Monster of the Day #126

“Sure, I can keep spending more trillions!  Just raise taxes again and sell more debt to the Chinese and…hey, where’s all the bread?!”

Is it me, or is that thing still growing and growing and growing?  In any case, the Monster Word of the Day is VOTE.

  • BeckoningChasm

    Done and done. C’mon everyone else!

  • Yeah, I got at the polling place at 6:00, right after they opened. I usually don’t rise at 5:00, but I wanted extra time if something was messed up.

  • The Rev.

    Stopped in early, since they’re closed after I get off of work, and cast my mostly-moot votes into the giant conservative stewpot that is Texas.

    I always liked the make-up for this guy; it’s surprisingly gruesome. The movie’s pretty dull, though. It needed more waxing philosophical from the big guy. Of course, ANY talking might have been nice, instead of the grunting and roaring. Quite a finale, though.

  • Ericb

    I was hoping it would be Randy Moss.

    I was there when the pols opened and was probably the 3rd or 4th person to vote. The room where the voting was held had the weirdest combination of decorations that I’ve ever seen. On the wall there were portraits of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee (though no corresponding Union generals) but the room was bordered Canadian, Puerto Rican, Mexican and various other international flags. I guess the flags aren’t such a big deal but the combination of them with Lee and Jackson and the fact that I live in Brooklyn made for a weird juxtaposition. Evidently someone at that church is a member of the DAC or something.

  • “…and cast my mostly-moot votes into the giant conservative stewpot that is Texas.”

    Ha, well, I live in Illinois, so it’s entirely the opposite for me, but the exact same feeling. Even our ‘Republicans’ are basically Democrats, much less being fiscal conservatives.

    I honestly think the Republicans will go back to business as usual, spending money to just a slightly lesser degree, and that this year will be the last time I give them my vote. I just can’t hold my nose anymore. Assuming the Republicans screw up (a good bet), I expect to be voting for direct Tea Party candidates next time, or whatever the third party for fiscal hawks / sustainable government will be called.

  • Ericb

    oh, DOC (Daughters of the Confederacy). I was confounding it with the DAR (Dughters of the American Revolution.

  • BeckoningChasm

    I think the sad thing about that photo is, if that is a bread truck, he’s going to have to unwrap all those tiny little loaves, and in the end he’s only going to have the equivalent bread for a large muffin, or maybe a sandwich.

  • John Campbell

    BC – true story!

  • monoceros4

    “I honestly think the Republicans will go back to business as usual, spending money to just a slightly lesser degree…”

    Since when have Republicans ever spent less money?

  • Less than the Democrats. Not nearly enough less by any means, however. This talk about going back to the still grotesque Bush levels of spending gives me gas, and yet I doubt the Republicans will even really try to do that much.

    If so, they will reap the whirlwind next time. Republicans are in genuine danger of going the way of the Whiggs.

  • Ericb

    I miss Bob Dole.

  • alex

    I wonder where all the fiscally conservative Republicans were when Dick Cheney said ‘deficits don’t matter’ or when the previous administration was running up record deficits? This sudden concern over fiscal responsability is a sham, the moment they go back in power it will be business as usual. Pork and overspending are not problems to the system, they are the system.

  • Well, I was bitching to all my friends (and WITH many of my friends) for all eight years, arguing with relatives about the budget-breaking drug benefit, and voting for more fiscally conservative candidates in the primaries. However, since I live in Illinois this didn’t accomplish much. But yes, it’s too bad it took Obama’s even more appalling, Godzilla-level amounts of spending to really wake a goodly percentage of people up to the danger that some of us have been concerned about for decades now.

    And Alex, what you’re missing is that you conflate the Tea Party with the Republican party. Read my previous message. This is the last chance for the Republicans. Sadly, I agree with you. They will almost certainly go back to business as usual, and become the de facto third party in 2012. The odds are quite good they will marginalize themselves out of existence. Hence my remark about them being the new Whiggs.

    The fact is, “the system” you talk about is literally about to destroy the country via unsustainable spending and debt. The only real question is whether it can really be saved at this point, or whether we inexorably become Greece times 1,000. This populist Tea Party uprising is the only thin chance we have.

  • alex

    I haven’t heard a coherent plan from the Tea Party about what to do with the economy. They want to dismantle Social programs but strangely they never talk about the Billions wasted by the Defense department or tax evasion or how will they fix the deficit and cut taxes at the same time.

    America needs to go back to producing and creating and being competitive. They have left China replace them. China and India are producing more engineers, software tech, doctors, etc than the U.S. Who is going to rule the world economy 20 years from now? I don’t want to live in a world dominated by China but this is where it’s going. I don’t see the Democrats, Republicans or Tea Party being the answer. You guys need less Wall Street swindlers and more real entrepreneurs to rule the economy. I think that would help a lot.

  • Ericb

    Well we actually had a budget surplus not 10 years ago so I don’t think it’s as apocalyptic as you think. Supply side economic policies on are as much to blame for the problem as overspending is. There won’t be any revolution just an evolution of party politics towards different particulars in the general American political dance that’s been going on fore mor than 200 years. It’s always a variation of Jefferson vs. Hamilton and I don’t think there’s going to be any kind of extreme upheaval in either direction.

