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
Friday, February 21. 2014
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
There is a very good chance that the gravy train will end. Our borrowing and spending is coming home to roost. By some measures we are in another great depression being hidden by massive borrowing and printing of money. The good news is we will all get the chance to become "the greatest generation" again. I assume some will succeed and some will fail the coming test.
There may come a time when the gravy train will get derailed. Not being a brilliant economist I cannot say if or when that may be. I'm none too certain anyone can, expert or otherwise. People have been preaching doom and gloom about the endless spending for many years. And yet it persists. If it does crash and burn, there will be pain. America might then resemble Venezuela or Ukraine. Not being a fan of bunkers, my intent is to point out the near impossibility of extracting oneself from the gravy train. As I have commented before in various forms, each individual American is locked into the welfare state. Obamacare is just a recent extension of a nearly universal condition of government dependency we have lived under for many decades. And growing more dependant every day. So, while it may be nice to complain about the gravy train, what can anyone do about it? What is the common refrain from every elected official at least five hundred times a day? They all demand more federal money for this, that and the other. Americans of every description and demographic screams for more money constantly. Who will stand up against that? Who, for that matter, can even function without the gravy train? On the other hand, if we just throw the teachers to the wolves and cancel their pension plans, we could probably keep spending for awhile. Well, the teachers first and then...
Maybe the gravy train will always derail and you never know when - but maybe sometimes you can tell when the train's running faster.
Like when our lords and masters have lost sight of what's financially prudent.
Lots of the initial Tea Party people weren't necessarily small-gov't conservatives so much as those who had dutifully paid their taxes over the years and expected at least a partial return on that via various government sources, and thought that the government's TARP bailout, and then Obama's stimulus (and general increase in spending) threatened the security of what they had "invested", as it were. So they weren't necessarily against government money as they were against profligate, wasteful, and destructive government spending.
I agree with your point that the "Tea Party" was never really about reduced federal spending. They are just as invested in the idea of governmental dependence as any other demographic. To the full extent of how much they expect to get from it. And that is a very extensive extent. What they oppose is spending on anything else. Spending "their" tax dollars on things they won't benefit from is wasteful, profligate and destructive. It's doesn't take a genius to figure out the motivations of the folks who identify with the Tea Party movement. They are the primary motivations of everyone. Pure self interest. Give me what's mine and screw everyone else. Wrapping it up in the flag and claiming they only want to save the nation is just propaganda. So, I ask again, who will stand against the runaway spending train? It's isn't going to be the Tea Party.
Mr. Taqiyya - please actually attend a Tea Party meeting in your area. We don't want spending on "our stuff". We don't want spending at all. People who want social security are willing to take their contributions over the years and relieve the government of their care in return. Tea Party wants the Feds to stop collecting tax money at the federal level, skimming it and then sending to the states tied with federal strings. If a state wants to spend money on those things, let the state tax its citizens and deal with their reactions. Tea Party people don't necessarily agree on everything, but free markets, constitutionally limited government and fiscal responsibility. Right now we are having debates about whether to support repealing Obamacare or insistiing on the exact and complete implementation RIGHT NOW.
Slightly off topic, but thanks for joining in. I say off topic, unless you are making the claim that the tea party is standing up to the runaway spending train? If that is what you claim, I see no evidence for it. Please provide any evidence you may have that the tea party is willing to confront the runaway spending train. Other than more propaganda please. Further, your rendition of personal preferences does not reflect the platform of the tea party. Maybe your own small group shares your preferences but the tea party platform is that they are Taxed Enough Already. In other words, they do not wish to be taxed any more than they are. Nowhere have I observed any tea party rally in support of zero federal spending or zero federal taxes. Nor can you point to a nationally recognized tea party leader who has made such demands. The anarchists speak in terms of zero taxes and zero government. Might you be attending the meetings of another group? "We don't want spending at all". This is what you wrote.
Unbeknownst to you, I am surrounded by people who claim to identify with the tea party and/or go to the meetings. Most of my family , extended family, friends and associates for starters. When I ask them what they are willing to do to stop the runaway federal spending, they have nothing to offer. Well, they want their taxes reduced a bit. Maybe ease back a bit on defense spending, maybe. But not the veteran's benefits. Most of them resent the welfare queens and food stamp recipients and most of them won't say so out loud. Most are not thrilled with the bank bailouts. But, not one of them is willing to stop paying taxes. None of them would touch 95% of the federal budget. None of them would surrender any of their own federally funded benefits. So, where does that leave us? It leaves us with the conclusion that the members of the tea party want their goodies and are willing to pay enough tax dollars to keep them. But they don't want to pay for some of the goodies other people get. It's just simple logic.
It may be that you don't quite grasp the extent of the gravy train. Or maybe you have so much money, it just doesn't matter? The federal spending train subsidizes nearly everything in this country. And I mean everything. Would you really put all those people out of work - at one stroke?
If so, the anarchists would love to have you join their group.
"America is at that awkward stage where it's too late to work within the system ... but too early to shoot the bastards."
I can't speak for the whole Tea Party, but I can speak for why I support it. I think it is the last dying sound of a alarm going off before we descend into a full blown, no holds barred armed revolt against governmental authority. Because that governmental authority has dissociated from what it means to be American in order to pursue its own grandiose and selfish goals of power, influence, and conquest.
The extent of the gravy train is entrenched in today's society irrelevant, when the issue is that the source of all that gravy is dead, dying, or about to go Galt. Because soon we won't have today's society.
WELL Taquiya, it may just mean that you clearly never worked at any 'HUMAN SERVICES, WELFARE, FOODSTAMP' OFFICES EITHER, or you'd know better. Plus, I dont think you seem to know any of the really intelligent members of the Tea Parties, because all of the ones that I've known, would sure as heck get rid of 70% of the 'gravy train',,, & may I add, by the time we reach the beginning of the year 2016, we'll be well on the way to losing some 70% of all American Jobs because the lunatic in the White House & his cohorts, have already cost us a few million just because of the ACA, better known as OBAMACARE.
I resent the way the term "entitlements" is used. Social Security - you worked and paid in for others now you are entitled to collect, Medicare again you worked and paid in for others, now you are entitled to collect. Pensions - you worked, contributed and now you are entitled to get paid.
Medicaid - a gift from those who work to those who did/do not. Snap - a gift from those who work to those who do not. Welfare - a gift from those who work to those who did not.
Let me qualify, I know some low wage earners do get SNAP, Medicade etc., and this screed is not directed toward them. I also know that some SSI reciepients will receive more than they paid in. I also acknowledge the duty to provide for the disabled and elderly, but not the able bodied. Do not let the exceptions overrule the premise. You are truly "entitled" if you produced , but you are taking if you do not.
Government fiat tells the producers that the takers are entitled to their fruits. Folks, all political correctness aside, forced giving is the same as slavery. Taking the fruits of one's labor by force and giving it to another steals from the working producer. Let's call it what it is. And the liberals go wah wah wah.
I wonder if Takky is simply being rude or genuinely does not comprehend the world of politics?
"caim that the tea party is standing up to the runaway spending train? If that is what you claim, I see no evidence for it"
We're talking about a movement that is still under half a decade old and has already had an impact on both the media and the body politic. If you wish to not see that, well, I can't help you.
As to "evidence" - you are aware that the "other side" still rules - thus the continued Federal spending, and more important, the continued growth in future Federal obligations? The Tea Party wishes to rein this in.
"Anarchists", eh? So you have some sort of belief that "less size in government expenditures" = "anarchy"? And you wish to be taken seriously? That's no better than the juvenile "libertarian = Somalia" memes...
I for one am grateful for the Tea Party folks. Your neighbor down the street who has the courage to try to stop the leak in the dike before it's too late. Are they all well educated economists? Of course not. Are they all raging racists? Of course not. If the leaders of both parties would not have exercised the full force of physical threat against a guy named Ross Poirot (Sp?)and his family back in the late 1980's then perhaps we would have had a different history of the last 30 years and this very broad band of the American spectrum (tea party members) may have had a voice. Would it be too simplistic to simply say that many of these people are passionate about some social issues that they are no longer allowed to speak out against, i.e., paying "experts" to come in to grade schools to teach homosexuality? I believe it is the federal government's willingness to fund so many attacks on our constitution, our liberties, and our way of life, the little drip, drip, drip of erosion of our nation--this is what they are truly rebelling against. Who can blame them? Tea party members have at least found a small way to fight back!