The Teabaggers in a Nutshell

I was going to write something up about those miserable teabagging dimwits, but I can not improve on the eloquent summary of Comrade PhysioProf. My longstanding no profanity rule prevents me from quoting any of it, alas, so you will just have to follow the link.

Comments

  1. #1 humorix
    April 17, 2009

    These demonstrations of protest gathered Democrats as Republicans and other parties. But no leader, any speech to appropriate gathering. There are those who are allowed to make and then those who do not agree to make put.

    Ces manifestations de protestation rassemblaient des Démocrates comme des Républicains et d’autres partis. Mais aucun meneur, aucun discours pour s’approprier le rassemblement.
    Il y a ceux qui se laissent faire et puis ceux qui n’acceptent pas de se faire mettre.

  2. #2 Sam C
    April 17, 2009

    I like your title, three separate layers of meaning in 5 words!

  3. #3 Comrade PhysioProf
    April 17, 2009

    Thanks for the link, bro!

  4. #4 Eric
    April 17, 2009

    Yeah, because arguing that men should be free to spend the profits of their labor as they see fit to further their own lives is “stone-cold-fucking-stupid”. And here I was thinking these were the principles our country was founded on.

    I certainly don’t agree with all of the protesters at (or the organizers behind) these events, but there are many rational participants who are taking a principled stand against forced redistribution of wealth to failing private companies. The content on the page you linked is an embarrassment. I’m sad to see that you condone it. This will be my last visit to your blog.

  5. #5 SLC
    April 17, 2009

    Re Eric

    Don’t let the door slam you in your oversized posterior on your way out.

  6. #6 Jason Rosenhouse
    April 17, 2009

    Comrade PhysioProf –

    My pleasure!

  7. #7 gcs15
    April 17, 2009

    Nice, SLC. Your comment belongs on the linked page with the other stuff. Have a little respect.

    I agree completely with Eric, although the link didn’t quite tip me over the edge to stop reading this blog. It has a lot of nice, well informed insights into the evolution/ID debate.

    I would recommend replacing this link with one that’s cleaner and more coherent, expressing its viewpoint more appropriately. I don’t agree with its viewpoint, but this is a country of free speech.

    You just shouldn’t condone something this nasty.

  8. #8 Dan
    April 17, 2009

    This once again proves the old adage that there is no argument more convincing than a vicious string of ad hominem attacks.

  9. #9 KeithB
    April 17, 2009

    Eric:
    I suggest you read “The First Salute” and “The March of Folly” by Tuchman. The colonists had no problem paying taxes, and the taxes were fair since they were to pay the cost of the French and Indian War. The colonists just wanted the ability to raise the money in a way they saw fit, and not be told what taxes to pay.

  10. #10 Psychprof
    April 17, 2009

    Physioprof should get a prize for bringing political discourse to a new low. Maybe he or she just thinks political topics don’t deserve evidence or reason to make a point. On second thought, I suppose he or she saw enough evidence to justify, in his or her own mind, hatred for people who protest taxes.

  11. #11 SLC
    April 17, 2009

    Re Psychprof & GCS15

    If Mr. Psychprof and Mr. GCS15 think that my comment was rough, I suggest that they mosey over to Ed Braytons’ blog sometime where they will find what really tough comments look like. As for Dr. Physioprof, Abbie Smith over at ERV is just as profane as the former. When dealing with whackjobs, a little profanity is more then appropriate.

  12. #12 gcs15
    April 17, 2009

    Thanks, SLC, think I’ll pass on those blogs. I don’t need profanity or name calling to make myself understood, and neither should anyone else. Why on earth I should mosey over to experience profane ranting, I have no idea.

    But thanks for the heads up regarding which blogs not to waste my time on.

    Oh, and this Darwin-supporting, pro-choice, feminist *fiscal conservative* with a postgraduate degree enjoyed the tea party I attended earlier today. Go ahead, sticks and stones, etc.

  13. #13 Comrade PhysioProf
    April 18, 2009

    The content on the page you linked is an embarrassment. I’m sad to see that you condone it. This will be my last visit to your blog.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a fucking loon!!!!!

  14. #14 SLC
    April 18, 2009

    Re gcs15

    Actually, Ms. gcs15, in avoiding Mr. Braytons’ blog, is missing one of the best experiences available on the internet. I have found that, in addition to excellent commentary by Mr. Brayton, the comment sections are populated by a number of intelligent and insightful commentors. Just to name a few, among his regular commentors are folks such as Michael Heath, James Hanley, Jon Rowe, and Chris Rodda. Less frequently, appear folks such as former Army chaplain, Ret. Capt. Norm Holcomb and even, on a couple of instances, Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Don’t take my word for it, however, try it, you’ll like it.

  15. #15 DuWayne
    April 18, 2009

    Holy crap!!!

    Nice, SLC. Your comment belongs on the linked page with the other stuff. Have a little respect.

    I actually really dislike SLC and thought that was just bloody ridiculous. What exactly is the point of “respecting” an asshat who felt compelled to let everyone know they’re such a whiny, tiny little person that they can’t handle the views of people who find something as repulsive as CPP finds the idiots calling themselves teabaggers? What is the point of respecting someone who who whines and basically says they don’t want to play anymore?

  16. #17 SLC
    April 18, 2009

    Re DuWayne

    I actually really dislike SLC

    Gee, and after all the nice things I said about Mr. DuWayne Braytons’ brothers’ blog. Tsk, tsk.

  17. #18 Leni
    April 18, 2009

    Jason wrote:

    My longstanding no profanity rule prevents me from quoting any of it, alas, so you will just have to follow the link.

    Ha! I always suspected you were secretly uncouth.

    Oh, and this Darwin-supporting, pro-choice, feminist *fiscal conservative* with a postgraduate degree enjoyed the tea party I attended earlier today. Go ahead, sticks and stones, etc.

    I doubt anyone cares about your degree. I know I don’t. You’ve only demonstrated that it was worthless as a prophylactic against getting sucked into childish political stunts that have no place in a rational discussion about tax policy. Why even mention it, anyway? Do you think it will double as a prophylactic against criticism?

    Anyway, however childish and unpleasant you think CPP’s remarks were, these idiotic tea-bagging events are worse. CPP didn’t bring the “conversation” to a new low, Glenn Beck did. And by pretending these ridiculous “protests” have any intellectual merit, so did you.

  18. #19 sevişme
    April 18, 2009

    thankxx.

  19. #20 Robert O'Brien
    April 19, 2009

    Comrade PhysioProf is obviously a moron but I expect better from you than “teabaggers.”

  20. #21 Robert O'Brien
    April 19, 2009

    Leni, my good moron, no doubt you would have decried the original tea party as a childish political stunt whilst wearing a powdered wig, girdle, and pledging allegiance to King George.

  21. #22 Robert O'Brien
    April 19, 2009

    Don’t let the door slam you in your oversized posterior on your way out.

    SLC,

    Did your fellow moron Ed Brayton drop by?

    As for Dr. Physioprof, Abbie Smith over at ERV is just as profane as the former.

    Well, that is easily explained by the fact that both are low-rent, trifling pieces of ****.

  22. #23 Comrade PhysioProf
    April 19, 2009

    Leni, my good moron, no doubt you would have decried the original tea party as a childish political stunt whilst wearing a powdered wig, girdle, and pledging allegiance to King George.

    AHAHAHAHAHAH! You just insulted someone by accusing them of having Loyalist sympathies! THAT IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

    Well, that is easily explained by the fact that both are low-rent, trifling pieces of ****.

    We are low-rent, trifling pieces of gold, fish, sand, wut!?!?!?

    Dude, you are a complete total LOON!!!

