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Bloomberg 2020

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27 minutes ago, Sneegor said:

I really don't care what term you call it but I am against the huge spending proposals of Sanders and huge tax increases to pay for it.  Giving away free stuff to people and having rich folks pay is redistribution of wealth, socialism.  

I am against starting any new entitlements because quite frankly we can't afford it and they are too hard to take away.  His pie in the sky proposals are simply not feasable.

First off no one is giving away free stuff.  We all pay for it through taxes and the ever growing deficits.    Giving away the enormous tax break to corporations while increasing spending was just reckless unless you feel deficits don't matter and if that is the case you might as well give free stuff to everyone right?

Secondly the federal government gives subsidies to farmers, corporations and all kinds of others.   Do these bother you?   I hear a lot of conservatives complain about the cost of social programs but they usually don't talk a lot about these bailouts.   

 

 

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15 hours ago, Captain Cranks said:

He needs to tidy up his response to Stop and Frisk and his comments defending it.  

"That was five years ago," isn't going to cut it.  

I don’t see how it can be tidied up. Apologizing and “taking responsibility” literally one week before announcing his candidacy is about as cynical as you can get. 
 

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21 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I noticed you didn't answer my questions.  And it seems odd that you continue to call it something it's not even though you don't care what it's called.  I assume you are latched onto the term because you believe the term carries a negative connotation.  That's a popular approach and you certainly aren't alone.  What you articulate here is also a popular view however inconsistent it may be.  Because I hear it so frequently, I figured it might be wise to try and understand it even if I think it's a gross mischaracterization of what's going on.

Two questions that frequently come to mind are:

1.  With respect to "huge spending proposals....and huge tax increases to pay for it" I assume you are referring to healthcare.  If that's true, I'm not sure I understand the issue of one's taxes going up by a % of some measure if it means a net gain of money in your pocket every month because that increase in tax is negated by the freedom provided from not having to pay premiums and deductibles and large hospital bills anymore.  It would be a net gain to one's bottom line but its "bad" because the tax goes up?

2.  With respect to education no one has yet been able to explain to me why the arbitrary line of 13 years is ok, but over that is "socialism".  Paying the education bill for those extra four years could easily be paid by a slight reduction in our military spending.  We could actually have a TON of extra money in reserve from military spending if our politicians understood the next world war is not likely to be fought on a battlefield and all those ships, tanks, and planes aren't going to have much of an impact in the cyber world.  That's for another thread though.  

To the bold, is it fair to assume that you don't like the farm bailouts that are going on right now?  The sugar/corn subsidies that have been going on for decades and/or the latest tax cuts to businesses and the super rich?  Those are all redistribution of wealth and things we can't afford.

1)  I do not believe for a minute that the reduction of premiums will offset the increases in taxes.  The math does not add up.  The net cost will be astronomical.

2)  I support free education through high school but not college.  Quite simply, not everyone is cut out for college.  It would be a waste of taxpayer money on a lot of kids and the cost is too much.

3)  I am fine with farm bailouts because they are the ones hurt by the current trade war.  A trade war that was necessary for long term benefits to the United States.  I supported the tax cuts as well and disagree your false statement that is a redistribution of wealth.  

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11 minutes ago, urbanhack said:

what the actual ####....

https://twitter.com/OrganizingPower/status/1227748676455608326

Redlining was one of the top 2 or 3 destructive policies this country ever created behind slavery.

A thread explaining in detail the creation of the policy and the destruction.

https://twitter.com/michaelharriot/status/1227846159319867393

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14 minutes ago, Sneegor said:

1)  I do not believe for a minute that the reduction of premiums will offset the increases in taxes.  The math does not add up.  The net cost will be astronomical.

Beliefs are good if they are based on something concrete...what is your study basis on this?

14 minutes ago, Sneegor said:

2)  I support free education through high school but not college.  Quite simply, not everyone is cut out for college.  It would be a waste of taxpayer money on a lot of kids and the cost is too much.

I've heard this retort before and it's not all that bad, until we realize that people aren't cut out for high school either but we make them go.  With college proposals I've seen, none of them are forcing people to go to college like we do high school.  The proposals are for those who WANT to go.  This kind of fizzles out on the merits if we understand what is actually being proposed.

