Right Sized Government

While leftist talk, everybody knows conservatives act on their values giving their own time and their own money. We also understand that well-meaning big expensive government programs can make problems worse. Meanwhile, the Leviathan continues to grow bigger and less effective. So the debate is NOT about who cares (conservatives do) but rather about if/how government can be made effective.

The Levithan links to a special report in “the Economist”. The title, of course, refers to the famous book by Thomas Hobbes, that most of us have heard about but few of us have actually read. I don’t suggest that you read Hobbes, but I do think you should read the linked article if you want to comment on this post.

It is not a partisan issue. George Bush generated more spending than any president since Lyndon Johnson, so my liberal colleagues who dislike Bush can be against bigger government and still be against Bush. Government shrunk under Bill Clinton, who famously said that "the era of big government is over." The “Economist” also points out that the U.S. is not the lowest spender. Per-person, Canada, Britain, Italy, Japan and Spain spend less. Switzerland and Japan spend less as a percentage of GDP. Government grows because people want it to do things for them. Both left and right demand more, although neither of them wants to pay for it. Each step of the growth makes sense to somebody, but it all can add up to a mess.

Some governments work better than others. Some of it is a matter of size. It is easier to manage a smaller state. One of the things great about America was that we combined the advantages of a large country with the initiative and better management of a smaller government (states). Louis Brandeis called the states “laboratories of democracy.” He meant that states could experiment & make mistakes. Other states could copy the successful innovations and the less useful ones could stay local. We forgot some of those lessons in recent times. Romneycare should have stayed local in Massachusetts, for example. The Federal government might have learned valuable lessons before it spread a similar plan nationwide.

Anyway, read the articles in the "Economist". You can read the lead article and some of the parts of the report w/o a subscription. IMO, a subscription is a good investment, but if you don’t want one, I am sure you can find a copy at a local library. It is a magazine worth reading in general and this special report is worth reading in particular.

I look forward to comments.

Posted by Christine & John at April 17, 2011 9:18 PM
Comments
Comment #321755

IMO, there is no way to seriously consider your question so long as we are under rule by Corpocracy. Government is so convoluted and corrupted by the money influence in politics/government that it is no longer possible to implement desirable or needed reform through the elective process.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at April 17, 2011 10:04 PM
Comment #321766

I agree with Roy Ellis. Corporations are taking over our politicians, government, economy, and country. Corporations have even acquired the power to overturn laws, such as in the case of the Citizen’s United ruling in the Supreme Court.

And now they are moving into the arena of entitlement programs in order to privatize and ultimately kill off both the programs and the people who rely on those programs. Why?

1.) to make as much profit as possible before they kill off the programs,

2.) to eliminate payroll taxes to the tune of 7.65%.

The corporations buy off politicians to accomplish their goals. For example: the Koch Brothers who bought off the Republican politicians in Wisconsin. Why?

1.) to reduce their payroll by eliminating union support for higher wages and salaries.

2.) to reduce and/or eliminate benefits by eliminating union support for benefits.

3.) to eliminate unions in order to take their competing political power off the table.

Everything about corporations are about the bottom line at the expense of humanity. It reminds me of the conflict between scientists and spirituality. The mentality of the science community is that if it cannot be proven, it is not valid or doesn’t exist.

The following is a list of the top 10 corporations who paid the least amount of taxes:

10. Carnival Cruise Lines:$11 billion in profits, federal income tax rate:1.1 percent.

9. ConocoPhillips: $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, $451 million in tax breaks.

8. Citigroup: $4 billion in profit, paid no federal income taxes.

7. Goldman Sachs:$2.3 billion in 2008 but only paid 1.1 percent in taxes.

6. Valero Energy: $68 billion in sales last year got a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS.

5. Boeing: $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

4. Chevron: $19 million refund from the IRS last year after earning $10 billion in profits in 2009.

3. General Electric: $26 billion in profits over the last five years, paid no federal income tax, $4.1 billion refund.

2. Bank of America: $1.9 billion tax refund last year, profits of $4.4 billion.

1. Exxon Mobil: $19 billion in profits, paid no federal income taxes. $156 million rebate from the IRS.

Although I hate to see people hurt in the process, I am heartened to see the citizenship of countries rising up to reclaim their country from their corrupt dictators. I am heartened to see citizens of this country rise up against the dictatorship of corporations (the union uprisings and recalls).

It is time to start purging the gluttony of corporations and start reducing its obesity.

Those of you who would like to see life return to the way it was many years ago, where you owned your little house, could walk to the corner drug store to get your newspaper, bought your meat at the local butcher shop, bought your appliances from Joe’s appliance store, kids could play outside in safe neighborhoods, these pleasures of life are being annihilated by corporations. The are taking away private entrepreneurship (example: Walmart), and taking away our safe neighborhoods.

When corporations, in meeting their bottom line goals, lower wages and remove programs for the poor, disabled, and aged you will see more crime, blight, and suffering. As long as corporations have the stronghold in this country, or even world-wide, it ain’t gonna get better. It will only get worse.

