When Will Feds Start Listening? New ABC Poll Finds 56%—constant for 25 years!—Want Smaller Gov't That Costs, Does Less


Via HotAir's Ed Morrissey.

In another vulnerability for the president, Americans by 56-40 percent said they preferred smaller government with fewer services—almost exactly the average the past 26 years—but by a vast 77-15 percent thought Obama prefers the opposite, larger government with more services. That, plus concerns about the deficit, seem ripe for a 2010 campaign theme for the Republican Party.

If big government looks like a fruitful GOP theme, however, Obama, and by extension his party, have ammunition of their own. For one, many more Americans chiefly blamed the economy and the federal deficit alike on George W. Bush rather than on Obama, by 59-25 percent on the economy, by an almost identical 60-22 percent on the deficit.

We've said it before: The 21st century has failed to deliver on hovercrafts, jet packs, and smaller government! About the only thing it has delivered on is an increasing number of balding men with giant oversized heads (and even then, where are the silver jumpsuits?).

Read the latest ABC/Wash Post poll and, to paraphrase Jefferson, tremble when you realize your accountant is just. The short version? Obama sucks but he's better than the GOP was or are likely to be.

Is it time for a third party? No, it's way past time.

NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Fiscal Commission Meets, Chavez Tweets, Voinovich Retreats

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  1. if only a candidate would promise a net spending cut. he’d probably get elected and claim a mandate for tripling the size of government.

  2. That, plus concerns about the deficit, seem ripe for a 2010 campaign theme for the Republican Party.

    I think Morrissey is vastly, vastly overestimating the intelligence and awareness of the Republican leadership.

    1. Not to mention the honesty. I trust John Boehner about as far as I can throw his car.

      1. Maybe he owns one of those SMART cars.

    2. But.. but.. if you get elected and then are presented with the reality of the situation you just don’t see how you can reduce spending anymore. It’s all necessary, doncha’ know.

  3. McCain Feingold and the original campaign finance reform of 1974 has a lot to do with politicians continuing to endorse big government. To run for office you need a lot of donors. You can’t just have a few rich people bankroll you. That means you have to pay off a lot of people to stay in office. And small government doesn’t do that.

    Also, don’t underestimate how out of touch Washington is. No matter how well intentioned someone is, once they get to Washington they are blasted with conventional wisdom by the media and everyone who lives here that big government is what the people want and expect. It takes a lot of balls and independent spirit to swim against that stream and be willing to be demonized as a nut by the entire media and establishment. And you don’t get to that level of politics by having any balls or swimming against the stream.

    1. It’s very hard to stay there, too. Washington DC is very fickle mistress.

      1. you just gots no mojo, Jimmy.

      2. Beam him up.

  4. hilarious assumption embedded in this question here. You really think it is the job of government to give us less tyranny? just because we want it?

    of course not,

    “Government, like any other organism, refuses to acquiesce in its own extinction. This refusal, of course, involves the resistance to any effort to diminish its powers and prerogatives. There has been no organized effort to keep government down since Jefferson’s day. Ever since then the American people have been bolstering up its powers and giving it more and more jurisdiction over their affairs. They pay for that folly in increased taxes and diminished liberties. No government as such is ever in favor of the freedom of the individual. It invariably seeks to limit that freedom, if not by overt denial, then by seeking constantly to widen its own functions. ” Mencken

  5. I don’t have a problem with a third party in principle. There is nothing to say these two parties should live forever. My problem is what would that third party actually advocate. There are not enough doctrinaire libertarians to make a viable third party. Yeah, people want a smaller government, but one side (the Right) wants some socially conservative laws to go with it and the other side (the left) is beholden to the public employee’s unions and is in love with social engineering via law. So, who do you compromise with to form this third party? And how do you make sure the party is large enough to win and not just give one of the two existing parties complete control via splitting the other side’s vote?

    1. I would say this is why we need at least 5 parties. Which I believe we actually have. The problem is getting rid of the stranglehold on power the two major parties have put in place for themselves.

