Reading the Tea Party Leaves

Will we see a repeat of 1994—or 1964?

My apologies to Buffalo Springfield. But what’s happening with the Tea Party movement, and where it’s going, ain’t exactly clear.  All we know at this point is that the villagers have pitchforks and torches, and are marching up the hill. But will they burn the castle of the Al Franken monster in Congress, or will they join Sarah Palin and her populist following and simply go RINO (Republican In Name Only) hunting? The point is that we could be heading toward 1994 all over again. Or toward 1964. The tea leaves are there for the reading. Either way, it should be interesting.  

Here’s my prediction: Years from now, it will turn out that the biggest story of 2009 was the Tea Parties and the meteoric rise of their standard bearer, Sarah Palin, after her strange July resignation from Alaska’s governorship. (Sorry Tiger!)

The movement was at first dismissed as “Astroturf,” or not real grass roots. Participants have been called “Tea baggers,” with a salacious subtext. But the anger and persistence of these activists has finally started to surprise many in the mainstream media. The spark that seemed to light the 2009 Tea Party gatherings was CNBC analyst Rick Santelli’s famous February 19 on-air rant about the housing bailout. But the stacked kindling that set the pot boiling has been around much longer in the critiques of political aspirants, most notably those of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).  And of course many libertarians have pressed on these issues since at least 1974, or perhaps since 1776.

The major media outlets, however, even so-called “conservatives” such as New York Times columnist David Brooks, are contemptuous. Tea Parties are “The world’s largest conventions of misspelled signs.” Tea Party hero Sarah Palin is “a joke.” One wry pundit mocked Palin’s appeal: “Finally we have a candidate for the people who loved George Bush's certainty, but were bothered by his education, rationality, and executive experience."

It will soon become clear that the anger behind the Tea Parties was the first sign of something bigger, something much deeper. But of what exactly? My tea leaves reveal two possible futures.  First, this new celebration of conservative values may well be focused and directed by the Republican Party, reprising the electoral destruction of the Democrats in the 1994 midterms.

But the second possibility is that it will be the Republican Party, not the Democrats, that is torn apart trying to deal with its own internal contradictions. That’s what happened in the disastrous but portentous 1964 election: The GOP stood up for principle in its platform, and fell down at the ballot box.  

There are already a number of signs that the 1964 outcome is a real possibility. The special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional district pitted a RINO (Dede Scozzafava) against a Democrat (Bill Owens). But the “real conservatives” of the district (which has been reliably Republican since 1993) rose up to smite the RINO with an equally real conservative alternative (Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman).

Scozzafava was knocked out of the race by the backlash. Which meant the Democrat won! And the folks on the right saw it, and said that it was good. Several different polls, most recently by Rasmussen earlier this month, show that a majority of people who call themselves “conservative” now prefer to vote against Republicans who do not share their values. And they persist in this opinion, even if it means that Democrats win elections.

In 1964, the right wing seized control of the Republican National Convention at the “Cow Palace” in San Francisco. They nominated Barry Goldwater, a “real conservative” who represented fundamental values of the right, and had no earthly prospect of winning.

Is 1964 happening again? Is that where the Tea Parties are headed? Remember, Ron Paul and the “Liberty Republicans” of 2007 and 2008 were not primarily running against Democrats. They were—and are—trying to take over the Republican Party from the inside.

Losing sight of that fact seems to have blinded many in the chattering classes to the real significance of the Tea Party rebellion. But there are clear echoes, evident in the conservative opposition to Republican Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida, and gubernatorial candidate (and long-time Republican Senator) Kay Bailey Hutchinson in Texas. Their toughest fights will come from fierce primary challenges by populist “Tea Party” conservatives, not general elections against the Democrats.

A word of full disclosure: I am myself an ex-Republican. (Very emphatically ex, thank you.) That’s because of the war, the runaway growth of government, the deficits, and the nosy nanny intrusiveness of social policy and drug laws. But even though I think the party is floundering, I’m not sure it is completely hopeless.

Further, it’s true that the approval ratings of President Barack Obama and the Congressional Democrats have fallen sharply. The problem with predicting a new 1994, and a Republican renaissance, is that Republican approval ratings have fallen also. The GOP discredited itself while in power by running up the deficit and growing the size of government, and it is discrediting itself now by missing the significance of the Tea Party revolution in its base.

From a Republican perspective, and taking the long view, there’s this to be said: In 1964 a sharp turn towards principle led the Republicans to wander for four years in the electoral desert. But 1964 also laid the foundation for the majorities that put Republicans in the White House, starting in 1968, for all but 12 of the next 40 years. So enjoy your tea, unsweetened.

Michael Munger is a professor of economics, and the chair of the political science department, at Duke University. He has written on policy analysis and cost benefit analysis of government programs.

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  • ||

    1994

    I would say the dems are shooting themselves in the foot, but it's more like putting their head on a chopping block.

  • Slippery Wax||

    1.) Sarah Palin is reaching kevlar status. And when she reaches the Bill Clinton ( he is just a good-ol boy hound, what do you expect from him ) or Bush ( Dan Rather proved the media will do anything to take him down ) level of kevlar - God help us all.

    When she is unstoppable, and there is no more ammo to use on her, you can blame people like Sullivan and Letterman who just had to talk dirty about her family and make her a martyr.

  • zoltan||

    I agree with this. Much of the Republican response to Obama consisted of birth-certificate questioning and cries of "socialism!" (which were true, but not very effective when it's the pot calling the kettle black). And when your criticism of a political figure boils down to their personal life and not their political positions, it makes them untouchable to neutral parties.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Unfortunately, Obama was born in America.

    But I like the idea of a continued mudslinging fight between the Brand X Parties. The more they squabble, the less faith people have in them.

  • g4m3th3ory||

    If only less faith actually resulted in serious voting changes it might be important... but when congressional approval was only at 17%, there was still a 98% incumbency re-election rate...

    Until voters, especially those in gerrymandered districts, vote for the other party (which in their district isn't really the "other" party, but the other party "lite") in order to punish those they claim to disagree with, there are no incentives for politicians to really care about what the public wants.

    Therefore they are free to implement their version of Utopia while everyone sits around blaming the other guy...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    A reduction in the incumbency-retention rate would be a better indicator of public dissatisfaction, true... and, IMO, eventually it will come down to that.

    Unless that many people are so brainwashed that no amount of misdeedery will shake it off...

  • ||

    Here's what's going to happen: the Republicans (with a neo-con lead) are going to succeed in either halting the Democrats or mudslinging or a combination of both. After that, the Republicans, after winning Congress, will also take over the presidency, and we will have a complete red shift once again. It won't be libertarian in anyway, most likely another George Bush, but with more sanity. The country won't be any better off than before. And the cycle will continue, despite any libertarian effort to break through the idiocy.

    The only thing that libertarians can do to win is also move into the Democratic Party, and remind the more reasoned members that all the greatest Democratic presidents were, in fact, 'libertarian' in spirit. At the same time, libertarians must make it clear to neo-cons that their beliefs can not become everyone's law; and to the liberals that economic freedom means property rights, which are just as important as so-called civil rights.

    Use logos, and make a rational appeal. Pray no one makes an emotional appeal.

  • Ice||

    I agree with the first paragraph but....
    we don't have to use either party, there is a libertarian party that a lot of people seem to forget about....

  • ||

    And I would contend that the Libertarian Party is too small and held down by certain states (Oklahoma) to get enough attention.

  • Dr. Liberty||

    Well, that settles it. We might as well all go home because somebody said it's not only hopeless, but against the rules.

  • ||

    There's another option.

    Adopt a local tea party and teach them what liberty really means. These people see they are losing something but haven't the tools to explain it well, because of their context. They like freedom but they have been told they can have it without giving it to other people.

    We have the tools to defeat the left, and the more we can get teabaggers to use them the more they have to think through their own positions.. because they are the same tools to defeat all collectivism, left or right.

    Anyway that's what I've been doing and it's working well.

    Adopt a teabagger.

  • ||

    all the greatest Democratic presidents were, in fact, 'libertarian' in spirit.

    According to [liberal] historians, the greatest Dem presidents of the modern political era have been FDR, JFK, and Wilson. I'm curious to hear the argument that they were "libertarian in spirit".

  • ||

    Right!

  • ||

    Liberal historians idiot. I'm talking about the old old Democrats like Jefferson.

  • ||

    I assume they were talking about Grover Cleveland, the last democrat libertarian.

  • Warty||

    The thing for libertarians to do is join Team Blue, eh? You must be even more shitfaced than me. Make sure you take some aspirin before you pass out.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    The bullshit we're getting is only what democracy provides incentives for politicians to do. The State may grow slower under Republicans.....and that is the best we can hope for.

    Until somebody comes up with a better solution than democracy (or the republicanized form thereof that we sort of still have).

  • ||

    Both parties will front idiots and the American people will choose their own kind.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If there's any justice, both parties will be torn asunder in 2010. But how often is there any justice?

  • ||

    If there was continued justice from the begginning, neither party, or any party for that matter, would have ever formed.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    1964 is a weird year to use as an example of anything, given that Kennedy was murdered less than a year before. Johnson was going to win that election no matter who the GOP ran.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Anyway... 1994-lite. The GOP is in too deep of a hole to come all the way back, and internal strife will result in Democrat wins where a RINO could have won. Still, a good year for the GOP. I predict a 10-15 seat margin in the House and a 5-6 seat margin in the Senate.

    (I pause to note here that getting close, but not quite taking over Congress, is the best outcome for the GOP. The less of the mid-nineties is that the GOP was too successful. Bill Clinton suddenly had both a foil and an opportunity to triangulate. Clinton took the GOP's best ideas and got all the credit.)

    The more interesting question is how the GOP approaches 2012. As long as the GOP gains in 2010 without taking over, Obama will be vulnerable. It's at that point that the real decision will come: Tea Partier or someone more conventional. And I have no idea how that's going to come out.

  • mad the swine||

    "The less of the mid-nineties is that the GOP was too successful. Bill Clinton suddenly had both a foil and an opportunity to triangulate. Clinton took the GOP's best ideas and got all the credit.)"

    ... if Clinton enacted conservative policies in reaction to the conservative Senate, doesn't that mean that conservatives won in the 1990s? If the policies are enacted, how is it a loss?

  • ||

    Thus we see illustrated the team sports nature of modern American politics.

    If the Communist Party were to implement 100% libertarian policies in a fit of confusion, I'd celebrate like it was 1999.

  • Joe M||

    You mean the last year of the 90s?

  • ed||

    Stop it. Stop it!

  • ||

    Too bad the GOP didn't take all the GOP's best ideas...

  • JoshInHB||

    I think it will be the inverse of the 1930 mid terms.

    The economy is sinking, the opposition party picks up seats but not enough to control either house.

    As the economy continues to sink there will be a true re-alingment election in 2012 where the reps capture the presidency and solid marjorities in both houses at the same time.

  • jacob||

    I think a link not mentioned in this piece is the link between the Palin supporters and Ron Paul. Reading Mr. Munger's article, one might wonder if the two aren't aligned. But IMHO, many of the ardent Palin supporters look down on Paul's foreign policy, and label him a terrorist appeaser. If those buffoons could just get over that, I think the results would be good not just for libertarians, but for all America.

    Somewhere, I keep hearing that the invasion of Iraq was God's will or some other bullshit, and I just don't see it happening.

  • SIV||

    Forget Sarah Palin, how is Rand Paul running for the open Texas Senate seat?
    Isn't his foreign policy a little closer to Palin's than his Daddy? If I had a nickel for every conservative I've heard say they agree with Ron Paul on a lot of stuff but the foreign/military policy was a deal-breaker I'd have a two Ferrari garage beneath the heli-pad on my yacht.

  • SIV||

    Texas Kentucky

  • ||

    The latest polls I have seen show him winning his primary race and beating anyone the Democrats throw up. But the "I don't know who I am gonna vote for" vote in both races is quite big. He officially announced today and has over one million dollars raised. Alot will depend on if the party hacks support him if he wins the primary.

  • Ice||

    He actually is pretty different from mainstream republicans when it comes to foreign policy, though it doesn't completely match up with Ron Paul's, but it definitely is better than most republicans.

  • Some Guy||

    Sarah Palin doesn't deserve to be talked about in the same sentence as Ron Paul or Barry Goldwater. The fact that the Tea Partiers are so in love with her betrays their true character - statists who are simply mad that the people running up trillion dollar deficits on giveaways to political supporters have a D next to their name rather than an R.

  • ||

    Some Guy nails it for my money...

  • ||

    There are plenty of RP people in the TP movement and CFL is closely associated with the TP movement and have had a presence at every TP event I have been to.

    Don't believe what the media wants you to believe about them. They want you to discount them and not interact with them. They are the same media that does that to RP.

    Some are more enlightened and some less, but they all understand liberty is under siege. You won't find a more receptive group to the message of libertarianism if you candy coat it a bit.

    As for Palin? Heh, maybe not the brightest bulb but could she be worse than Obama?

    And did you read her China speech? She's either smarter than she appears or has some pretty smart, and freedom minded, speech writers.

  • ||

    Good point Jacob, and that goes well beyond foreign policy. Last I checked real Libertarians despise social conservatives, like Palin, and their desire to legislate bowing to their God. Bottom line here is the our two party system is destroying the Country.

  • Ice||

    this is what happens when Palin supporters hear about Ron Paul's foreign policy
    http://tinyurl.com/yd4q32p

  • Ice||

    whoops, that was supposed to be a reply to jacob

  • ||

    My god, neo-cons are retards. I knew this, but I hadn't refreshed my memory in a while.

  • ||

    I'm sickened but at the same time amused at how stupid most of those people are.

