by Goldy, 02/24/2010, 9:13 AM

The other day the Seattle Times singled out House Finance Committee chair Ross Hunter for his willingness to consider raising taxes to ward off some of the most crippling and counterproductive impending budget cuts:

This is a failure of leadership. Hunter, in particular, disappoints us because he was supposed to be a moderate.

That’s right, because in the Times’ Bizarro World lexicon, true “leadership” always consists of defending the status quo, and the status quo around here is last year’s all-cuts budget. And of course a true “moderate” would never consider raising taxes, only cutting them, because moderation never involves looking at both sides of the budget equation.

The Times had no gripe with Hunter and his committee when their primary business was considering and passing innumerable tax breaks and exemptions, but the minute he considers pushing revenue in the other direction, well, that’s a failure of leadership.

I was reminded of the Times’ immoderate attack on Hunter while reading Eliot Spitzer’s latest column in Slate, in which he effectively debunks the popular conservative meme that higher taxes inevitably result in lower GDP. It’s worth a read, especially within the context of our current state budget debate in which the Times and its surrogates in the Republican caucus (or is it the other way around? It’s so easy to get confused…) reflexively argue that raising taxes will inevitably hurt our economy, while totally ignoring the economic, let alone human impact of spending cuts.

But I was particularly struck by the following passage, in which Spitzer lays out a bit of history the 21st Century reader might find rather startling:

Leaders of a century ago invoked justice in remarkable language that is unimaginable today. President Woodrow Wilson called paying taxes “a glorious privilege.” Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. observed that “taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt said, “In this time of grave national danger, when all excess income should go to win the war; no American citizen ought to have a net income, after he has paid his taxes, of more than $25,000.” That $25,000 is the equivalent of $323,208 in today’s dollars. Can you conceive of a modern president suggesting that no American should earn more than $323,000 after taxes? (President George W. Bush went to war twice without once calling for such a common sacrifice to pay for it.) And President Harry Truman in 1948 vetoed a broad-based tax cut, even in the face of an expected and eventual congressional override, and then asked for a tax increase following his upset victory.

On the subject of leadership, I hate to give Ross Hunter the pleasure of lumping him in there, no matter how momentary or tangentially, with the likes of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., but… well… you know…

Regardless, just like there are two sides to the budget equation, there are two sides to the question of whether in an economic downturn like ours, tax increases are more damaging than spending cuts, so in the interest of an informed public debate, I really wish the Times would stop operating on the assumption that their side of the argument is a given.

214 Responses to “Give ‘em Hell, Hunter”

1. Roger Rabbit spews:

The Poor Overtaxed Rich

Boston real estate barons and Los Angeles Dodges baseball team owners Frank and Jamie McCourt reported $108 million of income from 2004 to 2009 and paid no taxes, AOL News reports.

http://www.aolnews.com/money/article/jamie-and-frank-mccourt-divorce-filing-reveals-how-the-rich-stay-rich/19371559

Roger Rabbit Commentary: So, wingnuts, how do you cut a tax rate of zero? Give ‘em rebates? Oh, and one more thing: They’ve just raised their ticket prices again.

2. Mr. Cynical spews:

A guy who wants to raise taxes rather than confront the State Employees Union that their Compensation Packages, including wages/benefits/paid time-off, is unsustainable and must be adjusted to meet the current economic conditions is a HERO??
Gimmee a break.

Voters who take the time to actually look at this:
http://www.biaw.com/WAStateEmployeeWages.aspx

Take look at the TOTAL COMPENSATION of State Employees at the above site. Wages are only a part of the total compensation package. This site shows the true picture.
It adds 30% for Benefits (which comes straight from the State Human Resources website). It also puts a value on the 44 days off State Employees can get (Vacation, Sick Leave, Personal Days, Holidays). Do you realize they only work 82% of the weekdays. Unbelievable!

Those voters will be outraged to see a Liquor Store Clerk with TOTAL COMPENSATION of over $100k Goldy.
The money is gone.
It’s time to reform the size & cost of government.
Tax increases are for cowards! Especially is a recession with unemployment/underemployment/give up in dispare of over 18%!

How will raising taxes save or create private sector jobs?

Decreasing State Employees TOTAL COMPENSATION is the only way to come up with a sustainable Budget. Raising taxes has & will drive more businesses away or closing the door.
Why does Ross think Boeing left and is accelerating it’s plans to leave???
It’s an anti-business, us against them attitude of Democrats who put the State Employees Union ahead of successful private enterprise.

3. Mr. Cynical spews:

Rog–
The McCourts had tax loss carryforwards from prior years. You failed to disclose that and instead allow your envy and jealousy to dillute the sketchy facts in an article by a guy who loves the word “probably”.
The fact is he doesn’t know, is speculating and expects idiots like you to paraphrase things and overlook the speculation.

The fact is “rich guys” already pay an overwhelming portion of the taxes. The % have been posted here time & time again. Lots of folks are getting a free ride.
How much in Property Taxes and other taxes besides State & Fed Income Taxes do you think McCourt’s paid??
C’mon Rog, SPECULATE.

Progressives are always speculating….closing their eyes to facts. Just ask Rog!

4. Roger Rabbit spews:

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. got shot three times in the Civil War and went on to live almost forever, so he survived worse things than paying taxes.

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 It’s possible the average homebuilder is making less money these days than the average state employee, but that’s not the state workers’ fault.

6. Mr. Cynical spews:

Delusional Rabbit @ 4–
What does that have to do with any rational discussion?
Roll over and pay whatever the Progressives demand??
Ain’t gonna happen.
Rog is a real lightweight!

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

Cheap labor conservatives never met a wage cut they didn’t like, or a job they didn’t want to downsize or outsource. Why would any working person vote for those assholes?

8. Michael spews:

@2
How many time are we going to go over this. 30% is only slightly better than I get in the non-profit sector and is pretty standard.

I get 7 paid holidays (that do do my position I’m generally working. I used to get double time, now I get time and a half). We just have leave, its not divided into sick and vacation and I get somewhere close to 40 days. I get these days because I’ve been doing my job for about a zillion years and every year I get more days off as part of my raise. And because, for what ever reason, my employer would rather give me a small raise and a bunch more days off than a larger raise and fewer days off. And I’d rather have the time off than the cash, so it works for me.

From the BIAW site you linked to:

A recent Seattle Times article noted wages and benefits for teachers and state workers are responsible for eating up 60 percent of the budget.

And that’s not that different anywhere else on the planet.

I point this out not to defend the governor and the state ledg. They suck. But, to point out that your posts on this are a bunch of nonsense.

9. Mr. Cynical spews:

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 It’s possible the average homebuilder is making less money these days than the average state employee, but that’s not the state workers’ fault.

Yet another ridiculous argument by Roger”the intellectual lightweight” Rabbit.
Homebuilders make or lose money in the free market.
Government employees are protected from free market forces.

How many applicants would there be for some of these Government jobs today? Plenty. What would the market dictate as compensation? Probably 20% or more less than current.

Roger keeps coming up with these fluffy posts that have no merit on the issue of sustainable government spending and delivering services the most cost-effectively possible.

10. Mr. Cynical spews:

Michael @ 8–
So let’s here you defend the State Liquor Store clerk who is making over $100K Total Compensation?? Where there is smoke, there is fire.
Plus, you are working in the Private Sector and it sounds like you have worked a ZILLION YEARS making you valuable to your employer. Many State Employees cannot make that claim
Also, if you weren’t productive Michael, you would be history. If your funding ran out, you would be unemployed…right? (Didn’t you previously tell us you work for a non-profit? Where does your funding come from? Any from the government??)

11. hmmmm spews:

What party can argue out of one corner of their mouth that we need to raise taxes, while we hear out of the other corner that Microshit is being forgiven back taxes and is getting a tax break? The vintage “New Democrats” of today who still think it is 1992 are killing the budget; tax breaks and evasion forgiveness for corporations, and tax hikes for the rest of us. Staying home in ’12, don’t care how much Roger Rabbit has time to quip about his retired baby boomer culture-war paradigm.

12. Roger Rabbit spews:

Would You Buy A Used Goat From This Clown?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ZGaX_vgORKg/RX3JILo5r9I/AAAAAAAAAF8/ZI30jc4Nkqw/s400/goat-&-clowns.jpg

It took Klown only 9 minutes to (a) demand pay cuts for state workers, and (b) make excuses for billionaires who don’t pay taxes.

13. Daddy Love spews:

2 Cyn

Raising taxes has & will drive more businesses away or closing the door.

Where were you in the 1990s? That the same song that ther GOP US Congresspeople sang, and the 1993 tax hikes both kicked off the longest economic expansion in US history and balanced the budget. You Republicans are wrong, wrong, wrong every time you make an economic prediction. That’s why we had to kick your dumb asses out of power, so the damage would end. Now stay the fuck out of the way while we sweep up the mess and straighten things out.

Decreasing State Employees TOTAL COMPENSATION is the only way to come up with a sustainable Budget.

I know you’re trying to make a case that “total compensation” is a LOT or TOO MUCH or something because no one should make a LOT except for rich Republicans, so we should terminate the benefits of public employees, but that’s just more GOP bullshit. Instead of taking money from state workers, let’s take money from the richest people in the state. You’re already down with taking people’s money because you just said so, so why are you against taking it from people who can much more easily afford it?

The economic engine of both the US and WA state is consumer spending. The reason for our revenue shortfall is lack of economic activity caused by slack demand, which is both caused by and causing foreclosures and unemployment.

I’m all for what you guys are always saying about letting people keep their money. But I think that those who need it the most should keep it the most, and those who need it less shoudl keep it less. You apparently DON’T beleive in letting people keep their money (because you just said so), but I think you have a wrongheaded idea about who should have to give it up.

14. Roger Rabbit spews:

@6 I was merely pointing out that taxes don’t kill people, but wars do. Republicans like Klown hate taxes and love war. Go figure.

15. Michael spews:

@9

Actually, homebuilders, Boeing, and anyone with any sort of political clout has some protection from the free market.

How many applicants would there be for some of these Government jobs today? Plenty. What would the market dictate as compensation? Probably 20% or more less than current.

And when they go to buy a car or a house will that car or house cost 20% less? Nope! Chances are they wont be able to buy that house or car with the salary you’re willing to pay them. What you’re describing is a race to the bottom. We need to pay people enough so that they can afford to buy things.

Buying out people that are near retirement and taking a look at who we really need to re-hire and how we need to have things organized is probably a good way to go.

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 For years and years, we got more days off instead of COLAs; I would rather have had the money, Klown, because you can’t pay rent or utility bills with days off.

And, of course, they weren’t really days off, because you had to do the same amount of work, which meant that whenever there was a three-day weekend you went in on the weekend or day off the finish the previous week’s work so you wouldn’t drown under the weight of the “in” box in the coming week.

