If we want to hold any hope for saving our republic from self destruction, we
must enact legislation that prohibits those running for office from receiving
unlimited anonymous donations. It is a total conflict of interest to
allow those who make laws not disclose that those laws benefit their wealthy
campaign contributors. This doesn't work.All the unscrupulous
politicians have to do is give the tiny, but very wealthy, slice of the
population entitlements and/or tax exemptions, and they are guaranteed power
forever. Unfortunately, we are already there. Anyone can see this is an
irreversible situation, which will ultimately collapse. We must call on our
legislators to use a common-sense approach to this very serious problem and
change campaign finance laws.
I was amazed when I read this exact same letter in the Salt Lake Tribune. I
continue to be amazed at the Dnews publishing it. It's just
amazing to me on so many levels. More trampling all over the Constitution by the
Maybe we could give each of them 3/5 of a vote?Seriously, would this
mean no one receiving Social Security could vote? Students receiving student
loans or Pell grants? That seems like a bad idea.
Can I assume that Mr. Green would also include CEOs of businesses that receive
corporate welfare from the taxpayers? Probably not...individuals are so much
easier to single out. Seems like I remember this commentator quoting the
Constitution in the past, but now seems to forget it. Voting is the most
fundamental right of a citizen. The idea of removing such a basic guarantee when
the person could have been forced to ask for assistance by illness or loss of
job, is abhorrent. He probably would be willing though to volunteer his time to
decide which recipients are "worthy" to vote and those in the slacker
I'm frustrated too James! I find it really disgusting how many people fail
to accept the will of the American people and self-righteously claim to know
better! I voted for an amazing leader who tried to include a bipartisan
approach to governing. He ran into no-good, do-nothing obstructionists who got
our country into the messes in the first place.
Only in America can someone seriously be jealous of someone on welfare.
Ezra Taft Benson did mention people that elect someone to vote for what is not
theres to give I read.
Be careful. The last published information I saw indicated 25% of military
families are on food stamps. Also, that $100 million worth of food stamps were
redeemed at military commissaries (which includes veterans as well as active
military).The poor or struggling are not always who we imagine they
Thank you, Mr. Green, for demonstrating so beautifully why most of America
regards the Tea Party as a sad joke.To my friends in the GOP - pay
attention. These guys have become your base, and it's why you're
I see your logic James, but in a Democracy EVERY Citizen needs to have a vote.
So what you suggest is never going to happen (and probably shouldn't).But your logic is correct. Many scholars when studying democracy point
out the exact flaw you have touched on. That the downfall of every democracy
will be when the majority discovers it can use it's vote to TAKE what they
want from the minority (the proverbial 99% taking from the 1% in America's
case).Scottish Lawyer Alexander Fraser Tyler is the one most famous
for pointing this out (in the early 1700s). But I'm sure Aristotle,
Socrates, etc, who studied human nature also understood and talked and wrote
about it. Tyler's jist is..."A democracy cannot exist
as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority
discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the
majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the
result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing,
always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy" But
IMO this is a human character flaw. Not a Democracy flaw.
With over 100 million on food stamps alone I think it's safe to say the
economic collapse is here. It's hard however to put the blame on those
trying to feed their families. Policy decisions in Washington are the
foundational cause of all the entitlement i.e. high unemployment,
O'bamacare cause and effect,etc. Unfortunately, it 's also true, the
longer people remain on entitlement programs the more comfortable they become
with it. How sad it is to watch a once great nation slide into such mediocrity.
Tyler's exact quote is..."It is not, perhaps, unreasonable to
conclude, that a pure and perfect democracy is a thing not attainable by man,
constituted as he is of contending elements of vice and virtue, and ever mainly
influenced by the predominant principle of self-interest. It may, indeed, be
confidently asserted, that there never was that government called a republic,
which was not ultimately ruled by a single will, and, therefore, (however bold
may seem the paradox,) virtually and substantially a monarchy." So some wise people agree with you. And history agrees with you. But
I'm pretty sure SOME people are going to just cover their eyes and ears and
be willingly blind to reality and just hammer you.
So I'm guessing that farm subsidies would also count as "welfare"?
