God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Ask the Candidates

posted by gp_intern

In the 2004 presidential campaign, solutions to the persistent poverty in our country and around the world were almost never discussed. But this year, we have a chance to change that. On Monday, June 4, the leading Democratic presidential contenders – Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama – will join us at Pentecost 2007: Taking the Vision to the Streets for the first-ever presidential candidates forum to focus exclusively on faith, values, and poverty.

I want your input about what questions we should ask the candidates. What concerns do you have about the future of our nation, and the least of these in our midst? How has poverty touched your family or your community? How will your faith impact how you vote in 2008?

This is our opportunity to raise these questions in the presidential campaign, first with Democratic candidates and later this year with the Republicans. We will issue a prophetic challenge to put poverty near the top of the political agenda, asking the candidates to present the nation with their plans for dramatic poverty reduction both at home and globally.

Before I decide how to vote in 2008, I want to know what the candidates plan to do for 13 million children living in poverty, 47 million Americans with no health insurance, and 3 billion people around the world who live on under $2 a day. Behind those numbers are human faces and moral tragedies – stories of working families desperately trying to make ends meet, immigrant families being torn apart, and children all over the world going to bed hungry.

I want presidential candidates to hear those stories and commit to making a difference in the lives of poor people in the United States and around the globe. And I want to know how they’re going to pay for it, given a ballooning military budget and a disastrous war in Iraq with no end in sight.If you have a question you’d like to ask the candidates, please click here to share it with us . We’ll be asking our online supporters to vote for their favorite questions before the forum, and asking the winning questions live at Pentecost 2007.

I’m looking forward to hearing your questions – and their answers.



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kevin s.

posted May 10, 2007 at 10:56 pm


John Edwards recently said he would look into allegations that Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance. I’d be interested to know what he found out.



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jesse

posted May 11, 2007 at 3:21 pm


“Are you aware of any government program that has led to significant reductions in poverty over the last four decades?”



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Jeff

posted May 11, 2007 at 3:44 pm


Newt’s Welfare Reform.



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God's Politics Moderator

posted May 11, 2007 at 8:19 pm


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct: http://www.beliefnet.com/about/rules.asp which includes: Courtesy and Respect: You agree that you will be courteous to every Beliefnet member, even those whose beliefs you think are false or objectionable. When debating, express your opinion about a person’s ideas, not about them personally. You agree not to make negative personal remarks about other Beliefnet members. You agree not to engage in derogatory name-calling, including calling anyone evil, a liar, Satanic, demonic, antichrist, a Nazi, or other inflammatory comparisons. Disruptive behavior: You agree not to disrupt or interfere with discussions, forums, or other community functions. Disruptive behavior may include creating a disproportionate number of posts or discussions to disrupt conversation; creating off-topic posts; making statements that are deliberately inflammatory; expanding a disagreement from one discussion to another; or any behavior that interferes with conversations or inhibits the ability of others to use and enjoy this website for its intended purposes. Vulgarity: You agree not to display words, information, or images that are vulgar, obscene, graphically violent, graphically sexual, harm minors in any way, exploit images of children, or are otherwise objectionable. Copying Content: Beliefnet discussions are intended for interactive conversation; members are encouraged to express their own ideas in their own words, not to parrot the words of others. You agree not to create posts that consist substantially of material copied from another source. Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to: community@staff.beliefnet.com



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ron

posted May 11, 2007 at 10:20 pm


No Republican candidates?



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Joy

posted May 11, 2007 at 10:52 pm


My first question is for sojourners/Call to Renewal? Were all candidates invited or just the “top tier”? New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is the best candidate from either party and everyone seems to be doing their best to ignore him. He deserves a fair chance which I don’t think he’s getting. As to the three candidates who are coming JOhn Edwards needs to be taken to task big time for talking about the two America’s- one rich, the other poor while building a 29,000 suare foot home for himself and his family and the $500.00 haircuts. when the haircuts were brought up at the MSNBC debates he became defensive and implied it was perfectly alright for him to live a privileged lifestyle. I doubt such an attitude will play well with struggling middle class families and certainly not with low income families.



