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Conservative ?

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May 9, 2012, 12:18pm Top


I realize that ALL former Presidents are privey to various goodies on the tax payer's dollar but why is it that many "Conservatives" seem to be consistantly less conservative when it comes to themselves.
In part the idea of conservatism has to do with smaller government but when they are in charge they spend like we have unlimited government coffers.....too much information out there now to get away with the same old same old, perhaps they could come up with a better name for themselves.

Wish I could come up with something that wasn't snarky, cause I am serious.....they do not look good right now and part of it is plain old hypocrisy. This may explain why Tea Party candidates are winning, though they aren't much better.

May 9, 2012, 12:31pm Top

I don't think there's any problem with this, even GW Bush's phone bill (although he should use Skype). HuffPo and Tea Party get their knickers twisted over small change in the overall Fed Budget (e.g. earmarks).

May 9, 2012, 2:25pm Top


Here's a related article on the topic. At least some current legislators think there should be a cap. Bush is playing by the rules but considering how wealthy the ex-presidents become, I don't see the need for the taxpayers to fund so many of their expenses. I don't want to see an ex-pres struggle for the basics but in the end, they are private citizens once they leave office.

May 9, 2012, 3:13pm Top

Just say no.

May 9, 2012, 3:26pm Top

>4 richardbsmith:
Thank you ! It is very easy...be personally conservative.

May 9, 2012, 3:30pm Top

If these former Presidents are using the tax payer's money just because it is there and they can, how are they any different than a food stamp recipient who can afford a Lincoln Navagator or a $60 nail job but not food ?

I fail to see the difference.

May 9, 2012, 3:32pm Top

Think of it as a pension. Or investigate the purpose behind the original legislation.

May 9, 2012, 4:27pm Top

>7 theoria:
The original legislation is hardly relevent to the wealth generated by today's former Presidents. If Romney is elected, he too will be submitting expense accounts no doubt. (that thought just caused a major headache !)


O.K. a pension then. However, it doesn't much matter in regards to the point of being conservative. Either you are or you are not. Food stamps were legislated into existance for a reason as well. Nothing wrong with food stamps unless you are using them just because they are available to you, when you are perfectly able to afford your own food. It would seem to me that President Bush or Clinton for that matter can afford to buy their own postage stamps. Given their hefty pensions and the amount they make from books and or speaking engagements......they can afford to spend some of it on some of things they submit as expenses.

The point is that they use it because they can, not because they need to. Given the financial situation of a good deal of American's today, it is rather abusive to those who they were elected to serve.
It doesn't appear to be specific to either party but again....do not define yourself as being conservative when clearly, you are not conservative.

It is after all the conservative party that is most vocal about the abuse of programs. The fact that people will take what ever it is that is available whether they need it or not. Top or bottom, wealthy or poor....I see no difference in the pattern of abuse.

May 9, 2012, 4:47pm Top

I have no love for Bush, but I'd like to see what Clinton used when he first left, in adjusted dollars. It's no surprise that Bush spends more than his father, or Carter. His father has no real public life now, and Carter's is pretty minimal. They're really old.

Anyway, he may be abusing it, but I dislike it when Republicans people are attacked from taking government benefits. We all live under the same laws. You shouldn't have to pretend you live in an alternate reality without the law, even if you opposed it.

May 9, 2012, 6:00pm Top

>9 timspalding:
Clinton's was the highest prior to recently. G.W. Bush passed him up.

It wouldn't be so bad that Republicans take government benefits if they wouldn't use "entitlement programs" as a political platform. If we need to cut programs than that is what we need to do but sadly Republicans insist that the abusers are the poor, the elderly or our students. NO, the top does it as well. I would say that today, given the wealth of all existing former Presidents, none of them need to make use of their entitlement to an expense account. It is the Republican presidents who would see SS gone, Medicare cut and student loans decreased.

It is not an attack on "using government benefits", it is disrespect for the level of hypocrisy.

"We all live under the same laws. You shouldn't have to pretend you live in an alternate reality without the law, even if you opposed it."

Not sure what you mean by this ? You should feel comfortable taking something that is there because the law states that you can even though you don't believe in the law that allows you to take it ? That is hypocritical ! Saying you believe one thing and doing the opposite .

If you NEED the benefit that is one thing....if you don't that is entirely different.

