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Obama and the Constitution

Casca XV

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In 2001 in a recorded interview (easy to find on Youtube) a 41 year old Barack Obama called the US Constitution” A Charter of Negative Liberties.” He went on to clearly explain that he felt the Constitution is flawed because it restricts the power the Government has over the people instead of what must do to/for the people.
 

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In 2001 in a recorded interview (easy to find on Youtube) a 41 year old Barack Obama called the US Constitution” A Charter of Negative Liberties.” He went on to clearly explain that he felt the Constitution is flawed because it restricts the power the Government has over the people instead of what must do to/for the people.

It is a pity he couldn't have stuck to his insight.
 

Casca XV

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I could post dozens written articles on this. People hearing his own recorded voice saying this crap is much more effective.

"Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error" - Marcus Tullius Cicero.....than that makes Obama an Idiot.....every one of his policies is about giving the Government more power and taking freedom from the people.
 

ttwtt78640

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I could post dozens written articles on this. People hearing his own recorded voice saying this crap is much more effective.

"Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error" - Marcus Tullius Cicero.....than that makes Obama an Idiot.....every one of his policies is about giving the Government more power and taking freedom from the people.

The social justice idea is that those that have too much must surrender a (large) portion of that excess to the government such that those with too little can be treated "fairly". Many (including Obama?) take that to the extreme where having "access to" X means having the tab (cost or bill) for X sent to society (the government) for only some people - we call that "means tested" assistance or the "safety net". In a democracy it is quite possible to get poorest 15% of the voters to demand pretty much unlimited government support from added taxation of only the richest 5%.

So long as the rest of the voters are fooled into thinking that the added cost of such taxation of only the rich is not being passed along to them they may well go along with the social justice scheme. Of course the added taxation placed on one's landlord just might result in higher rents but that is not a problem if the government is ultimately paying your rent. ;)
 

Visbek

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If anyone wants to hear the 2001 interview. :peace
You, uh, did notice that the text commentary in the video is incredibly biased, and basically twisting his words?
 

Visbek

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The social justice idea is that those that have too much must surrender a (large) portion of that excess to the government such that those with too little can be treated "fairly".
That's one way to look at it. You can also see redistribution (albeit somewhat cynically) as a purely practical matter. Namely: Excessive levels of income inequality generates a great deal of unrest, both due to public discontent with their relative economic status, with the increasing evidence that the society is not a meritocracy or that the wealthy cannot justify their extreme economic status, with the incredible political influence accorded to the wealthy.

I.e. you can either tax the rich in order to make it possible for the poor to earn a decent living (e.g. subsidized education), or to mollify their discontent (guaranteed minimum income), or you can tax the rich to pay for huge numbers of riot cops and prisons and elite police in wealthy communities.


Many (including Obama?) take that to the extreme where having "access to" X means having the tab (cost or bill) for X sent to society (the government) for only some people - we call that "means tested" assistance or the "safety net". In a democracy it is quite possible to get poorest 15% of the voters to demand pretty much unlimited government support from added taxation of only the richest 5%.
Not when what the poorest 15% want is at the expense of the wealthiest 5%.

I mean, really. Look at the trajectory of tax cuts and safety net changes over the past 35 years. Almost all of the tax cuts are going to corporations and top earners, as indicated via top marginal tax rates:

MARGINAL-TAX-RATES.jpg


Meanwhile, contrary to right-wing poutrage, most of the social safety nets are often cut. Welfare was replaced with TANF, which is short-term, and so difficult to get that most poor people think it's better to keep looking for minimum-wage jobs. AFDC eligibility is typically tied to work, and it doesn't pay much.

Social Security and Medicaid are largely untouchable, but that's because almost everyone will be negatively affected if we institute big cuts to those programs. When a program only affects the poor, the poor are largely powerless to prevent cuts or to increase spending.


By the way, none of what you said discusses the constitutionality of either taxation or safety net programs, as these are well-established.
 

Visbek

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In 2001 in a recorded interview (easy to find on Youtube) a 41 year old Barack Obama called the US Constitution” A Charter of Negative Liberties.” He went on to clearly explain that he felt the Constitution is flawed because it restricts the power the Government has over the people instead of what must do to/for the people.
Okay, and....?
 

