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Who pays for unemployment?

I've been unemployed for a while now, and I'm wondering how much my former employer actually saved by letting me (and others) go. Adding up the cost of the severance package, the cost of the outplacement firm they hired, and the unemployment insurance, they actually paid quite a bit to laid me off.  Add to that, when the economy picks up, they will incur significant hiring and re-training costs.

So it would seem that there is a very long payback period for the cost of a layoff. I'm curious whether any economists have studied this.

The one thing I'm not certain of, however, is how much the former employer has to contribute toward unemployment benefits. I know the state and federal governments pay a large part of it, but what % is the former employer responsible for?

gruntled former employee
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

In Illinois employers contribute to unemployment while you are employed.  I'm not sure that they pay anything extra when someone is let go and I don't think the government ends up paying very much of your unemployment at all.

Anthony Rubin
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Funny though how you still have to pay income taxes on unemployment benefits eh?  Considering they're essentially being paid by you while you're employed.

GiorgioG
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

GiorgioG,

The Truth has no place in this discussion of American taxes and subsidies. You know better than that.

sell out
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Up here in Canada, its the same, the employer and the employee both contribute to the emiploment insurance fund while you are employed. When you are let go the employer doesn't have to contribute for you any more, therefore saving them money.

DJ
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

"Up here in Canada, its the same, the employer and the employee both contribute to the emiploment insurance fund while you are employed. "

Ha Ha Ha....another vicitm of the ole "Your employer is paying half of your unemployment insurance" liberal propaganda BS...

You pay it all....it only appears that you pay half...In the US I think the tax is 13% or 15%.  Half of which appears to be paid by your employer....

NOT...you just make that much less!!!  I'd rather have 13% or 15% higher salary and self "insure" than let the gov't do it....

What a scam....

apw
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

oh, my bad...that might be Social Security...which is still more of the same crapola...

apw
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Also, your employer's unemployment payments depends on claims filed.  So, your ex-employer will challenge your unemployment claim if they can.  (Exact rule varies by state.)

There is a trick some people use.  If you have a high-turnover business, you keep closing and re-incorporating.  This way, you get a clean slate for unemployment premiums, as you're always paying the rate for a new business.

Anonymous
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

In the US, unemployment is paid by the employer as a payroll tax (up to a certain limit per employee) according to a formula which varies from state to state, but somewhere around 2% of the employee's salary.

When the employee is laid off, the employer no longer needs to pay the unemployment for that employee, but its unemployment tax rate will increase for the next year on the rest of its employees.

There are a couple reasons why the US does not privatize social insurance the same way that, say, auto insurance is privatized:

* Stability: the private market worships efficiency over every other human virtue.  Efficiency means lowered premiums in many cases, but it also will means a larger number of business failures, defaults, bankruptcies, denied claims, and in the end, consumers being screwed.  When this happens in the auto insurance industry, it's painful; but when people's lives and families are on the line, it's tragic.

* Availibility: the purpose of any insurance scheme is to spread risk over a larger populations.  This means that some will end up paying much more into an insurance plan than they draw out, and others will take out much more than they put in.  If citizens were able to self-select their insurance, premiums would be outrageously high for the people that need it the most, leading to the collapse of social insurance.

Alyosha`
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

In Oregon, employers pay a payroll tax on the first $26,000 of wages for each employee.  The tax rate varies from 1.2% to 5.4%, depending on the number of claims filed against the employer.  New employers start out at 3.1%.  The payroll taxes are paid into an Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, out of which UI benefits are paid.  UI benefits come entirely from this fund.  The fund is sometimes used for other purposes as well, such as providing employers subsidies to create entry-level positions.

Gary Sincick
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

To expand on Alyosha's points, things like unemployment are generally things that people can't necessarily be relied upon to plan for.

Also note that CEOs and middle management also pay for unemployment, even they are generally the ones doing the laying off.

Furthermore, unemployment often comes in waves.  The last thing the insurance companies would have wanted in 2001 was to have private unemployment insurance added to the mix of all of the other things they needed to pay out.

I mean, overall, no economic system is 100% capitalist or 100% socialist.  The US has never had a 100% capatilist economic system. It's all a game of where you draw the line -- X% capitalist and 100-X% socialist.

Flamebait Sr.
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Making employers foot all or most of the burden for unemployment also makes more sense than private insurance, since the employers are the ones deciding to lay people off, and the more they layoff, the more they pay.

T. Norman
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

apw, you currently work for X local currency units. Are you seriuously suggesting that if the requirement for your employer to pay into unemployment insurance for you was to go away that your employer would just give it to you?


