Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why You Can't Argue With Conservatives.

I should clarify that statement.  It's not that you can't argue with conservatives, it's just that it won't get you anywhere.  There's a reason why the religious right jumped ship to the Republican party from the Democrats a generation or so ago, it's because conservative ideology is a better fit with fundamentalism - both require huge leaps of faith to explain things that don't make any logical sense and to fill huge holes in their ideologies.

This is why you can't argue politics with a conservative, it's like arguing religion with an evangelical.  You're almost always going to get one of two reactions - either they're going to be the "I can sway you with my faith-based arguments" guy, who claims things that have never been proven and, in fact, there is significant evidence to the contrary of in history, or they're going to be the "I can't even keep talking to you if you're going to question my faith" guy who simply plugs his ears, gets up and walks away rather than risk having his beliefs challenged.

Trying to talk about taxes with a conservative is like trying to talk about homosexuality with a devout Christian.  They will point to all kinds of ideological "evidence" that shows how it's wrong, but the actual real life facts don't bear them out.  A Christian will say "homosexuality destroys families", so point out the hundreds of short and long-term psychological studies on homosexual parents and their children that show exactly the opposite and what's the response?  "Well, the bible says it's a sin, so it's wrong."  Door shut and locked, further argument is pointless.  Likewise, a conservative will say "higher taxes kills jobs and the economy", so you point out how, throughout history, the periods of the most job growth and business investment have all been at the times when the marginal tax rate was significantly higher than it is now.  What's the response?  "Well, higher taxes are still wrong!"  Door shut and locked, further argument is pointless.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem with arguing with conservatives.  They don't care about facts, they have feelings.  They don't care about data, they have slogans.  They don't care about numbers, they make them up all the time!

A liberal says "We need to develop a sensible and sustainable plan to create renewable and alternative fuels so we can become energy independent without damaging our environment or depleting our finite natural resources."

A conservative says:  "DRILL, BABY, DRILL!"

A liberal says:  "We need to reform our tax code so that it's a fair system that is harder to exploit, closes loopholes and rewards investment."

A conservative says:  "Taxes kill jobs!"

See, you don't need logic when you have a slogan.  You don't need to think when you have a slogan.  You just need to memorize and chant.

That's one of the biggest reasons why conservative ideas are so popular, even though they are so terrible and destructive to the average American.  Because people like slogans.  People like easy, repeatable soundbytes.  Nobody with a passing interest in politics is going to remember a detailed explanation, backed with historical data, about why higher taxes almost always result in more job creation and business growth, but they'll remember "Taxes kill jobs!"  Then they'll think "Yeah, I don't like paying taxes, I support this!" and next thing you know, some poor schlub making $30,000 a year just voted for policies that are going to let his company move it's operations to Mexico and cost him a job.  Then, when he's sitting there unemployed and wondering why all the manufacturing jobs in his area have moved to Mexico, he's not going to realize "The policies that I supported, through my votes, are directly responsible for creating a rewards system for big businesses that outsource their means of production and keep their profits out of the country."  he's going to say "Those damn Mexicans took our jobs!"

How do you argue with that?

Slogans and faith.  It works for religion and it works for conservatism.   

"Thou shalt not kill"  Makes sense.  Killing people is bad, don't do it.  But, why?  "Because it's a sin!"  Yes, but why is it a sin?  "Because the bible says so!"  So if the bible didn't say "Thou shalt not kill" it would be ok to kill people?  "No, because killing people is wrong."  Yes, but why is it wrong?  "Because God said thou shalt not kill!"  Ok, forget it, let's move on...
So, killing people is wrong because the bible says so?  "Yes."  Then why do you support the death penalty?  "Because the bible says an eye for an eye!"  Wait, I thought the bible said killing was wrong?  "It is, except when it isn't!"  That doesn't make any sense...  "Yes it does, it's in the bible."  THAT doesn't make any sense!  "You have to have faith."  What does that even mean "It means you have to believe that everything in the bible is right, even if it doesn't seem to make any sense or contradicts itself, because God is smarter than we are and he knows what we don't so it's not for us to question his word, only to follow it."
But the bible was written by men.  "They were told what to write by God."  According to who?  "According to the men who wrote the bible."  So, the guys who wrote the bible said that God told them what to write and that was all the proof that was needed?  "Yes."  So, I could write a bunch of stuff down right now and say that God told me to write it and you would believe it as if it came from God himself?  "Of course not!"  Why not?  "Because God didn't tell you to write it."  How do you know that?  "Because God wouldn't tell you to write things for him."  Why wouldn't he?  "Because you're not a prophet of God."  How do you know that?  "Because you didn't write the bible."  I'm going to go beat my head against a wall until I pass out now...  "God bless you!"

