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The bottom line: 'fiscal conservative' means 'anti-poor, pro-elite'

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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:47 AM
Original message
The bottom line: 'fiscal conservative' means 'anti-poor, pro-elite'
That's what it boils down to. 'Fiscal conservatism' is always about cutting programs that benefit working and poor people while preserving programs that benefit wealthy elites. Nobody can point to a 'fiscal conservative' who ever did it the other way around.

'Fiscal conservatives' and the people who support them are selling us down the river. That's the bottom line, and it's a shameful one.


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Lindacooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. I agree
There's no way you can be a social progressive and a fiscal conservative. You have to put your money where your mouth is. Saying that you want to help people and then not funding programs to help them is simply being two-faced. It's like telling someone you want to save them from a raging flood and then not throwing them a lifeline.
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Wonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:54 AM
Response to Original message
2. Not necessarily.
Tax the ones who can afford it most more to balance the budget and fund the important social programs :-)
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
67. Exactly.
If you can't understand this concept...
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ewagner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
75. Agree 100%
It's a matter of where you place your priorities.
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Americanreborn Donating Member (18 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
103. Yeah.
We need more social programs.

Americanreborn
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. the guy in the WH isn't a fiscal conservative
even Republicans don't pretend he is. Fiscal restraint is the best rejoinder Democrats have to win by Clinton margins.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Nobody's suggesting that he is
Fiscal profligates can also screw working people. That doesn't mean 'fiscal conservatives' don't!

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DrFunkenstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
30. Not party of Lincoln, not even party of Reagan...
Sell Bush as a stranger to the ideals of conservatism, a lap dog for lobbyists and corporate fat cat quid pro quo.
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unfrigginreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:02 AM
Response to Original message
4. Poppycock n/t
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Sure, pal, whatever you say.
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w13rd0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. Nonsense...
...without 'fiscal conservatism' there wouldn't be the sustained funds over the long haul to support and preserve the programs. Fiscal conservatism isn't about 'cutting programs that benefit the working and poor while preserving programs that benefit wealthy elites'. Not by a long shot.

It means not running us in the red, with pre-emptive invasions and massive deployments OR government spending programs run amuck. And who says corporate welfare wouldn't be on the chopping block for a fiscal conservative looking to balance the budget?

You present a straw man argument and a nonsense statement, and then call it the bottom line.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. No, it's not nonsense
Find me a 'fiscal conservative' who has ever cut elite entitlements. You can't.


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Prodemsouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Good Post. w13rd0
Saved me the trouble echo w13rd0
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bfusco Donating Member (174 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. agree
I agree with you and don't necesarrily associate fiscal conservativism with gutting social programs. This is an oversimpiflication but it translates into not sepnding more then you take in. It means avoiding red ink and incuring debt that actually will lead to higher interest rates and it can it can be done by cutting/restrining spending or increasing taxes. I practice fiscal conservatism in how I manage my money and by not running up debt. Some who have supported social programs have devoted themselves to fiscal conservative principles by raising taxes (Clinton in 1993, through the advise of Rubin)and it dramtically changed the nation's fiscal picture. It also calls for prudent use of tax dollars. Anyone who has worked for the goverment can verify the waste, inefficency and abuse that is done. While there are some fiscal conservatives who's agenda is to eliminate social programs, I don't think it is accurate to but this label on all.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. Find one that has ever cut an entitlement of the wealthy elites
You can't, because they don't. 'Fiscal conservatism' is all about tightening all of us tightening our belts so that the elites can let theirs out another notch.

'Fiscal conservatism' got its start with Carter and, mirabile dictu, that was when the giant sucking sound started, as the concentration and stratification of wealth speeded up. Under 'fiscal conservatives' -- Carter, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton -- we saw the New Deal gains eroded to nothing. Now this criminal administration is handing it out by the bushel to its crooked cronies. The tax cut? That's not much more than a smokescreen--nice if they can keep it, but where they're really getting well is in all the munitions and construction pork on the backs now of all the kids they butchered in Iraq. Those are debts, to be paid off by us.

When you can point to a self-proclaimed 'fiscal conservative' who promises to end corporate welfare, cut the military-industrial budget back to a sensible size (what country would dare attack the US, for Goddess's sake!?), cut the prison-industrial complex, end the murderous Drugz War boondoggle, and start taxing wealth...when you can point to a soi-disant 'fiscal conservative' who's willing to do that, then let's talk.



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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #23
42. Kucinich is not a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative, However...
Many who are also have progressive agenda items.

Carol Moseley Braun is a fiscal conservative who will:

  • provide universal single payer health care
  • double the federal commitment to education
  • provide monies for urban infrastructure
  • shift spending from incarceration to treatment
  • tax wealth before income, and tax income progressively


Although she hasn't said as much, I wouldn't expect her to easily approve bloated Pentagon budget requests. (Somebody should ask her about Star Wars and other military boondoggles.) She clearly opposes the Iraq war and the profiteering that's going on.

You have many reasons for opposing Dean, who is also a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative, but you should at least acknowledge those areas where he would favor spending that helps poor people, and taxation that is more reasonable than Bush's and not a give-away for his wealthy buddies.

There are significant differences in priorities. Barring a revolution of the Proletariat, you may well be faced with a choice in 11/04 between Bush's program of socializing risk and privatizing profit, or a fiscally responsible Democrat who would distribute benefits and burdens more justly.

Until then, keep pumping up your choice of Kucinich. It's a good one. If you want to win others to your side, I'd admonish you to not discount concerns about deficit spending, which will be a winning issue for Democrats in 04, or argue from the position that only Kucinich cares about social welfare, because that's not credible, and it reinforces, in a kind of backhanded way, the impression that progressives aren't reasonable when it comes to spending money.

Imagine this nightmare scenario: Dean and Kerry tear each other to shreds, and the race comes down to Gephardt vs. Lieberman. Lieberman trashes Gep as a "big government tax-and-spend liberal" and the slur sticks, because some moderate mushforbrains in key states have some vague notion of social spending as being unaffordable and oppressive. Lieberman wins, and you have to choose between Lieberman, Bush, a protest vote, or staying home.

I'm not joking here. When Dennis is asked how he will pay for things, he talks about cutting Pentagon spending, and fair taxation. He doesn't say "Who Cares? All I care about is creating a paradise for hippies and liberals." So again, it comes down to priorities. Dennis doesn't prioritize balanced budgets, neither does he scoff at the notion. Something to think about.


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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. I completely agree with you
There's nothing about the words 'fiscal conservative' or 'balance the budget' that are terrible in themselves. I'm in favor of a balanced budget, too! ...but I want the money to come from those who have too much, not those who have too little. And I want that to be the standard solution, so that balancing the budget doesn't serve as another way to pump wealth upward.

The problem is that none of the soi-disant 'fiscal conservatives' have ever done that, and there's no reason for me to suspect they will. People who talk about balancing the budget on the backs of the corporations and the wealthy aren't called 'fiscal conservatives', they're called 'commies', 'class war ideologues' and other charming names.

You know that's true :)





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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
9. Let's assume for a moment that your assertions are not idiotic...
So the only possible way to benefit the working and poor people is to be fiscally irresponsible: run constant big deficits, keep shuffling taxes and benefits back and forth and from side to side so that nobody can make any rational plans, etc. etc.
How long could that go on and what would the real end result be for everyone, including the working and poor people...? :think:
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 06:40 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. And another strawman is demolished!
Boy, those strawmen are really tough to defeat, aren't they.

'Fiscal conservatives' sell us down the river to benefit wealthy elites. Their 'conservatism' is always expressed by cutting programs that benefit working people, never by cutting programs that benefit the wealthy elites.


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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Analysis of the "debate" tactic:
Their 'conservatism' is always expressed by cutting programs that benefit working people, never by cutting programs that benefit the wealthy elites.

The commonly understood definition of "fiscally responsible"/"fiscally conservative" is simply one who strives for balanced budgets and doesn't throw money around haphazardly.

The "debater" replaces the common definition with a private definition that has only vague connection to the common one: "fiscally conservative is one who cuts programs that benefit working people".

The clumsily attempted intentional deception becomes apparent from the fact that the private definition is claimed against candidates who are admitted "fiscal conservatives" according to the common definition, so the "debater" can hope to confuse and convince some who have no experience of such tactics, without ever showing any actual evidence to back up the claims but only by redefining something unrelated to "really mean it".
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. No, sorry, that doesn't wash
The rhetoric is all neutral and praiseworthy, the practice is completely classist.

What do you get out of colluding with that?




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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
34. "Colluding"?
The rhetoric is all neutral and praiseworthy, the practice is completely classist.

What do you get out of colluding with that?


A meaner person might, just like you, just ask a question "are you a totally obsessed paranoid kook?", but since I'm not that mean and especially because it would result in at least a warning from the moderators, I won't. :-)

(Ok, I'll get the warning anyway...)
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
40. The Europeans do quite well
The Germamsn and the Scandinavians, with 90 percent tax rates and far better social safety nets than the U.S.

THere are two ways to be fiscally responsible. One is to raise the top tax rate so that the rich pay a fairere share of the cost of government. Or cutting programs.

Dean cut taxes and cut programs, threatenend any attempt to raisse taxes on the riches Vermonters while hitting the porr with additional expenses for health care. Back to deciding whetther to eat or see te doctor.

Dean has no vision. The dmeocratic party's vision is to become more like the European models, in whihc the gap between the richand poor does not disappear, but shrinks to the point that the rich cannot use their wealth to comtrol government and legislation so that all laws and tax codes favor them.

Denas fiscal ideas are 19th century ideas, not much different than the Republicans ideas about cutting taxes and programs.

The U.S. needs a far more liberal vision. Not a conservative one. Conservatism since Reagan has gotten us into this shape. Raeal wages at their lowest in a half a century.