      1. Four parties would work because you would divide both parties’ votes evenly. Three parties just ensures the one who keeps its base together rules everything. I would like to see four parties.

        Social Conservative
        Libertarian Conservative
        Social liberal
        Leftist liberal.

        1. Five parties John. The Party of Me! I can’t seem to take a hint! It must be the powers of Teh Tan(tm)!

  6. The problem is, as has been pointed out before, popular opinion is completely inconsistent on this stuff. Everyone wants smaller govt in the abstract, but when it comes to actual programs — especially the small number of items (defence, Medicare, Medicaid, SS) that make up the vast majority of federal spending — no-one wants to cut those.

    1. I think people want to cut those. They just are not being heard. Also, politicians do a horrible job of explaining the situation to the public. John Stossel did a show back in the 1990s on Social Security and Medicare. And he got a bunch of seniors into a room who said they were against cutting both. He then gave them a presentation explaining how they were going to bankrupt future generations and how something had to be done. By the end of the presentation the majority of the people in the room were willing to make some sacrifices to cut spending.

      The problem is that politicians never do that. And even if they did the media would destroy them before they ever got their message out. People are as a general rule willing to sacrifice for the good of their children. They are just not being asked to.

      Also, cutting those programs are never put forth in the context of a coherent plan to cut the size of the government and reduce the debt. It is always just put forward as cut this program to fund this other. When it is presented that way, it is no wonder people are against the cuts. If the choice is cut my benefits so someone else can have benefits, screw you I want my benefits. If, however, the choice is cut everyone’s benefits so that our children can have a better future, then most people are going to listen to what you have to say.

      1. I disagree, that would require altruism and some kinda idea of a ‘big picture’. I hate old people and I don’t see them givven up any benefits for me. I want them to die.

        When is it time for mandatory death to the old and decrepit. My poor father, he has the mental capacity of an enraged chimpanzee, aged 83. Lashes out at caretakers. He votes. I haven’t faith, people are always willing to screw the youth. They just rarely phrase it that way.

        “For the children” only works for shitty nanny state legislations, not cuts or reductions of goberment.

        Cheese biscuits my head hurts.

      2. I hope you’re right, John, but I think one of the lessons of modern history is that welfare entitlements — once people start thinking of them as entitlements — are incredibly hard to remove or reduce. I think the problem with SS and Medicare is especially acute, because people don’t tend to think of them as what they really are (i.e., welfare benefits) but as what they were sold to people as: contributory insurance/retirement schemes. Good luck getting people to give those up.

        1. Everyone blames old people for social security and medicare but it is more than that. It is the middle class. They don’t want to have to take care of their parents.

          You are never going to get rid of those programs. But you could means test them. If you could do that, you could keep them solvent a lot longer. But, that would have to part of a bigger package. Yeah, you can means test my social security someday, but you need to give me some tax cuts and the ability to save more. It has to be a coherent package, not just a single package to screw old people and keep the government the same size.

          1. screw old people

            that’s nasty

          2. Some of us, John, can’t take care of our parents without someone quitting their job to stay home with them. Tried that, still paying the bills I couldn’t pay from loss of income.

            You do have a point, but only for those who are able to do the 24/7 parental care gig. Maybe if a family had sufficient numbers of members working all three traditional shifts, taking turns between work and other obligations… but how many families have members working first, second, and third shifts?

            1. I don’t disagree. And that is why you might be able to means test SS and Medicare but will never get rid of them. And that is why cutting them has to be a part of a larger package that radically reduces the size of government and the tax burden. Take away some of the tax burden and you might not need two incomes.

              If you think about it, that is what we have done over the last 60 years. We put women to work and took them away from caring for the elderly and children. And then we took that extra productivity and wealth and invested it in government.

              1. There are women in this world who want to work, regardless of having children or not. I don’t know who this “we” is putting women to work and taking them away from the boring, thankless job of taking care of the helpless (horrible to me and many millions of human beings, women or men).

