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First Step in Fixing the Federal Budget: Eliminate the Bush Tax Cuts

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The right wing has for more than a generation systematically gone about the business of essentially dismantling the federal government’s ability to regulate business, protect the environment, teach our children, provide medical services to the elderly and poor, safeguard the civil rights of minority groups and promote the American middle class by a process former President Ronald Reagan referred to as, “starving the beast.”  In the face of numerous polls which consistently demonstrate the American public’s support of these programs Republicans have not lessened their war against programs such as Medicare, Social Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, Head Start and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (commonly referred to as WIC).

During the past 30 years tax cuts for America’s wealthy elite and corporations have precipitously raised our annual federal budget deficit and correspondingly our collective national debt. After a brief respite during the Clinton administration, this practice reached a crescendo during the illegitimate reign of President George W. Bush, when he presided over the biggest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich in the history of man. Bush nearly singlehandedly doubled the national debt in eight years.

When Bush took office, the national debt was $5.73 trillion. When he left, it was $10.7 trillion. That’s a difference of $4.97 trillion! And, he left this country on a trajectory that, if continued, will nearly double the deficit again by 2018.

Two weeks before President Obama took office, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the deficit for fiscal year 2009 was projected to be $1.2 trillion. The new administration’s 10-year projection estimated the deficit to increase by nearly $8 trillion. The CBO estimated the 10-year deficit at $3.1 trillion. The large had to do with Bush administration tax cuts. The CBO created its 2009 estimate based on the law at the time, which meant they assumed that the Bush tax cuts would end as scheduled in 2010. Of course Republicans in Congress forced the president to agree to an extension of the budget busting tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the rich in order to keep the federal government from shutting down during the holidays last year and the deficits they cause continue.

Does it seem the worse our federal budget woes become and the more bad news we get regarding our economy the more smiles we see on the face of Republican politicians and pundits? GOP negotiators walk out of debt ceiling talks. Are they really serious about fixing the problem or are they more interested in political gains?

Now, with the public demanding an end to the federal government’s seemingly unending deficit spending and to do something to mitigate our alarming national debt, the GOP is attempting to utilize the crisis they created to gut the very programs they have outwardly despised for over 50 years.

They have called for “shared sacrifice” but they are unwilling to even discuss eliminating tax giveaways to big oil or tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, or tax loopholes for hedge fund billionaires, the tax loopholes used by huge corporations to avoid paying their fair share, tax breaks for yachts and vacation homes and tax breaks for people making more than $500,000.

However, as the deadline quickly approaches for increasing our country’s debt limit, something they blindly supported during the Bush years, Republicans seem to be playing an ill-advised game of chicken with the financial future of the country. After squeezing trillions of dollars of proposed budget cuts from Democratic party negotiators as the talks turned to increasing revenue, Republicans stomped out of talks like spoiled toddlers. After proclaiming that, “everything is on the table” they demonstrated by their actions that once again their word obviously cannot be trusted and that they have a troubling propensity to say one thing and do another.

About Ronald W Weathersby

  • Cannonshop

    Step two would be to cut the vast expansions in spending-including social spending. (or maybe “Step Zero” since cutting the spending needs to come before increasing levies on the population.)

    Fact is, Ron, we have a government we can’t afford, government is a non-productive sector of the economy-it doesn’t generate wealth, it only absorbs much, redirects a little, and grows, and like all parasitic entities, eventually it pushes out the productive elements it relies on to feed itself.

  • http://tmackorg.com/ Tommy Mack

    Don’t sugar coat it, Ronald. The Congress’ approval is at an all-time low and the Biden debt talks walk-out by Republicans Cantor and Kyl is not going to improve anything for the GOP. But that won’t stop them from pandering to the vocal tea party bloc. Their conservative diva and announced presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has a petition calling for congress to oppose increasing the debt ceiling as if that is possible.

    You used the word disingenuous accurately. It cannot be found in the GOP lexicon. It has been replaced by “job killing.”

    Tommy

  • Ronald W Weathersby

    Cannonshop:

    We don’t have a government we cannot afford. We have a government that has been hijacked by the right wing and corporate interests.