Deans ideas balance the budget on the backs of the neediest and the weakest, those with no political voice and little influence.
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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Do you believe repuke propaganda about Europe...?
The Germamsn and the Scandinavians, with 90 percent tax rates

:crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #41
54. I have lived in Germany
Edited on Mon Jul-21-03 01:07 PM by Nicholas_J
The top tax rate IS 90 percent, and they have quite a vibrant economy, the average person lives far better than the average American. THT TOP TAX RATE is 90 percent. The average middle class citizen making the equivalent of an Average middle class American pays about 4 to 5 percent more than the middle class American , but gets a shit-load more benefit from it. Even the Average Canaidian, when you add all taxation, sales taxes, income taxes and such pays 43 percent of their income in total taxes, while the average American pays 39 percent, in hidden tarriff on goods, sames taxes ,income taxes proprty taxes, (yes even if you pay rent, part of your rent is property tax).

So the cut income taxes and cut services method of balancing the budget, that kind of fiscal conservatism propposed by one of the candidates is the biggest reason that American Citizens do not get anything for their tax dollars. THe DLC's platform on taxation, progressive taxes in order to provide government services and a social safety net is the wave of the future, not the fiscal consevatism of keeping taxes down while cutting esential services. Europe is rising, the dollar is rapidly losing its strength against the Euro. The Europeans have modified capitalism into a Social-Capitalism, in which the government acts as mediator between labor and capital. The government actively uses hravy taxation to stimulate areas of the economy that serve society beest, and not the profit ofthe individual...

George Bush would be one example of a person who would be taxed to death for making his money in oil. In Germnay for example, businesses that are moving to produce biodiesel and modifying automobiles in order to use biodiesel, pay NO taxes on their profits. While oil corporations profits are taxes atbthe 90 percent rate. The fact that the wealthy are taxes far more, means they do not have excess cash to BUY political influence to change the laws to favor them.

No system is perfect, and influence peddling DOES exist, but keeping the gap between rich and poor smaller, makes it a less frequent occurrence.

American economist claimed that the European economy does not grow as quickly as the U.S. economy, but they do not account for the portion of the economy that is funneled back into social services when making those calculations.

They also claim that Europe freequently has higher unemployment, but again, that is Amerca trying to baffle with bullshit. The European figures include ALL of the unemployed, becasue Europeans do not LOSE their unemployment benefits after a certain period, wheras the American figures only include those actively collecting unemployment. Once your benefits are exhausted, you drop off of the count.

Dean may be running as a Democrat, but he grew up in a Rockerfeller Republican family and his primary economic advisors are all heads of the same brokerage firms that his father was a high powered broker in. Deans economic ideas come straight from Wall Street, and as you can see, an increase in the Dow does not translate into jobs or higher salaries for workers. It is time to let the DLC bring the American Economic Model into the 21st century as they wish to do. But with backward dragging ideas like fiscal conservatism, Europe and the rest of the world will leave the U.S. in the dust.It is time for a new economic vision, and Dean's vision is not new. It is old.

I have travelled much of Europe an the U.S. and the U.S. is becoming A dump, while much of the European infrastructure is constantly being kept up.

That is fiscal responsibility, not fiscal conservatism.
AND WE need it.
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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #54
58. Where did you get that "information" when you "lived in Germany"?
Edited on Mon Jul-21-03 01:49 PM by acerbic
The top tax rate IS 90 percent, and they have quite a vibrant economy, the average person lives far better than the average American. THT TOP TAX RATE is 90 percent.

Source? Are these sources lying when they say that the top rate is 53% or 51% (since they are a few years old) or do you claim that the top rate has been raised to 90% just recently?

"Presently, the top tax rate is 53% for private income and 47% for commercial income."
http://www.mathematik.uni-ulm.de/de-news/1999/05/032100...

"The top rate of income tax will be reduced in three stages from the current level of 51% to 42% in 2005. The basic rate for low-earners will be substantially cut from the current level of 22.9% to 15% by the year 2005. The basic personal allowance will be raised from the present sum of 13,499 marks to 15,011 marks by 2005. By significantly reducing its top tax rate to 42%, Germany has achieved a level that has nothing to fear from international comparison."
source

So the cut income taxes and cut services method of balancing the budget, that kind of fiscal conservatism propposed by one of the candidates is the biggest reason that American Citizens do not get anything for their tax dollars.

Which candidate has proposed cutting income taxes and services as method of balancing the federal budget? When, where? I assume you mean the federal budget since we're talking about presidential candidates here (again, I assume).
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. Business rates are as high as 90 percent.
For example, the casinos in Germany pay 90 percent of their earnings to the government, and still make a bundle.
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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Heh
Edited on Mon Jul-21-03 03:31 PM by acerbic
First you claim that "THT TOP TAX RATE is 90 percent." in the context of talking about personal income tax rates:

The top tax rate IS 90 percent, and they have quite a vibrant economy, the average person lives far better than the average American. THT TOP TAX RATE is 90 percent. The average middle class citizen making the equivalent of an Average middle class American pays about 4 to 5 percent more than the middle class American , but gets a shit-load more benefit from it. Even the Average Canaidian, when you add all taxation, sales taxes, income taxes and such pays 43 percent of their income in total taxes, while the average American pays 39 percent, in hidden tarriff on goods, sames taxes ,income taxes proprty taxes, (yes even if you pay rent, part of your rent is property tax).

When I dig out the actual facts with links to source, you switch the claim to be about business rates. Methinks now would be your turn to show where you claim to get that information, instead of just switching to the next claim. :eyes:
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #61
65. Germany
Edited on Mon Jul-21-03 03:57 PM by Nicholas_J
Divides income in a progressive manner.

And that 53 percent tax rate refers to salaries up to a certain level after that all income above that level is taxed at an additional rate of 21 percent.



Plus lower income families are allowed a deduction per dependent so that 80 percent of people earning 26000 euros pay less than th lowest rate.

I approve of such tax rates that tax the rich more highly than the poor. Regardless of the top rates.

My problem with Howard Dean is that he does not approve of progressive taxation.

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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #65
76. Wven if what you are saying in that post
is true what you said before that would still be false. 53+21=74 not 90. Thus the top income tax rate is 74 and not 90. It should be noted that the person above you supplied a link which you didn't.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #59
63. Not to quibble, but I find 80% rates on casinos in Germany
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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. Talking about casinos...
Edited on Mon Jul-21-03 03:40 PM by acerbic
That 80% seems to be specific to casinos, not just any business with certain profit level: it's clearly a "sin tax", so the relevance as describing general taxation levels is quite a stretch, to put it mildly. In some other European countries casinos are illegal or a state monopoly.
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #64
68. Again
Edited on Mon Jul-21-03 04:12 PM by Nicholas_J
Check info on the additional Lander Taxes on the casinos and not just the Bund rate.
ANd my original p

Which is just fine by me.

I not only listen to freeper statements about high European taxation. I approve of high European taxation.

I want it in America
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. Not what is proposed...I dont listen to qwhat a candidates say
When he wants my vote before looking at what he has done.

But what has been done...As noted above Deans record is cutting taxes, opposing income tax increases, and cutting services.

I follow John Kerry's statement when considering a candidate "Don't listen to what I am saying in my campaigns, but look at the record of what legislation I have supported or rejected over my entire career" Do the same for other candidates.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 06:18 AM
Response to Original message
10. Dean's economic policy position
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 06:20 AM by w4rma
The economic policies of the Bush Administration are misguided, unfair and unsuccessful.

They fail to meet the basic standard of economic justice decent, well-paying jobs for all who want them. They are policies that have created a legacy of debt for future generations. Huge tax cuts that benefit the wealthy are starving essential government services like education and homeland security, and forcing states and local governments to increase sales, income and property taxes. While Americas wealthiest individuals those in the top 2 per cent of income brackets receive the bulk of the tax cuts, Americas middle class is left behind.

Since this Administration took office, nearly 3 million Americans have seen their jobs disappear. The unemployment rate has risen to over 6%. Nine million people are unemployed, and countless more have joined the ranks of discouraged workers and dropped out of the labor market entirely. Millions of Americans from young people just out of school to others who are the victims of massive layoffs are underemployed in jobs that fail to take advantage of their talents or reward their reasonable expectations. Too many of our fellow citizens are laboring at subsistence pay levels without benefits or prospects of advancement,

Month after month, for nearly three years, manufacturers have fired more workers than they hired, and the world-class manufacturing sector that has been the heart of Americas strength continues to shrink.

Meanwhile, the federal budget deficit now estimated to be more than $450 billion this year soars out of control, with no relief in sight. The Bush Administration philosophy has become borrow and spend and let our children and grandchildren pick up the pieces.

But the truth is that this Administrations economic agenda is about far more than budgets and deficits. The ideologues gathered around the President have a more ambitious goal -- to repeal the progressive legacy of the Twentieth Century. They want to return to a time when private wealth was insulated from the graduated income tax, and the many labored for the benefit of the few. They would ignore the widening gap between rich and poor, shred the safety nets that provide at least some protection for the unfortunate, and dismantle the safeguards that protect consumers and workers alike.

I believe we must take drastic actions to repair the damage that this President is inflicting on our economy.

As Governor for more than 10 years, I guided the Vermont economy through two Bush recessions. Despite economic uncertainty, I was able to reduce taxes, maintain a balanced budget, expand health care and increase funding for education.

My economic policies for America are based on four fundamentals:

- Repeal the Bush tax cuts, and use those funds to pay for universal health care, homeland security, and investments in job creation that benefit all Americans.
- Set the nation on the path to a balanced budget, recognizing that we cannot have social or economic justice without a sound fiscal foundation.
- Create a fairer and simpler system of taxation.
- Assure that Social Security and Medicare are adequately funded to meet the needs of the next generation of retirees.

