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Random Opinions

The conservatives have got it wrong.  It's not your money.

There was one of those interesting sound bites on the news the other day, that seems to reveal the real difference in the political philosophy of conservatives and progressives.  Mrs. Pelosi was commenting on the issue being dealt with at the time of extending the Bush tax cuts.  Mrs. Pelosi said that the Republicans wanted to continue that tax break for the richest in America "without paying for it".  Think about that for a moment.  When you pay for something, doesn't that usually mean you have received a service?  For example, under the Medicare program our citizens receive a number of services for which we pay taxes.  That certainly seems to follow the "pay for service" model.  Does Mrs. Pelosi mean that by not taxing those people, the federal government is somehow providing them with a service?  To believe that, wouldn't you have to believe that the money people earn really doesn't belong to them.  It belongs to the government.  Therefore, if they get to keep some of that money through a tax cut, then the feds would be providing them with a service. See?  All this time, you people have been thinking that the money you work for belongs to you.  Silly folks.

What followed the "Greatest Generation"? 

During the recent Veteran's Day observances, I noted many references to the "Greatest Generation". The name refers to those heroes who fought to preserve our freedom during World War II and went on to build the huge American economy and enlightened society that followed.  Then, last week we saw the incident in Great Britain, where during the protests against tuition increases a protestor jabbed Prince Charles' wife with a stick. If the generation of World War II was the greatest generation, what should be the title of the stick-wielder's generation?  The children of the greatest were the children of Woodstock and the 60s.  That would be me.  What title have we earned?  It seems that many of us rejected the value systems of our parents.  We campaigned for Love Not War!  We argued that the core values of our society were obsolete and did not apply any more; that if it feels right and hurts no one, then its OK.  Maybe we should be known as the "Confused Generation" or the "Shallow Generation".   What about the generation that we raised, what should we call this one?  The person that stabbed Mrs. Prince is probably one of them.  How about the "Entitled Generation?"  Well, just as everyone during the mid-twentieth century was not great, not all of my generation were shallow and not all of the current generation consider themselves entitled.  The question is whether or not there are enough of the others to allow our generations to earn better titles.

Progressives are so sweet! (12/20/2010)

Four guest commentators on one of last weekend's CNN discussion panels were discussing the recent spending bill compromise, when the topic of inheritance tax came up.  A couple of the guests pointed out that tax had already been paid on the money and an inheritance tax amounted to double taxation.  Then a woman on the panel, obviously the top progressive of the group, started talking about why the inheritance tax was justified.  She took on a lovely demeanor, speaking in that gentle manner as a mother might speak to a child or as one might to an elderly person as she explained that "we just want the wealthy to pay their fair share."  The frequent use of the word "fair" by our progressive friends can be a little annoying.  Is it fair that a man work his whole life to build a future for his family only to have the state take it from them when he dies?  Do these fair-minded people realize that the man may have worked many sixteen hour days, perhaps risking the financial well being of his family from time to time, saved for that rainy day, etc, only to have the government take his savings to give to someone else?  Does that seem fair?  Progressives are so sweet.