  • Cool. Let’s freeze spending on EVERYTHING for the first four years of the next President, and then figure out where to actually start cutting. Or how about cutting spending–not reducing increases, cutting spending–2-5% across the board every year, until the budget is balanced.

    First thing, though, would be to re-outlaw public unions. First step right there. And I will note that a military is one of the only legitimate justifications for even having an overarching federal government. There’s no reason to let the Feds handled “entitlement” programs, except to make them nearly impossible to control.

    To the extent we want a safety social net, we should let the states handle it. That allows people to choose to live in an area that reflects their preferences; low taxes and low benefits, or high taxes and high benefits. In a perfect system, the states would get the amount of taxes that the federal gov’t gets now, and vice versa. Local spending is a lot easier to track and control.

    And I disagree about America being a manufacturing center again, unless you’re talking about doing away from the minimum wage. Otherwise you end up exactly where we are now; with hundreds of millions of consumers held hostage to the financial interests of a comparatively small amount of union jobs.

    The Tea Party is pretty much against all the federal bailouts, banks, car companies, etc. So I’m not sure how we’re supposedly responsible for “Wall Street swindlers.” And the way to empower “real entrepreneurs” is to radically reduce gov’t regulations and taxes. Congrats, Alex, you’re on your way to becoming a Tea Partier.

  • Eric, I’d like to agree with you, but the deficit is just a smokescreen and always has been. Was the budget “surplus” used to pay off already existing debt, or socked away to meet forthcoming obligations like social security?

    In real obligations (including especially the pension bomb) the Federal government is in the hole about $130 trillion. And that’s probably matched or close to it by separate state obligations. California and / or Illinois will declare bankruptcy in the next decade, triggering a national crisis. And God help us if they manage to get the Federal gov’t to ‘bail them out’ in the short term and make the long term picture even more dire.

    I hope you’re right; but I fear you’re not.

  • alex

    God save me from being a Tea Partier. I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative. The Right wing obsession with gays, Gods and guns doesn’t quite connect with me. And like I said before, if they were really serious about the economy, where were they when Bush was wasting money left and right for 8 years?

    I agree with you about a system where States decide what kind of safety social net and taxes vs benefits they want and people can choose where they want to live.

  • roger h

    We are stuck with he current two party system, I just think it will be easier to change the make-up of the Republican party than the Democrats.

    Federal and state spending has to come down(I am in California). Smaller gov’t=smaller spending and smaller intrusion.

    Agree military spending should be responsible but, come on, it is something the Fed is actually suppose to do and needs to do.

  • Ericb

    In order to pay our debts we will have to raise some taxes. Until politicians can accept that they are simply blowing poitical hot air.

  • Ericb

    Do you guys really want to go back to the pre-Great Depression days of boom and bust ecomomics when there was a major financial crisis every 10-15 years? Because that’s what deregulating the financial industry will result in.

  • alex

    I agree eric that taxes need to be raised but the Party who does that will be kicked out next election. Their first goal is to stay in power, not govern responsibly.

  • Ericb

    Part of the problem is that we live in an era of seemingly permanent election cycles where politicians never seem to want to busy themselves with actual governing and are more interested in fundraising and rallying support for the next election. For instance if a President serves two terms for a total of 8 years only 4 of those years are spent effectivly trying to solve problems, the first two years of each term (if we’re lucky). The last two years of the first term are spent posturing for the next Presidential election and the last two of the second term being a lame duck. Maybe we should take a page from the Confederate constitution and have the president serve one six year term. We’d get the 4 effective years and the two lame duck years but we can dispose of the two years of posturing.

  • Rock Baker

    Should hit the booth late this afternoon. I’ve never been so worried about the direction my country is headed….

    As to spending during the Bush years, I guess it didn’t hit as close to home as it should have. There were some tax cuts that kept us afloat, and a war to occupy our thoughts. I think everyone who thought about it felt like this: the government was too big, but there was still hope that the elected officials would see the danger and turn things around on their own. Then the new administration took office and spent far beyond anything a reasoning brain could absorb and it served as a wakeup call for millions of once-complacent Americans. The Tea Party rose out of the heartland because the people finally figured out that they had to take action themselves, or risk this great nation falling into self-destruction. We pulled through the earlier gas price crisis because we all assumed that it would right itself on the other side, that confidence is not found when examining the current spend-and-tax motivations of Washington D.C. (Honestly, I think the first thing that got people’s attention was the -the latest- massive raise in taxes on cigarettes, increasing price and taking them from a common man’s pleasure to a luxury item. The price hike extended to loose tobacco and papers too, cutting off any alternative. You can argure about health issues all you want, but for most Americans the massive increase on a trivial item of enjoyment was all about having choice and freedom taken away from them. And they’d been pushed pretty far to start with, over thirty or so years.)

    War of the Colossal Beast was a fun movie, I was always impressed with how they made that giant footprint!

  • “I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”

    Uh, what do you think the Tea Party is about? Not the Tea Party in your head, but the actual Tea Party. While many–but not all by any means, or even by majority–of us are socially conservative by inclination (although I suspect you have a rather cartoonish idea of what that means), those concerns are pretty much being ENTIRELY put aside while we deal with the present financial peril. By default the Tea Party is pretty much hard core liberterian, looking to limit the size of government so that it’s actually sustainable. We could give a rats ass about ‘gays’ or whatever. What do gays have to do with cutting spending and constraining the size of government?

