He Said, I Said

Every day, I respond to email I receive from my readers. Most of it is positive, which I appreciate, but would probably be of little or no interest to anyone but me. Some of it is negative, consisting solely of insults, and is, likewise, of little interest to anyone, including me.

However, every once in a while, I hear from someone who actually addresses issues I’ve raised, and there is always the chance that such readers are raising points that other people would like to have addressed.

It is for that reason that I am sharing the following exchange. I don’t know who the person is or even if it’s a man or woman, but for our purposes, it really doesn’t matter. In response to a recent article titled “What’s Meant When Liberals Say ‘Compromise,’” it began: “I find myself a bit confused by this article. Though the headline implies a rather tight focus, you cover fiscal cliff negotiations, guns, welfare, the ACLU, felons, and — for good measure – a brief review of a film that has nothing to do with compromise.”

I replied: “I try to cover a lot of topics in every article. Therefore, titling a piece is rather difficult. But at least part of the article dealt with compromise. Consider everything else a bonus.”

“The ‘nitwits’ on the left may be off-base on a great many things,” the person went on. “Unfortunately, you are wrong in asserting that the final deal was not a compromise in their eyes. It may not have been as much of a compromise as you would have found satisfying, but a $400,000 threshold is not the same as $200,000. Nor is a 40% estate tax a 45% estate tax (the original number desired by Democrats). You can say you don’t like the deal or that Democrats didn’t cooperate enough, but you can’t factually say there was no compromise.”

I replied: “If one side is totally opposed to raising taxes and the other side changes its numbers around, that’s not my idea of a compromise. What you suggest is like saying that one side, for example, was in favor of invading Iraq and the other side opposed it, so the compromise would have been to invade Ireland.”

“Additionally,” the lecturer went on, “ you are drastically simplifying the reality of welfare in America. Since I work in community development, perhaps I can clear some things up. Generally speaking, any sort of public assistance comes with strings attached: with welfare, it is often employment or an effort to find something therein (in addition to income thresholds that you would find completely unlivable were you made to live at or below them). There is also a lifetime cap on the welfare assistance that any one family can receive. Additionally, those in poverty and on public assistance are not homogenous as you seem to assume. There are many Republicans on public assistance, including welfare.”

“Of course,” I responded, “it goes without saying that everyone on welfare is not identical to everyone else. But when dealing with several million people, one has to generalize in order to make a point. But what is this lifetime cap you refer to? If there were such a thing, you wouldn’t see generations of families collecting welfare. Obama even decided to scrap Clinton’s work programs because the mere notion of requiring anything of welfare recipients was regarded as heartless.”

“The problem with the conservative ideology is not that it’s wrong, but that it’s only right for those people like you. Unfortunately, many Republicans haven’t left their bubble of privilege long enough (if at all) to understand the reality of living outside it. Those who have made something out of nothing tend to believe similar opportunities exist for everyone in poverty; unfortunately, the reality is that life in poverty is a game of chance, much more so than a life of security. I guarantee you there are people you believe to be unproductive who work much harder than you do for significantly less money.”

“The only thing wrong with conservative ideology is that people like you and those who are, say, the third or fourth generation of their family on the public dole don’t accept it. How does someone who works much harder and for less money than you presume I do wind up on welfare for any length of time? Even a minimum wage job would gross someone about $16,000-a-year, and there are precious few jobs that only pay a minimum wage. On top of that, if people get a high school diploma, avoid getting hooked on drugs and refrain from having kids until they’re married and can afford to raise them, they are pretty much guaranteed a welfare-free life. And, frankly, that doesn’t strike me as too much to ask of anyone.”

My critic went on: “Liberal ideology doesn’t work for everyone either. I do believe, however, that those making over $450,000 can easily contribute more of their salary without ending up anywhere near the desperation and suffering that comes with living at welfare-eligible income levels. Before you rail on about personal responsibility, let me direct you to the previous paragraphs where I explain that welfare is not given freely to anyone who wants it, not even those in poverty.”

