History of Abortion
The following is an excerpt from the “Abortion” chapter of Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century.
HISTORY OF ABORTION
Over several centuries and in different cultures, there is a rich history of women helping each other to abort. Until the late 1800s, women healers in Western Europe and the U.S. provided abortions and trained other women to do so, without legal prohibitions.
The State didn’t prohibit abortion until the 19th century, nor did the Church lead in this new repression. In 1803, Britain first passed antiabortion laws, which then became stricter throughout the century. The U.S. followed as individual states began to outlaw abortion. By 1880, most abortions were illegal in the U.S., except those “necessary to save the life of the woman.” But the tradition of women’s right to early abortion was rooted in U.S. society by then; abortionists continued to practice openly with public support, and juries refused to convict them.
Abortion became a crime and a sin for several reasons. A trend of humanitarian reform in the mid-19th century broadened liberal support for criminalization, because at that time abortion was a dangerous procedure done with crude methods, few antiseptics, and high mortality rates. But this alone cannot explain the attack on abortion. For instance, other risky surgical techniques were considered necessary for people’s health and welfare and were not prohibited. “Protecting” women from the dangers of abortion was actually meant to control them and restrict them to their traditional child-bearing role. Antiabortion legislation was part of an antifeminist backlash to the growing movements for suffrage, voluntary motherhood, and other women’s rights in the 19th century. *For more information, see Linda Gordon’s Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right, rev. ed. (New York: Penguin Books, 1990).
At the same time, male doctors were tightening their control over the medical profession. Doctors considered midwives, who attended births and performed abortions as part of their regular practice, a threat to their own economic and social power. The medical establishment actively took up the antiabortion cause in the second half of the 19th century as part of its effort to eliminate midwives.
Finally, with the declining birth rate among whites in the late 1800s, the U.S. government and the eugenics movement warned against the danger of “race suicide” and urged white, native-born women to reproduce. Budding industrial capitalism relied on women to be unpaid household workers, low-paid menial workers, reproducers, and socializers of the next generation of workers. Without legal abortion, women found it more difficult to resist the limitations of these roles.
Then, as now, making abortion illegal neither eliminated the need for abortion nor prevented its practice. In the 1890s, doctors estimated that there were two million abortions a year in the U.S. (compared with one and a half million today). Women who are determined not to carry an unwanted pregnancy have always found some way to try to abort. All too often, they have resorted to dangerous, sometimes deadly methods, such as inserting knitting needles or coat hangers into the vagina and uterus, douching with dangerous solutions like lye, or swallowing strong drugs or chemicals. The coat hanger has become a symbol of the desperation of millions of women who have risked death to end a pregnancy. When these attempts harmed them, it was hard for women to obtain medical treatment; when these methods failed, women still had to find an abortionist.
Many of us do not know what it was like to need an abortion before legalization. Women who could afford to pay skilled doctors or go to another country had the safest and easiest abortions. Most women found it difficult if not impossible to arrange and pay for abortions in medical settings.
With one exception, the doctors whom I asked for an abortion treated me with contempt, their attitudes ranging from hostile to insulting. One said to me, “You tramps like to break the rules, but when you get caught you all come crawling for help in the same way.”
The secret world of illegal abortion was mostly frightening and expensive. Although there were skilled and dedicated laywomen and doctors who performed safe, illegal abortions, most illegal abortionists, doctors, and those who claimed to be doctors cared only about being well rewarded for their trouble. In the 1960s, abortionists often turned women away if they could not pay $1,000 or more in cash. Some male abortionists insisted on having sexual relations before the abortion.
Abortionists emphasized speed and their own protection. They often didn’t use anesthesia because it took too long for women to recover, and they wanted women out of the office as quickly as possible. Some abortionists were rough and sadistic. Almost no one took adequate precautions against hemorrhage or infection.
Typically, the abortionist would forbid the woman to contact him or her again. Often she wouldn’t know his or her real name. If a complication occurred, harassment by the law was a frightening possibility. The need for secrecy isolated women having abortions and those providing them.
In the 1950s, about a million illegal abortions a year were performed in the U.S., and over a thousand women died each year as a result. Women who were victims of botched or unsanitary abortions came in desperation to hospital emergency wards, where some died of widespread abdominal infections. Many women who recovered from such infections found themselves sterile or chronically and painfully ill. The enormous emotional stress often lasted a long time.
Poor women and women of color ran the greatest risks with illegal abortions. In 1969, 75% of the women who died from abortions (most of them illegal) were women of color. Of all legal abortions in that year, 90% were performed on white private patients.
The Push for Legal Abortion
In the 1960s, inspired by the civil rights and antiwar movements, women began to fight more actively for their rights. The fast-growing women’s movement took the taboo subject of abortion to the public. Rage, pain, and fear burst out in demonstrations and speakouts as women burdened by years of secrecy got up in front of strangers to talk about their illegal abortions. Women marched and rallied and lobbied for abortion on demand. Civil liberties groups and liberal clergy joined in these efforts to support women.
Reform came gradually. A few states liberalized abortion laws, allowing women abortions in certain circumstances (e.g., pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, being under 15 years of age) but leaving the decision up to doctors and hospitals. Costs were still high and few women actually benefited.
In 1970, New York State went further, with a law that allowed abortion on demand through the 24th week from the LMP if it was done in a medical facility by a doctor. A few other states passed similar laws. Women who could afford it flocked to the few places where abortions were legal. Feminist networks offered support, loans, and referrals and fought to keep prices down. But for every woman who managed to get to New York, many others with limited financial resources or mobility did not. Illegal abortion was still common. The fight continued; several cases before the Supreme Court urged the repeal of all restrictive state laws.
On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the famous Roe v. Wadedecision, stated that the “right of privacy…founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty…is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” The Court held that through the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, only a pregnant woman and her doctor have the legal right to make the decision about an abortion. States can restrict second-trimester abortions only in the interest of the woman’s safety. Protection of a “viable fetus” (able to survive outside the womb) is allowed only during the third trimester. If a pregnant woman’s life or health is endangered, she cannot be forced to continue the pregnancy.
Abortion After Legalization
Though Roe v. Wade left a lot of power to doctors and to government, it was an important victory for women. Although the decision did not guarantee that women would be able to get abortions when they wanted to, legalization and the growing consciousness of women’s needs brought better, safer abortion services. For the women who had access to legal abortions, severe infections, fever, and hemorrhaging from illegal or self- induced abortions became a thing of the past. Women health care workers improved their abortion techniques. Some commercial clinics hired feminist abortion activists to do counseling. Local women’s groups set up public referral services, and women in some areas organized women-controlled nonprofit abortion facilities. These efforts turned out to be just the beginning of a longer struggle to preserve legal abortion and to make it accessible to all women.
