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John Edwards’ Two Americas Congame

Democrat Vice-Presidential Nominee John Edwards, Convention Speech – July 28, 2004:

And we have much work to do, because the truth is, we still live in a country where there are two different Americas… one, for all of those people who have lived the American dream and don’t have to worry, and another for most Americans, everybody else who struggle to make ends meet every single day. It doesn’t have to be that way.

John Kerry and I believe that we shouldn’t have two different economies in America: one for people who are set for life, they know their kids and their grand-kids are going to be just fine; and then one for most Americans, people who live paycheck to paycheck. You don’t need me to explain this to you do you?

Democrat Presidential Candidate John Edwards, December 19, 2006: (h/t – The Corner)

OLD EDWARDS MANSION IN DC – $5.6 MILLION

edwards-house-sale-redo.jpg

NEW EDWARDS 100-ACRE COMPOUND IN CHAPEL HILL, NC – $3.1 MILLION

“It’s one thing to be a millionaire, but it’s totally tone-deaf to be using Katrina victims while you’re putting the finishing touches on your multimillion-dollar mansion,” said one Democratic operative.

Edwards’ posh estate is a work in progress, with a recently completed 10,700-square-foot main mansion as its centerpiece.

The $3.1 million ritzy pad sports 10 rooms, 61/2 baths, two garages, a huge country kitchen with hardwood floors, and sweeping verandas to soak in the view of the verdant pasture.

Edwards Phony Limosine Liberal Rhetoric – Priceless!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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55 Comments

  1. I am not sure which America he thinks I live in-we don’t quite live paycheck to paycheck, but we aren’t in the market for a 3 million dollar home either, so does that mean there are three Americas?

    Honestly, what does Edwards need a 3 million dollar home for? I bet he could buy a decent house in that area for around 500k and then he could build new homes for some of the Katrina victims with the 2.5 million he has left over.

    Comment by just me — January 6, 2007 @ 8:10 am - January 6, 2007

  2. Thanks for pointing this out. I’m glad that there is not one Republican who is a multi-millionaire in congress. Or that there isn’t one who has never owned a multi-million dollar home and has sold it. whew.

    You seem to thave this idea that any Democrat who has wealth is attempting to hide it. There’s a big difference between politicians who have wealth: on one side, you have those who have used the financial status to help others. On the other, you have people who come to government to feed at the public trough to only amass more wealth for themselves and their friends. I would put John Edwards in the fromer group, not the latter. You seem to have a mis-guided notion that Democrats are all a bunch of fake communists or radical socialists and, as is de rigeur on this site, attempt to create an false sense of hypocrisy that doesn’t exist.

    Comment by Kevin — January 6, 2007 @ 8:11 am - January 6, 2007

  3. Somebody forgot to close a strong or bold tag somewhere …

    Comment by rightwingprof — January 6, 2007 @ 9:07 am - January 6, 2007

  4. There has to be at least 7 America’s according to the limosine liberal rational…
    1. Multi-billionaires
    2. Multi-millionaires
    3. Milliionaires
    4. Small Business Owners
    5. Workers who earn 50k or less
    6. Hand out seekers
    7. Illegal Aliens

    We know where Edwards fall in line!

    Comment by Ed of Tampa — January 6, 2007 @ 9:30 am - January 6, 2007

  5. […] The Gay Patriot takes a shot at John Edwards.  I’m torn on this one.  While I don’t like anyone getting swung on simply because they’ve done well for themselves (even if it’s inherited money, someone in the family did well for themselves and their progeny), Edwards doesn’t need to be guilt tripping the ‘haves’ when he’s one of them.  Walking in New Orleans doesn’t give him insight into the life there any more than me giving the bums at the 7-11 south of the Capitol gives me insight into being homeless. […]

    Pingback by The Coffeespy » Where Are They Now: Kerry/Edwards ‘04 — January 6, 2007 @ 9:58 am - January 6, 2007

  6. The ones who are SET FOR LIFE in America are the bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers and trust-fund babies (and their dependents) who benefit when government runs more and more – when businesses don’t change – when people aren’t free, and there are no nasty disruptive ‘surprises’ from hard-working entrepreneurs, immigrants and other newcomers.

    Ever notice how much Old Money votes Democrat? The Kennedys, the Rockefellers. And even New Money, if it’s large-scale enough to “need” and to buy government protection, votes Democrat: the George Soroses, the Hollywood billionaires. Unfortunately, many corrupt Republican politicians play the game as well.

    Folks, they don’t do it because they love you. They do it from basic self-interest. The game is, “Shut out the uppity newcomers. Avoid disruption. Prevent business change.”

    But the beauty of their Leftist philosophy and illusions – the reason they cling to it so – is that it lets them pretend, in ‘noblesse oblige’ fashion, that they aren’t just selfish – that they are, somehow, at the end of the day, nobly helping all the poor people and up-and-comers who are TRAPPED and DESTROYED by their big-government policies.

