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Checks and balances? What checks and balances?

America's government is a carefully crafted system of checks and balances, as laid out by the Constitution -- well, in theory at least.  However, in recent decades, the executive branch has tended to do what it wants while the grumbling legislation is placated by piles of tax loopholes for their campaign donors and special interest handouts for key local constituents.

I. Cybersecurity Bill - Down, But Not Out

Take the "Cybersecurity Act", bill, S.2105 [PDF], for example.  A redraft of earlier House bill H.R. 3523, the Act gained the support of the President by modifying its proposed implementation to include funneling more of Americans' private data through the increasingly Big Brother-esque U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

While the President was delighted by the promise of the DHS gaining more access in the name of fighting a shadowy, vague Chinese threat, privacy advocates and fiscal conservatives were horrified by the bill.  Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) called the bill "Big Brother writ large."

The bill also stalled in the Senate thanks to growing concern from the corporate community, who urged their affiliated Republican Senators to move to block the bill.  Business leaders supported some of the provisions that would tear down legal barriers between government and private sector information sharing.  But they balked at the proposal of mandatory security guidelines -- another key part of the bill.

Well, bill or no bill the Obama administration is confident they can put the policies in place.  The key to subverting the stubborn legislature, argues administration officials is to substitute executive orders in the place of Senate votes.

Homeland Security
President Obama hopes to use executive orders to expand the DHS's cybersecurity role.
[Image Source: CyTalk]

White House press secretary Jay Carney says that executive orders have not been ruled out, assuming the Senate continues its freeze on the bill.  He comments, "In the wake of Congressional inaction and Republican stall tactics, unfortunately, we will continue to be hamstrung by outdated and inadequate statutory authorities that the legislation would have fixed."

Obama's slogan on this and other issues is "we can't wait."

II. Continuing the FDR Legacy

Indeed the White House will likely move aggressively to put in place executive orders with agencies such as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to put in place systems forcing businesses to meet security screening.

Even the prohibition on sharing consumer information with the DHS may be able to be torn down by executive order.  By making the program "voluntary" with incentives, the White House could circumvent laws prohibiting the executive branch from forcing unwanted, unlegislated regulation on businesses.

If President Obama does choose to bypass Congress, the approach may draw criticism.  Senator Susan Collins (R- Maine) -- one of the co-sponsors of the bill -- said she would not be comfortable with that approach, despite her support for the provisions.  She comments, "I'm not for doing by executive order what should be done by legislation."

One of the Democratic co-sponsors -- Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) -- seemed okay with the idea, though.  Asked if she would approve of executive orders as a substitute, she said, "I suppose if we can't [pass the bill], the answer would be yes."

Here's a quick rundown on recent President's use of the executive order [source]:

Executive orders per year
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

Of course these recent numbers pale in comparison to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who put in place 3,467 orders during his twelve years in office.  He may have propelled the nation out of a depression, but he set a costly precedent with those orders, one that his successors have followed -- to a lesser extent -- to this day.

Source: The Hill



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I fear for the future...
By sorry dog on 8/7/2012 8:34:35 PM , Rating: 5
The disturbing trend by both Democrats AND Republicans is to do almost anything (i.e. executive orders, budget reconciliation, "pass it and we'll read it later, etc.) to get their agendas and policies passed....Even if it circumvents 200 years of law making precedent or skirts gray areas constitutional law.

I can't help but feel that in the last 8 years, between bad executive leadership and subverted congresses, enough damaged has been caused that it will take 16 years of good leadership to fix it.

We'll see what happens this fall when the brown stuff called sequestration starts heading to the fan.... that should help make it easier to tell between those who are there for our interest or there for their own.