Posted by: CC at April 18, 2011 11:11 AM
Comment #321768


We are waiting on the Republicans to pass legislation that will break these mega corporations into smaller and more manageable companies.

Posted by: jlw at April 18, 2011 11:28 AM
Comment #321770

CC, all those corporations that had low or refunded taxes is exactly why the tax codes need to be revamped. A flat tax with no deductions no refunds IMO would serve the purpose, possibly then EVERYONE would be paying their fair share.

Posted by: KAP at April 18, 2011 12:06 PM
Comment #321774

C&J wrote; “Government grows because people want it to do things for them. Both left and right demand more, although neither of them wants to pay for it.”

I read this today in an email from a friend quoted from “The S&A Digest”.

“While the government can demand obedience (and taxes), it can’t mandate dedication, creativity, or innovation. The fact is, the government itself is nothing more (or less) than the organized ambitions of the people. Promising something to the people that they don’t already have is a logical absurdity. And therein lies the timeless flaw of all collectivist theory: Governments cannot deliver benefits to the people that the people cannot deliver to themselves.

What built America was her people’s unwavering faith that they were free to enjoy the rewards of their accomplishments.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 18, 2011 12:33 PM
Comment #321775

While I agree that congress should take a serious look at corporate tax loopholes, they should also consider the myriad of subsidies gobbling up a tremendous number of dollars going to both corporate America and private interest groups.

One should also consider that approximately 47% of working Americans pay no income tax at all.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 18, 2011 12:46 PM
Comment #321779

Royal Flush,

“While the government can demand obedience (and taxes), it can’t mandate dedication, creativity, or innovation. The fact is, the government itself is nothing more (or less) than the organized ambitions of the people. Promising something to the people that they don’t already have is a logical absurdity. And therein lies the timeless flaw of all collectivist theory: Governments cannot deliver benefits to the people that the people cannot deliver to themselves.

What built America was her people’s unwavering faith that they were free to enjoy the rewards of their accomplishments.”

Not a surprising statement from a Fed Crusher group. I wouldn’t take that as gospel on a bet. :-)

Posted by: CC at April 18, 2011 2:02 PM
Comment #321781

Thanks for the comment CC. What part, for you, might be heresy?

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 18, 2011 2:10 PM
Comment #321783

“Promising something to the people that they don’t already have is a logical absurdity. And therein lies the timeless flaw of all collectivist theory: Governments cannot deliver benefits to the people that the people cannot deliver to themselves.”

This statement makes no sense at all.

Posted by: CC at April 18, 2011 2:29 PM
Comment #321785

The question, really, is one of agreements, and enforcement of such.

It isn’t that people are too stupid to decide things for themselves, quite the opposite. As individual human beings with differences in thought, and the ability to magnify those differences greatly, the question is how do we coordinate ourselves, keep from stepping on each other’s toes (or worse).

The system the Republicans have helped push helps the individual get what they want.

Provided you are a rich individual, who already can provide themselves all the help they would actually need. If you can hobnob with the leaders, fund your own interest groups like the Koch Bros. do, and live away from most of the results of the policies you favor, you can pretty much get what you want out of your party.

But if you’re not rich, if you don’t have access, if you can’t individually afford that kind of bargaining power, your greivances will not be considered.

The question the Republicans have solved is how to give the very fortunate individual more power, more wealth, more control over the system. To get the rest of us on board with that agenda, which may not be in our interest, we were promised that letting those people have more money and power would benefit us all.

Decades later, the promise has fallen very short.

It’s hard to admit this sometimes, but sometimes, your average individual can’t solve a problem by themself. And sometimes that problem isn’t a profitable one for a private group of whatever kind to solve, but it needs solving anyways. Sometimes solving a problem will harm somebody’s bottom line.

Many parents will understand this: you can’t raise a child right if you don’t say no to them. It doesn’t free them, it lets them become prisoner to their own selfishness, and puts them at odds with the people who don’t value their self-gratification so highly as they do.

America avoided the problems of socialism by constraining business before it provoked wholesale backlashes between the classes, but nowadays, the Republicans are intent on taking that clash as far as it can get. But the problem for the rich, ultimately, is that they are always outnumbered, and no society can last forever with the resentment of the poor and middle class percolating from below.

Liberalism is a compromise between interests, the interests of the average person, and the corporation’s.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 18, 2011 3:42 PM
Comment #321786

“Many parents will understand this: you can’t raise a child right if you don’t say no to them. It doesn’t free them, it lets them become prisoner to their own selfishness, and puts them at odds with the people who don’t value their self-gratification so highly as they do.”

Many taxpayers will understand this: you can’t govern a citizen right if you don’t say no to them. It doesn’t free them, it lets them become prisoner to their own selfishness, and puts them at odds with the taxpayers who don’t value their self-gratification so highly as they do.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 18, 2011 3:53 PM
Comment #321788

Royal Flush-
Says the person who so often says that regulations are bad for business. Should we always be letting businesses do whatever they want, even when it ends in disaster?