How would telling a sizable portion of the West that they could no longer vote
play? Or are Mitt Romney and his friends the only people
"self-sufficient" enough to vote?Obama won. Twice. Get
...because it ALWAYS a good idea to disenfranchise whole segments or classes of
the citizenry...In terms of addressing an admittedly serious issue
that calls for discussion, debate, collaboration, and our brightest and most
innovative minds to engage in finding a solution, Mr. Green's proposal is
roughly the equivalent of swatting a fly with a sledgehammer.
Why does the Left always go after Farmers?Farmers seem like good
people to me. And I'm glad they are out there. I like eating food.
I'd rather have one farmer around than a hundred pimple-faced desk workers
(or Mitt Romneys).I don't know how many farmers get supsidies.
I don't follow that closely. But Farming should be self sufficient. I
mean we have very few people providing the food for millions of people. You
would think we could pay them enough to live on... right? I mean we DIE
without them... right?I don't know if doing away with
farm-subsidies would mean a sizable portion of the west couldnt vote. I live in
the West and just looking around... I don't think everybody out here's
a farmer. I would guess maybe 5% of the population in Western States are
farmers.I don't know that IF we did away with farm subsidies...
most of the west couldn't vote. But I'm pretty sure if we put farmers
out of business... most of the East wouldn't be able to eat or survive very
Seems to me that the founding fathers of this nation were guided by the notion
that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness belong to a person
by the mere fact of being born. That no one had to earn those rights. If a person is deprived of being able to influence his government, those
rights have been erased. There is no one in America that does not
in some way, large or small, benefit our nation. It doesn’t matter if we
are old or young, black, white, red or brown or any other color. We are all
consumers of the products and services of other Americans.
This letter is just another ridiculous twist on Romney's infamous 47
percent faux pas (or was it a faux pas?). The conservative approach to saving
our country is to allow wealth to accumulate at the top so that an increasing
percentage of the population can't make ends meet without government
assistance or charity. Then pass laws to punish people for not being wealthy.Of course, the letter writer's theory breaks down when exposed to
the light of reality (which is something the conservatives have only a distant
acquaintance with). In Utah, many people who receive government assistance voted
for Romney. Apparently, they didn't get the memo.
It is encouraging to see that James stands alone on his vindictive,
short-sighted proposal. There were dozens of responses to this letter in the
other paper. And like 100 percent of those responding here, every single person
thought this was the worst idea anyone ever had.
I'm sure the writer thinks an exception is medicare/social security
recipients since the elderly are Republicans most reliable voters after all.
"(the proverbial 99% taking from the 1% in America's case)."When adjusted for inflation over the past 30 years middle class income
has been stagnant while the top 1% has skyrocketed. We had the most unequal
wealth distribution in 2007 we've had since 1928 (interesting that both of
these years were just before massive recessions/Great Depression).
Most food stampers have jobs or are students trying to get through school. Years
ago, when I was a public schoolteacher, my family qualified for food stamps
although we didn't participate. The typical Walmart worker is probably on
food stamps. Many elderly use food stamps because SS doesn't cover basic
expenses. To throw all these people into a box and call them deadbeats is hardly
fair. Call me crazy, but I'm glad we have a system to help people who would
otherwise be unable to work or study or even survive.
If we have any hope of saving this nation we need to get rid of special interest
funding and eliminate the hateful tea party rhetoric so prevelent in this
letter.Stop the class warfare!
Why stop there?Who should we disenfranchise next? Muslims? Mormons?
Mommys?Why not set votes based on wealth?Why should the
Elderly, Sick and the poor have a voice?Why should anyone in the military
have a say-so?Why should college students be represented?The
1% who own 80% of the wealth and pay 80% of the taxes, therefore they
should then have 80% of the vote, right?Talk about trashing
EVERYTHING the Constitutiton ever stood for...
Maverick,The author claimed no political side, left or right. Yep, stop class warfare – recall BO, the biggest instigator of class
warfare in the country!Grover,I don’t disagree; Jeff
Imelt and the rest of BO’s corporate buddies, along with the rest of the
liberal elite should be subjected to the same restrictions.Embarrassed,Thank you for your support (twice) of George Bush. Your
description of the obstruction he faced from nancy and harry was spot-on.Twin Lights,Simple solution – pay the military better. Oh,
the dems cannot stomach more military spendingKJBI,Yep, farm
subsidies should be included.Repubs won the house – twice. Deal
with it.Ultra Bob,No, the founders only gave the
“right” to vote to white males who owned land. I am not espousing
that, but your comment was factually wrong.
