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Democrats shouldn't want to win like this

craigfarmer

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If we as true liberal democrats want to have credibility when we talk about principles of fairness, equality, the right to vote, etc. at some point we are going to have to sacrifice political expediency.

This Washington state governor's race is a good example. Currently, both sides are posturing toward getting the most accurate count, but any astute observer can tell each are purposefully defining that in a way that is beneficial to themselves. As the leader of the world in freedom, we should aspire to do better than this. Once the votes are casted, we shouldn't use the legal system as a surrogate for warfare.

The news today that Republicans are going to pursue discarded or contested votes in counties friendly to them is a sign that the winner in this Washington state governor's race will be determined by which side has the best lawyers, is more ruthless in their pursuit of victory, or mistakes that should be unimaginable in 2004.

Democrats on all levels should develop a fair standard to count the votes that is as inclusive as possible for all counties. We should establish the principle that a vote that can be discerned should count if it was cast before the election deadline.

A real-time agreement is much more preferable than lawyers arguing over the meaning of cases 80 years ago, or both sides hoping to exploit a legal mistake by the other.

If we accept an apparent victory in Washington in the way it is unfolding, we will have notified the world, that Florida 2000 was all about winning, not about doing the right thing.

see the rest http://www.newliberals.org/elections.htm

Craig Farmer

making the word "liberal" safe again!
 

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Would someone fill me with the logic behind the liberals claiming that Bush did not win Florida in 2000?
 

craigfarmer

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In Florida, both sides pursued a strategy of convenience meant to end up in victory not justice.

There were Gore counties where military votes didn't count, but Bush people didn't fight for those votes.

Also Gore wasn't interested in ensuring every Bush vote was counted in "republican" counties.

All objective analysis shows that more people LEFT the voting booth after attempting to vote for Gore than Bush by thousands. There were numerous errors: voter error, machine error, tabulation errors.

The point is as a newliberal, I want my Democratic party in every case to determine the best way to get the most accurate vote count. Not the best way to plot a path to victory.

Democrats should take the lead in this, while we are down as a party in electoral successes. No one wants to change on a winning streak.
 

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In this day and age, when we have been able to send men to stroll on the moon and bring them back, when fifty million folks are walking around with telephones in their pockets, when ATMs process millions of consumer transactions representing billions of dollars each day, and 'get it right', when high school dropouts can scan the bar-codes of a cartful of groceries and come up with the correct total and make change, too, and when kids behind the counter at the local fast food shop can touch the screen in the appropriate places and your burger with extra tomato, hold the onion, and fries show up as if by magic, why is it that we've been unable to come up with fool-proof machines that will record and tally votes, accurately, once or twice a year?

The answer is simple. Politicians don't want to give up the 'flexibility' to adjust the numbers, record votes from the grave, and cast ballots for those registered voters who don't bother to make it to the polling place.
 

KBeta

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vauge said:
Would someone fill me with the logic behind the liberals claiming that Bush did not win Florida in 2000?
Okay, since you asked.

As The New York Times reported on November 12, 2001, in an article titled "Examining The Vote: The Overview" by Ford Fessenden and John M. Broder, a media consortium was pulled together to actually count every questionable ballot in the 2000 Florida election.

The media consortium included The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Tribune Company, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, The St. Petersburg Times, The Palm Beach Post and CNN. The group hired the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago in January to examine the ballots. The research group employed teams of three workers they called coders to examine each undervoted ballot and mark down what they saw in detail. Three coders provided a bulwark against inaccuracy or bias in the coding. For overvotes, one coder was used because there was seldom disagreement among examiners in a trial run using three coders.

The data produced by the ballot review allows scrutiny of the disputed Florida vote under a large number of situations and using a variety of different standards that might have applied in a hand recount, including the appearance of a dimple, a chad dangling by one or more corners and a cleanly punched card.