I know what it takes to generate economic growth. As President, I will work tirelessly to put the American economy back on the road to prosperity not just for the favored few, but for all.
http://www.deanforamerica.com/site/PageServer?pagename=...
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. I believe Nicholas has brought out evidence
that Dr Dean's policies in Vermont shifted the burden more firmly onto the backs of working people.

Perhaps I'm not remembering correctly, though, so I'll wait to see what Nicholas says, and apologise if I got it wrong.

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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #12
37. You are correct Mairead.
It is hardly good to be fiscally conservative and make the decision to hurt the poor , the elderly, the disabled, by deciding to cut programs rather than raise taxes. You can balance budgets BOTH ways. Dean alway made the choices that harmene those with the least power, and the most to lose......

Dean and some legislators have said they want state residents who receive health benefits through the government Medicaid program to pay more for those services. Senior citizens who rely on the program for discounted medicines could be hit especially hard.

Schools also could receive less state money than superintendents say they need. Dean already has given his austerity speech to educators. Speaker of the House Walter Freed, R-Dorset, echoes Dean. Schools can't continue to increase their budgets at a time when enrollment is dropping and expect the state to meet that need, Freed said.

The remaining portion of the Circumferential Highway project in Chittenden County is in jeopardy. Shumlin said unless the federal government increases its proposed subsidy for the project, the state can't afford it. Thousands of local motorists have waited years for the Circ's completion. IBM has lobbied for the roadway.

Legislators say they will scrutinize all state services. Only necessary programs will survive. Only the needy will be served.

http://www.geocities.com/dmmead/2002/sc0110.html


Medicaid cuts will affect thousands of Vermonters

January 23, 2002

By DAVID MACE

Vermont Press Bureau

MONTPELIER Tens of thousands of Vermonters would see their state health care benefits rolled back or cut off completely under Gov. Howard Deans proposed budget, which seeks to wring $16.5 million in savings from Medicaid.

In an effort to curb costs in a rapidly expanding part of the social services budget, Dean is proposing to require many people who got coverage under his expansions of Medicaid programs to pay for a greater share of their health care.

Medicaid is the state-run program that uses both state and federal money to provide benefits to the poor and disabled. Over the past several years Dean has expanded the programs by allowing participation by Vermonters with incomes higher than the federal guidelines.

http://timesargus.nybor.com/Legislature/Story/41169.htm...


Senate adds money to budget, angers Dean
May 9, 2002

By ROSS SNEYD The Associated Press

MONTPELIER Senators passed a 2003 state budget Wednesday that the governor made clear he would veto if it ever reached his desk.


Even the governors closest allies in the Senate ignored him. Sen. Nancy Chard, D-Windham, recommended restoring $440,000 to one of the pharmaceutical assistance programs and the Senate voted 22-7 to go along with her.

Ive become convinced that we have a philosophical difference between the governor, the Republican House and this Senate, said Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin, D-Windham.

The governor and the Republican House want to balance this budget on the backs of our most vulnerable Vermonters. The Senate wants to balance this budget on the backs of the pharmaceutical companies who are charging too much for drugs.


http://timesargus.nybor.com/Legislature/Story/46513.htm...

Progressives call for higher taxes for rich
January 25, 2002

By JACK HOFFMAN

Vermont Press Bureau

MONTPELIER Vermont Progressives renewed their call Thursday for higher taxes on the wealthy in order to avoid some of the budget cuts that Gov. Howard Dean outlined earlier this week.

The Progressives, with support of a couple dozen Democrats and one Republican, proposed two new income tax surcharges. Taxes would go up 12.5 percent on taxable income between $43,000 and $158,000. On taxable income above $158,000, taxes would be increased 25 percent


http://timesargus.nybor.com/Legislature/Story/41293.htm...


Dean had MORE alternatives than to just CUT programs. He could have taken the VERY SAME action that Republican governor Snelling left hin with to get rid of Vermontys deficit when Dean took office. It was not Dean who fixed that deficit, but Snellings temporary passiage od t three tiered income tax. Dean rolled it back and refused to use it again when budget deficits larger than those he faced in 1992 hit again in 2002.

Dean had two choices. To make those who could afford it pay a small bit more. Or to make those who could not affird it, paty more thn they could afford. To agaqin have to make the choice between eating and a visit to the emergency room....
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #37
69. This crap. AGAIN.
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #69
72. Did Dean raise income taxes
OR cut programs. that is the key, that is the ONLY valid means to determine his fiscal policies. WHO he makes pay, and who he does not.

ANd Dean hit the poor, and spared the rich. Pure, simple, prooved by his own threats, his own vetoes his own programs.

Prove that he behavedin a fiscally responsible but fiscally progressive manner, and not from his own campaign propaganda or stop YOUR CRAP AGAIN.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #72
74. Been here before, but here's an example from one of your links:
http://www.geocities.com/dmmead/2002/sc0110.html


Wealthier Vermonters who receive state services, or tax benefits, will have to pay more money for some of those benefits.



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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #74
84. Thats what he said
But he never acted on it. Dena did not increase income taxes that would have insured that they pay more.

And if you note, it was wealthier Vermonters who receive STATE SERVICES. Not WEALTHIER VERMONTERS.


More Dean bullshit...look at his example.

Wealthier Vermonters who receive state services, or tax benefits, will have to pay more money for some of those benefits.

For instance, Act 60 provides families with income of up to $75,000 several money-saving options for calculating their statewide property tax. That benefit needs trimming, lawmakers said.


http://www.geocities.com/dmmead/2002/sc0110.html

A family with an income of 75 thousand is hardly wealthy...

Dean placed the vast amount of the burden on those who were lower income or middle income.

Now this was the progresives income tax plan to increase income tax that Dean threatened to veto:

The Progressives, with support of a couple dozen Democrats and one Republican, proposed two new income tax surcharges. Taxes would go up 12.5 percent on taxable income between $43,000 and $158,000. On taxable income above $158,000, taxes would be increased 25 percent.

Taxable income is the amount left after personal exemptions and deductions have been subtracted from wages, business earnings and other types of income.

Currently, Vermonts highest income tax rate is 9.5 percent. That is the rate paid on taxable income above $283,000. Under the plan the Progressives proposed Thursday, the highest Vermont tax rate would be 11.88 percent.

The coalition also called for a change in the tax on capital gains. Currently, Vermont treats long-term capital gains as the federal government does and taxes it at a lower rate. The highest rate Vermont collects on capital gains is 4.8 percent.

The Progressives said Thursday that gains on investments should be treated the same as salaries and wages that people are paid for their labor. They said the tax rate should for capital gains should be the same as it is for ordinary income.

http://timesargus.nybor.com/Legislature/Story/41293.htm...

The progressive plan would have hit those who were rich, but the example for Dean plan was REMOVING a benefit that was given to people making "UNDER 75,000"

Which plan taxes the rich more?

Dean simply was attempting to place more of a burden at the lower level, again, than actually tax the rich a little more.



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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
70. Yet what Dean did to taxation in Vermont
Edited on Mon Jul-21-03 04:11 PM by Nicholas_J
Decreased taxes on the rich, and increased them on the poor and middle class.

When He talks about a fairer tax, he does not say fair to who.

You can provide NO evidence that Dean held this stance as governor, and you cannot provide ONE instance in which he dediced to increase income taxes progressively.

Sorry, what he is saying now to get votes is not more valid than what he actually DID when he was governor.

All dean supporters do is complain about PROOFS about what Dean did as governor, and provide no evidence that Vermont Democrats approved of his positions. You can find plenty of Repulicans who leved Deans fiscal policies, but very few democrats....

He is running as a democrat, isnt he?
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CMT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
16. nothing wrong with being fiscally responsible and liberal too
Bill Clinton managed to combine the two. Prior to Clinton the last president to have a balanced budget was Lyndon Johnson, who domestically was as liberal as they come.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. No, sorry, Clinton presided over the destruction of the safety net
Tell me something comparable he did against the elites.


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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
17. Defecit spending just gives republicans a reason to demand
that we cut social programs. That's the whole point of what Bush is doing.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. I think you're missing something
They do that anyway. That's the class war part.

Clinton balanced the budget on our backs. Then Smirk gave it away to the elites. The ol' one-two combination.

'Fiscal conservative' is a coded phrase for 'take from the poor to give to the wealthy'.

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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. So what's your solution?
Since you believe balanced budgets are unacceptable, what is the right course of action?
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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #21
35. You won't get a sensible answer, just more ranting
See post #9 and the "reply"...
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:46 AM
Response to Reply #35
44. I have no respect for, nor will I give my time to, people who do
insultingly cheap strawmen. I demand at the very least that the strawmen be of good quality. So if you want a response from me, get your act together.


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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #21
39. The democratic party' platform id the correct answer:
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 08:55 PM by Nicholas_J
We believe that fiscal discipline is fundamental to sustained economic growth as well as responsible government.

We believe that a progressive tax system is the only fair way to pay for government.

We believe the Democratic Party's mission is to expand opportunity, not government.

You know, the Hyde Park Declaration. The democratic party's centrist platform that Dean has not signed.


http://www.ndol.org/print.cfm?contentid=1926

You know the one that states that a fair, progressive income tax system, that taxes those by ability to pay, the rich paying more than the poor. You know, the type of taxation that Dean threatened to veto.
Thats how a Democrat defines Fiscal Responsibility.

A Republican defines it as cutting taxes and cutting programs...Like Howard Dean did.

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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #39
45. Clarifications, Please
That's the DLC, right?

Kerry has signed on to Hyde Park. What's his relation to the DLC exactly? What's his take on fiscal discipline?

I don't believe Kucinich and Gephardt have signed on, because of labor and trade issues. But you couldn't fairly say that they're against progressive taxation, or that they're not Democrats.

