Newt Gingrich: The Lone 2012 GOP Hopeful To Get Specific With Dodd-Frank Criticisms


I have no idea where this 20% down thing is coming from. I’ve worked in the mortgage industry for the last decade and a person can get a convention­al Fannie/Fre­ddie loan with only 3% down. Sure you can put 20% down to avoid PMI but that’s most certainly not necessary to buy a home.

The biggest problem with getting mortgages done for people are the credit score restrictio­ns which the banks have placed into effect that have nothing to do with the Dodd/Frank act. FHA, for example, let’s people go down to a 580 score but it is the individual banks, in an effort to protect themselves from fallout, that have chosen to raise that limit to 640 for people putting the minimum amount down on a purchase. This cuts off more than a third of the US population from getting a mortgage. The Republican­’s are placing their ire in the wrong direction but I can’t say that I find this too surprising that they haven’t taken the time to do their research. If more Republican­s actually did some homework on the issues that they say are their hot buttons they probably wouldn’t be Republican­s anymore (well, maybe not because that would require them having to admit they were previously wrong or made a mistake which isn’t exactly their MO either).
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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9 responses to “Newt Gingrich: The Lone 2012 GOP Hopeful To Get Specific With Dodd-Frank Criticisms

  1. Derek, your blog is quickly losing credibility as an open-minded forum for discussion since virtually every article you post or comment that you leave is in support of the left and critical of the right. If I wanted to involve myself with something like this I’d watch reruns of The Rachel Maddow show.

    While the article may be factual it chooses to ignore the broader fact that democrats and The Obama administration have completely failed in every measurable way to stabilize the housing market.

    Along with your link from the good folks at The Huffington post you may also want to include the most recent statistics on unemployment, new jobs created, housing starts, average home price, and foreclosure rates. After that, it might be nice to also see an article with Obama’s detailed budget plans to assist with reducing the national debt and preserving our AAA credit rating. For desert, it might be nice to see a recent poll of the opinion of the The US government around the world (specifically in the middle east) – I seem to remember him claiming that one of the cornerstone’s of his presidency will be restoring America’s reputation accross the globe.

    I’m looking forward to seeing those facts. Well, since I am a Republican, I guess I wouldn’t be interested in seeing that, I’d just rather selectively look for just the facts that support my argument…unlike the democrats that are truly open minded and willing to admit when they are wrong. What will more likely be your response is to somehow ignore the fact that Obama has been in office for the past two and a half years and blame George Bush for everything. That seems to be the democrat MO…

  2. I’m not sure what gave you the impression that this site wasn’t going to have a political slant to it considering it was my intention to have one from the beginning. I’ve never claimed to be a totally non-biased Independent because I’m not one. I am a Democrat. I have chosen that party because I have done hundreds of hours of research and found that in a large percentage of cases the Democrat’s actions are more in the best interest of the majority of Americans by a fairly wide margin over the actions of the Republicans, despite their rhetoric to the contrary.

    I find Republicans to look out for big businesses and the top 2% of income earners. They believe, by and large, that the United States should be a Darwinistic, sink or swim nation. Eat what you kill or you starve and die. If you die then no one should feel sorry for you because you were a no good freeloader and should just have worked harder. They don’t like anything that possibly resembles a handout because they have this picture in their minds of some welfare mom sitting at home laughing at them for working why she kicks back and lights cigarettes with hundred dollar bills that were provided by their hard work. It is a perception that is not grounded in any kind of reality. For every person under the poverty line that is like Precious’ mom there are a hundred willing to bust their ass to improve their station but without a little help they’ll never make it.

    I’d also like to point out that if it wasn’t for some safety net programs already in place by this point we would have had some major chaos on our hands. Poor people would have rioted and just taken things from the rich. Food stamps, for as much as they are derided on the right, might very well have be the only thing keeping our country from of a situation like we saw in Egypt and in other parts of Africa and the Middle East.