RE: I fear for the future...
By Ammohunt on 8/7/2012 8:41:10 PM , Rating: 1
I don't believe its salvageable without some very nasty business or drastic change in the way of life for those on welfare.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Argon18 on 8/7/2012 8:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
govt handouts and freebies are a big part of the problem. 50 years ago, 6% of the population was receiving scheduled govt handouts. today it is 35%. And that doesn't even include social security or medicare. welfare nation. we need to end this cycle of govt dependence if we're going to improve our country.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Schadenfroh on 8/7/2012 9:54:44 PM , Rating: 4
Is that a big surprise given that the impoverished keep having children despite already being on welfare?

Consider this 33 year old man making minimum wage, already has 30-kids:
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=22467...

"fathered 30 children... with 11 different women... making only minimum wage"

Is the solution free birth control pills? Doubtful, too inconvenient as it requires personal responsibility in the form of taking them on time. As it stands, the most effective way to ensure people take medicine is to pay them:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/health/14meds.ht...

"One-third to one-half of all patients do not take medication as prescribed
...
“I would forget to take it,” and feel “like I couldn’t breathe,” she said.
...
But in the six-month lottery program, she pocketed about $300. “You got something for taking it,” Ms. Parker said. Suddenly, she said, “I was taking it regularly, I was doing so good.”"

If you do not feed your kids, you get in trouble for child neglect. If you keep having kids while on welfare and rely on others (the state / charities) to feed them, how is that any better?

The solution is obvious, pay welfare recipients to have a one-time reversible vasectomy or tubal ligation. That way, they can enjoy themselves and have more children that they cannot afford that drag them (and our country) deeper into poverty... perhaps one day, they can even escape poverty, but having 3+ kids while on welfare does not help.

Our current welfare system, without some tough love reforms, does not exist to help lift people out of poverty, it exists for votes.

Does that mean those of us who want reform want the poor to starve? Hell no, but I want to be met halfway by the recipients, just as I do not have a problem with paying (via taxes / charity) for the healthcare of the less fortunate, but I expect those on Medicaid not to make themselves sicker by smoking, drinking heavily or being obese.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Ammohunt on 8/7/12, Rating: -1
RE: I fear for the future...
By Schadenfroh on 8/7/2012 10:43:28 PM , Rating: 5
How is a voluntary, reversible vasectomy equivalent to the forced, permanent sterilization of western Eugenics programs of old?

Free vasectomies is no different than providing free contraception, except far more effective as it removes reliance on personal responsibility.


RE: I fear for the future...
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2012 11:34:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yes....less personal responsibility.....that's what we need.

How about we stop taking care of people who choose to be irresponsible. Then if they have a kid and don't take care of it, we take the kid away and put it in a home that will. Giving them more free things to be even less responsible just breeds even more irresponsibility.


RE: I fear for the future...
By quiksilvr on 8/8/2012 8:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
You speak as if we don't do this already. There are nearly 200,000 children in this country waiting for this "home that will".


RE: I fear for the future...
By vortmax2 on 8/8/2012 4:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
...and do you know how much money it costs to adopt a child in this country? Up to $40,000!

For many, many parents that want to adopt, they just can't afford it. The adoption system that's in place in the US is ridiculous.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2012 4:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
Kids aren't exactly cheap though. If you can't handle 40k, what about the 500k or whatever it costs to raise a child these days?


RE: I fear for the future...
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2012 10:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
I think $500,000 is a bit high unless you're talking about putting them through an ivy leauge school.

Having $40,000 in cash is still hard for even people doing well. Add on top of it the fact that many American parents who want to adopt, don't do so from the US because of laws here. In many states, judges give priority to the birth parents if they decide later they want to make contact, regardless of whether they signed away their rights to. Was the reason why a guy and his wife I worked with adopted from Russia. They didn't want to run the risk of having the children they raised from babies being torn away from them by a liberal judge.


By polishvendetta on 8/8/2012 9:22:17 AM , Rating: 4
yes lets take away the kid and put them in foster care.