    Wall Street, banks and the such were too big to fail according to the Bush administration. Iraq had weapons of mass destruction according to the Bush administration. Tax breaks for the upper 2% income brackets would spur the economy according to the Bush administration.

    All lies. All budget breakers. None paid for. None placed on the nation’s books until now.

    The only way out of this mess is not to cut programs for the elderly, poor and children to the bone.

    We can start resolving this contrived crisis by truly seeking shared sacrifice by eliminating unnecessary corporate subsidies, ill-advised tax cuts for the wealthy and stop giving corporations incentives to outsource American jobs.

    The American middle class is willing to tighten their collective belts. Why can’t Republicans and their corporate puppet masters do the same?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    We’re paying less in taxes than we have in the past fifty years – so how can you say we can’t afford our government?

    And apparently you don’t understand the function of government – because without the proper regulation that good government provides, you get Big Business that is answerable to no one…and you MUST agree that when men are answerable to no law, bad things happen.

    Good government enables competition and growth. You don’t want to hear that because it goes counter to everything the conservative echo chamber tells you…but it’s the absolute truth.

  • Cannonshop

    Ron, 9% unemployed is 9% not generating tax revenues, 20% in government is a cost (that’s the rough manpower estimate of government employment in this country) So 29% of the population is engaged in non-productive, cost-generating activity.

    NOT including the % that is retired, retiring, disabled and cant’ work, or incarcerated.

    These are WORKFORCE numbers, not general population, just the persons in the ‘median’ between high school, and too old to work.

    That means a shrinking available tax-base that will shrink even MORE when the Boomers finish their careers, because guess what?

    Yeah, they didn’t have as many kids twenty years ago, so the work-force is shrinking, the costs borne BY that work-force are growing, and the amount of PRODUCTIVE employment (that is, employment that generates the WEALTH you need to tax) is declining, while NON Productive Government employment is growing.

    (for the last few years, it’s the only sector that HAS been growing.)

    We have a government that we can’t afford, it’s so much we can’t afford that INTEREST on it’s over-price payments is one of THE major expenses-IOW it’s paying only the interest on the debt, not the principal.

    Interest only loans are a bad deal-ask anyone that lost their house to such a loan over the last four years, or anyone that lost a home during the S&L meltdown to interest-only loans, or anyone that lost their shirt in 1929 from interest-only loans.

    We have a government that is financing itself on interest-only payments, while expanding the principal of the debt incurred from its continued expansion and growth.

    Repeal DHS, Repeal TSA, Repeal Patriot ACT, repeal “Obamacare”, eliminate the SWAT teams for all the departments that aren’t Justice Department, (why in hell does Dept. of Education have a SWAT team??) and cut back on agencies-if they don’t function, eliminate the agency-there are a host of them.

    End the Drug War Industry and force those people to get real jobs-the War on Drugs costs the taxpayers not just the fees for agents and agencies, but imprisonment, jammed courts, and new, exciting wars on the southern border. It has NOT stopped drug-dealers and Drug-users from doing business, it’s just made multimillionaires from Criminals (who don’t pay tax on that money…)

    There is a LOT of Government we can cut, before you start talking about raising taxes on citizens. LOTS of Government. The BLM mismanages some 70+% of the land west of the Mississippi (just in the CONUS), effectively binding the feet of every state that isn’t on the coast or in the OLD parts of the U.S., we don’t need Grand Staircase Escalante Wilderness area, we need jobs, productivity and a means to feed our families a hell of a lot more than some New York, California, or D.C. jackass needs a vacation spot they’ll visit once, then forget about. Similar offenses abound throughout the west, most imposed by hive-living easterners and Kalifornians who come out for a day or two and leave a trail of garbage behind them while “admiring the beauty of nature” and mistreating the locals whose income is limited by Federal interference to a grinding poverty of Service Economics and seasonal minimum wage.

    BLM can go. EPA can either start actually cleaning shit up, or they can go-Dept. fo Justice is quite capable of prosecuting REAL, honest-to-god-voted-in-congress crimes, and we have a fine court system that can certainly levy fines without violating Habeas Corpus requirements or inventing them in some unelected bureaucrat’s office.

