The chink in the Democrats’ armor

I’ve reported here repeatedly that the Democratic Party is riding a long-term wave of demographic and cultural trends that bode well for its future.

A more urban, multi-ethnic, women-empowered society — and those are all measurable, real-world changes our nation is experiencing right now — will almost certainly benefit the party of Obama and Pelosi.

But as we head into the crucible of the 2012 election, there is still a massive, gaping omission in the story that the Democrats are telling to voters, one they will need to remedy if they are to become the party of the future.

Put simply, Democrats need to explain how they will pay for the government which they believe America wants and needs.

Before I explain what I mean, let me detour for a moment to point out that Democrats don’t need to spend much time or energy arguing in favor of their vision of “big” government.

By overwhelming margins, Americans support all the big-ticket items that make up about 90% of the US budget, from Social Security to Medicare and Medicaid, to education, the military and homeland security.

Yes, we all grumble about pork and waste.  But that’s just the normal bird-dogging of citizens who, quite reasonably, want to get good value for our tax dollars.

There is no evidence that voters have bought into the broader, conservative, Ron-Paul-esque notion that the fabric of government itself needs to be unraveled or dismantled.

When pressed, Americans are even pretty comfortable with the idea that there should be an appropriate safety net, to help citizens who stumble, or fall into poverty, especially if they are children or senior citizens.

And we also want — indeed, we demand — a robust network of police and first responders.

The big question, then, isn’t what government should look like in the future.  The real question — and, yes, I lay this predominately at the feet of Democrats — is how to pay for it.  How to sustain it over the long term.

Currently, roughly half of all US spending is borrowed.  Which means that any vision for a long-term, stable government on the scale that Democrats (and their constituents) want will have to include some enormous changes.

Some cherished services will almost certainly have to be cut, not because we oppose them ideologically but because they are just too expensive.

I’m guessing that in the future people probably won’t be able to retire at age 65 and draw government checks for the next quarter century.

Other services will have to be provided more cheaply, either by allowing the private sector to deliver them (not always the solution, but in some cases it will help) or by demanding concessions from public employees.

(The era of lifetime health insurance and pensions ended long ago for private sector workers, and I’m betting the time has come for public sector workers to see a big change as well.)

We will also have to generate a lot more revenue.  Some of that will come from growth, as the economy bounces back, but it’s also time to level with the American people:  all of us will have to pay more if this is really the government we want.

Taxing rich people won’t get us there.

The short-term reality, of course, is that Republicans will block enactment of any vision that achieves a sustainable balance.  They’ll argue that even when balanced with spending cuts, any new tax revenues are a socialist scourge.

But that doesn’t mean Democrats can’t or shouldn’t lay out what their plan looks like.

On the contrary, that vision should be the cornerstone of an honest campaign, both for Mr. Obama and for Democrats running for congress.

Some on the left will point out that Republicans have also quietly embraced big government, and done little to bring down our national debt.  This is true.

Most economists believe the various budgets put forward by GOP leaders over the last year would grow rather than shrink the long-term deficit, because of massive tax cuts that aren’t off-set by spending cuts, and because of plans to grow the military.

But fair or not, the identity and core values of the Republican Party aren’t linked to the health, quality, and sustainability of the Federal government.

On the contrary.  Many conservatives would be quite cheerful seeing even good programs cut or eliminated, even if it requires insolvency to get us there.

So for better or worse, Democrats carry the torch of the government model created during the New Deal.  They will be the ones to figure out how to pay for it, and put it on an even keel, or no one will.

Until President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put forward that vision, they will remain vulnerable to the suggestion that their vision, no matter how laudable or popular, is simply a pipe dream.

And right now, that pipe dream is adding about $1 trillion a year to the national debt.

As always, your comments welcome.

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103 Comments on “The chink in the Democrats’ armor”

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  1. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Paul, if by “we buried them economically thanks to American capitalism,” you mean that we trained lots of Islamic fighters from around the world how to crush a world power by economically bleeding it to death by a million small cuts and that we provided lots of weapons to people who later became what we now call terrorists, you are right!!!!

    Good job Capitalism!!!!

  2. Paul says:

    knuck, what I mean is what happened. The Soviets simply could not keep up with us. They could no longer afford to fight. There were some tactical things as well but basically their economy (and all the corruption that came with it) was no match.

