New trend? Local protesters denounce effigy burning

news-bill-hayJefferson Area Tea Party chairman Bill Hay has his differences with Congressman Tom Perriello, but he does not condone burning Perriello in effigy.

About a week after Guy Fawkes' Day, the British holiday celebrated with bonfires and effigy burning of the guy who tried to blow up Parliament, a Danville group announced its plans to burn Congressman Tom Perriello and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in effigy at a November 21 bonfire. Yet Charlottesville-area reaction indicates that some Virginians don't quite have the same stiff upper lip as their Brit cousins about torching likenesses–- especially of their elected leaders.

"This is not something we condone," says Bill Hay, head of the local group. "I had a conniption when I heard about it."

Hay says that the Jefferson Area Tea Party, as much as it dislikes the landmark Health Care Reform that Perriello helped pass, has no intention of emulating the fiery plans laid out by one of his Danville brethren in a November 13 press release.

"I feel bad," says Hay. "They're a nice group of people there who let their emotions get ahead of their thinking."

"That falls below the level of civil discourse," agrees Albemarle Republican activist Keith Drake. "When the message gets to burning elected officials, that doesn't move discourse forward."

According to Isaac Wood at UVA's Center for Politics, effigy burning was much more popular 225 years ago at the nation's founding.

"It's been a part of political speech for a long time, but it's gone out of vogue," says Wood, noting a few recent war-time exceptions: Nixon and LBJ during Vietnam, and George W. Bush, torched in Montreal and Iraq over the war in Iraq.

The announcement of the effigy burning created such a firestorm that the Danville tea party has canceled the burning, says Hay. And the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports online Monday afternoon that Danville Tea Party member Patricia Evans has emailed her group that "nothing will be burned at our upcoming bonfire except an occasional hot dog."

Meanwhile, six Republicans (including Albemarle Supervisor Ken Boyd) have announced they're challenging Perriello in 2010, and Ivy resident Laurence Verga is one of them. And Verga already knows where he stands on the kindling issue.

"Utilizing our rights to protest is great," Verga says, "but something like that puts it over the top."


free war...

Sometimes the smart thing to do is to go ahead and spend your money helping the neighbor clean up his yard so the rats don't jump the fence into yours. Not fair but it is the correct course of action.

In the case of the vietnamese... the people in the south fought unbelievably hard to end comunnismm but the liberals in this country thought that a north vietnamiese soldiers life was more important than an American soldiers life and tied our hands making us surgically attck them instead of simply destroying them into submission. Many americans DIED because the North was reinvorgorated with every UVA protest prolonging the war and hog tieing our efforts.

"what this entire conversation is about is the new proposed taxes that will in fact destroy the economy for everyone which will end up hurting the poor the most"

Actually, this discussion was about the jackasses who think it makes a great point to burn our own elected officials/American citizens (anyone, I guess) in effigy.

Therefore, I owe an apology to Hook readers. I was off topic. Sorry.

Ummmm... why didn't you start a third business in the last ten months?

So you think everyone wants to work huh?

So there is no welfare fraud?
There is no unemployment fraud? (people coasting until the benefits run out)
There are not people who sabatoge every interview so that can live off of their family?

Everyone who is unemployed will accept any job thats offered?

There are no graduate students who are still in school becsuse they don't want to have to deal with a job.... yet?

You seem pretty naive for someone who has accomplished so much.

....and by the way... I understand that the government builds roads etc... what this entire conversation is about is the new proposed taxes that will in fact destroy the economy for everyone which will end up hurting the poor the most.

Anyone who reads all my posts on this thread can see that i am not against helping the poor or infirmed.

The Government has a responsibility to all taxpayers to make sure that there money is not misspent. The Government has proven over and over that it cannot do this. I do not believe that giving them yet another trillion to try and not mispend it is CRAZY.

I have offered alternatives for discussion but you in your closed mind cannot talk rationally and just prefer to call me a jackass. Thats ok. I am sure that is the best you can do.

Moe wrote, "What does that say for the other folks. Are they happy with the way things are going?"

Well, maybe you should meet and talk to one of these "other folks" for once. You might be surprised by what you hear. The very fact that you seem to have no idea what the "others" in this country think about the way things are going confirms what I wrote above: out of touch.

Proud liberal, using bernie madoff is a red herring and you know it. He is an out and out criminal who is now serving life in jail... within 6 months of getting caught. too bad justice is not that swift when soemone murders another.

There are people who are overpaid and people who manipulate the market, they are probably less than 1/10 of 1% of the population. Is Bill gates a crook? Is Warren Buffet a crook? I find it ironic how people can build up so much hate for someone who makes money playing by the rules and FALSLEY accuses them of being "crooks" simply because they made a lot of money yet will stay silent about the much higher percentage who steal rape and kill and have a much more detrimental impact on their life.

The rich do not all hoard their money. They spend it. Warren Buffet is about the only one who drives an old car. They employ people, they buy 500 dollar clothes and shoes. They vacation and live in mansions that need maintanance. Anyone that believes there is no trickle down effect is nuts. Ask all the unemployed limo drivers where there business went. Ask high end restaurants where their business went. The working rich (you know the ones who are about to get it in the butt from Obama) are the ones who buy artwork and high end furniture (and donate or sell cheaply their old furniture) are the ones who keep the economy rolling. These people own medium size businesses like small chains of auto parts stores or factories that build kitchen cabinets, or law offices with a dozen or so partners. Doctors offices etc. These are not bad people. They are people who invested their entire life in the american dream and now that it is paying off people who sat right next to them in class but didn't do the work or took vacations insead of risks want their share of the profits. This is wrong. For every person who claims they never got a break there is another person who made it despite never getting a break.

So long as YOU can borrow money at a reasonable rate what diffence does it make whether Bank of america got that money from one depositor or 1000? Absolutley none. (if you wanbnt to talk about bank regulation we will probably agree on 99% of it)

The medium rich in this country are very generous as a group with their charity.

The real problem is that the Politicians have been succesful in their attempt to villify the rich in order to get more moeny for themselves. We have all been duped.

Stop blaming the rich and start holding the government accountable for what they waste your money on.

The true welfare cheats are the beaurucrats in washington who waste your money and get 100k a year for doing it.

re:"Why do you people despise someone who wants to get rich through hard work?"

Wow, Scoob. So.... a %39 tax rate means that you are "despised" but a %36 rate (or %28 rate, for that matter) means that you are not?

Does burning a man in effigy imply that you "despise" someone? If so, do you agree that those that would burn elected officials in effigy are not contributing to civil discourse?

Would you admit that claiming that those that advocate higher taxes are guilty of "despising" you is not contributing to civil discourse as well?

