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Thread: Political Views?

  1. #1

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    Political Views?

    My wife's been teasing me since I've started programming because alot of my new friends are liberals. I'm a conservative(pardon the spelling, just because I vote rep doesn't take away the fact my state fights with mississippi for last place in education), but on the hand I'm not a extremist like rush limbaugh. So I was wondering, with programmers, do people lean to the Dem or Rep side?

    Edit - I realize that some people are middle men, so I added independent.
    I also recognize that some people commit one of the worst crimes(in my mind) and don't vote.
    Last edited by dday9; Feb 20th, 2012 at 03:23 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Political Views?

    This is a very contentious issue. We are in another period of our history in the U.S. when the two "brand name" parties have taken up polar opposite positions on some issues that get knee-jerk reactions from people. This can make civil discourse on political topics break down very quickly.

    There is some truth in statements that voting for independent candidates tends to be a wasted vote or accidentally undermines the "brand name" closer to your own views. Yet falling in line and voting for the one or the other can lead to a feeling of helplessness, as if they'll ignore what you think because they know they can take your vote for granted. But if everyone just "goes along" change is impossible.

    It can be a mess, and I can almost understand why some choose to just stay home. It is much harder for me to understand how some can straddle the fence and vote for Purple one year and Pink 4 years later. But when you look at the results we get maybe there really isn't much difference between them anyway except in campaign rhetoric.

    Politics kind of stinks.

  3. #3

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    Re: Political Views?

    Politics kind of stinks.
    I agree. I wish that one day, as a great philosphere once said "Can't we all just get along!"

  4. #4
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    Re: Political Views?

    There really isn't all that much difference between the two sides. The two most mainstream candidates we could have in the upcoming election would be Obama vs Romney. Obama has hardly been liberal, despite the labels that have been thrown around. If you think he has, then consider that nobody on the left has been really thrilled with him, but he's certainly more favored when compared with somebody further right.

    On the other hand, if you consider Romney, that's kind of like choosing what's behind curtain #2, since he's held both sides of every issue at one point or another. What he'd be like as a president is anybody's guess.

    I'm probably one of the more liberal Americans on this forum, but I tend towards conservative or libertarian on economic issues. However, as long as the republican party has taken stands that I can't stomach on a few issues, I'll vote against them. That's not quite the same thing as voting FOR somebody. I'm not so uttely disgusted as to not vote, and in Idaho, the third party candidates are so far out there that they can't be seen by the naked eye. You can hear them, though, and it is some of the finest entertainment, so I look forward to the broadcast debates. Seriously, we have a guy who legally changed his name to Right-to-Life, so they have to address him as Mr. Right-to-Life. What's even better was that in the last debate I heard (which the race leader and eventual winner wisely skipped), he was to the left of at least two of the people in the debate.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Political Views?

    Dang... I can't vote in this poll... I'm no a Republican, nor a Democrat, nor an Independent, and I DO vote. I do have a party affiliation, even if the state I live in doesn't recognize it (the primaries here are actually open, no one registers as being part of a party, you simply register to vote)...
    I'm Libertarian (L) ... don't confuse that with independent (I) which means no party affiliation. I'd like to see a smaller government, lower taxes, reduced spending and more control on things returned back to the States. I think the govt needs to get out of our houses, and stop trying to regulate morality through legislation. DOMA was a mistake and needs to be repealed, as does all of Obamacare. And quite frankly, ALL of the candidates scare me. I don't think any of them have a clue what middle America is about. I certainly don't think they know what *I'm* about.

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  6. #6
    Loquacious User Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Political Views?

    Yeah, I'd go along with most of that. Whenever I have taken any political leaning test, I tend to be libertarian with a liberal bias (there are at LEAST two axis, rather than just one). The one point made there that I don't agree with is that I feel that some form of Obamacare is essential. It may not be essential just yet, but in the near future it will be.

    What is the point of government? If it is simply to enhance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then that is a justification for the existence of some form of military, as it preserves liberty (up to a point), a case could also be made for highways, rural electrification, and so forth, as things that enhance the latter and would be prohibitive without a central government (phones and electricity still wouldn't have made it to many places because the returns for the companies is VASTLY lower than the cost of installation). By the same token, we are rapidly reaching a time when the level of healthcare available is becoming profound, but the cost of same is becoming profound-er, and this will continue even if all inflationary factors are removed. Consider this case:

    A friend of mine had a terrible pregnancy (well, his wife did, anyways, and I barely know her). The wife was in the hospital for the last couple months, and the baby was born WAY premature.