I replied, “You have no idea how easily people earning $450,000-a-year can contribute. You also don’t know what sacrifices they made in order to achieve that level of success. That sounds like a lot of money to you and me, but if the family has children in college and perhaps aging, ailing, parents who require help, maybe it’s not so much. Besides, you’re not speaking about ‘contributions.’ If you were, we would be discussing charity. And as you probably know, conservatives donate far more money, as well as time, to charities than liberals do. Instead, you’re referring to money confiscated by the government in order to carry out Obama’s oft-stated desire to redistribute wealth. On top of that, the wealthy are already paying more than their ‘fair share’ because we have a progressive income tax. Frankly, I would say that it is the low-earners who are not paying their fair share. It is my conviction that everyone should have some skin in the game. For, as Obama would say, if only he weren’t a left-wing gasbag, they, too, use America’s streets and bridges. At the risk of being labeled a stony-hearted Republican, the idea that people who pay nothing and yet get to vote for those who get to decide what everyone else has to pay is immoral, not to mention loony.”

“I agree with you on guns and unions,” my critic said in his/her summation, “but unfortunately I can’t comment on your stint as a film critic because I haven’t seen ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’ Your problem is not that you’re wrong. It’s that you seem to be ignorant. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of this from the Right on this topic. Utilizing common tropes and stereotypes as you did above, one is able to dehumanize the poor and call for cuts to programs that benefit many hard-working people with a great deal of potential.”

“How is it,” I asked, “that we have lived in a welfare state for decades now, have funded Head Start, promoted Affirmative Action, spent trillions of dollars on welfare, expanded food stamps to include roughly 15% of us, and provided people such as yourself and Barack Obama with a living in a nebulous field known as ‘community development,’ and have yet to see any positive results? In fact, even after all of Obama’s efforts in Chicago and as president, what good has any of it done? Chicago is even worse off than it was 30 years ago, and so is America. We have an actual 11% rate of unemployment, a $16.4 trillion debt, a lower credit rating, a depleted military, a devalued dollar, soaring inflation and an additional 15 million Americans on food stamps. My suggestion is that you worry about those people, most of whom seem determined through their irresponsible life decisions to remain poor, and I will worry about those of us who are being compelled to support them.

“In conclusion, let me just say that you could be right that one of us is ignorant, but I’ll leave it to others to decide which one of us it is. Regards, Burt Prelutsky. p.s. I grant that it could well be me. After all, of the two of us, I’m not the one drawing a government salary.”

Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • Wheels55

    It appears that this person was completely honest, yet biased. As a government employee, ignorance and bias is probably a job requirement.

  • twin130

    Burt, thanks for having the guts to tell the truth about welfare. Three quarters of welfare payments go to families of children with single parents. Children of parents in married famliies are 82% less likely to be poor. By all measures, marriage reduces child poverty. Marriage. What a novel concept. Marriage does not require luck, or skill, or government assistance, or a college degree. All it requires is a sense of commitment and responsibility. How about a public service ad with that message???

  • JmThms

    “Those who have made something out of nothing tend to believe similar
    opportunities exist for everyone in poverty; unfortunately, the reality
    is that life in poverty is a game of chance, much more so than a life of
    security.”

    The above statement is BS. The same opportunities DO exist. Not only is poverty not usually a game of chance, but SYSTEMIC POVERTY DOES NOT EXIST IN THE UNITED STATES IN 2013. I define systemic poverty as ‘impoverished’ circumstances from which someone cannot raise themselves given time and effort, and the person is neither physically nor mentally handicapped, mentally ill, substance abused, nor lazy. Furthermore, metrics for ‘poverty’ are relative. Today’s so-called ‘impoverished’ have to give up the newest TV for an old one; give up a few relatively new cars for an older one; rent instead of buy a house. They are usually ‘richer’ than our founding fathers, who did not have TV, cars, modern medicine practiced at emergency rooms, air conditioning, radio, air travel, longer life spans, refrigerators, etc. etc.

    Modern liberals have always confused equality of opportunity with equality of outcome.

  • http://twitter.com/JamieJrhughes jrhughes

    In America we do have cheaters,and to the degree they cheat all tax payers BLOWS my mind. I know ppl that never paid all fed/state taxes,that never filed,that work underthetable and take food stamp assistance an any other low-income program they can find. Hold your temper,but even own houses,drive BMW’s and NEW SUV’s. Fraud in America,alive and Well voters FOR Obama.