The result clearly demonstrated that Al Gore won the 2000 Florida vote. But the Supreme Court, in the lawsuit initiated by George W. Bush against Al Gore now known as Bush v. Gore, ruled that "irreparable harm" might be done to candidate Bush if such a recount was performed in Florida by Florida authorities. Justice Antonin Scalia, in his concurring majority opinion in Bush v. Gore, wrote that "The counting of votes that are of questionable legality does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner [George W. Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election."

And Scalia was right, if "irreparable harm" means that counting all the votes may lead to the petitioner [Bush] "losing an election." When the Consortium examined all the ballots statewide, noted the Times, "The findings indicate that Mr. Gore might have eked out a victory if he had pursued in court a course like the one he publicly advocated when he called on the state to 'count all the votes.'"

(To his eternal credit, Justice John Paul Stevens dissented, writing that: "Counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm. On the other hand, there is a danger that a stay may cause irreparable harm to the respondents [Gore]- and, more importantly, the public at large- because of the risk that 'the entry of the stay would be tantamount to a decision on the merits in favor of the applicants [Bush].'")

Further, "In a finding rich with irony," note the Times writers, "a statewide recount -- could have produced enough votes to tilt the election his [Gore's] way, no matter what standard was chosen to judge voter intent."

Count the dimpled chads or not. Count the overvotes or not. Count the pregnant chads or not. No matter WHAT standard was chosen - Gore won Florida in 2000.
 

Fantasea

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KBeta said:
Okay, since you asked.

As The New York Times reported on November 12, 2001, in an article titled "Examining The Vote: The Overview" by Ford Fessenden and John M. Broder, a media consortium was pulled together to actually count every questionable ballot in the 2000 Florida election.

The media consortium included The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Tribune Company, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, The St. Petersburg Times, The Palm Beach Post and CNN. The group hired the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago in January to examine the ballots. The research group employed teams of three workers they called coders to examine each undervoted ballot and mark down what they saw in detail. Three coders provided a bulwark against inaccuracy or bias in the coding. For overvotes, one coder was used because there was seldom disagreement among examiners in a trial run using three coders.

The data produced by the ballot review allows scrutiny of the disputed Florida vote under a large number of situations and using a variety of different standards that might have applied in a hand recount, including the appearance of a dimple, a chad dangling by one or more corners and a cleanly punched card.



The result clearly demonstrated that Al Gore won the 2000 Florida vote. But the Supreme Court, in the lawsuit initiated by George W. Bush against Al Gore now known as Bush v. Gore, ruled that "irreparable harm" might be done to candidate Bush if such a recount was performed in Florida by Florida authorities. Justice Antonin Scalia, in his concurring majority opinion in Bush v. Gore, wrote that "The counting of votes that are of questionable legality does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner [George W. Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election."

And Scalia was right, if "irreparable harm" means that counting all the votes may lead to the petitioner [Bush] "losing an election." When the Consortium examined all the ballots statewide, noted the Times, "The findings indicate that Mr. Gore might have eked out a victory if he had pursued in court a course like the one he publicly advocated when he called on the state to 'count all the votes.'"

(To his eternal credit, Justice John Paul Stevens dissented, writing that: "Counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm. On the other hand, there is a danger that a stay may cause irreparable harm to the respondents [Gore]- and, more importantly, the public at large- because of the risk that 'the entry of the stay would be tantamount to a decision on the merits in favor of the applicants [Bush].'")

Further, "In a finding rich with irony," note the Times writers, "a statewide recount -- could have produced enough votes to tilt the election his [Gore's] way, no matter what standard was chosen to judge voter intent."

Count the dimpled chads or not. Count the overvotes or not. Count the pregnant chads or not. No matter WHAT standard was chosen - Gore won Florida in 2000.
Amazing. One set of data. Two results.

CNN could never be accused of supporting Bush, but, nevertheless, here's the CNN take on the same National Opinion Research Center finding that you reported.

In the matter of flaws in ballots, bear in mind that the ballots used were created by the Florida Election Commission which was run by Democrats.