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Doug

posted May 12, 2007 at 12:53 am


Have any liberals ever thought that just maybe those 47 million people without health insurance are an inflated number? Of course not because it does not fit the liberal template. I know for a fact that most of those people who are uninsured do so by choice and not all choose not to have health insurance because they can not afford it. To have Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Obama at any function which has morality involved in it is a farce. These three people are probally the most immoral people running for office. Before you libs get your panties in a wad over what I just wrote remember the you shall a know a person by there fruits. Instead of relying on the news media to tell you the truth about these three do some research on your own. You will find out much the news media has not told us about those three. Please do not even bring up right wing propaganda. If it is true it can not be propaganda. As christians we have an obligation to find out the truth even if it is what you don’t want to hear. Those three support policies that are an abomination to our God. Forget poverty, we can disagree on that all night long. How can a man who claims to be a christian as Jim Wallis does even bring these three to any forum he is sponsering is beyond me. How can any christian even attend this forum is beyond me. Please libs when you answer I do not want to hear how evil or how many lies George Bush as told. None if it has proven to be true and all the libs heroes have said the same things he has said. So if you implicate him you must implicate all your heroes in the democratic party as well. I just want to know how you can support people who support policies that are an abomination to God. In your responses please use the bible as your guide. We must use that as our guide in everything we do. If we don’t we are wasting our time. Feel free to site the bible for all your other liberal ideas as well.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 12, 2007 at 1:10 am


Doug, “I know for a fact that most of those people who are uninsured do so by choice” Before I go chasing off to do your homework for you, cite your source.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 12, 2007 at 1:29 am


Okay, I’m back. I searched the medical literature (i.e., peer-reviewed) for “unisured” and “united states.” Here is a sample of what I found:Foreign-born adults in Los Angeles County, California, constituted 45 percent of the county’s population ages 18-64 but accounted for 33 percent of health spending in 2000. Similarly, the undocumented constituted 12 percent of the nonelderly adult population but accounted for only 6 percent of spending. Extrapolating to the nation, total spending by the undocumented is 6.4 billion dollars , of which only 17 percent (1.1 billion dollars) is paid for by public sources. The foreign-born (especially the undocumented) use disproportionately fewer medical services and contribute less to health care costs in relation to their population share, likely because of their better relative health and lack of health insurance. Gold man, D. P., Smith, J. P., Sood, N. (2006). Immigrants and the cost of medical care. Health Affairs, 25(6), 1700-1711.The proportion of Americans with difficulty affording health care varies by income and health insurance coverage. Overall, 16.9% of Americans report at least 1 financial barrier. Among those with private insurance, the poor (28.4%), near poor (24.3%), and those with functional impairments (22.9%) were more likely to report avoiding care due to cost. In multivariate models, the uninsured are more likely (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.7 to 3.0) to have trouble paying for care. Independent of insurance coverage and other demographic characteristics, the poor (OR, 3.6; 95% CI, 2.1 to 4.6), near poor (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.9 to 3.7), and middle-income (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.5) respondents as well as those with functional impairments (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.0) are significantly more likely to avoid care due to cost. CONCLUSIONS: Privately and publicly insured individuals who have low incomes or functional impairments encounter significant financial barriers to care despite having health insurance. Proposals to expand health insurance will need to address these barriers in order to be effective. Weinick, R. M., Byron, S. C., Bierman, A. S., (2005). Who can t pay for health care? Journal of General Internal Medicine, 20(6), 504-509. From the CDC that is, your Federal Government:Overall, approximately 17% (41 million) of persons aged



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neuro_nurse

posted May 12, 2007 at 1:31 am


That one got cut off:Overall, approximately 17% (41 million) of persons aged



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neuro_nurse

posted May 12, 2007 at 1:31 am


Overall, approximately 17% (41 million) of persons aged



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neuro_nurse

posted May 12, 2007 at 1:32 am


I don’t know why this keeps getting cut off. Let’s try the URL alone: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5549a5.htm



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Canucklehead

posted May 12, 2007 at 2:12 am


“Obama, Hilary, Edwards…These three people are probally the most immoral people running for office.” Doug | 05.11.07 – 6:58 pm | Thx for the laugh, Doug, I needed that. So now there are levels of immorality? Where would Guliani fit in that nice little level structure you got going there? Will there be levels of immorality at the pearly gates? If so, will there be levels of morality, too – you know like Amway has their Diamond level, Pearl level, Pork Sausage Level, Horse—- level. Which level do you think will ring the bell for you? How about Newt “3 or 4 at a time” Gingrich? Maybe you ought to read the very Bible you advocate as having the answers for, ahem, “…everything we do” in this regard.