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

I didn’t mind the low pay, long hours, hard work, lack of building heat, or bad bosses, but I finally got tired of sacrificing myself to serve ungrateful jerks like Cynical.

18. Mr. Cynical spews:

Rog–
I HATE wars that we don’t fight to win.
Fight to win…or get out.
What is Obam-Mao doing in Iraq?
What is Obam-Mao doing in Afghanistan?
What is Obam-Mao going to do with Iran??
Negotiate with them as they laugh at his sorry ass and continue to move toward the ultimate weapon of destruction??

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

It must be “Hate A Public Servant Week” in Wingnuttia again.

20. Lauramae spews:

Only an idiot would assume that an employee takes all the sick leave and vacation leave that they earn. People don’t do that.

And it isn’t the state employees fault. The amount of impotent spittle and whining over state employees is quite impressive, and yet cynical idiot lightweights themselves are totally oblivious to the national forces that have perpetrated the downfall. Where is your outrage over the banks roll in the economic collapse? In your stupid pea head you think it’s due to people who make $45,000 a year in Washington that make your worthless life more miserable.

21. Mr. Cynical spews:

Michael @ 15–

And when they go to buy a car or a house will that car or house cost 20% less? Nope! Chances are they wont be able to buy that house or car with the salary you’re willing to pay them.

So riddle me this–
Why give it to State Employees?
Why not give it back to taxpayers so they can do precisely what you say??
Why should State Employees be protected from a down economy and be thought of as the consumers who will spend inflated government tax dollars on their lifestyle choices?

You lose everytime with that Lameass Union Democrat argument.
Pay Union Members more so they can help the economy!
Ridiculous Michael…even for you

22. Roger Rabbit spews:

@18 This comment illustrates why you’re a laughingstock, Cynical.

# of wars Bush started: 2
# of wars Bush won: 0
What Bush did about NK’s A-bomb: Nothing
What Bush did about Iran’s A-bomb: Nothing

Right now, there’s a large battle raging in Afghanistan as surge troops sent by Obama evict the Taliban from one of their major strongholds. Obama’s troops are blowing the shit out of the towelheads. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, he’s hunting them down with drones and fighter-bombers. Under Bush, the Taliban regained control of nearly the whole country — he practically gave the country back to them.

Cynical’s credibility score: 0

23. Mr. Cynical spews:

lauramae-

In your stupid pea head you think it’s due to people who make $45,000 a year in Washington that make your worthless life more miserable.

The point is someone with a $45k salary really has TOTAL Compensation of about $67K. And if State Employees don’t need all the sick leave available, they should give it up. That’s precisely my point!

Lauramae–
look at the Total Compensation.
It’s unsustainable.
Look for the $101K Liquor Store Clerk.
How can this happen??

24. Roger Rabbit spews:

@21 Why shouldn’t state workers get paid fair value for their work like everyone else?

25. Roger Rabbit spews:

Cynical is like a guy who sees a kid walking a dog so he goes across the street and kicks the kid because he hates dogs.

26. Michael spews:

@10

So let’s here you defend the State Liquor Store clerk who is making over $100K Total Compensation?

Why on earth would I do a thing like that? Other than to say that, that person is probably a statical outlier and has been there for a zillion years. Buy the person out and move on.

Plus, you are working in the Private Sector and it sounds like you have worked a ZILLION YEARS making you valuable to your employer. Many State Employees cannot make that claim

Hey, could could you call my boss up and tell her that?
I work for a non-profit. Actually, if you look at state workers you’ll see that they’re weighted towards retirement age. Getting newer folks in there will both lower the cost and give us better employees.

Also, if you weren’t productive Michael, you would be history.

Man-o-man, I’ve got some co-workers from hell stories. Too often it’s cheaper and easier for the bosses to let poor employees slide on though.

27. Roger Rabbit spews:

Do you wonder why Cynical takes out his hatred of government on the flunky workers? Because that’s what bullies always do.

28. Daddy Love spews:

I should have added, not that it matters a bit what Republicans think in this state.

29. Daddy Love spews:

CBO reports:

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the Recovery Act “added between 1.0 million and 2.1 million to the number of workers employed in the United States” in the fourth quarter of last year, which ranges from Oct. 2009 to Dec. 2009

So raise taxes, spend the money, create jobs!

30. Roger Rabbit spews:

I didn’t find a liquor store clerk making $100K, but I do see the state’s 529 liquor store clerks made $15,337,723 in 2009 which averages to $28,993.90 per year.

http://www.biaw.com/WAStateEmployeeWages.aspx

31. Roger Rabbit spews:

What do you call a gold hoarder and stock flipper who picks on liquor store clerks making $28K a year because he doesn’t like taxes?

BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY BULLY

32. Michael spews:

@29

We’ve got a $20 a barrel of oil economic system and we’re living in $80 a barrel of oil times. Spend the money on things that create a $80 a barrel of oil economic system.

More rail please.

33. Roger Rabbit spews:

Nobody likes taxes but most of us don’t cry like a 2-year-old who had a toy taken away from him.

34. Roger Rabbit spews:

@23 So by extrapolation a CEO who makes $45,000,000 really has total compensation of $67,000,000?

35. Roger Rabbit spews:

Roger Rabbit Poll

Who is most responsible for the high cost of living?

[ ] 1. A health insurance executive making $45,000,000 a year.
[ ] 2. The flipper who bought Stefan’s Greenlake house for $360,000 and sold it to Stefan 6 months later for $857,000.
[ ] 3. A BIAW propagandist (Kevin Cairns) who’s paid $90,000 a year with money that comes from L & I payroll taxes.
[ ] 4. A state liquor clerk making $28,900 a year.

36. Roger Rabbit spews:

Hmmm, I don’t see Klown here anymore, maybe he ran and hid in his goat shed after getting kicked in the teeth by a rabbit. Coward. Wuss. Pussy.

37. Blue John spews:

Defend the State Liquor Store clerk who is making over $100K Total Compensation?

How about defending the CEO of Oracle getting $556.98 mil in Total Compensation or John Stumph of Well’s Fargo who got $18.7 mill?

Why are they worth that but the mythical State Liquor Store worker, (who you cannot name) is not?

38. YLB spews:

Whoa. The KLOWN’s sorry ass was really kicked in this thread.

What a prick!

39. Roger Rabbit spews:

This blog’s trolls are not only stupid and dishonest, they’re also gutless.

40. ArtFart spews:

‘Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. observed that “taxes are what we pay for civilized society.”’

Case in point #1: Teabaggers.

Cast in point #2: Cynical, who lives in East Bumfuck Nowhere because he can’t get along with anybody, preaching to the citizens of a highly-developed, productive metropolitan community how to run their shit.

41. Blue John spews:

Cyn, why do you hate capitalism so much? The liquor store workers found a way to get paid well and you want to take that away from them?

Do you have this same outrage toward Halliburton?

What are you? some kind of socialist?

42. Michael spews:

@21

There isn’t a valid argument in your argument here.

People need to be paid a living wage and wage that is high enough to attract and keep good people. A low wage, high turnover system can be more expensive than a higher wage, low turnover system.

How much can an investor make off of Starbucks stock if 80% of the population can’t afford to go to Starbucks?

This isn’t an argument for over paying people or for protecting people in unnecessary positions.

I’m trying to take your screed and turn it into something workable.

43. Blue John spews:

Cyn, Really, if you really support capitalism, you don’t care how the person makes their money, what matters is that they made as much as possible for the least amount of effort. That could be a liquor store clerk with a strong union, a Big Pharma CEO, a Columbian drug lord, or a Chinese business man sending over poisoned toys.
If you truly believe in capitalism, you should be applauding all of them.

44. Michael spews:

@34

Nah, that guy gets at least another 20K for eating out, 20K for redecorating his office, free cell phone, free computer, performance bonuses…

45. Roger Rabbit spews:

@30 The linked page didn’t retain my search results, so here’s what you do to duplicate them.

1. Go to the linked page.
2. In the “Department” box, scroll down to “Liquor Control Board.”
3. Click on the radio button labeled “Summary By Department”
4. In the “Any Part Of Job Title” box, type in the word “clerk”
5. Click on “Update”
6. When the results come up, divide “2009 Pay” by the number [of employees] under “Count”

By the way, I notice BIAW calculated that liquor store clerk pay increased 1,495.76% from 2005 to 2009 by determining the percentage difference between $961,155 (“2005 Pay”) and $15,337,773 (“2009 Pay”).

The 2005 pay figure seems suspicious, and makes me wonder if it isn’t a typo (e.g., BIAW dropped a digit somewhere). And, of course, they made no adjustment for change in the number of employees.

But if you take BIAW’s figures at face value, then liquor store clerks made an average of $1,816.93, which suggests they hadn’t had a raise since the end of Prohibition and a COLA was long overdue.

46. Roger Rabbit spews:

It’s so fucking easy to ridicule BIAW and their lackey, Klown, it’s pathetic.

47. Roger Rabbit spews:

Cynical’s idea of reputable government employment is a drunken Blackwater mercenary who’s paid $150,000 a year with taxpayer dollars shooting up Afghan civilians for fun.

48. Roger Rabbit spews:

@44 Don’t forget use of the corporate jet and hunting lodge, skybox tickets, and company-provided mistresses.

49. uptown spews:

@37 How about defending the CEO of Oracle getting $556.98 mil in Total Compensation

Well I’ll take that one on…he started the company and still owns over a billion shares. Anyway he had his winning America’s Cup sailboat built up here in WA.

As for those liquor clerks…most large food stores are unionized and they are the ones who would benefit if we privatized the liquor business in WA. I don’t see any savings there.

50. Steve spews:

“Roger”the intellectual lightweight” Rabbit.”

“Progressives are always speculating….closing” their eyes to facts.”

“Delusional Rabbit”

“Rog is a real lightweight!”

Sigh! I see that we have an intellectual lightweight, eye’s closed to facts and delusional troll projecting his personal issues on others again. I’d have thought he’d have realized by now that it’s a Psych 101 thing.

51. Roger Rabbit spews:

@50 Hmmm, I didn’t see most of those, but then, I’m not a paleontologist who spends his time sifting through troll dung for seeds to figure out what they eat.

All I know is Cynical is nowhere to be seen at this moment. He’s probably hiding under a bed licking his wounds.

52. jon spews:

@30

Use Liquor Control Board for the dept and enter “clerk” as part of the job title. The clerk in question is clearly an outlier.

54. Daddy Love spews:

Wingnut logic:

Stimulus spending to create jobs = wasteful and unconscionable deficit-increasing

Cutting taxes for the rich (which FYI reduces revenue and increases deficits) = happy happy joy joy

They say they care about deficits. This is a lie.