Who needs facts, reason or logical answers when you have slogans and faith?

"Taxes kill jobs!"  Ok, I'll bite, how do taxes kill jobs?  "Because they discourage businesses from hiring new employees.  They discourage investment that creates new businesses.  They discourage the people who have money from using that money to put people to work!" But, back in the 50's, during our nation's largest period of job creation and business growth, the upper-class tax rate was 90%, the highest it's ever been in our nation's history.  The only way to lower that tax rate was to create jobs, grow your business and invest, so in a very direct way, higher taxes created jobs... "That's socialism!"  Are you saying Harry Truman was a socialist?  "No, I'm saying that raising taxes is socialist redistribution of the wealth and it kills jobs!"  But, historically, the highest periods of job growth in our country have all been during times when taxes were raised, including under Reagan, who raised taxes over 10 times while he was president.  "Don't you blaspheme the name of Ronald Reagan!  I will not listen to you take my lord's name in vain!  If Reagan was here right now he would tell you to your face that cutting taxes, eliminating unions, building a border fence and slashing government spending is the only way to make our country great again!"  Ronald Reagan raised taxes, he was pro-labor, he supported amnesty for immigrants and he grew government to the largest level in history while president.  "Blasphemer!"

Can't argue with that, it's pointless.

You see, conservatism and religion both rely on using variables in their ideological formulas to explain those parts of their argument that don't make sense or contradict itself.  For Christians, x = Jesus.  For conservatives x = well... it depends.  The value of x for conservatives always changes, based on the argument, but in every case it's a stock answer that explains all of the unexplainable facets of the conservative argument.  And, when all else fails, conservatives can pull the religious right out and use the Jesus value for x, kind of like the joker card in the deck.

When you're talking about jobs and the economy with conservatives, x = lower taxes.  When you're talking about military spending with conservatives, x = "9/11 changed everything", or, simply "9/11".  When you're talking about social policy with conservatives, x = protecting the family.  When you're talking about energy policy with conservatives, x = "Drill, baby, drill!"  When you're talking about regulations, social programs, health care, government spending, equal rights or labor, x = socialism!

That's how every argument with a conservative is based.  If you try to argue with conservatives about taxes, you get all the slogans about job killing and redistributing wealth and it's all predicated on the solution for x being "lower taxes".  That will solve every economic, employment and market-based equation in the school of conservatism.  If you try to argue with conservatives about our out of control military spending or the over-reach of the Patriot Act, you get all the slogans about terror, terrorism and terrorists and it's all predicated on "9/11".  If you try to argue about marital equality, a woman's right to choose, legalization or decriminalization of vices and so on, you get all the slogans about morality and the decline of values in our society, but it's all based on "protecting the family".  You get the idea...  

The point is, you cannot argue with people who change the variable in the middle of the equation.  Who choose to shape facts to fit their ideology, rather than shaping their ideology to fit the facts.  It's just like arguing with an evangelical.  Every answer is "Jesus"  because "Jesus" is the ultimate wild card.  He's worth whatever value the user assigns to him.  For every question of why, the answer is "Because Jesus said or did it."  With conservatives, whatever answer they have agreed will be the value for x in their argumentative equation, that's the answer and every question, every counter-point, every challenge will be spun back into fitting into the solution for x.

If the facts say that lowering taxes has no positive effect on job creation or economic growth, conservatives will just change the facts to fit their answer.  They will cite imaginary data about the damaging effects of taxes on the economy.  They will pull out "economists" who back up their phony argument with smart-sounding, long-winded explanations that use a lot of big words and convince people who don't understand economics that it must be right because it's so confusing.

It's like arguing evolution vs. creationism with an evangelical.  They will always cite "scientists" who did research that supports creationism and it turns out those "scientists" are Christian theologians who's evidence is basically just a cleverly re-worded statement of Christian ideology with some fancy words and hypothetical "data" and a slew of unsubstantiated claims thrown in and since it sounds so complicated and official, it must be the truth and thus evolution is debunked!

You can't argue with that, it's pointless.