  • Dr. Liberty||

    I find it repulsive when those jokers declare that if you don't love the United States you should leave it. The very reason I will never leave is because I love my country and refuse to continue to allow it to be decimated by two equally destructive parties who have lost their way. Opposition to the poor decisions of those in power is not the antithesis of patriotism. I would argue they are synonymous.

  • JB||

    I do suggest that retarded fetus Leftists leave. They have plenty of other socialist-paradises to choose from.

    Ship them out en masse to Venezuela so they can all suck Chavez's dick.

  • Who's Sean Hannity||

    It stands as a good reminder not to hope or vote for any Republicans come 2010, the same can be applied to the Democrats as well.

  • Who's Sean Hannity||

    I must miss Ron Paul cause that video made me feel warm inside. He's looking good for the future.

  • Br'er Rabbit||

    2010?

    Vote for every Republican you can in a Congressional or Senate race.Divided government against statism

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Evil of two lessers, Br'er.

  • ||

    Exactly!

  • zoltan||

    Like the fiscally responsible Bush & the Democrats circa 2006-2008? Maybe it works better with a Democratic president and Republican Congress.

  • Some Guy||

    Seems to have worked much less bad in the past than any other combo we can (realistically) come up with.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Which is "better":

    Being boiled alive in water, or being boiled alive in pig urine?

  • Who's Ed Schultz||

    If only we could get rid of at least 500 of the Gang of 535... strand 'em on an island and wipe their memories, something like that. Or a mass fatal heart attack. That would be sweeeeeet.

  • ||

    Those comments are disgusting. Now who is it that thinks the Republicans are potential allies of the libertarians?

  • jacob||

    EXACTLY! Most of those fucking morons are die-hard Palin fans. That's the disconnect I was talking about!

  • Warty||

    “They bomb us because we’re occupiers.”
    “We’re occupiers because they bombed us.”
    “You got chocolate in my peanut butter.”
    “You got peanut butter in my chocolate.”
    What. An. Idiot.

    Consider us refuted. I'd better drink some more scotch.

    Oh, speaking of useful idiot.

  • ||

    Thank you for your post. This is exactly what I was referring to. It's scary that these people claim to be champions of fiscal responsibility, but then cry "ANTI-SEMITE" the moment you talk about reducing aid to Israel. Ben Stein is a white version of Al Sharpton.

  • LibertyBill||

    Fully agree 100%

  • ||

    the Tea Parties and the meteoric rise of their standard bearer, Sarah Palin

    FAIL

    too lame; didn't read

  • ||

    I think its funny how these opinion writers are describing the "Tea Party movement" as if it was ever some cohesive, directed thing.

    The way I see it, it's just a label to describe Americans who fear/enrage the present and the future because of what the failure of government has wrought.
    And they realize the Constitution is destroyed and they're not going to sit by and allow it to happen any longer without making their opposition known.

  • smartass sob||

    +1

  • ||

    Agree. And as a Libertarian that agrees that the Constitution is being destroyed and that I do not have to agree with everything the conservatives or so called tea-baggers agree with, I will not miss the next one that comes to a neighborhood near me(DC). I wish every other Libertarian felt this way because the tea partiers are the only ones out there making any noise against the socialist / authoritarian surge in this country. The more that Pelosi and her kind ignore and insult these people the more it pisses me off.

  • Some Guy||

    I wish every other Libertarian felt this way because the tea partiers are the only ones out there making any noise against the socialist / authoritarian surge in this country.

    We like it in theory, but when you actually consider the content of that noise it makes us feel sick that people mistake them for us.

  • raz||

    It makes me sick that there's this, like, elitist thing going on with the libertarian party, where any time an uneducated bumpkin agrees with us on at least HALF the issues, the reaction is to cluck ones tongue and say "Soooo not helping the cause... you're embarrassing us so please stop..." Or when someone uses a hyperbole to make a statement, and we go "Okay, so there IS no death panel, even tho..." or "Okay, Obama isn't a socialist, even tho..." Give me a break. Just because some obnoxious redneck weirdos agree with us doesn't mean we have to shun them and run around in circles trying to explain how we agree with the liberals that these people are not the best face of the anti-big government movement.

  • ||

    "Just because some obnoxious redneck weirdos agree with us doesn't mean we have to shun them and run around in circles trying to explain how we agree with the liberals that these people are not the best face of the anti-big government movement." Was that suppose to be a hand of friendship?

  • Suspicious Redneck||

    That's yer hand o' friendship? 'Scuse me while I reach 'round back of my mule fer my sawed-off shotgun...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Sounds like an elitist remark, doesn't it?

  • JB||

    Yup.

  • ||

    I love all this talk about momentum and what not.

    My God... do you want all of them (and me) to have a stroke?

    Maybe the Left could tolerate their everlasting contempt and anger about all they see around them.. but the rest of us do have lives to live.

    And since this country has no really effective way to do anything about politicians in Washington who choose to disregard what the people want... all we got one is one day in Novemeber to do anything about it.

    Should we be burning down all the cities in the meantime?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Putting the fear of the voter into your representative is an acceptable middle ground.

  • ||

    Hopefully that is what is leading some of the (D)s to not seek reelection.

    I live in Chicago. My "represenatives' are utterly contemptious of what I stand for. I feel stupid when I even bother to call either Durbin or Burgess' office and yell at them for thier fucking insanity.

    Its like trying to rationalize with a two day old infant about not drooling.

  • Steve Skutnik||

    On a random note, big ups to Prof. Munger for running as the most sane candidate in the last NC gubernatorial election and in general running one of the most credible LP candidacies I've ever seen. I would happily vote for him again should he choose to make another go for office.

  • ||

    I am tempted to describe Sarah Palin as George Wallace with a twat, but that would be unfair -- to Governor Wallace, who eventually repented.

  • ||

    Wow man.. such class!

  • SIV||

    Dumb Fuck

    Yeah ol' Sarah interposed herself between those li'l Eskimo Children and the school-igloo door.

  • zoltan||

    That's extremely to Palin, who is not a racist.

  • zoltan||

    *insulting

  • Suspicious Redneck||

    Now where's my red-hot poker? This Palin-hating faggot's ass needs a good forkin'.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    the Tea Parties and the meteoric rise of their standard bearer, Sarah Palin

    FAIL

    too lame; didn't read

    Well. Sarah did run furiously to the front of the crowd when she noticed that it might be going somewhere.

    Doesn't that make her the leader? Or something?

  • ||

    Palin should be more like a Democrat and call them NAZIs.

    That's the sign of deep thinking and polish.

  • Ziggy||

    Unfortunately the tea parties have been overun by "sarah palin conservatives" and has very few ron paul republicans left. Sarah Palin is just another "RINO", except 10x more religious. The religious right has found an ally in Palin who was only helped by the backlashed she got from the left and basically anyone sane, but the fact that she "was a target" made her a hero for the religious right. I doub she has any shot at winning an election but if she would... we are fucked...

  • Br'er Rabbit||

    She'd be better than Obama.Hell Trig Palin would be better than "The One".

  • Ziggy||

    I dont think so, if there is any hope to get the republicans back to "small government"ideals electing paling will not do it, not only will it not do it, but it will only deter the name of "free markets"more. People associate the right with "free markets" no matter what they do in government. I rather see obama screw up things in the name of socialism, then see palin screw it up with the same policies under the veil of "free markets" plus she would run amok trying to get gays not to marry and abortion illegal...

  • Rich||

    Another possibility: None of the above.

  • ||

    I'm guessing we see a repeat of AD 476 in the near future, so it doesn't really matter.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Nah, it'll be a longer, more drawn out (agonizing) death than that. We don't have a respectable barbarian horde next door, waiting to invade and steal all our gold.

  • ||

    Are you forgetting about Canada?

  • Canadian Horde||

    Um, hey... we're invadin' your homelnnd, eh?

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Do you really think Canada is going to invade? They're way too westernized to go on a war of conquest.

  • ||

    In 1964 a sharp turn towards principle led the Republicans to wander for four years in the electoral desert

    ...when they took a sharp turn in the other direction and elected Richard Nixon, who birthed wage and price controls, the EPA, EEOC and OSHA, and took the US off the gold standard.

  • Jerry||

    Barry Goldwater would have detested the religious right of here today.

  • .||

    Woodrow Wilson would have wondered who let that nigger in the White house

  • Historical record||

    Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856–February 3, 1924)[1] was the 28th President of the United States. A leading intellectual of the Progressive Era... Wilson was elected President as a Democrat in 1912.

  • Some Guy||

    Nothing gets by you...

  • Doc Merlin||

    Yes, he was also a huge, intense, racist, like most progressives of his day. The progressive movement was very racist at the time, it wasn't until much later that it threw off the chains of racism.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Racist Democrats? Say it ain't so!

  • LibertyBill||

    Every good Christian should kick Falwell in the ass

    -Barry Goldwater

  • Tony||

    The GOP discredited itself while in power by running up the deficit and growing the size of government,

    This is the myth but it simply isn't true. Nobody cared about Republican government spending, because the only people who think that spending is the biggest problem in the country are Republicans when they're not in power and want to restrict any achievements of Democrats.

    The Republicans lost favor for many reasons but spending was minor in comparison to the rest.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    And Dems only care about spending when they're not in power. Once they do get it, though, they spend the bejezus out of the treasury.

    How far are we in debt now? I've lost count of the zeroes.

    IOW, Tony, it's wrong when either party misspends... and don't tell us Obama is spending wisely. And while you're at it, you might want to consider that some people don't like it if Rs or Ds are digging the hole deeper.

  • Some Guy||

    What part of his statement could have possibly led you to believe he was defending the Democrats or Obama?

    Take off the rose colored glasses and accept that people who actually care about debt & spending make up a pretty tiny minority.

  • ||

    What part of his statement could have possibly led you to believe he was defending the Democrats or Obama?

    Your first time here? The part that gave it away was the name of the poster "Tony". He doesn't give the slightest shit about debt and spending, except that he wants it to grow endlessly.

  • Tim2||

    "What part of his statement could have possibly led you to believe he was defending the Democrats or Obama?"

    The part about "restricting the achievements of Democrats". Or the part about ignoring the significant minority of moderates, independents and libertarians that can swing elections by shifting what party they voted for. Lots of business people and upper middle class folks got tricked into voting for Obama in part because he claimed he would be fiscally responsible; especially after McCain picked Palin. It wasn't the only factor though, because the Republicans' main selling points are national security and fiscal responsibility; and their stupid actions on both were what discredited them, it can't all be laid at the foot of foreign policy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    This time I agree with you. The 2006 loss for the GOP was due in great part to the wars, not so much the spending. If people had been concerned about the spending they would not have voted for either Obama nor McCain.

    The GOP has been pretty consistent in voting for legislation that runs counter of their purported "small government" platform:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/45868.html

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    OM, neither Brand X Party gives two shits about wise spending or small government.

    Ask Tony, his party is abusing both as we speak.

  • Old Mexican||

    TLG, agreed, but Tony does have a point, even if he arrived at it unwittingly.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    True, OM, and yet Tony still doesn't see how his own party is abusing its power and how it's spending us into a hole deeper than even Bush dug at the height of his worstness.

  • Tony||

    But I don't care about spending like you do. It's just not the biggest problem in the world. I do care what money is spent on, and on that point, from my perspective, Obama is a lot more prudent.

    The only people of political consequence who care about spending to the exclusion of all other issues are Republicans when they're not in power. Because we wouldn't want Democrats disproving their mantra that government can't do anything useful.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Prudent??

    My God, Tony, you really believe that, don't you?

    Obama has spent untold tens of billions on shit we do not need. That adds up to trillions, eventually.

    But Democrats believe their mantra that government can do everything. Hence... you, Tony, shilling for that ridiculous concept.

  • Chad||

    Obama has spent untold tens of billions on shit we do not need. That adds up to trillions, eventually.

    On what, specifically.

    And how does that compare to the McMansions, SUVs, and cheap Chinese crap that the private market has brought us?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    So, get rid of the private market? Or do you put up with it only because it produces tax revenue?

    Why do you hate productive people, Chad? Who builds their "McMansions" and SUVs?

  • Chad||

    Who builds the McMansions and SUVs?

    People who should be weatherizing schools and building trains.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You're proposing the imposition of your lifestyle choice on the rest of us, Chad. And you actually *believe* it when you say it.

    I'd rather be dead than live life in your vision of America.

  • Chad||

    And you are trying to impose your idiotic, self-destructive economic fantasy on everyone. Get over it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    How do I impose anything? I'm not in elected office.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I don't tell YOU how to live, Chad... yet you would tell ME how to live... and yet I'm the one "imposing"?

  • Chad||

    "How I live" is intimately tied to the society I find myself in. The idiotic rules you are trying to inflict on our society then forces the rest of us to adapt to the utterly sub-optimal situation you put us in.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    What "rules" am I trying to inflict? I don't hold elected office.

  • Chad||

    I am not an elected official either, so how could *I* be imposing anything, either?

  • Tim2||

    Again we find Chad ignoring the basic difference between government spending and private spending, mainly that government can't spend any money it hasn't coercively taken from anyone else; that way he can equate private "fiscal irresponsibility" to government fiscal irresponsibility thus justifying it. Such that any time a private actor doesn't spend money on something allegedly more socially useful than McMansions and S.U.V.s they are being irresponsible in spending what they earned the way government spends what it doesn't have. After all, right now Chad could be feeding the homeless rather than taking advantage of the Libertarian guy's poor word choice to make his false comparison.

    The point is, when you are spending money that you took from someone else at the point of a gun you have a much higher burden of proof to show that it is indeed something useful, and I'd bet that the people who are employed by or use the services of the person building such a mansion find him quite useful as do the people who are employed to build the mansion. Further, I'd bet that society is much better off when we reward our innovators and hard workers who create wealth by letting them keep it because that creates the incentive to innovate; and the sum of these reasons refutes your claim that such things aren't needed since they do serve a purpose to the people that build them and society at large.