See, that’s why it’s not always that smart to just repeat what other people say, as if what they say is equally applicable.

See, the trouble here is that I already believe that there are limits to what government should do for people, which puts me in disagreement with this strawman you keep on arguing with in my place.

The Irony is, the view that government should promote the common good is not a new one, its a traditional view. Republicans have taken their notion that people should go it completely alone to ridiculous extremes. Only the very rich and the very powerful can afford to live that way if they don’t want to become the victims of the system. Of course, you have to balance that truth off against the truth that a majority of people can become the system people hate. But that’s what the constitution is for.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 18, 2011 5:16 PM
Comment #321789

“One should also consider that approximately 47% of working Americans pay no income tax at all.”

Everybody pays taxes. Payroll taxes, paid by all employed persons, have grown substantially over the past few decades as a share of federal tax revenue. Personal income taxes and corporate taxes, in contrast, have been declining as a share of federal revenue and are at a post WWII low. When payroll taxes and other taxes (sales, excise, local property taxes, fees, etc.) are considered by income levels, the taxation system in the US is substantially less progressive than generally assumed. http://www.ctj.org/pdf/taxday2011.pdf

Posted by: Rich at April 18, 2011 5:48 PM
Comment #321792

Rich didn’t address my statement about “income taxes”, but rather…something else.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 18, 2011 6:58 PM
Comment #321795

Royal Flush,

I just wanted to be sure that you didn’t mean to imply that 47% of all working Americans don’t pay taxes. They certainly do. In fact, when it is all added up, they are paying a surprisingly larger share than generally thought.

Posted by: Rich at April 18, 2011 8:13 PM
Comment #321798

Royal Flush-
We can split hairs on what we call those taxes, but they are taxes, nonetheless.

And yes, many Americans pay no income taxes. Tell me, how many of your policies and tax cuts are responsible for them, and why are you objecting about this?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 18, 2011 9:20 PM
Comment #321800

They are being bribed. They allow a payroll tax and then forfiet their fifth amendment rights to self incrimination. They also forfiet their forth amendment right to be secure in their papers. They knowingly fill out a tax form and recover everything that was confiscated thruout the year, and also receive a tribute for their forfieture of their Individual rights and their loyality, in the form of an earned income credit.

Since Democratics are the Baby Hewie of Government, most people vote for Democratics. “Don’t forgit the Gwavey”.

CC, you can add our education system into the mix of corporations that control us. Remember that monopoly called the school district?

Those of you who would like to see life return to the way it was many years ago, where you owned your little house, could walk to the corner drug store to get your newspaper, bought your meat at the local butcher shop, bought your appliances from Joe’s appliance store, kids could play outside in safe neighborhoods, these pleasures of life are being annihilated by corporations. The are taking away private entrepreneurship (example: Walmart), and taking away our safe neighborhoods.
Posted by: CC at April 18, 2011 11:11 AM

I would like to see life return to that way!

http://www.anbhf.org/laureates/swalton.html


In 1987 Sam Moore Walton was rated by Fortune as the richest individual in America and the third richest in the world. Walton’s wealth stood at $8.7 billion.
Virtually all of that wealth was amassed in a relatively short span of time from a highly successful retail venture - the Wal-Mart Corporation.

Sam Walton destroyed the corner drug store, the 10cent store, the local butcher shop, and Joe’s appliance store, but that doesn’t mean they cannot return!
Walmart is a corporation, a tool. It will do what the local community’s government dictates. Period.

So will McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway, Advanced Auto, Ford, Knox Community School District, Family Dollar, Nipsco… If the local community can dictate the corporate charter.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 18, 2011 9:41 PM
Comment #321801

Walmart buys off town councils, making them promises of money for their infrastructure and schools. Whole towns can be against Walmart building in their communities but the town councils can be bribed with easy money. I have seen it virtually destroy towns first hand. They force suppliers to outsource manufacturing in order to bring down prices a few cents and they are sexist bastards. I will not set foot in a Walmart store, or a Sam’s Club.

Currently, Walmart is not doing so well. I wonder if they will roll out the “We only carry products Made in America” mantra again that they professed in the 80s. That didn’t last long did it?

Weary Willie, I used to teach school but couldn’t take the politics on the administrative level. These people were more about keeping their elected positions than teaching children. Believe me, most teachers are saints with what they have to put up with with administrators.

I am in a quandary because there is a lot wrong with public schools, but there is more wrong with a voucher system and private schools. Public schools are the lesser of the evils. I know, I wouldn’t make a lot of liberals happy saying this, but again, I have seen it first hand.

Posted by: CC at April 18, 2011 10:07 PM
Comment #321803

C&J. I am not sure I understand the correlation between conservatives being the biggest givers to charity, the biggest givers of their time and the conservative ideology of smaller government has to be better than bigger government. It seems to me to be a rather weak link to think that because conservatives claim to give more to charity they somehow have this magic ability to know the “right size of government”. It reeks of grandiose ego syndrome. ;)

Posted by: j2t2 at April 18, 2011 10:35 PM
Comment #321805

“I am in a quandary because there is a lot wrong with public schools, but there is more wrong with a voucher system and private schools.”