              2. “If you think about it, that is what we have done over the last 60 years. We put women to work and took them away from caring for the elderly and children. And then we took that extra productivity and wealth and invested it in government.”

                This thought crossed my mind a while ago, almost giving me an Alex Jonesesque moment of lucid insanity since it seems letting women in the workplace was done precisely to bolster the amount of money that can be confiscated by the IRS. I have no problem with women working, but there used to be a time when 1 middle-class spouse could work while the other didn’t and still live relatively comfortably. Of course, a single white male’s income in the 50s might have been bolstered by a myriad of corporatist market distortions, racial employment issues, and a stunted market for ambitious women.

                There is nothing wrong with letting anybody (ANYBODY) enter the workplace but when the primary reason is to bolster taxes and a perceived increase in freedom is an accidental secondary perk, somethng is definitely wrong. Let’s hope this paranoid delusion does not mirror our reality.

        2. that lesson is from further back than modern history. See Rome, bread / circus.

      3. No they don’t and the polls prove it. Only 7% want to cut SS or Medicare to balance the budget, 22% want to cut National defense and 11% want to cut Medicaid. So of the parts of the government that make up ~75% of the budget, the highest any program gets is 22%. But hey, people overwhelmingly want to cut foreign aid. Though cutting foreign aid to balance the budget is like me trying to pay my utilities off with change found between my couch cushions.


        1. That is one poll. And further it proves my point that the media and political class has done a terrible job explaining the problem to people. It is almost as if they want it that way.

          1. mad at me cuz I don’t say what you think people think? Well, ‘Scuze me!

          2. How does it prove your point? It shows that people want to cut the stuff that doesn’t effect them, which is why almost everyone can agree on foreign aid. John Thacker has the right idea below, most of these people want to cut spending on everyone else but them. It’s like being left alone. Most people want to be left alone, but they also want to be busybodies in other people’s lives.

            1. It proves my point that people have no idea what the budget looks like and exactly what we are spending money on. They think foreign aid is a big part of the budget. The political class have never honestly explained the stakes or what the money is actually being spent on.

      4. Very difficult to get consensus to cut a program when 49% of the adult population below retirement age pays NO taxes. If you are the pro-gov pol you immediately start with a 49% margin on any issue involving cuts. 49% of the people don’t pay in and see the program as free to them if they need it and no sweat off their backs to pay for it. Its “Magic”. The pro-cut pol has to convince these people that if they cut, they will pay less taxes, but they already pay zero.

  7. The Hayekian and utilitarain influenced cosmotarians I find at Reason are in agreement with me on many things and I’d rather get drunk with these people that 95% of the population…but the naivity I sense when I see this type of genuine surprise…. SURPRISE that the government isn’t giving us less government in spite of what some polls say people want is infuriating….WAKE UP people!

    1. I’M AWAKE!

      I just need another cup of coffee.

  8. Americans by 56-40 percent said they preferred smaller government with fewer services

    Yeah, and women all want nice guys with a sense of humor. Yet at the end of the night they’re going home with the bad boy. Maybe if we work hard we can turn this loser into the man of our dreams.

    1. Yet at the end of the night they’re going home with the bad boy biggest cock they can find.

      Ah Misogyny, fun for the whole family!

      1. Misogyny= hating women as much as women hate other women

    2. Yet at the end of the night they’re going home with the bad boy.

      That is weird. All the married men i know are home bodies. Their biggest bad boy movement is for like 4 months out of a year they demand the right to watch football at home.

      If women only sleep with bad boys then how are all these whimpering snails getting married?

      1. it’s that fat wallet and the fact that the “bad boy” didn’t work out so well for the women when they tried it.

        The whole “free spirit”, “bad boy” appeal only lasts until about age 25, then the coach turns into a pumpkin and the guy into a “loser”.

        I tell my male children not to get married too young, cause they will end up with an uglier wife. Make some money, wait a few years, and you will be able to get the girls that are completely “out of your league” right now.

        .02 from the fat guy you see and say “how the f*** did he get a woman that looks like that???”