    I don’t know what Tea Party speeches you’ve been reading, or what rallies you’ve attended, or what Tea Party sites like Instapundit you’ve been visiting that would make you think gays or God or ANYTHING like that is what the Tea Party is about, but there ain’t the ones I’m familiar with.

    As for guns, yes, it’s true, our civil liberties and the proper proscribed and constrained role of the government to override them very much is a Tea Party concern. So score one for you there. Oh, scary, we’re in favor of exercising our explicitly stated constitutional rights. to keep and bear arms. Brrrrrr.

    And again, you aren’t listening; many of us WERE shouting from the rooftops about spending under Bush, and it’s an admitted shame that it wasn’t until Obama completely ripped the mask off of how bad things were getting that the mostly apolitical members of the Tea Party decided to get involved. Or let me put it this way; if the Tea Party goes away now that Reps take over the House, then you’re right. If they only grow and continue to seek to oust business-as-usual types from the Republican party, or just give up on them entirely as hopeless and forge ahead on our own, then I’m right. You seem to think this is a situation where the Tea Party is something the Republicans can co-opt. In the (not too) long run, it’s entirely the opposite. We we seize and reform the Republican party, or dismantle it entirely.

    Alex, how about looking for the common ground we share? “I agree with you about a system where States decide what kind of safety social net and taxes vs benefits they want and people can choose where they want to live.” Good grief, man, that’s a truly radical statement, and one far more at home in the Tea Party than in either the Dem or Rep parties. That’s about 90% of the Tea Party platform right there; get the Federal octopus out of areas it shouldn’t be in. Again, I have to say, you are already part of the Tea Party if you really believe that, like it or not.

  • Eric — I don’t think the vast majority of people in the Tea Party would mind raising taxes if EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR was used to only pay down the debt. The reason the party is anti-tax is because we first want to see that, for the first time, the people being elected are serious about cutting spending. Once they start doing that rather than spending more money, taxes become much less of an issue. We just refuse to fuel the Beast any longer.

  • Rock Baker

    I’m not sure its fair to say God isn’t a concern with the Tea Party, since political correctness is part of the too-big government problem. One thing many would like to reverse is the way politicians and legeslation continue to tear down Christianity as some form of oppresion that needs to be silenced. That’s a part of government over-reaching its place, and thus part of the formula being fought by the common man and woman (the majority of whom still call themselves Christian). While taxes are indeed the main issue, treatment of our Lord and Savior is an issue as well.

  • Rock — OK, but that’s not wanting Government to impose God on people, which is what I read Alex to mean; it’s again constraining government to keep it from trying to prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights privately and in the public square, ranging from the right of religion to that of bearing arms to that of free speech. And it’s true that the first amendment was designed to protect religion from the State, not the other way around.

    However, I don’t think being anti-PC has anything to do with God, or rather, I don’t think God has to come into the equation. I think you can be an atheist and still be pretty stridently anti-PC, or pro-civil liberties. I understand what you’re saying, and I’m probably in your camp from a personal standpoint, but I really don’t think that defines in any way the Tea Party, which right now has managed to stay remarkably on target–reduce spending and thus, by necessity, reduce the size of government.

  • roger h

    Obama likes to use the car analogy so. . .

    When people said Bush had deficit spending too, I think this is like you are car pooling with someone and they are driving 10 mph over the speed limit and you just check your seat belt. You then switch drivers the next day and the new driver is driving 30 mph over the speed limit and smells of alcohol. You nervously speak up only to be scolded “you didn’t complain about the other guy’s driving”.

  • Rock Baker

    That’s perfect, Roger, I’m going to remember that one!

    Ken, you’re right. At no time has anyone I’ve heard from in the party say they want to force God on anyone, thye just want to be left alone so THEY can pray to God and put up Christmas decorations and nativity scenes without being sued.
    You’re also right about how the Tea Party has managed to stay on target, its incredible how steady the movement has been! (And a movement largely without any official organization at that!)

  • For the past two years, it’s been so: When I noticed incompetence, they called me a racist. When I asked questions about holes in the policy proposals, they called me an idiot. When I asked questions about shortcomings in the means of revenue collection, they called me an extremist. All the while insisting that I just shut up and give fealty to a goddamn parvenu.

    But on this day…….take THIS!!!

  • Rock Baker


  • You got that right.

  • Ericb

    ok, here’s a liberal cartoon that maybe even the Tea Partiers here can chuckle at (if not completely agree with).

  • BeckoningChasm

    It would restore a tiny, tiny fraction of my respect for politicians if the new congress sings a song with the words “term limits” in the refrain.

    Ericb – pretty amusing, especially considering today’s MotD.

  • I often like Tom Tomorrow (he’s no Ted Rall, that’s for sure), except that some times his politics run away with his sense of humor. This is one of them. Surely we can agree that the Federal gov’t, especially in terms of people like Barney Frank, played a BIG part in the housing bubble; first by propping up bad loans with Freddie Man and Fannie Mae, and also by forcing banks to make loans to people (generally, if not always, based on the race of the applicant) who should never have been allowed to buy a house. Again, that’s the the entire picture, but it’s a really, really big part of it. And then there was the giant bailout which Tomorrow notes, oddly without pointing out that it represented more interference from the Fed. So I’m not really sure how this is Adam Smith’s fault.

