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Can an IN-DEBT conservative really be a true conservative?

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AnArmyVeteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 04:47 PM
Original message
Can an IN-DEBT conservative really be a true conservative?
I have several friends, some liberal, some very conservative. All my conservative friends are in debt up to their proverbial eyeballs. They have large credit card debts and new cars and houses which look beyond their means. How can someone who can't run their own finances have the moral high ground to condemn government debt, especially when finally we have an administration that is trying to help people just like my conservative friends? My conservative friends also tend to believe nothing on the planet should be off limits to exploitation.

My liberal friends tend to conserve and recycle. They live within their means. While frugal, they aren't cheap. They don't waste things and think carefully before making any purchases. They also drive older cars than my conservative friends. They also have a deep love of nature and the environment and know how fragile it is.

I've been debt free for years with everything paid for except the utilities. My liberal friends and I often talk about starting a commune where we can all band together to live off the land, each helping the other. If something catastrophic happened and widespread panic erupted across the country at least we wouldn't starve.

I know the circle of friends I have isn't a conclusive study and I can't say all conservatives and all liberals live like my friends do. It's just something I've noticed because those who are the most conservative tend to live beyond their means, while liberals tend to be more careful with their finances.

Anyone else have any observations, comments, examples or whatever?
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Conservative has meant....
doing the opposite of what you say since Reagan. So an in debt conservative is a "true conservative". Monkey see, monkey do.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't see normal debt as being inconsistent with any political philosophy
It's routine to take out student loans, automobile loans, and certainly house mortgages. While a few people can pay cash for a newer motor vehicle, the vast majority of middle class and working people simply cannot. Having small revolving balances on a credit card or two is normal, as well.

I get your point, it does seem hypocritical for those with large amounts of debt to tell the Federal government to get it's shit together. Still, if you asked those people about it, they'd say there was a difference between debt that they were able to handle, and the Federal debt that is getting very hard to handle.

They'd have a point, very low interest rates over the last decade have allowed the debt to grow astronomically, if interest rates rise to what they were thirty years ago, we'd be in serious deep doo-doo. Same with the people who think they can manage their big debts if they lost a job, or their business had to fold.
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AnArmyVeteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I agree with you, but you would think conservatives would lead by example...
Conservatives would be more credible to me if they could point to themselves and say "See, I don't owe anyone so why should my government".

I ran for school board in a very conservative area. The school district had a very top down looking administration. Teachers were terrified to speak out, because if they did they would be punished or be even more manipulated.

This conservative administration built a new multi-million dollar administration building and it caused everyone's taxes to rise. They built it even though schools had roofs that leaked into classrooms causing mold which posed a health risk to children. Several school nurses came to be and told me of the problem, but their pleas were totally ignored.

The person I ran against was a conservative who supported the current conservative superintendent and supported the building of the new administration building. My opponent also had several conflicts of interest. He worked for a company that owned the bank where the school district kept his money. He was also an officer in a company which received business from the school district.

I vowed to make changes and to give teachers a voice. You would think conservatives would have voted for someone who wanted to lower costs, protect their children and give teachers a voice in the educational process. But I lost.

In every meeting where I spoke I was asked the same question, "Do you believe we should have prayer in school?" It was rare when anyone asked an intelligent question like "Why was a new administration built when schools were falling apart?". My answer to the school prayer question was usually started with a joke, like "I've done more praying in school before tests than I have in church". But then I said I am against forced prayer. I told them if the district was later dominated by people of another faith would you want your child to be required to recite their prayers? That logic went right over their heads. All they cared about was having prayer in school.

I haven't met a conservative who didn't also claim to be a Christian. Conservatives have hijacked 'God' in elections for almost thirty years. So conservative candidates get almost absolute allegiance from the religious right.

But back to financing. It's obvious the conservative didn't care about the wasteful spending or the students' welfare. So they elected the conservative who had conflicts of interest and who supported the building of the new administration building.