Although legalization greatly lowered the cost of abortion, it still left millions of women in the U.S., especially women of color and young, rural women, and/or women with low incomes, without access to safe, affordable abortions. State regulations and funding have varied widely, and second-trimester abortions are costly. Even when federal Medicaid funds paid for abortions, fewer than 20% of all public county and city hospitals actually provided them. This meant that about 40% of U.S. women never benefited from liberalized abortion laws.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, feminist health centers around the country provided low-cost abortions that emphasized quality of care, and they maintained political involvement in the reproductive rights movement. Competition from other abortion providers, harassment by the IRS, and a profit- oriented economy made their survival difficult. By the early 1990s, only 20 to 30 of these centers remained.
Eroding Abortion Rights: After Roe v. Wade
When the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, the antiabortion forces, led initially by the Catholic Church hierarchy, began a serious mobilization using a variety of political tactics including pastoral plans, political lobbying, campaigning, public relations, papal encyclicals, and picketing abortion clinics. The Church hierarchy does not truly represent the views of U.S. Catholics on this issue or the practice of Catholic women, who have abortions at a rate slightly higher than the national average for all women.
Other religious groups, like the Mormons and some representatives of Jewish orthodoxy, have traditionally opposed abortion. In the 1980s, rapidly growing fundamentalist Christian groups, which overlap with the New Right and “right- to-life” organizations, were among the most visible boosters of the antiabortion movement. These antiabortion groups talk as if all truly religious and moral people disapprove of abortion. This is not true now and never has been.
The long-range goal of the antiabortion movement is to outlaw abortion. Their short-range strategy has been to attack access to abortion, and they have had successes. The most vulnerable women–young women; women with low incomes, of whom a disproportionate number are women of color; all women who depend on the government for their health care–have borne the brunt of these attacks on abortion rights.
The antiabortion movement’s first victory, a major setback to abortion rights, came in July 1976, when Congress passed the Hyde Amendment banning Medicaid funding for abortion unless a woman’s life was in danger. Following the federal government, many states stopped funding “medically unnecessary” abortions. The result was immediate in terms of harm and discrimination against women living in poverty. In October 1977, Rosie Jimeaanez, a Texas woman, died from an illegal abortion in Mexico, after Texas stopped funding Medicaid abortions.
It is impossible to count the number of women who have been harmed by the Hyde Amendment, but before Hyde, one-third of all abortions were Medicaid funded: 294,000 women per year. (Another 133,000 Medicaid-eligible women who needed abortions were unable to gain access to public funding for the procedure.) Without state funding, many women with unwanted pregnancies are forced to have babies, be sterilized, or have abortions using money needed for food, rent, clothing, and other necessities.
Although a broad spectrum of groups fought against the Hyde Amendment, countering this attack on women who lack financial resources was not a priority of the pro-choice movement. There was no mass mobilization or public outcry. In the long run, this hurt the pro-choice movement, as the attack on Medicaid funding was the first victory in the antiabortion movement’s campaign to deny access to abortion for all women.
Young women’s rights have been a particular target of the antiabortion movement. About 40% of the one million teens who become pregnant annually choose abortion. Parental involvement laws, requiring that minors seeking abortions either notify their parents or receive parental consent, affect millions of young women. As of early 1997, 35 states have these laws; 23 states enforce them. In some states, a physician is required to notify at least one parent either in person, by phone, or in writing. Health care providers face loss of license and sometimes criminal penalties for failure to comply.
Antiabortion forces have also used illegal and increasingly violent tactics, including harassment, terrorism, violence, and murder. Since the early 1980s, clinics and providers have been targets of violence. Over 80% of all abortion providers have been picketed or seriously harassed. Doctors and other workers have been the object of death threats, and clinics have been subject to chemical attacks (for example, butyric acid), arson, bomb threats, invasions, and blockades. In the late 1980s, a group called Operation Rescue initiated a strategy of civil disobedience by blockading clinic entrances and getting arrested. There were thousands of arrests nationwide as clinics increasingly became political battlefields.
In the 1990s, antiabortionists increasingly turned to harassment of individual doctors and their families, picketing their homes, following them, and circulating “Wanted” posters. Over 200 clinics have been bombed. After 1992, the violence became deadly. The murder of two doctors and an escort at a clinic in Pensacola, Florida, was followed by the murder of two women receptionists at clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts. A health care provider spoke about the impact of the violence:
The fear of violence has become part of the lives of every abortion provider in the country. As doctors, we are being warned not to open big envelopes with no return addresses in case a mail bomb is enclosed. I know colleagues who have had their homes picketed and their children threatened. Some wear bullet-proof vests and have remote starters for their cars. Even going to work and facing the disapproving looks from co-workers–isolation and marginalization from colleagues is part of it.
The antiabortion movement continues to mount new campaigns on many fronts. Most recently, it has aggressively put out the idea that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. In January 1997, the results of a Danish study, the largest to date (involving one and a half million women), showed that there is no connection.s3 Unlike previous studies, this one did not rely on interviews and women’s reports but instead used data obtained from population registries about both abortion and breast cancer. Despite the lack of medical evidence and the fact that the scientific community does not recognize any link, the antiabortion movement continues to stir up fears about abortion and breast cancer.
Legal but Out of Reach for Many Women
We have learned that legalization is not enough to ensure that abortions will be available to all women who want and need them. In addition to a lack of facilities and trained providers, burdensome legal restrictions, including parental consent or notification laws for minors and mandatory waiting periods, create significant obstacles. A minor who has been refused consent by a parent may have to go through an intimidating and time-consuming judicial hearing. Mandatory waiting periods may require a woman to miss extra days of work because she must go to the clinic not once, but twice, to obtain an abortion. If travel is required, this can make the whole procedure unaffordable. In other words, for millions of women, youth, race, and economic circumstances together with the lack of accessible services–especially for later abortions–translate into daunting barriers, forcing some women to resort to unsafe and illegal abortions and self-abortions.
WEAKENING THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION FOR ABORTION
When in 1980 the Supreme Court upheld the Hyde Amendment, it began eroding the constitutional protection for abortion rights. Since then, there have been other severe blows. In Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989), the Court opened the door to new state restrictions on abortion. In Hodgson v. Minnesota (1990), the Court upheld one of the strictest parental notification laws in the country.
