March 30th, 2011

What happened to the Tea Party?

Michael Barone reports that Wisconsin is turning on Governor Walker, and the electorate there might be poised to recall a number of the Republican legislators who stood with him in his fight against the public unions and for a more balanced budget. Governors Kasich in Ohio and Corbett in Pennsylvania are in trouble, and polls indicate that Tea Party support is down in general, or at least among low-income voters.

What’s the problem? How has the worm turned so very suddenly? After all, the election was only last November.

An answer I happen to agree with is provided by commenter “paul1149″ at Hot Air:

Walker has been magnificent, but he and our side have failed to get the message out. It was and is a message that will resound with most people – it’s a winner – but if people do not have basic economics explained to them they just don’t know what’s going on. Such is the level of citizenship at this point in time…

Too much was assumed. This is a nation, after all, that place[d] Barack Obama in office…

Barone agrees, although he offers a bit more cause for optimism, as do certain polls in which rephrased questions draw different responses:

There’s an assumption by many Republicans, seemingly shared by Walker, that voters settled these issues definitively in the November elections. But the IWV poll suggests that voters are not necessarily well-informed and have been swayed by those who frame the issue as collective bargaining “rights.”

Respondents become more favorable to Walker’s position when informed that public employees are paid 45 percent more than private-sector union members and that union dues have been automatically deducted and go to support candidates workers may not favor.

In New Jersey, a more Democratic state than Wisconsin, Gov. Chris Christie has won majority support in his struggles with public employee unions by making his case repeatedly, with facts and figures, and with a forcefulness that has made his town hall appearances a YouTube hit.

But Christie is sui generis, a YouTube sensation who has a unique ability to get to the heart of the matter in an entertaining way. He’s like the rare star teacher who commands a spellbound classroom with the sheer force of his intelligence, eloquence, and personality. We can’t expect all Republican governors and legislators to have these skills; it’s unrealistic.

But short of a Christie cloning, how to get the message out? Not only is the MSM failing to cooperate, it’s bound and determined to foist a competing message on the public. The school system, for the most part, likewise. In addition, there’s a natural backlash to the message of austerity the Tea Party wing of the GOP is trying to put out right now. Everyone wants a free lunch, and no one wants his or her own lunch money cut.

It’s all very well and good to talk about budget cuts in general. It’s the particulars that smart. And if the public is factually ignorant and/or economically illiterate, the game is over before it has begun, and the forces of misinformation find it easy to win.

56 Responses to “What happened to the Tea Party?”

  1. Curtis Says:

    This situation is, of course, our inheritance. We bought this action and what did we think would happen when babies start to cry?

    But most definitely the game is not over before it’s begun. The situation is analogous to the revolutionary war. We’re outnumbered and outgunned.

    And we’re in a war which means casualties. When Wisconsin and Ohio and New Jersey begin to do better than New York and California, then we’ll have established a strong base. Until then, we keep a cool head and let the enemy lose theirs.

  2. DirtyJobsGUy Says:

    The situation is different now in that it is not impossible to bring up these ideas. The most noise was made in Wisconsin by the Democrats but most voters are not union households and have very ambivalent if not hostile attitudes to unions. (See NYT story on UAW trying to organize Southern auto plants where a Nissan worker said “I don’t need nobody to talk to the boss man for me!”). After the dust settles and the world did not end people will start to see that the necessary changes worked.

    It is not necessary for the Tea party to be on the street every day to be effective. The walls have been breached.

  3. Sergey Says:

    There is somethig deeply unhealthy with modern obsession with rights of every kind, both in USA and Europe. It seems that nobody understands that rights of some are responsibilities of others, that no right is free and always has some price tug attached to it. So there is a need to balance rights of different people wisely. Mindless liberalism always ready to defend every right, however frivolous, is a cancer of Western societies.

