5th District race: Social issues 'a distraction,' says Hurt

The 5th District incumbent makes no bones about it: his traditional conservative values are a product of how he was raised. That would be in Chatham in southside Virginia, and U.S. Congressman Robert Hurt's frequent use of "with all due respect" demonstrates the good manners with which he was raised and his education from Hargrave Military Academy, Episcopal High School in Alexandria, and Hampden-Sydney College.

Hurt was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 after defeating Democrat Tom Perriello– and winning a seven-pack Republican primary. This year, he faces challenger John Douglass, a retired Air Force brigadier general. Recent polls show Hurt with a comfortable 18 percent lead.

The Congressman sits down with the Hook at the beginning of a long day in Charlottesville to talk about the election, the social issues he says are a distraction, and who that partially clad woman is on the Virginia state flag.

Hook: This election, how's it different from two years ago?

Hurt: I think first of all, jobs and economy are the number one issue. As we travel across the 5th District, we hear that everywhere we go, and frankly, that's really so much what the issue was two years ago. Debt and deficit– that's a long-term concern that people have on their minds and again, that's something that was part of our campaign in 2010.

Obviously I was a challenger in 2010, and it was a completely different race. We were outspent by a million dollars two years ago and were facing an incumbent who was very popular, certainly here in Albemarle and Charlottesville.  He was very popular with the Democratic leadership in Washington. You'll recall the president came in to campaign for him in Charlottesville three days before the election.

Being the incumbent, it's a different dynamic. I'm asking people to evaluate what I've done the past two years, and it's my hope on November 6th I've done what I campaigned and said I would do, and stood up for change in this country. We haven't made a whole lot of progress, I'm sorry to report. But I do believe I've been true to what I said in the campaign and what my concerns are.

One other thing different, that was a close race in 2010. With an 18-point lead and an opponent who has swatted at a tracker's camera– does that feel like you can just sit back...

No. No, no, no, no. It's nice to see a poll that suggests that we're leading, but we always have, always will run [as if] 10 points behind and that's my philosophy.

For the last 10, 20 years, the American people have not been holding their leaders accountable and I believe that on both sides of the aisle. What do we have to show for it? We have $16 trillion in debt. We are borrowing 40 cents on every dollar we spend and we have now for the third year in a row eight-percent-plus unemployment and you can't lay that all at the feet of one Congress, you can't lay that all at the feet of one president, you can't lay all that at the feet of one party.

I don't think the president, with all due respect, has done anything to help the situation.

I keep reading you've voted against the Affordable Care Act 33 times. What's that about?

That was a big issue in the last campaign. It's going to be a big issue in this campaign. The American people did not want it. You remember the fury in the streets, with people who were so upset because they didn't want the government taking over their health care.

One of the first things was to vote for a repeal of the president's health care law. I don't know we voted 33 times for full repeal, but there have been, whatever the number is, repeated efforts to change the law, to repeal the law or repeal some part of it or to not fund it.

And there are those who say, hey look, why are you engaged in this theater? I would say to you that it really isn't. At no time is taking action on the floor of the House of Representatives a waste of time. It is an expression of the will of the  people who elected the 435 members. It is what we get elected to do.

Now you're in Congress, what's different than what you might have expected?

I was in state legislature for nine years. It wasn't always pretty, but for the most part, you found that people were very serious about their obligation to do what they were elected to do and the best example of that was to adopt a budget.

Washington is a hyper-partisan place and it's worse than it appears on television. Richmond is a dream compared to that.

Is there anything you've voted on that you've had to struggle with which way to go?

What they do in Washington is lump bills together so you'll have something you really want to vote for and then they'll have something that's terrible. The only way they can pass the terrible thing is to include it in the thing people want to vote for. For instance, I supported the extension of the interest rate for student loans, the lower rate. At the same time, the transportation piece is spending money that we don't have. And I can't support that. You have to make those tough decisions.

I'll tell you this– in Virginia, we have the single object rule. I don't want to get too far in the weeds, but it is part of the Virginia constitution that says a bill may not have more than one object and I think that's what we ought to have in Washington.

Paul Ryan– tell me what you like about him.

We don't serve on the same committees, but he's someone I've come to admire because of this debt crisis looming in this country as long as he's been in Congress, and nobody's been listening to him. And so I've voted for his budgets because his most recent would bring our budget into primary balance by 2015. That's a huge deal. It cuts $6 trillion in spending over 10 years and it would reform Medicare in a way that preserves it for current beneficiaries and future generations. The reason it's so important is Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and debt service make up two-thirds of our budget.

In Albemarle, I covered a pot possession case and five people on the jury were excused because they said, I'm not going to convict, I think it's a stupid law. A Rasmussen study says 56 percent of Americans don't favor having marijuana illegal. Why is it politicians won't touch this issue?

[He laughs.] I don't know. First of all I'll say this: It is a state issue, and so that's not something we deal with in Congress. I support the law that makes it illegal but there are Republicans who disagree with me on that. I understand that and respect that. It's just my experience being a prosecutor and actually seeing the real harm, not only from a health standpoint, but the violence caused by these drugs. It's real.

Another issue is gay marriage. I know you don't support that, but what do you tell your constituents who write you and say, I would like to marry the person I love?

Again, I respect those views. I don't agree with them, but I do respect them. I watched the Democratic convention over this last week and it's interesting to see how much the folks in Charlotte seem to be obsessed with these social issues at a time we have for the third year in a row eight-points-plus unemployment. When I travel around the 5th District, I don't hear people coming up and asking me about those sorts of issues. I don't think they're on the minds of the people I represent nearly as much the fact that Martinsville, Viriginia, has 16 percent unemployment and you can't feed children and you can't clothe a family, when you don't have a job. What I watched over this week in Charlotte, it's been really a distraction from the real issues. I mean, we've got $16 trillion in debt and we're getting ready to pass that on to our children? It ain't right, and that's what I hear about. With that said, listen, I was brought up the way I was brought up and I do believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.

You were talking about social issues being a distraction. I'm going back to one that came up in Richmond– the ultrasound legislation. Is that something you would have supported if you'd been there?

I didn't follow it that closely. I know it was a big issue. And it is a state issue. And I will say, I've made clear, with all due respect to people who feel differently than I do, I was raised the way I was raised. I believe life begins at conception, and so I'm opposed to abortion, and I think any law we can adopt that promotes informed consent is important. Now, I don't think the government has a right to impose the physical probing of its citizens. Let's just leave it at that. That's the issue you're talking about?

Yeah, the transvaginal ultrasound.

I think that's over the top.

How big a factor is [Constitution Party presidential candidate] Virgil Goode going to be in this election?

I don't know what he's thinking. I don't know that anybody knows what he's thinking. But I do know this. He could have an effect in Virginia, and the only thing I can say about that is a vote for him is a vote to continue the policies of this president for another four years.

One more question: Citizens United. How has that affected this campaign? Are you getting big super PAC money?

I think what it says is groups of citizens can band together and spend more than what the limits traditionally have been. As big a beneficiary as any to the Citizens United decision is the labor unions. So I think it remains to be seen what the effect of this sort of unlimited free speech is. It's allowing people who want to say something to participate in the political discourse, and it's for that reason I support it.

I wish campaigns didn't cost so much. And I would far rather be spending my time meeting with people, talking with people than I would be having that pressure to raise money. And it's a reality. I don't know how you change it without infringing on people's freedom of speech. And that's something I think has to be honored. But it sho' is expensive.

Read more on: Robert Hurt

116 comments

Um, his political party has made "social issues" the issue with the War on Women. And truly women's health issues are economic issues. Access to birth control and good care is the difference between thousands of single parents on welfare and other social benefits vs. becoming educated and planning their families. Hello?

You should have asked what he has done as a representative of his constituents......

What exactly is Rep Hurt's record?

So Mr. Hurt believes life begins at conception....guess that is why he co-sponsored the national personhood bill, as well as cosponsoring the bill which attempted to redefine rape to "forcible rape." Too bad you didn't ask him why he agrees with Todd Akin.

"I was raised how I was raised." This is disturbing to me. It reads as "I'm not going to to bring any critical assessment to a single thing I was told as a child despite anything that might change or be revealed along the way to adulthood." That's just sad. If you believe gay marriage and marriage equality are wrong, ok, I disagree but just explain why you believe it to be wrong...not that it's what you were told as a child. Many children in the 50s were raised to believe that Black and White people eating in the same restaurant was bad and wrong.

This guy is no good. I've sent him comments regarding how poorly he is representing me as a citizen in his district. His form letter reply says something like he's sorry that we have differing "opinions." This guy forgot to look up "representative" in the dictionary before he ran. He went to DC to represent himself, not the people of his district.

On top of that, sending him my comments put me on his rah-rah supporters email list. I have now requested at least 3 times to be removed yet I still get the spam from his office.

He's got to go. We need someone that will represent the people of the district, not just his own tiny minded ultra-conservative, ideological bunk.

The people commenting on this board (so far) prove his point - they are getting all hot and bothered over abortion, gay marriage, etc. when in the grand scheme of the problems facing our country right now, they are not the most important issues. People need to be debating economic policies and the long term financial health of our country or else we are in for a Japanese style lost decade or worse.

I am pro-choice, pro gay marriage, but also believe that I must vote on who can fix the economy, which are the Republicans.

TheDude: What are Romney/Ryan's specific policy proposals for addressing the economy? They won't give specifics and have said they won't. If you want to say the economy is problem number one then you have to offer solutions. I agree that a debate on economic policy should be taking place...but the group you think can fix things won't engage in that debate.

I raised gay marriage because the responses in this interview show the way that Hurt seems to think about the world. "I was raised how I was raised" abdicates the responsibility to think, assess and alter one's views based on the world and I don't think that kind of thinking is confined to "social" issues.

Lastly, individual freedoms are essential and not a distraction. Ask anyone who champions the second amendment.

TheDude...what an unusual comment to make...Republicans can fix the economy? It was the Republicans who de-regulated, gave away billions in tax cuts, and started the two unpaid wars which got us into this mess and you think they'll get us out. Romney wants to start another war with Iran. He wants to triple down on tax cuts for the rich....and those things help our economy how? He can't tell the truth about anything...as illustrated by the Pants on Fire, False and Mostly False ratings received on his ads and his comments as a Presidential Candidate located here: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/mitt-romney/statements/byruling/... and here: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/mitt-romney/statements/byruling/... and here: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/mitt-romney/statements/byruling/... and here: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/mitt-romney/statements/byruling/...

Of the 164 statements rated by Politifact, a mere 27, or 16% have been rated true. I understand that during campaigns the truth is stretched, twisted and turned to suit the particular candidate, but Mr. Romney's record is extreme. Do you really want to elect someone who tells you the truth 16% of the time? Not me.

16% is better than 0%........

Don't believe that the conservatives have made any issue a social issue.. we are reactive to the liberal "rages" over our stands on certain issues that have been brought up to spin the news away from the real issues...

........... like the Middle East, the economy, and gee, perhaps a few others. We should not be debating a womans desire to keep her knees open or closed, who you want to sleep with, and when life begins......

what is Mr. Hurt's record? Challenge him on it....... I don't what he believes- just what is his voting record and does it represent my desires and why i voted for him 2 years ago.

@Chris - agreed that more clarity is needed on specific policies, but I also just generally agree for the need to reign in government spending, fix entitlements, etc.

As much as I don't know about specifics with Republicans, I know that I don't like Obama's policies and that they have not worked over the past 4 years. For my job, I often speak to small business owners and I will share two stories that I heard from SMB owners in C'ville (businesses that most people reading this board would probably know).