  23. #24 SLC
    April 19, 2009

    Re Robert O’Brien

    For the benefit of those on this blog who are unfamiliar with manure for brains Robert O’Brien, he has an award named for him over at Ed Braytons’ blog (whose brief case Mr. O’Brien is unfit to carry for him) call the O’Brien award which is given to the dumbest statement of the month. Mr. O’Brien, who lacks sufficient intelligence to grab his very considerable posterior with both hands, is also a gay bashing piece of filth, whose presence pollutes my home town of Los Angeles, Ca. Actually, Mr. O’Brien would be more suited to joining his fellow whackjobs in Orange Co., former bailiwick of the late and unlamented former Congressman, James Utt, who was famous for claiming in a correspondance to his constituents that the Red Chinese Army had placed 250,000 troops in Baja California in preparation for an invasion of the United States.

  24. #25 CDS
    April 19, 2009

    It is always amazing to visit Scienceblogs and see what passes for higher education. Villify with impish profane glee a group of Americans for voicing their opinion? I suppose you would have been quite pleased to have seen the brown shirts show up at the Tea-parties and club the participants into submission. How dare any American question the policies of Fearless Leader.

  25. #26 DuWayne
    April 19, 2009

    Villify with impish profane glee a group of Americans for voicing their opinion?

    No. We’re villifying with impish and yes, profane glee, a group of ignorant morons for being, well, morons.

    I suppose you would have been quite pleased to have seen the brown shirts show up at the Tea-parties and club the participants into submission.

    Not at all. While I can’t speak for everyone else being critical, I highly doubt there are many in these parts who wouldn’t fight voraciously for the right of these morons to express their lunacy loudly and proudly – were that right threatened.

    How dare any American question the policies of Fearless Leader.[sic].

    I do it all the time, as do a great many sciencebloggers and others who are criticizing the teabagging morons. Only when I am critical, I’m not an ignorant moron about it. Nor do I label myself in terms that implies a desire to suck someone’s testicles.

  26. #27 Leni
    April 19, 2009

    CDS wrote:

    It is always amazing to visit Scienceblogs and see what passes for higher education. Villify with impish profane glee a group of Americans for voicing their opinion?

    You might want to re-consider using “vilify” and “impish” together. They sort of cancel each other out, don’t you think? If the intent was to vilify, that’s what would have happened. Instead, what happened was the written equivalent of pointing and laughing.

    Besides, if you think this is bad, you should see what the sci-blings say about the anti-vaxxers and animal rights protesters. The idiot tea-baggers got off light.

    I suppose you would have been quite pleased to have seen the brown shirts show up at the Tea-parties and club the participants into submission. How dare any American question the policies of Fearless Leader.

    Yes, because we all know how “impish” authoritarian oppression is. I know it’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Kim Jong-Il. He’s just so darn impish! With his funny glasses and his little legs and the prison camps!

    Do you seriously think because we’re criticism their stupid protests that we think they shouldn’t be allowed to do it? Is the right taking notes out of the PETA protest handbook now? You realize that I’ll be forced to imagine Glen Beck wearing a Che Guevara shirt and screaming “fascist pigs!” while shaking a crumpled bag of Lipton tea at us, don’t you? And that rather than make me take you more seriously this makes me want to laugh even more?

    *Sigh*

    Just because we think it’s stupid doesn’t mean we don’t think you and the other idiot tea-baggers have the right to voice their opinions. There, happy?

  27. #28 Robert O'Brien
    April 19, 2009

    Re Robert O’Brien

    For the benefit of those on this blog who are unfamiliar with manure for brains Robert O’Brien, he has an award named for him over at Ed Braytons’ blog (whose brief case Mr. O’Brien is unfit to carry for him) call the O’Brien award which is given to the dumbest statement of the month.

    For those of you who don’t know SLC, he is a physicist who has not been relevant since the eighties, which, incidentally, is probably the last decade his hero Ed could tie his shoes without passing out.

    Speaking of whom, Ed is a college drop out, failed comedian, and quite possibly a failed business owner.

    Mr. O’Brien, who lacks sufficient intelligence to grab his very considerable posterior with both hands

    Apparently, SLC is going senile. My posterior is quite average in its dimensions.

    …is also a gay bashing piece of filth, whose presence pollutes my home town of Los Angeles, Ca.

    I have never lived in LA. In fact, I hate even having to pass through it on my way to and from San Diego.

    Actually, Mr. O’Brien would be more suited to joining his fellow whackjobs in Orange Co., former bailiwick of the late and unlamented former Congressman, James Utt, who was famous for claiming in a correspondance[sic] to his constituents that the Red Chinese Army had placed 250,000 troops in Baja California in preparation for an invasion of the United States.

    I like Orange County, CA, although, I have never lived there.

  28. #29 SLC
    April 19, 2009

    Re Robert O’Brien

    Gee, Mr. Brayton is a college dropout. Just like Bill Gates and Michael Dell.

    As for being irrelevant, Mr. O’Brien has been irrelevant since the day he was hatched.

  29. #30 gcs15
    April 19, 2009

    Leni,

    I mentioned my postgraduate degree only because you and your ilk seem to assume all tea party supporters are uneducated, uncouth, Bible-thumping, right-wing rednecks. The point you seem to miss is that many of us don’t fit that description. There are many well-educated, thinking Americans who feel strongly that government should be fiscally responsible. This government is not (and neither was the previous Republican administration’s). The original colonists felt the same about the British Crown’s influence over the East India Company and the taxation issues of their time. I guess their protest was a “childish political stunt,” too, in your opinion. Amazing what an effect that little “stunt” had on the development of western civilization.

    This is not about social issues like abortion or gay rights, although I know a lot of right wingers would like to drag those things in. This is about everyday citizens who are concerned about the disastrous fiscal policy this country is following.

    Let’s see what you have to say when China asks for its money back, and when you and your kids have to pay 90% of your income in taxes to pay this mess off. Or maybe you’re a tax scofflaw like so many Democrats in this administration, so you’re not worried about having to contribute.

  30. #31 DuWayne
    April 19, 2009

    gcs15 -

    I mentioned my postgraduate degree only because you and your ilk seem to assume all tea party supporters are uneducated, uncouth, Bible-thumping, right-wing rednecks. The point you seem to miss is that many of us don’t fit that description.

    No, you just choose to associate yourself with people who fit that description to a T.

    You should also note that a great deal of the mockery rests on the absolutely moronic mistake of the folks you voluntarily associated yourself with, referring to themselves by a phrase that is usually associated with sucking scrotum.

    There are many well-educated, thinking Americans who feel strongly that government should be fiscally responsible.

    I happen to be one of them. That doesn’t make “teabaggers” any less mock-worthy.

    Because the second major reason that this mockery abounds, is because while you may not be, most of your fellow teabaggers voted in the last government that was, as you point out, not fiscally responsible. And even those who didn’t, sure as hell weren’t taking to the streets, calling themselves scrotum suckers and protesting the fiscal irresponsibility. They (and you) waited until we were just a few months into the new administration to voice your concerns.

    Smells like bloody foul hypocrisy from where I’m sitting.

    The original colonists felt the same about the British Crown’s influence over the East India Company and the taxation issues of their time. I guess their protest was a “childish political stunt,” too, in your opinion. Amazing what an effect that little “stunt” had on the development of western civilization.

    Now you’re just proving that even folks who haven’t the foggiest grasp of history can get a post-grad.

    The colonists protested taxation without representation. They were not protesting fiscal irresponsibility that was carried out by their duly elected representatives. They were not protesting because their preferred party is no longer the one in charge of spending like a drunken sailor in a whorehouse. They were protesting because they had no voice in their governance or taxation.

    This is not about social issues like abortion or gay rights, although I know a lot of right wingers would like to drag those things in.

    Not would like to, did. You associated yourself with a group folks who were all about throwing everything into it. You associated yourself with protests that welcomed these morons into their midst. You are going to be associated with that, as well as the original focus intended for these protests, because you made the choice to go in spite of that.