    Now obviously I am making a generalization about Republicans. Not every Republican feels that way however the farther to the right a person is the more accurate it becomes. The truth of the matter is that it’s not so much Republicans and Democrats, it’s conservatives and liberals. While the parties have become much more polarized in the last 20-30 years, where most conservatives are Republican’s and most liberals are Democrats, I realize this isn’t always the case. So my political slant is actually more so against conservatives than Republicans. Some Republicans can actually be objective, as I have found to be the case with you in the past.

    Even with me being fiscally conservative myself I find that the majority of Republicans that also call themselves fiscally conservative are only conservative when it comes to cutting entitlements and things like the budget of NPR then they are about cutting sacred cows like the DOD or even the possibility of increasing revenue to pay off debt through tax raises (even during good economic times). They say the government can’t be trusted to spend the money wisely yet they are the government. I don’t quite get that logic. It’s like saying they lack the self-discipline to not go on a spending spree if they had more money. I’d rather them just say that going forward we’re going to put some more previsions in place to be more disciplined with how the money is spent. That makes far more sense than blaming themselves for their own lack of self-control.

    To my point in my original post about Republican’s never admitting when they make a mistake I should have said conservatives so that was my error. In my experience I have rarely, if ever, heard a staunch conservative say the words “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” or “I made a mistake.” Nor can I categorize them as particularly open minded. Liberals, on the other hand, I find are far easier to say those things. I have had debates with conservatives who said something about a particular bill that was flat out wrong. I broke out documentation showing them their error and they just stormed off. Later I hear them still arguing the same point to someone else that I just proved to them was wrong. I get a person’s ego not wanting to admit they made an error to the person that pointed out their mistake but for someone to know they’re wrong and keep bringing up inaccurate information just to support their candidate or party just makes me mad. There’s a pretty big difference for someone being uneducated about a topic and repeating what they heard compared to knowing something is wrong and still flat-out lying just to get what you want.

    Now, do I have statistical data to support my claim on this issue? No, I’m just going off a fair amount of personal experiences since I debate politics so often. I’m sure you’ve at some point come across a similar situation(s) as well. Do you think I’m wrong with my hypothesis?

    To address some of your specific concerns I would like to point out that when it comes to backing up what I say I usually do an immense amount of research on my major posts. Many of your replies, while far more centrist than many other Republicans which I appreciate, are often lacking in the same amount of research. It’s often just a fairly educated opinion, which is fine, but don’t knock me for not always providing statistics because if I hadn’t done the homework, and knew those stats beforehand, I generally don’t post something on the fear of printing something wrong. I have a pet peeve about inaccuracy in myself and others. Part of the reason for setting up this site was to provide people with factual data to help them make better informed decisions.

    For example you said to provide stats on jobs created. I did that on a past post where I discussed the CBO estimates on job creation from the stimulus so I don’t feel I should have to do that again. Info on housing starts and foreclosure rates are right here – http://seekingalpha.com/article/280371-housing-and-foreclosure-stats-paint-improving-picture. This was the first site that came up on Google. If I’m doing a major post I would usually check multiple sites and cross reference the data for accuracy but I don’t want to invest that time right now for this reply.

    So you have the data, now what? If you are trying to show that the market has sucked for the last few years it doesn’t really take these charts to prove what everyone already knows. This site is pointing towards some recent improvement, which is obviously good news, but I don’t get where you’re going with this request. If you’re trying to say that Obama did nothing to try to stabilize falling home prices and increase housing starts that wouldn’t be accurate. One of the big things he championed right after getting into office was a $10,000 tax credit to incentivize people to buy a home. For a period of time that worked. It stabilized home prices for just under a year and improved confidence in some builders to start building again despite a large shadow inventory of foreclosures held by large banks, Fannie/Freddie and the FHA. Did that work forever? No. It was a short term fix but it did stop the slide for a while. So you can’t say he did nothing to try to fix the problem. If you think he could have done more, what would you suggest to him if you had the opportunity?

    The article in question that I commented on for HuffPo speaks specifically to what many Republican candidates have said is causing the situation to be worse: The Dodd/Frank act. I credit Gingrich for actually coming out with some specifics on this while most of the other candidates just say it’s bad but aren’t really sure why other than the fact that Democrats wrote the bill and they’re against anything done by a Democrat who they seem to consider enemies of the state and incapable of any good ideas.

