Gov. Gregoire’s Immoral Republican Budget

I don’t want to make excuses for Gov. Christine Gregoire; she fought for our state’s top job, so the buck surely stops at her desk. But she certainly doesn’t seem too happy about balancing the budget primarily on the backs of the poor, the sick and the young:

“I hate my budget,” she said, tearing up. “I hate it because in some places, I don’t even think it’s moral.”

Can’t argue with that. But the Republicans…?

Sen. Joe Zarelli of Ridgefield, the Republican’s chief budget expert in the Senate, called the budget a step in the right direction

What Gov. Gregoire calls immoral, Sen. Zarelli calls a step in the right direction… you couldn’t ask for starker ideological contrast. And you also couldn’t ask for a better opportunity for Republicans to ultimately prove that they are not the heartless, Social Darwinist bastards that I think they are.

I mean, it sure does appear that, unlike Gov. Gregoire, Sen. Zarelli really does want to cut a couple billion dollars from education, and 100,000 people or so from the health care rolls… that he believes it’s a step in the right direction to impose a couple more years of double-digit tuition inflation, and to zero out funding for state parks. In fact it sounds like he would have preferred the governor gone even further.

But if he doesn’t, well, there is something he can do about it. It wouldn’t be easy, but with enough support from Zarelli and his fellow Republicans, the legislature could pass a bipartisan revenue package intended to soften the harshest blows, and the governor would sign it. Unconstitutional as I-1053 may be, its supermajority requirement does put control of revenue proposals in the hands of the Republican minority, so let’s be absolutely clear: regardless of who is its putative author, this immoral all-cuts/no-new-revenue budget is a Republican budget.

This is the kind of budgeting philosophy that they campaign on, and thanks to Republican-backed I-1053, this is the kind of budget that we’ll get. 35 kids in a kindergarten classroom? That’s a Republican kindergarten. Tens of thousands of children with no health insurance? That’s Republican health care. College tuition rising out of reach of the middle class? That’s a Republican university system.

Or if it’s not, Republicans know exactly what to do to prove me wrong.

Comments

  1. 1

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy, Goldy, Goldy–
    Rossi got about 47%
    I-1083 got 64%

    Seems a whole lot of lefty’s wanted to put some control on endless tax increases. Get over it.
    Gregoire is crying because had she taken action and not paid off the Unions the past 6 years, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
    She increased spending in the Operating and Capital Fund by 34.5% in 6 years in the face of a recession.
    Yeah, she’s crying all right…because it’s her fault.
    Did you know that the L&I actuary publicly stated Workers Comp Rates need to go up 27% in 2011…but Gregoire would only approve 12%?
    Kicking the can to someone else.
    And look at another 41% in UI Rates.

    Yup, we are pro-business alright.
    Put the blame where it belongs..on Gregoire & the Democrats! They could have raised taxes before November. Why didn’t they?
    Goldy protesteth and whines and blames waaaaay too much. No sale dude.

  2. 2

    Blue John spews:

    Really cyn, why do you keep posting here? You dont live in WA. Go post in Montana, where you live.

  3. 4

    Shemp spews:

    Every one forgets how many cuts education has taken. Someone should make a flashy chart.

    These are the 2003-2005 cuts:
    * The cost-of-living adjustment for teachers (i.e. Initiative 732) was cut $359 million.
    * Funding for smaller class sizes (Initiative 728) was cut $188 million.
    * Employee pension funding was cut $61.3 million.
    * The flexible education grant program was eliminated, worth $41.4 million.
    * State funding for special education was cut $17.1 million.
    * Money for replacement of old, unsafe school buses was cut $10.7 million.
    * State colleges were given the authority to raise tuition by 7% per year for undergraduate students to make up for a $131 million cut in their budget.
    * The state’s district breakdown of legislative cuts for the 2002-2003 school year shows Seattle losing about $6 million; Spokane, about $3.7 million; Tacoma, $2.7 million; Lake Washington, $2.1 million; Kent, $1.9 million; Edmonds, $1.8 million; Bellevue, Issaquah, and Highline, about $1.6 million.

  4. 5

    Rujax! Puddy and Cyniklown sittin in a tree... spews:

    2. Blue John spews:

    Really cyn, why do you keep posting here? You dont live in WA. Go post in Montana, where you live.

    12/16/2010 at 3:23 pm

    Seriously…get the fuck out.

  5. 6

    Steve spews:

    @2 He’s not even from here. He says he’s from Wisconsin. Goldy ought to ban his lying, hate-filled ass once and for all and be done with it.

  6. 7

    Xar spews:

    @1:

    Put the blame where it belongs..on Gregoire & the Democrats! They could have raised taxes before November. Why didn’t they?
    Goldy protesteth and whines and blames waaaaay too much. No sale dude.

    Um . . . they did. Then the ABA and other special interests bought initiatives to overturn most of the new revenues, and to renew an existing law (I-960, which wasn’t repealed, just suspended). Direct democracy is a crappy way to budget, as everyone wants more services but no on wants to pay for them. Add in what is arguably the country’s most regressive tax system, and disaster is nigh-on-inevitable.

    You’re also ignoring the fact that the Governor doesn’t write the final budget. If you want to blame someone, blame members of the Legislature.

    And Goldy, I think you’re being a little unfair to Senator Zarelli. Though I disagree with him on almost everything, he’s a decent human being, and takes his role in government very seriously. He doesn’t want to cut education, but sees government spending very narrowly. He’s got to get savings somewhere, and most of the budget is off limits. Not much left to cut.

  7. 8

    Blue John spews:

    cyn, you don’t live here. So you advocating destroying schools and cutting medical and ruining WA is easy for you, buecause it has no effect on you.
    I guess maybe you own some property here, so you will do anything to lower your tax bill, but everything else is just someone else’s problem.

  8. 9

    Xar spews:

    @6: Not to defend Cynical, but I’m not sure banning him would do any good. Hard to differentiate him from the other trolls, though he does cite the occasional actual fact. Banning him lets him win.

    I’m also not sure the hate on this blog is entirely one sided . . . a lot of threads seem to disintigrate into mutual name-calling, which undermines the credibility of both sides. That even more true when it devolves into racial epithets targetting Puddy.

    Civility ain’t the best feature of the comments on this blog, on either side.

  9. 10

    Steve spews:

    @8 I’ve followed his lies for years. He says he owns property. Then he says he sold it. He comes back again saying he owns property. Then he says he sold it. It’s this many houses, then that many, then yet another number. He says he lives in Montana. Then he tells us about his daily lunch at a cafe in Lacy. Then he tells us again that he lives in Montana. He pulls it all from his ass.

  10. 11

    spews:

    What Goldy isn’t telling you:

    Next year’s budget, even with the cuts, will actually be larger than this year’s budget.

  11. 12

    Steve spews:

    “Banning him lets him win.”

    Banning gets rid of him and cleans up these threads. If that’s a win for him, so be it.

  12. 13

    ld spews:

    Cyn, you are dead right, and I will add I don’t see any change in the free ride for the massively profitable indian gambling….ooops, they bought her off… i forgot.

    The State Worker’s are about to see what is going on in the private economy.

    Gregoire’s spend free chickens are coming home to roost big time.

  13. 14

    spews:

    Does Goldy think his readers are so stupid that if he repeats the word Republican enough in his post, people will subconsciously think what Gregoire is doing is the fault of Republicans?

  14. 15

    Right Stuff spews:

    Goldy solution = taxes and taxes and taxes….

    Here is hard numbers.

    http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/budget/index_lbns.asp

    Expanding the role of government with entitlements hurts when they are taken away…
    This all lays at the feet of Democrats in Olympia, King Co and Seattle…..
    Live within your means…
    If education were really a priority, then it would be 100% funded…. Instead we have endless commisions like this…
    http://wahardwoodscomm.com/
    or
    http://www.prt.wa.gov/

    see the full calamity here…
    http://access.wa.gov/agency/agency.aspx

    So no, Goldy, it’s not about new taxes it’s about priorities. Until Olympia can demonstrate that it has it’s priorities right, no one is going to approve new taxes.

  15. 17

    Lauramae spews:

    And I think the legislature as well as the governor completely misread the voter intent. Maybe it isn’t so much “no new taxes” as it is “let it be reasonable and fair taxes.”

    While I don’t think paying tax on pop and candy was that big of a deal, or amounted to anything that buyers even noticed, the AMERICAN BEVERAGE ASSOCIATION meddling in our state’s business with pretty effective ad campaigns so it got voted down. Unrelated measures got conflated with the tax and so who knows what voters thought they were voting for.

    Both the pop tax and the wealthy earners income tax were timid and lopsided attempts at injecting new revenue. Maybe people would respond better to something more across the board. However it is Gregoire who keeps saying she’s heard the voters say “no new taxes.” Like every Democrat elected to office, she’s happy to let the republicans set the agenda rather than put a feeler out there for something better.

    In addition to the poor and the young getting screwed in this budget, it also calls for things like eliminating the state historical museums in Spokane and in Tacoma. Total horseshit. All of it. I have little hope.

  16. 18

    ld spews:

    Greooire and her gang of thieves spent like the sky was the limit, and when the sky starts falling there is no-one to blame but Gregoire!

    The People spoke very loud and clear in November…No More Cash for KLOWNKERS…This is only the beginning of the cuts that will be necessary and will be made in Benefits, Retirements, and employee costs of State Government.

  17. 21

    spews:

    So if Goldy believes whatever the Crypt Keeper does wrong is the fault of the Republicans, then does he also believe that whatever she does right, the Republicans should get the credit?

  18. 22

    Michael spews:

    she certainly doesn’t seem too happy about balancing the budget primarily on the backs of the poor, the sick and the young:

    She didn’t have to and actions speak fuck-loads louder than words. She’s no different or better than Zarelli, maybe worse at least he aint doing one thing and saying another.

  19. 23

    Undercover Brother spews:

    one of my favorite ironies is that these people find it OK to suck off the tits of other people in the form of employment but not from government in the form of safty-nets.

    they cry that those collecting unemployement or other social services are lazy and unmotivated….yet they themselves were too lazy to create anything on their own. lacking any ambition to strive for their own greatness and would rather live the fallacy than their own desires.

    eff the anti-tax morons…..couldn’t carry my jock. nor should their lazy asses be sucking off my tax dollars while they waste their employeer’s time on this website.

    please just die aleady.

    and for the record i do pay more in taxes than i am required….i stop taking my deductions once i get to a push on my 1040 so….

    …SUCK IT!!!!

  20. 24

    Undercover Brother spews:

    oh and another thing for you so-called progressives out there…..STOP VOTING THESE DONKEYS INTO OFFICE.

    there are real liberal and progressives that would have fought for the people of this state.

    you need to wake your asses up too.

  21. 25

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    let me see if I get this correctly:

    – the democrates have owned the governors office for over a decade.

    – the democrats have owned the state legislature for god knows how long

    – the democrats in this state like to brag about how they are the uber majority in the state

    so now that the state has a fucked up budget, goldfarb wants to make it about the republicans?

    AHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA….TEH LAYME!

    the democrats in their one-party state paradise have spent like drunken sailors, and now that they are broke, goldy points his boney little finger at the republicans!

    heheheheheehhehohohohohohhhohahahahahahhah

    face liberals – you guys have fucked this state up ALL BY YOURSELF!

    now suck on it, bitches.

  22. 26

    Dave Gibney spews:

    @21, I think the choices were tough and the proposed budget hurts. But, I also think she had very little choice in where and how much to cut.

    The proposed budget and supporting facts are all available on the bydget webpage.

    What would you have done differently. Give Real numbers on the actual budget lines please?

  23. 27

    Dave Gibney spews:

    @24, you mean we should have more people without healthcare and more crowded classes all along?