Edited: May 9, 2012, 7:02pm Top

>10 faceinbook:

I'm thinking of someone like Scott Brown who, because he voted against Obamacare, is apparently not allowed to use it. (His daughter is on his plan, although she'd be too old under the prior law.) To my mind that's not hypocrisy, that's simply doing what the law of the land allows. And I would note it's only used against Republicans. Nobody's done an expose of Democratic lawmakers who take advantage of the Bush drug benefit, which passed with 96% of Democrats against.(1)

If you NEED the benefit that is one thing....if you don't that is entirely different.

So, unless you're destitute you shouldn't take Medicare? If you can afford a security guard, but don't, should the police refuse to answer your emergency calls?

student loans decreased

Bah—amen for that. They should be eliminated. College costs so much because it can cost so much. It can cost so much because students get government-backed loans, which rise in perfect tandem with the "costs." Add to that that the government pays up whether or not the student defaults, and whether or not the college actually succeeds in gruaduating students. It's no coincidence that private for-profit colleges have miserable rates of graduation, and miserable default rates. The government created the problem. Bread would cost $100 a loaf if government paid ever-increasing benefits to people who bought it.

I would add that government education loans would be fine if schools could only get them under one condition—their tuition rises by no more than inflation. Don't bet on that.

1. The Democrats were right there, incidentally.

May 9, 2012, 7:23pm Top

>11 timspalding:
"I'm thinking of someone like Scott Brown who, because he voted against Obamacare, is apparently not allowed to use it."

It is hypocritical ! If he thinks that Obamacare is going to bankrupt the country, is he not helping bankrupt the country ?

Medicare is not a good example to use....most elderly individuals have healthcare issues, insurance has been allowed to declare people with conditions "uninsurable" As I understand it, this will no longer be the case, however the insurance company is free to charge what ever they would like. Lousy example , if one does not take/ use Medicare and they are not destitute they will be by the time the entire health care system is through with them.

Good example.....Free school lunches. We didn't have much when my kids were little and I would have qualified for the free lunch program but I could always put a lunch together. I THOUGHT free lunches were for individuals who had no food in the house to make a lunch.
Later I learned that my husbands ex-wife used the free lunch program freely.....she received more child support than I earned in a month. She qualified, she took it. Not sure there is a "right" and "wrong" here but the problem I have is that my husband would like to see all such programs eleminated..... he claims that they are abused and I agree but I also know that there are people who do not have enough food in the house to make up a lunch for the kids.
My stand on that ? My husband, being the staunch Conservative that he is, should have made the kids their lunches for the week or given them lunch money....he was not destitute at the time. (neither was his ex but that is another whole story) He shrugged it off and blamed the program rather than the abuser.
The program is there for a reason, to punish those who have fallen through the cracks because some individuals feel that if it is "free" they should take it, is foolish.

I used student loans for a technical collage...no way on earth I could have paid for school. It allowed me to keep the kids off of the "free lunch" program. Also paid them back. There is a purpose for these things..... Are the loans, lunch programs, food stamp programs or any government progam, at fault ? or are those who abuse them to blame ? If you "go along" with what you don't agree with, I believe you become part of the problem.

Edited: May 9, 2012, 7:56pm Top

>12 faceinbook:

The law is the law. We all live under it. Bush's tax cuts affect every single Democratic senator and congressman. Most got huge cuts. They too said it was fiscally irresponsible. (They were right.) But find me one who pays the old rate, and sends back their refunds. Go ahead and try, starting with Obama, Biden and Clinton. Heck, go look up Dennis Kucinich's taxes. I'll bet you $100 he paid the rate he blasted. Are they hypocrites?

Worse, why aren't you saying so? I see in this a very typical problem. Some people aren't rational when it comes to politics. See http://www.librarything.com/topic/136908 . Republican or Democrat, rational people should recognize obviously equivalent situations, and decide whether to deplore something based on the situation, not the party.

Meanwhile, should Democrats all chew radium chewing gum and learn Russian because they didn't support Reagan's foreign policy? ;)

May 9, 2012, 10:15pm Top

>13 timspalding:
"Republican or Democrat, rational people should recognize obviously equivalent situations, and decide whether to deplore something based on the situation, not the party."

And so please tell me then what is going on now in Congress......and who is most responsible for deploring something based on party rather than situation ?

Stephen King wrote an article for The Daily Beast about the tax debacle :


I am inclined to agree with him.

The example of tax rates is far more complicated that choosing to add a child to an insurance policy. Doubt that most of the members of Congress do their own taxes.