  • catholicvoter

    Burt, as someone who grew up on welfare, I can contest that you are right and your critic is the one who is ignorant. I’m sure he sees some pretty desparate cases, but unfortunately most people on welfare have made some bad decisions. My sister and I learned by watching what my mom went through not to make the mistakes she made, but too many offspring of single mothers on welfare never learn that lesson and go on the repeat the mistakes of their moms. Once I was old enough to understand who paid our bills I was ashamed and embarrassed. Thankfully my mom eventually found a job and went off welfare. Being on the public dole is unhealthy on so many levels and the truth is that most folks are capable of so much better. Thanks for sharing what your critic had to say. It’s sad how many people believe the same things he does.

  • Brhurdle

    Intresting strategy by the writer – switching from conservatives being hard hearted, uncaring, selfish and inhumane to ignorant dolts. I am in no position to know the controls on the administration of the myriad welfare programs, but I would think the writer is greatly exaggerating the accountability for these programs – there is ample anecdotal evidence to imply that there is next to no control. The most prominet fact stressed by Mr. Prelutsky is that decades of these programs has had no long term efficacy while the writer argues that the US system is rigged against the lower economic rungs so they can’t succeed. I categoricaly reject the can’t succeed premise – the problem is that the welfare system rewards stifle the incentives of the desire to improve your economic lot. If you convince yourself that life is cheating you (as do these community development programs), your only incentive is revenge on those who have succeded by exploiting you.

  • Morning Glory

    Who but a liberal would get so bent out of shape about Burt’s article. Same old tired song sung by same old tired democrats….don’t know about you all, but I’m really sick of hearing all the whining.

  • 49corvette

    “Bubble of Privelege”—You have GOT TO BE KIDDING—I Worked my A– off for what I have—AND I still actually believe in the “Golden Rule”—”Bubble of Privelege???—NO ONE worked harder than I did—Black , White , Polka Dot—I take personal offense at the insinuation that “Race , Creed , or Color” equates to motivation of the basest of emotions—Wake up and smell the coffee—Honest Days Work for an Honest Job’s Pay—my 2cents—thanx for reading

  • Shane

    What that liberal critic refuses to acknowledge is that Obama will not cut any spending except for defense and Obama has no stomach for reforming SS, Medicare, or Medicaid. Obama’s reckless deficit spending of $1 trillion/year is the greatest threat to America today, and liberals like this guy ignore this threat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amerigo.cimino Amerigo M. Cimino

    Burt Prelutsky
    “He Said, I Said”
    I believe it is just rhetoric; not that you meant it to be, but is ends up with a question?
    Most of the speeches made in this regard, windup being altered to a different subject! No specific subject is followed through to solution!
    Nothing new; but the “words”!
    What do you think about the Fair Tax?
    AND reasons, for and against?

  • Jerry B

    Bernie, I feel I must ad my own experience. I was in an average income amily, my father worked in the shipyards during WWII so we didn’t have much extra. I will 70 on my next birthday. To the point; I married young and hyad a lovely wife and within 4 years 4 years had 2 sons. My wife died of cancer at 28 years old and I was left 2 raise 2 children alone. Rather than bemoan my cercumstance I new I had choices. The choice I made was to return college, paid for with night job as Mcdonalds night manager. Fed and clothed my children during this time and recieved my BA degree in structural engineering 4 years later. I never had entertained the thought of asking anyone including the gov’t for help other than my sister wathching the boys while I was at work or school. In the end after working for a couple of consulting firms I started my own consulting business and was moderately successful. I am now re-married, retired, and living a modest comfortable life. My point, I never asked for anything from anyone and I may be termed hard hearted but that’s too bad. I will help those who need it on my own terms, not by having my moderate retirement taken from me under threats and intimidation by the government.

  • kmacdoula

    TOUCHE Bernie, that lib was as “ignorant” as they come…and what’s worse is they take/took “liberal” generalities at NAUSEUM…Each it up to TROLLISM, a new low for their ilk!!!

  • Roadmaster

    It may be possible that my Dad was the last person to emphatically state, “The world doesn’t owe you a living!” This was around 1966, if I recall, and was a oft repeated theme in his regular pontifications.

    Another favorite was, “If you can only get a job digging ditches, dig the best ditch you can and the next day you may be in charge of digging the ditch.”

    Simplistic and corny? Maybe, but his old fashioned wisdom has worked very well for me my whole life.

    • nickshaw

      I like your dad, Road.
      Mine, when he was around and I had a few to choose from (I say this not to elicit sympathy! S**t happens. We deal with it.) said kinda’ the same things but, acted quite differently.
      I’m glad I paid attention to the words and not the deeds!