I guess this is why our commander in comunity organizer sends his kids to one of these failing voucher private schools, while denying other minority kids the same rights. He is one socialist sob.

Posted by: 1776 at April 18, 2011 10:50 PM
Comment #321809

CC:


“I am in a quandary because there is a lot wrong with public schools, but there is more wrong with a voucher system and private schools.”

Having sent both of my kids to private schools from kindergarten though high school, I used to be a believer in vouchers - after all, if it is in the interest of society to educate its citizens, it shouldn’t matter where they get that education. IMO, the only reason that you could use to justify denying vouchers is that it artificially increases the per student dollars available to those in public schools. I’ve never seen that arguement made honestly, usually you hear “it steals money from public schools”. I changed my opinion on the subject after some period, because I don’t want to see private schools screwed up with the same nonsense that occurs in public schools. (You know, the golden rule, “he with the gold rules”. Take their money and then they will be calling the shots.) My current take is that vouchers should be given to those who truly have a economic need and are in failing public schools.

As far as what is wrong with private schools - pray tell, what would that be? In general they function pretty well and have to meet the state requirements for curriculum.


Posted by: Mike in Tampa at April 19, 2011 8:15 AM
Comment #321810

Live blogging the S&P conference call.

“11:36: Conference call has started - Nothing new for now. Basically recapping that S&P has only changed the US outlook to negative: a one in three chance the rating could be lowered in 2 years. Or conversely, a two thirds chance the rating may not change.

11:38: The primary reasons for the decision are the fiscal problems the US is grappling with and the rising US debt.

11:40: S&P believes it will be difficult to reach a meaningful deal on fiscal consolidation between democrats and republicans over the next two years. Whether the rating will change will depend on two things: i) scale of such an agreement, and ii) whether the mechanics of such an agreement begin to be implemented, and whether the measure being implemented are viewed as credible.

Nikola Swann takes over:

11:41: The revision to negative reflects the fiscal story: there has been a very large budget deficit; budget deficits are over 10% of GDP; it has been more than 2 years since US fiscal problem began and US policymakers still have to decide how to address these. Fact is we still do not have an agreement between congress and the administration what the plan will be moving forward.

11:42: Base Case Projections: 3% annual real growth in the next 3 years. Expect deficits to remain over 6% of GDP by the end of 2013. By 2013 general debt would reach 84% of GDP. In downside case (double dip): general debt would be well over 90% of GDP.

11:44: Chances are small that an effective plan will be put in place for the 2012 election. If Congress and President do not succeed in coming to an agreement to consolidate fiscally by 2013, which S&P views as credible, in that circumstance, we would expect to downgrade the US.

11:45: US has been slowest of all developed countries to implement a credibile fiscal plan: compares US to UK and France, which are shown as better countries;
John Chambers takes over

11:46: The fiscal problems of the US are not a short-term issue: they are relevant for the medium and long-term. Clarifies that S&P does not make policy recommendations. Just opines on likelihood that it delivers the goods.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/blogging-sp-conference-call

“Shares fell heavily on Wall Street on Monday after a leading ratings agency fanned fears of Europe’s debt crisis spreading across the Atlantic by issuing a strong warning about America’s failure to tackle its budget deficit.
In a move seen by Wall Street as a “shot across the bows” of bickering politicians in Washington, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) said it was cutting the outlook on the US’s long-term rating from stable to negative for the first time since the attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years ago.
The announcement surprised the financial markets, where attention in recent months has been focused on the problems of the weaker nations of the eurozone. Renewed speculation that Greece will be forced to default on its debts led to a sharp sell-off in the euro, but S&P stressed that the US was not immune from the sovereign debt crisis.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average ended the day down 140 points, or 1.1%, with the dollar weaker on the foreign exchanges and yields rising on US treasury bills. The FTSE 100 in London was down 126 points at 5870 – a drop of more than 2% – as ongoing concerns about the eurozone’s debt crisis were compounded by the setback for the world’s biggest economy.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/apr/18/us-economy-credit-rating

The WH response from above link:

“The White House, which last week produced proposals that would cut $4tn from the US deficit by 2022, rejected the S&P analysis. “They are saying their political judgment is that over the next two years they didn’t see a political agreement” to reduce long-term deficits, Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “I don’t think that the S&P’s political judgment is right.”

Democratic response:

“Monday’s outlook change by ratings agency Standard & Poors (S&P) for U.S. federal government debt — going from stable to negative while affirming the current AAA rating — brought Democratic responses that would have made George Orwell proud.
S&P’s rationale is that despite a “high-income, highly diversified, and flexible economy, backed by a strong track record of prudent and credible monetary policy” (the latter being a characterization certainly up for debate), “the U.S.’s fiscal profile has deteriorated steadily during the past decade.” This deterioration has led the U.S. to have higher deficit/GDP and debt/GDP ratios than most other AAA-rated nations and S&P is skeptical of the ability of Congress and the Administration to reach agreement as well as the potential of any agreement to have substantial impact within a few years. Thus the change in outlook which means at least a one-in-three chance of the debt rating itself being lowered within two years.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), aiming for a gold medal in logical gymnastics, interpreted S&P’s warning about potentially unmanageable debt as meaning that “Republicans cannot hold the debt limit hostage over partisan, divisive issues” (such as reducing government spending, apparently).

