OT: Veteran's Day (OT in this case = On Topic)

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J. Clarke wrote: ...

And if they were to do so, they would get about 0.1% of the vote...
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dpb wrote:

You might be surprised. Everybody doesn't want the huge government we have now.
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J. Clarke wrote:

"Everybody", yes. '07 level, and enough to get elected, not so much...
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J. Clarke wrote:

OK, how exactly is that completely voluntary? Sounds kind of on the order of the "voluntary" income tax.
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stickers were, I don't think it would work
mac
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mac davis wrote:

What does "completely voluntarily" mean? In 1972 I volunteered for the National Guard and spent 6 years in it. Would the fact that the USA had an active draft and my draft number was 19 disqualify me from voting?
I think candidates should at least be required to pass a test on the Constitution, particularly individual rights, and the distribution of state vs. federal powers, and that the results of the tests should be included in their campaign literature.

It'd work, if you could make it legal. But that would require a constitutional amendment that will never happen. As it is, we should consider ourselves lucky that along with free health care, welfare, etc. that the powers that be don't give illegal aliens the vote too.
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Just Wondering wrote:

If there is a draft then government service is not "completely voluntary" and thus you are talking about a system different from the one proposed.

Too simple. They should be required to recite the US Code and the Code of Federal Regulations verbatim from memory and to carry on their persons at all times the complete texts of both printed in 12 point type on 12 pound paper. After all, if they don' really know the current laws then how do they know that the ones they are proposing will change anything? Of course that would leave us without a legislature since nobody is going to live long enough to memorize the whole thing and if they could they wouldn't be able to lift it.

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Why do you think it is that you don't see prisoners working in road gangs and other public works projects? Because it takes the public tax dollars away from contractors/big political contributors.
Dave in Houston
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"Dave In Houston" wrote:

Come to California.
During recent fires, lots of inmate crews were used.
There are lots of ways to feed the political coffers and reward those who feed them.
Lew
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eligible. Cheney got 5 deferrals. Bush got to play with planes (when he showed up) at the Texas National Guard...shall I go on? Or didn't you give that any thought?
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Amen brother! And put term limits on these ner do well rich boys in congress so we might have a hope of functioning goverment down the road. (instead of a playpen for people that have never lived in a real world) Kenneth
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Digger wrote:

If I were serving right now I'd be very angry with the characterization of the current makeup of the US armed forces as "category IV types who would not be eligible for the draft". In case you haven't noticed, those "category IV types" are doing a Hell of a job--they've carried out every mission they've been assigned with surprisingly low losses and collateral damage. They are, in fact, doing far better in both regards than the draftees did in Viet Nam. Further, since officers other than medical doctors are not in general draftees, I don't see how a draft would have a significant effect on the composition of the officer corps.
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Our son has been in for almost 7 years and is up for promotion to E-7... mostly because of his motivation, learning skills and education..
As to the draft... I served with a lot of professional folks that were drafted and made very good officer material.. as opposed to us drafted as cannon fodder..
mac
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wrote:

draft that resembled the one we had..
You have to consider that it's been maybe 30 years since we had a draft... which means that we're hoping that skilled folks like doctors and lawyers will give up well paying practices for 4 years to serve their country.. right..
I am, however in favor of "mac's draft plan", which would require all teens, of both sexes, to spend 2 years in service, be it military, peace core, teaching kids in high poverty areas, etc.. just some kind of public service.. Then, give them some sort of "GI BILL" for education, after they'd seem a bit of life..
I went to school on the GI bill, and the first thing that you notice is that the vets were older, more serious about learning and motivated... YMWV
To those who served... Thank you for your service and welcome home..
mac
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mac davis wrote:

Is there in fact a shortage of physicians in the military? As for lawyers, the fewer of them second-guessing the guys on the sharp end the better.

So what are you going to find for them all to do and what programs are you going to cancel to get the money to pay them? Or are you just going to raise taxes?

Again where does the money come from?

Amen.
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Where are we getting it now? Last I looked we've been spending $12B/month that we don't have. I read today that the U.S. has spent $1.5 trillion on Afghanistan and Iraq. Aren't the Chinese holding our note(s) ?
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Dave in Houston

The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and
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Dave In Houston wrote:

Three times that much is added to the national debt every month because of the social security trust fund and the other 150 or so other federal trust funds. In fact, even with a balanced budget, we add 300-400 billion to the national debt each year. It's the law - the federal government takes the trust fund cash, counts it as federal income, but doesn't count the IOU it puts in the trust fund against the current year budget. Enron would be proud!