  24. 28

    Right Stuff spews:

    23. Undercover Brother spews:

    one of my favorite ironies is that these people find it OK to suck off the tits of other people in the form of employment but not from government in the form of safty-nets.

    Dude, if you don’t get the difference…..
    Never mind…

  25. 29

    Shemp spews:

    uhhh, Washington is third from the bottom on class size, narrowly beating Oregon. Shit, even Mississippi and Arkansas educate their kids with smaller class sizes. What kind of assholes are these trolls?

    BTW, Utah is at the bottom by a very long way.

  26. 30

    Shemp spews:

    Seriously, at least from a practical viewpoint, recognize public schools as very cheap vandalism insurance.

    You can pay them now or you can pay your insurance company later when the uneducated masses want what is yours.

  27. 31

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’m sure that Rossi’s plans for the budget were, if he really had any. I’m sure he would have cut the Dept. of Ecology to the point where enforcement was non-existant. With things as bad as they are now, he would have jumped at the chance of abolishing the Dept. of Ecology entirely. Then his big developer friends would be pretty much free to screw up things as much as they want, and leave it to us to pay for the costs of cleanup and remediation for most of the next century.

    So the Republican pipe dream, being a government that is “so small you could drown it in a bathtub”, would include the following:

    1. Elimination of the Dept. of Ecology.

    2. Sell off the prisons to a private firm and have them operate on a daily charge per prisoner.

    3. Eliminate the state Parks Dept., and sell off the land and development rights to private developers at a nominal price.

    4. Lay off all business tax enforcement officers (sales & B&O).

    5. Sell of the state higher education system, making it all-private.

    6. Eliminate the Liqour Control board and close the stores, allowing private businesses to sell liquor without restrictions. (Yes, it would actually cost the state money, but that’s never been a problem for the Republicans as long as someone they get their profits along the way).

    Etc., etc., etc.

    Life among the non-rich would become, as Thomas Hobbes described: “…nasty, brutish, and short.”

  28. 32

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @29

    You can pay them now or you can pay your insurance company later when the uneducated masses want what is yours.

    fuck, they already do! and the governments hands it right to them.

  29. 33

    CPO spews:

    ld @ 13 “The State Worker’s are about to see what is going on in the private economy.” The correct answer is that workers in the private economy are now experiencing what state workers have experienced for a long time, no pay raises, no COLA raises, higher health care cost, crapper retirement benefits (yes from Pers1, though Pers2, and now Pers3 the pay out is less and the time to collect is later), less employees doing more work, and no job security. I was told by an old state employee, who happened to be a strong Republican, many years ago that state employees are taxed twice what the rest of the citizens are taxed. Once like the rest of the state citizens, and again by pay cuts, no wage increases so that the state can balance its budget. Instead, if the politicians are feeling generous, they will give state employees an extra day of vacation time, which doesn’t cost the state anything that is measured. So no, state workers already know what the private economy is going through. You are just to ignorant, greedy, or stupid to figure that out.

  30. 35

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’m thinking that there’s one potential revenue source which Gregoire hasn’t considered: fines imposed by the Dept. of Labor and Industries, the Dept. of Ecology, etc.

    Sure, the parameters of the fines are set by statutue, but I don’t think the initiative prevents fines from being increased by the legislature. And even without legislative action, most companies get fines reduced to a fraction of what could have been imposed.

    So what if these state agencies imposed fines at the maximum levels allowed by law? Perhaps some of these agencies would become self-financing.

  31. 36

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @30

    yet another person trying to make this about the republicans…

    too damn funny….perhaps RHP can tell the class when the last time was that republicans ran this state?

    anyone? anyone? bueller?

  32. 37

    spews:

    That even more true when it devolves into racial epithets targetting Puddy.

    “Idiot” is not a racial epithet.

    In the case of Puddybud it’s a fact.

  33. 38

    goldy's wife left him because he acts like a female spews:

    Liberals what is a scared cow you are willing to sacrifice. Because I haven’t heard a single one all you do is blame republicans and DINO’s but you can’t name a single program that you are willing to give up.

  34. 39

    Michael spews:

    @25

    @21, I think the choices were tough and the proposed budget hurts. But, I also think she had very little choice in where and how much to cut.

    She could have sent forward a budget with cuts and new revenue ideas A budget that wasn’t as bad as this one. Then asked the Republicans what they wanted to cut and pointed out everyone that got hurt by their cuts, pointed out every time they were just shifting costs to other people, and point out every time their cut would cost us more in the long run (most of them!).

    She had/has choices. Governing is hard work and involves getting in the occasional fight. Gregiore chose to not do the hard work and to not get in a fight, a fight that needed to happen.

    Gregiore should be out bloodying noses. She’s at home sipping gewürztraminer instead.

  35. 40

    Michael spews:

    I’ve got an old pile of bricks in my back yard, shall we go break some windows?

    I’m speaking metaphorically, of course.

    Maybe…

  36. 41

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @38

    the republicans arent in the majority in the state legislature, so what difference does it make what they thought? its the democrats in the legislature that she would have had to deal with.

    yet again, this has NOTHING to do with the republicans in the state legislature…this budget is purely a democrat party one….deal with it.

  37. 42

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @39

    carefull you dont offer them to rujax, he will just use them against churches in one of his late night “times of fun”….

  38. 44

    Michael spews:

    Ah, cum on…

    RCW 82.08.0272
    Exemptions — Sales of semen for artificial insemination of livestock.

    The tax levied by RCW 82.08.020 shall not apply to sales of semen for use in the artificial insemination of livestock.

    [1980 c 37 § 38. Formerly RCW 82.08.030(20).]

  39. 45

    Don Joe spews:

    @40

    the republicans arent in the majority in the state legislature, so what difference does it make what they thought?

    Lovely. Yet another wingnut who feigns ignorance of the concept of “supermajority”.

    Why do Republicans insist on being the most compelling evidence in favor of a Republican form of government?

  40. 46

    Michael spews:

    Hey I know, we can save about a Billion bucks by going with the surface street option instead of the tunnel to replace the viaduct.

  41. 47

    Michael spews:

    With the budget in such bad shape why shouldn’t they be paying taxes like everyone else that buys something at auction?

    RCW 82.08.0257
    Exemptions — Auction sales of personal property used in farming.

    The tax levied by RCW 82.08.020 does not apply to auction sales made by or through auctioneers of personal property (including household goods) that has been used in conducting a farm activity, when the seller thereof is a farmer and the sale is held or conducted upon a farm and not otherwise.

    [2009 c 535 § 511; 1980 c 37 § 25. Formerly RCW 82.08.030(7).]

  42. 48

    Right Stuff spews:

    30. rhp6033 spews:

    I’m sure that Rossi’s plans for the budget were

    Brilliant! Democrats have held the Gov mansion since what, 1985? And you bring up Dino Rossi!!!!

    This budget mess is nothing to do with Republicans, and everything to do with Democrats.

    What’s next RHP6033? John Carlson?

    Thanks for the humor.

  43. 49

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    2. Blue John spews:

    Really cyn, why do you keep posting here? You dont live in WA. Go post in Montana, where you live.

    I own 2 houses, some other property and pay more taxes than you do.
    Seems like once again rather than address my comments, you want me to be silent.
    How “Progressive” of you BJ!

  44. 50

    Michael spews:

    Hmm….

    RCW 82.08.0262
    Exemptions — Sales of airplanes, locomotives, railroad cars, or watercraft for use in interstate or foreign commerce or outside the territorial waters of the state or airplanes sold to United States government — Components thereof and of motor vehicles or trailers used for constructing, repairing, cleaning, etc. — Labor and services for constructing, repairing, cleaning, etc.

  45. 51

    Michael spews:

    @47

    This one’s on the Democrats. Had they at least put up a little bit of a fight maybe some of the stink would be on the Republicans, but since they didn’t, it’s all on the Democrats.

  46. 52

    spews:

    @39 yes yes we should break some windows to fix the economy! brilliant! the window makers will make millions and thank us for our crimes… do you think they’ll post our bail after we make them rich?

  47. 53

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    16. Lauramae spews:

    And I think the legislature as well as the governor completely misread the voter intent. Maybe it isn’t so much “no new taxes” as it is “let it be reasonable and fair taxes.

    Dreaming again huh?
    READ I-1083 LAURAMAE!
    Sadly, it says no more money w/o voter approval unless you can get a supermajority of the Legislature to act.
    I doesn’t help you to dream about what voters may have meant when the wording of I-1083 is so clear.
    Time has been awasting.
    How has no substantive action by Gregoire in 6 years (That comes from Locke’s Budget Director!) help?
    It made things more of a crisis that has now reach this point.
    But according to Goldy, it’s magically the R’s fault! What a joke Goldy.
    That will not be a winning strategy in the future. You’ve worn it out.

  48. 54

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    24. Dr. Zaius spews:

    let me see if I get this correctly:

    – the democrates have owned the governors office for over a decade.

    Actually, it’s almost 30 years.
    That is how corruption builds with all the insider appointments and over-confidence.

  49. 55

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    34. rhp6033 spews:

    I’m thinking that there’s one potential revenue source which Gregoire hasn’t considered: fines imposed by the Dept. of Labor and Industries, the Dept. of Ecology, etc.

    Sure, the parameters of the fines are set by statutue, but I don’t think the initiative prevents fines from being increased by the legislature.

    Raising fines and going out to extort job-producers is your idea of a good idea?
    That would just about stick a fork in the economy and Progressive Movement…so do it rhp. I suspect you are joking…right?

  50. 56

    Rujax! Puddy and Cyniklown sittin in a tree... spews:

    53. Mr. Cynical spews:

    24. Dr. Zaius spews:

    let me see if I get this correctly:

    – the democrates have owned the governors office for over a decade.

    Actually, it’s almost 30 years.
    That is how corruption builds with all the insider appointments and over-confidence.

    12/16/2010 at 5:41 pm

    Let’s start with Tom DeLay, go to Newt Gingrich and on and on and on….

  51. 57

    Shemp spews:

    Maybe we can start raising revenue by making corporations like Boeing pay their sales taxes instead of flying their planes 200 miles off shore, swapping keys for money, calling it an international transaction, and then flying back with two hands out for more special tax breaks.

  52. 58

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    50. Michael spews:

    @47

    This one’s on the Democrats. Had they at least put up a little bit of a fight maybe some of the stink would be on the Republicans, but since they didn’t, it’s all on the Democrats.

    Finally one guy exorcising himself from Goldy’s Kool-Aid and telling it like it is.
    How refreshing Michael.
    You will now likely be subjected to threats of banning by foul, vulgar douchebags from the Left.

  53. 60

    Michael spews:

    @57

    You will now likely be subjected to threats of banning by foul, vulgar douchebags from the Left.

    Just as long as they don’t mistake me for a member of the right, I’m cool with it. I’m, actually, a member of the working class not left or right. The left tended to better voice my concerns so I hung with them. But, since they’ve stopped doing that I guess I’ll have to do like Billy Bragg says and start my own revolution and cut out the middle man.

  54. 62

    Jake Jackson spews:

    Goldy, a sincere question, and I’m hoping for a real answer.

    What should Gregoire have proposed? I’m not saying she’s right. I’m wondering what you think she should have cut instead.

    I voted for the income tax, and it lost. I voted against a supermajority for tax increases. It won. I voted against repealing the beverage tax. It was repealed.

    The constraints are pretty obvious. What I don’t see is what running room she’s got. Honest, it’s a sincere question. What should she do instead?

  55. 65

    spews:

    I feel bad for Goldy’s parents. I’m sure they are elderly now, and on a fixed income. And wouldn’t be surprised if they had to pay Goldy’s mortgage, property taxes, and bills. And now with Basic Health being cut, will they also have to give him money for medical insurance?