    Comment by Calarato — January 6, 2007 @ 11:39 am - January 6, 2007

  7. Ah, yes, the champagne socialists who comprise the Dhimmicrats…always “do as I say, not as I do.”

    Their idea of diversity is having more blacks and Latinos as servants than whites. Pharisees all…

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 6, 2007 @ 12:07 pm - January 6, 2007

  8. Something tells me you all would have criticized John Edwards, no matter what he said or did. Sounds like more petty jealousy to me.

    Comment by Rheadher — January 6, 2007 @ 12:22 pm - January 6, 2007

  9. Hey Edwards, I’d be doing a lot better if I wasn’t getting fleeced by the damn Democrat juggernaut of the Teachers Union. I own a modest two bedroom condo in the Chicago burbs and am being robbed of $200/month in property taxes for public education alone!!! I’d much rather be putting most of that into a retirement account for myself. Instead I’m paying for teachers pensions equal to 80% of their salary which they can start collecting at age 55 for f*ck sake! And I’ll likely never get to retire! To add insult to injury the damn Teachers Union in Illinois wants another $42 BILLION in funding and our state is already $106 BILLION in debt. People like Edwards are responsible for this obscenity. The Dem plan is to rob from the lower middle class to create an elite upper middle class which is answerable to no one. Go stuff yourself Edwards. You disgust me!

    Comment by Dave — January 6, 2007 @ 1:09 pm - January 6, 2007

  10. And just think, all Silky Pony had to do to make his fortune was sue thousands of baby-doctors out of business on junk-science lawsuits, thus making good pre-natal and obstetric care an endangered species.

    Oh, and Dave, don’t forget that thanks to Democrats, you get to have 12.6% of your income confiscated for the rest of your life to pay into a social security system that will be bankrupt before you or I see any benefits. Meanwhile Bush, McCain, and other libs have cooked up a nice scheme by which illegal aliens who committed social security fraud (American citizens would go to prison for that) can collect social security after working only 18 months (American citizens have to work for ten years).

    Comment by V the K — January 6, 2007 @ 1:50 pm - January 6, 2007

  11. The next thing you know, Edwards will pretend he’s from the Northeastern Establishment with a family home in Kennebunkport or something, instead of the Southerner that he really is. He should really just clear some brush and forget about pretending he’s a New Englander. It apparently wins votes.

    Comment by jimmy — January 6, 2007 @ 2:32 pm - January 6, 2007

  12. Oh, and Dave, don’t forget that thanks to Democrats, you get to have 12.6% of your income confiscated for the rest of your life to pay into a social security system that will be bankrupt before you or I see any benefits.

    Amen.

    I was listening to a democratic congress member in an interview, and he was asked about social security and how to keep it solvent. His solution was to start means testing social security, although the softball interviewer didn’t even ask him who he considered “wealthy” for this plan.

    Comment by just me — January 6, 2007 @ 3:50 pm - January 6, 2007

  13. Why do you think a man with millions couldn’t still want to bridge the gap between the extremely rich, and vast masses of the poor?
    Mr. Edwards voting record, law case portfolio, organizational efforts, and charitable contributions speak for themselves, so I will not begrudge him, or anyone else, for buying the nicest home they can.
    You can be rich, and still work hard to make a progressive change in our nation. The issue isn’t rich vs. poor, but rather ways the rich can help the poor (which the unconscionable conservatives don’t do).

    VR
    A Liberal

    Comment by A Liberal — January 6, 2007 @ 3:55 pm - January 6, 2007

  14. There’s a big difference between politicians who have wealth: on one side, you have those who have used the financial status to help others.

    Actually, they haven’t, Kevin.

    If John Edwards really wanted to use his financial status to help others, he could simply give his money away himself.

    But instead, what he does is run for office, so he can tax other people to pay for what he wants to do.

    That way, he doesn’t have to give up one bit of his luxurious lifestyle; he just shifts the burden to the working folks who don’t have as much as he does, and rationalizes that it’s good for them to be forced to pay for it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 6, 2007 @ 5:49 pm - January 6, 2007

  15. You can be rich, and still work hard to make a progressive change in our nation.

    I have yet to see any rich liberal, anywhere, give the bulk of their wealth to the less fortunate and live the lifestyle of an average or lower middle class American. When they start doing that themselves, instead of using government power to redistribute other people’s money, then maybe I’ll consider that sanctimonious crap they spew about social justice.

    Comment by V the K — January 6, 2007 @ 6:28 pm - January 6, 2007

  16. There’s too much focus on the rich here. I want to be rich one day. But the point is that it’s the middle class which is getting totally screwed, especially by Democrats. Illinois income tax just went up 60%. THAT”S HUGE! I’m getting taxed to death and the Dems are clearly to blame! So when any damn Dem tells me that increased taxes are good, and that tax cuts are unfair it makes me want to shove them down a flight of stairs!