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Let's flip it around. Do you think that employers kept salaries the same when they started having to pay unemployment insurance?

Mark T A W .com
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I have no idea, but apw wants to go in one direction so that is the direction he has to consider.


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I would contend that I would have a greater probablility of getting a higher salary if my "employer" wasn't forced to pay tax for unemployment/social security.

Hypothetical situation: 
I'm negotiating a starting salary.  I'd really like to make $55,000.  But the employer can't budge over $50,000.  WHY?  Cause they have to pay and additional 7.5% ($3750) for Social Security, and we'll say 2% ($1000) for unemployement.

Not to mention the 7.5% that I pay into Social Security.

I'd rather have the possibility of taking home an additional $8500.

It's not that hard to save up 5 or 6 months of expenses if you happen to loose your job....if it is then you need to adjust your lifestyle.

apw
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Considering the job market, changes are that if the unemployment tax is gone, employer will just pocket the difference :-)

Frederic Faure
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

apw,

Considering the state of the level of debt that most people carry with them, and that people are usually very lousy with money (hence their debt); E.I. controlled by the government is better for them.  What they can't touch, they can't spend right away.

To my knowledge, if you are a contractor or someone self-employed, you have the "option" of having your client company do the tax work for you, or you can just get the whole lump sum and deal with it yourself.

I'm currently not confident in my tax work, so I let others do it.  But that might change in the future.

sedwo
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Yeah I guess it's always better to have the gov't control your life.....financials, health, retirement, education, liberty.

apw
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

In the current economic situation I might expect an employer to keep any savings it gets by not having to pay unemployment taxes. Somewhat over a year ago my employer had a 10% salary cut for the entire company just so they could keep everyone on the payroll. (A year later they gave that up and laid people off anyway). A company in that kind of situation would almost certainly keep every saving they could get.

But the economy is dynamic.  There have always been cycles and it is reasonable to expect that conditions will pick up again.  As the job market turns more towards a sellers market salaries will rise.

If unemployment insurance fees, FICA taxes, and any other employer paid fees were suddenly eliminated, any specific company could just keep the savings, but they'd find themselves competing for employees against other companies that also have more money available.

The more important question to ask concerning the effects of such a policy change is: would the fraction of production going to pay labor vs the fraction going to investment change in the long term.  I expect in the long run the ratio would tend to be constant, but don't have anyway to prove it.

The only thing we can say with some certainty concerning the current system is that it reduces the employee's choices.  Some people think that is a good thing.  It seems to be especially popular among politicians.

mackinac
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The problem is that there are plenty of stupid people who won't (or are incapable of) saving 4-6 months pay for when they are unemployed.

As a society, we won't just let these people starve to death so the rest of us pick up the cost of their stupidity. No matter what, we all are going to pay for it...

Unemployment insurance is a way of funding this. It also makes sure that employers who do have a larger turn-over pay more for it.

Social Security is the same way (can't let old people who were incapable of saving a dime their entire lives starve to death either).

In a perfect world, people would be responsible for themselves and we wouldn't need Unemployment or Social Security. Or, in a different perfect world, we'd let people actually suffer the results of their short-sightedness.

RocketJeff
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I think the problem here is benefits vs law

Employer pays a portion of your health care - Benefit
Employer pays half of your Social Sec - Law
Employer matches 401k - Benefit
Employer pays emp insurance - Law
You pay the other Social Sec - Law

I don't consider the 7.5% that I pay into SocSec and the 7.5% that the employer pays a benefit.... it's forced.  I already contribute 15% of my gross to 401k....I'd also like to do what I see fit with the 15% the gov't forces me to pay.

Imagine what you could do with 15% of your salary over 30 years?  Certainly much more than whats its currently doing in Soc Sec.

These programs promote the stupidity of not taking care of ones financial well-being.

apw
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Frederic is spot on. In fact, it being the capitalist thing to do they will always try to screw you down to the last penny. That's why them paying part of the insurance has to be a legal obligation.


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

RocketJeff - I guess in the first of your perfect worlds everyone would need to earn enough that they could afford to save.


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Yup. Let's see, I'm hopeless with money... saving 10% of my income each month, it will take me 10 months to save 1 month's income, 30 months to save 3 months' income, 60 months to save 6 months' income. In other words, 5 years.

Dear oh dear! Why can't I do this! What am I wasting my money on!