The sad thing about all of this is, the majority of Americans actually support most liberal ideology.  Most Americans are for increasing taxes on the rich.  Most Americans support marital equality and the right to choose.  Most Americans are in favor of legalizing, taxing and regulating drugs, gambling and prostitution - though with varying degrees of tolerance, of course.  Most Americans are pro-labor because most Americans are labor.  Most Americans support immigration reform because all Americans who aren't native Americans are the children of immigrants.  The bottom line is that, right now, liberal ideology is more popular with the average voter than conservative ideology, so why are the polls so evenly divided?  Why do people espouse beliefs that they don't really hold when questioned about them?  Why do people say things that they don't really mean?

It's because conservative slogans are simple, easy to remember and they make sense when you don't think about them.

"No poor man ever gave me a job!"  That makes sense and sounds perfectly logical.  That seems like a pretty good argument against taxing rich people, yeah?  Well, guess what?  No poor man ever laid me off, either.  No poor man ever shipped my job overseas and gave himself a bonus and expatriated the profits so he wouldn't have to pay taxes on them.  No poor man ever bundled up a bad home loan into an investment vehicle, made billions and wrecked the economy over it.  No poor man ever won a modern election.

But, all of that doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.  All of that is tough to fit onto a sign, no matter how badly you misspell it.

Facts are boring and confusing, but slogans are fun!  You can't argue with slogans.  The only way to beat a slogan is with a better slogan, a catchier chant, a louder, angrier mob of shouters.  Slogans don't need logic, slogans don't need facts, slogans just need repetition.  Slogans just need people with faith.  People who will support something, no matter how flawed, contradictory, hypocritical or factually inaccurate it is, because they can just plug in their magical solution for x to fill all those holes in their arguments.

This is why you can't argue with conservatives, because by the time you dumb down your argument enough for them to understand it, it becomes a conservative idea.  There's no clever spin on the truth, there's no catchy jingle for factually accurate information, there's no condensed version of extensive empirical data.  Pages of supporting evidence don't fit on a T-Shirt.  You can't dumb down smarts.


  1. On renewable energy:
    A real conservative would say. "Agreed, but where is this technology? The current crop of "green" power supplies is not adequate for our need, very expensive, and simply not readily available. A smart car is not going to carry my family of 5 on a 100 mile round trip. Furthermore, "green" technology has a significant carbon foot print as well, the rare earth metals required to make them work require a significant industrial presence to make using them practical. Seems self defeating, if your goal is to use less energy."

    This is an emotional issue because it basically boils down to legalized theft. But the larger question is "What are Taxes for?" I can say the purpose of taxes is NOT to create jobs. They are to pay for the common services enjoyed by all. So why should a rich person be forced to pay more for the say service as a poor person. A rich person's mail is delivered just as slow, the roads he travels are paved the same, the police and fire depts perform the same duties. Tax code does need to be reformed, the argument of "fairness" is what is flawed.

    More to follow


    1. I would like to point out, as my mother is employed by the US postal service. That the government only protects the usps, they do not fund it; any money made by usps is from stamps, parcels, and delivery deals with companies like amazon.

  2. Agreed,

    Conservatives do have a "faith" based opinion on drugs, abortion, and gays. But these are the only areas I would say conservatives may need to relook.

    Drugs: Who cares, let the market decide please legalize. Smaller government shouldn't be concerned.

    Gays: Again, who cares. Just don't be all in my face about it. Not governments role.

    Abortion: This is sticky, But I say "go ahead" but they should be regulated like guns. Background checks, cool off periods, Limits. If you've had 5 abortions you are doing it wrong. I can't own hundreds of machine guns without doing some paperwork because I might kill someone. With abortion it’s a guarantee someone will die and btw the woman is going to be emotionally jacked for years. Like it or not a fetus is still an innocent person, ending that life shouldn't be as easy as saying "take it out".

    But everything else progressives stand for has been an resounding failure. See Europe, Russia, and China. (Yes Russia and China have cash, but that whole human rights thing??)

    Me again.


  3. If the argument is "Where's the technology?" then the response is "The first electric car was invented in the 1800's, how long does it take to make it commercially viable?"