  56. 66

    ArtFart isn't ready to be classified as a "useless eater" spews:

    @4 Admittedly the biggest three items mean teachers are taking it in the teeth (“reduced class size” means either hiring more teachers or kicking out students). Apparently some are yearning for the days of old when teachers got paid less than garbage collectors.

    The right really seems to get its rocks off over the thought of firing government employees. This seems to be based on three basic assumptions:

    (1.) That all public employees are lazy and greedy. (Compared to what? Bank executives? Real estate developers?)

    (2.) That most of what the government does is frivolous and redundant, or can be better accomplished by private enterprise. (Like offshore drilling, maybe?)

    (3.) That somehow, adding public servants to the ranks of the unemployed won’t have the same deleterious effect on the economy as putting anyone else out of work. (So, who’s going to buy stuff?)

  57. 67

    Michael spews:

    @61

    I voted against a supermajority for tax increases. It won.

    Rule # 1 in life. If you’re going to lose a fight, go down swinging.

    With the supermajority rule, the governor could have made the Republicans play the bad guy and make the cuts. She could have said here’s my budget, smaller cuts, gotten rid of a few sales tax exemptions of a few things to bring in some new revenue. She could have said this is what I’d like to do, what would you like to do? She could have made the Republicans be the ones to takeaway access to dental care for developmentally disabled adults who use medicare and pointed out that rather than saving money, this will cost us more in the long run.

    Maybe the cuts would happen anyway, but at least she would have tried.

  58. 71

    G Davis spews:

    It’s federal pass though money. I think this is the right link.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....ted_States

    I only skimmed through your link, but most of what stands out are social programs or one order or another and/or construction grants.

    I can see that the highway portion of the budget might be untouchable as it’s a federal highway system. I can see that basic education budgets (back to the one room school house days I guess) might be untouchable as public schools are a federal endeavor. What the hell else is so untouchable? Fire? Individual districts to my understanding. Police? Same-individual jurisdiction.

    Federal money is simply tax dollars we pay to DC and are reallocated. Outside of the basic fire, police, roads and schools what else could possibly be included as untouchable by the Feds?

    I suspect it’s more likely pensions, etc that are considered untouchable. Is there an accurate source that would tell the truth about those sorts of personnel costs and how much they’ve taken a hit over the past decade?

    There is an awful lot of money in this budget even after the cuts. Where the hell does it all go?

  59. 72

    morgan spews:

    My son just started kindergarten in the Edmonds district. Because of budget cuts, his class only meets twice per week, full day, and sometimes on Friday. Why? Transportation costs. While kids in other districts attend 5-days a week for half a day, our kid doesn’t.

    We have a good kid, but he was never in daycare and is having a hard time in school because he just wants to play with the other kids. He hasn’t been socialized.

    Now, I know it’s our responsibility to deal with this problem, but we’re convinced in the past system he would have had a chance to feel like school was an every-day thing and not a play date. There’s no consistency in his schooling, and that makes it difficult for our lessons to stick.

    And all because the district has to save money on transportation.

    So this is what future parents in this state have to look forward to. When it’s your kid, you’ll understand.

    (And BTW, if you had a teacher like my son’s you wouldn’t be bitching about the teachers union. You’d be right at their back. She has been amazing with our son and with us.)

  60. 73

    G Davis spews:

    That kindergarten decision is nonsense…but the blame there lies with the local school board and it’s decisions, not the state.

    Did your local levies fail? Why would the school board decide on this wild every other day mess when every other school district still has half days?

  61. 74

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 Gee Cynical, the stupid eletorate voted to give themselves government services without paying taxes. That’s like voting for free cars and free Mariners tickets. The only thing it proves is that voters are as stupid as we suspected they are, God bless ‘em. And God save democracy.

  62. 75

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Gregoire, who is a lame duck and has nothing to lose, is a gutless wonder. She’s like the caboose on a train, instead of the locomotive. Instead of vegetating in Olympia she should have acted like a leader and criss-crossed the state pumping up support for the revenues we need to maintain education and public services at a civilized level.

  63. 76

    Michael spews:

    @70

    There’s a lot of stuff that’s funding by the federal government, but run by the state and counties. I help out at a group-home for autistic adults. A few years back the group home got funding from Pierce County to swap out its 40 year old oil furnace (it was a hazard and we’re lucky no one got blown up!) for a new gas burning one. While we got our funding from the county, the money started out as a block grant from the federal government and probably would have been part of that bienniums pass through money.

    These budgets are huge and complicated and simplistic, “just cut spending” or “just cut waste” type answers just don’t cut it.

  64. 78

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Washington voters have given themselves huge tax breaks, billions of dollars worth, by not buying cars and other taxed items. Sure, incomes have dropped because of the recession, but state revenues have dropped much more. That’s because the good citizens, whose incomes aren’t taxed, are using their money to pay down debts and save more money.

  65. 79

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    With the sales tax at nearly 10% revenues are dropping like the guy who leaped off a cliff with an ornithopter, indicating that taxing retail purchases has reached the point of diminishing returns.

    And what do conservatives want to do? They want to impose an additonal 42% federal sales tax so the rich can pay even less taxes than they do now.

  66. 80

    G Davis spews:

    I don’t disagree that social services such as the old boiler are the sorts of things I’d like my tax dollars going to, but that doesn’t answer the question of why this supposed 60% of the budget is untouchable.

    Fed money is our tax dollars returned to us…if I’m not mistaken at a reduced rate of what we pay in. If the state budget is in such horrendous shape, shouldn’t the state be allowed to fund those things that represent our values, such as replacing old boilers and smaller classroom sizes. I can’t imagine the Feds would have a problem with that which is why I question whether your idea that federal pass throughs are the source of this mystical untouchable 60%.

    I skimmed through the *citizens guide* to the budget and it describes constitutionally protected things such as education as being protected but here we are discussing massive cuts to education.

    I would surely like to know what it is we are funding is all. If there are all these cuts to education, will mid management in that system be cut as well? If all these social programs are cut do we really need 3 mid-upper level managers for every field worker that no longer has any clients to work with as the programs have been slashed?

    How many staff folks do we fund for each of our legislators? How much do we pay for their posh buildings, cars, etc while we slash programs?

    Gregoire needs to publish a no holds barred completely transparent allocation of funds so we can actually see what we’re paying for. At the very least, voters might get it that tax on soda is not a big deal in the whole scope of things.

  67. 81

    spews:

    New Beijing, PRAmerica, Nov 2, 2100

    Ambassador Wong and General Sanchez of the UN Relief Forces, have announced that the Tea party forces in Kansas no longer constitute a threat to the American governments efforts to reintroduce education to children of this traditionally Republican State.

    “The Chinese people are grateful to General Sanchez and forces for their swift return of law and order to Kansas. My government has instructed me to work with the provisional government of Kansas, to build school rooms for all children, male and female, up to grade six. Until America itself can provide teachers, we, along with our UN colleagues from Germany, Brazil, Hawaii, and Quebec, will provide teachers for these new schools.

    Together with provisional governor Reagan Dunn, we plan to open the first of these freedom schools next Monday in the city of Lawrence. All workers are invited to attend, banners will be provided.

  68. 82

    Blue John spews:

    I own 2 houses, some other property and pay more taxes than you do.
    So what? Do you think that you have more wealth or pay more taxes then me, so you have more of a say? That you are better than me?
    I reject that. That is not American. That is the way of economic royalists and social Darwinist.

    Seems like once again rather than address my comments, you want me to be silent.
    You don’t apparently live here. You can cheerfully advocate that Washington state cut it schools, turn all the mentally ill and psychopaths out into the streets, privatize everything, just so your property taxes go down, and you won’t have to live with the consequences of your choices, cause your several states away.

    You are like a man advocating that it should be the death penalty for women who have an abortion. You feel strongly about it, but you will never have to pay the price.

    I want to hear your opinions when it come to national issues because that touches everyone, but stop advocating the destruction of Washington State until you live here.

    How “Progressive” of you BJ!
    I thought about that for a while. Being progressive doesn’t mean we must be passive and let you spew what ever you want without challenging you when you are wrong.

    What is a progressive? First of all, it means equal opportunity for all. It was FDR who recognized that that goes well beyond equal justice for all, that there cannot be equal opportunity for people who do not have adequate food, shelter, clothing, and education. So government has to assure that all do have these basics, or there is no equal opportunity.

    I was raised in conservative area. Conservatives used have many good qualities, that I would gladly like American society to follow. But social Darwinist, economic royalist conservatives are vile people with little of value for me.
    What are you?

  69. 85

    Michael spews:

    @80

    I don’t disagree that social services such as the old boiler are the sorts of things I’d like my tax dollars going to

    I used that example example of pass though money only because it was the first thing I thought of.

    but that doesn’t answer the question of why this supposed 60% of the budget is untouchable.

    The simple answer is, it’s untouchable because it’s already been budgeted. It’s just passing though the state budget on it’s way to where it’s bound.

    Another example, There’s a federal program called Safe Routes To School. Safe Routes To School has state and local partners who have a set of criteria they have to meet in order to qualify for federal funding.

    A few years back the city of Gig Harbor needed to fix up an intersection near a school and needed help funding it. WSDOT had funding available though Safe Routes if the city would do things X,Y&Z to meet their end of the deal. The money that the city got from Safe Routes came from the federal government into WSDOT’s accounts, but could only be used for Safe Routes programs. It couldn’t be repurposed for some other use, so it gets termed untouchable.

    http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/legislation_funding/

  70. 86

    Michael spews:

    Gregoire needs to publish a no holds barred completely transparent allocation of funds so we can actually see what we’re paying for. At the very least, voters might get it that tax on soda is not a big deal in the whole scope of things.

    That’s what the state budget is and you can go though it line by line. Its a good sleep aid, so boring…

  71. 87

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @45

    lovely, yet another dumbshit who fails to recognize the democrats have run this state for more than 20 years…and yet its still the republicans fault..

    fuck head joe blow….

  72. 88

    proud leftist spews:

    I no longer am stunned by the nonsense of the right. I’ve grown numb to it. I used to think that all of us–left, middle, right–were bound by facts and reason when it comes to arguing public policy. That, of course, is no longer true. The right, inspired by Beckian tears and Limbaughian hubris, now believes that depth of passion trumps the power of reason when it comes to determining policy.

    Just look at the posts above. Dr. Z and Cynny, for instance, spewing about how long Democrats have been in charge of this state and blaming them for the budgetary crisis. As if Washington stands alone in the world as having a budgetary crisis. As if Washington stands alone among American states as having a budgetary crisis. Good God, dumbfucks, do you ever pull off your partisan blinders and take a look at what is happening in the world? Is there any chance that the worldwide recession and George Bush’s economic policies have had any impact on why this state is having economic troubles? Do you really believe that it is Chris Gregoire who is to blame for our budgetary deficit rather than outside forces? Are you folks really that insular and that ignorant? Really?

  73. 89

    spews:

    why does everybody hate on cynical for having 2 houses in washington? if he pays taxes in this state, is he not entitled to an opinion? you guys are free to make fun of him and disagree but i’ve never seen any proper citiques of his point of view. only…

    *nom nom nom* i want to eat your brains!!!

    @88 you are right. nobody has a logical argument here. also, washington is not the only state in economic crisis. the whole country is run on monopoly money. olympia isn’t the only phony city in the country. every town everywhere is…

    *nom nom nom*

  74. 90

    proud leftist spews:

    89
    Cynny has posted here for years. I could care less where he lives. I spend enough time in Montana, where Cynny claims to live, that I feel I could contribute to a Montana political blog with some understanding of what is going on there. (Montana has a lot of progressives, by the way.) Where anyone lives is not the point. The reality is that Cynny has never contributed anything to dialogue on this blog. He says the same thing day after day, month after month, year after year. He spews his crap, then he goes out back, and does whatever it is he does with his goat. That’s why we don’t listen to him. Oh, and because he uses CAPS. Oh, and because he calls our president some sort of juvenile name. Cynny is not a serious person. So, we don’t take him seriously.