White House Press Secretary Jay “Anyone but Gibbs” Carney chimed in similarly: “The issue here is the debt ceiling has to be raised.”

And far-left Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) reiterated a call he made on Friday in a letter that 114 House Democrats signed calling for “a Democratic position in favor of a clean extension of the debt ceiling” by which Welch means allowing the U.S. to borrow more money without requiring any progress on spending cuts (or even the Democrats’ favored tax increases) to reduce ongoing deficits.”

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/04/19/democratic-ceiling-wax


The prediction, May 27, 2009 Glenn Beck interviews Karl Rove on Beck’s show:

“BECK: Is there a turning point? I feel like a clock is ticking on our country. That there is — that there is — there’s only so much we can do to it.
I mean, look how resilient it has been since September 11th. Is there a point where you say, if we pass this, we’re in deep trouble?

ROVE: Well, as long as you count and say deep trouble, yes, there are points.
BECK: I would never count America…
(CROSSTALK)
BECK: …and the American ingenuity and the American spirit out.
ROVE: Right. That’s right.
One is if we get a so-called public plan in health care reform. That is to say if we have a government-run plan that so called competes with private industry that puts a strain on the path to becoming European-style social democracy.
There maybe a point in which when our — you know, the rating agencies are now saying U.S. trades lose their AAA rating and by 2022, get an A rating — which is what Greece has got. By 2030, we have junk bond status.
We lose the AAA rating and that is a very dangerous moment.
If the deficit, the other point to watch is July. In July, if the so- called mid-session review on the budget deficit comes out and the budget deficit goes significantly above the current anticipated level of $1.7 trillion this year…
BECK: Geez.
ROVE: Then, we’re in trouble. And my gut tells me, given how rosy the optimists and optimistic the projections are that we could easily see a deficit number in July that is close to $1.9 trillion or maybe even $2 trillion.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,522221,00.html

The result:

“(Reuters) - The U.S. dollar would dive. The housing and auto industry recoveries could sputter. And the global economy might wobble.
Such are the more dire predictions if the United States lost its top-notch AAA credit rating, a possibility after the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Monday revised its outlook for America’s credit score due to the lack of action by the government in reducing its budget deficit.
Never before has S&P placed the full faith and credit of the United States on “outlook negative”, highlighting the uncertainty.
“While still a remote risk, the possibility of the U.S. losing its AAA rating could result in a wholesale abandonment of dollar assets and would potentially destabilize the entire global economy,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.
When Moody’s Investors Service revised its outlook on Japan’s AAA-rated sovereign debt to negative from stable in 1998 — similar to what S&P did to the United States on Monday — the yen sank to its lowest level in six years and government bond prices fell sharply.
U.S. stock markets fell on Monday and the CBOE volatility index .VIX, better known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, surged more than 17 percent at one point. The U.S. dollar, however, gained on the euro, largely on concerns about Europe’s debt crisis.
“One of the reasons why the U.S. dollar is still the reserve currency is the lack of other options, and in two years there may still be no other options,” said Tom Simons, a money market economist at Jefferies & Co. in New York.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/18/us-usa-ratings-impact-idUSTRE73H70J20110418?feedType=RSS

Now the question is, “Who do we trust?”

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 19, 2011 8:15 AM
Comment #321818

Mike in Tampa

My criticism is not about private schools. I am sure they are run very well. My problem is that after having taught in the public school system in inner city schools, I have seen abject poverty and kids whose only refuge is school. I have seen a 5th grade student whose mother kept him out of school to tend bar at her party. I have seen a kindergartner, who along his 5 siblings have to watch his mother service Johns. These parents don’t care about their kids or schools.

The voucher system affords everyone an equal opportunity to go to the school of their choice, but what will happen is that those with the means and mobility to get their kid to a good private school will be able to take advantage of that opportunity, while those who don’t have the means and mobility will keep their kids in schools with problems.

What will happen is you will have schools filled with “at-risk” students. You will have good teachers who will migrate from the “war-zone” schools to those whose student body is more manageable. What appears to be an equal opportunity is in reality, not equal.

If any vouchers for schools should be issued, it should be for schools whose student bodies are mainly comprised of students of low-income families. Give them the extra money to bring in enhancement programs to help offset the influence of poverty and in many cases, home environments.

Posted by: CC at April 19, 2011 10:32 AM
Comment #321819

CC said,

“Although I hate to see people hurt in the process, I am heartened to see the citizenship of countries rising up to reclaim their country from their corrupt dictators. I am heartened to see citizens of this country rise up against the dictatorship of corporations (the union uprisings and recalls).”