    My comment on the article also addresses one of the big points made by Republicans that somehow the Dodd/Frank act is part of the problem with housing recovery. There’s nothing in the act saying that banks have to not let anyone take a high LTV loan with a 640 or greater score. The government, on the contrary, has set the limit on FHA for 580. Yet I don’t hear them being so quick to point out that any of these big banks are part of the problem. I want to know why not. This whole thing about letting the markets do what they want and the government shouldn’t try to regulate them is what led to the housing collapse in the first place. I can’t believe that people have such short term memories that they can’t remember what just happened a few years ago.

    What the Dodd/Frank act was created for is to try to prevent that same debacle from happening again. Making a bank keep a certain amount of capital in reserves is not hardly a bad thing nor is it hurting the housing market. Over the last couple of years these banks have seen record profits so it’s not like they don’t have the money to save. It was the lack of reserves that brought down Lehman and could have easily brought down a bunch more investment banks had it not been for government intervention through a very large influx of capital. If those banks kept larger reserves the government wouldn’t have needed to pass something like TARP. When you’re leveraged to the hilt, in order to maximize profitability, you walk a very fine line that can lead to disaster and it did. Dodd/Frank is trying to prevent that from happening again and it should be applauded, not derided for political gain.

    Still being in the mortgage business I’ve seen the other pieces of Dodd/Frank implemented and nothing else has caused our business to slow down one bit. Last year, for example, was actually the best year in our company’s history. LO comp changed, which was not fun. Some disclosures are different. That’s about it. Certainly nothing that is hurting business or keeping people from getting loans. Those things are happening because banks have chosen to tighten their guidelines. The other big issue is property values declining and a lot of people that want to refi, or buy a new home, are unable to do so because they are currently underwater on their property value or very close to being so.

    You asked for Obama’s budget plan to help reduce the national debt. Here’s a speech he made three months ago to trim the debt by $4 trillion over the next 10 years – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFp9daOriFU. It’s a good speech, by the way, you should watch it in its entirety. One of my favorite parts is where he stressed that nothing should be off the table when dealing with this problem. This is something that he’s echoed many times over the past month of intense debate yet you don’t seem to hear the same thing on the other side. Most Republican Congressman’s ideas of a compromise seem to be that they move 20% to the Democrats 80%. A 50/50 plan appears to be way too hard for them to swallow. This was the same thing we saw with the extension of the Bush tax cuts and many of their other compromises of the past. If they didn’t make sweeping statements beforehand that they would never raise taxes, and many sign pledges along those lines, they wouldn’t have backed themselves into such a corner that giving a little bit in that area would cause them to lose face to their base. The words always or never shouldn’t really be part of anyone’s vocabulary in the first place.

    For dessert, as you said, here is a link to the Pew Research group’s database of opinion polls throughout the world – http://pewglobal.org/database/custom-analysis/?indicator=1. I’ve spent a while on the site to figure how to get the information you requested. The easiest way to figure that out is to do a custom search which the page I listed will take you to. In the first column select Opinion of the United States. In the second column select All Countries. Then click Run Analysis. It breaks it down by year which will give you the difference between the Bush and Obama years. You will find that the vast majority of the world does think considerably higher of us now than they did during the Bush years (with the exception of the time right after 9/11). From doing this research I was surprised to see how little Turkey thought of us. What did we ever do to them?

    Lastly, the whole part about blaming Bush for everything is not something that comes out of Obama’s mouth every day like you’ve alluded to. He does remind people that he inherited this mess, which he clearly did, but he’s not singling the guy out for everything. He feels the need to remind people he inherited the situation because many Republicans are trying to pin all of our economic problems on him in an effort to get their top priority achieved which is his removal from office in the next election. They may not have a ton of facts to back them up but they know if they all in unison say something long enough that many people will believe them and this will help them achieve that goal. As you yourself have commented on past blogs before, and anyone with even a slight bit of objectivity realizes, that Obama is not the source of all of our problems regardless of whether you like the job he’s doing or not.

