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In response to:

5 Ways Liberals Hurt The Poor

Factualist Wrote: May 03, 2014 5:53 PM
This list leaves out the disastrous poverty trap created by welfare programs. Definitions of “the poor” always quote earned income levels, leaving out the value of welfare. Google “welfare cliff” to see a graph, prepared by Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare in Pennsylvania, which shows that a single mother of two earning $29,000/year has an effective after-tax income of $57,314, including welfare benefits. This is not poor by any reasonable standard, but it is not wealthy, either. If she gets a raise to an earned income of $30, 000, she loses food stamps and housing benefits, so her effective net income actually FALLS to $49,000/year – i.e., a raise of $1,000 costs her $8,000! In other words, the effective marginal tax rate on that increase is 900%! The sad truth is that she is better off earning $29,000 than at any earned income level below $69,000! Since there is no way she can suddenly increase her earnings by $40,000, she has to reject all opportunities to earn more than $29,000. She is thus trapped, living a modestly middle-class life, but with no chance of fulfilling the American dream. Even worse, she will always vote to maintain the trap that imprisons her by choosing Democrats, because losing her benefits would mean a sudden reduction in her standard of living with no way to compensate by earning more. The poverty trap is a disgusting, cynical scheme imposed by Democrats that keeps millions in fairly comfortable poverty in order to ensure that they will vote Democrat. If or when Republicans regain control, it will be difficult to change this system without driving those millions into real poverty. The best solution is to taper off benefits as incomes increase, instead of ending them abruptly at some specified income, so that net income actually increases with earned income, even if only by something like 25 cents per dollar. Once that is in place, a slow reduction in the level of benefits would compensate for the increased public cost of tapered benefits and also motivate recipients to find better jobs and earn more money.
In New York (and similarly in other jurisdictions), depraved indifference murder is defined as an act that “was imminently dangerous and presented a very high risk of death to others and ,,, was committed under circumstances which evidenced a wanton indifference to human life or a depravity of mind.” If it can be shown that Obama withheld aid to the people in Benghazi because sending reinforcements would have undercut his election campaign, that behavior clearly meets the above definition. In that case, impeachment, removal from office and a criminal trial are absolutely essential. We need to send an unmistakable message to all politicians that politically motivated malfeasance will not be tolerated, and that the perpetrators of egregious examples such as this can expect many years in jail.
"Current immigration law has inadvertently resulted in a vast low-skill migration." That is not inadvertent. Democrats are the party of the poor, and therefore they have a vested interest in perpetuating poverty in this country. They favor low-skill immigration because these people will be dependent on government handouts and will therefore be reliable Democrat voters once they become citizens. High-skill immigrants are likely to contribute to the economy and therefore make money, which means they might vote Republican. Can't have that. This is another disgusting example of the Democrats putting politics ahead of the national interest.
A conservative 3rd party would split the Republican vote and guarantee Dem dominance for the foreseeable future. The best we can do is to challenge incumbents in both Republican and Democrat primaries. Perhaps we can nominate more conservative candidates -- but it is worth replacing incumbents even if we can't change the ideological makeup of the Congress. Getting rid of a substantial number of entrenched incumbents of either party would put the rest on notice that they will face expulsion in future elections if they don't start doing their jobs and serving the people instead of their own aggrandizement.
In response to:

Darwin’s Doubt

Factualist Wrote: Jul 09, 2013 1:43 PM
The fossil record offers compelling evidence that life has evolved without any plan, purpose, or ethical principle. If we postulate Intelligent Design, then we must admit that the Designer is not benevolent: He is and always has been utterly merciless, wasteful of resources, unconcerned about the fate of His creations, and entirely indifferent about whether the world is a lush green paradise, a wasteland as barren as the Moon, or the abode of monsters (as it was in the time of the dinosaurs). For billions of years, entire suites of species have been wiped out every now and then by extinction events on local, continental or even global scales. In the worst of these, caused by extreme climate changes, supervolcanoes or asteroid impacts, more than 90% of the existing plant and animal species died, on land and in the ocean. These events lead to “survival of the luckiest” – i.e., of those species that happen to have some resistance to the event. A plausible explanation of Meyers’ central point, that the fossil record does not show “the rainbow of intermediate forms that (Darwin’s) theory of gradual evolutionary change required,” is that we only find fossils of very successful species. Many insignificant species slowly evolved in obscurity, until an extinction event eliminated the dominant species. The formerly obscure species then expanded rapidly ro fill the vacated ecological niches. The result was an abrupt change in the fossil record. We ourselves are beneficiaries of this process. Without the asteroid that exterminated the dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus Rex might still be the apex predator, and we mammals would be small, timid, ratlike creatures, hiding in burrows.
You have totally missed the point, Donald. The only serious question is this: What safeguards are in place to ensure that people willing to break the law (and there are apparently many such working for Obama) cannot access the data for ILLICIT, UNAUTHORIZED purposes, such as harassing political opponents? As the IRS scandal shows, laws and regulations and oversight do not deter the lawless. We need to wall off the database so that it is physically impossible to hain access without a judicial warrant.
In response to:

Austerity Done Wrong

Factualist Wrote: May 18, 2013 4:48 AM
According to the usual definition, GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government expenditures + net exports. This shows that if increasing government spending had no other economic effects, the fiscal multiplier would be 1.0. The Fed calculates that it is less than 1, which means that increasing government spending REDUCES consumption, investment and/or exports in the private sector. The implication is that what Obama calls "stimulus spending" should be called "hindrance spending." It is not just useless but actively destructive, DELAYING recovery from the Great Recession.
If we are going to accept the principle that sellers must collect sales taxes based on the home address of the buyer, simple fairness demands that we apply it to all businesses, not just those online. If not, the Market Fairness Act is mere Orwellian Newspeak. For example, brick-and-mortar stores in New Hampshire (which has no sales tax) should collect Massachusetts sales tax from any Massachusetts resident; conversely, stores in MA should not collect sales tax from NH residents. Where cities or counties impose sales taxes, sellers should collect them only from buyers who can be shown to live within specified geographic limits. The result would of course be an appalling administrative nightmare, imposing crippling costs on small businesses. It would also constitute an intolerable invasion of privacy, requiring all buyers of anything at all, in a store or online or by mail, to prove where they live. The possibility would then exist that Big Brother (e.g., the IRS) could create databases to keep track of everything anybody buys. This is totally unacceptable.
In response to:

Obama Doesn't Care About Dead Children

Factualist Wrote: Apr 19, 2013 8:22 PM
Obama must know that his gun control proposals would not reduce gun violence at all, but will alienate many Democrat voters. So why does he keep pushing them? The apparent answer: now that the Congress has rejected his brilliant suggestions, he can and will blame callous, recalcitrant Republicans for any future gun-related homicides. His objective is not to save lives, but to score political points. He seems to think that using this issue to lambaste Republicans will help him gain control of both Houses in the 2014 elections, even if it means that he will lose support from Democrats who respect the 2nd Amendment.
In response to:

America's Just Not That Into Obama

Factualist Wrote: Apr 19, 2013 7:49 PM
Obama must know that his gun control proposals would not reduce gun violence at all, but will alienate many Democrat voters. So why does he keep pushing them? The apparent answer: now that the Congress has rejected his brilliant suggestions, he can and will blame callous, recalcitrant Republicans for any future gun-related homicides. His objective is not to save lives, but to score political points. He seems to think that using this issue to lambaste Republicans will help him gain control of both Houses in the 2014 elections, even if it means that he will lose support from Democrats who respect the 2nd Amendment.
The reason GW alarmists base their claims on hypotheses rather than facts is explained by a quote attributed to Niccolo Machiavelli in 1513: "An hypothesis is always preferable to the truth, for we tailor an hypothesis to fit our opinion of the truth, whereas the truth is only its own awkward self. Ergo, never discover the truth when an hypothesis will do."
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