      2. Because once they realize bad boys are uncontrollable they settle for a snail they can boss around?

        Or not. I barely understand what’s happening in my own marriage, so I’m not qualified to speculate on anybody else’s.

  9. I want the government to cut back the programs that other people use.

    I want the government to leave me alone, but I also want the government to stop my neighbor from doing all the things he does that annoy me.

  10. everyone wants smaller government until its their stuff that gets cut. It’s like when Zues took my powers. Sure I wasn’t paying any taxes but that dude took my stuff, Fuck that guy!

    Kiwi Dave is right buy me a parrot that sings.

    1. HOW AM I SPAM!?

      1. I think its your misspelling of Zeus.

  11. “The main thing that every political campaign in the United States demonstrates is that the politicians of all parties, despite their superficial enmities, are really members of one great brotherhood. Their principal, and indeed their sole, object is to collar public office, with all the privileges and profits that go therewith. They achieve this collaring by buying votes with other people’s money. No professional politician is ever actually in favor of public economy. It is his implacable enemy, and he knows it. All professional politicians are dedicated wholeheartedly to waste and corruption. They are the enemies of every decent man. “

    1. Give ’em H.L., Gabe!

    2. Gabe, you think anyone here really disagrees with your Mencken quote, or that anyone here is genuinely (as opposed to rhetorically) surprised?

      1. And just so you know, Gabe, I wouldn’t mind getting drunk with you, either. (Just don’t expect me to be easy.)

        1. CN, I don’t think you disagree…and plenty of others here as well…soy if I insulted you guys.

          However, the frequently stated/implied belief I see here is that the government is incompetent. In my expereince the decision making/power hungry types are extremely competent at intelligent when it comes to reaching their true goals…and not their stated goals.

          The fat loser at the DMV counter is not “the government”.

          1. Ah. Gotcha. I think we probably do (respectfully) disagree a bit on that issue. (But I also think Mencken would agree that most politicians, while eager to grasp privilege and profit, are also idiots.)

            1. I should also add that in my own experience writing about and meeting politicians over many years (on the state and local level), I never saw any evidence that even one was any kind of evil genius.

              1. “decision making/power hungry” this often does no equal the “politician”.

              2. Never underestimate the collective genius of a bunch of village idiots.

            2. I’ve met my share of politicians, and very few struck me as very intelligent in the general sense. However, most were good at communicating basic concepts, remembering people’s names, and at general hucksterism.

              1. A good huckster is good at fooling himself as well. No matter the situation, what they are doing is for the general good..it isn’t stealing.

                1. “Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it. ….I lie every second of the day. My whole life is a sham.”

          2. I disagree, the fat loser at the DMV counter is more the government than the president.

            There are many more of him, sucking up more of my money than the president does, even including his expense account.

            1. Hey, I’m trying to lose weight! It just takes time!

              1. Elect me president and I will help all fat people lose weight, whether they like it or not.

    3. Exactly. If they stopped spending other people’s money, they wouldn’t have any power anymore. No one takes over an organization with the idea of reducing its influence or destroying it.

      You see this all the time with cabinet officials. They appoint some guy to head a federal agency. And sometimes that guy really believes that the agency needs to be reduced in size and influence. But once he gets there his career and sense of self importance is tied to the agency. And he immediately advocates for a bigger role for the agency and thus himself. It is just human nature.

      1. No one takes over an organization with the idea of reducing its influence or destroying it.


  12. Obama sucks but he’s better than the GOP was or are likely to be.

    That’s partly an artifact of the sample. Even for an “adults” poll, it’s way overloaded with TEAM BLUE! robots.

    But still, “America, Confused By Numbers, Repeats What TV Says.”

  13. For one, many more Americans chiefly blamed the economy and the federal deficit alike on George W. Bush rather than on Obama, by 59-25 percent on the economy, by an almost identical 60-22 percent on the deficit.

    Yes, yes, Bush was bad on domestic policy. But, c’mon, it just amazes me that the Obama “Blame Bush” schtick still has this much traction.