    Comment by Dave — January 6, 2007 @ 7:24 pm - January 6, 2007

  17. You can be rich, and still work hard to make a progressive change in our nation.

    Not sure what you mean by progressive change, but you are right that you can be rich and charitable and all that.

    Case in point, I went to school and church with a girl whose parents were millionaires (he owned a very successful regional plumbing and septic company). I didn’t know it or believe my mom when she told me when I was a teenager.

    You see this girls parents lived in house much like our own (they paid about 30k when they bought it in the 70’s), and in neighborhood much like ours. I never saw her or her brother wear anything with a designer label. When she turned 16 she didn’t get a car, not even a cheap Chevette. She and her family lived pretty much just like the rest of us.

    But her parents were very generous, they gave generously to local and community charities, as well as other more nationally known. If your organization needed monetary support he was always a willing donator. When my brother in law was trying to get a Habitat for Humanity chapter established in our town, his company donated a hefty amount and offered to donate services free of charge.

    I guess I could buy Edwards’ spiel if he lived his life a bit more like this family, rather than the way he does. I can get the “rich need to be more charitable” if he was actually more charitable. And frankly, I can’t think of any reason a person needs to build a 3.1 million dollar home.

    PS I wonder if Edwards’ kids have a nanny, and if he has hired help? The family I referenced never had a nanny, and they didn’t even hire a cleaning lady to come in occassionally, much less every day.

    Comment by just me — January 6, 2007 @ 8:02 pm - January 6, 2007

  18. The key to this whole thing – as several have said now – is that rich so-called “progressives” always want to be “progressive” with OPM (other people’s money).

    It’s easy to be generous at somebody else’s expense. In this case: Easy, immoral and socially UNjust.

    Real social justice is letting people improve their lives and keep what they earn – Not using government to loot them. But left-liberals will never understand that. That’s why they’re left-liberals. They might turn suicidal, if they ever realized how socially unjust and immoral they are.

    Comment by Calarato — January 6, 2007 @ 10:03 pm - January 6, 2007

  19. #16: There is nothing wrong with being rich. What’s wrong is to be sanctimonious about “unfairness” and “unequal distribution of wealth” and proposing to address “unfairness” by redistributing other people’s (especially the middle class) income, while being completely unwilling to sacrifice any of one’s own.

    When donks hike taxes on “the rich” (whom they define as anyone making more than $200K per year), do you really think gazillionaires like the Heinz-Kerry’s, the Kennedy’s, the Edwardses, the Streisands or George Soros end up pinched? No, they have armies of accountants and lawyers to protect their wealth. It’s the entrepreneurs and small businessmen that take it in the shorts.

    How many units of low-income housing the Heinz-Kerries could build if they sold off their five mega-mansions? How much heating oil could the Kennedies provide if they used their own money, and maybe laid off the private jets? How many acres of wilderness could Babs Steisand preserve if she actually used some of her vast wealth to pay for it.

    Sure, they all want “progressive change,” paid for by other people’s money. Because they sure as hell don’t want to give up a penny of their own.

    Comment by V the K — January 6, 2007 @ 10:16 pm - January 6, 2007

  20. I grew up in Chapel Hill, though I haven’t lived there in 15 years. Unless things have changed, that is an astonishingly large mansion for that area – even though were a few wealthy people outside of town that had large estates. On the other hand, it’s his money and he can do whatever he wants with it.

    Comment by Patrick Rothwell — January 6, 2007 @ 11:36 pm - January 6, 2007

  21. #10
    (American citizens would go to prison for that)

    Well, if you’re Chucky Schumer, you can steal someone’s personal info and nobody gives a damn.

    #13
    The issue isn’t rich vs. poor, but rather ways the rich can help the poor (which the unconscionable conservatives don’t do).

    So after 40 years, all the TRILLIONS of dollars the libs have thrown at the rat hole that is the War on Poverty and all the families and lives destroyed from said war, one wonders why there are any poor people at all.

    We shouldn’t look at the results, only the good intentions.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 7, 2007 @ 2:07 am - January 7, 2007

  22. #19 – But V and others –

    It’s important to note that even if Kennedy, Pelosi or someone did give their money away – It still would NOT make it right for them to “distribute” everyone else’s.

    Also, just fyi, there is quite a bit of evidence out there (anecdotal and more serious) that conservatives do far more for the poor, out of their own pockets and volunteer efforts, than liberals.

    Comment by Calarato — January 7, 2007 @ 2:36 am - January 7, 2007

  23. can you say president edwwards???

