TENS - Taxed Enough Nova Scotians

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theatlanticaparty theatlanticaparty's picture
TENS - Taxed Enough Nova Scotians

We are a non partisan grassroots movement of hard working Nova Scotians looking to make a difference by opposing any tax increase by the current government and working towards keeping more of our hard earned dollars.

Join Us.

http://www.taxedenoughns.com/

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=304033314710

Le T Le T's picture

I bet you are.

Quote:
Just like us government needs to work with what it has and make some hard choices. That is what our MLAs are paid for.

Take an economics class and stop repeating what Steve Harper tells you.

KenS

sheesh.

what about your hard earned dollars the bankers reward themselves freely with?

Unionist

Can't you open accounts in Liechtenstein or the Caymans or something? Your hard-earned dollars should be safe there. Goddam societies - they're always trying to force people to share the wealth...

Caissa

Damn societies create wealth,too. Time to abolish them.

theatlanticaparty theatlanticaparty's picture

Le T wrote:

Take an economics class and stop repeating what Steve Harper tells you.

 

What do you mean? TENS is a response to the fiscal crisis here in Nova Scotia.

Papal Bull

...is this in any way, shape or form connect with the TEA party movement in the US?

 

it seems to have a lot of similar overtones.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I was gonna say.

 

But as usual, His CyberHoliness beat me to it.

Snert Snert's picture

Demand to see Rodney McDonald's REAL Kenyan birth certificate!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And funny how this group just HAPPENS to appear when Nova Scotia elects an NDP government.

There were NEVER fiscal problems with the Liberals or Tories governed Nova Sootia.  And NOTHING they did has anything at all to do with the present situation. 

As Bill Cosby would put it....

 

"Riiiiiigggghhhhhttttttttttt....."

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

You forgot to say that Darrell Hussein Dexter was educated in Indonesian Madrassas!

theatlanticaparty theatlanticaparty's picture

No we are not associatd with the US Tea Parties. This is a spontaneous grassroots movement against the 2% HST hike proposed by the current government (along with PEI NS already has the highest sales tax in the country).

Also we are not anti-NDP or any other party. In fact the current fiscal crisis came about under the previous PC government, however all three parties had their hands in creating the problem.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

How so?

In my opinion, taxevaders such as yourself inevitably ignore the real mastermind behind the HST: Stephen Harper.

You do this because otherwise this man is a taxe murderer, and a hero to your neo-fascist movement. But even he recognizes that governments require revenue, so he expands the most unfair and regressive taxation he can find.

Le T Le T's picture

Quote:

What do you mean? TENS is a response to the fiscal crisis here in Nova Scotia.

 

When politicians or people like yourself present government spending like it's the family credity card they are not telling the truth. When governments talk about "tightening the belt" or other such cliches they are talking about program cuts. Program cuts only effect the people who need the (i.e. not the politicians or people like you) and they force people to pay for services, etc. out of pocket. That means that when a government talks about "shoring up spending" or "strategic debt reduction" what they really mean is that they are going to reduce the amount of government debt by transfering it to personal debt. Credit card companies, banks and payday loan companies do well, people like you can buy a new truck, kitchen, boat or holiday cause you don''t have to pay your fair share of taxes, and the rest of us get more debt and poverty.

 

yarg

Im indifferent about this, 2% won't matter a lot to me, however maybe some of you could get down off of your hobby horses and consider that this 2% at least here in Ontarion will also be applied to essentials such as home utility bills, that would seem to affect everyone and those who can least afford it more so.  Exceptions should have been made for essentials.

Le T Le T's picture

Quote:
Im indifferent about this, 2% won't matter a lot to me, however maybe some of you could get down off of your hobby horses and consider that this 2% at least here in Ontarion will also be applied to essentials such as home utility bills, that would seem to affect everyone and those who can least afford it more so.  Exceptions should have been made for essentials.

 

There should be no sales tax on anything. Income taxes should be progressive. I think that the CCPA published a paper a while ago showing that poor Canadians pay more tax than rich Canadians as expressed as a percentage of income.

KenS

We already have HST, so it already applies to everything. But there is already an exception for home heating.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Income taxes should be progressive.