These trends were further codified in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 decision upholding a highly restrictive Pennsylvania law that included mandatory waiting periods and mandatory biased counseling. Two frightening themes emerged in the Casey decision. First, the Court sanctioned the view that government may regulate the health care of pregnant women to protect fetal life from the moment of conception so long as it does not “unduly burden” access to an abortion. Second, the Court showed little concern for the severe impact of state restrictions on women with few financial resources.
In the aftermath of Casey, many states have passed similar restrictions, which have the effect of limiting access to abortion, especially for women with low incomes, teenage women, and women of color.
These infringements on abortion access have curtailed the abortion rights of millions of women. In the face of the unrelenting efforts of the antiabortion movement, those of us who believe that women should make their own reproductive decisions will have to become involved in the ongoing struggle to preserve and expand abortion rights.
REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM VS. POPULATION CONTROL
While most women’s health groups see the fight for abortion rights in the context of defending the rights of all women to make their own decisions about reproduction, not all advocates of abortion rights share this understanding. Some view legal abortion and contraception as tools of population control.
Advocates of population control blame overpopulation for a range of problems, from global poverty to ethnic conflict and environmental degradation. Historically, this type of thinking has led to a range of coercive fertility control policies that target Third World women. These include sterilization without a woman’s knowledge or consent; the use of economic incentives to “encourage” sterilization, a practice that undermines the very notion of reproductive choice; the distribution and sometimes coercive or unsafe use of contraceptive methods, often without appropriate information; the denial of abortion services; and sometimes coercive abortion. For example, HIV-positive women in the U.S. (who are overwhelmingly women of color) are often pressured to have abortions, though only 20 to 25% of their children will be HIV-positive and new treatments during pregnancy have reduced the likelihood even further.
Women with few economic resources, especially women of color in the U.S. and throughout the world, have been the primary targets of population control policies. For example, although abortion has become increasingly less accessible in the U.S., sterilization remains all too available for women of color. The federal government stopped funding abortions in 1977, but it continues to pay for sterilizations. During the 1970s, women’s health activists exposed various forms of sterilization abuse (see section on sterilization in chapter 13, Birth Control). Since the 1980s, advocates have fought against new policies that coerce women with low incomes into using Norplant, a long-term hormonal contraceptive.
In the Third World, in addition to the widespread unavailability of desired contraceptives, there is a long history of coercive fertility control, primarily funded and inspired by developed countries, especially the U.S. (see chapter 26, The Global Politics of Women and Health, for the international dimensions of population control).
The right to abortion is part of every woman’s right to control her reproductive choices and her own life. We must reject all efforts to coerce women’s reproductive decisions. The goals of reproductive rights activists must encompass the right to have children as well as the right not to.
ABORTION ACCESS IN THE U.S.
- It is conservatively estimated that one in five Medicaid-eligible women who want an abortion cannot obtain one.
- In the U.S., 84% of all counties have no abortion services; of rural counties, 95% have no services.
- Nine in ten abortion providers are located in metropolitan areas.
- Only 17 states fund abortions.
- Only 12% of OB/GYN residency programs train in first-trimester abortions; only 7% in second-trimester abortions.
- Abortion is the most common OB/GYN surgical procedure; yet, almost half of graduating OB/GYN residents have never performed a first-trimester abortion.
- Thirty-nine states have parental involvement laws requiring minors to notify and/or obtain the consent of their parents in order to obtain an abortion.
- Twenty-one states require state-directed counseling before a woman may obtain an abortion. (This is often called “informed consent”; some critics call it a “biased information requirement.”)
- Many states require women seeking abortions to receive scripted lectures on fetal development, prenatal care, and adoption.
- Twelve states currently enforce mandatory waiting periods following state- directed counseling; this can result in long delays and higher costs.
- (Seven more states have delay laws which are enjoined–i.e., not enforced due to court action at the federal or state level.)
Note: for sources on these statistics, please consult the book’s notes at the end of this chapter.
Unsafe abortion is a major cause of death and health complications for women of child-bearing age. Whether or not an abortion is safe is determined in part by the legal status and restrictions, but also by medical practice, administrative requirements, the availability of trained practitioners, and facilities, funding, and public attitudes.
While it is difficult to get reliable data on illegal and unsafe abortion, several well-known organizations and researchers, including the World Health Organization, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, and Family Health International, make the following estimates:
- Worldwide, 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually. This equals one unsafe abortion for every ten pregnancies and one unsafe abortion for every seven births.
- Ninety percent of unsafe abortions are in developing countries.
- One-third of all abortions worldwide are illegal. More than two-thirds of countries in the Southern Hemisphere have no access to safe, legal abortion.
- Estimates of the number of women who die worldwide from unsafe abortions each year range from 70,000 to 200,000. This means that between 13 and 20% of all maternal deaths are due to unsafe abortion–in some areas of the world, half of all maternal deaths. Of these deaths, 99% are in the developing world, and most are preventable.
- Half of all abortions take place outside the health care system.
- One-third of women seeking care for abortion complications are under the age of 20.
- About 40% of the world’s population has access to legal abortion (almost all in Europe, the former Soviet Union, and North America), although laws often require the consent of parents, state committees, or physicians.
- Worldwide, 21% of women may obtain legal abortions for social or economic reasons.
- Sixteen percent of women have access only when a woman’s health is at risk or in cases of rape, incest, or fetal defects.
- Five percent have access only in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment.
- Eighteen percent have access only for life endangerment.
Capital Dome restoration c. 1960
In late 1959 through 1960, the Capitol Dome underwent a significant repair and restoration effort and at the end of 1959 the exterior of the Dome was surrounded by scaffold.
During the work, workmen using special pneumatic hammers removed paint from the iron, which was then sandblasted. Since bare iron rusts quickly it had to be treated with a red protective rust inhibiting coating within five hours of paint removal. Corroded and cracked metal was repaired or replaced where necessary, loose bolts were tightened, and missing bolts replaced. New bronze window frames were installed in the tholus and the interior bracing in the Statue of Freedom was reinforced. Repairs were made to the drainage system and flashing, and the Dome was completely inspected and repaired using stainless tell wherever extra strength was needed. The work also put in additional lightning and bird protection.
This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used the photographic credit line should read “Architect of the Capitol.” These images may not be used in any way that would imply endorsement by the Architect of the Capitol or the United States Congress of a product, service or point of view. For more information visit www.aoc.gov.
Lobster Tea Party, August 1938 .
“Anne and her family lived alone on an island. She enjoyed having tea time with her friends the spiny lobster and baby hawk.”
