Failure of Leadership

By: Mormon Heretic
December 31, 2012

We are down to crunch time.  I can’t believe that our Congress is so dysfunctional.  There’s plenty of blame to go around.  Where should I start?

Let’s start with everyone in the photograph!  D&C 38:27

“I say unto you, be aone; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.”

Obviously, they’re not handling this in the way Jesus would have it done.  Partisanship rancor is ridiculous.  But we, the American people, sent these shysters to office.  Apparently we like disunity and dysfunction.  It’s our fault.

“I pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist”

Who is Grover Norquist, and why does he influence inordinate power over so many congressmen?  Why are so many Congressmen voting to raise taxes for everyone (by going over the fiscal cliff), rather than trying to help the majority of the American people?  Some idiot congressmen voted against John Boehner’s “Plan B” because they wanted to claim that they “never” voted to raise taxes.  But by allowing us to go over the fiscal cliff, they have ACTUALLY voted for the largest tax increase in American History. Are they really so stupid to be the party that voted for the largest tax increase in American history?  Why do some congressmen care about “Gomer” Norquist more than the American people they supposedly represent?

“John Boehner and the Republicans”

There are plenty of Democrats that would vote for a deal, but John Boehner won’t allow anything on the House floor unless it is supported by the majority of the Republicans.  He doesn’t want to rely on any Democrats for votes.  Because he can’t even get his own party to pass anything, he is asking the Senate to send a budget to the House instead of following the Constitutional provision that all budget originate in the House.  Why do we have an ideologue instead of a statesman?

“Barack Obama and the Democrats”

Obama has said he is willing to consider substantive cuts in his budgets, but has yet to include cuts in his budget proposals.

“Who is supposed to offer cuts first?”

Well, nobody wants to be blamed for cutting valued programs:  Defense, Social Security, etc.  It’s like a bunch of brats on a playground arguing over who should throw the first punch, so that guy gets blamed for “starting the fight.”  Where are the statesmen in this crisis?

The Washington Post said that former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman would be the ideal candidate to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House.  It ain’t gonna happen, but we can dream, right?

Will there be a deal to avert the fiscal cliff?

  • No (58%, 25 Votes)
  • Yes (42%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 43

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Would it be better to go over the fiscal cliff?

  • Yes (36%, 16 Votes)
  • No (32%, 14 Votes)
  • I don't know (32%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 44

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Who do you blame most for this manufactured crisis?

  • Republicans (21%, 10 Votes)
  • Congress (19%, 9 Votes)
  • The Tea Party (17%, 8 Votes)
  • Barack Obama (17%, 8 Votes)
  • The American people for voting for dysfunction (13%, 6 Votes)
  • Grover Norquist (6%, 3 Votes)
  • John Boehner (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Democrats (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Nancy Pelosi (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Harry Reid (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Others (I'll specify below) (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

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Do you think Jon Huntsman would be an effective Speaker of the House?

  • Yes (43%, 20 Votes)
  • No (34%, 16 Votes)
  • I don't know (23%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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And finally, it looks like we have a deal to avert the “dairy cliff” (so milk prices don’t shoot to $7/gallon).  And for those who enjoy drama, it looks like we will have our country’s credit downgraded again as Congress fights over the Debt Ceiling again by the end of the year.  Why can’t we get a Congress that works together?

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37 Responses to Failure of Leadership

  1. Douglas on December 31, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    The term in the Nineties was “gridlock”. Hey, many thought it a good thing. I suppose that it’s better than effective one-party rule, regardless of which party’s ruling.

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  2. GBSmith on December 31, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Their goal is not to govern but to get re elected. As long as their constituency wants gridlock based on quasi moral imperatives, that’s what we’ll get.

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  3. Hawkgrrrl on January 1, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    When moderates are in charge, the deals get made. You can’t find middle ground with extremists in either party, although they can work with the moderates in their own party.

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  4. Henry on January 1, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Stop spending us into oblivion. What is the use of a debt ceiling if it keeps getting raised?

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  5. MH on January 1, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Henry, that is a really stupid slogan. Are you in favor of getting rid of police and fire protection in your neighborhood? Shall we quit funding the army, navy, air force, marines? Shall we cut the FBI, Homeland Security? Should we cut milk subsidies so it is market prices now at $8/gallon. Shall we kill farm subsidies that contribute to obesity?