  3. Paul says:

    “But if you believe it never happens that fracking chemicals get into anyone’s drinking water, I’ve got a nice farm to sell you in Pennsylvania.”

    Of course I understand that a well casing can fail and contaminate ground water. That is one of the reasons I am not supportive. But the misleading rhetoric is part of the reason it is such a contentious issue here in this area. But some folks just can’t help themselves, they have to use the kind of language that is usually reserved for a placard.

    Walker we get it you liked the interstate highway program. It was necessary infrastructure. Just like you need better broadband access in SL. That is why the government is making that investment.

  4. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Well, let me make the comparison. The Soviets were dragged into Afghanistan where they spent about a decade in a fight that crushed their economy nd divided their peoples.

    I guess you’re right, this is not the line of reasoning we are looking for. Move along.

  5. Walker says:

    Actually, Paul, I hate Interstate highways. But it is an unmistakable example of a government program that stimulated the economy, both by putting a lot of money into worker’s hands and by improving infrastructure for business. If Grover Norquist had been in control of the Republican party in 1956, as he is today, it never would have been built.

  6. mervel says:

    The argument over centrally planned economies versus free market economies is over.

    The question now is how much government do you need to get peak economic performance.

    This is the ongoing argument between our political parties and ideas, it is a good argument and both sides have good points. It is a much better argument than abortion or gay marriage or any of the other stupid social issues we argue about with no intellectual basis.

  7. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Hey NPR listeners, have you noticed that the ” liberal” NPR has given seemingly endless coverage to the Facebook IPO and now we even get to here about its founder’s marriage, but very little coverage to the people on the street in Chicago. I haven’t heard a word on NPR about 40 Iraq and Afghan War vets giving back their Medals. I haven’t heard anything on NPR about Scott Olsen (remember him? The ex-Marine who was shot in the head by police at a Occupy rally in Oakland) attending the demonstrations in Chicago.

    Maybe you have heard reports that downplayed the number of demonstrators, or maybe you have heard reports that played up the threat of violence.

    Maybe the “chink in the Democrat’s armor” is that the media ignore the dramatic stories of ordinary people in the streets fighting for a free, fair, and just society in favor of meaningless coverage of an Internet IPO. News flash to NPR: corporate IPO’s are highly stage-managed events that typically have predictable out-comes — rich people make money.

    A typical IPO is about as news-worthy as movie hype at Oscar time. Meanwhile, ordinary people are on the street in Chicago trying to have their voices heard because they are locked out while the wealthy and the corporations have the ear of the powerful.

  8. Walker says:

    “…their economy (and all the corruption that came with it) was no match [for the U.S. economy].” Which means, of course, that it was not Capitalism vs. Communism, it was Capitalism vs. Corrupt State Planning. I’m not arguing for Communism, but if our capitalism had been as corrupt then as it seems to be becoming today, I wonder if we would have prevailed.

  9. Walker says:

    “The argument over centrally planned economies versus free market economies is over.”

    Mervel, the Chinese planned economy is doing pretty damned well right about now, while we’re struggling along under the Norquist Pledge.

  10. Walker says:

    Mervel, here’s a comment from an Aussie reader of a recent Krugman editorial, who, I think, might disagree a bit:

    “Apparently there was some sort of financial strife starting in mid to late 2008 in the US and in Europe. I’m told it is still causing 1 or 2 residual difficulties.

    Being Australian I was only recently made aware of it. We’re pretty dumb down here and very old fashioned. We stupidly let our federal government interfere with our banks, universal health system, carbon pricing, fiscal settings and stuff.

    So tell me, this financial meltdown thingy you’ve been going through, how did it happen?”

  11. mervel says:


    You make my point, everyone acknowledges that the reason that the Chinese economy is doing well is because of the free market reforms and letting people own business and private property. They are actually one of the economic cases pointed out showing that the free market works better than a planned economy.

  12. Walker says:

    Mervel, they are still very much a mixed system with substantial central planning.

