Doesn't Rand Paul Know We're in the Middle of a Fiscal Year?

Talking Points Memo has the details of Rand Paul's plan to cut $500 billion from the federal budget by the end of the fiscal year, which I mentioned in my column today. The freshman senator from Kentucky has not gone squishy yet:

Like the House's Republican Study Committee before him, Paul targets projects and agencies dear to liberals. It defunds completely the Affordable Housing Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

But it goes much farther than that.

It calls for rescinding all funds to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (that's the agency that offers protection from unsafe cribs and lead paint). It dramatically reduces spending to nearly every government agency. It rescinds most of the Department of Energy's funds and transfers the remaining dollars and accounts to the Department of Defense.

Paul would reduce Health and Human Services funding by over $26.5 billion, including over $5.8 billion in reductions for the National Institute of Health. He'd slash defense spending by over $47 billion, and defund all Department of Education programs immediately, while capping Pell grants at just over $16.2 billion.

Paul's cuts, which amount to 13 percent of the budget and 36 percent of the deficit, make House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's current target of $50 billion or so (which he justifies by noting that Republicans took over Congress in the middle of the fiscal year) look pretty puny. You can see a copy of Paul's bill here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    It calls for rescinding all funds to the Consumer Product Safety Commission

    Once the Presidential Suit has reviewed the fiasco they caused with their "Total War on Lead" regulations, he'll adopt this plan without reservations.

    Because he's all about doing away with absurd, pointless regulations, and getting the economy moving again.

  • Tony||

    It rescinds most of the Department of Energy's funds and transfers the remaining dollars and accounts to the Department of Defense.

    Ohh so he's not a principled libertarian after all, just more Republican scum. Spending is bad if it helps people. If it is used to blow people up, fine.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    If it is used to blow people up, fine.

    "He'd slash defense spending by over $47 billion."

    Learn to read. Also, the Dept. of Energy is pretty useless.

  • cynical||

    So why transfer the funds? It's a weird way of putting it.

  • ||

    I think putting things "weirdly" is a common libertarian characteristic. In fact i think it is one of our fundamental unwritten principles.

    Once again disproving Tony's theseus that Rand is not a libertarian.

    Of course libertarians are not against national defense. I think the argument is that a nation does have a responsibility its citizens. The question is how much is enough to do that. I think most libertarians would agree that we are currently spending to much. But if a few libertarians perceive a threat that costs more or the same amount we are spending to defend against does not automatically kick them out of the libertarians club.

    In my case i do think we are spending to much. But i would also say that if we took the money we spend on defending Germany South Korea, Japan etc and spent that money instead on missile defense it would be better then the status-quo this in no way would kick me out of the club.

    Though I think the anarchists would ban me forever.

  • johnl||

    A large portion of the DOE is involved with nukes and it's always been a bit of a scam that we didn't call that work part of the defense budget in the first place. Hence the transfer.

  • Brett L||

    Unlike the DOE, the Navy has zero nuclear excursions for power-plants operated under its supervision.

  • ||

    So the corporate boondoggle that the Energy Department represents "helps people"?

    Seriously. Seek medical help.

  • A.G. Pym||

    As a matter of fact, the DOE -does- do some good. The cleanup of the Plutonium production complex sites is making good headway now, after having to take many years to overcome the deliberate lack of historical data engendered by the production pressure of the Cold War years and find out just what needed to be cleaned up. This is definitely one instance where Stimulus funds ("ARRA" in DOE-speak) can verifiably be said to have made measureable, accelerated progress in the cleanup mission possible.

  • Apogee||

    So there could be no plutonium cleanup without the huge DOE bureaucracy?

  • ||

    Obama himself has said that energy independence is tantamount to the nation's defense. So what is the problem with getting rid of the completely useless Dept. of Energy and having the DoD do what it needs to do?

  • Trident||

    Of course Rand Paul is not a principled libertarian.

    Not even RON Paul is a principled libertarian; merely a constitutionalist (which at least is miles ahead in terms of liberty when compared to the rest of the bunch).

  • Tony||

    Meaning he has wacky libertarian policy ideas and then claims the constitution requires them--the constitution inside his head, not the real one.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    the constitution inside his head, not the real one.


    You mean the real one inside your head, don't you?

  • Tony||

    No just the one operating under case law reality.

  • ||

    "Case law reality" is undeniably superior to objective meaning in every case.

  • Tony||

    By objective meaning you of course are referring to your individual opinion. The constitution doesn't mean anything besides what case law says it means. Neither you nor Ron Paul are the arbiter of its meaning.

  • Cyto||

    We can all agree that the sun is shining too. That doesn't mean that you won't get wet when you walk outside.

    The fact that there is a legal consensus that growing a plant in your back yard that never leaves your back yard is covered under "Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes" - Whether that plant is wheat, marijuana or tomatoes doesn't mean that it's not a stupid proposition. And no, it doesn't matter if you can get 5.9 billion of the 6 billion people on the planet to agree with you - that phrase clearly does not cover NOT buying or selling something.

    Of course, it is equally true that in deciding what is legal one must defer to settled case law, unless one sits on the supreme court. Right and wrong don't have a whole heck of a lot to do with legal. Just ask Dred Scott.

  • ||

    Case law can change with every new decision. the meaning of the actual words cannot.

    Even if we take your word that the constitution is a living document it will always be bound by what is actually in it. Case law thanks to your type of legal interpretation is unsubstantial.

    Tony you should actually be really happy that conservatives, similar to libertarians, like what is actually written in the constitution. If they weren't then they would do what the left do and interpret it how they want.....and believe me that is a county you would not like to live in.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    No just the one operating under case law reality.


    Someone's opinion becomes reality? Are you on drugs?

  • Tony||

    Actually that's exactly right. The opinions of judges determines what the constitution means, thereby determining constitutional reality. Where does this other reality you refer to exist?

  • ||

    How about the written fucking words in the actual document? The ones written in plain English.

  • Cecil||

    So, if the judges are of the opinion that the words "shall make no law" mean "shall make any law", then that becomes reality for you? Holy shit.

  • cynical||

    Tony' a born slave. I assume he's a bottom.

  • ||

    Tony' a born slave. I assume he's a bottom.

    That is just mean.

    Make fun of Tony for his idiotic politics not for his sexual preference in genitalia

  • Tony||

    You have a better idea Cecil? How else is the constitution's meaning supposed to be decided? By the ideological whims of people like you?

  • Cecil||

    I can't say it any better than Britt:

    How about the written fucking words in the actual document? The ones written in plain English.
  • Tony||

    Well that's retarded. It has been necessary to interpret those "plain English" words in centuries of case law. The appointed arbiters of their meaning have decided one thing, your fringe ideology has decided another. Why the fuck am I supposed to take your word over theirs?

  • Cecil||

    The Constitution does not really need to be interpreted - that is just bullshit invented by assholes like you to avoid adhering to the plain meaning of the words. It is not complicated at all - statist fucks like you just like to pretend it is to justify violating it. Why not just be honest and admit what you are doing, instead of pretending it is some mysterious tome with arcane and foreign words that need to be 'interpreted'?

  • Tony||

    The Constitution does not really need to be interpreted

    Oh and I suppose you have the secret primer that explains what "cruel and unusual punishment" is supposed to refer to specifically? This is a truly ridiculous statement.

    Why don't you admit what you're doing: you want your fringe ideology that most people don't want to be the policy of the land, and you want to pretend it's not just an ideology you have but constitutional holy writ, despite the fact that case law and reality in general completely disagree with you.

  • Tony||

    And Cecil, I maintain that part of the genius of the constitution is that it was written with the express intent that it would be reinterpreted with time. That's why the language is vague. A document that chains us to centuries-old tradition is a worthless document.

  • Cecil||

    Oh and I suppose you have the secret primer that explains what "cruel and unusual punishment" is supposed to refer to specifically? This is a truly ridiculous statement.


    Right, you need a 'secret primer' to know that cruel and unusual punishment refers to torture. And to figure out what "shall make no law" and "shall not be infringed" really mean.