    • freeinaz

      Roadmaster, I heard much of the same while I was growing up. One of my fathers sayings which really stuck with me was ” remember, when your applying for that job there are more then 20 others applying for it too”. When using this logic made me apply myself as good as I could and work that much harder to make sure I kept the job, if I was lucky enough to obtain it.

  • Iklwa

    You bumped into what I do in discussions with leftists all of the time: When faced with hard facts, the issue then instead becomes your level of understanding of the topic (or lack thereof), your lack of compassion,
    your lack of education, your lack of ancestral breeding, your lack of discernment in a spousal choice and the obvious poor genetic quality of your progeny.

    Then the name calling really gets nasty.

    Between you and me, I tend to think liberals don’t like me not because I am a “Stony Hearted Republican” but because of my hair (or lack thereof…I can’t determine which).

    At least it makes as much sense as anything else they throw at me.

    A friend of mine once told me, “You can tell how close you are to the target by how much flack they put up.”

    You must be doing a fine job!

    • nickshaw

      “Then the name calling really gets nasty.”! LOL, Iklwa!
      So true, we can’t possibly understand the complexity of the world and human relationships ’cause we’re conservative and therefore, ignorant and narrow minded!
      I have had the same experiences.
      I’m thinkin’ maybe you’re right with the “lack” of hair thing. ;-)

      • Iklwa

        Hey, I resemble that remark!

  • Trappedincalifornia

    If I could get from foster care as a kid to the middle class, so can you! Stop with all the excuses. I’ve been poor, your crap doesn’t cut it with me. Stay in school, don’t make babies till you can afford them, save your $. Use your common sense and for Gods sake don’t listen to any “community developers” they make a salary working with the poor so they are the last people that want to end poverty.

  • beniyyar

    Burt, we’ve got families where they have been on welfare or some sort of assistance for five or six generations and not one has held a job for more than a few months and many of whom cannot even read a headline or write a comprehensible sentence. These people literally cannot take care of themselves and can only abuse the welfare system and get high. What do we do with them? Some sink into homelessness or crime, and most just live from government handout to handout because one thing they can do is vote for politicians like Barack Obama.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6VDL3C4WJ7HIMZND3DFBWJAHRY Bill

    An economy that the media convinces everybody is recovering, which it is not, is done so, for the benefit of Obama. As long as the benefits keep being dispensed , Obama keeps the wolves at bay! Till the money is gone, then watch out!

  • ET1

    Wow. Just wow. This is truly delusional propaganda. The five year cap exists and works. It stops able-bodied adults from receiving benefits but allows children and disabled to continue. The work program wasn’t scrapped. That is a flat-out lie and you know it. I also believe in states’ rights, and all Obama did was allow states to negotiate their own terms as long as they meet the federal minimum.
    Anybody who thinks that living on food stamps and a meager unemployment check is seriously out of touch.welfare doesn’t come with a cadillac, you can’t even afford to change your oil if you’re honestly on assistance.
    I don’t agree with all the liberal talking points, and have a new CX4 Storm to prove it, but these lies and schemes are what costs your party the last two elections.

    • nickshaw

      “if you’re honestly on assistance”.

      And there’s the rub.

    • Switchlight13

      “……welfare doesn’t come with a Cadillac” Then it must be the drug money because their sure are a lot of them ghetto cruising in the inner cities..

      • nickshaw

        This guy changes his handle faster than I can change my socks, Switch! Unless there’s some kind of glitch in the Disqus system, which I doubt.
        He was “Ronald Court” for this and the previous two comments a couple of hours ago and now he’s three different people.
        Weird stuff!

  • Paradox4

    I’ve worked with welfare recipients my whole life, in one of the poorest states in the nation. I’ve seen – firsthand – that most of the stereotypes are true. I’ve packed extra food into backpacks at after school programs because mom and/or dad traded the food stamps for drugs. I’ve worked in homes where there are state of the art computers and other toys, yet the kids have no shoes. It’s ridiculous, and unfortunately, it has hardened my heart to the point that I have little patience for the revered ‘American poor’.