    We have a government we can’t afford-we have AGencies making laws that carry fines and jail-time. AGENCIES, not Congress, whose role is ostensibly to do these things, un-elected members of the Executive, who have no requirement to actually consider the broader impacts of their actions.

    We have a government we can’t afford-we have an ATF that ran guns to Mexican Drug Gangs, guns that have killed American Citizens as a direct result of this action, and the Agency will face ‘maybe’ some embarassing questions from Congress, but no Agency official will go to jail for this violation of the law.

    We have a government we can’t afford-four wars, simultaneously, no interest in winning any of them, no formal declaration of war, and in two of them, the Congress was not consulted before we entered them.

    At All.

    we have a government we can’t afford-more than half the members of congress are millionaires. Several of them weren’t when they went in. Imagine that. John Murtha’s airport? God knows how many of Robert Byrd’s bridges, projects, etc.? Power not only corrupts, it attracts the corrupt.

    The only way left to limit the corruption, is to limit access to power. Money is power, therefore, limiting the money, limits corruption.

  • Cannonshop

    You may notice, Ron, that in that rant, I included a HELL Of a lot more than just “Social spending”.

    The reason should be obvious-nothing in government is as indestructible as entitlements.

    Nothing.

    I also neglected to mention the bipartisan insanity of Bush, then Obama “Stimulating” the economy with Corporate Welfare-this is because I assume we agree that it’s a BAD IDEA, regardless of who proposed it. The most solid proof, of course, being that the projection was gloom-and-doom 8% when we were sold the Obama Stimulus, and the world would end and we’d be in a depression if it reached 8% according to the sales-job…

    And we’re over nine percent, if you only go by numbers that don’t include the people whose benefits RAN OUT (’cause Dept. of Labor doesn’t track them).

    It’s going to take both tax increases, and spending cuts, to balance the budget. Contrarian thinks you can do it just by gutting the Military and jacking taxes through the roof, he doesn’t think people pay enough…fine for him, he’s on Government cheques and moving out of the country anyway, it’s not like it’d hurt him any for those unfortunate enough not to get a big cheque from Uncle Sam each month at their offshore address to pay more, and more.

    But here’s my position:

    Okay, repeal the cuts, raise taxes to 1996 levels, or 1998…fine. AS LONG AS YOU CUT GOVERNMENT by a GREATER ratio. I’d suspect we’d get BETTER service removing some redundant departments, cutting management positions, and increasing the lower-tier (as in: “Interacts with the Public”) levels, something akin to the Japanese “Bureaucracy Reduction Act” which limited management to 1 manager for 50 workers seems about right. cutting back on fine-levying power and requiring new regulations to pass one or both houses of congress before they can be enacted seems reasonable to me as well-if they have to answer (FOR REAL) to someone who in turn has to answer to the public, abuses are likely to be reduced, and would it not be rather refreshing if we got serious oversight by the people we elect on those we do not?

    And could someone PLEASE explain why the Dept of Education needs a SWAT team? Agencies should not have expensive toys that do nothing to further their core mission. Sending SWAT teams to the wrong address over a student loan default strikes me as being somewhat ridiculous, bordering on massively abusive. If they have money to pay stormtroopers, that money needs to be going somewhere else.

    Like to schools or something.

  • http://www.sanctification.wordpress.com Tom Shelton

    We don’t have a revenue problem we have a spending problem. The federal government could fix our problem over a relatively short time period without raising taxes if it would quit spending like it has and both parties are at fault for the spending.

    We cannot tax our way out of this. I just submitted an article (hopefully it will be posted soon) explaining that all taxes are ultimately paid by individuals. The fact is that we have about 50% of our citizens not paying any taxes at all. Our tax system is broken and should be scraped and replaced by a the FAIRTAX. Under the FAIRTAX the tax base would be changed to a consumption instead of income and it would be expanded to include every citizen. That way we can grow out of this situation.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    A combination of tax increases and spending cuts is what the administration is proposing…$3 or $4 in cuts for every $1 in revenue increases.