– National Geographic, August 1938
“Hitler was was elected by a majority of the people, and that the first acts he took were to establish national health care and take away German citizens’ guns.”- some crazy, paranoid and absurd people in American politics
Hitler started in the communities:
No, not really. He joined a national organization and leveraged their already existing structure, and later completely reorganized that national organization. He didn’t start in the communities. (To be honest I don’t know how that’s supposed to be a bad thing.)
Hitler was made Chancellor on January 30, 1933. The Reichstag Fire happened less than a month later, and Hitler used that fire to urge von Hindenburg to pass the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended many basic rights of German citizens and allowed for detention of suspects without trial. Hitler used this opportunity to attack the Communist Party, arresting and jailing thousands of them and effectively shutting them down.
The next major act to be passed because of Hitler was the Enabling Act, which allowed Hitler to pass laws without the approval of the Reichstag.
…with national health care:
Germany’s health care laws go back long before Hitler. Hell Otto von Bismarck established a national health insurance plan in Germany in 1883 which covered most of Germany’s workers. Then in 1884 an accident insurance program was established, and in 1889 a pension/old age insurance program was established. The social programs under the Weirmar Republic were expanded, including health plans and health clinics.
In 1918 Germany established an 8 hour work day, labor reform, agriculture reform, local social welfare (costs to be split between the local municipality and the state), and increased national health care benefits.
…and gun control:
Absolutely wrong again. Gun control in Germany went back to the Weimar Republic, which passed gun control laws partly because of restrictions laid on them by the Treaty of Versailles. Guns were outlawed in 1919, long before Hitler had any sort of power or influence. In fact Hitler actually relaxed the gun control laws in Germany, with a law passed in 1938 which said that the previous restrictions only applied to handguns, not to long guns as had been the case before. (Of course none of this applied to the Jews, who were not allowed to keep firearms.)
To quote from this excellent article debunking the myth:
Prior to the 1938 law, only officials of the central government, the states, and employees of the German Reichsbahn Railways were exempted. The age at which persons could own guns was lowered from 20 to 18. The firearms carry permit was valid for three years instead of one year.
There are a few great resources on the interwebs for debunking this particular myth.
This one, written by Chris Miles. This one from the Straight Dope, and this one from Salon writer Alex Seitz-Wald.
…and Hitler was elected by a majority of people:
No he wasn’t. He never received a majority of the vote of the German people. In 1932 Hitler challenged von Hindenburg for President of Germany, but lost. In the first round of voting von Hindenburg got 49.6% of the vote, Hitler got 30.1%, and Ernst Thälmann of the Communist Party got 13.2%. Since no candidate had received a majority, a second round of elections was held, with Hitler again losing to von Hindenburg. This time von Hindenburg got 53% of the vote, Hitler got 36.8%, and Thälmann got 10.2%
As for the general election of July 31, 1932, the Nazis got 37.27% of the popular vote. In the November 1932 elections the Nazi party got 33.09% of the popular vote (this after massive intimidation and voter violence by the SA). In the March 1933 election the Nazis got 43.91% of the vote (this after tens of thousands of Communist Party members and leaders were jailed because of the powers given to Hitler by the Reichstag Fire Act and the Enabling Act).
In November 1933 there was another election, but this one was a complete farce. Hitler had already seized complete control of the government, and the Nazi party was the only legal party. Of course they finally got their majority with 92% of the popular vote.
Neither Hitler nor the Nazi party ever got a majority of the vote.
A good summary of the events leading from the 1932 election to Hitler assuming total control can be found here.
The modern conservative movement isn’t about being conservative at all, its about pandering to religious groups, saying you oppose anything the Democrats do while spending just as much money. There are no conservatives in Washington. A true conservative believes in the constitution. They would support the separation of church and state, the freedom of speech, the right to bear arms. They would support equal legal protections for all, meaning they would support a woman’s right to choose, and gay marriage. But again, there are no true conservatives in Washington, only partisan hacks using abortion and gay marriage as wedge issues to stay in office and keep raking in that sweet sweet lobbyist cash.
Here are three things Barry “Mr. Conservative” Goldwater said during his life as a politician:
“On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.”
“I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.'”
“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
This is how “Conservatives” view “Liberals”:
President Barack Obamaadvocates the use of unsuccessful Keynesian economic concepts. He is considered by many to be the worst president ever.
A liberal is someone who favors increased government spending, power, and control, as in ObamaCare, as well as censorship of Christianity. Increasingly, liberals side with the homosexual agenda, including supporting homosexual “marriage”. Many liberals favor a welfare state where people receive endless entitlements without working. Liberals are often anti-Christian, or otherwise disagree with moral or social principles held by many American Christians. They prefer atheism over the Christian faith, as atheism has no objective morality to hinder their big government plans. The liberal ideology has worsened over the years and degenerated into economically unsound views and intolerant ideology. Some liberals simply support, in knee-jerk fashion, the opposite ofconservative principles without having any meaningful values of their own.
Polling data has consistently shown that a increasingly large percentage of Americans identify as conservative, rather than as liberal, currently by 38% to 21%.
A liberal supports many of the following political positions and practices:
- Spending money on government programs (the significant economic problems in the Eurozone due to government debt will no doubt increasingly discredit this aspect of liberal ideology and make things more difficult for advocates of liberal economic ideologies)
- Government’s ability to solve economic problems
- The belief that terrorism is not a huge threat, and that the main reason for Muslim extremists’ hostility towards America is because of bad foreign policy 
- Taxpayer-funded and/or legalized abortion
- Cessation of teacher-led prayer in classrooms and school/state-sponsored religious events.
- Gun control
- Affirmative action
- Opposition to government regulation or restriction of obscenity, pornography and violence in video games as a First Amendment right
- Government-funded medical care, such as Obamacare
- Belief in evolution
- Destroying the Christian foundations on which America was built on.
- Taxpayer-funded and government-controlled public education
- Placement of men and women in the same jobs in the military
- Legalized same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption
- Tax and spend economics
- Economic sector regulations
- Spreading of political correctness
- Destroying liberty
- Ending Western morality
- Non-syndicalist labor unions
- Encouraging promiscuity through sexual education (the teaching of safe sex) rather than teaching abstinence from premarital sex
- A “living Constitution” that is reinterpreted as liberals prefer, rather than how it is thought to have been intended.
- Government programs to rehabilitate criminals
- Abolition of the death penalty
- Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.
- Opposition to full private property rights.
- Reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine
- Opposition to domestic wire-tapping as authorized in the Patriot Act
- Opposition of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a major part of the War on Terrorism
- Opposition to the War on Terrorism and the War in Iraq
- Regulation of business rather than a laissez-faire capitalist economy
- Opposition to the Constitution. Liberals seek to expand federal power at the expense of local government and silence the conservatives who hold them back, violating the 10th and 1st Amendments respectively.