    I used to protest a lot, about some issues that I feel very strongly about. And occasionally organizers would allow other groups to water things down, thinking that this was a decent way to get more bodies out there – even though many members of other groups would probably come anyways – because generally there was common ground. This is always a bad idea, because you lose anyone who feels strongly enough about not wanting to be associated with these other notions.

    I generally avoided protests that allowed extraneous, unrelated groups to carry other banners. Even when I had no problems with the other message, it was just bad form.

    You made your bed and will be branded an anti-gay, anti-choice bigot because you went in spite of that association.

    Let’s see what you have to say when China asks for its money back, and when you and your kids have to pay 90% of your income in taxes to pay this mess off. Or maybe you’re a tax scofflaw like so many Democrats in this administration, so you’re not worried about having to contribute.

    Easy there tiger, many of us are just as pissed as you are about this whole mess. We just think that associating with the idiots in this protest was a stupid thing to do, on a multitude of levels.

  31. #32 Tyler DiPietro
    April 19, 2009

    Maybe the right-wingers will make tossing salad the theme of their next series of protests.

  32. #33 gcs15
    April 19, 2009

    Duwayne,

    I’m glad to see that we share some of the same views. I do wish you’d refrain from the useless name-calling. I would be happy to discuss American history with you at any time. I am well aware that “taxation without representation” was the biggest issue for the colonists, but there were some other issues as well that dealt with the British government’s involvement with the East India Company, which held a monopoly on the distribution of tea. (I even know what taxation without representation means.)

    I would have been happy to participate in demonstrations against the passage and implementation of Medicare Part B under the W administration. Unhappily, there weren’t any organized protests to join (of which I was aware, anyway). If you know of one, then dadgumit, I just must have missed the boat.

    Living in an extremely conservative state, one has to pick one’s battles. There isn’t a political party that combines social liberalism with fiscal conservatism, although there should be. Sometimes you have to put up with some things you don’t like in order to get important stuff done. This is not the ivory tower, where you can be idealistic.

    If you had been at the tea party I attended, the primary issue was fiscal responsibility. There was one anti-abortion banner (out of a couple hundred banners) and one speaker (out of a dozen) that mentioned social conservatism. Not exactly the Glenn Beck show.

    I suspect if you went to a national convention of either major party, you wouldn’t agree with everything that was said. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go at all, or that if you do go, people think you agree with every issue. Should you be involved, or should you just sit by quietly waiting for the unrealistic ideal circumstance?

    One major reason for my attendance was to show support for our governor and one of our senators, who are under heavy fire for emphatically resisting this fiscally irresponsible stimulus package. They were present at the rally and hopefully were encouraged to hold steady under the pressure.

    So I’ll keep taking abuse from the right wing by driving around this ultraconservative town with a Darwin fish on my car and supporting Planned Parenthood, and I’ll keep pushing against the left wing fiscal policies that you and I deplore in any way that’s available to me. Maybe in California the opportunities are purer. You just gotta choose your priorities.

  33. #34 Robert O'Brien
    April 19, 2009

    I have yet to see the tax/spending protesters refer to themselves as “teabaggers.” I have seen MSNBC and assorted internet dimbulbs refer to them as “teabaggers,” but that is not the same thing, now is it? (That is a difference even the morons in this thread should be able to apprehend.)

  34. #35 Troublesome Frog
    April 19, 2009

    Let’s see what you have to say when China asks for its money back, and when you and your kids have to pay 90% of your income in taxes to pay this mess off.

    It’s statements like this that make me shake my head in wonder when somebody claims to have well-informed opinions. By what mechanism is China going to “ask for its money back”? It’s not as though we borrowed the money from the mafia.

    What economic policy would you rather see, specifically?

  35. #36 Jason Kreul
    April 19, 2009

    I haven’t been on here for a while. It’s good to see that the right has not lost it’s touch to be out of touch with reality. I’m sorry, but DuWayne is the only poster in this thread that has even addressed the real issue of why this “tea party” was such a non-event that making fun of it is the only logical reason to mention this Fixed-News farce.

    I want to make it clear that this was all it was. When a network that has been given free license to use our airwaves as long as part of it’s programming is for the greater good, is allowed to make the news instead of just reporting it; then we need to re-examine the whole notion of what is properly allowed in public discourse. I do not want this last statement to be interpreted by those who would disagree with me as an assault on free speech. It is not. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I pull no punches in regards to the right to speek one’s mind, but when the discourse is guided by spin doctors and aimed at a relatively ignorant audience; then in certain regards it may be no different than yelling “fire” in a crowded auditorium.

    The true fact of the matter, though, concerning this staged Fox event is that those protesting the tax policies of this country seem to forget that their hero was in power when these tax policies were enacted. There needs to be an honest debate in this country about the redistribution of wealth where all that are interested should have a seat at the table, at least figuratively. Wealth is always redistributed by governments. This redistribution is one of the major functions of a working government. The only question that really needs to be addressed is whether the government redistributes this wealth from those who really earn it to the wealthy or whether it should be redistributed the other way.

    Currently, the former method of distribution of benefits seems to be the preferred method of redistribution. What is apparent to anyone willing to thoughtfully examine is that free trade is not working for everyone in America, and it certainly is not working for much of the rest of the world that has to live in our shadows. When a country begins to approach the point where the richest 1% of the population controls more wealth than the lower 50% of the population, we are no longer dealing with a balanced system. Wage slavery is as real as any human bond has ever been. when the average working-class individual can barely afford health care in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, we need to ask ourselves why this is. The reason is not because our government wants to raise taxes on corporations or the richest 5% of the population. The reason is the exact opposite of this.

    Now I would agree that the tax policies of this government are a bit out of line, but we are far from the highest taxed citizens of any free nation. Finland quickly comes to mind, and yet the friends I have over there do not seem to mind because the welfare state that is created in that country fairly well supports the basic needs of the population. The government and the people are some of the most tolerant and liberal around. Perhaps these goals are not shared by all of my fellow countrymen, but maybe we should ask ourselves why these values are not widely held by such people. It is this tolerant behavior that has allowed the very dissent by those currently unhappy with the government as it stands today.

    Willful dissent is not the heart of the issue that surrounded the paltry show of muscle that I witnessed all evening April 15th while exercising in the gym. The core question that came to me was why it neer occurred to the apparent majority that the taxes they thought they were debating, were designed to help them, not hurt them. There is a huge difference between irresponsible stewardship of a nation and using the vast resouces available to carefully jump-start a sagging economic system. It would perhaps be a far better idea to redesign the entire system away from capitalism than to lend a hand to the system that robs so many of even dignity, but that is not for me to decide and personally I stand behind the actions of our current administration. What was needed was some type of infusion of money into the economy. The amount of money needed was far to great for any private investor or foreign government to be expected to bear. We must remember that the problem that is at the heart of this entire debate is the problem of predatory lending, a stock market and real estate market that was not regulated by the government closely enough, and a people willing to believe that easy money was a goal worth sacrificing their grandchildren’s future for. This easy money was not even the sort that was promised to all. In fact, most people never seemed to expect that they would see any of it. It appears to me that the lure of supposedly being able to break the glass ceiling between poverty and wealth while leaving their neighbors behind was justification enough to allow the behavior that got us into this mess.

    I am certain much of what I said will eithe be dismissed or disagreed with by most of the audience posting on this subject here. Perhaps one or a few of them may even offer healthy suggestions for why they think I am wrong for these views. I look forward to greeting them head on.

  36. #37 gcs15
    April 19, 2009

    “By what mechanism…” Well, by the same mechanism the bank uses when a loan comes due. They take the collateral. Perhaps in China’s case, they could take more ownership in American properties or businesses, or demand more trade concessions, or exert more political influence. China isn’t our only creditor, but it’s a big one.