    The GOP’s brick-wall opposition to tax increases — and even to the abolition of nonsensical tax breaks like the depletion allowance for oil companies — is ridiculous, destructive and anti-democratic [small 'd'], since most Americans are quite open to using taxes to help lower the deficit.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    A couple of other points:

    Short term: deep spending cuts run the risk of slowing or reversing economic recovery. Why risk it?

    Even longer-term cuts will have consequences. People will suffer, not just the ‘faceless bureaucrats’ that Cannonshop ignorantly demonizes over and over.

    And the only way to actually reduce the deficit will involve the Defense budget, Medicare and Medicaid. But cut any of those too fast, and you hurt both innocent individuals and the economy.

    Do any of the rant-and-raver anti-government heavy breathers actually think before typing? Cuts have negative consequences. Acknowledge it.

  • Ronald W Weathersby

    You are offering up a Trojan Horse. It sounds good and looks good but you are still attempting to balance the books on the backs of the middle class.

    You speak like you really care about 9% unemployment yet one-half of your savings will send more people to the unemployment line.

    You are a true right wing ideologue. “Government needs to stay out of our business unless we want government in our business.” You can’t have it both ways.

    Do you realize due to our ability to maintain safe food, water and air, we have cut down the number of people who need medical assistance and their bills would probably wind up being paid for by government?

    But following your logic we have made a public policy blunder by increasing the life expectancy of the poor and middle class and now those damn entitlements obligate us to feed and nurse these people. How stupid can we be?

    Government does not hinder free enterprise. It has been enabling free enterprise from the beginning of our country. However it is time that large businesses, their executive and shareholders begin to share in the sacrifice.

    The freight that is hauled across our highways which enables each of us to buy fresh produce and other goods make it to our local supermarket because we (government) built the Interstate Highway System.

    The Obama stimulus is working fast enough because it was not big enough!

    People from your political persuasion kept the bill from doing what it was intended to do and now you harp on 8% unemployment but you suggest so-called remedies that would effectively increase unemployment.

    If the right were truly interested in increasing employment and doing something about the federal budget/deficit they would sit down at the table at look at real ways to get us out of the mess they created.

    Tax cuts for millionaire and subsidies for corporations making all-time high profits have not and will not turn our sluggish economy around.

    But as I say in the piece, is economic recovery really what the right wants or are they more interested in making the president look bad in order to gain power?

  • Leroy

    The first step is to eliminate the Bush tax cuts: they were only passed as temporary, so rescinding them now is just keeping a promise but renewing them is to renege on that promise. Also, they are no longer efficacious (if they ever were) tax revenues have been falling so any idea that Laffer would apply is dead.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    They were made temporary so that the GOP could pass them using reconciliation rules [51 votes in the senate]. The ‘promise’ was that a Republican president would make them permanent later. The GOP never had any intention of actually letting them lapse.

  • Cannonshop

    #9 Short term negative consequences (like an amputation) or long term chronic negative consequences, (more akin to the cancer).

    Yes, it’s either immediate pain from disrupting the entrenched in our government, or it’s the continuing expansions of things we can’t afford anymore devouring what’s left of our liberties and economic health.

    I’ll take the hit, just as I favoured letting the bad banks fail and letting Wall Streeters EAT the costs of their bad bets instead of bailing them out (which both Bush, and Obama have done-to the detriment of everyone save those big donors).

    We can NOT afford to Socialize the Risks anymore, and we can’t afford a government that is so large that it doesn’t know what it is doing.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Yes, you’ll take the hit, fine. But you’re insisting that others take the hit with you. That’s not entirely your decision. And maybe some ‘triage’ is in order to make sure the most vulnerable aren’t hurt the worst.

    Your ‘reasoning’ is almost entirely ideologically based. No one, certainly not you, knows what would happen if such radical change were instituted quickly. It could be utter disaster, yet you’re willing to risk it, at least hypothetically when posting hot air on an internet board.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    No government is so large that it “cannot know what it is doing”.

    As soon as your head stops exploding, consider something that Sun Tzu said a long, long time ago – that it doesn’t matter how large an organization is, as long as each leader only supervises a limited number of people in his purview. Sun Tzu said that four subordinates should be the limit. Thus, the leader supervises four, they supervise sixteen, then sixty-four, and so on.