    All of the above are spending us into oblivion. Cut the slogans and give me some solutions.

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  6. MH on January 1, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    As I look at the Senate deal, they are simply asking to fight the fight again in 2 months. Why do we have so many drama queens in Congress? This is not a solution.

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  7. Jeff Spector on January 1, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    What is sad is that this is the mess we vote for. It appears only ideologies with extreme positions get elected or re-elected.

    Anytime you hear a politician invoke the “American people” substitute it for the word “I” or “me.” When you hear “for the good of the country,” put “for my good” in there. And when you hear, “move the country forward,” it means get re-elected.

    Unfortunately, we have one of the most corrupted governments on the face of the earth, we are just too fat, dumb and happy to realize it.

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  8. alice on January 1, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    If you voted “yes” for the last issue: Is Gov. Huntsman the answer to gridlock/insanity in the House I’d love to hear what you think he, specifically, could accomplish.

    He wasn’t taken seriously by the GOP as a presidential candidate. He hasn’t served in Congress — which I understand doesn’t disqualify him but it doesn’t add to credibility or effectiveness either. And I’m not sure any personality is the antidote to stubborn arrogance and disregard for the American public.

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  9. mh on January 1, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Huntsman was a great governor. If you read the Washington post article, it said he would govern from the center, rather than the extremes. There would be much less influence from either the far right or far left. He would be a much better consensus builder than John boehner who only tries to rely on republicans for votes and disenfranchises democrats. Huntsman has already shown a willingness to work with Obama as seen from being ambassador to China. (of course, that is a weakness for partisan tea party wackos.) But there are far more people in the center than far left or far right.

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  10. alice on January 1, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    I understand all that, MH, but I still think it remains a hope that’s not borne out by the partisan intransigence. I have my own opinion about which partisan intransigence is most toxic but I don’t see it being resolved by Huntsman more than by Boehner or Cantor.

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  11. Henry on January 1, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    MH:
    Do you think saying the word stupid is constructive?

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  12. MH on January 1, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    In the case of your comment #4, yes.

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  13. Henry on January 1, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Well, since there is no comment policy, I happen to think you are a self serving idiot.

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  14. MH on January 1, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    I love your specifics Henry. Since you never base anything in facts, I guess you ought to work on that so your opinions actually carry some weight.

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  15. will on January 2, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Unfortunately this isn’t some manufactured crisis like global warming. It is real. It can be calculated. The debt clock is running about as fast as it can. We are BORROWING more money each year than the TOTAL budget of any country in the world, with the sole exception of Japan. Yes, we borrow more money than the total budget of China with 1.2 Billion people. Or, more than the industrial giant of Germany, or more than Brazil and Russia combined – both having a similar population as ours. Again, this is JUST the amount we BORROW. We went off the fiscal cliff a long time ago – about the time we started borrowing more than most countries spend.

    It is not a time for compromise. Compromise
    is what got us into this mess, because comprise means both sides agree to let the other side spend more. It is a broken model. Those that want to make massive cuts in spending need to stick to their guns. If they don’t’, we all lose.

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  16. Nick Literski on January 2, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    If “stupid” is problematic, what word do you think should be used when someone makes an absurdly inaccurate claim—one that even FOX News devotees should know is back-asswards?

    Read this slowly, Henry, and then read it again until you understand it: The “debt ceiling” does not authorize future spending. The “debt ceiling” authorizes us to make lawfully and morally obligated payments on debt we already accrued over many (more than just four) years.

    Does your family “cut spending” by refusing to make payments on your existing mortgage? Of course not. Those who argue against raising the “debt ceiling” are doing just that—and relying on uninformed voters to believe their deception.

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  17. will on January 2, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Nick,

    Read this slowly…

    We have over $16 Trillion in general obligation debt; and, an estimated 55 to 110 trillion in UNFUNDED pension (social security, Medicare and Medicade) liabilities.

    Who cares that some politician (mostly Democrats) in the past bought votes with unrealistic promises. We can no longer afford to spend money we do not have. Does do spend 40 percent more than you bring in? if so, how long before some responsible adult is going to tell you (or force you) that is no longer an option?

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  18. Will on January 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    @17 “Do you” not “Does do”

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  19. Jeff Spector on January 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    The other familiar expression that just kills me is when a politician states that the US government has to live on a budget like Americans do? Really, Americans do?

    About 1/3 of the national debt is unsecured personal credit card debt racked up by those same American people who are also incapable of living within their means.

    Why would we expect different from our elected officials?

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  20. Nick Literski on January 2, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Evidently, Will, I was mistaken in thinking you had more basic reading comprehension than the average FOX News devotee. It’s clear that (a) you’ve no idea what the “debt ceiling” actually is, and (b) you’ve no interest in figuring out what the “debt ceiling” actually is.

    Once you figure out that raising the “debt ceiling” has ZERO relationship to future deficit spending, maybe you can discuss this matter with grown-ups.

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  21. slowpoke on January 2, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    “The “debt ceiling” authorizes us to make lawfully and morally obligated payments on debt we already accrued…”

    In defense of everyone else nick, that sentence doesn’t make sense.

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  22. Mormon Heretic on January 2, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Will, I’m getting tired of this unfactual assertion: “Who cares that some politician (mostly Democrats) in the past bought votes with unrealistic promises.”

    It was Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W Bush that made the debt skyrocket. Under Democrat Bill Clinton, we had a surplus. This stereotype of democrats as “tax and spenders” just isn’t real. But what is real is the Republicans “don’t tax and spend more.”

    Republicans are BIG government. They invade your womb, bedroom, do strip searches at the airport. Bush created the Homeland Security Department, and now getting a home loan has to be managed by the Patriot Act. Now they want to put police in our elementary schools. How is this not big government, if not Big Brother?

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  23. Douglas on January 3, 2013 at 5:59 AM

    #22 – “It was Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W Bush that made the debt skyrocket. Under Democrat Bill Clinton, we had a surplus”. Under the “leadership” of the Speakers of the House of Representatives (where by the Constitution all Federal spending and taxation bills originate), that is under the Honorable Speakers O’Neil, Wright, and Foley (all Democrats), the Federal debt skyrocketed, but under the tenures of Gringrich and Hastert (Republicans), the Federal budget was balanced. Give credit (or blame) where it’s due, sir.
    In reality, even the last time the Federal budget was “balanced”, it was because Social Security had been taken “off budget”..that is, Federal spending was, in fact, wildly in the red, as the Federal debt greatly increased, though paltry in comparison to today. How, then, was “Uncle” able to declare “victory”? What happened was simple: Social Security receipts were well in excess of payments, the surplus being used to buy Treasury “Securities”, which then, of course, went straight to the Treasury. In simpler language, Uncle Sam, in his wisdom of managing his pension plan, wrote himself an IOU and spent freely. If the CFO of a private firm did THAT with the pension fund, (or was in bed with the union leaders to do same), he’d be eligible for an extended vacation at “Club Fed”. Now, IF the amount of debt had been small, on a temporary basis for an emergency (like a war), this might have been prudent. However, there has been no crisis, even the seemingly-manufactured (or at least blundered) one of 9/11, that constituted said emergency. It’s been like handing an undisciplined child a credit card, and saying, “Yea, go verily and spend, and don’t worry, SOMEONE ELSE will pick up the tab”. That’s the same mantra that the President has been bleating for several years…SOMEONE ELSE (the rich) will pick up the tab, but this latest budget deal, in fact, hammers the middle class the worst and doesn’t spare those of modest incomes either. This from the ilk that professed to be out for the “less fortunate” of us.
    My disgust with the whole mess in Washington couldn’t be greater. There is collective cowardice to tell the American public what more and more of us can see plainly: the country is BROKE. The “Credit Card” is MAXXED OUT. One way or another, the debts must be paid. The only difference is that the other nations can’t do what we’ve done with countries that won’t pay up…send in the troops, or even have a battleship heave to and lob a few shells to send a message. However, once we’re mired in our own mess and literally at each others throats, the presence of a foreign occupying force might be welcome, though it’d be the end of the US of A as we know it. Our Fore Fathers might say that’s effectively been accomplished, we simply haven’t admitted it.

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  24. Will on January 3, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    MH,

    It was Democrats that created most of the entitlement programs – the New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, Medicade (mostly), all of LBJ’s mess (war on poverty) and Obamacare. These entitlement programs are the source of our budget problems. Some estimates are by 2020 they will consume 100 percent of the total revenue generated by the Federal Government. Just like Obamacare these programs were passed with enormous opposition from Republicans; with Democrats holding both chambers of congress and the presidency.

    It is tantamount to blaming your spouse for the budget problems for buying a new coat (Bush and Reagan Years); while, you have locked the family into bondage with growing long term obligations that currently consume 60 percent of the total family budget; and, in a few short years will consume the entire budget leaving you with no discretional income.

    Sorry, these debt problems can be put solely on the feet of social programs implemented by Democrats.

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  25. Douglas on January 3, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    #24 – Not that I dispute the guilt of Democrats in fostering the myriad of “entitlements” that are financially strangling this country, never mind the selfish and unproductive attitude they foster in this once-great Nation…BUT…”Wascally Wepubblicans” have been likewise complicit in not opposing these fiscal and social monsters ardently enough. Case in point with the recent election: it boiled down to “ObamaCare” versus “ObomneyCare”, but either way, this country was going down the socialized medicine path, it merely being a question of how much and how soon.

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  26. Mormon Heretic on January 3, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    Will,

    You’re one that claims we should follow the original constitution, right? In the days of George Washington, we had no professional military, and no military budgets. The current f-35 Joint Strike Fighter is nearly $130 million a copy for the Air Force. The Marine version, which flies like a jet but can land like a helicopter, is over $160 million. Is this money well spent?

    Would you support shutting down Hill Air Force Base if it meant cutting the budget deficit?

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  27. Nick Literski on January 3, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    #21:
    The “debt ceiling” has nothing to do with adding to the national debt, slowpoke. It’s about authorizing payments on debt we already incurred, over the course of many years.

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  28. Douglas on January 3, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    #26 – I would support shutting down Hill Air Force Base (I went through the closure of its sister Air Logistic Center in Califronia, McClellan, in the late 90s) if it no longer serve the military needs of the country. It is the duty of the President, under advisement of the SecDef and the JCS, to assess the military needs of this nation, to develop war fighting and other plans as necessary to the security of this country, and to propose a budget suitable to same to the Congress. Of course, only Congress can authorize funds for the military, not the “Imperial” President.
    Of course, were this nation to not involve itself abroad in the affairs of so many other nations and peoples, perhaps we could actually focus on “defence” (Limey spelling) and more wisely allocate scarcer resources.
    Do we “need” the F-35 JSF? Well, I guess we’d have to assess the viability of continuing with the F-15 (still the Champ!), and the F/A-18 and how they could fulfill the attack and/or air superiority roles. There is a prediction that combat aircraft acquisition will become so expensive that by 2054 the US will be able to afford to deploy but one combat plane. It will spend three days of the week with the Air Force, the next three with the Navy, and the remainder with the Marines. Of course, consider that ONE F-15 Strike Eagle can more reliably accomplish the same mission (like the raid on the ball-bearing plant at Schweinfurt, Germany, in 1943) that took 350 American bombers and caused a SLOWDOWN, not a virtual stoppage as had been hoped, of German ball-bearing production for a few months. This at the price of 77 bombers shot down over Germany, with 121 damaged to varying degrees (many total write-offs), and 590 air crew KIA and 65 as POWs. A single F-15E, with a full bomb/missile load, would have a better than 99% chance of accomplishing the mission AND returning home safely. It would require in support 2 KC-135 tankers and one E-8 Joint STARS, which themselves could hover safely out of the engagement area. So, IS in fact the F-35 JSF even needed at all? If so, during it’s life cycle, what would the entire costs to put ordnance on target run? Considering that we’re still paying for the considerable human costs and borrowing for WWII which ended almost 68 years ago, perhaps we can’t afford not to have them.

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  29. Will on January 3, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    MH,

    First off, the military is a minor portion of the total budget. Most of the budget, 60 percent the last time I checked, is devoted to entitlements. I’m sure it has grown since then.

    The solution I have proposed is quite simple: simply take the percentage each entity receives as part of the total budget and apply that percentage to the CURRENT REVENUE. For example, if you receive 2 percent of the 3.7 trillion (amount spent), you now get 2 percent of the 2.2 trillion collected.

    This is the long term solution. It will need to be phased in to gradually bring the budget into balance over the next 10 years. In the above example, 2 percent of 3.5 TT; next year 2 percent of 3.2 TT; then 2 percent of 3 TT until you reach a balance.

    It is going to force congress and the respective agencies to come up with solutions. To push a lot of programs to the states (education, welfare, etc..). It is going to require an extension of retirement age (again phased in) to 82 or 85 – those that are 55 with now get benefits at age 66, 54-67, 53-68, 52 -69…45 and under 82 or 85.
    It is going to mean some are denied care or benefits; a lot of government employees (including military) being cut loose or have substantial pay cuts. It means these government entities are not going to hire as many or pay them as much.

    It is a simple math problem

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  30. Mormon Heretic on January 3, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Will, I agree that we will need to increase the retirement age, though I’m not sure I think that pushing it to 82 or 85 is going to be popular with the electorate. I’d probably stop in the late 70s or something. I find that a common sense solution that has apparently eluded our elected representatives.

    As for the military being a “minor” portion, well, think again. I think Concord Coalition is one of the most reliable, non-partisan sources. You can check the pie graphs and see that the military is #3 biggest expenditure at 19.2% in 2012. (Health is 23.7% and Social Security is 21.8%.) See
    http://www.concordcoalition.org/learn/budget/federal-budget-pie-charts

    Certainly these big 3 are going to all need to be reformed in order to get the deficit under control.

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  31. Douglas on January 3, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    What is sad is that it’s not impossible from a financial standpoint to balance the Federal budget TODAY. However, it requires what is, for all practical purposes, a political impossibility…a Congress and a President that have the courage to wield the budgetary meat ax and stand the sight of blood. The irony is that for the short-term pain (including the end of the political careers of most serving in the Congress now), a long-term gain, starting with the salvation of this nation, would be realized. Imagine the positive impacts if all of a sudden Uncle isn’t consuming trillions from all over the world in “funny money” to keep the bloated monstrosity afloat. Merely by credit become more readily available to the private sector would expansion become possible. But is that it? Is it that the PTB, in fact, want to keep creating “funny money”, and reap enormous interest payments, thinking that it can go on forever? Methinks that if in fact there is such a ‘conspiracy’, and I’m not certain that there is, then it’s analogous to Churchill’s observation about appeasement – feeding your mates to a crocodile, hoping that it will either be sated before you’re on the menu, or at least you get eaten last.

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  32. Hedgehog on January 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    On the retirement age point: it has been raised in Germany already, and is being raised in Britain. My cohort don’t know for sure at what age we’ll be able to retire and draw a pension just at the moment, as it seems to be creeping up every year that passes.

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  33. FireTag on January 3, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    One can only judge failure or success in terms of what the goal was. Obama’s goal is to grow government, at which he is a marvelous success. He will NEVER agree to make any adjustments in spending that don’t keep government growing in an absolute sense.

    Obama comes out of a classic political machine that can only survive by taking in power and wealth from outsiders and distributing it to insiders as patronage. In America, such machines typically bubble up within smaller concentrations of political power — city governments in urbanized areas, county or state governments in rural areas — and then move on to infect larger units of government as they consume the local sources of power and wealth.

    But whether we are talking about a modern American city, the Capital in The Hunger Games, Communist China, or ancient Rome, patronage forms of government always evolve into a distribution of privilege that looks like the shape of a “Hershey kiss” candy: there is a spike of privilege close to the Mayor, the Chairman, the President, or the Emperor, and then a slow slide to poverty where most of the peasantry must make do with whatever crumbs are tossed as “bread or circuses” to keep the mob under control. The “courtiers” stay close to the center, and keep their privileges, only by delivering additional power to the center and receiving additional patronage services they can pass to their own clients. If they don’t keep supplying additional services, the only way the clients can better themselves is by switching loyalty to a more generous patron, and existing patrons tend to punish that kind of disloyalty.

    Establishment Republicans will be complicit in practice, because the people will punish them by electing complicit politicians in their place if they don’t. Only the Tea Party “extremists” elected by red state “extremists” can hope to vote for principled reductions in spending and stay in office long enough to succeed — and they aren’t nearly a majority.

    If your principles are the expansion of government in order to do good (e.g., bring about greater equality, help the poor, cure disease, save the environment, etc.) you have a math problem, but not a moral failing. You know not what you do, to borrow an expression. The promises already made can never be kept unless paid in monopoly money, so the promises are ALREADY broken. It is now a question of how soon we will admit the promises are broken and triage the damage instead of making it worse by postponing the day of reckoning.

    But people whose goals are power — and you don’t rise to the top of any patronage system by accident — aren’t failing in leadership just because the peasantry ends up getting exploited. The patronage systems invariably end up in exploitation, even if patronage is run through a church.

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  34. Douglas on January 3, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    #32 – those ages 50-62 in the USA should expect the retirement age bar to be raised like a child or a simpleton being teased with a treat dangled on a pole. As the fiscal problems mount, instead of getting with demographic realities (ergo, the population lives substantially longer than when Social Security was enacted, and many who were working then are still alive to collect!) that the current ages (62 for some benefits, 66 for more, 70 for full benefits) don’t reflect reality.
    #33 – The politics of power will always be with us. It’s a question of HOW much, and then how “corrupt”. I’d prefer to stamp out corruption entirely but unless the public is of mind to take drastic solutions to thieving politicians, nothing will change. I like the scene in one of Costner’s few GOOD movies, the Untouchables from 1987, where portraying Elliot Ness, he’s meeting with his select group of agents when a Chicago Alderman comes calling with a bribe. After being admonished by the corrupt Alderman to quit “causing a well-known business dismay. Step to the other side of the street and let things pass”, Ness gathers his men and confronts the Alderman, telling him of the practice of the Romans in dealing with corrupt officials – they’d sew them in a bag with a wildcat and throw them into the Tiber river. Unless we take a similar attitude and approach to corruption, we’ll have more of it. To deal with making the Government smaller so the appeal of power politics and corruption is lessened, it would evoke a change in the American body politic that I don’t see coming anytime soon. That is, we have to change the hearts of men and women to labor for their own sustenance and not live off the earnings of others. The ballot and/or political office is not a means of enriching oneself or a select group at the expense of the public, using the taxing and law enforcement powers of Government as the collection agent. Until that attitude changes (“what’s in it for me?”), the situation won’t change of its own accord, it’ll be enforced when worldwide bankruptcy hits.

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  35. FireTag on January 3, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Douglas:

    Yes, we have chosen to live under a patronage system out of some individually-varying combination of inattention, idealism, desperation, and greed. We aren’t the first society to do that, and I wish I had confidence that we wouldn’t be the last. Sometimes we have to get burned before we believe in the fire. That’s regrettable, but then I thought I could power my way through my diabetes until I had my heart attack, so I can’t be too hard on people who haven’t grasped the limits of government capacity to help them and planned accordingly.

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  36. Mormon Heretic on January 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    This from the Salt Lake Tribune.

    More taxes for you, more breaks for corporate America

    Nearly $250 million for Hollywood. More than $330 million for the railroad industry. About $220 million for rum producers.

    Although taxes are increasing for most Americans as a result of the deal last week between the White House and Congress to end the fiscal impasse in Washington, corporate America was more fortunate. A bevy of tax breaks and credits that had been scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 will be extended for a year, costing taxpayers $46.1 billion over the next decade, according to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/55563724-79/tax-breaks-million-wind.html.csp

    When are we going to end Corporate Welfare?

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  37. FireTag on January 5, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    MH:

    “When are we going to end Corporate Welfare?”

    When the inefficiency of the system leads to its collapse because no one will lend to it at interest rates the tax base can support.

    Instead of simply categorizing them as “corporate welfare”, go into it in a little more detail and see WHICH PARTY’S corporate cronies got their back scratched. Hint: Hollywood moguls and rum makers aren’t big favorites of the Tea Party crowd, and one should examine Warren Buffet’s holdings in the transportation sector.

    The rich can always buy off government in a patronage system, or at least they will be among the last thrown under the bus. (In Rome, the Emperor developed the technique of forcing the rich to make wills naming the Emperor as heir, and then “accelerated” the rich person’s demise, but we wouldn’t get that far down the Imperial Presidency path for a generation or more yet.)

    But the notion that government PROTECTS the poor and the middle class from the greedy rich is something we ought to constantly question. Symbiosis works much better for the politically influential than for the rest of society.

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