    I will say that I completely buy the portrayal of Paul Krugman as a sweaty, incoherent idiot.

    Eric, I’m not trying to be obdurate here, and I hope that’s not how I’m coming across.

  • Ericb

    I know Ken and I know the issue is more complicated than the cartoon portrays. I just found it amusing and thought it might lighten the mood. I’m more an historical junkie that a political junkie. Believe me, I blame Clinton and Schummer as much as any Republican for the financial meldown. Though I don’t think complete derugulation is the answer. There’s a reason this hadn’t occured since 1929. I really don’t think going back to the boom and bust cycles of the 19th and early 20th centuries is a good idea. Especially considering the security risks they would create that didn’t exist back in the day.

  • Eric, I honestly don’t think ANYONE is calling for “complete deregulation,” so that’s not a concern. I’d like to see the government stop bailing out failing businesses, though.

  • Mr. Rational

    “And like I said before, if they were really serious about the economy, where were they when Bush was wasting money left and right for 8 years?”

    Umm…did you see the election results from 2006 and 2008? That’s where they WEREN’T. And that pretty much makes mincemeat of your whole point.

  • alex

    To clarify my gays, God and guns comment. What I meant is the the Republicans use these kinds of push button issue to divert attention. When they regain power watch them create some fake controversy and while all the attention is diverted it will be business as usual with the spending and the pork.

    And Mr. Rational, the Republican establishment did nothing when Bush was spending like crazy. Why would they behave differently now? I wasn’t just talking about the voters but also the Party members. I haven’t heard a single Republican official lay out a clear plan to fix the economy. I know many of them want to slash Social Programs, but what about The Billions wasted at the Department of Defense, what about Corporate Welfare? And what about raising taxes? It will have to be done and none of them has the guts to admit it. And lets not even talk about the Democrats who want to spend their way out of a deficit.

  • BeckoningChasm

    “To clarify my gays, God and guns comment. What I meant is the the Republicans use these kinds of push button issue to divert attention.”

    I hope you are seriously not suggesting that the Democrats do the same thing. “Racism, fear mongering, ‘It was Bush the whole time'”, etc, etc, etc.

  • alex

    Yes both parties do the same thing. My gays, God and guns comment was applying to the Republicans. The Democrats have their own push button issues to divert attention.

  • Petoht

    what about The Billions wasted at the Department of Defense

    Article 1 Section 8 would like to have a word with you about the DoD.

  • “….the Republican establishment did nothing when Bush was spending like crazy. Why would they behave differently now?

    Alex, what I don’t understand is why you seem to be purposely avoiding my central point. I *expect* the Republican establishment to continue doing this, which is why I have said that exact thing. However, you continue to try to conflate the Tea Party with the Republicans when they are very different animals. My point was that the Tea Party would either continue to colonize the Republican party and transform it into some different, or, more likely, get tired of the resistance to this and strike off on their own as a third party, basically sinking the Republican Party behind it. I have explicitly stated this several times now. Could you at least acknowledge that? Yeesh.

  • Ericb

    WTF, Jerry Brown is now governor of California? Wasn’t he reduced to a punchline decades ago? “1-800 …”

  • Eric — And it seems like Pat Quinn will be re-elected governor of Illinois. Cali and Ill are the two most insolvent states in the union, which is saying a LOT. This just shows that a majority of citizens really haven’t figured out how bad things are. Because they longer we put off dealing with them–and I mean particularly repudiating public pensions for being literally unsustainable–the worse the crash will be when it comes. And it’s hard to think of two more status quo types than Brown and Quinn.

    Apparently a lot of people are going to be very, very surprised when the shit hits the fan. And really, they’ll only have themselves to blame.

  • Ericb

    Ken our unpopular and outgoing Governor may be a Democrat but you might like him for this:

    Of course he wasn’t running for office so he could afford to do this.

  • Eric — That’s awesome! I should note that again, people don’t seem to the point of calling oneself a Tea Partier is so as to refuse to identify oneself as either Democrat or Republican. I’d be glad to vote for a fiscal hawk Democrat over an establishment Republican. The question isn’t whether the Republicans can co-opt the Tea Party (although that’s what many of them are hoping), it’s whether the Tea Party can co-opt the existing structure of the Republicans. If not, we’ll strike out on our own, and the Republicans die off entirely or become a small, regional third party.

    For instance, a Karl Rove was infuriated when Christine O’Donnell won the nomination over RINO Mike Castle. And today he’ll say “See, I was right. The Republicans lost that seat because of it.” What he and his ilk aren’t getting, though, is that we have zero interest in defining victory as having a ‘R’ next to that seat. Castle would have been a huge spending senator eager to “reach across the aisle” and vote for huge government bills as long as he got his cut. Denying that guy a seat in the senate was a victory right off the bat. Let the Democrats own the big goverment stuff all on their lonesome. Why give them cover? And if the Republicans still want a piece of that pork, screw them too.