  75. 91

    Don Joe spews:

    @87

    lovely,

    You couldn’t come up with your own lead-in? You had to steal mine?

    yet another dumbshit

    The word, “dumb-shit” is hyphenated, dumb-ass.

    who fails to recognize the democrats

    If you’re going to call someone a “dumbshit”[sic], you might want to consider using proper English.

    I also don’t fail to recognize that, during those 20 years that the Democrats have run this state, things were generally going well until the state of Washington ran head first into the Great Recession that began while Republicans were running things in the other Washington.

    fuck head joe blow….

    When you demonstrate that your memory is even marginally better than your command of the English language, then
    you might have earned the right to call me a “fuck head.” Until then I suggest you hone up on your rhetorical skills. What you’ve shown us so far has been distinctly underwhelming.

  76. 92

    Don Joe spews:

    @89

    No one here hates Cynical over the fact that he owns two houses. It’s the way he uses that alleged fact as a form of special pleading and appeal to authority whenever anyone deigns to respond to his rheumatoid rhetoric that tends to piss people off.

    Hell, I own three houses (well, one of them is a condo), but you’ll never see me use that as a reason why people should accept my Economics arguments without question.

  77. 93

    Webster spews:

    @91 The word, “dumb-shit” is hyphenated, dumb-ass

    [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dumbshit]
    [http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dumbshit]
    [http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dumbshit]
    [http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/dumbshit?cx=partner-pub-0939450753529744:v0qd01-tdlq&cof=FORID:9&ie=UTF-8&q=dumbshit&sa=Search#922]

  78. 94

    ld spews:

    Paid holidays, pensions, healthcare and other benefits were nonexistent amid the Great Depression’s high unemployment and declining standards of living.

    Welcome back to Obama’s world folks!

  79. 95

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @88

    Hey PL, who was it that increased and bloated the state budget in the first place? could it be…………………….the queen and her democrat legislature? BINGO!

    are you really that ignorant or are you just so taken in by the kook-aid that everything around you that is shit must the fault of the republicans……

    take off your blinders fool…

  80. 96

    LD spews:

    Decimated home values
    withering 401(k)s…
    Massive unemployment
    the devaluing dollar…
    Unraveling social safety net
    confiscatory taxes…

    Welcome to Obama’s world Folks!

  81. 97

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @91

    oh thank god! the spelling and diction police have arrived to save the day!

    poor joe blow, still living in a fantasy world where the progressives can do no wrong.

    well guess what girly-man(you like the hyphen now bitch?), you fools have run this state right into the ground, and there is nobody to blame but yourselves. chew on that for a while.

  82. 98

    Blue John spews:

    I’ve had time to think about this some. I don’t see that the Governor has much leeway in what she did. The money is not there. Tax incomes are down, and the Washington people are unwilling to raise any taxes to pay for services. I get that. They are scared and mad. We have been promised from Reagan and up that if we just deregulated, everything would be fine, and it’s not working any more. We were also sold that we were special and we deserved to have everything without working for it. That too is failing us.

    Back to our budget. There are things I can see that would tinker around the margins. Given a choice between schools and the arts commission, the arts commission should go.
    I’d like it if pot was decriminalized and everyone in jail for non violent pot offensives was released. That might save 1%. Big deal.
    It seems we are stuck with this mess.

    Washington state has little influences over the national economy. Until the economy improves, I don’t see how we have other options besides horrible cuts.

  83. 99

    Blue John spews:

    Levels of Why?
    Why is the budget cuts so bad?
    Because sales tax income dropped dramatically. Because everyone is spending so much less. Everyone is hunkered down and hording what money they do have.

    Why are people spending so much less?
    Because the economy is awful. People are scared. Many of us have lost their jobs or know someone who has.

    Why is the economy so bad?
    Because our trade and economic policies reward sending American jobs overseas. Because our tax policies penalize investment in America industry. Because Boeing and the auto industry is one of the few manufacturing we do in the states. Because we don’t want to invest in education so our kids can compete. Because many of us don’t have a work ethic anymore. Because we seem to think that the economy is the stock market, not the average person having disposable income.

  84. 100

    G Davis spews:

    Another good post @99 Blue John.

    But it is what it is. Until state staffs, department mid management bloat cut out and pensions/benefits completely cut to the bone, non-violent criminals let out of their very expensive state housing, etc I say my tax dollars should go to helping folks stay healthier, thereby costing us far less in the long run and to educating our children.

  85. 102

    Blue John spews:

    “Until state staffs, department mid management bloat cut out and pensions/benefits completely cut to the bone”
    That was not clear, Are you saying that you won’t be happy until state workers are just as miserable, poor and financially insecure as the private sector?
    Since our tax dollars go to pay state worker’s salary and benefits, they better be suffering just as hard if not worse as the least among us?
    Instead of “I got mine, to hell with you”, it’s “I lost mine, you should too.”

    That brings up an interesting thought experiment. Why not apply that to CEOs?
    Since our income go to pay the CEO’s salary and benefits, they better be suffering just as hard as the least among us?
    Why are they different?

  86. 103

    Don Joe spews:

    @93

    http://dictionary.reference.co.....loquialism

    That you can find a colloquialism in the dictionary doesn’t change the fact that the proper way to combine two words into a new word is to hyphenate them. However, we’ll give you credit for being slightly more intelligent than the guy with the sign that read, “Morans.”

    The same, However cannot be said for the good Dr. Z (DZ? Sounds like the way Chano Pozo pronounced the word, “dizzy”.) We’ve already seen that he’s unoriginal, suffers from short-term memory loss and has a rather poor command of the English language. To that list of maladies, we can add a penchant for hallucinations. He writes:

    “still living in a fantasy world where the progressives can do no wrong.”

    I don’t believe I’ve ever made that claim. Not in this thread or any other. If we want to play the “Democrats bad/Republicans worse” game, though, I’ll win that game every time.

    Where does that leave us? I have now pointed out two facts that DZ’s conclusion cannot adequately explain. His response has been to assume the ostrich posture. Like a petulant juvenile, he merely sticks his fingers in his ears, saying “la la la–can’t hear you.”

    Shit. Better trolls, please.

  87. 104

    Don Joe spews:

    @99

    Because we seem to think that the economy is the stock market, not the average person having disposable income.

    A couple of facts that might be helpful. During the 30 years since Ronald Reagan took office as President, the United States has experience economic growth that has exceeded the rate of economic growth during the entire history of this country. Over that same 30-year period of time, real wages have remained essentially flat.

    This is the Republican legacy–30 years of unprecedented economic growth from which less than 5% of the population has actually accrued any appreciable benefit. Some bobble-head on Fox News was complaining about the “rhetoric of class warfare” not too long ago. Hell, if you stop waging war on the middle class, then people will stop talking about it.

  88. 105

    Don Joe spews:

    @104

    Eratta:

    “exceeded the rate of economic growth during the entire history of this country” should read “exceeded the rate of economic growth during the entire history of this country up to that point”

  89. 106

    samuel spews:

    @103

    Well, Joe, that’s at least four dictionaries including Webster that omit the hyphen. Can you provide a single dictionary that spells “dumbshit” with a hyphen?

  90. 107

    Steve spews:

    @102 “Why are they different?”

    They’re the “producers”.

    The rich got their tax cut. If they don’t produce a half million new jobs in January, off with their damned heads.

  91. 108

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    79. Roger Rabbit spews:

    With the sales tax at nearly 10% revenues are dropping like the guy who leaped off a cliff with an ornithopter, indicating that taxing retail purchases has reached the point of diminishing returns.

    And what do conservatives want to do?

    Cut the role and size and cost of government.
    I already gave you my laundry list several times. You don’t like it….but I told you how it can be done. Democrats want to control citizens lives with excessive regs, Growth Management Act and taxes. Folks are rebelling.
    Sure, most people want free shit that rich people pay for. Lots of Unemployeds are working sidejobs because the Unemployment is about what they could make working. Plus many love the life of leisure. Not all…but many.

  92. 109

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 106

    First of all, we only have one. The fourth link @93 isn’t actually to Webster’s dictionary. Indeed, in Safari, the link doesn’t even work. The actual Merriam Webster’s link is here.

    Neither urban dictionary nor wiktionary are proper dictionaries.

    That leaves dictionary.reference.com, which is known for including colloquialisms that don’t appear in other proper dictionaries (c.f. the Merriam Webster link).

    Which leads me to ask, if, as I’ve clearly shown, the un-hypheanted “dumbshit” is, itself, a colloquialism, why would you expect to find a hyphenated version of that colloquialism in any dictionary?

    And, while we’re at it, do you have anything to add to the substance of the discussion about who’s to blame for Washington State’s current budgetary woes? Or, are you merely intent on demonstrating your ignorance for the rest of us?

  93. 110

    spews:

    cynical, you’re an idiot for trying to talk to these people. they’d rather argue about dumb shit than open their minds to small government.

    the irony of your screen name here is that the progressives are much more cynical than you. they have no faith in the good will of mankind, the natural tendency towards innovation or the ability to harness greed for good.

    but you can’t blame them. they mistake reaganomics for capitalism and they point to the gm bailout is a success. most of them probably enjoy the new york times and believe that fdr was a hero while j. edgar hoover was a minion of small government.

    they think we speak latin. not only do they not understand us, but they think we sound downright evil.

    the best think you can do is threaten to eat their brains. they seem to like that. it satisfies them to think that there is something going on upstairs that is valuable.

    and in the christmas spirit i would like to propose a spin on charles dickens story:

    three spirits come to visit gregoire. they are rhp6033 (ghost of christmas past), blue john (ghost of christmas present) and Dr. Zaius (ghost of christmas future)

    and they soften her heart. and turn her into a keynesian. who hates the budget because those things never add up, do they?

  94. 111

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    platypusrex256 —
    Perhaps I am wasting my time with these hardcore Leftists. But actually a few of them have shown me some degree of critical thinking…aka Michael and occasionally rhp & artfart.
    The rest seem pretty hopeless…but there is hope for everyone. I have a number of former Obama-lovers who thought they were progress who now hate the SOB. Obama LIED to them repeatedly.
    While we still disagree with some policies, they are intelligent enough to want ObamaCare repealed and no more deficit spending and no tax increases. Critical thinkers actually look for unintended consequences of big government actions. These Leftists @ HA are not capable of looking for unintended consequences.
    It’s all about more free sh*t that someone else (rich guys) will pay for.
    Pathetic…especially in the greatest country in the world. These spoiled 40-somethings like Goldy were born with a silver spoon and still are sucking on Mommy’s tit. Who cares what they think. Others, like steve, had tough upbringings without much like me. I wish steve would stick to discussing the facts…but he is bitter and jealous of successful people, even though he has a Tollycraft Yacht and Country Club membership @ Canterwood. Sigh–
    I can only surmise he harbors guilt about his success and thinks most folks are too stupid and incompetent to pull themselves out of despair like he did.

  95. 112

    spell-checker spews:

    @109

    Which leads me to ask, if, as I’ve clearly shown, the un-hypheanted “dumbshit” is, itself, a colloquialism, why would you expect to find a hyphenated version of that colloquialism in any dictionary?

    So, in a nut-shell, Don Blow-Hard from Micro-Soft can’t find a single dictionary where “dumbshit” is spelled with a hyphen, yet he’s correcting someone for not using a hyphen! And that’s “unhyphenated” you moron!

    Too damn funny!