There was a man recently sent to jail in Charlottesville for running a Ponzi scheme here in Charlottesville. Is that another "red herring"? Perhaps not on the magnitude of Bernie Madoff, but nevertheless, another Ponzi scheme right here in our hometown.
Where to start? Let me clarify a few things here. First of all, those of you who have worked hard to better yourselves, like myself, you are doing what you want to do and making a comfortable living, I hope. Instead of working for the man, you get to be your own boss and you have a lot of freedom, even though you may work long hours. You are following the American dream and being sucessful.
But we aren't talking about you. I am referring to those who have made more money than God! Those who have made enough to support hundreds of generations of their children. They have created a class of wealthy people who will have wealth for generations to come. In fact, there are quite a few of these families already in existence. Wasn't that like the fiefdoms of Europe back in the Good Old Days that never were? When men were serfs.. not much better than dogs.
How much does one person need to live a good life in this country? Let's say you live to be 80 years old, and for every year you had an allowance of $250,000. Over a lifetime that would come to $20,000,000. I know I could live very well off an income of this size. Can we agree that $20,000,000 per lifetime is a good number? Or is that too little?
For several million people in this country, that's Not enough! And they want more! When is enough, enough!
Maybe you haven't lived life as I have. I notice that there are a lot of hard working folks in this world. Black, White, Red, Pink.. even the Blue ones work hard to just survive. There are very few who want to receive or live off of food stamps. It would be absurd to think that anyone could feed themselves for $1,500 a year. That comes to less than $30 per week. Give me a break, will Ya? You are jealous of folks who have less than you. That is absurd as well.
Do you think anyone likes being poor? There are very few who enjoy being poor. I have been there, it does not feel good.
Do you really think that all people in this world are created equal? If so, then you are naive. There are those who have physical limitations, there are those with mental limitations.. these are the real poor!
Then there are those who are born into wealth.
There is a Biggg disparity between the excessively wealthy and the rest of us. This is a de-stabilizing force that we cannot continue to ignore. The gap between rich and poor has created discontent, which in turn breeds incivility and hostility. If this continues, I truly fear for the stability of this country.
Wasn't there a revolution years ago in France where the proletariat rid themselves of the rich who had tortured the people for years? The few ruled the many. Look at history! We had the foresight in the 1890's to stop the Robber Barons, I think its time to reign in the excessive wealth that threatens all our freedoms.
I mean, there is a limited supply of money. If a few own 90% of the money supply, that doesn't leave much for the rest of us. There has been greed.. excessive wealth taking. These people are comfortable for life.. they don't need all that money. So, what's the big deal if the wealth is distributed more evenly? So that others may live.
We are only as good as the Least members of our society. When we don't have people living on the streets anymore, then we will be a truly great Society.

This from a guy holding a sign of the Congressman's picture from when he returned from Afghanistan with a beard just to make him look different. These folks are shameful. You may disagree on this big issue but have some respect for other opinions. Also, would it hurt to get one person of color to show up to your rallies?

Scooby, if you were making $240,000 a year, which is what the figure of $800 additional a month at a 4% change in your tax rate would suggest, you were hardly a "have not."

Also, not saying it's true in every case, but a lot of the old money in VA comes not from people who worked as hard as you seem to think, but by owning people who worked hard or by paying people who worked hard very little when the earlier option was taken away.

1) I'm not necessarily pro-union. Nor do I consider myself a strict liberal or conservative. Oh, and like most people, I don't like paying taxes. But I know it's necessary.

2) "Now I am a jackass because I think that the government taking half my money and telling me that people who choose not to work deserve it more than I do upsets me enough to speak up?"

No. You're a jackass because you think people CHOOSE not to work.

You also think HALF your money goes to what you consider welfare? Really? You never leave your private property? Raise all your own food? Homeschool your children? Take the ol' wagon down the trail YOU blazed? Because without that tax money, there are no roads, schools, etc.

3) "It is easier to just become an employee”Š but as you can see employers do not want to take the risk and hence not enough jobs to go around."

In fact, I've started and sold two businesses before going back to the corporate world and being laid off. My brother also started and continues to own his own business.

4) "There might be a job opening raking leaves, cleaning gutters, scraping paint, mucking stalls, delivering papers, cleaning bathrooms, selling clothes or stocking shelves available as I resigned from all those jobs on my way up from the bottom."

Wow. Impressive. Thanks for the tips O Great One...I guess in 10 months of misery I hadn't really thought about those options. Jackass.

Good point Sue. I wish I could attend a tea party but I work everyday during the day. I know many people who would attend also but cannot. I won't even attempt to reply to your comment "ummm". Maybe the whole point is that anybody and everybody can join the tea parties and those who do show up are the ones most concerned and with skin in the game. What does that say for the other folks. Are they happy with the way things are going? We are excited to organize and express our discontent with the direction of this country. We wish to be recognized by the policy-makers. The problem I have is the constant knee-capping by individuals that will not debate us on facts and bring up misguided questions like "why aren't there more people of color there?" That has nothing to do with anything. It's a nonissue and if we keep bringing race up we will never move on. We should look at each other without labels and color in mind and only then can we finally make progress on race relations.

Caesonia, as some kind of self-appointed economic authority, I guess you apparently have no problem with Obamanomics, i.e. prosperity through printing more money. I guess in liberalworld there is indeed a "free lunch". Remarkable how the stupid conservatives never realized it could be THAT easy.

Thanks for bringing up Warren Buffett Scoobs:

Buffett blasts system that lets him pay less tax than secretary

Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, has criticised the US tax system for allowing him to pay a lower rate than his secretary and his cleaner.

Saggy, It is not the tax rate, it is the presumption that if someone makes a lot of money then it is somehow their civic duty to give it away to people who CHOOSE not to put forth the same effort as they did to make it in the first place.

If you work hard and cannot make it despite all of your efforts I feel we need to help out in all kinds of ways.. which society does, free education for your kids, free libraies so you can learn to improve yourself, subsidized student loans, food stamps, S-chip medical for your kids, child care tax credits,earned income tax credits Etc Etc The issue becomes where you draw the line.

I draw the line where the Govenents help becomes a hindarance. I took my lowered tax rate and made the econmy grow. The government is now going to take that tax money from me and spend it and then some on programs that will only increase their need for even more tax money. The little guy will still be boxed in because small business will have to compete with social programs for workers. (everyone reading this KNOWS someone who is unemployed right now who is coasting until their benefits get closer to running out)

If society will give you free health care vslued at 7k a year and free food stamps at 1500 a year (tax free)then then a person who makes minumum wage at 14k is really only working for 5500 bucks .. or abour 2.75 an hour...

So what is the answer? Stop villifying business and give them a motivation to succeed. What motivation is there in killing yourself to make it only to have it taken away and given to people who chose not to? So what if a guy gets rich in the process.... if you have a full belly from Applebees why should you be jealous that the owner is eating at the Aberdeen barn?