14 minutes ago, Sneegor said:

3)  I am fine with farm bailouts because they are the ones hurt by the current trade war.  A trade war that was necessary for long term benefits to the United States.  I supported the tax cuts as well and disagree your false statement that is a redistribution of wealth.  

If these aren't a redistribution of wealth can you explain to me why the wealth gap has grown as quickly as it has since the tax cuts took place?  What would you call funneling billions of dollars that would be going to our social programs back to individuals and businesses if not a redistribution of wealth?  People seem to struggle with the notion that wealth redistribution doesn't simply mean "take from the rich and give to the poor".  What do you call it when Jenny at age 40 with three kids has to rely on SNAP to feed her children because her husband died serving his country has to now feed herself and three kids on $50 less a month because that $50 is now being given to a billionaire or business instead?

ETA:  And not to pile on, but to the bold what do you look at as "success" in determining the "long term benefits" you mention in the bold?  What metric(s) do you use to say, "hey, that was worth it?"  And did you have the same attitude towards the auto and bank bailouts?

Edited by The Commish
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@blakezeff

The degree to which Michael Bloomberg is using his fortune to fundamentally alter & manipulate U.S. politics to his personal advantage extends way beyond ads. I've worked against him, covered him as a journalist & worked with his top aides. Here’s their playbook: (1/17) 

Let’s start with endorsements. Background: Bloomberg was a GOP mayor & Rudy Giuliani ally, whose police stopped innocent black men so often his tactics were ruled unconstitutional. So how did he possibly get key Democratic endorsements in NYC? Here’s one way 👇 2/17

But come on, it’s not like he can do that in *this* campaign. Sure he’s compiling a ton of random endorsements nationwide despite merely being a former mayor. But that’s because they loved his soda ban. Or his speaking style. Or...👇 3/17

In 2018, Mike spent $110 million to boost 24 candidates now in Congress. Turns out, giving people $2 million can be the start of a beautiful friendship. Then there are mayors: Want a grant from Bloomberg for new programs in your city...? 4/17

You may also see “community groups” back Mike's candidacy. As mayor, non-profits supported him when he reversed a voter referendum on term limits & made a backroom deal to help himself get a 3rd term. How’d that happen, you ask? He applied himself.👇 5/17

You may also see fewer critics bash Mike's candidacy than you’d expect. After changing parties from GOP to Independent in 2007 as mayor, the local GOP rarely attacked anything he did. How'd he pull that off? I’ll give you a million guesses... 6/17

Forget endorsements: This campaign has grassroots support! Mike held events in various states recently & got huge crowds. They were clearly inspired by that “Mike Will Get It Done” energy. But *this* probably didn’t hurt, either...👇 7/17

Then there’s staff. Mike poaches talent away from other campaigns, by giving folks huge salaries & perks (catered meals, etc). His money also lets him hire more staff than all his opponents combined, while grassroots campaigns have to run on $18 checks from G’ma Millie. 8/17

Mike's wealth even affects his rivals’ fundraising. Using his relationships with other rich donors, he’s personally asking them to sit the election out, so his rivals can't raise cash. Because having $61b to spend, versus $20mil for the other Dems, is too close for comfort 9/17

This one I’ll just leave here. (10/17)

OK, let’s discuss the non-stop ads. Saturating the airwaves gives you the huge advantage of never needing media coverage - which means rarely having to submit to interviews or scrutiny. If they want, they can make sure this👇 never happens again 11/17

Let’s be honest: Ads also enable Mike to mislead voters without being corrected. One ad portrays him as Obama’s BFF, even though Mike didn’t back him in '08 & barely did in '12, when he scolded Obama for being partisan, divisive & populist. But few will see this pushback👇 12/17

The issue’s not just that Mike’s ads help him “get his story out more.” It’s that they enable him to *craft* whatever story he wants, blast it to every voter 1000 times, & bypass the media. And if the story takes creative licenses, oh well. How will viewers ever find out? 13/17 

One reason it all works so well is that Mike & the team he was able to acquire, are smart. Other rich candidates have failed. But Mike's team has a combo that's rare - maybe even unprecedented - in U.S. politics: unlimited money, elite intelligence & Machiavellian ethics. 14/17 