    “The Fifth Plenum in October 2005 approved the 11th Five-Year Economic Program (2006–2010) aimed at building a “harmonious society” through more balanced wealth distribution and improved education, medical care, and social security. On March 2006, the National People’s Congress approved the 11th Five-Year Program. The plan called for a relatively conservative 45% increase in GDP and a 20% reduction in energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of GDP) by 2010.” (Wikipedia)

  13. Larry says:

    Brian Mann:

    “Many conservatives would be quite cheerful seeing even good programs cut or eliminated…”

    Really, Brian? Your statement beggars belief and is nearly unworthy of comment as well.

  14. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    It’s funny, I’ve been trying to find where it is in the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution, or even the Pledge of Alegiance that states we are a Capitalist Nation. I did a search of the Bible and couldn’t find where God states that Capitalism is good and Communism is bad. Actually there is some evidence that Jesus would have been pretty comfortable in a commune type situation.

    Anyway, to be fair to the Ruskies, they had a pretty good run considering that they bore the full brunt of the Nazis for a year or so while the Allies dawdled opening a Western Front. If Stalin hadn’t been a paranoid mass murderer and killed or imprisoned so many of the USSR’s best and brightest they might have beaten us. Both sides of the Cold War benefitted greatly from Axis scientists but we benefitted even more from the immigration of German intellegentsia pre-war and the influx of refugees post-war. I guess the take-away would be that immigration is good for the long-term viability of a nation. So, getting back closer to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev was trying to bring their system into a better strategic position and if he had succeeded the USSR might still be around today. Instead there followed a period of unrestrained capitalism in which fabulously wealthy oligarchs arose through the plundering of what had previously been State resources. Currently we see a strongman in charge who has stopped the wild swings in the Soviet/Russo system.

    Of course I’m doing a lot of over simplification. You have to hand it to them, they were first in space and they build a really rugged automatic rifle.

  15. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Meanwhile, Reagan continued the long Republican tradition of destroying worker rights while at the same time saddling the American people with ever increasing National Debt. He supplied weapons to both sides of the Iran-Iraq War, his ally being Saddam Hussein and his enemy Iran who he allowed to be supplied secretly with weapons through a black operation in the Whitehouse that took illegal proceeds from weapons and drug sales to supply the Contras in Nicaragua behind the back of Congress.

    Reagan took credit for the Berlin Wall being torn down when he knew that Gorbachev already had plans to open access between the West and East.

    And let’s not forget that Reagan supplied people like Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, and Osama bin Laden with weapons and training.

  16. oa says:

    JDM asks how many were killed in the anthrax attacks in 2001. There’s this thing called Google, which led me to this thing called Wikipedia, which probably is wrong because it has stuff on climate change, but oh well:
    “The 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, also known as Amerithrax from its Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) case name, occurred over the course of several weeks beginning on Tuesday, September 18, 2001, one week after the September 11 attacks. Letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to several news media offices and two Democratic U.S. Senators, killing five people and infecting 17 others.”

  17. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Mervel: “The question now is how much government do you need to get peak economic performance.”

    What is the definition of peak economic performance? Sounds suspiciously like “market efficiency” and I don’t want maximum market efficiency.

    If you mean an economic system that rewards sustainability over growth then count me in. We need a system that meets everyones needs in a smooth and continuous fashion; not the herky-jerky mechanism we have now that speeds up and slows down, grows like a cancer in one place while starving a different place, provides an excess of some products that are meant to be quickly thrown away or have no real function – like a singing bass plaque or a blow-up lawn ornament. In any properly functioning economic system those items would not find buyers. Nor would scratch off lottery tickets or slot machines.

  18. mervel says:

    You can’t control a free economy. Part of the Liberal dilemma is that you are talking about what you personally feel the “system” should look like. I probably agree with you on our shared vision about that, however many people don’t, people like playing the lottery, people like slot machines and people like to drive a LOT. A free economic system simply expresses those choices in the most efficient manner given the current prices.

    The whole thing falls apart without good governance though and we all agree on that. But yeah we don’t have the power in a free society to create any specific vision of what this society should look like, we all should be given the freedom to act however to create our own lives and opportunities.

    I would say peak market efficiency would mean a low rate of unemployment, low rates of abject poverty and opportunities for individual improvement. I don’t think we have that now so I would like to see some changes also, but government is not going to be able to lead the effort, but only provide support and structure.