    Comment by markie — January 7, 2007 @ 7:34 am - January 7, 2007

  24. “…all the TRILLIONS of dollars the libs have thrown at the rat hole that is the War on Poverty…”
    The fact is Social Security and other programs have been extraordinarily successful in curbing debilitating poverty amoung the elderly.

    Further, all the ranting about Edward’s wealth does nothing to refute his point about the dangerous reality of the income gap and its potential ramifications on the country.

    Instead we see the typical rightist foaming mouth attacks on the messenger instead of the message.

    Comment by keogh — January 7, 2007 @ 12:43 pm - January 7, 2007

  25. One wonders if Bruce does not understand just how meticulously manufactured the down-home “folksy” persona of President Bush is.

    What comes to mind is particular photo-op that showed the President “clearing brush” on his ranch. When in fact the brush had already been cleared by his ranch hands and was actually moved back in just for the photo shoot.

    President Bush is a millionaire, the privileged son of a millionaire. I don’t think that says anything as to whether he is a bad President or not, but it is a fact that the man has never known financial want or need. He has never had to cut corners in order make rent. In this, his experience and life has been completely different than that of the majority of Americans. Bush may indeed “feel your pain” but not through personal experience.

    And now Bruce criticizes Edwards for trying to create the same kind of persona that Bush has already done.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — January 7, 2007 @ 2:22 pm - January 7, 2007

  26. The Two Americas message is powerful. I believe that it played a large role in the 2006 elections and will be a major issue in the 2008 elections. While I agree that Edwards isn’t the most effective messanger here, Conservatives that simply attack the messenger do so at their own peril.

    When Health Care Companies designed legislation taking away the ability of people to sue for reasonable torts, they said they were doing so to reduce the high costs of health insurance so that they could increase coverage and include more benefits. So we got tort reform. Has insurance coverage increased? No. Has insurance benefits increased? No. Did executive bonuses increase? Yes. So who benefited? A very very few. Who lost? Many.

    When the credit card and health care industry designed legislation to remove the ability of Americans making over $40k a year to file for bankruptcy liquidation, they said that they needed to do that in order to keep interest rates low and provide credit. Well they got their bankruptcy reform. What happened. Interest rates went through the roof, Credit Card companies started charging penalty interest rates of 20 percent above prime for persons that cannot liquidate their debts, and executive corporate compensation in that industry went through the roof. Who benefited? A very very few. Who lost? Many.

    When the oil industry designed legislation to gut environmental legislation and provide direct cash payments to energy companies, they said they needed it in order to build new refineries and additional supply infrastructure to smooth out supply constraints. Well the energy industry got their tax subsidy and regulatory relief. How many money have they spent on energy infrastructure? What happened to executive compensation? Who benefited? Who lost?

    When executives of corporations (in cooridination with their investment advisors) take their companies into bankruptcy in order to cancel their pension obligations (or shift them to the taxpayers) in order to be more profitable and therefore be able to pay immense benefits to the executives at those corporations and their investment advisors), who benefits? Who loses?

    And I can go on and on.

    Many will argue that there were many beneficiaries of these policies, namely the shareholders of those companies. But are they really benefiting? Think about it. When Lee Raymond at Exxon-Mobil was paid a half a billion dollars last year, did he EARN that money? Could someone else provided the same benefit for less compensation? If the stock market reacts with higher prices when a company fires 1000 employees (making a total of 50 million a year), isn’t it against the interests of the shareholders if they pay their executives too much as well?

    What is to be done? For starters, the industries that have had a field day over the last 6 years should be required to show how their pet legislation achieved the results for which they advocated the legislation. And there should be effective protections for shareholders from outsized bonuses. There should be some symmetry in executive compensation (e.g., compensation should be tied to a risk/reward methodology undertaken by the executive or towards a demonstrated personal contribution towards profitability – rather from simply warming a seat when events became favorable to the corporation).

    What makes Edwards’ message so powerful is that millions of Americans are coming to his point of view. They hear all of this great news on the Economy but their lives are getting worse economically. These aren’t the proverbial welfare recipients, they are middle class Americans. Many of those people are people that supported the GOP in the last couple of years. They aren’t Socialists, they aren’t Communists, but they feel that their government and their corporate class is not working in the interest of the economy at large.

    Newt argues about the culture of opportunity. Edwards is appealing to those that would LIKE to believe in the culture of opportunity but has come to believe that the odds have been needlessly stacked against them by the GOP. That is your challenge. Not whether Edwards has a big house or was a Trial Attorney.

    Comment by Tom in NYC — January 7, 2007 @ 4:43 pm - January 7, 2007

  27. Well put, Tom. Perhaps this two year period of Democrat drama will force Republicans to provide real answers to these questions and force general but nervous capitalists to refocus arguments on why we don’t want the government “solution” that will destroy everything for everybody.