    How can any sentient being blame the deficit (this year’s budget, which Bush had nothing to do with) on Bush? How can anyone look at the spiraling debt and conclude that its mostly Bush’s fault, when Obama added as much to it in a year and a half as Bush did in eight years.

    The bone-deep stupidity of the electorate is why I am a Pessimistic Libertarian. Our governing class is hopelessly corrupt/arrogant/ignorant/stupid, and I don’t think the voters are going to fix that.


    2. Bush was to Obama as John the Baptist was to Jesus.
      Deal with it, RC.
      Yeah, Obama is performing a kind of reverse miracle of the fishes, (and making blind men deaf, as an old joke goes) but it was Bush who paved the way for his coming.

      1. There is some truth to that. But, Obama not Bush will be running for office in 2012. How about we hold him responsible for his role?

        1. You know that whole messianic fervor thing in Israel circa 30 A.D.? Yep. All John the Baptist’s fault.

          1. No exactly. Jesus’ message was to not revolt. He correctly told the Jews that revolting was suicide. His message was spiritual and individual salvation not political salvation. That is why the Jewish leaders hated him so much and viewed him as such a threat. And sure enough, they and the Romans crucified him and the Jews later revolted and it was the end of Israel for nearly 2000 years.

      2. Agreed CN… I blame republicans and democrats about equally…when “team reduce governemnt” came into power…what happened? they quickly and efficiently went about destroying the country…of course the GOp never had ANY intention of reducing government or increasing freedom, to the contrary, their job was to destroy the very brand of “free markets”…and they did a great job! the natural result is Obamunism…the transition between bush and obama was seemless as bush left office advocating bailouts, Carbon cap and trade, keynes, wiretapping and war…Obama came into office promising to do more of the same!

        1. You’ve put your finger on it, Gabe. Bush helped fuck up the brand.

          If Coca-Cola bottled ‘possum spit and called it “Sprite” it’d be a long time before folks were willing to try anything called “Sprite” again.

          1. That’s the best analogy I’ve ever heard all day.

    3. Yes, yes, Bush was bad on domestic policy.


    4. How can any sentient being blame the deficit (this year’s budget, which Bush had nothing to do with) on Bush?

      Because the larger deficit is due to stimulus spending and tax cuts designed to rescue the economy that was damaged so badly by Bush’s disasterous economic policies. Duh.

      1. And it did nothing of the sort. If the stimulus had actually helped the economy, you might have a point. Since it didn’t, and any one with an IQ over 100 who say what happened to Japan in the 1990s knew it wouldn’t, Obama deserves all the blame he gets.

      2. Which is why “tax-cut-and-spend” is just as bad a policy as “tax-and-spend”, Dan.

        This ain’t rocket surgery.

      3. Because the larger deficit is due to stimulus spending and tax cuts designed to rescue the economy that was damaged so badly by Bush’s disasterous economic policies.

        Although Bush’s economic policies were also stimulus spending and tax cuts designed to rescue the economy.

    5. How can any sentient being blame the deficit (this year’s budget, which Bush had nothing to do with) on Bush? How can anyone look at the spiraling debt and conclude that its mostly Bush’s fault, when Obama added as much to it in a year and a half as Bush did in eight years.

      Because most of the deficit is structural rather than due to incremental spending. If Obama came to power when the budget was running surpluses*, I could see your point. However, we were already running a massive deficit prior to January 20, 2009. Obama has piled on the deficit spending, but it didn’t turn black ink into red, just turned red ink into redder ink.

      * As was the case when Bush became president.

      1. The deficit was under $500 billion in 2007. He turned that into a nearly a two trillion dollar deficit. He also blew $700 billion on a useless stimulus package and raised baseline domestic spending by 50%. I am sorry but “Bush ran a deficit to” doesn’t excuse that. Saying that it does is like saying it would have been okay to invade Iran since Bush already had us in two wars anyway.