    In the 30s, baby and mother would have died. The state of healthcare was so low that there would have been no chance to save either. End of story. That would have been seriously cheap, because nothing could have been done, so nothing would have been done, and neither mother nor child would have required any further healthcare because they would have been dead.

    In the 60s, the baby would have died, but the mother might have survived. Things were getting better, a few more things could have been tried, and they might have been enough to save the life of the mother. It wouldn't have been terribly expensive, because not much could have been done, but it might have been enough...or not. Had the mother lived, she would have gone on to use more healthcare later, but the baby, being dead, would not.

    By the 80s, premature baby care was beginning to improve. The mother would have lived, and the baby might have lived, as well. Lots of things would be tried, which would have kept the mother alive, and she would have gone on to use more healthcare. Lots of things would be tried for the baby, so it would have been much more expensive, but it might not have worked (the baby was waaaaayyyy premature). So this would have been considerably more expensive, but still might have had a cap.

    Now, in the last decade, advances were made, and both are alive. The cost was greater than the father will make (gross) in most of his life, despite the fact that he is above the median income. Both mother and child will continue to use healthcare, and therefore, since we statistically incurr 80% of our total lifetime healthcare costs in the last two years of our lives, they will each use another big whack of healthcare.

    So, what are the options? Do we let people die? Do we kill them ourselves once they have incurred above a certain expense (adjusted based on their income, with some exception made for people below a certain age, or else those in HS would get whacked for getting a cavity)?

    I would say that as technology increases, thereby increasing the effectiveness of healthcare, which will mean that we will live longer and therefore use more healthcare, one of the fundamental roles of government will be to provide for the health of the citizens, which will necessarily come at a price that only a handful can afford themselves out of pocket.

    We aren't there, yet, but effective healthcare is barely 100 years old (and possibly much less, depending on your definition of effective). Dealing with todays problems, with the expectations that the situation won't change, would be pretty naive.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Political Views?

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    I'd like to see a smaller government, lower taxes, reduced spending and more control on things returned back to the States. I think the govt needs to get out of our houses, and stop trying to regulate morality through legislation...
    TG, it's called Utopia so your wish will never come true. Unless you're kidding...

  8. #8
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    Re: Political Views?

    It's not utopia... utopia has no government... I still think government is necessary... I just don't think it's necessary for it to be the size that it is. It's absurd.

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  9. #9

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    Re: Political Views?

    Shaggy, I agree with you to an extent. Health care can and should be advancing with each and every generation. However, I do not think that we should have it governmentaly controlled. I'm pretty poor, I do however, try to budget and save, in case of an emergency. When my wife had to go to the "free"(I put that in quotes because we still owed a little less than $500), there was a man there with a gun shot wound who had stayed in the waiting room overnight and was still waiting there several hours after we had arrived.

    Tg, are you sure you aren't republican? If not you are uber conservative. lol

    And btw, my wife was glancing at me posting this and wanted to mention that "Thank God she has health care now!"

  10. #10
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    Re: Political Views?

    WHAT? I'm conservative? oooooh noooooooo. No no no no. The only area where I'm conservative is in the fiscal areas. Yes, I am QUITE sure I'm not Republican. Republicans may talk about cutting the budget, but I don't really see them advocating a smaller government. And when I talk about smaller government, I mean smaller in a serious way, not just budget (as most people mean), but in numbers... cut the number of cabinet posts, reduce the number of the office of something we really don't need. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

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  11. #11

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    Re: Political Views?

    Agreed, why is there a need for big government? I also feel like each state is different. I feel like each state should have their own individual government because the size of that government wouldn't need be as big. Take Texas for example, with out being apart of the federal government their economy would be boosting, Rick Perry has congress men/women and senators work part time as a government worker! I read somewhere that if Texas would be it's own country, then it would be the 10th richest country in the world. But Louisiana is better than Texas lol :P

  12. #12
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    Re: Political Views?

    Quote Originally Posted by dday9 View Post
    I agree. I wish that one day, as a great philosphere once said "Can't we all just get along!"
    I agree! However, that is one of the differences between Australia and the US. We HAVE to vote, you don't.
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    Re: Political Views?

    If I was an american I would vote democrat

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    Re: Political Views?

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    It's not utopia... utopia has no government... I still think government is necessary... I just don't think it's necessary for it to be the size that it is. It's absurd.
    Small goverment in the big coutry is also utopia - your idea is idealistic, it will never happen and therefore is utopian.
    It's basically "reality" vs "ideal world".