"hey I dont have a kid to take care of any more, lets make another"

Rinse. Repeat.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Denigrate on 8/8/2012 10:10:50 AM , Rating: 5
Sorry man, but you just can't fix stupid. That's what we are really up against here. Stupid people doing stupid things and not facing any consequences for their actions because the nanny state bails them out over and over.


RE: I fear for the future...
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2012 11:23:46 AM , Rating: 3
Trust me I'm aware. So you stop giving them the handouts. And then ensure any kids don't suffer.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Ringold on 8/8/2012 1:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
Call it what it is on top of it; child abuse. Child abuse, because these people create kids they can't take care of.

If we take the kids away, then at least send the culprits to jail or something similar.


RE: I fear for the future...
By vortmax2 on 8/8/2012 4:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that many illegal aliens are having as many children as possible to get them US citizenship. Big families are also a part of some cultures, but there's the whole citizenship motivation at play as well. This isn't helping the problem.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Zaralath on 8/8/2012 6:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
Plus a majority of those illegals are catholic.
And you know they aren't 'allowed' to sue contraceptive, cause they must go forth and multiply :)

I think the bible should have been a bit more clear. Go forth and multiply, until there is about a billion or so. Then we're good. K?


RE: I fear for the future...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2012 6:42:44 PM , Rating: 1
I never really understood why Catholics choose some parts to take super literally, and on other parts sorta just wing it lol.

Purgatory for example. Catholics have made it a big part of their faith and view it as a literal and real thing, when there's not actually anything but a VERY vague off-context reference to such a thing in the Bible.

And don't get me started on the Communion being the LITERAL "body the blood" of Christ lol. God the endless arguments with my mother over that one...

So yeah, go forth and multiply doesn't have to literally be taken as "have tons of chidlins".


RE: I fear for the future...
By espaghetti on 8/8/2012 7:02:41 PM , Rating: 3
If that's the worst thing a religion teaches, then the world is a better place than I thought.
Growing up as a lower middle class Catholic, I've never met a Catholic on welfare.


RE: I fear for the future...
By thurston2 on 8/8/2012 6:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
Are you going to provide a "home that will"? I didn't think so. Talk is cheap.


By ShaolinSoccer on 8/8/2012 8:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't:

"How about we stop taking care of people who choose to be irresponsible. Then if they have a kid and don't take care of it, we take the kid away and put it in a home that will."

Be the exact same thing as:

"Giving them more free things to be even less responsible"?

Think about it. You just gave them an excuse to have as many kids as they want because they will just be taken away "for free"...


RE: I fear for the future...
By dark matter on 8/8/12, Rating: -1
RE: I fear for the future...
By jRaskell on 8/8/2012 11:25:57 AM , Rating: 1
In my mind, EVERYONE is accountable. Yes, the rich should pay more taxes. No, I don't care about their whining about why that would be a bad idea. Guards should be in place to keep them from utilizing their wealth in abusive ways. Our system of justice in particular needs a serious revamp to minimize the huge benefit wealth provides in a court.

On the flip side, welfare should only ever be a temporary thing, to help people get on their feet (or back on their feet). Permanent welfare means you are a permanent leech on society. I don't really care about leeches, or what happens to them. Cut 'em off, and let them deal with the consequences.

And frankly, NOBODY should be having 30 children. Sorry, but that's just ridiculous. If you aren't responsible enough to see and understand that, you aren't responsible enough to have control over your own life. I don't even really care if you are a billionaire that can afford 30 children with zero aid from the government. There's no way two parents can give 30 children all the attention each of them deserve from their parents. Farming them out to hired nannies is just another form of irresponsible parenting.

In summary, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are what's needed to fix this country. What's truly needed is a sane, rational leader that doesn't care about party lines and agendas or campaign contributors agendas. The sad part is, our political system essentially makes it impossible for such a person to get elected. In other words, we're fucked.


RE: I fear for the future...
By TSS on 8/8/2012 8:58:49 AM , Rating: 4
It isn't any different. Voluntary isn't going to do jack, do you think such a man who fathered 30 kids even cares enough to get one?