  19. Walker says:

    “…government is not going to be able to lead the effort, but only provide support and structure.”

    OK, here it is again– did the creation of the Interstate Highway System constitute “leading the effort”?

    “As of 2010, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system. The cost of construction has been estimated at $425 billion (in 2006 dollars), making it the “largest public works program since the Pyramids.”

    What would it take to get you to call a governmental action “leading the effort”?

  20. Walker says:

    “You can’t control a free economy.”

    Balderdash! The “free” market absolutely requires governmental controls to work properly. An uncontrolled free market economy would implode in no time, as it has time and again while nations learned just what controls were necessary to get it to operate well, and as we (should) have re-learned painfully from the economy’s recent response to abolishing of Glass-Steagall.

    And if you don’t think China is an example of a mixed free/state-controlled economy, you’ve got some reading to do.

  21. Paul says:

    knuck this morning:

    “We need a system that meets everyones needs in a smooth and continuous fashion; not the herky-jerky mechanism we have now”

    Obama yesterday:

    “how do we create an economy where everybody from top to bottom, folks on Wall Street and folks on Main Street, have a shot at success.”

    You almost got the talking point dead on!

    This is not the stuff that independent voters want to hear. They are not looking for someone to re-invent the economy or give us some new “system”. Folks like knuck at the base, yes, but I don’t think this is a good tack for the president to take.

  22. Larry says:

    Knucklehead, in speaking of Stalin and the Soviet Union, you said they had “a pretty good run”. Does that include the murderous purges of Soviet political and military leadership, the non-aggression pact with Hitler, the manufactured famine that caused over 5 million deaths in the Ukraine in the early 30s or the Cold War enslavement of eastern Europe? Most American communists repudiated Stalin when he made the non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1939 and by 1956 he had been denounced by his own followers. Yet here you are characterizing his regime as “a pretty good run”. A Stalin apologist in 2012! Will we next be treated to an explanation of how Mussolini made the trains run on time?

  23. Paul says:

    Walker, I actually think there is some very common ground here when it comes to the type of programs you describe.

    A better model than the inter-state highway system is where the federal government “led the way” in the development of the transcontinental RR.

    This could work today. Rather than increasing the federal debt we could give federal land to private companies (like they did for the RR) that can participate in projects that boost the economy.

    One example could be giving Alaskan land in ANWR to private oil companies that want to explore and drill on those lands. Or closer to home we could give private companies land in the High-Peaks as long as they are willing to develop the land and boost the local economy.

  24. Paul says:

    These are just a few examples. These may offend some folks environmental sensibilities but I am sure that others can come up with projects that don’t. We could also sell some of our federal land directly and use the proceeds to stimulate the economy in some ways.

  25. mervel says:


    Yes of course you can control things, control means lack of freedom. Part of the dilemma is how much control should be exercised, but make no mistake its always about wanting to control the choices and actions of others which IS needed sometimes, the question is how much?

    The interstate highway system is infrastructure, the same goes for airports and our air traffic control system, the same goes for public education they are all important investments in our country and our economy, they are called public goods, things the market does not supply well or at all.

    But they are meaningless without a free market economy that they support.

    My point on China was that they did not start growing, in fact they were starving, until they implemented free market reforms, those free market reforms are the reason that China is now much more successful than before when they were totally controlled by the central government.

    It is the same across the globe.

  26. Walker says:

    Mervel, I’m talking about raising the federal tax on fuels, not dictating what kind of car you can drive or limiting where or when you can drive it. Folks would still be free to drive muscle cars and giant SUVs to California and back if they want to bad enough. They’d have to give up something else to do it though.

    And yes, absolutely, China did the right thing in opening up a degree of free market capitalism. But it’s far from being a full free market economy.

  27. Paul says:

    “But it’s far from being a full free market economy.” Lucky for us!

  28. Paul says:

    Walker, you can’t propose any kind of tax without “limiting” what folks can do to some extent. You say above:

    “not dictating what kind of car you can drive or limiting where or when you can drive it.”

    Then you say:

    “They’d have to give up something else to do it though”

  29. Walker says:

    Of course, Paul. But there is a huge difference between making something more expensive and directly dictating what people can drive. It is a market-based mechanism– you should be all for it.