Your lack of understanding as to what is happening in these Muslim countries (I assume this is who you are referring too), astounds me.

Let me suggest a couple of links for you to follow. Just maybe you can learn something other than the talking points of the DK and the HP. The citizenship of these countries are jumping from the frying pan into the fire. When they are under the thumb of the Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia Law, how much better will they be? Perhaps you could explain to us the benefits of being a woman under Sharia Law? The lack of leadership on Obama’s part has created a powder keg in the Middle-East.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/18/enabling-the-muslim-brotherhood/

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/02/us_marxists_conspiring_with_mu.html

If the recalls in WI are anything like the vote for their SC judge, the unions are spending a lot of the member’s union dues for nothing. By the way, recalls go both ways.

Posted by: 1776 at April 19, 2011 10:35 AM
Comment #321820

“Walmart buys off town councils, making them promises of money for their infrastructure and schools. Whole towns can be against Walmart building in their communities but the town councils can be bribed with easy money.”

Perhaps a liable statement?

I bet you don’t have any problems with the promises of Casino’s to towns and schools that are not fulfilled?

Posted by: 1776 at April 19, 2011 10:42 AM
Comment #321823

CC, help me understand this, you say:

“I am in a quandary because there is a lot wrong with public schools, but there is more wrong with a voucher system and private schools.”

Which you seem to say there are things about the voucher system and private schools that is “wrong”.

Then you say:

“My criticism is not about private schools. I am sure they are run very well… The voucher system affords everyone an equal opportunity to go to the school of their choice”

Yes, your criticism is of private schools and of the voucher system. You just changed your beliefs.

Then you go on to say:

“but what will happen is that those with the means and mobility to get their kid to a good private school will be able to take advantage of that opportunity, while those who don’t have the means and mobility will keep their kids in schools with problems. What will happen is you will have schools filled with “at-risk” students.”

So your answer is, instead of giving some students the opportunity to succeed, just keep them all in a failing situation? Either all succeed or all fail. And since you believe the inner city schools are failing (from your first paragraph and from calling them “war zone” schools), you are condemning all to failure.

Then you say:

“What appears to be an equal opportunity is in reality, not equal…If any vouchers for schools should be issued, it should be for schools whose student bodies are mainly comprised of students of low-income families. Give them the extra money to bring in enhancement programs to help offset the influence of poverty and in many cases, home environments.”

You call for equal opportunity and then you say only low-income should be qualified to receive the vouchers. This statement is a contradiction. Since vouchers are paid for with tax payers money, then all tax payers should have the right to receive the benefits. Anything less than that is a violation of someone’s equal rights, correct? Then you appear to have changed your stance and are now either in favor of giving vouchers or you are in favor of giving cash to the families of kids who “watch his mother service Johns”. I suggest this money would never be used for the families benefit.

My conclusion is, you were a member of the NEA and as a union member you cannot bring yourself to support private schools. Mike of Tampa is correct, it’s about the money; the tax dollars or lack thereof.

Mike (but not Mike of Tampa)

Posted by: Mike at April 19, 2011 11:15 AM
Comment #321825

Mike, you appear to be incredibly confused on the concept. I’m not even going to attempt to unravel your arguments as they make no sense.

Posted by: CC at April 19, 2011 11:24 AM
Comment #321832

Good call CC, that means you don’t want to explain your confusing statements… I’ll accept your response as meaning my conclusion was right. You are simply supporting the NEA.

Posted by: Mike at April 19, 2011 1:48 PM
Comment #321836

Lordy….*sigh*

Posted by: CC at April 19, 2011 2:12 PM
Comment #321838


Rove won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2005 and Beck has won it three years in a row.

Posted by: jlw at April 19, 2011 2:22 PM
Comment #321842

And yes, many Americans pay no income taxes. Tell me, how many of your policies and tax cuts are responsible for them, and why are you objecting about this?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 18, 2011

Well glory be…SD actually agreed with a fact I presented. Has Hell frozen over? But then, he spoils it all by asking for the names and party affiliation for those responsible.

Unlike SD, I am not rooted in the past and doomed to forever second guess and lay blame. I can’t change the past and, I suspect, neither can SD.

It is a well known fact that not everyone can ride in the wagon with no one to pull it. With nearly half of our working population not paying any income tax, could anyone argue convincingly, that this is good for the nation?

There is a natural tendency by humans to value that which they create and pay for and to devalue that which is provided without cost or effort.

The political class finds endless ways, and huge sums of taxpayer dollars, to reward classes of people and in return, expects and receives their votes.

I would ask SD and others of those who see no problem with so many working Americans being exempt from paying even some minimum tax, at what point will this end? Would it be good to have 60, 70 or even 80% not paying any income tax?

Is there enough wealth among the “rich” to take up the slack.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 19, 2011 2:37 PM
Comment #321853

Actually not Royal, it is a proven fact that if 100% of the earnings were taken from that 1% percent of the richest that have everything (the other 99% having nothing), it still wouldn’t make a dent in our debt or deficit. I fear the only way to fix the problem is to cut spending. When obama has everyone in the soup line, I just wonder how much of the Kennedy, Kerry, Sorros, Pelosi, and hollywood dollars will be spent feeding the people.