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Mike Clawson

posted May 12, 2007 at 2:13 am


I’d like to hear where the candidates stand on Fair Trade (not just “Free Trade”).My impression is that on this issue the Democrats are really no better than the Republicans. They’re all beholden to their corporate masters. Wasn’t it Clinton who gave us the oh-so-wonderful NAFTA?



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Don

posted May 12, 2007 at 3:05 am


Doug: Before you skewer me as a liberal, I am a Republican and do not consider myself a liberal. But you have vilified Barak Obama, Hilary Clinton, and John Edwards without even naming their sins. What evidence do you have to demonstrate their immorality? And how Christian is it to impugn others’ character without cause or reason? If you have cause or reason, give it to us. But be careful what you say, because these kinds of accusations have a way of returning to the accuser. It seems to me that Hilary, far from being immoral, has demonstrated considerable moral courage, considering her husband’s moral indiscretions. And, as Canucklehead points out, some at least of the Republican candidates are not exactly paragons of virtue. You say that these three support unmentioned policies that are an abomination before God. Well I think George W. Bush led us into a war that is an abomination before God. Before you ask the Democratic supporters here how they can support candidates that advocate such “abominations,” ask yourself how you can continue to support a president who is responsible for this Iraq abomination. Further, specifically what policies are you speaking of, anyway? I don’t know whether I could vote for Hilary, John, or Barak–it’s far too early to tell. But I won’t sit here and read your libelous nonsense without at least commenting on it. Peace,



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Gail

posted May 12, 2007 at 5:14 am


I say invite Bill Richardson as well, as he has experience and is gaining momentum. Many of us are leaning his way after we hear what he has to say.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 5:33 am


Hey Doug, there are really good medications for your psychotic condition. If Edwards, Obama or Hilary get elected, maybe just maybe you’ll qualify for a program that will give you the meds you so badly need. Then maybe you and Donny can visit the same support group.



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squeaky

posted May 12, 2007 at 8:39 am


Doug brings up health care. Neuro-nurse, you are probably the most qualified to comment on this point, given you work in the medical profession. I was listening to an interview on Science Friday today about the new health care mandate Massachusetts is beginning to implement. One of the points made by one of those in the discussion is that what typically happens is that people who can’t afford health care do very little pre-emptive health care, such as regular check-ups or going to the doctor when they feel ill. What happens then, is if they have a serious condition, it is not caught until it is much more difficult to treat, thus costing the health care system far more than it would have otherwise. Who pays for that? We do. So, the point the commenter was making, was that it will be less expensive in the long run if everyone were covered because then people would go to the doctor before problems got out of hand. Preventive medicine is always less expensive. Doug–please respond to Don’s many good questions. I really would like to know what makes Obama, Clinton, and Edwards such immoral candidates, and what makes all the Republicans so moral. We know them by their fruits–what are those fruits? It’s ironic, you throwing so many stones at Democrats when this past year has seen a fresh Republican scandal crop out on nearly a daily basis. Clearly, it’s a grand “left wing conspiracy…”



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Jonathan

posted May 12, 2007 at 9:10 am


I would ask this: “If the Republicans regain a majority in Congress, exactly what steps will you take to get enough of them on board to pass significant anti-poverty legislation.” And to Doug – I have done significant research on Obama. And while we all have sin in our lives, I have found him to be on of the more honest, passionately committed, and moral candidates to have run for the presidency in my lifetime. http://galatians210.blogspot.com/2007/03/barack-obama.html



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Carl Copas

posted May 12, 2007 at 5:39 pm


Doug filling in for Donny today?