  15. #15
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    Re: Political Views?

    Then all parties suffer the same disillusionment... they all want it to be their own perfect world. The reality is that no one is ever going to completely have their way. Doesn't make it any less desirable, nor does it mean we should give up trying to achieve it. The way I see it is that my idealistic views are the pull against someone else's idealistic push.

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    Re: Political Views?

    Quote Originally Posted by dday9 View Post
    I agree. I wish that one day, as a great philosphere once said "Can't we all just get along!"
    Of course! We can all get along - as long as someone else capitulates. This is why wars are fought. People who generally push such a phrase - or state that 'they are willing to compromise but the other side isn't' - are generally pushing their own ideals on to others.

    We are seeing this today with the healthcare battle [sic].

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    Re: Political Views?

    there should be other options too as i'm not an american..

  18. #18
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    Re: Political Views?

    no. This thread is about american politics, why should there be options for non-americans?

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    Re: Political Views?

    here should be other options too as i'm not an american..
    no. This thread is about american politics, why should there be options for non-americans?
    Where does it say that, the thread is titled 'Political Views' not 'American Political Views'
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  20. #20
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    Re: Political Views?

    Quote Originally Posted by dday9 View Post
    Agreed, why is there a need for big government? I also feel like each state is different.
    Good answer to your own question, but I'd go even further: People are different.

    Every piece of the government was added because somebody wanted to do something, or prevent somebody else from doing something. With so many competing interests tugging and pushing and pulling, the current state of the government is pretty much inevitable. Everybody wants it to get smaller, as long as it is the pieces they don't want that are cut. Everybody also wants SOME piece of it to be there, which is the piece that supports their interest. Multiply that by a few hundred million people, and you get a government that does all kinds of things using all kinds of people.

    Everybody wants it to get smaller, in general. Once you get into specific cuts, the unity falls away. Get sufficiently specific, and you will probably be the only person who agrees on a cut.
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  21. #21
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    Re: Political Views?

    You need to add a further category to your poll....something like: I don't care

    I don't care what party a candidate is a member of.....every single candidate running for office is going to screw you. Not one single bloody, freakin' one of them is going to do you any good.

    Sometimes they screw you so bad you don't get offered a bed or a cigarette afterwards.

    I vote for the person I figure is going to screw me the least (I want the bed and cigarette).

    Sometimes that is a republican....sometimes that is a democrat.
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    Re: Political Views?

    Quote Originally Posted by dday9 View Post
    I also recognize that some people commit one of the worst crimes(in my mind) and don't vote.
    I think you should have added an option that says "I don't vote because I can't." There are minors on VBForums.
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  24. #24

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    Re: Political Views?

    Wow, I didn't even think about non-american politics. I'm sorry y'all, but I don't know how to change the poll :P.
    'they are willing to compromise but the other side isn't'
    Thats kinda like the whole "I can quit smoking anytime I want to. I just don't want to." Politics should be like marrage. People have to change together, and make compramizes.

  25. #25
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    Re: Political Views?

    I'm a lib dem so I put independent in the opll. I caould have called myself a democrat just as easy though.

    Actually, I do believe in big government. As I see it there are basically two sources for the services we need, government or the market. While I may be cynical about the motivations of politicians, at least they have a theoretical remit to ensure things are fair. The market has no such remit. It's only motivation is money and any decent service you, as a consumer, recieve is merely a means to that end.

    I do think you have to separate state from national government, though, and I generally believe decisions should be taken and the most de-centralised level possible. So if I was looking at the US I guess I'd be arguing for both the market and the national government to start handing over as many responsibilities as possible to the state governments.

    But I think I'd still choose national government to have control over issues like health care than I would the market. And if you want an example as to why:-
    there was a man there with a gun shot wound who had stayed in the waiting room overnight and was still waiting there several hours after we had arrived
    If healthcare were purely the domain of the market he wouldn't have been cluttering up that waiting room... he'd have been lying dead in the street instead.
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  26. #26
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    Re: Political Views?

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    I'm a lib dem so I put independent in the opll. I caould have called myself a democrat just as easy though.

    Actually, I do believe in big government. As I see it there are basically two sources for the services we need, government or the market. While I may be cynical about the motivations of politicians, at least they have a theoretical remit to ensure things are fair. The market has no such remit. It's only motivation is money and any decent service you, as a consumer, recieve is merely a means to that end.

    I do think you have to separate state from national government, though, and I generally believe decisions should be taken and the most de-centralised level possible. So if I was looking at the US I guess I'd be arguing for both the market and the national government to start handing over as many responsibilities as possible to the state governments.