    They did cap welfare benefits once upon a time, sometime around the year 2000, i think, but built ‘hardship areas’ into the deal, so that if you lived in certain areas those caps didn’t apply. That covered most of the states that traditionally have large welfare populations. I worked in homes with recipients at that time, and something incredible happened: when the few families that didn’t qualify as ‘hardship families’ started hitting their five-year limit, they got hurt, and every single one of those families ended up living on a disability check instead.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that every point Burt made in this article is correct

    • nickshaw

      As one who grew up IN the welfare culture, Ron, I agree, completely.
      Circumventing any limits and jacking the system are a fine art in my former neck of the woods!

      Owww, I hurt my back and the doc says it’s permanent damage to “soft tissue”! (as such, unverifiable!). Where do I apply for disability? I have heard this more times than, “My welfare check is late!”
      Watch Judge Judy a couple of times and check out her expression when a litigant maintains they are on “disability”. It happens a lot!
      On another note, how come you are offering completely opposite opinions to the “Ronald Court” above.
      What’s your game here?

    • Mari Jo O’Neill

      Paradox: Boy are you right on the Money. I live in a suburb across the street from Chicago, also worked in a black neighborhood in the city starting in 1961 until 1972 and it is still the same there as it was then but worse,now there are 5-6 shootings every night, in fact on Saturday there were “SIX” and Obama wants my gung rights taken away, yet won’t talk about his “Brothers” in Chicago. Get this fraud and phony out of the White House and to all of the people that voted for him THANKS a Lot

      • Paradox4

        He definitely turns a blind eye to the behavior of those people he claims to champion. I don’t know how an honest human does that. Oh, wait…

        Thankfully, I’ve never had to deal with gang violence – my only concern was visiting a trailer ten miles from anywhere, on a dirt road, with no cell service and several drunk, ahem, citizens, each of whom were armed. This scenario happened EVERY WEEK, along with countless others.

        The sixties and seventies were a terrible time in the inner cities, and I commend you for being able to work there, and live in a place that must feel so unsafe.

    • nickshaw

      Paradox4, please see my response to “Ronald Court” for an explanation for my cryptic last sentence of my previous response to you and why I called you “Ron”.
      Weird stuff today on Disqus!
      Sorry.

      • Paradox4

        It’s all good:)

  • Ronald Court

    Follow me on this: All innovation is made by people itching to make things better.
    All progress is made by people willing to leave their “comfort zone”.
    Liberals keep trying to expand the comfort zone for all people, thereby impeding societal growth/innovation and personal progress.

    • nickshaw

      Ronald Court A?
      And Ronald Court B further down stream?
      Remarkable!

      • Ronald Court

        nickshaw, I couldn’t find the “B” is, and don’t know “parralax4″.
        My remark above was intended to point out implications of conservative v. liberal perspectives without name-calling.
        It takes initiative to leave a comfort zone, to strive, to risk, to learn something new… but that’s what it takes to progress.
        To conservatives (as I understand the term), It’s about a hand up, not a hand out for those in need.
        My sense is liberals, (let’s posit that some liberals are well intentioned,) fail to recognize the long-term deleterious effect of their approaches.

        • nickshaw

          I know this sounds crazy but, you “Ronald Court” , someone now named “ET1″ and another now named “Paradox4″ all showed up within a few minutes of each other and all with the same handle “Ronald Court”!
          The , now, ET1 had, and still does, a view opposite the other two!
          I’m going to put it down to a Disqus glitch but, I’ve never seen anything like it before so, you can sympathize when I assumed we were being played!
          For what reason, I couldn’t guess, however, who can fathom the motives of liberals?
          Otherwise, I agree with both of your comments here.
          Right here! ;-)

  • LarryInIowa

    If one side proposes jumping off a thousand foot cliff and other wants to not jump at all, is jumping from 500 feet really a compromise? Bad and stupid policy is still bad and stupid even if the amount is slightly moderated.