    Consider computer technology. It doubles so quickly that there is actually a law based on it now. Consider every other technological advancement in the last 100 years. Technology leaps forward every decade or so drastically, such that we have gone from home phones and faxes in the 80's to PDA's and mobile networking in 30 years. In that same stretch of time, the means to extract oil and natural gas from the Earth has progressed significantly as well. We can drill deeper, further out at sea, in more perilous terrain and with more efficiency than ever before. However, the electric car is lagging far behind the technological curve. Why is it that ONLY in the field of developing clean, renewable energy are we so unable to make significant progress in 3 decades? Common sense would tell you that it's not because we lack the technology or the brain power to do it, so we need to drop the charade and recognize that the oil and auto industries are intentionally dragging their feet on electric AND hybrid development.

    As for other sources of renewable energy. The technology is also out there to do that cheaply and efficiently. Unfortunately, unlike the oil industry, the green energy industries don't enjoy billions in government subsidies. The technology is there, even if the price margin isn't yet. If the government would stop INTERFERING with the market by subsidizing one industry at the detriment of another, then FREE MARKET competition might actually do what conservatives keep telling us it's supposed to do and create it's own quality and price controls! Novel concept, a market unmolested by government and special interests, dare to dream...

  4. As for taxes, first calling them "legalized theft" is great bumper sticker politics, but that's all it is. Also, you can't say the purpose of taxes if to pay for "common services enjoyed by all" and then say that the purpose of taxes is "NOT to create jobs". Who PROVIDES those services "enjoyed by all"? You can't have law enforcement without police officers, you can't have fire services without firemen, you can't have emergency services without personnel and you can't have basic, common-sense regulation that protects the people and consumers without people to enforce those regulations. Government requires staffing to provide those common services, unless you want to build a vast army of robots to do it for us, but we'd still need someone to perform routine maintenance on them, at least until Skynet becomes self-aware... ;) Point being, you need people to provide services, so at the very least, taxes DO create jobs in that respect.

    Taxes don't pay for mail service, but I understand the point you're trying to make. You're looking at it from the vacuum that assumes the wealthy gain no benefit from our tax code or our government that is unique only to the wealthy, which is false. The middle-class and the poor don't get to take advantage of corporate tax loopholes, subsidies, lower tax rates on things like earned interest and capital gains, because the majority of middle-class and poor people simply don't run businesses, earn a living from investments or buy and sell property regularly. The wealthy should pay a higher share because the wealthy enjoy a higher benefit, it's just a fact. Besides just the mathematics of it, however, there is a sense of patriotic duty of ALL Americans to come together and do what needs to be done to take care of our country. Some men sign up for military service to give back, some become teachers to pass on the gift of education to future generations, some choose to create businesses and provide jobs for people. Whatever the choice, part of the great social contract that we all implicitly agree to as Americans is that we are ONE nation, under God, indivisible. It means we look out for each other and, when times are tough, those with the broadest shoulders agree to carry the heaviest loads. Incidentally, most wealthy Americans have no problem with paying a *slightly* higher tax rate if it means we can pay down our deficit, get the economy moving again and start putting people back to work. The recession has affected everyone in this country except for the very wealthy, who have seen their income go up significantly. It's not unreasonable to ask the people who are most capable of shouldering the extra fiscal cost of helping get the country back on track to do just that.

  5. Most moderate Republicans agree with me on drugs, gambling and prostitution, unfortunately none of your politicians do. I still don't understand why the majority of Republicans I talk to hold fairly moderate, even bordering on leftist social views, yet they elect ultra-right social conservatives over and over.

    As for the gay issue, what does it matter if they're "All in your face" about it? Not like you're going to catch the gay from them. Hetero couples are often all in my face about it in public, it's no less uncomfortable to see a guy sucking his date's tonsils out two tables over in a restaurant regardless if that date is a woman or a man.

    Statistically speaking, over 75% of women who have had 1 abortion never get a 2nd in their entire lives, so I would be all for a "5 abortion cap". Also, the claims that abortion "jacks" a woman emotionally are largely unfounded. Studies have shown that women typically only feel excessive guilt or remorse after an abortion because they are shamed and chastised by family and friends for doing it. So, the problem isn't the abortion, it's the judgment imposed by people who had nothing to do with making the choice in the first place.

    "Progressives" had nothing to do with Russia or China. Communism isn't progressivism, despite what Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity or O'Reilly say. I don't know any progressives who support the regimes of China or Russia or who envy their political structure. You think civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, education and social programs are on the cutting edge in those countries? Hardly.

    As for Europe, look at northern Europe, look at Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark... even Britain, France and Germany. I don't see a lot of evidence that social progressivism is failing there, quite the contrary, actually. They all beat us in education, income disparity, worker benefits, percentage of the population with health care, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, divorce rates and percentage of the population in prison. I don't consider that "failing".