    Obama can be blamed for not doing enough to get us out of this bad economy but the same people seem that accuse him of that are very short on alternatives of what he could have done better other than the usual chant to cut taxes as if that’s the end-all-be-all problem solver to all of our country’s ills. There also seems to be some kind of stubborn refusal to accept his suggestion that the situation would have been worse had he not made some of the actions that he did. I get that such a statement is hard to quantify but that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t have been worse and he’s not making an accurate statement by saying that.

    So now I’ve done the research which you requested. The question I keep asking myself is why did I just do that? If you want to make a statement to prove something you suspect Obama has done wrong why don’t you do the research yourself and present a case based on the findings? Why ask me to find the supporting documentation to make your argument for you? I get that you’re a busy guy but I’m no less busy than you.

    You will often find, as I have, that the benefits of doing the research will either solidify something you believe or, in other situations, it will show you that you’re wrong. I will not accuse you, the way I have of the majority of conservatives, that you won’t admit you’re wrong if the situation arises (despite not actually having seen that happen to date in any of your replies to my posts where I have documented an inaccuracy to what you’ve said or eluded to).

    It’s been my research to arguments made by many conservatives that led me to actually create this site because I’ve found that a lot of people in this country take something that they hear and repeat it as their own opinion without ever bothering to independently look into it themselves. Knowledge is potential power and the Internet has got to be one of the best tools available today to help people spend the minimum amount of time to get the maximum amount of data, assuming they look in the right place. I implore you to do the same. If you think I said something inaccurate then prove it. I have no problems eating my words if I’m wrong.

  3. All the over-wrought paragraphs of minutia about crap like: Democrat vs. Republican, Liberal vs. Conservative, Bush vs. Obama… blah, blah, blah.
    Derek, why don’t you just open a post expounding the virtues of social engineering and social planning? Until the last few cycles, it was the liberal press-line that Europe had it all figured out, and the U.S. was just a bunch of dumb hillbillies who hadn’t figured it out yet. Now Europe is on fire, as is every other local vestige of the same experiment here .. check your notes on the most liberal states – NY, CA, IL, …. ET. AL.
    And you’re going to continue with the same tired tagline that we just don’t get it yet? And we need to just go along with the prescriptions of our blessed leaders like Pelosi and Reid? Puh-lease. Just present to us a list of the successes of your philosophy… and make it as long and broad as you can.. I’m sure it will fill the space of a Twitter post for your convenience.

    This crap has been tried over and over- it’s called ‘The Story of the 20th Century- Socialism vs. Capitalism’. If you’re not picking a winner and loser in that one yet 11 years after the match- I’ll be glad to meet you in Vegas.

  4. DVD, If nothing else, I respect your passion for politics and your willingness to devote considerable time and effort researching and writing. I really do think you represent the argument for the left much more effectively than many that I hear and see in the media today.

    I’ll start by admitting that I was wrong in my earlier post – I mispelled dessert. That’s always been a tough one for me and I appreciate the manner in which you corrected my spelling without pointing it out directly.

    I was also wrong to assume that you would attempt to be un-biased and open-minded in your writings. Clearly you are not attempting to do that. And that is where I lose respect for people from either side of the argument. I lose respect for my own parents who are so unwilling to actually consider any argument that comes from the mouth of a democrat, especially my mother, and the same is true for democrats that amazingly have a problem with every single statement made by a Republican. Is it possible that both parties could have a rightful place at the table? Is it possible that there are strengths in both philosophies that could really be useful in improving our country? I think so, but unfortunately most folks feel like admitting that the other guy has a good point or a nice idea somehow weakens there position politically. It’s gotten to the point where this is all gamesmanship and nobody is really interested in solving problems. Really sad, and it’s going to be our undoing ultimately.

    Now, on to a few of the points that you made that I’d like to address.