  • JohnInMA

    Burt, your writer strikes me as someone who hasn’t thought about their topics at a nationwide or federal level. While they may have real observations as well as misconceptions from their local perspective in the role of ‘community developer’, the points you make are for the entire nation. And it appears there is equal willingness to use ‘stereotypes’ and ‘tropes’ to make the counterpoints to support the progressive view. Key giveaways: are all Republicans in a ‘bubble of privilege’ ? I guess this person hasn’t seen any clips from CNN or MSNBC of the Tea Party. Do those camera perspectives really show privilege?? And the trotting out of the ‘fair share’-like idea of those making $450,000 is especially telling. Clearly it isn’t about ‘fair share’ as described. It is about – to put in technical terms – NORMALIZING. When you see in data sets a bias low and/or high, you take action to try and change results to fit. Think Bell Curve. For every income of above X ($450k) there has to be some shift to help those below Y (minimum wage?). Never mind the circumstances, if the X level is unwilling, they aren’t fair. That the earner might have the kids, the health insurance costs, the living costs in NJ (random example), the grandparents in a special home suitable for those suffering Alzheimer’s, etc., as you point out. It is a simple stereotype of X vs Y.

    Sadly, there is nothing in the comments that indicates this person is doing anything else but supporting the current progressive stand, calling you and conservatives in general out for tactics that the writer uses in the argument. I’d assign also ‘stereotypical’ drivers of envy to this writer, but it isn’t perfectly clear if they honestly are jealous of the success of those from whom they want more money. They may honestly believe the solution for those “suffering at the welfare-eligible income levels” are truly best served by handing them benefits. The shame is that those who have ignited the ideological flame of ‘fair-share’ are most often supporting the premise with arguments and rationale dripping with resentment and envy. With this writer saying someone “can easily contribute more of their salary” as a simple result of their income and independent of all other factors, it could be they are simply mimicking the lines. Or they could have such a resentment. Either way, the argument does nothing to convince anyone who isn’t already on board. And above all, the most powerful aspect of the positions taken is that they are eventually proven fruitless (or maybe just inadequate?) at resolving the core problems. The push to normalize incomes by taking more from the high income earners to push it into the ‘fat part’ and the ‘lowest income side’ of the Bell Curve does nothing to solve the endemic issues. It only satisfies the ‘envy’ need, and in its own way ‘dehumanizes’ those who the left thinks ‘benefits’ from their actions. It’s a pure emotional play, using stereotypes and tropes.

  • Pollyanna

    Good points Burt! Thanks for sharing. The self-congratulatory, smug ignorance of liberals is oozing from this person’s email. Coming from a lower, middle-class, divorced family, I wasn’t handed anything. I started working at age 11 because I knew I had to if I wanted clothes, shoes and the ability to go to college. My Mom supported us on a teacher’s salary and worked extra jobs to make ends meet. She was gone a lot, yet i mnaged to stay off drugs and not get pregnant. I was ranked 7th out of 540 students in my public and very heterogenous high school. Do you think I was offered the scholarships and grants for a “free ride” or were they awarded to my black classmates who had lower test scores and worse grades? Exactly. Did I let that stop me? I worked hard and borrowed money for college and grad school and diligently repaid my loans. I’m tired of hearing liberals say it’s just too hard for some poor folk to succeed. Actually, in an Obama economy–they may be right. But in the True America where opportunity abounds and hard work is rewarded, not punished, they are disgustingly stupid. Keep up the good work!

  • SeattleSam

    I don’t think you get where the writer is coming from. It’s not his primary objective to actually accomplish something. It’s his objective to FEEL good about trying to accomplish something. The former is hard and, as you point out, would require you to rethink a bunch of the things you’ve been doing for decades. The latter is easy — especially if you’re using other people’s money. Once you understand that you and he are trying to accomplish two different objectives, you’ll stop being so puzzled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004699950418 John Davidson

    Obviously, this man is bent on keepiing his government job. Nothing his said proves otherwise to me.