 

So that the more you earn, the more you pay?

 

Done.

theatlanticaparty theatlanticaparty's picture

Le T wrote:

Quote:

What do you mean? TENS is a response to the fiscal crisis here in Nova Scotia.

When politicians or people like yourself present government spending like it's the family credity card they are not telling the truth. When governments talk about "tightening the belt" or other such cliches they are talking about program cuts. Program cuts only effect the people who need the (i.e. not the politicians or people like you) and they force people to pay for services, etc. out of pocket. That means that when a government talks about "shoring up spending" or "strategic debt reduction" what they really mean is that they are going to reduce the amount of government debt by transfering it to personal debt. Credit card companies, banks and payday loan companies do well, people like you can buy a new truck, kitchen, boat or holiday cause you don''t have to pay your fair share of taxes, and the rest of us get more debt and poverty.

 

Le T, how would you respond to the fiscal crisis in Nova Scotia? Continue to borrow? Would you continue to grow program spending at twice the rate of growth? We already pay more interest on debt that we do for Community Services (social benefits to the disadvantaged).

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Not quite that simple.

 

[url=http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/rich-are-gettin...

 

Quote:

The share of personal income for the richest 5% of Canadians was stable from 1982 to 1992 - they took about 21% of Canada's total income pie.

But between 1992 and 2004, their share grew to 25.3% of the income pie.

That doesn't sound like much, but that's a 4.3% increase in the share of all income earned in Canada, in a statistic that usually doesn't change much.

And it turns out the higher the income scale you go, the more money the richest of Canadians made: More than 90% of the gain in income share among the richest 5% went to the richest 1% of Canadians. Half of that gain went to the richest 0.1%. And remarkably, 20% of the gain went to the richest of the rich, the millionaires sitting in the top 0.01% of Canada's income scale.

Now here's where the dots line up. The Statistics Canada study also looked at the effective tax rates paid by individual Canadians in each income group.

It found that the average effective tax rate declined by about one percentage point for 95% of Canadians between 1992 and 2004.

The average effective tax rate for the top 5% declined by about two percentage points.

But the effective tax rate for the richest of the rich dropped dramatically.

The top 0.01%, the millionaires sitting at the top of the heap, enjoyed an average effective tax rate drop of 11 percentage points.

What the Statistics Canada study tells us is that between 1992 and 2004, Canada's income tax system ceased to be progressive for the richest 5% of taxfilers.

And what about the rest of us? For almost a decade, our provincial and federal governments have been talking tax cuts, but those cuts went into the pockets of the richest of the rich. And that tax break only bolstered the unprecedented growth in the share of income going to Canada's richest.

 

eta: replying to Snert

 

theatlanticaparty theatlanticaparty's picture

Quote:
Im indifferent about this, 2% won't matter a lot to me, however maybe some of you could get down off of your hobby horses and consider that this 2% at least here in Ontarion will also be applied to essentials such as home utility bills, that would seem to affect everyone and those who can least afford it more so.  Exceptions should have been made for essentials.

 

Sales taxes punish the poor and pensioners far more than the rich.

Snert Snert's picture

I wish the article would have told us exactly how this change occurred.  A drop in the top marginal tax rate?  And are they calculating effective tax rate based on taxable income?  Or are they using "economic income" instead?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

And here's the first post from this thread:

 

http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/rich-pay-less-taxes-poor

 

Quote:

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives researched the progressive tax system from 1990 to 2005 and found the top 1 per cent of the income bracket -- Canadians with annual earnings of more than $265,000 -- is paying the least amount of tax.

According to the report, "Eroding Tax Fairness: Tax Incidence in Canada 1990 to 2005," those earning the most saw their taxes fall by four percentage points over the 15-year period to 30.5 per cent.

By contrast, Canadians with an income of $13,523 -- the lowest 10 per cent of family earnings -- were paying 30.7 per cent in federal and provincial taxes, representing an increase of five percentage points.

 

Unfortunately, it seems the links aren't working anymore.