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Don

posted May 13, 2007 at 2:19 pm


Jonathan, thank you for your extensive research on Barak Obama. I will definitely look through it in detail as soon as I can. I’m impressed not only with the content, but your work also appears to be an excellent model for Web researchers. Thanks!



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wayne

posted May 13, 2007 at 3:14 pm


Speaking of psych meds I would like to know where the candidates stand on improving coverage for mental health. Our great state of AZ has consistently been ranked at the bottom or near the bottom for as long as I can remember. At one time we actually came in 51st, meaning you could get better mental health care in Puerto Rico.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 13, 2007 at 5:43 pm


people who can’t afford health care do very little pre-emptive health care, such as regular check-ups or going to the doctor when they feel ill. What happens then, is if they have a serious condition, it is not caught until it is much more difficult to treat, thus costing the health care system far more than it would have otherwise. Who pays for that? squeaky | 05.12.07 – 2:44 am Thanks squeaky. I won t go so far as to say, I know for a fact, but from what I ve seen, you are correct. I started my career as a nurse in a county hospital (Harborview, for you Seattleites), and also worked at the county hospital in Memphis, both of which provide care for the indigent and underinsured in those communities. People who cannot afford primary care and preventative medicine tend to present in later stages of disease, and often all we can do is provide palliative care. The underinsured also tend to use emergency departments for primary care because they know they can t be turned away for their inability to pay. Who pays? The taxpayers, of course. To anyone who might suggest that we not treat those people based on their inability to pay, I suggest you do a little research on medical ethics.Which brings up another point; I have heard a number of people here complain that they do not want to see their taxes raised to pay for health care for those who cannot afford it. Is this a Christian perspective? It s not about what s right or just, it about what YOU want, or in this case, don t want. As my wife says, your morality determines your theology.I work in New Orleans now, and we have a much more serious problem here. Charity Hospital used to provide care for the indigent in New Orleans, but it has been closed since Katrina (I ve been told by a former Charity physician that it s not because the building was damaged during the flooding I work at a hospital that was damaged much more severely it s because LSU is trying to force the state into funding their new medical campus). Physicians at other hospitals (including the one at which I work) are providing care without being paid for their services. Many patients are being turned away because the docs simply don t have the time and can t afford to work for free. improving coverage for mental health. Our great state of AZ has consistently been ranked at the bottom or near the bottom wayne This is also a serious problem in New Orleans right now. There are a lot of people out there with post-traumatic stress disorder due to Katrina, and next to no mental health services available in or anywhere near the city.I don t feel up to doing a literature search right now, so those are some of my anecdotal observations and opinions. Thanks for asking. Peace!



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squeaky

posted May 13, 2007 at 8:23 pm


Thanks, neuronurse–I think you have important insights on this issue of universal health care. It is a good point that one way or another, we are paying for people’s health care. I suspect very few people make that connection. Politicians who are arguing for some sort of universal health care need to hammer that point home. I’d be interested on your perspective of how to improve our healthcare system–if you advocate for universal health care, what would that look like? I also realize it is a very complex situation with no easy answers… Cheers!



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justintime

posted May 13, 2007 at 9:53 pm


Jesse asks: “Are you aware of any government program that has led to significant reductions in poverty over the last four decades?” Does LBJ’s War on Poverty count for anything? From Wikipedia: In the decade following the 1964 introduction of the war on poverty, poverty rates in the U.S. dropped to 11.1% [from 19%] and have remained between 11 and 15% ever since. Since 1973 poverty has remained well below the historical U.S. averages in the range of 20-25%. Poverty among Americans between ages 18-64 has fallen only marginally since 1966, from 10.5% then to 10.1% today. Poverty has significantly fallen among Americans under 18 years old from 23% in 1964 to 16.3% today. The most dramatic decrease in poverty was among Americans over 65, which fell from 28.5% in 1966 to 10.1% today. In 2004, more than 35.9 million, or 12% of Americans including 12.1 million children, were considered to be living in poverty with an average growth of almost 1 million per year. The OEO was dismantled by President Nixon in 1973, …. .