Let's see... 33% is going on repaying my professional development loan. 5% is going on income protection insurance, in case I get so sick that I can't work for extended periods of time. 10% is going into a retirement fund (and I know full well this should be 33%, but I just don't have the backbone).

That makes 48% of my income, and I earn the national average. Add another 10% to save for an emergency fund, and that makes 58%. Oh dear! I am too decadent and feckless to live on 42% of the national average income! Shame on me!!! I'd better adjust my lifestyle.

Let's see what it says here in this handy guide, "five ways to smarten up and stop being so decadent and feckless, you idiot":

1. Don't drink so much beer. Beer costs money.

Well, in order to drink less beer, I'd have to drink SOME beer in the first place, which would be quite a sacrifice because I'm a teetotaler. Another case of my not having the gumption.

2. Don't buy your lunch, brown-bag it. Bought lunch costs money.

Ah! I have been using one of those freezy insulating bags to carry my lunch. I will just run down to the 24-hour Discount Brown-Bag Warehouse and equip myself with a lifetime supply of brown bags, and then I...

3. Don't have so many takeaways. They cost money.

:-( My birthday takeaway! I was *so* fond of that little extravagance, but I could save nearly £12 a year this way, so I shall just have to toughen up.

... etc, you get the idea.

I'm sure my personal financial management will not be to everyone's liking, but that doesn't really mean I'm dumb or self-indulgent, and I get fed up of people saying it does.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

"Imagine what you could do with 15% of your salary over 30 years?  Certainly much more than whats its currently doing in Soc Sec."

Oh, I don't have to imagine - I know! It would give me 30% of the income I expect to need in retirement, provided my house was paid for. Though I don't have a house and am unlikely ever to be able to afford one... So, say, 15% of my retirement income?

Still, that's a better return than 0.5% of what I need to live on, which is what I'm told to expect if I were to rely on the state pension.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Here in Washington State, the employer is liable for the unemployment benefits of laid-off workers and for a share of the unemployment benefits not charged to a specific employer. The unemployment tax has an upper limit, approximately 5% of the first $29,700 of payroll for each employee per year.

During the boom, we paid significant (and rising) unemployment taxes, even though we never had anyone collect unemployment. The state legislature essentially funded some social programs by expanding the definition of who can collect unemployment benefits. When the downturn came, the state had spent the unemployment money, so the fact that we'd been paying into the system for about 10 years was no help. An argument for unemployment insurance is that people can't be trusted to save for unemployment, but apparently the legislature of the State of Washington can't be trusted to do that either.

We will be paying at the limit (5% of the first $29,700 per remaining employee per year), until the state recovers the benefits paid out to our previous employees. There is something like a 5 year cap on these paybacks. This is good, because the maximum duration of unemployment benefits is now around 18 months, so benefits can add up to a lot of money.

The argument for a long duration of unemployment benefits is that people can have a hard time finding a job. The argument for a short duration is that apparently there is a rush of people to get jobs in the weeks before their benefits run out, so a long duration of benefits encourages long unemployment, which is potentially a major problem. People who are out of work for long periods have a hard time finding a new job.

For an employer, unemployment benefits to former employees is a potentially significant liability. A solution is to lay off a large fraction of the workforce. If you have 10 employees and get rid of 1 or 2, you might be liable for tens of thousands of dollars of unemployment benefits over the following years. The 5% limit applied to 8 employees is almost $12,000 a year. That can be a large liability, especially if the reason for the layoffs is that you are struggling. If, however, you lay off more of your employees, you'll find your liability capped by the 5% and 5 year limits. You get rid of more people, but you don't pay any extra unemployment insurance.

The 'optimum layoff' in terms of unemployment insurance depends on a number of factors, including the average pay of an employee, the actual charged benefits paid by the state, and the various limits. Of course, unemployment taxes are not the largest cost to an employer, but the current arrangement does seem to create a perverse incentive to implement large layoffs. It also creates an incentive not to hire people who might result in an unemployment liability, that is, an incentive not to take chances on people.

It seems to me that the best solution would be to get the state out of the unemployment insurance business,  privatizing it. Then the legislature can complain about evil executives spending unemployment insurance money, rather than spend it themselves. My guess is that the results will be better.

Dan Brown
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

"I'd rather have the possibility of taking home an additional $8500."

Don't start by assuming that $50,000 a year is a representative wage in the US.  Perhaps it is for us pampered computer engineers, but for the nation as a whole it's around an 80th percentile wage. 

[ Source: http://www.bls.gov/oes/2001/oes000000.htm ]

Perhaps it is easy for YOU to save a few months wages in a short amount of time, but I'd be willing to bet you don't have a wife and children to support either.