    Further, you seem to be using a different definition of need. Saying government is spending money on things we don't need is really saying that government is spending money on things that create no net value for society. Such things are often argued to be everything from pork spending to various wars to socialized medicine. This is different from just saying someone doesn't need an S.U.V. There are lots of things that people don't need, cave men made do with much less; but eventually one caveman figured out how to make a better spear than what the hunters needed to kill animals and then trade those spears for meat so he didn't have to hunt. That innovation wasn't necessarily needed, but it did increase the wealth caveman society. Similarly if an individual in our society decides to produce a good or perform a service of equal value to an S.U.V. and then trade for one she has increased society's wealth despite the fact that someone may not have needed her service or the S.U.V. by some arbitrary definition.

    Maybe she should weatherize schools and build trains instead, and maybe the caveman should learn to cultivate crops rather than build spears; but such an analysis is different from the one that says cave society shouldn't confiscate the caveman's spears to build a big fire to the warm the cave drunk because cave society doesn't know how to build good fires, doesn't have the incentive to build good fires even if it knew how, is encouraging the cave drunk to drink more rather than find wood to build his own fire, and is discouraging the spear maker from investing his time into learning how to make better spears. To just claim that the cave drunk needs a fire while the hunters don't need better spears ignores the costs of such actions, and the difference between opposing actions which clearly destroy wealth in the name of marginal if any benefits implying a net loss of wealth society does not need and making relative statements about the need for cave agriculture compared to the need for better spears.

    You can't compare relative priorities on what actions will create the most wealth to active wealth destruction by the government as they impose dead weight losses on society to run programs of dubious benefit and bring the bacon back home to their district. The difference being that privately accrued wealth is at least of use to the person who created it and serves as an incentive in the context of markets to direct people to provide those things others find of use; such that if Bill Gates built a bridge to nowhere it is at the very least a reward for doing well that will encourage others to be more like him rather than like those who don't work as hard or turn to black markets or crime as people do in those societies where people like Chad are in charge and get to dictate how much wealth people need with the effects worsening the more wealth such people decide to take while trying to micromanage and plan what is needed contrary to what individuals are willing work for themselves. Granted government might have a role with regards to something like a carbon tax; but even that isn't necessarily the best solution to AGW and Chad here seems to try and pick out winners and losers of solutions to AGW rather than just accurately price carbon as a means to denigrate the market for providing goods allegedly inferior to his AGW solutions.

  • ||

    It's not quite fair to say that "nobody" cared. Many conservatives were quite disturbed about it. And, of course, libertarian publications like Reason and Cato were quite aggressive in criticizing the Republicans' hypocrisy.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Yeah, and they have a following that amounts to what? 1/3 of 1%? I mean wow man, that's some serious weight there.

    Hate to say it but Palin is doing way better.

    Or, you can always give up and drink Tony's kool aide.

  • Hacha Cha||

    fuck Sarah Palin, she is a shitstain on history. no one is going to fucking remember her just like no one remembers any of the other VP candidates that LOST. if the GOP is insane enough to actually let her run as their candidate in 2012 then it looks like we may see Obama getting a second term and that would be as bad as having that moron Palin win. seriously she is the female Dan Quayle. she is a fucking moron that doesn't deserve any more attention or media coverage. if the republicans want to have a chance in 2012 they will run anyone but Palin, unless they want to commit suicide.

  • Br'er Rabbit||

    Please...PLEASE...PLEASE!!! don' throw me in dat briar patch!

  • Jesse Jackson||

    That's racist!

  • Fuck You||

    Dan Quayle is way smarter than you or any of the other Palin-hating misogynists on this board. You're a shit stain on the reputation of the brain-damaged everywhere; they, at least, have the excuse for being so retarded. You, on the other hand, clearly have no one to blame but yourselves for the way you drool your shit all over these comments sections.

  • Palin Supporter||

    Hacha Cha

    Hey Dickhead

    Keep sitting on your brains in Manhattan, trying to impress other intellectual pussies with you blather. The adults are going to kick some socialist ass and take America back.

    You're lucky we will because a shithead like you deserves to live in Obamas socialist paradise.

  • ||

    You're lucky we will because a shithead like you deserves to live die before Obama's death panels in Obamas socialist paradise.*

    A real Palin supporter wouldn't have made such a glaring rhetorical error.

  • ||

    Tony,

    Spending might not have been the biggest issue, but for a lot of more old-school conservative and libertarian-leaning voters who might have at one time harbored some hope that the GOP would come through on some of their "limited-government" rhetoric, I think it played a pretty large part, and may have kept a lot of them at home.
    Obviously, liberal Democrats who were never particularly interested in limited-government (and are at least honest about that, unlike a majority of Republicans) would have probably voted for Obama anyway.

    Your contention that "the only people who think that spending is the biggest problem in the country are Republicans when they're not in power" is a bit over-the-top. I agree with you that a lot of Republicans won't make a peep when their party does stuff that they'd scream bloody murder about if the Dems did it (and, to be fair, the Dems do the same thing). But there are lots of people out there -- a minority, I know, but not a completely insignificant one -- who do actually genuinely wish to limit government power regardless of which party is wielding it. I think magazines like this one and The American Conservative -- two that I peruse from time to time -- testify to that.

  • ||

    Spending turn me fully anti-Republican.

    Its like a Barry Bonds who suddenly can't hit - what good is he? He sucks in every other area of the game so why have him around?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Dems are spending even more than Bush did. Why aren't you anti-Dem?

  • ||

    Dems field a better line-up on -

    Civil liberties
    personal liberties
    secularism/science
    anti-war

    Not good - but easily better.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Not even close to good, shrike. Voting either major party is still choosing between the evil of two lessers... or between two bowls of shit.

  • Tony||

    And if you vote third party you're actually voting for the greater of two evils, since it amounts to a vote for the party you least like.

    Life is more complicated than your nihilist pox-both-houses shtick. Shrike is right, Dems are just better on a lot of bread and butter issues and they're not fucking anti-intellectual, anti-science radicals, which is all that remains of the GOP.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That line of thought is used by Hannity and other idiots like Michael Medved, and it's horseshit. Neither Brand X party owns one single vote.

    As for the end of your post, it's not surprising you would go the elitist route.

  • Tony||

    It's elitist to believe in facts?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    If I vote Republican OR Democrat, I am voting against my beliefs *and* the future of a free America.

    You're asking me to choose between sticking my left hand in boiling water, or to stick my right hand in boiling oil. Either way, I'm gonna get burned.

    But, do go ahead and tell us how Rs and Ds own every vote. I'll wait.

  • ||

    Science???? You mean like the "science" of AGW???

  • ||

    Climate, stem cell research, evolution, energy reform, etc.

    See 'The Republican War on Science' by Chris Mooney.

    No more dumb-ass Creationists should ever be elected to national office again - that includes the Bimbo.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Are you seriously saying we should have 100% Democrat-led government?

    One-party rule is always a bad idea, shrike. Rs, Ds, it doesn't matter... it's never a pleasant ending.

  • Thomas Dolby||

    He blinded us with science!

  • hmm||

    Like:

    Redistribution
    gun bans
    AGW
    Afghanistan

    Oddly enough that doesn't look "better." It looks about equal.

  • Doc Merlin||

    "Civil liberties
    personal liberties"

    You have to be joking... here.

  • Tim2||

    The Dems aren't being that great on gay marriage right now nor on the war on drugs. Such issues seem to take a back burner compared to their attempts to control large swaths of the economy. Kind of like many Republicans on free markets, they talk a good talk but when it comes to doing something they are more than willing to sacrifice such principles.

    The Democratic party in general doesn't even have a set of shared principles, they are a collection of special interest groups united around getting government to dole out the goodies.

    The progressives and the socialists in the Democratic party are quite different from the more moderate Blue dogs and southern Democrats.

  • ||

    Because the alternative is your uncle Ned, and if Bonds fogs a mirror, he out-hits Ned:
    http://blog.heritage.org/2009/.....-pictures/

  • ||

    Bush left a baseline deficit of $1.3 trillion.

    Outside the stimulus/tax cuts of 2009 Obama's doesn't increase like Bush's.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Not yet, shrike... but Obama's reckless spending is going to come back and bite our collective asses, and you're defending him.

  • ||

    He is more fiscally responsible than the Bushpigs.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    My God... you and Tony sound so much alike, believing that Obama spends wisely. What a hoot.

  • Exceptionalist||

    Yeah, other than that MONSTROUSLY BIG-ASS SPENDING PROGRAM the 0 hasn't spent much at all... except for, you know, that MONSTROUSLY BIG-ASS AUTO BAILOUT and that MONSTROUSLY BIG-ASS FANNIE MAE BAILOUT...

    We'll probably be getting a MONSTROUSLY BIG-ASS HEALTH CARE TAKEOVER soon. Care to try our new MONSTROUSLY BIG-ASS TACO, scrote?

  • ||

    TARP ($700 billion) is on Bush/Paulson. That is the program used to fund Fannie, Freddie, AIG and the small amount for the auto companies.

    1/3 of "porkulus" was tax CUTS - which added to the deficit but you won't hear Fat Rush acknowledge it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Then why didn't Obama and his gang rescind TARP? Why are they ladling out more money we don't actually have?

    They're BOTH wrong, shrike. If you weren't so ideologically buggered, you would acknowledge it.

  • Barack Obama||

    It's for your own good. I have Spoken.

  • JoshInHB||

    "Spending turn me fully anti-Republican."

    Me too. I could have become a democrat if they would have showed any responsiblity at all. Instead the act like a crazy socialist caricature.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    It's not an act, Josh.

  • Tim2||

    I definitely thought the same thing after going to college and living through Bush, but the Democrats have long abandoned sound economics and don't tend to fight much for social issues; which will be solved by demographics anyways.

    The bigots who hate gay people will die off just like many of the bigots against African Americans have and the default position of people is at least not hardcore bigotry, that has to be learned and is generally only learned when people are uneducated and isolated from people who are different.

    On the other hand, people have some very disturbing tendencies twords socialism and big government. Economic education is the art of looking beyond intentions and first order effects to see that even good intentioned policies can fail because of second order effects that people didn't see, downplayed, or willfully ignored.

  • Chad||

    Agreed, Tim. Democrats are just biding time on gays and race-related issues, because the demographics are inevitable.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You mean it's inevitable that you'll get virtually every gay and race-related vote, right?

    Damn shameful behavior.

  • Mr. ?||

    It's how they get welfare recipients to vote for them every two years... why not?
    You stick with what you know.

  • Tim2||

    It does however destroy the argument that one should vote Democrat on the basis of social issues alone while they pursue economic policies you don't support. Many Democrats want libertarians to team up with them on civil rights, but to the extent that they are just biding their time libertarians would advance liberty better by going their own way or teaming up with the right.

    I should also have distinguished between the various social issues as demographics are much more on the side of racial/gender equality than they are of things like the drug war or limitations on what can be done in the name of domestic order and national security. It seems less likely that Democrats are merely biding their time on such reforms to the extent that they pay lip service to them while campaigning.

    LG, it doesn't seem though that Chad is being shameful here; he would only be shameful if he advocated that gays and minorities vote for the Democrats allegedly fighting for their rights when in reality the Democrats in general are biding their time on race issues. Yes Democrats probably care more about such issues than Republicans and even libertarians, but from an outcome oriented analysis gays and minorities would probably do best for themselves by voting for correct economics which I would consider the libertarian view and Chad would consider the progressive one.

    Chad is smart and does often depart from traditional liberal dogma, its just that some of his one liners and accusations of selfishness and childishness can become quite grating, as if the underlying arguments in favor of libertarianism aren't informed by theories about justice as derived from self ownership and utility as informed by economics and the ideas of spontaneous order and public choice. Granted there are plenty of libertarians, true and pretenders, who are more than willing to play into that caricature; but to portray all libertarians as such is just as wrong as to portray all Muslims as terrorists.

  • qwerty||

    2010 will be a good year for the Republicans, but they won't get a majority.

    2012 will depend on events. If employment recovers and there is peace, Obama will probably win. If the economy is bad or there is a major terrorist attack, he's screwed.

  • Ebeneezer Scrooge||

    Or if the Republicans run another idiot for president.

    Who was that guy they ran against Clinton in '96? I can't seem to recall. Whoever he was, I'm sure people will remember Palin a lot longer than they remembered him. Even if she is a bimbo.

    The fact that she's a bimbo, and has still managed to get the level of attention that she has, is probably the main reason people remember her.

    That and the fact that the Right has nobody else offering any leadership at all.

  • zoltan||

    They could run someone who doesn't want to government to bail out failing companies.

  • JoshInHB||

    Barrack Hussein Obama winning means that anyone can if the incumbent is unpopular enough.

  • ||

    Is it self-centered greed or legitimate self-interest that is the main concern with those who do not understand Ayn Rand? Those who admire and criticize Ayn Rand’s beliefs about people who stand on their own feet often say she promoted selfishness, thereby greed, which is self-centered and anti-individual creativity. That is anti-Rand. Rand admired the creative individual, people like railroad builder James Jerome Hill, on whom she was reputed to have based her character Nathaniel Taggart in Atlas Shrugged. Independent “I’m OK, you’re OK” people are OK with Rand, not the criminal takers. If we look at Howard Roark’s summation to the jury, from Fountainhead, we do not see a self-centered individual destroying his work. If he was greedy he would have simply accepted his payment. We see an other- and outer-centered individual in love with his own dreams and creations, as one would love a spouse, child or family and refuse to allow them to be assaulted. That is the kind of self-interest that built America. Though love for anything spiritual may be missing, a great idea or vision also measures up to that which is spiritual, beyond self, and that view is not even inconsistent with Christianity. Claysamerica.com.

  • Some Guy||

    Those who admire and criticize Ayn Rand’s beliefs about people who stand on their own feet often say she promoted selfishness, thereby greed, which is self-centered and anti-individual creativity. That is anti-Rand.