  6. You assume much of me, am I conservative or Republican?

    “We” elect an ultra-ultra conservative because those issues are not as important to “us” as say illegal immigration, higher tax rates, or national security. Those other issues I can practice in the privacy of my own home, not so much with the latter.

    Do you even pay taxes? Seems important since you speak so passionately about the topic, allow me to assume…I'm betting you receive more than you pay, true? How many people do you employ? How much do you spend on capital reinvestment? And yes, everyone that works for me does so because they bring in more money than they cost. I am not in the business to hire people; I’m in business to provide for my loved ones. My yearly tax obligation is heartbreaking, speaking about tax policy in the hypothetical is easy but paying them every month is very, very different. Who are you to say what I should pay?

    “Green” is not working because it’s just not very good. Why should I pay 25k for an ugly hybrid when I can pay 15k for a gas powered that has the same features? How many do you own? Surely you have a better argument than "big oil", really?? And you say Conservatives are blind followers of ideology. If there was money to be made in it there would be a viable market.

    I don't care about gays. And when Hetro's are in people's face it is equally stupid.

    Abortion should be regulated. It is legalized murder without due process.

    Progressive (LEFTISTS) trend toward socialism, which trend towards communism…I did say trend. All lean toward more government control. I'm jus saying...

    I have looked at Europe and having been there I know I wouldn't want to live there. The northern countries you mention are highly xenophobic, hardly the open arms society you champion. Try to move there see how you are treated. Britain, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal are all on the brink of fiscal collapse due to their unfunded obligations for their social programs. Germany will be there soon but having been fortunate enough to be the key recipient of the Marshal Plan they have a few decades grace period.

    You dismiss my views as "backward" or "uninformed" but I feel the same way about the Left.

  7. I ask about your tax obligation because you admit that you have an abundance of free time, not usually a problem for income tax payers…lol
    Taxes are NOT for creating jobs. I pay taxes because I can’t operate a school, pave roads, or manage a water treatment plant…but we need them so somewhere in the past we collectively decided we would chip in for these services instead of home schooling, raking our own roads, or disposing of our poop.
    I agree that there are no easy answers but I reject that they can’t be simple. Often the most simple and elegant is right. Except if you’re Einstein, apparently he might be wrong too. I have no problem being wrong like Einstein.

  8. Everyone pays taxes. If you buy something in this country, you pay taxes.

    Middle-class conservatives baffle me because they worry about things that don't affect their quality of life. Illegal immigration? When was the last time an illegal immigrant stole someone's $60k a year job? National security? Our country is just as safe under a Democrat as it was under a Republican. Bin Laden died on Obama's watch, etc. Taxes? Ok, that's valid, but Obama's tax policies are to lower them for the middle-class, hard to understand why anyone making less than $1 million a year would be against his current tax plan. Who am I to say what you should pay? No one. I can only speak for myself and as such I can honestly say that if I were successful enough to fall under Obama's millionaire+ tax plan, I would be glad to write that check for 4% more than last year because I would know how blessed I was to make that kind of money in this economy.

    Green is not very good because it's not taken seriously as an industry. Like I said, if the green industry enjoyed the same subsidies the oil industry did, I'm sure we'd see more than just "ugly" hybrids. You make my point even as you argue it. As for "big oil", there are two obvious reasons why electric and hybrid technology are given lip service at best, one is because it's less profitable for automakers and the other is that it's less profitable for oil companies. If the free market were unrestricted in the energy industry, consumer demand might change that, but it's not and here we are with our ugly hybrids and our sleek gas guzzlers. How hard is it, really, to make a more attractive body style for a hybrid? It's not at all.

    If abortion is murder, then miscarriages are involuntary manslaughter. Where do we draw the line?

  9. Conservatives trend towards government control as well, they just trend towards fascism and oligarchy. One is pro-labor, the other is pro-management. If you're a millionaire businessman, I completely understand why you would vote Republican. Otherwise, it's puzzling at best.

    I didn't champion any "open arms" society, I merely said that progressive ideas work when they're allowed to. I would challenge that Britain is more xenophobic than America at this point. I don't hear much talk about building border fences in Europe anymore, not since they tore down that one in Berlin...