  96. 113

    spews:

    @111 digging into the minds of progressives is a shameful joy for me. but i must confess i’m kind of a phoney. i read a couple ayn rand books and now i think i’m rich with political insight! what a clown i am! but something the progressives don’t understand is that i hate the tea party even more than they do… i was a fan back in 2009 when we were protesting the bush plan to bailout gm but now the party is going late and everybody looks kind of drunk. and crazy. in a scary way… anyhow. keep up the good work. don’t strain yourself on these losers.

  97. 114

    buyer's remorse spews:

    @111 Perhaps I am wasting my time with these hardcore Leftists

    Or, as Obama and the administration like to say, “the professional left.”

    These clowns were singing his praises a mere two years ago, shouting down anyone who expressed skepticism, especially on HA.

    How times have changed, eh?

    Who would trust the judgement of someone who could get things so absolutely wrong?

  98. 115

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 110

    “they’d rather argue about dumb shit than open their minds to small government.”

    I’d be more than happy to discuss the merits of small government. Indeed, at every post in this thread, I’ve tried to bring the discussion back to the topic. Instead, we get stuff like the comment at 112.

    And, by the way, I’m still waiting for Cynical to provide a proper citation for the 2010 GDP figure for Washington State that he referenced in the other thread. Why does this escape mention in your screed?

    “they mistake reaganomics for capitalism”

    WTF? Where has anyone made this conflation? Most of the time people cite Reaganomics as typical of Republican economic policies. Do you disagree?

    Contrast this with the right-wing trolls here for whom anything short of Milton Friedman/Friedrich Hayek style free markets is “socialism”, and one wonders how progressives can be legitimately called out for equivocation.

    Oh, by the way, what happened to all of those dire predictions Hayek made about the future of England in The Road to Serfdom?

    and in the christmas spirit i would like to propose a spin on charles dickens story

    You’re complaining about the lack of substantive debate regarding the proper size of government and offering a Dickensian parable in the same comment. Is this your notion of how to kick off a well-reasoned policy debate?

  99. 116

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 112

    So, in a nut-shell

    In other words, you have nothing of substance to contribute to the policy discussion.

    And that’s “unhyphenated”

    When preceding a noun, the hyphen is optional.

  100. 117

    Blue John spews:

    What should the Washington State small government way be for dealing with:
    – Urban sprawl and land use planning?
    – Salmon habitat preservation?
    – meth users?
    – kids in the foster care system?
    – unemployment?
    – oversight over elder care facilities
    – road maintenance and the building of new road
    – Mass transit

    I could joke and say the answer is always “nothing, that’s not the government’s job” but seriously, how does “small government” deal with those issues?
    The buzz word “small government” has all sorts of unsaid connotations for you. I would appreciate it if you elaborated on that.
    I see the role of state government as a needed structure to fill in where individualism is not enough.
    For example, I as an individual do not have the power to influence enough landowners to protect salmon streams. The state does. Yet, conservatives seem to think that’s “needless regulation of the individual”. If land use regulations were gotten rid of and salmon virtually disappeared in 20 years, does that matter to you?

  101. 118

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    113. platypusrex256 spews:

    but something the progressives don’t understand is that i hate the tea party even more than they do… i was a fan back in 2009 when we were protesting the bush plan to bailout gm but now the party is going late and everybody looks kind of drunk

    Don’t sell the Tea Party short.
    Every movement is going to eventually have it’s share of Kooks. And the MSM is doing everything to highlight anything that will marginalize or minimize the Tea Party.
    I have met some great folks at events…doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, computer engineers and lots of small business owners that create jobs for others.
    Yup, you get some “birthers” and folks that want to dwell on Federal Reserve conspiracy theory’s..
    but the cast majority are decent, well-grounded people that believe in small, less-intrusive, less costly government and no more deficit spending.
    I suspect you are in that category…with a whole lot of other good folks.

  102. 119

    headless lucy spews:

    re 118: It did not take them but a moment to get kooks among their ranks. They are all either Kooks, full of doo-doo, or both.

    No amount of lipstick on the Tea-bagger pig is going to change that.

  103. 120

    samuel spews:

    @112

    Perhaps they’re referring to the fact that you misspelled “hyphenated” @109:

    “Which leads me to ask, if, as I’ve clearly shown, the un-hypheanted”

    You know, as long as you were correcting other people above. Oh, and this:

    “When preceding a noun, the hyphen is optional”

    regarding the word “unhyphenated”

    I’ve never seen it used with a hyphen, and according to:

    http://www.oxforddictionaries......ed?view=uk

    “(of a word or phrase) not written with a hyphen.”

    Just keep on digging . . .

  104. 121

    Steve spews:

    “but he is bitter and jealous of successful people, even though he has a Tollycraft Yacht and Country Club membership @ Canterwood. Sigh–”

    Good grief. You didn’t get one thing right. That’s what happens when you pull “facts” from your ass. Does Jesus (or is it the voices in your head?) tell you to tell lies about people, like how you tell us that Roger lives in an oxygen tent?

    You’re really quite hopeless.

  105. 122

    Blue John spews:

    Again….
    What should the Washington State small government way be for dealing with:
    – Urban sprawl and land use planning?
    – Salmon habitat preservation?
    – meth users?
    – kids in the foster care system?
    – unemployment?
    – oversight over elder care facilities
    – road maintenance and the building of new road
    – Mass transit

  106. 123

    spews:

    @115:

    Contrast this with the right-wing trolls here for whom anything short of Milton Friedman/Friedrich Hayek style free markets is “socialism”, and one wonders how progressives can be legitimately called out for equivocation.

    actually, i’ll quote von mises to say milton friedman was a socialist, but i get your point. free marketers are arguably as idealistic and uncompromising, if not more. i would sum up the perspective as “there is anarchy, and there are degrees of slavery”

    You’re complaining about the lack of substantive debate regarding the proper size of government and offering a Dickensian parable in the same comment. Is this your notion of how to kick off a well-reasoned policy debate?

    i don’t complain, i observe =)

    i’ve more-or-less succumbed to the absurdity of the horse’s ass. and the only prop… BRAINS!!! i dare you to lick it!

    Oh, by the way, what happened to all of those dire predictions Hayek made about the future of England in The Road to Serfdom?

    i think hayek underestimates the amount of duct tape available in the house of commons. i’ll be damned if they let that economy fall apart.

    @119:

    It did not take them but a moment to get kooks among their ranks. They are all either Kooks, full of doo-doo, or both.

    it would take a kook full of doo-doo to think that giving a boat full of money to rich people who mismanage their funds was a bad idea. corporate welfare is a beautiful thing!

    oh wait… your understanding of the tea party is probably limited to glenn beck and sarah palin. sorry, uninformed citizen. maybe you should write your congressperson and ask him to send more money to the new york times. maybe you’ll get better info once the ministry of information gets more money?

    @118:

    do you think ron paul is going to actually “end the fed” like his book says? i’d like to hear goldy’s attempted critique =)

  107. 125

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    121. Steve spews:

    “but he is bitter and jealous of successful people, even though he has a Tollycraft Yacht and Country Club membership @ Canterwood. Sigh–”

    Good grief. You didn’t get one thing right.

    Ummm…you told us you were the Yacht Klub Kommadore dumby.
    And you told us about your Kountry Klub membership too.
    Are you saying you LIED about all this??

  108. 126

    spews:

    @122. Blue John spews:

    Again….
    What should the Washington State small government way be for dealing with:
    – Urban sprawl and land use planning?
    – Salmon habitat preservation?
    – meth users?
    – kids in the foster care system?
    – unemployment?
    – oversight over elder care facilities
    – road maintenance and the building of new road
    – Mass transit

    the short answer? nothing.

    i can think of several private groups that have a vested interest in salmon habitat preservation. for starters, the people that catch salmon. also, the people who eat salmon. also, tree hugging hippies like you and me! we can probably think of a way to save the fishes without turning it over to the government. they’re kind of sloppy, anyway. and if we’re too busy with life, we can always give money to a non-profit. in short, i’m looking for voluntary cooperation of individuals over government power.

    to entertain you further:

    if you are concerned with meth-users, you should start an NGO clinic or donate to one. if you are concerned with your children becoming meth-users, you should maybe spend more time with them.

    if you are worried about kids in foster care, you could adopt one. or you could look to non-government solutions.

    unemployment is a complicated issue, too large for me to address in a comment. also, i have no illusions of my ability to put it in words intelligently. if i was half as smart as i think i am, i wouldn’t be talking about it here.

    if you’re concerned with old people, you should invite your parents to live with you. or pay somebody to take care of them. or find a non-profit organization that is crazy enough to try to compete with the government in the “co-op effort to care for the elderly”-industry. my point is, if the government didn’t do it, someone else would.

    most libertarians would agree that roads and transit be handled by small local governments. without a complete anarchist overhaul, its pointless to discuss my personal views/absurd gestures. but i will say… if mass transit was abandoned and left to the free market, i would be surprised if interesting/viable solutions didn’t present themselves.

    I see the role of state government as a needed structure to fill in where individualism is not enough. For example, I as an individual do not have the power to influence enough landowners to protect salmon streams.

    i believe individualism is always enough. anything short of absolute faith in mankind is nihilism. the voluntary cooperation of individuals is the most powerful force in the universe.

    slavery built the pyramids but capitalism built the internet. which one is more impressive to you?

  109. 127

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 120

    Perhaps they’re referring to the fact that you misspelled “hyphenated”

    So, the “they” somehow doesn’t include you? I search this page for “samuel spews:” and I don’t see any substantive contribution from you either. Indeed, the evidence would suggest that you are “they”, and that you’re speaking of yourself in the second person plural.

    I guess the only real question is how long it will before you, under whatever pseudonym you choose to use, will start complaining about the fact that I’m posting comments here on a normal work day. That is your modus operandi.

    @123

    i would sum up the perspective as “there is anarchy, and there are degrees of slavery”

    I think you’re confusing the difference between “perspective” and “point of view,” and, unlike the proper use of hyphenation in compound words like “dumb-shit,” that distinction isn’t simply a matter of pedantry. It’s the difference between one’s basic assumptions (point of view) and the conclusions one reaches based on those assumptions (perspective).

    To confuse this distinction is to preclude a policy debate, because it takes basic assumptions off the table. One’s conclusions become the factual bases of one’s arguments, which leaves no room for an argument that starts from a different set of basic assumptions. And, that’s likely the primary reason you won’t find an decent policy debates here at Horse’s Ass.

    Which brings me to:

    i’ve more-or-less succumbed to the absurdity of the horse’s ass

    You can make that choice, but please do acknowledge that this is your choice and not something that’s imposed upon you by the absurdity that exists here. There are plenty of folks here who are both willing and able to have a decent policy discussion. Bring it on.

    Or, do you think it simply impossible to be absurd one moment and perfectly reasonable the next?

  110. 128

    spews:

    @124 rolling stone? seriously? you might as well point to an article in hustler. irrelevant! and for your info, i am not a tea-partier. i hate them. but for different reasons than you.

  111. 129

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 126

    my point is, if the government didn’t do it, someone else would

    Really? You might want to take a closer look at the history of the airline industry. It’s entirely likely that we wouldn’t have one today if the government hadn’t bought a whole bunch of airplanes in order to prosecute a war.

    Or, for that matter, the fact that we’re having this discussion on the internet–an activity that has been made possible by government investment (starting with DARPA) and legislation.

    Your article of faith, and I’ll credit you for at least acknowledging that it is an article of faith, has a serious counter factual problem.

    the voluntary cooperation of individuals is the most powerful force in the universe.

    But, isn’t that exactly what a constitutional democracy is? From my point of view, the only difference between what you want and what I want isn’t the voluntary nature of the cooperation. Rather, the difference is that the currency of power in your world is wealth while the currency of power in my world is the ability to vote and participate in the political process.