1. Due to increasing the length of unemployment benefits, one businesses costs spiked 31x, forcing him to stop hiring because he could not afford it if that person did not work out (it is a bit of a seasonal business). He said is business is now in "survival" mode, not growth. His entire family voted for Obama in 2008 - not this time.

2. Due to Obamacare, under which you must provide part time employees health insurance, another business's healthcare costs spiked to 20% of his operating budget. As a result, he had to lay of 60 employees and is having to lease his stores to a national corporation who can manage the costs better. He noted that many small businesses that operate on thin margins and have part time employees (ex. Restaurants) are going to either have to cut back the hours of their employees or close.

These are just two real life examples of how Obama's policies are hurting the economy instead of promoting growth and hiring. Every jobs report over the past year has been terrible.

So for me, I just feel like we need someone new who understands business.

@Sharon - good luck with all that. You are clearly just repeating the party sound bite instead of thinking critically about what you are saying.

Here is a doctors assessment of Obama care...it's pretty funny, but sad because it's an honest assessment.

http://www.westernjournalism.com/doctor-diagnoses-obama-in-one-sentence/

@The Dude, I do think critically and here is the issue - have you read the health care LAW - not the bill but the law which is about 900 pages? Employers are exempt from the group plan if they qualify but they can buy into group plans that are more affordable. Lets see here, a health employee is more productive than an unhealthy one. Plus the government will rebate employers who promote healthy lifestyle options which can be provided by the health care coverage they choose for their families.

We have small business here that has indeed obtained grants from the government incentives that were created under the Democrat in office now.

Please let us all know here what Hurt has done for the economy? Tell us, what has he done to improve the economy or attempted to do to help? Absolutely nothing!

I suggest you go read the health care law now and then come back more informed. Here is a link... http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ152/content-detail.html

@C'ville Native - no, I have not read the 900 page law, nor do I ever plan to. But I appreciate the government making it so long and convoluted that the lawmakers who voted it in didn't read or understand it either.

The point is - I talked to actual small business owners who are being directly effected by this law - and it is killing their businesses. "A healthy employee is better than an unhealthy one" - again, the point is under this law businesses can't afford to hire (or keep) employees - so the choice is between an "unhealthy" employee (even though this isn't true) or an unemployed person. I don't know about you, but I think we need less unemployed people.

Also, SMB owners are struggling everyday to run their businesses - they don't, nor shouldn't, have to waste their time applying for government rebates and exemptions for healthcare.

@The Dude -- From the Kaiser Family Foundation website: "The Affordable Care Act does not require businesses to provide health benefits to their workers, but larger employers face penalties starting in 2014 if they don't make affordable coverage available. This simple flowchart illustrates how those employer responsibilities work."

Does the business you speak of have at least 50 full time equivalent employees. Here's the chart that might help http://healthreform.kff.org/the-basics/employer-penalty-flowchart.aspx

@skipd

"Don't believe that the conservatives have made any issue a social issue.. we are reactive to the liberal "rages" over our stands on certain issues that have been brought up to spin the news away from the real issues..."

That's like saying that the person standing up to the bully is the problem. Yes, Republicans are all about social issues and changing laws to enforce their view on others. It's been their platform for 30 years to prevent their supporters from realizing how they are getting snookered economically.They make things issues and people push back especially when it affects their personal body.

It's a sign of how bad it is that someone like Hurt has the support he does versus an old school competent conservative like Douglass.

@Sharon - thanks for providing the chart. While I do not know all of the details of the Affordable Care Act, I am sure it is more nuanced than this chart, though maybe this is a good start.

I assume he had greater than 50 FTEs since he had to lay 60 people off - which I think were mainly all part time employees. I think the part time employees crossed some government threshold that then qualified them for insurance under the ACA, and the business simply couldn't afford them.

Finally, the thing that strikes me about that chart is that under almost every scenario, even if the business isn't "required" to provide healthcare, they still must pay a penalty to the government. This is a real cost to the business which stops them from using that money in more productive ways.

1) The way Obama care will bankrupt the system is this.... Obamacare requires states to expand thier medicare thresholds to cover virtually anyone who cannot "afford" insurance ... so all the drunken bums, low lifes and lazy wannabe thugs will claim back pain for vicodin and thrn resell, it on the streets.... all of the CVS Walgreens, wal mart and targets are ALREADY opening clinics to take advantage of the revenue stream... the Doctors will make the bums com e in weekly to make sure they are not "hooked" generating weekly revenue for doing nothing and it will all be LEGAL. It WILL bankrupt the system and the taxpayers will be on the hook for something almost impossible to take away once it is implemented.

2) Like it or not there is only one guy in the race who has the ability to get the two trillion dollars off the sidelines and invested in the economy. Obama has been a dismal failure in this category. Romney is a deal maker and can break the gridlock in Congress by allowing the Democrats to steal a little to get things moving.

3) The issue of abortion is a states issue within the supreme courts ruling whicj won't be changing anytime soon. Hurt acknowledges this. I am glad to know he thinks a woman having an abortion is not a simple housecleaning for convienence.

4) Women threw themselves into the mix when they wanted health insurance companies to provide them "free" contraception with no deductibles. There are a lot of women who don't feel this preferential treatment is fair or just, they see women demanding this as selfish and contradictory to the womens movement.

5) There are people who have no problems with gay rights but wonder how far it will go... does an employer have the "right" to ask a gay man at a gym to "tone it down" if his flamboyant behavior is chasing away customers? Also... if mariage is only about love then why is it illegal for two borthers to marry? The can't make a baby, so incest is niot a valid argument.

6) Hurt is right to concentrate on getting people back to work and then going back to settle our social differences. Barack Obama wasted three years on everything BUT the economy and now that it bit him in the butt he wants 4 years to address what he should have done FIRST.

7) Regardless of his politics this is an educated, honest hardworking guy who has served us well. Even the people who disagree with him on social issues cannot fault him on the economic ones.

Something Obama DID build...without our help...

http://clashdaily.com/2012/09/middle-east-madness-congrats-obama-you-bui...

Bill Marshall:
On point 1, you're incorrect. The ACA (Obamacare) would have required an expansion of Medicaid, not Medicare (Medicare is a federal plan, not a state/federal joint plan). Further, the required Medicaid expansion was struck down and so states have the option to expand their eligibility or not as they desire. Several Governors have already said they will decline to expand Medicaid eligibility.

On point 3, you're insulting. No serious person thinks that an abortion is a simple housecleaning for convenience.

On point 4, contraception is included in basic preventive care which is shown to reduce costs for insurance providers and thus, all subscribers. That is, it'll save you money. Further, it's not free. Health insurance is expensive. It is covered with no additional copay and doesn't affect deductibles at all. It's included in many vaccines for children and adults and many screenings that are also demonstrated to save money overall.

On point 5...um...wow. It'll stop at two consenting, non-related adults getting married. Society has an interest in promoting relationships between two people. It helps knit communities together, makes property transfer easier, helps in estate issues and, yes, often makes raising children together easier.

On point 6, the first thing Obama did after being elected was to get the stimulus passed. You may not like it, but the economy was the first thing he focused on. Health care was also abou the economy...remember, it is scored as reducing the deficit over the next 10 years.

Lastly, what has Hurt done in terms of the economy?

WhoaNelly - check out what George Will has to say about that.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/16/george-will-romney-libya-abc-th...

Did he really say "but it sho is expensive"? You have to go further south than Virginia to hear that kind of accent, even Virgil doesn't say sho.

chris,

1) hanadful of state exploiting a loophole until the dems get control again does not change my premise at all. Why do you think target cvs wal mart and walgrens are all building clinics?

2) So when Obama said that if his daughter "made a mistake" she should not be "burdened" with a child then that was not dismissing abortion as housecleaning?
You are entitled to your opinion. The abortion statistics say otherwise.

3) "On point 4, contraception is included in basic preventive care which is shown to reduce costs for insurance providers and thus" If this were true then insureres would have given it away as a sales tool... so why do we need government intervention?

4) "On point 5...um...wow. It'll stop at two consenting, non-related adults getting married"
Right.... people that want gay rights always stop there and never consider what comes next... so I will ask again... why can't two brothers marry? Why can't a guy marry his mother to avoid estate taxes? At 88 she is post menapausal? Deal with the realities. The work it out.

5) Obama signed the stimulous because it was put in front of him.. "HE DID NOT BUILD THAT" He then wasted three years.... as for Obamacare reducing the deficit it is smoke and mirrors.. (see my number one and use some common sense)

6) Hurt has been consistently pushing for creating a marketplace that would allow people to create jobs and salvage. He has not been wasting time trying to make life "fair" for misfits while the country slides further into oblivion.

"I'll tell you this– in Virginia, we have the single object rule. I don't want to get too far in the weeds, but it is part of the Virginia constitution that says a bill may not have more than one object and I think that's what we ought to have in Washington." THIS is why I do not support Mr. Hurt. He is not a leader. If he were a leader, he would have introduced legislation proposing a federal single object rule like Virginia has. Instead he just complains about it instead of DOING something. I know he was "only" a freshman in Congress, but I expect action - sponsoring important bills and then gathering support for those bills. Mr. Hurt has proved himself timid time and time again. That is not what he was "hired" to do. Congress needs fixing and we need leaders on both sides of the aisle.

Bill,

You love to quote abortion statistics as if they somehow justify your complete hatred of women who exercise choice over their bodies and their lives. Abortion has been on a steady decline in the US, despite your idiotic claims about women's lib. IN fact, the ability of women to participate in society, be educated, and find value in more than just motherhood has encouraged such a decline. Assaulting female independence is hardly going to give you what you claim you want.

I think you need to put that bias away and focus on teaching men how to be husbands that provide, and get skill sets for the modern competitive world.

Old Timer,

I hardly hate women.. I am defending the women who DO empower themselves by accepting some responsibility before the pregnancy even occurs. Not every parent is as callous as the Obamas are on this subject.

I am not for outlawing abortion. I am for making it so that women realize the seriousness of what they are doing so they don't have to have a second one.

The typical response to that is that ALL women take it serious ,and that is just an ignorant lie that can be disproven by talking with any social worker who has dealt with people who got themselves pregnant.

I also relaize that there are a lot of women who do not wish to be subjected to the scrutiny because they know the seriousness of the circumstance, but to me that is simply a price they pay to help society keep some sense of civilc responsibility. It is the same as people going through the airport screening to keep the airlines safe. It is for the common good.
If someone believes as you that millions of annual abortions are ALL the nessasary result of responsible females who are victims of a bad man who took advantage of their chastity when they were impaired then that logic may escape you.

For the record... my opinion is that the government should hand out birth control like its candy to poor people. and the state should not require vaginal ultrasounds.

I don't want abortions eliminated because that is impossible.... cutting them down by half might be a reasonable goal.

To continue the lie that 100% of abortions are done by women whos birth contol pill didn't work and simply cannot afford the child and anquished all nght over the decision is ridiculous. A lot just got drunk got laid and were too hung over to get a morning after pill.

Robert Hurt will win by a mile.Douglass will fade away after the election never to be heard from again.People seem to forget that the district went from leaning Republican to safe Republican.

Is it not clear to Robert Hurt and the Republicans that we are $16 Trillion in debt because they gave a long series of quasi-criminal tax breaks to the rich and the super rich? -- those tax breaks account for 48% of the deficit, and nary a job was created for Americans; all the capital went to China, India, Mexico and Indonesia to create jobs overseas. That's the Republican program -- send the jobs overseas. Import cheap plastic bits from China.