    Again, you say taxes don't create jobs, but who teaches at those schools? Who paves those roads? Who manages those water treatment plants? If regulation were profitable, the private sector would have been doing it years ago. Someone has to do the dirty and unprofitable work of protecting the people and providing our basic guarantees under the constitution and we all agree to pay for it when we make the choice to live here. :)

  10. Yes, but not everyone pays income tax (less than half). The tax code is decidedly not fair. You prove my point… you (personally) do not write a check to the IRS. You likely receive a check…fair???
    The real issue is that our government OVERSPENDS! Taking more taxes does nothing to address our failed fiscal policy, we are going bankruptcy. This is why you hear “class warfare”. If every dollar from every American was seized it still would not be enough to pay the debt and our unfunded obligations. The entire talk of taxes is simply a political ruse to change the conversation. It’s a spending issue…we don’t have the money. Saying that its anything else is simply a means to obfuscate the issue (a tried and true Liberal ploy) If expense is more than income…spend less. It’s complicated. The debate should be focused on cuts, not more taxes. Subsidies of all shapes and sizes are a good place to start (especially green subsidies as they have proven to be a NO GO –Solendra to name the obvious.)
    Illegal immigration: You had me at illegal. I’m not concerned about taking a job nor do I blame Mexicans for coming here, 48,000 killed on the border in the past few years, id want to leave too. But don’t act like its only bus boys and grape pickers that are coming in, you know there is a significant number of violent criminals that cross with impunity. But I take offense as a 3rd generation immigrant whose family immigrated here “legally” learned the language, assimilated, struggled with and overcame prejudice and bias, and was not pandered to as some voting bloc whose influence was bought with instate tuition rates and other forms of bribery. Can you honestly say that Hispanics do not get preferential treatment as compared to the Hmong, Serb, and Pilipino? They do and it’s not fair. Where are you Liberal sensibilities for the OTMs (other than Mexicans)?
    Obama’s Tax plan is not just for millionaires…Just because you earn a million doesn’t mean you keep that million. Margins are so thin… But see, again changing the focus; ultimately it goes back to what I said above. Why should the successful continue to cover the bill for DC’s incompetence? And it’s more than just 4%, its 4% on top of the 28, on top of the State Tax, on top of property, on top sales tax, on top of regulatory fees, on top of minimal insurance requirements mandated by local, state and federal agencies etc, etc, etc. WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE? The government does not need more it needs to spend less.

  11. Green: You are absolutely right; it is not taken seriously… because it is not very good. And they do receive sizable subsidies in comparison to how many they employ and what they produce. I know you hate big oil but they pay an enormous amount of tax, do incredible research and development (I trust you are indoors in a climate controlled area, yeah oil did that), not to mention they employ hundreds of thousands (good paying white engineer coat jobs) who in turn pay “income” tax. I agree subsidies are misguided but you cannot deny that the petroleum industry has made modern living possible. EVERYTHING NEEDS OIL, even the Green stuff. Green is a luxury, not a staple that is why it is dismissed.
    A miscarriage is not a willful act. If you seek medical aid to end a pregnancy you are choosing to end a life. I don’t care if you chose yes or no…not my problem. But you can’t deny what it is…a willful action to end an innocent life. I’m not saying make them illegal but you have to admit that abortion on demand has some serious implications. Liberals champion the innocent and the little guy, can’t think of any more small or in need of help. Abortion is the left’s most intellectually dishonest position. That’s why I say, treat them like guns. If we can regulate a constitutionally guaranteed right, surely we can control abortion too.
    I believe American Conservatism would trend toward laissez-faire …It has yet to be realized.
    Taxes do not CREATE jobs, they PAY for some, the job has always been there. The purpose of a tax is to fund a communal need whose task or purpose is greater than the individual. Like, the common defense, courts, interstate travel. Most other services could be privatized, schools, prisons, package delivery all have private sector counterparts that are doing well, largely because the public sector is so costly and inefficient.

    I invite you to revisit you opinion on Europe. There have been regular protest and riots, immigrants moving in from poorer eastern European countries and the Middle East are causing severe internal strife. Paris and Spain have had flaming cars, The German POLIZEI have had record arrests, and the British have been fighting the IRA forever coupled with the rise of Islam and the push for Sharia…dude, they have serious issues. But Yes, England is not worried about building walls being an island and all.
    Today’s progressive policies when put into legislation are nothing more than post-adolescent idealism. I’m not saying they are not well meaning but I am saying they are child like that almost always create and reinforce perceptions of victimization, aim to satisfy infantile claims of entitlement, indulgence and compensation, feed feelings of envy, and reject the sovereignty of the individual. Damn that was good! Read it again.
    The only reason I continue to have this conversation with you throughout the years and miles is that I know and respect your intelligence. Having once been a Liberal I know it can be overcome. It usually goes away after adolescents but having a job, family, and tax burden hastens the transition.