  4. Judith Says:

    Legal Insurrection is pointing to an ad the Tea Party Express is trying to get on the air – you can contribute and help them do that and help get some truth on the airwaves in Wisconsin:

    http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2011/03/help-get-this-ad-on-air-in-wisconsin.html

  5. Mr. Frank Says:

    The reason winos keep their bottle in a paper bag is they don’t want to know when the end is coming. Many if not most voters in Wisconsin and Ohio are the same way. They want to keep on spending and taxing business and the wealthy. If they are successful in their foolishness, the jobs will keep leaving and their children will have to leave the state to work. Once the companies have moved south or overseas, they are never coming back. After that circus in Madison, what business would move to or expand in Wisconsin?

  6. Occam's Beard Says:

    OT.

    The reason winos keep their bottle in a paper bag is they don’t want to know when the end is coming.

    Is that true? I always assumed it was to avoid getting busted for drinking in public.

    At least, that’s why I do it… /g

  7. MDL Says:

    I say raise taxes and cut military spending and raise the Social Security age as well as take away Social Security for the wealthy. Then make sure corporations pay their fair share of taxes. It’s the smarter way. The Republican alternative is absurd because it will run us off a cliff.

    It’s like a fat person wanting to lose weight quickly by cutting off an arm.

  8. SteveH Says:

    We’re fooling ourselves to think we can make headway on solving this country’s problems without first recognising about half our citizenry has an entitlement mentality that will require life altering adversity visit them before they can become humbled people appreciative of life.

    There are no numbers that can be tweaked or brilliant politicians that can save us until these people and their deep seeded character issues are allowed to meet the harsh reality of pulling their own weight.

    It looks to me like their comeupance will only come about as an incidental side effect of a severly economically depleted America. Because absolutely nobody has the guts to suggest we simply cut them off and deal with them rioting in the streets while we still have a country worth saving.

  9. Occam's Beard Says:

    say raise taxes and cut military spending

    I say get rid of all entitlement spending. All of it. Back to Jamestown: if you (the able-bodied) don’t work, you don’t eat. Period.

    The Republican alternative is absurd because it will run us off a cliff.

    Newsflash: we’re already run off a cliff. Thanks, Dems!

  10. Occam's Beard Says:

    Oh, and if you want to raise taxes, include raising taxes on the poor. Everyone – everyone – needs to pay something. No free-riders – none – and no parasites. And the amount needs to scale with the overall tax rate.

  11. expat Says:

    I think they should use the fairness tack. Is it fair that public employees get paid more, have better insurance and retirement benefits, and more days off than similarly qualified people in the private sector? Is it fair that incompetent or lazy public employees keep progressing up the pay ladder while their counterparts get fired, laid off or stay at the same pay level? As to unions representing people in industry, is it fair that the non-unionized pay higher prices for the goods produced in those industries? If a non-unionized worker retires at 65, is it fair that the unionized stop work at 55 or 60?

    The Dems are big on social justice. Where is the justice in the current situation?

  12. SteveH Says:

    “”The Republican alternative is absurd because it will run us off a cliff”"
    MDL

    So if you’ve nearly maxed out your credit cards at home, cutting the spending on those cards will be running your household off a cliff? I’ll go out on a limb and suggest it is in fact continued spending that would be running your household off the cliff.

  13. Occam's Beard Says:

    Fair (!) point, but I’m allergic to “fairness” arguments. Who decides what’s fair, and on what basis?

    Effectively leftists define “fair” as whatever they want to have happen, and everything else as “unfair.”

    This argument takes its most malignant form in the “equal pay for equal work” rubbish, where sitting in an air-conditioned office typing is deemed “equivalent” to working on the loading dock in mid-winter or mid-summer, doing heavy physical labor. For my part, I’d much rather do the former than the latter, and the squawking office workers have implicitly agree. Otherwise, they would be applying for jobs on the loading dock.

  14. expat Says:

    OMT, there is a danger that some Tea Party supporters are getting hung up on ideological purity and are searching for a saviour. First it was Palin, then Christie, and now Bachmann. This makes them easy to stereotype and makes independents insecure about voting for them. They need to focus on how they want to solve immediate problems and explain their ideas in understandable terms.