    Comment by VinceTN — January 7, 2007 @ 7:05 pm - January 7, 2007

  28. Problem with that analysis: The economy HASN’T been getting worse.

    The percentage of the population (a) owning homes and (b) having college education are both at all time high. And huge majorities of people report that their personal economic prospects as bright or brighter than they’ve ever been.

    That’s on top of inflation and unemployment near historic lows, statistics visible to anyone who has been paying attention.

    The anxiety and hand-wringing are mostly generated by Democrats / Bush-hating media. Which is to say: The media. The same studies and polls showing huge majorities confident about their personal economics show them worried about their neighbors – based on news coverage. Analyses also show that the media gives more negative coverage to Bush than it did to Clinton – for comparable economic statistics – and for NO statistically valid economic reason.

    Most of what Tom has written is just nonsense. Think about it: He is in favor of going back to extremely high medical tort awards. How will that lower medical costs? Who would it help? Not the average medical consumer, that’s for damn sure. Sounds like we have another Kos-talking-point spewer on our hands!

    Comment by Calarato — January 7, 2007 @ 9:09 pm - January 7, 2007

  29. I would not — could not — vote for John Edwards if he were the only candidate on the November ’08 ballot. But he does have a point.

    The situation isn’t as dire as Edwards would like to make it appear, but there are two Americas. The have nots include the underemployed and those unable to afford health insurance.

    Those who smugly claim all is well in George Bush’s “boom” economy ought to spend a week with an elderly widow living primarily on Social Security, then a week with a physically disabled middle-aged man who cannot work and then a week with a rural family whose child has no access to the jobs needed to earn enough money for college.

    Comment by Ashley Hunter — January 7, 2007 @ 9:26 pm - January 7, 2007

  30. I always love it when people repeat Edwards talking points.

    When Health Care Companies designed legislation taking away the ability of people to sue for reasonable torts,

    No one has taken anyone’s ability to sue away. What they have done is simply to cap the amount which people can get through lawsuits.

    The reason leftists like Edwards hate that is because their fees are tied directly to the size of the judgment — usually 40% or more of it. Furthermore, they usually work on contingency, meaning they don’t collect anything until the judgment has been rendered; therefore, it’s no longer profitable for them to file lawsuits that have little likelihood of winning. Therefore, they’ve manipulated people nto believing that the “right to sue” has been taken away, when what really has happened is that juries are no longer allowed to award ridiculous amounts and fatten the pockets of lawyers.

    When the credit card and health care industry designed legislation to remove the ability of Americans making over $40k a year to file for bankruptcy liquidation,

    Yup — because what was figured out is that people were abusing Chapter 7, since it in essence allows you to keep a large portion of your property as exempt, but completely removes the right of creditors to come after you, since you “liquidate” token properties. The new rules say that, if you make above the average income for your state AND you can afford to pay at least 25% of your unsecured debt, which is calculated using a formula that takes into account standard expenses like food and housing, you must do Chapter 13, which requires you to repay at least a portion of your debt over three to five years, be it secured or unsecured.

    In short, if you’re making more money than the average person in a state and can afford to pay your debts, you now have to do so. And Democrats apparently loathe that idea.

    Then to the rest:

    Interest rates went through the roof,

    The Federal Reserve controls the base interest rate. You are expected to be intelligent enough to read and realize what interest rate your credit card company is requiring.

    Credit Card companies started charging penalty interest rates of 20 percent above prime for persons that cannot liquidate their debts

    You mean, for people who cannot pay their bills on time like the rest of us do. And whose amount is also noted in the agreement you sign that says you want the card in the first place.

    How many money have they spent on energy infrastructure?

    Take a look for yourself. And that’s just one group of refineries in one area. Why on earth would oil companies not add capacity, when they can make money on every additional gallon they produce?

    The amusing thing about it is that these refineries are having to spend these hundreds of millions of dollars because Democrat-dominated states like California are demanding hundreds of different gas blends for different areas, all of which require different tanks, pipelines, and other pieces to move them around.

    And, for the five hundredth time…..oil is an international commodity. Ironically, part of the reason oil prices are so high is because we are forbidden from drilling for it in so many places. What I find infinitely amusing is that Democrats do all they can to decrease the supply of oil and number of operating refineries, but then act surprised when prices rise. Did they sleep through demand curves and equations in economics?

    When Lee Raymond at Exxon-Mobil was paid a half a billion dollars last year, did he EARN that money? Could someone else provided the same benefit for less compensation.

    And yet, when it comes to people asking whether or not someone else overseas could provide the same benefit to a company for less compensation than an American worker, Democrats have an aneurysm. One wonders how easily they would go if their boss came to them and said, “Sorry, I’ve found someone who can do the same job for a cheaper price. Obviously, you aren’t earning your money. Get out.”