Le T Le T's picture

Quote:
Le T, how would you respond to the fiscal crisis in Nova Scotia? Continue to borrow? Would you continue to grow program spending at twice the rate of growth? We already pay more interest on debt that we do for Community Services (social benefits to the disadvantaged).

Get rich people to pay taxes. Tax coporations like President's Choice, Sobey's, Walmart, Home Depot and others that are trying to destroy the co-ops in many parts of the province.

The debt belongs to the rich people who have not been paying taxes for a long time. There has been a rich owning class in Nova Scotia for a hundred years that has sucked wealth out of the province, destroyed the fisheries and caused most of the poverty in the province. Why would you want the people who have the least shoulder the debt caused by rich people not paying taxes and stealing wealth?

theatlanticaparty theatlanticaparty's picture

I am not necessarily disagreeing with you Le T. But do you have figures showing how much do the 'rich' pay now? And what tax rate would be needed to cover our projected deficit?

theatlanticaparty theatlanticaparty's picture

Event update. Thursday 25th.

Prior to going to Mr. Steele's consultation from 7-9 in Upper Tantallon, we are meeting at the Tim Horton's at 6pm (Hammonds Plains & 103). All are welcome.

Le T Le T's picture

More of a double-double party than a tea party, eh?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Snert wrote:

I wish the article would have told us exactly how this change occurred.  A drop in the top marginal tax rate?  And are they calculating effective tax rate based on taxable income?  Or are they using "economic income" instead?

You wish to nitpick rather than discuss the facts as they apply to this topic, but you're too lazy to look up the report for yourself.

Par for the course.

Snert Snert's picture

A pointless driveby insult from the resident grumbler. 

Par for the course.

Are you paying attention to me in order to make Sven jealous?

NSMark

Tax increases hurt EVERYBODY, espeically consumption taxes.  I'm in Nova Scotia and I know that a tax hike on the HST will hit the working class hard.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Uhm, so taxes were just fine before the NDP was elected? Or you just discovered they're too high this past week? Bunch of losers on the margins ...

NSMark

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Uhm, so taxes were just fine before the NDP was elected? Or you just discovered they're too high this past week? Bunch of losers on the margins ...

 

I think trying to turn this into a partisan bickering match is missing the point completely.  Taxes were too high under the Tories and the Liberals before them.  Taxes have been too high in Nova Scotia for at least as long as I've been alive.  This is one of the reasons why Nova Scotia can't compete with other provinces as its outrageous tax structure detracts business and people from moving and staying here.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Of couse is a "partisan bickering match". That was the point. Or why is the "groups" founder calling himself "theatlanticaparty"? What, the plainly obvious is to be ignored?

Nova Scotia can't compete with other provinces? Which provinces are you competing with and for what? You're playing a non-sensical neo-liberal song so worn and tired and so full of sour notes. You want to blame the tax structure, the thing that pays for roads, hospitals, police, and services for the rewards of the neo-liberal system of which you still haven't had enough. Your statement of purpose ought to read, "Neo-Liberalism, having brought our economy to its knees, having rendered our local businesses bankrupt, having left our children bereft of opportunity, and having sold our natural resources without benefit to us, must be strengthened and imposed until the last breath of the last Nova Scotian with a penny to spend has been had."

Then you will have properly captured your madness and your message. Good luck.

NSMark

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Of couse is a "partisan bickering match". That was the point. Or why is the "groups" founder calling himself "theatlanticaparty"? What, the plainly obvious is to be ignored?

Nova Scotia can't compete with other provinces? Which provinces are you competing with and for what? You're playing a non-sensical neo-liberal song so worn and tired and so full of sour notes. You want to blame the tax structure, the thing that pays for roads, hospitals, police, and services for the rewards of the neo-liberal system of which you still haven't had enough. Your statement of purpose ought to read, "Neo-Liberalism, having brought our economy to its knees, having rendered our local businesses bankrupt, having left our children bereft of opportunity, and having sold our natural resources without benefit to us, must be strengthened and imposed until the last breath of the last Nova Scotian with a penny to spend has been had."

Then you will have properly captured your madness and your message. Good luck.