    Why don't you admit what you're doing: you want your fringe ideology that most people don't want to be the policy of the land, and you want to pretend it's not just an ideology you have but constitutional holy writ, despite the fact that case law and reality in general completely disagree with you.


    So, you are saying that who holds the rifle gets to decide what the words really mean. I knew you were a dishonest authoritarian, but that is really stupid.

    And Cecil, I maintain that part of the genius of the constitution is that it was written with the express intent that it would be reinterpreted with time. That's why the language is vague. A document that chains us to centuries-old tradition is a worthless document.


    It includes a mechanism to alter it by amendment, not simply re-interpreting it to suit the whims of whoever happens to hold power. And the centuries -old tradition it seeks to hold us to is liberty.

  • Tony||

    If the constitution is so easy, why do we need courts at all? How do we decide whether this punishment is cruel and unusual and that one isn't, if it hasn't been decided by precedent yet? How do we decide how the first amendment applies to the Internet? There are a thousand other examples. It's a short document, but life is complicated.

    You're still ignoring the fact that your preferred interpretation is likely not one shared by most people, including those whose job it is to interpret the document. Why are you right and they are wrong? Because you say so?

  • Cecil||

    Im done arguing with an idiot for today. I need to get back to work and make money so statist fucks like Tony can steal it from me for "the public good".

  • Apogee||

    your preferred interpretation is likely not one shared by most people, including those whose job it is to interpret the document. Why are you right and they are wrong? Because you say so?

    He's right and they're wrong precisely because it's become their "job" to interpret the constitution.

    Your logic is backwards, Tony. If common sense and honesty from government officials is a given, why have a constitution at all?

  • Apogee||

    A document that chains us to centuries-old tradition is a worthless document.

    And a document whose plain text meaning can change at the whim of each new government official is worse than useless.

    Your assertion is completely counter to the reason for the creation of the document, which was not only a response to abuses of power from the crown, but also a codification of the spirit of the colonies themselves.

    Those who came to the colonies did so in a large part because they disliked the changing of the rules that accompanied every shift of power in the old world.

  • nekoxgirl||

    +1

  • ||

    A document that chains us to centuries-old tradition is a worthless document.

    That would be why it was written with a process in it to allow amendments to it. There is nothing in the constitution that says it can be reinterpreted.

    It was written with brevity, or vague as you put it, because the intent was to make it limited in scope. That is history and fact.

  • Apogee||

    There is nothing in the constitution that says it can be reinterpreted.

    This.

  • KPres||

    "That would be why it was written with a process in it to allow amendments to it."

    For some reason liberals can never grasp this.

  • ||

    A document that chains us to centuries-old tradition is a worthless document.

    -- Tony, 1.26.11 @ 2:30PM

    Tradition means "delivery, surrender, a handing down," which is what you get time and again from case law re-interpretation. Case law re-interpretation defines the essence of tradition, silly-minded Tony.

  • KPres||

    Tony,

    You're a fucking idiot. Everything requires "interpretation" by an outside observer. Scientists interpret data to make a model of reality. That doesn't mean their models, or even their consensus model, is correct. Otherwise scientific progress would be impossible.

    Legal documents are no different. Yes, they require an interpretation. But that doesn't mean they don't have an objective meaning underlying that interpretation. Specifically, the objective meaning is the intention of the original drafters, which has nothing to do wiht case law, since case law didn't exist at the time.

    You're allowed to form your own opinions, there does exist a correct opinion, and some interpretations will be closer to that than others.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Tony,

    You're a fucking idiot.

    It's not his fault. He was malnourished as a child. His dad was an artist who insisted on only doing 'quality' work that no one wanted.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Tony,

    You're a fucking idiot.

    It's not his fault. He was malnourished as a child. His dad was an artist who insisted on only doing 'quality' work that no one wanted.

  • Old Mexican||

    It [Sen. Paul's plan] calls for rescinding all funds to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (that's the agency that offers protection from unsafe cribs and lead paint). It dramatically reduces spending to nearly every government agency. It rescinds most of the Department of Energy's funds and transfers the remaining dollars and accounts to the Department of Defense.


    "An agency that purports to protect men from cribs and paint? Unthinkable!"

    I just loved how the note spinned that one - a government agency that protect us from dangerous, lead-painted cribs!

  • ||

    defund all Department of Education programs immediately

    I predict an epidemic of vaginitis.

  • Nice Band Name||

    an epidemic of vaginitis

  • Brett L||

    Good for Rand Paul. I think he has as much chance of getting this implemented as I do of clearing my "better dead" list, but at least he's pulling the debate in the right direction.

  • Brett L||

    Also, I'm pretty sure he's gonna need to fund nuking Germany from orbit. Or at least sending in Linda Hamilton.

  • Corduroy||

    Like I wasn't already freaked out by Alien Hand Syndrome

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0uaNn_cl14

  • ||

    Spending is bad if it helps people. If it is used to blow people up, fine.

    Read more carefuller.

  • ||

    What? This?:

    "He'd slash defense spending by over $47 billion"

    That's jut nitpicking! (And on a side note, I don't think you'll get that much argument 'round these parts that Rand is far more Republican than libertarian.)

  • Tony||

    Great, so DoD funding would be at 2008 levels. That's some small government there!

  • ||

    Tony plays hard-core small government advocate chicken with Rand Paul. You've already lost buddy, move on.

  • Tony||

    I'm a big government liberal and I could save more money than Paul by going after Defense and welfare for the rich and not pissing on the poor and infirm.

  • ||

    Defunding the Dept. of Education pisses on the poor and infirm?

  • Tony||

    No just children.

  • ||

    Yeah, because funding the living shit out of the Dept. of Education has done wonders for children so far!

  • MNG||

    By that logic giving medecine to any sick person who isn't instantly cured is a bad thing.

  • Ray Pew||

    By that logic giving medecine to any sick person who isn't instantly cured is a bad thing.

    Not really. It's more analogous to continuously funding medical care all while it promotes blood-letting as it's treatment.

  • McCoy||

    30 years and the treatment hasn't kicked in. Patient 's dead, Jim.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    By that logic giving medecine to any sick person who isn't instantly cured is a bad thing.

    I see you truly understand the true intent of ObamaCare. If one's condition is bad enough that one pill doesn't cure it, then it's the pain pill for them.

  • ||

    20 first grade class years have started and graduated since the Department of Education was put into place. Was there any improvement due to the DoE between the first and the last class? Did any of the classed do better than the last class before the DoE was put in place? Here I will fix it for you:
    "By that logic giving snake oil to any sick person who isn't instantly cured is a bad thing."

  • cynical||

    You have an odd fucking definition of "instant".

  • Wind Rider||

    I'm a big government liberal and I could save more money

    Next you'll be claiming that aggressive rapist pedophiles are perfect for a charter kindergarten program. As long as it's administered by a bloated bureaucracy, at any rate.

  • Tony Translator||

    "Welfare for the rich" = "the government lets them keep some of their own money".

    Douchenozzle

  • Tony||

    Well the big money, and what puts this NEA crap to shame, is in direct subsidies for things like the oil industry. There is no way either of us could justify that on fairness grounds.

  • MNG||

    I think its called pointing out hypocrisy heller...

  • ||

    "He'd slash defense spending by over $47 billion, and..."

    Facts are malleable things to some people, all to be warped or ignored in service of the one big fact!

    That big government and overspending are good and noble just like small government and capitalism are bad.

    It doesn't matter what the facts are--it's only the big fact that counts.

    To Moonies.

  • ||

    Defund the Dept of Education?

    Somalia!!1!!1

  • ||

    Drink!

  • nekoxgirl||

    Oh no! What ever will we do without the Consumer Product Safety Commission to protect us from all the lead paint. They were doing such a bang up job with all those toys from China.

  • Brett L||

    How will Mattel and Gerber keep out the competition without this regulatory board?

  • ||

    ^This^

  • ||

    Must resist eating paint chips.

    But they taste sooooo good.

