Letter: Congress should be bipartisan, flexible, and civil

Letter: Congress should be bipartisan, flexible, and civil

By David Sowers

St. Augustine

Editor: We have an extreme social crisis. Eleven percent or, 18 million of our homes are vacant, yet 1.5 million people are homeless. Twenty-five percent of our people have no health care insurance. There are 16 million children in poverty and 150 million Americans are persistently poor or near poor, the highest numbers in more than five decades.

The nation has a staggering debt problem, which, if unresolved, will bring unimaginable new problems, inflation, and personal hardships. There is no clear and certain path.

The Simpson-Bowles plan may have an opportunity to be revived. It would be a good start to this serious problem. The Ryan plan is bold, but has less chance of passage and would make harsh cuts — much too deep to provide assistance to the many poor and needy. Ryan does deserve great credit for specifying a budget while the U.S. Senate has been sorely remiss in failing to accept responsibility to specify an alternative budget.

Taxes and revenue will have to increase. Cuts only are simply no solution.

Medicare costs must be drastically reduced, but vouchers are a long shot.

The corporate burden to fund employer health care is also a serious problem. We are the only country in the western world that has an employer based funded health care system.

Health care beyond Medicare requires a public option and all health care needs a major change in the payment system.

We need to adjust and lessen Social Security costs, which seems the easiest task to do.

Corporate tax loopholes must be eliminated and their marginal rates reduced.

Defense cannot be a sacred cow. Cuts in entitlements and safety net programs must not be drastic. America has too many poor and disadvantaged citizens. They require support.

We are running out of time — no more kicking the can down the road. This pass-an- extension-for-a-year is pathetic and keeps the nation in an economic and financial fog.

Neither side has all the magic bullets. Congress should accept that, be flexible, bipartisan and civil!

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By charms054 | 04/27/12 - 07:05 am

Tax reform, personal responsibility and smaller government, I'm ready....

 Memo from the flat earthers to lemmings Inc. Do not fear the edge is near!

(photo compliments of a liberal mind)

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The Plan

By Kahuna63 | 04/27/12 - 08:23 am

Unfortunately so far we have seen only discord and the party of no, no way, no how has continually voted against even their own initiatives eg the individual mandate ( personal responsibility) so that the President is defeated.

With a Supreme court that ruled "corporations are people" by all accounts ready to kill the Healthcare law and possibly go along with the "Papers Please Law” the Conservatives will then continue, emboldened, to gut the programs that have kept the needy and the downtrodden alive in part because they truely believe that the poor the disabled and others like those on UI have brought on this fiscal mess. They will tax the middleclass and give even more tax breaks to the rich.

If Mr. Romney is elected, as his spokeman said, they will give us Bush 3 in terms of budget items. They will grow the military and gut services to citizens.

I agree with Mr Sowers but I do not expect cooperation no way,no how!

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Don't expect a solution to these problems

By rbsacarlson | 04/27/12 - 09:43 am

There will never be near enough government revenue to deal with the many problems you have outlined. The very people you are concerned about are shooting themselves in the foot by buying products made in China and elsewhere. They are too stupid to realize that buying a product made in America helps the US economy and contributes to the tax base needed for government revenues, but buying a product made in China helps the Chinese economy and does very little for the US. These people also make bad lifestyle choices that result in expensive chronic illnesses. Don't expect this to change.

Corporations are smart enough to realize that having products made in countries with lower wages and no benefits is good for CEO bonuses and growth in investor wealth. Because these corporations own our politicians don’t expect anything to change.

The bottom line is that we have exported much of our economy along with our standard of living and tax revenue base.

 Facts and logic don’t work on some people.  You can’t fight illogic with logic.

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46% pay no income tax....

By me | 04/27/12 - 09:12 am

Saw this today, thought it might provoke some response:

"The Tax Policy Center estimates that for tax year 2011, 46% of households will end up owing nothing in federal income taxes.