  15. expat Says:

    Occam’s,

    I agree with you, but it would be such fun to hang them with the rope they’ve been handing out for years. I don’t want anyone to decide what is fair for everyone. I just want people to question how fair the fair ones really are–create a chink in their moral armor so to speak.

  16. Occam's Beard Says:

    expat, it would be fun to observe their discomfiture at having their “fairness” arguments turned around on them, much as it is amusing to watch their pirouettes to defends Obama’s war on Libya.

    Of course, it would be even entertaining if they had the intellectual honesty to be consistent in the application of their “principles.”

  17. MDL Says:

    SteveH
    Not if those credit cards keep your family in school, your elder parents medically provided for and you and your family in your home rather than the street.
    But the scenario is completely different.
    The government CAN get the money via taxes. They just choose not to. They did fine from FDR to Clinton so why they are not now is because Republicans [and some Democrats] don’t want to raise taxes. It is absurd.
    Raise taxes. See what happens. Nothing except complaining. The rich always complain about taxes. Big deal. They can afford it.

    Occam’s Beard
    You go back to Jamestown, dude. I’ll stick with the America we have had for most of the 20th century. It was pretty good. Much better than ever before in our history. Conservatives forget that. They want to live in a fantasy libertarian land. Won’t work.

  18. newton Says:

    MDL,

    What part of “WE’RE BROKE!!!!!!” don’t you understand?

    What part of “THE CREDIT CARD’S MAXES OUT!!!! TIME TO PAY THE PIPER!!!!” don’t you understand?

    (I’m saying this while banging my desk.)

  19. newton Says:

    Neo,

    I was told a while ago that when the number of people who receive something from the state reaches fifty percent, the game’s over. I guess we are at this point.

    The “Idiocracy” is coming. (Have you seen that movie, BTW?)

  20. Mr. Frank Says:

    The United States has one of the highest corporate income taxes in the developed world. Our personal income tax is one of the most progressive. The proportion of all income taxes paid by the wealthy is among the highest in the world and has been growing in the U.S. for decades.

    People who think big business is rolling in dough should by some Exxon stock and bask in that 3% dividend.

  21. Occam's Beard Says:

    You go back to Jamestown, dude.

    Thanks, dude.

    I’ll stick with the America we have had for most of the 20th century. It was pretty good. Much better than ever before in our history.

    The problem, dude, is that we’re destroying the conditions and attitudes that made America so successful. In so doing we’re becoming more like the dudes in Europe, with all of their unemployed dudes, their stagnant economies, and their high social welfare costs, which they could temporarily (on the generational timescale) afford because dudes in America were paying for the defense of the dudes in Europe.

    Our future is on course to resemble that of the dudes in Greece, but for one small difference: there’s no one willing and/or able to bail us out.

  22. Oldflyer Says:

    Wow, MDL has the answer.

    Sorry, friend you haven’t even thought it through for a minute. Just a thought or two off the top of my head. At what point would you decide to cut off SS benefits; and how much would it save? Would you force high earning people to “contribute” to Social Security? Would that be right, not to mention legal? Would the Courts permit it? The Constitution is supposed to have an equal protection clause; well, actually it does, some folks just try to ignore it.

    If you raise the retirement age for SS, what are you going to do with all of those old folks who were forced out of their jobs at an earlier age? You do realize that companies like to cut the more senior and higher paid employees first, don’t you? Government does also; but gives different excuses for doing it. Ask any retired military person. Ask any airline pilot. If the older folks were allowed to work longer, where would the younger folks find employment? Would you kids be clamoring to force them into retirement to make room? Only fair, eh?

    Have you even looked around at the rest of the world? Europe tried your template through most of the last half of the 20th century. High unemployment; low productivity; brain and talent flight. To where did the brains and talent flee? We know, don’t we?