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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #45
71. Kerry is a DLC member
Edited on Mon Jul-21-03 04:15 PM by Nicholas_J
Dean did not sign onto the Hyde Park Declarations which were written to oppose PNAC.

Since Dean supporters attacked me for copyright violations when posting large sections of proofs, you can go to the link in the original post to the Hyde Park Declaration and read it.

You will see that Deans actions as governor were in exact oppostion to the economic principals set up by the DLC. Fair progressive taxation on the rich(Dean threatened to veto a joint progressive party and democratic bill to do this in 2002, claiming the rich already paid too much.)
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
22. I think you need to define the term "fiscal conservative"
Otherwise, we will just keep talking past each other.

I will offer my own definition for discussion:

A fiscal conservative is a person who supports tax and spending policies which are in balance over the long term, thereby minimizing government deficits.

In other words, someone who supports high taxes and high spending can be a fiscal conservative, provided that government income and spending are in balance. Similarly, someone who supports low taxes and low spending can also be a fiscal conservative, provided that government income and spending are in balance.

But someone who supports low taxes and high spending (ie: most Republicans in office right now) cannot be considered fiscal conservatives because their policies are out of balance, and cause massive deficits.

I get the feeling that you consider a fiscal conservative to be "someone who cuts social programs in order to balance the budget." I would argue that this definition only covers one type of fiscal conservative, and is therefore not correct. Fiscal conservatives also include at least two other types: "people who increase taxes in order to balance the budget" and "people who increase taxes and cut spending in order to balance the budget".

On a related note, I think that the last twenty years have shown conclusively that the Democratic party is the fiscally responsible party, while the Republican party has been fiscally irresponsible. So Considering that liberals are more fiscally responsible, I wonder if the term "conservative" is a misnomer when talking about finances.



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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. "this definition only covers one type of fiscal conservative"
Find another kind in practice. In rhetoric, sure, but in practice, nope, try to find one. You can find the tax-raising sort, but the raising always disproportionately hits working people, not the coupon clippers.

No matter the nominal mechanism, it affects working people disproportionately. There are no contrary examples to be found, and haven't been since LBJ (and to be truthful, I'm not completely sure that he did either. We might have to go all the way back to early FDR)

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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. There's Bill Clinton.
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 11:20 AM by Skinner
Remember "the largest tax increase in american history?" Almost all of the tax increase was on the more affluent (He even created an entirely new 39% tax bracket at the top), while he cut taxes on the working poor in the form of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Meanwhile, he tried to create an entirely new federal entitlement to help working people -- health care -- and he tried to do it in a way that was fiscally responsible.

Was Clinton perfect? Absolutely not. But in practice his record speaks for itself. The tax increases were on the people who could afford the tax increases, while the tax cuts and spending increases were for people who needed them.

I'm still curious what your definition of "fiscal conservative" is.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Your chronology is a bit off :-)
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 12:08 PM by Mairead
The Earned Income Tax Credit was put in place during Ford's time (1975) as an innoculation against Nixon's (our last liberal president! :( ) 'negative income tax' proposal. Clinton's administration put the squeeze on it, effectively eliminating its use by, e.g., undocumented workers and putting onerous requirements on other people.

His and Hilary's healthcare proposal was loaded with pork for the owners of insurance companies--the wealthy elites. That's typical slight-of-hand: do something that looks pro-working people, but turns out to be satisfactorily pro-elite. NAFTA was another such. The WTO was another, and the MIA (or whatever it was called) that was quietly cancelled after worldwide uproar, was yet another. All were billed (npi) as being pro-working people, all were in fact anti-.

His new tax brackets are another example of the kind of slight-of-hand I'm talking about. What we know for sure is that, no matter what it looked like on the surface, wealth continued to concentrate during his time, possibly even at a slightly higher rate even than under Reagan and Bush One. And we also know that he presided over the shredding of the safety net, the full effects of which have yet to be felt.


My definition of 'fiscal conservative' as used is what I gave in my basenote: it's a coded phrase that sounds neutral and responsible while being understood by those in the know to mean someone who will spend on the wealthy elites rather than the poor. My personal definition--one that flies in the face of the coded usage--is someone who spends carefully to directly benefit working people rather than the wealthy elites. 'Trickle-up', you might call it.

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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Untrue.
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 12:20 PM by Skinner
Clinton significantly increased the Earned Income Tax Credit. That is a fact.

Your memory of the health care proposal is interesting as well. If it was such a boon to the wealthy, I don't understand why they fought it tooth-and-nail. (Yes, the insurance industry fought it too.)

Your interpretation of the new tax brackets is also interesting. He created a new income tax rate for the highest earners. Federal receipts went way up. The increased concentration of wealth was *despite* the Clinton tax increase, not *because* of it.

As for "presiding over the shredding of the safety net" -- I think you'll have to do better than simply saying that "we all know" it's true. I know of one issue to support your claim: Welfare reform. Maybe NAFTA. That makes two.

And just to be clear, if we are using your definition of fiscal conservative -- "someone who will spend on the wealthy elites rather than the poor" -- then yes, I would agree with you that fiscal conservatives are "anti-poor and pro-elite." (Seems pretty obvious, even if the reasoning is somewhat circular.) I would point out, however, that your definition of fiscal conservative is not the accepted defition.

EDIT: Spelling
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #32
47. Politicians can dissemble and obfuscate, but they can't hide
the net effect of what they do. Or at least not forever. So I try to focus on the net effect.

If you look at Clinton's expansion of the EITC in context (see, e.g., Ventry, D. (undated) "The Collision of Tax and Welfare Politics:
The Political History of the Earned Income Tax Credit, 1969-99". Brookings Institute) I think you'll find that it was ...not cosmetic, exactly, but quasi-cosmetic. For example, Ventry points out that by 1996, the EITC was all that saved many people from poverty. Why is that? Because the net effect of all policies combined had been to reduce poor people's options and worsen their status. So EITC was saving them from an artificial problem.

Saying that the increased concentration of wealth was 'despite' Clinton implies that he worked heroically against it. But he didn't. He didn't sound the tocsin, he didn't take it to the people, he didn't demand that Congress act to halt or reverse the flow. Prof. Wolff's data (http://www.levy.org/docs/wrkpap/papers/300.html ) show that the best that can be said for Clinton is that 'wealth inequality {rose} at a slower pace {from 1989 to 1998} than during the 1980s.'

The euphemised 'wefare reform' was the destruction of the safety net. For the first time since FDR, people stopped having the right to even the bare necessities of life.

NAFTA didn't attack the safety net as usually conceived. NAFTA attacked a way of life--skilled and semi-skilled trades work, from which people could get their living. NAFTA destroyed factory work, and left nothing in its place for someone who's willing to work hard and has practical intelligence but can't afford formal education.

As to 'my' definition not being the 'accepted definition', I'm not concerned about that. I even agree: the definition I illuminated is not the meaning you get denotatively from the bare words. But that's also true of 'international bankers' or 'inner-city youth'. All three are coded phrases. You can't get 'Jews' by parsing 'international bankers', but everyone knows damned well that that's what it means when certain people say it! And White kids also live in the inner city...but they're not the ones 'inner city youth' refers to.

Like 'international bankers' and 'inner city youth', 'fiscal conservative' is a coded phrase, and it has the coded meaning I illuminated. When we have a self-described 'fiscal conservative' who says 'we must have a balanced budget and I am going to balance it by paring the military-industrial budget down to a sane level, end the murderous drug war and deflate the prison-industrial complex, get the hands of the corporations out of our pockets in healthcare and public services, and shift the tax burden onto those best capable of paying it' ...then I'll agree that the phrase has regained its denotative meaning.

You'll excuse me though if I don't try to hold my breath meanwhile!


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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #32
73. Well I guess askinf Fiscal Conservatives what it is would be best
iscal conservatives, including Alan Greenspan, have supported reducing the federal deficit and even paying down the national debt, although they might not have preferred the likely mix of tax increases and spending reductions. But no definition of fiscal conservatism justifies moving the spending goal posts as soon as the budget is balanced. Fiscal conservatism means that, once the legitimate spending objectives of government have been met, the remaining resources should be kept by those who earned themAmericas taxpayers.

Indeed, Greenspan himself argued in recent testimony before Congress that a major increase in outlays "is the worst of all possible worlds from a fiscal policy point of view, and, under all conditions, should be avoided." He went on to say, "I have great sympathy for those who wish to cut taxes now to preempt that process, and indeed, if it turns out that they are right, then I would say that moving on the tax front makes a good deal of sense to me." All conservativesfiscal and otherwiseshould now recognize in the administrations proposal the truth in Ronald Reagans observation that if you give Washington the money, it will spend it. Reagan also knew that there was only one way to stop Washington from spending itnot to leave it there in the first place.

http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.10704/pub_detail....


Our members help elect candidates who support the Reagan vision of limited government and lower taxes.

Do you want a Republican Congress, but don't want to give your contributions to Republicans who would vote like Democrats? Or who vote for Republican pork instead of Democratic pork?

If you're tired of politicians whose "solution" to every problem is more taxes, more spending and more government, then the Club for Growth gives economic conservatives like you a chance to finally do something about it.

http://www.clubforgrowth.org /

or 30 years economic conservatives and libertarians labored mightily to wrestle control of Congress away from a Democratic Party that has been mostly captured by the left at the national level. Most of us believed that electing a Republican Congress would bring about the kinds of major policy reformstax cuts, fundamental tax reform and simplification, school choice, less wasteful government, and so onthat are so critical to advancing prosperity.

We now know that was a naive hope.