For example, they know Mike has real vulnerabilities in the primary on issues & his GOP past. But they also know Dems hate Trump. So, that’s where the campaign turns all its focus. This achieves several things. First, makes him seem “above” the internal primary bickering. 15/17 

Also: Positions him as a general election candidate now, evades discussion of Dem primary issues where his record is toxic, & presents one of biggest GOP donors ever (Mike) as a loyal Dem who just wants to see Trump (his old golf pal) lose. So far, voters are lapping it up. 16/17 

3 months ago, polls found Mike Bloomberg “widely disliked” with the highest negatives in the race. Now he’s a top 3 contender for the Democratic nomination. One of the richest humans ever is trying to upend every part of the process. And this is just the stuff we know about. /END 

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I'd really underestimated the extent to which Bloomberg could just straightup buy the election.  Someone brought up the conflict of interest of Bloomberg saturating the airwaves with money far beyond that of any other candidate.  Usually it's offset by equivalent spending by other candidates but if Bloomberg is bankrolling a significant % of all television advertising, how can television outlets that take his cash possibly cover him honestly?  When it gets to $1B, $2B we'll have one candidate underwriting the whole TV news industry.  

Bloomberg needs to be opposed full stop.  He bought his way into the DNC primaries with $350K in donations before entering the race, he's buying his way into the 2020 election, and the Democratic leadership is ok with it.  It's the end of popular democracy as we know it.  

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Do “Bloomberg is simply buying the election” people have a good theory for why Tom Steyer is polling nationally at approximately zero percent?

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I'm a deficit hawk Bernie Bros, go ahead and tell me how Bernie helps that. Wild sarcasm in case it isn't coming through clear enough. As awful as Trump is for the few remaining hawks like me, Bernie is prob 10x worse.

To be direct, if I want a Bernie lecture, there are plenty of places for me to receive it, this thread just isn't the location for it, imo. 

I see the Bloomberg fear mongering is on the rise basically everywhere, so I am of the opinion that those in the Bernie camp are scared of him (just like Trump and his Bloomberg mongering too). 

ETA: Just to note, I know Mike isn't running a campaign on deficit spending, but I am highly inclined to believe he is the best guy to try and get our financial house in somewhat of an order. While it might be a little painful for me, it will benefit my children... I take the lengthy look out into the future, fwiw. 

Edited by fantasycurse42

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Just now, Maurile Tremblay said:

Do “Bloomberg is simply buying the election” people have a good theory for why Tom Steyer is polling nationally at approximately zero percent?

Brand and experience?

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1 minute ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Do “Bloomberg is simply buying the election” people have a good theory for why Tom Steyer is polling nationally at approximately zero percent?

One has a net worth of 1.6 Billion

One has a net worth of 60 billion. 

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2 minutes ago, fantasycurse42 said:

I'm a deficit hawk Bernie Bros, go ahead and tell me how Bernie helps that. Wild sarcasm in case it isn't coming through clear enough. As awful as Trump is for the few remaining hawks like me, Bernie is prob 10x worse.

To be direct, if I want a Bernie lecture, there are plenty of places for me to receive it, this thread just isn't the location for it, imo. 

I see the Bloomberg fear mongering is on the rise basically everywhere, so I am of the opinion that those in the Bernie camp are scared of him (just like Trump and his Bloomberg mongering too). 

Tell me how ANY of the options help that :shrug:

You are a man without a home at the moment, as am I.  The best you can hope for is the money they are going to spend go towards things you want them to go towards.  That's the reality of today.

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7 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

I'd really underestimated the extent to which Bloomberg could just straightup buy the election.  Someone brought up the conflict of interest of Bloomberg saturating the airwaves with money far beyond that of any other candidate.  Usually it's offset by equivalent spending by other candidates but if Bloomberg is bankrolling a significant % of all television advertising, how can television outlets that take his cash possibly cover him honestly?  When it gets to $1B, $2B we'll have one candidate underwriting the whole TV news industry.  

Bloomberg needs to be opposed full stop.  He bought his way into the DNC primaries with $350K in donations before entering the race, he's buying his way into the 2020 election, and the Democratic leadership is ok with it.  It's the end of popular democracy as we know it.  