Chomsky

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The social justice idea is that those that have too much must surrender a (large) portion of that excess to the government such that those with too little can be treated "fairly". Many (including Obama?) take that to the extreme where having "access to" X means having the tab (cost or bill) for X sent to society (the government) for only some people - we call that "means tested" assistance or the "safety net". In a democracy it is quite possible to get poorest 15% of the voters to demand pretty much unlimited government support from added taxation of only the richest 5%.

So long as the rest of the voters are fooled into thinking that the added cost of such taxation of only the rich is not being passed along to them they may well go along with the social justice scheme. Of course the added taxation placed on one's landlord just might result in higher rents but that is not a problem if the government is ultimately paying your rent. ;)
Great post!

(and well written)

I'm a strong proponent of basic social programs and reasonable regulations of capitalism, and your post shows the flip-side and dangers inherent with shooting too far. Getting the balancing act just right, is not easy!
 

ttwtt78640

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Great post!

(and well written)

I'm a strong proponent of basic social programs and reasonable regulations of capitalism, and your post shows the flip-side and dangers inherent with shooting too far. Getting the balancing act just right, is not easy!

Yep, representation without taxation can be a big problem too. ;)
 

Mr Person

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That's one way to look at it. You can also see redistribution (albeit somewhat cynically) as a purely practical matter. Namely: Excessive levels of income inequality generates a great deal of unrest, both due to public discontent with their relative economic status, with the increasing evidence that the society is not a meritocracy or that the wealthy cannot justify their extreme economic status, with the incredible political influence accorded to the wealthy.

I know you said a lot more and I'm coming in on a bit of a tangent, but....



Entirely agree.

It seems to me that there are two general categories of political thinkers: (1) those who see pragmatism as the most important goal, and (2) those who see morality (at least, their sense of what is moral) as the most important goal.

People in #2 see the above point and say things like, "well, the rich 'earned'..." - query the frequency with which that's entirely true - "...their wealth, so it is wrong for the government to take more if it from them than it does from the middle class".


Similarly, people in #1 tend to see the minimum wage as a pragmatic counterweight to the fact that, holding the safety net constant, a sub-living minimum wage functions as corporate welfare; the taxpayer makes up the difference between what the worker can make in one or two full time jobs, and the cost of living where that worker is located.

But people in #2 instead see it as a question of how much the worker deserves; they microwave/flip burgers, which is a mindless job, so the worker doesn't 'deserve' more. Also, that businesses "should not" be told what to pay. Etc.





I tend to be #1. The question should be what works, not what makes us feel like righteous paragons of morality.
 

Beaudreaux

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In 2001 in a recorded interview (easy to find on Youtube) a 41 year old Barack Obama called the US Constitution” A Charter of Negative Liberties.” He went on to clearly explain that he felt the Constitution is flawed because it restricts the power the Government has over the people instead of what must do to/for the people.

No disrespect intended - if the basis of a thread you create is a video that is, as you say, easy to find on YouTube then why not put the video in the OP so we can see it and then discuss it?

If you appear to not care enough about the topic of your own thread enough to find and link the video that is the actual subject of the thread, I would predict that most members here will feel the same as you portray your feelings on the subject, therein ending the thread before it even gets started.

Just an observation, mind you.
 

Thoreau72

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those views have not changed, Obama just now lies about it.

And the mainstream media still refer to him as a "constitutional law professor." What a fraud.
 

Casca XV

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No disrespect intended - if the basis of a thread you create is a video that is, as you say, easy to find on YouTube then why not put the video in the OP so we can see it and then discuss it?

If you appear to not care enough about the topic of your own thread enough to find and link the video that is the actual subject of the thread, I would predict that most members here will feel the same as you portray your feelings on the subject, therein ending the thread before it even gets started.

Just an observation, mind you.

New to this site. I'm still learning to navigate it.
 

Paperview

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In 2001 in a recorded interview (easy to find on Youtube) a 41 year old Barack Obama called the US Constitution” A Charter of Negative Liberties.” He went on to clearly explain that he felt the Constitution is flawed because it restricts the power the Government has over the people instead of what must do to/for the people.