Too many Congressional Republicans have veered away from the limited government agenda that got them elected to the majority in Congress. They enacted budget deals with Bill Clinton that betrayed our limited government beliefs. They have approved pork-barrel highway bills worse than what the Democrats used to give us. They have dropped the ball on making tax cuts permanent, tax reform, and personal investment of Social Security.


http://www.clubforgrowth.org/why.php


Tax Cuts: People can spend their own money better than government can.

Cutting State Government: The burden of Arkansas government rests on the working people in our state.

Encouraging Business Investment: We must begin to reward those who are here and encouraging other business to locate and expand in Arkansas.


http://www.jeremyhutchinson.com/issue-fiscalcons.htm

The very heart of fiscal conservatism is to tax less and reduce the size of government, according to fiscal conservative.
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #22
56. But then again
Calling a tax and spend democrat fiscally irresponsible as Dean did in Vermont, is an untruth, as the progressives wished to use a progressive tax system to balance the budget AND maintain government services.

That is the differnce between fiscal reponsibility and fiscal consrevatism. One can be a fiscal progressive, and be fiscally responsibly. or be a fiscal conservative, and fiscally responsible.

I am sorry to disagree Skinner,and I have the utmiost respect for your opinion, but I think you are confusing fiscal reponsibility with fiscal conservatism. One can balance the budget two ways, conservatively, or progressively. Dean did it conservatively.

And if anything, Dean could then not be considered fiscally responsible, because he mandated increasing medicaid and expanded those eliglible to the maximum alloweed under Clintons changes to medicaid, without funding the mandate. His own commission in 2002 found that Vermont was increasing these programs without providing any mechanism for funding them adequtely or reliably.

He increase spending, but cut taxes, and created a mess requiring cutting programs again.

This is a small portion of the report:


We do not have a health care system in Vermont. That means:

1. No one is in control.

2. No one is responsible for ensuring that high-quality medical care is adequate for the needs of the public.

3. No one ensures that medical charges are appropriate or that they are paid in full.

4. There is a "disconnect" between the consumer receiving health care and the entity paying the bill. Consumers are shielded from the cost of the service.

5. There is no global budgeting or targeted growth planning for health care in Vermont.

http://216.239.37.100/search?q=cache:aC9QzqwOEmkJ:www.s...

Dean created a mess. His ideas are not just to balance the budget by cutting taxes and cutting programs, but his mandates for health care:

C. Health care costs in Vermont, now exceeding $2 billion a year, are of a sufficient magnitude, however, and are increasing at a sufficient rate to place state government itself in jeopardy, including every program for which it appropriates money. By comparison, Vermonters budgeted $1.8 billion for all state government services in FY 2001 (not including federal funds).3

We are rapidly approaching the point at which these costs will directly conflict with our ability to do such things as to maintain roads and bridges, for example, or to provide cost-effective services to our infants and children, to promote agriculture and tourism, or to provide any other services our citizens have come to expect.

http://216.239.37.100/search?q=cache:aC9QzqwOEmkJ:www.s...

This was at at time when the TOTAL budget for Vermont was about three BILLION dollars.

Dean was a man with a mania an focus on only TWO ideas. Fiscal Conservatism. And Health Care. But his ideas abot these two things were diametrically opposed to each other. He refused to raise income taxes, which was the very method by which Richard Snelling, provided Dean with the means of getting rid of a deficit. Dena refused to keep this tax system, but rolled it back. But this did not mean that Dean did not stop taxing. He just changed the taxation from progressive type income taxation to regressive type consumption taxation which is another idea that comes from fiscal conservatism. Fiscal conservatives beleive that every person should pay equal amounts of taxation, regardless of ability to pay. Conservative theory is based on equal taxation for equal everyone, based on consumption, Which is why fiscal conservatives are so gung-ho on the national income tax ideas.

Another part of fiscal conservative theory id the so called trickle down theory, which is again, something that Dean seems to favor. He was far more comfortable with big business and giving them favorable deals to bring business into Vermont. But the tax burden for the infrastructure needs hitbthe average Vermonter more than the new jobs
are worth. Salaries do not keep up with costs. Rents and property vailues become further out of reach for the average citizen.

So the definition of a fiscal conservative is far more complex than that of simple balancing of budgets and cutting of programs.

Degree of government regulation of businesses is another element.


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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
25. Bottom line, guys: find one that's ever taken it out of the elites
That's the bottom line. Not your abstract rhetoric, not 'coulds', 'mights' or 'shoulds', but the real deal. They take it out of our hides, full stop, end of story.

Try to find a contrary example. No more handwaving, just examples.

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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. What do you call it when...
when you increase health coverage to all children under 18 in households making up to three times the poverty level?

when you cut taxes on clothing?

when you raise the minimum wage twice?

when you implement a program which offers help (such as parenting classes and education workshops) to every new parent, resulting in lower child abuse rates, lower teen pregnancy rates, and healthier children?

...

Selling out to wealthy interests, obviously.

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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. Who paid for it. That's the bottom line.
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. your bottom line is changing faster than
Cleveland's credit rating in the late 70s.
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #33
46. foul!
Mairead's point stands. If a poltician provides social services on the backs of the working classes, and especially if he does so while giving breaks and special treatment to corporate and other monied interests, if he does all that while claiming to be a "fiscal conservative," he is evidently using the rhetoric in the way Mairead describes.

I'm not endorsing Mairead's reading of Dean's record, or accepting his conclusions, but his argument is not inconsistent.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #46
49. (her conclusions) :-)
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #49
55. apologies
It's not like you were hiding your gender. No excuse. Sorry.
:dunce:
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #33
48. No, I'm simply asking the same question in different ways
Who pays? When wealth steadily shifts in one direction for a long time, the answer is clear: the other guys are paying.

By 1998, the wealthiest 10% of the population owned almost 71% of everything:




71% of everything, and 85% of all stocks.

Forty percent --nearly half-- the population lost ground terribly during the decades since Reagan.




I think it's very clear who's paying.

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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #31
51. Hmm...
Vermont has one of the highest tax levels in the country.

http://www.census.gov/govs/statetax/00staxrank.html

Vermont income tax is 24% of the federal tax burden, and Dean only cut that moderatly to compete with NH which has no income tax.

http://users.adelphia.net/~frankmazur/vermont_taxes_12_...

Does that answer your question?
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UnapologeticLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
28. A true fiscal conservative is one who can manage money
And is dedicated to balanced budgets. In the long term, deficits are bad news for those of us who are dedicated to social justice. Right now, at least 20 cents of every dollar we send to Washington is spent paying interest on the national debt. This figure will probably grow as the Bush tax cuts take effect and the baby boomers start to retire. This is an enormous waste of money. I believe the federal budget passed this year was about $2.2 trillion. 20% of this would be $440,000,000,000. Think about all the social programs we could create or improve if we had an extra $440 billion to spend without having to raise taxes.

There is a reason that Republicans have abandoned traditional fiscal conservatism and begun to embrace deficits. It is a mentality called "starve the beast," in which they deliberately run up deficits so that it will be hard to justify new spending on social welfare programs, and so that eventually they can make the case that we have to drastically cut back the ones we have because we cannot afford it. It is no coincidence that they are doing this shortly before the baby boomers start to retire. They hope that the less solvent they make the system, the sooner it will have to be privatized to keep it from collapsing, or, better yet, that it will collapse completely.

You will notice that in order to make room for the massive tax cuts this year, the House Republicans initially tried to pass a budget that had drastic cuts to food stamps, TANF, Medicaid, Section 8, and other anti-poverty programs. That budget was designed to try to show that they could balance the budget on the backs of the poor without hurting the middle class. So when there are out of control deficits, the poor will be the first to be shafted, since they have the least political clout. So it is the poor in particular who would benefit from a balanced budget, because that would make it a lot harder to justify cutting anti-poverty programs.
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
36. True
Since the Reagan Era, produced so many Reagan Democrats, there has been a centrist move. But to consider Howard Dea as a solution to giving into the Republicans and not fighting them is the biggest lie ever perpetrated on trhe American Public. One of Vermonts Republicans caled Dean a "Republican in Drag"

In Vermont, said John McClaughry, Dean was such a centrist that some in his own party considered him "a Republican in drag." McClaughry, a Republican who heads the Ethan Allen Institute, a public policy think tank in Kirby, Vt., said: "A lot of people in Vermont look at Howard Dean today and they don't see the Howard Dean who was governor. He has reshaped himself to appeal to a faction of the Democratic constituency."


But Dean's obstacles are not limited to his fellow New Englander. The former governor presided over a poor state with only 650,000 residents and just three electoral votes. Vermont has few minorities, no large cities and an almost nonexistent union presence. Despite serious problems such as widespread heroin addiction, Vermont has a bucolic image as a theme park of health and happiness. One year while Dean was governor, the state recorded a total of five homicides.]


http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/uvmclips/MayClips/NelsonDeanL...
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
38. Gee,I wonder which candidate you would be thinking of?
I just told my friend last night never to trust anyone who uses the term "the bottom line" because,invariably,they have no real clue.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #38
50. What makes you suppose it's only one?
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #50
77. oh I dunno
maybe because all I've seen you do is post negatives about Dean and Dean only? :shrug:
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #77
83. Does this shoe fit anyone else, do you think, or is he the only one?
When someone brags about being a 'fiscal conservative', I want it to be clearly understood what that means in terms of 'follow the money'. Clear information is our best hope of averting disaster.

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
52. Fiscal conservatism means when you HAVE to balance a budget
you cut programs favored by the social progressives over the programs designed to benefit the wealthy.
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DrGonzoLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
53. So, it's the bottom line because you say it is
Whatever...keep on demonizing and antagonizing people who don't fall in line behind your candidate, what a wonderful way to bring the Democrats together.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #53
57. I'm not demonising. I only tell the thruth and they THINK it's demonising
(channelling Harry Truman for a moment)

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #57
62. Deleted message
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #62
78. If that were true
then you'd have no trouble coming up with plenty of soi-disant 'fiscal conservatives' under whose administration the wealthy lost ground and the poor gained it.