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neuro_nurse

posted May 13, 2007 at 10:27 pm


I’d be interested on your perspective of how to improve our healthcare system–if you advocate for universal health care, what would that look like? I also realize it is a very complex situation with no easy answers… squeaky I love being a nurse, but frankly, I m just working enough to get me through my master s program so I can get out of this business before I get sued or permanently injured. What is my vision of universal health care? How about if health care was run by health care professionals instead of the insurance companies? Peace!



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justintime

posted May 13, 2007 at 11:07 pm


neuro_nurse nails it! .



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jesse

posted May 14, 2007 at 12:20 am


Justintime, Your numbers leave out the fact that poverty was decreasing at a more rapid rate PRIOR TO LBJ’s war on poverty. If you look at the rates over time, you see no effect of the war on poverty:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Poverty_59_to_05.png These numbers also leave out the fact that many social scientists believe the WOP was responsible for dramatically increasing the illegitimacy rate (which makes poverty worse in the long run). But my question was still more specific…what program(s) have been found to significantly reduce poverty?



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neuro_nurse

posted May 14, 2007 at 12:45 am


jesse | 05.13.07 – 6:25 pmThe problem I see with that graph is that there is no way to tell when the estimates were made. I have seen texts that argue the rates of common childhood illnesses started to decline before the introduction of the vaccine. If one draws a line from a point prior to the initiation of an intervention to a point at some time after the intervention takes effect, it appears as if the effect had begun prior to the initiation of intervention. (“Note: The data points are placed at the midpoints of the respective years”) According to the text of the census document from which that graph was taken, the first estimates of poverty were made in 1959.



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jesse

posted May 14, 2007 at 2:26 am


Neuronurse, I’m sure you can find the actual statistics (rather than graphs) somewhere online, and they likely tell the same story, which is that the war on poverty had little noticeable impact on national poverty rates.Think about it this way, too. If the dramatic increase in social welfare programs led to decreases in poverty, then wouldn’t welfare reform have resulted in dramatic increases? Yet both liberals and conservatives believe that welfare reform was a success.The truth is that the strength of the economy is much more important to reducing poverty than any social welfare programs. Yet you’d never hear Wallis and others ask “what policies can we adopt to increase economic growth?”



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justintime

posted May 14, 2007 at 2:57 am


What economic policies can you think of that will reduce poverty? Or is this the best of all possible worlds and we should just accept it and make the best of things the way they are? And tax cuts for the very wealthy are good because the wealth will trickle down and benefit the poor. Any other bright ideas, Jesse? .



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justintime

posted May 14, 2007 at 3:35 am


From the graph Jesse cites, it looks like poverty started to go down just after the inauguration of John Kennedy. Then there was a steeper decline after Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty was initiated. But then it starts climbing up after the inauguration of Richard Nixon. Clinton’s Welfare Reform was enacted in 1996, after which there was a smaller dip in the poverty statistics until Bush II seized power and pushed poverty statistics back up. The same graph shows economic recessions as blue stripes. Under which administrations did those recessions occur, Jesse? Republican or Democratic?* And which administrations have burdened Americans with the massive debt we are presently living under?** Do you think this could have anything to do with the economic policies of the Greedy Old Party? So much for conservative Republican lose / lose economic policy. Answers: * Republican ** Reagan, Bush II .



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neuro_nurse

posted May 14, 2007 at 3:40 am


jesse, Good point. I’m not hearing a “blame the poor for being poor” attitude from you – which I have heard from a few others who post here. As long as our honest goal is to reduce poverty, then we can work together. I do share justintime’s objection (that’s putting it lightly!) to cutting taxes for the wealthy while cutting social programs as a token effort to pay for the tax cuts. Peace!



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justintime

posted May 14, 2007 at 3:44 am


By the way, Jesse, did you ever come up with an accurate number for Iraqis killed as a result of Bush’s invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation? .



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jesse

posted May 14, 2007 at 3:46 am


Come now, justintime, I thought you and I had a friendly relationship. What’s all this fighting about?