  12. It's pretty simple, you cannot just cut our way out of a $14 trillion debt. Yes, you can cut a substantial amount of that debt by, say, ending the unfunded wars in the middle east, eliminating Medicare Plan D and gutting entitlements, but you would still have a massive deficit left after all of that, considering those things would eliminate maybe $6-8 trillion, leaving about $6-8 trillion more to deal with... So, unfortunately, as much as it pains conservatives to even hear it, there has to be revenue increases coupled with spending cuts in order to pay down the debt.

    Keep in mind, I'm talking about cuts and taxes IN ADDITION to massive spending reforms. I'm not talking about raising taxes so the government can simply spend more (popular conservative misconception about liberal fiscal policy), I'm talking about cutting spending, raising taxes and NOT spending more money that we don't have. That is what will get us out of debt, not tax cuts, not simply gutting social security and medicare and not eliminating all essential services. You admitted that government is necessary for many things that the people cannot and would not do themselves, so even to operate the most pared-down, bare-bones form of government wouldn't be possible without some revenue increases to go along with those spending cuts. And, since we all know that neither Republicans nor Democrats really want to completely pare government down that much, the only question - once again - is WHO is going to pay that extra tax burden? The middle-class or the rich? The poor aren't going to pay it, they can't afford to, so it's either the working class or their bosses. It's just that simple.

    Solyndra represents a fraction of the total money spent on Obama's green energy plan. Most of the money spent has gone to companies that are still operating and employing people today and are doing quite well. Also, if you're going to use Solyndra as a benchmark of presidential failure, make sure you know under who's presidency the $500 million loan to Solyndra was initially drafted... (hint, his name rhymes with "George W Bush")

    I am also a 3rd generation immigrant. My grandfather came here legally when he was 17. I never said I support *illegal* immigration, but I don't support the xenophobic isolationist attitude of the right, either. Our country was founded and made great upon legal immigration and it should continue to be that way. The brain drain is a two-way street, we can't keep outsourcing our smarts to other countries and putting up barriers to accepting innovative thinkers, workers and entrepreneurs from other countries. I am all for immigration reform, but in a rational and intelligent manner. Not building a fence, because we all know that won't do anything except make the entire country look as ass-backwards and silly as the half that supports it.

    How can taxes pay for jobs but not create them? Your stubborn refusal to admit what is as plain as the nose on your face is the hallmark of conservative politics. No taxes - no money to pay for jobs - no jobs. Taxes - money to pay for jobs - jobs. Can't get any more cut and dry than that. :)

  13. Your arguments about Europe have nothing to do with their politics. Immigrants coming from poorer countries only supports that those "socialist" countries have a stronger economy. There are riots in America after teams lose championships, with plenty of smashed windows and flaming cars, is that a commentary on our government structure? Of course not. The British fighting the IRA has absolutely nothing to do with Britain's system of government and everything to do with age-old border and occupation disputes.

    As for your marginalization of progressive policies, they are about what I would expect from someone who never really understood them when you were a liberal and are just dismissing them now because you have decided you no longer agree with them. I don't know any progressives who feel "entitled" to anything more than life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This idea that liberals are somehow hard-wired to expect hand-outs is just propaganda from the right. Both sides have their hand-outs, be it welfare, subsidies, social security, tax loopholes, "special considerations" or whatever you want to call it. Laying that all at the feet of liberals is disingenuous at best.

    It's weird, when I didn't have a job, a family or a big tax burden, living at home with my parents and working just to have money to spend on whatever I wanted, I was a big conservative Republican. However, after moving out on my own, getting married and taking on nearly 20 years of real-life responsibility, my politics have shifted to the left. I guess everyone reacts to their environment differently?