The only way he'll get one is if you force him. Which the policy makers will realise after the voluntary has been instituted for a while and proven to be uneffective.

How do you think eugenics ever came into play? Because suddenly, everybody was like "yeah, sterilize those idiots!"? no it was a gradual transition, starting with volunteering, then making the decision for people who can't make it themselves (the mentally handicapped) and then, it moves to "undesirables", who ever might be catagorised among them. As a reminder, in nazi germany that included teachers, philosophers, basically everybody who showed just a hint of "free thinking".

quote:
except far more effective as it removes reliance on personal responsibility.


And here is the most dangerous sentance in the comment section. It doesn't. As you need to be a responsible person to even GET a vasectomy. Somebody who's fathered 30 children on minimum wage, isn't a responsible person. The only course of action then is to make it an in-voluntary sterilization. And that is eugenics.

Are you sure you're a responsible person? Maybe you'll wanna get that vasectomy? It's free, yknow.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2012 9:01:22 AM , Rating: 3
Great post, I agree. I think it's really scary that people are stupid enough to actually think that's a great idea.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Pneumothorax on 8/8/2012 12:57:09 AM , Rating: 2
Well, not all their ideas were bad...
As the human race can't seem to control their reproductive urges, unless we wipe out a good chunk with disease or war, in about a century we'll either be forcing abortions or forcing sterilizations. Which is more humane?


RE: I fear for the future...
By Schadenfroh on 8/8/12, Rating: 0
RE: I fear for the future...
By nafhan on 8/8/2012 10:48:26 AM , Rating: 2
...or we can pay attention to research that shows a strong correlation between wealth and voluntarily having fewer children and not go the forced sterilization route at all, Mr. Eugenics-is-the-future. Yikes!


RE: I fear for the future...
By TSS on 8/8/12, Rating: 0
RE: I fear for the future...
By Rukkian on 8/8/2012 9:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
What about instead of money being handed out, they are simply given the food needed to survive - fresh vegetables, fruits, milk, bread. Then if they want to live better, they need to work for it.

I have no problem with helping out, but just handing out a check is ridiculous. I am sure the great majority use the money for what they need, but if even 10% blow the money, it is too much.


RE: I fear for the future...
By JPForums on 8/8/2012 11:42:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What about instead of money being handed out, they are simply given the food needed to survive - fresh vegetables, fruits, milk, bread. Then if they want to live better, they need to work for it.

Unfortunately, because it would cost more per person to do it that way. I'm almost convinced that it would be cheaper in the end, though, as those who think TV, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, etc. are indispensable necessities would find a way to work. Also, presuming higher quality food (you said fresh) is provided, some formerly obese recipients could conceivably get themselves back into working shape. Believe it or not, it is hard to shake obesity with the quality of food many welfare recipients eat in the name of saving money.
quote:
I am sure the great majority use the money for what they need, but if even 10% blow the money, it is too much.

Honestly, I thing your estimate is low. While I know people who try to act as responsibly as they can, I see far to many people buying large quantities of Tenderloin, Fillet Mignon, or other pricy items entirely off of their EBT card. I can't even afford to do that and I'm not exactly struggling. There is apparently also a way to pull cash off of the EBT card to buy things you can't purchase with the EBT (for instance, alcohol).


By anti-painkilla on 8/8/2012 5:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is apparently also a way to pull cash off of the EBT card to buy things you can't purchase with the EBT (for instance, alcohol).


I would imagine the easiest way is buying something, returning it and being given a cash refund, not sure if they can refund to the EBT card.


RE: I fear for the future...
By MentalVirus on 8/8/2012 7:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
My parents own a business in the ghetto.

There is a family of 10 that lived around there who would purchase food (product to sell) for the small local market WITH their EBT card in exchange for cash.

With 8 kids, we're talking an upward of $2500 in food stamps a month. That's just a bit short of my monthly salary after taxes.