    So you're saying Ayn Rand was anti-Rand?

  • Kolohe||

    A is not A!

  • ||

    2010 will be a rehash of 2006.

    Only this time voters are pissed at the democrats and the democrat president rather then the republicans and the republican president.

    This is a far more interesting phenomomina then a rehash of 1964 or 1994 and in fact it is a new one.

    What seems to happening is that the pendulum is swing back and forth between the two parties and their light versions of their various ideologies at a faster and faster rate.

    What will be interesting is when the speed hits infinite velocity and we get to see what happens when voters are simultaneously pissed at both parties. From the rate of decay my guess is that will happen around election'12.

  • zoltan||

    Maybe that's the whole apocalypse thing! Isn't it supposed to happen in December (a month after election day)?

  • Do the Math ||

    I don't want to be glib, but really 2010 is unlikely to be as dramatic as 2006... There is no likely scenario for the GOP to take over the Senate.

    The Dems in 06 kept all their senate seats and flipped 6 GOP seats to take a 51-49 lead in the senate...

    In 2010 there will be 36 Senate races.. 18 currently held by Dems, 18 by Republicans

    That leaves 40 Dems (plus two independents) sitting this one out. For the GOP to get the majority, it would have to beat the Dems 28-8

    (and flip Joe Lieberman)

    Frankly, that result would blow 1994 out of the water... back then Dems re-elected over a dozen senators and the GOP only had a net gain of 8 seats...

    As far as the Senate elections in 2010 are concerned... I think we're looking at a normal mid-term election, the president's party may lose seats, but there won't be enough GOP gains to take back control...

  • ||

    The entire house is up for election and in order for 2010 to be as "dramatic" as the senate elections of 2006 the Republicans would only have to take 6 seats.

    Do the math indeed.

  • Do the math again||

    If there is no change in majority, there is no "drama"... just a run of the mill midterm election.

    The president's party typically loses seats... big deal... as long as the president's party doesn't lose a majority... which won't happen... mentioning 2010 and 1994 (or 2006) in the same breath is idiotic...

    [And any Dem losses in 2010 will be made up for in 2012, when Obama wipes the floor with whoever the GOP gets to run.]

    Anyone who thinks the Dems are going to lose 10 senate races and 40+ house races (i.e. control of either house of Congress) in 2010 is living in GOP wonderland.

  • Do the math again||

    If there is no change in majority, there is no "drama"... just a run of the mill midterm election.

    The president's party typically loses seats... big deal... as long as the president's party doesn't lose a majority... which won't happen... mentioning 2010 and 1994 (or 2006) in the same breath is idiotic...

    [And any Dem losses in 2010 will be made up for in 2012, when Obama wipes the floor with whoever the GOP gets to run.]

    Anyone who thinks the Dems are going to lose 10 senate races and 40+ house races (i.e. control of either house of Congress) in 2010 is living in GOP wonderland.

  • Do the math again||

    If there is no change in majority, there is no "drama"... just a run of the mill midterm election.

    The president's party typically loses seats... big deal... as long as the president's party doesn't lose a majority... which won't happen... mentioning 2010 and 1994 (or 2006) in the same breath is idiotic...

    [And any Dem losses in 2010 will be made up for in 2012, when Obama wipes the floor with whoever the GOP gets to run.]

    Anyone who thinks the Dems are going to lose 18 senate races and 40+ house races (i.e. control of either house of Congress) in 2010 is living in GOP wonderland.

  • jester||

    Nothing. Ultimately, jasmine tea, oolong tea, darjeeling tea and all forms of green tea will have nothing to do with freedom in America. Everyone said so in their retarded voting record.

    I am not sure that even 500,000 can 'rock' the vote. We'll see.

  • TheNino85||

    People read too much into NY23. The Democrat candidate in the NY23 race was ironically more conservative than the Republican candidate. Conservatives didn't "lose" by electing the Democrat; he represented them better than the Republican did, and they knew it. Furthermore, it was publicly known that the Republican candidate was a last minute pick by the partly leadership. True, there's always wheeling and dealing going on, but in this case, the illusion was shattered. People knew about it.

  • LibertyBill||

    Hoffman was nothing but a Neocon parroting Libertarian talking points.

  • Cannon||

    It would be funny to go to one of those tea bagger parties with a sign that says, "KEEP YOUR GOVERNMENT HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE!" It would be interesting what kind of reaction it would get.

    It is too bad that the legislators won't just lower the age to get medicare down to 40. Medicare is a very efficient government program. Ninty-five percent (95%) of medicare dollars goes into healthcare. About 60% to 70% of the money paid into the private insurance companies goes into healthcare. The private insurance's 30% to 40% that does not go into healthcare makes the insurance CEOs rich billionaires. These CEO's got there by finding ways to not pay out on claims. It's a sick industry literally.

    Medicare was originally put in place to have the tax payer take on the burden of providing healthcare for the elderly, those who would cost the private insurance companies too much money. It's all about the private health insurance companies making their billions of dollars in profits. It should be illegal for private health insurance companies to make a profit. They should all be made into nonprofit businesses. Making a business of denying peoples' claims is criminal. The USA is the only place in the world where private health insurance companies can make a profit.

  • Barack Obama||

    EVERY business should be non-profit, Cannon. That's one reason I am Your Leader... to make it happen.

  • Tony||

    He is the New Caesar! Render everything unto Him! We're not worthy!

  • Cannon||

    No just businesses that have to do with protecting peoples' lives and health, i.e., the fire department, police, military, and healthcare.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    The only thing in your list that is the federal level's responsibility, is the military. There is no federal fire department... thank God.

    And health care is still not a right. Otherwise, food, clothing, shelter, and jobs would also be "rights". Can't be done.

  • Chad||

    Why do you exempt the military?

    Why do YOU have the right to use FORCE and GUNS in order to force me to participate in your schemes?

    There is no logical reason within libertarianism to exempt any government coercion.

  • Cannon||

    That's true. Libertarians are nearly anarchist--no government telling them what they can and cannot do. Actually, for all practical purposes, Libertarians are Republicans who smoke dope and get laid.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That's a tired old stereotype. What talking-points source gave it to you, Cannon?

  • Cannon||

    It's just the general consensus of the public. Hardly anyone votes Libertarian. It's like throwing your vote away.

    Just go to any Libertarian website. They all say legalize marijuana! No taxes! etc.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    So? Criminalization of marijuana is not codified like Prohibition was (and which should not have happened, but it did).

    You and Chad now sound like right-wingers who hate "dopers" and extramarital sex. Make up your minds, dipshits.

  • Mr. ?||

    And Cannon is now using the "wasted vote" non-argument, a favorite of fools like Hannity, Limbaugh, and Michael Medved - and of some liberal talking heads, but mostly from the right. Hell, Medved even rails against the Constitution Party, which should be the party to which he belongs.

    Wonder of Chad and Cannon (or is he really crayon minus the stupidity?) feel the same way about "throwing your vote away" on Green Party candidates?

  • Mr. ?||

    Hardly anyone votes for the Communist Party USA, Cannon... and yet, they have endorsed the last three Democrat prez candidates.

    Your turn.

  • Chad||

    I guess LG is a libertarian who just smokes dope but CAN'T get laid.

    Good job defying the stereotype there, dude!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Got laid New Year's eve, Chad.

    And I don't smoke pot, but I'd be willing to mail you a urine sample, as long as you promise to use the taste-test method.

  • Mr. ?||

    Now you sound like Rush Limbaugh, there, Cannon. How many mental diseases do you have, anyway?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Military is one of the few things government is SUPPOSED to provide, Chad. But no libertarian I know would suggest said military should be used against our own citizenry, as you suggest.

  • Chad||

    Why is it "supposed" to provide it? Says who? What logical justification do you have for using GUNS and FORCE to take MY MONEY to pay for YOUR protection schemes that I didn't sign up for? Is there some "Social Military Contract" that we all inherently are considered to have signed at birth?

    Once you take one step down the slippery slope, you are forced to realize there is no going back. You cannot justify military spending without justifying any spending that benefits society as a whole.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    National defense is part of the Constitution, Chad. Health care is not.

    And, again, it's YOU who want to use force to justify social spending. We'd be forced to participate in liberal health-care, forced to pay higher home heating/cooling costs, forced to pay higher prices at the pump, raise business taxes and costs... all of which will hurt the poor people you claim to protect.

    WE didn't sign up for YOUR welfare programs. You don't even recognize your hypocrisy.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Article II, Section 2:

    Section 2.

    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States

    Your turn, Chad. Point out the Article or Section granting government-run health care. I'll wait.

  • Chad||

    Oh, so if we merely modify the Constitution to, say, require 90% tax rates on everyone who makes a million bucks a year, you would be ok with it.

    Gotcha.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    No, because that is unfair taxation, and would be bereft of representation.

    But you'd like that, wouldn't you?

  • Mr. ?||

    Sounds like the kind of thing that makes Chad all moist and horny, doesn't it?

    Though I do wonder why he only picked 90% as a top tax rate... now I'm suspicious.

  • Cannon||

    I wasn't talking about just the federal government. Nice attempt at a red herring though.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    No attempt here. You didn't clarify where you believe federal meddling ends.

  • smartass sob||

    Well, if you don't like health insurance companies, you don't have to buy their product, you know. Of course, that will all change with passage of the health care bill into law.

  • Cannon||

    Some people are stuck with their company's choice of health insurance. Many are afraid to change jobs because they may be denied coverage and a job.

  • Tim2||

    Why do they have employer provided insurance? Because the government made it tax deductible after it was initially formed as a response to wage and price controls.

    Most people buy it because its cheaper, drying up the individual market which already suffers from coverage mandates for things like alcoholism and acupuncture and sometimes community rating and guaranteed issue making individual insurance more expensive. Not to mention it can't be bought out of state.

    Employer provided insurance is almost entirely a creation of poor government policy.

    As to the whole libertarian/anarchist issue. That is the only logical conclusion for people who build up their case for libertarianism around the non aggression principle rather than economic ideas about spontaneous order and government failures; and the caricature has a degree of staying power because there are always individuals out there who will perpetuate it. Just like there are anti-intellectual Republicans, Liberal pussies, and Socialist Democrats. Many of Palin's supporters do indeed make me angry when they make cases for limited government while doing a better job of caricaturing themselves as anti-intellectuals and sometimes even bigots than the best MSNBC commentator could ever do. Someone mentioned taking a keep government's hands off my Medicare sign to a tea party, some tea partiers already do that; and they make everyone else advocating for limited government look bad. The way conspiracy theorists make anti war folks look bad.

    The logical reason to exempt healthcare from government coercion and not the military is that the latter is a public good and the former is not. Further, government is uniquely situated to provide the military as opposed to other public goods as the military has a tendency to become a government anyways; while the goal of defeating the enemy is a much simpler one than maximizing the health of all Americans as people like Hayek pointed out. It is easy to plan an entire society twords the goal of winning WWII, to prosperity not so much. Good governance itself is a public good, requiring the collective action of the citizens to get informed and pick good leaders; and the more government does and the larger it's territory the more difficult this becomes as leaders are chosen for their expertise or opinions on matters of health rather than on those of self defense and vice versa. So if you have one giant federal bureaucracy doing everything from setting credit policy and determining which companies can and can't fail to fighting wars to managing our health there is little chance for the people to gather the information to effectively control such a government and every incentive for it to be run at the direction of special interest groups who capture it where one such group is even the federal bureaucracy. Further, with such authority it is near impossible to have a rule of laws which are comprehensible and set beforehand as opposed to the arbitrary rule of men (or women).

    The solution being a decentralized government limited to the role of the night watchman state at the federal level; with any provision of alleged social welfare type public goods such as a social safety net done at the state and local level where government is closer and more easily controlled by the people and where it is easy for people to vote with their feet should the government do wrong.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    +1, Tim2.

  • Chad||

    Why do we have employer-covered insurance? Historical reasons aside, there is one primary reason it has endured: it mitigates the adverse-selection market failure that destroys the market for individual private insurance. That alone makes it better than everyone trying to buy their own plan.

    There is a better way, of course, which EVERY OTHER RICH NATION figured out forever ago: just insure everyone all the time.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You mean force people to buy insurance from the government.

    Nice capitalization of the word "rich", though. You never miss an opportunity to denigrate those who are successful, I'll give you that.

  • Tim2||

    I'll point out again that all insurance could be said to suffer from problems of adverse selection to a degree, how does your auto insurer know any more about your driving skills than your health insurer, while still functioning well in private markets. 45 yr olds aren't opting out en masse of all the auto insurance policies more expansive than the minimum of what the states mandate. People still buy homeowners policies.

    Further, the point that Chad has yet to respond to of mine at least where I have seen it is how the left can simultaneously argue that we are suffering from adverse selection and people with pre exisiting conditions being unable to get insurance when the very definition of adverse selection is the insurers not being able to figure out who is more risky. People getting turned down for coverage are evidence that adverse selection isn't happening at least to a degree. While one of the causes for adverse selection is the fact that insurers are by law required to cover all sorts of frivolous benefits no healthy person would want and likely few sick people and the fact that insurers are often restricted as to how much more than can charge the sick compared to the healthy. In such circumstances they must inevitably charge more than a healthy person wants to pay and as such a healthy person won't buy in unless subsidized to do so or the extra costs are lower than the costs imposed by their risk aversion. In other words, the same people who complain of adverse selection are advocating that information on the health of the insured have little to no bearing on the price that person is charged.

