Rick Mathews Alex, you may wish to examine core civil issues which actually developed plausible standing for these cases to be reviewed by SCOTUS. Basically $400,000 is tax obligations which developed due to same-sex marriage not being an accepted taxable status is one of central issue under consideration. The other major issue under consideration is benefit extension. SCOTUS has no right to or intention to attempt a revision of the faith based definition of Marriage. What cases will actually decide is who falls under what category of civil distinction. Big picture, this is about taxation and other civil benefit equality statutes not anything approaching redefining the spiritual definition of marriage.
Rick Mathews From a purely naïve uninformed personal standpoint, I truly hope Supreme Court once and forever clarifies the "STATE" definition of marriage as it relates to tax regulations, benefit eligibility, ect.. With no intention of being disrespectful of same sex couple, SCOTUS CANNOT Constitutionally infringe on the doctrines of religions. SCOTUS ruling while determine how America must extend or restrict benefits and privileges granted under the laws of this country. America should not be confusing tax code or benefit eligibility with FAITH based definitions of what marriage is or is not.
Rick Mathews Douglass: I hold no great illusion that suddenly effective bi-partisan legislation will evolve within Congress. As I wrote, allow me to enjoy the moment. They have been far to infrequent. Peace be with you.
Rick Mathews What is more government? Is it more effective Medicare treatment provided by state's pushing for local community clinics? Is more government, fighting state colleges to lower costs making the dream of higher education possible for more Americans? Find out the answer to those questions and you might find Latino's have more in common with Main Street American conservatives than Media Polling portrays.
Rick Mathews Actually none of the above. What they passed, cut legislative salaries, slashed congressional expenditures and continued freeze of both pay and retirement benefits. More importantly for everyone from those with new borns to the young at heart in wheel chairs the Senate took off for their Easter break, Democrats joined with Republicans to pass a bill wiping out $40 Billion in new taxes on medical care equipment and drug providers. The House will put this bill on the floor on its first day back from recess sending one more bi-partisan piece of legislation to White House for the President's signature.
Rick Mathews Jeff: Spent a summer working and living in co-op. Community was not self-sufficient but we raised our own food, provided our own utilities including power and transacted commerce with the world outside our community. Believe me, nobody over the age of 50 is surprised half a century after co-ops Millennials are recognizing fostering the growth in value of collaborative consumption. What killed our co-ops/communes in the late 60's early 70's was regulation and of course taxation. The same liabilities will make or break your generations attempt at stimulating commerce through economies of direct production for consumption as you noted. Enjoyed a past from the past written by a generation which will hopefully succeed were we failed.
Rick Mathews Once upon a time, mankind called this bartering. As man became more civilized ie. taxation evolved, peer to peer transactions came to be called the underground society. Concerns will continue to be raised about "collaborative consumption as the author notes. Never count out man's attempt to get more for less, it is in our collective DNA.
Rick Mathews Sam: Tax reform must promote long-term real growth in wages. This type of Tax reform remains a platform of the Republican party. This platform of reduced deductions in exchange for lower rates encourages both the top and bottom of the economic ladder to earn as much income as possible. Contrary to the truly intellectually challenged spokes person of the Dem., the Bush tax cuts lowered rates for the poorest to 10% and eliminated any tax burden for our neediest tens of millions. What the make believe talking heads on Left love to ignore is, even with spotty economic growth between the onset of the recession after 9-11 and onset of Great Recession in 2008, the Bush Tax cuts brought in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th highest amounts of personal income tax collected in U.S. history. Will I believe Dems will deal on Entitlements without finding a viable offset, no. But Dems also realize, countdown to insolvency of Medicare is ticking. Something must be done very, very soon.
Rick Mathews Great argument. Now give society a few generations with 100% universal approval of same sex marriage accompanied by elimination of their reproductive allowances which by definition of choice are unnatural and situation is resolved.
Rick Mathews Not to be rude but how many of us would be in this country today if our family members who immigrated had needed to meet the legal standards of today? The seven brothers who came to America from Europe which began my heritage in this nation had no material assets, no family in this country and no job awaiting their arrival. Yet 100 years ago this nation presented a "dream of opportunity" which they followed. We cannot allow our fears to eclipse our history of success being a land of opportunity.
