David Azevedo It's not ironic at all. Hong Kong and Singapore show that you can have economic freedom AND government intervention to compensate for market failures. As is always ignored by Wikipedia-Austrians on this site, market failures in and of themselves inhibit true economic freedom. When you're water source comes from a river downstream from a toxin-spewing factory, you're going to want government to neutralize this externality (or maybe you just like growing a third hand).
David Azevedo Fact-checking time! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111th_United_States_Congress#Senate_3 So you're wrong. Dems had 58 seats, at most. They did have 2 independents who caucused with them, I'll give you that. But remember that you had them and a lot of Dems who won in narrow elections, which meant they couldn't be completely on board with Obama's socialist agenda.
David Azevedo But you know, it really does depend on how this fiscal cliff plays out. Boehner actually is our best hope--he's showed that he's willing to put out the olive branch (sometimes, more than Obama). But he's got the Tea Party at his heels and Eric Cantor ready to coup. Those Republicans--the ones with only 34% of extremist constituents they have to worry about--is who I'm worried about...
David Azevedo True--history does show that, and I really hope it repeats itself. I mean, look at how much we accomplished with Reagan and Tip O'Neill--tax reform, immigration reform, social security reform...
David Azevedo Ever hear of a filibuster? That's what really gets me. Everyone says "Obama had his chance" with both houses of Congress in 08-10. He didn't have the filibuster-proof 60, so no, he didn't. That's why you have a Heritage Foundation/Romneycare-like ACA with no public option.
David Azevedo Just to add: Here's a relevant study: "Half of US social program recipients believe they "have not used a government social program" http://boingboing.net/2011/07/08/half-of-us-social-pr.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boingboing%2FiBag+%28Boing+Boing%29&utm_source=PolicyMic+Newsletter&utm_campaign=df852fbb39-New_Newsletter2_29_2012&utm_medium=email
David Azevedo We're in total agreement on your second-paragraph-first sentence. But how specifically does Romney help the helpless? I don't see that outlined anywhere. Implication warning...when you say "I want none of my tax dollars to go to the clueless or the lazy...That's what Romney was saying", it sounds like you're saying 47% of Americans are clueless or lazy. Is that what you want to say? And full disclosure: thoroughly enjoy the Jesse-Susan debates :)
David Azevedo We can agree on something here--government services, by their nature, are a redistribution of wealth. So for a person to use these services, that person is supporting a redistributive society, am I right? My challenge to you then: answer my question without using the internet (developed by government funds). And while you're at it, stop drinking that Coke (whose main ingredient, high fructose corn syrup, is from subsidized farmers), stop driving on roads and highways and using public transit, don't take out student loans, don't buy anything from General Electric, Chevron, Shell, and most certainly not GM (all of which get billions of dollars of subsidies every year)... I can keep going but I'd hit my character limit :)
David Azevedo His biggest drop was the 401(k) - government-backed hybrid plan, which would have, of course, but a monumental reform (sadly echoing Jesse's cynicism here--that would just never happen right now). Here's his original 12-point plan: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20111027/ARTICLES/111029532 Great article by Crane--thanks for that--he's right on the money. One thing that he implied, but didn't make explicit, is that a ridiculous amount of the state budget, from education to pensions, is constitutionally "locked in" (around 85% last time I looked). And of course these costs are rising, squeezing that 15% breathing room tighter. So unfortunately, the best decisions right now are the hard ones--remaking huge portions of the law.
David Azevedo let's see, what did I do before I went to work this morning? swam in the ocean, surfed, had some freshly picked California oranges, made lunch with some farm-fresh California avocados... I could keep going, but I hear the California-envy-groan already coming over the Sierras ;)