  14. My issue with your rant is that it smacks of hypocrisy and I believe you are better than that.
    You generalize that conservatives are backward and antiquated but then defend your stance on taxes by quoting stats from the 1950…the 50’s, really? I’m sure all the woman, blacks, and gays you know would love to bring back that era. Then you suggest that conservatives ignore facts while you ignore that the 50’s was the Cold War and the notion of the global economy didn’t even exist, so sure high tax rates were easier to absorb because all that money stayed home. (Thank you NAFTA) 1950 does not equal 2011. You are comparing apples and hand grenades…and conservatives dumb it down?? They have to because the left makes it deliberately and needlessly confusing (Probably why you have all the lawyers).
    Then you say conservatives are fear mongers and sloganeers, completely ignoring the Left’s outright misrepresentation about the Right’s view on Social Security, Medicare, and Global warming. AND OH MY GOD…. “Yes we can!” and “No blood for oil!”. Jesus Christ it makes my soul hurt. Hypocrite.
    You say that you don’t understand how people work against their own self interest. That’s because they don’t. They know exactly what their interests are -much better than you- and they are pursuing the vehicle that they think will best get them there. Unlike the Left that thinks “we know best, cause we are educated” and if you disagree you are a racist country bumpkin. Truly an open philosophy; not elitist at all.
    And somehow in your world view conservatives are stubborn and ignorant for their views and tactics but the left gets a pass; where is the integrity? At least the Right admits they don’t know what is best for all…that is why they are trying to limit government. That is the entire point of it all!!! They are admitting openly that they don’t have all the answers. They are trying to give –you- as much freedom and –your own- money to figure it out for YOURself.
    So yes, conservatives are not perfect but I will not side with the hypocritical, dishonest, elitist left.
    P.S. I still don’t think you pay income taxes ;) .

  15. 1. I don't think I ever used the terms "backwards" or "antiquated" to describe conservatives.

    2. The reason I quote statistics from the 1950's is because the Tea Party rallies around slogans like "we want to go back to when our country was great, when the middle-class was strong" and so on. THEY are the ones who want to "return" to classic, "golden-age" values, aka the 50's and 60's. SO, I point out what the tax rates were like then.

    3. When conservatives argue that taxes kill jobs and taxes hurt the economy and taxes are never any good for anything, I can only point to historical data to prove those are false statements. I cannot use future data that hasn't happened yet, so yes, I am forced to cite times in our history when the tax rate was the highest and point out that they were also the times when our middle-class was the strongest and the income gap in our country was the smallest.

    4. I could do the same comparison to the Clinton era, when the tax rate was 39%, and show the job growth, the strong economy and the budget surplus he left office with. Sure, we weren't the "global economy" that we are now, but we certainly were more so than in the 50's. Obama rolling us back to the Clinton-era tax rate wouldn't hurt us any more today than it did then - don't forget, Clinton was dealing with the effects of the recession Bush Sr. left office with too, so all that "taxes during a recession is always bad bad bad" stuff is crap too.

    5. Misrepresent the right's view on social security and medicare? I don't need to do that, your boy Paul Ryan spelled it out perfectly, as did the congressional and senate Republicans who pledged to support his social security and medicare-gutting budget. I didn't make Rick Perry call Social Security a "Ponzi scheme". I didn't make the Tea Party agree with him. I didn't tell the Republican party to equate social entitlements with hand-outs and recipients of aid as drains on our society. I don't put words in their mouths, they do just fine on their own. :)

  16. 6. You accuse me of claiming to know what *all* conservatives think in one sentence and in the next you tell me that I don't understand my own self-interests and then call me a hypocrite? Irony! ;) I understand perfectly my own self-interests and they aren't what you think you know all progressives believe in. I've articulated my views on what I would do if I was in charge of things in this country, so if you want to know what I REALLY believe, go back a few posts and read it straight from my own mouth, don't pretend you know me, that's something an elitist would do. ;)

    7. The right doesn't know what's best for everyone? Really!? Is that why they want to pass laws banning activity they don't agree with, like abortion, drug use, religions they don't agree with, certain kinds of speech and expression, gay rights and so on? Saying that limiting government is a solution is not giving people the benefit of the doubt, it's telling them that you know that smaller government is best. What's wrong with letting adults make adult decisions for themselves? What's wrong with letting people do what they want with their own bodies? You would say that, as a progressive, I am somehow obligated to expect the government to come to the rescue of people who make those bad decisions, but guess what, I don't! If a person wants to abuse themselves and live a high-risk lifestyle, then they can deal with the consequences of those actions. That's downright in line with my Libertarian views! ;)

    8. Everyone with a college degree and a bunch of facts is an "elitist". At least I don't condescend to people when I argue with them as if they're somehow less intelligent because I disagree with their views. That's one big difference I can draw between myself and every conservative I ever get into it with.

    9. You want to see our household tax return?