    It’s notable that when Rove went off on O’Donnell after she won the nomination (Limbaugh noted that Rove had never attacked a Democrat with such anger), her fund raising from Tea Partiers immediately went through the roof. Rove can bite my ass.

  • John Campbell

    Ken, clarify for me please how Tea Party candidates are NOT Republicans, when in fact they are Republicans. Albeit Republican’s disenfranchised with their party, but on the ballot, they’re listed as Republican. (I’m not being facetious I truly want to understand. I feel you’re the first person who has properly articulated what the Tea Party is about.)

    Sadly Rand Paul won here in Kentucky, Mr. Aquabuddha, Mr. $2000 Deductible for Social Security, Mr. Do Away with the Department of Education.

    People in Kentucky should be VERY afraid. This man is a nut. (As is his father.)

    Not surprising though, since Sarah Palin is a huge supporter of the Tea Party. She’s so clueless you could press her face in dough and make stupid cookies. (Yes I abhor anyone’s fascination with her. And let me be clear this is NOT gender biased. If she were a man, I’d swear she was Dan Quayle’s twin brother.)

    I am a life long registered Republican, but I’m not sure I’ve ever cast a vote for a Republican candidate.

    Plus when you get down to it, it’s all about the lesser of two evils.

    Take the money out of it and you’ll see truly honest people. Make them pay taxes on all the filthy sums of donations they get…oh wait, they make the rules on that, just like when they got their raises this year and every year before…

    Note the excessive bitterness for a reason. I work for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The prior REPUBLICAN governor was a crook and gave all his cronies raises and shafted the real back bone of the state work force. Plus this year under the new DEMOCRATIC governor, I’ve been furloughed for 6 days out of this fiscal year to save $24 million. And just yesterday it was announced Kentucky has a $50 million surplus they found. We really need to rise up and slay all politicians.

    And someone please tell me what’s wrong with minimum wage? It prevents people from paying you a pittance for the work you do. I guess we should get rid of those pesky child labor laws too…

    Do you all hear that? Sounds like someone playing a fiddle over the crackling of flames…

  • John — Remember how Reagan was a Democrat who said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, they left me”? That’s how. To the extent that the Republican party establishment insists on keeping it the big government party it has been for decades now, paying only lip service to sustainable government that actually, you know, respects our civil liberties, well, I (and millions others) didn’t leave the Republican Party, it left us. That’s why last time I had decided for the first time in my life not to vote Republican for President. And why I’m still entirely at peace with Obama getting elected if the alternative was John McCain, as horrible as Obama is. And guess what, it worked. He’s been so horrible he’s gotten the Tea Party going. I’m not certain that would have happened under McCain, although I suspect it might have.

    The only question is whether, as I said earlier, the Tea Party can colonize the structure of the Republican Party and make it what, yes, it’s supposed to be. However, the Tea Partiers aren’t Republicans in the most basic sense; under establishment figures like Karl Rove, we don’t give a rat’s ass if the Republicans as a party win or not. Chances are in local races the most fiscally conservative option will be a Republican, so they’ve gotten our vote. However, the difference now is that we’re demanding they supply us an actual fiscal conservative who will actually govern that way if they are to get out vote. This means either us kicking out Mike Castles in primaries, or if the Republican party fights to the death for the big government status quo, we’ll form our own party. The ball is now in the Republican court.

    Why do I say Tea Partiers aren’t Republicans? Because in our heads we don’t think of ourselves as that, and are as pissed off (maybe more pissed off) at the Republican party as it’s been since Reagan as we are the Democrats. They WILL change, or we will strike off on our own. Remember that the Tea Party has only been around for a year or two, in the sense I’ve been speaking of it. If you are right in your cynicism, it will recede into the background now that the Republicans have won some political victories. I don’t think it will. It will continue to grow, fueled by what I entirely expect to be Republican truculence and attempted gladhanding and the usual old-school bribery in the form of earmarks and that crap.

    By the way, we of course SHOULD do away with the Department of Education, and for multiple reasons, all of them reason enough in themselves. That’s only a starting point, of course, but an obvious ones. And Kentucky shouldn’t be afraid of Ron Paul. They should be afraid of the horrible, horrible strife that will follow the federal government and many, many states completely defaulting economically, and the inevitable Greece-x-1,000 street violence that will follow.

  • John Campbell

    Why in God’s name would you abolish the department of education? Sounds John Birch society to me.

    Seriously I want to hear the reasoning on that.

    Do you think Social Security should go?

    Should we keep the healthcare system we have?

    You want infrastructure money has to come from somewhere.

    isn’t Glenn Beck a tea party supporter?

  • Why in God’s name would you want to keep it? Two most obvious answers:

    1) It’s ruined public education
    2) I guess you missed it when I said that the Federal government should get what the states collect now (say, an income tax of 2-3%) and the states get what the Federal government gets (say, 20%). In the simplest term, the Federal government should do pretty much nothing that involves it collecting monies and redistributing them back to states. Let the states collect their own monies directly. An exception, perhaps, for disaster funds, although the definition of when those can be used should be quite strict.

    If that’s your definition of the John Birch society, fine, include me in that.