Posted by: 1776 at April 19, 2011 3:00 PM
Comment #321856

Now the question is, “Who do we trust?”

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 19, 2011

Great post with very interesting information and comments. It would seem, from what I read, that the prez and leading dems would like to kill the messenger and ignore the message.

Folks who live in states with severe financial problems understand what S&P and other rating agencies are all about. When ratings drop the cost of borrowing becomes more expensive. The US rating remains AAA but the outlook dropped from stable to negative. This is huge! Perception in markets counts for more than reality. Markets react to what they believe will be the likelihood of future events.

It is dismal indeed when our elected leaders not only can’t read the handwriting on the wall, but can’t even find the wall. They are blind, deaf, and very, very dumb (as in stupid), with an evident hatred of American values and principles.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 19, 2011 3:06 PM
Comment #321859

Royal, it is much more dangerous for the American economy. The US dollar is considered a world reserve currency. There are powers who are trying to remove that status from the Dollar and set up another currency. The loss would mean we would loose a lot of special deals we get. The price of oil is based upon the dollar and who knows what we would have to pay if it was based upon another currency. It would also make it much harder for the feds to print money. Inflation would go sky high. This is a very serious situation. We have liberal democrats who want to spend and punish the companies who provide jobs and we have republicans who have no balls, as a result it’s politics as usual.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 19, 2011 3:26 PM
Comment #321863

“It is dismal indeed when our elected leaders not only can’t read the handwriting on the wall, but can’t even find the wall. They are blind, deaf, and very, very dumb (as in stupid), with an evident hatred of American values and principles.

I see…hmmmm….they must commissioned by the underground KGB whose leader is the antichrist whose goals are to conquer then destroy the entire world. MUAHAHAAAAA!!

RF…give me a break!

Posted by: CC at April 19, 2011 3:47 PM
Comment #321872

Royal, curious you would use the quote “the handwriting on the wall”.

This is a commonly used quote; but do you know where it originated?

Posted by: 1776 at April 19, 2011 4:14 PM
Comment #321876

OK CC, take a break. I believe American values and principles include government promoting and defending those individual rights found in our constitution. American values that continue to attract more immigrants to our nation than any other. We welcome immigrants to come to our shores for the individual freedom we represent.

Congress has been intent upon changing those American values with one that says instead…come to America and apply for welfare.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 19, 2011 4:22 PM
Comment #321877

Yes 1776, it is from the book of Daniel in the OT regarding supernatural writing on a wall predicting the downfall of the Babylonians.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 19, 2011 4:26 PM
Comment #321882

Royal, you are correct. Many people use the quote , but have no idea from where it came. It cost Belshazzar his kingdom.

Posted by: 1776 at April 19, 2011 4:54 PM
Comment #321903

Royal Flush-
First, an EITC, by definition, requires earned income. I’d say its better than welfare, as it lacks the moral hazard that encourages a person to stay on government aid forever.

Second, what I meant by my question is very simple: have the Republicans, in engineering their environment of low taxes, helped create the problem they now complain about?

I think so.

If so, then what are you complaining about, other than the failure of your own system to align to your own intentions and interests, which seem to be focused on always cutting taxes on those who least need the money, and least do anything with it. A person on an EITC makes so little, that most likely they spend as much, or more than they take in. That means anything they’re going to get will be spent.

But when we looked at how the Rich behaved with their tax cuts, the money stuck there, and the Rich then proceeded to hire fewer people per year on average than they hired since WWII.

Not a glowing success.

The world works this way: the rich are the people who can afford to keep their money lying around, even if they don’t necessarily do that. In many cases, handed more money, the rich simply let more money lie around. If your aim is to stimulate the economy, money stimulates best when it moves most. It will move up, and the rich will get their money, but only after it’s changed hands a few times, and created some activity.

Obama did things that way, and what he did got us out of a recession. Bush did things his way, let his friends on Wall Street do what they wanted to do, gave his friends all that money, and look what happened! Concentrate wealth, and this is what you get.

The republicans expect people to act against human nature They expect altruism in America on a scale that we never saw it, even in the old days.

I think Republicans tend to believe that back in the day, a lot of people got deluded all at once, and that is why Government grew. However, if you really look at history in any detail, you will find that the development of government was a long drawn out process, and it was often in response to failures of the old system, the very system the Republicans advocate, to serve that need. It’s not that people suddenly gave up on free markets solving the problem for no reason. No, instead, people tested out that solution, and found it wanting, and turned to government as the alternative.

That doesn’t always mean that government was the best alternative, or that America didn’t evolve in different ways that changed the balance of what the market could do for people, but it does say that perhaps Republicans should study what demand is justifying that supply of government, before they take away that supply. At the very least, they should try and figure out what to replace it with.

