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Posts posted by scoutingagain

  1. "The difference is one size does not fit all."


    Ya, that's the Republican refrain now. Prior to Obama's implementation of Romneycare, the individual mandate was THE conservative approach to expanding health care coverage. The Democratic approach was the single payer system. Romney himself has made the conservative arguement in favor of the individual mandate several times. Face it, if Romney had won the Republican nomination in 2008, he'd have campaigned on the Masssachusetts healthcare law as one of his signature accomplishments and Republicans would be praising the individual mandate as the essence of personal responsiblity. When Obama and the Democrats actually passed it, Romney and other Republicans that supported the mandate now find it politically expedient to villify it.


    The additional irony for Romney is that he's claimed he balance the Massachusetts budget without raising taxes. Sure he increased fees on everything from driver's licenses to state parks, but he claims he didn't increase taxes. Well apparently, according to the Supreme Court, primarily from Bush appointee Roberts, he actually passed one of the most significant new broad based taxes in state history.


    This is one area where Rick Santorum had it right. Mitt Romney is possibly the Republican with the least credibility in making an effective case against Obama/Romney care. His best hope is the economy tanks and voters are ready to give just about anybody else a try.







  2. "So I pay the same for my wife and I as the guy with a wife and 10 kids (who can now stay on his policy longer). "


    I highly doubt it. I suggest you look closely at you insurance plan because I've never seen one where this is true. In fact many health insurers were considering extending coverage to children longer even if Obama/Romneycare had been overturned because they got more $$ to cover basically healthy young adults. I pay more for my plan that covers my college age son, along with my wife than I would if just my wife and I. The level of misinformation believed by some is dissapointing to say the least.


    The irony of having Mitt Romney, who signed into law Romneycare in Mass. with basically the same mandate and who had argued for the need and legality of it in interviews and in editorials now campaign on repealing the law is too rich. How is he supposed to maintain a shred of crediblity on any issue?






  3. Unfortunately Beav's correct. With ten's of $millions at stake in potential settlements a law firm could easily track down a list of scouts who were in Troop 27 during the suspected SM's tenure and then go fishing. In a civil case, it would not take evidence "beyond a reasonable doubt" to provide sufficient ammunition to get a negotiated settlement from an individual, council or a CO.


    This is a potential nightmare.



  4. "gay style of behavior in your troop"


    Well in the troop I serve, I'm certain given the option, our CO(a Methodist Church)would accept someone in a leadership role who happened to be gay, just as it currently accepts leaders who are not. However I'm also certain they would not tolerate heterosexual behaviour in a scouting environment anymore than they would homosexual behaviour. Sexual behaviour is not part of our unit's activities period.





  5. "Homosexual interest groups have wanted endless favors from government to impose their own biases on society,"


    Again, just a reminder... The Massachusetts Supreme Court in one of the early decisions on gay marriage simply acknowledged there was nothing in the state constitution that prevented two members of the same gender from getting married. It did not write new legislation. It was the opponents of gay marriage that then lobbied the federal and other state governments to pass laws preventing it...i.e seeking the power of the state to impose THEIR biases on society. Not the other way around.







  6. Seattle,


    I wasn't commenting on the validity of gay marriage, just that I thought it was notable that some Republicans openly made comments concerning their party's postition on it.


    What you have said is true but there are indications the winds of change in society are moving. I believe at least one poll last week indicated for the first time a majority of Americans would approve of gay marriage. For now I realize those are not voters.



  7. I think the petition and publicity indicates the issue will not go away quietly. I'm sure it's not something BSA executives really want to deal with so in that sense it's a distraction to them.


    I found it interesting that when Obama came out in support of Gay marriage there were members of the Republican Party that openly expressed concern that their party would ultimately find themselves on the wrong side of the issue. I suspect some of that feeling is beginning to creep into the upper echelons of BSA leadership.




  8. "understand the mechanisms of decision making within an organization "


    Jeepers, given the myths and legends on eveything from laser tag to power tools perpetuated by district, council and national staff I'd bet 99% of all scouters don't effectively "understand the mechanisms of decision making within the organization ".


    For the reasons Horizon gave I thought the kid did a hell of job within the expectations of the scout law.



  9. Sorry Pack,


    For now I'll stand by the conclusion reached by the Factcheck folks, "We found that while there are several good economic arguments for the FairTax, unless you earn more than $200,000 per year, fairness is not one of them."


    While the Flat Tax would not totally eliminate the IRS it would drastically reduce it's size and scope. If there's no deductions for anyone for any reason, most people would not need to file a return, they won't get anything back. The only reason to file a tax form, would be to declare cash income that did not have the Flat tax deducted from it. Ultimately I believe it would be a fairer tax. But I have no confidence politicians from either party would embrace the flat tax or the fair tax. Either would substantially reduce their influence on the tax code and their value to the special interests that currently own them.


    Neither approach allows the kind of special interest meddling that the current tax code allows and encourages. And with the Citzens United ruling it looks like we're stuck with special interest politics for the foreseeable future.





  10. The problem with the so called Fair Tax is that it isn't. It's a national sales tax and your effective tax rate is based on how much of your income you spend. If your a lower middle income familiy living from pay check to pay check you are essentially taxed on 100% of your income. If your in the top 20% and saving/investing 20% of your income your only taxed on 80% of your income and earning more on the money you invest and save. It's no wonder the investor class fully supports this approach.


    A true Fair tax would be a simple flat tax on all income. Treat all income the same, wages, dividends, inheritance, capital gains etc. and tax all of it at the same rate, no deductions for anyone for any reason.




    Take the National Budget divided by National Income and that's the tax rate for all income and apply to everyone.





  11. "Until there is a serious (or even some) discussion of spending cuts, tax increase proposals will only be seen as a political strategy to turn Americans against Americans. "


    Agreed, and until there is some form of tax reform such that the average person believes everyone is paying their fair share there is likely to be little agreement on spending cuts. The average wage earner is not going to agree to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and other government programs they benefit from when they see folks like Mitt Romney paying 15% of their income in taxes and they're paying a much higher percentage of their income.


    The point is, any meaningful discussion of signficantly reducing the defit/debt has to include the revenue side of the equation, i.e. tax reform. Barry is correct, we can't make significant dents in the defict just by taxing the 1% more. Ultimately we will all need to pay more in taxes and see some reduction in government services.







  12. Well they pass it through to their customers, you and me, as a cost of doing business.


    Their owners, stockholders, are then taxed again on their dividends or capital gains. But at least they don't pay payroll taxes on this income and the capital gains tax are generally lower than income taxe rates.


    So if corporations really don't pay taxes, they shouldn't have a say in the political process. No representation without taxation.


    Comparing the relative tax rates based on Income Tax tables is pointless anyway. It leaves out Soc. Security and Medicare taxes dissproportionately paid by those who have wages less than $110,000 per year. One reason Republicans don't like the payroll tax cut is because they don't get the full benefit. It's a tax cut that disproportionately favors the middle class. The income tax rates also don't account for state and local taxes, sales taxes, etc. You need to look at studies that look at the overall tax burden Those clearly show the how those with higher incomes pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes.


    I'm not outraged about the bottom 50% making

  13. Morgan Stanley is the corporate sponsor of the local corporate road race to happen in a few weeks. I was going to ask if runners for the bankers and investment houses get a head start.



  14. Take a walk in Boston's North end and you can still hear an occaisional conversation in Italian. Head to Southie and it seems every other house has an Irish flag out. Both neighborhoods are heavily Catholic. For some reason they never "assimilated" to the predominant protestant faiths that were present when they arrived.





  15. Sorry NJ I should have been clearer. I did mean 2004, when the Massachusetts court ruling on gay marriage was viewed as energizing the Christian Right to vote for George Bush and defeating John Kerry. (It was also the the year the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the playoffs after being down by 3 games, so I understand if you choose to block 2004 from your memory. :))


    I'd point out that ruling was generally libertarian in its approach. The court, as I understand it, basically said, there's nothing in the state laws about marriage that refer to gender so there's no reason two men or two women can't be married.


    It was the social socialists(aka social conservatives) that went back to their legislatures and said we need new laws and regulations to prevent a specific group of citizens from marrying who they want to. We need the authority of the state to impose our interpretation of marriage. So much for the idea of limited government.





  16. I will admit I have learned alot participating on these forums. All kinds of scouting insights and some political/social insights as well. Never in a million years would I have expected to learn about the going rates for certain...uh services in Columbia.



  17. "So, Engineer61, what you are saying is that announcing that he is in favor of gay marriage could help the President win re-election? "


    Yep, more than one talking head has implied Obama came out in favor of gay marriage because it was politically expedient to do so and distracts voters from the real issues of a sluggish economy. And it's the Republicans that want to get the campaign discussion back on the economy and away from social issues.


    That speculation alone indicates a sea change in societies outlook on gay marriage compared to how the gay marriage issue was viewed during the mid-term election in 2004.


    And I see while Mitt doesn't support gay marriage he seems to think they would make fine parents of adoptive children. So if he believes they can be parents, how would he feel about a gay scout leader?




  18. FWIW I agree with government out of "marriage" approach too. It's the closet libertarian in me I guess.


    And it seems that's pretty much what Obama said as well, at least at the Federal level. By indicating it should be a state issue, he's pretty much said there is no compelling reason for the Federal government to be regulating marriage. The true conservative approach.


    I have no doubt the Social Socialists would use the authority of the Federal Government to ban gay marriage if they could.


    I have found the reaction among conservatives and Republicans interesting though. I did not see the "burn in hell" comment but I did see the Fox Headline: "President declares War on Marriage", which he hardly did. As noted, he was asked his opinion. He thoughtflully gave his opinion and commented on the Federal Government's proper role. Hardly a declaration of war, but that's the kind of spin I've come to expect from Fox and why I discount virtually any information from it.


    Were there polical considerations? Duh! He's the President in a re-election year.


    I also find these types of comments from some Republicans and other conservative commentators interesting. The tide is clearly changing and some are beginning to recognize it.









  19. With multiple states and whole countries with billions of people recognizing gay marriage, with multiple established religious institutions with millions of members recognizing gay leadership, with hundreds of private employers, with millions of employees, hiring and accepting gay employees, with gay government leaders, with gay members of the military, it's difficult to buy the argument that the idea accepting gay people as regular members of society is some kind of fringe concept.




  20. Trev, Pack,


    I had similar thoughts. A few more events described in the OP and a couple of high profile donors pulling out, and I think change will happen sooner than most expect.

    As I said earlier, it won't be with fanfare or news conference. It will show up on a back page in fine print and simply state COs have the flexibility to select leadership for their units. A call will come about a specific individual and National will simply defer to the CO. There will be no headline. Most will never notice it happened, except at the few local units that end up with an openly gay leader.






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