  • Troy McClure||

    Hi, I'm actor Troy McClure! You might remember me from such educational films as "Lead Paint: Delicious But Deadly," and "Here Comes the Metric System!"

  • Virginia||

    you are obviously anti-business!

  • Old Mexican||

    Paul's proposal is only 12 pages long. Who the hell writes legislation that short? Inconceivable!

  • Tony||

    Dumb people with ideologies instead of ideas.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Dumb people with ideologies instead of ideas.


    So sages and wisemen write 2,000 plus bills?

    Leave your cargo-cult at home, child.

  • ||

    Yes, Rand Paul's ideology is to cut defense spending by $47 billion. That's not an idea, Rand Paul is just a cut-defense-47-billion-tarian.

  • Rich||

    He wants to cut $626M from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. Aside from the fact that it's not $626,493,334, it's nice he's addressing these Tucson-related issues.

  • ||

    Is there evidence that Loughner sought treatment/help and was denied it?

    If you read up on the outcome studies of "substance abuse and mental health services" you'll see they are largely ineffective.

  • ||

    Drug rehab is a scam. Everybody with a lick of sense recognizes that.

    I'm mere microns away from declaring psychology one as well.

  • Brett L||

    You and the guy who wrote the DSM IV.

  • ||

    Isn't the treatment of the mentally ill a job for the state or local governments, if not done by private agencies? Where exactly is "providing mental health services" listed in the Constitution?

  • H man||

    Surprisingly, a lot of bills start out fairly small. Then they go into committee. The rest as they say is history.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Who the hell writes legislation that short?"

    People who do not think the purpose of legislation is to employ lawyers.

  • ||

    Fuck yeah!

  • ||

    I bet he wants to dig up all the ROADS too!

  • MNG||

    I like Paul. I like how he handled himself when conservative Conway attacked him. I liked how he said America was not "inherently" exceptional in his victory speech.

    But 47 billion from defense is not a slash, more like a paper cut. If someone wants to be against government spending levels, fine. But when we are spending 100 times more on defense than anyone else such a paltry cut strikes me as a lack of seriousness on the issue.

  • ||

    Were you being ironical with the "conservative Conway" comment?

  • MNG||

    Not at all, Conway is a conservative.

  • ||

    Jack Conway, Attorney General for Kentucky?

  • MNG||

    Yes, law and order, pro-war, Jack Conway.

  • ||

    Oh, okay. He's that type of conservative. I guess I just confused neo-con with fiscal/social conservative. My mistake.

  • ||

    Conway is a Democrat. Tool.

    Oh, and your assertion that we spend more on defense than anything else is an outright lie. Social Security and Medicare both cost us more.

    There is nothing wrong with cutting all the little bullshit before we get to the tough stuff. If they can't muster the political will to end a Department that dates back less then 40 years then we're all doomed anyway and we might as well borrow as much money as possible right now.

  • SM||

    Incorrect.

    Unless you're one of the people who consider "war" "not defense." Or still paying for past wars. And so on...

  • Brett L||

    Defense is about 12% of the budget, and he's taking 10% of his cuts out of it. Considering that SSRI/Medicare/Medicaid and NOT getting cut, that's a pretty good cut.

  • MNG||

    With those entitlements out Defense is the biggest target and he takes 10% of his cuts there? That's pathetic.

  • ||

    When are you going to start criticizing him for not capping Medicare spending growth, the biggest drain out there? Never? OK then STFU.

  • MNG||

    Yes, leaving entitlements off the table compounds the gutlessness of it.

  • Confucious||

    Journey of thousand mile begin with single step

  • Barack Obama||

    Be more like China!

  • Apogee||

    Yes, leaving entitlements off the table compounds the gutlessness of it.

    Well, better spend more then.

  • Brett L||

    I think its pathetic that he took 0% from 30% of the budget. Since Defense of the Realm is actually a Constitutional requirement, I don't think we can zero it out.

    Also, he's cutting more from the DOD than Obama can find in the whole budget. For me this is a good v. perfect fight. $47B from DOD and $500B total is good, $150B from DOD and $1T total would be closer to perfect.

  • Sam Grove||

    How much has the big "O" proposed cutting from the DOD budget?

  • Special Sauce||

    Seriously MNG, how do you expect deeper cuts in defense when we are engaged in two wars? I thought your master promised to be out of Iraq in 2009... I'm still waiting.

  • ||

    ^^This. My response to anyone who wants to bring up "Bush's wars"

  • MNG||

    I've been critical of Obama for not living up to his promises on the wars. I will say fault someone less for trying to get us out of a mess than the one that got us into it.

  • ||

    I will say fault someone less for trying to get us out of a mess than the one that got us into it.

    How is Barry getting us out of it? At least Bush was honest about what he did (I believe that he truly didn't know about the lack of WMDs). Is he getting us out of the Middle East by increasing the number of troops there? Or is he getting us out of our financial crisis by doubling down on all spending and increasing the debt that Bush started?

  • Special Sauce||

    Yes. Except instead of trying to get us out of a mess he has doubled down on the mess, and broke his promises. Bush did it isn't a viable excuse anymore.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I will say fault someone less for trying to get us out of a mess than the one that got us into it.

    Sorry, but at this point that's bullshit, especially when the guy in charge is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. If Obama didn't want the responsiblity of living up to his promises, he shouldn't have applied for the job. Only candy-asses keep blaming the guy who came before them when they fail to follow through with what they say they are going to do.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    I guess we all agree then. Rand Paul's biggest fault is that he doesn't want to cut government enough. So far it looks like he wants to cut more than anybody else though, so I'll take it.

  • ||

    Great, so DoD funding would be at 2008 levels. That's some small government there!

    Your Dreamboat Democrat in the White House, backed by a strong Congressional majority, completely and utterly failed to rein in the Department of War in any meaningful way. And you're bitching about Senator Paul's "measly" proposal.

    You're pathetic.

  • ||

    I'd like to see defense spending cut back to 1980's level.

    Many talk about how the concept of general welfare has grow way beyond what was meant by the framers. I agree. But so has common defense.

  • robc||

    A standing army goes beyond the framers concept of common defense.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    That was pretty much broken the minute they started setting up forts along the American frontier.

  • A real teacher||

    Brooks, you would have recieved an A+ if you said "You're mother fucking pathetic." Good job regardless.

  • Lowdog||

    I haven't read the bill, but a $500 billion cut is a good start. I'd also like to see a quick end to hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, with defence spending cut and our boys (and girls) brought home, but what's the saying about the enemy of the good?

    'Course, it'll never go anywhere, so Tony and MNG can be happy that we're still over-spending on everything instead of just most things.

  • Old Mexican||

    Like the House's Republican Study Committee before him, Paul targets projects and agencies dear to liberals. It defunds completely the Affordable Housing Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


    Liberals are fond of money pits?

  • MNG||

    I'm fond of the NEA and NEH. An informed, educated populace is critical to the experiment that is American democracy, this was noted by our Founders. These programs further these goals for a little bit of money. They should be one of the last things we aim at.

  • ||

    So you'd park all the aircraft carriers and throw the lazy old people out in the street before cutting the NEA?

  • MNG||

    An informed electorate and populace is better than an uninformed and these two programs provide information. They are good things.

  • LibertyMark||

    So, without these programs, the populace would be uniformed and there would be no information. And, no Art produced!

    Pathetic.

  • MNG||

    It's not an either/or. They provide more opportunities for our populace to be informed.

  • Sam Grove||

    It's great to have the citizenry informed by the government. That way they'll be informed how wonderful is that agency of extortion.

  • Ray Pew||

    It's not an either/or. They provide more opportunities for our populace to be informed.

    Wonder why so many on the Left don't hold this idea when it comes to political speech paid for by "corporations"?

  • Apogee||

    They provide more opportunities for our populace to be informed.

    I'd argue the only opportunity seems to be the employment of more otherwise unemployable government workers, and the warping of the idea of 'education' in order to maintain this scam.

  • ||

    Yes, so when we cease funding them, you and everyone else who agrees with you can send in their yearly contribution.

  • MNG||

    I think what both programs provide is non-market sources of information which is a good only the government can provide and a good thing.

  • ||

    Because we'd much rather have information from the government than from a free market.

  • ||

    Because without the government, nobody would be interested in producing plays, music, or artwork? I guess Napster was spawned for no reason, since there's no market for wanting music.

  • Apogee||

    You forget that the Beatles, as well as their musical influence, The Monkees, were government funded projects.

  • Wind Rider||

    Oh, though I usually hate such retorts - These programs further these goals for a little bit of money.

    Citation not only needed, but fucking MANDATORY for a stupid statement like that.

  • MNG||

    I dunno what to tell you, a good number of people partake in their programs and most attest that they are informed through them.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    If you gleaned "a good number" from anything but an anecdote spouted by your drunk hipster friends or your own imagination consider your assertion asinine.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't like either department, but I would have left them alone, if only to avoid hearing the horrific whining sure to come from the least employable people in our society.

    Your average liberal will bitch about $1 cut from these programs more than they'll bitch about $100 cut from any other program. We may as well cut the other stuff rather than energize them by cutting this.

    I think what people don't realize is the sheer number of crunchy granola sons and daughters of connected people flake out and withdraw into arts-funded sinecures because that's all their sensitive souls can bear. When you cut this funding, you're basically saying to the liberal establishment, "We expect you to find your annoying daughter who used to cut herself and talks about her chokra all the time another job," and they really don't want to hear that.

  • Fluffy||

    An informed, educated populace is critical to the experiment that is American democracy, this was noted by our Founders.

    Leaving all the philosophical issues to one side for a moment, MNG, I think the critical problem with this argument is that no one has ever been educated by money spent by the NEA or the NEH.

    I actually probably have enjoyed an exposition or performance that is so funded once or twice myself - but the only reason I was part of the target audience is because I was already educated and informed.

    Despite Potemkin Village exercises in "outreach", the audience for federally funded art and literature is almost exclusively made up of college-educated affluent people. Those people should, I hope, already be competent to participate in a democracy whether or not they go to Tanglewood one more time this year.

  • Joe R.||

    It's welfare for the rich. Heh.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I'm fond of the NEA and NEH.


    Oh, so you ARE fond of money pits!

    An informed, educated populace is critical to the experiment that is American democracy, this was noted by our Founders.


    And crucifixes in piss-filled bottles achieve that desired result, I fancy...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ

    I will have to remind you again: Education is a personal CHOICE, not something that can be infused into people by throwing money around.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    An informed, educated populace is critical to the experiment that is American democracy, this was noted by our Founders.

    So did you mean to say you support the National Endowment for the Sciences?

  • ||

    In every defense of the NEA or the NEH that I have heard, the words "arts" or "culture" could be replaced by "religion" or "faith" and the statement be found as valid by an equal number of people (with a lot of overlap between the two groups).

    In the one you just made, for example, "pious, devout" could easily be substituted for "informed, educated" as things a large number of people might consider as desirable things for a poulace to be.

    I have no more desire to fund your choices in art than your choices in religion.

  • ||

    I'm fond of the NEA and NEH. An informed, educated populace is critical to the experiment that is American democracy, this was noted by our Founders.

    Odd that they left funding this out of the enumerated powers, then.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Baloney. Our society was rigorously educated long before these departments were even created. If anything, all the NEA and NEH have been is a massive suck on taxpayer dollars to churn out an increasingly sub-literate populace. Saying we can't do without these departments is like saying we can't live without a goiter.

  • Joe Biden||

    all Amtrak subsidies are terminated

    Shit.

  • ||

    We were only kidding when we said that we wanted a detailed plan of what you'd cut! We were just teasin'!

  • Wind Rider||

    And if you read through the thing, Rand only really cites the low hanging fruit - this doesn't go after entitlements at all.

    I think one of the reasons this won't go anywhere is that the pushback will make it sound like the end of western civilization as we know it, given that such cuts (actual cuts, not reductions to pie in the sky increases) would force the unimaginative aparatchiks into a shit or go blind dilemma - with the option that federal workers would actually be fired, terminated, furloughed, whatever you want to call it a totally unthinkable way to deal with it, probably as appealing to them as cannibalizing their own children. And without the prospect of even pretending to show up to collect a paycheck, the beneficiaries from the crap Rand wants to defund will be howling to the rafters about it, and unfortunately, people will actually take them seriously, instead of telling them to fuck off and find something useful or productive to do.

  • ||

    An informed, educated populace is critical to the experiment that is American democracy

    Propaganda troll likes propaganda.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Also useless fine arts majors.

    One of my college roommates gave me a speech about how I was wasting my life because I was playing video games during finals week. Our other roommate walked in and said "He's getting a 4.0 in engineering. You're getting a 4-year degree in painting."

  • ||

    "You're getting a 4 year degree in painting" also means you are likely getting a degree in living on the gov't dole for a lifetime.

  • ||

    Yes, I don't recall there being a cliche about "starving engineers".

  • ||

    There is such a cliche in Corvallis, Oregon. They're closing HP, and have laid off fully 1/5th of the population. Yet we continue to churn out newly minted Engineers by the hundreds to man our gas stations and McDonalds counters.

  • ||

    Ouch. Welp, so much for free will and such.

  • ||

    " It rescinds most of the Department of Energy's funds and transfers the remaining dollars and accounts to the Department of Defense."

    " He'd slash defense spending by over $47 billion,"

    So how much is he really slashing DOD spending?

    ""Like the House's Republican Study Committee before him, Paul targets projects and agencies dear to liberals. ""

    I'd like for the liberals to list conservative programs they wish to cut, then we can add the two and have a real list.

  • ||

    This is a great plan. It has things that will please Republicans and Democrats. This is probably why the defense cuts are so low, and there's no Medicare cap. Unfortunately, this would never get votes from some Republicans and most or all Democrats.

  • Corduroy||

    Defunding HUD, now we're talking some serious corruption control.

  • ||

    ""now we're talking some serious corruption control.""

    Which is why they probably won't.

  • ||

    I predict Jeffrey Immelt will be along shortly to explain how these proposals are "well-intentioned but unrealistic".

  • ||

    I'm fond of the NEA

    Express your fondness.

    With dollars.

    From your own pocket.

  • MNG||

    I'm fond of non-market sources of support for news, arts and other sources of education.

  • MNG||

    If those sources had to cater to people like me they would be less of the good I want in them, I want a source that will challenge rather than cater to me.

  • LibertyMark||

    Of course you are, since you get things you want and agree with paid for with other peoples' money.

    Pathetic.

  • Joe R.||

    You're fond of welfare for the rich.

  • ||

    I'm fond of non-market sources of support for coercing other people to support news, arts and other sources of education.

  • ||

    I'm fond of non-market sources of support for coercing other people to support news, arts and other sources of education.

  • Tony||

    Promoting the arts is a perfectly fine and traditional function of government, and at the cost of about a single advanced military plane.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    So where does the Constitution grant the federal government the power to perform such a function? The commerce clause?

  • Tony||

    Where does the constitution grant the federal government the power to have an air force?

  • ||

    He's right here. Constitution authorizes an army and a navy. Turning the Army Air Corps into the USAF was unconstitutional. New Deal Democrats, what can you say? Constitution, we don't need no stinking Constitution.

  • Tony's Thick Skull||

    Other than the part about "provide for the common defense"?

  • Tony||

    The preamble is not considered to have legal effect. But if you like, why can't we be just as vague in interpreting "promote the general welfare"?

  • Tony's Thick Skull||

    The preamble is not considered to have legal effect.


    By you? By 'judges'? Well I guess that settles it, since you think certain opinoins alter reality.

    But if you like, why can't we be just as vague in interpreting "promote the general welfare"?


    We can be as vague as you like within the confines of the enumerated powers.

  • Tony||

    By judges. The preamble has pretty much never been used as legal justification for anything in case law.

    I don't see anything about an air force in the enumerated powers, but I do see specific references to a navy and army.