    I would have absolutely zero problem with Democrats demanding that you look for the cheapest person to do a job if they weren’t such absolute and utter hypocrites on outsourcing. But the simple fact of the matter is that they demand businesses pay workers completely out of proportion with their skills, contributions, and performance at the low end, but insist that executives never earn their salary. If we could apply the same quality and value control measures to unionized and semi-skilled labor that we do to executives, productivity in this country would skyrocket. But people whose outstanding skill in life was attaching a wiring harness to a chassis wouldn’t be making $30/hour with full benefit coverage.

    They hear all of this great news on the Economy but their lives are getting worse economically.

    Bologna. The current unemployment rate for college graduates is 1.9%, right at the rate it was during the height of the dot.com rush. We’re already seeing that in wage data, which is rapidly accelerating and well ahead of inflation.

    I myself have several requisitions for employment that I can’t fill because of the tight market, and it is pushing market wages upward nicely, aided by the fact that several tech companies that have been on wage freezes for years are finally loosening up.

    But I have no work for semi-skilled people who want to earn $30/hour. No one does. And Prince Johnny and his fellow leftists won’t acknowledge that reality, and tell the bulk of their undereducated constituents that the world will no longer subsidize them.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 7, 2007 @ 9:30 pm - January 7, 2007

  31. And, for the five hundredth time…..oil is an international commodity.

    Dogbert explains it all.

    Thanks NDT. Well done.

    Comment by John in IL — January 8, 2007 @ 12:50 am - January 8, 2007

  32. #29

    Those who smugly claim all is well in George Bush’s “boom” economy ought to spend a week with an elderly widow living primarily on Social Security, then a week with a physically disabled middle-aged man who cannot work and then a week with a rural family whose child has no access to the jobs needed to earn enough money for college.

    Ashley,
    Anecdotes, while heartfelt, are not something you should base policy on (unless you are John Edwards).

    Comment by John in IL — January 8, 2007 @ 1:07 am - January 8, 2007

  33. #32. Ashley, see the compassion in the conservatism now?

    #30. I love to see you repeat your own talking points.

    But, I have learned: John Edwards is evil, poor people suck, and the USA will not be good or better until we vote for any Republican in the next election. Preferably one with a cheap house.

    Oh, and that the Dallas lady is so busy with work. (Does that mean her job here will be cut back?)

    Comment by sean — January 8, 2007 @ 1:23 am - January 8, 2007

  34. And why does this blog hate rich people with big houses? Aren’t we all gonna get them in George’s America?

    Comment by sean — January 8, 2007 @ 1:24 am - January 8, 2007

  35. Ashley, see the compassion in the conservatism now?

    Actually, it depends on how you define “compassion”.

    Conservatives would give these people money and assistance themselves.

    Liberals like Edwards wouldn’t reach into their own pockets, but would levy taxes on others to pay for it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 8, 2007 @ 2:30 am - January 8, 2007

  36. There is nothing compassionate – NOTHING – about looting your neighbor at gunpoint. Which is what high taxes are (or do).

    Thus – Liberals have no compassion.

    If liberals had compassion – if liberals actually wanted to help the poor – then they would support the only government policies that have ever helped the poor in centuries of history: Free economic development under free markets and low taxes for all.

    Ashley’s comment in #29 is a pure red herring. If we had the kind of high taxes and moribund economy that so-called “progressives” want, the elderly widow would be even worse off, if not dead!

    And Ashley, if you actually care about those people: are you GIVING YOUR income to help them as we speak? Conservatives are (through churches and other private charities).

    Comment by Calarato — January 8, 2007 @ 4:47 am - January 8, 2007

  37. But really, Cal, liberals don’t want to help the poor — they want to control the poor.

    To private charities, poor people represent a drain on finances. They can’t simply go back to their funding sources and say, “We have more, they want to stay here, give us more money”. It is in their best interests to not only help the poor immediately, but to set them on the road to not needing their help in the first place.

    For liberals, the funding supply is unlimited; after all, they’ve gotten used to going back to voters, enacting or demanding a funding (read “tax”) increase, and then, when voters object, pulling the “do you want to put widows and orphans out on the street” spiel. Meanwhile, they give these people just enough to survive, but not so much that they could actually change their lives significantly — or, in other words, enough to buy and keep their vote, but not enough to make them question why the government needs so much of their earnings.

    The simple fact is this; if John Edwards hates the rich, demands income redistribution, and rails that something should be done about “the rich”….he could start with himself.

    Republicans, who do not hate the rich, who do not demand income redistribution, and whose party is built on the idea that people are entitled to keep what they earn, need not worry about such stricture.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 8, 2007 @ 4:23 pm - January 8, 2007

  38. Yes, Calarato, I do help others through taxes and voluntary contributions. While it’s not any of your business, you did challenge me and I shall go into some detail.

