's the solution? Tax the middle class of course and tax them well. OR We could reduce the size and scope of government including entitlement programs. Given that we have spineless fools for representatives, it is not possible to expect the latter. So, that means....

Get ready to pay more taxes Gort, a lot more. If you think the stock market fall had anything to do with what went on in Congress last week, your right, but for the wrong reason. It's because the Congress is not serious about reducing the debt. The crisis occurring in Europe will spread throughout the world, ending up here. You can expect the downturn in the equity markets for the next 15 months, until the Congress shows empirically that it will reduce the debt accumulation.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the Great Recession. It's going to get worse, a lot worse, the most important asset you have today Gort is your job. I hope it's not tied to government largess pal or your job is toast.

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PTC_0, I've been busy making

PTC_0, I've been busy making some of that Do-Re-Me. I did take a hit in the market today! Good thing I got my Social Security and Medicare to rely on when I retire, eh? 8 - )

I’m hoping they raise taxes on everyone, grow the economy, and get that nasty old debt paid off. Trying to do it with just cuts is like trying to win a war while wearing a straight jacket. It will take too long to do it that way and will never come out right at the end.

I work in the private sector but I don’t think my job is any safer than anyone else’s. As you know, capitalism can be a cruel mistress!

Observerofu
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It avoided a depression Gort

If it wasn't for those tax cuts it would be so much worse.

Gort
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OofU, it’s been 12 years of

OofU, it’s been 12 years of the tax cuts and still not enough jobs. Get a grip. The US economy can’t create jobs as fast as American business can ship them overseas. The money would have been better spent paying for the wars.

Observerofu
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Oh no no Gort

If the Stimulus saved us from a depression then so did the tax cuts. Didn't Obama renew them?

Oh btw-how is that stimulus working out?

What is Obama doing? Going to fund raisers and having birthday parties while America loses over a Trillion dollars yesterday? Where was his Treasury Secretary? Where was anyone from his administration coming out? Where was Benyankenme?

Inept leadership breeds ineptness.

Gort keep drinking the kaid. The rest of us has been buying Gold and stocking up on food and ammo for awhile.

btw-Where you one of those that laughed at us when Gold hit $1000 an ounce and those of us that knew it was going higher recommended it?

Remember Weiner going after the Gold peddlers saying Gold would never go higher? Did you follow his advice? If so you lost a $600 gain in just 8 months. How did your 401k do yesterday?

Gort
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OofU, that’s funny, I don't

OofU, that’s funny, I don't feel saved by the tax cuts. Do you?

Quote:

After eleven years of the Bush Tax Cuts, we still don’t have enough jobs in the US for all the people that want and need them. The money would have been better spent paying for the wars.

Tell us OofU,how long does it take for your “Magic Tax Cuts” to start working?

Observerofu
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I have more money in my pocket gort

and that helps create or save jobs because it is re-distributed when I spend it.

So it started working immediately, but the Bush Tax Cuts went to only those that actually produce and pay taxes. If you didn't see the "magic Tax Cuts" obviously you are part of the moocher class.

Go out and get a job maybe then you can participate in the future.

Go get some skin in the game.

Gort
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OofU, wouldn't the money have

OofU, wouldn't the money have been better spent to pay down the wars and the unfunded prescription drug benefit?

roundabout
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OOU

Buying gold is like vegas gambling----if you don't sell it at a reasonable profit you will lose a ton eventually!

However, if you are selfish you will think it will go to 2000, then 5000, etc.

Where do you keep that gold, or is it just a computer entry!

Observerofu
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Roundone I recommend you do nothing

just sit there right there.

PTC Observer
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Gort - So?

So, what your solution? Go into more debt to try and spend our way out of recession? Don't you think we have enough government?

Gort, government can't help us, we have to help ourselves out of this mess and the only way we can do this is to keep some money and spend it. Government needs to step aside and let the people go to make decisions on their own, with their money.

War is folly Gort, so I am hoping this is simply your frustration showing and not your real though.

Gort
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PTC_0, I already told you

PTC_0, I already told you what I wanted to do.

Quote:

..., raise taxes on everyone, grow the economy, and get that nasty old debt paid off. Trying to do it with just cuts is like trying to win a war while wearing a straight jacket. It will take way too long to do it that way and will never come out right at the end.

Frustrated? Me? You have me mixed up with OofU. Do you see how sarcastic he gets? He must be drinking vinegar from the pickle jar again! 8 - )

Observerofu
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Take it all gort take it all

Just a small factoid.

You can take 100% of the wealth produced by the "Millionaires/Billionaires that Obama likes to vilify and it would only run the Government for 147 days.

Now you can confiscate 100% of all their wealth and then also take all of their homes, boats, planes everything they own and everything their family owns and it would run the Government for 238 days.

So tell me my little class warfare friend just how higher taxes are going to solve the budget issue?

We have a spending problem gort. Until Government gets it fiscal house in order no matter how much money they take from us they will just spend it on more pig crap studies or shrimp treadmills.

Sarcasm no frustration yes. Frustration over trying to teach something a child can see. You run out of money you can't buy more candy.

Gort
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OofU, don't be so dramatic.

OofU, don't be so dramatic. Nobody is asking for 100% from anyone and you know it.

Observerofu
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What percentage do you want?

50%-60%---More?

Tell me what good will it do while we continue the current devaluing of our dollar and spending ourselves into oblivion.

No Gort no more. Not until DC gets a handle on their spending. Not one more dime.

carbonunit52
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Gort, here is an interesting timeframe

A producer friend of mine, a union ironworker, recently retired after 30 years. His description of his career is: for the first 10 years he helped build America, for the second 10 years he helped maintain America, and for the last 10 years he helped take America apart, to be shipped overseas.

Gort
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Carb, it sounds like your

Carb, it sounds like your friend has seen with his own eyes what is really happening in the country.

Now that he is retired he can spend the remainder of his years listening to Faux News and Talk, Talk, Talk Radio, characterize him as some sort of sub-human being because of his union affiliation.

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