Florida recount study: Bush still wins

Study reveals flaws in ballots, voter errors may have cost Gore victory

A county employee shows a ballot to a National Opinion Research Center coding team. The coders marked their observations on specially designed, triplicate coding forms. They were not allowed to confer.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A comprehensive study of the 2000 presidential election in Florida suggests that if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a statewide vote recount to proceed, Republican candidate George W. Bush would still have been elected president.

The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago conducted the six-month study for a consortium of eight news media companies, including CNN.

NORC dispatched an army of trained investigators to examine closely every rejected ballot in all 67 Florida counties, including handwritten and punch-card ballots. The NORC team of coders were able to examine about 99 percent of them, but county officials were unable to deliver as many as 2,200 problem ballots to NORC investigators. In addition, the uncertainties of human judgment, combined with some counties' inability to produce the same undervotes and overvotes that they saw last year, create a margin of error that makes the study instructive but not definitive in its findings.

As well as attempting to discern voter intent in ballots that might have been re-examined had the recount gone forward, the study also looked at the possible effect of poor ballot design, voter error and malfunctioning machines. That secondary analysis suggests that more Florida voters may have gone to the polls intending to vote for Democrat Al Gore but failed to cast a valid vote.

In releasing the report, the consortium said it is in no way trying to rewrite history or challenge the official result -- that Bush won Florida by 537 votes. Rather it is simply trying to bring some additional clarity to one of the most confusing chapters in U.S. politics
 

KBeta

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Fantasea said:
Amazing. One set of data. Two results.
There was not only one set of data. If you actually go to the NORC site and look at the data, you will find 67 sets of data: one for each county in Florida.

CNN, for reasons of its own, decided only to look at and comment upon the data representing the counties in which Gore asked for a focused recount (a strategic mistake on the part of the Gore camp, I admit). Indeed, if Gore's request to recount only selected counties had been allowed to proceed, it appeared that Bush would have maintained his lead.

However, if all the votes in all the counties were counted (which is, after all, the usual standard for determining who won a state wide election), the NORC report said it "finds statistical support" for the claim that Gore won in Florida.

Simply said, there is every indication that Gore had more votes in Florida. In a functional democracy he would have won the state and the Presidency.
 

heyjoeo

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Hehe functional democracy. We don't like in a true democracy, its a republic. I hate how people throw "Democracy" around like that when we clearly live in a republic...
 

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Indeed, we are a Republic - but my version of history does not reflect what Kbeta has cited. I remember the reason they went to the supreme court was because they didn't have TIME (according to state regulations) for a third full recount. The dems didn't accept the second count and wanted another plus kept adding modifiers. Their numbers had to be in by a certain date. During that second recount - we got the chad theory along with the saying that Bush was trying to steal the election when the second "recount" would have sufficed. After the third he still won. After several agencies went through - he won again. Yep, he stole it alright.

Hind site is 20/20, but it is different when wearing foggy glasses.
 

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KBeta said:
There was not only one set of data. If you actually go to the NORC site and look at the data, you will find 67 sets of data: one for each county in Florida.

CNN, for reasons of its own, decided only to look at and comment upon the data representing the counties in which Gore asked for a focused recount (a strategic mistake on the part of the Gore camp, I admit). Indeed, if Gore's request to recount only selected counties had been allowed to proceed, it appeared that Bush would have maintained his lead.

However, if all the votes in all the counties were counted (which is, after all, the usual standard for determining who won a state wide election), the NORC report said it "finds statistical support" for the claim that Gore won in Florida.

Simply said, there is every indication that Gore had more votes in Florida. In a functional democracy he would have won the state and the Presidency.
Indication?

I believe that this 'incident' will take on a life similar to that of the Civil War which is still being argued a hundred forty years after the fact with no end in sight.

The unanswered question is this. If we can put a man on the moon and bring him back, if we can put an eye in the sky which can peek inside a car, identify the occupants, and if they are the right bad guys, send them straight to their heavenly reward, put machines on street corners which will, 24/7, with the push of a few buttons, enable consumers to flawlessly execute millions of financial transactions involving billions of dollars every day, why can't we come up with a voting machine that will record votes correctly and produce an accurate tally once or twice a year?

