Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, was on the KIT Morning News on Tuesday and he sparked a lot of Facebook chatter. The "left-right" division was in full force in the exchanges, but one guy took the opportunity to, what do you call it, vet me?

Not everybody who comes here sees the traffic and the reader exchanges that occur on our Facebook page.  Since I put some time into answering each and every question (in my experience, that's not something my liberal conversationalist friends bother to do) I thought I would share this one-sided detailed exchange with you.

Basically a liberal gentleman by the name of Nicholas was -- in my opinion -- of the opinion that we wouldn't engage in a conversation on the issues. He asked a number of questions which I answered and then requested he do the same. He didn't. But he seemed pleased that I responded and so he asked some more questions ... a lot more questions. Which once again I answered in an effort to break through his assumptions and stereotypes about conservatives, me and KIT.

How would you have answered him, would you have answered him and does this feel like a conversation or an inquisition? Here it is.

Nicholas, I am happy to address your questions but when I wrote "your turn" the expectation was that YOU would answer some questions or address the same questions you asked me as well.  Like at two way exchange - give & take?  Instead, you present another bank of I'm wondering, does my answering your questions constitute a "full conversation" in your mind? I feel a little like an alien at area 51 being probed for discovery of my true nature!  But here goes.  His questions are in BOLD.

Do individuals have an obligation to ensure that those who come after them inherit a society that is as good or better than the one they themselves inherited, be it the level of our nation's debt, the environment, or income inequality? ****Better as determined by whom?  "good or better" is a subjective value judgement. Your good may not be my good.  Conceptually, yes, we should try to make every reasonable effort to leave the world a "better" place...I don't know that that includes "income inequality"   Also, the words "reasonable effort" are certainly open to interpretation ...another place where we may disagree.

Can you explain your Obama reference, given no senior administration official was ever found to have acted inappropriately despite multiple Republican-led hearings on these various cases?   ***I'm not sure which Obama reference you are referring to...the Obama reference I made was a comparative to Trump administration spending vs  Obama spending.  "Barack Obama: Added $8.588 trillion, a 74% increase from the $11.657 trillion debt at the end of Bush’s last budget, FY 2009."   That having been said, I guess I would beg to differ over your assessment of the Obama administration behavior.  No "findings" don't mean no bad behavior - Lois Lerner at IRS, Hillary Clinton as Sec. of State, Eric Holder & Loretta Lynch at Justice to name a few.  Bad behavior is not a partisan consideration...ALL administrations have bad actors, some worse than others and ALL are bad and ALL need to go.

Do you believe these actions were equivalent to the resignations for cause and convictions of various cabinet-level Trump officials? ****here's what I know....

"The five Cabinet secretaries who have left the Trump administration under clouds of alleged corruption are former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta.

Price was the first - he was using government funds to pay for private charter jets and misusing military planes for personal travel. He lasted only 231 days in office before Trump demanded his resignation in September 2017. An inspector general report found that Price had wasted $341,000 on private and military jets in contravention of government travel rules.

The next ethically challenged Cabinet official to depart was Shulkin, the Veterans Affairs secretary. Like Price, Shulkin violated government travel rules by lying about a European work trip that was actually a shopping and sightseeing adventure for him and his wife. An inspector general report found that Shulkin’s chief of staff falsified the purpose of the trip and that the agency improperly paid for the secretary’s wife to travel. It also revealed Shulkin to have improperly accepted tickets to Wimbledon and directed a staffer to essentially act as his concierge for the personal trip. Shulkin was dismissed by Trump in March 2018.

Pruitt was pushed out of the administration in July 2018 after 18 separate investigations were opened into his corruption and waste of government resources. There was the reduced priced townhouse room rental he received from a lobbyist connected to the oil and gas industry. He also spent excessively on first-class air travel, wasted money on luxury hotels and fancy restaurants, sought his own private jet and pressured aides to find his wife a lucrative job, among many other things.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned amid 20 investigations into alleged misconduct. Zinke misused government funds for travel. He also flew from Las Vegas to his home state of Montana in a chartered jet owned by an oil company and engaged in shady real estate deals in his hometown of Whitefish.​