The government requires that all automobile owners be resonsible for their liability by carrying insurance.  Similarly, the same government requires all citizens be responsible for their unemployment and retirement by paying into social insurance.  The US, along with every first world industrialized nation requires this from its citizens.  Yes, it is forced.  It has to be.

Alyosha`
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

"Similarly, the same government requires all citizens be responsible for their unemployment and retirement by paying into social insurance."

Here in the UK we get what looks ominously like a double-whammy; we pay at least 22% into income tax and a further 11% into National Insurance, which goes directly to current claimants.

We are warned not to count on a state pension in our old age; its purchasing power is expected to dwindle to the price of a bottle of blue rinse. Assuming this is not exaggerated, and there is no reason to think otherwise, a home hair coloring kit currently retails at GBP 7.00 a box.

In other words - 11% of your income now, in exchange for GBP 7.00 a week in your old age. (Unless something changes, and why count on that.)

Many financial-management books talk of percentages ((your age/2) = % of gross salary you should put away) so as not to scare people. BUT, in terms of actual monetary amounts, the sum you need to save is equal to at least 33% of the national average income!!!

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

I never said "saving money in a short period of time"...how ever long it takes, you should have an emergency fund...

No I don't have kids, (within the next 2 years most likely though).  But you should be damn sure that my emergency savings will be adjusted for that (in fact I've started already), much like it was when I bought my house, getting married, etc....major lifestyle changes....

If you can't look forward more than one paycheck in terms of financial planning, then you have serious problems that you need to take care of....

Well on second thought why bother right? The gov't (everyone else) will bail you out....

apw
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

"The argument for a short duration is that apparently there is a rush of people to get jobs in the weeks before their benefits run out, so a long duration of benefits encourages long unemployment..."

Maybe, but that may or may not be a bad thing.  It depends what people are doing during that period of unemployment.  If most people are just sitting around collecting their checks and waiting for their benefits to expire before looking for a job, then that's a problem. 

However, I think that its probably more often the case that people are looking for a job that is somewhere in the neighborhood (with respect to wages and qualifications) of the job they lost.  If you lost a software engineering position that paid $50,000/yr, then you will probably start out looking for something similar (maybe less pay in this job market).  As the length of your unemployment grows, your standards will likely drop.  By the time your benefits run out, you are likely to take any crappy job you can find.  This may very well be in a totally unrelated field (say, entry-level burrito roller at Taco Bell).

So the rush of people getting jobs just as their benefits expire does not prove that they are all pigs slopping at the public trough.  It may in part reflect the fact that finding a good job is easier when you don't have to work at a lousy one at the same time. 

Does this mean that people should be allowed an infinite amount of time to find the perfect job?  Of course not.  Over time skills deteriorate, and after a significant time out of work, people start to become unemployable.  What's the right amount of time?  Six months sounds good, plus extensions during times of exceptionally bad job markets....which is what we (in the U.S.) have now.

Gary Sincick
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

"If most people are just sitting around collecting their checks and waiting for their benefits to expire before looking for a job, then that's a problem".

It is required to make three job contacts a week while drawing unemployment; you must keep a log of your search which may be audited up to a year after you stop claiming.

I was unemployed 18 months here in Washington state and drew unemployment for about 8 of those months.  Lemme tell ya, it's no picnic being unemployed.

Alyosha`
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Oh Fernanda, no wonder you are so bad with money, you can't even count. There were only "three ways to smarten up and stop being so decadent and feckless, you idiot" and not five!

(sorry, I just couldn't resist)


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

"It also creates an incentive not to hire people who might result in an unemployment liability, that is, an incentive not to take chances on people."

That's not necessarily a bad thing.  If I'm looking for long-term (long term being defined as anything over 2 years nowadays!) employment, but you have reason to believe there is a nontrivial risk that you will lay me off within the next year or so, don't hire me.  By hiring somebody and then laying them off shortly afterwards, you can make them worse off than if you didn't hire them in the first place.

They may have left another job to take the one you offered, or they may have relocated to take the job.  Or even if they were unemployed at the time of your offer, if you didn't make the offer they may have been hired by somebody else and still have a job or done something else like started their own business (quite a lot of people start their own business after being laid off).

If you want short-term help, find a consultant or a temp agency.  Don't pretend the job is long-term by doing things like giving 401ks and stock options with 5-year vesting periods.  Plan your business so you don't hire people unless you have a good chance of keeping them for a while.