    Let’s see, better economic policy: That could start with ending the government bailouts of failing corporations, letting those companies declare bankruptcy. Break the power of the unions over the auto industry (and other industries), thereby making those industries more competitive in a global economy. Simplify the income tax code, add a national VAT, repeal Medicare Part B, and cut spending on unnecessary government programs. Stop borrowing money to solve economic problems caused by irresponsible spending and borrowing. Implement tort reform to lower liability costs across the board, and implement some form of population control.

    Those are some of the options. It’s a complex problem, undoubtedly, and people have written entire books that attempt to solve it. The solution may be painful in the short term, but so be it. More government and more debt is not the answer.

  37. #38 Tyler DiPietro
    April 19, 2009

    “Well, by the same mechanism the bank uses when a loan comes due. They take the collateral.”

    This betrays an ignorance of how government debt is issues. Most of the debt held by foreign investors is sold in the form of Treasury securities, which individually already have specific maturity dates. They can’t simply randomly demand that they want “their money” back.

  38. #39 gcs15
    April 19, 2009

    Jason,

    I appreciate your thoughtful post. I agree with parts of your argument. I agree that the Bush administration did a number of irresponsible things that have contributed to this mess. Many conservatives feel the same way. Bush is certainly no hero.

    I agree that the current problem was triggered by irresponsible lending and other indefensible activites on the part of large financial institutions. We must also not forget a couple of other factors. The people in this country who borrowed more than they could afford also acted irresponsibly. Not all of those loans were misrepresented. Also, the government requirements that a certain percentage of mortgages be made to low income borrowers (to advance home ownership) contributed to the problem. That’s an instance of disastrous government meddling with the people’s best interests at heart (everyone should own their own home, right?).

    I also agree that these financial institutions and the stock market (possibly also the real estate market) were not regulated properly. The free market, unregulated, breaks down as a result of greed and corruption. Therefore, regulations are necessary, and there is work to do in this regard.

    I do not agree that extensive forced redistribution of wealth is desirable or effective. Certainly some is necessary to provide a basic safety net for society at large. However, the more redistribution of wealth, the less incentive to work and produce. We have seen this in communist socities, where it has failed. It’s human nature to work for one’s own advancement. It’s also fair that when one works, one gets to keep the fruits of one’s labor. If the fruits are taken from the one who works hard and are given to the one who does nothing, how is that fair to the one who works? Pretty soon, everyone looks at everyone else and says, “Why should I work? I’ll be supported even if I don’t.” Then nobody works, and the system breaks down. There’s an old fable about a little red hen that illustrates this nicely.

    Why do you feel that the wealthy haven’t earned their wealth? There are obviously some bad apples and some good ol’ boys, but many wealthy individuals get wealthy through their smarts and long, hard work. What’s wrong with that, and why should they be punished?

    It’s nice to think that humans will work to help one another, but human nature is just not that way. Have you ever worked a job dealing with the public? The people of Finland have the same brain chemistry as you and I. We all have the same motivational factors. I’d be interested to know the demographics of your Scandinavian friends; are they elderly? Sick? Employed? What are their needs? What is their tax bracket?

    There are many reasons that health insurance is difficult to afford. The fact that it’s expensive and not portable does not imply that society does not care about the sick, or that the government should take over health care. The system urgently requires reform, but that’s a whole different discussion.

    I’m also not convinced that the solution for the economy was an infusion of money, especially money we don’t have. I’m very concerned about whether that’s going to work, and how that enormous debt will eventually be resolved. I suspect inflation is coming hard on the heels of this “solution,” and our gamble that better days lie ahead to ultimately finance all this spending may not pay off. If a plan of redistribution of wealth is implemented, it will dampen the economy to the point of virtual bankruptcy. We have got to stop the irresponsible spending, first and foremost. And, yes, some form of tax increase will be inevitable at some point.

    Redistribution of wealth, incidentally, also hugely diminishes charitable contributions – the wealthy don’t have as much to give, nor do they have the incentive when they’re already contributing so much to “government charity.” In my community, charities do a lot to provide that social safety net so necessary to people in need (food banks, homeless shelters, etc.)

    It’s commendable to have compassion for those in need and the less well off. But government intervention has never been the most efficient way to help. The more handouts, the more dependent the population. Remember, it was a Democratic president who reformed the welfare system. Do we really want to repeat our mistakes? Do we really want to go to the type of hands-on government that led to Britain’s Winter of Discontent?

    We could take note of a banner at my town’s tea party that stated, “Spread my work ethic, not my wealth!” It was not held by a CEO, but by a middle aged working class woman.

  39. #40 gcs15
    April 19, 2009

    Tyler,

    Sure, it was an oversimplification. My purpose is not to expound on international economics. But just as owning a percentage of stock in a company gives an entity influence over how that company runs, so a foreign country holding that many assets in Treasury securities gives them a fair amount of potential influence in US affairs and diminishes our influence in theirs.

    You know, the old “if you disagree with me, you must be ignorant/stupid/uneducated/moronic” argument gets kinda worn after awhile. Seems a common thread among several commenters here.

  40. #41 Tyler DiPietro
    April 19, 2009

    “But just as owning a percentage of stock in a company gives an entity influence over how that company runs, so a foreign country holding that many assets in Treasury securities gives them a fair amount of potential influence in US affairs and diminishes our influence in theirs.”

    But they don’t own anything like equity shares, they own Treasuries: bonds sold on explicitly negotiated maturity dates and interest rates. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

  41. #42 gcs15
    April 19, 2009

    Tyler,

    OK, I can’t verify that; I have to assume your information is accurate. Perhaps, then, I am comparing apples to oranges. So what happens when we reach the maturity date? The bonds must be paid off with the interest. Where does that money come from? And even if they’re not equities, that still makes China a large creditor, which still gives them an certain influence. If you had a major creditor, would you do anything to deliberately annoy them?

  42. #43 Leni
    April 19, 2009

    Leni,

    I mentioned my postgraduate degree only because you and your ilk seem to assume all tea party supporters are uneducated, uncouth, Bible-thumping, right-wing rednecks.

    I think you’re all acting like idiots regardless of your education, or rather in spite of it. I can’t speak for the ilk, though.

    The point you seem to miss is that many of us don’t fit that description.

    The point you seem to miss is that it doesn’t matter. I know high-school drop-outs who’ve behaved better. In fact, now that I think about it, I know grade school drop outs from third-world countries who’ve behaved better.

    There are many well-educated, thinking Americans who feel strongly that government should be fiscally responsible. This government is not (and neither was the previous Republican administration’s).

    What about the two before that?

    The original colonists felt the same about the British Crown’s influence over the East India Company and the taxation issues of their time. I guess their protest was a “childish political stunt,” too, in your opinion. Amazing what an effect that little “stunt” had on the development of western civilization.

    Just because Glen Beck can ape other people doesn’t mean he should. Nor does it mean you have an instant, unassailable reason to participate in this jack-assery.

    This is not about social issues like abortion or gay rights, although I know a lot of right wingers would like to drag those things in. This is about everyday citizens who are concerned about the disastrous fiscal policy this country is following.

    No one said it was about abortion or gay rights. Ya’ll look ridiculous nonetheless. The fact that those loonies bought onto the “tea-bagging” parties just makes it that much more amusing.

    Let’s see what you have to say when China asks for its money back, and when you and your kids have to pay 90% of your income in taxes to pay this mess off. Or maybe you’re a tax scofflaw like so many Democrats in this administration, so you’re not worried about having to contribute.

    A “tax scofflaw”? Jesus Christ, lady. Could you be more more stupid?