My answer is this. Politicians will never give up the flexibility they enjoy when it comes to fudging the numbers.

What's yours?
 

KBeta

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heyjoeo said:
Hehe functional democracy. We don't like in a true democracy, its a republic. I hate how people throw "Democracy" around like that when we clearly live in a republic...
The Electoral College is what makes the US a Republic. The process of selecting the electors is democratic process. That selection of electors is what is being discussed.

I not only know the difference between a republic and a democracy, I even understand how the two systems are interlaced in our system.

Your condecending, and symantic arguement adds nothing to this discussion.
 

KBeta

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vauge said:
Indeed, we are a Republic - but my version of history does not reflect what Kbeta has cited. I remember the reason they went to the supreme court was because they didn't have TIME (according to state regulations) for a third full recount. The dems didn't accept the second count and wanted another plus kept adding modifiers. Their numbers had to be in by a certain date. During that second recount - we got the chad theory along with the saying that Bush was trying to steal the election when the second "recount" would have sufficed. After the third he still won. After several agencies went through - he won again. Yep, he stole it alright.

Hind site is 20/20, but it is different when wearing foggy glasses.
The point is not whether or not the Democrats were inept at how they handled the legal wranglings (which they were), the point is that there is every statistical indication that Gore had more votes in Florida, and a corrupt system prevented that result from being revealed.
 

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Fantasea said:
Indication?
Some of the votes were destroyed and/or lost before they could be assessed. Therefore, an absolute count could not be determined, and statisical means needed to be empolyed to determine who was probably the winner. When you are talking probabilities you can only use the term 'indication' because there is always a chance, albeit infinitesimally small, that the statistical analysis varied massively from actualy population.

Fantasea said:
I believe that this 'incident' will take on a life similar to that of the Civil War which is still being argued a hundred forty years after the fact with no end in sight.
True, but it does have the benefit of keeping sites like this one alive. :^)

Fantasea said:
The unanswered question is this. If we can put a man on the moon and bring him back, if we can put an eye in the sky which can peek inside a car, identify the occupants, and if they are the right bad guys, send them straight to their heavenly reward, put machines on street corners which will, 24/7, with the push of a few buttons, enable consumers to flawlessly execute millions of financial transactions involving billions of dollars every day, why can't we come up with a voting machine that will record votes correctly and produce an accurate tally once or twice a year?

My answer is this. Politicians will never give up the flexibility they enjoy when it comes to fudging the numbers.

What's yours?
I have to agree with you on that point. The only people who can fix the system are the very people who benefit from it being broken. I know Rep. Conyers has said that he's going to push for reform, but I'm not holding my breath.

It is sad, that in the country that claims to be a beacon for democracy, close elections seem to always fall in favor of the side with the best cheaters.
 

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It is sad, that in the country that claims to be a beacon for democracy, close elections seem to always fall in favor of the side with the best cheaters.

What I find is incredibly interesting is that both "sides" claim and feel that it was a big negative for the country, but in completely different ways.

Whatever stats that are placed on the table are indeed biased. Whatever news snippet that is posted - are biased as well. One side sees it as 'stealing and cheating' a way to win an election and the other side sees it as 'they are being sore loosers'. It is amazing how different perceptions beget completly different pictures without the posibility of opening up.
 

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KBeta said:
It is sad, that in the country that claims to be a beacon for democracy, close elections seem to always fall in favor of the side with the best cheaters.
Am I to understand that you are referring to the forty some year stretch when the Democrats controlled Congress? There were countless complaints of 'creative' accounting skewing the totals.
 

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Fantasea said:
Am I to understand that you are referring to the forty some year stretch when the Democrats controlled Congress? There were countless complaints of 'creative' accounting skewing the totals.
If that is stuck in the collective Republican craw, then why haven't they been as aggressive about campaign reform as they have been about tax cuts for the rich? Party of moral values, indeed.
 