T. Norman
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

"Oh Fernanda, no wonder you are so bad with money, you can't even count. There were only "three ways to smarten up and stop being so decadent and feckless, you idiot" and not five!"

Don't apologize! That is exactly the kind of help I was looking for!

At last I can free myself of the shackles of financial inefficiency and embrace the freedom that good planning brings! Just as soon as I enrol in remedial math.

I'm saved! And I owe it all to you!

;-)

Fernanda Stickpot
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Don't thank me, just send money.


Thursday, September 25, 2003

The gov't doesn't do much right, why give them the opportunity to screw up your health care, education, and retirement?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,98233,00.html

The liberals want you to depend on them, they buy your vote by promising the moon...

apw
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Ah yes, the old conservative canard: "government doesn't work, and if you elect me, I'll prove it to you!"

2000: eight years of Democratic leadership in the White House, (Republican congress for six years), first balanced budget in 34 years, welfare reform passed (1996), tax rate stable, National Performance Review (1993) saves $58 billion and reduces government headcount by 200,000,  Americorps started, giving community volunteers money for education, roaring economy, projections of outrageous surpluses for the next ten years.

2003: White House and Congress under Republican leadership, government running largest deficit in the history of mankind, 3 million jobs lost, no end to war, $6 billion and 30 lives a month, oppressive Patriot Act passed, a president who preaches community involvement and cuts Americorps, leaves every child behind, stumps for universal health care IN IRAQ, creates deficits as far the eye can see, and tax cuts that envigorate the economy like pushing on a wet string.

Please, please, please give me back those evil liberals.  The current tax-cut-and-spend administration is bankrupting us.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled software-related discussions, already in progress.

Alyosha`
Thursday, September 25, 2003

9.11.03

apw
Thursday, September 25, 2003

9.11.01...sorry

apw
Thursday, September 25, 2003

If you mean to say our economy is in the toilet because of 9/11, then you should know we were into our downturn a full year before that, and now, two years later, and with the exception of the airline industry -- what industry is currently affected by that act of terrorism?

Well, besides the military, which by all rights should be booming right now?

If you mean to say that the reason for all these wars is 9/11, then you should know that our president has recently admitted there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attack.

Alyosha`
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Since this is now (and always was) a political thread....

OK so what happened in the past 3 or 4 years that makes the left think the WMD argument is BS?

Umm could it be that the current adminsitration is actually trying to do something about it?  Instead of cutting the govt's head off (military spending) in the name of reducing gov't head count....?


"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.
(instead of doing something about it, he decides to get Bj's in the oval office and lying under oath)

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.
(instead of doing something about it, he decides to get Bj's in the oval office and lying under oath)

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998.

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.
(instead of doing something about it, he decides to get Bj's in the oval office and lying under oath)

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of Mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

apw
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Slow down, apw, I can't keep up with you changing the topic every post ...  (economy, then 9/11, then WMDs) ...

Many on the left feared that Hussein may be working on a WMD program, sounding the loudest call for international inspections; but at the same time they opposed unilateral military action, establishing a dangerous precedent of preemptive warfare on unproven grounds.

To quote a famous liberal (wink wink):

"We should not march into Baghdad .... To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us, and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero . . . assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerrilla war. It could only plunge that part of the world into even greater instability".  (George Hebert Walker Bush, 1998).

Alyosha`
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Of course that quote was about the first Gulf war. 
The objective being to liberate Kuwait of the Iraqi forces that invaded.

At that point in time there was no plan to take over Iraqi as Bush Sr. eloquently stated.

To apply that quote as guidance of current events is to again twist the words. (a common practice of the left and the left guided media).

Things have changed since 9/11 at least for the U.S.  Financial concers of those in the UN should not be a concern of the US in its mission of self protection (which by the way is the main purpose of the gov't)

Sorry to mix up the topics but they are all related.

apw
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Please explain to me what changed between 1991 and 2002.  Couldn't be that we suddenly discovered that he's a danger to his own people; we knew that when he gassed the Kurds in 1989.  Couldn't have been 9/11, there is and never was any connection.  Maybe it was the expulsion of weapons inspectors in 1998?  No, now that I think about it, the only thing that changed between then and now is that we got ourselves a new war-mongering president.  Saddam didn't change.  The US did.

"To apply that quote as guidance of current events is to again twist the words. (a common practice of the left and the left guided media)".

Ah yes.  The conservative media never twists words, spins facts, reports selectively, demonizes its enemies, or (as you have done here), slanders the other side with a broad paintbrush.  Oh no.  Only liberals do this.  The "fair and balanced" news media tells me so in its never-ending crusade to expose the subtle biases of the "liberal" media.