    After O’Brien calling me a powdered wig loyalist, the only thing that could possibly make this whole tea-bagging thing more idiotic is you insisting that I don’t pay taxes. And look. There it is. Way to go.

  43. #44 Tyler DiPietro
    April 19, 2009

    “So what happens when we reach the maturity date? The bonds must be paid off with the interest. Where does that money come from?”

    Yes, and the money is paid, with interest, regularly, by our government to foreign investors when maturity dates are reached. That’s how government debt works.

    “Where does that money come from?”

    The same sources all government money comes from: tax revenues and printed money.

    “And even if they’re not equities, that still makes China a large creditor, which still gives them an certain influence.”

    It gives us influence as well. There’s a reason why Treasuries are bought by China in such a high volume: they’re a very safe investment. But in any case, in foreign relations it’s always the case that the providers of essential resources have a certain amount of influence. It’s a fact of life. Our economic and military influence is still a hell of a lot greater than China’s.

  44. #45 gcs15
    April 19, 2009

    Oh, here we go, Leni, just as I expected. You can’t find anything of substance to argue, so you just resort to yelling, “idiots, dropouts, jackassery, loonies, stupid, idiotic.” Nice going; boy, you’ve really hurt my feelings.

    Obviously, anyone who disagrees with you must be irretrievably stupid.

    My exact words were, “Maybe you’re a tax scofflaw…” That’s not insisting you don’t pay taxes. It’s just suggesting one reason why a person might not be concerned about high taxes. Sensitive, arent’cha?

    Resorting to insults doesn’t make anyone look intelligent, btw. Have a nice evening.

  45. #46 gcs15
    April 19, 2009

    Tyler,

    So, when the maturity date arrives, we pay the money with interest. That comes from taxes and printing money. So if the economy hasn’t really come around by then, we will have to a) raise taxes even more than what we already need to do, b) print more money and increase inflation, or c) borrow more money to pay off this debt.

    This is one reason I don’t like the current fiscal policy. And we agree that this gives China more influence. The scale may be tilted our way now, but what of 20 years from now? I’m not so sure.

    Thanks for the information.

  46. #47 Troublesome Frog
    April 20, 2009

    OK, I can’t verify that; I have to assume your information is accurate. Perhaps, then, I am comparing apples to oranges.

    I don’t want to be too abusive here, but don’t you think that this is the type of thing you’d want to have a good grasp of before taking to the streets in protest of policies designed to handle an extremely complicated economic problem? Who buys our debt is really the least of our problems. In fact, given what we’re trying to do with the debt at the moment, it’s probably better that our creditors are foreigners.

    And even if they’re not equities, that still makes China a large creditor, which still gives them an certain influence. If you had a major creditor, would you do anything to deliberately annoy them?

    I think that you’re overestimating the amount of sway a major US debt holder has. China has little to no influence over us simply by virtue of the fact that they currently hold a lot of US bonds. The debt isn’t callable. It’s paid on a fixed schedule regardless of who holds it. The only way for them to convert it into cash would be to sell the bonds on the bond market. That could be a problem for us as it would depress US bond prices, but it would be just as much of a problem for China. There’s no reason to believe that they’d do it, even if they wanted to.

    They do have some minimal “influence” in that they could decide to stop buying future bonds. That would upset the apple cart a bit, but that’s also a two way street. China’s economy depends largely on exporting cheap goods to the US. Upsetting the exchange rates between our countries would be devastating to their export-driven economy.

    On to economic policy:

    That could start with ending the government bailouts of failing corporations, letting those companies declare bankruptcy.

    Which corporations? All of them? I’m not a big fan of handouts to GM, but how much of the banking system are you willing to allow to collapse? This seems to be a case of closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.

    Break the power of the unions over the auto industry (and other industries), thereby making those industries more competitive in a global economy.

    As far as I can see, the US auto industry isn’t dying because it pays its people too much relative to its competitors. It looks like it promised way too much in the past and it’s selling way too few cars now. I’m inclined to let the unions and companies battle with each other privately. They need each other, so they’ll work something out.

    Simplify the income tax code, add a national VAT, repeal Medicare Part B, and cut spending on unnecessary government programs.

    You’ll get no argument from me on most of that. The tax codes we come up with may look very different, but I think that we can agree that the current one is an abomination.

    Stop borrowing money to solve economic problems caused by irresponsible spending and borrowing.

    This is another one of those “apples and oranges” moments. It compares massively overleveraged speculation with fiscal stimulus borrowing. They’re two totally different animals and really shouldn’t be compared just because they both involve borrowing. If you must make the comparison, the closest analogy would be a healthy company like Toyota borrowing money to scoop up cheap assets from ailing companies like GM. It’s actually an efficient exploitation of easy credit and underutilized resources.

  47. #48 CDS
    April 20, 2009

    Posted by DuWayne:

    “We’re villifying with impish and yes, profane glee, a group of ignorant morons for being, well, morons.”

    In your opinion. An opinion you probably hold because those who protested hold an opinion different from yours. So, rather than discuss the issues, an act which you feel would lend those opinions credence, you instantly resort to schoolyard name-calling.

    “While I can’t speak for everyone else being critical, I highly doubt there are many in these parts who wouldn’t fight voraciously for the right of these morons to express their lunacy loudly and proudly – were that right threatened.”

    Attempting to quell free speech through the use of intimidation is an old tactic, and intimidation isn’t always applied with a baton. Didn’t you hear Garofalo’s comments? Anderson Cooper’s, David Shuster’s, Olbermann’s, along with a host of others? On a related note I am sure you are aware of the recent moves to implement the Fairness Doctrine, but are you aware that faculty and employees of the University of Illinois are forbidden to wear or display political buttons or stickers which support a particular candidate, or attend political rallies without being in violation of university ethics policy? Then the American Spectator reported on this:

    “(Henry) Waxman is also interested, say sources, in looking at how the Internet is being used for content and free speech purposes. ‘It’s all about diversity in media,’ says a House Energy staffer, familiar with the meetings. … Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views? These are some of the questions the chairman is thinking about right now, and we are going to have an FCC that will finally have the people in place to answer them.”

    And these are but a few examples out of many. So lets see how voraciously you fight.

    “Only when I am critical, I’m not an ignorant moron about it. Nor do I label myself in terms that implies a desire to suck someone’s testicles.”

    This is what the term means in your mind. Typically, I would hazard to guess, those using this phrase as you describe it have taken a term and assigned it a disgusting meaning, and then utilized it to try and infer that those who attended the protest are the ones who are somehow degenerates. Right. The left then picked-up the “tea bagging” ball and ran with it on prime-time television news. Now that is journalism.

  48. #49 Leni
    April 20, 2009

    Oh, here we go, Leni, just as I expected. You can’t find anything of substance to argue, so you just resort to yelling, “idiots, dropouts, jackassery, loonies, stupid, idiotic.” Nice going; boy, you’ve really hurt my feelings.

    I wasn’t trying to hurt your feelings.

    Still, if you wanted the conversation to be useful and productive, maybe you shouldn’t have acted as if your degree was the very things that made that possible.

    My exact words were, “Maybe you’re a tax scofflaw…” That’s not insisting you don’t pay taxes. It’s just suggesting one reason why a person might not be concerned about high taxes. Sensitive, arent’cha?

    It’s suggesting I’m a criminal, at best. Yes, I called you stupid, but at least I had a reason to. You acted like an ass and deserved it. Did I act like a criminal?

    And no. I’m not particularly sensitive, Miss “OMG! Someone said a bad word! Whatever shall I do! I know. I shall tell them I have a degree! For that will put an end to their shenanigans at once!”

    Have a nice night indeed. Next thing I know, you’ll be refusing to pray for me and won’t that just get me good.

  49. #50 DuWayne
    April 20, 2009

    Dammit Leni, you fucking impishly gleeful, authoritarian powder wigged loyalist and tax-scofflaw!!! And Villifyer!!!