    I suspect that if insurers were allowed to sell real insurance, policies that charged based on risk and covered only catastrophic expenses (homeowners isn't going to remodel your bathroom or fix your wiring or cover all sorts of significant yet non catastrophic events) most healthy people will buy health insurance. However what they won't do is buy more expensive insurance policies in order to subsidize the care of people less healthy than they are; which is essentially what people who want group insurance want, everyone paying largely the same rate for the same set of benefits regardless of how much healthcare they actually use. The proof is in the individual mandate which is advocated to avoid the adverse selection Obamacare advocates know they will cause if the force insurers to sell policies to anyone who wants them while limiting medical underwriting. While we can also see it in the higher insurance premiums in those states that have guaranteed issue and community rating and their subsequently smaller individual insurance markets.

  • ||

    "Ninty-five percent (95%) of medicare dollars goes into healthcare."
    And 99% of the population voted for Stalin.

    Uh, that stat you quoted is both a lie and 'economical' with the truth where it isn't.
    For starters, there is no way to administer any organization larger than a cub-scout troop for 5%, so it won't pass the sniff test.
    And then, why would you ever compare an agency which pays no taxes to one which does? Perhaps to mislead?

  • Cannon||

    Sorry, I was off a bit. Medicare is actually 97% efficient. I was off by 2%. Sorry to mislead.

    For more information, Medicare has a website. Check it out.

  • Tim2||

    Medicare also gets defrauded more than private insurers. It is easy to just pay out all claims and say they all go to treatment.

  • ||

    In general, I think the TEA Party movement will have a marginal positive effect on Republican candidates. What I've seen in the Dallas, TX area is many pissed off citizens are running as primary election challengers at the federal, state, and local level. They seem to agree that government has been growing out of control and someone needs to prune it back. Most challengers will fail, but their efforts force incumbents to rediscover limited government.

    BTW, Seattle blogger Liberty Belle started the 2009 protests against TARP and Porkulus. Rick Santelli's rant occurred after local protests had been organized in several cities.

    http://redistributingknowledge.....st-at.html
    http://www.myownside.com/2009/.....n-seattle/

  • Cap'n NoStar||

    The debacle of 1964 was not caused by the Republicans embracing the conservatism of Goldwater. It was caused by Johnson garnering sympathy votes for the dead Kennedy.

  • JoshInHB||

    And totally over the top lies by the MSM about Barry Goldwater, that wouldn't even be possible today.

  • Jazmon||

    LISTEN UP!!!

    PASS THE WORD

    At the track, the long shot may truly be the best horse. Bets on this horse win the biggest.

    Now think Florida 2010 U.S. Senate Race.

    Commercial media wants you to believe, the only two jockeys that count, ride the republican horses, and between these two, you the voter must choose; period.

    Media tells you if you vote otherwise, you will crack and split things, causing great harm to structures they have been harming you with for a very long time.

    Their control is what led Florida and our country into current dismay and shambles.

    Media is paid to keep the spotlight on them and shined into your eyes, so you remain hypnotized enough not to see the new jockey on the track that is there to represent you and me in D.C.

    Tradition shows, you need millions to pay the media monster, or do not think you can be a jockey in this political race, no matter how qualified or how great a leader you may be.

    Millions were needed to pay TV, radio, and fill our mailboxes and trash with glossy ads with their names. One or two lines and vote for me.

    Internet has changed this. Information is available and communication possible between voters, who are real people who need real representation in D.C. to help them have jobs, homes and healthcare, which we are losing daily. Look around.

    Who amongst the millionaires in power can honestly relate to you and me? Can you name one you think cares about you or your family? Who has voted for the interests of the People over the Corporations’ interests that financed their fancy ads to get them elected? Research of donations and voting records will show that.

    Media may tell you otherwise, (as they are paid to do), but in Florida, for the first time in history, there is an official registered TEA Political Party with a 2010 U.S. Senator Candidate on the November 2nd ballot.

    Jorge Antonio Lovenguth (George) swore on the Constitution at age 17 and volunteered to fly in a USMC helicopter to rescue fellow marines.

    He again has volunteered, this time to help rescue Florida and America as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

    He is not accepting any corporate donations. He, on his own, has stepped forward into this political horse race, as he sees no one else representing the Veterans, the elderly and the young people no one in power is helping.

    We need help now instead of just more and more being taken from us!

    Lovenguth has heart, not millions of dollars to pay the media to get his name out.

    He has a degree in literature and will read every bill, write and vote for the People’s interests.

    He will owe no one except the voters who put him in D.C. The People are whom he will represent in his vote there. He will not be a puppet for big money interests.

    This will make history in Florida; the example an election of VOTES of the People, not media money to dazzle or frighten us.

    Help Jorge Antonio Lovenguth (George), to kick open the door, Marine style, for the People, to have a voice in D.C.

    PASS THE WORD. Talk, write, email everybody you know about this!

    Most important, register and VOTE TEA - Jorge Antonio Lovenguth (George) FL U.S. Senator - November 2, 2010!

    Jazmon

    Jazmon@TeaParty.Pro

    http://florida-veterans.mynetworksolutions.com/

    http://www.TeaParty.Pro

    http://election.dos.state.fl.us/candidate/CanList.asp

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    But I don't care about spending like you do. It's just not the biggest problem in the world. I do care what money is spent on, and on that point, from my perspective, Obama is a lot more prudent.

    Tony, would you use that same prudence when handling your own money?

  • g4m3th3ory||

    Thanks OM - I was thinking that was a strange word, but couldn't come up with a good reply.

    Tony?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I've had a long-running argument with a local-level Tonyite who says "the federal budget can't be treated like the household budget".

    I call bullshit every time I have this argument with her, and put it this way:

    If a couple takes out a $300K loan to buy a $150K home, then uses the rest to fill every square cubic foot of said home with peanut butter... wouldn't that be an irresponsible use of a line of credit?

    I use many variations of that idea, and get a stammering semi-response tagged at the end with "it's Bush's fault" almost every time.

    Like Tonyites, she never blames anything on the events occurring after January 20, 2009.

  • Chad||

    LG, buying a $150k house and filling it with peanut butter, entirely on credit, is exactly what both Republicans AND the American public have been doing for the last thirty years.

    Your blind faith that anything the market does must, by definition, be optimal is what clouds your thinking...to the point that you think that borrowing trillions of dollars from China in order to buy tons of cheap plastic toys is a good idea.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    If I had a say, we wouldn't be doing business with China unless it was a 50/50 trade deal. And I sure as hell wouldn't be borrowing money from them.

    But your blind faith that anything government does must, by definition, be optimal... I'd say that is more thought-clouding than your assessment above.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Nice of you to leave Democrats out of the mix, btw. I guess in your world, Dems never do wrong, never misspend, never cheat or lie, never pass bad legislation, are never bad stewards of the public treasury or the public trust... the perfect people among the bad.

    And you attribute blind faith to me.

    Well, here's another opening to toss in one of your "you aren't educated enough"-style ripostes, all the while claiming to not be an elitist looking down his nose at a fellow citizen.

    Enjoy.

  • Chad||

    Dems aren't perfect, but they are right most of the time and try to correct it when they are wrong.

    Republicans are wrong most of the time, and don't even care.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Like the way Dems took responsibility for screwing up on the housing crisis?

    You only go half-way by blaming Republicans. BOTH parties are at fault.

  • Chad||

    Both are roughly equally at fault, but neither are much at fault. This was a global phenomenon that had little to do with American politics.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Wow, Chad, for once you deign to tump the hallowed ground of your own party. I'm impressed.

  • Chad||

    The Libertarian Guy|1.2.10 @ 11:33AM|#

    If I had a say, we wouldn't be doing business with China unless it was a 50/50 trade deal. And I sure as hell wouldn't be borrowing money from them.

    Wow! That sure sounds like it is 100% complete opposition to free market ideology. How utterly command-and-controlish of you! What's the punishment that you envision for an American who doesn't acknowledge your say, and does business with the Chinese?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You misunderstand - I wouldn't forbid individual trade with China, but I would demand the Chinese buy an even amount from us. Should have phrased it differently.

  • Chad||

    So you are going to shoot Chinese that don't obey?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    No, I just wouldn't do business with them.

  • Chad||

    So you are going to shoot Americans that do business with them? Or are you just talking about you personally, which doesn't mean squat.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    More elitist thinking. Tsk.

  • Cannon||

    Just don't shop at Wal-Mart.

  • Mr. ?||

    ...said Chad, who is 100% opposed to free-market ideology...

  • Chad||

    You are right, I am 100% opposed to your ideology.

  • Mr. ?||

    Which means you consider your ideology to be The One True Way, right, Chad?

  • Chad||

    I don't have an ideology, other than choose what works best. When markets work, they work. When governments work, they work. When a mix works, it works.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I have yet to see you say one kind word about the private sector, Chad.

  • Mr. ?||

    He can't say anything kind about the private sector. He's a liberal.

  • Tim2||

    Your ideology determines what you think works best.

    Here's Chad

    Progressivism works best.
    Pragmatism is about doing what works best.
    Pragmatism isn't really an ideology.
    Therefore, I'm not an ideologue.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    So... you're opposed to ending the War on Drugs, getting the state out of the business of marriage between any consenting adults, restrictions on speech and dissent, and getting us out of the business of playing World Policemen?

    Are you *sure* you're 100% opposed to all libertarian ideology? Think carefully, now...

  • Chad||

    Where did you get the idea that I support our current drug policy? I am for gay marriage, but not the silly libertarian idea of making marriage "just another contract", which seems to be what you are arguing. I am far more open than the norm to free speech issues, though not radically libertarian on the matter (I do support restrictions on the volume and timing of protests, which absolutely must be content neutral).

    And for the love of God, can you give me a half-way coherent argument as to why your libertarian ethics seem to stop at some arbitrary line on a map?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You said you 100% oppose libertarian ideology. Now you say you don't. Which is it?

    And what's this "map" shit?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    How can a protest be "content neutral"?

    You can't be open to free-speech issues if you support restrictions on free speech, BTW.

  • Chad||

    LG: I oppose allowing anyone to loudly protest anything at 3am on the sidewalk outside your home...even if I agree with the protesters.

    Get it?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You still haven't answered the "content-neutral" bit, Chad. Your answer above only addresses when and where, and how loud one can be.

  • Chad||

    No, I oppose ideologies.

    Sometimes, libertarian ideology happens to be right, or at least close enough.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Marriage IS just another contract. As long as both (or more) participants in the marriage are of legal age and are competent to consent, it is none of anyone's business - private or public - how they bond.

    This would solve the religious right's argument, by way of implementing domestic-partnership protections to said consenting adults... and it would give gays one less thing to fret about, as they could have a ceremony without a state-issued marriage-permission slip.

    Because that's what a marriage license is, Chad... a permission slip. Grown humans don't need permission to get married.

  • Tim2||

    You are ignoring that the U.S. has monetary and fiscal policies that encourage debt as opposed to savings and subsidizes risk.

    Who wouldn't buy a house when you can deduct mortgage payments from your taxes and can take out a cheap loan backed by a Government sponsored enterprise of printed money? This fuels a speculative bubble as the demand for houses increases, and in this environment who would save rather than take out cheap loans to buy a house that can just be refinanced later after the value increases?

    Private markets don't work for every good, but the U.S. economy isn't exactly a free market either; and you can't attribute problems caused by massive federal interventions to private markets. You then conflate the belief that markets in general work better than government for the vast majority of goods with "blind faith" that everything markets do is optimal. Nice strawman there.

    How many people would have been able to buy ridiculous houses if they couldn't deduct part of paying for them from their taxes, if they had to borrow in an environment where the fed wasn't keeping real interest rates around zero or even negative, and if Fannie and Freddie weren't able to use their implicit taxpayer backing to raise cheap capital to buy any mortgage that crossed their desks? Those are some pretty big interventions, not just some 1% tax to pay for the post office. But of course government can only affect the market in a positive way; because minor carbon taxes will have huge effects of promoting green jobs and saving the planet while the plethora of tax incentives, government programs, and poor monetary policy had zero effect on people's willingness to take out debt to buy all sorts of stuff. That was all free markets and I'm just digging up third order effects of government policy to justify my near religious ideology based upon greed; while progressives claim that minor "nudges" can have vast positive effects on the economy. Just another progressive contradiction, but after all those don't matter; its just whatever works to advocate progressivism since we pragmatists have assumed that progressivism just works and anyone who says otherwise is an evil ideologue.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    +1 again, Tim2. You're on it today.

  • Tony||

    I have people who do that for me.

    The Obama admin bailouts have actually been quite effective and cheap considering the alternative. For other issues Obama and Congress have bent over backward to make sure things are paid for. No more throwing trillions of dollars away with absolutely no concern for paying it back, and then wrapping yourself in the mantra of "small government" just because you cut taxes while doing all the spending, like Bush. Yeah it's an improvement.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    What a laugh, Tony. That was an amusing post.

  • Mr. ?||

    How about cutting taxes AND spending? Or does that upset the Obama apple cart?

  • Chad||

    Cut spending on what?

    I quadruple dog dare you to present a balanced budget that does not involve large tax increases. What, pray tell, are you going to cut? To give you an idea of the scale of cuts you would need, any of the four things below would be about enough:

    1: Cut Social Security entirely (no checks out, but keep the taxes coming in!)

    2: Cut both Medicare and Medicaid entirely (but again, keep taxing).

    3: Eliminate the entire defense budget

    4: Eliminate everything else not mentioned above AND either Medicare or Medicaid.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Shit, Chad, we can't even cut the rate of budget increases without liberals going apoplectic.

    "Dept. of [something] was going to get a 5% increase next fiscal year, but will now only get a 4.3% increase."

    "You're slashing the budget! People are gonna die in the streets!"

    Predictable every time.

  • Chad||

    I am asking you how to balance the budget. Please, outline the cuts you would make. Be serious, and only outline cuts that would actually address the budget gap. Additionally, please outline the problems that your cuts would create, and how the private market would deal with them.

    Is this too hard for you?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    For starters, I wouldn't get us deeper into hock with the Chinese. Or any other country, for that matter.