I would think that small government conservatism could be significantly more sustainable, hell, likeable, if it was brought about in a way that kept people happy, kept their greivances answered, rather than if the needs were kept unanswered, the strategy to meet them torn away.

It is not enough to destroy a government role now, by way of abolition. If you want to win, you have to succeed in getting people to like things better the other way. If they don’t, people will view your triumphs as a mistake, and correct them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 19, 2011 10:34 PM
Comment #321906

Stephen

Among the reasons firms are hiring fewer new worker is that productivity is increasing. Unfortunately, as we get better, it means it takes fewer people to do it.

I saw Jess Jackson Jr on TV complaining about the I-Pad. He evidently thinks that the I-Pad is bad because it will allow people to read online and they will have to hire fewer workers. He is right. If you want to create employment, you can outlaw machinery. We will have lots of jobs, all bad, but probably more equality.

Posted by: C&J at April 19, 2011 11:00 PM
Comment #322001


Jackson should be worried about the I-Phone rather than the I-pad. The I-Phone is pointing the way to the future.

Another disingenuous post and comments by conservatives. No discussion whatsoever of the government program that contains, by far, the most waste, fraud, and abuse of any other program.

Posted by: jlw at April 21, 2011 11:34 AM
Comment #322030

I think Jesse Jackson doesn’t understand what he’s talking about. Yes, some people get laid off from the paper side of publishing. But what about the digital side of it?

If my read on it is correct, they’ve been doing a lot of the work on books and publications in the digital world for some time now. So if the paper and bookcover market is going down, that doesn’t mean the rest goes down with it.

What you’re going to see are books becoming more of a luxury product, more of a handmade thing, less of a mass-consumption consumer product. It may become a badge of class distinction that you have books in your house once again, not so much this time to demonstrate your literacy, but that you don’t use so common a medium as paper for what you read.

Then again, though, you have to balance the market out along the lines of how much it costs to get an iPad. So, maybe you’ll have a paperback and library market that remains.

I don’t think the technology genie goes back in the bottle, but then again, it doesn’t necessarily grant everybody’s wishes concerning what the technology does best. It’s not good enough to have flying cars, you have to have them economical and safe enough to displace the market for the groundbound variety, and the energy costs of hiking something into the air plays into that concern.

Another element to consider is that technology creates jobs as it destroys them. I work a job as a computer technician that wasn’t quite as prevalent when I was young. Computers use to be big bulky machines. Folks used to call what we have on our desks “microcomputers”. The Desktop used to be considered small!

Now, of course, small in terms of computers is an iPod Nano, or its larger cousin, the iPhone. Consider that all the computing power, and graphics rendering power that used to be in that big mainframe computer that filled rooms, now fits in something I carry on my hip pocket. Well, people develop applications for it (There’s an app for that!), maintain and design the communication infrastructure that supports it, and so on and so forth.

And nobody settles for just having what you had before in a smaller size. When I came to work for the place I work at, we had computers with six or seven gigabytes in their hard drive. Now I carry around, at my work place, a flash drive that contains over two times that much data in a twentieth of the space, and without the moving parts. My Cellphone processes information faster.

But even more so, it does something those computers never could. I have an application on here from Microsoft called Photosynth which composits pictures together to form panoramas. I have an app that serves as carpenters tools, with a balance, a plumb line, a protractor, among other things.

I think we will see two other phenomena: delocalization, that is a more wireless, more distributed computing network, and more in the way of carried sensors. Already with Microsoft’s Kinect technology, you have folks taking its depth sensing technology and putting it to new uses. Nintendo has a game system that has a glasses-free 3-D game system that can impose computer animated objects on real spaces- what’s called augmented reality.

Give us ten or twenty years, and we’ll be doing things nobody’s thought of right now, and there will be jobs along those lines. That’s my belief.

Now what I don’t necessarily believe is that we’re guaranteed a spot on that boat, that we’re guaranteed to be leaders in whatever field. Unfortunately, our high technology, and the fact that even our poor lack for little in basic needs, leads some to believe that there’s no need to change, that we can set the status quo as it is now, and milk the position we’re in now for what its worth.

I don’t see things that way. The advantages that let us be so blithe about it won’t necessarily be so permanent, and all systems need to be upgraded and maintained over time, if only because they wear out or become obsolete.

The danger of catering to today’s special interests, I believe, is that today’s special interests often profit by the virtue of the way things are. If we simply concentrate on making them comfortable, then inevitably we are put into tension with the fact that things can and must change.

I am very fond of the printed word, as my production of so much of it must demonstrate. But the days of killing trees to maintain publishing may be over. It just might not be necessary anymore. I don’t so much believe in this as creative destruction, as much as adaptive revision of behavior. As better options become available, or options that capture our imagination, we often must, by necessity, forgo the option of doing things the other way, or use what we used to use for that purpose differently.

What he should be advocating for is better training and education so our workforce isn’t stuck behind the times. What he should be advocating for are infrastructure projects in the national interest, and things like that. Rather than curse the iPad, he should turn on the LED flashlight, and point it towards the future.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 21, 2011 4:01 PM
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