    To classify Republicans as essentially money hoarding ass holes who could give two shits whether there are people dying on the streets is probably a bit off base. Personally, I am not a fan of anything that resembles an unwarranted or undeserved handout. I don’t support a systemic philosophy that puts the US Gov’t as the failsafe for everything from unemployment assistance to foodstamps to healthcare to retirement planning etc, etc. I think that our country in general terms should promote policies that encourage individual achievement, that encourage individuals to be responsible for their own success, to encourage people to plan, to educate themselves, to save, to achieve. Over time, it seems that as a country we’ve started to include quite a bit in the “basic rights” column. It’s now a basic right to retire with dignity, it’s a basic right to have worldclass healthcare, it’s a basic right to receive 99 weeks of unemployment assistance, a basic right to a free education, a basic right to a functioning court system, police force, etc. I’d prefer to hear our leaders talk more about responsibilities than rights. I’d prefer to hear our leaders tell the truth about where the money is being spent, what the costs are and what the obligatons are. I’m tired of the mantra that continues to allow a large and growing majority of Americans to feel like they don’t need to pay the tab for all of this. Specifically the recent democratic tagline of “We’re not going to balance this budget on the backs of the middle class” is very deceptive. The middle and certainly lower class is already receiving a disproportionate share of the government benefits.

    The statement in your repsonse that there are 100 out there willing to bust there ass for every 1 supposed freeloader I think is probably true. I don’t accuse the poor in this country of being lazy and unwilling to work. Quite the contrary, many of the middle and lower class in this country are working there tails off every single day. They are good people that want to improve the lives of their families and give a better life to their kids than they have. Fact is, many of the folks in this country in those income classes are working much harder than I do or ever have. I readily acknowledge that. Where you lose me is when you say, most would never make it without a “little help”. There is already a lot more than a little help built into the tax code. As many as 47% have no net federal income tax liability and yet still have access to all of the government benefits that the top 10% do. That is quite a bit of help in my opinion.

    You mention that you chose to be a democrat after doing literally hundreds of hours of research. Without any proof, I am calling bullshit on that. Not that you haven’t done hundreds of hours of research, I know that you have. I’ll bet that you chose to be a democrat long before you did the reseach. Most people learn their politics from their parents and I’d guess that in your youth you chose to be a democrat and have since then done research where the findings in your mind support your original position. I’ll credit you with the fact that you state that you’ve adopted fiscal conservatism as a democrat however every single post of yours amazingly supports every democratic position from a fiscal standpoint. Surely you must believe that some portion of the current deficit is the result of entitlement programs and that the fact that such a large number of Americans underpay for the associate benefits but I haven’t heard you state that as of yet.

    I do completely agree that the Republicans were stupid and frankly irresponsbile to pledge to not even consider targetted tax increases as a possible part of the solution. I too can’t stand listening to Republicans that say that cutting military spending is off the table. in 2000, we spent 300 billion non “defense”, in 2011 the “defense” budget is approximately 900 billion. Somehow in 11 years our defense needs have trippled. I find that curious. Surely 9/11 caused is to need to comletely revamp our approach to homeland security but at some point we’ve got realize that you can’t protect against every risk. We just don’t have the money.

    I can’t stand listening to Republicans give speaches in Iowa where they tell everyone that their first act will be to block gay marriage, their second act will be to ensure rights for gun owners, after that they will attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade and lastly they’ll ensure that every public school day starts with the original Pledge of Allegiance. It’s idiotic, and out of touch and a large part of the reason that in every General Election we start the contest having already forfeited the entire Northeast, California and Oregon. Mitch Daniels at least had the balls to say what any smart Republican knows, we need to call a truce on the social issues.

    Finally, as for the youtube speech that you posted, that’s not a plan – it’s a concept. Even the CBO said that they don’t score speeches when they were asked to give input on that speech. When you’re trying to close a 1.5 trillion dollar annual budget gap and make a dent in a 14 trillion dollar debt you need to put a budget on paper. Obama’s original budget that was sent to congress in January / February contained a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit. His State of the Untion speech didn’t mention that deficit until the 35th minute. The deficit was not on his radar at the beginning of the year . When Moody’s said a downgrade was immiment they got serious and this debt ceiling law is actually a huge blessing because it’s forcing everyone to have a long overdue debate.