55. mikek spews:

That’s a great site BIAW has up. Looking through the pay of state workers at random, using summary by job title, for 2009 salaries, it looks to me like state workers are actually probably underpaid.

Some examples: an IT Spec 5 at the LCB, which must be an experienced IT person since the job classifications start at IT Spec 1, there are 12 of them listed, making $904,164, or $75,347 per IT Spec 5. That’s just not that much income for somebody who either worked their way up from a 1, or who was hired in at a 5 and had lots of experience. He or she could probably do just as well, or better, in the private sector. Even their total compensation, which averages $115,582 per person, isn’t really that high.

I’m sure the BIAW is trying to show how much state employees make, and that it is excessive, but after looking at the actual numbers, I’m left with the impression that we’re getting a pretty good deal out of our state workers

Besides, all of those state workers are shopping, paying rent or mortgages, buying groceries, doing recreational things, and so on, that inject money into the economy.

56. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

Somewhere between a third to 40 percent of the stimulus was tax cuts..

The wingnuts have pronounced it a failure.

I say it was way better than nothing but not nearly good enough and gee if it was a failure like the earlier Shrub era tax rebate or whatever it was called, that just goes to demonstrate the fecklessness of tax cuts to jolt this present-day economy out of the doldrums..

57. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

@1 – Stupes crowed that quite a few of the 400 richest families in this country lean Democrat.

Well the richest families at their abysmally low average federal tax rate of 17 percent on a average income of 357 MILLION dollars per YEAR seem to pay a hell of a lot more taxes than the McCourts who aren’t quite as fortunate to be in that exclusive circle..

58. worf spews:

@55 – Agreed, we get very good value from our state workers. Let’s tax all the stupid HA trolls per wasted word and use that money to hire more, thus alleviating unemployment, boosting the WA. economy and forcing the likes of cyn to contribute to society for the first time in his miserable life.

59. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

Only an idiot would assume that an employee takes all the sick leave and vacation leave that they earn. People don’t do that.

Weeellll in the case of state workers maybe so maybe not.. This is anecdotal of course, take it for what it’s worth.

I’m married to a state employee and her coworkers seem to grab everything they can. She being near the bottom of the union seniority totem pole has a hard time getting time off for our kid’s birthdays and even in one super egregious case, parent-teacher conferences.

This is in good part, her coworkers’ fault, no doubt about that.. But the horrible budget situation is also to blame. Her department is understaffed and overworked and if employees can’t get time off from the pressure cooker – they will steal it every which way they can.

Of course that’s true in both public and private sectors.

Another case that’s interesting is FMLA. Family leave.. Some state workers due to their medical problems don’t want to work full time per their present job classification so they try to go down to part-time but those positions are hard to come by. So they will get a doctor to sign off on medical reasons to use FMLA and bingo – they’ve got their “part-time” job even though the work burden is full time or more.. A good manager would arrange a job share but that’s about impossible to make happen in these days of budget cutting.

60. Chris Stefan spews:

@37
I don’t begrudge whatever crazy Larry wants to have his company pay him. He is after all the founder and largest shareholder. Furthermore Oracle has been fairly consistent at increasing shareholder value and making bucketloads of money so I don’t think the other shareholders are complaining.

Oh, BTW if you want to make a fairly decent living learn enough about Oracle to get a job as a DBA.

61. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

How about defending the CEO of Oracle getting $556.98 mil in Total Compensation or John Stumph of Well’s Fargo who got $18.7 mill?

That puts crazy Larry in the top 400 households.

Don’t care what he makes as long as he contributes to the pot. Hopefully he’s shoring up the tax scoffers in his exclusive circle.. But if he’s crowing to himself about making out like the McCourts? I have no respect for him whatsoever. I little enough as it is..

The banker is being paid modestly by comparison..

62. Roger Rabbit spews:

@55 It looks like BIAW is double-counting paid leave. This would be included in employee pay, but then they count it again as “PTO” (paid time off).

63. mikek spews:

@62, good point. makes our state employees an even better deal.

64. Roger Rabbit spews:

As for Thomas D. Taylor, the liquor store clerk that BIAW asserts made $100K in 2009, according to the official OFM data he made $15.30 an hour in 2009, so it looks like BIAW is simply wrong.

http://lbloom.net/lcb09.html

In fact, I’m pretty sure I know what happened. TWO Thomas D. Taylors work for LCB, but only one is a “liquor store clerk” … the other is a Warehouse Operator 2. BIAW’s data compiler read the two names as one individual and combined the incomes of two employees.

Mystery solved.

65. Roger Rabbit spews:

@59 State employees save as much sick leave as possible, if they have any brains, because you never know when you’ll need it. The state lets its workers donate sick leave to other state employees. I once gave 40 hours to a colleague who got very sick and had used up all her leave, because when you retire the state cashes it out at only 25 cents on the dollar, so it was worth 4 times as much to her as me.

66. Roger Rabbit spews:

It’s now clear that BIAW’s lame attempt to smear state workers is based on very clumsy data collection and arithmetic.

I’d sure hate to have these guys measure and lay out a room addition or deck for me.

67. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

Come on Goldy, get real. If one assumes that one’s side of the argument is a given, then you can never, ever, lose an argument.

Pontificating editorials and drawing bright moral lines to fit all circumstances becomes quite easy when operating under that assumption.

68. Roger Rabbit spews:

So the $100,000-a-year liquor store clerk turns out to be a myth resulting from counting two employees with the same name as one person.

69. Zotz spews:

Hunter IS being conservative, not even moderate. Definitely not liberal or progressive.

A prime example: Repeal the sales tax break for fertilizer.

Note that this is part of the sales tax exemption for “chemical and fertilizer sprays” as it’s called out in the ’08 DOR report. An actual progressive would have targeted the part of the exemption that subsidizes spraying poison on food.

But credit where it’s due, he’s got the con on tax exemption repeal, and any is a victory, IMO. You go, Ross!

70. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

Free market economic theory posits that when wages are reduced, less labor is supplied (basic supply-demand analysis). Wingnuts get blue in the face arguing otherwise.

According to them, if everybody worked for zero then we would have paradise–just like the communists.

Lunatics. All of them. Lunatics.

71. N in Seattle spews:

Still another of Cynical’s BIAW’s lies revolves around sick leave.

It doesn’t get paid unless it’s used. Unlike vacation time, it doesn’t go to the employee upon departure from service … any accrued/unused sick leave simply disappears without a trace when the employee retires or moves on to other work.

PS. Nice work on the “$100K liquor clerk”, RR. Just as with, say, gubernatorial recounts, human beings are far better at pattern recognition (and absence-of-pattern recognition) than computers.

72. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

Todays quiz: Under some circumstances, when the wage is reduced, MORE labor is, in theory, supplied. What is this anomaly known as?

73. Roger Rabbit spews:

@70 Free speech theory posits that BIAW can spew nonsense and some fool will imbibe their swill without doing any fact-checking.

74. Mr. Cynical spews:

55. mikek spews:

Besides, all of those state workers are shopping, paying rent or mortgages, buying groceries, doing recreational things, and so on, that inject money into the economy.

That is an idiotic argument mikek.
Why not give the money to private sector workers and let them buy stuff??

Regarding State Employee TOTAL COMPENSATION, let the voters decide if it is excessive.
My guess is the majority of voters will be outraged. The important thing is to get the information out there. Most voters have no idea the TOTAL COMPENSATION is really wages plus 50%.
BTW, if State workers say their is no value for Paid time-off…then give it up!!
We have excessive employees because of all this time-off.
Let’s right-size and right-compensate State employees. Should have done it 5 years ago…and we would not be in this fiasco.
The Budget Deficit didn’t just happen. It’s because of excessive, costly Progressive regulations and over-sompensated State Wmployees.
Cut Salaries by 10% and Benefits/Paid Time-off by 20%.
Wages & Benefits are 60% of the Budget.
Even more for the School Districts.

It’s about thime our “representatives” fought for taxpayers…not Government Employee Unions.

75. Roger Rabbit spews:

Geez, after this thread, Cynical must feel like he had a Roto-Rooter job on his pisspipe. He’s gotta be hurting after the reaming he got today.

76. Mr. Cynical spews:

ylb @ 59–
Solution to your wifes problem.
Dump your lazy ass and marry a guy who has a job..or at least tries to get one!

77. Roger Rabbit spews:

Hey Klown! I just blew your $100,000-liquor-store-clerk rant to bits! I posted this expose on Sucky Politics, too, to make sure your friends over there also know what an idiot you are.

78. Roger Rabbit spews:

@74 “Regarding State Employee TOTAL COMPENSATION, let the voters decide if it is excessive.”

That’s a stupid idea. Why don’t we vote on the pay of private sector workers, too? But if we do this, then let’s at least get the numbers right. And while we’re at it, let’s audit the rest of BIAW’s bookkeeping, too. God only knows what arithmetic mistakes they’re making on their state paperwork.

79. Roger Rabbit spews:

Folks, in case you never saw one before, now you know what an attack rabbit looks like.

80. Roger Rabbit spews:

@76 Why should he work? You don’t.

81. Roger Rabbit spews:

@74 Wingnut offer to state employees: Less staff, more work, lower pay.

Why would any state employee vote Republican?

82. Roger Rabbit spews:

@72 Slavery.

83. Mr. Cynical spews:

81. Roger Rabbit spews:

@74 Wingnut offer to state employees: Less staff, more work, lower pay.

Why would any state employee vote Republican?

Because they have a clue that the Union Democrat Party tax-and-squander model is unsustainable. And they are happy to have a job when so many do not. And they aren’t Socialists like the HA gang.

84. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

76 – Spout off all the bile you want, you miserable fool.

You got your BIAW-loving ass kicked today!

85. Mr. Cynical spews:

SLAVERY??
Rog Rabbit, a lifetime hog feeding from the State trough, is quite the drama queen.
Now State Employees are slaves??
Guess what…they can quit their jobs any time and walk away.

86. Roger Rabbit spews:

@71 Actually, state employees do get a cashout of unused sick leave, but only at 25% of their pay, when they retire. We can put it in a tax-sheltered medical savings account and draw on it for health insurance premiums, copays, noncovereds, etc. That’s what I did with mine. My sick leave cashout didn’t amount to much, but with today’s incredibly high health care costs and miserly pension benefits, every little bit helps.

87. Roger Rabbit spews:

@85 “Guess what…they can quit their jobs any time and walk away.”

Guess what … I did.

88. Roger Rabbit spews:

Get a clue, Cynical — I won’t work for what you want to pay. You can take that job and shove it.

89. Michael spews:

@77 Cyn’s incapable of learning.