    But I think I'd still choose national government to have control over issues like health care than I would the market. And if you want an example as to why:-
    If healthcare were purely the domain of the market he wouldn't have been cluttering up that waiting room... he'd have been lying dead in the street instead.
    So, if healthcare is in 'the market' then this man should be dead in the street? Doesn't that mean that healthcare - as it stands now - is NOT in the market? If that is true, then why do we need more government intervention? This example is bogus, anyway.

    What makes you think that having the government run healthcare is better than a privately run healthcare system? I'm sure you'll state all the propaganda regarding 'cost and accessibility'. But do you realize that to reduce cost, you have to increase utilization? Increased utilization of medical care is *not* a good thing for the consumer of that medical care. While it may reduce cost, it will make the medical care less accessible. Is it more cost effective to have 2 ambulances with each with 2 EMTs be utilized 98% or to have 12 ambulances with teams of 2EMTs plus specialists, utilized 15%? While the former will drastically reduce the cost of a bus ride, the utilization determines when you get that bus ride. How does a reduced cost and increased utilization affect patient care? Of course, this is emergency care, but it also applied to surgical care and other non-critical medical procedures.
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  27. #27
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    Re: Political Views?

    As long as the reward is based off of the amount used, then there is an economic incentive to maximize use, which certainly isn't in the best interest of the individual. A system that rewards based on result (health) would change the equation considerably. It would still be the same situation, but maximizing the reward for the company would also maximize the benefit for the individual. I know this has been discussed several times, but it all seems largely hypothetical. An effective system to reward healthcare providers for good health doesn't seem to have been worked out very well, yet, though that may just be that I haven't been seeking out solutions, so I don't really know what proposals have been put out there.
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    Re: Political Views?

    I think that if our health care was governmentaly controlled then we wouldn't have seen the progress that we've seen. And the fact that religion(in a historical retrospect) has played a big part in it has also progressed health care lightyears. To give you an example, the Spanish. They were not the first, however they were the ones who get alot of credit for doing this; keeping soldiers and civilians away from each other when they were sick, keeping instruments clean, understanding that surgeries should be done indoors and away from others. I don't want to think of how bad health care would be if it were ran by beurocrats(Not democrats, please don't mistake. It could've been republicans, whigs, or any other party.).

  29. #29
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    Re: Political Views?

    The Spanish get credit for that? Frankly, failure to keep HANDS clean is one of the most serious causes of infection in hospitals in this country. In practically any hospital you look at, getting doctors and nurses to wash their hands regularly is noted as one of the most significant advances that could be made. So what made the Spanish get all clean?

    I had heard that the US was actually the leader pre-antibiotics, simply because we went to a policy of keeping patients warm, clean, and comfortable, rather than the overly-intrusive and totally counterproductive treatments used in Europe. However, there is evidence that the Muslims had figured that out back before the crusades, so we weren't the first.

    So, what does religion have to do with the Spanish? That's a notably Catholic country, so is this a Catholic practice? Has it held for other Catholic countries?
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    Re: Political Views?

    I was talking about a historical point of view. When islam(pre middle ages) was the primary religion in Spain, the people were taught about the importance(and religious) aspect of cleanliness. I can't remember the exact %, but I want to say that 70% of people wounded in spanish occupied colonies survived; compared to the much lower(again I cannot remember the exact %, but I did love history classes) percentage in english occupied colonies.

    But I think we're going a little off topic. I just wanted to prove to my wife that yes, democrats and republicans both program and get along. To be honest, if I were to try to learn vb.net with a bunch of republicans, I don't think I would have ever learned. I find that alot of my friends are against the sharing of knowledge, so long as they can profit from it; but then again most of my friends are republican and so am I :P

  31. #31
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    Re: Political Views?

    So, if healthcare is in 'the market' then this man should be dead in the street?
    Not should, would. Given that he was recieving free health care it seemed safe to assume that he didn't have a private policy that covered him. In a fully market driven system there would be no "free" for him to be recieving. He wouldn't even have made it through the doors.

    What makes you think that having the government run healthcare is better than a privately run healthcare system?
    Because, as I said, politicians at least have a theoretical obligation to ensure fairness. The market has no such obligation. That theoretical obligation may not be worth a lot but it is, at least, worth a little. With that in mind I think it's more desirable to have "necessity" services provided by the government (at the most localised level possible) than by the market unless that market is in a position to offer some other advantage. The only advantage I can think of the market offering in the health care arena is efficiency (which is unproven but probable). However, I don't think efficiency is the main driver in healthcare, capacity is. Put efficiency before capacity and what you get is the medical equivalent of easy-jet.