    It was a Republican who spoke of “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Is that not an ideal worth striving to achieve?

  112. 130

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 128

    rolling stone? seriously?

    That’s an ad-hominem argument. If you’re going to take issue with Matt Taibbi’s article, then perhaps you can point to facts and/or information that he has ignored? How about an alternative source for information that’s more comprehensive than Taibbi’s piece?

  113. 131

    headless lucy spews:

    re 128: I knew you’d impeach the source — because you are too intellectually dishonest to read the article.

    As far as bright primary colors and poorly researched drivel, the Weekly Standard has no peer.

    So, You have better sources concerning the quality of the Teagagger character and mentality?

    Where are they? I’m still waiting and the challenge still stands that if you cannot produce some information backing up your claims about Teagaggers, then you are a kook who is sporting a Vitter-style golden diaper.

  114. 132

    headless lucy spews:

    platypusrex256: …and, incidentally, you are no WFB, Jr. Doppelganger.

    You are just another right wing nut who has his rigid little list of a priori beliefs of which you search only for snippits that support them and totally discarding the reams of evidence that prove otherwise.

  115. 133

    spews:

    @127

    I think you’re confusing the difference between “perspective” and “point of view,”

    touche. i can bow to defeat.

    There are plenty of folks here who are both willing and able to have a decent policy discussion. Bring it on.

    you are a mostly reasonable human being, which is more than i can say for myself. but i’d like to think my absurdity is self-imposed and self-aware while goldy & friends are completely humorless when it comes to their… flawed point of view. thus, they values their perspective a bit too highly.

    my perspective on politics, being an anarchist, i admit is highly idealistic and impossible to discuss in any practical facility.

    i come from a bias of naive admiration for mankind and their ability to find solutions for social problems through voluntary cooperation.

    my objection to government is rooted in my disgust for people who would like to pass their problems onto other people.

    people here argue: “rich people make more money, therefore they should pay to fix the unemployment problem” never to realize “rich people fix unemployment by hiring people” or consider… people here can do something to fix unemployment by brainstorming new industries to solve social problems!

    this thinking is not limited to progressives. religious types do it to. weather its god or the government, people like to believe that there is a larger entity out there, looking out for them. and weather its social workers of the holy spirit, they like to think there is some magic force at play, making right. neither group realizes… its individuals who solve problems!

    progressives and conservatives both hate it when i point out that they are essentially the same beast. no difference at all. it seems i’m a heathen in both camps and i’m doomed to burn at the stake.

    =)

  116. 134

    spews:

    @130

    That’s an ad-hominem argument.

    nothing wrong with judging the source of information.

    @131

    I knew you’d impeach the source

    because… rolling stone is irrelevant? hunter s. wrote about his experiences while high on drugs and everybody else just seems to be high on their ego. i don’t care what he learned about the tea party from a sarah palin rally.

    you’d have to go to my link here:

    http://tickerforum.org/cgi-tic.....038;page=1

    and see that the root of the tea party has nothing to do with palin or palin fans… but is rooted in an objection of using taxpayer dollars to bailout gm.

    So, You have better sources concerning the quality of the Teagagger character and mentality?

    yes. rick santeli, largely credited to being a catalyst in formation of the tea party movement:

    “Just for the record I have NOT been in favor of any of the bailouts not in the Bush administration nor the Obama administration. Not for the banks, the insurance companies, or the homeowners that purchased homes they can no longer afford. I have consistently questioned the notion that hard working Americans that have played by the rules should be on the hook for others ill fated financial behavior.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/29471026

    @132 you are a prime example of the non-logical arguments of which i have observed here… what do you think don joe? does he have a valid argument?

  117. 135

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 133

    There is much you say that I would like to discuss, but time and place require paring things back a bit. So, just a few points:

    my objection to government is rooted in my disgust for people who would like to pass their problems onto other people.

    I appreciate your candor, and will reciprocate by saying that my primary locus of disgust is with people whose underlying assumptions seem impervious to revision through any form of observation about fact or history. Indeed, my very definition of “open-minded” is someone who can a) articulate his assumptions and b) revise those assumptions when new evidence comes to light.

    “people here can do something to fix unemployment by brainstorming new industries to solve social problems”

    I’ve never seen a brainstormed idea get a loan at the bank. Have you? Are you familiar with the history of penicillin?

    this thinking is not limited to progressives. religious types do it to. weather its god or the government, people like to believe that there is a larger entity out there, looking out for them.

    Well, gosh, thank you for telling me what’s going on in my head. However did I get along without your insightful assistance?

    Or, perhaps, you have us progressives pegged rather wrongly. Most progressives I know see government, at least government in the form of a representative democracy, as a vehicle by which we help each other. See my earlier reference Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

  118. 136

    headless lucy spews:

    re 133:

    “rich people make more money, therefore they should pay to fix the unemployment problem”

    Nobody is asking anything from ‘rich people’ other than to pay their fair share of taxes. A ppor person who qualifies for a loan generally pays more interest on the loan than the more well-heeled do.

    Given that the bank has established that both borrowers can repay their loan, how is it fair to make the less wealthy pay a higher interest rate?

  119. 137

    headless lucy spews:

    re 134:

    “Just for the record I have NOT been in favor of any of the bailouts not in the Bush administration nor the Obama administration. Not for the banks, the insurance companies, or the homeowners that purchased homes they can no longer afford. I have consistently questioned the notion that hard working Americans that have played by the rules should be on the hook for others ill fated financial behavior.”

    Which of these groups did not receive a bailout and which ones did? That is the hypocrisy of Santelli’s comment.

  120. 138

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 134

    nothing wrong with judging the source of information

    But, that’s not what you did. You judged the information based on the source.

    but is rooted in an objection of using taxpayer dollars to bailout gm.

    Um. The initial bailout of GM occurred in December of 2008. Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC took place in February of 2009. Your link is to a comment thread that began in July of 2007. I think you have a serious time-line problem in your assessment of the history and substance of the tea-party movement.

    Moreover, while Santelli’s, “Are you listening Mr. President?” was a catalyst for the Tea-Party movement, you’ve offered very little evidence to suggest that all those who responded to Santelli’s rant were demanding that our President hear them on the same set of issues and in the same way. You have evidence that people believe they’re not being heard. You have no evidence that all of these people were saying the same thing.

    what do you think don joe? does he have a valid argument

    The comment @132 didn’t articulate an argument. It merely stated a conclusion–an opinion to which he’s entitled and one with which the rest of us are free to agree or disagree for whatever reasons we choose.

    The question isn’t whether or not he has a valid argument. The question is whether or not his conclusion is supported and/or contradicted by the available evidence. If that conclusion bothers you, then I suggest you put some effort into providing evidence to the contrary.

  121. 139

    samuel spews:

    @134 The question is whether or not his conclusion is supported and/or contradicted by the available evidence.

    Oh, you mean like this dandy claim of yours, Joe:

    “When preceding a noun, the hyphen is optional”

    ? You know, the one that could have been easily checked out:

    http://www.oxforddictionaries......ed?view=uk

    “(of a word or phrase) not written with a hyphen.”

    Any more lessons in hyphens, Joe?

    What a frickin “blow-hard”!

    Too damn funny!

  122. 140

    headless lucy spews:

    re 139: I’d love to hear you try to explain that fine point to a Teagagger. That’ll probably happen when they start reading George Will for information on baseball.

  123. 141

    headless lucy spews:

    You all know Teagaggers are idiots. They are not even smart enough to understand that you are shining them on (e.g., “…those liberal elitists think that you Tegaggers are stoopid, but not us! WE think your brilliant. You are just hiding your light under a hat festooned with teabags).

  124. 142

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 139

    Oh, you mean like this dandy claim of yours, Joe

    I see that you still haven’t figured out the point of my pedantry, but I would venture to guess that more than a few people have noticed that your only contributions to this thread have been to take issue with my pedantry. Are you really too stupid to realize what that says about you?

  125. 143

    spews:

    @129

    Really? You might want to take a closer look at the history of the airline industry. It’s entirely likely that we wouldn’t have one today if the government hadn’t bought a whole bunch of airplanes in order to prosecute a war.

    the airlines do have an interesting history but i doubt they owe much of their current “success” to the war.

    Or, for that matter, the fact that we’re having this discussion on the internet–an activity that has been made possible by government investment (starting with DARPA) and legislation

    the military certainly had a hand to play but it certainly wasn’t the military that turned it into a viable marketplace.

    Rather, the difference is that the currency of power in your world is wealth while the currency of power in my world is the ability to vote and participate in the political process.

    the currency of power in my world are ideas. the currency of power in your world is law.

    @135

    i objected to the rolling stone article because i read it. i attribute it’s failures to its publication in a pop culture magazine. specifically, a pop culture magazine that is out of touch with pop culture.

    speaking of new information, you remind me: i might want to read through some lincoln speeches. when i’m not trolling the horse’s ass for silly arguments to get into, i should try picking up some literature of actual relevance…

    I’ve never seen a brainstormed idea get a loan at the bank. Have you? Are you familiar with the history of penicillin?

    you might object to the idea of “brainstorming” but ideas frequently get bank loans. the idea of a personal computer or an internet startup company.

    i think the healthcare industry is a dicey place to discuss the merits of free market solutions. i believe this industry has always been complicated by government regulation.

    the voluntary cooperation of individuals is the most powerful force in the universe.

    But, isn’t that exactly what a constitutional democracy is?

    the key word is voluntary. taxes are not voluntary. if you want equality, find some of your friends who feel the same way and start selling “equality” on the free market. i think once you break up the government’s monopoly in the “equality” industry, you’d find you could get some support.

    @136

    Nobody is asking anything from ‘rich people’ other than to pay their fair share of taxes.

    why do we need to pay taxes? to fix the ____ problem. fill that in with anything you want… unemployment, education, transportation, security… and apparently government is the only viable option for any given social issues… gee wiz…

    Given that the bank has established that both borrowers can repay their loan, how is it fair to make the less wealthy pay a higher interest rate?

    maybe you should find a more “progressive” bank and put your money with them? but know that government set interest rates was at the heart of the banking crisis… i am a poor person who makes less than $20k/yr and i have a platinum credit card with 0% interest. how did that happen? also, they want to sign me up for a black card. wtf?

    @137 hypocrisy how? because bankers got bailouts but homeowners did not? that wasn’t up to santelli. i might as well say you’re a hypocrit because obama’s army is still in afghanistan… but i won’t. it would be stupid of me to blame you.

    @138

    you’ve offered very little evidence to suggest that all those who responded to Santelli’s rant were demanding that our President hear them on the same set of issues and in the same way…

    i’m not interested in the tea party as a movement. i’m only interested in it’s philosophical roots as a libertarian protest. you might want to hear some of the palin-paul (especially the talks on freedom watch) to really see the difference between the initial tea party protests (paul) and the movement that came out of that (palin). i’ll let you google search any of the videos.

    most people just see the zombies out there. i’m trying really hard to see the viable ideas that got people moving in that direction to begin with.

  126. 144

    samuel spews:

    @142 Are you really too stupid to realize what that says about you?

    What – that you “would venture to guess that more than a few people have noticed that your only contributions to this thread have been to take issue with my pedantry?”

    Is there a connection?

    Anyone who followed your “lectures” on hyphens above – “idiocy” is a much better characterization than “pedantry” – has been thoroughly introduced to your thinking in general!

    You’re a blow-hard, Joe!

    No wonder you’re stuck at Micro-Soft!

  127. 145

    headless lucy spews:

    @ 143 and 144: I’ve had enough of your smug and smarmy antics for one day.

    I’ve got better things to do.