  • Tony's Thick Skull||

    I don't see anything about an air force in the enumerated powers, but I do see specific references to a navy and army.


    Armed only with Muskets, and only ships with sails and cannon, because nothing else existed back then, so that's all the Constitution authorizes.

  • Tony||

    I'm not the constitutional originalist here.

  • Tony's Thick Skull||

    So you agree that the right to keep and bear arms refers to modern weapons.

  • Tony||

    Unfortunately that's what the SCOTUS recently said, though not without caveats. So yes the constitution does protect (to an extent) an individual right to own modern weapons. Doesn't mean I think it's good policy.

  • Tony's Thick Skull||

    What does "shall not be infringed" mean, do you need someone to interpret it for you? How about "Keep and bear arms" - does that need interpretation because the words are so mysterious and complicated?

  • Tony||

    Convenient that you completely leave out the other half of the text. Not so clear when you put it together, is it?

  • Apogee||

    Perfectly clear to anyone with the ability to read.

  • Tony||

    See this is what I'm talking about. It's not obvious and you damn well know it. You just want to pretend it is so you don't have to defend bad policy.

  • Apogee||

    The only bad policy is reinterpreting plain text to bolster government authority.

    You can't possibly argue this line if you even take a cursory look at the the writings of Jefferson and Madison, as well as others of the time.

    An excerpt:

    "What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

    "...to disarm the people - that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

    "Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)

    We know you want to rule others, Tony, but it's just not going to happen.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    So put it back under the army where it started if you think that's meaningful.

    Now, how about answering the question?

  • ||

    Where does the constitution grant the federal government the power to have an air force?

    Good point, Tony. We should go back to original name, the Army Air Corps, and shake up the table of organization.

    Whew!

    Now, about that enumerated power for funding arts, education, the sciences, etc. ad nauseum. . . .

  • Cyto||

    By Wickard and Raiche? Yeah, sure! Art is definitely bought and sold in the US. Producing art affects the market for art. Therefore the commerce clause grants the feds the power to fund the production of art. Straightforward reading of supreme court precedent.

  • Fluffy||

    Promoting the arts is a perfectly fine and traditional function of government

    Traditionally, Tony, the state supported arts as a function of:

    1. Supporting religion
    2. Supporting the personal lifestyle consumption of the ruling elite.

    For example, Justinian built the Hagia Sophia by sending tax collectors out to sell into slavery any peasant who couldn't pay the taxes he needed to build it.

    Just about every monument, cathedral, or work of plastic art in Europe that dates to any time before 1600 was funded by blood money, Tony. Literal blood money, in the "people were flogged to get this money, or executed, or sacked in wars" sense of the word.

    Oh, and back to Justinian: he figured that since he was spending so much money on the Hagia Sophia, it didn't make sense to let people ruin his investment in orthodoxy by doing things like go around spouting Monophysite heresies. So he had those guys rounded up and killed.

    Butchery and murder and expropriation is the legacy of your "traditional" state support of the arts, Tony.

  • Tony||

    Kind of makes public subsidy for park sculptures seem cheap.

  • cynical||

    The support of a network of aristocrats and a royal family is a fine and traditional function of government.

    Government patronage of the arts has no place in a free society. If the government wants to support the arts, it can create and enforce the rules that allow for a society filled with the sort of self-actualized, prosperous people who can fund a diverse range of artists and artistic viewpoints, rather than stealing from the masses to promote the vision of the elite.

  • Mike M.||

  • Thread Jack (off)||

    Anoka County likely to prosecute Stearns County deputy accused of criminal sexual conduct:

    Meemken is accused of providing alcohol to three juveniles and sexually assaulting them.

    He was charged with 22 felony sex assault charges and three misdemeanors accusing him of providing alcohol to minors and child endangerment.

    Meemken has been free since posting bail shortly after his first court appearance on the charges. He has been on paid administrative leave from the Stearns County sheriff's office since Dec. 10, 2009

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_17203358

  • ||

    I'm fond of non-market sources of support for news, arts and other sources of education.

    Gibberish.

    If you could depict this visually, you could easily get an NEA fellowship at a prestigious institute of higher learning.

  • Tony||

    Of course asking Republicans to be OK with funding the arts and education is sort of like asking liberals to accept subsidies for NASCAR.

  • Tony||

    Ha! $50 million for NASCAR in the "Reduce Unnecessary Wasteful Spending Act" proposed last year.

  • T||

    You want to fund art? Go buy some. You want education? Go read a fucking book, available for no cost at many, many libraries throughout the land.

    If other people need art and education, how about you let them decide how they're going to get it?

  • Tony||

    You want education? Go read a fucking book, available for no cost at many, many libraries throughout the land.

    Those wouldn't be the libraries funded by taxpayers, would they?

    If an indigent child was truly on fire for learning, without public subsidy I expect he'd just steal someone's books. More likely he'd just not get educated and remain in the underclass, though.

  • T||

    Actually, the first libraries in much of America were built with funds supplied by Andrew Carnegie, and supplemented by money raised by volunteers. So I'm pretty sure if the government didn't subsidize them, there'd still be libraries. Just like there were schools before the Dept. Of Ed, Tony.

    Just because you can't conceive of a useful service not delivered outside of them government doesn't mean it wouldn't exist. Take away the opportunity costs of having an enormous bloated federal bureaucracy and you might see some real progress on education. You don't generally get progress from an enormous centralized system with no real competition.

  • Tony||

    I expect many things that are now publicly funded originated in a private patronage situation. The point of making it public is to ensure universal access to public goods. The whims of a generous billionaire might do very good things, but there's no guarantee of that.

    And observing the example of healthcare, which has a much more bloated bureaucracy in the private sector than the public one, I'd be hesitant to turn over another public good like education to for-profit enterprises.

  • Joe R.||

    "Public goods" has an economic definition, and it isn't "goods provided by the public." Education is a private good, even when it is paid for by the public.

  • Tony||

    Public education is (in theory) nonrivalrous and nonexcludable. It is a nonpure public good.

  • Tony||

    And of course there are the positive externalities.

  • Joe R.||

    That (in theory) is the key. In reality, it is excludable.

  • ||

    Education is not a public good.

  • Apogee||

    And observing the example of healthcare, which has a much more bloated bureaucracy in the private sector than the public one,

    The fact that insurance companies and government conspire to game the system now proves nothing about "single payer" "savings".

    There are no 'savings' - just restricted services - exactly what is happening all around us in society now.

    Can't have services when these pensions take up so much of the budget.

    And assholes like you are too stupid to figure this out.

    Whatever you do, don't let the people involved set the prices.

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    Local libraries aren't funded by Federal tax dollars, you twee little sniveler.

  • Tony||

    So what? Making a big distinction between federal tax money and local tax money when we're talking about the role of government makes you sound like an idiot pining for the Old Confederacy.

  • ||

    failing to understand the fundamental distinction between constitutionally enumerated federal powers and state and local authority makes you sound like a typical sniveling beltway liberal who couldn't pass a high school civics test (if there still was such a thing).

  • Tony||

    Since federal funding for the arts has yet to be declared unconstitutional, it is in fact a constitutional power.

  • ||

    Congress is supposed to work within the framework of the Constitution, not just pass any law they want and wait for it to be challenged in the courts.

  • Tony||

    And what is supposed to encourage Congress to do that? Good will alone (even assuming you could get them all to agree on what's constitutional--there seems to be some disagreement on that these days)?

    But what I mean is that Congress does fund arts, and it does exist under the constitution, so it is exercising a constitutional power. They'll have the power until the supreme court says it doesn't.

  • ||

    lol. son, hold tight to your Loose Constructionist Bag o' Redistributed Wealth, but you are still tragically ignorant if you don't see a distinction between Federal funding of X and Local/State funding of X. It's right and proper to be against the former but in favor of the latter.

    That's why the outcome of "de-fund the NEA" is not "ZOMG! NO ART EVAH!!". It's state, local, and private support that produces a more dynamic, diverse and productive ecosystem (do you like my left-friendly buzzwords?). If something is good to do, the *last* place we should try doing it is in DC.