        1. Nice choice of the end point in 2007. However, the deficit in 2010 is expected to be $1.17 T in 2010, not $2 T. It was $1.4 T in FY 2009. If you look at the CBO breakout of the deficit, about $500 B is due to reduced tax receipts and increased payouts for things like unemployment due to the recession, “only” $200 B is due to new Obama policies, $400 B is due to continued Bush policies such as the bailouts and the wars. So Obama’s incremental responsibility* is less than what he was handed.

          However, he still needs to stop adding additional spending. Just because the old deficits are not his fault doesn’t mean he should pile on extra spending.

          * I do not give credit or fault to either president for the recession-caused deficits.

          1. Other than payment on debt and a few other long term items, there are no such things as “old deficits”. Arguments made from baseline budgeting are bullshit arguments.

        2. I am not excusing Obama…I dislike him plenty as well. However,Bush carried out horrible policies that did make things much worse. If you were a stupid republican in 2000 then I could see how that may be your perspecive, but for people who had read Rothbard and Mises well before the year 2000, Bushes policies were shit from the beginning and just got shittier for 8 straight years….Obama sucks too..merely continuing the trend. Fuck the retarded republicans who think there has been a major change. You dumbfucks almost put McCain, Guliani or Romney in…they would have been doing the same stupid shit as Obama.

      2. Clinton never had a surplus. Close, effectively balanced within the error bars, but no surpluses.

        1. Dammit.

          The old incif prevented this. Argh.

        2. Intra-government debt is not real debt. The social security trust is an accounting scam that would put a CFO behind bars if they tried to do something similar. Payroll taxes are still taxes and IOUs from Ucle Sam to Uncle Sam do not count as assets or liabilities.

          1. If you want to base the argument on GAAP, Im fine with that too. In which Clinton never even came close to a balanced budget.

            1. 2009 GAAP deficit was 4.3T instead of 1.4T. 4.3T is BETTER than the 2004/2006/2008 number, but worse than 02,03,05,07.

              1. Which, btw, means the federal net worth is ~negative $63.5T. I havent seen the number for 2009, but going off the 2008 net worth and the 2009 deficit, thats about right. There could be some adjustments to net worth though. Give or take a trillion, that is about right.

    6. The bone-deep stupidity of the electorate is why I am a Pessimistic Libertarian.

      A pessimist, yes. A libertarian, not so much.

  14. Republicans and swing-voting independents alike are far more likely than Democrats to be looking for change in Congress.

    Swing voters are the only ones politicians have to worry about in November. Republicans will always vote R and Democrats will always vote D, but fence-sitters will get you elected.

    1. Who knows what the voters will do in 2012. But one thing is for sure. They have had it with the Democrats ruling without adult supervision. It is going to be a blood bath for Congressional Dems in November.

      1. Bllodbath? Sure, if the election were held May 4th. Don’t count your chickens yet for November.

    2. Republicans will always vote R and Democrats will always vote D, but fence-sitters will get you elected.

      This is only mostly true. Republicans and Democrats do sit at home when unhappy. People talk about Republicans/conservatives/Tea Partiers not protesting Bush, which has some truth, but actual turnout of registered Republicans was down quite a bit in 2006 and 2008. (No joy to libertarians that a fair amount of Bush’s lower approval ratings and the dislike for McCain was over immigration.)

      The same dynamic seems at work at 2010. Loyal Democrats are less motivated in polls; passing Obamacare increased intensity some, but not as much as it increased the intensity of opponents.

    3. Sound like SCOTUS where only one guy needs actual legal convincing.

  15. failed to deliver on hovercrafts flying cars, jet packs..

    We’ve got the hovercrafts. In fact, now I’m gonna go look for DIY plans for one, muwahahahaha

  16. Americans by 56-40 percent said they preferred smaller government with fewer services

    But they only want to cut those “wasteful services,” you know, the ones spent on that other guy. All the services spent on them are smart investments.

    Rule of thirds– one-third at most want to cut government, one-third want to grow it in principle, and the swing third wants to cut government “except for my spending.”

    Any party only gets a majority by appealing to the hypocrites, and “moderate” politicians elected will always be the biggest hypocrites of all.