    Left Wing solutions are awfully simplistic. Thanks for reminding us.

  23. Occam's Beard Says:

    Here’s the part of leftist thinking that I have never understood:

    We need jobs, right? And jobs come from thriving businesses, right? (The government does not create wealth (i.e., goods and services); it only consumes it.)

    Leftists always want to tax the hell out of businesses, but in the next breath want to tax, e.g., carbon dioxide emissions, to discourage them.

    Yet somehow they never connect the two thoughts, and realize that taxing businesses has the same effect on them that they intend to effect by taxing carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, they’ll posit exactly the opposite: that we need to tax business so we can create jobs.

    Remarkable, really.

  24. kolnai Says:

    OB – you made me spit my coffee out on my keyboard. That’s action at a distance. Dude.

    But your post above mine says something that has vexed me for years. You completely nailed it. When I was reading about Stalin and Mao, and the the “economics” of forced collectivization, that’s when it first occurred to me.

    Stalin basically taxed non-collectivized farm work at 100%, and set the tax rate “lower” at the collectives, very clearly demonstrating a rudimentary understanding of the incentive/disincentive games that can be played with taxes in their interaction with human nature.

    How in the world can they understand that – and they do, as your cap and trade example suggests – and then do a volte face and say, “Ah, just hike up the taxes on businesses and other individuals – no pain, all gain”?

    I think we know the answer. They don’t believe the second part and really just hate what they take to be capitalism. They understand very well how to manipulate taxes to destroy or box-in what they’d like to get under the boot-heel.

    Yet that basic understanding of capitalism 101, turned against capitalism, also vitiates their socialism – on some level, they have to know that the punitive taxes and regulations are ruinous. So what do they really believe or want?

    Even socialism is probably a veil for something much darker.

    Dude.

  25. Parker Says:

    To a certain extent I agree with SteveH: “We’re fooling ourselves to think we can make headway on solving this country’s problems without first recognising about half our citizenry has an entitlement mentality that will require life altering adversity visit them before they can become humbled people appreciative of life.

    There are no numbers that can be tweaked or brilliant politicians that can save us until these people and their deep seeded character issues are allowed to meet the harsh reality of pulling their own weight.”

    However, strong leaders make a big difference in any endeavor. Fiscal conservatives, with few exceptions, tend to be less than adept at presenting a succinct and forceful message. That’s why I’m leaning towards Herman Cain.

  26. Occam's Beard Says:

    OB – you made me spit my coffee out on my keyboard. That’s action at a distance. Dude.

    It seemed more appropriate to employ the demotic rather than the hieratic.

  27. T Says:

    Kolnai,

    Absolutely point on, they hate capitalism. That is the gist of it.

    Newton,

    “The ‘Idiocracy’ is coming?” The Idiocracy is already here (see MDL above), By the way, is it me, or does MDL sound suspiciously like former poster “Brad?”

  28. Parker Says:

    “Yet somehow they never connect the two thoughts, and realize that taxing businesses has the same effect on them that they intend to effect by taxing carbon dioxide emissions.”

    I declare April 1, 2011 to be National All Liberals Stop Inhaling the Atmosphere and Exhaling Carbon Dioxide to Protect the Planet, the Village, and the Children Day.

    Problem solved.

  29. MDL Says:

    Occam’s Beard

    You just make it up as you go along don’t you? …destroying the conditions and attitudes that made America so successful…

    What does that even mean?

    Look, dude, taxes are lower than they have been for quite some time. The so called conditions are the same they have been for a long long time. In fact there are fewer services than there were in the 1970′s and 80′s.

  30. Curtis Says:

    Make corporations pay their fair share, huh? And then force them not to pass the cost along? The better idea is to stop taxing corporations and let starvation eliminate the lazy and shiftless or even better let the progressives bear that burden. For instance, all the homeless people should show up at the homes of public employees making over $100,000 a year or receiving a pension of over $100,000. In California, if we allow two people for those households, that would take care of 28,000 homeless people.