    Second, keep tax rates right where they are at.

    Third, freeze all spending, and eliminate "stimulus" spending, especially that which goes to projects which have nothing to do with economic growth.

    4. IF there must be a new program, there must be a corresponding cut in an existing one, at least. Two cuts for every new expenditure would be even better.

    5. Get over the silly notion that the federal budget cannot be treated like the household budget. Individuals (there's a curse word for you, eh?) who get into hock buying things they don't need, are just as irresponsible as a federal government doing the same thing.

    6. Stop bailing out private industry. Chrysler should have been liquidated, or sold to whoever might be able to turn it around. GM, too. The fedgov didn't bail out Packard, Studebaker, Nash, Hudson, Kaiser-Frazer, Willys, Crosley, Graham-Paige, Hupmobile, Franklin, Marmon, Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg, or Pierce-Arrow... why should they bail out any current automaker?

    Your turn, Sparky. Dazzle us with your bullshit.

  • Chad||

    Ok, you are going to "freeze spending". Does this include inflation? If not, how are you going to deal with the real cuts you are going to make to SS and Medicare? What are you going to do about the millions of elderly who would be screwed within ten years as inflation eroded their meager checks by 25%? How do you plan to ration health care to keep Medicare spending at today's level, despite inflation? What portion of the military would you ax? Indeed, you would be cutting everything ~25% over ten years. What are you going to cut at the State Department? What roads are you going to leave full of potholes? Come on, be specific.

    WHY CAN'T YOU SPELL OUT YOUR CUTS, YOU CHICKEN?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I already did, though apparently not enough to your liking. But then, elitists are prone to act in such a petulant manner.

  • Mr. ?||

    The federal government fills potholes?

  • ||

    I'll get on that just as soon as you show, with specificity, exactly how each section of the 2000-page bill concerning healthcare exemplifies the best possible use of the funds that will be used to enforce and enact it, relative to all alternative schemes for achieving the goal alluded to in the titles of these sections. Ordering snotty commenters to clean out the Augean stables is fun!

  • JoshInHB||

    I'd start by completely eliminating:

    Dept of Education
    Dept of Agriculture
    Dept HUD
    Dept of the Interior
    Bureau of Indian Affairs
    Commerce Department
    NEA, NPR, PBS

    End the War on Drugs

    Reduce the Defense Dept 30%

    Mandate annual 5% per year deductions in all the remaining departments.

    Within 3 years the budget would be balanced without any new taxes.

    The consequences
    A lot of pigs feeding at the federal trought would have to get real jobs.
    The free market, private economy will take care of that.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    A good start, Josh... but wait for it, Chad will eventually come along with his predictable "but, but, government is good and LOTS of government is better!" arguments.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I left out:

    No increase in energy taxes

    Much as it pains the Tonys and Chads, we do not need to artificially inflate the cost of doing business by raising energy costs via taxation.

  • qwerty||

    Divide spending on everything except defense by:

    current nondefense spending / (current tax revenue - defense spending)

    It's not that hard.

  • Mr. ?||

    Have to separate out non-essential spending, like most of the bailout expenditures, for instance.

  • Mr. ?||

    Why does anyone argue with this Chad-troll? He brings nothing of value to the discussions. He views government as the end-all and be-all, and treats it like a religious entity. Is it really worth engaging in conversation with someone so intimately enamored with the state?

  • Barack Obama||

    I've been wondering how to prevent people from arguing with Me or My henchmen, but that pesky First Amendment is still a roadblock to implementing one of My many Plans.

  • Chad||

    No, I call for a blend of solutions that involve private and public sector solutions, determined in a blend of democratic, market, and technocratic methods.

    YOU guys insist the market is divine.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    And YOU people insist the government is divine.

  • Louis Farrakhan||

    That's racist!

  • Chad||

    No, I merely claim that it is at times better than the market. You claim the market is perfect by definition.

    See the difference?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    No, Chad, you claim government is superior to everything else. You might make the occasional offering of "well, maybe a little free-market is good", but you only view it as a source of income, not a necessity for a free society.

  • Mr. ?||

    The old "mixed economy" meme.

    Okay, Super Genius, tell us what blend of private and socialist ingredients will bring us out of the doldrums. Fifty-fifty? Or more socialism and much less private-sector?

    If government is so fucking great, tell us what problems have been solved. Not just maintained... solved.

  • Chad||

    Actually, 50-50 seems to work pretty well, and winds up with a society that is more egalitarian and more secure than the madness we have, with no discernable impact on productivity.

  • Mr. ?||

    Funny, I'd figure you would want more like 80% socialism and 20% hated free-market.

  • Chad||

    Naah, you can't tax rates that high without Laffer-curve type effects becoming too strong.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Like you care. Raising taxes is your mantra, your universal cure-all.

  • Chad||

    No, it not a cure-all. It is just better than the alternatives.

  • Cannon||

    Without government there would be no markets.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    And vice-versa, Cannon?

    Why is it the only solutions you liberals present are shitloads of taxes and shitloads of government? What happened to you in your life that makes you think in such a twisted fashion?

  • Chad||

    Actually, no. There are governments without any meaningful markets. It doesn't work very well that way, though, except for in very small tribal societies.

  • Cannon||

    Government sets up the rules of the game. Who is the government? We the People. Taxes are a necessary evil to run our government.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Cannon, if you think the criminals in the House, Senate and White House are "We the People", you're more deluded than I thought.

  • Tim2||

    It's pretty clear what Chad is doing here. Obviously all non anarchist libertarians believe that the government does some things better than markets, such as the military and the police.

    When Chad claims that libertarians believe that the market is supreme, he is building up a strawman calling all libertarians a bunch of ideologues who are not only wrong but often self contradictory, leaving only his conception of a "mixed economy" standing. Any economy with a national military is mixed, but many people wouldn't think of it that way.

    The real difference is that Chad has a highly expanded view of what government can and should do well that ignores basic economics and is heavily influenced by his arbitrary notions of social justice. He rightly points out that there are many times when markets don't have the proper incentives to produce optimum results such as in the case of the military or in the case of pollution. The trouble is that the same is true of government, of which public policy is just one big public good; why should I get informed and vote when my vote counts for virtually nothing and the cost of getting fully informed is quite high and gets higher the more government does. That basic logic puts a kind of natural limit on government which justifies the libertarian point that such a limit is incompatible with a large federal bureaucracy that thinks it can regulate almost any economic activity it wants and can fund massive entitlement programs; which further tweaks the incentives for people to produce good governance when they realize they can vote themselves money.

    It is in this sense that calling Chad government worshiping is not necessarily a strawman, because he has never recognize the idea of government failures akin to market failures; and just assumes them away because outside of rampant communism the second order effects aren't readily apparent and he contrasts them to his arbitrary claims about improved social justice assuming that the only way to improve the lot of poor people is through the government.

    It's not really that tough, but Chad would prefer to troll for libertarians writing one line posts that he can use to build his caricature rather than participate in an intelligent discussion of the size and scope of government.

    Yes government sometimes does things better than markets and yes sometimes raising taxes is justified. Does that contradict libertarian philosophy? Only Chad's caricature of it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Tim2, you're a lot more level-headed than I have been, and appreciate you showing up to interject some common sense.

    I would, however, argue that 1) tax hikes should only be used in dire consequences (and be offset by tax cuts in other areas) and 2) the list of things government does better than markets is a pretty damn short list.

    "Voting themselves money" was a bad idea from the moment it finally happened in our national history. We staved that off for a while early on, but it's snowballed as the nation ages and will eventually cause our economy to collapse like a black hole. Liberals don't get that; they think we can just expand and tax, ad infinitum, and conservatives don't get it, either.

    A night-watchman state would, indeed, be the optimal way to govern, but again the far-wing extremists will have no truck with such a limited state authority. Sad, really.

  • Tim2||

    My point is that the level of spending, not nominal taxes, is the real level of taxation; and that in the case of costly events like wars we would be better off financing them with taxes if possible before resorting to borrowing or printing money. However, generally regardless of what the money is spent upon funding it through taxes is better because taxes much more transparently show the costs of government which we would hope would encourage people to consume less of it while higher taxes don't create the kind of crazy uncertainties created by asset bubbles and inflation.

    It's much easier for people to plan their affairs if they knew they would have a 50% tax rate than if they knew they had a 40% rate with a great deal of uncertainty about what the 60% of their retained earnings are actually worth. I prefer less of my money going to the government, but if I am going to pay a significant portion of my income to it I would prefer that doing so is done transparently up front rather than in the dark smoking room of inflation or the crowding out of privately available credit.

    I don't however worship at the altar of balanced budgets as being preferable to reductions in spending or confining government to those few activities that only it can do well. Some people in both parties almost seem to believe that it doesn't matter how much we spend and upon what so long as we pay for it with levels of taxation that don't produce substantial laffer effects.

  • Craig||

    ...a majority of people who call themselves “conservative” now prefer to vote against Republicans who do not share their values. And they persist in this opinion, even if it means that Democrats win elections.

    Then they are thinking rationally. If you allow candidates to carry the party label who don't share your fundamental values, the party label is worthless, and a few rounds of electoral losses are just the price of purging the gunk out of the system before creating something that works.

  • hmm||

    I'm over politics. At this point no matter what you do, you're fucked.

  • Chad||

    Raise my taxes. Raise your taxes. Raise everyone's taxes.

    It is time to pay our bills for once.

    Happy New Year's, you greedy bastards.

    Chad

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Yeah, taxing our way to prosperity is a great idea, Chad. How about we take 90% of ALL income? Then we'll be really prosperous... for about fifteen minutes, right before the entire country collapses.

  • Urban Outdoorsman Tax Man||

    I'm sorry, but we have to take something, even if you haven't held a job in - as you say - nine years... you have to pay anyway. We'll take whatever pocket change you have on you, and that unfinished bottle of Thunderbird, but the next time we come by you'd better have some folding money on you.

  • Low Income Tax Collector||

    Listen, folks, I'm just doing what Obama told us to do. I know he promised no tax increases on lower-class people, but his budget has to be met, so we'll be taking that coffee can full of one-dollar bills and quarters in the cabinet over your refrigerator.

  • Chad||

    There are a wide variety of tax rates in the rich countries in the world, and everyone is doing fine. Yes, 100% tax rates are bad. Yes, 0% tax rates are bad. There is a big space in between where the effects on the economy are minimal.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You left spending out of the equation, Chad. Keep spending low, keep taxes low. Works like a charm.

  • Chad||

    Really? Our low-to-moderate-spending, low-tax system sure isn't getting us anywhere except deep into debt.

    What would you like to spend less on, that would make a difference?

    Shoot all the old people and eliminate Medicare and Social Security? That might do it. Ask the French for protection and disband our military? That might do it. Everything else doesn't add up to enough to solve the problem.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You call this low-to-moderate spending? How much more debt has your dear leader piled on since January 20 of last year?

    Face it, Chad... we could be in great financial shape, and you would still want to raise tax rates. But we have a president who is no more financially conservative than the last one, so being in positive financial shape isn't going to happen under his watch.

    I'm not going to address the bulk of your ridiculous "shoot all the old people"-style rhetoric, other than to point out how ridiculous it is.

  • Chad||

    Yes, it is low or moderate. Look outside our border for once, please. There are plenty of nations who tax and spend a lot more than us, and are doing just fine.

    We, too, can pay our bills.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Stop or slow down on increasing the cost of government, Chad, and there's no need to have higher tax rates.

    BTW, I'm sure the Pelosi Family pays their fair share. Right?

  • Tony||

    What is the optimum size of government? Small enough to be controllable by the major industries that fund small government propaganda?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    It's spelled out in the Constitution, Tony. But you ignore that, so there's no point arguing with you about it.

  • Mr. ?||

    Who funds big-government propaganda? There's a good "?" for you. Can you answer it truthfully, Tony?

  • Barack Obama||

    *I* fund big-government propaganda. My Will be done.

  • Tony and Chad||

    We love you, O Lord! Though we are not worthy to mow Your Heavenly Lawn, we remain Your faithful servants!

  • Barack Obama||

    Damn right you love Me, peons. Now, go ye forth and spread My Word, useful tools.

  • George Soros||

    *ahem* I'm the one funding a lot of it, thank you very much.

  • Tim2||

    Tony, its precisely the opposite; the bigger and more complex the government gets the more expensive it gets for people to actually figure out what various policies cost them and the more opportunities government has to provide small industries large benefits paid for by diffuse costs imposed upon the people with little incentive or ability to realize that such costs are even there.

    If government were for example limited to only the police and the military who enforce property rights, I'm not making an argument here as to whether or not that is the proper size, then how exactly would any firm that wasn't a military or police contractor be able to use the government to advance their interests without such an overstep being readily apparent to the populace. What we have to worry about is when a large incomprehensible bureaucracy can tweak one phrase of legalese to favor one industry or harm an business's competitors precisely because it is incredibly difficult to the point of being rational for average citizens to distinguish between such actions of government and other actions already accepted as legitimate.

    What alternative energy policies are good responses to AGW, and what are just handouts to special interest groups rent seeking under the guise of AGW; while how many people know enough and care enough to figure out the difference? Does this not inform you conception of the role of government, that maybe it should rather than fund a hodgepodge of alternative energy projects and especially subsidize the production of alternative energy it should rather restrict itself to a general carbon tax and R&D subsidies? The politicians don't want that though because they want complex cap and trade schemes and handouts for green jobs because those things let them claim to be addressing AGW satisfying the Greens while handing out the goodies to their friends in the "environmental industrial complex".