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justintime

posted May 14, 2007 at 5:16 am


Jesse,Yes, I consider you one of my God’s Politics friends. However, in my humble but honest opinion, some of the comments, statements, ideas you post clearly arise from someone’s incomplete understanding of the problem. I think it’s my human responsibility, especially among my friends, to challenge thoughts, ideas and impressions preventing complete awareness. Complete understanding of a problem may never be achieved, but chronic problems are usually the result of an incomplete understanding and a lack of will to correct them. Free market, supply side, trickle down, tax cut economic theory has been around for a long, long time. However brilliant and descriptive this theory may be, it’s just incomplete. Leading economists admit this. Bush I called it “voodoo economics”. There are so many dimensions to the problem of poverty but free market ideology is only one dimensional. We’ve learned that it can’t be universally applied, or carelessly applied, as many of its extremist believers have attempted to do, with disastrous human consequences. Have you seen any real world, practical solutions for a planet in crisis coming out of the free market think tanks lately? If anything, this ideology blocks the implementation of many possible solutions to planetary problems, including, above all, poverty. Don’t take it personally when your ideas are challenged, Jesse. Your friend, .



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squeaky

posted May 14, 2007 at 5:43 am


Neuro-nurse: “What is my vision of universal health care? How about if health care was run by health care professionals instead of the insurance companies?” I would have to agree. Had you asked me how I think the problems of education should be solved, I would have answered similarly: “How about if education was run by education professionals instead of beaurocrats?” Isn’t it odd that those who actually know the most about these things are rarely, if ever, looked to for solutions? I’m sorry you are leaving the profession. From what I gather from your comments here, you were an asset that will be sorely missed. Cheers!



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squeaky

posted May 14, 2007 at 5:53 am


Jesse, “what program(s) have been found to significantly reduce poverty?” I think it is a good question, especially in that we do need to examine what has been done in the past, what has been successful, and what has not been successful. It’s important to do this. In the same way, Justintime’s question to you: ” What economic policies can you think of that will reduce poverty?” is also good. You may think the policies advanced by democratic programs have been unsuccessful, but on the same token, republican policies have made no dent, either. So–the better question would be to look at the policies from both sides, determine what has worked, and what has not, let go of politics and work together to find a real solution.



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kevin s.

posted May 14, 2007 at 5:54 am


“I love being a nurse, but frankly, I m just working enough to get me through my master s program so I can get out of this business before I get sued or permanently injured.” I certainly didn’t expect you to say this. The question of funding health care does raise some interesting questions about who makes the healthcare decisions. If you propose that health care professionals make all decisions, then you are asking our doctors to also become businessmen. There is a certain benefit to having third parties control the funding. Also, for those who support universal healthcare, that term doesn’t focus group well. Just FYI.



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justintime

posted May 14, 2007 at 6:51 am


If you propose that health care professionals make all decisions, then you are asking our doctors to also become businessmen. There is a certain benefit to having third parties control the funding. Yes, we need businessmen to keep the system cost effective. No, we don’t need the doctors to become businessmen. What we really need is for medical professionals to set the goals and overall strategies for getting America healthy again. And the businessmen can take it from there. We don’t need an insurance industry in the system, driving the quality of health care down while driving costs up. The insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry are twin elephants in the system, stalemating any rational solution to America’s health care crisis. The health insurance industry may just have to follow the buggy whip industry into the annals of American history. We have to stop the pharmaceutical industry from gouging America. Also, for those who support universal healthcare, that term doesn’t focus group well. Just FYI. Who sez? Kevin S.? Frank Luntz? Grover Norquist? Rush Limbaugh? .



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TimR

posted May 14, 2007 at 8:38 am


justintime: People are poor because they do not have an adequate amount of wealth. Obviously the cure for poverty is then more wealth. Does it then make more sense to cure poverty by greater redistribution wealth or by creating more wealth? Supply-siders recognize that the later makes far more sense. So, supply-siders promote free market policies that promote growth like tax cuts. Global poverty is about a third of what it was in 1970. Much of this reduction is from the drastic reduction of poverty is Southeast Asia. Is there less poverty because the governments of these Southeast Asian countries became more benevolent and redistributed a larger piece of the economic pie to the poor? Or, is it because these governments have opened their markets to globalization and the pie has gotten a whole lot bigger? If you recognize that it is clearly the later, you see the beauty of supply side economics!