  • ||

    "Since federal funding for the arts has yet to be declared unconstitutional, it is in fact a constitutional power."

    Do you read backwards.. or what..?

  • ||

    Tony assumes that without government, no one would ever feel an ounce of compassion for anyone at any time.. and would never donate money to causes they deemed worthy of their checkbook.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    If other people need art and education, how about you let them decide how they're going to get it?

    But they might get it in the wrong waaaaaaaay!

  • T||

    Or even more horrifying, the people might decide opera sucks and quit attending. And then where would millionaires and liberal arts majors go to feel culturally superior to the NASCAR watching, beer swilling heathens?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Spider-man: Turn off the Dark?

  • scrat||

    This kind of bill is really just public relations -- it has no chance of going anywhere. The real measure of Rand's success or failure will be in the bills he derails.

    Ron couldn't accomplish that much in the House, but a single Senator can put an invisible hold on all sorts of important business.

    Let's hope that Rand is effective at holding Senate business that runs contrary libertarian ideals.

  • Ray Pew||

    Of course asking Republicans to be OK with funding the arts and education is sort of like asking liberals to accept subsidies for NASCAR.

    Your attempted insult doesn't have any sting. I presume most here would agree with your comparison, but hold no desire for either type of subsidization, as they both represent special interest enrichment at the expense of the taxpayer.

    "The arts" is a nice sounding euphemism for "shit the general public has no interest in spending their money on". Without such subsidization, a large portion of said leeches would disappear, with only a few being able to make a living.

    Interestingly, NASCAR is able to be a lucrative industry with little taxpayer funding.

  • robc||

    Interestingly, NASCAR is able to be a lucrative industry with little taxpayer funding.

    Also true of the arts. Too much of its going to Ke$ha, however.

  • Tony||

    "The arts" is a nice sounding euphemism for "shit the general public has no interest in spending their money on".

    That's exactly why it should have some public backing. The arts have long been considered a public good whether people spend money on it or not.

  • scrat||

    You really are an idiot.

    Historically, the "arts" have been supported by either the mass market (out on the tavern lawn) or by rich benefactors.

    And artists have forever chaffed under the burden of providing the art the customer wants or starving.

  • Tony||

    The NEA collects about $7 in private donations for every $1 of federal funding, so a lot of it is private patronage.

    The benefit of having government take on the role of artsy aristocrats is that artists would tend to be more free of the burden of appealing to an individual customer.

  • scrat||

    The NEA collects about $7 in private donations for every $1 of federal funding, so a lot of it is private patronage.

    Thanks for proving the NEA is superfluous.

    The benefit of having government take on the role of artsy aristocrats is that artists would tend to be more free of the burden of appealing to an individual customer.

    As I said, artist hate having to make the customers happy instead of starving.

  • Tony||

    Well, the private money is usually leveraged with federal money, meaning more federal funding equals more private donations.

    And you're making the case for public funding of the arts. You made it above. Art is not something that traditionally both has quality and succeeds in the marketplace. That's why it's always been necessary to have patronage of some sort.

  • scrat||

    both has quality and succeeds in the marketplace.

    David was a commission as was pretty much all of the work of the Renaissance.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Your definition of quality.

    If it succeeds in the marketplace it does have quality. I guess you just don't care about anyone else or their view of quality.

  • Tony||

    If it succeeds in the marketplace it does have quality.

    Thank you for such a succinct expression of one of the primary libertarian fallacies. Success in the marketplace means success in the marketplace. Success as art is an entirely different thing. Not that it isn't subjective. I just wouldn't want to live in a world with only art that succeeds in making bank.

  • scrat||

    I like the system where the great artists suffer for their work and only become famous after dying a grizzly death.

    Much cheaper that way.

  • Ray Pew||

    Thank you for such a succinct expression of one of the primary libertarian fallacies. Success in the marketplace means success in the marketplace. Success as art is an entirely different thing. Not that it isn't subjective. I just wouldn't want to live in a world with only art that succeeds in making bank.

    Why would you? Because all artists wouldn't become multi-millionaires, does not argue that the remainder would quit or have no market. We have endless examples of counter-culture and underground goods that have no government subsidization. There is no reason why such artists wouldn't find their niche, unless of course the only support they ever had was a government program. And in such case, no one would ever know they were gone.

  • LC||

    " I just wouldn't want to live in a world with only art that succeeds in making bank."

    Feel free to leave at any time..

  • Apogee||

    I just wouldn't want to live in a world with only art that succeeds in making bank.

    You're full of shit. You just advocated for cutting funding - that way, it's actually true 'art', and not just something to please the current NEA appropriations cabal.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    That's the exact opposite of a benefit. Artists can now make art no one wants.

  • Tony||

    The history of great art is a fine example of why the market alone isn't adequate to provide a decent society. Being able to make money as an artist and making good art have never gone hand-in-hand. Unless you think Thomas Kinkade is a painter of the ages.

  • scrat||

    At this point, you need to provide a link to something that backs up your position or post your credentials, because your view of history seems to be completely out of touch with reality.

  • Ray Pew||

    Unless you think Thomas Kinkade is a painter of the ages.

    Personally he is miles ahead of say, Jackson Pollack, but because art is purely subjective, it isn't an issue worthy enough to discuss taking taxpayer money to subsidize. But for some, they believe that their subjective values should be subsidized.

  • Tony||

    Ray this is an interesting discussion, and I'm not trying to say that art's quality is objective. But we really don't spend very much on art subsidies in this country, and it's very arguable that the benefits outweigh the pittance in cost.

  • Ray Pew||

    Ray this is an interesting discussion, and I'm not trying to say that art's quality is objective. But we really don't spend very much on art subsidies in this country, and it's very arguable that the benefits outweigh the pittance in cost.

    While I agree with Fluffy, and indirectly with you, on this matter in regards to the small percentage of spending on the arts, it demonstrates the entrenchment produced by government subsidization. If people are so adamant and vocal about how the defunding of their tiny interest will cause societal collapse, how can we ever expect to defund interests that are held by many more?

  • Tony||

    I don't think anyone thinks defunding the arts will cause social collapse. But focusing on that petty amount of money when there is so much waste in defense seems like a purely cultural-political endeavor rather than one based on fiscal soundness. Conservatives don't want public money funding the arts and liberals do. It's just a bitch slap fight.

  • Apogee||

    Nobody here is only focusing on the arts. You brought it up as an example of the un-cuttable.

    You're on the wrong site if you think that most commenters here don't support a big chop to Defense.

  • cynical||

    A) The government is a customer, and does lean on artists to produce state-friendly art.

    B) By freeing artists of the need to appeal to anyone other than their own artistic vision, you're basically undermining your claim of public benefit, as that would necessarily involve appeal to a large number of other people.

    C) The first amendment guarantees artists the right to pursue any artistic vision they please, with or without the state's approval. Basic fairness, on the other hand, suggests that if artists want the benefit of other people's labor, they should provide something of value to other people -- valuable, that is, in the eyes of the recipients.

  • ||

    Great job Tony, you solved the dilemma!! you have to agree the NEA could get along fine with a 1/8th reduction in funding. You and your many art-appreciating friends can use your tax savings to contribute as you see fit, thus replacing any shortfall, and increasing the quality of the resulting product at the same time.

  • Ray Pew||

    The arts have long been considered a public good whether people spend money on it or not.

    And such a statement is illogical. If people don't desire to pay for said good, then it can't be a "public good", since the people comprise the "public". As Fluffy stated, the people who desire the arts tend to be those who are already financially established enough to pay for it on their own.

    "Public good" is another emotive euphemism that means nothing more than "goods I want that should be paid for by other people's money".

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    I had the same reaction. How is something a public good if no one wants it?

  • Tony||

    Ray I don't consider "the people" and "customers" to be equivalent.

    Are you sure that you only think the "financially established" are the only ones who desire art? Maybe it's just that they're the ones who can afford to buy it.