Conservatives 'say' they are fiscally conservative, but their actions betray them. They seem to be fiscally conservative primarily when talking about income tax rates. And they all fall in line eager to give huge tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans seemingly unable to understand they will end up footing the bill for those tax cuts. When you give tax cuts to the very rich a shortfall of tax revenue will occur and someone has to pay for it. And that means the poor and middle class have to pay more, a lot more.

I've asked a lot of conservatives how many times have their local or state taxes, fees and other state tax burdens been lowered by conservatives and they can never think of one. When Reagamics was enacted the wealthy received the biggest tax cut in the history of the United States. And soon after that almost every state had budget shortfalls from the lack of revenue coming back to their states. So what happened? Each state with a shortfall increased its taxes, fees and license costs. I remember my Dad complaining because in one year his car registration went from $15 a year to a whopping $60 a year. He was on a fixed income so a $45 increase meant he would have to do without something. But every state fee went up. Fishing licenses, driver's licenses, sales taxes, fees to enter state parts, state income taxes, car registrations, permits and on and on all went up. User fees went up all across the country. A twenty dollar increase here and a fifty dollar increase there add up to a family trying to make ends meet. The tax burden always goes up for the poor and middle class when conservatives give tax cuts for the rich.

Trickle Down Economics has never worked. When the rich get even richer they don't lie awake at night worrying about hiring new American people or building new US factories. They do the opposite. The close down US factories, fire US workers and ship their businesses oversees to use slave labor. Look at TransOcean, one of the three Gulf culprits. They have their corporate office in the landlocked country of Switzerland to avoid paying taxes. They endanger US lives and environment, but they have no financial risks and skirt our tax laws. They also fly the Marshall Islands flag because the Marshall Islands have virtually no maritime laws.

So while the rich received a huge tax breaks, the poor and middle class had to make up for it. Reaganomics caused the biggest transfer of wealth in human history, from the poor to the rich. But conservatives seem totally clueless about how they were affected. Apparently they are unable to put two and two together or they would have figured out they were having to pay more than they were before Reagan's tax cuts for the extremely wealthy. They whine about the national debt, but they don't realize if the rich paid their fair share that debt could be drastically reduced, or eliminated.

Reagan's Trickle Down Economics has never worked. Even GHW Bush, during the 1980 republican primary called Reagan's economic plan "Voo Doo Economics". But you never hear a conservative quoting the elder Bush. And when his son, GW became president he gave the extremely rich two more tax cuts. And you got it, the burden to run our country fell even more on the backs of the working poor and middle class again.

Another conservative piece of information is that higher taxes for the rich stifle creativity and innovation. There is absolutely no proof of that anywhere, but they mindlessly repeat it over and over again. When the tax rates were 90% our country had it's biggest economic expansion in history. Through the 50s and 60s we were flooded with innovated products and because of the socialistic GI Bill, it enabled companies to have an educated workforce to invent and produce new products.

Conservatives believe everyone who has an idea or a new technology will just throw their hands up in the air and quit if the tax rate is too high. Before Reagan's massive tax cut Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were creating two computer platforms that would revolutionize the computing world. Gates and Jobs didn't look at the tax rate before starting on their ventures. I don't know of anyone who looks at the tax tables to determine whether they are going to get up and do something that day, or just go back to bed. No one is going to give up their dream if income taxes are 2 or 3% higher. This type of conservative belief is not just irrational, it's insane.

I mentioned all of this because conservatives as a group don't practice fiscal responsibility on any level. Not all conservatives are fiscally irresponsible in their own lives, but they vote for local and state candidates who are conservative without even realizing they are being duped.

I'm just wondering how long conservatives are going to get away with their charade and I've been wondering for years why prominent democrats haven't exploited the conservative and the Reagan fallacy to their advantage. Conservative extremism is more like a cult than a political position. And its members constantly use the same mindless cult-like chants glorifying trickle down economics. Unregulated capitalism is their religion. It's time we exposed their fanatical financial flimflamming.

Anyway, food for thought.

All the best...

(Positive and negative critiques are always welcome)
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. "You would think that conservatives would lead by example"
OMFG, you're kidding, right??