    And if you are a real free-market kind of guy, how can you support subsidizing the oil industry?

  30. Paul says:

    Just trying to come up with alternative “stimulus” ideas that don’t increase the national debt. You are right it would not be fair to give it to the oil companies. We could maybe have a land-grab type competition where we give everyone a flag and then they race to make a claim! Then the oil company could buy the claim. Double stimulus!

  31. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Larry, please read what I said (do conservatives EVER pay attention?), I said:

    “If Stalin hadn’t been a paranoid mass murderer and killed or imprisoned so many of the USSR’s best and brightest they might have beaten us.”

    How can we trust a word you say when you misrepresent very clear statements?

  32. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Paul, don’t be ridiculous. My statements on the economic system are hardly what anyone would want to use as talking points — as you yourself point out!

    And you seem to have a problem with reading comprehension too. The statements you compare are very different points.

    Nor do I believe I am what most reasonable people would consider the Democratic base. I did not vote for Andrew Cuomo, I did not vote for Al Gore and I don’t think I voted for John Kerry though honestly I don’t remember who I voted for in that election. I even voted for Ronald Reagan but that was when I was young and stupid and believed the bull that Republicans said about themselves. I quickly learned otherwise.

  33. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    And I must correct myself from earlier statements. I do NOT want a Free Market. I want a Well Regulated Fair Market.

    In a free market people could own slaves, sell their kidneys and all drugs, prostitution, gambling… would all be perfectly legal. We could all import the poor from other countries as indentured servants. I know, it sounds a lot like the early colonies but I still think it is bad.

    And I think Obama made all those points in a speech last night.

  34. Larry says:

    I read very carefully what you wrote and there’s no doubt you used the phrase “a pretty good run” in reference to the Stalin regime. Qualifying it by saying “If Stalin hadn’t been a paranoid mass murderer…” is a lot like saying Mussolini made the trains run on time or Hitler had some good ideas except for that genocide thing. There’s just no way to put any kind of a positive spin on the Stalin regime (or Hitler’s or Mussolini’s) and I am surprised anyone has the nerve to try it.

  35. Larry says:

    While I’m at it, your knowledge of economics seems to be on a par with your knowledge of history. The term “Free Market” does not usually refer to slavery, illegal drug trafficking or other illegal activity. Wikipedia defines a Free Market as “…a market where prices are determined by supply and demand, with little or no government control.” I agree.

  36. Larry says:

    What this country needs is a good 5 year plan! This blog is better than TV comedy.

  37. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I stand by my definition; it is better than the emasculated version you cite from Wiki. And actually my understanding of economics is apparently better than the understanding of Alan Greenspan and many others. For years I was saying that Alan Greenspan was wrong in what he was saying and doing which Greenspan finally admitted a year or two ago.

    You can define Free Market any way you want but we still don’t have one. Both the supply side and the demand side are manipulated. I believe that the major universities are churning out economics graduates with flawed ideas about the underlying nature of our economic system — they think what we have works well.
    A cursory view of world economics shows how wrong they are. They can try to explain it all away but the fact remains that the Corporate Capitalist system has been a huge purveyor of evil. Start by reading about the British East India Company. Forcing opium on the Chinese was just one of their many charming escapades.

    Oh, and by the way, “…a market where prices are determined by supply and demand, with little or no government control.” That would mean a government that doesn’t outlaw slavery, right? Because, as we all know rules regulating slavery and how slaves should be treated go back to the Bible.

  38. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    As for your poor understanding of my comments on the USSR; only a fool refuses to recognize an opponent’s strengths.

    You must be blinded by your ideology because it is irrefutably true that The Soviet Union was one of the two great powers after WWII and until roughly 1990. They were a powerful nation with numerous accomplishments in many fields. They had many of the world’s top athletes, they had the world’s best ballet, they were home to many great artists, writers, composers and musicians, they were home to great scientists and medical doctors, they were the top chessmasters, great physicists and astronomers and of course they had a mighty military along with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. They beat us in many fields including many firsts in space exploration.

    I believe all that qualifies as having a pretty good run. I don’t have to agree to their world view to recognize their achievements. Just as I can still be proud of the US even when we have leaders like George Bush and Dick Cheney who should be in prison for war crimes.