    Social Security will go in any case; we won’t have money for it. Seriously, who thinks people my age, and certainly younger people are going to see Social Security when they retire? Again, though, if you want a social security net, fine, let the states provide it. That gives the citizens a lot more control over it. (It’s to avoid such oversight that the Feds collect the money and redistribute it in the first place. It’s impossible to follow, and you are able to set each state against one another in terms of getting their “fair share.”)

    Re: the keeping “healthcare system” we have: God, no. Really? Is that even a question? I repeat; God, no.

    Infrastructure is local, the money should be raises directly by the states. AS A MATTER OF COURSE, IN ALL ISSUES INVOLVING THE STATES SPENDING MONEY, THE STATES SHOULD RAISE THE MONEY THEMSELVES.

    I don’t know. I never have seen Glenn Beck. Maybe he’d answer your queries differently; I can’t answer for another person.

  • Rock Baker

    By lowering minimum wage smaller businesses could hire more employees. Businesses could grow and unemployment would go down. More supply of products leads to more demand and economical growth is result. Ideally, this means inflation would also be lowered, and thus prices for everyday goods. That may be overly simplified, but that’s the reason to lower it.

    All in all, a good night last night. The perfect birthday present! (We’ll see if I feel like I’ve had a knife stuck in my back by my 30th….)

  • Ha, you spring chicken, Rock! But yeah, lowering the minimum wage would be a great idea, especially in today’s business climate.

  • John Campbell

    Okay I think I understand your point a little better now. (I also went back and re-read some things, dear lord there’s a lot flying about in here.) And I honestly don’t have a good rebuttal for it. I am starting to like the idea of the Feds collecting for their infrastructure and the states for their’s.

    An example on the state level would be:

    We have a group in property tax here that collects money for the local taxing jurisdictions and then re-distributes it back. Every fiscal year they do what is called a “Chargeback where by they recoup the cost of doing business for the locals. This is usually around $800,000 approximately. (Spread across each of the local taxing jurisdictions based on their percentage of the overall collections.)

    If the locals would do their jobs instead of us, they’d save quite a bit.

    Thank you Ken for your candor and patience.

    I won’t necessarily be running out to jump on the Tea Party band wagon, but I think we can definitely agree on some things.

    I asked about Glenn Beck because honestly, his ilk (REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION) are surely a sign of the apocalypse…

    (Okay I might be over-exaggerating, but when they speak I swear Nero fiddles faster!)

  • That’s OK, John. That’s how I feel about the current President and his administration.* Of course, the difference is that he’s actually running things.

    [*On the other hand, I felt that way about Bush, too. It’s just that Obama spent as much in 8 months as Bush did in 8 years. But either way, a slow boat to hell and a fast boat to hell are both taking you to the same place. So while I admired Bush a lot more as an individual, as a President, not so much.]

  • John Campbell

    Ken – Yaga! I didn’t realize Obama was spending that much, THAT fast. And I want to be clear although I voted for Obama, I have no illusions regarding the job he’s doing. I never believed for a moment he’d make the world all better with a wave of his magic wand. I will admit I stopped keeping up with what exactly is going on as nothing has gotten better and it honestly depressed the hell out of me. That’s bad I know…

    On a side note, Rand Paul is also the man who feels segregation is a good thing. (Yes he said that in the primaries before the republican handlers got him to shut up.)

    Rock – But isn’t lowering it a dangerous thing in terms of the cost of living? Or are you saying the effects of lowering it will in turn lower the cost of living thus improving everyone’s livelihood? And damn! I thought you were older than me! (41 here)

    Again, I really do appreciate everyone’s candor.

    I’ll try to refrain from bringing in the punditry. They just irk me to no end with the fear-mongering and obfuscation they pander to both sides of the political aisle.

  • John, seriously, I defy you to find a quote where Paul stated anything along the lines of “segregation is a good thing.” I have like zero doubt that that is factually incorrect. I would bet on it. And I’d like not a sentence that could be taken out of context, but the surrounding paragraph or two. I’m not calling you a liar or anything like that, but I think you have to be massively misinformed. And if you are going to sling around really dire accusations like that, let’s have the actual quote.

    Wait, are you sure you weren’t thinking of Robert Byrd? The senior Democratic senator for like 80 years? The one who founded his own KKK chapter? That one?

  • Rock Baker

    The idea is, again in what may be overly simplified form, that cost of living would HAVE to decrease. Businesses would have to lower their prices to stay competitive. The company with the lowest prices would get more business and blow his rivals out of the water until they try to lure consumers their way with better service or some form of bonus. The capitalist system thrives on customer satisfaction and improves product quality, which in turn keep prices lower and allow the people to spend more and thus further stimulate the economy. (That is, until politicians get in there and screw around with everything, which leads to the kind of situation we have now. It can still be reversed, however. And something needs to be done soon! What bit of a grace period of adjustment we’ve gotten is due almost entirely to the soon-to-be-ended Bush tax cuts.)