  31. MDL Says:

    Oldflyer

    Congratulations for being the only conservative I can find who supports Social Security. Or at least the only one who admits publically to supporting it.

    The adjustments I am talking about are not for today’s seniors but rather for seniors 30 to 50 years from now. Social Security is fine right now. It’s the future that is not so certain. True about the legal issues. The proposal is not mine btw. It is based on Conservative and Liberal ideas regarding the future of Social Security reform.

  32. Occam's Beard Says:

    Now everyone here can appreciate at first hand why teaching at university became tiresome.

  33. SteveH Says:

    “”Look, dude, taxes are lower than they have been for quite some time. The so called conditions are the same they have been for a long long time.”"
    MDL

    So you must be perplexed as to why companies quit expanding and hiring while 3 million families have lost their homes since Obama was sworn in. Obviously theres no reason for it! Lol

  34. MDL Says:

    SteveH
    Saying this all started when Obama was sworn in is rather disingenuous.

    That said, profits are up in many companies. Non-financial companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 reported a record $837 billion in cash. Yet many are holding onto their profits and investing because they don’t want to be caught if the credit markets freeze again.

    So, yeah, there is a reason. They are being cautious. As most companies would be after the recent crisis. But this is not the fault of Bush or Obama.

    And, again, taxes are still rather low. Lower than they were under Clinton. And the economy did pretty well in the 1990′s.

  35. Occam's Beard Says:

    Chastised, but not chastened.

  36. Deeka Says:

    Do not sell Wisconsinites short until after next Tuesday. Win and we have settled the deal. Lose and…well…I guess we weren’t that serious about it.

  37. Curtis Says:

    Obama bows to anyone having money and power. He’s nothing but a puppet, a trained monkey, a nobody who never did achieve in either sports or academics, a sell America down the road whore.

    One way he is selling out America is by being on of the two parties necessary for crony capitalism. The old narratives, never that true anyway, certainly don’t have any truth today.

    For instance, is GE a greedy corporation? More like a greedy government department. Getting fat off of green programs and government subsidies. Crony capitalism. Does it make your little ole head whirl? You may have missed your big chance because you haven’t kept up on who the good guys and bad guys are. Progessives consider GE a good guy. They donated to Obama and the only way they make a profit is by taking the income of honest taxpayers. Now that’s something any mental challenged slobbering with anticipation maggot infested pinko hippie America hating communist can appreciate.

  38. Parker Says:

    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, but I’m no angel so here I go…

    “Social Security is fine right now. It’s the future that is not so certain.”

    Social Security is not fine right now. This year it will distribute more benefits than it takes in from payroll deductions and employer contributions; the same was true last fiscal year.

    The SS administration’s bank account is empty. Instead it is holding a bag of Treasury IOUs (about 2.5 trillion). Those IOUs the SS administration trust fund holds are worth less than toilet paper. Bottom line: Buy toilet paper now, its worth more than the full faith and credit of the United States Department of Treasury.

  39. MDL Says:

    Curtis

    Last week you were calling Obama a socialist who wants to destroy capitalism. This week he is a capitalist stool who is selling out America. Ummm, do you guys think about your arguments much?

    As if Bush didn’t also have capitalist cronies? Hilarious.

  40. MDL Says:

    Parker

    Current estimates show Social Security is fine until 2042 or so. Can you name any business in America that you are 100% certain will be there in 2042?

    Not until 2017 will it pay out more than it takes in. But it will continue to pay full benefits for a while.

    And in 2042 it will be cut by 27 percent if nothing is done to give it more revenue. Such as raising payroll taxes. [Which Reagan did btw].

  41. rickl Says:

    I think a more accurate term for crony capitalism is fascism.

    So is Obama a socialist, a communist, or a fascist? Discuss.