  39. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    By the way Larry, you would have failed reading a reading comprehension test of my blog post because I said: “to be fair to the Ruskies, they had a pretty good run considering that they bore the full brunt of the Nazis for a year or so while the Allies dawdled opening a Western Front.”

    I did not say a single good word about Stalin, who happened to die in 1953 while my comment spanned many decades after that. So either you cannot read well or you are purposely trying to misrepresent what I say. That falls under the category of bearing false witness. Remember your Commandments: Thou shalt not bear false witness.

    I will await your humble apology. You soul is in danger here, fess up.

  40. mervel says:

    The gas tax IS interesting.

    There is a free market case that can be made FOR a gas tax or something like a gas tax. If you raise the gas tax because you feel that people “should” drive less or drive smaller cars or “should” use less carbon I think this is the wrong approach. I think we should look the price of gas and add in the costs of that gas being used. What we have with gas is a resource that is priced improperly. It is priced improperly because not all of the costs of producing the gas are included in the price because the producers and users of gas get to use my air and my water for free. If you are going to use the air I breath and technically own, then you should pay for that right.

    I still think that carbon production and usage could be solved with a market approach.

    On the green front, very bad news yesterday as we slapped tariffs on Chinese made solar panels. It tells me we are not really serious about solar.

  41. mervel says:


    They BETTER have been a world power; our whole multi-billion dollar defense establishment was formed to defend against them!

    You probably remember, but most people including myself during the 1970’s and 1980’s had a real concern that the Soviet Union and the idea of Communism itself would dominate the world. It sounds odd now, but at the time it was a realistic view. Do you remember those maps of Soviet and PRC influence around the globe? (of course now we know that it was never that simple) but there was a realistic chance that the future of the world as we know it today would be a communist/socialist based system globally and the idea of Free markets would have been on the losing side of history.

    I think that debate is over, the debate now is the level of government we need, but no one is saying that we should return to centrally planned economies, that any government is capable determining what goods and services an economy should produce in what amount at what prices, that people should not own their own property or businesses that the government should own all of these things.

  42. Larry says:

    Interesting thoughts, mervel, but I don’t think we were ever in as much danger as you say. People want what they want and communism just can’t provide that. The fate of the Soviet Union was sealed the day the first McDonald’s opened in Moscow.

  43. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Mervel, I remember it very well. In fact I have many family members who actually fought against the Soviets. Not in a figurative sense, they actually bore arms against them. I have lots of family who spent years as refugees; who lost everything but their lives to the Soviets when they fled Soviet occupation. I have a cousin who was once studying to be a doctor who fled and is now a dental hygienist in the US. And happy to be a dental hygienist in the US. I have dozens of other relatives each with their own story. It isn’t history for my family; it is their lives.

    It makes me laugh to be called a Stalin apologist.

  44. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Great point Larry! So why is it we haven’t opened trade relations with Cuba?

  45. mervel says:


    What do your family members think about Russia today? I mean if we look at what was promised and what has happened to Russia since the fall; it has not lived up to what we thought would happen to a country with so much talent and so many natural resources.

  46. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    My family members don’t think about Russia very much, but if you want to see what happened to Russia’s talent and resources start looking at all the homes rich Russians have built in New Jersey.

  47. mervel says:

    The thing is Larry we all really believed that the Soviet Union might win the cold war. They had a larger armed forces than we did, they had some weapons that were better, and their nuclear arsenal was just as large and as strong.

    In addition they were spreading their influence around the globe.

    But the sell that we got about the danger which was used to justify a huge defense buildup and many immoral acts on our part; is maybe instructive for the sell we are getting now about “threats” around the globe…terrorism, Iran, China and so forth.

  48. Larry says:

    You can invite the terrorists, Iranians and Chinese to the Woody Guthrie sing-a-long if you like. Not all of us thought (or wished) that the Soviets would win the Cold War. No political system that is instituted and maintained by terror can win over one that is democratically chosen by its people.

  49. Walker says:

    Hey Larry, have you seen those photos of the peaceful OWS protesters being pepper-sprayed?

  50. Larry says:

    Yeah, what a police state we live in! I hate to think what would have happened if OWS took place in Iran, China or the late, unlamented (at least by me) Soviet Union.

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