    In regard to the three examples I cited: In the town where I live there are several elderly widows trying to live on less than $600 a month. I anonymously help through our church. There is a man in town who’s been totally disabled for 41 years and tries to live on about $700 a month (‘tho the VA does provide his painkillers). I purchase most of his groceries and OTC medications. I can’t help every kid in the area but I know several teenagers who have no local job opportunities, except to mow a couple of lawns every summer, and don’t have transportation to the available summer and weekend jobs 35-40 miles away. I keep them busy around my yard and house (even when it takes imagination to “make” work for them).

    Since I am not a liberal “secular progressive” (but a political moderate who happens to be a born-again Christian) I tithe 10 percent of my gross income to my local church and its mission projects in the United States (in fact, now that I’m doing my income taxes I find that I need to send a check to the church because my weekly offerings were a little short of 10 percent). In addition, during 2006 I donated $18,237 to charities and non-profits (down from 2005 but there was no Katrina in ’06).

    Since I don’t believe in deducting church and charitable donations my accountant tells me that after I send a final check to the IRS this month I will have paid $94,702.47 in federal income taxes for 2006.

    So, Calarato, I guess I’m entitled to talk about helping the have-nots.

    Comment by Ashley Hunter — January 8, 2007 @ 8:03 pm - January 8, 2007

  39. 15: Well, get to know a few more rich liberals then.

    35: Re-defining things appears to be a current conservative sport. Let’s see: waterborading was considering torture throughout the 20th century, but Mr. Bush and company have re-defined it as “agressive interrogation”

    38: Of course the republicans don’t hat they rich: they richo ones work to make the rich ones richer and spend a lot of time faking out Republicans with a lot of lies – like the idea that estate taxes affect everyone.

    Comment by Kevin — January 8, 2007 @ 9:45 pm - January 8, 2007

  40. So, Ashley, based on the 2006 tax table, that tax figure puts your taxable income at approximately $327,000 annually — or a monthly income of $27,250.

    What amuses me is that, despite your willingness to talk about “helping”, you certainly seem insistent that the government should come in and relieve you of the responsibilities that you’ve taken. Why is that?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 9, 2007 @ 4:00 am - January 9, 2007

  41. #33

    But, I have learned: John Edwards is evil, poor people suck, and the USA will not be good or better until we vote for any Republican in the next election.

    And where has the War On Poverty and Socialist Stupidity gotten them?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 9, 2007 @ 5:34 am - January 9, 2007

  42. #34
    And why does this blog hate rich people with big houses? Aren’t we all gonna get them in George’s America?

    Well, Soros failed to buy the White House in 2004, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Besides, he’s too busy raping the economies of other countries. Further, he’s too busy hiding his NYC company in the Carribean to avoid paying taxes.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 9, 2007 @ 5:37 am - January 9, 2007

  43. Ashley Hunter,

    Good for you! A couple points:

    (1) In that context, your earlier comments sound to me like you feel guilty for your wealth. You shouldn’t.

    (2) No matter how qualified you may be to talk about helping others out of your own pocket… you (and everyone else – not just you) ARE NEVER qualified to talk about helping people out of someone else pocket.

    There is nothing, repeat NOTHING, loving or compassionate or Godly about looting your neighbor at gunpoint – which is what taxation is.

    Jesus drew a profound distinction between Himself and Caesar. Jesus said, in effect, “Give your wealth away and follow me”. He DID NOT say, “Enlist Caesar’s tax collectors to seize your neighbor’s wealth.”

    Comment by Calarato — January 9, 2007 @ 12:01 pm - January 9, 2007

  44. Calarato, you said that far better and far less snarkily than did I.

    And you opened up an excellent point; liberals like Edwards play on peoples’ guilt about having more money than their neighbors. What makes it particularly diabolical is that, instead of advocating personal charity and giving of yourself, they have substituted the thought that forcing everyone else to give is a reason to feel good about yourself.

    Ashley, I would say to you this: thank you for what you already give. Consider giving more. But don’t EVER let someone tell you that you don’t deserve what you have; giving out of guilt or obligation is not anywhere near a “cheerful giver”.

    And I definitely apologize to you for being snarky.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 9, 2007 @ 5:36 pm - January 9, 2007

  45. North Dallas 30, comment 40 — I certainly don’t feel obligated to donate money and I certainly don’t make donations because I feel guilty about having wealth. I donate money (and time) because I want to, and I’m thankful I have the money to donate.

    And I don’t think government ought to be a big “charity”, forcing working people to “donate” through taxes. But there are more people who’ve fallen through the safety nets — and legitimately need help — than churches and charities can handle. Government has to be the safety net of last resort. A compassionate nation ought to have no problem with that government role. I’d rather see my taxes help the working poor, the elderly poor and the disabled than fund “corporate welfare”.

    Comment by Ashley Hunter — January 9, 2007 @ 10:17 pm - January 9, 2007

  46. A compassionate nation ought to have a HUGE problem with that government role, because, again, there is nothing compassionate (nor “socially just” nor Christian) in redistributionism.