    And because of this, the function of an organization is NOT a matter of size – just look at China’s government today, and what they’re able to accomplish. In 1980, Shanghai had zero skyscrapers and now it has twice as many as New York City.

    That, and how can you say we can’t afford our government when for the years 2009 and 2010 we have had a lower overall tax burden now than at any time in the past fifty years? Think about that, Cannonshop – taxes are lower now than under ANY Republican president since Herbert Hoover, including Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes.

    With that in mind, how can you possibly say we can’t afford our government if we’re not paying the taxes that our government needs in order to function?

    Best of all, Cannonshop, check out this chart where you can see that federal tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is FAR lower than what Fox News and the Tea Partiers would have you believe.

    Cannonshop, whether you like it or not, America NEEDS a functioning government – and if we don’t pay the taxes that our government needs to function, then our government WILL fail…and every one of us are going to pay the price. I suggest that you change your paradigm, that you begin to understand that the goal shouldn’t be government on the cheap, but good and moral governance.

    You get what you pay for. If taxpayers only pay enough for a crappy government, then a crappy government is exactly what we’ll have.

    You need to get away from the word “can’t” – because “can’t” never could.

  • zingzing

    CHART: States That Cut The Most Spending Have Lost The Most Jobs

    “steep spending cuts are hampering economic recovery in some states, while other states that resisted cuts or increased spending are now seeing declining unemployment rates, faster private-sector job creation, and stronger economic growth.”

  • Clavos

    Best of all, Cannonshop, check out this chart where you can see that federal tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is FAR lower than what Fox News and the Tea Partiers would have you believe.

    Perhaps; I really don’t know what FOX and the TEA party say, I don’t pay attention to either.

    But what I did notice in the chart is that the expenses to GDP ratio under Obie is the highest ever recorded for the entire period covered by the chart (FY 1981 — 2012).

  • Clavos

    a crappy government is exactly what we’ll have.

    Ahem. We already do.

  • Clavos

    We can start resolving this contrived crisis by truly seeking shared sacrifice by eliminating unnecessary corporate subsidies, ill-advised tax cuts for the wealthy and stop giving corporations incentives to outsource American jobs.

    How about we cut the enormous pensions for life granted to elected officials (including all the presidents, past and future, and especially all the members of Congress past and future), which they get after as few as five years of service, but in no case more than 25 years?

    And while we’re at it, take away their perks, too.

  • zingzing

    nobody wants to look at the chart in #16? how incredibly surprising.

  • Leroy

    We´d be OK if Bush hadn´t created that big tax giveaway program for multimillionaires (like himself). Biggest wealth Redistribution in history: from Americans citizens to the wealthy.

    What is and what might have been

    The Bush Tax Cuts Are the Disaster that Keeps on Giving

    Debt Would Be at Sustainable Levels Without Them

    By Michael Linden, Michael Ettlinger | June 7, 2011

    Ten years ago today, the first round of Bush tax cuts became law. But what if they hadn’t? What would our fiscal situation look like if history had been different in just one respect: if we’d never implemented President George W. Bush’s eponymous tax policies? The short answer is that the debate over federal debt levels would be entirely different. In that alternate world, total debt as a share of GDP would be under 50 percent this year?”instead of pushing 70 percent?”and it would be expected to stay under 60 percent for the rest of the decade. (see chart) That’s well below the levels causing such great consternation in Washington.

    Bear in mind that President Bush inherited perhaps the strongest federal balance sheet in postwar history. There were record-high surpluses, debt was at around 30 percent of GDP and falling, and the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would be debt free by 2009. The country was in great fiscal shape to deal with any crises or emergencies coming down the road, and it was even ready to deal with the coming retirement of the baby boom generation.

    But rather than follow President Bill Clinton’s successful lead, President Bush handed out gigantic tax cuts, with people at the top of the income ladder getting the biggest breaks. Those “supply-side” tax cuts were a complete failure as economic policy, and now, instead of being debt free and well prepared to care for an aging population, our debt-to-GDP ratio is almost 70 percent. If those tax cuts are extended?”instead of being allowed to expire on schedule at the end of 2012?”it will approach 100 percent by 2021.