    But do you realize that to reduce cost, you have to increase utilization?
    I'm not sure if I'm miss-understanding you there but I don't understand why increasing utilisation would decrease cost. If anything it would increase costs.
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  32. #32
    Loquacious User Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Political Views?

    I believe he means that the profit can be smaller per unit if the number of units sold is greater.

    Healthcare is unlike any other market that I can think of. We will all need it, at some point (except for the rare few who die suddenly), and for most of us, the cost will be exorbitant when we do need it. Few people could pay for their own senior care if they didn't start paying on it, and paying fairly heavily, when they started receiving an income. That's the way it works now, fankly, because Medicare taxes start early on. People object to being required to pay into a system, but those same people expect a certain amount of care even if they can't pay, nor would it be exactly ethical to deny them. How easy would it be for an emergency room doctor to watch some car-crash victim bleed to death because they couldn't pay? Might not be so hard, frankly, because that kind of thing is currently happening in some municipalities regarding fire protection. Maybe we would let them die. Doesn't seem right, though.
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  33. #33

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    Re: Political Views?

    My biggest thing is that medicare/social security CAN be good. However, why would I want to use it? Right now I'm 20 years old, I've saved 1000 in an emergency fund, I have a universal life policy, and I'm starting a retirement account(Prob put 100-300 a week in it). Remember, I'm 20 years old, I'm broke! But I'm saving money so that when I retire, I can still afford the health insurance that I want with or without the limitations that I want. Live like no other right now :] But my point is, why should I pay for politicians to dip into an imaginary fund?

  34. #34
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    Re: Political Views?

    I certainly agree with that last line. Over the years there have been various attempts to put Social Security in a 'lockbox'. What that has always meant is some variation of "we're going to try to put this in a place where we won't be able to dip into it." Of course, they have the key to that lockbox, and can't resist. Social Security could be entirely solvent without any actions taken, if we could keep the politicians away from it, but it is the politicians who control it, so that won't happen.

    I applaud your planning. At your age, I was still racking up some massive college debt (though absolutely NOTHING compared to what a current student at the same institution would amass). I started paying on the college debt when I was in grad school (and making VERY little), and took over a decade to close those debts. Largely because of the debts, I didn't start saving for retirement until I was nearly 30. That worked well. All the contributions I have made since sometime in 2006 have gone away, and probably won't ever come back. Last year, my contributions matched my losses, such that the fund stayed the same across the year. That was nice to see.

    Well, anyways, good job with all that. I prefer that the emergency fund be sufficiently large to cover 12 months of all your current expenses, but having ANY fund at 20 is a good showing.

    Just remember, until the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), if you were diagnosed with cancer, you wouldn't be able to afford health insurance of any sort, because any company that had you would drop you, and nobody else would cover you. The costs could easily be six figures, and without employer provided coverage, you'd be on the public tab for anything you couldn't pay out of pocket.
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  35. #35

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    Re: Political Views?

    Obamacare, like just about everything put in place, I have somethings I agree on and others I do not. But then again that's called compramize.

    I actually like somethings that Obama has done. Example - giving a few state the waiver for the "No child left behind act."

    But on the same hand, he has done alot of things I do not. Like overstepping congress on many things, and has publicly stated that he would or all ready did. They actually have a group of politicians that are planning to formally impeach Obama because of this very issue.

    Edit -
    ... "No child left behind act."
    that is the stupidest act ever placed, wt and an f?!

  36. #36
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    Re: Political Views?

    Quote Originally Posted by dday9 View Post
    They actually have a group of politicians that are planning to formally impeach Obama because of this very issue.
    They always do. The opposition party has always had a few people hoping to do that. It has only happened twice in history, though (Nixon would have been the second had he not resigned, which would have made Clinton third), and there's a reason for that: The move has been more toxic to Congress than to the president. That probably wouldn't have been the case had Nixon been impeached, but it was for Johnson, and it was for Clinton.

    In both cases of impeachment, the senate didn't go along with it, nor would they against Obama. After all, as angry as they are, Obama is doing, unfortunately, the same things that W was doing. In history, the trend has been for each president to make use of the powers assumed by their predecessors. No president tends to want to restrict the powers of the office, so each tries to push the envelope a little. Congress fights back at times, but only when something really big (like Vietnam or Watergate) gives them traction to do so. They have no traction now, and won't seriously try.
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