As for Congress members returning their tax refunds or using an older rate, I have no clue if any of them did...doubt it. I do know that Senator Feingold refused a pay raise for years and did indeed return it when he received the extra money. He was voted out in favor of Scott Walker. Now on the surface, it would appear to me that Feingold took a fiscally conservative stand. Doubt that Walker would do the same. Obviously "conservatism"is not defined by which party one belongs to but rather their actions.
If one is "conservative" it would be beneficial to lead by example, just don't see it happening, when it does, it basically goes unnoticed

I think you missed the point of what I was saying.....I don't like it when anyone abuses the system, the Right, Left, rich or poor. BUT, if you are going to use the programs it sounds less than honorable to stand up and condem the people who have supported those programs. Not much different than Tea Party members on Medicare who carry signs saying "keep government out of our healthcare".....if that is where you stand, well then you should drop your dang Medicare cause you are on a government healthcare system.

May 10, 2012, 12:32am Top

>14 faceinbook:

Obviously either of us can pick examples that aren't equivalent.

But apparently you won't defend your accusations of hypocrisy, or your reasoning. Shown you're wrong it's off to the races on some other topic.

May 10, 2012, 8:11am Top

>15 timspalding:
There is no defense for hypocrisy....both parties are guilty to some extent. But you will not likely hear a Democrat calling for the demise of Medicare when they have parents or disabled children who use it....Republicans on the other hand "forget" that they use those nasty entitlement programs just as much. OR are they just saying what they think their base wants to hear......either way...that to me is hypocrisy.
As humans we are all hypocritical about some things. We don't tend to recognize those things we are hypocritcal about ourselves. Point I was trying to make is how an entire party cling to views that are CLEARLY hypocrisy.

Don't believe I changed topics......Maybe added a few :>0

May 10, 2012, 8:15am Top

I've heard this all before:

"Republicans, baaad!
Democrats, goood!"

Reminds me of Animal Farm.

As long as people continue to paint those with different viewpoints as "bad" and not see similar issues in those they support, there is no help for gridlock.

And I'll continue to not frequent these threads, because mostly these topics are just p*ssing matches, and I'm not interested.

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Later. :)

May 10, 2012, 8:47am Top

>17 fuzzi:
Obviously you frequented the thread this morning !

NO.... not bad or good....just different. Like in any undertaking that invovles more than one person, there needs to be compromise or the undertaking is doomed to failure. In the case of our government, at this point in time, who is determined not to compromise. Just heard the man who was voted in over Senator Luger....."My idea of bipartisanship is making the Democrates think my way". Good start !
It is really pretty simple.

New t-shirt :
Don't bother me.....clearly I'm above it all !

May 10, 2012, 8:57am Top

Without compromise we are no better than the Sunni and the Shia....who ever holds the most power is in total control.
Nothing to do with good or bad and everything to do with power and control.

May 10, 2012, 11:37am Top

Lugar failed the purification test. He was a contaminated republican. I don't really know what is going on with that party. In 2007--former New Hampshire Republican Senator Robert Smith--who was considered pretty conservative endorsed Obama--Hagel from Nebraska another former Republican senator all but endorsed Obama and then there was also Senator Chaffee (more of a moderate republican) from Rhode Island. All ex-military by the way and all not happy with Bush/Cheney's military adventurism. It wasn't that long ago that the GOP would allow some freedom from total conformity. This new brand of republicanism is all about orthodoxy or fundamentalism or whatever is more about purging those elements within their own party who won't conform.

We can go on about the democrats as well--they are a disappointing lot almost from top to bottom but at least as of yet there's room for disagreement and/or debate within their ranks.

Edited: May 10, 2012, 11:55am Top

20> The struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party between the minority of moderates and the rising Tea Party majority is reminiscent of the struggle between the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks during the 1910s. It appears the Tea Party bolsheviki are winning.

May 10, 2012, 1:06pm Top

#21--funny though that Romney hardly passes muster for small town dog catcher to some of these purists yet he is probably going to be their presidential nominee. I really think he goes for a VP candidate that will give him the credibility that he lacks within his own party.

Anyway the economic situation sucks and the growth of the tea party movement mirrors that suckiness and really I don't think either party is capable of addressing these problems just on their own--whether they could accomplish anything worthwhile together is another question. But frustration is driving all this and this frustration is also likely to make things even worse. Just an opinion. Some question as well how much some monied interests are manipulating this movement.

May 10, 2012, 2:13pm Top

>17 fuzzi:
Actually, Animal Farm is more subtle.

(Which is not to say that the Republicans haven't been the more obstructionist lately.)

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