    Now is my sounding older than I am a bad thing or a good thing? Pretty much everyone is taken aback when they learn I’m so young. I’ve always grown up with old fashioned values and viewing a steady diet of old movies and TV shows, my folks did a good job of raising me, I think. (I also graduated at just the right time, it seems. I remember thinking we were all milksops is school, but I visited a Halloween Carnival a few years later at the school and saw how everything had been softened. When my class had the booth with the arrow you spin, ours was made of tin and worked perfectly. The new one the kids were using was made of cardboard and had curled up on each side from being used, and it was hard to spin because it kept getting stuck. At that moment I had the sad realization hit me that I was a veritible Samson compared to these sissified kids. And I was never an athlete. There’s the public school system in action!)

  • Ha, Rock. I often think of the (comparatively) dangerous toys we had as a kid, like the Creepy Crawlers makers with the heated heated metal plates, or wood burners, or–of course–jarts. Hell, I even get annoyed about those stupid orange parts they stick on all the toy guns now.

  • Rock Baker

    Yeah, I think it was a Leave It To Beaver episode where I saw the kids playing with squirt guns that looked like real 1911’s. And then that commercial with the beat cop and the fireman being wowed by the realism of a kid’s Marx cap guns. I missed out on so much!

  • John Campbell

    Rock – I can find no argument with that logic and I heartily agree with you. (I know no plan is flawless, but makes perfect sense to me!)

    Ken – Rand Paul thinks people who own businesses should be allowed to discriminate based on race, handicap, etc. because that’s not the governments job. Yes he’s tossing the ADA in with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    Here’s a link to the video of his conversation with the Louisville Courier Journal, as well as the NPR interview where he re-iterates it.!

    Some segregation is okay in his book. You know, the Civil Rights Act and the ADA came about because people at the local level (as Rand Paul suggests would happen) did NOT come around, it was status quo. It became necessary for serious action. And I have no issue with the government doing that.

    I don’t want to debate the philosophy here, but I think the man is WAY off base with his ideology.

    I would be happy to via e-mail if you’d like.

    We need to get the MoTD back to the happy escape from all the crap in the world it should be!

  • OK, see, that’s what I mean. Rand Paul does not think “Segregation is good,” or “ok.” I’m just saying, feel free to disagree with the guy, but don’t exaggerate and misidentify his position to such a cartoonish degree. We should always argue in good faith, certainly.

    Here’s the actual quote:

    I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form. I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race.

    But I think what’s important about this debate is not written into any specific “gotcha” on this, but asking the question: what about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent? Should we limit racists from speaking? I don’t want to be associated with those people, but I also don’t want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that’s one of the things freedom requires is that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn’t mean we approve of it. I think the problem with this debate is by getting muddled down into it, the implication is somehow that I would approve of
    any racism or discrimination, and I don’t in any form or fashion.

    For what it’s worth, I’d agree that social pressure (boycotts, etc) would be probably be a better and certainly less dangerous tool to deal with such noxious stuff than using the heavy, blunt hand of government. The world is a far different place that it was 50 years ago, when such intervention was appropriate. So assuming I follow his statements correctly, I agree with him. I also think if you run a gay gym, or a woman’s guy, or a muslim gym, etc., you should probably be able to decide you want to restrict to that membership. Again, a boycott would be appropriate if people didn’t like it, but using police and court powers? Not so much. So I basically agree with Paul, if I’m reading his statements correctly.

  • MatthewF

    Wow. Speaking as Brit who who grew up in Alabama, but hasn’t lived in America for 14 years now, I have to say that the view from outside is that you’ve all gone crazy and I see nothing here that disagrees with that.

    Passion in politics is a fine thing but the rush to the fringes that seems to be going on is I think a pretty unhelpful change. There seems to be an awful lot of demonization of the opposition going on, as if the other side can’t just be wrong they have to be unAmerican.

    On a side issue; to all the right-wingers who’ve been accusing Obama of being a socialist, I mean have you ever met a socialist? I think that the centre has shifted so far to the right in the states that all these tags are getting new meaning.

  • Matthew — You’re clearly entitled to state your opinion–at least here in the States, if not in England or the rest of Europe (I know, part of our craziness)–but have you seen what’s going on in Greece and France? It’s going to happen here, soon, and the longer we wait to actually get our financial house in order, the worse it’s going to get. Extreme times call for extreme positions, no? (Although I’m not sure I understand what exactly you consider so extreme.) If they didn’t, America never would have broken away from Britain in the first place. And really, you can certainly understand and even sympathize, I’m sure, with the fact that the vast majority of us don’t really give a rat’s ass about what Europeans think of us. I mean, why would we? Like you guys are so great.

    In any case, given who California and Illinois just elected as governors, guess the crap will have to truly hit the fan before enough people wake up to how much danger we’re in. Although I really don’t understand why people on the left side of the aisle want to keep pushing “a sustainable government” as a solely right-wing position. That’s pretty much entirely what the recent election was about. It certainly wasn’t about the social issues we’re constantly being told drag us down. Weird, so we avoided them this election, and yet we are still being called crazy. Oh, well.

  • John Campbell

    I won’t argue that we all have the right to be and do ignorant things. But I think we’re obligated to do what’s right. No matter if it’s at the federal, state or local level. And I fail to see things working to such a degree that the federal/state governments should back off.

    As an example, we have these three Tea Party supporters demonstrating that they think the person with an opposing view point shouldn’t be allowed to express themselves at their rally. Looks an awful lot like the 1960’s to me.