    Bigger government is harder to for the people to control than smaller government because the people have little idea of what it is doing, and the incentive structure of government then favors imposing small costs upon large groups of people to fund large handouts to small groups who will vote for their benefactors and dedicate time and money to getting others to do the same. That is why libertarians advocate devolving various tasks to the lowest level of government able to deal with them (Federalism and Subsidiarity) while promoting a government of limited, pre determined and comprehensible powers rather than a large centralized bureaucracy with overreaching powers that defines what it can and can't do in such legalese that it amounts to largely discretionary powers, in other words the arbitrary rule of men; just bureaucrats rather than kings. Look at the misinterpretation of the commerce clause that basically grant the government power to do whatever it likes as long as it can concoct some ridiculous story similar to how growing wheat in one's backyard for personal consumption amounts to interstate commerce.

    Which society is more conducive to plutocracy, the one that says government shall not intervene in the economy other than for a few specific goods and services; or one where unelected bureaucrats can effectively make laws using powers delegated to them by a congress that sees the general welfare clause, commerce clause, and neccessary and proper clause as amounting to the grant of an effective federal police power to do anything not explicitly forbidden in the bill of rights; and even things that are forbidden such as what would have happened had one SCOTUS Judge switched sides on U.S. v Lopez. Interstate commerce really is whatever the hell government wants it to be under that dissent.

  • Cannon||

    There are always areas where a budget could be cut, in business as well as in government. We need to tax the rich and the large corporations more. They both pay a very small percentage in taxes per entity--they need to "pay their fair share."

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    I have to pay more? Are you serious? Are you serious?

  • Barack Obama||

    No, Nancy... you're one of My People, and I will make sure you and that wuss husband of yours are still worth millions of dollars.

  • Mr. ?||

    Piling on the bills needlessly isn't good policy, Chad.

  • Chad||

    It depends on whether what we are getting is worth the money.

    Infrastructure, R&D, and education are good investments. McMansions, SUVs, and cheap Chinese junk are not.

    The government spends its marginal dollars on the former, the private sector on the latter. Ergo, our marginal dollars are better spent by the government. Q.E.D. It really is that simple.

  • Mr. ?||

    Nice stab at stuff well-off people buy, Chad. Your wealth envy shows clearly.

  • Barack Obama||

    Only money spent by My Government is worthy of My Blessing. All other spending is heretical and displeases Me greatly.

  • Chad||

    I am (reasonably) well-off, silly goose. Yet I drive a very efficient vehicle, and live in a small apartment (with minimal chinese junk) when I can afford to do otherwise. Instead of wasting my money, I either donate it, save it, or spend it on human talent rather than cheap crap.

  • Mr. ?||

    Well, good for you. You live YOUR life as you see fit, and refrain from telling us how to live OURS.

  • Barack Obama||

    You will live life according to My Plan, and you'll like it, you filthy ingrates.

    My Will be Done.

  • Chad||

    No, because our lives are not independant, no matter how much you wish it.

  • Mr. ?||

    My life is mine to live. I don't want you to live it according to my wishes or belief system, yet you want me to live my life your way.

    And you still don't see the inherent hypocrisy therein.

  • Mr. ?||

    If, as you say, we have low-to-moderate spending... then low tax rates should be sufficient to fund said expenditures which, as you put it, are low.

    You're contradicting yourself, and you don't realize it.

  • Tim2||

    Spending is the true level of taxation, but this post just proves my above point; that Chad will claim that the point that France hasn't fallen apart Soviet Union is somehow relevant to the argument that France would be better of with freer markets.

    It's not that a 5% hike in the top tax rate or some new regulation will destroy the economy, just that it will make everyone worse off compared to doing nothing if it is used to pursue some program that has no economic justification why it should be pursued. Those costs are widely dispersed and often hidden in innovations and businesses not created, while the minor costs that can be seen are contrasted to his arbitrary claims about social justice. There's a reason why U.S. GDP per capita and employment rates tend to beat out France.

  • Mr. ?||

    A trillion-dollar budget is "low-to-moderate"?

  • Chad||

    In a $14 trillion dollar economy involving 300 million of the richest people on earth? Yes.

  • Mr. ?||

    And yet, you still see a need to raise taxes, instead of cutting the size and cost of government. Because ANY such cuts negates your plan, and those of your president.

    Got it. Thanks.

  • Chad||

    Of course. There are few things that we are spending too much tax money on, and a wide variety where we would get much better bang for our buck than we are getting with our marginal private dollars (which, in fact, are being spent on conspicuous consumption and cheap junk).

  • Mr. ?||

    So... tax hikes are always the solution. Got it.

  • Chad||

    They are a solution to a chronically under-funded government that is no longer capable of payings it bills.

    Suck it up, and quit stealing from your grandchildren. Is this really to hard to ask?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Obama's already stealing from our grandchildren. You're about a year too late, Chad.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why not get rid of some of the bills, or not make NEW ones?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Wait, wait... 300 million rich people?

  • Random Bag Lady||

    I'm rich? Then why am I pushing this shopping cart and eating out of garbage cans?

  • Lyndon Baines Johnson||

    I'm afraid it's my fault, ma'am.

  • FDR||

    Fuck you, Johnson... it's MY fault, and I damned well want credit for it.

  • Doc Merlin||

    You want to take away /more/ of my money and then you call me greedy?

  • Barack Obama||

    It's not your money, Doc... it all belongs to Me.

    Suck it, bitches.

  • Middle-class Tax Man||

    Look, people, I know you just bought that used car, so I also know you have SOME income to spare... what's that? No, you can't keep it, you greedy bastards - sorry, ma'am, you fall into that category by default - everyone has to pay now. Chad said so, and Obama had it codified into law, so we're taking the $389.17 you have in your child's college fund account. We can take it directly from the bank, yes, and there's not a thing you can do about it, so stop shouting and be glad we're not taking the new clothes you bought for your kid at the start of the school year.

  • Evil Rich Loot Collector||

    Man, I can't wait to soak those wealthy pricks for all they're worth. Make 'em liquidate everything they own, sell it at a loss, and give Obama 90 cents on the dollar - even that is too kind to them... were it up to me, I'd take 99 cents on the dollar. EVERY dollar.

  • Barack Obama||

    My time spent behind enemy lines in the private sector is starting to pay off. My gullible followers like Tony and Chad are just greasin' the skids for the screwing even they will suffer.

    Oops... inner voice, Barry, inner voice...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I haven't listened to Limbaugh in years (though I do tune in long enough to find out if his only good guest host, Walter E. Williams, is on-air, as he was last Thursday), but there's one thing Limbaugh said in the past - and probably still does - that I do agree with:

    You cannot tax your way to prosperity.

    I don't see why this doesn't make sense to everyone.

  • Chad||

    Because it is not true, LG. Indeed, you absolutely NEED taxes for prosperity. If you disagree, please point out the rich states without any government.

    Thank you for your time,

    Chad

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You missed the point - taxing alone cannot create prosperity.

    If it could, it would have worked by now.

  • Mr. ?||

    If we had the taxation levels Chad and his Dear Leader envision, "prosperity" will finally be under His Perfect Bootheel. All according to The Divine Plan of He of The Shining New Path.

  • Barack Obama||

    Even My most loyal minions have no idea how much damage I intend to do to the private sector. They're just repeating My Holy Talking Points.

  • Tony and Chad||

    We hear and obey, Most Glorious One!

  • Chad||

    Did I ever say otherwise?

    You can tax too much and you can tax too little. We are nowhere near the former.

  • Mr. ?||

    Not enough taxes for your tastes, you mean...

  • Chad||

    No, not enough to achieve the best possible solutions, according to the examples set by other nations.

  • Mr. ?||

    'Cuz one size fits all, eh, Chad?

  • Chad||

    Yes, actually. There are not vast differences between people from different countries, and those that exist are disappearing anyway.

  • Mr. ?||

    So, we can adopt any template from any country, and it'll work here just fine. Got it.

    Okay, then, let's adopt Cuba's. And put all dissenters in jail, because that's part of their system.

  • Hugo Chavez||

    That stupid black man you elected isn't doing it right. He needs to take lessons from me.

  • Kim Jong Il||

    No, no, no! It is I who can teach Obama! Shoot those who disagree, and the rest can eat tree bark! Works in MY country!

  • Josef Stalin||

    If I were alive, I'd teach ALL of you how to do it properly. Kim Jong? You are like the pussy. Hugo, your ass is made of candy.

    And Mr. Chocolate Fellow in White House... you have long way to go, comrade.

  • Vladimir Lenin||

    I slap my knee! It is to laugh! You are all woefully inadequate! Were I alive, I would show you all how to really instill fear in the people and maintain a proper order!

  • Barack Obama||

    Go on...

  • Nikita Khrushchev||

    Bah! You are all poseurs! I knew how to instill fear in the workers! It is like, how do you say... shooting the pickles in fish barrel! Is EASY if you know how! Hoo boy, was I good at it...

  • Benito Mussolini||

    I am sad. I was the Peter Criss of world tyrants.

  • Adolf Hitler||

    You pitiful bunch of dead Jew-huggers! It was I who was the greatest tyrant! Ach, what I would not give to be able to kick all your asses!

    Alas, I am in Hell, and it is time for mein daily pineapple enema...

  • David Axelrod||

    Hold on, my pen ran out of ink...

  • Idi Amin||

    You had it tough, Benito? Try being ME!

  • Tim2||

    Few who say you can't tax your way to prosperity opposes taxes for the military and the police, the widely known context of the saying is with regards to expansive economic interventions, fiscal stimuli, and social welfare programs.

    To argue otherwise is like saying a person's right to pursue happiness includes a right to murder, and therefore refuting the argument for such a right. That's just plain dishonest Chad,

    Thank you for your time,

    Tim

  • Cannon||

    Without government, Limbaugh wouldn't have a job.

  • Bill Clinton||

    Me, too! Without government, I'd be working the greeter job at Wal-Mart.

  • Barack Obama||

    Same here. I've had one job behind enemy lines, and I'll never degrade myself like that again.

  • Al Gore||

    If it weren't for inherited wealth AND a family legacy in office, I'd have to work for a living like... ew... poor people.

    AND I would have to give up my limousines and jet planes, and my lucrative speaking engagements. Who would then go around the world, burning tens of thousands of gallons of fossil fuels, and lecture people on the evils of burning fossil fuels?

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    Fuck you peasants, I'm not giving up MY jet planes OR my non-union vineyard laborers. And I'll be damned if I pay thirty-four cents on the dollar in taxes... I'm *special*.

  • Mr. Pelosi||

    Yes, dear. Whatever you say, dear.

    Please don't hit me again.

  • O.J. Simpson||

    Damn, dude... you shouldn't let your woman smack you around like that.

    Take it from The Juice... white women is grief.

  • Robert Blake||

    Dat's da name'a dat tune, Juice.

  • Michelle Obama||

    Damn right you won't, Barack. I'll never go back to the horrible experience of making $300K a year.

  • Hillary Rodham||

    He's still my meal ticket, folks.

  • Cannon||

    I think I just hit a nerve. Look at all the sarcasim that follows.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Looks more like truth than sarcasm.

  • Mr. ?||

    Nice catch on the spelling, TLG.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Why isn't 34.5% enough, then? Why do you and your president and his gang want to "roll back" the tax decreases?

    Which is stupid, BTW... that's like dropping the price on an item, then declaring "we'll be rolling back the price decrease". A hike is a hike, no matter how one Orwellizes it.

  • Cannon||

    Most of the rich and the large corporations pay practically no taxes. The 34.5% you cite is a straw man. If you are a competent business person, you buy things to write off on your taxes at the end of the year, and you claim depreciation and other expenses. In addition, our government gives out tax credits to them as well. We may have the highest tax rate in the world, but in reality there are so many loop holes that the rich and the large corporations pay practically nothing. The ones who really pay taxes are the middle class--it's forced out of their pay checks. The rich set it up this way, so they can trick people like you into sticking up for them.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Then drop the middle-class tax rate, and get rid of the loopholes. Cut spending. Have a sandwich.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    BTW, hatin' on rich people doesn't solve a damned thing. You know it deep down, yet you persist in blaming all your problems on the wealthy... kinda like the way white supremacists blame all their problems on Joos and blacks. Same result.

  • Cannon||

    I have many rich friends. Most of them are nice people. I'm talking about the ultra rich who use their money and power to herd the middle class like cattle to the slaughter.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That's like using the cliche "I have black friends", Cannon.

  • Cannon||

    The rich will not stand for it. They spend billions of dollars lobbying the legislature, paying Limbaugh and Hannity etc, buying up radio and television stations, infiltrating tea parties. There is too much money at stake for them. Anyone who gets in their way might end up dead.

    A person has to make a choice: join the winning team, or do what is right and possibly lose your life.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Wow, that's quite a conspiracy. The streets should be stacked with dead bodies as we speak.

  • Papa Joe Kennedy||

    That's why I moved the family fortune offshore decades ago. Fuck you poor people... we're Kennedys. We're better than all of you put together.

  • Ted Kennedy||

    It's true... we have yet to pay an estate tax. We just pass the trust fund from one inbred batch to another. I was living proof.

  • Tim2||

    The upper middle class people, taxes taken out of people's paychecks allegedly go to Medicare and Social Security.

    The people who get shafted are the ones who are rich enough to get taxed, but not rich enough to hire legions of tax lawyers.

  • Cannon||

    Last summer there was a tea party in my town. It had many truckers there along with their big rigs. There was a local right-winger AM radio talkshow host there as well, having his show on location. It drew a lot of attention, but for the wrong reasons. The truckers were there to protest higher emission standards only; they did not want to spend money to fix their rigs. The right-wing radio host was telling the public that the truckers were there to protest taxes, Obama, and government healthcare. The truckers went up and down the main drag honking their horns making a lot of noise. I asked random people on the street what they thought this was about, and virtually all of them said that it was all about taxes, Obama, and healthcare. This is how the corporate elite, limousine conservatives do it.

  • Mr. ?||

    And the elite limousine liberals do it... how, exactly?

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    We do the same thing, then accuse our enemies of "astroturfing".