  128. 147

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    my objection to government is rooted in my disgust for people who would like to pass their problems onto other people.

    This strikes me as one of the main things governments do–a feature, not a bug. I am more than familiar with the usual conservative cant in this regard, but it is precisely that, cant.

    How about these “problem passers”: Private enterprises that refuse to internalize obvious externalities? Businesses that engage in rent seeking? Subsidies of all kinds…the real rainbow coalition? Many more….but I’ve been called.

  129. 148

    Steve spews:

    “but he is bitter and jealous of successful people, even though he has a Tollycraft Yacht and Country Club membership @ Canterwood. Sigh–”

    Good grief. You didn’t get one thing right.

    “Ummm…you told us you were the Yacht Klub Kommadore dumby.
    And you told us about your Kountry Klub membership too.
    Are you saying you LIED about all this??”

    I’m not a member of a yacht club. I told you that I was the commodore of a yacht club because you’re stupid enough to fall for it. The fact that the word begins with a “C” was too much for you to resist, seeing as you rather stupidly use a capped “K” whenever you get the chance. You lost your mind for a capped “K”. Yup, you fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

    Anybody who buys property here is a member. Even me. It’s not like the Seattle Golf Club or Sahalee where you need a couple of member recommendations and the board’s approval. Believe me, nobody in their right mind would ever recommend me for membership in any ritzy club. There is a “Yacht Club” group here, but it’s just an inside joke as nobody in it owns a yacht. I’d have no interest in a truly private club. It’s not my style.

    As I said, you didn’t get one thing right. And, as usual, I get a laugh at your expense. heh- That was the whole idea, KLOWN.

  130. 149

    TJ spews:

    If Governor Sea-Hag and her merry band of tax and spend Libtards in Olympia hadn’t gone on the massive speding spree they did when times were good, then we wouldn’t be in this mess right now. No matter how welfare cases like Goldstein try and spin it, the blame lies soley on her and her fiscally reckless minions. I hope that dumb cunt learns a lesson from all this. McKenna will be our next Governor, and fat ass little arrogant Sen. Lisa Brown will go down in flames. Enough is enough!

  131. 150

    Blue John spews:

    126. platypusrex256 spews:
    What should the Washington State small government way be for dealing with:
    – Urban sprawl and land use planning?
    the short answer? nothing.

    Let’s explore this, shall we?
    >> In your small government Washington State, it’s not the state’s job to restrict land use in any way. So in a worst case scenario, the next door neighbor can open a half way house for meth users and recovering rapists and pedophiles and you are ok with that, after all. It’s his land. Then the neighbor on the other side can set up a chicken farm and put the manure pond next to your property line and you are fine with that, because it’s her land. And the guy behind you, can lease his land to a nuclear waste storage company and you fine with that, because it’s his land.

    Did I get it right? I just want to see where the limits of your small government are?

  132. 151

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 143

    the airlines do have an interesting history but i doubt they owe much of their current “success” to the war.

    And

    the military certainly had a hand to play [in the development of the internet] but it certainly wasn’t the military that turned it into a viable marketplace.

    I think you miss the point on both counts. The military spending to prosecute World Wars I and II gave aircraft manufacturer’s both the money to fund research and the opportunity to experiment on large capital production lines in ways that made it possible for them to later produce commercial jet airliners. Without those jet airliners, there is no commercial airline industry as we know it today.

    The same is true of the development of the internet. There is little evidence to suggest that private enterprise would have funded the research that produced the fundamental internet technologies that were later turned into the internet we use today.

    The story of penicillin is even more stark, so your off-handed dismissal seems a tad out of place in this discussion. The military was willing to pay drug companies to develop the drug, and they still wouldn’t do it. It wasn’t until the government directly funded the research that anything substantive happened at all.

    you might object to the idea of “brainstorming” but ideas frequently get bank loans. the idea of a personal computer or an internet startup company.

    Ideas don’t get loans, or funding from venture capitalists for that matter. People do. You have to convince someone that the idea is worth funding before it gets anywhere.

    the currency of power in my world are ideas. the currency of power in your world is law.

    You’re changing my metaphor. Both your world and mine involve having to convince other people that our ideas are worthwhile. Hell, that’s why you and I are both here.

    The difference, rather, lies in whom we have to convince. In your world, we have to convince people who have wealth that your idea is worthwhile. Hence, the currency in your world is wealth. In my world, I have to convince people who vote that my ideas are worthwhile. Hence, the currency in my world is the franchise.

    Both systems are voluntary. In my world, you can choose not to participate in the political process.

    Unless, of course, you want to argue for anarchy, in which case the people you have to convince are the people who have the most powerful guns. Are you advocating a world in which the currency of power is the ability to kill other people?

    why do we need to pay taxes? to fix the ____ problem. fill that in with anything you want…

    How did you manage to not offer the one word that is the primary subject of this thread: deficit?

    We have decided, through a democratic process, that the government ought to do certain things. Once we’ve decided, collectively, that the government ought to do certain things, taxes would generally be the way in which we pay for these things that the government ought to do.

    the key word is voluntary. taxes are not voluntary.

    Whether or not you pay them isn’t voluntary. Participating in the process through which we decide what those taxes ought to be is entirely voluntary. Indeed, we just voluntarily voted not to have an income tax in the state of Washington.

    But, again, you’ve not identified a substantive difference between your world and mine.

    if you want equality, find some of your friends who feel the same way…

    WTF? Who said anything about “equality”? The first use of that word in this thread is your comment at 143–the comment to which I’m replying now.

    Look, you’re entitled to whatever point of view you want, but if that point of view only accords you a perspective in which my point of view isn’t allowed to exist, then, honestly, the only reasonable response I can give is, “fuck you.”

    I’ll take up the Tea-Party stuff in the next comment.

  133. 152

    Blue John spews:

    What should the Washington State small government way be for dealing with:
    – meth users?

    126. platypusrex256 spews:
    the short answer? nothing.
    The longer answer: if you are concerned with meth-users, you should start an NGO clinic or donate to one. if you are concerned with your children becoming meth-users, you should maybe spend more time with them.

    Let’s explore this, shall we?
    >> In your small government Washington State, it’s not the state’s responsibility to do anything for it’s citizens that don’t’ follow the rules. I chose meth users because they are rather unpleasant. It’s not a group of people that people who are not affected really care about. It’s up to some individual to find a solution. They have to find a rich patron to fund the meth clinic if they cannot do it on their own. If a patron cannot be found, the meth users are just well, out of luck. It’s not your problem. It’s not the state’s problem until they steal something and then they go to jail.

    Did I get it right? I just want to see where the limits of your small government are?

    By the way, that was a typical nasty tactic of a Darwin conservative, attempting to distract by attacking parenting skills.

  134. 153

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 143 (Cont’d)

    i objected to the rolling stone article because i read it.

    Your motive for objecting to the article doesn’t change the fact that the form of your objection was an ad-hominem argument.

    Now, apparently, your objection to the article is based not on any supposed inaccuracies or inadequacies. Rather, it just doesn’t cover your particular area of interest with respect to the tea-party movement. As you said:

    i’m not interested in the tea party as a movement. i’m only interested in it’s philosophical roots as a libertarian protest.

    Except that I seriously doubt that the tea-party movement has any philosophical roots whatsoever given that the primary catalyst for the movement was the emotional outburst of a TV personality. There is little evidence whatsoever that people responded to that emotional outburst by seeking out any “libertarian protest.”

    i’m trying really hard to see the viable ideas that got people moving in that direction to begin with.

    Wait. Back in comment @123, you wrote:

    your understanding of the tea party is probably limited to glenn beck and sarah palin. sorry, uninformed citizen.

    Now, you confess to “trying really hard” to see viable ideas? Shouldn’t you have found those ideas before making a bold assertion about someone’s ignorance as to the nature of those ideas?

    Frankly, I think, there’s a reason you’re having to try “really hard” to find them. They don’t exist. You’re chasing a chimera. I believe that was Headless’ point way back @119.

  135. 154

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 144

    Anyone who followed your “lectures” on hyphens above

    OMG, you really are too stupid to figure this out.

    I’m kinda thinking HA should have fish hook award. You’d win it. Hands down.

  136. 155

    Blue John spews:

    What should the Washington State small government way be for dealing with:
    – kids in the foster care system?

    126. platypusrex256 spews:
    the short answer? nothing.
    The longer answer: if you are worried about kids in foster care, you could adopt one. or you could look to non-government solutions.

    >> You didn’t address the question, except to be flippant. In your small government, what is the function of the state when it comes to kids? Is it the state who takes kids from bad parents? Should the state to reunify parents with their kids after the parents have reformed? Does the state even decide who the bad parents are?

    If it’s NGO based, when the community cannot find a rich patron to fund this, or the patron goes bankrupt from a bitter divorce, are the kids out of the streets or stuck with the parents who abuse them? If a church funds this, is it ok to only help the kids that belong to the church? Is it ok that the kids have to convert as a condition of being helped? What if the patron said they only wanted their NGO to help the white kids, would still be acceptable in your small government?

    And we did adopt a child from foster care. That’s what we could afford and still give him a good life. Now what should we do with the other 10,068 kids in foster care in Washington state? How many have you adopted? Oh wait, you don’t care. Not. Your. Problem. How about puddy? How about cyn (oh wait, he doesn’t live here. )

    In your small government, the state has no interest in the well being of the children of parents who don’t obey the rules, or are sick, or broke. If an individual won’t or cannot step up, the kids are out of luck. Sucks to be them.

    Did I get it right?

  137. 156

    Blue John spews:

    126. platypusrex256 spews:
    i believe individualism is always enough. anything short of absolute faith in mankind is nihilism. the voluntary cooperation of individuals is the most powerful force in the universe.

    That’s a nice statement but I don’t see it as realistic. Sounds like a self help book.
    Do me a favor, please list some places in the world where the voluntary cooperation of individuals is working as well as you aspire to. I mean if it’s so powerful, someone has to be doing it right. I could use some examples of pure individualism without a state to back it up. Is it Calcutta, or Somalia, or Haiti, or Iceland or Ireland?

    slavery built the pyramids but capitalism built the internet. which one is more impressive to you?

    Typical “apples to shoes” argument. They don’t relate to each other.
    It’s abhorrent by our standards but slavery existed because humans and animals were the only source of power back then. Once we invented the industrial revolution, we didn’t need to keep humans as our engines.
    The military build the internet and capitalism capitalized on the internet once they saw it was good idea.

    Your small government reminds me of the Medici patron system. Or a Dickens novel. Or Upton Sinclair’s the Jungle.

  138. 157

    Blue John spews:

    And believe it or not, I would like a small government solution when it’s realistic. I’m not a fan of big government just to have big government.

    I think government and government regulations and rules are needed when the voluntary cooperation of individuals are not enough.

    Take the deep south, did segregation and jim crow laws and lynching stop only because of the voluntary cooperation of individuals? Did government and government rules have an effect?

    Did the smog of LA become greatly reduced only because of the voluntary cooperation of individuals? Did government and government rules have an effect?

  139. 158

    G Davis spews:

    102. Blue John spews:

    “Until state staffs, department mid management bloat cut out and pensions/benefits completely cut to the bone”
    That was not clear, Are you saying that you won’t be happy until state workers are just as miserable, poor and financially insecure as the private sector?

    you’re right…what I wrote didn’t make much sense. What I get for trying to type before coffee in the a.m.

    My point goes to getting at what the untouchables are which I suspect center on pensions and benefits for state workers as everything else seems to have been jacked around already. The real point is if the programs are cut what good does it do to have layer after layer of government employees with little or nothing to administer?

    I have nothing against state employees or pensions or benefits or Gregoire. I object to being told our schools are going in the crapper, our programs for the working poor are being done away with but there is 60% of the budget that will not be cut at all since it’s untouchable.