- Denial of traditional gender roles
- Support of financially irresponsible policies
- Advocating policies which are proven to be incorrect
- Encouragement of global warming alarmism
- Persecution of Christianity with deference to other religions, such as Islam.
Liberals currently use two Clauses of the Constitution to try to expand their power: the Commerce Clause and the General Welfare Clause. The General Welfare Clause mentions “promoting the general welfare”. This to a liberal means taxing the rich at increased rates and redistributing that money. The Commerce Clause, on the other hand, says that Congress has the power to regulate trade with foreign nations, between the states and with the Indian tribes. Since the days of FDR this Clause has been interpreted very loosely and has resulted in the federal government expanding its power. The latest example is The Affordable Care Act (ACA), better know as Obamacare. In the ACA, the liberals justify the individual mandate by saying it regulates commerce between the states.
The decline in liberal principles can be illustrated by how Franklin Delano Roosevelt opposed and condemned public sector unions, stating that the idea of collective bargaining can’t be transferred from the private to the public sector, as that would result in the government being unable to carry out its duties. Yet today, decades later, Democrats and liberals are in lock-step with public sector unions, as they “donate” money to the reelection campaign in exchange for more taxpayer money in their wallets and fluffed up pensions.
Current dictionaries describe the liberal ideology by pretending that a liberal is “a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties” or “a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets,” or “open-minded or tolerant, especially free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.” or “favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.” In practical usage, the term “liberal” is more closely synonymous with “radical,” “immoral,” “anti-freedom,” or “bad.”
Liberals and Uncharitableness
American Liberals have been observed to give less to charity than American conservatives.In addition, per capita atheists andagnostics in the United States give significantly less to charity than theists even when church giving is not counted for theists.
For more information please see: Liberals and uncharitableness and Atheism and charity
In March of 2008, George Will wrote at RealClearPolitics concerning the United States:
|“||Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives….
If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:
— Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
— Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.
Atheists and agnostics often reject Biblical morality (and therefore conservative Christianity ) and hold to moral relativism. Therefore, it is not surprising that per capita atheists and agnostics inAmerica give significantly less to charity than theists even when church giving is not counted for theists.
Liberal politicians and uncharitableness
The political magazine the American Spectator featured an article which focused on liberal politicians and uncharitableness exposing the hypocrisy of the liberal politicians it featured.
In addition, Barack Obama has been criticized concerning his lack of charitable giving.
Liberal Christianity and marital infidelity
See also: Liberal Christianity and marital infidelity and Liberal Christianity
According to a 2007 study reported in the Journal of Family Issues, adherents of liberal Christianity are more likely to engage in marital infidelity than theologically conservative Christians.
As noted above, liberals are more likely to adhere to evolutionary belief than conservatives. A study conducted by the Australian National University, revealed that belief in evolution is associated with moral permissiveness.
Liberalism and bestiality
See also: Liberalism and bestiality
The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide and euthanasia). Despite holding these immoral views the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University. See: Atheism and bestiality
Bestiality is the act of engaging in sexual relations with an animal. The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide andeuthanasia). Despite holding these immoral views the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University (Princeton University is a very liberal school – see: Liberalism and bestiality). Peter Singer was installed as the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University in 1999 and in 2006 it was reported that he still worked part-time in that capacity.  In 2006, it was also reported that Singer worked part-time as Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics since 2005.
Joe Carter’s First Things article entitled The Dangerous Mind declares concerning Peter Singer declared:
|“||Singer has spent a lifetime justifying the unjustifiable. He is the founding father of the animal liberation movement and advocates ending “the present speciesist bias against taking seriously the interests of nonhuman animals.” He is also a defender of killing the aged (if they have dementia), newborns (for almost any reason until they are two years old), necrophilia (assuming it’s consensual), and bestiality (also assuming it’s consensual).||”|
On October 5, 2011, the British newspaper The Telegraph wrote an article which discussed how homosexuality “rights” have emboldened individuals to ask for so called bestiality “rights” (see: Homosexuality and bestiality).
In 2010, the liberal state of Washington has the highest number of reported cases of bestiality in the United States even though it was merely the 13th most populous state according to the 2010 United States census. (for more information please see: Washington state and bestiality).
In 2005, four legislators in the liberal state of Massachusetts tried to soften its bestiality laws.
LifeSiteNews reported:”In 46 hours of programming, NBC contained only one reference to marital sex, but 11 references to non-marital sex and one reference to adultery were made. References to incest, pedophilia, partner swapping, prostitution, threesomes, transsexuals/transvestites, bestiality, and necrophilia combined outnumbered references to sex in marriage on NBC by a ratio of 27 to 1. See also:Liberalism and bestiality
The Bible says that bestiality is a perversion and, under the Old Testament Jewish Law, punishable by death (Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 18:23, Leviticus 20:15 and Deuteronomy 27:21). The atheistic worldview does not lend itself to the establishment of morality within society and individuals (see: Atheism and morality and Atheism and deception). The atheistic worldview does not lend itself to the establishment of morality within society and individuals (see: Atheism and morality and Atheism and deception).
A study found that “Psychiatric patients were found to have a statistically significant higher prevalence rate (55%) of bestiality than the control groups (10% and 15% respectively).”The atheist population has a higher suicide rate and lower marriage rates than the general population (see: Atheism and suicide and Atheism and marriageability and Atheism and health).
For more information please see:
Occupy Wall Street and bestiality chant
See also: Occupy Wall Street and bestiality chant
Bestiality is the act of engaging in sexual relations with an animal. A crowd at Occupy Wall Street was led to repeat various chants which included a chant involving bestiality and the incident was videotaped.
Below is an excerpt of the chant:
|“||Everything seems to be possible. [Crowd Parrot Chant] You can travel to the moon. [CPC] You can become immortal [CPC] by biogenetics. You can have sex with animals, or whatever. [CPC].||”|
Liberals and Superstition
The Wall Street Journal reported: “A comprehensive new study released by Baylor University, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. 
Also, in September of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported:
|“||The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won’t create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that’s not a conclusion to take on faith — it’s what the empirical data tell us.
“What Americans Really Believe,” a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience, such as evolution than evangelical Christians….
This is not a new finding. In his 1983 book “The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener,” skeptic and science writer Martin Gardner cited the decline of traditional religious belief among the better educated as one of the causes for an increase in pseudoscience, cults and superstition. He referenced a 1980 study published in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer that showed irreligious college students to be by far the most likely to embrace paranormal beliefs, while born-again Christian college students were the least likely.