If that is not the most perfect way of jerking off the system, I don't know what is.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Zaralath on 8/8/2012 6:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
It takes balls to implement something like that.
So it's never going to happen regardless of which party is in power.

I'd be even harsher than you in regards to healthcare. If the problem is self inflicted (smoking, bad eating habits, being stupid e.g. drunk driving) then I would say, you don't qualify for medicaid.


RE: I fear for the future...
By The Raven on 8/13/2012 7:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is that a big surprise given that the impoverished keep having children despite already being on welfare?

Consider this 33 year old man making minimum wage, already has 30-kids
Thank you for calling minimum wage what it what it is...Welfare.
quote:
If you do not feed your kids, you get in trouble for child neglect. If you keep having kids while on welfare and rely on others (the state / charities) to feed them, how is that any better?
Correction: you don't get in trouble for child neglect...you get free food handed out via "school" food programs.
quote:
The solution is obvious, pay welfare recipients to have a one-time reversible vasectomy or tubal ligation.
Umm... that is quite the jump there. I was expecting you to say stop providing the means for such stupidity (end gov't welfare). However I do agree that if there was a charity willing to pay people enough to do this they should be free to. Also people should be free to sell their organs as well (bare minimum within the confines of law). Especially dead people. That would lower the cost of transplants significantly and we would have more people getting the organs they need (and without the high costs).


RE: I fear for the future...
By Fujikoma on 8/8/12, Rating: -1
RE: I fear for the future...
By GotThumbs on 8/8/2012 8:55:07 AM , Rating: 5
You just don't get it.....and I'm certain you never will.

It's NOT the corporations that are the problem. No matter how much taxes are collected...if you don't address the REAL problem....You'll end up where you started. A problem with a growing population that is NOT self-responsible or self-reliant. No one country can be the babysitter of the world. It's just NOT possible in the real world.

I'm all for helping others....but only after my own house and family is taken care of. People should not be forced to support others who choose to do nothing. If this is county is to remain "Land of the free.." than you have to allow people to make their own decisions and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of their personal choices. Charity should not be made a government requirement....it should remain a personal choice.


RE: I fear for the future...
By JPForums on 8/8/2012 10:59:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Remove all those tax loopholes and bailouts to corporations first, then don't allow product into the country that isn't following current domestic minimum wage and environmental/pollution laws.

I don't like bailouts or loopholes. The fact that they are prevalent is indicative of a larger problem. Bailouts occur when we (the government) choose to subsidize an unsustainable system. A better long term solution (harsher short term) is to let those systems fail. If the product or service is needed or wanted badly enough it will reemerge in a more tenable form. Tax loopholes wouldn't be so prevalent if our taxes were lower to begin with. Compare our corporate tax rates with other countries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...
The federal tax is already one of the highest in the world. Add state taxes (which most countries have no equivalence for) and you can see why companies are so eager to outsource.
quote:
They shouldn't get away with undercutting capitalism by avoiding the law by moving elsewhere.

I thought finding a cheaper more plentiful supply (of workers) to meet your demand was pretty well in line with capitalism. If you want the workforce back in the states, the workforce for a particular occupation needs to be cheaper and more plentiful. One way to move in this direction would be to lower corporate taxes and remove able workers from the welfare pool.
quote:
Welfare is far cheaper than the kickbacks the corporations recieve.

The fact that you call tax breaks (loophole or not) kickbacks is indicative of a belief that the money is the property of the government and any tax break they get is a direct subsidy from the government. In fact, it is more akin to a store charging you less due to a coupon or promotional you happen to be aware of. The store lowers the cost of certain items to consumers to increase customers. Likewise, the government will create exemptions or reductions to certain taxes to entice more corporations to keep operations state side. That said, I still don't like these "loopholes" because they are so easy to abuse. On a side note, I prefer stores to keep low prices all the time rather than rely on temporary sales and promos to lure customers in.
quote:
Then, if you want to discuss cutting welfare benefits to adults with no dependents that are capable of working but don't (like my lazy cousin and her on/off boyfriend), it won't be a big deal.