    You’re pure liberal EVILE!!!

    (I still love you though)

    (in spite of, not because of your authoritarian tendencies)

  50. #51 Troublesome Frog
    April 20, 2009

    So, when the maturity date arrives, we pay the money with interest. That comes from taxes and printing money. So if the economy hasn’t really come around by then, we will have to a) raise taxes even more than what we already need to do, b) print more money and increase inflation, or c) borrow more money to pay off this debt.

    Yes, those options are correct. So the questions we need to ask are:

    a) Are we more likely to be able to handle a tax hike (or a cut in government spending) now or later? Right now, we’re in some seriously dire straits. I’d rather see that hike (or spending cut) in a few years when we’re at full employment again.
    b) Are we concerned about inflation right now? All data indicates that we’re fighting hard to avoid deflation. A little more inflation would be welcome now. In the long run, I have pretty good confidence in the Federal Reserve’s ability to tighten the money supply as necessary.
    c) Is the additional spending long-term, or is it one-time? These types of stimulus programs are typically one-shot spending. I won’t go into all of the reasons why, but your tax policy note is a key one. Building, say, a high-speed rail system is a capital investment rather than an ongoing expense. I’d be more alarmed if the stimulus was a long-term transfer program of some sort.

    And we agree that this gives China more influence.

    I’m not Tyler, but I’ll throw my lot in with the “change in influence is negligible” crowd on that one.

  51. #52 Robert O'Brien
    April 20, 2009

    After O’Brien calling me a powdered wig loyalist…

    Apparently, the subjunctive mood is lost on you. (Although, it would be fair to write that I suggested you are the modern day equivalent of a powdered-wig loyalist.)

  52. #53 Leni
    April 20, 2009

    If you had the modern day equivalent of testicles, shouldn’t you be off tea-bagging in some dark alley somewhere?

  53. #54 Robert O'Brien
    April 20, 2009

    If you had the modern day equivalent of testicles, shouldn’t you be off tea-bagging in some dark alley somewhere?

    Leni,

    I am already convinced you are lacking in native intelligence; there is no need to continue beating a busted piñata.

  54. #55 gcs15
    April 20, 2009

    Frog,

    I think we’re on the same page. I have no problem with building a high-speed rail system; it would be a capital investment, and it’s a needed project. Much better than spending to prop up companies that are no longer viable. That’s just throwing good money after bad.

    I would also rather see a tax increase in better times, when we are more able to afford it. Right now, increases would slow economic recovery. Problem is, no one knows when “better times” are likely to come around.

    We should be concerned about inflation when we are printing money as we are. We might not see signs yet, but there’s a good likelihood it’s coming. Hopefully the Fed can help control it. They did pretty well under Greenspan, but even he is now saying that his policies were flawed.

    As for China, they are not our friends. I am concerned about a rising economy of a billion+ people with whom we have a trade imbalance. It’s not an imminent crisis, but we need to keep them in mind for the long term. Anything that bolsters their influence is potentially problematic, even if it’s relatively small in the grand scheme of things. This was not really one of my main points in this discussion, just a side comment.

    So we mostly agree.

    By the way, I noticed a typo in one of my previous posts, for those who are interested. I meant Medicare Part D, not B. Sorry about that!

  55. #56 gcs15
    April 20, 2009

    Frog,

    Sorry, I missed the earlier post. I certainly admit that I am not an economist by profession, so I appreciate the information. Again, I didn’t mean to get sidetracked onto the China-as-creditor issue as much as it turned out. Perhaps my understanding in that area could be improved.

    However, I still am convinced that it is the wrong policy to fix the current problem by borrowing and spending irresponsibly. I’m not sure I’d compare our government to a healthy company at this point in time.

    As for the failing companies – yes, let them go into bankruptcy. Other industries have (like the airlines), and the economy didn’t collapse. Not every auto company would fail, and not every financial institution. Just the unhealthy ones. Then smaller healthy companies could grow into the void created.

    The unions’ power needs to be broken. The pensions, benefits and wages promised to the workers are a big part of the reason why some of these companies can’t compete. The unions don’t even have to disappear, they just need to start being realistic in their demands.

  56. #57 gcs15
    April 20, 2009

    Leni,

    Don’t worry, you didn’t really hurt my feelings. That was sarcasm.

    Again, I wasn’t accusing you of being a criminal. I don’t know you or your tax situation. But since you bring that up, I therefore suppose you agree that Mr. Geithner is one… and Mr. Daschle… and several other members or would-be members of this administration.

    You sure do seem awfully sensitive. Thanks for the entertainment, because that’s what your posts have become. I did mean it, though, when I wished you a nice evening. Do have a pleasant day today, and don’t let this post get your blood pressure up too high.

  57. #58 Science Avenger
    April 20, 2009

    CDS made shit up thusly: “In your opinion. An opinion you probably hold because those who protested hold an opinion different from yours. So, rather than discuss the issues, an act which you feel would lend those opinions credence, you instantly resort to schoolyard name-calling.”

    So rather than discuss the real issues that have caused such a torrent of jokes and verbal abuse from those opposed to you, you make shit up that sounds like it came off that very schoolyard, and happily ignore it all.

    This annoying habit of ignoring reality and making your own up (especially about the other side), is a big part of what fuels many of us not in your supply-side conservative echochamber to call you names. Getting the picture?

  58. #59 sevişme
    April 20, 2009

    If you had the modern day equivalent of testicles, shouldn’t you be off tea-bagging in some dark alley somewhere?
    Leni,

    I am already convinced you are lacking in native intelligence; there is no need to continue beating a busted piñata.

  59. #60 Troublesome Frog
    April 20, 2009

    I would also rather see a tax increase in better times, when we are more able to afford it. Right now, increases would slow economic recovery. Problem is, no one knows when “better times” are likely to come around.

    I think that history indicates that we’re unlikely to see a much worse time for it than the next year or two. Of course, if slowing spending or raising taxes slows economic recovery, doing the fiscally irresponsible thing and combining increased expenditures with low taxes during extreme downturns can accelerate recovery.

    We should be concerned about inflation when we are printing money as we are. We might not see signs yet, but there’s a good likelihood it’s coming. Hopefully the Fed can help control it. They did pretty well under Greenspan, but even he is now saying that his policies were flawed.

    I think that it’s important to look at the money supply as a supply / demand balance. When the economy experienced its major shock during the Lehman collapse, the demand for money skyrocketed as everybody pulled out of commercial debt and moved into cash. The Federal Reserve had no real choice but to expand the money supply to restore the balance or face Great Depression style bank collapses and deflation. Is your concern about inflation based on fundamentals or just a feeling?

    However, I still am convinced that it is the wrong policy to fix the current problem by borrowing and spending irresponsibly. I’m not sure I’d compare our government to a healthy company at this point in time.

    Again, this seems to be more intuition than the result of serious analysis. Think of it this way: Our debt load is nowhere near historic highs relative to what we’re able to produce, and because everybody is panicked and desperate to buy government debt, the government can borrow at ridiculously low rates right now. Any sensible business would take the opportunity to buy stagnant assets and profit over the long run.

    Not every auto company would fail, and not every financial institution. Just the unhealthy ones. Then smaller healthy companies could grow into the void created.

    I think that people who compare the auto industry to the banking industry don’t know that they’re comparing apples and oranges again. I would be fine watching the auto companies tank. The banking industry is a whole different ball of wax. The idea that just the unhealthy banks would collapse is simply false, unless you define “healthy” as “banks that don’t collapse when the majority of them do.”

    I think that the run on the money markets after the Lehman failure made it clear enough that our banking system could not survive that type of collapse.

  60. #61 gcs15
    April 20, 2009

    Frog,

    “if slowing spending…” I didn’t mean to imply that I thought slowing spending would slow economic recovery.