Acosta came under fire for what he did in his past position as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida during the George W. Bush administration. In that role, he is accused of granting a sweetheart deal to Jeffery Epstein. The hedge fund manager was allowed to plead guilty in 2008 to one count of soliciting a minor for prostitution instead of the far more numerous, far more serious charges in a 53-page federal indictment prepared against him.
If you were upset about the conduct of the Obama administration, why aren't you equally upset with the actions of the Trump administration. **** Why do you presume to know what I am or am not upset about?  Are you stereotyping?  :-)  So your question is -- am I as concerned about the self serving nickle-dime Trump abusers as I am about the Obama era big spenders?  No, Trump's people acted poorly and deserved to go but Obama's administration actors were worse - and at least Trump took action to kick his people out.
 Have we forgotten?
  • Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner lived RENT-FREE in a JPMorgan top executive’s $3.5 million townhouse while overseeing the TARP bailout. JPMorgan ended up receiving $25 billion in federal rescue funds.
  • A pair of Department of Veterans Affairs officials defrauded the VA for $400,000, and the Justice Department declined to press criminal charges. Not only did the two women stay on the VA payroll, they weren’t even demoted.
  • U.S. Administrator of General Services Martha Johnson green-lighted an $823,000General Services Administration training conference in Las Vegas that included a clown, a mind reader, a $31,208 reception, and more than $8,000 in yearbooks to commemorate the conference.
  • Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requested nearly $200 million of luxury private jets to allow Democrat lawmakers and high-level bureaucrats to travel in style. Perhaps she was trying to keep up with defense secretary Leon Panetta, who took an Air Force C-37 from Washington to his home in California for the weekends, costing taxpayers $860,000.
  • The EPA’s then-highest paid employee and con artist John Beale defrauded taxpayers of $1 million pretending to be a CIA agent for 12 years. He also developed the EPA’s “secret science” strategy, which Pruitt is fighting to eliminate in the name of transparency.
  • Obama-era EPA administrators spent $961,856 on international travel, almost 8 times more than current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy alone spent approximately $630,000 on international travel and security from 2013-2016.
  • From 2005-2015, the EPA spent $92.4 million to purchase, rent, install, and store high-end office furniture. This included an $800 pencil drawer, a $4,000 chair, and more than $73,000 to move existing furniture to replace the carpet in a Michigan office.
  • The EPA spent 35.2 percent more on contracts during the first six years of the Obama administration than in the Bush administration, an increase of $2.5 billion.
  • The EPA spent more than $141 million in salaries and $1.5 million in bonuses for in-house public relations staff from 2007-2015. The agency awarded itself $144 million in performance bonuses during that same time, and expensed $24,000 for trophies to give themselves during agency ceremonies in 2012 and 2013.

So with that refresher, now what do you think?

Do you believe in Keynesian economics, that in time of deep recession deficit spending is required to stabilize and grow the economy?  Do you believe that the GOP tax cut was justified given the level of our national debt, strong economy, and extreme level of income inequality?  ****This article doesn't open for me...  but I am not an expert in economics.  I have poked around on line and found --

       "Keynes’s second major legacy is the notion that governments can and should prevent depressions. Widespread acceptance of this view can be seen in the difference between the strong policy response to the collapse of 2008-2009 and the passive reaction to the Great Depression of 1929-1932. As the Nobel laureate Robert Lucas, an opponent of Keynes, admitted in 2008: “I guess everyone is a Keynesian in a foxhole.”

Having said this, Keynes’s theory of “underemployment” equilibrium is no longer accepted by most economists and policymakers. The global financial crisis of 2008 bears this out. The collapse discredited the more extreme version of the optimally self-adjusting economy; but it did not restore the prestige of the Keynesian approach.

To be sure, Keynesian measures halted the global economy’s downward slide. But they also saddled governments with large deficits, which soon came to be viewed as an obstacle to recovery – the opposite of what Keynes taught. With unemployment still high, governments returned to pre-Keynesian orthodoxy, cutting spending to reduce their deficits – and undercutting economic recovery in the process."

AND THIS - "There is good reason, then, to study Keynesian theory: It helps us understand what the policymakers in government are likely to do in any given circumstance. But to understand the actual effects of their demand-management policies in the long run as well as the short, we need a more enlightening theory—one that recognizes what market forces can do on their own to maintain macroeconomic stability and how those forces are foiled by government-supplied stabilization."

Are you impressed that the level of deficit spending decreased in each year of the Obama administration? ****Forbes says that's not exactly true … by half?
"The first thing you notice when looking at the federal deficits from fiscal 2007 (the U.S. government fiscal year ends in September) is that it increased by almost $1 trillion from fiscal 2008 (two months before Obama was elected and four months before he was sworn in) to fiscal 2009. It remained over $1 trillion per year for four years 
and got below Bush’s last years deficit in fiscal 2015. It continued to decrease until Obama’s last year and has increased in Trump’s first year in office.
  • Fiscal 2007: $161 billion (next to last year of Bush’s second term)
  • Fiscal 2008: $459 billion (beginning impact from the Great Recession)
  • Fiscal 2009: $1.4 trillion (Obama���s first year and in the teeth of the Recession)
  • Fiscal 2010: $1.3 trillion
  • Fiscal 2011: $1.3 trillion
  • Fiscal 2012: $1.1 trillion
  • Fiscal 2013: $680 billion
  • Fiscal 2014: $485 billion
  • Fiscal 2015: $438 billion
  • Fiscal 2016: $587 billion
  • Fiscal 2017: $666 billion (Trump’s first year of his Presidency)
  • The president can reduce the deficit by spending only the collected revenue instead of issuing new Treasury debts. As a result, looking at debt by president provides a better gauge of government spending than deficit by the president.

For example, President Barack Obama added $8.6 trillion to the debt. But his total budget deficits totaled $6.8 trillion.