    1. So what is special about the 14th District of Texas?

      1. People will vote for the guy that pulled them out of the womb, regardless of politics.

      2. Ron Paul still earmarks like crazy.

        1. Ron Paul wants 100% earmarking. It is congresses responsibility to spend, they shouldnt be leaving it to bureaucrats to decide.

          1. I do love him on most issues, but it sure is convenient how some of Ron Paul’s principled stands end up allying himself with bigger government that benefits his district. His votes against trade deals have overall resulted in higher tariffs and special deals that would have resulted otherwise.

            1. I have no expectation that a politician I favor wont be just as crooked as ones I oppose.

  17. Hot Air … Hot Air.. oh… that’s right, Michelle Malkin is behind that, right? She wrote a little book called “In Defense of Internment”.


    1. So if her website said the sun rises in the east you wouldn’t believe it? Ad meet homonym.

      1. If there was a non-crypto-fascist website that provided the same information I would rely on that. Unfortunately it seems like Nick and Matt are taking orders from Charles Koch at the moment, and never miss a chance to link to various neo-con websites.


        1. Sorry, but you can’t use the term “neo-con” unless you know what it means. Since Malkin, as a Philipino and someone who has never been a leftist, cannot by definition be a “neocon”, you fail and fail badly.

          1. Philipinos cant be neo-cons? Are there no jews there?

            1. I’m one of those Filipino Jews.”

            2. Does a Jew not speak Tagalog? Does he not eat adobo?

          2. garh… are you the kind of person that would claim that Arabs can’t be anti-semites because arabs are semites?
            Sure, neo-con *used* to mean jewish former leftist, but it now means anyone who hates the UN, loves military power, loves the American Empire, sees everything in black and white / us versus them optics, and are obsessed with Muslims.


            1. While you dont have to be a former leftist jew, you have to follow the principles of the FLJs to be a neo-con, which includes what you said but much more too.

              Here are 17 pts of neo-con belief according to Ron Paul. I dont think someone has to follow all 17 to be called a neo-con, but it would need to be a strong majority.

              1. They agree with Trotsky on permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual.
              2. They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so.
              3. They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends.
              4. They accept the notion that the ends justify the means?that hardball politics is a moral necessity.
              5. They express no opposition to the welfare state.
              6. They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it.
              7. They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive.
              8. They believe a powerful federal government is a benefit.
              9. They believe pertinent facts about how a society should be run should be held by the elite and withheld from those who do not have the courage to deal with it.
              10. They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill advised.
              11. They hold Leo Strauss in high esteem.
              12. They believe imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate.
              13. Using American might to force American ideals on others is acceptable. Force should not be limited to the defense of our country.
              14. 9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.
              15. They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists.)
              16. They endorse attacks on civil liberties, such as those found in the Patriot Act, as being necessary.
              17. They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud Party.

              1. That sure sounds like the instapundit, hotair, powerline crowd.


              2. 5. They express no opposition to the welfare state.

                Then this list entirely gets the neo-cons wrong, unless you define “no opposition to the welfare state” in such a way that the majority of libertarians fall under that category.

                The neo-cons provided and provide some of the biggest criticism of the welfare state on practical/empirical grounds.

                What separates the neo-cons from the paleo-cons is that neo-con opposition to the welfare state is based on empirical concerns that it doesn’t work, whereas paleo-con opposition is based on philosophical and liberty concerns.

                1. Neo-cons dont oppose the welfare state at all. They may occasionally criticize it, but they will expand it in order to get what they want. See medicare expansion under Bush, for an example.

                2. cheney, bush and wolfowitz provided some of the soundest criticism of the welfare state when they backed the prescription drug program and no child left behind.

        2. are references to the kochtopus in the drinking game? Cause I just finished breakfast and not ready to hit the liquor.