Bloomberg is a symptom of a problem created by the "companies are people too" crowd.  Of course those opposing that crowd aren't as vocal as they'd be if it were a GOPer doing it...hypocrisy and all that.

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8 minutes ago, jm192 said:

One has a net worth of 1.6 Billion

One has a net worth of 60 billion. 

Steyer has spent a lot more than Klobuchar but hasn’t gotten support in the polls or voting booths. It seems to me that attracting support takes something more than just buying it.

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1 minute ago, The Commish said:

Tell me how ANY of the options help that :shrug:

You are a man without a home at the moment, as am I.  The best you can hope for is the money they are going to spend go towards things you want them to go towards.  That's the reality of today.

I edited my post as you wrote this. While I agree somewhat with your assessment, I believe Mike will do the best job in straightening out the mess we've put ourself in. Our fiscal path is unsustainable, one day the chickens will come home to roost. As a population, we're too stupid to understand the financial damage we're doing to ourselves, and by the time someone addresses it (out of need and completely reactionary), it will be too late and the permanent damage will already be done.

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Just now, Maurile Tremblay said:

Steyer has spent a lot more than Klobuchar but hasn’t gotten support in the polls. It seems to me that attracting support takes something more than just buying it.

He's my 2nd favorite candidate :bag: 

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16 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

I'd really underestimated the extent to which Bloomberg could just straightup buy the election.  Someone brought up the conflict of interest of Bloomberg saturating the airwaves with money far beyond that of any other candidate.  Usually it's offset by equivalent spending by other candidates but if Bloomberg is bankrolling a significant % of all television advertising, how can television outlets that take his cash possibly cover him honestly?  When it gets to $1B, $2B we'll have one candidate underwriting the whole TV news industry.  

Bloomberg needs to be opposed full stop.  He bought his way into the DNC primaries with $350K in donations before entering the race, he's buying his way into the 2020 election, and the Democratic leadership is ok with it.  It's the end of popular democracy as we know it.  

Meh. Better than Trump. 

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Just now, Maurile Tremblay said:

Steyer has spent a lot more than Klobuchar but hasn’t gotten support in the polls. It seems to me that attracting support takes something more than just buying it.

Maybe.  I'll gladly agree that Bloomberg has political office experience that Steyer doesn't.  Steyer just gets up on stage and rants about "We need to beat Trump on the Economy," which seems like a terrible strategy. 

I really like Klobuchar because she seems like one of the most genuine candidates and I can get behind a lot of what she stands for.  I don't even know what Steyer's policies would be...just that he's good at money and can beat Trump on the economy.

I'm not convinced Steyer ever truly thought he would/could win this.

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7 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Steyer has spent a lot more than Klobuchar but hasn’t gotten support in the polls or voting booths. It seems to me that attracting support takes something more than just buying it.

Bloomberg has been paying off a lot more people for a whole lot longer, with a whole lot more money.  Zeff's thread above explains it very well, here is the link again.  He's paid off the politicians, he's paid off the networks, he's paid off the Parties, he's paid off the 'community NGOs' with his 'philanthropy.'  He's bought everything.  Hard to imagine someone more financially invested in a system that is now paying the piper more than Mike Bloomberg. 

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7 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Steyer has spent a lot more than Klobuchar but hasn’t gotten support in the polls or voting booths. It seems to me that attracting support takes something more than just buying it.

Steyer had low name recognition and had never held political office, yet he did well enough in polling to make debate stages that candidates like Cory Booker and Julian Castro did not.  I think you're vastly underestimating the amount that Steyer's wealth has helped him here.  We'll see what happens in the next couple weeks, but I believe at one point Steyer was polling in second or third in South Carolina and not terrible in Nevada.  His national numbers aren't high because he hasn't devoted resources to national advertising like Bloomberg has.

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11 minutes ago, fantasycurse42 said:

I edited my post as you wrote this. While I agree somewhat with your assessment, I believe Mike will do the best job in straightening out the mess we've put ourself in. Our fiscal path is unsustainable, one day the chickens will come home to roost. As a population, we're too stupid to understand the financial damage we're doing to ourselves, and by the time someone addresses it (out of need and completely reactionary), it will be too late and the permanent damage will already be done.