But you're not going to do that, are you. Because you can't. Because there are no such.

The situation is as others here and I have described it.




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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #62
87. Again incorrect
The answer is, who pays taxes, and who gets massive loopholes in order to avoid paying them.

That is the differnce between fiscal conservatives and the fiscally responsible.

No mmatter how you try to spin it, Dean refused to increase taxes on the rich. He raised plenty of consumption and property taxes, which take a bigger percentage of money from the poor and middle class than the rich, but somehow, you think balancing the budget justifies cutting services, making the poor and middle class pay more, and the rich getting away with paying less of their total income, pecentage wise than these other two groups

It is you who put forth your opinion of what fiscal conservativism is without dfinding one jot of evidence that what Dean did as governor in this regard is ANY different than what Bush has done at the national level.

Find Vermont Democrats who agree with your stance on Deans ideas of taxation. You offer NO evidence to back up your own claim at all.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #57
66. sigh Harry S Truman
There was a great man. I think he was probably one of the most underrated presidents ever. Its interesting Harry was humblized when he first met Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin yet I would be humblized if I met Harry a man who didnt have the more well to do upbringing. Harry was even less apt for military service than JFK yet he was heroic too.
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DrGonzoLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #57
79. Your OPINION is not TRUTH
Sorry to break it to you. Just because you have one definition of "fiscally conservative" does not mean that it is the only one that can ever be used.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #79
82. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #82
88. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #82
95. Deleted message
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #53
85. Wrong again
Dean is a fiscal consevative. This is a buzzword used now for Reaganomics, and the Neo-Con fiscal ideology. It is defined by those who havebeen representing themselves as fiscal conservatives. Newt Gingrich, Alan Greenspan, The Club For Growth, Grover Norquist...

The entire fiscal conservative concept is basesd on lowering taxes, cutting government spending and services.

THe catch phrase is "LETTING THE PEOPLE KEEP THEIR OWN MONEY"

Which does not mean to stop taxation, just that the rich should not be taxes any more than the poor.

So Republicans tax by raising consumption taxes, which at the federal level is to raise tariffs. Particularly on imports. So on a pair of Cheap ten dollar sneakers that cost 20 bucks, the average poor person who can only afford a pair of Wal Mart sneakers is payin 9 dollar in a hidden tax. THe person who buys a pair of hand made shoes made in the U.S. by an American shoemaker for 500 bucks (Like Poppy Bush) pays not one cent of tariff on those shoes.

Remarkably like Deans performance as governor. Dean would not raise the income tax, but remarkable raised all kinds of consumption taxes. Which affect the rich and the poor equally in dollar amounts, but inequitably in terms of percent of total income.

While Dean is saying very vague things regarding taxation, there is nothing in Deans history that indicates that he supports progressive taxation, in which the more you can afford to pay, the more you have to pay.

When Dean was governor, total tax burden did not fall, Vermont had the third highest total tax rate in the U.S. when he entered office and was the same when he left.

He just reduced the burden on the rich, and increased it on the poor.


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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
80. What is your alternative? profligacy?
Edited on Mon Jul-21-03 06:03 PM by Feanorcurufinwe
Even leaving aside your specious mischaracterization, what is your alternative? Don't worry about the relationship of revenue to spending? Is that the way you balance your checkbook? Do you think institutionalized deficits are a good idea?

(edit: spelling)
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #80
86. The alternative is
To create a progressive system, that has no tax loopholes to allow the rich to avoid paying a fair share of taxation in order to maintain social programs, schools, health programs, and so on.
Thats how you do it. It has worked quite effectively in the social democracies of Europe. For the most part, the middle class pays not much more in taxes in Europe or Canada than in America, but they get a good deal more for that little they pay. The differnce is that the rich have to kcik in for the poor for the priviledge of being able to get rich.

Do away with sales taxes, property taxes, differences in types of taxation for income earned in different ways(investment income taxes at far lower rates than income that a person actually earns by working), and so on. It is not hard to work out a progressive system in which there is not a loophole for everyone who earns their income through business rather than labor.
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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #86
97. the problem with calling your ideas an alternative
the problem with calling your ideas an alternative to fiscal conservatism is that they are unrelated in any way to fiscal conservatism. You are talking about tax policy. Fiscal conservatism just means being inclined to link spending to revenue. In other words, a fiscal conservative would be philosophically inclined, if tax revenues decline, to either raise taxes, or reduce spending. Therefore you could easily be a fiscal conservative and totally agree with everything you've said, or totally disagree. It's apples and oranges.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. In the abstract, it's only about 'link{ing} spending to revenue'
But in practice, it's about linking it in a particular way: maintaining programs that benefit the wealthy elites while linking public-benefit programs to what's left over in the tax pot.

It maps very well onto the usual Capitalist 'socialise costs, privatise profit'.

No self-described 'fiscal conservative' has ever left office (in the past 25 years at least) with working people better off and the elites worse off.

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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #99
102. I could make inflammatory statements too if I wanted.
Edited on Tue Jul-22-03 04:54 PM by Feanorcurufinwe
I could make inflammatory statements too if I wanted. I could state that those who disagree with me don't mean what they say. I could say that their actions don't match their rhetoric.

But it wouldn't make it true.

Defining 'fiscal conservative' your own way and then attacking somebody who says they are a fiscal conservative because of that definition is just like what the Repubs do when they define 'liberal' their own way and then attack liberals using their definition. In short, it's BS.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #102
105. If you believe i'm wrong, then please FIND AN EXAMPLE
Edited on Tue Jul-22-03 05:13 PM by Mairead
Find an example of a self-proclaimed 'fiscal conservative' in the past 25 years who has left office with working people and the poor better off and the wealthy elites worse off.

All it takes is one example! Surely you can find one example, if I'm as wrong as you claim! How hard can it be?!?

(edit) Heck, I'll make it even easier for you: find even one example of a self-proclaimed 'fiscal conservative' who left office without the poor and working people having lost ground and the wealthy elites having gained it --where the net result was a wash.

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Feanorcurufinwe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-03 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #105
113. FIND AN EXAMPLE lol
Find an example of a POLITICIAN in the past 25 years who has left office with working people and the poor better off and the wealthy elites worse off!

There is no such person - of any political persuasion or self-description. Thing have gotten worse for working people and the poor and better for the wealthy elites in the last 25 years. Period.
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #97
110. Fiscal responsibility means
Making sure that the budget is balanced. you can do this in two ways, by CUTTING programs until you are not spending more than you are taking in. Or by raising enough revenues to pay for programs that by political policy you beleive are necesary, but also humane in a just and compassionate society.Progressive income taxation is the HEART of the democratic partoes platform for fiscal responsibility:

Where We Stand

In keeping with our party's grand tradition, we reaffirm Jefferson's belief in individual liberty and capacity for self-government. We endorse Jackson's credo of equal opportunity for all, special privileges for none. We embrace Roosevelt's thirst for innovation and Kennedy's summons to civic duty. And we intend to carry on Clinton's insistence upon new means to achieve progressive ideals...

We believe that government's proper role in the New Economy is to equip working Americans with new tools for economic success and security.

We believe in expanding trade and investment because we must be a party of economic progress, not economic reaction.

We believe that global markets demand global rules and institutions to ensure fair competition and to provide checks and balances on private power.

We believe that fiscal discipline is fundamental to sustained economic growth as well as responsible government.

We believe that a progressive tax system is the only fair way to pay for government.

We believe the Democratic Party's mission is to expand opportunity, not government.


http://www.ndol.org/print.cfm?contentid=1926

Most notably, Dean has opposed and threatend to veto the attempt to institute a progressive income tax at the state level. HE actually reversed the progressive tax that Snelling inpemented to balance the budget before he died once the budget was balanced.

Conservatives beleive that it you CUT taxes and give more money to the people at the top, they will create the means, such as jobs, for people to move up out of poverty. This also means that they will also provide as a part of those jobs, health care benefits, pensions to reward those who have worked loyally and so on.

An elected official who is a fiscal conservative holds to the laissez faire capitalistic model and does not approve of unions and does what they can to oppose unions. As Bush is trying to do with overtime pay.Fiscal conservatives hold to a "RIGHT TO WORK" policy and this is why it is impossible to get them to raise minimum wage to a living wage.

Which is why workers must form unions in order as a group to do what businesses do with products. A union is simply a cartel in which workers treat their product (labor) as a commodity and try to set uniform pricing among all of the laborers and NOT sell their commodity for less.

On any issue, whetther it was between the environment, universities, roadbuilding, infreastructure, OR Big Business and job creation which may seem like a noble task, but if all you are doing is providing Wal-Mart, minimum wage jobs, is not a good trade off.

You cannot separate one aspect of fiscal conservatism from its other aspects, They are whole and of piece.


That is the problem with Deans fiscal conservatism, There are great flaws in his record. He wanted to increase health care in Vermont, to the degree ofuniversal coverage. But his economic model in this was flawed.

WHen He first came to office, ACT 160, of 1992, was sewt up to reorganize Vermonts Health Departments into the Vermont Health Care Authority, which had a number of tasks set for it, like setting up a computereized data base of health care services and of a databas of people who had health coverage and how they got it (through work on medicaid, on medicare, under the early version of Dr Dynasaur, that was started in 1989) It also moved Dr. Dynasaur from being a state run and financed program to being fininced under medicaid.
One other task set for VHCA was to come up with recommendations for TWO universal health care systems. One to be a multi-payer system, in which all employers who did not provide health care for their employees would be required to under law. The other was for a single payer plan. Dean preferred the first multi-payer plan but the proble with his idea was that it forced all small businesses to provide health insurance for their employees, even small mom and pop type businesses who were not even making enough money to provide it for themselves and perhaps hired on assistant. He did not provide any state funding to assist such small businesses to do this. Of course, the bill was strangled at birth by republicans. THe second bill single payer, never even made it to a vote, becasue Dean, as a fiscal conservative, balked at the slighest suggestion of a payroll tax or progressive heal tax to pay for it. So Deans first and most important piece of legislation he suggested in all his years as governor, was killed by the person who suggested it to begin with.