    Quite the opposite. And same goes for corporate welfare, unnecessarily bloated defense contracts, agricultural subsidies, etc. Taxes prevent job creation – hurting the poor most of all.

    Comment by Calarato — January 10, 2007 @ 2:47 am - January 10, 2007

  47. (to state it with precision: Private capital accumulation is superior to government spending in whatever form, for all of the following: the raising of living standards; the creation of what Michael Dukakis famously called “good jobs at good wages”; and the raising of long-term productivity growth, a.k.a. the prevention of “stagflation” which would otherwise hit the poor and the elderly the hardest. In addition, as NDT suggested, private charity and other private means are far superior to government spending for actually helping people.)

    Comment by Calarato — January 10, 2007 @ 2:57 am - January 10, 2007

  48. (My last update for the night: John Stossel explains why the new Congress will actually be injuring the poor if they decree a higher minimum wage. But hey – Real-world results don’t count, right? Lefties are “compassionate” no matter how many jobs, lives, or people they have to kill, right?)

    Comment by Calarato — January 10, 2007 @ 3:10 am - January 10, 2007

  49. What you are saying, Calarato, is if you’re elderly and poor or disabled and poor and live in a poor rural county where there is little charitable outreach (where Salvation Army bellringers collected less than $90 this past Christmas) you’re shit out of luck. You have little food on the table, little heat in the home and little medical care. (And this county does exist –probably by the dozens in the dying rural areas of America.)

    It sounds a lot like the John Birch Society (do you also believe Dwight D. Eisenhower was a commie spy?).

    Comment by Ashley Hunter — January 10, 2007 @ 8:59 pm - January 10, 2007

  50. What you are saying, Calarato, is if you’re elderly and poor or disabled and poor and live in a poor rural county where there is little charitable outreach (where Salvation Army bellringers collected less than $90 this past Christmas) you’re shit out of luck.

    What keeps you from giving money to people in a different county, Ashley?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 11, 2007 @ 3:23 pm - January 11, 2007

  51. Exactly. Or: What keeps the charity we give to from working in the next county? (The homeless charity I give to spans 3 counties.)

    Comment by Calarato — January 11, 2007 @ 3:31 pm - January 11, 2007

  52. Finally, Ashley –

    I notice you have started tossing out the ad hominems, rather than answering my argument substantively.

    Rather than fall into the same trap, let me just advise you to reflect on that.

    Comment by Calarato — January 11, 2007 @ 3:34 pm - January 11, 2007

  53. John Edwards…Americas answer to Hugo Chavez!

    Yes, the hypocrisy is overwhelming. It hasn’t gotten much coverage, the details anyway, but Mr. Two Americas has a beach house on private Figure Eight Island. There is a security guard and a drawbridge to cross the intercoastal waterway to get to the house. While the tax card (new Hanover County NC) shows a value of about $1,300,000, that value is about 7 or 8 years old. Beach property on the NC coast has more than doubled in that time. Value is closer to $3,000,000. The point is that Johnny doesn’t know how Americans live, or want to mix with us. No public beaches, public swimming pools, public basketball courts, YMCA’s, and certainly no pubilic transportation. I find it highly unlikley he flies in anything but private jets too. Left wing greenies who are honest would hate this guy!

    Comment by Gary — February 3, 2007 @ 11:25 am - February 3, 2007

  54. I do not think that John Edwards is a hypocrite because he is successful, nor do I think he or “liberals” want successful people to feel guilty for being successful. I think he wants the playing field to be even, as we all know that most wealth is accumulated with the help of government, be it local, State or Federal. I know this first-hand, as I have worked with several firms who have made millions or been bailed out with government contracts. Those who are successful and have eaten from the “government trough” should pay their share the way the vast majority of middle-class Americans do. Pay your fair share, and equal opportunity is what is needed. After all, successful people need not be rewarded by our government, do they?

    Comment by Phillip Q — March 5, 2007 @ 2:22 pm - March 5, 2007

  55. Hmmm, a gay republican. Isn’t that a bit like a chicken wearing a sandwich board advertizing Kentucky Fried Chicken?

    Are you this vexed over the Bush compound(s)? The spread in Midland is on 1600 acres. It’s huge! Then there’s the family estate, Walker’s Point, in Kennebunkport that will pass to W when his parents shuffle off.

    I’m waiting with bated breath on what the RNC’s talking points are on wealth.

    We sure know that Republicans don’t help the little guy get any of it. The Edwards work to help others up the ladder and I’m sure that they’ll continue to do so when they get into the White House. John’s website has some excellent policies up in that regard, for helping Americans regain the ground they’ve lost under Republican rule..

    Comment by Jane — April 10, 2007 @ 3:53 am - April 10, 2007

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