 

The partisanship I was referring to was that you were implying that this thread started as simply an attack on the NDP, while instead its an attack on all THREE established parties in this province.  As to which provinces we are competing against for business, it's ALL OF THEM!  This isn't to say that I want Nova Scotian to be prosperous at the expense of the rest of the country, but surely, if we had lower business taxes more companies would set up shop in our province instead of elsewhere, creating jobs, raising revenue, and benefitting the province as a whole.

As for your socialist rant at the end, the last time I checked provinces like Alberta had roads, hospitals, etc. while maintaining a MUCH lower tax structure, allowing small, medium, and large businesses to thrive and allowing its citizenry a much higher standard of living.

Unionist

NSMark wrote:

As for your socialist rant at the end, the last time I checked provinces like Alberta had roads, hospitals, etc. while maintaining a MUCH lower tax structure, allowing small, medium, and large businesses to thrive and allowing its citizenry a much higher standard of living.

But I hate businesses. I hate large businesses a lot, medium ones an average amount, and small ones just sort of mildly annoy me. Any tax structure that encourages them to thrive (and, by extension, grow) merely serves to increase my hatred proportionally. And the citizens may have a higher standard of living, but remember: They have to live in Alberta. Did you factor that into your formula?

What I like about tax hikes, on the other hand, is that they take money from rich people and businesses and use the money to provide services and products that the whole community needs, as well as helping to smooth out the inequalities that rich people and businesses thrive (to use your verb) upon. That's when taxes are properly managed, of course.

 

NSMark

Unionist wrote:

NSMark wrote:

As for your socialist rant at the end, the last time I checked provinces like Alberta had roads, hospitals, etc. while maintaining a MUCH lower tax structure, allowing small, medium, and large businesses to thrive and allowing its citizenry a much higher standard of living.

But I hate businesses. I hate large businesses a lot, medium ones an average amount, and small ones just sort of mildly annoy me. Any tax structure that encourages them to thrive (and, by extension, grow) merely serves to increase my hatred proportionally. And the citizens may have a higher standard of living, but remember: They have to live in Alberta. Did you factor that into your formula?

What I like about tax hikes, on the other hand, is that they take money from rich people and businesses and use the money to provide services and products that the whole community needs, as well as helping to smooth out the inequalities that rich people and businesses thrive (to use your verb) upon. That's when taxes are properly managed, of course.

 

A well-thought out and at times humorous (and I mean this as a compliment) response; thanks.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think that everybody should be left to fend for themselves.  Some people truly do need government assistance.  I do, however, feel that some of this burden should be taken off the government and left to private charity instead.

Unionist

NSMark wrote:
Some people truly do need government assistance.  I do, however, feel that some of this burden should be taken off the government and left to private charity instead.

I agree - but only in the case of insolvent corporations and financial institutions.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

NSMark wrote:

 

The partisanship I was referring to was that you were implying that this thread started as simply an attack on the NDP, while instead its an attack on all THREE established parties in this province.  As to which provinces we are competing against for business, it's ALL OF THEM!  This isn't to say that I want Nova Scotian to be prosperous at the expense of the rest of the country, but surely, if we had lower business taxes more companies would set up shop in our province instead of elsewhere, creating jobs, raising revenue, and benefitting the province as a whole.

As for your socialist rant at the end, the last time I checked provinces like Alberta had roads, hospitals, etc. while maintaining a MUCH lower tax structure, allowing small, medium, and large businesses to thrive and allowing its citizenry a much higher standard of living.

Well of course you're attacking all three parties--you want everybody to join you on the margins. DUH!

As for your Ayn Randian philosophy, Alberta is still in Canada and Alberta still collects taxes and royalties, although, compared to Norway, Alberta has a piddling amount to show for the raping of the province. In fact, a true conservative would look at the huge amounts put away by Norway over a relatively short period of time and recognize Alberta as financially imprudent, at best, and probably stupefied by an idiotic ideology that argues you put yourself first by screwing thyself and beggaring thy neighbour while handing all thine wealth to huge corporations that will leave your home a smoldering ruin when they're done. What a bunch of fucking idiots. And that's the road on which you'd put Nova Scotia? Why don't you just leave if you hate the place that much?