This should be the first thing discussed. It is unreasonable to expect working Americans to pay for the livelihood of others who are capable of working but don't. While I don't support bailouts by any stretch, I'd rather loose money to an entity that at least has a chance of increasing the nations productivity (providing goods/services) than an entity that has no will to do so. The problem is, many capable people on welfare stay there because they would loose money getting a minimum wage job. To fix this, by definition you must either raise the minimum wage or reduce welfare benefits (or both).


RE: I fear for the future...
By Fujikoma on 8/8/2012 1:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
"Bailouts occur when we (the government) choose to subsidize an unsustainable system."
Not for the banking industry... they knowingly gave out bad loans and were playing musical chairs (selling them to other banks) with a lot of missing chairs when the music cut off.
Capitalism is supply and demand in a closed system (as there is no such thing as a continuously open system). Once one party can bypass that system, it no longer based on fair wages for fair work/ability. Now, for the short term, China is supplying near slave labor for corpations. They are wising up to the pollution and poor pay though, which is why you see strikes there. Most companies would like to move to Africa for the cheaper labor and lax laws, but the instability is preventing it. Companies tend to cry to their parent government when another country nationalizes its business interests.
Money is the property of the governments. That's a historical fact because the government guarentees the value of the currency, not businesses. What you're thinking of is the barter system, which is not as efficient as the money system.
As to your last paragraph, you don't undertand what a society is. There will always be a percentage of unemployed (it's actually a good thing to have some unemployed people, not just a lot of them). One of society's foci is to give the poor an equitable chance to move out of that class. A kid from a poor family that isn't fed properly will typically not do well in school (outliers will be present, but do not constitute the norm). Cutting back school lunch programs, for example, keeps that group from bettering itself. That's just science, not laziness. You almost had it with the last line, but the benefits would need to be reduced with the employment of a minimum wage job, not cut entirely. Why would someone want to lose state medical benefits by getting a low paying job? You don't live in a vacuum from the poor and corporations are not altruistic in their pursuit of gathering money (they don't produce anything, people produce). Pure, unrestrained capitalism does not advance society, that's why most stable democracies are variations of socialism.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Dorkyman on 8/8/2012 4:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
"knowingly gave out bad loans..."

I remember those days. The libs were all bleeding-heart about how unfair it was that folks with lousy or no credit were locked out of the virtues of home ownership, so banks were FORCED to make crappy loans. They were dragged kicking and screaming into it. I remember; I was there.

But even then things worked out okay--as long as home values kept rising. Eventually that stopped, like all bubbles.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/2012 4:53:52 PM , Rating: 3
Liberals are great at re-writing history to fit their ideology.

The entire sub-prime market was created by the Government, specifically Democrats, and forced on the banks. Damn right they "knowingly gave out bad loans", when they didn't they were threatened. Janet Reno "urged" (aka threatened) banks to market services to "minority areas". Even as recently as 2008, Obama had the justice department sue Citibank for not offering enough "minority" government backed home loans.

So it's racist and "discriminatory" to only offer loans to people who you think can actually pay them. However if you do, you're practicing "predatory lending" policies and giving out "bad loans". The Liberals want it both ways. They just can't admit their stupid ideas for forcing "equality and fairness" on the free market caused a bubble and bounced back up in their face.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Ryrod on 8/8/2012 11:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
The original loans issued by banks prior to the 80s were primarily fixed-rate mortgages that Freddie and Fannie picked up. However, lending institutions then began to start with ARMs and made these loans to individuals who could not afford the loans only to include an exploding interest rate. Rather than letting everyone know they gave a bad loan that the borrower could not repay, they either spread the risk by bundling the sub-prime loans with prime loans, or else they paid off the credit analysis agencies to get a better rating on the bundle than was warranted.

With all of these sub-prime loans floating around with fraudulent ratings or hidden by prime loan ratings of the associated bundle, it was only a matter of time before the poor choices of the lending institutions came down on all of us. The Community Reinvestment Act did not cause this as you suggest. It was a very small part of the problem, which came about due to systemic greed and the push to make an unsustainable profit year after year, with a sprinkle of regulatory incompetence. The CRA even discourages the type of lending that took place and those types of loans fall short of the Freddie/Fannie guidelines. Furthermore, most of the CRA banks did not make these sub-prime loans. Most of the banks that made sub-prime loans weren't even covered under the CRA, specifically the investment and mortgage institutions. With so many institutions making these loans only to sell them off immediately after, there was an influx of foreclosed houses which caused the market to collapse. If the banks hadn't hidden the true risk of these loans, we wouldn't have had this problem.

Lastly, Janet Reno only said that she would "tackle lending discrimination." There was no set quota that banks had to make to minorities. Janet Reno only required that if a minority individual was as capable of owning a home in a poor neighborhood as a white person in the suburbs, then both should get a loan. In fact, some banks were being deliberately racist and treating entire neighborhoods as unlendable zones. So stop trying to blame Janet Reno for the fact that lending institutions decided to make horrible loans.

quote:
Liberals are great at re-writing history to fit their ideology.
The pot calling the kettle black, maybe?


RE: I fear for the future...
By wallijonn on 8/8/2012 1:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
50 years ago we weren't out sourcing jobs, either. In case you missed it there's been an economic depression the last few years - many former upper middle class citizens are on food stamps, hitting the food kitch lines, etc. Somewhere there must be some ex-millionaire who is now working at McDonalds for $7 an hour. 50 years ago public FDIC insured banks weren't trading stocks, taking risks in derivatives, etc. How many people have lost their homes, have lost their jobs, have lost their medical insurance, have lost their pensions? 50 years ago we had pensions, not 401Ks...

You want to break the cycle of gov dependence? Start by taxing corporations higher rates for overseas income than they pay if the product is made in the USA. Get rid of all tax loop holes. Make Social Security and Medicare income un-limited: the guy who makes $10,000 a year pays the same 6.25% as the millionaire - no limit on income, all must pay it.


RE: I fear for the future...
By dxf2891 on 8/8/2012 1:23:33 PM , Rating: 2
But wouldn't that include farm subsidies and veteran benefits?


RE: I fear for the future...
By Prime2515103 on 8/9/2012 9:52:44 AM , Rating: 2
And yet, year, after year, after year, no money is put into education. Why? Because the people running things don't want educated people. Educated people are competition. They want slave consumers.

So lets give <insert government program here> to 35% of the people (although I doubt that number is accurate) to keep the crime rate down because it's cheaper than putting people in prison--which is where people with no money go because they have to survive somehow, but they can't get a job that can support them because they're uneducated.

Considering our position in the world, our education system is a laughing stock. A complete embarrassment.

I just started college last year and I'm pulling A's with essentially a 7th grade education. That's completely absurd. Granted it's a community college, but still, the standards should be an order of magnitude higher.

Fix the education system and all these problems go away. A country full of "stupid" people is always going to be wasteful. That's the bottom line.


RE: I fear for the future...
By HrilL on 8/8/2012 8:29:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, Everything the Government gives was stolen from someone else.


RE: I fear for the future...
By wookie1 on 8/7/2012 10:06:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, both parties push for the expansion of the scope and reach of the government. The main difference between them is what type of control they push for.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Ringold on 8/7/2012 10:31:38 PM , Rating: 3
Bush: Patriot Act
Obama: This

Seems like, when it comes to the police state, elements of both parties are fully aligned.

At least, elements of the Republican party; some elements are clearly opposed. I'd assume, hope, that some parts of the Democrat party is as well.