  • John Havlicek

    It’s absolutely certain to me that the meaning of “compromise” is way more fluid and subjective than I ever would have thought. Then again, when we had a President straight-faced and (presumably) sober trying to convince us of the importance of what the meaning of the word “is” is, it’s clear that parsing of the language by politicians has risen to an absolute art form.
    We need not worry so much (or at all) about whether those who earn over $400,000 can or can not easily “afford” to pay more so that those who earn less can be more comfortable. Those who “have” (and to a greater extent as mentioned above…those being Republicans or Conservatives) do tend to give more philanthropically. They tend to dislike being told however, that they must give more and exactly how that should be done; understandable to my way of thinking. Whether someone “can afford” to give more is (when assumed by someone else) the height of presumption. The phrase “can afford” here means that someone else is presuming to know, regardless of circumstance, how someone else ought to be able to live according to their way of seeing things. I believe that’s also called “chutzpah”…or “big ones”.
    The huge problem with all this is that it flies in the face of the so-called American Dream, and that very dream is what made us (at least up until fairly recently) great. When I was young, I didn’t dislike wealthy people…heck…I wanted to BE a wealthy person. I never spent the energy wondering about whether a particular wealthy person earned their wealth or had been born with the proverbial “silver spoon” in their mouth (meaning one of their forebears presumably worked for the wealth). Seeing success, made me want to work. Even just having the vision of success as a possibility was seen by my generation as one of the reasons so many came to this country.
    Unfortunately, I never did become wealthy and have been largely in “survival mode”, especially for the last 5 years or so. I am grateful though that my country has still allowed me a life that people in many countries can only dream of. I still admire wealthy people though, and hold the dream that my children might just be so successful someday. So, “the dream” (albeit even though it has been perverted by some) still lives in me.

    John Havlicek

  • bobemakk

    Bernie, I would never post anything negative about you. I feel that the democrats and republicans cannot agree to agree because Obama is so insistent and has violated the constitution on so many issues avoiding house and senate approval. As far as entitlement programs, there are many that are eligible. But it has gotten out of hand and we are headed towards the same road as Greece and Spain. By extending the unemployment is another ruination of our economy. My son in law is a union plumber in two NY counties and has worked only 5 months in the past 2 years. I feel that by extending unemployment it relaxes people like him (he’s not a bad guy, we get along well). But this has to stop, it just makes people lazy. The threshhold on raising taxes may be alright with some people, but the wealthy with the big companies create jobs. Obama care has already hit many of US hard. My entire family just got notices from our healthcare benefits providers that our copays have increased. AND we know that this is to cover Obama care and the illegals that get free coverage when they go to the ER, make cash, send it home and we pay for all of this unnecessary pork provided by Obama who refuses to close our borders. I am a cancer patient and my copays were high enough, and now they went up. THE ONY WAY TO STOP THIS IS CUT THE PORK AND IMPEACH OBAMA, he has done nothing positive for US.

  • ted

    The strategy of the dems in their “comprimise” deals are they mnake a suggestion in hopes that the GOP falls for it and offers less. Hence the million dollar high earner limit settled at around half that. There are many examples.

  • Kevin

    On those billboards advertising the availability of government benefits, and which encourage people to sign up for them, I have never seen anything about limitations.

  • Bruce A.

    Welfare limitations, that’s a joke. The people I know on welfare know every dodge in the book plus a few more. They spend lifetimes on the public teat & so do their children.

    • Switchlight13

      Don’t forget the players on the unemployment benefits racket. 99 weeks with a 1 year extension: 3 years now and unending “extensions”…..It’s a sweet ride.

      • JohnHD

        I have met several persons who confessed, that while drawing unemployment benefits they simply refuse to take jobs. Example, when you consider the taxes and other withholding from a persons paycheck, they will often end up with only a very few dollars more than they receive on unemployment. So why not enjoy a paid vacation for as long as they can. It was a proven fact that a person on unemployment had secured another job within a few days after their benefits had ran out. Extending benefits is a charade perpetuated by a socialist government simply to achieve their goal of complete domination of the populace.

  • Switchlight13

    Another bulls eye Burt. Exposing the failure of the welfare state. Unfortunately it falls on the deaf ears of the Left with their high school drop out slaves and assorted parasites on the Democrat Plantation suckling off the public teat.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Switch: I can’t argue with you.

      Burt

    • nickshaw

      Switch, you keep hitting me with that “high school drop out” thing and it’s starting to hurt! ;-)

      • Switchlight13

        lol: I feel your pain. I know, the truth hurts me to man. I’m just going with the Govt statistics of certain ethnic groups who, per capita, dominate the welfare rolls.

        • nickshaw

          Okay, I assume you didn’t see my response to you regarding this subject on another article a few days ago.
          I do agree though, high school drop outs do tend to become Dim voters, statistically it appears.

  • DOOM161

    “Unfortunately, you are wrong in asserting that the final deal was not a compromise in their eyes.”

    This is exactly the problem. Democrats think they’re compromising when they demand everything they want when they want it.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Doom: Agreed.

      Burt

    • Kevin Hubble

      Compromise: ‘kamp-pre-miz – “When Republicans cave and agree to go along with Democrats.”