    My concern about inflation is more about the future, when investor confidence improves and demand for money falls.

    It’s certainly wise for a business to borrow capital at low rates for expansion purposes and asset acquisition. However, is this a good comparison to the current stimulus spending? Sure, the government’s buying interest in corporations and financial institutions, but what good is this to the government? The government’s not in the business of making cars (or shouldn’t be, anyway). Further, the assets may be no good. GM appears headed for bankruptcy regardless. This comparison seems more apples and oranges to me.

    I’m not comparing the auto industry to the banking industry. They are 2 different animals, I agree. Some banks had involved themselves more heavily in problem securities than others. These fail or are bought out by more stable financial institutions (as happened in a couple of cases). Why does the entire system have to collapse? I don’t see that scenario as being guaranteed. If it is guaranteed, well, OK, I can swallow some assistance to prop up the banking system under the right circumstances. But I do not swallow propping up the auto industry and packing hundreds of other expenditures (including billions for education!!) into the bill (and that’s just for starters).

  61. #62 Troublesome Frog
    April 20, 2009

    I didn’t mean to imply that I thought slowing spending would slow economic recovery.

    The validity of the policy certainly hinges on whether or not that’s the case. If you think that spending can be cut without exacerbating unemployment and further reducing demand, you’ll have to explain how all of the government employees from teachers to defense engineers are going to pay their bills.

    My concern about inflation is more about the future, when investor confidence improves and demand for money falls.

    I hear this a lot, but I can’t quite figure it out. The supply of money is set by the Federal Reserve and can be adjusted very aggressively. The fact that today’s money supply is not right for the future should not be surprising.

    It’s certainly wise for a business to borrow capital at low rates for expansion purposes and asset acquisition. However, is this a good comparison to the current stimulus spending? Sure, the government’s buying interest in corporations and financial institutions, but what good is this to the government?

    It’s not necessarily about being a “good investment” for the government. The idea is to think about the economy on the whole. We have piles and piles of unused resources that could be put to work making stuff. They’re available cheaply and by utilizing them, we increase private incomes and stimulate other parts of the economy. The question we should be asking is, why should we let perfectly good productive capacity lie fallow?

    Demand for goods and services have dropped well below their norm due to temporary market conditions. As a result, nobody has an incentive to invest and unemployment rises, exacerbating the demand problem. The goal is to break the cycle by taking the cheap loanable funds available to the federal government and invest them in worthwhile projects, bringing employment back up to a self-sustaining level.

    Some banks had involved themselves more heavily in problem securities than others.

    The problem is that the definition of “problem securities” expands very rapidly as banks start to fail. Banks are in the business of borrowing staggering amounts of money on the short term market and lending it out on the long term market. If a large bank dies, all of its debt suddenly becomes “problem securities” for every other bank. More importantly, they become problem securities for money market funds.

    What we saw in August that made everybody’s blood run cold was a run on the money market funds where most of these banks get a huge portion of their cash. The failure of a major player there can cause the modern-day equivalent of a generalized run on banks. I would want to see a lot of evidence that he banking system could handle such a hit before betting the world economy that it can. As far as I can see, the only thing that kept it from happening was the government stepping in quickly.

    But I do not swallow propping up the auto industry and packing hundreds of other expenditures (including billions for education!!) into the bill (and that’s just for starters).

    I suppose it all depends on whether you believe that keeping people employed is a useful endeavor in these sorts of situations. We can quibble about which types of spending are the best (for example, I don’t find the idea of funding education during a tax receipt downturn for the states at all offensive), but the important question is if the policy as a whole makes sense.

  62. #63 Jason Kreul
    April 20, 2009

    Gcs,
    I think the biggest problem I have with your response here is that it is a bit assuming as others have mentioned today. Not all government spending is irresponsible or frivilous. I believe that the myth of the irresponisble liberal govenment has been greatly exxagerated by the likes of the Heritage Foundation and their ilk. Without reducing my part in this discussion to name-calling, these right-wing think tanks have done very little to disguise the conservative, religious bias in their supposed neutral studies that have influenced the way our government runs and the way we perceive government since Paul Weyrich first founded the Heritage Foundation in 1973.

    Now, sometimes governments do spend money irresponsibly. This spending orrurs even with the best of intentions because the legislative process is a give and take game played by two distinctly different classes of legislative powers. While the congress is generally more responsive to the needs of the constituents that vote them into office. the senate is less likely to act on behalf of the best interests of any particular group or region. Both approaches to allocation of resources have their own pitfalls as I see it, so I won’t go into this topic for fear of a very lengthy discussion that would bore most readers here. I would, however, like to elucidate the point I was trying to make here. Governments spend wrecklessly at times. I do not believe that spending on the general welfare of the people is one of those instances. Here goes the red flag event for you. I believe that much of the money that has been spent in the past century on defense spending has been the most irresponsible act that our own government has ever committed. While I will not argue that we need the capacity to defend ourselves from governments that may wish to topple our economic system with the intent to steal our means of supporting our people, the resources that have been spent on intercontinental nuclear missiles alone shows a clear problem of serious proportions. I believe enough educated individuals have covered this topic that I will not further it here, for I would like to move on to the next issue I have with your earlier comment.

    You mention that you believe that trade unions need to be busted. I am assuming here that the reason for this is so that the true reasonable value of labor can be realized and therefore prices of such commodities as vehicles can be truly competitive on an international scale. I think you really need to be careful in discussing this issue as well for there are a number of pitfalls with this argument as well. First and foremost concerning the automotive industry is that the automotive industry has much bigger problems than union wages. I will not disagree that the union employees should have made some concessions long ago concerning healthcare, especially for the retirees who belong to the union. When no one else can afford decent healthcare coverage, these people should not have expected that they would nto be affected by the crisis that hass need simmering for decades. This is not the biggest problem facing the industry as a whole though. The real problem is that the big three automakers have been bankrolling for well beyond a dacade on the sale of vehicles that got increasingly worse fuel efficiency ratings, sacrificing efficiency for creature comforts because they could charge more money for these vehicles. It is true that employee benefits fed into this problem, but the writing has been on the wall since at least the ’73 oil embargo that gas-guzzling vehicles not only damaged the environment, but also destabilized the middle-east and threatened national security. This thought brings to mind another thought I had while reading your post. It has earlier been brought up that the nature of stimulus packages like this is that the moneys being spent are a one-time offering generally. Part of what our current administration has intended with this plan is to concentrate resources on developing alternative energy consuption to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I fail to see how this sort of economic policy can be called irresponsible in any way. To me, this seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered in such bleak economic times. If we can stop this bleeding of our financial resources to foriegn governments, we can go a long way toward stabilizing our own economic recovery. Such policy could indeed spell better times ahead and justify the spending against our futures.

    This brings me to my next topic. The United States economy, and with it our national security, is in deep trouble currently. Doing nothing, risks toppling our very way of life. Whether we spend this money by printing more and raising inflation or we borrow the money from foreign investors, the money does need to come from somewhere. We must have some type of economic activity or the whole system breaks down. Yesterday, I alluded to the idea that capitalism is not the best possible system that we can have. It is the system that we are stuck with, so we must make it work for now or surely citizens will starve in the streets. People must work and further this system or there will be nothing left to drive the wheels. Food will not be produced by factory farms without financial incentives, power will not be generated, the list goes on. the point is, we must revive the system we have in some manner. It is a moot point to argue where it comes from as long as it comes from somewhere.