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Don

posted May 14, 2007 at 3:35 pm


How did this become a discussion about healthcare? I thought the purpose of this thread was to pose questions to some of the presidential candidates? And did Doug take a sabbatical, or is he unwilling to answer the questions I posed to him last Friday? Later,



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letjusticerolldown

posted May 14, 2007 at 4:31 pm


Thank you Don. And back to the presidential candidates.



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letjusticerolldown

posted May 14, 2007 at 4:39 pm


Candidate question 1 How would our politics, government, and public life look different if we could ratchet up just one value: Honesty? I can’t even get weather reporting now without socio-political ideological spin. Where do you experience the greatest pressures to twist your words?? Is it in the natural desire to ‘look good;’ or in speaking to audiences where the truth is not welcome, or speaking in contexts where you expect your words will not be treated fairly and will be twisted; or ..?? Follow up Question: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the honesty of your response?



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letjusticerolldown

posted May 14, 2007 at 4:41 pm


Candidate Question 2 Does the government’s role in expressing our common values through laws, bureaucarcies, policies and programs tend to strengthen, heighten and protect our most important values; or corrupt and undermine them?



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letjusticerolldown

posted May 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm


Candidate Question 3 Please reflect the values you would bring to the Presidency versus the other Party and the other candidates. Do you expect your values would mostly: A. Be the same as the others? B. Be in competition with the others? C. Be transcendent–higher than the others, but inclusive of the others’ values? What leads you to think that?



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jesse

posted May 14, 2007 at 4:57 pm


Well said, TimR, I think it’s hard to dispute that lower taxes lead to greater investment, greater economic growth, and more jobs. And having more jobs is the best cure for poverty.



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letjusticerolldown

posted May 14, 2007 at 5:12 pm


Candidate Question 4 From 1990 to 2000 Washington DC grew its number of neighborhoods with poverty rates over 30% to almost 1/4 of the city’s census tracts. Tracts with rates over 40% grew the fastest–including within a few blocks of the White House. What is the relationship of a powerful central government to poor people? Forget the nation for a moment. How does the mundane activity of the government affect poor households? Should a nation whose Federal Government seems to negatively impact poor neighborhoods in which it exists look at Washington as a source for answers or problems?



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Robert

posted May 14, 2007 at 6:48 pm


Does anyone know whether this forum during Pentacost 2007 will be available to anyone who is unable to attend? Can we watch it on TV, or listen on the radio, or see in online?



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neuro_nurse

posted May 14, 2007 at 7:12 pm


squeaky | 05.13.07 – 11:48 pm, kevin s. 05.13.07 – 11:59 pm, Thanks for you comments. First, I ll always be a nurse. God called me to be a nurse to work in Africa. As you may know, I volunteered for a year in Ethiopia and am now working on a master of public health & tropical medicine. My 05.13.07 – 4:32 pm comment was a bit flippant, but based on some very real concerns I have about my career and my health. kevin, I agree that we shouldn t expect doctors to become businessmen. As squeaky said, this is a very complex situation with no easy answers. I don t feel competent enough in that area to suggest solutions. I m a clinician, business & finances are foreign languages to me. I think justintime | 05.14.07 – 12:56 am made some excellent points. Don, doug appears to be another hit-and-run poster. Peace!



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canucklehead

posted May 15, 2007 at 2:51 am


“…I agree that we shouldn t expect doctors to become businessmen…” For what it’s worth, many of the specialty health care clinics now springing up in Canada (if you have the dough, to the front of the line you go)ARE owned by doctors. There’s a specialty eye clinic where I live that attracts wealthy patients from right across Canada – the owner and a few of his medical pals recently bought a former hospital which will specialize in joint-replacement surgery. The socialized healthcare purists among us are incensed at what they consider to be doctors who are profiting off of insider information.



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kevin s.

posted May 15, 2007 at 4:59 am


“Also, for those who support universal healthcare, that term doesn’t focus group well. Just FYI. Who sez? Kevin S.? Frank Luntz? Grover Norquist? Rush Limbaugh?” Nope. Just the focus group data I have observed.



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posted May 15, 2007 at 10:26 pm


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct: http://www.beliefnet.com/about/rules.asp which includes: Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to: community@staff.beliefnet.com 8



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