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This may shock some:

Politicians in general are no smarter than most people.

Though almost all are more educated, they are no smarter.

That is my answer to why we don't have an accurate voting system.

This is a perfect issue for Newliberals to fight on. Irrespective of who wins any particular race.

Imagine if over the last ten years as we were losing power, we ended up with a new 21st century voting system that was as secure or more than our banking system.

Instead, we've played defense all the way to the brink of being irrelevant.

Once a smart Democrat promotes the idea, and will fight on it, team up with a Republican looking for publicity, we will revolutionize voting, and people won't think it to be a big deal.

These are the kind of issues that can win the hearts and minds of voters.

A constitutional right to vote and have every vote counted in a totally transparent process.

The practical roadblock to change is that one side or another always thinks that the reform will help the other. Since we are losing anyway, let's at least benefit from the sword.
 

KBeta

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vauge said:
Whatever stats that are placed on the table are indeed biased. Whatever news snippet that is posted - are biased as well. One side sees it as 'stealing and cheating' a way to win an election and the other side sees it as 'they are being sore loosers'. It is amazing how different perceptions beget completly different pictures without the posibility of opening up.
We have seen that in spades here in Washington State. When the Republican was ahead he berated the Democrat for not rolling over in surrender because the voters had spoken. When the Democrat pulled ahead in the recount and the Republican was asked to accept the results he, of course, refused to.

The politicians and the parties become so obsessed with winning they forget that it is the voters who are the central issue. Mercifully, Justice Susan Owens of the Washington State Supreme Court understands. When the Republican attorneys claimed that their candidate would be injured by counting all the votes she asked, "You're looking at it from the point of view of the winner or the loser - shouldn't we be looking at it from the point of view of the voter?"
 

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KBeta said:
If that is stuck in the collective Republican craw, then why haven't they been as aggressive about campaign reform as they have been about tax cuts for the rich? Party of moral values, indeed.
I can't get it through my head why some folks have yet to figure out that the reduction in tax rates was across all brackets. Since taxes are levied on a percentage basis, the more you make, the more you pay; the less you make, the less you pay.

If there is a 10% reduction in the across the board rate, then a person who would have paid $1,000 would pay $900. A person who would have paid $10,000 would pay $9,000. A person who would have paid $1,000,000 would pay $900,000. That seems fair to me, especially since with the most recent change, nearly half the wage earners in the US pay no federal income tax at all, and many of them receive payments from the IRS in the form of an 'earned income credit' and other emoluments.

The lefty-lib-dem way of looking at things is not to focus on the amount one pays, but the amount one didn't pay. In the first instance cited above, the complaint would be the the poor slob only saved $100 while the fat cat got a 'gift' 9,000 times greater. No mention, of course, that the fat cat still paid 9,000 times the amount paid by the poor slob.

The sad part is that the slick seducers are able to make their sucker constituents swallow that tripe. Then they have the nerve to complain about devisiveness.
 

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craigfarmer said:
This may shock some:

Politicians in general are no smarter than most people.

Though almost all are more educated, they are no smarter.

That is my answer to why we don't have an accurate voting system.

This is a perfect issue for Newliberals to fight on. Irrespective of who wins any particular race.

Imagine if over the last ten years as we were losing power, we ended up with a new 21st century voting system that was as secure or more than our banking system.

Instead, we've played defense all the way to the brink of being irrelevant.

Once a smart Democrat promotes the idea, and will fight on it, team up with a Republican looking for publicity, we will revolutionize voting, and people won't think it to be a big deal.

These are the kind of issues that can win the hearts and minds of voters.

A constitutional right to vote and have every vote counted in a totally transparent process.

The practical roadblock to change is that one side or another always thinks that the reform will help the other. Since we are losing anyway, let's at least benefit from the sword.
I am in agreement with what you say.

This is a country that can do anything it wants to do. Examples abound and need not be repeated.