    Now, you argue that we will be crushed, or rather our heirs will be, by the huge interest on the debt being created by irresponsible government spending; but this interest must be paid whether we decrease the value of the dollar or we borrow against future earnings. The real estate bubble as well as the stock market bubble in the ’90s created a fasle sense of wealth that did not really exist. We need to create an economic environment where we do not rely on money that does not exist. Real wealth is created by trading goods and services, not by inflating the value of any particular commodity artificially in hopes that someone will pay more than it is worth inherently. This is exactly what happened in both the previous examples. Both markets were manipulated artificially to a point where people invested beyond their means hoping to make a quick buck before the whole thing came crashing down. When the banking industry was deregulated by a republican controlled congress in 1996, it spelled the beginning of the end for the retirement savings of countless Americans, while a few swindlers got filthy rich and got away. This is the true story of what happened to our economy. We depended on a bubble mentality to fix the real issue of artificially inflated market values.

    What is irresponsible is when governments knowingly support such behaviors by their rich donors when it is at the expense of the general welfare. This behavior flies in the face of the very preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America which hoped to promote the general welfare of the people. Giving tax breaks to the wealthiest individuals and interpreting the 14th amendment to treat corporations as citizens has not benefited the general welfare of the people, it has favored a certain class of individuals over the needs of those less fortunate. To further understand what I am implying here, I would urge you to read Rawls “A Theory of Justice.” I cannot do this man justice in this space.

    I am sure there are talking points that I am forgetting at this point, but I hope this is some food for thoughtful discussion on htis topic.

  63. #64 Kevin (NYC)
    April 20, 2009

    Jason! thanks for the reasoned comments. I was going to tpye various parts of what you did.

    “There are many well-educated, thinking Americans who feel strongly that government should be fiscally responsible”

    yes and surely the most responsible thing would be to stop spending in the middle of the worst recession in 60 years and also stop providing liquidity to the banking market and also cut all unemployment and subsidized health benefits and also RAISE taxes on the poorest amoung us.

    So what if we let the repugs double the debt in 8 years! that’s not the point. We won’t stand idly by (well actually we will because we are on SSI disability) while some KENYAN steals our AMERICAN heritage from our UNBORN SNOWFLAKE CHILDREN!!!

    Is that the kind of fiscal responsiblity you want G15?

  64. #65 Jason Kreul
    April 21, 2009

    Kevin,
    Where do I begin with a standing ovation of your magnitude? Let me first say that I do not believe this forum is the proper environment for much of what you had to say here. If you wish to address me on such topics, I would appreciate it if you were to put at least a minimal effort in trying to put together some sort of reasoned argument of your own; or at a minimum, put put together aome semblance of a working sentence structure.

    First of all, when you say that the government should stop spending in the worst recession in 60 years, you need to be a bit more specific about what you mean. Should the government spend no money whatsoever; or should they just stop spending revenues on services that you deem less than crucial to the operation of a government? If it is the latter, please explain what types of speding would or would not pass muster in your esteemed opinion. For the former, I would urge you to point out how we pay for vital government services like law enforcement, national security, and municipal utility services. I will assume though, that this interpretation was not the one you had in mind when making this statement. This being the case, I cannot imagine what sort of spending you have in mind since you do not state what types are not acceptible in your esteemed opinion.

    Second, you stated that you believe that our government should stop adding liquidity to the banking market. Ok, so what is the alternative to this infusion of our tax dollars? Should we allow the entire banking structure to collapse? The biggest problem with the real estate bubble was not the initial lending whether predatory or not, it was the layers of derivatives that were allowed to be bundled and sold and resold again on the same real property that had been inflated by too much easy credit. While this process was not illegal, it is certainly unethical and flat out lunacy. What we had were people pushing paper that meant absolutely nothing. It was supposed at the time by many of these people that the real value of any commodity was what some sucker was willing to pay them for it. The problem with that ideology is that sooner or later the sucker cannot afford the price being expected and folds. Think of it like a good poker bluff because this is essentially what was going on. Everyone just upped the ante until many players started folding. While this is a simplification, manipulating adjustable rate mortgages to convince people that they could buy more house than they could afford is the essemce of what began this whole decline in the bubble. Ironically, it is what drove this bubble in the first place. Of course, this course of thought is a bitof a digression, but I wanted to explain some of the background to the real problem as I see it. What is closer to the point is that these banks did do the public a disservice and many of the executives of these banks were hailed as gods and heros on Wall Street. We are right to vilify them even; but to suggest that, because of this situation, we should let the entire industry fold to teach them a lesson is to cut off our own nose to spite our face. Such an act serves no purpose other than to vindicate our losses. A far better remedy is to learn from this mistake and regulate the industry again to a point where we can insure that the same type of problem does not occur again in the future.

    Simply put, we must save the banking industry. Businesses cannot operate without having some place to turn for needed capital to change and improve their operating practices to compete in a global market where slave wages are paid to workers in developing nations. Without this option, employers will see the only course of action as reducing the entire workforce to slaves. For a further discussion on this argument I would urge you to read the fist major entry in our political science forum on http://unrigidmind.com concerning the effects of free trade and whether it is the best plan for our future economy.

    Now at this point, it is not clear whether you are stateing that we should cut unemployment benefits and subsidized healthcare for the poor; nor is it clear whether you are advocating raising taxes on the poorest of our people. Please clarify what you are saying in this poorly worded assertion, because I have no idea how to even respond to such jibberish. I can only say that puting both ideas in the same sentence without using a modifier to contrast them suggests to me that you arguing both cases to the affirmative which is utterly against the very American ideals that you seem to be suggesting you support.

    I would agree with you that wether or not the tax burden we are facing was put in place by a republican administration or a democratic administration is a moot point if the burden is crushing us either way. My point though was that many of the people that attended thes rallies were clearly detractors of the Obama Administration and seemed to indicate that they believed that our current president was to blame for the economic troubles we are in today. Let me say outright that this is entirely nonsense. President Obama inherited this mess on January 20th of this year. He is the man that we are looking to for a solution to our economic woes, but he did not create the problem.

    The economic policies that the president is pushing to make law have been compared to socialism by many on the right. Many of these people making such accusations were present in the very crowds that you seem to be defending here. I saw the signs myself from the eliptical machine I was on in the gym. Fox News Channel was on and the entire event was an all day party on that network. I should know, I was there in the gym for at least three hours of it. What my challenge to you is, is that I challenge you to provide reasonable support to back up such accusations if this is what you truly believe. Provide evidence that this administration truly seeks to transform our “democracy” into some pinko communist state and I will let you off the hook on the subject and even recant what I am saying here. Otherwise, the idea is not only moot, but downright improper. While we’re on the subject of improper, I would like to point out that President Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States of America. He is not a Kenyan. To suggest that our president is stealing the heritage of our “snowflake babies” is not only inappropriate and racist, not to mention tasteless, but it is entirely innaccurate as well. His father was from Kenya, but his mother was a US citizen who birthed her child in the United States. This clearly makes him a citizen of the United States and qualifies him to be president just as much as anyone else may be qualified on their merits and the confidence of the American people who elected him to the office of the president. I would suggest you reserve such racist statements to the right-wing blogs where they will be more fully appreciated.

    Good day.

  65. #66 Monado
    April 24, 2009

    34, Robert, really? My SIL announced that she took her two sons teabagging. They were calling it teabagging until they finally got a whiff of the meaning, when they changed it to “tea-partying.

  66. #67 Mohamad
    EyLpDOzxPmTwi
    July 23, 2012

    Thanks for discussing your ideas with this blog. Also, a deoilusn regarding the banking companies intentions when talking about foreclosures is that the financial institution will not getreceive my installments. There is a fair bit of time in which the bank will require payments every now and then. If you are far too deep inside the hole, they will commonly call that you pay the actual payment in full. However, i am not saying that they will not take any sort of repayments at all. When you and the financial institution can seem to work one thing out, a foreclosure method may stop. However, if you ever continue to pass up payments beneath new plan, the foreclosure process can just pick up exactly where it was left off.

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