    One last point, I can’t agree with your sentiment that somehow Democrats are inherently more openminded than Republicans. I’ve seen folks on both sides pretty consistently dig in their heels on the standard positions and almost regardless of what information is presented to them they stand their ground. That’s a problem on both sides….

  5. Gary, I’d be happy to point towards a program that has been successful in this country that is promoted by Democrats: Social Security. Now, I’m not saying this because I think Social Security is a retirement plan worth writing home about because it clearly is not. I think if we all put the equivalent amount of money in a crappy CD our whole working careers we’d most likely end up considerably better off (there’s more wrong with it than that and I plan to dedicate a whole post to it sometime soon). However our country, by in large, lacks the proper discipline to save the necessary amount of money for even a remotely comfortable retirement on their own. We have 1/3 of our country that need that money for 100% of their income at retirement (or sooner if disabled) and a total of 2/3rds need it to keep a roof over their heads. Only four out of 100 people hitting age 65 today have done well enough with their own retirement planning to be financially independent at retirement (able to live off the interest). If the citizens of our country had better discipline than they do (when 98% of the country has a negative net savings rate per year on average I don’t think disciplined can even be a word remotely considered to describe us) then a program like Social Security wouldn’t be necessary.

    If we were like the people in Germany, China or Japan, where they sock away 15-25% of their income on average, then a safety net program like this would be irrelevant. So because of Americans not saving on their own (or they are putting away a little but are saving at a rate less than inflation and losing ground every year), and since pension plans have pretty much gone the way of the Dodo, then I consider this plan successful because it’s keeping a vast majority of the elderly people in the country from being homeless or having to move back in with their kids or other family members.

    Okay, your turn. What’s something good the Republicans have done.

    As for what you mentioned about the ongoing battle between Socialism vs. Capitalism, this is why progressives think of some conservatives, and the Tea Party people in particular, as hillbillies. There hasn’t been anything done at a large level in this country that can be considered Socialism since 1965. For all the Tea Party people ranting and raving about Socialism (and Obama being the equivalent of Hitler which I’ve always loved, the parallels are clearly so obvious to an educated person with a remote knowledge of history) they wouldn’t know Socialism if it smacked them in the face. They were calling the health care bill Socialism. It wasn’t, not even close. If it had been then the proposal would have been for a single payer system which it wasn’t (I wish it had been, the cost savings of such a system would have been more than worth the downsides and the infant mortality and life expectancy rates for the general population would have most likely increased quite a bit). Even if the government option had made it through, that’s wasn’t a Socialist program either. It was an option for cheaper insurance that no one had to take if they didn’t want it. I still have no idea why people fought so strongly against that.

    Yet when you ask Tea Party people, especially if they are of, or near, retirement age if they like Social Security the vast majority say yes (on average 88% of the country would say the same thing regardless of age). When you ask them if they like Medicare the vast majority say yes too (so would 87% of the country). Yet when you ask them if they realize that those two programs are actually Socialist programs they angrily say they’re not. If you recommend getting rid of them they also say absolutely not (or they say something stupid like they’re okay for some changes to the program but just don’t cut their benefits as if it’s possible to have any meaningful change with one that doesn’t have an effect on the other).

    So when you have someone that angrily complains that a proposed health care program is Socialist when it really isn’t, is currently receiving benefits of Socialist programs now and like those Socialist programs quite a bit and overall say they hate Socialism when they don’t have a clue what it really is, that’s what I call an idiot and I can hardly blame parts of media for feeling the same way and calling them out about it. This is why I harp so much on people doing research so they know what they’re talking about. If someone is going to get vocal about something they say they don’t like, and supposedly feel passionate about, then they owe it to themselves to take five minutes to look up what the word means and what programs do or do not fall under that umbrella before they open up their big mouths and sound as uneducated as they obviously are.