  • Ray Pew||

    Ray I don't consider "the people" and "customers" to be equivalent.

    I really don't know what to say to this but WTF?

    Are you sure that you only think the "financially established" are the only ones who desire art? Maybe it's just that they're the ones who can afford to buy it.

    But that counters your claim that cutting government subsidization would deprive the masses of "art". Why isn't it in these poorer locations if the intention is to bring it to the poor at subsidized low costs?

  • Warty||

    "I'll take one art, please!"

  • Joe R.||

    "In economics, a public good is a good that is nonrival and non-excludable. Non-rivalry means that consumption of the good by one individual does not reduce availability of the good for consumption by others; and non-excludability that no one can be effectively excluded from using the good. In the real world, there may be no such thing as an absolutely non-rivaled and non-excludable good; but economists think that some goods approximate the concept closely enough for the analysis to be economically useful.

    For example, if one individual visits a doctor there is one less doctor's visit for everyone else, and it is possible to exclude others from visiting the doctor. This makes doctor visits a rivaled and excludable private good. Conversely, breathing air does not significantly reduce the amount of air available to others, and people cannot be effectively excluded from using the air. This makes air a public good, albeit one that is economically trivial, since air is a free good. A less straight-forward example is the exchange of MP3 music files on the internet: the use of these files by any one person does not restrict the use by anyone else and there is little effective control over the exchange of these music files and photo files."

  • Tony||

    In economics, a public good is a good that is nonrival and non-excludable.

    Some things that are either rivalrous or excludable can also be described as being in a subset of public goods. Public art certainly fits the strict definition of public good.

  • ||

    Public art certainly fits the strict definition of public good.



    Jesus, Tony, you say that like it was some kind of uncontestable eternal verity like "There is one true God".

    This is a post for the calibration of Sarcasmometers.

  • SM||

    The sad part is any progressive could cut more from the budget and save you more over the next 75 years than this clown is even proposing...

    ...it just doesn't fit in with your conservative, er "libertarian" agenda...

    If you really cared about spending, then let's have an honest debate about what will cost us the most as a country over the next 75 years and figure out how to solve that.

    ....or you can do this...just remember to increase the DOJ budget while you're at it...

    ...and if the government cuts from education, and you end up spending double those cuts in increased local taxes due to funding needs for teachers, police and jails - along with declining revenue because of the lower base salaries - are you still a big winner?

    You people have a funny view of reality...

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Go ahead and cut that stuff too.

  • Virginia||

    or you can do this...just remember to increase the DOJ budget while you're at it

    nope, pp 7-8: DOJ is reduced by $9,057,000,000 and Office of Justice is defunded.

  • SM||

    Ok, then you can increase your own share of your budget to go to pay for the resulting economic loss.

    The problem with you people is you don't realize you pay one way or another - and it seems you choose the most inefficient way every time, on principle.

    To each their own i guess...just quit complaining about your money being wasted, because now you want to waste more of mine.

  • ||

    Not really seeing this choice between paying for schools or paying for prisons and/or welfare.

    Seems to me that one can make a pretty nifty correlation between the massive increase in spending on education and the massive increase in incarceration rates in these here United States.

  • robc||

    The sad part is any progressive could cut more from the budget and save you more over the next 75 years than this clown is even proposing...

    Then why havent they?

    Here is a deal - you have a progressive senator come up with $500 billion in cuts for this year. I will call up Rand (he is my senator, after all) and get the two of them together and combine into one bill. Anything they have in common goes into combo bill. Things different that the other wants to save they trade off dollar for dollar until they get down to $750 billion total.

    Win-win. And some programs the left really, really cares about could be saved from the cut.

    And, hey, instead of 1/3 of the deficity being reduced, this will take care of 1/2 the deficit.

  • SM||

    Tell you what, we can put rand paul and bernie sanders in a room, and whatever they come out with, i'll agree to. Sounds good?

  • robc||

    Fine, as long as Bernie follows my ground rules.

    He comes in with $500B in cuts and between the total of $1T (max, as they may agree on some things) they come out with $750B, each giving up same # of dollars.

  • SM||

    Exactly....you don't agree. You want to put restrictions on it. I said WHATEVER they come out of the room with. I guess compromise really isn't in your blood...

    How about i put a ground rule that says half of what rand cuts bernie gets to spend? Or even better, whatever rand cuts bernie gets to spend if it saves us in the long run? See, you'd be better off with that too...in either case, you are saving more than you are now...isn't that what you want?

    Why don't you agree to those? We could save you trillions in the long run...that's great, right?

  • Apogee||

    bernie gets to spend if it saves us in the long run

    You're absolutely right - we should double defense - think of the costs incurred fighting off an invasion.

  • Fluffy||

    The problem with this argument is...Nassau County, NY, had their finances seized by the state today.

    Very rich county. High taxes. Great public schools, lavishly funded.

    They still shit the bed.

    All of this "We will spend invest our way into a balanced budget" nonsense always fails in application.

    And the federal mandates placed on local education more than offset the funding provided to implement those mandates. So a gutting of the DoE, if coupled with widespread lifting of mandates, will probably save as much money as is lost if not more. The effect will vary by district, but that becomes a local problem.

  • SM||

    Is reason filtering comments now? Wow...guess you really do live up to those libertarian ideals...

  • SM||

    I'll try to retype this again...see if it gets filtered out by the caring benevolent censors...

    ...you should probably mention that their problems are due to tax cuts - the libertarian solution to everything.

    It seems there has evolved a disconnect in this country between the revenue necessary and the programs desired. The "no tax" crowd wants their cake and to eat it too - in fact, they don't want to pay for the flour either...

    If you claim to support all the things that made this country great, then you need to stop pretending it was anything but the opposite of libertarianism. You people want to live on the backs of those who paid for and laid the foundation of this country and all of its inventions...

    ...or you're somalia. Its that simple. Libertarians are simply inter-generational welfare queens - nothing more, nothing less.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    DRINK!

  • SM||

    One more question, do any of you understand what a Nash Equilibrium is?

  • Warty||

    I do. Do you understand what a genetic algorithm is?

  • Brett L||

    A mathematical equation determining how many drinks she has to have in order to accept my genetic material, right? Some of the variables include attractiveness (relative), other drugs that may/may not be in her system, number of other women she is with, and amount of cash I am flashing.

  • Warty||

    Feynman studied this problem.

  • Brett L||

  • SM||

    Then i would love to hear how you came to your conclusions about how we should determine social policy...i'm all ears...go.

  • Warty||

    Just construct a Nash equilibrium in a rotating reference frame, and then apply the result to quantum tunneling, smart guy. Jesus, didn't you ever see A Beautiful Mind? Good thing you're not in charge; you're not a Top Man.

  • SM||

    Yeah...that's what i thought...you really don't have any solutions...

    "liberty" "theft" and all that...right?

  • Warty||

    I don't need to justify my beliefs to some incoherent college fuck who thinks he's smart because he's heard about game theory, but doesn't know when to use ellipses. Fuck off and go learn something.

  • Warty||

    Do you understand what a naive Bayes classifier is?

  • Warty||

    How about a finite-impulse response filter? Do you understand what that is? We can totally use it to fix the deficit.

  • Fluffy||

    BTW:

    Game theory is an absurd way to try to resolve questions of public administration.

    Rawls' absurd and risible failure should be a great enough example of that.

    ALL game theory arguments boil down to demonstrating the personal preferences of the person designing the game.

  • SM||

    I'm not saying we should use game theory to design an outcome...i'm questioning whether you all realize that we will continue to suffer through suboptimal outcomes if we continue to not work together, to design the "game" as non-cooperative?

    For example, if you don't want your money "wasted" shouldn't we then determine what outcome would "waste" less of your money throughout your entire life?

    And if your argument is ideological - you'd rather have your money wasted than "taken" and wasted - then can we have a rational discussion about the only solution - anarchy?

    I don't see how libertarians fall anywhere in between one of these two solutions...

  • ||

    ...we will continue to suffer through suboptimal outcomes...