Dean then tried wrtangle with federal money to provide health care through medicaid, by using new laws passed by Clintons attempt to provide universal health care. This expanded the level above poverty that the states could allow people to be eligible for medicaid. There was acomplex formula, but essentially if the states paid more money to give insurance to those above the federal poverty level, the feds would pick up a larger portion of the payments for those below the federal poverty level.

Dean had Vermont apply for a subsection 1115 exemption to pay for medicaid. This exemption allow a state to use money that the federal government gave to them for other purposes, like state universities and prison and whatever, to use money that was not pent on those programs or left over from those programs and move them into medicaid.

The flaw in fiscal conservatism is that the law of gravity does NOT apply to economics. The free market tends to keep as much money at the top of the economic ladder, and those at the top tend to pay as little as possible, give as little in benefits as possible, and consider labor as an expendable.

Problem was, that Dean started really underfunding things like the state univeristies (they only got seven percent increases while he was governor) and applying them to trying to provide more medicaid coverage. This resulted in roads being left unrepaired or new raods that were needed being unbuilt and so on. Prisons were allwed to become very overcrowded. Lots of other things. Deans attempts to expand medical coverage resulted in a state that by 2001, the shifting of funds to try to provide health insurance reached the point at which the medicaid program expense was threatenening to virtually destroy government:

A. On January 24, 2001, Governor Howard Dean issued an executive order establishing a Special Governor's Bipartisan Commission on Health Care Availability and Affordability.

. Based on what we have learned, we do agree on this: Health care in Vermont is near a state of crisis -- some of us would say it is already in crisis -- and all health care sectors are on edge. We also note that many of these problems are national or even global in scope and that our abilities to solve them at the state level are limited.

C. Health care costs in Vermont, now exceeding $2 billion a year, are of a sufficient magnitude, however, and are increasing at a sufficient rate to place state government itself in jeopardy, including every program for which it appropriates money. By comparison, Vermonters budgeted $1.8 billion for all state government services in FY 2001 (not including federal funds).3

We are rapidly approaching the point at which these costs will directly conflict with our ability to do such things as to maintain roads and bridges, for example, or to provide cost-effective services to our infants and children, to promote agriculture and tourism, or to provide any other services our citizens have come to expect.

http://216.239.37.100/search?q=cache:aC9QzqwOEmkJ:www.s...

You can read the entire report for yourself, but it's findings are pretty grim.

Problem is Dean had two manias. One for balancing the budget, and the other for a health care program that he did not want to raise taxes to finance.

So when people from Vermont see the Howard Dean who is running for president, they are either quite bemused, amused, or pissed that the guy running for president does not resemble the guy who ran the state while they were busy fighting with him to not cut funding to universities, drug treatment, and a number of traditionally democratic programs.


So it is very difficult for somone who actually looks back at his career as governor, in which he was most often found siding with Republicans and their plans to cut income taxes in such a way that the welathy benefited most and then would do their fiscally conservative trickle down thing, rather than support Democratic compassionate social programs by creating a progressive income tax. Vermont has an income tax, but the bulk of its revenues come from property taxes, again, those who can least affor to pay them, are hit in the pocket harder than the rich.

Dena started his personal political life as a Republican, and for th most part is better described as a Rockerfeller Republican, than a Conservative Democrat.


Indeed, as Norman Solomon observes, there's a real disconnect between Dean's media image and his record.

"But the Democratic Leadership Council need not despair. Most of the nation's political journalists, including pro-Democrat pundits, insist that the party should not nominate someone too far 'left' -- which usually means anybody who's appreciably more progressive than the DLC. That bias helps to account for the frequent mislabeling of Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor who has risen to the top tier of contenders for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

After Dean officially announced his campaign on June 23, some news stories identified him with the left. It's a case of mistaken identity. 'He's really a classic Rockefeller Republican -- a fiscal conservative and social liberal,' according to University of Vermont political scientist Garrison Nelson."

http://www.motherjones.com/news/dailymojo/2003/27/we_47...

AS a matter of fact, the balancing of the 60 million dollar deficit that he inherited when Snelling died was largely balanced by a decision his predecessor, Richard Snelling already set up, conceding reluctantly that the only way to balance the budget, was to Pass a temporary three tiered, progressive cnome tax that was to be rolled back once the budget was balanced.

Against the protests of his own party, Dean rolled back thee taxes, but immediately deficits began rearing their ugly heads and rather than admint that the Democrats and Progressives were correct. Dena began trying to cut programs. Fighting with his own party every step of the way:

The state was in a fiscal crisis at the time, working its way out of the biggest budget deficit in its history. Then-Gov. Richard Snelling had pushed a series of temporary tax increases and budget cuts through the Legislature and Dean took up that austerity plan as his own.

To the anger of more liberal members of his own party, he insisted that the tax increases be rolled back on schedule and then went on to work for additional tax cuts later in his tenure.

By the same token, though, he also supported raising taxes as long as it wasnt the income tax when school funding crises and other issues arose that required it.

Throughout, he held a tight rein on state spending, repeatedly clashing with the Democrats who controlled the Legislature for most of his years as governor.

Dean trimmed spending or held down increases in areas held dear by the liberals. More than once, Dean went to battle over whether individual welfare benefits should rise under automatic cost of living adjustments. Liberals were particularly incensed when he tried that tactic on a program serving the blind, disabled and elderly, which he did several times.

http://www4.fosters.com/News2003/May2003/May_19/News/re...


Which is why, manty people in Vermont do not even recognize the Howard Dean who is running for president:

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - As Vermont governor, Howard Dean was known as a buttoned-down and bottom-line chief executive. He fought higher taxes, cut programs over the cries of fellow Democrats and often sided with business when the choice was jobs versus the environment.

Which explains why many people back home scarcely recognize Howard Dean the presidential candidate, who has stirred liberals across the country with his blunt talk and passionate antiwar speeches.

"A lot of us laugh and say, 'Howard, we hardly knew you,' " said Elizabeth Ready, the state auditor and a liberal Democrat. Added Bob Sherman, a Democratic lobbyist, "The Howard Dean I see running for president is a lot different than the Howard Dean who . . . governed Vermont. He was a moderate."

http://www.cmonitor.com/stories/news/recent2003/0713%5F...

A number of people in the democratic party went a bit furtther than describing Dean as a moderate. A large number actully simply referred tohim as a "Republican in drag"

Aside from Deans somewhat reluctant passing of the Civil Union Act ( no matter what Deans supporters say about it, Civli Unions and Gay Rights just were not on his radar screen. It was never a passionate issue with him and he was worried greatly about the effect that supporting it would have on his chances at re-election).

In many other areas that are traditinally socially liberal, such as passing medical marijuana, and the use of methadone maintenance for herion addict, Dean was just as conservative in his stance as any Republican or consevative. There is not a great deal of evidence in his record for even considering him to be a social liberal.

Thats the problem. There is not much in Deans record that indicates that he will hold to the platform he is campaigning on.

No one know if once in office, Dean the candidate will revert to Dean the governor, in the Oval Office. Which means that, like in Vermont,the universal health care he is promising, might just disappear as a being fiscally irresponsible. That Dena will not be as fiscally conservative as George Bush.

This is very likely, because the budget deficit that exists now as a result of three years of fiscally conservative tax cuts will not be fixed by repealing the Bush tax cuts. Especially while attempting to mandate a massive entitlement program.

WE know what the other candidates have done while in Washington. FOr the most part, like Clinton, they have excercised fiscal ressponsibility, but by rasing the top rate for income tax on the rich, and opposed cuts to the budget in area that effected the social safety net wherever they could get away with getting it past republicans.

But we have no way of knowing what Dean WILL do. We know what he has done.

Fiscal Conservatism is his passion. He has sacrificed EVERYTHING and EVERYONE else to be true to that one ideal. Balancing the Budget, not raising taxes, cutting programs.

So has the president we have in office.

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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-03 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #97
111. Thats exactly what my policy does.
Or the DLC policy which is what that is. A progrtessive system of taxation is established in which those who earn more, pay more in taxes, regardless of deductions, and that this is the metod used to pay for necessary government services.

That is the democratic party's definition of fiscal responsibility.
If you have services, you provide fnding to pay for those services. You do not require any unfunded mandates, what you mandate, you plan to pay for.

Your definition of fiscal conservatism is not fiscal conservatism. All fiscal conservatives hold the philosophy that taxes shouuld be very low, that taxes should not be increased, because if you give money to the government, they WILL spend it.

Organizations that represent and define fiscal conservatism are the Club for Growth, the American Conservatives Union, The American Taxpayers union. If you look at sights run by Fiscal Conservative Econmists, you will see that there is no contingency in fiscal coservative philosophy for RAISING taxes, or increasing government spending:


Greenspan has left open the possibility that he would change his view on the need for fiscal stimulus if the slowdown persists or worsens. In any case he likely will continue to insist on long-term budgetary discipline, as he did this week when he urged Congress to act soon to fix long-term structural problems in the nations Social Security and Medicare problems.
Hes being true to himself hes always been a fiscal conservative, said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Bank One. Its not like a new message.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/878955.asp?0sl=-21#BODY

Fiscal conservatives, including Alan Greenspan, have supported reducing the federal deficit and even paying down the national debt, although they might not have preferred the likely mix of tax increases and spending reductions. But no definition of fiscal conservatism justifies moving the spending goal posts as soon as the budget is balanced. Fiscal conservatism means that, once the legitimate spending objectives of government have been met, the remaining resources should be kept by those who earned themAmericas taxpayers.