The poorest family in Charlottesville today is still 10 times better off than the poorest family from 1970.

I wish that you all had been at Richard Dreyfuss's talk at UVA today and had a chance to hear an impassioned plea for civility in debate and outrage when our civil liberties are threatened. Our country is facing serious problems and we need to find ways to work together and yet not allow our officials to act dishonestly, or in the name of the privileged few. His comments about the press neglecting it's duty were particularly poignant. He asked "when did you last hear a reporter ask an elected official a hostile
question ?" His take on the mainstream media is, they have abandoned their duty to represent the people, and have forgotten who they work for --us ! Sitting there I felt fortunate that there is one newspaper in town willing to keep asking "the damn questions" and that is the Hook --hurray for continuing in the proud tradition of knowing who your boss is --the people !

I agree MO mudslinging will never get us anywhere, but where does the Hook come in ? Didn't see any mention of race in this article

All these Tea Party folks should remember to dry clean their KKK outfits in time for the protests. I bet many of them can trace their ancestry to lynching organizers.


Good for you. I don't begrudge your situation and will strive to get there. Sounds like a nice place. I am sure that at some point someone Worked very hard to get your family where it is. You might however feel a little different if they took it all away and told you to get a job. There are people who feel that that is what should happen.

To UMMM: warren buffet may pay less of a PERCENTAGE in taxes but his tax bill is still in the tens of millions... while hers is maybe 1% of that.

He is donating his money which is fair but artificailly lowers his effective tax rate. Example: You make 100k adjusted gross income and you federal rate is 34% or 34K dollars. You now donate 50k, your tax rate is 34% or 17k dollars. Your EFFECTIVE tax rate on the 100k now become 17% of your income... however you really only got 50k after donations.. so the numbers are skewed to make it look like you don't pay enough taxes.

So what is your solution? Obamas is to stop making charitable contributions deductible. The only reason for this is so that the GOVERMENT can decide who DESERVES your money and not you.

The real Robber Barrons are on Capital Hill and they were voted into office by US.

"He asked ââ?¬Å?when did you last hear a reporter ask an elected official a hostile""

Even if they do ask a hostile question the question is not answered. To make things worse the 'reporter' will not challenge the non response.
ALL of the network/cable news channels have become booster clubs for the respective parties. Maybe it is time to demand better.

"The Democrats have proven that they wish to rob from the rich and give to the poor. Once the wealth is redistributed and all motivation has left the economy they will learn." case you hadn't noticed, the Republicans and so-called "conservatives"
have spent the past 30 years redistributing wealth upward!

From the Economic Policy Institute:

America's 112 million families had combined wealth of $50.3 trillion in 2004. When those families are ranked by the size of their wealth, however, the top 1% alone held $16.8 trillion in wealth, more than a third of the United States' total wealth and more than the $15.3 trillion held by 90% of U.S. families. The top 1% had average wealth of $15 million per family in contrast to the $22,800 average wealth of the least wealthy 50% of families or the $313,500 in wealth for families ranked between 50% and 90%.

Let that sink in. The top 1% controls more than a third of the USA's total wealth. And that's more than the bottom 90% controls.

Continuing, The top 1% of families owned 37% of all stocks, 62% of all closely held businesses, and 47% of nonresidential real estate. Percentages for the bottom 90% were 21%, 10%, and 24%, respectively.

The richest 1% of wealth holders had 125 times the wealth of the typical household in 1962; by 2004 they had 190 times as much.

Income has played a large part in the redistribution of wealth, as you can see here:

Those are the facts, which are clearly not on the side of so-called "conservatives" and the Grover Norquist crowd. So perhaps your cries of "wealth redistribution" in the context of "taking from the rich and giving to the poor" falls mostly on deaf ears. And politicians are starting, slowly, to realize that while the top 1% can donate a lot of money to their campaigns, that's only 1% of the votes they need to win.

I do not agree with Rep. Perriello on EFCA, energy, or health care and I certainly do not agree with anything Pelosi stands for nor do I think she comes close to representing America, but this is a bad way to demonstrate.

Yes, Bill Hay is ALL about the truth, isn't he? That's why he and his pals are frequently seen holding signs depicting Perriello with the scruffy beard he was wearing upon his return from Afghanistan. This is an image deliberately chosen by them to make him look sinister.

Reminds me of the posters the Rethuglicans used leading up to the election a digitally manipulated image showing a darkened, bearded Perriello. "Ooh, Tom Perriello might be one o' them there Moooslems! Grab yer women and children and run!!!" Typical of the scare tactic crap that their own simpleton followers swallow on a regular basis.

Funny how the libs b*tch about a pic of Perriello unshaven. Yet when Time Magazine runs a picture of Glenn Beck sticking out his tongue with the title "Mad Man", MSNBC having to apologize for running a photo shopped phony pic of Sarah Palin in a bikini holding a rifle, and Newsweek running a cover photo of her which she did for a running magazine and is inappropriate for their cover, you libs have no complaint whatsoever. HYPOCRITES!

Kudos to Bill Hay for acting like an adult. Seriously.

Nice try there Moe, but got to give you a FAIL on that one. Looks like someone touched a sensitive nerve with you, but the only one using the term racist is you. The Hook didn't write a word about race and the earlier poster suggested something that might help make your "movement" at least simulate a broader base of support. No one suggested that you were excluding anyone either, you're just failing to make your group appealing to be a part of. Considering the history of these sorts of things, burning effigies certainly doesn't seem to me to be a way to increase the numbers of blacks among your ranks.

"All these Tea Party folks should remember to dry clean their KKK outfits in time for the protests. I bet many of them can trace their ancestry to lynching organizers."

Tsk tsk tsk.
I hope you are trolling.

I'm sick and tired of people who claim to be adults acting so childishly. This goes for all politicians. Stop the mudslinging and lying. This is not setting a good example for children.

Does anyone recall the days of the Robber Barons? The time period was the 1890's. There were groups of white men who owned everything they could buy. They controlled our economy. Eventually, our government pased Anti-Trust laws so that no one person or groups of people could have a corner on the market.
I bring this up, because the disparity between the rich and poor NOW is at the same level that it was back in the 1890's. We put a stop to it then, and we will have to end this control of our economy NOW.
This reminds me of the Classist societies of Europe, when landed gentry and their families owned the lands and had their fiefdoms. The common man was basically a peasant. Would you like to be a peasant again? I don't think that possibility is too remote when I see all the homeless downtown.
How much money does it take for one person to live? 1 Million? 10 million? 50 billion? 100 billion? How about 200 billion? And there are people out there with all that money. What did they do to deserve to make this money? Do you think they could make this kind of money without people doing the work for them? It is my sweat and your sweat that makes these people rich. They depend on us to do their work for them, so I think we deserve a larger share of the pie. It's our labor that made them rich!!!
It is extremely naive to think that there are those out there who have the right to make unlimited sums of money at the expense of everyone eles. Do you think Bernie Madoff had a right to make $50 billion? He ripped everyone off and had no remorse for creating suffering. It is idealistic to think that our system reserves the right to make those who are addicted to wealth - wealthier. That is not in our Constitution!!

Finally some people with guts to go face to face with the lib factions throughout Cville and Albemarle Co. People take action against these tax and spend, cap and trade, heathKare fiends who live off of you and me in and out of Cville. Pereillo is a waste of good votes for libs who were foolish enough to vote for the scumbag who loves up to Pelosi and her Marxist ideals for America. Good luck Tea Party folks.

The Republican party needs to put itself above the fray. The facts are on their side. The Democrats have proven that they wish to rob from the rich and give to the poor. Once the wealth is redistributed and all motivation has left the economy they will learn.

"nice group of people there..." Laughable.

Wackos. Pure and simple.

Right-wing wackos. And they wonder why they're out of power in DC. A mystery!

If the facts were on the Republican side they would not need to resort to a lynch-mob mentality.

"The Republican party needs to put itself above the fray."

Hear, hear. I wish politics was the realm of respectful adults rather than blubbering imbeciles. Dare to dream...

Mike - The childish behavior extends to multiple areas of society, and not just in the "temper tantrum" sorts of ways, although that's the most obvious way that it manifests. With the temper tantrum types you see them in hotels and restaurants and retail establishments throwing fits when they don't get their way, berating sales clerks, cashiers and the like. Their motto is "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." So they'll yell and cuss and berate louder and louder until they get your way. And they'll do this in front of their kids, since you mentioned the example set for children. They could care less about the children being that most often they're Narcissistic and/or Borderline Personality Disorder, and as anybody who has studied up on those disorders knows, those types are the equivelent of a 6 or 7 year old in an adult's body. They *are* kids themselves, having never emotionally matured beyond the level of about a second grader. Forget setting examples for real kids! ;)

I also see this "child in an adult's body" phenomenon manifest in numeous other, albeit relatively harmless ways all throughout society. My job history has put me in frequent front and center contact with the public, in high capacity/high volume ways, dealing with people from all walks of life from the homeless on up to extreme wealth, and everybody in between. You would probably be shocked to discover just how many of the "adults" walking among us in the world are anything but. They look like adults in body and form - but talk to them for 30 seconds and a shocking picture begins to emerge. So many so-called "adults" are completely child-like in their lack of knowledge and all around state of ignorance to the most basic workings of the world and society, and hoping to be taken care of...even when they themselves have kids of their own, who are looking up to them to be taken care of. It's scary.

Anyway, that's my rant for the day. I feel better getting that off my chest.

re:"The poorest family in Charlottesville today is still 10 times better off than the poorest family from 1970."

Well, fortunately, I was born wealthy.

I've never "worked" a day in my life and have had everything handed to me. Working is for poor people and chumps, frankly.

I enjoy myself and draw my income from my family's investments. I don't mind paying taxes. My dad has figured out how to game the system so that my tax bill is quite minimal, I assure you. I don't mind if my tax dollars go to feed some people that aren't able to make ends meet otherwise, frankly.

None of my rich friends sound like you, Scoob.

But keep on keeping on. Maybe someday you'll make it to where I started out, but I doubt it.

(typo correction - should have said "So they’ll yell and cuss and berate louder and louder until they get their way." Not "your way." Sorry...)

Burning in effigy? Bad. Parading around with a sign claiming that he's a "wanted" criminal? A-OK.

I'm just getting clear on where the lines are drawn here.

This thread shows clearly why public discourse is often uncivil, and often amusing.

I'm glad you brought up that point 'Amazed in Afton'. Seems like the brilliant and enlightened media (including the Hook) and fine liberals like yourself are ALWAYS the first to bring up race everytime the tea-party movement is brought up. I love this because it shows the irrationality of the left. Why must everything be viewed from the prism of race? Everywhere you look, it's all about race. And I'll tell you why: The Left will never let the valuable "race card" go to waste. It's always in your deck and we must never forget it. Because more blacks vote Democratic must mean you guys are clearly the more equitable party. Nevermind calling black conservatives "oreos" and "uncle tom's". No matter how many black people there really are at these rallies, we will always be labelled RACISTS. Nevermind we protest, just continue to demonize us, mud sling, and character assasinate, must less debate us. Keep it up. Because we're not the ones excluding people. You are. Elitist. You make me sick.

When the government lowered the tax rate from 39.5 to 34 in 2001 I started meeting an additional 800 dollars a month.

I used that money to rent another 1000 square feet which allowed me to get more work done which caused my income to go up which I paid taxes on. After six months I was also able to hire another employee who also pays taxes. Now, nearly a decade later that 800 a month tax savings has netted the US government by my conservative estimation 100k when you factor in all of the sales from my busiiness, my income increases and my employees taxes paid. This does not include all of the taxes paid by my suppliers UPS FedEx people I pay for advertising etc.

Why do you people despise someone who wants to get rich through hard work? I am the one who put in 80 hour weeks for years to make it happen. I used to be a have not, now I am a have. Does that make me evil?

I don't think that is what Music Lover is referring to. The lack of regulation has created an outright gift to many already wealthy people, who didn't do what you did to earn a living through hard work.

Obama is not trying to stop making charitable contributions deductible. That is a LIE and you need to be called out for it (and probably many others as well). I believe he has floated the idea about making the percentage that is deductible for rich people equal to the percentage that is deductible for poor people (rich people now get to unfairly deduct a higher percent), by lowering it a couple of percentage points. This seems fair, and is not and end oe charitable deductions. You need to get a grip.

and by "poor people" i mean us ordinary folks in the bottom 99% who already pay a higher percentage of our net worths in taxes and also get a smaller percentage deducted for charitable donations.

The current political climate in this country disgusts me. I hope with all my heart that we can move beyond a two party system. This forum has just reiterated that to me. To both sides: way to sling mud while denouncing mudslinging.

"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
-George Washington, 1796

Yeah, right Waldo..........Pelosi calling health care protesters Nazis, that's ok. Pelosi calling Code Pink anti war protesters patriotic. Ok, very consistent. Just so we're logically consistent.

Give me a break.....

music lover the top 1% is still 3 and a half million people... it is not like it is a small group of white guys palying cards at farmington.

Why don't you do a little research and find out who pays the most taxes?

In 2002 the latest year of available data, the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid more than one-half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes, but reported roughly one-third (30.6 percent) of income.

The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 33.7 percent of all individual income taxes in 2002. This group of taxpayers has paid more than 30 percent of individual income taxes since 1995. Moreover, since 1990 this group’s tax share has grown faster than their income share.