But of course, for true examples of the neo-liberalism success story, we have Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. Bet you can't wait for the death squads required to support a system of enforced deprivation.

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

NSMark wrote:

Some people truly do need government assistance.  I do, however, feel that some of this burden should be taken off the government and left to private charity instead.

And what of this burden would you relieve from the government?

They've already given up on feeding the poor - that's why we've needed ever-larger food banks since the 80's.

They've given up on housing the poor, too - thus the need for an inefficient and inhospitable shelter system that must expand every year. No tax money saved  there, unfortunately, but charities certainly get the opportunity to chip in, if that's what's important to you.

NSMark

Frustrated Mess wrote:

NSMark wrote:

 

The partisanship I was referring to was that you were implying that this thread started as simply an attack on the NDP, while instead its an attack on all THREE established parties in this province.  As to which provinces we are competing against for business, it's ALL OF THEM!  This isn't to say that I want Nova Scotian to be prosperous at the expense of the rest of the country, but surely, if we had lower business taxes more companies would set up shop in our province instead of elsewhere, creating jobs, raising revenue, and benefitting the province as a whole.

As for your socialist rant at the end, the last time I checked provinces like Alberta had roads, hospitals, etc. while maintaining a MUCH lower tax structure, allowing small, medium, and large businesses to thrive and allowing its citizenry a much higher standard of living.

Well of course you're attacking all three parties--you want everybody to join you on the margins. DUH!

As for your Ayn Randian philosophy, Alberta is still in Canada and Alberta still collects taxes and royalties, although, compared to Norway, Alberta has a piddling amount to show for the raping of the province. In fact, a true conservative would look at the huge amounts put away by Norway over a relatively short period of time and recognize Alberta as financially imprudent, at best, and probably stupefied by an idiotic ideology that argues you put yourself first by screwing thyself and beggaring thy neighbour while handing all thine wealth to huge corporations that will leave your home a smoldering ruin when they're done. What a bunch of fucking idiots. And that's the road on which you'd put Nova Scotia? Why don't you just leave if you hate the place that much?

But of course, for true examples of the neo-liberalism success story, we have Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. Bet you can't wait for the death squads required to support a system of enforced deprivation.

 

 

I don't hate Nova Scotia, I LOVE it.  That's the reason why I'm so passionate about this.  It could be SO much better here.  We've been sucking on the government's teat almost since Confederation, coming to them year after year with cap in hand.  Wouldn't it be nice to be self-sufficient for a change?  And NO, Alberta certianly isn't perfect, and YES, they got lucky with oil.  Actually, the current government there has done a pretty bad job managing the province's finances and that's why you will see the Wildrose Alliance Party form the next goverment there.  See, Albertans are true fiscal conservatives and I just wish that more Nova Scotians would see that that is the way to prosperity.

 

Mark

 

PS Not going to comment on your ramblings about death squads except to say that this is Canada so that kind of talk is irrelevant here.

NSMark

Unionist wrote:

NSMark wrote:
Some people truly do need government assistance.  I do, however, feel that some of this burden should be taken off the government and left to private charity instead.

I agree - but only in the case of insolvent corporations and financial institutions.

 

Hmm, I'll admit that I think that one went right over my head.

NSMark

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

NSMark wrote:

Some people truly do need government assistance.  I do, however, feel that some of this burden should be taken off the government and left to private charity instead.

And what of this burden would you relieve from the government?

They've already given up on feeding the poor - that's why we've needed ever-larger food banks since the 80's.

They've given up on housing the poor, too - thus the need for an inefficient and inhospitable shelter system that must expand every year. No tax money saved  there, unfortunately, but charities certainly get the opportunity to chip in, if that's what's important to you.

 

Fair question.  I suppose it varies from province to province, city to city, but where I live, Halifax, there are thousands receiving relatively large cheques from the goverment every month and they don't have to work a single day for the rest of their lives.  Which brings up another point, I suppose:  Shouldn't goverments be concentrating more on getting people OFF welfare and into the workforce rather than having them stay on welfare and living in substandard conditions?