    Hey, we're entitled. WE invented it.

  • Mr. Pelosi||

    Do what she says, and don't argue. She'll hurt you. Ow.

  • O.J. Simpson||

    DAAAMN, dude... you really need to put that bitch in her place. Let's go to the golf course, I think we can work somethin' out.

  • Robert Blake||

    Can I get in on this, Juice? Sounds right up my alley.

  • Cannon||

    This is not a Liberal or Conservative issue. It's about the ultra rich praying on the middle and lower class.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Praying? Jesus, you can't even get that part right.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Chad|1.2.10 @ 8:31PM|#

    Who builds the McMansions and SUVs?

    People who should be weatherizing schools and building trains...at gunpoint, if necessary.

  • Rev. Jeremiah Wright||

    I worked hard for my McMansion... all those years of preachin' about how the white man is evil, and how becoming rich and living in a huge house is ev- um, *ahem* I mean... did I mention how evil white people are?

  • Chad||

    No, with taxpayer dollars. Your childish libertarian rhetoric is just that - childish.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, it's use of force, then. Got it. Thanks, Chad.

  • Chad||

    Yes, you are going to be forced to pay your fair share. GET OVER IT.

    Quit whining like a baby.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Said fair share decided by the likes of you. That's wonderful. I'm sure it will be a fair amount.

  • Tim2||

    It's ironic that Chad calls libertarians childish but then whines about stuff not being fair.

    "Its not fair that Jimmy got a new bike even if he did mow lawns all summer while I sat around watching TV!"

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Whatever happened to the female Obama supporter who was convinced Barry was going to put gas in her car and pay her mortgage?

    I'd say she's sitting in her car, wondering why it won't start, and can't figure out who put the "For Sale" sign in her front yard.

  • Jesse Jackson||

    How dare you use such racist tones with my brother Reverend Wright?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Supposing you couldn't find anyone to do your chores at any price, Chad. What would you do then? Use force?

  • Chad||

    It has never been an issue.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You said earlier that people who build your hated McMansions and SUVs - neither of which are evil items, but I digress - should be building trains and weatherizing schools.

    Suppose none of these workers WANT to do these things, at any price. What would you do then?

  • Mr. ?||

    What's the use? Comrade Chad is set in his ways, and he has his proto-god Obama to mete out the Divine Plan.

    We're fucked.

  • Chad||

    I don't waste time "supposing" the impossible.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Nice sidestep, Chad. Can't bring yourself to give your REAL answer, can you?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Okay, Chad, Cannon... tell us how raising taxes will, say, clear our national debt. IS there enough Evil Rich People Money to wipe the markers clean and get the ChiComs off our backs? Enough to fund SS, Medicare, and fix all the other problems your party helped to create in the first place?

    If there was one guy with ten trillion dollars... and you took every thin dime he owned... it still wouldn't cover it.

    But keep believing it can be done. This shit is amusing as hell.

  • Chad||

    Easy. A 5% VAT and a carbon tax should do most of the work. Then we should start treating capital gains like all other income, so the ultra-rich can start paying for once.

    Note that 2/3 of my preferred tax increases tax everyone, not just the rich.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    How would you sell a tax increase to someone making seven bucks an hour?

  • Mr. ?||

    Chad, what is the "ultra-rich" threshold? Does it start at a quarter-million, or lower?

    My guess is you'd start this higher tax rate at $100K. Wealth-envy practitioners usually do.

    Now... how much would you take? Half, less than half, or more than half?

  • Cannon||

    People who make over $106,800 do not have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes above that amount. It is called the "maximum taxable earnings." We the people should make everyone pay the same percentage, with no loop holes. This will make Social Security and Medicare extremely solvent, and it will balance the budget, pay off our national debt, etc.

  • Mr. ?||

    Everyone? Even the pimply-faced kid at Burger King pulling down ten cents over minimum wage? The single mom trying to get off welfare? Retired people on fixed incomes?

    Wow, that's compassion.

    Now, tell us how higher taxes and energy costs will encourage economic growth.

  • Cannon||

    You don't get it, do you?--the same "percentage." The people you describe already pay the same fixed percentage of their income; some don't pay any because they are retired. I'm saying eliminate the maximum taxable earnings amount of $106,800, so as to make everyone pay the same percentage. Nothing would change for middle or low income people.

  • Mr. ?||

    Half of wage-earners don't pay already.

  • ||

    I'd rather see it bankrupt than solvent..make nobody pay the payroll taxes.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Chad|1.2.10 @ 7:21PM|#

    Yes, actually. There are not vast differences between people from different countries, and those that exist are disappearing anyway.

    Chad|1.3.10 @ 12:03AM|#

    Actually, no. There are governments without any meaningful markets. It doesn't work very well that way, though, except for in very small tribal societies.

  • Chad||

    Are you trying to point out a contradiction, which only exists because you are too stupid to understand the difference between people and organizations? Oh wait, that is common for libertarians.

    Tribal groups can operate in ways that larger groups cannot - not because the people are different, but because of the small, tight-knit group where everyone knows everyone. Of course, such tribal groups are not something I am suggesting. I am merely pointing out that they function largely without markets, but do have a government.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Did you not say pick any system, and emulate it? Or was that your fellow traveler, Tony?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Why do YOU have the right to use FORCE and GUNS in order to force me to participate in your schemes?

    Good question, Chad. Can you answer it as it applies to your ideology, say, regarding new taxes and regulations?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    The idiotic rules you are trying to inflict on our society

    We're not the ones trying to force every American to participate in a far-flung, ultimately fallible health-care scheme, for instance. Or force everyone to drive cars that fit some nebulous "it's all mankind's fault" global-warming scarefest.

    We do tell people they are free to live as long as they don't infringe on the rights of others. That doesn't require the passage of new laws and the expenditures of trillions of dollars we don't have. BIG difference.

    I'm sure you'll come back with your usual communitarian nonsense, and Cannon may come along and fortify that with his new-found troll grounds here at Reason. Feel free, there's no law stopping you - this isn't a restricted free-speech zone, the likes of which were imposed at Missouri State University several years ago by their liberal hierarchy, for instance. The First Amendment still applies here, unlike the idea that talk radio should be regulated for political content as envisioned by liberal politicians, for further instance.

    See the trend? Or are you blinded by it because it will cement one-party rule if successful?

    I want *neither* party to have all the chips of power, Chad. That includes Republicans AND your party. (That goes for you, too, Cannon.)

  • Mr. ?||

    What Cannon, Chad, and Tony fail to see is their complicity in paternalistic public policy. Republicans don't have a monopoly on paternalism, by any means - they just use religious precepts to justify their goals, where Democrats use their own justifications - the public good, for instance - to push their version of paternalism.

    E.g., conservatives want to ban gay marriage, while liberals want to ban SUVs. Conservatives are hard-line about drug use and consensual adult sex, while liberals push for taxes or bans on snack foods and smoking. The far-right sees pornography as a threat, while the far-left sees talk radio as a threat.

    And the gullible lap up the products offered by these two extremes. A future sad ending for America, without regard to which extreme is in charge, is on the horizon.

  • Cannon||

    I think you are just barely beginning to understand the truth here in the USA. As I said before, it's not about liberal vs. conservative, Republican vs. Democrat. It's about the ultra rich using their money and power to herd the middle and lower classes into the slaughter house, so that the ultra rich can have another bite of filet mignon. It's more like the Morlocks vs. the Eloi, in the book The Time Machine.

    All the fighting going on between the liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, is just WWF wrestling to get people to vote.

  • Mr. ?||

    For someone who leans left, you talk a good game of disparaging both extremes, Cannon.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    How much money is George Soros worth? Do you count him among the "ultra rich using their money and power" for nefarious means, or do you give him a pass?

    You seem to only mistrust half of the problem, Cannon. I have cast two Republican votes in twenty years, and three for Democrats in the same time period - and only one for president (Ron Paul). This year, I doubt if I will support any Brand X candidates.

    You'll no doubt call that a wasted vote, but IMO if I vote for Rs or Ds, I'm just helping two enemies destroy what's left of my country.

    And for all your hatred of powerful rich people, you only focus on the right-of-center rich. Look up this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385513496/reasonmagazineA/

    and tell us the title is not dead-spot on.

    Pitting rich against everyone else sounds like a good way to blow off steam, but it's a fools' errand. I went through that thirty years ago, and I grew out of it.

  • Chad||

    Not every rich person is a problem, but those who are are very big problems.

    Imagine if we started taxing the ultra-rich, you know, 30% instead of 15% on their capital gains (which is most of their income). Would they suddenly quit investing and buy castles and throw parties with hundreds of hookers? Of course not. They would continue investing. There would be almost no deadweight loss for these guys.

    Now, on the other hand, if you raise the average Joe's capital gains rate, you WILL cause him to invest less, as he has plenty of very compelling alternatives. This is precisely why (duh duh duh) capital gains taxes need to be progressive.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    How many "Average Joe" types have capital-gains investments, Chad?

    The question isn't income... it's expenditures. I know you're loathe to cut anything except military spending, but the cold hard equations are telling us we cannot continue to pile on the spending and expansion of government indefinitely. See Tim2's posts earlier, they say it a lot better than I can.

    I still dare you to figure out how we can tax our way out of the pit dug by Bush, his predecessors, and Obama. Scrounging up ten trillion or so would just barely put a dent in the shortfalls. Where are you going to get that kind of scratch by mere taxation?

  • Mr, ?||

    Most "Average Joes" won't be able to put gas in their car or pay their heating bills, if the Chads and Tonys and Obamas get their way, let alone invest in anything that might result in capital gains. Hell, they'll be lucky to be able to afford food.

  • Chad||

    Apparently, you aren't saving anything at all, huh? And this from the "it's all about personal responsibility" crowd...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Kinda tough when Dear Leader 2.0 is doing SUCH a bang-up job creating jobs...

  • Mr. ?||

    Apparently, now Chad wants mandatory-savings laws. Typical big-government shill.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Note how he sidestepped your 6:30 post... helluva dancer, ain't he?

  • Mr. ?||

    Libertarians are nearly anarchist--no government telling them what they can and cannot do

    Wrong. There are plenty of laws most libertarians would uphold as necessary:

    Laws against murder
    Laws against rape
    Laws against theft or fraud
    Laws against property damage

    The true anarchists are few and far between, but you'll find more anarchists at G20 protests than in the libertarian ranks.

    Cannon sounds at times like a right-winger, and others like a lefty. Guess he's out of medication or something.

  • Chad||

    But why not Laws against dumping garbage on your neighbor's property?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That's a local-level responsibility, unless you're yammering about air pollution again...

  • Mr. ?||

    Sounds like the conservative argument that there "aren't enough laws".

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Apparently, when arguing with the likes of Chad, one must list EVERY law and not just some examples.

    But, yeah, he's probably pissing and moaning about global warming again. He does that on a frequent basis, for some unfathomable reason.

  • ||

    and resorting to personal attacks, sounds like your arguments might have a few holes,...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What logical justification do you have for using GUNS and FORCE to take MY MONEY to pay for YOUR protection schemes that I didn't sign up for, even though I can justify using GUNS and FORCE to take YOUR MONEY to pay for MY protection schemes?

  • ||

    Its not just dems shooting themsleves in the foot I think this grassroots tea party nonsense is just people getting fed up of politicians screwing things up ALL THE TIME and getting in the peoples buisness, regardless of party they all do it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    If McCain had won (thank the deity of your choice he didn't), Dems would have started something like the Tea Party movement - or taken one of their similar existing movements - and done the same thing.

    This is a good thing, even if the TP movement has been infiltrated by Republicans... dissent is crucial, no matter which party holds the keys to the White House. Even Hillary said we have a right to disagree "with any administration", though one wonders if she was inner-voicing "unless *I* become President".

  • Ted Kennedy||

    buy castles and throw parties with hundreds of hookers

    I miss being alive.

  • Mr. ?||

    Hey... didn't your brother cut taxes in a time of war?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hush. The Kennedys are kinda sensitive about JFK cutting taxes in a time of war.

  • ||

    Chad's looking to put hookers and castle builders out of business.

  • Mr. ?||

    Only for people who don't meet his Evil Rich Threshold - probably somewhere around $80K in combined income.

  • ||

    Although I agree with the premise and conclusions of this article, there are three salient points I believe have been omitted, regarding NY 23, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and 1964.

    NY 23 is telling in that it sheds light on the particular political forces at work in these times, but it in no shape or form is predictive or precedentive. It will never be repeated in other districts because of the peculiar mechanics of that unique special election. All three of the candidates in NY 23 were nominated by party bosses with no primaries. When the Conservative Party broke off and chose Hoffman the vote was split and the Democrat won (not by much). In other districts that will hold primaries, the ideological argument on the right will be settled in the primary, and the vote in the general election will not be split. If NY23 is a harbinger of anything it is that the tea party ideology will win contested primaries.

    The article implies that Kay Bailey Hutchinson will face an upstart challenge from the tea party folks. It neglects to point out that Hutchinson is the upstart challenger trying to unseat the incumbent, Rick Perry, in her own party.

    And finally, although the description of the Goldwater takeover of the GOP in 1964 is accurate as far as it goes, the LBJ landslide in the general election was primarily fueled by the JFK assassination. The country was in collective pain at the loss of its beloved hero, and LBJ was JFK's chosen successor to carry on the unfinished business. Goldwater was sunk by an emotional tidal wave.

  • wffwe||

    The article implies that Kay Bailey Hutchinson will face an upstart challenge from the tea replica IWC party folks. It neglects to point out that Hutchinson is the upstart challenger trying to unseat the incumbent, Rick Perry, in her own party.

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...

  • ||

    Goldwater's campaign slogan in 1964 "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" could be well suited for Sarah Palin's drive to the White House. I'm sure you as a former republican can connect with it.

  • nike shox||

    is good

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