We add three times the cost of the war to the debt each year because of trust funds. 4 trillion of our 9 trillion national debt is because of the above mentioned trust funds. It's estimated to reach over 40 trillion of unfunded debt before the payback has to start using higher income taxes on future generations. But not to worry - the liberals are going to fix it by increasing the SS tax rates thereby increasing the debt even faster!

Not to worry - our kids and grandkids will have to repay them with an estimated 85% tax rate, the increases ramping up in ten years or so when SS current expenses exceed revenues.
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The federal goverment did not give out deferals from the draft in those days. It was the draft boards made up of people in your own home town that gave them out. So again it boiled down to who you know. That's the ones you should bitch to.
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On Tue, 13 Nov 2007 16:01:01 -0700, Doug Winterburn

An "alternate" perspective:
SS takes in more than it pays out.
The government then "borrows" that excess to pay for its wars and the $700B (this year) military budget (among more minor expenses). Oh, and let's not forget those tax cuts. Did you enjoy your couple hundred? Use it to put gas in the car a for couple/three weeks?
This excess in the SS "trust" has increased from ~20B/yr in Clinton's time to ~$200+B/yr in the early years of W.
The government DOES NOT want to pay those "borrowed" funds back. After all, it ain't very good at living within its means. BTW, ole W has said it ain't gonna happen.
Unfortunately, the time is approaching where SS won't be taking in an excess (for a LIMITED period of time) and the government will not be able to "borrow" from the "trust", and should, indeed, have to pay it back.
Again - the government does not want to do this. So it tells y'all how 'broke' SS is.
The SS tax was increased during Reagan's time, as a long term fix for SS (to, like, 2070 or some such). A tax on the backs of the middle class. It fixed it all right. For tax cuts (etc.). (did you know hedge fund managers pay only 15% on their incomes? did you know that the ultra rich have had their taxes cut ~50% in W's reign? Sure hope you're in one of those groups).
The corporate media machine blathers on and on about how "broke" SS is and pretty soon, told enough times, it's believed. [who said that?]
I realize we all have VERY busy lives, maybe even working a second (or third) job now that food and fuel costs have skyrocketed, are gonna affect the cost of just about every necessity, and no longer can tap our home equity ('cause that's tanking as well) to defray (well, postpone) those costs (much less buy that new Bimmer (Louis Vuiton and BMW stocks fell sharply last week in anticipation of much slower sales in the USA)). But perhaps you could take a short moment to do a teeny bit of research before regurgitating the corporate media's talking points. I mean, internet is likely an easily accessible source, no?
BTW, I don't understand why you think it's all right to spend $ on killing people and enriching "death star" developers but not on (for example) taking care of the country's infrastructure (of various sorts) or it's people (not welfare!, BTW).
So, to summarize. SS takes in plenty of $ to handle it's obligations, but the government's been "borrowing" that $ 'cause there's been a wee bit extra. The time's a commin' where the note comes due, but the ole guv ain't inclined to pay it back, 'cause it sorta can't handle it's "household" finances as is and sure don't have any extra to be payin' back no debt for sumtin' as stupid as an old people's fall back.
Renata [who will strenuously attempt to refrain from additional comment]
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Renata wrote:

FDR. The law as written then mandated that the fund(s) buy government securities with all excess contributions. There is no plundering or looting of the funds under the law, but the law results in the same.
The cash the government receives for the trust fund IOUs goes into the general fund and is used for all sorts of things - non of which are related to the fund(s). Since three fourhts of the federal budget is spent on social programs, most of the money is spent there.
Also, the trust fund moneies hid an equivalent amount of deficit spending since the cash taken by the government is counted as income for the current year, but the IOUs are not counted as expenses in the current year. You can very easily verify this by googleing "national debt" and you will discover that the debt has increased every year since 1960, demonstrating that the surpluses of the late 1990's were an illusion - unless the definition of deficit, surplus and debt has changed.
Speaking of doing research, the excess SS funds in BJ Clintons time wasn't $20B/year, but started at $46B and ended at $152B/year for a total of $687B - and this was just the SS fund. It has increased from the $152B in 2000 to $186B in 2007. There are another 150 or so other trust funds that although smaller, operate in the same manner. And as far as blaming any party or President, this was all set in motion by FDR and like any government program has grown out of control. Neither Clinton or Bush changed any of the parameters. The last change was a bipartisan effort led by Tip O'Neal and Bob Dole which raised the SS tax rates and indexed withholding, thereby increasing the debt at a faster rate.
BTW, I think it's all right to spend $ on death star and any other defense items to safeguard this country as that and commerce are the only things the constitution allows. I don't think government retirement and health programs fall under either defense or commerce.
So, in summary, when the fiscal ship is taking on water, plugging the biggest holes first would give the best chance of staying afloat, and the war is small potatoes in that regard.
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