Was out on his page earlier today....I don't see an initiative for addressing the deficits or our debt.  I tend to agree with your assessment of current state of the nation.  I just don't share the optimism that he'll do anything about it...even less certain when there isn't a line item specific to this out of the couple dozen he does address.

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5 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Was out on his page earlier today....I don't see an initiative for addressing the deficits or our debt.  I tend to agree with your assessment of current state of the nation.  I just don't share the optimism that he'll do anything about it...even less certain when there isn't a line item specific to this out of the couple dozen he does address.

My gut says he doesn't address it for two reasons:

1) He knows nobody cares.

2) It is prob toxic to run any platform about how out of hand our deficit spending is getting.

With that being said, I think he is the smartest of the candidates, by far the most business savvy, and will address the issue. I feel his track record of handling the NYC budget during some very difficult times speaks to it. It's an opinion I have formed and it will be basically impossible to talk me off of it. 

Edited by fantasycurse42
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31 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Do “Bloomberg is simply buying the election” people have a good theory for why Tom Steyer is polling nationally at approximately zero percent?

I think name recognition also matters.  I think Oprah would do better than Steyer as well. 

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44 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Do “Bloomberg is simply buying the election” people have a good theory for why Tom Steyer is polling nationally at approximately zero percent?

Aside from other factors mentioned, Bloomberg served three terms as mayor of the country's largest city. In terms of population, that's roughly comparable to being governor or MI, NJ, VA or WA. I think he just passes an unspoken "plausibility test" that most people have for potential presidents that a relatively unknown billionaire like Steyer doesn't. Not to mention, he did a pretty good job as mayor!

Anyway, I'm not a Bloomberg hater, but I do find it worrying that he's spending so much. It's not a binary thing where his wealth is the only thing he has going for him, but if he wasn't worth $60B it's pretty implausible that he'd be in the position he's in today.

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11 minutes ago, zftcg said:

Aside from other factors mentioned, Bloomberg served three terms as mayor of the country's largest city. In terms of population, that's roughly comparable to being governor or MI, NJ, VA or WA. I think he just passes an unspoken "plausibility test" that most people have for potential presidents that a relatively unknown billionaire like Steyer doesn't. Not to mention, he did a pretty good job as mayor!

Anyway, I'm not a Bloomberg hater, but I do find it worrying that he's spending so much. It's not a binary thing where his wealth is the only thing he has going for him, but if he wasn't worth $60B it's pretty implausible that he'd be in the position he's in today.

He has a special interest of one. If he didn't have $60B and ran for president he'd be railed for getting money from somewhere; wine cave fundraisers, Saudi princes, Russian Oligarchs, Oil and gas CEOs, NRA, Big Pharma, book deals, speaking engagements, Google, unions, PACs, etc.

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43 minutes ago, fantasycurse42 said:

My gut says he doesn't address it for two reasons:

1) He knows nobody cares.

2) It is prob toxic to run any platform about how out of hand our deficit spending is getting.

With that being said, I think he is the smartest of the candidates, by far the most business savvy, and will address the issue. I feel his track record of handling the NYC budget during some very difficult times speaks to it. It's an opinion I have formed and it will be basically impossible to talk me off of it. 

I'm not interested in talking you off of it.  I'm just trying to understand how you come to it.  If it's just a hope, then cool.  I don't see how the dynamics of a mayor have anything to do with the way the budget works at a federal level.  HE doesn't control that portion of the government's function....Congress does.  That's why I was trying to understand what you were saying.

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Just now, ericttspikes said:

He has a special interest of one. If he didn't have $60B and ran for president he'd be railed for getting money from somewhere; wine cave fundraisers, Saudi princes, Russian Oligarchs, Oil and gas CEOs, NRA, Big Pharma, book deals, speaking engagements, Google, unions, PACs, etc.

No doubt. The problem of billionaires buying elections and the problem of non-billionaire candidates spending all their time begging for money and selling access stem from the same underlying issue: too much damn money in our political system. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I don't think that either one is the solution to the other. (The public, by the way, disagrees with me. The whole "rich guy who can't be bought" trope has proven surprisingly effective for Trump, Bloomberg, and lots of other rich guys. I think it's mostly bunk.)

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If Bloomberg wasn’t wealthy he never would have been mayor of New York.  He never would have started Everytown for Gun Safety.  Every credential Bloomberg has that arguably qualifies him to be the nominee is due to money. I’m not sure it’s possible to discuss Bloomberg’s chances without his wealth.  Bloomberg’s wealth is by far his most defining feature.

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12 minutes ago, ericttspikes said:

He has a special interest of one. If he didn't have $60B and ran for president he'd be railed for getting money from somewhere; wine cave fundraisers, Saudi princes, Russian Oligarchs, Oil and gas CEOs, NRA, Big Pharma, book deals, speaking engagements, Google, unions, PACs, etc.

This is true, but the harm of allowing Billionaires to self-fund is that it forces other candidates into having to go into wine caves and take PAC money Ion order to compete. Maybe Bernie will prove that irrelevant. 

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1 minute ago, zftcg said:

No doubt. The problem of billionaires buying elections and the problem of non-billionaire candidates spending all their time begging for money and selling access stem from the same underlying issue: too much damn money in our political system. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I don't think that either one is the solution to the other. (The public, by the way, disagrees with me. The whole "rich guy who can't be bought" trope has proven surprisingly effective for Trump, Bloomberg, and lots of other rich guys. I think it's mostly bunk.)

I agree. We are a well on the road to being a corporate Republic. Not sure there is any putting the genie back in the bottle without incurring a lot of collateral damage. 

I will say the demonization of wealthy people in a capitalistic society has never made sense to me. There are bad people and there are good people; rich or poor. Is Bill Gates evil because he has billions? I don't know the guy but how he uses his money speaks volumes on the kind of person he is and aspires to be.

There really was never a mystery about Trump; he is a stingy guy who cheated, stole and ripped off people in his private business and continues to be that same person in his public service. Bloomberg has a track record on how he has used his money and do think it speaks to values he'd bring to his public service as well. Unlike Trump, Bloomberg has donated $8 billion to causes that effect climate change, combating opioids, education, and gun control issues. Bloomberg, Gates and Buffett are guys who have signed the Giving Pledge, vowing to donate at least half of his wealth the charity. Plenty of other rich guys like Trump aren't willing to do that. 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, zftcg said:

No doubt. The problem of billionaires buying elections and the problem of non-billionaire candidates spending all their time begging for money and selling access stem from the same underlying issue: too much damn money in our political system. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I don't think that either one is the solution to the other. (The public, by the way, disagrees with me. The whole "rich guy who can't be bought" trope has proven surprisingly effective for Trump, Bloomberg, and lots of other rich guys. I think it's mostly bunk.)

Well Bloomberg was a mayor of a not so small place for a long time... Please provide instances when he was bought to back up your statement. 

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11 minutes ago, ericttspikes said:

I agree. We are a well on the road to being a corporate Republic. Not sure there is any putting the genie back in the bottle without incurring a lot of collateral damage. 

I will say the demonization of wealthy people in a capitalistic society has never made sense to me. There are bad people and there are good people; rich or poor. Is Bill Gates evil because he has billions? I don't know the guy but how he uses his money speaks volumes on the kind of person he is and aspires to be.

There really was never a mystery about Trump; he is a stingy guy who cheated, stole and ripped off people in his private business and continues to be that same person in his public service. Bloomberg has a track record on how he has used his money and do think it speaks to values he'd bring to his public service as well. Unlike Trump, Bloomberg has donated $8 billion to causes that effect climate change, combating opioids, education, and gun control issues. Bloomberg, Gates and Buffett are guys who have signed the Giving Pledge, vowing to donate at least half of his wealth the charity. Plenty of other rich guys like Trump aren't willing to do that. 

No doubt Bloomberg would be way better than Trump and I'll be voting for him if he's the Democratic nominee.  But it isn't "demonizing" wealthy people to note that they have too much power over our system of government.  That's not what I want my country to be like.  I would prefer Warren or Sanders or Buttigieg or Klobuchar to be the nominee.  

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35 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I'm not interested in talking you off of it.  I'm just trying to understand how you come to it.  If it's just a hope, then cool.  I don't see how the dynamics of a mayor have anything to do with the way the budget works at a federal level.  HE doesn't control that portion of the government's function....Congress does.  That's why I was trying to understand what you were saying.

It's a theory, no concrete evidence behind it except for his handling of a running a more efficient NYC during very difficult times. 

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35 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

This is true, but the harm of allowing Billionaires to self-fund is that it forces other candidates into having to go into wine caves and take PAC money Ion order to compete. Maybe Bernie will prove that irrelevant. 

Seems like a pretty huge leap to assume if a billionaire weren't running all the other guys would just say no thanks to special interest donations and run a campaign with no money.

There have been plenty of campaigns without anyone going up against a billionaire and those guys still always took money.

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46 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

If Bloomberg wasn’t wealthy he never would have been mayor of New York.  He never would have started Everytown for Gun Safety.  Every credential Bloomberg has that arguably qualifies him to be the nominee is due to money. I’m not sure it’s possible to discuss Bloomberg’s chances without his wealth.  Bloomberg’s wealth is by far his most defining feature.

Bloomberg 2020 seems to be like Trump 2016 in that regard: he’s polling well not because he’s buying votes, but because the media love talking about him. But most of the reasons that the media love talking about him are traceable, at least indirectly, to his wealth.

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It would be nice if Bloomberg would, you know speak, like to a reporter or on a stage with other candidates before people decide.

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2 minutes ago, FreeBaGeL said:

Seems like a pretty huge leap to assume if a billionaire weren't running all the other guys would just say no thanks to special interest donations and run a campaign with no money.

There have been plenty of campaigns without anyone going up against a billionaire and those guys still always took money.

Nobody is saying it’s the sole cause.  What I’m saying, and what others have mentioned, is that’s it’s symptomatic of the bigger problem. And it makes it more problematic to regulate all those other potential conflicts of interest. 
 

Pretend we had more powerful campaign finance laws that prevented a lot of PAC and industry money. In that instance, self-financing candidates have an even bigger advantage. 

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13 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

No doubt Bloomberg would be way better than Trump and I'll be voting for him if he's the Democratic nominee.  But it isn't "demonizing" wealthy people to note that they have too much power over our system of government.  That's not what I want my country to be like.  I would prefer Warren or Sanders or Buttigieg or Klobuchar to be the nominee.  

Fair enough. Based on our current system, none of them can be president without money either. Sanders and Warren are incredibly wealthy people who seem to have their heart in the right place. I will also vote for them if they are the choice. But I have my doubts their vision can hold up to attack leaving us back to square 1; having an amoral, lawless conman running the show.

I think they are smart capable people who will try. Those two candidates in particular do demonize wealthier people than themselves in debates on on the trail, often painting wealth as the root cause of problems instead of pointing to the fact it's really how wealth is amassed and used that matters. They are gobbling up and spending billions too.

Bernie in particular has cultivated an images of mom and pop funding him while he flys coach and rails against the 1%, yet he takes money from Unions, Colleges, Google, Boeing, etc. Nothing wrong with that, but he isn't exactly upfront about it. One can argue being funded by Postal Workers and Colleges is benign, but they aren't paying for the fun of it. The Colleges in particular will have a huge stake, and potential windfall, in a Sanders presidency. Again, I don't see anything wrong with that except that Sanders and his supporters sometimes act like capitalism itself is the problem.

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6 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

Nobody is saying it’s the sole cause.  What I’m saying, and what others have mentioned, is that’s it’s symptomatic of the bigger problem. And it makes it more problematic to regulate all those other potential conflicts of interest. 
 

Pretend we had more powerful campaign finance laws that prevented a lot of PAC and industry money. In that instance, self-financing candidates have an even bigger advantage. 

If we had those laws, then they would/should probably come lock-step with laws about how much the candidates can spend.

My wife's idea has always been that whatever money comes in should get split between the candidates equally and that's all the money they get to spend on advertising.  Makes sense to me. :shrug:

 

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1 minute ago, ericttspikes said:

Fair enough. Based on our current system, none of them can be president without money either. Sanders and Warren are incredibly wealthy people who seem to have their heart in the right place. I will also vote for them if they are the choice. But I have my doubts their vision can hold up to attack leaving us back to square 1; having an amoral, lawless conman running the show.

I think they are smart capable people who will try. Those two candidates in particular do demonize wealthier people than themselves in debates on on the trail, often painting wealth as the root cause of problems instead of pointing to the fact it's really how wealth is amassed and used that matters. They are gobbling up and spending billions too.