Rick Mathews Okay the deviations in revenue and expenditures are well articulated between the House & Senate proposals under consideration. But do you realize what percentage of total spending the two plans have in dispute? For all practical purposes, the House and Senate are gridlocked over a few percent in net budgeting. Yes that 3%-4% over a decade makes the difference between balancing the budget in a decade and running a half billion plus deficit. On the other hand, America has never put together a decade of growth equal to what either plan is using as base assumptions only coming close during the record period of 1991-2000. Put together ten years of real personal income growth averaging 3% with some portion of GOP entitlement reform and Dem.'s enhanced revenue through tax reform and maybe just maybe everyone can walk away from table with most of what they wanted a hope budget gap can be cut in half by 2023.
Rick Mathews During FY 99-00 and FY 00-01, the Federal Government including the surplus generated by the S.S. Trust and Medicare in total received more revenue than it expended net "intra-governmental transfers of interest". But as the official web site of the Treasury proves, the national deficit went up in both years proving the country never achieved a balanced budget under Clinton at alone ran as surplus as is often claimed.
Rick Mathews Actually, the Eisenhower Administration is last time America did not see her national debt increase in any given fiscal year. And for those who wish to hold out hope a balanced budget can someday occur, the two years Congress balanced the budget with Ike in the White House Democrats controlled both Chambers. But no matter how deeply many wish to see America balance her federal budget, without sustained economic growth which "INCLUDES" real - ie. adjusted for inflation - increases in employee wages, no amount of spending cuts even in combination with tax increases is likely to ever accomplish that desire.
Rick Mathews Every great change in mankind's history began with one individuals thought such as yours. Your suggestion actually shocked me with the potential posititive implications a 1 term 6 year term in oval office could develop. But as for changing House and Senate seats, I've been a radical on that note since 70's. For decades I've pushed to extend House terms largely on dual bases, 2-year term effectively means Rep.'s neve stop raising money and runnig for next term and secondly, two years is simply too little a time frame in my opinion to justify re-election process. As for Senate, I really think 12 years is plenty of time for anyone to dedicate to service and putting half that body up for re-eleciton in odd years would give races greater focus.
Rick Mathews I'll buy into one 6 year term for President but we need to consider a few other potential changes to such as" Extend House Reps terms to 4 years with three term maximum. (Half of House is running every two years. Senate term stay the same but 12 years maximum. (Half of Senate runs every three years.) In theory you could then have a new President elected tied to half of Senate and House seats all in same election. Come to think of it, I really think I like a one-term President. From day he is elected, he is done with politics personally. Great idea Sal. TY
Rick Mathews The market sector which watches Morning Joe might dispute the author's analysis. But MSNBC's struggling prime time lineup does have a deep leftist slant. As a conservative, I often watch MSNBC attempting to understand viewpoints which strongly differ from my simplistic "please find a way to pay for the programs you wish to champion," mantra. Chris, Al, Rachael and Ed are worth tuning into if for nothing else, simply to prove free speech exists in America whether we like it or not.
Rick Mathews TY for link. Still struggle to deal with time lag in how federal government reports data. As you note, the 2012 Trustees report examines what occurred during the Federal Fiscal Year which ran 10-1-2010 through 9-30-2011. It will be interesting to see how the surplus decline year to year matches with prediction.
Rick Mathews The same noted facts of America's opponents in Iraq and Afghanistan largely also led to; 47,000 combate deaths in Vietnan and 34,000 combate deaths in Korea. We did not learn our lessons as a natinon from those conflicts. I truly hope someday, that fact will change.
Rick Mathews I will continue to "pray" BSA realizes it is time to admit the LGBT scouts and leaders for multiple reasons of which two are perahps worthy of note: 1) No adult parent should be denied the oppotunity to share in their sons scouting experience. I have twin sons who will soon sit for their Board of Review in hopes of earning Eagle Scout. BSA has taught and reinforced many excellent character assets. Tolerence is one of the tenants of Scouting. Tolerence should have been extended to LGBT individuals years ago. 2) It would be difficult to pretent, BSA has not had gay leaders or scouts in its ranks since arguably its earliest days as an orgination. The recent "coming out" events of Gay Eagle Scouts show cases sexual preference does not disqualify a Scout from outstanding service. Any and all are welcome to disagree. I only hope we can do so respectfully.
Rick Mathews Robert, great piece as usual. But it is time for even we who oppossed the Iraq War to stop giving the Brown Study any credibility. The Joint Armed Forces Medical Commission placed long-term care costs related to Iraq at less than half of the Brown study $2 Trillion and that studay assumed 6.7% increase in cost of care annually. The 4 Trillion in long-term medical care projected by the study makes assumptions which have been even those who preformed the study admit range from improbable to impossible. Whether Iraq war and ensuing treatment cost for those deployed ends up costing 3 Trillion - 6 Trillion, it was treasure spent in an unjust cause.