We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, January 16. 2013
Top ten trends to watch in ﬁnance for 2013: No. 1 is the ‘revenge of John Bogle’ and the ‘ETFication’ of investing
Want to Preserve Your Children’s Future? Slow the Growth of Welfare Spending
Santelli Rips the Keynesians: “The Answer Is Always More Money”
Byron York: Once a critic of deficits, Obama now goes for broke
Facts have been slim in the President’s rhetoric on the debt ceiling
There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?
Colin Powell's Double Standard
Profiting on Disaster: NJ Senate Votes To Exclude Non-Union Construction Workers For Hurricane Sandy Work
French Tax Hell - The country’s taxes are stifling enough without President Hollande’s confiscatory proposals.
France taxes your assets, income, and has a VAT
UN’s $5.7B anti-poverty agency doesn’t do much to reduce poverty, according to its own assessment
The "Victimology" Subterfuge in Islam
Selection of Israel-Bashing CSU Prof a 'Clerical Error'?
Al-Dura and the tragic legacy of lethal journalism
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Colin Powell is an AFRICAN-american, affirmative action baby. He advanced in the military, not because of his leadership ability or his skills as a soldier, but because he was the least objectionable black guy in an era when the military was forced to reward diversity over merit. In his mind, he owes more allegiance to blacks than to Americans, making him and African first, and an American only as an afterthought.
University officials in states that voter for Obama more than likely supported ObamaCare and voted for Obama in 2012. It's ironic that they are now cutting people's employment because they recognize that ObamaCare is unaffordable for businesses. Yet this bunch of hypocrites will likely vote for Obama II in 2016.
Two interesting articles on US universities.
First, we see where unbridled feminism ultimately leads women: the brothel.
I enjoyed this quote “Clearly, we need more financial aid if those are the lengths people are going to pay for school,” sniffed Ashley Thaxton, 20, an NYU theater major.
Ashley wants a sugar daddy too, but w/ no strings attached.
Finally, the cutbacks for adjunct faculty. You can't escape reality, no matter how many research articles Keynesian economics you read/write.
Gwen Bradley, a senior program officer for the American Association of University Professors, said the AAUP’s National Committee on contingent faculty was “deeply concerned” by the emerging trend.
Don't say you weren't warned, Gwen. Academia is like any other Ponzi scheme...eventually the con is exposed. Putting two Ponzi schemes together just means it happens that much sooner.
John Hinderacker: Or how about if it is cut in half–not the growth, but the spending? Now we are talking real spending cuts, of the sort that the American people are thirsting for. Let’s bring it on!.
Just curious. What would you do about the healthcare needs of the indigent elderly, such as those in nursing homes?
Just curious. What is the percentage of wellfare spending that is comprised of healthcare needs for the indigent elderly such as those in nursing homes?
Medicaid spending was about $408 billion in 2011, or about 44% of total means-tested government spending. A third of Medicaid spending was for long term care.
So you think 100% of Medicaid goes to "the healthcare needs of the indigent elderly, such as those in nursing homes"? I don't think so. Not even close.
Didn't say that. Maybe this will help. This is Medicaid spending in 2007:
Blind and disabled, 43%
Adults in families with children, 12%
Hospital or nursing home, 36.8%
Other services, 63.2%
A lot of people in nursing facilities are not elderly, but severely handicapped.
Sorry, I missed where you said a third was for long term care.
For the record, if we are to have welfare, I only support it for those who are truly indigent. I would prefer not to have any welfare and have families and charities take care of the truly infirm like they used to. But then all those things that "wouldn't hurt the family unit" did just that and here we are.
Ok lets not cut any spending then because of the indigent elderly!! Or indigent children, or single mothers, or. . . .
It's a problem of this debate. People who don't want to cut spending (not saying that's you) can just whack you with some moral blackmail. Because everybody getting welfare is entitled to your money - now - or you're immoral - mean - greedy!
Future generations can't speak up for themselves. The burden on them - generally diminished prospects, in the entirety of their lives - what kind of moral, foreward-thinking society binds them down that way? How are you going to make that up to them? Give 'em free college educations?
T.K. Tortch: Future generations can't speak up for themselves. The burden on them - generally diminished prospects, in the entirety of their lives - what kind of moral, foreward-thinking society binds them down that way?
We agree that deficits are a danger over the long run. The U.S. should have stuck with the plan of paying down the publicly held debt.
T.K. Tortch: It's a problem of this debate. People who don't want to cut spending (not saying that's you) can just whack you with some moral blackmail. Because everybody getting welfare is entitled to your money - now - or you're immoral - mean - greedy!
Just say what you think should happen.
No. The moral burden is on those who either support either increased spending or what's already in place.
Prove we need the spending. Every cent of it.*
Prove there's not a better way - in every instance - to get the desired result** without increased spending, or better yet, any government action.
Prove that the agencies spending our money will operate with maximum efficiency, low administrative cost, minimum necessary staff - and will stay that way.
Prove that every program is structured so that if, say in ten year's time, it either isn't working or has only a negligible positive impact, it will be shut down and its resources directed elsewhere.