Bernie in particular has cultivated an images of mom and pop funding him while he flys coach and rails against the 1%, yet he takes money from Unions, Colleges, Google, Boeing, etc. Nothing wrong with that, but he isn't exactly upfront about it. One can argue being funded by Postal Workers and Colleges is benign, but they aren't paying for the fun of it. The Colleges in particular will have a huge stake, and potential windfall, in a Sanders presidency. Again, I don't see anything wrong with that except that Sanders and his supporters sometimes act like capitalism itself is the problem.

When you say Sanders takes money from Boeing or Google, what exactly do you mean?  Corporations can't make political contributions.

My perception is that Sanders and Warren are demonizing greed.  And that's one of the main things I like about them.

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32 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

When you say Sanders takes money from Boeing or Google, what exactly do you mean?  Corporations can't make political contributions.

My perception is that Sanders and Warren are demonizing greed.  And that's one of the main things I like about them.

Google NETPAC is a way Google employees to make political contributions. They support free and open Internet, cybersecurity issues, employment policies, etc. 

https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/contributors?cid=N00000528&cycle=2020

I assume it's something similar from Boeing, but not sure. What is true is that Bernie has received the most donations from Boeing, 2x as much as Trump.

https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/toprecips.php?id=D000000100&cycle=2020

I'm all about demonizing greed, but IMO, Bernie and Warren in particular blur that distinction. When Warren attacks Bloomberg by saying ""Now some people have figured out it'd be a lot cheaper to spend a few hundred mil just trying to buy the presidency than paying that wealth tax," and sells mugs saying "billionaire tears", I don't know. That just isn't really a fair assessment of Bloomberg in particular when you see his tax policy proposals.

Or when Bernie, who has raised somewhere north of $25B says, "We do not believe that billionaires have the right to buy elections". Come on. Do multi-millionaires who have amassed a $25 billion dollar campaign war chest have the right to buy elections? 

I get that it's better to beat the guy up because he's wealthy, but maybe it would be better to actually compare policies and not pretend to be above it all? They are all playing the game and using real money to do it. Sure, Bloomberg would pay less than what Warren and Sanders are proposing because they aim above their bracket and put the bullseye directly on the uber wealthy (or the "Ultra Millionaire Tax" as Liz calls it), but Bloomberg would pay $1.2 billion more under his tax policy than under the current system and has a broader wealth tax (over $5 million a year) than Warren and Sanders. His policy would still account for $5 trillion in new government revenue over a decade. Seems reasonable.

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2 minutes ago, ericttspikes said:

Google NETPAC is a way Google employees to make political contributions. They support free and open Internet, cybersecurity issues, employment policies, etc. 

https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/contributors?cid=N00000528&cycle=2020

I assume it's from something similar from Boeing, but not sure. What is true is that Bernie has received the most donations from Boeing, 2x as much as Trump.

https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/toprecips.php?id=D000000100&cycle=2020

Donations from employees of Google and Boeing are very different from donations from the corporation itself.

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1 minute ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Donations from employees of Google and Boeing are very different from donations from the corporation itself.

How is it very different? 

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4 minutes ago, ericttspikes said:

How is it very different? 

The interests of the corporations and the interests of employees are rarely completely aligned.  Boeing, for example, has taken some actions in the last few years that are very anti-union.  The corporation would not support a pro-labor candidate like Sanders.  But Boeing employees that are unionized or that want to be unionized would support someone like Bernie.  

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Just now, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

The interests of the corporations and the interests of employees are rarely completely aligned.  Boeing, for example, has taken some actions in the last few years that are very anti-union.  The corporation would not support a pro-labor candidate like Sanders.  But Boeing employees that are unionized or that want to be unionized would support someone like Bernie.  

Couldn't that individual Boeing employee who digs his policy simply go to Bernies web page and donate up to $2800? I honestly don't know since I've not only never contributed anywhere close to the legal individual donation limit to any candidate ever, but I also don't work for a corporation.

I guess still don't really see the distinction since I believe an individual can only donate up to $5K to each PAC, which doesn't seem like that much more than the individual limit. I always thought PACs were simply end runs around the ban on union and corporate donations. 

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