90. Mr. Cynical spews:

TOTAL COMPENSATION of Gregoire’s very own Governor’s Office—

Name
Job Title
Tot Comp

O GRADY-GREGOIRE, CHRISTINE GOVERNOR $256,011
ZEHNDER, CYNTHIA G. CHIEF OF STAFF $250,128
BROWN, MARTIN LEGISLATIVE DIR $219,387
LOESCH, MARTIN C. LEGAL COUNSEL $213,226
TURNER, JOYCE G. DEPUTY C O S $201,071
EDWARDS, RALPH P. COMM DIRECTOR $193,008
JUDD, RON G. DIR EXT AFFAIRS $193,008
WEGELEBEN, WILLIAM H. DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF $178,539
HEINEMANN, BRENT A. DIR INT REL/PRO $142,404
MEINIG, MARY B. ACT DIRECTOR OMB $136,348
SIMMONS, ADA M. EDUCATION OMBUDSMAN $126,647
MASON WILGIS, LINDA OMBUDSMAN $119,928
LANDINO, ELLEN M. EXEC ASST TO GOV $113,228
RYAN, KYM M. EXEC ASST $111,092
MARCHISIO, LEE R. PUB LIAS OFFICER $109,546
LOCKARD, LAURA S. PRESS SECRETARY $109,528
HARRIS, JENNIFER A. LEGAL OMBUDSMAN $107,521
OLSON, TERESA M. MANSION COORD $105,699
FREDERICKS, LINDA S. EXEC ASSISTANT $103,232
NELSON, GERI M. EXEC ASSISTANT $103,232
SPENCER, HAROLD B. SPEECHWRITER $100,471
VO, HAI T. MANSION COOK $99,772
FLORES, MARIA R. EDUCATION OMBUDSMAN $97,360
SHEA-BROWN, COLLEEN E. OMBUDSMAN $97,010
SHAGREN, KARINA L. DEP PRESS SECRTY $93,881

91. Michael spews:

@48

I wasn’t sure how much to add for tea bagging. Any amount I came up with seemed too low.

92. Mr. Cynical spews:

Governor’s Office–Page 2

Name
Job Title
Tot Comp

WOOD, COREY F. OMBUDSMAN $93,881
PALCHAK, MEGAN G. OMBUDSMAN $90,751
WINKLER, BARBARA L. EXEC SCHEDULER $89,537
OWEN, MEGAN PUB LIAS OFFICER $88,579
TANAKA, KIM A. EXECUTIVE ANALYST BOARDS & COMMISSIONS $87,806
TICHENOR, STACEY L. EXEC APPT ANLYST $87,806
CLARK, DENNIS B. EXEC POL ADV $85,965
HINTON, COLLEEN OMBUDSMAN $80,745
MORRISON, IAN S. PUB LIAS OFFICER $80,737
PIGOTT, RACHEL A. SPECIAL PROJECTS/DATA COORDINATOR $79,062
HOSS, SCHUYLER F. PUB LIAS OFFICER $78,234
HENDERSON, HEIDI M. ED OMB – FAMILY INVOLVEMENT SPECIALIST $77,888
FARLEY, L M. CORRESP EDITOR $76,320
SMITH, SHAWNEE G. COMM COORDINATOR $75,105
EIDENBERG-NOPPE, DANIELLE J. EDUCATION OMBUDSMAN $74,147
FRANK, LESLIE A. ADM SVCS MGR $73,794
ZUBER, STEVEN C. EDUCATION OMBUDSMAN $72,336
CAREY, PATRICIA B. COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST $70,569
GOBEILLE, KRISTA L. CORRESP ANALYST $69,748
WOLFSON, STEVEN N. OMBUDSMAN $68,745
LARSEN, REBECCA A. EXEC RECEPTIONST $67,705
BALLOU, STEPHANIE R. CORRESP EDITOR $65,717
RAMIREZ, VERONICA S. EDUCATION SPECIALIST/OMBUDSMAN ASST. $65,532
THIETJE, CHERYL R. CONSTNT REL MGR $63,839
DUBOIS, PHILIP P. EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE ANALYST $61,961

93. N in Seattle spews:

I’ve identified still another Cynical BIAW error in their stupid and misleading outright lie database. This is in addition to the multiple people with same name and double-counting benefits problems pointed out by RR, the unused sick leave issue I discussed @71, and who-knows-what-else we haven’t yet gotten to.

For the UW (at least), they count salary based on 100% effort, irrespective of the facts. I know this because I checked out what they say about me. I wish my base pay was what they pretend it is, but they miss the fact that since last March I’m at 85%* effort.

* [definition: working as much as ever, but only getting 85% as much in my paycheck]

94. Roger Rabbit spews:

@83 “Because they have a clue that the Union Democrat Party tax-and-squander model is unsustainable. And they are happy to have a job when so many do not. And they aren’t Socialists like the HA gang.”

Having been there and done that, I think it’s far more likely they look at their private-sector counterparts pulling down twice the money and think they should be working somewhere else.

95. Roger Rabbit spews:

I don’t know a single career state employee who didn’t retire as soon as he could. One state agency I work with on policy matters, in particular, has been decimated by retirements over the last couple years.

96. Mr. Cynical spews:

Governor’s Office—Page 3

Name
Job Title
Tot Comp

PEYCHEFF, ANTOANETA SENIOR OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR $60,949
GREEN-SISTRUNK, CARO CORRESPOND ANAL $60,889
JOHNSON, AMY INFO. REF. SPECIALIST /OFFICE ADMIN. $58,685
CALVERT, JOSHUA D. PROG ASSISTANT $58,134
SCHAEFER, TRACIE M. EXECUTIVE RECEPT $58,132
DELANEY, MICHIKO ASSISTANT $51,178
FIDLER, ALICE J. ASSISTANT $51,178
GRIFFIN, JEANNE M. ASSISTANT $51,178
HAGLUND, LINDA E. ASSISTANT $51,178
HANNAH, JENNIE ASSISTANT $51,178
JENSON, MARIAN J. ASSISTANT $51,178
JOHNSON, KARI ASSISTANT $51,178
KIRCHMEIER, COLLEEN K. ASSISTANT $51,178
LAFOYA, NORMA J. ASSISTANT $51,178
LAMB, CATHLEEN M. ASSISTANT $51,178
PIDONE, JANICE A. ASSISTANT $51,178
DUANE, ANDREA N. ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT $50,125
CERVANTES, JEWEL A. EXEC RECPTIONIST $49,113

97. Lauramae spews:

The BIAW contributors probably benefit most from public dollars. It’s laughable really. Who the hell do they think the state hires for all of its capital projects?

Roger, there is no point in trying to explain anything logical to Cynical and the crowd who honest to damn god believes that a liquor store clerk who makes less than $30,000 a year really makes $101,000 a year because of the 96 hours of vacation leave he earns each year and the 96 hours of sick leave earned each year.

Never mind that employees like that clerk have to work for the state over 10 years to get any increase in vacation leave. And you can work for the state for 110 years and never earn more than 96 hours of sick leave in a year.

No one goes into public service to get rich. It is a rare bunch that gets paid enough to live very comfortably and that will never change. If you go through the budget cuts listed for the Senate and the House, agencies are losing real money. The take backs to the universities is pretty high and that is on top of the cuts last year.

In the Senate version, State Parks and Fish and Wild life get merged with Natural Resources. However we have managed to preserve things like the horse racing commission. I have a feeling the reason certain boards and commissions get saved is because some private pukes want it there. I wish they would have slashed whatever protective mechanism protects the interests like the BIAW like prohibiting agencies from contracting with any contractor in the state of WA.

98. Mr. Cynical spews:

N in Seattle-
You look silly trying to justify an unsustainable compensation model.

99. Roger Rabbit spews:

90, 92, 96 — I guess this is Klown’s counterattack, which consists of cherry-picking the salaries of the Governor’s handpicked personal aides — jobs ordinary state employees can only dream about — as “proof” that 100,000 or so rank-and-file state workers are “overpaid.”

100. Mr. Cynical spews:

Department of Ecology—

Summarized Results
Count 2005 Pay 2007 Pay 2009 Pay 4yr Inc 4yr Inc % 2009 Ben 2009 PTO 2009 Tot Comp
1,615 $76,309,357 $87,963,207 $96,246,303 $19,936,947 26.12 % $28,873,891 $22,521,635 $147,641,829

101. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Hey Dumb Bunny@1,

McCourt is one of your “progressive” Moonbat!s. You are getting to be as stupid as ylb arschloch and that takes some doing. Jamie McCourt gave $50 Large to Obama FOOL! Frank McCourt gave to Clinton you stupid idiot. Why don’t you look up their contributions before

A S S U M I N G

they are Republican…

Wait a minute… THIS IS HOW IT WORKS! You are just a stupid retired state lawyer placed out to pasture…

102. Mr. Cynical spews:

Department of Ecology–
26.12% increase in 4 years!

Look at how many folks have Total Compensation of over $100,000…………..

103. Roger Rabbit spews:

I don’t see how anyone can claim a $33,000-a-year liquor clerk position is a good job in an economy where average homes cost $350,000 and economy cars cost $30,000. That’s not much more than poverty level for a family of four. To criticize people for making $33,000 a year is just plain mean-spirited.

104. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Michael spotted something…

@77 Cyn’s incapable of learning.

We gave up on you Michael!

105. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Goldy supports higher taxes. Stop the presses, this is an extremely shocking thing!

No wait, he supports higher taxes in a good economy, a mediocre one, and especially to slow job growth and economic recovery in a recession.

When will progressives get it? Recession related state budget shortfalls are good for government. They force the state, city or federal government to consider, for once, what really is good policy in line with their constitutional mandates, and what is vote buying social spending.

106. Roger Rabbit spews:

Leave it to a jerk like Cynical to pick on liquor store clerks.

107. Roger Rabbit spews:

@101 Where did I say they’re Republicans, jackass?

108. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 94

To paraphrase an old axiom-

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, work for government.

109. Roger Rabbit spews:

@97 “Roger, there is no point in trying to explain anything logical to Cynical”

I’m not trying to. All I’m trying to do is keep that goatfucking liar from misleading any innocent and naive people who may be reading this blog.

Okay, maybe I made up the goatfucking part. But what I said about Cynical being a liar is true. He’s a Lying BIAW whore.

110. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

That the same song that ther GOP US Congresspeople sang, and the 1993 tax hikes both kicked off the longest economic expansion in US history and balanced the budget.

Daddy Love needs to fix some more bugs after this morning’s WU because he’s surely not making sense with that comment.

111. Mr. Cynical spews:

663 Employees in the Dept. of Ecology with TOTAL COMPENSATION of over $99,000!!!
Almost 1/2 of the employees.

Clear example of Government out of control.

112. N in Seattle spews:

To extend an old axiom-

There are three kinds of lies … lies, damned lies, and Cynical’s BIAW’s bogus database.

113. lostinaseaofblue spews:

“no American citizen ought to have a net income” This is more in line with what that traitor FDR actually thought. And it’s definitely more in line with what the leftists here believe.

114. Roger Rabbit spews:

Gee, a department full of people with science degrees making $66K plus benefits — who woulda thought?

About 10 years ago, I saw a figure in the business press that the average cost to industry for factory workers was about $150,000 — which includes capital costs. Seems to me the state is getting a bargain for some pretty remarkable talent.

115. Mr. Cynical spews:

Summary of ALL DEPARTMENTS In Washington State Government.
Count 2005 Pay 2007 Pay 2009 Pay 4yr Inc 4yr Inc % 2009 Ben 2009 PTO 2009 Tot Comp
137,099 $4,914,769,185 $5,596,862,488 $6,470,417,010 $1,555,647,825 31.65 % $1,810,691,272 $1,412,339,193 $9,693,447,475

Pay Increase in the 4 years 2005-2009 (wages only) = 31.65%

There is the bottom-line.
A combination of wages and growing government.
Argue until you Progressives are blue in the face..this is unconscienable during a recession.
Time to roll back to 2004 (before Gregoire took us down the sh*thole).

116. Roger Rabbit spews:

@113 Change that to “no American worker ought to have a net income” and you’ve stated the conservative creed.

117. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Hey the fickle HNMM! ylb arschloch went back to his linked name again. Pavlov called it as always.

@1 – Stupes crowed that quite a few of the 400 richest families in this country lean Democrat.

Yep and you have the proof on your personal full blog backup of Goldy’s HA Blog. Such a menial person. Just like Puddy posted the McCourt’s giving to Dummocraptics when the Dumb Bunny tried to pull a DeVore.

118. Roger Rabbit spews:

2115 “Pay Increase in the 4 years 2005-2009 (wages only) = 31.65%”

Funny thing is, if you stretch the data out to 8 years (2001-2009), you get the same figure, because state workers went without COLAs for both of the bienniums preceding Gregoire’s first term.

119. Mr. Cynical spews:

Wages $6.5 BILLION X 10% ==$650 Million

Benefits $1.8 BILLION X 20%==$360 MILLION

PTO $1.4 BILLION X 20%===280 MILLION

Reducing Salaries by 10% and Benefits/PTO by 20%===$1,290,000,000

There is almost 1/2 of the deficit
Now lets get into Cushy Contracts with outside consultants and contract employees etc.
There we’ll find another $100 MILLION or so of excess.
Now let’s start cutting staff at the University of Washington and other colleges that claim they are in poverty.

120. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 116

With respect, no.

The conservative creed is that anyone with gumption will and discipline to do well ought to be rewarded for these qualities. Not punished.

121. Roger Rabbit spews:

@108 You couldn’t have begun to do my job, toadstool. You wouldn’t even know where to begin.

122. lostinaseaofblue spews:

It’s the left that wants to create class and ethnic warfare in this country. The right more truly reflects MLKs’ wish that people be judged by the content of their character than their color (or economic standing.)

123. Roger Rabbit spews:

@105 When will you get it? The state has already cut billions and laid off thousands. So they’ve done exactly what you assert they should.

But hey, I’m tired of arguing with you, so let’s close all the schools and let you figure out where you’re going to find workers who can read a tape measure or fill out a job application 10 years from now.

124. Chris Stefan spews:

@83
Hey dumbfuck just try to hire a good DBA for less than 6 figures.

But then I guess we can have state agencies hire some high school kid for $9/hour who says he knows what a database is to do the job instead.

And I’m sure there are plenty of good prosecutors who won’t mind working in the AG’s office for minimum wage.

125. Roger Rabbit spews:

Cynical’s in full mouth-foaming mode now. We got to him today.

126. Roger Rabbit spews:

@122 Yeah right, wanting to get paid for our work is “class warfare.” You make me laugh.

127. Roger Rabbit spews:

@120 With disrespect, yes.

128. ArtFart spews:

Eh….just about when Cynical’s managed to make a complete fool of himself, Puddy shows up to remind us all what real foolishness looks like.

129. Roger Rabbit spews:

This thread is all the evidence anyone needs of how dishonest and hateful the right is.

130. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 121

Ah ah ah. You’re substituting a personal attack for a reasoned argument again.

But you’re right. I haven’t the patience to deal with lackadaisical incompetence on a day to day basis. I haven’t the patience to deal with an administrative arm more concerned about PC values than whether the department is accomplishing its’ goals in a cost effective and efficient manner.

I have great respect for teachers, fire fighters, police officers and other government workers who put up with the political nightmare of admin to do a job they find satisfying and important. But for every one of these front line workers there are 4 office jockeys wasting taxpayer money and time every day.

131. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Hey arschloch, you can figger it out Larry Ellison likes Harry Reid and Patrick Leahy. He gives them political largess fool!

132. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

FartyArt,

Proof positive one does think from his ASS!

133. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Lost,

Personal attack is all progressive libtardos have. Keith Olbermann comes to mind!

134. lostinaseaofblue spews:

re 127

“With disrespect, yes.” Unsurprising, as most liberals know only ad hominem attacks and vulgarity as response to that with which they disagree.

And you’re a stellar example of the type. Congratulations.

135. Roger Rabbit spews:

@120 “The conservative creed is that anyone with gumption will and discipline to do well ought to be rewarded for these qualities. Not punished.”

Bullshit! Conservatives are the biggest welfare queens in the solar system. They want free this, free that, from government — everything from free water and electricity to free grazing on public lands to free roads to their factories to a free educated workforce. They want tax breaks, subsidies, no-bid government contracts. They want to privatize government functions so they can get the work for themselves — and extract hefty profits from taxpayers. If something is worth ten cents, conservatives want it for nothing. They want the right to tear up public lands to extract valuable minerals for nothing. They want oil, timber, fish — anything the public owns that can be sold, they want it for nothing. The only things conservatives believe in are a quick buck and a free ride.

136. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 129

Was that meant to be ironic?

137. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Cynical,

ylb arschloch the HNMM! wouldn’t know an ASS kicking if his own wife was kicking his. He’s all arschloch!

138. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Lost,

since the Dumb Bunny posted most of the thread, he’s looking at himself.

139. Roger Rabbit spews:

@134 “Unsurprising, as most liberals know only ad hominem attacks and vulgarity as response to that with which they disagree.”

You do have a humorous streak.

140. Roger Rabbit spews:

Looks like Cynical called up his reserves. He needs all the reinformcements he can get! He took a real ass-kicking today. But counting on the Two Stooges to save him from a 30-inch tall rabbit? ha ha ha ha ha …

141. Mr. Cynical spews:

123. Roger Rabbit spews:

@105 When will you get it? The state has already cut billions and laid off thousands. So they’ve done exactly what you assert they should.

Show me the list of “layoffs” and BILLIONS of cuts. PS…approving new programs & expenses and then deciding not to proceed is not a CUT dumbass. This is the Union Democrat Party favorite cookin’ the books scam.
Approve an increase.
Then decide against that increase.
And call it a “cut”!

142. Mr. Cynical spews:

Ass-kicking??
Yean, right.

Let’s see you contest this Rog??

Summary of ALL DEPARTMENTS In Washington State Government.
Count 2005 Pay 2007 Pay 2009 Pay 4yr Inc 4yr Inc % 2009 Ben 2009 PTO 2009 Tot Comp
137,099 $4,914,769,185 $5,596,862,488 $6,470,417,010 $1,555,647,825 31.65 % $1,810,691,272 $1,412,339,193 $9,693,447,475

Pay Increase in the 4 years 2005-2009 (wages only) = 31.65%

Salary & Benefit increases in the face of a recession. How is that responsible to the taxpayers? It’s a Union Payola Scheme!!
Checkmate.

143. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 135

You’re almost right. One of our most important and most commonly attacked freedoms is the freedom to be left alone by our government.

I want freedom to succeed without being punished for it. I want minimal government in line with framer intent. I want government to be the limited evil the founders believed it ought to be, rather than the monstrous one it is.

What you’re talking about true conservatives abhor. We need transportation infrastructures, but we need all citizens who benefit from them to pay equally for them. We need schools, police, armed defense of the country, court systems and the other very limited constitutionally mandated duties of government on the same terms.

What you want is for a very few to pay for these services for the rest. Hardly democratic, whatever you call your party.

144. jon spews:

@141

I was about to ask the same . . . show us the data for state layoffs, Rabbit.

145. Roger Rabbit spews:

@130 “I haven’t the patience to deal with lackadaisical incompetence on a day to day basis.”

You and all your fellow contractors, eh? When my house was reroofed last summer, the roofers discovered the original builder didn’t lay down any felt paper, he just nailed the composition directly to the plywood sheathing, so the roof has been leaking for the last 50 years. When the deck was built, no flashing was used on the sill beam, so the entire back wall had dry rot and had to be rebuilt. Garage leaks corroded the breaker box, which has to be replaced. There’s water damage everywhere. Yeah, tell me again about the competence of builders and contractors …

146. Roger Rabbit spews:

When I got the bill from the contractor, it was indecipherable gibberish. I spent over 100 hours going through receipts trying to figure out what I had paid for, and how much I had paid for it, so I could deduct the sales taxes on my income tax. The guy didn’t get required permits, he overcharged for several small repair jobs, and when he built the new deck he cut the wiring to the kitchen with the lag bolts which I had to pay an electrician hundreds of dollars to repair.

147. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 140

Sorry Bunny, feeling beseiged?

That’s okay. I have an appointment with my CPA, so will miss the rest of this discussion. Have a pleasant afternoon.

148. Mr. Cynical spews:

Roger Rabbit is busted again for FRAUD!!
Claims thousands of State Workers laid off and Billions cut!
LIAR!

149. Roger Rabbit spews:

Lost, are you even a little curious to know how little respect I have for the “competence” of contractors? Has anyone else on this blog ever met a contractor they trusted? Lost, you might want to choose a different example to make your point.

150. Roger Rabbit spews:

Contracting is a reviled business, and for just cause.

151. Roger Rabbit spews:

@144 Look it up yourself, you lazy jerk. I’m not your research assistant.

152. jon spews:

@123

Rabbit, you said:

The state has already cut billions and laid off thousands

Can you provide the employment data you’re relying on?

153. Mr. Cynical spews:

151. Roger Rabbit spews:

@144 Look it up yourself, you lazy jerk. I’m not your research assistant.

I tried. It doesn’t exist.
You pulled the numbers outta yer ass!
What a fool.
Trying to pretend there were thousands of layoffs and BILLIONS of cuts.
Will be a loooooooong time before anyone takes you seriously Rog (not that anyone ever has..or will!)
I suppose Rog if you are gonna lie, you might as well make it a WHOPPER! Like you just did.

154. Roger Rabbit spews:

” … state budget cuts have shrunk the workforce. Figures provided by the governor’s office show employment, excluding K-12 teachers, has dropped about 4,700 full-time equivalents during the past fiscal year …. No details were available from the state on how many of the cuts came through attrition versus layoffs. But Devereux said his union’s analysis indicates about 2,700 people lost their jobs.”

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011003705_stateworkers07m.html

155. susan spews:

@151

It’s your claim, so provide the data . . .

156. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Is this the same contractor you pay over $100 per hour for? (By the way, I know of very few who get more than $40 billable for carpenters, $65 for management.)

Yes, bad contractors are out there. When they are good contractors good craftsmen and good businessmen aren’t often the same thing.

Sorry you got stung, but in a general way a 50 year old house was built well initially, or it wouldn’t still be standing.

157. lostinaseaofblue spews:

re 149 and 150

Yes, and attorneys are so beloved.

Actually both suffer the same PR problem. Both are called when someone is expensively needing help. Neither are likely to be popular when the bill arrives, no matter what help was given or how fairly.

And no, I don’t much care whether you like contractors. As it happens I take on projects that interest me and solely by word of mouth. I don’t advertise and won’t. If someone wants me to do a job they know scope, cost and payment terms in advance, and are free to not sign my contracts.

Now, I really do have to go, so have a great afternoon.

158. Roger Rabbit spews:

“John D’Errico Jr. had been a probation officer in Rhode Island’s sex offender program for more than 34 years, with plans to work for several more, when a move earlier this year by the General Assembly blindsided him.

“To deal with a burgeoning budget deficit, lawmakers voted May 1 to require state employees who retire after Sept. 30 to pay substantially more for their health care. … So D’Errico, despite his caseload that included some of the state’s most serious sex offenders, retired June 30.

“The economic downturn has hit states hard, and among those feeling the effects are state employees, whose salaries are being frozen, who are retiring before they wanted to, who are being asked to take furloughs, or unpaid days off, and who … have been laid off.

“State employees have traditionally accepted lower salaries in return for greater benefits and job security. But … only three years after states had emerged from the last recession — the hiring and salary freezes and benefit cuts that occurred earlier this decade are making a comeback as states struggle to meet their budgets. …

“[T]he American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union estimated that almost 7,000 full-time state employees nationwide have been laid off, and reported that state officials have announced planned layoffs of another 26,000. Additionally, more than 7,000 people … have taken early retirement.

“Rhode Island’s decision to charge workers more for health benefits if they’re still on the job after Sept. 30 resulted in more than 1,250 employees retiring this year, including the acting Medicaid director, the state welfare agency’s budget chief and almost one-fourth of the Department of Environmental Management. Some worry that losing so many employees could affect state operations. …

“While many state employees will escape layoffs, some will see smaller paychecks because their hours are being cut. ‘The alternative would’ve been to fire individuals,’ said Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, who still works on his forced day off. …

“Some state employees are also being charged more for benefits. In Georgia, non-education employees’ salaries are being frozen and health insurance premiums have increased an average of 7.5 percent.”

http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=345473

(Date of article: Oct. 3, 2008)

But for pure idiocy, this one takes the cake:

“In July, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) … sought to temporarily lower 200,000 employees’ salaries to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 …”

(Ibid.)

Roger Rabbit Commentary: The way these trolls caw, you’d think public workers are a privileged class who are protected from the recession. That’s bullshit. They’re getting hit as hard as anyone else.

But for the Gropinator to exploit a recession to attempt to pay college-educated professionals with years of public service and families to support in a high-cost-of-living state an arbitrary $6.55 an hour — that’s just mean-spirited. It’s so … well … Republican.

Why would any public employee, or any other worker for that matter, vote for these assholes?

159. Roger Rabbit spews:

@157 “Yes, and attorneys are so beloved.”

A good deal more than contractors, let me tell you. We’re the people your customers come to when you overcharge them and do shoddy work. And are they ever glad when we return their calls.

160. Roger Rabbit spews:

@156 “Is this the same contractor you pay over $100 per hour for?”

It was supposed to be $50 an hour, but he padded the timesheets. The last job he did for me, four guys worked for 1 1/2 hours, and he charged me $600. That’s $100 an hour. Needless to say, that was the last work he’ll get from me.

161. Roger Rabbit spews:

After all the work was done, I added up all the payments (he insisted on cash), typed up a master receipt, and asked him to sign it. He didn’t want to, which leads me to suspect he isn’t reporting income or paying taxes.

162. Roger Rabbit spews:

@157 Your lame attempt to compare contractors with attorneys is a joke. The public thinks of “contractors” in the same sentence as “crooks.” They beg to see us lawyers after doing business with you contractors.

163. N in Seattle spews:

Chris Stefan @124:

@83
Hey dumbfuck just try to hire a good DBA for less than 6 figures.

But then I guess we can have state agencies hire some high school kid for $9/hour who says he knows what a database is to do the job instead.

Or Cynical. He thinks BIAW’s lying, manipulative propaganda is a meaningful and accurate database.

164. lostinaseaofblue spews:

The CPA is late so I have time for one last quick shot.

You’re an attorney who paid a contractor in cash? Really?

When you claimed to value workers so much you bragged about paying $100 labor rates. Funny, you didn’t mention you thougth you’d been cheated at that.

But don’t kid yourself. I have a cousin who’s a sherrifs deputy. Asked the least favorite part of his job he doesn’t say physical danger. He doesn’t say late nights or paperwork. He says ‘damned lawyers.’

165. Mr. Cynical spews:

N in Seattle–
The information came directly from the State numbnutz!

Is this wrong too?

Summary of ALL DEPARTMENTS In Washington State Government.
Count 2005 Pay 2007 Pay 2009 Pay 4yr Inc 4yr Inc % 2009 Ben 2009 PTO 2009 Tot Comp
137,099 $4,914,769,185 $5,596,862,488 $6,470,417,010 $1,555,647,825 31.65 % $1,810,691,272 $1,412,339,193 $9,693,447,475

Pay Increase in the 4 years 2005-2009 (wages only) = 31.65%

There is the bottom-line.
You can try to deflect all you want.

166. lostinaseaofblue spews:

The public thinks of mechanics as crooks often. This is because they must pay the bill or not have transportation. They often don’t understand what went wrong or how it was fixed and feel like they’ve been cheated when mostly they haven’t.

Are there bad mechanics? Sure. Bad contractors? Absolutely, I used to clean up their messes all the time. But an attorney surely understands the logical precept that one bad apple doesn’t impeach the whole barrrel.

167. Mr. Cynical spews:

Rog spews–

No details were available from the state on how many of the cuts came through attrition versus layoffs

You said it was layoffs Rog.

You also said BILLIONS of cuts.
Which orifice did you yank that out of?

168. jon spews:

@162 They beg to see us lawyers after doing business with you contractors

Yea, and they beg to see the WSBA after doing business with a lawyer.

Your travails with contractors says far more about your decision-making and management skills then it does about contractors.

169. Perfect Voter spews:

Mr. Clinical, you should really spend more time over at soundpolitics.com. They really are more your type; much less damaging to your ulcer.

170. jon spews:

@167

From the Times story @154 – the one RR dug up when pressed – approximately 2.4 percent of state employees actually lost their jobs due to layoffs:

No details were available from the state on how many of the cuts came through attrition versus layoffs. But Devereux said his union’s analysis indicates about 2,700 people lost their jobs.

That’s based on a head count of 112,000 when the state was at peak employment in 2009.

That’s a paltry number compared to the private sector.

171. lostinaseaofblue spews:

I owe RR an apology. A great attorney doesn’t always mean a person who understands home repair, and anyone can get taken, well educated or not.

The following isn’t legal advice, which I’m not competent to give. It is hard experience from both ends of the contracting relationship.

Unless the job is very small (under 4000 or 5000 for instance) all contracts should be reviewed by an attorney who specializes in construction law. The contract is the binding document and the client has a right to argue terms prior to signing. If clients attorney says something should be changed which the contractor won’t, find another contractor.

When a contractor insists on cash something is badly wrong. Not all contractors will accept credit cards, but all reputable ones will accept checks. If the check is written to the contractor and not his company it doesn’t hurt to ask why, or insist on writing it to the company name.

When phased payments (draws) aren’t invoiced and the customer isn’t given a receipt for payment made this should be addressed with the contractor. The contract ought to specify when draws are acceptable.

Again, not legal advice, which any homeowner should seek prior to signing a contract.

172. ArtFart spews:

@149 “Has anyone else on this blog ever met a contractor they trusted?”

Yup. The guy who added on to our kitchen and dining room in 1987. Brought the project in on time and under budget (among other things, we got an extra bathroom roughed in for $0.00), excellent materials, nice workmanship, etc. He did the same thing for several other families we know…then he went out of business.

173. ArtFart spews:

@111 Would your professed “outrage” be motivated by what those people get paid (supposedly, that is…let’s assume for the moment you’re not lying)? Or, is it due to your dislike of everything the Department of Ecology does and stands for?

174. Don Joe spews:

@ 170

That’s a paltry number compared to the private sector.

Where’s your analysis, Jon?

175. YLB spews:

went back to his linked name again.

zzzZZZZzzzz.. Stupid fool…

He gives them political largess fool!

Like I could give a damn.. Not a big fan of the guy. Don’t care much for his company.

176. Michael spews:

@170

Would you have the state cutting jobs in areas that are revenue positive? In areas that help bring new businesses into the state? How about people’s who’s work allows us to qualify for federal dollars?

I do think the state needs to shed more jobs, but we can’t be stupid about it.

177. Michael spews:

@111

Actually, what you posted @111 is unintelligible jiberesh. Maybe they need to cut salaries or shed a few jobs, but you’ve:
A. Not proven that
B. Not shown a way that you could do that (at all really) without hurting vital state services.

178. Roger Rabbit spews:

@166 “The public thinks of mechanics as crooks often. This is because they must pay the bill or not have transportation.”

Silly consumers! Mechanics never pad bills, install shoddy parts, perform unnecessary repairs, or rip off their customers in a million other ways! Consumers are just pissed because they expected free repairs!

179. Roger Rabbit spews:

@164 Don’t all contractors get paid in cash?

180. Roger Rabbit spews:

@165 But the clusterfuck that BIAW turned the state’s data into is uniquely BIAW’s handiwork.

$100,000 liquor store clerk!

HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

181. Roger Rabbit spews:

@166 There’s a whole specialty field of law firms and lawyers who do nothing but clean up contractors’ messes.

182. Roger Rabbit spews:

@168 “Your travails with contractors says far more about your decision-making and management skills then it does about contractors.”

No, it merely says anyone — and I do mean anyone — can get a contractor’s license and bond.

183. Roger Rabbit spews:

@170 Without even knowing the numbers, I’ll give you that unemployment is higher among homebuilding laborers and new car salesmen than it is among judges, health inspectors, and correctional officers.

So … how many more State Patrol officers do we need to fire to make you feel it’s fair?

184. Blue John spews:

Now that we have found the BIAW website is very wrong, has anyone had time to compile this information and forwarded it to the Seattle Times, the Tacoma, Spokane, Yakima, Vancouver papers, the governor’s office, the TV stations, Obermann, the daily show, Huffington Post etc so that all the other media outlets can ridicule them also for their lies?

185. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

@179: If you mean suitcases full of bills, no. Can you imagine a public agency paying hundreds of thousands in cash for a contractor draw on a public works project?

Besides. If you paid cash, you should have asked for a discount. It hasn’t worked for me yet at McDonalds, but when the amounts get larger it does come into play :)

186. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

Question for KKKlynical KKKlown:

1. If state workers are overpaid, then you could easily compare their compensation to similar positions in the private sector to verify your assertion. Have you done so? No? Why not?

2. If state workers are overpaid, you would expect a drain from the private sector of all the best, the brightest, and the motivated. Do you observe this in what we call “reality”? Do you have a clue as to what “reality” is?

3. How does the state, despite all the rules, regulations, and oversight that is much more intense than what you see in the private sector, get away with “overpaying”?

4. What is the incentive for the state to “overpay” its workers? How much did republicans cut state worker pay when they were in charge? If they didn’t cut pay, why didn’t they? If they can’t cut pay like they say they will, then why should anybody vote for them?

5. I dare you to walk into a room full of teachers and tell them to their face that they are “overpaid”. Let me know if you plan this suicide mission so I can take out a big life insurance policy on your ass.

6. You appear to equate pay levels with some notion of “value”, in the same way a vulgar Marxist would. So tell me: Why are you a communist?

187. Devildog spews:

Good one, Goldy. And thanks for the Spitzer piece. The economic argument is a sound one. Since Reagan entered office and the Republicans abandoned the balanced budget mantra to become the party of tax cuts, the incomes of America’s middle class and blue collar families have steadily declined, along with the overall standard of living.

It was most enjoyable to read the comments, seething with right wing rage and hysteria.

188. Devildog spews:

@ 170: It sounds like you’re arguing that if the private sector sheds X number of jobs, then the public sector should follow suit. Why?

In the private sector, people lose their jobs because the demand for the goods and services produced by their employer declines. Has the demand for public services declined? Do students in public schools need less education because people in the private sector are losing their jobs?

Now, if state, county or municipal revenues are down, then governments should live within their means. They can prioritize services based on how essential they are for the public and reduce less essential programs and services, which could lead to hiring freezes, furloughs or layoffs.

The problem with this is that those affected will reduce purchases of goods and services from the private sector and more private sector employees will lose their jobs.

Better to enact a temporary tax increase to keep needed services available and workers employed. Actually, the state should also spend more on infrastructure projects to reduce the excess capacity in the private sector industries. This was the original idea behind the stimulus act (ARRA), but politicians screwed it up by including stupid provisions like . . . tax cuts.

189. Mr. Cynical spews:

169. Perfect Voter spews:

Mr. Clinical, you should really spend more time over at soundpolitics.com. They really are more your type; much less damaging to your ulcer.

I have more fun here stirring the discussion. Without me, Puddy, troll, lost and a few others…you KLOWNS would fall off the left-side of the Earth! You would certainly be less informed about the REAL WORLD.
The fact that you want me to leave means YOU LOSE!! You should welcome the debate. Although it’s clear Progressive’s cannot debate and lose on the philophical issues.
Progressivism is DEAD!

190. Mr. Cynical spews:

176. Michael spews:

@170

Would you have the state cutting jobs in areas that are revenue positive? In areas that help bring new businesses into the state? How about people’s who’s work allows us to qualify for federal dollars?

How precisely do State Workers bring in revenue?? C’mon Michael, Government doesn’t “bring in” new business…they can only scare it away which we have done with a 7.6% increase in L&I Premiums, B&O Tax, a doubling of Unemployment Rates for successful businesses that weren’t laying people off and all the wretched talk by Democrats about cutting so-called “Loopholes” and other assorted tax increases. Also, Washington is a highly regulated state. That is the biggest issue against businesses locating here. It has a very costly entry price for building and other Big Government that created this mess.

As for hiring State Employee Union members to get Federal Funds…
WTF Michael!
How sustainable is that???
We have thousands of workers that started as part of a grant…and never went away after the grant disappeared. We have a massive, unsustainable deficit that Obam-Mao wants to grow by TRILLIONS more.

Come on Michael…you are one of the few KLOWNS with at least a lick of common sense.
Re-read your post…think about it.

191. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Moronic twit@175 ylb arschloch…

You changed your name again? You are a light switch Puddy turns on and off. So soon you’ll turn on the link again… You can’t help yourself. You are all arschloch!

Click (on)!

What an arschloch!

192. Mr. Cynical spews:

177. Michael spews:

@111

Actually, what you posted @111 is unintelligible jiberesh. Maybe they need to cut salaries or shed a few jobs, but you’ve:
A. Not proven that
B. Not shown a way that you could do that (at all really) without hurting vital state services.

Once again Michael, your attitude is Big Government is a must to meet citizens needs. How does cutting salaries, benefits and paid time-off hurt services?

And what are ESSENTIAL vs. DISCRETIONARY Services?
I believe Government should focus on Public Safety and Infrastructure. And Yes, part of Public Safety is a Criminal Justice System. And we must have Elections…duh.

However, why do we need a Dept. of Ecology??
Why a Dept. of Ecology with 663 employees with TOTAL COMPENSATION over $99,000 and Wages/Benefits of over $125 MILLION???
Why does Gregoire need a staff much more massive than Gary Locke? When cornered, she “shifts” some of the people somewhere else so it appears she has lowered her staff cost. This constant “shell-game” approach of Gregoire’s makes more & more folks not trust her.

Let’s have honest, forthright elected officials. When one Party controls the Governor’s Mansion for almost 30 years, what do you expect? Lot’s of cronyism. Lot’s of bloat. Lots of entitlement.

Think out of the box Michael.
You are questioning the questioners…not those in power. We MUST hold those in power accountable and demand straight talk.

Between this Budget Debacle (Primarily caused by excessive Union Contracts and excessive Benefits/Paid time-off) and the virtually unmentioned State Retirement Fund Crisis…we have our hands full.
Now we stick our hands out to the Feds for handouts BECAUSE OBAM-MAO CAN RAISE THE DEBT CEILING and State’s cannot borrow for current operations. Too bad the Federal Government has abused the ability to create debt (BOTH PARTY’S!!) This is precisely what the Tea party Movement is all about.
There is room on the train for you Michael.
Think Brother, THINK!

193. Mr. Cynical spews:

186. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

Question for KKKlynical KKKlown:

1. If state workers are overpaid, then you could easily compare their compensation to similar positions in the private sector to verify your assertion. Have you done so? No? Why not?

Yeah, let’s compare them to the 18% Unemployed and Underemployed. Lots of Unemployed folks more qualified than folks protected by the Union.

194. Mr. Cynical spews:

And you must look at the TOTAL COMPENSATION PACKAGE, including Benefits and paid Time-off.

And you must first question whether or not the State Job is actually necessary and if folks are getting paid for their QUALIFICATIONS rather than the meaningful (if any) work they actually perform.

Requires a job-by-job analysis.
I already said,
10% Salary Cut and 20% Cut in Benefits/PTO
There is almost 1/2 the Deficit.
Then start chopping at the University of Washington $2.2+ BILLION TOTAL COMENPSATION nightmare as well as other University’s.
Get rid of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Have Gregoire cut her bloated staff.

The list goes on & on.

I’ve given you the answers.
You dismiss them to protect State Workers from the folks that pay for them!!
Priorities are screwed up.

WE MUST STOP SPENDING NOW! IT’S UNSUSTAINABLE. WE CANNOT EXPECT THE FEDS TO CONTINUE TO RUN UP THE DEFICIT TO BAIL US OUT. IT’S UNSUSTAINABLE.

Grow up and wise up KLOWNS>

195. Mr. Cynical spews:

We have already seen Government Employee paycuts in Hawaii & Rhode Island…with many more discussing it. Even Nevada is asking Teacher’s to take a cut.

It’s the only way out.
Furlough’s and 4-day work weeks won’t do it KLOWNS…because of the Benefits. It’s a sham because they continue to pay Union Dues.

We cannot sustain the current level of government. It’s obvious to most folks that this is a SPENDING issue. None of us will die without the Dept. of Ecology Bureaucracy which hasa sole purpose of breaking down property rights and punishing business.

196. jon spews:

@188 The problem with this is that those affected will reduce purchases of goods and services from the private sector and more private sector employees will lose their jobs

No, the problem with this argument, which has been repeated several times above, is it effectively means the public sector should never lay off employees, MEANING, when times are flush as they were several years ago the public sector grows in leaps and bounds, and when they aren’t it merely stops growing. This is a formula for fat, inefficient government and a sense of entitlement. As it was, from Dec of 2008 through Dec of 2009 according to the BLS all employment categories in this state shrunk, sometimes considerably, due to the economy, save three: education, health care, and government. The last three actually grew, amazingly enough.

See: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=t1Rsff_JIQIhE95aASdzJIg&single=true&gid=1&output=html

There is nothing sacrosanct about the public sector.

197. Mr. Cynical spews:

devildog @ 188 spews–

The problem with this is that those affected will reduce purchases of goods and services from the private sector and more private sector employees will lose their jobs

This is the moronic, childish talking point of the Union Democrats. Think about it.
Govenment workers do not produce wealth. They are consumers of taxpayer wealth..in exchange for services created mostly by Union Democrats.
You argument is soooooooo bogus. You Union Democrats want to take more money out of the Wealth Creating sector! You should be putting more money INTO the wealth creating sector…that’s how real jobs are created and tax bases increased.

Devildog’s bogus Union Democrat talking points beg the question…why give it to State Union Employees to spend? Why not leave the money with taxpayers who actually CREATE wealth??

Philosophically, the Atheist Progressive Movement really believes all wealth, jobs & everything good flows from the government…not the private sector.
This is the philosophical battlefield that heas lead to the death of Progressivism. The Progressive Movement is currently on life-support and has already been declared Brain-Dead!! The plug will be pulled in November, 2010 and 2012!
You like this analogy Puddy & jon??

198. Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

Cynical,

A systemic government evaluation should occur, by an objective 3rd party to determine where the waste occurs.

199. Don Joe spews:

@ 196

This is a formula for fat, inefficient government and a sense of entitlement.

You’re positing an inverse relationship between the size of government and “efficiency.” Indeed, given the lack of any definition for “efficiency” in your discussion, it would seem that you consider them to be tautologically equivalent. There is however, no evidence that this is the case.

In other words, you’re arguing that government cannot grow yet increase in efficiency at the same time. Given that firms in the private sector do this all the time, what, exactly, makes it impossible for the government to do so?

200. Don Joe spews:

@ 197

I’m probably going to waste some time trying to educate Cynical about reality, but here goes:

Govenment workers do not produce wealth.

Well, neither do private sector workers. Private sector works produce goods and services. The process of producing goods and services does, in the private sector, produce wealth through the mechanism of capitalized future earnings, but it’s the process that produces wealth, not the people who do the work.

This is no mere semantic quibble. In all other respects, there is no discernible economic difference between private sector activity and public sector activity. Google’s decisions on how to spend money are not any different, in pure economic terms, from the government’s decisions on how to spend money.

Cynical is trying to couch a moral argument, i.e. that private spending is somehow to be preferred over public spending, in economic terms, but, in order to do so, he has to turn the fundamental economic problem on it’s head. In Cynical’s argument, the efficient allocation of resources is no longer the the ultimate goal of our economic system. Rather, in Cynical’s argument, the fundamental economic problem is to maximize wealth.

It’s probably worth noting the commonality between Cynical’s remarks and Jon’s remarks. Neither does a particularly good job of defining “efficiency”. The failure to do so obscures the fact that government spending, in a democracy, is spending we decide with our money collected in the form of taxes.

It was a Republican who spoke of “government of the people, by the people and for the people,” so why should Republicans so often forget that the “government” is “us”?

201. DanielS spews:

@200 Don Joe sez private sector workers don’t create wealth

Case in point: Don Joe, who spends generous amounts of MICROSOFT’S TIME AND RESOURCES posting BLOATED AND INANE commentary on HA!

On the other hand, as one of his co-workers recently said in a comment on a story in the Seattle Times on Microsoft, working at Microsoft is like working at the Post Office, so Joe may think he’s performing a public service (even though he’s stealing from his employer!)!

Now THAT’S a sense of entitlement! Go Joe!

202. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re Rabbit angst

I get it. You disdain those who labor for a living rather than pushing paper. Mechanics? All a bunch of crooks! Contractors? Crooks with hammers!

Your elitism is showing again Bunny. Even your lip service pretending to defend those who work for a living shows a patronizing lack of respect for them and their ability to defend their own interests. This would be less disturbing if not endemic on the left.

203. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 201

To be fair Don Joe is one of the 3 or 4 posters from the left who appears to have thought out his positions and be able to defend them.

I don’t agree with his world view, but I can respect someone with whom I disagree.

204. Don Joe spews:

@ 201

@200 Don Joe sez private sector workers don’t create wealth

What’s the deal with wingnuts and not quoting people correctly? I said that they don’t produce wealth. They produce goods and/or services.

Now, can one of you guys try to come up with something other than an ad-hominem argument? Do you even know what an ad-hominem argument is?

205. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 204

With all due respect, at 200 you made a couple of statements that seem right and a couple about which I’m confused.

You’re right, workers produce goods and services, not wealth, whether private or public sector.

I’m no CPA, but this seems innacurate to me- “Google’s decisions on how to spend money are not any different, in pure economic terms, from the government’s decisions on how to spend money.” My sister who is a CPA tells me that private and public sector accounting are two different animals. One aims for a balance sheet with neither profit nor loss at the end of the year, public. Private had better have a profit, or someone gets to explain why to their boss or board.

This is no semantic quibble either. The two approaches result in radically different attitudes towards budget, cost effectiveness etc. I say nothing of the common practice of going on a spending spree near year end with any excess budget in public sector work to protect the following year budget. I’m talking more about the profit driven motive versus the balanced budget motive.

Another difference? When I ran a department I was expected to explain once a year how I used the budget spent to attain a goal, and how the profit had been maximized. I know of no government in the US that requires department heads to account for dollars spent and how they attained the goal (or why they didn’t) stated. I know of very few which even have a goal.

I can’t say if this is what the other folks with whom you’ve been disputing are driving at, but I’d be curious as to how you’d respond.

206. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

Lost,

Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources. Both the private and public sectors operate under this basic constraint.

It is commonly argued that the private sector does this more “efficiently”. This is simply not true in all circumstances or there would simply be no public goods such as police, fire, well, you get the picture.

There are other problems with an over reliance on “free markets”: Unaccounted for externalities, moral hazard, asymmetric information, and irrational behavior–to point out just a few. There are also serious questions regarding the underlying assumptions of microeconomic behavior (utility theory), and as most wingnut posters here demonstrate repeatedy, little or no concept of macroeconomics and aggregation.

Throw in a little class analysis (i.e., the distribution of power) and there you have it….instant disagreement with your positions on just about everything.

As for “creating wealth”–you seem to think in terms of capitalized earnings as “wealth”. Such financial wealth is simply a claim on future output of real goods and services….which, by the way, can also be produced by the government in any number of ways.

207. Don Joe spews:

Lost,

First of all, I spoke explicitly of economic terms. I don’t think you’re trying to equate accounting with economics, but let’s also not forget the difference between economic claims and moral claims.

Second, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I gather that your overall point is to claim that incentives in the private sector are, in some way, better than incentives in the public sector. They’re certainly different. Whether or not one is better than the other depends on circumstances.

In terms of details, I would say that your experience is lacking on a number of fronts. I’ve seen a number of private firms where departments have splurged on capital equipment budgets near the close of a fiscal year. In large organizations the incentive is not to completely maximize profits. Rather, one wants to exceed the current quarter’s projects but not by so much as to inordinately raise expectations for upcoming quarters.

As for examples of government efficiency, Tom Peters, noted management consultant, cites a military example in one of his Excellence series of books. (I think it’s A Passion for Excellence, but it’s been a long time since I’ve read the books.)

All of which brings me to the broader point: incentives are a management issue, not an economic issue. People rale against public sector bureaucracies, but there is little evidence that private sector bureaucracies are any better.

Moreover, and as Proud has pointed out, not only is the profit motive not fully operative in the private sector in a number of real-world cases, it’s not even the “best” incentive in a number of others–at least not the “best” in terms of maximizing aggregate output while minimizing overall costs to society.

There is nothing to prevent us from structuring incentives in government to produce more efficient results, but, then, politics keeps getting in the way of having a sound and fruitful policy discussion. And, one major impediment to a sound and fruitful policy discussion is the common meme that our democratic (small “d”) government is, somehow, not “us”.

208. Ozsea1 spews:

Note to the Rich:

Either we tax you or we eat you because you’ve starved us out.

There are seven billion of us.

Your choice.

209. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

“All of which brings me to the broader point: incentives are a management issue, not an economic issue. People rale against public sector bureaucracies, but there is little evidence that private sector bureaucracies are any better.”

Exactly so, Don. This is exactly true on an intuitive level, and is reinforced by widely shared, observable, and not suprising in the least human behavior. Take the cartoon strip “Dilbert” for just one example. If the private sector was sooooooooo much better, this comedic vein would not exist. And believe me, it is a wide and deep one.

210. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Mainly I was emphasising the accounting principle to make the point of motive to create efficiencies and maximize use of budget dollars in the private sector, by and large. At the end of the day the goals are different, whether the economic principles used to attain the goals are or not.

I make no value judgement about the incentive. Police departments, fire departments, schools and the like shouldn’t be profit making enterprises. That isn’t their purpose. To place these in the public sector recognizes a couple of things. Whether they are profitable or not, they are necessary or very desirable for society at large. Given this government is the only entity with the interest to perform the function as the private sector won’t without incentive. More importantly, the privatizing these functions would undermine democracy in most instances. Privatized schools would render an even more unequal socio-economic result than they currently do. Privatized fire departments would cover some areas better than others based on ability to pay. Privatized armed forces would be a direct threat as the military force would be in private hands.

I understand the necessary role of government. What I was talking more about was a general concept that most profit driven enterprises are better run by the private sector. It was not a general indictment of government.

Sure there’s room for difference of opinion on the proper role of government. You and I will differ widely as to whether a given program is proper for the federal, state or local government to perform. If an activity doesn’t produce unavoidable social inequality, doesn’t fit within the various constitutions (state or federal) and would be more efficiently done privately, I personally think it should.

211. Don Joe spews:

Lost,

At the end of the day the goals are different, whether the economic principles used to attain the goals are or not.

First of all, your use of the term “economic principles” in this context doesn’t make any sense to me. People don’t use economic principles to obtain goals. We might use them to justify various policy decisions, but the concept of “economic principles” seeks to understand what people’s goals are, not justify them.

Second, are the goals really that different? The motives certainly are, but the goal still remains finding the most efficient way to allocate resources.

What I was talking more about was a general concept that most profit driven enterprises are better run by the private sector.

As stated, that’s a tautology :-). The question is, whether or not profit-making achieves the economic goal of an efficient allocation of resources, and, as you’ve noted, there are some clear-cut cases where profit-making does not, in fact, lead to the most efficient allocation of resources.

There are, potentially, others. Consider insurance. The concept behind insurance is to spread risk across a broad pool of people. How does profit-making, and the attendant features of competition, increase the size of the pool and/or maximize the funds available across the pool? That’s not at all obvious. Indeed, having government provide the insurance would both broaden the pool and retain funds for the pool that private firms would take out in profits.

Now, let’s take this back to Cynical’s original claim about “creating wealth.” It’s unquestionable that the existence of private insurance increases wealth. However, it’s not at all obvious that this increase in wealth has come about through the result of a more efficient allocation of resources.

212. Mr. Cynical spews:

Don Joe spews:

Consider insurance. The concept behind insurance is to spread risk across a broad pool of people. How does profit-making, and the attendant features of competition, increase the size of the pool and/or maximize the funds available across the pool? That’s not at all obvious. Indeed, having government provide the insurance would both broaden the pool and retain funds for the pool that private firms would take out in profits.

You are assuming that government can as cost-effectively administer a program without any profit motive. When you look at all the Fraud in Medicare, it’s a legitimate question.

213. Don Joe spews:

@ 212

You are assuming that government can as cost-effectively administer a program without any profit motive.

One doesn’t have to make that assumption. One can make direct comparisons.

When you look at all the Fraud in Medicare, it’s a legitimate question.

The most reasonable thing anyone can say is that fraud statistics are not particularly reliable given the difficulties inherent in detecting it. Read this piece for details.

We can say that both Medicare and private insurance are victims of fraud, and that the same government agency is responsible for investigating cases of fraud regardless of the victims.

214. Mr. Cynical spews:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Voter unhappiness with Congress has reached the highest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports as 71% now say the legislature is doing a poor job. That’s up ten points from the previous high of 61% reached a month ago.

Only 10% of voters say Congress is doing a good or excellent job.

Let’s see, the DEMOCRATS control both Houses of Congress…and the Presidency.
I wonder which Party is on America’s shitlist?