Alyosha`
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Of course the US changed.  It finally woke up.  It took a major hit on Sept 11, 2001. And it is now protecting itself.

apw
Thursday, September 25, 2003

If by "protecting ourselves" you mean "engaging in the same shoot-from-the-hip imperialistic activities which incited the terrorist attacks in the first place, deposing leaders not connected to Al Qaeda while wasting billions of dollars a month doing it", then yes, we're protecting ourselves.

Have another cup of kool-aid.

Alyosha`
Thursday, September 25, 2003

here is my view on the whoel republican/democratic voting

local level - republican
nationatal level - democrat

in general republican ARE more responsible in terms of money and try to lower taxes, but add Defense in the mix and it's all screwed up.  Plus John Wayne has a better foreign policy.

tekumse
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Al Qaeda is only one souce of terrorism.

I'd rather spend money on fighting terrorism then a bloated national health care coverage system...

national level - democrat  =  socialism

no thank you

apw
Friday, September 26, 2003

It's funny.  When Democrats waste a million here, two million there, they call us big spenders.  When Republicans want to blow $87 billion, then the apologists start coming out: "hey, it's only 1% of our GDP.  One percent!  So small!".  Like we won't miss it.  Well, what does $87 billion buy?

http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/8857

No, I don't think we should we increase the size of the EPA ten times over; no, I don't think we should double the spending for unemployment.  But yes, when I hear conservatives carping about how "expensive" and "bloated" these important social programs are, I can't help but think how penny-wise and pound-foolish this country has become.

Bush thinks you're stupid.  Bush thinks he can slap the "terrorist" label on any two-bit tyrant he doesn't like and the nation will spend great gobs of money to get rid of him.  And you know what?  You fell for it.  How does that make you feel?  You've been tricked into funding the most bloated, least effective (counterproductive, even!) government program out there.

Alyosha`
Friday, September 26, 2003

I'm sure the tens of thousands of dead Iraqis and thier families think Saddam is more than a two-bit tyrant.

apw
Friday, September 26, 2003

That we killed, or Saddam killed?

http://www.iraqbodycount.net/

Hey, we knew ten years ago Saddam was a tyrant and a menace to his own people.  But back then the neocons had the sense to realize that the US military is for the defense of the US, not to play world's policeman.  The rationale for invading Iraq keeps shifting.  First it was Al Qaeda and terrorism, and we couldn't prove that.  Then it was WMD, and we couldn't find them.  Now it's "well, we did it for the Iraqi people".  How about Bush do something for the AMERICAN people for a change?

Alyosha`
Friday, September 26, 2003

He is doing things for the American People

Let's see:
  Lowering taxes....so people can keep more of THIER OWN MONEY...(contrary to poplular liberal belief...it is YOUR money not the gov'ts)

  School Vouchers (trying):  Give people thier money back so they can send thier children to the school of thier choice.

Oh and BTW, there hasn't been another terrorist act on US soil since the war on terror began...If you asked anyone (rep or demo) the probablility of another attack soon on 9.12.01 I'm betting most would of said say "high".

Now I am not a republican so I can also attack some of his spending policy.  I'm sure a decent %age of the $87B that is going to Iraq is fat.

I think its just as irresponsible to have a large budget surplus as it is to have an outragous deficit

apw
Friday, September 26, 2003

George Bush did the American people no favors by cutting taxes.  There is a difference between cutting taxes and cutting spending.  By doing one without the other, Bush has simply obligated us to pay higher taxes WITH INTEREST in the future.  This is sleight of hand.  This is fiscal irresponsibility.

Also, it does not make sense to return any surpluses to the taxpayers before we've paid back the excesses of previous administrations.  We need to get our public debt under control.

Don't get me wrong, I'm for fiscal responsbility.  I'm all for knowing what we're paying for and how much it costs.  You and I may disagree on what belongs in the public sector -- unemployment insurance, social security, health care -- but at least we can agree on that much.

As far as national security, I don't think we're any safer than we were two years ago; if anything else, we've made more enemies.  Two years is too short a time to declare success.

Alyosha`
Friday, September 26, 2003

---" How about Bush do something for the AMERICAN people for a change? "----

Are you sure you really want him to? After what he's done for the Afghani and Iraqi people, and what his predecessors have done for the Somali, Panamanian, Nicaraguan, Chilean, Vietnamese and Guatamalan people?

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, October 01, 2003

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