    Similarly, in a future without the Bush tax cuts, the national debt would be under control. In the Congressional Budget Office’s official baseline, the debt-to-GDP ratio rises by only 3 percentage points from 2012 to 2021 despite the retirement of the baby boomers. In large part, that’s because the CBO baseline assumes the full expiration of the tax cuts. …

    There’s no undoing the fiscal damage from the Bush tax cuts. But we can learn from the mistakes of the past and try not to repeat them. Ten years after the first round of Bush tax cuts were signed into law, we know with certainty that they were a huge mistake. Without them, the country would have been in much stronger shape to weather all the fiscal storms of the past 10 years and much better prepared for those of the next 10.

    And now some fools want to elect another dummy like Bush in 2012, some know-nothing like Palin or Bachman. That should just about finish the USA completely.

  • Cannonshop

    #16 & #20: Correlation does not equal causation, Zing. I did see North Carolina in there, and that’s a state that’s been in a hole for a LONG time before the current crisis. (likewise Alabma, Kansas, montana, wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, Utah…)

    in a lot of those states, “Governement” IS the major employer (Michigan, Nevada,) or there are local externalities (California) that have crippled the economy for the last decade.

    Cute little charts are good for scoring visual points, but in isolation they’re not good data-points to work from. Lots of the states that lost a lot from cutting government spending did so, because there wasn’t much actual private industry to begin with (often because of regulatory or statutory rules that have eliminated or curtailed the local industries in favour of creating places for Kalifornian Elites and D.C. Elites to vacation, such as Wyoming.)

    if anything, the chart demonstrates what I’ve been trying to TELL YOU…

    When you gut the local economy and force it into a service economy, then hit the country with a recession, the service-industry-seasonal-minimum-wage jobs go away, which anyone who’s ever had to survive in those places could have told you.

  • zingzing

    “Correlation does not equal causation…”

    I KNEW IT! that’s exactly what i thought you’d (general) say. and to a large extent, i agree.

    so if spending money does not equal less unemployment (as you say, but which goes against what the chart would suggest), why do you (general) think cutting spending would automatically lead to less unemployment?

    conservatives like to say “if we cut spending and taxes, the world will right itself,” but that’s just a simplistic answer to a complex problem. since the opposite appears to be true in most cases (if you believe the data in the chart, which, even if it isn’t the whole story, is a telling bit of info), why do so many republicans keep floating this simplistic reasoning?

  • zingzing

    …because that “Correlation does not equal causation” bit cuts both ways.

  • Clavos

    tax giveaway program for multimillionaires (like himself). Biggest wealth Redistribution in history: from Americans citizens to the wealthy.

    …And all of Congress and the Senate…

  • Cannonshop

    #23 Zing, I’m willing to suggest that cutting spending might not lead to immediate improvements of the employment picture, however…

    cutting some regulatory schemes, while enforcing anti-trust in a serious manner, reducing red tape, and forcing the government to live within its means can’t HURT the long-term economy any more than the current runaway combination of overregulation,waste, corrruption, and fraud that we’re already trapped under.

    Mind that nobody’s EVER succeeded in making Uncle Sam take off tonnage, so it’s all hypothetical since it’s never, ever, been done before (successfully, that is).

    Also taking the boot off the neck of the rocky-mountain and midwestern states’ necks might help the unemployment picture more than dumping money into temporary projects has (Something ELSE that hasn’t ever been done.)

    There are a hell of a lot of areas that the FEd is involved in, in which that involvement has only increased costs, made criminals rich, or degraded the concept of ‘working middle class’ while making us less safe and more dependent.

    Like I said, I don’t mind the idea of ending the Bush-era tax cuts and exemptions, IF the government’s size is cut by a similar amount with a focus on reducing administrative and managerial costs ahead of end-user application. (i.e. I don’t want food inspection cut at FDA, but we don’t really need the amount of management there that we have, we don’t need Dept. of Education to have a SWAT team, which they just made headlines with in a botched collection, etc.)

    Increasing availability of opportunity will reduce unemployment. What we’re doing right now, it ain’t working.