          1. Has to be. “Kochtopus” is the new “(T)Reason.”

          2. Mimosas, baby! Raise a toast to the Kochtopus!

            1. Ahem. Bloody Marys are the classic morning drink.

              1. Bloody Marys have the problem of the primary 2 ingredients being awful things I cant stand.

                Now hefeweizens, thats the classic morning drink (in Germany).

                1. Zweites Fr?hst?ck FTW!

                2. Bloody Marys have the problem of the primary 2 ingredients being awful things I cant stand.

                  Infidel. The existence of the Bloody Mary is proof that God loves drunkards, and wanted us to have a tasty and nutritious beverage, to get our day started off right.

              2. GM: What are you? A surgeon?

                1. Yes. General Surgeon.

  18. The 21st century has failed to deliver on hovercrafts, jet packs, and smaller government!

    Jet packs?

  19. There is a classic situation from the world of software. Surveys consistantly show that user employ at most 80% of the features in any given program. Even power user only take advantage of a subset of what each program will do.

    So in theory, you can get rich by doing a really good job of building software that does 81% of what the big boys do. Right?

    Only it doesn’t work because which 80% varies from user to user, and somebody relies on damn near everything.

    This is similar. Everyone wants a smaller, cheaper government. But which bits are obviously expendable depends on who you ask. They want to cut all those wasteful programs that subsides all those dependent bastards so that they’ll be enough money to fund Aunt Suzy’s medicare and cousin Bobby’s SSDI and Uncle Mitch’s grain subsidies and little Dylan’s Head Start and…

    1. True. But that only applies if you have spineless politicians, which is also true here in the US. Guess we’re screwed.

    2. Exactly, a great example that I’ve used myself.

      It’s like TV. Everyone only watches 5 or 10 channels, but everyone watches a different set of 5 or 10 channels. For that reason, a la carte pricing never catches on.

      1. Isn’t this the reason that a la carte pricing is not offered?

        People that watch the most popular channels are subsidizing the lesser watch channels. A la carte would allow people to pay for only what they watch.

  20. It shows every congressional election, when despite abysmal approval ratings for congress, incumbents are retained at some ridiculous rate over 90 percent.

    Congress sucks. Except my guy.

    It’s like teen dating when I was a kid, “no, you hang up.” We have to figure a way to gore everyone’s ox.

    1. Would that be “inflation?”

  21. C’mon, those bitter hicks don’t know what they really want; they need a hereditary aristocracy to tell them.

    1. A true hereditary aristocracy that knew that its position was unearned would arguably be better than an self-perpetuating aristocracy fundamentally convinced of its natural superiority, which is what we mostly have. (Charles Murray has mused on that topic before.)

      1. Show me a hereditary aristocracy that knew its position was unearned.

  22. Is it time for a third party? No, it’s way past time.

    What makes you think that once this third party gains power that it too will not become a party of bigger government?

    How will you make sure that this third party will have the right-people? in charge?

    1. “How will you make sure that this third party will have the right-people? in charge?”

      Robots trained to kill politicians associated with constituional violations. Call it the Anti-Asmimov robotic laws if you want. Sure it sounds like some hellish state of dystopia, but only if you aspire to control people’s lives.

      1. Asmimov=Asimov. I’m sorry Isaac, do not rise from your chilly tomb.

  23. I’m guessing the feds might start listening when voters stop whining when any of *their* services end up on the chopping block. Sure, people want smaller government handouts to go to all those other free loaders. But cut my medicare? Screw off, buddy.

    There’s a serious first mover problem. If you elect a politician who promises to not bring home the bacon, your taxes probably won’t go down, the pork is just going to go to the senators’ constituents who doesn’t have the same compunctions about handing out political plunder to his voters.

  24. All small governments are not the same.

    We have a majority of americans wanting smaller government and we have libertarians talking about smaller government for a long long time yet they never get elected.

    I have a feeling that small government that the majority want is not the same small government libertarians want.

    1. If one assumes that the election results, controlled by the state, are honest.

  25. The Feds won’t start listening until the dumb fucks we call voters stop voting in republicrats to fix all of the shit caused by the former republicrats they voted in the last time.

    It’s pretty simple actually.

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