@Bill Marshall -- you might take the time to read Breanne Fahs' interesting book Performing Sex: The Making and Unmaking of Women's Erotic Lives. I doubt it will impact your opinions, but at least you will have been exposed to the facts. You can find it at Alderman Library.

Christian, Those "tax breaks" you cite include the Bush tax cuts which benefitted ALL taxpayers.... so if you really want to be true you need to back out the money given to those under 250k for the last 11 years...

You should also back out the home mortgage deduction for people under 250k and all of the other tax credits like child care and subsidized student loans etc etc

This crisis was caused by people getting credit they didn't qualify for and not paying it back...and then the government bailing out the banks instead of letting them fail. The reason for this was that these banks were made up of a lot of pension fund/ retirement money on the left side of the aisle and rich peoples money on the right side of the aisle. Nobodys hands were clean and still aren't .

We are headed right back there again with the Fed pumping more money into the system which speculators are borrowing and investing in stocks creating yet another bubble.

It will burst and the taxpayers wil have to bail the fed out....

Until the people accept LESS government involvment in their daily lives and the government shrinks we will be on the path to bankruptcy.

We need to stop spending on anything that does not give us a direct cost benefit. We need to rethink our values and be willing to accept a 3 million dollar bridge instead of a fancy 9 million dollar bridge... we need untilitarian schools for m10 milllion instead of fancy schools for 20 million....

Basically all americans.. rach middle class and poor have been living off the credit card...
We need to grow up...

@Bill Marshall...I'm in agreement with many of your posts, but trying to say that many women use abortion as a form of birth control is a scary thought. What kind of woman would take something so serious, lightly? When my wife and I were dating, 25 years ago, she got pregnant only a month after we met. She decided to get an abortion, and she still to this day regrets it. It was a very emotional and scary thing for her. As far as birth control pills go...we have four daughters (two are identical twins) but we planned our oldest. The other two pregnancies were a result of birth control pill failure, and although it has not been easy raising four daughters, it has been the most rewarding thing I have done. Believe me, abortion is not taken lightly by women who choose that path.

Bill,

The way you talk about women and place all the onus on women for unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions makes your claims pretty weak. It's women not being responsible is it?

Using raw numbers of abortions to claim that it represents women who don't take it seriously is just completely spurious. Of course there are women who use it as a form of birth control, but the vast majority do not.

Again, where is the guy that did the deed in this for you? What about you finally focusing on the men? How about educating them? There were guys walking around my fraternity with T-shirts that said "Stamp out Virginity." What about the women they got pregnant - and I know some of them did get girls pregnant. Was it OK for them to just walk away?

@ Bill M -- Hahahahahahahahah ... get used to the facts ... and thanks for showing your true colors by beating up on the distaff side ...

I think of both parties with CEOs stuffing both with money and supporting free trade and throwing the middle class and blue collar workers under the bus. Both are responsible for the 2008 melt down, Republicans for deregulation, Clinton for no money down on houses plan. On spending both parties have terrible records. The Dems are better on social issues and that is about it, Romney has got to prove he's got a better plan at something.

Romney used his tax return money to invest overseas. It's a free country.

Christian...do some more research...Romney is a very charitable person. He walks the walk.

Romney invests overseas. And around my house he is known as "That Lying Mattress."

Obama invests overseas as well. Difference is he's doing it with our money rather than his.

whoanelly, It sounds like your wife is the reason we need safe and legal abortions. She took it serious. Ask any social worker how many people do not talke it serious... Too many people get lazy, loose, drunk, indifferent etc and when the envitable happens they abort, many without guilt.

If, hyopthetically, abortions were made illegal and back ally abortions were punishable by death how many women would be more careful because they could not get an abortion? That "number" is the proof that easy abortions makes many women less careful.

I do not think abortions should be illegal, but I think that women need to be accountable to society when they get one and not just "excused" like they banged up the car fender. Society used to judge women too harshly and now too many people don't want them judged at all.

You presented me with information and I judged your wife. She did a sad but responsible thing and I have respect for her for still thinking about it to this day. I think it demeans her when other women just go get one because they got drunk and were not careful and don't even know who the father was.

I know they cannot be eleiminated ,but I think they can be reduced and despite old timers assertions about raw numbers.. if we can just reduce them by 20% that is over 200,000 fetuses that will not have to be destroyed because they were prevented.

As for the guys... the abortion advocates make it so the guy feels no guilt and just tells the girl to "get rid of it" Don't expect them to be more careful when you are the one making it no different than a root canal.

Bill,

"As for the guys... the abortion advocates make it so the guy feels no guilt and just tells the girl to "get rid of it" Don't expect them to be more careful when you are the one making it no different than a root canal."

What an absolute load of horse manure. As if men hadn't been walking away from the women they got pregnant for thousands of years while the woman was seen as cheap.

You just can't get around blaming and putting all the onus on her can you Bill? How about this? Let's make back alley abortions a death sentence for the woman, and the man who got her pregnant.

Better yet, let's make castration the punishment for men who get a woman pregnant and walk away.

"Better yet, let's make castration the punishment for men who get a woman pregnant and walk away"

So OLD TIMER you want to punish the man for having irresponsible sex but not the women?

Hardly anyone can support or be in favor of abortion. However, it is essential for a civilized society to support any woman's right to choose abortion, privately, as a matter between her and her physician. That women need tell no one is rather obviously far more civilized than making them serve time in the pillory of public esteem or to expose them to the snot-nosed sneering of bill ions of bullies. It is none of your business, man. You continue to think that you, and society, own women's bodies, and that society has a mandate to regulate female bodily functions and pregnancy. Move to Syria, they have it your way over there from Turkey all across the Middle East to Pakistan. Believe me - you should go there.

Does anyone have the source of the poll mentioned in this article that has Hurt up by 18? Was it done by the same polling firm as in 2010 that had Hurt up in the 20s at one point, but he ended up winning by 4?

Old Timer, there is only one thing on most young mens minds...I wonder if your views have changed since you were one of them,....lol

"...but I think that women need to be accountable to society..."

No. She doesn't and here's the problem. It's a private decision. It's a private medical decision. Small government, remember? You're painting most women who make the amazingly difficult choice to have an abortion with the same brush. Got drunk and this was the out. Stats show that's now what happens.

If it is a "private" decision then stop complaining when republicans defund planned parenthood ( who claim they don't spend the cash on abortions but mix all the funds together and certainly have no interest in acknowledging that abortion is a "big deal" )

and women may not "want" to be accountable but the fact of the matter is that other women are very quick to point out women who have had one (or two or three) to anybody that will listen. So despite the lobbying to the contrary SOME people do think abortions done because one was careless and irresponsible is still a bad thing.

Maybe if the abortion advocates would acknowledge that GETTING DRUNK AND GETTING KNOCKED UP is irresponsible then people on the other side of the coin might just back off on the pressure to make abortions harder. Those, after all the ones that the "shame" is intended for. (not the careful but unlucky person)

Drunken drivers are disapproved of by society even if they don't hurt anyone but themselves, but a drunken booze hound gets a free pass for killing a fetus.

Go figure........

To Cville Native - War on Women?? What about the war on unborn children waged by the euphemistically so-called pro-choice contingent.

Nobody would be getting anyone pregnant and walking away if women limited sex to marriage. The man might try to walk away, but the court would make him pay. And for all you advocates of abortion on demand (which I am not opposed to by the way) I hope to see you out there soon campaigning for legalized prostitution - after all, it's a woman's choice what she does with her body.

Wow! Robert Hurt demonstrates (again) what an empty suit he is, and why he is so well-suited to the Republican party. It’s of little surprise that his inane and inaccurate remarks draw support from local conservatives who can do no better than to parrot the Fox/Limbaugh/Beck nonsense.

Hurt said that he’s “asking people to evaluate what I've done the past two years. Of course, he’s lied about virtually all of it. The truth is that Robert Hurt has voted consistently to obstruct economic recovery; he has voted consistently against the interests of most citizens in the 6th district and in favor of the monied interests represented by Republicans.

Hurt says that “people have not been holding their leaders accountable.” The he goes on to say that the “$16 trillion in debt” cannot be blamed on any “ one Congress, you can't lay that all at the feet of one president.” This is a purposeful distortion of the public record. The national debt in 1981 –– accumulated over 200 years –– was less than $1 trillion when Reagan took office and instituted supply-side economic policies. After a dozen years of Reagan and Bush1, the national debt had more than quadrupled. The rich were richer, the poor were poorer, and the middle class was squeezed.

In 1993, Bill Clinton replaced trickle-down supply-side policy. He raised taxes on the richest, without one single Republican vote in Congress. They whined that it would “ruin” the economy. Instead, the nation gained 23 million jobs and experienced economic prosperity for all citizens. Clinton shrunk the size of government. And importantly, he balanced four federal budget and provided surpluses designed to preserve social programs like Social Security and Medicare.

The stolen presidential election of 2000 led to a return of supply-side economic policy. Tax cuts geared to corporations and the rich and laissez-faire regulatory policies –– and a manufactured and unfunded war –– caused huge budget deficits, an explosion in debt, and aided and abetted massive fraud and corruption on Wall Street. The end results were a greed-induced financial meltdown, a broken economy, and millions of job losses...the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression.

Yet, Hurt, ever the charlatan, says amazingly that “you can't lay all that at the feet of one party.” That is simply a flat-out lie. Republican economic ideology is directly responsible for the Great Recession and for the vast majority of the nation’s debt. Worse, they take absolutely no responsibility for it, blame it on Obama, and obstruct recovery efforts at every turn. Exemplifying the phrase “stupid is as stupid does,” they want to force even more supply-side poison (the Paul Ryan “budget,” for which Hurt voted) on the citizenry.

Robert Hurt claims that “The American people did not want” the Affordable Care Act. That’s also untrue. Obama campaigned on it in 2008. Maybe Hurt will recall that Obama was elected.

Hurt claims that Paul Ryan’s imaginary “budget” plan would lead to balanced budgets and would “reform Medicare.” Yet every independent analysis finds that it will lead to more deficits. and it will gut both Medicare and Medicaid. The Ryan “budget” is a fraud.

According to respected Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Orsntein, Republicans are the problem. Mann and Ornstein recently wrote that conservative Republicans are " ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition." Former Republican senator Chuck Hagel called his brethren "ideological," "narrow," and "intolerant." A veteran Republican Congressional aide called them "an apocalyptic cult." Robert Hurt fits right in.

Republicans often cite the sanctity of the “markets.” As Blloomberg news just reported, “ the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has rallied 82 percent to a four-year high since President Barack Obama took office... America is doing better...Every time the S&P 500 posted an annual return above its historical average, U.S. gross domestic product has accelerated the following year.” The chief investment officer of New York’s U.S. Trust says. “We are in a healthier state right now. Next year, we think the growth clip in the United States and the globe is going to be better than expected. Over the next three years, we are bullish.”

But to hear Hurt and Republicans, Obama has “failed.” As David Firestone reported in the New York Times, “ the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is responsible for saving and creating 2.5 million jobs. The majority of economists agree that it helped the economy grow by as much as 3.8 percent, and kept the unemployment rate from reaching 12 percent. The stimulus is the reason, in fact, that most Americans are better off than they were four years ago, when the economy was in serious danger of shutting down.” Perhaps more importantly, the Obama stimulus “ protected the most vulnerable from the recession’s heavy winds.” These are the people the Republican party –– to use Mitt Romney’s words –– doesn’t “care about.”

The stimulus bill also committed to the future. As Firestone notes, “it made crucial investments in neglected economic sectors that are likely to pay off for decades. It jump-started the switch to electronic medical records, which will largely end the use of paper records by 2015. It poured more than $1 billion into comparative-effectiveness research on pharmaceuticals. It extended broadband Internet to thousands of rural communities. And it spent $90 billion on a huge variety of wind, solar and other clean energy projects that revived the industry. Republicans, of course, only want to talk about Solyndra, but most of the green investments have been quite successful, and renewable power output has doubled.”

It really is sad to see adults so disdainful of personal responsibility that they resort to blatant misrepresentations and lies.

Robert Hurt says he believes “life begins at conception.” Perhaps. What seems clear is that whenever human life begins, membership in the Republican party leads to neural atrophy, and, if their failed policies and prevarications are indicators, many if not most of them are close to being brain dead.

"It really is sad to see adults so disdainful of personal responsibility that they resort to blatant misrepresentations and lies"

If only you practiced what you preached......

1) what you call "obstucting economic recovery" is what others call not voting for ridiculous irresponsible proposals that will not create jobs and will increase the deficit. (of course YOU leave out the part about the 17 jobs bills that the house has put forth and Harry Reid in the Senate will not even allow to come to the floor)

2) a BIPARTISAN congress voted almost unanamously for the iraq war so to blame all that debt on bush is disingenuos. In fact ALL budget increase were apporved with bipartisan support.

3) I notice as you wax poetic ablout Bill Clinton that you leave out the part about his community investment act that caused fannie and freddie to buy all the risky mortgages which fueled the housing bubble and triggered the collapse. (which was not caused by government not paying its bills but CONSUMERS who defaulted on money they spent for cars houses boats and big screens...)

4) Obamacare is already crippling any recovery efforts because businessmen know that it will be paid for on their and their current employees backs.It was the wrong time to implment it and it wasted precious time and effort that could have been better spent CREATING JOBS.

5) The reason there is stock market growth is because companies are holding onto their profits as retained earnings instead of investing it in a risky climate. This does make the stocks more "blue chip" but does not help growth which is nessasasry in order for us to absorb people sitting at home and graduating college. We need these businesses to invest those profits.which they won't do while Obama is at the helm.

6) You claim that the 90 billion in green spending created jobs... the facts are clear... there were more jobs created with that (our) money in CHINA than america and the ones in america (few as they were )were accomplished at a cost of almost two million EACH. The only thing "green" about those jobs was the money that Obama borrowed from china to create jobs in china.

7) You want to blame everything on the rich because you believe that the debt is there because they skated on tax breaks... okay... even if you are correct... who benefitted from the bulk of the spending? The overwhelming part of the governments budget is middleclass salaries for programs that deal with things the middle class and poor want. Even defense contracts are just pay throughs funding middle class salaries. Sure some bigwigs got a few billion but in reality the overwhelming amount of the money went to salaries of middle class america and to benefits to the poor. So your entire argument is that those mean republicans spent a bunch of money which was consumed in salaries goods and services for the poor and middle class and the poor and middle class are not only entitled to more goods services and salaries but the rich need to pay back the debt that was run up AND pay more to keep the middle class and poor happy still. You claim that that is their "fair share"So what pray tell is a poor persons "fair share" while they are suckling on the taxpayers teats? People may not be able to find a "job" but any able bodied person can find work. Every fall god makes the leaves fall, every winter he makes the snow need to be shoveled, every spring the grass needs curtting and every summer the weeds need pulling. In between times there are free classes on the free internet at the free library to get a skill to do something a little more lucrative. When there were no government programs people surviived. They will not die in the streets and with 47 million people on food stamps only an idiot is going to be hungry in america more than one night in a row.

8) you can hate business but it was business who was able to take and make virtually every invention or breaktrough and make it affordable to the common man.

Your insane jealousy of succesful people is showing.... if I buy a dump truck load of rocks for 500 dollars, paint faces on them and call them pet rocks and sell them for a million bucks I don't owe the dump truck driver more than the 500 that I paid him. That is "fair" and then to tax me and pay for the dump truck drivers kids college is not "fair" because despite Obamas rantings to the contrary "I built that" million bucks would be an accurate statement.

All the debt from George Washington to Bill Clinton is 1/3 of our debt. George Bush's debt is 1/3 of our debt and Obama's is 1/3 of our debt. If Obama is reelected and continues spending over 1 Trillion a year we don't have by the end of his 2nd term 1/2 of the national debt will have accumulated under Obama. Is Romney's plan of tax cuts for the wealthy and trickle down the answer? That's a terrible plan also.

@Wog,

There is a war on women by denying access to safe and affordable preventative care, congresspeople and candidates that want to eliminate Planned Parenthood which only 3% of their services go to abortion - that means 97% are for birth control, preventative services and health care. I am not one for "free abortion on demand" at all. Truly, the best thing we can do is have our educational systems educate young people about the facts, not make them sign some abstaining contract. Teens have been having sex since the beginning of time. If they have information - accurate information and know where to go to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs according to studies out there - they are more likely to wait, less likely to have unprotected sex. (Our school systems do not educate in that way here and they should!)

Further this when you have a candidate that claims a "legitimate rape" victim can "shut that down" not causing pregnancy - that is so wrong. The Repubs turned their back on him but it is his philosophy that is part of their structure! BTW - 30% of rapes result in pregnancy and hardly any ERs out there offer the "morning after pill" to rape victims when they all should! It doesn't cause miscarriage or abortion it prevents pregnancy.

Further this we have pharmacies out there that are now allowed not to allow women to fill their prescriptions they pay for because the birth control they use is against their own religion? Really? We have states that have passed laws stating OBs and others do not have to tell parents if their child has a birth defect, because they could choose to abort the child. Well, what if they want the best care for that child so they have a shot at life? They will not get it at a Martha Jefferson type hospital but at a UVA type hospital but because they had no clue they chose the MJ type and their child dies.

Further this you have the Repubs who continue to block legislation for fair pay - no matter what your sex - which means even men will be paid equally or violence against women acts which give local law enforcement more resources and avenues to protect victims of crime.

And there is no war on women? There is a war - look at what has unfolded with an AG who twisted arms of Virginia's Board of Health this past Friday. An AG who wants to be Governor, who has made his personal ideologies the focus of his agendas. Good luck to you living in your "bubble"!

Social issues are a distraction from the GOP agenda. That's for sure.Golly, I mean you'd think we live in a society the way these Liberals carry on. Grow up!

To C'ville Native - I am not a Republican but an independent who usually votes Republican. I voted for Jim Webb and am very sad to see him step down. I do not support or approve of the current Gov or AG of our Commonwealth. I rarely support idealogues of any sort. I am disappointed that Romney has not come out and said "Although I personally disapprove of abortion, it is the law of the land, and people who want to change that need to pass a constitutional amendment to that effect." A constitutional amendment banning abortion would never pass of course which is why those who want to ban it have not waged that campaign. Addressing the abortion issue is not the Presidents job, and it is not within the President's power. I cringe when I hear of anyone limiting a woman's (or man's) right to make her or his own health decisions and blocking stem cell research for any reason including its connection with abortion. Stem cell research is the future, and the US is basically resigning from scientific pursuit of a whole branch of life science and medicine by doing so and resigning that part of the future to Europe and Asia. What foolishness. I wish I knew more people who usually vote Democratic but who have enough independence of thought to avoid getting sucked in by the Democrats propaganda machine and it's slogans like "War on Women" or War on the Middle Class." Recent administrations, both Dems and Repubs have done a lot to undermine the constitution and expand the reach of government to the point where soon we will all be like the ants in White's "The Once and Future King" whose society was governed by the principle, "Everything not forbidden is required." The government will make all our choices for us. Limiting the reach of government is more properly the domain of fiscal conservatives than social conservatives, and constitutional conservatives unfortunately get pulled out of position by the social conservatives at times.

Poor Bill. Like most conservatives, facts are not his strong suit.

Bill Marshall says I blame "the rich." for our economic problems. No. I blame Republicans –– and said so very clearly. But expert Congressional scholars blame them too, as I noted above. Republicans do, however, , indeed, cater to the rich.

Marshall raises the Fox/Limbaugh/Beck canard –– again –– about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That too is a lie.
As McClatchy news reported, conservatives (like Marshall, and Robert Hurt, and Rush Limbaugh, etc.) like to say that "what triggered the stock market meltdown and the freeze on credit. They've specifically targeted the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the federal government seized on Sept. 6, contending that lending to poor and minority Americans caused Fannie's and Freddie's financial problems.
Federal housing data reveal that the charges aren't true, and that the private sector, not the government or government-backed companies, was behind the soaring subprime lending at the core of the crisis."

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2008/10/12/53802/private-sector-loans-not-fan...

Moreover, as McClatchy notes this:

"Federal Reserve Board data show that:

• More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.

• Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.

• Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics."

And even worse for conservatives who try to duck taking personal responsibility for their profligacy is this:

"Between 2004 and 2006, when subprime lending was exploding, Fannie and Freddie went from holding a high of 48 percent of the subprime loans that were sold into the secondary market to holding about 24 percent, according to data from Inside Mortgage Finance, a specialty publication...During those same explosive three years, private investment banks — not Fannie and Freddie — dominated the mortgage loans that were packaged and sold into the secondary mortgage market. In 2005 and 2006, the private sector securitized almost two thirds of all U.S. mortgages, supplanting Fannie and Freddie"

Sorry Bill, you are defending the indefensible, and in the process proving my point about neuronal withering.

For you folks obsessed with where a candidate invests money, take a look at General Motors and see how well they are doing with our money. Then research some speeches made by the CEO of GM (well, actually, probably the Exec VP, since the Feds are actually the CEO). He has touted time and again the intent and progress of GM to invest in assembly plants in China. So, yes, Obama loves to invest overseas using our money. Another example of Obama's love for big business when it suits him is GE...look at the extent to which this administration is in bed with that company, which has been run into the ground under the current CEO (after being a model company for decades).

Don't be so quick to paint one candidate as the big, evil business-loving ogre.

As for women's rights, etc., etc.,...Hurt is right. Every election, these come up as a hot button, regardless of how dismal the country's condition. It gets the chicks to vote for the Dem and is an easy way to paint the Reps as the bad guys. However, I can lists scum from both sides in all facets of politics and media who could care less about a woman's right: Gingrich, Clinton, Edwards, Jackson, Limbaugh, Lauer. If you asked any of them, they would say they believe in women's rights. What else are they going to say? Similarly, if you asked any woman who'd had an abortion, she'd likely say "it was a hard decision and she struggles with it daily." What else is she going to say?

It is true that a major part of the economic doldrums is the lenient lending that occurred under the watch and urging of Dems. Granted, Bush should have put a stop to it, but he certainly warned Frank and Dodd that disaster would happen if we did not deal with Freddie and Fanny (hey, a good pseudonym for a Dodd/Frank comedy duo!). They ignored it while they received their own goodies from mortgage companies.

It is nice though, to watch Dems parade Clinton out there, as if he never had a hand in the current economic crises and as if he is the champion of women. Remember, it was not just a 40 year old seasoned woman; it was also a 21 year old intern. It is likely that he used to walk around with a "Stamp Our Virginity" t-shirt himself!

R.I.P.: George Carlin

Here's the Republican illogic in a nutshell, courtesy of Ezra Klein of The Post and Bloomberg News:

"In other words, Romney is arguing that about 47 percent of the country is a “taker class” that pays little or nothing into the federal government but wants to tax the productive classes for free health care, food, housing, etc."

"For what it’s worth, this division of “makers” and “takers” isn’t true. Among the Americans who paid no federal income taxes in 2011, 61 percent paid payroll taxes — which means they have jobs and, when you account for both sides of the payroll tax, they paid 15.3 percent of their income in taxes, which is higher than the 13.9 percent that Romney paid. "

"Part of the reason so many Americans don’t pay federal income taxes is that Republicans have passed a series of very large tax cuts that wiped out the income-tax liability for many Americans...when you look at graphs of the percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, you see huge jumps after Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reform and George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. So whenever you hear that half of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes, remember: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush helped build that."

"Some of those tax cuts for the poor were there to make the tax cuts for the rich more politically palatable....
But now that those tax cuts have passed and many fewer Americans are paying federal income taxes and the rich are paying a much higher percentage of federal income taxes, Republicans are arguing that these Americans they have helped free from income taxes have become a dependent and destabilizing “taker” class who want to hike taxes on the rich in order to purchase more social services for themselves."

"The antidote, as you can see in both Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney’s policy platforms, is to further cut taxes on 'job creators' while cutting the social services that these takers depend on. That way, you roll the takers out of what Ryan calls 'the hammock' of government and you unleash the makers to create jobs and opportunities.
So notice what happened here: Republicans have become outraged over the predictable effect of tax cuts they passed and are using that outrage as the justification for an agenda that further cuts taxes on the rich and pays for it by cutting social services for the non-rich."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/17/romneys-the...

I have an idea to resolve this whole tax fairness thing - From each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs.

Democracy, your shallowness of thought and analysis does not make you right.

Bill clinton pushed through the reforms that forced banks to laon to unqualified minorities by agreeing to backstop the loans through fannie mae and freddie mac, they then accused banks of "redlining" to force them to hand out shaky loans. This sudden avialability of money spurred home purchases and these uneducated buyers payed too much for thier homes drining up prices which the private sector was only too happy to climb on board and make some cold hard cash.

Regardless of who held the paper the bubble was created because of liberals trying to give people houses they did not qualify for and it was burst by people who borrowed money and then did not pay it back. The resulting cascade of defaults brought the economy back to earth. This is a normal course of events except that Congress and both Presidents tried to turn back time by pumping the banks with taxpayer money. They got duped by wall street and we are all paying for it now. The Demcrats wanted the bailouts because of union pensions invested in the banks and the republicans wanted to protect big business and the bankers.

This would have occurred exactly the same whether Bush was in office or gore was on office.

And what Roney is saying is that there a are lots of people collecting free crap from the government who may be putting at risk by voting republican because republicans are aginst freeloaders... Obama has tried to create an america where everybody gets a trophy and anyone who is unable to find a job is a "victim" . The fact is some people are simply lazy and selfish and would not work unless there were no other way to get food. They are not victims... hardworking americans are "victims" of able bodied lazy cretins who game the system while people like Democracy sheilds them from scrutiny.

and to C-villenative.. the only war on women is obamas war that is telling them they are victims... birth control is three cups of coffee from starbucks.... that dog don't hunt....

Women are half of college graduates and when you examine salaries of educated women under 40 compared to men and take out the ultra high paid CEOs( mostly inherited wealth) women make MORE than men.... There are also a lot of women in DC answering phones in an air conditioned law office for 35k a year, lokoing out the window at guys they went to high school with making 25k pouring asphalt on the street below.

As far as planned parenthood goes... they empatically believe that abortion on demand without any moral judgment is the rule and they can have that opinion... but have it without taxpayer money. Why is that so tough? Women have money.... maybe they could spend a little less and donate for the cause they believe in. Put your money where your mouth is and leave the taxpayers out of it.

and 30% of rapes do not end up in pregnancy.... just like the body cannot magiaclly block a conception it cannot magiaclly "create" a conception that goes contrary to the statistics of unprotected sex either. The odds of getting pregnant from a one time encounter is 11%

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_odds_of_getting_pregnant_if_you_h...

As long as women and democracy keep defending the careless and indifferent women demanding their abortion on demand rights then the other side will push for restrictions. There is a balance and it is NOT abortion clinic drive thrus on the taxpayer dime.

Hurt is also setting aside this issue (as he should ) to focus on getting people back to work before these 1st world problems we debate turn insignificant because we collapse into a third world economy where nobody has anything.

@Ponce,

"So OLD TIMER you want to punish the man for having irresponsible sex but not the women?"

What, you can't detect the measure of sacrasm conservatvies like you so liberally deal out? What I don't adhere to is the Conservative ideal so openly demonstrated by Bill Marshall that somehow it's always the woman who should be responsible, the woman who should be held accountable, the women who is made to bear all the burden of a dual action.

" oh, she made me do it." " She was asking for it." "She was wearing those provacative clothes."

If we just tell women that we will kill them if they want an abortion- you know like those Islamo-Fascist Terrorists you Conservatives are saving us from tell their womenfolk - then it will all end?

Here is what I said:

Let's make back alley abortions a death sentence for the woman, and the man who got her pregnant.

Doesn't sound like me letting off the woman does it? But it's me not letting off the man either. Bill's response? Silence. No comment. Of course, he can't defend his stance, and he can't hide his complete disdain for intelligent independent women who don't have to live based on his misogynist ideas.You just conveniently ignore the part of my post that doesn;t fit in with your stupid comment.

How GOP to ignore inconvenient facts.

old timer

" oh, she made me do it." " She was asking for it." "She was wearing those provacative clothes."

I never uttered any such thing.

If women want the freeedom of choice to kill a fetus without interference by what you acknowledge is the other half of the equation then it is women who need to accept responsibility for the pregnancy. If they want to give the man veto power over the abortion and let him raise the child (which is what they would do if as a couple they bought a dog together) and make her pay child support then we can have a beef with the guy who has irresponsible sex and walks away. Until then he is accepting the risk of child support and the (hopefully) guilt of knowing that his potential sire has been disposed of like 5 day old meatloaf.

If it makes me a "mysoginist" to expect a woman to be as careful with her eggs as she is with her atm pin number then i'll take that....

You just can't stand the fact that I am okay with abortions being legal but not funded by the taxpayers and expecting women to separate themselves into the category of those who have some very powerful and compelling reasons and those who because of places like planned parenthood feel no guilt or remorse whatsover for getting themeslves knocked up in the first place.

I also have disdain for men who don't take precautions on the thought that the girl will just get rid of it..... That subject just never seems to be brought up on the six oc'clock news or congressional hearings....

I would imagine there are a lot of "intelligent" women out there who can see the difference between people who took precautions and lost against the odds and the booze hounds who are too lazy selfish and irresponsible to even take a pill.

Whether the latter half is 10% or 50% I don't know, but we will never know as long as we keep defending their irresponsible behavior with less disdain than we have for a person that litters.

Bill,

You just keep refusing to accept a simple point I am making -> It takes two to tango. The man can simply say NO to unprotected sex, or sex with a woman who is as sloppy as you want to claim all women wanting abortions are. Men who have unprotected sex are no better, or worse than women who have unprotected sex, it just happens to be the woman who bears the largest burden should something come of it.

Your tone and implication continue to be that it is the woman who is loose, the woman who doesn't care, the woman who should have been more careful. Never the man. And yes you are misogynist for not expecting a man to be as careful with his semen as a woman is with her eggs.As a man I find your attitude childish and selfish, and I am glad to say I raised my son to be more of an adult. He's a better man.

That's why the GOP will lose in the long run.

Old Timer - In the long run, we all lose - it's in the history of civilized societies, and it's in the history of the universe - entropy. It's hard to predict whether the intermediate stage is going to be more like The Hunger Games, On the Beach, The Turner Diaries, or A Canticle for Leibowitz.

Old Timer...

If a man is not careful with his semen he may pay 200 thousand bucks or so in child support. If not he has to deal with the guilt of causing an abortion. So the comparisons should be: a) is it more difficult to raise a child or pay the 200k? and b) is it more of a burden to HAVE an abortion orto know that your one night stand had an abortion?

Assuming that the correct answers are to raise the child and to "have" the abortion then common sense would dictate that the woman has a more vested interest in not getting pregnant. So it is not a" misogynist" attitude to put a larger share of the responsibility on her to make sure birth control is used any more than it is misogynist to think a 250lb man should change the tire instead of his 105 lb girlfriend.

There is always Savanarola's solution. He took the orphans of Muslims slain in battle and whose towns were burned and pillaged and raised them from an early age as Christian warriors dedicated to carry on the holy war against the Muslims. We could form an army of unwanted children whose mothers were compelled to carry them to term and send them against the Axis of Evil - Iran, N. Korea, France, Canada.

Ponce,

"If a man is not careful with his semen he may pay 200 thousand bucks or so in child support."

Yeah, all those deadbeat dads being loose with their semen and sleeping with all those loose women will be on the hook for 200 grand. Not likely. Because they don't have it.

Wog, again, why is for the woman to limit sex to marriage? Why should men get to play around while the women are supposed to forget about it? Again, that's sexist.

And no, I haven't forgotten how I felt at 15 or 16 when looking at girls. The difference was I was raised to know a 50 gallon drum of a$$ whup would land on me if I even hinted at following how I felt. First from the old man and then the old man of the girl.

Old Timer...

I am 100% FOR making guys pay for every child they create. In fact I am for making the unemployed guys do community service to repay the government for any help the taxpayers have to provide. The law WILL go after them and even take away their tax refunds and drivers licenese if they don't pay up.

But making men more careful is much harder because it is seen as a sign of weakness for a man to demand to use a condom when not asked to. It is the path of least resistance that allows a man to let the women ask, and even easier for him to assume she is on the pill if she is silent . As I stated earlier the pregnancy will have very real consequences for her in short order so the guy is not nessasarily wrong to think that she has a much higher stake in the situation and will speak up if nessasart.

I am not defendiong the guys... they should ask, and you did right by your son.... but there will be about 2500 abortions tomorrow that at least "most" could have been prevented. It may take a joint effort but my assertions do not change... women need to accept responsibility so that there are less abortions overall. If that were to hapen then it is my belief that there would be MORE support for the women who truly did their best but lost aginst the odds to be protected by the law without it being such a hot button issue.

I have impregnated women using literally every form of birth control known to the human race including complete abstinence. I have concluded that sometimes it is very easy to get pregnant. Making abortion illegal, too expensive, or a matter on which the State or a group of men intrudes on an individual's right to choose ALWAYS results in more misery than the alternative. Read Breanne Fahs if you think women really have been emancipated, and then look carefully at this thread for evidence that many men still think women's bodies should be controlled ... by men. Or by total strangers. I hear George Allen favors letting women with cowboy boots do anything they want ....

@Bill Marshall...Bill, banks lent money in the form of mortgages and bleed-you-dry credit because they made money on it. They weren't naive going in, they knew exactly what they were doing. One of the financial tools the banks used/use to pull this off was the Credit Default Swap. They bundle "less than desirable" debt and sell it to other investors at a huge profit. Basically the investor bets that the loans won't go into default. This came about because of bank deregulation. CDS's were done on the down low, as opaque as a process can be. The banks don't want transparency BECAUSE these tools are so risky. They sold these swaps to private and public investors who didn't understand what they were buying. The banks made it sound like a slamdunk and happily pocketed the profits. In other words, the more they lend and the more risk involved in the debt, the more CDS are created and the greater the payoff to the bank. It was nothing but greed and bad stewardship at the corporate level that took out the market. It wasn't just because money was lent to some people who couldn't afford it.

The scary thing is...nothing has changed other than the fact that the taxpayers recouped the banks losses for them. They continue these suicidal practices to this day with no oversight.

With reference to the latest bank heist, I'm just going to mention - one last time - that Alexander del Mar's book A History of Monetary Crimes is available online at Hathi Trust. Gaining clear understanding of what constitutes a "monetary crime" might be very helpful to most Americans. But I fear most of the readers here won't bother to peruse the book.

@WOG - why do you include France and Canada in the same group "axis of evil" with Iran and North Korea? Last time I checked, France and Canada were relatively prosperous constitutional democracies that offer freedom of religion and basic civil rights to all citizens -- including women. Show me a Muslim country that does that? -- please.

@Wog - you missed the point completely. If there is no WAR on women, than why have all these states issued laws or attempted to negating a women's right to chose, for birth control and even to protect her from violent crime? It has been an epidemic nationwide, where have you been. Another thing - stem cell research, guess what they no longer use aborted fetus it is better to obtain it from other sources. Again, where have you been? For being an independent that is supposed to be well informed you are obviously not.

As for Roe v. Wade being the "law of the land" - well our states are ignoring that law entirely.

Even our AG "the cooch" was the first to file against the Health Care Act. And he lost! What a waste of tax dollars.

Romney will never take a stand against his party and we never know exactly where he stands that changes quicker than he changes under ware. And in that party - it trickles on down...

Before you call it propaganda - look at the facts - it is the TRUTH!

But as I have stated - we should truly put more funding into educating young people with facts and having access to care at reasonable cost if we want to reduce the number of abortions (which has decreased and continues to do so over the years). But I know nothing!

Hurt has done nothing for the 5th district and he also hasn't shown up for his debates with Douglas. How can you vote someone in who hasn't even come for the interview?

omgitspaul.....

You are correct....sort of... the fact remains that if people at the bottom had not defaulted it would have all worked out...but they defaulted and that started the cascade of events that froze the marketplace.

The reason for the bailout was to unfreeze the market AND to protect the stockholders of banks which are comprised of individual small investors, union pensions and hedge funds representing extremely wealthy individuals. It was a nessasary evil at the time but has been mismanged since.

The government should stop loaning money at zero percent to banks and make them unload their housing inventory at a loss so that the people who didn't overextend themselves could buy a house at a great price. That is the natural way capitalism redistributes wealth. If they did that then there are a lot of older people with money who would scarf up the houses and give/sell them to their children to give them a leg up and we would begin to grow again.

The bankers were taking risks with taxpayers money because the government regulators were looking the other way at the pretty much the badgering of Congress .. specifically Barney frank and Maxine Waters...

The difference between a banker and a badger is that the badger makes no pretense about eating you alive. That is why we need to educate the populace and go back to the old adage "let the buyer beware"

There were a lot of people who DIDN'T get caught up in this mess because they understood basic economics and didn't buy into the "free money" mailers and no payments till 2009 offers....

The government should not be the backstop for the banks or the rich uncle that bails out the neice who got herself duped by a snake oil salesmen.... they should require tranparency and proesecutions for fraud.

Men who have not yet read Breanne Fahs' book Performing Sex: The Making and Unmaking of Women's Lives -- literally don't know what they are talking about.

The reason for the bailout as for its runup was: a gigantic heist that lined the pockets of That Lying Mittster and his ilk -- the rich and the super rich in America. They used their tax breaks to send jobs overseas. That says it all ....

Christian,
If a person owned a factory in Ohio making toasters with 100 employess being paid 35 bucks an hour.... and a guy in Korea comes to him and says "I can sell you this factory so you can make your toasters for an average of 5 bucks an hour or i can sell it to this European investor to compete with you and run you out of business in two years" what is the guy in Ohio supposed to do? So he lays off the assemblers and keeps the distributor and office jobs and sells his toasters for less because he has already been losing business to the taosters from japan, maylasia, vietnam and china and survives to feed his own family.

Is it his fault that his workers who demanded union wages priced him out of the market to a point where he replaced them? Is it his fault that the government regulations stangled his bottom line so much that he was losing money on every toaster?

Life is tough.... but here is a hint.. if an 11 year old illterate girl from vietnam can do your job as well as you you don't "really" have a skill. So either get a skill that cannot be replaced so easily or save your pennies.

Bill...I have a sneaky feeling that Christian just won't get that. Did you see the reporter interviewing participants at the Democratic convention who asked the question "Do you think that it would be fair if Barrack Obama made it illegal for corporations to make a profit?" (4 out of 5 said they thought it would be fair...they really are clueless.

To Christian - the Iran, N Korea, France, Canada thing was meant to be humerous

Or humorous

Thank you Robert Hurt for standing up for my values.Im so glad you beat that rubber stamp Perriello and I know this dud Douglass doesn't have a chance.Its a honor to have you as my Congressman.

Robert Hurt thinks social issues are "a distraction" - perhaps because because he can't run on his record and would rather be seen as a "nice guy" an "honest politician" and someone whose "thought" aligns invisibly with the Republican policy of taxing millionaires and billionaires at a lower rate than their secretaries pay. Corporations that don't make a profit don't last long; neither do partnerships. But perhaps you might like to look at The Tax Evaders Wall of Shame on the Washington Times Communities. You may not be surprised to learn that Murdoch's NewsCorp paid almost no US tax at all on its income; you may even applaud that result. But at some point you may like to remember that the absurd tax breaks for the super rich and their corporations are responsible for 48% of the current deficit -- and although many of you may believe that "creating jobs in China" or Vietnam or Indonesia or Mexico is a socially worthy, ultimately laudable and of course very profitable way to impoverish the American middle and lower middle class, many of whom might be "union members" if it seemed worthwhile to be so -- ultimately, however, it is worth noting that the recently past era of American prosperity from the Fifties through the Nineties was a time of rising wages, rising employment, and increasing purchasing power for American consumers; opposed to that we now have, since the recent financial catastrophe, which mostly impacted the middle class: falling wages and declining purchasing power. That is the order of the day. Does that cause a decline in union influence? So much the better. Maybe that was one of the overall aims. For a while the decline in purchasing power of American wages was concealed by a flood of cheap imports. But that's no longer true. So: (a) Get yours while you can and (b) Chow down at the Riverside on Hazel Street as often as possible. Or, float the James in your own antique perambulator. Don't read a book. All the information you really need is prominently displayed ...

on television.

@Bill Marshall, when you look at things just on the surface, you can understand your point but here is the twist.

Ask a UPS Driver the difference between US Made boxes and China Made boxes - quality. China boxes have none. The same goes for the unskilled worker in Vietnam making some good that was at one time on the shelves in the US. Quality goes down along with the price - the profit goes up to like the CEOs and Business Owner's profit - do you "get it" now?

How much do these folks need to make? At a curtain point a raise isn't increasing their salary. And the most innovated workers to cut costs, find efficiencies are right here in the US. Always has been and always will be.

Poor Bill Marshall refuses to point the finger of blame for the mortgage and economic crises where it belongs, and that’s at Republican policies. Instead, Marshall keeps trying to pin it all on Bill Clinton. But the facts just won’t cooperate. During the Clinton presidency there were tens of millions of jobs created, budget deficits were eliminated, multiple budgets were balanced, and surpluses were generated to pay down debt and preserve social programs. George W. Bush squandered it all.

The New York Times reported on the mortgage melt-down in a lengthy piece in 2008. The Times investigation found that “the story of how we got here is partly one of Mr. Bush’s own making, according to a review of his tenure that included interviews with dozens of current and former administration officials.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/21admin.html?pagewanted=all

While there were people warning of serious problems in the Wall Street’s securitization of mortgages, “As early as 2006, top advisers to Mr. Bush dismissed warnings from people inside and outside the White House that housing prices were inflated and that a foreclosure crisis was looming. And when the economy deteriorated, Mr. Bush and his team misdiagnosed the reasons and scope of the downturn; as recently as February, for example, Mr. Bush was still calling it a ‘rough patch’.”

Moreover, while income was stagnant for most American families during Bush’s presidency, “ housing prices skyrocketed. That put homeownership increasingly out of reach for first-time buyers. So Mr. Bush had to, in his words, ‘use the mighty muscle of the federal government’ to meet his goal. He proposed affordable housing tax incentives. He insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac meet ambitious new goals for low-income lending.”
More importantly, Bush “leaned on mortgage brokers and lenders to devise their own innovations...And corporate America, eyeing a lucrative market, delivered with a proliferation of too-good-to-be-true teaser rates and interest-only loans that were sold to investors in a loosely regulated environment.”

Bill Seidman, an advisor to Bush and other Republican presidents, a supervised the bailout of savings and loans during the Reagan adminstration when Republicans also let the banks run loose. He notes that “To make the market work well, you have to have a lot of rules.” But Bush, Seidman said, “made decisions that allowed the free market to operate as a barroom brawl instead of a prize fight.” Consistent with Republican laissez-faire regulatory policies, Bush “populated the financial system’s alphabet soup of oversight agencies with people who, like him, wanted fewer rules, not more.” The results were disastrous for millions of citizens and for the country.

Eric Cantor. Robert Hurt. George W. Bush. Mitt Romney. Bill Marshall defends them all. But all he has to back up his meager defense is what he gets from Fox “news” and the right-wing ranters. Very sad.

@democracy -- " Bill Marshall defends them all" is not an accurate statement. He apologizes for them, inconsequentially, from a position that derives more from his abject political philosophy than from the facts. There is a cogent reason for this: the facts are against him. It's really not too much to opine that "People like Bill Marshall sent my job to China." See you at the Riverside ...

Democracy,

You are the liar.... here is the proof in barney franks (Democrat) own words.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPSDnGMzIdo&feature=related

c-villenative.... It is not the government buying those boxes it is consumers. As long as consumers choose price over quality that will be the case. But what you don't address is that in america we pay skilled people to manufacture components and then ship those components overseas or to mexico to be assembled because american expect to be paid as much for assembling a simple puzzle as the guy who uses his skill does to manufacture the precise components. If we paid those artificailly high wages the product would sit on the shelf unsold because someone else (european investors?)will simply buy similar components IN AMERICA, export them to mexico for assembly and ship them back via wal mart napa auto parts or best buy to be sold.

It is a global world . We were able to be prosperous in the 1950s because europe was decimated by war , japan was decimated by war , korea was in a war and america was the go to place for manufactured goods and an abundant disciplined labor force. Gm and Ford among others were able to make inroads while germany was still recovering its manufacturing of cars. We were in a very fortunate place from a manufacturing perspective This slowly changed through the 1970s when the rest of the world caught up and began to compete with what was then a well paid complacent labor force and it has been evolving ever since. George Bush didn't cause it, ronalad Reagan didn't cause it, even Jimmy carter didn't "cause" it "evolution" caused it. All the while this was happening local state and federal governments were expanding services and spending. So now we are faced with wages that are determined by a global market, aggravated by domestic work restrictions (good or bad is irrelevant) and a lack of consumption based on a global work force that is probably 50% larger than it needs to be. We are trying to deal with this while the citizens are demanding more instead of less from their government.

If you look at the "successful" countries thriving in this new world they are few and far between. Currently, germany is successful, but if you look at why it is because they shipped jobs overseas TO AMERICA. Merdeds, BMW and volkswagon all produce cars here because the labor and taxes in Germany are simply too high. So when they "average" their labor costs the numbers work.

there may be plenty of people who see "opportunity" to buy products produced in china and sell them here. Is that wrong? Try and buy american for a week and see how much it costs you. Look at labels and see where your grapes, apples, fish. shrimp, crabs and scallops come from....