Liberalism in the United States Today
Democrats and most media outlets in the U.S. are blatantly liberal. Liberalism in North America today practices three primary tactics to attack the Republican Party, and sometimes to attack American values in general. These three liberal tactics can be pronounced using the following acronym: SIN. Liberals (1) shift the subject, they (2) ignore the facts, and they (3) name call.
- Liberals claimed a monopoly on compassion, decency, and social justice (as defined by themselves), posing as the sole defenders of civic virtue against a horde of backwoodsmen, racists, and religious fanatics. 
|“||There’s another goal, from my point of view, which is to try to lay the groundwork for a radical political force which would conceive of itself as distinctly to the left of moderate, reformist American liberals. And that has two aspects. One is to try to change that liberalism, to transform it by analysis, critique, and activism; the second is to build a radical movement which would be an autonomous force in its own right, which would be distinct from the traditional American liberal consensus. This radical part of the program involves not simply supporting the liberal students against conservative students and conservative professors, but trying to act on them, to push them to the left. It also involves trying to find and support, even trying to help create, networks of radical students in law school and of radical professors around the country — students and teachers who see themselves as wanting to go a lot further than most people want to go. ||”|
Liberal Rankings of Congress Members
The National Journal compiles the votes of each congress member each year and uses the information to create rankings of how liberal each member of the United States Congress is. In addition to showing the voting records of each member and given an overall all ranking of liberalness, the National Journal also ranks congress members by liberalness in the areas of social, economic, and foreign policy.
American liberalism, demographics and expected tipping point in the decline of American liberalism
See also: American atheism and Decline of atheism and Global atheism
Due to the explosive growth of global Christianity in traditional cultures and their influence on Western Christianity and the higher birth rate of conservative Christians and religious conservatives, social conservatism is expected to rise.
The Birkbeck College, University of London professor Eric Kaufman wrote in his 2010 book Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? concerning America:
|“||High evangelical fertility rates more than compensated for losses to liberal Protestant sects during the twentieth century. In recent decades, white secularism has surged, but Latino and Asian religious immigration has taken up the slack, keeping secularism at bay. Across denominations, the fertility advantage of religious fundamentalists of all colours is significant and growing. After 2020, their demographic weight will to tip the balance in the culture wars towards the conservative side, ramping up pressure on hot-button issues such as abortion. By the end of the century, three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the ‘Redeemer Nation’ to evangelize the world. Already, the rise of the World Congress of Families has launched a global religious right, its arms stretching across the bloody lines of the War on Terror to embrace the entire Abrahamic family.||”|
Liberalism in Europe today
In Europe, on the other hand, parties that call themselves liberal are moderate in outlook, ranging from centre-left to centre-right, promote typically economic and business freedom. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe is a party of the European Parliament that represents most liberal parties from European countries. Similar policies are promoted by many liberal parties throughout the world, such as the Liberal Party of Australia.
Trade unions and socialist parties often criticize politicians for promoting lower taxes on business, or more flexible hiring and firing laws, by calling them “liberals” or neoliberals. Thus, just as in the US, “liberal” may occasionally be used as a term of abuse. But when someone is called “liberal” in Europe, it has an entirely different meaning than in the US. In fact, the US meaning of liberal is more similar to the politics of European socialist or social democraticparties.
In history, the word “liberal” has meant different things at different times, and was associated with individual liberty in prior centuries. In the postwar period, liberals supported government intervention in the economy and welfare state policies, as well as peaceful coexistence with the communist block, which are not liberal policies in the sense of classical liberalism. After the end of the cold war, with the demise of socialism and communism, many liberals embraced some ideas from economic neo-liberalism, and coined it the “Third Way”. In the area of national security and foreign policy liberals in the U.S. failed to define a consistent stance, even after the events of 9/11 and the beginning of the war in Iraq. Liberals generally support affirmative action, gay marriage, and abortion.
Original meaning: Classical Liberalism
Liberalism is a political philosophy with freedom as its core value. The term was originally applied to supporters of individual liberties and equal rights, but, in America, the term has come to represent a movement of social change that often conflicts with conservative values such as moral values and traditions derived from Northern European Protestantism.
See Classical Liberalism. Compare Libertarianism.
Notable liberal “intellects”
See also: Infamous liberals
- John Wayne Gacy – In an interview where he denied killing any of his victims, serial killer John Wayne Gacy said he was bisexual and “very liberal”. Gacy was also a Democratic Party activist who had his picture taken withRosalynn Carter.
Liberal Organizations of thought
- AARP – American Association of Retired People
- ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union
- ACORN – Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
- AFL-CIO – American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
- AI – Amnesty International
- ANSWER – Act Now to Stop War and End Racism
- CAIR – Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
- Democratic National Committee
- NARAL – National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League
- NAACP – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- National Committee for an Effective Congress
- National Education Association
- NOW – National Organization of Women
- PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
- Planned Parenthood Federation of America
- Progressives for Obama
- Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
- SEIU – Service Employees International Union
- U.S. Peace Council
Source: The Politix Group
Quotes on Liberals
“I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It’s liberals and Americans.” -James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan
- ↑ http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1042/winds-of-political-change-havent–shifted-publics-ideology-balance
- ↑ http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
- ↑ http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
- ↑ http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
- ↑ The Warren Court, led by liberal Justices William O. Douglas, Hugo Black, Abe Fortas, William Brennan and Chief Justice Earl Warren issued 36 decisions granting First Amendment rights to obscenity and pornography. These decisions remain fully supported by liberals today.
- ↑ http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs
- ↑ Democrats Aim To Kill Abstinence-Only Program Funding, Fox News, Monday, June 25, 2007
- ↑ and environmental organizations, for example Greenpeace
- ↑ For example, the liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court issued the 5-4 Kelo v. City of New London decision authorizing the taking of private property by government in order to give the property to another private entity rather than convert it to a public use.
- ↑ http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=liberal&sub=Search+WordNet&o2=&o0=1&o7=&o5=&o1=1&o6=&o4=&o3=&h=00
- ↑ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberal
- ↑ http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html
- ↑ http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html
- ↑ http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=152
- ↑ http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1c5_1238044128&c=1
- ↑ Are There Religious Variations in Marital Infidelity?