Lib: "Why not set votes based on wealth?" Done. By Citizens United. Tytler's maxim that a democracy can only exist until voters
discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury has
been proven true -- but in ways he never anticipated. Instead of the majority
voting themselves largesse, it is a wealthy minority doing so.
Please name one US citizen who does not benefit in some way, shape, or form from
government policy.We all have a vested interest in our government -
that is what makes democracy work. To claim that those who benefit should not
be allowed to vote shows a clear lack of understanding of what out country is
about.Here's an idea - if we are going to limit who can vote,
let's limit it based on the ability to express an understanding of how
I trust the author also believes all military personnel, diplomats, elected
officials and those who work on their staffs, and anyone who works in a
government capacity (i.e. postal workers, police officers, firefighters, meat
inspectors, teachers, etc.) should also be exempt from voting. After all, they clearly have the same conflict of interest as some of these
civil servants not only receive welfare benefits, but are receiving a salary
from the government too. What parasites!
@Tulip:I believe about 48 million people are enrolled in the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Obviously, that is millions more than
we would like to see. But it is also much less than 100 million.
I love how mindlessly this devolved into a partisan discussion. The letter
writer did not mention party or political leanings.The letter writer
pointed out a weakness of our representative republic. The weakness is one of
human nature not of party or politics. To deny the weaknesses of our system is
foolhardy. Take a good look at ourselves. I believe the biggest
problem that we face as a nation is a lack of unity around core values. The
primary of which should be personal freedom and personal responsibility. That
doesn't mean that there are not other values to consider, but that all
policy creation and enactment should be seen first and foremost through these
lenses.If our motivation for voting is to help ourselves gain
advantage over someone else (individual, party, race, etc...) then some serious
soul searching and education needs to happen.I love our country and
I love its rich history. We are an evolving people. We have, at times, brought
out the best in man and at other times brought out the worst. We must continue
to seek for the ideal and strive to be better.All that
said...Restricting the vote is a bad idea.
Grundle,I agree about how mindlessly this devolved into a partisan
discussion. Nothing about politics was said, but immediately everybody assumed
the usual political positions. It's interesting how we almost
instinctively line up in our respective camps. I hate stereotypes, but our
reactions almost validate that the usual stereotypes are true. IF they are
true... that would be REALLY sad.Irony Guy,Who said anything
about Food Stamps?Maverick,What does this topic have to do
with "we need to get rid of special interest funding and eliminate the
hateful tea party rhetoric"? That seems to be your response to
EVERYTHING.Isn't hateful rhetoric towards the TeaParty
"hateful"? So are YOU any better than they are?
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it
can bribe the public with the public's money."Alexis de
Bob D. : An update of the De Tocqueville quote (which he could never have
imagined) would be..."The American Republic will endure until the day the
public discovers that it can bribe the Congress with campaign funding."
Of course...The letter writer is only referring to the poor, sick, needy,
minorities, and elderly -- you know -- PEOPLE.CORPORATE
Welfare is NEVER mentioned by guys like this...
So we are taking anyone over 65 out of the voting pool, because SS and Medicare
are both welfare programs. And before you start arguing that you pay in, while
it's true that people pay for SS and Medicare they don't pay in nearly
as much as they get out in benefits(especially medicare) so yes, it is a welfare
Let's straight about who can't vote then:Elderly
can't - social security and medicare; poor can't - welfare and
madicaid; middle class and anyone with children can't - public roads,
education, paying for future SS, medicare, and tax deductions too numerous to
count; most wealthy can't - TARP and other tax deductions/bailouts too
numerous to mention; government employees can't - obviously. I guess that
leaves about 1% who just might be eligible to vote. Which is just about right I
guess. Good idea Mr. Green. I hope you and the Koch brothers sleep well
tonight. I don't think you have to worry about this anymore. This is
absolutely an idea that people everywhere can support.