    ...

    This would seem to imply that you believe that every situation has some single outcome that is optimal for every individual person.

    That you believe that is evidence of the possession of an extremely simple mind.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Warty's right--SM's an incoherent college fuck for sure. Only a dipshit college undergrad would come onto an internet blog thinking, "If I throw out this random theory I learned in class today THEY'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO COUNTER ME!!!!"

    I mean, why bother using things like actual statistics, facts, history, and mathematics as evidence? It's so much easier to claim, "I can do solve this problem with one hand tied behind my back! It's so simple! If we don't work together we're all doomed!"

    Most self-aware adults grow out of that childish mindset fairly quickly, but college does have a way of stunting intellectual and emotional maturity.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    For example, if you don't want your money "wasted" shouldn't we then determine what outcome would "waste" less of your money throughout your entire life?

    The one where we don't spend any of my money?

  • Virginia||

    page 3: reduce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by $857,000,000

    1. WTF National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?!
    2. it gets at least $857,000,000!?

    I'm thinking oceans on the moon. Anyone else?

  • Warty||

    Nathan: What the fuck do you guys even do here?
    Weather Official: We name the hurricanes, sir.
    Pickles: You name the hurricane, that's your job?
    Weather Official: What should we name this hurricane, sir?
    Nathan: Name the hurricane. Huh. Uhhhhhhhhh....hmmmmm. How about....uh...Scrambles? Scrambles the...uhh...the Death Dealer.

  • ||

    Nathan: Guys.. this does not..uh... this does not look good.. for my administration..

  • ||

    we need NOAA in order to monitor Global Warming, which allows us to justify Carbon taxes, which will generate more revenue, which will allow us to fund NOAA more generously...

  • Virginia||

    Page 11: the FCC is reduced $2,150,000,000.

    Why does the FCC have a budget that can afford to be reduced by over two billion$$? No wonder Genachowski thinks he rules the internet.

    Rand Paul's bill is really eye-opening.

  • Zoe||

    One need only read the reader comments to know what an abysmal job Reason does at fostering libertarianism.

  • ||

    Add this to the drinking game rules.

  • SM||

    The people intelligent enough to understand libertarianism are also intelligent enough to determine its obvious flaws and contradictions...

    ...and the people dumb enough to fall for its emotional rhetoric...are simply pissed off conservatives.

  • nekoxgirl||

    I became a libertarian after I educated myself about economics. Liberal economics is complete bullshit. But come one guy, tell me more about why your political philosphy is superior. I want to hear more about how we have to tax the rich else they will eat all our money.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Actually that's exactly right [someone's opinion determines reality]. The opinions of judges determines what the constitution means, thereby determining constitutional reality.


    Which means that when the Dred Scott decision, the reality became that a man could be property, constitutionally speaking. Is that what you think?

    Where does this other reality you refer to exist?


    The one where the constitution means what it is written, no more and no less, just like a contract you sign with somebody means what it says.

    If the constitution is so easy, why do we need courts at all?


    What's with this "We" business, Kimosabe?

    The raison d'etre of courts was to provide a forum to resolve disputes through mutual agreement from both parties to abide to an arbitrer's decision. If you are asking what is the role of the Supreme Court, it is to insure that laws passed by Congress are in pursuance of the Constitution (meaning: that they follow and comply with the restrictions set in the Constitution); the role of the court is NOT to interpret the Constitution, as it is not a document written in a foreign language.

    How do we decide whether this punishment is cruel and unusual and that one isn't, if it hasn't been decided by precedent yet?


    That has nothing to do with determining what the Constitution means.

    How do we decide how the first amendment applies to the Internet?


    Why would a decision in such regard be necessary? The 1st Amendment says, in PLAIN ENGLISH, that Congress shall make NO LAW - NO LAW - abridging the freedom of speech. It cannot be clearer.

    There are a thousand other examples. It's a short document, but life is complicated.


    It's a short document, but political expediency wants life to be complicated.

    You're still ignoring the fact that your preferred interpretation is likely not one shared by most people


    I don't have a 'preferred' interpretation - the document requires NO INTERPRETATION as it is written in PLAIN ENGLISH, not a foreign language.

    Why are you right and they are wrong? Because you say so?


    No, because the DOCUMENT says so. If the document says "It is red" and a person says "well, it says it is 'reddish'", who is right: The document, or the person reading it???

  • SM||

    Again, this is rich.

    Which are you, a libertarian, or a constitutionalist?

    I'm glad you've figured out what "the right of the people to be secure in their persons mean" because there is obviously no room for interpretation there. I'm glad you've figured out how to balance my right to "free speech" against your right to "be secure."

    And what exactly is the "due process of law"? And because it provides an exception to relieve you of your liberty, i'm sure you're fine with that, as long as we use the "due process of law," right?

    You're also fine with "private property be taken for public use" as long as we compensate you, right?

    What exactly is "public use" anyways?

    If me and my buddy think the government should take your home and make it a museum of stupidty, you're fine with that, as long as we pay you your appraised value, correct?

    And when it says rights are reserve to the states, "or the people" - which is it? How can something so perfectly articulate with no need for clarification use the word "or"?

    I'll wait right here...you give us the perfect answers...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: SM,

    Which are you, a libertarian, or a constitutionalist?


    If you were arguing that Shakespeare's works were written by Shakespeare and not Marlow, does that make you a libertarian or a Shakespearean?

    In other words, your question makes NO SENSE, since being a libertarian does not preclude one from arguing against "interpreting" the constitution differently than what the text (in English) says.

    I'm glad you've figured out what "the right of the people to be secure in their persons["] mean[,] because there is obviously no room for interpretation there.


    No room at all. The text clearly says what it says, at least in the English language. Maybe for a Swede, it's gibberish.

    I'm glad you've figured out how to balance my right to "free speech" against your right to "be secure."


    What the fuck are you talking about?

    And what exactly is the "due process of law"? And because it provides an exception to relieve you of your liberty, i'm sure you're fine with that, as long as we use the "due process of law," right?


    Due process of law means the government must follow the written law if it pretends to abridge your rights. I don't understand where's the controversy there. If what you're asking is for the meaning of "due" and "process", I suggest you rely on a dictionary, like I did when I started studying English.

    You're also fine with "private property be taken for public use" as long as we compensate you, right?


    Who the fuck cares what I feel? Why is that relevant? I argue that the text says what it says, not that I *feel* it is correct or that I like it.

  • Jill||

    I missed the part where you answered questions asked of you.

  • Apogee||

    It runs away from those.

  • The Name Game||

    What does SM stand for anyway?

    Stupid Moron
    Sugar Momma
    Shit Monkey

  • SM||

    It's my sexual perference. I liked to be whipped before I have sex ;)

  • SM||

    Ah...more libertarian brilliance on display.

    Again, why would anyone reading the comments of this blog be persuaded towards libertarianism - when all you do is eventually resort to name calling when logic fails you?

    Hey, tweens, you want to call people cool names? Be a libertarian! We don't censor comments! You can act like a 15 year old for the rest of your life!

    Try this: "Slaver!" Doesn't that feel great? Now go find some free porn to beat off to!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: SM,

    Again, why would anyone reading the comments of this blog be persuaded towards libertarianism - when all you do is eventually resort to name calling when logic fails you?


    You would be a fool to seek wisdom in a blog posting forum.

    By the way, you have not shown a particular prowess in logical discourse, you simply sling around terms (like Nash equilibrium) like chimps sling shit. Do you want to argue to learn, or are you simply looking to irritate? One requires intelligence, the other, well, requires only too much time in your hands, in between your meat-stroking sessions.

  • ||

    They replied to your game theory and then you decided to focus on name calling.

    Heres one for you, lets say that "we" (you used that logic in an older post) decide that it was better for you to make money if you became a plumber, toilet cleaner, doctor etc. (basically anything you would not want to do), would you accept it if game theory showed that that was optimal for society and your pocket book.

  • Bob||

    There is no intention of following through on this proposal from anyone, even from Paul himself.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement