Monday, February 2, 2009

How To Lose More Elections

As the scene for a showdown in the Senate over the obscenity that is the Porkulus bill looms, more Republicans are in the process of undercutting conservative principle to throw money at the problem.

Thankfully, it's not John McCain this time. It's the governors.

First, the good news. Bipartisan resistance to the current Porkulus bill is growing in the Senate. And while I fully expect, enough Republicans to buckle and spend an assload anyway, the fact that they are at least rejecting this insanity (unlike the Dastardly Bastardly Bailout) means that perhaps there is some sense in Congress (or they don't want voted out).

However, there's the 50 people trying to balance their own bloated budgets where real asshattery is rearing it's ugly head (up its ass, of course.). The National Governor's Association has come out in support of having a big ol' Porkulus BBQ for the governors. Democrat governors, including my own, are clamoring for the cash, of course. But you'd think the Republican governors (other than future AOTW Schwarzenegger) would have the sense to be unified on this. But the headline reads, "Republican Governors Urge Congress to Pass Stimulus Bill."

Yeah, it pissed me off. But I read the whole thing and was at least not as pissed. And as I now have three governors on my list for potential candidates in 2012, let's take a look at their positions on this:

Sarah Palin - Okay, I could understand her doing and saying stupid things under the wing of McCain. And I could chalk up the rest to just inexperience at the national level. But making the rounds to get your bailout money when you have a state that earns revenue from its oil is dumb. I was pleased to see that she didn't actually make a public statement in support of Porkulus, despite the pseudo-story the lib bloggers are pissing themselves over (which is how I got this post started). But making the rounds to get your cut is the kind of self-serving shit that will cost you those votes you might want in 2012. If you want to know the pragmatic solution, Sarah, take a cue from your fellow governors.

Bobby Jindal - Bobby was a little more pragmatic. He said he'd take the money if given (I would) but he would have voted against it (I should hope so). He's keeping the cards close to the chest on this, but I'm optimistic.

Mark Sanford - After reading his statement attacking Porkulus for being a threat to the economy, as well as some more background on him, I added him to my list of potentials. Very simply, the GOP will never get its ass back in the power seat without really standing up and saying "NO" to filling a shit spreader with cash and driving it around the country strapped to the ass end of a rocket car. And Mark is firing off a resounding negative.

So to the GOP governors (except Schwarzenegger who is dead to us) need to remove their collective head from their ass and start behaving like conservatives. Rapidly.

26 comments:

TAO said...

Oh Yeah, standing true to convictions....

"Bobby Jindal - Bobby was a little more pragmatic. He said he'd take the money if given (I would) but he would have voted against it (I should hope so). He's keeping the cards close to the chest on this, but I'm optimistic."

Hey, that not convictions that just wanting your cake and eating it to.

As far as Sarah Palin goes...she is governor of a state that receives more in Federal funds than what they pay...thats communism if I ever saw it. "From those based upon their ability and to those based upon their needs..."

So we collect federal taxes from the Northeast states and west coast states (from liberal states) and then redistribute to Alaska and southern states....whether you want to acknowledge it or not thats income redistribution.

What a bunch....

Patrick M said...

Tao: If I were a governor of a state, I'd take the money if the government was giving it away. Then I'd use it to decrease the tax burden on my state.

Just as if I were a politician I'd have no problem accepting legal money but would make it a point to NOT let it buy me.

But if you notice, Sarah went down in my reckoning of her, I have questions about Jindal, and the most principled, Mark Sanford, caught my attention as one of the good ones out there.

dmarks said...

So, how about Obama's cabinet nominees? Not paying your taxes has moved from antigovernment nuts in Montana in the 1990s to the big-time.

James Manning said...

There is a lot of money for state government in the bill so i expect them to support it. i think we need a stimulus bill but i am one of those that do not think this bill is a good one. i support money for the endowment of the arts but that should come later if the money is there and i don't think they should hold their breath on that.

some of the money is a look toward the future but it really is about creating jobs, helping laid off workers with extended benefits, mortgage relief and investing in new technology.

hopefully the bill will get better.

Patrick M said...

James: There is a lot of money for state government in the bill so i expect them to support it.

I don't. Especially if they're choosing to be fiscally irresponsible in their own state and expecting money to flow from the trough.

At some point, we're going to run out.

TAO said...

Patrick,

the reason I never would run for office is because I would be a Statesman rather than a politician.

And that would never get me elected. In case of Jindahl, I would just say, "...well, just because some woman is laying naked in your bed does that make it okay to have sex with her?"

Nothing in life is free...nothing.

Toad734 said...

Maybe you haven't noticed what the price of oil has done over the last 6 months. That is the reason Palin had a balanced budget in Alaska (at $149 per barrel, how could you fuck it up) and why she now wants government money as the oil revenues have dried up. But why a state which was making so much money on oil needed to keep the bridge to nowhere money is beyond me.

Arthurston said...

Yawn. Congressional Republicans doing what they do best. Obstructing. The failed miserably while in power mainly because the one size fits all solution to every conceivable problem, tax cuts for the rich, doesn't actually work so well. Unless you're rich of course. Oh well. I'm waiting for the preferred GOP jobs program to be debated.

The invasion of Venezuela.

Patrick M said...

Tao: I'm just glad you didn't ask me about the naked woman in the bed...

But you don't give the rest of the story there. What are the strings attached? Right now, there doesn't appear to be any in the porkulus. And if the first bailout is the template, it's free enough.

Toad: You've just nailed the reason I'm starting to question whether Sarah Palin should be running: She might be a closet RINO.

Arthur: You sound tired. Would you like to lay down?

Anyway, it is sad the GOP only finds its principle when they are completely out of power. Had they done otherwise, they might have not lost the last couple of elections.

And for clarification, the conservative (as opposed to Republican) "jobs program" is easy to explain: There would be no program. It is simply NOT the role of government to create jobs. What government can do is get some of the gazillion restrictions that are designed to "protect" workers out of the way so that companies can afford to create more jobs and weather rough times without having to can large numbers of people.

Arthurstone said...

We aren't going to the 'conservative position' now or ever.

There will be a jobs package. There will be a stimulus package. Government has a role to play and as soon as the knuckleheads (knucklehead is a bipartisan term) in DC get serious and get to work we will have some progress.

People aren't going back to the era before a 'gazillion restrictions'. We've been there. Despite the best efforts to the contrary folks enjoy clean air, clean water, safe (mostly) food, Social Security. etc. etc. And they are willing to pay for them.

One does wonder though how much longer Americans will pay to support a global military presence and specifically how much longer to toss away $16B per month in the Middle East.

Hopefully not much. But I do wonder how much longer 'conservatives' unblinkinglyly swallow such spending. I really do.

TAO said...

Not long Arthur...not long. Go to Shaw's blog for a really real reality check....

dmarks said...

Arthur: "The failed miserably while in power mainly because the one size fits all solution to every conceivable problem, tax cuts for the rich..."

Yet, this has never been tried. The tax cut proposals have been for just about all taxpayers, only a minority of whom are rich.

Arthurstone said...

The rich are indeed a minority. A small one which benefits hugely from the tax cuts their representatives in DC provide in exchange for 'campaign contributions'.

Arthurstone said...

Presumably Patrick is considering Tom Daschle for his weekly award (although it isn't difficult to imagine someone even more boneheaded appearing before the fact).

Daschle is a strong candidate to be sure and emblematic of the revolving door between gov't service and subsequent self-enriching using connections gained while in office. Our former Senator Slade Gorton serves on a board with Daschle. For $100K a year they attend four meetings in order to 'advise' and 'oversee'.

Sheesh.

The most galling thing about the Daschle episode is that somehow he didn't notice the driver attached to the car his 'friend lent him' 24 hours a day.

Happens to me all the time.

dmarks said...

"The rich are indeed a minority. A small one which benefits hugely from the tax cuts their representatives in DC provide in exchange for 'campaign contributions'."

Actually, they are a minority of those who have gotten tax cuts under tax reform programs misleadingly labelled "tax cuts for the rich".

And, after these reforms are put in place, the rich pay much more in real dollars than the non-rich (hardly a surprise), pay a higher percentage of their income than those taxpayers on the bottom, and still have not received even $1 from the government under the reform. Some "benefit" they receive!

Toad734 said...

Dmarks:

Under the Bush tax cuts the top 1% got a bigger percentage tax cut than any other income group. If our taxes were all cut by the same rate that would have been one thing but they weren't.

Of course the rich pay more, they take more. If you went to a store and received a 2 lb bag of oranges, shouldn't you have to pay more than the guy who got a 1 lb bag of oranges? That is why the rich pay more in taxes, they use more resources, get more benefits, work less for them and most of them are essentially handed everything they have. And as pointed out, they are the ones who pay off politicians so they deregulate the banking, S&L, mortgage, energy regulations so that these rich people can rip us off and get rich. Or these are the people who run GM and Nike who push for trade agreements which allow them to export their jobs overseas. Not to quote Blagojevic but that shouldn't be free. There are a few exceptions like Gates and Jobs but most rich people were born into wealth and never become poor. The myth that they are rich because they deserve it is absurd.

If you don't know how taxes work, I have simplified an oversimplified erroneous demonstration here, I am sure you have heard about the tax dinner:
http://toadthoughts.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html

dmarks said...

The actual end result of the alterations in the tax code:

2008 Tax Rate Schedules (about.com)

Income from $0 to $32,550 : 10% or 15% income tax.

Income above $357,700: 35% income tax.


-------------------
Despite the supposed high percentage cut to the rich (which really gave rich people $0 since a tax cut is never a gift), rather than being skewed in favor the rich, the Bush tax plans have resulted in a scale that has the rich pay a much higher percentage than the non-rich.

(The above numbers are from Single Filing Status. The numbers for other status are similar, and always range from 10% to the lowest to 35% for the highest).

"but most rich people were born into wealth and never become poor. The myth that they are rich because they deserve it is absurd."

Whether or not they earn it, or someone willingly gave it to them, it is their money. Regardless of income level, really. Your wording on this issue might imply that you want tax policy to be used to punish people, rather than to have its proper role (to get the necessary money for government's job).

TAO said...

Dmarks...

Let give it to you straight...

I am in the 35% tax bracket and let me tell you I have yet to pay more than 15%...

So, cut the crap and get real. 45% of the companies in the S&P 500 pay NO taxes....

You are right...they shouldn't because their shareholders will pay taxes on these earnings....

Thats crap too because the greatest beneficaries of government largesse is companies that make up the S&P 500....

Oh yeah...they create jobs as you love to say....

Nope, its the poor slob who makes 0 to 32,500 who goes shopping and spends money that creates jobs because jobs are created by demand....

Without demand there is no need for supply.....

All the money in the world cannot create wealth if there is no demand....just listen to the earnings reports from all the companies this month.

All the rest is nothing but smoke, mirrors, and fancy accounting....

dmarks said...

"I am in the 35% tax bracket and let me tell you I have yet to pay more than 15%..."

Is it loopholes, or what?

"Oh yeah...they create jobs as you love to say...."

I know full well that the job creation engine in the US is with small business, and not the S&P 500. And, except for those who are self-employed, these business create the jobs. Not the employees.

Without these employers (say, in the mom and pop shops) the "poor slob who goes shopping" will have trouble meeting the teenager in at the register. No money passed from the shopper to that employee eventually.

Arthurstone said...

The graduated income tax is here to stay. And thanks for pointing out the fallacy of quoting nominal tax rates Toad. Even that master socialist Warren Buffett is on board this train.

Arthurstone said...

Sorry. Make that Tao.

The eyesight isn't what it once was.

dmarks said...

Arthur: Now we need someone named Taod posting here too.

Toad734 said...

DMarks:

It isn't a "supposed" tax cut. The rich got a larger percentage of a cut than I or any of you did. That is a fact. The rich already paid a higher percentage, they paid less of a percentage under the Bush cuts. And like I said, the ones who take the most, should pay the most. The ones who get laws made in their favor should have to pay for that. No one is going to change banking regulation laws for me so I can make more money. Those who have that done for them should pay more in taxes because they get more access and that access benefits them monetarily. Again, the guy who gets two bags of oranges should pay more than the guy who gets one bag of oranges.

My employer give me money every other week and I am taxed on it, why shouldn't they be taxed on the money people hand them? I am taxed on christmas gifts from my employeer, why shouldn't they be taxed on gifts from their wealthy grandparents?

dmarks said...

"I am taxed on christmas gifts from my employeer, why shouldn't they be taxed on gifts from their wealthy grandparents?"

So, do you really want to be taxed on family Christmas gifts now?

Toad734 said...

No, and people who get less than 2 million dollars from their family aren't taxed either.

dmarks said...

Just treat all the same. No death tax for anyone.