RE: I fear for the future...
By FITCamaro on 8/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: I fear for the future...
By Ringold on 8/8/2012 12:19:19 AM , Rating: 3
I try to give them credit, but you're right. They screamed about the Patriot Act when Bush was pushing it, now that their guy is in office their reauthorize it every 2 years I believe it is.


RE: I fear for the future...
By GotThumbs on 8/8/2012 9:09:22 AM , Rating: 2
A huge part of the problem is that so may see it as either 100% or 100% right. The two party system is so divided and with Bills loaded down with fat these days....the main reason for the bill becomes insignificant. Each Bill should stand on it's own. People need to get away from the prejudice of the party system. Get back to the constitution and let government govern the running of the country. Let the people govern their personal lives. The core of this country is the idea that one does not have to agree with someones ideals or options...but they should respect the other persons right to free thinking.

To address a hot topic and make my point. While I would prefer the American flag never be burned...As an American and a believer in the foundation of this country...I have to respect someone's choice to burn it. As long as their actions do not interfere with my freedoms. Now if that person happens to receive burns by their actions...Its not my responsibly to tend to their burns or pay their medical bill.

Freedom is not free and does not come easy, but I think its worth the work. People who are not willing to contribute...are not deserving of this privilege IMO. Too may have been allowed to slack....and Obama eliminating the Work requirement for welfare just encourages that practice.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/8/12, Rating: 0
RE: I fear for the future...
By 91TTZ on 8/8/2012 10:20:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seems like, when it comes to the police state, elements of both parties are fully aligned.


It's good to see that the opposing parties can agree on something.

Totalitarianism- Change we can ALL believe in.


RE: I fear for the future...
By KCjoker on 8/8/2012 7:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
Obama voted for the Patriot Act and he chose to continue it as President.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Bad-Karma on 8/9/2012 1:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
Um, you seem to forget that the Patriot Act was taken almost word for word from defeated Anti-terror legislation originally drafted by Joe Biden.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_o...


RE: I fear for the future...
By Ringold on 8/7/2012 10:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
enough damaged has been caused that it will take 16 years of good leadership to fix it.


The institutional damage, I think, is done. We now expect this sort of thing, speaking generally.. There's no loud million-man marches on DC. The agencies follow his legally questionable commands seemingly without flinching. The media doesn't shine the spot light on any corruption, waste, or abuse -- unless its a Republican, or they're shamed in to a brief story.

Forget which one, but one of the framers of the constitution (Franklin?) said democracy, specifically our type of government, requires the occasional armed rebellion to keep it in check. That's not really feasible any more, and the population isn't very enthused in holding their feet to the fire.. A good 40% or so even like it this way.

So.. I think the whole house of cards will have to crash and burn, history repeat itself, complete with most the tragedies seen in history several times before, before some group of libertarians attempt this experiment again, probably somewhere else entirely.

Maybe I'm a pessimist, but even if Romney wins, so what? When almost half the country votes in line with a cult of big government, it's just a matter of time.


RE: I fear for the future...
By Pneumothorax on 8/8/2012 1:19:24 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Maybe I'm a pessimist, but even if Romney wins, so what? When almost half the country votes in line with a cult of big government, it's just a matter of time.


"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy"


By HoosierEngineer5 on 8/8/2012 8:35:34 AM , Rating: 2
Thus the concept of 'starving the bear'. The government can't grow without funding, unless it can continue to increase deficits without limits.

Since we can't even seem to slow it down, let alone have the discipline to stop or reverse it, I can only think we will need to change the inscription on Ellis Island to read "abandon all hope ye who enter here". The US is probably to big to bail out.


RE: I fear for the future...
By retrospooty on 8/8/2012 8:29:36 AM , Rating: 2
"I can't help but feel that in the last 8 years, between bad executive leadership and subverted congresses, enough damaged has been caused that it will take 16 years of good leadership to fix it."

8 years? Try over 40 years.


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














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