Slumberjack

Some definite hall of fame material in this thread. Laughing

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

If you can't be bothered to answer a 'fair question', you can save yourself the bother of typing out a paragraph of sophistry. It won't distract us from the fact that you can't answer a fair and simple question.

NSMark

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

If you can't be bothered to answer a 'fair question', you can save yourself the bother of typing out a paragraph of sophistry. It won't distract us from the fact that you can't answer a fair and simple question.

I did answer it; just not in the way that you wanted me to.  I'll be more specific now: 

 

The burden can be reduced by increasing the eligibility requirements for government assistance and reducing the amount of money given out in social assistance in absolute dollars.  Better?

Unionist

NSMark wrote:

Unionist wrote:

NSMark wrote:
Some people truly do need government assistance.  I do, however, feel that some of this burden should be taken off the government and left to private charity instead.

I agree - but only in the case of insolvent corporations and financial institutions.

 

Hmm, I'll admit that I think ...

No admission required - there was no accusation.

 

NSMark

Unionist wrote:

NSMark wrote:

Unionist wrote:

NSMark wrote:
Some people truly do need government assistance.  I do, however, feel that some of this burden should be taken off the government and left to private charity instead.

I agree - but only in the case of insolvent corporations and financial institutions.

 

Hmm, I'll admit that I think ...

No admission required - there was no accusation.

 

fair enough.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

NSMark wrote:

I did answer it; just not in the way that you wanted me to.  I'll be more specific now: 

The burden can be reduced by increasing the eligibility requirements for government assistance and reducing the amount of money given out in social assistance in absolute dollars.  Better?

No, if I want a calculator answer, I'll punch the numbers myself, thanks.

The question was, who are you going to cut off?

The injured?

The mentally incapacitated?

The too-old-for-retraining, too-young-to-die?

Or the people who are partying 24/7 on your tax dollars?

You might doubt I believe they exist, but I know they do; in your province, and right across the country. I can even tell you how to recognise them - they call themselves Conservatives.

 

 

Sven Sven's picture

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

NSMark wrote:

I did answer it; just not in the way that you wanted me to.  I'll be more specific now: 

The burden can be reduced by increasing the eligibility requirements for government assistance and reducing the amount of money given out in social assistance in absolute dollars.  Better?

No, if I want a calculator answer, I'll punch the numbers myself, thanks.

The question was, who are you going to cut off?

The injured?

The mentally incapacitated?

The too-old-for-retraining, too-young-to-die?

Or the people who are partying 24/7 on your tax dollars?

You might doubt I believe they exist, but I know they do; in your province, and right across the country. I can even tell you how to recognise them - they call themselves Conservatives.

The truly poor, the disabled, etc. deserve significant support.  I'd focus cuts on the bloated middle class entitlements.  That's where the real spending horrors lie.

al-Qa'bong

Oh boy. Some threads just write themselves, eh unionist?

 

Quote:

PS Not going to comment on your ramblings about death squads except to say that this is Canada so that kind of talk is irrelevant here.

 

Tell that to Nick Nargan, Julian Gryshko and Peter Markunas. Oh wait...

 

You lefties ought to cut these Nova Scotians some credit. They're picking themselves up from their culture of defeat and learning to be like Albertans. Look what Alberta's tax structure has done - it created oil. Take that you commies.

 

NSMark

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

NSMark wrote:

I did answer it; just not in the way that you wanted me to.  I'll be more specific now: 

The burden can be reduced by increasing the eligibility requirements for government assistance and reducing the amount of money given out in social assistance in absolute dollars.  Better?

No, if I want a calculator answer, I'll punch the numbers myself, thanks.

The question was, who are you going to cut off?

The injured?

The mentally incapacitated?

The too-old-for-retraining, too-young-to-die?

Or the people who are partying 24/7 on your tax dollars?

You might doubt I believe they exist, but I know they do; in your province, and right across the country. I can even tell you how to recognise them - they call themselves Conservatives.

 

Not in the mood to engage in pointless partisan arguing, especially since I don't belong to any political party.  Cut off the funding to the able-bodied who are claiming mental illness as an excuse not to work, and then heading out to the bars to play the VLTs and drink their beer.  That would be a start.

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