- ↑ Morals decline linked to evolution
- ↑ The Basis of a Christian Worldview
- ↑ The Basis of a Christian Worldview
- ↑ The Dangerous Mind by Joe Carter, First Things
- ↑ The dark side of sexual freedom: American ‘zoophiles’ take on the language of equality – October 5, 2011 – The Telegraph
- ↑ Pet Abuse -2010
- ↑ 2010 United States Census data
- ↑ 2011 Political map – CNN
- ↑ [Massachusetts bill to repeal fornication, adultery, and blasphemy, and to soften bestiality laws]
- ↑ Study Finds TV Treats Marital Sex as Burdensome, Adultery as Positive
- ↑ A prevalence study of bestiality (zoophilia) in psychiatric in-patients, medical in-patients, and psychiatric staff – Int J Psychosom. 1991;38(1-4):45-7.
- ↑ The 10 Greatest Moments From The Occupy Wall Street Protests So Far
- ↑ The 10 Greatest Moments From The Occupy Wall Street Protests So Far
- ↑ 
- ↑ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html
- ↑ Media Bias basics. Media Research Center.
- ↑ Scott Baker. Did Herman Cain Give the ‘Don’t Miss’ Speech at CPAC?, The Blaze, February 12, 2011.
- ↑ YouTube. Herman Cain: “Stupid People Are Ruining America”, February 11, 2011.
- ↑ Video discussion about how modern liberalism is actually fascist by author Jonah Goldberg..
- ↑ Liberal Values in Legal Education Duncan Kennedy (professor at Harvard Law School)
- ↑ http://nationaljournal.com/voteratings/index.htm
- ↑ Why are 2012 and 2020 key years for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
- ↑ http://www.alde.eu
- ↑ http://www.liberal-international.org/
- ↑ 
- ↑ 
- ↑ “Political liberals tend, for whatever reason, to be ardent supporters of both gay rights and pro-choice programs.” Greenberg and Bailey 
- ↑ http://s151.photobucket.com/albums/s151/candypop_02/Serial%20Killers/John%20Wayne%20Gacy/?action=view¤t=SERIAL_KILLER_John_Wayne_Gacy_In-1.mp4
- ↑ http://www.digitaljournal.com/image/45527
- Conservative resources
- Articles about liberals
- Classical liberal
- Drinking Liberally
- Godless liberal
- Last wordism
- Liberal celebrity obsession
- Liberal Behavior on Conservapedia
- Liberal Christianity
- Liberal Christianity and marital infidelity
- Liberal Democrats
- Liberal Elite
- Liberal Falsehoods
- Liberal Fascism
- Liberal friendship
- Liberal Gloss
- Liberal grading
- Liberal hypocrisy
- Liberal hysteria
- Liberal Intellectualism
- Liberal labels
- Liberal Lies About the American Right
- Liberal logic
- Liberal Mind
- Liberal Party
- Liberal supremacist
- Massachusetts liberal
- Scientific Illiteracy and Liberals
- New Liberal Terms
- Conservative Links
More Awesome from Harry Reid:
Pete Sessions is the Republican who told Obama he can’t stand to look at him, according to … Harry Reid
Harry Reid is spreading gossip and I could not love him more. He’s been ratted out as the gossip starter behind the rumor that Rep. Pete Sessions told Barack Obama, to his face, in the White House, “I cannot even stand to look at you.”
But why do I believe Harry Reid? Besides because “I want to”?
Remember back in the campaign when Harry Reid was all like : “A little bird told me Mitt Romney never paid a tax in his life, why doesn’t Mitt release his tax returns and prove me wrong?” and everyone was all like YOU ARE A LIAR HARRY REID until the day the RNC accidentally confirmed he’d been right all along? Good times.
So Harry Reid says he was told about Sessions’ Southern Gentleman act by a White House aide who was at the meeting with the GOP leadership and the President. And then Harry Reid got on a threeway call with his whole Democratic caucus about it. And then they told two friends, and they told two friends, and Dick Durbin put it on his facebook and the rest is history. The history of Harry Reid being an awesome gossip with excellent sources, the end.
(I hope Barry Obama writes one scortcher of a book when he’s out of office, when he doesn’t have to take this crap anymore, and tells the truth about these CRAZY ASSHOLES that he has been dealing with him for the past 8 years. But instead, he’ll probably take the high road, which he has done all his life. Ugh! Maybe he can get Biden to ghost-write it, in which case it’ll just be the word “FUCK” repeated for 400 pages.)
Dont let Obama taek away are gunz
THIS IS THE ONLY TRULY DEMOCRATIC SPACE LEFT IN THIS ONCE GREAT NATION.
Tea Party’s lack of “Civil Disobedience”
During the most recent (and amazingly homogeneous!) all-Caucasian Tea Party gathering there was destruction of government property and no arrests? The crowd of Tea Party members was so raucous and potentially violent that the National Park’s SWAT and riot police had to be called in.
Anywhoozles, can you imagine for a moment how much tasing and tear gas would have been used if these people were anybody else?
Why do protesters from the left get maced and arrested while these people get to act without constraint?
( The Tea Party took barricades from the memorial and brought them to the White House gates in apparent protest of President Barack Obama… some were thrown at the White House fence, others were strewn all over the grassy area surrounding it. That can be considered destruction of property. They also yelled and threatened the cops that were there, who are working without pay since the shutdown started. When they picked up the barricades (opening them up to further vandalism) and walked off with them, why weren’t they arrested for stealing barricades? Those things are expensive; it would be more then a misdemeanor…
There use of “Civil Disobedience” upsets me. There’s nothing gained by moving the barricades somewhere else; that just makes (the once barricaded area) vulnerable to crimes other than the ones they are supposed to be engaging in… Are we supposed to be impressed and feel patriotic that they knocked over a few barricades to visit a war memorial? It never occurs to these people that their loved ones fought and died for a functioning government and a better way of life for all Americans; not the deprivation and degradation promoted by the political parasites they idolize. It’s pathetic. They’ve probably convinced themselves they’re honoring WWII vets by bravely fighting against (foreign enemies…wait, no that’s not right) their own government. What a profoundly sad disconnect.)
Shutdownghazi Day 14 (Oct. 14th)
This meaningless shutdown of the United States Federal Government has entered day 14 and we are still careening towards this coming Thursday’s economic default. So I guess I’ll keep annotating this international embarrassment of a continuing crisis in our government:
Thursday is not the day we hit the debt ceiling. That day, when treasury cannot authorize any additional debt, has already passed. Starting on Thursday, the treasury department can no longer guarantee that they can pay out all incoming bills.
See, for all the complaining about the government not acting like a business…it is actually surprisingly close in terms of accounting. Businesses have accounts receivable (money coming in), just like the government does with its tax revenues, and businesses have accounts payable, and so does the government with its obligations to pay interest on its debt, pay social security, federal workers paychecks, etc…
When a business has more money to pay out then it has coming in, it has three choices: 1. Take on debt to pay the difference 2. Renegotiate the debts/cut its spending 3. Go into default.
Where the business/government comparison splits is in how much easier it is for the government to choose option one or two over option three. Because a business might not be able to take out more debt (if the market doesn’t think it is credit worthy), and negotiating over its outstanding debt is incredibly difficult given the advantages creditors have in bankruptcy proceedings. Cutting spending as a business is also hard because market forces tend to make businesses run as lean as possible to begin with, so there isn’t much “fat” to cut.
The government, on the other hand, has complete control over how much it has to spend. Even if they are “legally” obligated to pay things like social security or medicare, they are also the ones who get to define what they are legally obligated to pay. So in short, if they passed a law saying they no longer have to pay social security checks…then they don’t have to pay that debt anymore.
And as far as issuing debt goes…if you are a country (like the United States) that controls its own currency…you can (short of a law saying you cant) ALWAYS take on more debt to pay your bills. The Federal reserve is obligated by law to buy whatever debt the gov’t sells it even if there is no other commercial buyers. And the Fed is able to do this because they have infinite money…ie they are the ones who “create cash”.
Both of these facts have, up until the past couple years, made US debt the absolute safest place on earth to put your money. Because if you control what you owe, and you control the money supply, then theoretically you should never have to go with option three…ie Default. And with a recessed global economy where there is more of an emphasis on a return “of” capital rather than a return “to” capital…ALOT of people/mutual funds/banks/government put their cash in US debt.
Let me insert another key concept that markets and economics depends on…the concept of the rational actor. It says that, all else being equal…people/companies/markets/governments aren’t stupid. They will choose what is best for them over other worse options. This key concept makes markets stable, because it makes all of the actions of actors in that market more predictable.
We know that Goldman Sachs wont light all of their cash on fire…because that’s bad for Goldman Sachs. We know that Toyota won’t intentionally make an exploding car…because that would be bad for Toyota.
And up until Thursday, the market knows that the US government wont intentionally not pay its bills when the penalty for doing so is so much more severe than the other options presented to it. The penalty for cutting spending is political, the penalty for issuing debt is economic but manageable (given a long list of time tested tools we have to control inflation)….the penalty for outright refusing to pay your debts are catastrophic.
So in short, what happens on Thursday when the US declares that it wont/cant honor its debts? I don’t know…what happens when Goldman Sachs decides to liquidate all of its assets and burn, literally light on fire, all of its cash?
But whatever it is….we know its not good.
Weeper of the House
Senator Harry Reid should have punched John Boehner in the throat, that’ll give him something to cry about…
I really want to see John Boehner and Barack Obama fight in THUNDERDOME!!!
Two men enter, one man leaves.
Congress should pass the ‘Battle Royale’ act, where all our elected officials in the House of Representatives are locked in a room, all lines of communication with the outside world will be severed, and they are left in there until an agreement can be reached (or they can just kill each other off until only one remains, then that person gets to choose policy for the year.)
***The Pay Per View revenue alone would clear the deficit.***
Government Shutdown-Oct 5th
One thing that I think is getting overlooked a lot in this debate is what the actual purpose of the CR is supposed to be about.
The CR has nothing to do with the Obamacare. the ACA is not stopped, delayed, or defunded by shutting down the government. It is a completely separate issue that has nothing to do with the CR. What the CR is supposed to be about is the budget, and at what levels of spending the government should be funded for the following year. That’s what the debate is supposed to be about, that’s what negotiations are supposed to involve, and it’s on that matter that compromises are supposed to be taking place.
On that matter, Democrats have already given in to republican demands in almost every conceivable way. They agreed to republican levels of spending in the CR across the board with absolutely no fight or argument. They gave republicans 98% of the Paul Ryan budget, and never asked for anything other than the CR to be passed with no additional unrelated add-ons.
I think that there is a false narrative, or a false equivalency, going around that the democrats are equally responsible for this shutdown, that they are just as unwilling to compromise as republicans. That is simply not true. The republicans are demanding every bit of their agenda, and offering up not a single item on the democrats agenda. And beyond that, they are asking for the delay of the Presidents signature piece of legislation, which has nothing to do with the budget resolution in question. Refusing to take a deal in which your opponent gets everything they want and you don’t get any of what you want is not a failure to compromise. It is standing up for yourself.
And while I gladly welcome disagreement and debate, I kindly ask that you read the link I provided before making any counterpoints. Thank you.
Government Shutdown- Oct 2nd
The issue is not the substance of the Republicans’ argument, it’s the tactic. There’s an established procedure for putting in place a law – it passes both Houses of Congress, and is signed off on by the President. Once a law has been passed, it can be repealed or amended through the same procedure. Everybody playing by that set of rules helps keep arguments fair and procedures somewhat predictable.
What the Republicans are doing now is to say – we can’t win both Houses of Congress and the Presidency (which is what it would take to overturn a law that already was passed by all three institutions), but what we can do is use control of the one house that we do have to refuse to fund the government until the President and the Senate change the health care law.
The reason that the President and the Democratic Senate are refusing to negotiate (and should continue to refuse to negotiate) is that they don’t want the House of Representatives to get in the habit of shutting down the government everytime there is some law they disagree with. It’s essentially the exact same argument for why it’s generally considered inadvisable to negotiate with terrorists. There’s a legitimate way for a party in Congress to get its way – through the normal procedure of writing bills, and through the election cycle – and there is an illegitimate way to do so – by holding the government’s operating budget hostage.
Homelessness is fundamentally the result of economic and social systems that do not provide adequate access to affordable housing, decent jobs, health care, and a social safety net.
Think about it, currently American workers are losing their jobs, becoming homeless and destitute, leading to their ultimate death…
Why does America, the self-proclaimed “greatest country in the world” with it’s laissez faire capitalist system have a huge number of homeless people compared to the countries in the world that practice Democratic Socialism…? Hrm.
Because of capitalism, people go hungry, homeless and without healthcare in this country.
Is it acceptable for people to be homeless in 2010, considering the United States is one of the richest countries in the world? Is it conscionable for the sick to be untreated because they lack the money to pay for surgery/medication? Due to the current system in place, those with untreated mental illness are amongst the most vulnerable of our society. Tragically, the mentally afflicted comprise 25% of the homeless population.
Clearly we have a broken system. Bertrand de Jouvenel wrote “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.” As United States citizens we assign the officials to represent us, we make the government. It starts with the voters…we are not mindless sheep!