  42. Occam's Beard Says:

    The worst thing about teaching was not having to endure the same sophomoric (in every sense of the word) arguments year after year – although God knows, that was bad – but rather to experience the humbling recognition that at one time I was equally ignorant and smug, and that some poor bastard had had to endure my self-satisfied prattling with a straight face as though I had something intelligent to say (in contradistinction to the facts).

    It was at that point that I began to think that there was something to karma.

    That, and also that it’d be really nice to deal with adults for a change.

  43. Curtis Says:

    Good point, rickl. Perhaps a better name for Obama is “the painted canvas,” or “the painted-over canvas,” or “the narrative that is printed right below the painted over canvas.”

    But MDL has a good point too. Obama is much more consistent than I am. I should probably lay off him. Tea party people are fat and stupid like Rush Limbaugh.

  44. Parker Says:

    MDL says, “Current estimates show… ”

    You might be mesmerized by ‘current estimates’; but the reality is the 2010 and now the 2011 fiscal year real accounting by the SSA (here on planet earth rotating at about 24,000 mph as it revolves around the sun) is that SSA is now paying out more than it takes in and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Go ahead and keep sucking on the opium pipe; frankly my dear I don’t give a damn. (In other words, fold it 5 ways and stick it where the sun does not shine….. if you have trouble translating that look up American colloquialisms.)

  45. Parker Says:

    I forgot to suggest to MDL that she/he/it join the April 1, 2011 National All Liberals Stop Inhaling the Atmosphere and Exhaling Carbon Dioxide to Protect the Planet, the Village, and the Children Day.

    Please do MDL and get all your friends to join you in promoting this worthy cause.

  46. Parker Says:

    “I should probably lay off him. Tea party people are fat and stupid like Rush Limbaugh.”

    Oh Curtis, you stomped down too forcefully on your tongue and now it is bleeding all over MDL.

  47. ELC Says:

    @ MDL 6:30 pm. Social Security is fine right now. False. The federal government, Congresses and presidents, Republicans and Democrats, has looted the Social Security Trust Fund for decades to fund other programs (keeping the deficit and the debt lower than it would have been otherwise).

    I know, I know… you hear fine, honest men of integrity, like Harry Reid, saying “The Social Security Trust Fund has $2.5 trillion in it! It won’t run out for decades!”

    Of course, he fails to mention that he’s not talking about $2.5 trillion dollars of money; he’s talking about $2.5 trillion dollars of bonds; that is, $2.5 trillion dollars of federal-government debt.

    Social Security is broke right now. The federal government is going to have to borrow at least $45 billion this year to meet SS obligations over and above what taxes bring in; they have to borrow that much to redeem that much out of the trust fund, because the trust fund doesn’t have any money in it, only bonds that have to be redeemed. And there is no end in sight to the shortfall.

    Here’s a translation to remember: when you hear or read somebody say “the Social Security Trust Fund has $2.5 trillion in it”, what they really mean is “the U.S. Treasury owes $2.5 trillion dollars to the Trust Fund, and it’ll pay up as needed by borrowing more money”.

  48. kolnai Says:

    1) “In fact there are fewer services than there were in the 1970′s and 1980′s.”

    I’ve read stuff like that from some journalists, but I have no idea where you get this stuff. Is it Krugman and DeLong?

    Meanwhile, here’s what I see:

    A good proxy for regulatory “services” is the Federal Register. It averaged close to 73,000 pages a year during the Carter Presidency. Then it dipped to 54,000 pages per year in the Reagan era, and finally exploded up again to 59,000 under Bush I, 71,000 under Clinton, and 75,000 under Bush II.

    And that, again, is just regulation.

    There’s more. Between 1980 and 2007, the full-time federal workforce increased 63% (the population increased only 33%).