Taxpayers who rank in the top 50 percent of taxpayers by income pay virtually all individual income taxes. In all years since 1990, taxpayers in this group have paid over 94 percent of all individual income taxes. In 2000, 2001, and 2002, this group paid over 96 percent of the total.
Treasury Department analysts credit tax cuts with shifting a larger share of the individual income taxes paid to higher income taxpayers. In 2005, says the Treasury, when most of the tax cut provisions are fully in effect (e.g., lower tax rates, the $1,000 child credit, marriage penalty relief), the projected tax share for lower-income taxpayers will fall, while the tax share for higher-income taxpayers will rise.

The share of taxes paid by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers will fall from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent.

The share of taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers will rise from 32.3 percent to 33.7 percent.

The average tax rate for the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers falls by 27 percent as compared to a 13 percent decline for taxpayers in the top 1 percent.

So the EVIL BUSHs tax cuts gave everyone a break but Obamas only takes away the break for the rich.

Regardless of how rich you are how much tax is enough? If the Dave Matthews BanD nets him 10 million on a tour and he is giving 5 million then why do they deserve more? He is still just one man. why shouldn't he be able to save it so his kids can enjoy the fruits of his labor?

If he wants to give more (and he does through charity)no one is stopping him.... but why force him? Why should he have to subsidize people who won't even get out of bed in the morning?

John, why don't you tell your side of the story to all of the non profits who are lobbying hard to get his idea squelched? Google it.

Mike I was a "have not" but did comething about it. Reread my post.

The old money you refer to is a tiny percentage and an ancient excuse. The slave owners you villify are all dead and gone. Most of their wealth was taken from them. (google how west Va was formed by land siezures) None of it excuses slavery but it is a tired argument that is irrelevant to this discussion.

People are always paid what they are worth. If they were worth more they would move on to a better job. If there is no better job out there then then by default they are only worth what their replacement will do the job for. Sounds cold, but that is natures way of motivating you to better yourself.

What this country owes its citizens is the opportunity to get ahead. They cannot ever accomplish this by giving people who refuse to contribute a free ride at the expense of those that work. What motivaton is there to get ahead when the person that does nothing gets free healthcare and food stamps, educational incentives and in lots of cases free housing?

You may dislike my message but my numbers crunch.

This back and forth is all very interesting, but can we agree that burning our fellow citizens/democratically elected representatives in effigy is really stupid, bad PR for oneself, and reminiscent of lynching? What kind of echo chamber does one have to be caught in to think "I know, I'll organize a public burning of people in effigy and I'll even announce it proudly and everyone will pat me on the back and say 'great idea, wish I'd thought of it'!"

Scooby, these individuals you debate are mentally centered on one premise: America is unfair. You and I are alike in our dreams of working hard to build wealth and making sacrifices to achieve something we didn't get handed to us. To them, that is a far-fetched idea. We are the achievers, the capitalists, the entrepreneurs, and they will not see eye to eye, ever. That's the disconnect in this country. No one wants to admit we need wealthy people. I will. They keep this economy moving. Yes, there are rich people out there. And they're not. Boo Hoo. That is why the class envy that the liberal left encourages works to fetch votes. They feed on the envy and anger that comes from people with lower wage jobs looking at rich people with disdain. It's never going to change. Its simply easier to demonize the rich because they are easy targets. Don't to try to rationalize why you work hard and hope to be rich one day :)

As far as Hook mentioning race in this article. No. They didn't mention it this time obviously. I read it regularly and its always the quip that comes out of the mouths of wise-crackers with the intention of delegitimizing the tea-parties. What are we supposed to do...mandate a certain number of whites,blacks, hispanics that come to the meeting to make it "fair"? Oh, wait. The government already does that with jobs. Grow up. These are the people that are concerned with ever-growing government. Encroaching of liberties and freedoms handed down to us by our divine creator. Don't call me the religious right, btw. It's called the Constitution. They wrote it first. Haha.

there was a credit bubble that popped. there aren't any jobs as demand was artificially inflated. there are too many people. also, there is a glut of supply.

people can talk all they want about responsibility and hard work, but the fact is that a ebbing tide lowers all boats. the rising tide is in china now.

blame the gov't, blame the liberals, blame the poor, blame the migrant farmworkers. blame anyone you want. it's not going to be as good as it used to be. it's time to grow up and face facts.

if one's idea of 'public policy' is "I got mine and I want to keep it and I don't care about anyone else", then what's the point of debating? Just keep receiving your bank statements and be happy. vote for those politicians that appeal to your sense of "fairness". yes, you may achieve a level of "success" greater than your "neighbors". good for you. you and your "loved ones" should be very happy.

the rest of us will be concerned with how to maintain a civil society that will not necessarily provide for all, but is humane and sustainable.

Moe, I don't think anyone is concerned that you are being "unfair" to nonwhites or that you should enslave anyone and force them to attend one of your tea-parties. I think rather that when people point out the overwhelming whiteness of your tea parties (and the larger right-wing movement, and the GOP in general), they're pointing out the limited appeal of your message ("more money for the people who've always had all the power to begin with!"), the alienating nature of your tactics ("I know! let's have an event that's an awful lot like a lynching!"), and, finally, the grim prognosis for a movement/party that looks nothing like America and will increasingly look less and less like America as America grows more and more culturally and ethincally diverse. The older white male demographic -- the kingdom of Obama/Perriello haters -- is shrinking. When we don't see any nonwhites at any of your events, it just confirms our suspicion that you are hopelessly out of touch and that you are doing nothing about it.

It would be interesting to do a study of the make-up of the tea-party folks. Many events seem to happen in the daytime when the majority of adults are at work, so I wonder if many of these people are retired and already have government health care, i.e. Medicare, or are independently wealthy. Has anyone seen such a study ?

Well spoken, but there are a number of flaws in your arguments.
First, "The problem is that there are too many ABLE BODIED people who believe that they are entitled just because they live in America." Statistics from 2005 from the VDH, APA, and DSS show that in Richmond, which has the higest health and welfare costs per capita in the state, spent $641.92. Again, so that this will sink in, That's $641.92 per person!! I think that you or I can afford to pay that kind of money without resentment towards those who are less fortunate.
Since Governor Allen, we have not had welfare in Virginia. We have VIEW, Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare, which was passed by a Republican administration and a REpublican General Assembly during the late 1990's. We already have accountability. We don't have welfare. This is an old argument that no longer holds true. When will you stop playing the Resentment card? When will you accept that there are those who have real problems and are not able to compete or have the same opportunities that a lot of us have?
Secondly, your statistics are not accurate. The proportion of income spent for food varies widely among houesholds with different incomes and sizes. U.S. Labor statistics indicate that the percentage of aftertax income spent for food was 8.7% for a family with an income over $70,000 or more to 34.2% for a family witn an income of $5,000 to $9,999. Your statement is misleading. The $16,600 income figure is irrelevant. People still have to buy food, no matter how much they make. With an income of $16,600, then that family would be paying areound %25 of their annual aftertax income for food. Next time, get your facts straight. I can research and read the same websites that you do.
I think that you should eat PB&J sandwiches, or oatmeal, or spaghetti dinners every day. Maybe you would change your tune if you put yourself in others shoes. Frankly, I find your dissertation grossly disgusting. You resent those who get food stamps. You don't want Richmond to spend $641.92 per capita to assist those in need. That is disgusting!
Thirdly, during every REpublican administration we have seen a laxity in regulation for businesses. As a result, we have been taken advantage of by those who are no scupulous or ethical in their practices. REmember the S&L savings disaster? In their rush to promote business, Republicans have forgotten.. or maybe they just looked the other way.. when there were obvious manipulation of financial data. Humans are capable of greed. Can we agree on that? I will agree that there are those in the Democratic Party who have not always met their ethical standards of conduct. But, they are few and far between, unlike the Loyal opposition.
Fourth, your argument is Not Logical, nor does it make any sense. Fairness has nothing to do with market supply and demand, and setting prices. Anyone who sets a price of $12 to $14 per hour, when its worth only $10 per hour won't get that price. It's supply and demand. Paranoia of government intervention has nothing to do with setting prices or rates, unless one is mentally unstable. It appears that your paranoia has distorted your view of the world.
Fifth, we see signs of discontent everyday in this country. For example, the TEA Partiers, the militias, and those in the background who are not affiliated with any organization. It is a reality that you cannot ignore. Let me reiterate... There is excessive wealth which does take away the ability for the rest of us to raise our standard of living. Even though we work long and hard, the opportunites just aren't there. I am an example of that. Having worked for over 30 years in my profession, a profession that none of you can live without, I never made a lot of money, just enough to be comfortable and have a good life. I am happy with that. No one in my profession gets rich.. yet we provide you with the basics for life as you know it. We just want to have a comfortable life. I don't want to make $20 million in my lifetime. As stated previously, there is excessive wealth and we want to level the playing field so that everyone can have the same opportunities.
We don't want your charity, your hand outs, or your trickle down left overs. This is about ownership. We want to own our lives, our properties, and have a good standard of living. I think that is well within the parameters of expectations in this country with all of its wealth. We deal with Reality as it is.. and the REality is that there are too many poor folks in this country. This situation drags us all down.
The low wages around Charlottesville are another example of inequity to those of us who work hard. I gave up trying to make a decent living around here years ago because I could never get a decent salary. Even with commuting long distances, I can make more money than I can around here. Why is that? The cost of living here is second in the state, and yet the wages are low. I know the answer to ths dilemma, but I'll let y'all figure that one out.

proud liberal, your inability to understand does not make you right. If welfare pays 10 bucks an hour then a working man will need 14 bucks an hour or he will sit at home. You are advocating redistributing the wealth which will bring about this very scenario. Once the working man gets 14 bucks an hour his landlord will raise the rent as will the grocer and the auto mechanic. That is true supply and demand. A year later he will be in the exact same station in life except for the numbers on his tax return.

The discontent you speak of was brought about by the progressive movement who works so hard to make life artifically fair when it cannot be. We don't grade tests, we give awards to every child who competes regardless of success and we make excuses for people to carry around through life with them to justify their lack of success. The discontent with the haves is brought about because now that you have created a generation of people who feel entitled to other peoples earnings you are actually taking huge steps to sieze our assets under the guise that we somehow owe it. As I stated before there is a significant amount of money paid out by the rich and medium rich to help at the bottom. Most of it is wasted by the government which is made up of union workers and people who could not survive in the real world. You can blame Bush for Katrina, but virtually all of the planning and preperation was done by lower managment wonks who have never really had to run a business, meet a payroll or a deadline. People who have run a business do not trust the Government to accomplish these tasks and are demanding accountability. We also demand accountability from the Government when it comes to banking and the stock market. Bernie Madoff ripped off the rich. The rich are not one brotherhood. There are crooks just like the poor. So arrest and prosecute the bad ones. We want that.

Your blaming the Repulicans for every misdeed is flat out wrong. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were directly responsanble for fannies maes ability to cook the books . They are both powerful democrats. I am independent personally, and do agree that the republicans need to do their part to enforce regulations and stop manipulations of the market place. I also agree with most people that Sarah Palin needs to stick to modeling or moose hunting and that Sean Hannity is not the sharpest tool in the shed. None of that changes the fact that the path that has been chosen.. the Obama agenda... will cause an upheaval that will destroy not increase your standard of living. This Health Care bill is the wrong way to achieve the Goals you desire. There are alternatives that involve less government intervention. Lots of them.

1) Open wellness clinics to compete with ERs who OVERCHARGE.
2) Teach people how to deal with routine medical procedures like dressing a cut or treating the flu.
3) Allow Pharmacies to sell certain drugs in limited amounts without a prescritpion based on symptoms and history. (there is no reason to see a doctor for poison ivy or to renew an allergy medication you have taken succesfully for months)
4) Pass a law that makes health insurance portable.
5) allow health insurance companies to compete across state lines.
6) mandate a basic policy that has standard coverage that any company that wants to sell insurance must offer so people can compare apples and apples and the companies will need to compete on price and service not coverage.
7) Encourage high deductible policies so that people will take better care of themselves since the first 1000 dollars will be on them.
8) mandate that Doctors can only charge CASH (on the barrelhead) customers no more than 10% above the lowest price they charge insurance companies. (thats right I support government regulation)
9) Create an insurance pool of last resort for people who are in chronic illnesses with no chance of coverage. (subsidized by the Government)
10)Create a mandate that after 2 years all bets are off for denial fof prexisting conditions UNLESS the consumer commited MATERIAL fraud when they applied (and have the insurance commissioner of each state set up a jury to be the final say)

These are just a few ideas that don't involve hiring hundreds of thouands of new Unionized Government workers to administer and don't require massive fees and taxes on anybody.

The government should always be the last resort if you actually want a problem solved.

"The problem is that then his landlord would find out about the raise and increase his rent."

Why? Greed?

Scoobs, I'll just come out and say're a jackass.

I was raised in a very conservative family. My father (just like his father) worked for everything he had and has retired very comfortably. He was able to provide me a great education which I took full advantage of and graduated with honors. He also instilled an incredible work ethic in me. I'm not a freeloader, but get this:

I was laid off in January. For 10 months I've gotten up every morning and looked for a job. I've done everything we're told we need to do to fulfill the "American Dream." At this point, I'd give damn near anything for long-term gainful employment.

You think I like my measly unemployment check? You think I like feeling like a waste of space? You think I'm just waiting until my benefits run out? What a joke.

I pray to the "Divine Creator" that one day you lose EVERYTHING you have. Apparently, that's the only way you'll know what it's like in someone else's shoes.

ââ?¬Å?The problem is that then his landlord would find out about the raise and increase his rent.”

Why should the landlord not raise the rent? If his taxes went up to provide the welfare he needs to recover it somewhere does he not?

Your inability to find a job has a lot more to do with high taxes rather than low taxes. There are lots of people who would be happy to start a business but the risk/reward ratio is not where it needs to be to get people to step up and do it. With the government mandating health insurance, unemployment insurance workers comp, Social security medicare contributions, liability insurance, osha regulations etc etc it is a big endeavor. The days of just opening up shop are over. I am not saying that all of these things are unnessasary, but on top of that a business owner has to give the Government 35% of the profits too. It is easier to just become an employee... but as you can see employers do not want to take the risk and hence not enough jobs to go around.

Perhaps the Government should have taken some of the unemployment money and instead of paying people to look for work, given it as a tax credit to busineses to create jobs.

I find it ironic that people are upset that jobs went overseas are the same ones that support unions who destroyed the manufaturing base with their high demands and archaic work rules.

Here is a typical example of Union BS.. now they hate the Boy Scouts.,0,6238384.story

By the way.. I started with nothing. I lived off of peanut butter sandwiches for years. When I complained my father told me that that was god telling me to work hard so that I wouldn't have to eat them for my entire life. So I worked hard. Now I am a jackass because I think that the government taking half my money and telling me that people who choose not to work deserve it more than I do upsets me enough to speak up? Ok. Good luck on the job hunt I wish you well. There might be a job opening raking leaves, cleaning gutters, scraping paint, mucking stalls, delivering papers, cleaning bathrooms, selling clothes or stocking shelves available as I resigend from all those jobs on my way up from the bottom.

Here is a typical example of Government waste with another flimsy excuse:

I put in many 80-90 hour weeks so to get to a point where I can now only have to put in 35-40. Ambitious people can accomplish a lot if you put your mind to it.

Actually I formed another LLC in March, but the business just hasn't been there.

Sure. There are lazy people out there that just want to coast by. But that's likely a very, very low number...maybe less than 1%. Humans, by nature, WANT to do something, make something of themselves, provide a better life for themselves and their families.

Yes. You are absolutely correct. The government DOES have a responsibility to ensure tax money is not misused. This current meltdown happened on the prior administration's watch (FYI, I voted for GWB in 2000), so now it's time to see if this administration can bring some accountability and fresh ideas to government. The prior administration had 8 years. This one has had less than 1.

Closed mind? I think it's pretty clear I'm independent and open to many different IDEAS. I can put myself in someone elses' shoes.

I'm fortunate and grateful I was born in this great country, to loving parents who could provide for me. But guess what? I didn't CHOOSE that either. Any of us could have been born ANYWHERE in the world in any number of circumstances. Everything's not as clear-cut as you try to make it out to be.

And here's some reading for you:

"Landing a job like getting into Harvard"

Good day, good sir.

PS- Shouldn't you be "hard at work" and not lazily "wasting time" on here? I'm unemployed and this happens to be a site I frequently check on new job postings...what's your excuse?

Liberals, as you call them, are not trying to compare Sarah Palin to a terrorist and inciting violence with a effigy burning. Just that someone with no answers to legitimate questions and little experience is being held up as an example of someone to vote for in the most important elections in our responsibility as citizens. This is not about being hypocritical it is about being logical and responsible. If it was someone with a track record and an answer to a legitimate question with a different view like McCain was the source of this debate that would be different. Don't confuse the two.

It is unpatriotic to criticize the President while he is abroad pursuing American interests. All who do so are undercutting the United States of America.

Support our Troops!

JustLooking, you have the incredible nerve to criticize someone's quals for VP (NOT President but VICE President) who has had executive experience as a Mayor and Governor when the Dems nominate for PRESIDENT someone who has ZERO executive experience and has only been a Senate back bencher for two years and a "community organizer" before that? That is simply amazing. Now the country is stuck with this joke of a President and we all must suffer with the consequences.


Let me guess, you are a white male over the age of fifty that's overweight and runs some type of contracting sort of business and complains that he can't get good people. I bet you are the first to squeal when its a government service you think you aren't getting, and some minoroity is, whiel gleefully ignoring the fact that things like TARP are nothing other than classic corporate WHITE MALE bailouts.

You kow, if I had a nickle for every self-rigtheous baby boomer who never had to face a truly competitive employment market and had the best of infratstructure resources paid for by the taxpayer, I would be a woman driving three Bentleys and enver blinking twice.

I find your inability to understand fundamental economics combined with right wing selective fact speak to be so incredibly insulting, I don't know where to begin. you comment about the creation of money is an absolute joke in its complete lack of awareness of money in any sophisticated economy. Still stuck in supply side, huh? It is the absolute reason that this country is in complete decline, and youa re too stupid tor ecognize that before much longer, the backlash against myoipic people like yourself will be so brutal it won't be a few tax increases.

The real income levels of the 30 something have been in decline for almost a decade now, and it isn't laziness. I am talking fully employed college educated people with a lot of energy who just aren't getting the opportunities you enjoyed simply because your type are so busy sending their jobs the third world slave labour countries, and eroding the class that purchases things. We are beginning to experience a brain drain of our brightest,because of this, and I am one of them in the process of leaving. I can make more money in high tax paying Europe.

Inflation has been horrendous, regardless of what the Fed has done, when you look at the price of survival, reflacted in housing, basic transportation, and healthcare.

I do not deny that there is fraud in welfare, but how this compares to the massive fraud of the savings and Loan scandal, and Tarp, is ludicrous. And last time I checked, all those CEO's were white male baby boomers, not women and minorities.

having owned a business, I can say that paying taxes is never what stopped from hiring an employee. Not having a customer base because their jobs were all offshored to China, or their slaraies have been cut while the bonuses went to the 4 guys in the corner office has.

Fianlly, your complaints about taxes leave me mind boggled. I fit into the middle class, and I can assure you that by the time I pay ALL my taxes, its about 50% of my income. For which I get nothing. Zero. Zilch. Zip.

But a lot of angry white male Republican contractors who can't run a business sure do. They get bailed out again and again and again, while allyou can do is cry about some welfare recipients.

At least I get something for my taxes in Europe.

I really think people like you need to move to Sub-Saharan Africa, where you can have no regulations and no taxes. Then we'll see just how far you get with your business. If you can even survive.

I work hard for my money Scoob. I always have. But as an economist for many years, I have never lost site of the reality that hard work and earnings do not have a direct connection.

Caseonia, what would happen if Scooby accused you of being an overweight affirmative action black woman? Would he be villified? Why is everyone so mad at white males? Why blame whites for everyone elses problems? Is subsaharan africa messed up because whites tried to settle it and failed? Would it be settled if whites had never gone there? Doubtful. You can hate whites but whites are responsible for lots of good things that other people use everyday. Including the Constituion that protects minorities. Sure there are bad whites and bad blacks and bad yellow red brown light brown off white pink bald fat thin short tall rich poor etc etc. Get over it. The average "white" person is as pissed as anyone else about the crooks on wall street. If Obama turns out to be a failure will it be ok for us to say "see what happens when a black guy is put in charge"? Or will that be the white mans fault for voting for him?

My theory about money being created is wrong?

Ok here is a simple example of money being "created"

I get off my couch and go to a farmer. I tell him that I will split firewood for half the yield if he lets me use his axe, saw and dead trees on the farm.

I take my half of the firewood and I trade 1/2 of that to a guy who builds furniture from scratch from wood he gets for free.

I take the other half and trade it to a guy to finish the furniture and make it shine.

I SELL that furniture to someone who has money in the bank (because the govt hasn't gotten to it yet) and I now have CASH in my pocket where two weeks ago there was none. I can now pay my 500 dollars in rent. My landlord can pay his 400 dollar mortgage and spend the extra 100 on his family.

You see, money that is in a bank that is removed from the safe and put in circulation is "created" money. It had value because of what I could do with it. If I had never chopped the wood the money would have stayed in the bank.

Now if the government had simply siezed the money and given me 500 dollars and I payed my landlord and he paid his mortgage and got to keep 100 bucks he would figure out QUICK that I made 5 times as much as him FOR SITTING ON MY COUCH. He would see the OBVIOUS unfairness in this and raise the rent to make his income reflective of his labor and risk. No money is created in that situation. In fact it is destroyed because the rent has doubled and it is worth only half of what it was before the handout just to keep things in balance.

It all comes down to production, be it service or manufacturing it is still production. If one person gets money for free then that devalues the money for those that earn it and they need more. Again why would someone work for 10.00 an hour if entitlments gives them 8.00 to do nothing?

If you read my posts in this thread you will see that I am not against helping the poor. I just do not want to destroy the economy in the process. Just because Caesonia doesn't think tax cuts stimulate jobs does not make it so.

I wonder how many people in foreclosure would have been able to make their mortgage payments if the government had said to them: "having a tough time? Well don't worry about paying any taxes this year. Since you are going through a tough time we will give you the same deal as the PEOPLE WHO CHOSE NOT TO WORK AND LIVE OFF OF SOCIETY until you get on your feet."

It is not funny that people who have paid taxes for years lose their house while people who never even had a job get section 8 housing paid for by the taxes that the very people whos houses are in foreclosure still have to pay. (or go to jail)

The system is messed up. The government has responsibilites here. One is to take care of those who cannot help themselves and another is to make sure that the system does not invite people to take advantage of it. The presumption that 99% of people on welfare cannot survive otherwise is as ridiculous as those that think that 99% of them are welfare cheats. I am advocating finding the balance so that you do not kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

Here is a great example of our government at waste... free cell phones for welfare folks. (limited to 68 minutes a month.. but still free)(except to the taxpayers)

By the way, not that it matters but I am Korean and about 140 lbs. (but I am over 50)

Scoobydoo, excellent post. Too bad the leeches sitting on couches getting handouts from the government which stole it from productive members of society get to continue the insanity by voting for the Dems promising free lunches. When enough productive folks figure they're being played for fools and either leave the country of become leeches themselves, it'll all come crashing down.

Nice post scooby doo. What I don't like is all the free loaders that let the US military come in and save their countries for free!

For example, South Korea. We should have let the North Koreans take over but no. Our tax dollars at work. Now an entire country makes money off our consumer market. Have they paid us back the US tax dollars that went into saving them from the communists? No they have not. An entire couch potato nation that was too lazy to defend themselves.

Think of all the tax dollars that would be saved if we just let the Afghans, Iraqis, Kuwaitis, Panamanians, Lebanese, Salvadorans, Vietnamese and Koreans stop being so lazy and defend themselves! But no of course the US nanny state steps in and encourages these people to be lazy and let themselves be taken over by dictators or other countries because they know that the US taxpayers will bail them out!

Proud liberal you are wrong on so many counts. First there is not a limited supply of money. Money can be created (not printed) by fufilling others people needs, be they food, clothes, shelter etc. Unfortunately, in order for it to be created the person who has the needs should, in a true sense of fairness provide a quid pro quo to keep things expanding. The problem is that there are too many ABLE BODIED people who believe that they are entitled just because they live in America. No one, even the evil George Bush wants to starve the disabled and imfirmed. We just want a little more accountability so that those who are just playing the system don't bring it down.

Second, Americans spend 9% of their income on food. That means that 1500 a year in food stamps is equal to a person earning 16,600 dollars a year. As for specifics, a bowl of oatmeal is about 35 cents, a pbj sandwich is about 65 cents and that leaves over $3.00 to make some spaghetti for dinner. Boxes of Kroger mac and cheese are 3/$1.00.
Again unfortunatly, people who don't work feel entitled to the same luxuries and lifestyle as those who do.

Third, The Charlottesville guy that ran the Ponzi scheme is locked up also is he not? He is a criminal and NO ONE is defending him or what he did. The contempt belongs with the government (made up of crooked politicians from both parties) who allowed the SEC to get away with not doing their job.

Fourth: What difference does it make how rich someone else is? They do not have money that belongs to you. Suppose it was one person who had all of the wealth of the top 1% combined. He would still only get one vote. If he wants to sit on it it makes absolutely no difference. If you take it from him and simply give it away to the poor all that you would do is raise the price of everything because the people who actually WORK for their money would raise their prices to make things fair. (why should someone work for 10 bucks an hour when the government is paying someone who refuses to work 8.00 in benefits? He would not, he would demand 12.00 or 14.00. the problem is that then his landlord would find out about the raise and increase his rent. Then the government would find out about the higer rent and appraise the house higher and raise property taxes which it would then give to the welfare person to pay higher rent. The cycle would simply continue and at the end of the day everybodys standard of living would stay the same except the rich guy.(remeber they stole his money) The only noticable difference would be the cost of everything would be higher.

Fifth: The gap between rich and poor that breeds the discontent has been manufactured by people like you to serve a selfish purpose which is to play robin hood with money that only in your mind "should" go to people that you deem more worthy because of your values. The gap is irrelevant. All that matters is opportunity. The rich cannot take that away from the poor because as people climb the ladder they buy goods from the rich that makes them richer still.

I say give all your money away to them but leave mine alone. I pay a substantial amount in taxes, make charitable donations on my terms and help friends and family with fruits of my labor.