  • zingzing

    well, to be fair, cannonshop, the immediate effect of cutting gov’t spending will be job losses. that goes without saying. as you say, however, “nobody’s EVER succeeded in making Uncle Sam take off tonnage.” trying to get a bureaucracy to streamline itself is an odd request to a bureaucracy. it’s just not what it does.

  • Cannonshop

    Oh, and Zing? here’s one that ought to tickle even the fancies of a Progressive…

    Eliminate the exemption to Antitrust Law that Insurers have had since the 1950s, then make Health Insurance 100% tax-deductible on the consumer end. This would exploit both competition, and greed, and probably increase revenues to the Government while reducing the load on Government programmes like Medicare, Medicaid, and Workman’s Comp, since it would create an actual incentive for small-medium employers to provide good health coverage to their employees.

    Something to consider, what with the Individual Mandate facing court challenges in several states and likely to face a Supreme Court that won’t go along with the President’s programme.

    There used to be four builders of large aircraft in the United STates, (Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, and Boeing), these companies built airliners. We have ONE now, the others went to the government trough on defense contracts and abandoned the market. Three of them are now one company. There used to be easily a dozen automakers, we have three left, Michigan used to be a great industrial centre, it’s a wasteland now. You can’t blame foreign competitors for everything.

    We used to mine our own materials, and process our own steel, from which we made things that hte rest of the world wanted to buy. Mining is one of the industries that the Government’s practically crushed out of business, Steel was eaten by their own unions, don’t even think about what Michigan did to THEIR industries-all the infrastructure there, but nobody in their right mind would invest in it now.

    Government employment is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. The problem is a regulatory and political environment that discourages manufacturing and wealth-generating REAL industries at home (in the U.S.), and government projects NEED wealth TO tax to pay for themselves. You can’t live on the proceeds of your grandparents’ success forever. (well, if your last name is Kennedy, Carnegie, Roosevelt or some other old-money billionaire’s club member you might be able to… but your kids or descendents can’t).

    If you have more in debt, than you make, you’re not wealthy, you’re broke-regardless of how much you make. We’re coming up on that fast, we need to do something to make sure that doesn’t happen, or we WILL end up violating the 14th Amendment to the Constitution-because we’ll be unable to pay regardless of how willing we might otherwise be.

  • zingzing

    “programme”

    …are we a sleeper agent for the british?

  • Cannonshop

    #29 No, a Brit agent would use American Idiom to fit in better-or so I understand. I just…prefer using canadian/english spellings for some words. dunno why.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Cannon’s right. I long ago stopped using the British words for things when talking with Americans, because I got fed up with explaining what trousers and bollocks were, that football is a game which involves propelling a ball with the foot, and that wanker is not a mild term of endearment.

  • zingzing

    “I just…prefer using canadian/english spellings for some words. dunno why.”

    sleeper… agent…

    the drugs are wearing off.

  • Cannonshop

    #32 does that mean I’m going to start schilling for gun-control next? or insisting that Muslim neighbourhoods have the right to exclude jews, or calling for police to arrest people who defend their homes from home-invasion-burglars, or any of the rest of what’s devolved in Britain?

    No. Not a sleeper agent.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    or insisting that Muslim neighbourhoods have the right to exclude jews

    This is off-topic, but that’s precisely what Ron Paul says, that owners of a property or a business have the right to exclude or not serve whom they will, for any reason whatsoever:

    Ron, like his son, said that his statement about [why he would not have voted for] the Civil Rights Act has nothing to do with the law’s intentions — i.e. ending institutionalized discrimination in a wide swath of American life, including in the public accommodations where African Americans were denied service at the height of the Jim Crow era. Paul said he would vote against the law because it imposed unfair rules on what private business owners can and can’t do on their own property. Essentially, they should be free to discriminate if they wish, Paul says, however distasteful that may be.

  • zingzing

    “No. Not a sleeper agent.”

    do you know what a sleeper agent is? your mask is slipping…

  • Cannonshop

    #35 it’d be amusing to be that cool, Zing. Seriously, it would. Unfortunately, I’m just…not. btw, if you’re going to hound me about that Patriot Act thingy, I think I need a link to the particular thread, as I don’t remember which one, or how long ago.

  • zingzing