Well, that's quite a mischaracterization of what he said.

Readers should know the topic of the discussion was "Slavery and the Constitution" -- and the flaw was *reflected* ...well, let's see just what he said...

Barack Obama: I think it's a remarkable document ...
Gretchen Helfrich: Which one?

Barack Obama: The original Constitution as well as the Civil War Amendments. But I think it is an imperfect document.

And I think it is a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture, the colonial culture nascent at that time. African-Americans were not... first of all, they weren't African-Americans. The Africans at that time were not considered as part of the politi that were of concern to the framers.

I think that, as Richard [John, UIC History Professor] said, it was a nagging problem in the same way that these days we might think of environmental issues, or some other problem, where you have to balance cost-benefits, as opposed to seeing it as a moral problem involving persons of moral worth and in that sense I think we can say that the Constitution represented an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day.

And that the framers had this same blind spot. I don't think those two views are contradictory... to say that it was a remarkable political document that paved the way for where we are now. And that it reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.

WBEZ Archives: Professor-In-Chief - Barack Obama
 

Gaugingcatenate

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I.e. you can either tax the rich in order to make it possible for the poor to earn a decent living (e.g. subsidized education), or to mollify their discontent (guaranteed minimum income), or you can tax the rich to pay for huge numbers of riot cops and prisons and elite police in wealthy communities.

Meanwhile, contrary to right-wing poutrage, most of the social safety nets are often cut. Welfare was replaced with TANF, which is short-term, and so difficult to get that most poor people think it's better to keep looking for minimum-wage jobs. AFDC eligibility is typically tied to work, and it doesn't pay much.
It was in concert with BJ that a lot of that cutting started. Of course he had to be forced, he vetoed it twice, now takes credit for...

However, I think your equation leaves out something quite important. What motivates people to strive for better?

Paying them a higher minimum wage that pretty much becomes a wash when prices necessarily rise? Paying them minimally to sit at home and watch tv, the time and idleness to often dabble in bad habits without too much consequence but none of which is very positive? Or you would rather take steadily more and more from the often far more productive and give to those who are not even trying very hard? You think any of those promotes a good work ethic, a reason to get off one's ass and strive a little harder cause it could well improve their living standards?

Those of us who choose/chose the latter method, of working the mindless minimal wage jobs until we could gain the confidence of employers, be rewarded with more responsibility and more pay, gaining more and varied experience that way along the way, becoming more valuable to your employer and other, potentially higher paying employers. Maybe supplementing that with some outside learning and experiences. That latter is how the system works, the former is how the system fails. You should not and cannot reward sloth, you cannot pay a person more than the value of their work product.

But if you would like to try that, there are enough liberals, some pretty damn rich ones [Buffet, Kennedys, Duponts quickly come to mind] and a vibrant middle class of libs that can send in extra tax dollars, I am pretty sure the Treasury would accept and appreciate your altruism with your own money.



That's one way to look at it. You can also see redistribution (albeit somewhat cynically) as a purely practical matter. Namely: Excessive levels of income inequality generates a great deal of unrest, both due to public discontent with their relative economic status, with the increasing evidence that the society is not a meritocracy or that the wealthy cannot justify their extreme economic status, with the incredible political influence accorded to the wealthy.

I.e. you can either tax the rich in order to make it possible for the poor to earn a decent living (e.g. subsidized education), or to mollify their discontent (guaranteed minimum income), or you can tax the rich to pay for huge numbers of riot cops and prisons and elite police in wealthy communities.
Income equality is a dog whistle calling all socialists to sing the same tune. We have relative poverty in the US. What someone else has, unless it is criminally ill gotten, should be basically theirs to keep. Its theft otherwise. There should be no starving in the US, minimal shelters to assist people through especially hard times and opportunities to volunteer time to help out the community, at minimum, be a requirement for accepting government aid. Most of us are understanding that all go through some problems in life and some actually do need a safety net.

Beyond that, earn yourself. Strive.

Of the three choices you give, yes, I would rather hire huge numbers of cops to earn their pay if people want to steal from others using the threat of mob mentality extortion instead of by earning it.
 
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