    Spending on regulation increased 35%:

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/v30n6/cpr30n6-1.html

    Veronique De Rugy updates the numbers here:

    http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/publication/Regulators-Budget-Report-Final-Version-October-29.pdf

    Total spending, most of which goes to services, doesn’t look any “smaller” than in the past:

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html

    As a percentage of the budget, transfer payments were 38.9% in 1978, 39.1% in 1988, and 53.5% in 2008. As well, federal grants-in-aid to states have increased 37% in the last three years alone:

    http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/131472.html

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104655.html

    Will raising taxes solve the spending and deficit problems? Prof. Richard Vedder has doubts:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704648604575620502560925156.html

    Now, I didn’t put academic stuff in there (I’d have to give JSTOR links, and I don’t even know if that’s possible – such, such are the joys of grad school). But you get the point. This is not a close question. No matter how you cut and slice and dice the numbers, you’re not going to get the 53.5% of the budget that goes to transfer payments to get below the 1978 proportion of 38.9% or the 1988 proportion of 39.1%. I’m trying to keep this somewhat short – these are just the basics, Budget 101.

    In sum: Homeland security full-time employment has gone up. HHS full-time employment has gone up. Grants-in-aid have skyrocketed. The Federal register is bigger than in the 1970′s and hugely bigger than in the 1980′s. It has been shown time and again that for every 1$ the federal government receives in revenue, it spends around 3$ – so even if you raised taxes and got a revenue addition of X, you’d just be increasing spending by another 3X.

    You can disagree with that, but you can’t pretend that very serious economists and analysts don’t hold these views. Consequently, you can’t pretend that for us to lean toward that view is somehow thoughtless or irrational or rooted in vapors.

    Honestly, I can’t find a single area which might fall under “services” that is smaller today than it was in the ’70′s and ’80′s, unless you mean airline regulations. If so, you need to define your terms better. On the other hand, if you did that, you’d have no case.

    In sum, OB was absolutely right when he said “…destroying the conditions and attitudes which make America successful.” He wasn’t just talking about economic conditions. “Attitudes” matter, perhaps above all else, and that means non-quantifiable things like manners and morals. You might demur, but asserting that OB was talking nonsense is disingenuous. You knew what he meant.

    2) You mention social security a lot, but when you add medicare and medicaid to that – as you must – you’re no longer talking about a bit of a hike in payroll taxes. You can’t finance all of that with taxes. If you could, then Europe would be liquid right now.

    Also, to say it once more, you’re ignoring the crucial point of dispute, which is that more revenues would equal greater promises, thereby not solving the problem. It’s a matter of how we perceive human nature and the trends it manifests when obtaining a certain amount of power. Gunnar Myrdal saw it (arguing that social security systems were destined to be the doom of liberal democratic societies). Mancur Olson saw it, in “The Rise and Decline of Nations.” These are not conservatives, nor lightweights. Try to understand before you mock.

    3) Do you really think businesses and “the rich” do not pay their “fair share” of taxes?

    What would be a fair share? And if there’s no way for even extortionate taxes on business and “the rich” to cover what needs to be covered systemically (not just for SS), would you be willing to tax the middle and lower-middle classes? What’s their “fair share”? .

    My view is that the problem is systemic and much bigger than SS alone, and that feeding the beast, with “fair shares” or not, and aside from adverse effects w/r/t economic liberty, is a recipe for exacerbation, not alleviation. You want to tinker, while I want to go more in the direction of Walter Russell Mead, who you should really try reading.

    It bears mentioning that the cancerous pension problem in the states is also exacerbated by the systemic spending problems and promises made by the Feds. It streaks and subtends the whole shebang, and your only thought is to extort businesses and rich people, and slash military spending? That’s it?

    4) Clearly, the difference here is that you don’t think there truly is a problem, whereas I – and presumably many others here – do (and that lets me know that you are not Brad, because he does think there is a crisis).

    I don’t know why you would waste your time coming here to establish that you are a liberal and we are conservatives.

    Believe me, we get it.