Similarly, President George W. Bush's stated budget deficits totaled $3.3 trillion. But he added $5.8 trillion to the debt.​   "The long term forecasts for the deficit illustrates this point. Absent substantial reform, the Congressional Budget Office expects a few more years of short-term deficit decreases followed by bigger shortfalls in 10 and 20 years..... Between 2019 and 2022, the deficit is set to rise from 2.8 percent of GDP to 3.7 percent of GDP. It is not projected to fall below 3.4 percent through 2025.   We should also note that the picture on the debt is not as rosy as it is for the deficit. When Obama took office, the debt held by the public stood at $6.3 trillion. Since then, it has more than doubled to $13.6 trillion.
Do you believe that lying to the American public is an impeachable offense?***it depends on what the lie was about...some lies are minor, some are mistakes, others told with intent to deceive and mislead on important topics are a serious matter.
Were you upset that Clinton avoided the draft and service in Vietnam?****Not particularly, he seemed like a lying weasel from the beginning of his national appearance and that was just part of the package...a lot of characters both good & bad side stepped the war.
Did his reputation for womanizing bother you? ***his womanizing is between he and his wife. However committing sexual assault while in office and lying to America about it bothered me.  His disrespect for the oval office bothered me, he and his wife's efforts to destroy his accusers bothers me, the conjuring up of the imaginary "vast right wing conspiracy" bothers me, his use of our military to create a distraction bothers me, his willingness to divided the country to cover his tracks bothers me, his arrogance and hypocrisy bother me and the fact that he and his wife continue to avoid justice bothers me.
Did his questionable financial dealings perturb you? ***yes, but like I said, he seemed to be a lying weasel and it was all part of the package of  "slick willie" America's first black president.
Do you question the legitimacy of the nonprofit he established?***absolutely
What exactly did you find great about the Reagan years? ***patriotism, economy, confronting the soviet union, the sense that we were going to be OK, the idea that we may disagree but we are Americans and on the same team....
I understand that US spending on the military greatly increased during this period, contributing to the demise of the Soviet Union, but were you concerned about the Iran-Contra scandal? ***sure, it was wrong to develop and allow a mindset that it would be ok to do the wrong things for the right reasons
Clearly the economy did eventually improve under President Reagan (, but were you concerned about the significant increase in the national debt that occurred during these years? ***Sure,Increasing debt should concern us all but so should our need for security...the question is what do we get for the money spent.  If we give 535 million to Solyndra and all we get is a bankruptcy, then that's not such a good deal is it.
Do you believe supply-side economics works as advertised, lifting all boats?      ***I'm not an economist but I imagine there are flaws in all the various economic theories.  If there was a perfect system we would have found it by now.  Ask yourself, what system has done the most good for the most people in the history of modern man?  And I imagine it also depends on how you feel about the strengths and weaknesses of the various systems-- free markets vs regulated markets...for example:
A regulated economy provides the following advantages:
  • It looks out for the safety of consumers.
  • It protects the safety and health of the general public as well as the environment.
  • It looks after the stability of the economy.
 The disadvantages to regulation:
  • It creates a huge government bureaucracy that stifles growth.
  • It can create huge monopolies that cause consumers to pay more.
  • It squashes innovation by over-regulating.
Regarding the 1950s, did Joseph McCarthy's Red Scare or the Jim Crow laws and lynchings in the South negate any of this greatness? ***They are some of the worst black marks on our great history, but they don't define us, we experienced it, learned from it and have since moved on (well, some of us have) ...we aren't perfect but we try to me more perfect than we are or have been.  America was great with some significant blind spots and problems.  There is a difference between great and perfect.  Some great people were created out of those times as were some race baiters and race hustlers --  again, some good,some bad, none perfect.
Did the homophobia and misogyny of the era limit the greatness experienced by many Americans? ***comparatively no.  Was it better to live as a gay person in America in the 1950 than where else? The UK, Australia, the Middle East, Asia?  You seem to want to suggest that homophobia and misogyny of the era were unique to America which is far from the truth.  I'm sure it was difficult for all the "protected classes" at one time or another--that's why they are protected now, which would seem to help make a case for America's ultimate greatness?
I'm not saying America wasn't great then, just that we always are less than perfect (I personally believe that America has always been great, if imperfect).

Regarding paying a higher wage to get enough laborers to pick their fruit, I agree that is what should occur in a capitalist system (i.e. supply and demand), but do you believe most farmers agree that is what they will need to do if the number of immigrants significantly decreases? ****I suspect major efforts to intensify and overhaul of our guest workers programs.   I grew up in agriculture, I understand costs of production but AG benefits disproportionally to the rest of us on the total cost/benefit of the presence of an illegal workforce.
Do you believe that, if the US government wants to decrease the current level of illegal immigration, they should focus on the employer (who controls the hiring process) instead of the employees (who often have little to lose)? ***Absolutely. National E-Verify and sanctions of some kind is a fair place to start.
What do you think of the documented cases of widespread hiring of illegal immigrants by the Trump organization?   ***it shows how common and pervasive the problem is and how any steps taken in prevention or enforcement so far are worthless and toothless
I appreciate your willingness to engage in this conversation and I look forward to your response. ***so what's your takeaway from this exercise?
So there it is... what do YOU think?

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