    I will at this point respectfully agree to disagree.

  • MatthewF

    Ken, you’re absolutely right that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, but hey this is the internet, home of the unasked for opinion.

    I guess all I mean is that the sku isn’t falling and you know, life will go on and it is very unlikely that America will turn into East Germany any time soon…. so, to sum up, calm down everybody.

  • Matt, I honestly, truly hope you’re right. The math says you’re wrong, though. And the sky is starting to fall in several other places, so it’s not like it couldn’t / won’t happen here.

    It would still kind of help if we stopped spending trillions and trillions of dollars we don’t have, though. That’s the message of the Tea Party, in a nutshell, and agree or disagree I guess I don’t see what’s ‘crazy’ about it.

  • Well, you’re a lot more sanguine about government power being misused than I am. Currently a woman in Michigan is being investigated because she specifically advertised (on a private church bulletin board) for a Christian lodger. First of all, I don’t think the government has any legitimate basis to interfere in that sort of thing. But OK, we can debate that if you want. Less debatable is that governments tend to go after certain groups not others. If a Muslim woman had posted a similar note, I doubt she’d be so investigated.

    Perhaps you think I’m incorrect about that. As a more obvious example, there’s the testimony of former Justice Department lawyer Christopher Coates: “In the spring of 2009, Ms. King, who had by then been appointed Acting AAG for Civil Rights by the Obama Administration, called me to her office and specifically instructed me that I was not to ask any other applicants whether they would be willing to, in effect, race-neutrally enforce the VRA. Ms. King took offense that I was asking such a question of job applicants and directed me not to ask it because she does not support equal enforcement of the provisions of the VRA and had been highly critical of the filing and prosecution of the Ike Brown case.”

    So, yeah, I consider the reality of that sort of misuse and illegitimate government intrusion a greater and more likely evil in this day and age than the notion that America will experience an explosion of renewed segregation fever. Again, I can understand if you disagree, and see where you are coming from. However, I do not see your opinion on this as intrinsically better than mine.

    And John, really? That Rand thing? I can pull up quite a few more incidents of Democratic / union political violence with a lot less cause (the woman was wearing an obvious disguise and rushed Rand the candidate…twice). Did I raise the specters of Kenneth Gladney or Ken Hamidi, or when sitting Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge himself assaulted a college student for asking him a question?

    Step aside and ask yourself for a second, are you really being fair? That thing about it reminding you of “the ‘60s.” Cheap shot, if you’re trying to invoke Bull Connor or anything like it, and I know you are better than that. I would never accuse you of condoning such violence, even if it happens more often on ‘your side.’ Do you really want to accuse me and mine of doing so based on a single incident in which the actions were arguably largely justified anyway?

  • John Campbell

    Ken I’m going to PM you my e-mail addy so we can discuss this privately.

    It’s not that I don’t want people to see my opinions or anything, but I think we’ve (well I feel it’s *we*) hijacked the MoTD too much.

    I honestly want to hear what you have to say as to what YOU think the Tea Party is about. As I stated I feel you’re the first person to articulate anything about it properly.

    The Rand Paul thing was probably a cheap shot yes. And I’ll apologize for dropping things to that level, but I took offense when you said my argument was cartoonish, because to me that implied you felt *I* was being that way.

    Yes I didn’t research it first, but I did do that as you pointed out I should. You do present VERY valid arguments on why certain things should be dealt with at their appropriate levels within Federal, State and Local government. I just don’t have a lot of faith in people to do what’s right.

    I know there are jack-booted extremists on EVERY side.

    So again, I would like to discuss this between ourselves and let folks get back to enjoying the MoTD.

  • John: I appreciate that. And I’d be glad to continue this in private, although I think this thread is already what is it, and fading into history anyway, like, well, yesterday’s MotD.

    I apologize if I mistyped (which I’m obviously prone to) and said your argument was cartoonish. I rather meant that I thought you were presenting a cartoonish take on Paul’s argument. I have NO problem with you disagreeing with him, or me, or anybody, but I think we’re all better off taking each other’s arguments in good faith. Paul in no way said, “Segregation is good,” that’s all I meant to say. You can still disagree with him, but not on that basis, because that’s not a position he’s taken. I’ll admit I can get touchy about stuff like that, because conservatives tend to get smeared on stuff like this all the time.

  • John Campbell

    GAH!! I can’t see the forums from work! Damnit I’m on freaking break!

    Ken, I’ll hit the forums when I get home and PM you my e-mail addy from there. (Easiest way to discuss things.)

    Somedays being part of the EEEE-vil gubmint machine just does NOT pay!

  • “I just don’t have a lot of faith in people to do what’s right.”

    Neither do I. That’s why we should keep power as diffuse as humanly possible, and thus radically reduce an out of control Federal government. Congressman Phil Hare: “I don’t worry about the Constitution to be honest with you.” I think that’s true of most of these guys, he was just dumb enough to make a Kinsley gaffe about it.

  • I won’t be home tonight, and is PMing that Personal Message thing? Sorry, I’m a luddite. You can contact me the slow, inefficient way at Because that’s how I likes it.

    Many of the Tea Party are hip to the crazy contraptions you kids are using today, though, so don’t judge the movement by me.