Indeed, Greenspan himself argued in recent testimony before Congress that a major increase in outlays "is the worst of all possible worlds from a fiscal policy point of view, and, under all conditions, should be avoided." He went on to say, "I have great sympathy for those who wish to cut taxes now to preempt that process, and indeed, if it turns out that they are right, then I would say that moving on the tax front makes a good deal of sense to me." All conservativesfiscal and otherwiseshould now recognize in the administrations proposal the truth in Ronald Reagans observation that if you give Washington the money, it will spend it. Reagan also knew that there was only one way to stop Washington from spending itnot to leave it there in the first place.

http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.10704/pub_detail....


Tax Cuts: People can spend their own money better than government can.

Cutting State Government: The burden of Arkansas government rests on the working people in our state.

Encouraging Business Investment: We must begin to reward those who are here and encouraging other business to locate and expand in Arkansas.

http://www.jeremyhutchinson.com/issue-fiscalcons.htm


It is possible for one to be a fiscal conservative but not a social conservative; in the United States at present, this is the stance of libertarianism. It is also possible to be a social conservative but not a fiscal conservative. At present, this is a common political stance in, for example, Ireland and among some American leftists.

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_conservatism


FISCAL CONSERVATISM Making things happen does not always require money. It is imperative that alternatives to paid supports be found. When support must be purchased, people will get what they need, pay only for what they get, spend money efficiently, and make adjustments when necessary. Individuals are responsible to find the best quality for the most reasonable price.

http://www.dauphinselfdetermination.org/principles.htm

Lower taxes, fewer services, and less government are the primary principals of Fiscal Conservatism. IN the U.S. Fiscal COnservatism is most exemplified by Ronald Reagan. In Britain, it is Margaret Thatcher.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
81. An example of 'fiscal conservatism' (GOP, in this instance)
'At that time, Wilson was pushing a scheme to promote individual tenant ownership of public housing units. Later promoted nationally as an anti-poverty measure by former HUD chairman Jack Kemp, unit ownership would have the practical effect of unloading aging housing projects onto the poor themselves. It would in effect turn low-income tenants into their own slumlords. The tenants would get responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of deteriorating buildings, the cities would get an increased tax base, and the government could rid itself of one more "entitlement" - the obligation to provide low-income housing to the poor. It would also open the profit door to a host of private companies offering various "services" to the new tenant-owners, such as insurance, repairs, maintenance, security, et cetera.'

It comes from the thread about Connorly: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Americanreborn Donating Member (18 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #81
100. That is the understatement of the century
That is obvious. The GOP is an elitist party full of elitists. They have never given a crap about the poor. It is evidenced in all of their policies. Including this war.


Americanreborn
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #81
101. That has nothing whatsoever
to do with fiscal conservatism. No where is this justified by balancing the budget or any such thing. You are just plain wrong.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #101
106. Don't the GOP call themselves 'fiscal conservatives', though?
I'm not claiming that this had anything to do with budget-balancing, only that it's the kind of thing that at least some soi-disant 'fiscal conservatives' (among whom I include, perhaps incorrectly, all Pukes) do.

Don't all Pukes claim to be 'fiscal conservatives'?

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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #106
108. To some, that might actually demonstrate the value of using words
...according to their dictionary definitions and objecting to those who intentionally redefine and obfuscate:

Don't all Pukes claim to be 'fiscal conservatives'?

To some others, it might not do it... :eyes:
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #106
109. They can call themselves what ever they wish
and for the record Kemp never did he was a pure supply sider who had no problems with deficits. I used to call myself straight that didn't make it so. No wonder you are so confused. You take GOP politicos at their words. That would confuse anyone.
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Nicholas_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-03 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #106
112. Not necessarily
Edited on Wed Jul-23-03 04:26 PM by Nicholas_J
Bush's deficit spending in order to give tax cuts is not an example of fiscal conservatism.

Though, as Bush is trying to state, deficit spending can sometimes be good, It usually is not when it is done by conservatives.

FDR's deficit spending in order to end the great depression, by getting people to work on infrastructure programs that could be use by businesses to expand their services (electrification allowing industries to spread, buildingthe interstate highways in order to make transporations of goods easier, faster and cheaper, and so on, cna be useful) Primarily it was fiscally responsible deficit spending that allowed the U.S. into the period in U.S. history in which the middle class grew at its highest rate, and U.S. industry housing, university systems grew most explosively, after World War II, when the tax rate was the highest in U.S. history. 88 percent.

THe fabulous fifties, beleived by conservatives, the period in which the government taxed the rich at the highest rates ever and massively expanded government services, was the most economically fruitful period in U.S. history. The government, proved dugin this period, that government handles money better, more responsibly and to do the most good for the greatest number of people far better than the private sector.

People still could get wealthy under this system, but in order to do so, theri businesses could not be sloppy, had to be extrememly productive and efficient, and pay workers well enough to affor to buy their products. It was a period of trickle up economics.
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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
89. What is the fundamental difference between what's going on here,
this redefining of words to mean what you just say they mean so that you can use your definition to attack those who use the words in their original meaning and when repukes redefine "liberal" to mean what they just say it means so that they can use their definition to attack those who use the word in it's original meaning?

I don't know. That's why I'm asking...
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. Oh, that's an easy one
Find me a self-proclaimed 'fiscal conservative' whose budgetary policies while in office resulted in working people gaining ground at the expense of the wealthy. You can't do it.

To channel Einstein for a moment: If I were really wrong, one opponent would be enough.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-21-03 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #91
92. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 06:33 AM
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
96. You're mistaken
I'm a fiscal conservative and a social progressive. I believe that you can fund programs and have a strong budget without resorting to the deficits that the Republicans are running up now. You don't even need to raise taxes that much.

Too many taxes hit the poor, sin taxes especially. Cigarette and alcohol taxes are always the first to be raised during difficult budget times. Who are the heaviest users of cigarettes and alcohol--usually the poor. Food taxes are raised or put in place. Those who make less money have to spend a greater part of their income to buy food and when food prices go up, that means a greater percentage of their income goes towards those taxes. Gas taxes are also always included. Public transporation systems have to pay these increased fuel costs and have to pass along the costs to their customers, which frequently include the poor.

I do believe that one needs to get waste out of all programs and no one can deny that there is waste in every program. You have duplication of services, top heavy administration, etc. You have government departments paying rent when they should be located in government owned buildings.

Wasteful spending takes money out of people's pockets and services out of their reach.

If people would take the time to actually sit down and look at governmental budgets, they would become fiscal conservatives too! There is just too much waste. You got to start small and work your way up. Unfortunately, our leaders start in the other direction.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #96
98. I think if you'll look more closely
Edited on Tue Jul-22-03 04:58 PM by Mairead
you'll find I'm not.

You say you're a fiscal conservative. Okay, what does that translate to in the particular areas I list below?

Do you support the insanely high (at least $400G p.a.) military-industrial budget? If so, why? If not, why, and how much don't you support it?

Ditto the murderous, ineffective drugs war and the prison-industrial budget (also around $400G, but very possibly more all taken together).

Ditto keeping corporate hands in our pockets on healthcare (about 18% of $2T, I think) and public services.

Ditto the current structure of taxation (you mention cigs and booze, but I'm talking about the big ones--taxation on labor vs coupon-clipping, and on big salaries vs small).

Where are you on public services (by which I mean services that are used universally or nearly so, such as water, energy, transportation, etc.)? Should they be run for public profit or private profit, and why?


My problem is not with just anything called 'fiscal conservative' but, as I've said repeatedly here, with the fact that it's used as a coded term for pro-elite/anti-working-people politics. No self-described 'fiscal conservative' in the past 25 years, minimum, has left office with the poor better off and the wealthy elites worse off. Not one. None. That, to me, is the bottom line: who pays, who is paid.

So when I say that 'fiscal conservative' means 'pro-elite and anti-poor', I'm not talking about the nominal definition, or the abstract, or the 'could be's, I'm talking about what's true in net practice.

If Dennis Kucinich announced for a balanced budget and a constitutional amendment that requires unbalanced budgets to come out of congressional pockets first, the pockets of the wealthiest second, and the pockets of working people last, I'd call him a 'fiscal conservative'...but everyone else (hyperbolically speaking) would call him a commie, monster, baby-killer, and probably a perv who rapes immature goats, because balancing the budget on the backs of the elites is not what 'fiscal conservative' is allowed to mean in practice.

(edit: clarified my 'everyone else', since I can't possibly be certain that absolutely every other living soul would take the stance I allegedly impute to them.)
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acerbic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #98
104. I don't believe for a second that it will even slow down your sanctimony,
but I'll just state that e.g. I wouldn't call Kucinich that if he did that.

If Dennis Kucinich announced for a balanced budget and a constitutional amendment that requires unbalanced budgets to come out of congressional pockets first, the pockets of the wealthiest second, and the pockets of working people last, I'd call him a 'fiscal conservative'...but everyone else would call him a commie, monster, baby-killer, and probably a perv who rapes immature goats

You may now continue declaring what everyone else really means when they say anything and what they would do because you say so, passing sentences on Class Enemies etc. since you're the ONLY one who speaks The Truth.

It will certainly generate a lot of sympathy for your candidate... :eyes:
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genius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
107. That's right
But Dean's supporters are ready to ignore the facts about his positions because they think no one will notice before the election. What is really interesting is that any time anyone posts Dean's positions on anything, the Dean people claim the posting is negative. If Dean's people think the truth about his positions is negative, why are they supporting him?
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