The percentage was closer to 40% before the recession, Greenstein said.

Looking ahead if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire next year, the percentage of non-payers could drop to 36%, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center."


"Say lawmakers stripped out all tax breaks except those most elemental to a progressive code -- such as the standard deduction and personal exemption, which exempt subsistence-level income and dependents. Even then, about 23% of households would still end up owing nothing in federal income taxes, according to Tax Policy Center research.

In other words, a couple with two kids, earning less than $26,400, would get an $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions worth $3,700 each, reducing their taxable income to zero, Williams noted in the blog TaxVox.

But if payroll taxes are counted, the number of non-payer households drops precipitously -- to an estimated 18% in 2011."


 “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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By Mll211 | 04/27/12 - 10:02 am

AMEN!!!! The funniest is when they are standing IN the aisles at Wal-Mart bitching about money and yet make no connection to the fact they are helping to cause the economic collapse. I DO NOT shop at Wal Mart!!


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Just wait

By Tammy1021 | 04/27/12 - 10:49 am

Just wait until the graduating students can no longer afford to buy a home or have the disposable income to shop at Walmart. I listened to a young man talk about how he may never be able to purchase a home and start a family due to student loans. He was only 26! We have millions in the same position that we are virtually shutting out of many markets. Since student loans are not discharged by bankruptcy, it will follow them to the grave.

Fact: A student loan by a private company is the ONLY private loan in our country that is not discharged by bankruptcy.

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By me | 04/27/12 - 11:23 am

Do you know about these initiatives for small business?

"It’s called “The 3/50 Project” and its concept is simple: Pick three local businesses, spend $50 dollars between the three each month and help save the local economy."


"First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. On November 27th comes Small Business Saturday(SM), a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday is a national movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S. "


There are also many websites that can direct you to good made in the USA.

 “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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By eraymom | 04/27/12 - 11:37 am

Maybe if we the people stopped allowing politicans to divide us by believing their propaganda it would be a good start. They feed off of making us hate the other side because that is how they stay in power. If we would stop believing their crap and make them earn their votes be they rep or dem maybe they would stop acting like bullies on the playground and do their jobs by doing whats right for all of us instead of just those that give them what they want.


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By Archer | 04/27/12 - 11:39 am

i believe that time is now.

undergraduate and graduate students now carry far more debt than we ever did. i don't know how they sleep at night.

i know quite a few such as the young man you mentioned.

there appears to be no solution.

higher education is the realm of the well to do.

maybe some disciplines can go back to 'reading' for degrees instead of piling up so much debt, their students won't ever live 'the american dream' nor leave anything to their children but debt.

can debtor's prison be far behind?

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By me | 04/27/12 - 12:05 pm

If you make good faith payments to your student loan at whatever amount you agreed to, and you still have debt after 25 years, you are released from the obligation. So said the paperwork for the offspring's student loan. ;-)

 “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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Thanks David Sowers!

By Dr.MacMantazas | 04/27/12 - 12:14 pm

This is the first time in eons that I have seen liberals and conservatives talking plain sense on this site without taking a solely partisan view. I thought the comments of Mll211 were right on and even Charms said something positive about personal responsibility, which does speak to the mandate that everyone with any financial resources should pay into our health insurance system.

Of course we haven't heard from TM yet, but hopefully he has been banished from the site. Wouldn't it be great to have a rational dialogue on this important topic without him interjecting his angry, derogatory comments.

ME, thanks for your comments on the 3/50 Project and the helpful links. Once again, you had something positive to contribute to the discussion. I'm with you "eraymom".


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By Mll211 | 04/27/12 - 01:44 pm

All those initiatives are great! Until the people realize they are feeding the beast it will not stop. The reality is they cannot afford the things they NEED on Social Security, food stamps and unemployment without feeding into the problem.


Brophy Friday 27 April 2012 - 8:57 pm | | Brophy Blog

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