Bob: Who is naive? At least liberals are aware that the Congress has two Houses
and one is controlled by Republicans. In the three years they have been in
control they have passed not a single piece of legislation that would alter or
improve (heaven forbid) the status of healthcare in this Country. Where are the
ideas? I guess they used up all their energy voting to repeal Obamacare 37
times. Now that's an accomplishment we can be proud of (not) and a great
reason for independents to lean left to a party that at least sees the problems
we face (even if they are not ringing the bell either).
Why do repubs hate America? Why do repubs want to prevent fellow
Americans from voting?Why do repubs hate the elderly, the young, the
minorities, and the women so much?Why do repubs blame everything on
the poor?Why do repubs claim that the constitution is divinely
inspired yet constantly try to rewrite it?Why, oh why, after losing
twice do they keep beating the same drum instead of purging themselves from all
this radical and extremism? When repubs are through playing their
childish games, they can join the rest of us adults at the dinner table. Until
then, you folks aren't going to win a single election.
@GroverI appreciate your sincere response (something that doesn't
happen here too often). My point is that starry-eyed comments like "I voted
for an amazing leader who tried to include a bipartisan approach to
governing" is completely absurd. I'm willing to call a spade a
spade, no matter which side of the isle they're on. Self-serving
politicians of both parties will be the downfall of America - at least as I have
Wait... perhaps the letter writer is onto something. Along the same lines,
perhaps we should eliminate "taker" states' representation from
federal legislative bodies. So states like Utah, who receive more federal
dollars back than they contribute in tax dollars, would not be able to send
senators and representatives to Washington to vote for more Utah military
installations, spy facilities, and other projects.
If we do exempt those who are on welfare from voting, then we also most exempt
children who's parents couldn't vote while they were growing up from
serving in the military should the draft be brought back. Those parents
didn't elect the fools who keep getting us and keeping us in un-necessary
wars, so that family shouldn't have to suffer those consequences.
@WastintimeLos Angeles, CA===== Touche!
@micawberCBSnews.com reported four days ago the the dept of agriculture
estimates 101 million people currently participate in one of the 15 food
programs offered by the US government. Sorry I did have it wrong...by one
I don't see how the posters determined that Mr. Green is a Tea Party
spokesman. At the very least we must give the Tea Party credit for bringing to
our attention that we have a spending/debt problem caused by our reps in
Washington DC. Before, nobody seemed to be aware of that fact!
Corporate Welfare? The many corporations of which I own a part of pay the
highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. Then when they pass my
share of the profits to me I also pay a high tax rate on those profits. Both of
these (double) taxes go to the goverment who hand out the welfare. I suppose
that is your meaning of corporate welfare!
This letter displays everything that is wrong with the GOP/tea party.Rather than listen to those outside of the 1 percent, he'd rather just
shut then out. Exclude not Include.That's why the GOP is
Then corporate executives who run companies into the ground yet take away tens
or hundreds of millions of dollars should also have the right to vote taken
The women, The Hispanic, The young, The old, The gay,
The non-Christian, The 47%...And the GOP can't
figure out WHY they keep loosing and loosing.The irony is, They also keep insisting that they STILL are conservative enough.Bye, bye.
@ 2 bits"Why does the Left always go after Farmers?"It's not necessarily the farmers people are "going after."
It's the large companies who don't need the subsidies. Larry H. Miller
recieved farm subsidies. As did former gov. Mike Leavitt and, most shockingly
James L. Sorenson, a Utah billionaire. Do these people realyy need government
subsidies? I think not.
This is the most cold hearted sicking letter I have ever read in any newspaper.
Maybe the instead of handing out welfare for the persons life, help to enable
those receiving to be able support themselves to earn a livable income, I am
willing to bet most would like not to be on assistance, but when cost of living,
fuel goes up but wages are poor, after working hard at my job, me and everyone
else only received 30 cent increase. My immediate supervisor was embarrassed
that was all HR and upper management would approve. In this economy a job is a
job, it is not easy to find another one that pays better. Maybe if I had help to
pay for higher education without going in sevier debt in student loans I would
go to school graduate and find a job that pays better. instead of pouring out
billions into welfare lets pay for education, give a man a fish he eats for a
day teach a man to fish he eats the rest of his life.