The profit margins on these products are slim because the busineses have vary high overhead so how much more would you be wiling to pay for "made in america"? You cannot "afford" made in america because the guy who assembles toasters in america wanted to be able to buy a four wheel drive truck, a boat, a classic car, a big screen AND send his kid to Florida for spring break on that salary. meanwhile the engineer that designed the toaster when he hears the guy assembling it gets that lifestyle wants twice that because he utilized a lot of skill to design and patent the thing. So at the end of the day we have a 60 dollar toastermade in cleveland vs a 15.95 toaster made in maylasia that are of similar quality.

Nobody "sent" anybodies job to china.... China CREATED jobs (unfairly) and if we "created' jobs in america without expanding the economy we would have to take jobs from somewhere else. There will be no jobs created in america until the people with money regain confidence that the government is on their side instead of waiting in the wings to regulate them and snatch the profits. That is not democrat or republican that is capitalism.

I get the feeling (just in this area) that the wealthy or upper middle income has lost the banks much more money on mortgage write downs and loses than the poor to middle class around here. I'm thinking about Pat Kluge and her millions lost on an inflated mortgage, "The Rocks" subdivsion, and many houses just below a million. The Biscuit Run fiasco saved by the state park system at the last minute. Other places this might not be true but if it could be added up the upper income (I think) has blown more money for the banks around here than the lowly middle class who bought. Sunnyfields (owned back in the ancient 50s by a family member) went on the market for 10 million, I think it is down to about 7 million for sale now.

@democracy...Not that I side with Bill Marshall (on pretty much anything), but to be fair, part of the reason for the ultimate near-collapse of the financial system does lay with Bill Clinton. He repealed the Glass-Steagall (Glass was a VA Democrat) act, thereby allowing banks to get into far more risky business ventures. Glass-Steagall was put in place during the "Great Depression" in part due to the risky behavior of banks prior to the depression (history repeats). It basically separated banks into two categories; Commercial and Investment. Once the act was repealed by Clinton, the banking industry went off the hook and profits (and risk) soared. It helped drive the stock market boom of the 1990's...and the collapse of the financial system. Not helping make Bill's case, just sayin'...I think the blame lies squarely on pretty much all our representatives, or should I say the lobbyists representatives?

@Ponce - thanks for making my point for me with this: " Try and buy american for a week and see how much it costs you." The value of American wages declined as we shipped manufacturing overseas and to Mexico. For a while the decline in value of American wages was concealed by importing a flood of "cheaper" goods manufactured overseas. Now that's all we can afford - we don't have the jobs any more. This may not resemble a mercantilist attack, in your view -- it may not resemble the Opium Wars. But the effect is the same. Our political leaders, including Mr. Hurt, in kowtowing to the rich and the super rich and their corporations, sold American prosperity down the river. They'll continue to betray us all.

No amount of regulation can change the marketplace into a "prize fight" because if they did you would have what democacy wants..... 1000s of people paying a giant beauracracy about a weeks pay to watch two people "work" for less than an hour with mandated "breaks" every few minutes and at the end of the night half the people feel like they wasted their money and everybody walks a way with nothing. (just like Obamas government)

At least in a barrooom brawl everybody gets a chance to make a difference.

Your inability to compete does not make the process unfair. It it just darwinism in action.

If Obama gets re-elected...does he understand the mess he will inherit...?

Hurt has "misspoke" on many issues. BUT uranium mining and milling is his achilles heel. He has reaped over the years as a state and federal representative thousands of dollars from the uranium people and now claims he has been in favor of the ban, or is he really ? His daddy, Henry, is a large investor in uranium mining and they live next to each other.

@billm - "1000s of people paying a giant beauracracy about a weeks pay to watch two people "work" " -- hahahahahahahahahahahah. Maybe you been listening to the hot Rush too often .... while you're "notworking".

"At least in a barrooom brawl everybody gets a chance to make a difference."

Interesting. Don't you think all the players get a chance to make a different in a ball game or hockey game? But there are still rules. If there are no rules, then the cheaters just sell their snake oil, leaving an entire community damaged without the ability to be producers. I thought you were against fraud Bill. Or do you only squeal about rights and rules when it's you who gets hit with the sucker punch? Most Republicans I know do.

@WhoaNelly -- Scarcely anyone understood the severe nature of the economic catastrophe Obama inherited from the Bush administration's policy of deregulating the financial industry. Glass-Steagall was repealed under Clinton, but the effects of that took hold under Bush. At this point, no amount of additional money poured in at the top of the economic spectrum -- on the super rich and their corporations -- will fix the current problem: there's no money at the bottom. The purchasing power of wages has fallen so low for the bottom half of the economy, whose spending creates the demand which makes investment profitable -- that it's fair to say our main problem now is the lack of liquidity at the bottom of the economic spectrum. Eliminating tax breaks at the top - or at least making the super rich pay tax on their income, no matter from what source derived, at the same rate their secretaries pay, would help some. But the middle class and the lower class pay most of the taxes; so flat out just letting the IRS lend money to every tax payer in the bottom quintile who agreed to take the money -- $20,000 in ten monthly installments, interest at one third the market rate for a home loan, the total to be repaid over the next 30 years annually or by deductions from each paycheck as part of each individual tax return -- would break the logjam before midsummer 2013. The trickle up effect would be enormous. If the funds could be distributed as vouchers earmarked for the purchase of goods manufactured or grown in America, we might be out of the woods by April. Rising wages and prosperity would make the loans relatively easy to repay. There would be some inflation, probably in the 5% range, and that would make auto loans and home loans easier to repay. Sitting around and whining that there was nothing to be done is probably why the first Depression lasted until full employment in war-related industries kicked in after 1942. The prosperity of the '50s and '60s was based on the Marshall Plan loans for rebuilding Europe. The current high price of gasoline is a hidden but very burdensome tax that sabotaged every effort America has made so far to get the economy re-started; so cutting the price of gas by 50% would help quite a lot too. OPEC and the Seven Sisters are a cartel that has been been robbing us blind for way too long.

Ponce, I love it when someone brings in something you find inconvenient, you like to make stuff up, like about Germany. Germany did not start manufacturing cars in the US any more than Japan because local labour costs and taxes were too high. They did it to get around import restrictions, and other costs associated with shipping. They have sent some production back to Germany, such as in the case of the M3. Also, things manufactured outside their county do not count as part of their export GDP, which, in spite of their so called high labour costs, is significantly higher than the US.

" In 2010, Germany produced more than 5.5 million automobiles; the U.S produced 2.7 million. At the same time, the average auto worker in Germany made $67.14 per hour in salary in benefits; the average one in the U.S. made $33.77 per hour. Yet Germany’s big three car companies—BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), and Volkswagen—are very profitable."

It's just absolute bollocks that Unions and the American worker has chased jobs to low wage countries like Mexico and then China. It has to do with crappy incompetent management and pure unadulterated greed, and the resentment by right wing hicks to actually believe that reading and writing and skillsets - which unions required in the past - are elitist and passé. We'll include the small % of minorities who bleat racism and eubonics at every chance that will probably vote for Obama in that lot. Oh, and an absolutely overpriced, sloppy, and incompetent healthcare system also based on greed and monopolistic profits. My God, we pay 3 times as much and get poorer care with endless waits to see specialists who resent actually having to provide care.

"We have strong unions, we have strong social security systems, we have high wages. So, if I believed what the neo-liberals are arguing, we would have to be bankrupt, but apparently this is not the case. Despite high wages . . . despite our possibility to influence companies, the economy is working well in Germany."

You and Bill Marshall are full of rubbish when you make so many of the statements you do, that are anti-union and use them as scapegoats for everything, while ignoring the pathetic decisions made by management and pretending globalization has somehow caused it all. All globalization has done is allowed management to avoid having to make good decisions about how to be competitive and actually put pressure on inefficient parts of our society like health care.

The quotes above come form Forbes Magazine "How Germany Builds Twice as Many Cars as the U.S. While Paying Its Workers Twice as Much," 12/21/2011, Frederick Allen.

To Geek - I don't suppose you read the follow-up article in Forbes 05/06/12 titled "Revisiting How Germany Builds Twice As Many Cars..." The short answer is "They Don't" Author of first article did not count the lower wages of part-time and temporary contract workers in Germany's auto plants even though the perform the same work as full-time permanent employees. You also neglected to say that one big cost saver in Germany is the collaborative attitudes of union and management rather than the adversarial attitude in the US. Also, German companies, like US companies, are shifting production to Mexico, China, Brazil, etc, just not as fast as US automakers. I suspect the US wage figures are distorted too based on what relatives who worked for GM, Delco, and Frigidaire in the '70's told me about their wages and working conditions..

The biggest problem we have in this country is we have one party that is completely against the American people as a whole. When even a local representative won't listen to you (and after writing to Mr. Hurt, all I ever get is the boilerplate "Well, this is what I plan to do", completely disregarding anything I have said in my letter), then how can they say they truly represent ALL of their constituents.

The Republican party does their best to scream how 'government is broken' and it 'can't do anything right', and then get themselves elected and break as much as they can (all the while doing everything possible to enrich the people at the top) and then point to it and say "See, we told you it's broken and doesn't work!"

Amazingly enough, I have voted for Republicans in the past, but they were MUCH more moderate (more Eisenhower Republicans) than what we have representing the party these days. But someone like Rep. Hurt is not the least bit moderate, and will continue to toe the party line and never deviate from it. One reason why I would not vote for him is the fact that when you vote 'party first', you are not representing the people who put you there, and therefore you should not continue to represent them (and should be voted out).

Again, one reason I have continue to vote either Democratic or Independent is due to the fact that at least those two parties are not actively trying to make the lives of normal, everyday American citizens worse by their actions, and by the legislation they are trying to pass. If at some point, the Republican party is willing to throw the ideologues and extreme right wing from their party (and welcome moderates again), I might actually be tempted to vote for them again.

@Aurizen...I can hear the fingers flying out there to respond to those comments, lol.

The problem is neither party represents the American people any longer, they are all in the pockets of lobbyists and big business interests. If you're a banker or in the energy field, you pay both sides, thereby covering your bets. Both sides are on the take. As the old adage goes "you dance with the one who brought you".

Couple of ideas for a fix...term limits, eliminating the lobbyists, do away with the electoral college and go with the popular vote...maybe a viable 3rd party?

@omgitspaul I can agree with you on the issue with lobbyists (moreso with lobbies that represent the business interests in the nation versus the lobbies that represent the actual citizens). I don't agree that all of the Democratic party is in the pockets of big business, as they are nowhere NEAR as monolithic a party as the Republican party has become. Heck, if that was the case, then what is Bernie Sanders doing caucusing with the Democratic party (especially since he is a TRUE socialist!)

In the end, we as a nation have to start putting people in office that truly represent all of us, not a narrow few. That will only happen when we vote people in that get rid of the influences of big money (and that will take some time, unless we get another person like Teddy Roosevelt or FDR in office, that is).

@aurizen -- you might refresh your understanding of the crookedness of American politics by reading Ferdinand Lundberg's interesting book The Rich and the Super Rich, and your understanding of financial "crimes" - the best of which are always perfectly legal - by reading Alexander del Mar's book A History of Monetary Crimes, which is available online at the Hathi Trust's digital library, if you can't read the hard copy from Alderman Library.

Now that we've made the corporations "people" as far as contributing to political campaigns goes (at least), would it make sense to really, actually make them people -- and give them a fixed lifespan, at the end of which they'd be subject to the inheritance tax? Once every twenty years or so .... would probably be long enough for them to "live" ...

I'd be willing to bet that Representative Hurt is in favor of allowing uranium mining in Pittsylvania County, even though all indications are that uranium mining here on the East Coast would be an environmental disaster of unparalleled proportions. He'd probably even go for allowing open pit mining of uranium, which would very likely turn most of Pittsylvania into a radioactive desert.

@Christian...You should check out what Halliburton has done to the people of the Navajo reservation in northwest New Mexico. They aren't subject to all the federal regulation on sovereign Navajo lands...they have left open mine tailing piles all over the place. There are elevated cancer rates all of the reservation. If there is money to be made, we throw out ethics to fill our wallets. Nothing good can come from mining here in Virginia. It's not about free enterprise, it's about common sense. The right tends to support one without using the other.

...I like the "inheritance tax" idea, lol.

@omg - you'll probably like The Tax Evaders Wall of Shame on the Washington Times Communities website; and Alexander del Mar, in addition to his History of Monetary Crimes, also has a terrific pamphlet analysis of the Greenback Bonds Scandal after the Civil War that will help you understand the nature of "monetary crimes."

Which ever side wins, you better do what the gov't can't... lower your debt, save cash, and convert your IRA to cash before a war with Iran. I wish I had faith a war with Iran is not coming.

None of the rantings here can void the fact that 11 year old girls are doing jobs overseas that american workers expect to paid enough to raise a family of four on with health insurance benifits and an annual vacation to the outer banks.

It didn't work in spain, portugal, greece, or italy and it won't work here.

Want a nice life? Get a skill and a work ethic and decent attitude and jave a nice life. Most people that are unhappy today are unhappy because they have less than they used to.

Perhaps they should have followed the advice of experienced people and "saved for a rainy day"

There are too many workers chasing too few jobs. Wages have dropped but people stilll are not hiring. WHY? Because the overall "cost" of an employee is still to high once you add in mandated taxes, insurance, compliance rules, and now healthcare..... Not to mention that if you don't hire a minoirty you can be accused of being a racist, if you pay a woman a lower wage (even with a good reason) you can be accused of being a sexist.... and if you want to fire somebody you need to be prepared for them to hire a lawyer...

all of this coupled with a worker mentality that they are "entitled" to a job instead of having to compete with others...

When the cost of hiring gets reasonable employees will fly off the shelf like rolling papers at a DMB concert.... Until then..... I guess people can still pray that they will tax the rich and buy everybody a puppy and a big screen....

@Bill Marshall...Sounds like you're arguing that for us to be competitive we need to operate as a third world country. We aren't far from it, but it isn't because we have people asking for a living wage. The fact is, other than cars, trucks and airplanes, we don't build sh!t in this country and that isn't the fault of the American worker. Sounds like you'd love them to relax immigration so that you can get some "affordable" workers for your business. Major corporations are beholden to no one but the shareholders these days. It isn't enough to turn a profit and keep folks employed, you have to reward the investors. Overseas jobs equals profit...

Fact is, those 11 year old Vietnamese girls you carry on about are working for American corporations.

You have some pipe dream that everyone can shell out $40k - $50k a year to go to university and get a skill that will make them attractive to employers. I get the impression that you're relatively successful, at least by your own measure. If you're doing well, bully for you, but get real, man! Look around! No one wants to live like this. When I was a child, dad worked, mom stayed home to raise the kids, we took a simple vacation every year and we had a car that ran. Those days are over, welcome to the corporate universe...you don't get to blame the worker for being unemployed. I love debate, Bill, but great day, wake up!

@ompaul -- thank you. In point of fact, America actually is now in many ways ALREADY a 3rd world agricultural country blessed with an industrialized system of Interstate Highways and a modern communications infrastructure and a huge installed base of potable water supply (in most areas) and a relatively strong and vibrant economy that could be quite prosperous IF WE PAID PEOPLE MORE. Bill seems to have the brains of a peacock, and the "factoids" he commands often seem derived from the flimsiest, most rabid of our ill-informed right-wing commentators, whose mantra always seems to be: None for you!

@bm -- That 11 year old girls in Viet Nam are forced to work in factories is exactly the situation we had here in America 100 years ago. Asking 11 year old American girls to work in the factories (without health care, worker safety regulations, pollution controls, and unemployment insurance) wouldn't help our country nearly as much as a sensible tariff would help. The declining purchasing power of American wages was concealed for several decades by the flood of cheap Asian imports we could still afford. And let's not forget the flood of narcotics that go along with the rest of the situation. The Chinese remember The Opium Wars -- even if you don't. And as for the looming war with Iran? I say, "Bring back the Pahlavis,"

Christian.... So lets give everyone in america a raise and start manufacturing things here. How in the world will that change a thing? If you get a raise of 300 bucks a week but everything you buy goes up 500 a week because it is made in america with american wages it is simply a race to national bankruptsy. The math does not work.

OMGitpaul.... The US is still the worlds largest manufacturer of precision items. We export those to be assembled elswhere because the assembly is unskilled labor that americans want skilled labor wages to do.

Also... what we need to do is make is so that universities don't cost 40 or 50k a year. Obama wants to give out student loans for this amount instead of forcing the PUBLIC universities to get with the program and keep costs down. In the 1980s a 4 year degree from radford or Mary washington costs about 25k TOTAL. and a graduate could get a job as a teacher that paid 25k. Now that degree costs 80k and a teacher starts at 38k. So do we need to give first year teachers 80k or bring down the cost of the degree? Why has technology brought down the cost of everything BUT education? Again.. the math doesn't work.

Christian Gehman

You can brea about how unfair global competition is but it will not change the facts on the ground. Even if we boycotted countries that hired 11 year old girls others would not, and the result would be that the rest of the world would get the items cheap, americans would not be able to sell american made versions outside the USA becasuse they would be too expensive, americans would pay a much higher price for the US version, and americans would lose choices in the marketplace.

Also, "the declining purchasing power caused by cheap imports" is just WRONG. The cheap imports INCREASED purchasing power as is PROVEN by the fact that someobody as simple as a school teacher with 5 yrs experience can buy more with todays pay then he/she could in 1970. If you go back in time and look at a teacher from 1970 you will find they lived in a little apartment that may or may not have had a/c, and drove a used car... but they did not have health insurance anywhere close to todays medicine, their car did not have airbags or 30mpg (or power windows, CD player or satelite radio)They did not have a laptop and internet access, they did not have a big screen and cable, they did not have access to a local airport that could get them to Florida cheaply. They did not have cell phones or access to credit, 1st time homebuyer credits, childcare tax deductions etc etc. The also did'nt have a microwave or any of the other food inventions that make life simple and consumed free time.

Life has improved for those who took advantage of the system and got an education and retained the work ethic. Look at something as simple as the number of riding lawnmowers and gas powered weed wackers... almost nobody had them. now they are almost standard equipment in every garage.

America is full of crybabies who whine that Mitt Romney was born on third base and should give all his money to them, all the while ignoring the fact that at least half of america is born on second. the overwhelming majority of the rest got a walk to first, and that 3/4s of the rest of the world never even make it to the dug out for a chance to play.

We need to stop providing country club public universites and get back to providing a first class education for a reasonable amount of money. We need to stop prepping blue collar workers for college and give them the education they need to compete and we need to stop telling people that they should be able to feed a family of four as a tire changer at Sams Club.

@Bill Marshall... Also, "the declining purchasing power caused by cheap imports" is just WRONG. The cheap imports INCREASED purchasing power as is PROVEN by the fact that someobody as simple as a school teacher with 5 yrs experience can buy more with todays pay then he/she could in 1970. If you go back in time and look at a teacher from 1970 you will find they lived in a little apartment that may or may not have had a/c, and drove a used car... but they did not have health insurance anywhere close to todays medicine, their car did not have airbags or 30mpg (or power windows, CD player or satelite radio)They did not have a laptop and internet access, they did not have a big screen and cable, they did not have access to a local airport that could get them to Florida cheaply. They did not have cell phones or access to credit, 1st time homebuyer credits, childcare tax deductions etc etc. The also did'nt have a microwave or any of the other food inventions that make life simple and consumed free time.

Life has improved for those who took advantage of the system and got an education and retained the work ethic. Look at something as simple as the number of riding lawnmowers and gas powered weed wackers... almost nobody had them. now they are almost standard equipment in every garage."

Flawed logic, my friend. All the things you list are probably purchased on credit, credit that teachers of the 70's didn't have, as you said yourself. Today's teachers are burdened student loans that will take many years to pay off, their purchasing power without credit is more likely diminished, not improved. I would argue that this applies to everyone, not just teachers. Without credit, most could not afford the lifestyle they now enjoy.

omg paul,

The logic is hardly flawed. The flawed logic comes in where people today expect a higher standard of living then the person who had the exact same job 30 years ago. In 1982 an assistant manager at kmart could afford a condo and an econobox car. Today that same job title gets you all of that but also gets you everything else like a cell phone, lap top, internet, cable, better medical treatment, a more luxurious library, park and public transportation options. The difference is that 30 years ago the assistant manager at kmart had to do inventory with a paper and pencil work till 3 in the morning to do it. Now the inventory is computerized. He had to do time cards by hand or with a punch clock, now its all automated. The JOB has gotten easier and the standard of living HAS increased but americans still want more. If we took the average little snowflake 5th grader and asked them to help with the dishes or mow the grass with a big clunky hard to push power mower or weed by hand we would get a revolt like Lord of the Flies....

Too many americans are sissies who have no clue how good they have it... The ones who are at the very bottom get enough from the government and charities to qualify for middle class in 90% of the world.

As far as student loans go it was universities who lobbied for cheap loans so they could jack up tuition. They are the criminals here. You want to lower student debt? Force Universities to live within their means and lower tuition. They could start by stopping builiding palaces for kids to get get drunk and puke on the side of the marble facade.

If the government wants jobs created then the government needs to stop with all the red tape and threats of profit confiscation. When the government makes it easier to hire (and fire) someone then people with money will put it at risk to make a better life for themselves and their families. Barack Obama wants "spead it around" to his cronies but doesn't want a guy that worked for 60 years to "spread it around" to his grandchildren.

Exxcessive government is like throwing maple suyrp into your hair right before the barber goes to cut it.

@ Christian Gehman-If uranium mining comes to Pittsylvania County it will come to many other parts of Virginia, including areas near C'ville and Albemarle County. This is a disgrace and abomination for politicians like Hurt to play games with. Hurt can't take there $ and then pretend that hes been against this evil when all know he has been for Uranium mining. A friend who lives in Danville tells me that all the uranium people have "Hurt" signs and that they are at the site of the Coles mine.

I think it's 6 of one, half dozen of another on the uranium mining. Douglass is running ads accusing Hurt of being in the lobbyists pockets and boldly stating he will "vote against mining in residential areas", read: I won't vote against uranium mining, I will just vote against mining where the public can see it.

If there's money to be made on mining here, there will be mining. Make no mistake about it, it's the way of the world, boys and girls.

Over the last 100 days, the House has actually "worked" 8 (eight) days. How's that for a plum , do-nothing job with big pay and benefits? Hurt's official information with the US House Clerks Office:

http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/mem_contact_info.aspx?statdis=VA05

Hurt , according to this, only serves on Financial Services Committees/SubCommittees. How many of us are work in this area? Since he is so interested in Banks and Wall Street, maybe he could go back to his native New York City and do-nothing for them? Also, see the writer left out his attendance at Yeshiva U in New York City and his law degree? from the Mississippi College of Law?