  49. Curtis Says:

    Pigs, just like union bosses, are intelligent creatures. When pigs are stressed, they squeal. (See note below) Tea party people have stressed many piggish and parasitic welfare recipients and particularly union bosses with reasonable demands that they should not enjoy a higher standard of living and security than those who pay their wages and/or welfare. Now, there’s a whole lot of squealing going on. Do not be distracted. We must, for the sake of those in our care, continue the course. We must maintain the objective which is the restoration of the low morals of parasites and pigs. We must, for their own good, for the future well being of our children, and for the preservation of our Republic, insist on fair returns. Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing but your union dues to lose.

    Note: The following is a quote from “The Welfare of Pigs During Transport and Slaughter. Note especially point 5 below:

    The first step in maintaining high animal welfare standards is correct operation and maintenance of equipment. A numerical scoring system can help management maintain high standards (Grandin 2000a). It enables management to determine whether or not their handling and stunning practices are improving or deteriorating and it is less subjective. The variables that should be measured are: 1) the percentage of pigs stunned correctly on the first attempt, 2) percentage of pigs that remained insensible, 3) percentage of pigs that fall down during handling, 4) percentage of pigs prodded with an electric goad and 5) percentage that vocalized (squealed) in the conveyor restrainer (Grandin, 1998).

    See:

    http://www.grandin.com/references/pig.welfare.during.transport.slaughter.html

    Also, for training in squeal recognition, become familiar with the following:

    http://www.soundamerica.com/sa/summary/play.cfm/sound_iid.323116

  50. Parker Says:

    Lets put all the cards on the table:

    DC has somewhere (its hard to compute the exact figure) around 100 trillion in unfunded obligations coming due in the next 20-30 years in addition to the annual deficits it has been piling up year after year. Meanwhile the Fed Reserve is trying to re-inflate the real estate bubble and the credit bubble it created. BUT the real poison pill is that in the next 10 or so years interest on the federal debt will eat up somewhere between 25% (rosy forecast) and 50% of all federal revenues. This is the burden that we are passing on to our children & grandchildren.

    Additionally, I’m cranky and impatient tonight because today I listened as a 12 year old girl sobbed and confided to me about her pain when she learned yesterday that her parents were not her ‘real parents’. She was devastated to discover she was adopted. All I could do was listen and try to comfort and reassure her that her adoptive parents where the only parents she will ever know. When I listen to the pain of a 12 year old I lose my patience with the MDLs that infest our society like fleas infested with the bubonic plague.

  51. SteveH Says:

    The issue is not just about the amount of taxes but what are the taxes paying for. I could actually envision a society in crisis i’d be willing to fork over more money towards, But not this one. Not this one run by ex high school hall monitors with a control freakish nature that’d make my ex mother in law look like a laid back person. Not this one with the gall to divide (curiously the root word of diversity)the country into race, gender and class status for purposes of seeing which babies in the maternity ward will deserve breaks on getting into college or starting up a business.

    I’m not only not going to support such a govt, but i’ll work my ass off to make sure it gets thrown into the dustbin of history along with every other ideology driven lunatic regime that immoral human beings seem to not be able to help themselves from inventing.

  52. Curtis Says:

    Kolnai: thanks for the info. That post is being copied and put into my files for future reference.

  53. Curtis Says:

    Here’s the tea party in fine form:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/03/30/rep_ben_quayle_politico_is_worst_media_outlet_in_history.html

  54. T Says:

    SteveH (2:45 Am above),

    Contrary to Joe Biden’s “Paying taxes is patriotic!” I agree with you, that it is every patriotic American’s duty to cut off the blood supply to the gargantuan govt leech by legally paying the least amt in taxes. Judge Learned Hand said that there was nothing wrong is arranging one’s affairs so as to pay the least amount of tax possible. This has never been more true that it is today.

    Starve the beast!

  55. Curtis Says:

    Regarding the pig metaphor:

    Remember that “pulling pigs out of the trough causes a lot of squealing.”

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/adventures_in_federal_budget_c.html

  56. Michael Teuber Says:

    Conservatives vs. Liberals

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
Read More >>








Blogroll

Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge