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Old 09-17-2004   #61
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
A national sales tax would be my selection if I had a choice. No more handouts, deal with it.
Again- a guy who make $8 an hour ($16,800 per year) has to buy food, toilet paper, and all th necessities in life just like the wealthy guy. If his fridge dies on him, he has to replace that. Let's say you're taxing everyone the same percentage (example: 20%), sure the guy making $200k a year kicks more money into the coffers when he goes to buy his Hummer, but the guy down at the local Wendy's gets a significantly larger hit (as a percentage of his income on the things he has to buy) than does Mr Hummer.

New fridge cost to Mr. Wendys: $500.
Tax on that item: $100.
Percentage of his monthly take-home pay: 8%

New fridge cost to Mr. Hummer: $500.
Tax on that item: $100.
Percentage of his monthly take-home pay: 0.6%

That's why a Flat Sales Tax is a disproportionately unfair system - over 133 times more impact. Both have to have a new fridge because the old one broke, but the Mr. Wendy's get slammed with that tax on everything he buys. How's he going to make it from the other side of the tracks with taht burden? Same with a Flat Income Tax.

Plus, Mr. Hummer ain't paying income taxes, so he may be prudent on his luxury items, but he's taking home a lot more because his tax rate is no longer 36%. Of course he could really afford that all along, and managed to legally avoid paying too much of that income tax by taking advantage for deferred savings programs that earn interest. [Factoid: The top 1 percent reported $403 billion in Gross Adjusted Income, and paid $100 billion of that taxes -- an effective rate of 25 percent - that's less as a percentage than I paid last year.] Meanwhile, Mr Wendys can't save a dime because every little thing he has to have to survive gets taxed.

I do agree that our Welfare system needs overhaul. However, there are enormous far reaching and historically significant reasons we got to where we are now -fostering a small (8% of GDP by most estimates) welfare-dependent segment of our society. You can't flip a switch and make that all go away. You also tend to hear about the most egregious violations of welfare policy (thanks, Media), but in actuality a sound welfare program has historically reduced poverty. Odd, huh?

Enjoy Idaho. Remember- just cause your parents voted Republican doesn't mean you have to.

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Old 09-17-2004   #62
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El Flaco

Hey El Flaco - can I buy you a beer?

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Old 09-17-2004   #63
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Nah- I don't drink anymore.

Then again, I don't drink any less. So... you bet.
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Old 09-17-2004   #64
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 27
My parents are voting for Kerry. They only watch the major tv stations like you guys.

Like I said, why do we, have to pay for the poor? Yes, I said it, WE. I just want an answer why, not the rhetoric about how unfair that it would be to pay your fair share. I want ot take care of myself and not the guy down the block. If he wants a handout, I will send him to you. You apparently dont have a problem with giving your money away. I for one work hard for what I have and no one has the right to take it from me so they can go and buy beer and cigarettes instead of food for their kids. I know this is heartless but I really dont care. I am looking out for my family and myself. Try it, you may not be so bitter about things you obviously dont understand.

Welcome to the Welfare States of America

Bring us your poor and we will support them. Bring us the rich and will take what you have to pay for the poor. Sounds a lot like Robin Hood doesnt it. It was good to be the king until the first liberal slithered onto the scene. Thanks Robin ;(

Boy, this is a pain in the ass to do on the road. But to have you wet your pants with anger is so worth it.

I will rejoin you in about 2 weeks to see what else you have to say. For now, I need to rest my arms for some paddling.
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Old 09-17-2004   #65
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 14
I am not saying that the education programs are crap programs. What I am saying is that you got part of what you wanted and you still are blaming Bush for doing nothing. We spend way to much on Educ. as it is. It has nothing to do with the money given to them they are still producing lower standards of education.
So it was just the other programs? Oh and since when has education been properly funded? You obviosly don't have any children. Nor have you really looked into this problem.

For Christ's sakes, they want to do away with grades. How is that going to help.

Dude, where do you get this stuff?!

What is stopping those people from doing the same thing? The only person that can make something out of nothing is the one that trys. I could sit around and feel sorry for myself and do nothing or I can go and do what it takes to get the job done. That is what the people back in the day did, what is stopping you? Thats right, YOU are.
OH, ok. I had no idea it was that easy. (sarcasim) Sorry, I don't mean to be rude but you make it kind of easy.

I do travel and I have never heard a bad thing said about the US. Maybe it is becuase I am 6'2" 225 and they are scared or maybe things arent as bad as you say. I have never had anyone ask me what my opinions on the things we are talking about. Instead the ask me about some things that have seen here and what is it like. That is soon followed by "man I would like to go and see that sometime".
There are lots of people who like Americans because they understand that there is a difference between the American people and American politicians. However, I have spent a lot of time in Europe and I have seen a lot of anti-American grafitti and have experienced negative attitudes when I opened my mouth and it was clear where I was from.

How is everyone paying the same % unfair. Why should the rich pay for the poor? What did they do to deserve that intitlement? If you need some work done on your house do you go over to your neighbor (who makes more money than you) and ask him to pay for it? I doubt he would and neither would you. I am tired of all of the programs that keep people in the position that they are in just because it is there. Why go and work when I can just sit here and get a check int he mail.
This attitude of yours is a perfect example of what is wrong in American society today. Too many people are all about themselves and don't see why the less fortunate should receive any state or federal subsidies. This attitude reminds me of a 3 year old who won't share his toys with the rest of the children whose parents couldn't afford to by them the toy."Mine, mine, mine, mine,mine!!!!"

Unless you are so shallow that you cant even talk to someone that has another opinion... I would never force my opinion on someone, i just like to discuss things and unlike some, I listen.
Ok man, have fun in Idaho. If you don't bite maybe your sign off should be less agressive. In any case, thanks for the debate.
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Old 09-18-2004   #66
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Posts: 2,911
OK, I can't resist jumping into the fray any longer...

As I've said before, it wasn't God, guts, and guns that made the USA a great nation. In the early days it was the boundless resources that allowed us to build our infrastructure and provide mass education to the citizenry. Things were going strong in the early 20th Century, and through collective bargaining, millions of lives were improved as workers gained a just share, in wages and benefits, of corporate profits, while gaining the biggest pro-family measure in history - the 40 hour workweek. Then came a pillar of our prosperity - after WWII we were propelled into the superpower we by an economy manned by a whole generation educated by the GI Bill. In the last century we built the world's greatest transportation, and communication infrastructures and created extensive and safe food, water, and power distribution systems; we made enormous strides in widespread public health and academic research which all vastly improved the quality of life for a historically unprecidented portion of our society. The investments, much funded with taxpayer dollars, made in the first part of the 20th Century have paid enormous dividends in the latter. If you were born a white, middle-class American with half a brain in the latter half of the 20th Century, you're part of the largest demographic group in history with opportunity to advance far beyond your roots - upward mobility is just waiting for a little effort on your part.

So now that we've made ourselves so prosperous, we've forgotten as a people what its like to have to depend on a neighbor to get through hard times. When we see a panhandler, we've forgotten that "there but for the grace of God, there go I." Our nation has forgotten that you need the long view, past the next quarter's profits, and must continue to reinvest in society to sustain progress and prosperity. We have been taught by the media and the marketing machine that material goods (gods?) will satisfy everything from our momentary desire for novelty to the deepest cravings of our worst despair. As a nation we suffer from "affluenza," and are dying spiritually from complications brought on by "consumption."

The CEOs that make up the leadership of the Republican Party are men of affluence, influence, and a well nurtured sense of entitlement, the rest of us be damned. The short term profit is the end-all for the CEO and the mentality that drives their actions isn't in the least bit concerned with what's best for the nation, the public welfare, or the planet unless there's an boost to the corporate bottom line in sight. When this quarter's financials are being rolled up, they'd happily kill a goose that laid a golden egg every month if they could sell the meat for the price of two of those eggs. The black-tie and cocktail hour set running the Republican Party are just be a refined version of the guys making payday loans and issuing 25% credit cards. Now they've learned that with polyester flag patriotism, manufactured down-home talk, and by preaching high morality they can manipulate common God-fearing folk and actually gain a majority vote from the same people who get screwed by the policies they advance.

If you think that Kerry's no better than W and that you might as well sit out this election, you better think again. Even if you consider the Democrats to be the lesser of two evils remember that for now they're the only choice we've got. At least the Dems actually do something for the environment, education for all, using tax dollars to rebuild our nation's infrastructure and create jobs here instead of tax breaks that'll be spent on Chinese appliances or German cars. The Dems support a woman's option to choose, using diplomacy and outreach rather than arm twisting and coercion to gain support of other nations, and holding in check the less virtuous mechanations of men driven to make a buck off the next sucker that walks down the street (who may just be YOU). The only lip service that you'll get from the Republicans on these and many other issues that improve the lives of the average American was be summed up concisely by what Cheney said when pressed about Halliburton's sweetheart deals - "go F_ck yourself."

If you think that the CEOs will bring business savvy and competence to government, just look at the Iraq financials - the Bush administration's more than 300% over the budget they said they'd need before the war to knock off Saddam and make democracy flourish in the Middle East. If you think that W is an honest and upright man who is consistent, ask yourself whether a consistently wrong approach is what this country needs. Bush may profess idealistic intentions but he's surrounded himself with a bunch of Neoconservative screwballs who are leading us into perpetual low-intensity war abroad. The distinguished tall white men in suits have completely botched the war and ensuing occupation and we're heading for a Vietnam in sandland. Kicking the hive is not how you make yourself safe after being stung by a few bees.

So get off the couch and make sure you're registered to vote, then go do it on election day or take a few minutes today so you can stamp an absentee ballot on your own coffee table and bring about regime change at home. While you're voting, just remember that a President Kerry will need a Democratic congress to reverse the damage done during the tenure of Bush the Younger and you ain't going to get that by voting Green or for Independent candidates. If you think one vote won't count, remember that Bush won Florida by less than 600 votes, Colo. Republican congressman Bob Bearprez won by 120 votes, and many other races across the country have been won by less than a couple of hundred votes.

Nov. 2, 2004. Get out there and vote.

Now here's a little fable that came to me over the 'net recently that tells the story in a different way:

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

by Donna L. Lavins and Sheldon Cotler

Joe gets up at 6:00 AM to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his
pot with good, clean drinking water because some liberal fought for
minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication while the coffee's brewing. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan. Because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too along with a weekend and 40 hour work week. He prepares his morning breakfast -- bacon and eggs this day. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to
regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower, reaching for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and its relative amount contained because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and the breakdown of its contents. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree-hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives millions the ability to get to work on time whether they can afford a car or not.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with good pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer meets these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union or the Department of Labor, not out of kindness. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he'll get worker's compensation or an unemployment check because some liberal
didn't think he should loose his home to temporary misfortune.

It's noon time. Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system and helped bring on the ravages of the great depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by the Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification where the populaton wasnÂ’t dense enough to bring a hefty profit to the utilities (those rural Republican's would still be sitting in the dark).

Joe is happy to see his dad, who is now retired. Joe's dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to. After his visit with dad, Joe gets back in his car for the ride home. He turns on a radio talk show. The host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees, "We don't need those big government liberals ruining our lives. After all, I'm a
self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

In the years to come, Joe's life may change dramatically. The U.S. dollar could be devalued as a result of our huge deficit, our living standards reduced to that of the average Wal-Mart employee's, our standing with the world diminished with our former allies deserting us, and our social security gone...all because some conservative Republicans made sure made they took care of themselves and their affluent buddies.


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 09-18-2004   #67
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
I guess the lesson in this thread is that folks who are uniformed (from both sides of the aisle) will always bring propaganda into a conversation instead of facts. Sorry, H20, you have to bring something better than than "I don't want to give handouts". Because here's a little tip: Republicans give the largest handouts around. They're called subsidies, and they cost you so much more money than welfare fraud it should make you sick. Every time we sell public lands to mining companies for pennies per acre, or we spend tax dollars to build 1000's of miles of roads (at a cost of about $25K per mile) so that timber companies can take our natural resources at fire prices, who's paying for those handout? Yep- you are. Who do you think is paying the tab on the Enron bailout? Same.

If you would like to engage in a debate, bring some facts- I've had Republican friends change my mind about minimum wage standards and outsourcing jobs, because they brought up convincing arguments that made economic sense and were without rhetoric. I'm not seeing it in this case.
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Old 09-18-2004   #68
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 14
so remember to vote

Well folks,

I have truly enjoyed reading and responding to this dicussion. For those of you who weren't going to vote in this election I really hope that you change your mind. There are several swing states, especially in the West, and your vote could very well create change for our Nation. So, take care everyone and remember to keep those calendars clear on November 2. After that, bring on the POWDER!!!!!!!

Take care,
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Old 09-18-2004   #69
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 586
Andy, you're so awesome.
Think I met you in Salida once. Hope I get to boat with you some day.
Nice job, everybody. Let's all go create a change for the better Nov. 2.
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Old 09-19-2004   #70
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 120
Re: El Flaco

Originally Posted by akahn
Hey El Flaco - can I buy you a beer?
i want to buy you a beer too !

Oh wait, just checked your profile, didn't even realize it is you Josh!!

Well still I'd buy you a beer - awesome posts, thanks for the great info and informed argument. Are you guys going to Mexico this year? I was considering Mexico this year, but decided Costa Rica in Nov instead. Seriously, if you get up to Boulder sometime soon give me a holler, would be good to see you and your crew again, and I will buy you a beer. Cheers.

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