Prove that effective administrative mechanisms will be in place to prevent tendency of all bureaucracies to serve their own ends rather than the ends for which they were created.
Finally, promise that you yourself are willing to spend a substantial part of your personal time every year ensuring that we get "good government" - making sure that the administrative welfare state you've supported hasn't gone off the rails.
If that all sounds like a pain in the rear, tough. People want bigger government and more spending, they should take responsibility for having their political way - that is the moral thing to do when you use state power to extract wealth from other citizens.
*Same goes for fans of Ag subsidies & the myriad forms of corporate welfare. . . .
**Prove that the result is actually desirable, and that you've truly wracked your brains thinking about unforeseen negative consequences.
T.K. Tortch: No. The moral burden is on those who either support either increased spending or what's already in place.
The Constitution and the law is such that it requires an act of Congress to change the spending pattern. If you do nothing, then spending will continue. In any case, we presume you would eliminate Medicaid and other such spending without regard to the consequences.
Perfectly willing to continue Medicaid spending. Don't you think what I asked for can be provided, first? I think it could even be done - or something within barking distance. Why on earth would anyone tolerate anything less?
In any case, I guess you think what I asked for is impossible to provide, and you would continue spending as it is - without regard to the consequences.
T.K. Tortch: Don't you think what I asked for can be provided, first? I think it could even be done - or something within barking distance. Why on earth would anyone tolerate anything less?
You didn't ask for barking distance, but "Prove we need the spending. Every cent of it. Prove there's not a better way - in every instance". There is accounting of Medicaid. A lot of money is wasted. That's situation normal, even in business.
Did you have particular suggestions on what to cut?
Hey, barking distance - I was trying to accommodate a little bureaucratic sag in standards because you're right, "that's situation normal, even in business".
But that problem gets even worse in government. The government isn't a business. In government politics and not profit (or even breaking even) becomes the bottom line. In politics the ultimate value of a program like Medicare isn't measured by whether it succeeds in its goals, or whether it does so in a rational or efficient manner. It becomes an institutionalized vector for political power. Whether it's run well or not is beside the point.
The phenomena is predictable as sunrise. That's why I want what I asked for above.
I doubt you believe that Medicare is run as well as even a badly run business. Suggest what to cut? What's the point in suggesting when your status quo posture is to accept that "a lot of money is wasted". Well, how much? Aren't you interested in finding out before we re-authorize spending or add more?
The arrow points - or ought to point - the other way: you justify what shouldn't be cut and if you can't, it goes.
T.K. Tortch: But that problem gets even worse in government.
Absolutely. Hmm. Hey! That's common ground.
T.K. Tortch: In government politics and not profit (or even breaking even) becomes the bottom line.
At the top. In the bureaucracy, there is lethargy and ambition.
T.K. Tortch: In politics the ultimate value of a program like Medicare isn't measured by whether it succeeds in its goals, or whether it does so in a rational or efficient manner. It becomes an institutionalized vector for political power. Whether it's run well or not is beside the point.
Ultimately, in a democratic society, people can reform or end the program.
T.K. Tortch: What's the point in suggesting when your status quo posture is to accept that "a lot of money is wasted". Well, how much? Aren't you interested in finding out before we re-authorize spending or add more?
A rule of thumb is that half is wasted. But which half?!
There's no easy solution. It's the essential problem of trying to provide a safety net without overly undermining incentives. That's why we object when people say, as in the original article, just cut half the program. But which half?!
Aw, you shouldn't be held hostage by that kind of dilemma. Just cut the top half. Or what's closest to what the administrators squeal loudest about. That's probably where the waste is.
Amy Payne: Morning Bell: “Default” Is a Red Herring in Debt Ceiling Debate
If you stiff the plumber, even if you pay the banker, you're still not meeting your financial obligations.
They are not financial obligations. Treasury debt is backed by the full faith of the United States Government and a constitutional obligation per the 14th Amendment. Executory contracts are governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, as is the contract with the plumber. Appropriated funds have no legal obligations.
The law says the U.S. must cut checks for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans, courts, people who inspect nuclear weapons, etc. It requires a change in the law to stop those checks.
Furthermore, as those checks continue to be written, one day the coffers will be empty when someone presents a security for redemption.
Who says it's Medicare that will be cut? Yes, maybe. But howzabout Education? Agriculture? NLRB? EPA? PBS? Any of hundreds of minor regulatory agencies? Hmmmmm?
I give BL a prize (well, the prize just this comment, really), as having in the recent past summed up a certain someone with one perfect word.
Our over spending and inability to fund the federal government on revenues without the need to borrow and print money is destroying us. Our taxes; federal, state and local including the many and various fees, fines and penalties is excessive and increasing this to increase revenues will simply accellerate our destruction. The only rational answer is an immediate and serious reduction in spending (50% at least) by all levels of government and a return to personal responsibility and a reasonable level of self sufficiency. The government is not your father or your husband. If you cannot make it without politicians taking money from the working people by force and giving it to you then perhaps you shouldn't make it.