As I read through this thread, I keep remembering Obama's biblical echo: "I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper." What seems to most infuriate conservatives is the idea that we might just owe something--and I'm talking a broader moral, not strictly financial obligation--to anyone outside our immediate clans. That our futures are inextricably interwoven with those of others, and that leaving people to fend _entirely_ for themselves results in a less just, less democratic, and consequently less free society.Despite the strident protests of some on this board, it's possible to promote both private initiative and public good. Worldwide, a number of advanced, social-democratic nations do this quite successfully. But given the extraordinary degree of wealth disparity in the U.S., there are entrenched interests that go Chicken Little at every modest attempt to provide a minimum social safety net. I am more than happy to see my FICA taxes go to help current and future retirees. Some day, we will learn to make the modest adjustments--e.g., raising the contribution cap for taxes--that will quickly and easily restore longer-term program solvency. To reach that point, we need to move past our jaded "Citizens United" climate, in which corporate monoliths overwhelm the interests of individual citizens, most of whom understand the cultural value of basic common protections.A good evening to all!Steve
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