"Party of Family Values"

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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AnArmyVeteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I know they are hypocrites and I very specifically described their two faced belief system
Actually, they don't have a belief system. When I said "you would think conservatives would lead by example" with the understanding that they don't. They are hypocrites. They say one thing and practice another. And as you said they are even fakes at family values. The entire conservative movement is a fraud. I just wonder why leaders in the democratic party aren't exploiting all of the obvious hypocrisies and illusions within conservatives. I know some of them know once they point fingers they will have fingers pointed at them, because there's a lot of hypocrisy in democratic leaders too. But no where near the party that claims to be the 'party of personal responsibility', the 'party of fiscal conservatism' and the 'party of family values'. Each is a complete joke but when and who in leadership had the damned balls to confront them on their obvious charade? There are, unfortunately, only a handful of democratic members of congress with any guts at all.

I don't believe you read my entire post or you would have been able to see how it's riddled with examples of conservative hypocrisy.

I loved it when the Great American Larry Flynt outed at least 12 congressmen who screwed their interns, knocked them up or had relationships with male staff members. If the conservatives were honest they would just label heir party like one of those cheap porno titles.

Happy Monday...
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Ok, I did read your post the first time.
And I think you need to re-read mine, especially the laughing stickmen.

We're arguing the same side of the coin...get it?? ;)
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. Debt is common with both sides of our friends.
Pretty much most people I know of in this area are in debt up to their eyeballs except for my immediate family. We only have our mortgage but our savings was wiped out during dh's last bout with unemployment/underemployment. We pay our credit card off in full each month and use it for reward points, but everything else is CASH. We live in a very nice neighborhood but bought one of the smallest homes. There are multiple foreclosures on most streets around here. Many of our neighbors (both liberals and conservative, but mostly cons) did expand and update their home, buy new cars and treated their houses like an ATM. Many of those same ones are in lis pending or foreclosure right now (or are en route). We did not. We drive paid-for very used cars (haven't had a new car since 1996), buy cheap clothes and use things forever. Craigslist is our furniture store, LOL!

Personally, I think it just depends on who you know but spending seems to run high on both sides in FL.
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AnArmyVeteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I love Craigslist for selling and buying stuff.
I found a great chest of drawers that I couldn't find anywhere else that matched what I already had. I bought it at a fantastic price. It probably sold new at over a thousand dollars, but I got it for 80. I wouldn't think of getting a second mortgage on a house. I remember when it was illegal in Texas, but then the bankers came in and duped citizens into okaying a proposition that allowed 2nd mortgages. Soon afterward foreclosures skyrocketed.

But I understand if someone needs money to stay afloat you have to do it some way, or go under. So many people are hurting right now or are being very frugal with their money. I'm like you. I use cash for everything. I do use a credit card but only because I get 5% back. I don't use that credit card for any other purpose, just gas. I'm sure the credit card company hates people like me. They love to entice people in with their offers and then get them locked in and unable to pay off their balances every month. And then it's a financial death spiral.

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dems_rightnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. Neither my liberal nor conservative friends
... tell me such things as their credit card debt, and whether they are living beyond their means. So I won't project what I think the answers might be.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Indeed.. debt is a very private shame for most people
Even spouses have been known to "not tell" each other about the impending debt-doom headed their way.

It's a rare person who chats about their debt-load and how insolvent they are.
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AnArmyVeteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-18-10 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. You're right SoCalDem, but sometimes words aren't necessary.
A couple of the conservative friends work three jobs to stay afloat. He constantly complains everything is the fault of liberals, sorry 'socialists'. But they have new cars in their driveways and they live in a very expensive home. While they don't share detailed accounts of their debt to me, it's very obvious why they are in debt. If they had shown restraint they wouldn't need two new cars and they wouldn't have bought a house they couldn't afford.

Even though they will probably get a bigger tax refund this year they will still attack President Obama and democrats. I believe even if they received a million dollars from the government and our national debt turned into a surplus, they would still attack democrats and liberals. They seem to be addicted to hatred.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-10 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
10. Their rantings only apply to other people.....
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