The key word is 'want'. I believe that politicians, as a whole do not want a fool-proof and tamper-proof voting system. If they did want one, we'd have one. In this day of 'high tech' it wouldn't be a big deal to develop one.

Such a voting system would expose much of the hanky-panky that has been an accepted part of politics since voting was invented. Over the years, all parties have had a hand in it; all parties would be embarrassed. It would start with the exposure of millions of fraudulent voter registrations.

You'd be surprised how many Chicagoans haven't missed a vote since they cast their first ballot in 1890. ;)
 

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KBeta said:
We have seen that in spades here in Washington State. When the Republican was ahead he berated the Democrat for not rolling over in surrender because the voters had spoken. When the Democrat pulled ahead in the recount and the Republican was asked to accept the results he, of course, refused to.

The politicians and the parties become so obsessed with winning they forget that it is the voters who are the central issue. Mercifully, Justice Susan Owens of the Washington State Supreme Court understands. When the Republican attorneys claimed that their candidate would be injured by counting all the votes she asked, "You're looking at it from the point of view of the winner or the loser - shouldn't we be looking at it from the point of view of the voter?"
All things considered, who can deny that the objective of a candidate is to become elected; then re-elected? :duel
 

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KBeta said:
I know Rep. Conyers has said that he's going to push for reform, but I'm not holding my breath.
Wise move. By now you would have suffocated.
It is sad, that in the country that claims to be a beacon for democracy, close elections seem to always fall in favor of the side with the best cheaters.
The phonetic pronunciation of the compound word, 'poli tick' when parsed through the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary yields a rather humorous result:

poli -- many
tick -- bloodsucking arachnids that are larger than the related mites, attach themselves to warm-blooded vertebrates to feed

I think this answers a multitude of questions.
 

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Fantasea said:
All things considered, who can deny that the objective of a candidate is to become elected; then re-elected? :duel
To the point where the ends justify the means, even if the means are to undermine the electoral system itself?

Okay, I'll stand up and say the I'm willing to deny a candidate from doing that. The rules are there to protect the vote, not the candidates.
 

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Fantasea said:
Wise move. By now you would have suffocated.

The phonetic pronunciation of the compound word, 'poli tick' when parsed through the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary yields a rather humorous result:

poli -- many
tick -- bloodsucking arachnids that are larger than the related mites, attach themselves to warm-blooded vertebrates to feed

I think this answers a multitude of questions.
Well done. You made me laugh with that one.
 

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Fantasea said:
I can't get it through my head why some folks have yet to figure out that the reduction in tax rates was across all brackets. Since taxes are levied on a percentage basis, the more you make, the more you pay; the less you make, the less you pay.

If there is a 10% reduction in the across the board rate, then a person who would have paid $1,000 would pay $900. A person who would have paid $10,000 would pay $9,000. A person who would have paid $1,000,000 would pay $900,000. That seems fair to me, especially since with the most recent change, nearly half the wage earners in the US pay no federal income tax at all, and many of them receive payments from the IRS in the form of an 'earned income credit' and other emoluments.

The lefty-lib-dem way of looking at things is not to focus on the amount one pays, but the amount one didn't pay. In the first instance cited above, the complaint would be the the poor slob only saved $100 while the fat cat got a 'gift' 9,000 times greater. No mention, of course, that the fat cat still paid 9,000 times the amount paid by the poor slob.

The sad part is that the slick seducers are able to make their sucker constituents swallow that tripe. Then they have the nerve to complain about devisiveness.
You've drifted way off topic. Start a thread about progressive versus regressive tax schemes and we can debate it there.

My point is that the Republicans will have had complete and utter control of the federal government for six years before the possibility of a change in 2006. In that time election reform has been conspicuously absent from their list of priorities, and as you can tell by my very presence I have not been holding my breath waiting for them to address it. If you REALLY give a damn about election reform you would be outraged about Florida 2000, Ohio/Florida/Pennsylvania/New Mexico 2004 and not just dwelling on Illinois 1960.
 
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