    • Derek,
      Based on your response, it’s clear to me that you may be falling well short of some recent and historical definitions of Socialism, but have managed nonetheless to smugly and curtly dismiss me with invocations of Hitler, suggestions that I may not have ‘5 minutes’ of research under my belt, and more crudely that ‘nothing approaching Socialism has happened here [ since the 60’s] ‘ , among other comments that were not cleverly cloaked enough to avoid their direction at me. The width and breadth of my personal knowledge of the different incarnations of socialism which I’ve researched and observed- here and abroad, recently and in the past, and the various versions of it that have influenced many in current leadership in our country are all well documented. In fact if you spend 5 minutes on your own researching this topic, you will find many current elected officers who openly or secretly advocate and legislate from a basis of ‘Socialism’ (and any number of other hacked attempts at a kitsch re-naming of the same failed philosophies ) and deeper yet have under their employment those who make no secret of it at all. Most don’t waste their breath disavowing their ties at any level approaching your level of denial, because they’re still convinced that the populous is too stupid and inattentive to dig an inch deep and see what their real aims are. After all, with the complicity of the mainstream media for the better part of a century, they had their way with public opinion and it’s truly remarkable that any other viewpoints made it across to the people they were indoctrinating at all. But alas, the flow of information has changed and people are paying attention, and for millions- the distortions, shaming and propaganda just isn’t working anymore.
      On the topic of Socialism, it’s relativity to some recent policies that you mentioned, and to Obama himself, I’ll give you a more detailed response when I have time.
      In the meantime, you might consider the fact diversions such as Hitler and presidential birth certificates mean nothing to me, and if you think they mean much to the vast majority of conservatives and libertarians who will be carrying the real mantle of change in the coming years- you’re mistaken. These distractions mean as little to me and most others as the tired election cycle demonstrations of abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, the 10 commandments et. al. These matters are a perpetual source of exhaustion for most of us, and most have become numb to the rhetoric any more.
      As for Social Security- who’s success will this program be in the future? Those who are actively trying to save the program thru restructuring appropriate to current realities, or those who choose to use it as a source of fear and demagoguery ?
      In March Harry Reid was quoted as saying “leave Social Security alone. Social Security does not add a single penny, not a dime, a nickel, a dollar to the budget problems we have. Never has and for the next 30 years it won’t do that.”
      Yet just this past week, Obama (bald-face LIE), told the aging and elderly that he just couldn’t guarantee that checks would go out in August.
      Just curious about two things Derek-
      1) Did you actually buy one of these statements? (you can’t intellectually and honestly buy both) if so which one and why?
      2) If you did not buy either, are you really OK with anyone in our leadership using these tactics to frighten our seasoned citizens? (especially in the absence of a legible plan to address the problem?)

      That’s all I’ve got for now, but I should say before I sign off that I suppose I regret being as abrasive in some of my comments as I think it may have misrepresented to you my actual knowledge of the topics I spent no time elaborating on. Nonetheless, I’m prone to this because I am in fact very passionate about my beliefs, and I think our country is in a terribly bad way if we don’t change policy direction immediately.

      • I love it when people invoke socialism then throw out a blanket statement about overt and covert operatives at work in our government but don’t name names or cite any actual legislation that has become law. And remember, if they do what you claim secretly, you wouldn’t know about it. That’s why it’s called a secret.

        And if your response is going to be, “We don’t know about it because of the lamestream media’s complicity”, save your breath. In this day and age there are no secrets. Just ask Anthony Weiner.

  6. Brian, I appreciate your thoughtful reply and I think you made some great points in there and there are a few I wouldn’t mind debating. However, in an effort to go FIFO, I did the Gary reply first and appear to have run out of time before needing to hit the hay. I’ll will hit you up soon with my best attempt at an equallly thoughtful response.

    For the record, I really do think you are more open minded than most Republicans. Gary, and many of my other Libertarian friends, are so far to the opposite end of the spectrum that they don’t like to give an inch because of fundamental philosophical differences. You are far more objective and centrist in many ways compared to others that hit up blos to give debate. If more Republicans were like you we’d still have our differences but would get far more accomplished and would have a chance of all rowing the boat together in the best direction for the country. More soon…

  7. Read, TJ- all I ask of you. From my post “On the topic of Socialism, it’s relativity to some recent policies that you mentioned, and to Obama himself, I’ll give you a more detailed response when I have time.”

    That topic is an enormous one, and I was trying to finish my immediate thoughts, which is why I said I’d get to it later.

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