    That’s unacceptable.

    Like any well run enterprise, mid management goes first. It is my understanding there are at least 3 supervisory personnel for every field worker the state employs.

    That’s unacceptable.

    There are page after page of excemptions to the B & O tax. In an economy like this and the state in this sort of financial mess, that is completely unacceptable.

    Government is necessary. We cannot overlook the idea that it needs to be made far more efficient.

    Hope that makes a tad more sense.

    As an aside and to answer the last part of your post above, I don’t think CEO’s should be treated differently and if you’ll recall, I suggested earlier that these governing fools should strip themselves of their own salaries AND pay their staff out of their own pockets until this until this mess gets cleared up.

  140. 159

    LD spews:

    What I find interesting, is how all of these public employee pensions are going to be paid when the dollar is debased so far, and the interest rates are near zero.

    When the next collapse 2011, or 2012 happens, kiss your current pension goodbye, and maybe just maybe, you should look back at your piss poor choice in the Whitehouse.

  141. 160

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    “It is my understanding there are at least 3 supervisory personnel for every field worker the state employs.”

    That is simply not true.

  142. 162

    Shemp spews:

    Yep, the Banksters with their unregulated shell games stole a good chunk of the public employee retirement system.

    So the obvious solution is to bash public employees and teachers.

  143. 163

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 159

    What I find interesting, is how all of these public employee pensions are going to be paid when the dollar is debased so far, and the interest rates are near zero.

    I’m sorry, but I’m having difficulty understanding your claim that the “dollar is debased so far”. Usually, when people speak of currency debasement, they’re talking about exchange rates. If I go here, and look at USD/Euro exchange rates over the past 4 years, the lowest valuations occurred during the last two years of the Bush administration.

    Moreover, exchange rates really have little to do with the ability to pay pensions. Perhaps you’re thinking of inflation? If I go here and compute the inflation rate from 2008 to today, I see that it’s been at a paltry 1.6% since President Obama took office.

    So, clearly you mean something else when you claim that the dollar has been debased, no? Or, are you simply getting your information from people like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck?

    …you should look back at your piss poor choice in the Whitehouse.

    Huh? You actually believe John McCain would have done anything better? Exactly what policies would John McCain have done differently, and how would those policies have produced a different outcome? Indeed, when I look at what McCain proposed during the Presidential campaign, I’m inclined to believe that he’d have only made things worse–horribly worse.

    Next time, why don’t you guys nominate a better candidate? Just a thought.

  144. 165

    spews:

    @155

    If it’s NGO based, when the community cannot find a rich patron to fund this, or the patron goes bankrupt from a bitter divorce, are the kids out of the streets or stuck with the parents who abuse them? If a church funds this, is it ok to only help the kids that belong to the church? Is it ok that the kids have to convert as a condition of being helped? What if the patron said they only wanted their NGO to help the white kids, would still be acceptable in your small government?

    Innovation is a better solution to uncertainty than government.

    @156

    Typical “apples to shoes” argument.

    I’m not going to deny I make absurd arguments from time to time… but you know, slave labor isn’t really dead. Not even in America.

    @157

    Take the deep south, did segregation and jim crow laws and lynching stop only because of the voluntary cooperation of individuals? Did government and government rules have an effect?

    Did the smog of LA become greatly reduced only because of the voluntary cooperation of individuals? Did government and government rules have an effect?

    Our political differences are grounded in our core values, which can be expressed in classical philosophical arguments… too much to explain now. My shorthand is that slavery ended not because it became illegal. You might argue that slavery continues today in form of low wages and abusive employment practices. I believe (from my experiences, not from any book learning) that slavery ended not only because it is immoral but it is in the best interest of economics to be fair in business as we are fair in all relationships. Returns are greater when you value your assets. Injustice only begets more injustice. Much of the racism in the south is left over from “the war of northern aggression” and such…

    Regarding pollution and what government does to regulate it, I have some interesting stories to tell about the EPA. I’m working on a documentary about Louisiana/Alabama gulf spill… People down there agree that the best work was performed by non-BP/non-government groups.

    The best thing that ever happened to the environment was the “green” trend. And although Al Gore may have had a hand in that, the “go green” movement is a marketing thing. It is not a government regulation.

    What is better for the environment? “go green” or “cap and trade” ??

  145. 166

    spell-checker spews:

    @164

    Heavens NO! . . . We’d MUCH RATHER focus on Don-Joe’s theory of hyphenation and the heavenly bodies, which has been good for yet another laugh on HA!

    Too-damn-funny!

  146. 167

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @ 133. Dear Mr. self imposed awareness. You’re too funny. I mean really, bragging about your “self awareness”? That’s rich. You declaim: “my perspective on politics, being an anarchist….” is really quite amusing. Pray tell, what deep wells of anarchist thought have you plumbed? It comes in many flavors. Godwin? Kropotkin? Jarach? Zerzan? Proudon? Bakunin? European syndicalism? IOZ?

    I suspect your awareness has more to do with reading back issues of Reason magazine and the corrosive glibness of the likes of Will Wilkerson.

    Prove me wrong.

  147. 168

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 165

    Innovation is a better solution to uncertainty than government.

    I must confess that I have difficulty understanding how you conceptualize “innovation” in this context.

    Let’s see. A bunch of people get together, and brainstorm about a solution to the problem. Several solutions come to light, and they vote on which ones to implement. Then, they set about creating the institutions and structures that would implement these solutions.

    Is that your conception? And, if so, how is that conception any different from the way that a constitutional democracy actually governs?

  148. 169

    Blue John spews:

    165. platypusrex256 spews: bumpersticker answers.
    When I ask about how a small state would handle the hard issues around Foster Care and I get

    Innovation is a better solution to uncertainty than government.

    How the hell does that deal with foster care?

    You didn’t address my question about segregation or pollution. Would those things have happened on their own, if government wasn’t there to force people to do the right thing? The hard thing, the thing that takes nuance and shades of grays, is figuring out what is the right thing to do. There is a large segment that would use polluting gas if it was an option because it’s cheaper. There is a segment that would that would gladly vote back in rules and policies that were racist and segregationist, if the laws were relaxed.

    How is voluntary cooperation doing in getting rid of the drug trade in America? How’s voluntary cooperation doing with getting rid of prostitution? How about illegal aliens? How’s voluntary cooperation doing against climate change? How’s that voluntary cooperation doing in equalizing pay disparity?

    Do me a favor, please list some places in the world where the voluntary cooperation of individuals is working as well as you aspire to. I mean if it’s so powerful, someone has to be doing it right. I could use some examples of pure individualism without a state to back it up.

    I think voluntary cooperation is great, and it’s very powerful in localized area, but it’s not the whole answer.

  149. 170

    Rujax! spews:

    @165…

    Clearly sonny, you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Get educated please. Then come back.

  150. 171

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 166

    We’d MUCH RATHER focus on Don-Joe’s theory of hyphenation

    I’m flattered. Really. Of all the things you could be doing with your time, flogging me over hyphenation appears to be one of the most gratifying things you can think of doing.

  151. 172

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    and the bottom line still remains the same: the queen and her democrat party led legislature have given all of you this budget and budget conditions..not any republican.

    now go cry in some milk.

  152. 173

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 172

    and the bottom line still remains the same

    Yup. Your conclusions remain as impervious to established fact as they have always been.

  153. 175

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 174

    there is no voting in innovation

    Of course there is–at least there is if an idea is ever to become something other than just an idea.

    Now, the form of “voting” might differ in a variety of circumstances. People sometimes vote with their feet. At other times, they vote with their wallets. But, voting does happen.

    In anything that’s voluntary, people either join or they don’t. That’s voting.

    i don’t really want to explain it to you because obviously you don’t can’t understand.

    Bullshit. You don’t really want to explain it, because the concept is too ill-defined in your own mind as to preclude any reasonable effort to explain it.

    In other words, you can’t come up with a substantive differentiation between your concept of “anarchy” and the way a representative democracy works.

  154. 176

    CC "Bud" Baxter spews:

    This bullshit obsession on taxes is a big ruse by the ultra rich to save themselves a ton of money. While the average persons tax cuts amount to a pittance, the rich man has to drive a truck up to the treasury for the money.

    If these stupid middle class republicans had even one half a brain in their head, they would instead be focusing on the suppression of wages. This is the big piece of the pie. Taxes no matter how you slice it are the small piece of the pie. It is a bait and switch that distracts average people from why they can’t make ends meet.

    Notice all the rice people like Limbaugh have been obsessing about taxes all this year. The reason is they get hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax cut while you and I only get maybe a thousand if we are lucky. And don’t you think in all the time people have obsessed with tax cuts that all of this savings has been spent on health insurance increases?

    Obsession with taxes is completely stupid. You have been duped by the rich people to think it helps you when in fact it screws you and only helps rich people.

    My god middle class republicans are stupid.

  155. 177

    CC "Bud" Baxter spews:

    Oh, by the way, fuck Tim Eyman! He is more to blame for this mess in Washington than anyone. And remember that most of his initiative expenses have been funded by a few stinking rich individuals.

    As DeepThroat said: FOLLOW THE MONEY!

  156. 178

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @177

    AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA..ya, now its Tim Eymans fault! HAHAHAHAHHAAHAHHAH

    denial..its whats for dinner..

  157. 179

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @173

    Don Ho still cant come to grips with 4 facts staring his stupid ass in the face.

    1. Democrats have run the state legislature for ever

    2. Democrats have run the govs office for ever

    3. Progressives like to brag about how they are the majority in this state.

    4. The state’s budget is super fucked.

    and you still want to blame republicans.

    you are kool aid drinking fool who cant come to grips with the fact that YOU PROGRESSIVES and DEMOCRATS are responsible for the financial trouble the state is in. NOTHING you can say or fast talk your way through can deny those 4 facts.

    so in conclusion, go suck your partners dick and stew on the facts that those of us in the minority warned you about this shit 10 years ago, and now you want us to throw more money at your fucking irresponsible spending..well guess what: fuck you and NO.

  158. 180

    Dr. Zaius spews:

    @171

    and Don Ho fails to see the irony of his own post.

    fuck, talk about owning yourself.

    well done foolio.

  159. 181

    Blue John spews:

    platypusrex256 doesn’t address the difficult questions to his bumper sticker answers.
    There are logical follow on questions to his posts that he won’t address.

    Another conservative who will not or cannot argue the rightness of his positions,
    Typical
    .

  160. 182

    Don Joe spews:

    @179

    Dr. Ditzy is back playing that oldie, but oldie, tune, proof by repeated assertion, stating, with emphasis:

    NOTHING you can say or fast talk your way through can deny those 4 facts

    Except that I haven’t denied any one of those facts. I have pointed out facts that Dr. Ditzy has failed to take into consideration–namely that the current budget crisis is an extraordinary event.

    The funny part is, when trying to elucidate on the causes of this extraordinary event, Dr. Ditzy puts the blame on the one thing that did not change! This is why we call him Dr. Ditzy.

  161. 187

    spews:

    @175

    you got me on the “voting” thing… but really voting with your wallet is not the same thing as democracy. voting with your wallet is… capitalism. and that’s what i stand for. so you can defeat me with my own argument. thats not how it works.

    Bullshit. You don’t really want to explain it, because the concept is too ill-defined in your own mind as to preclude any reasonable effort to explain it.

    yes…. because government is actually better than innovation. the cold system is much better than fresh ideas. i’m such an idiot!

  162. 188

    Don Joe spews:

    @187

    but really voting with your wallet is not the same thing as democracy

    I didn’t say it is. There are dissimilarities, but there are also similarities. The question is, what are the salient differences. You seem to think that there’s some element of “voluntary” inherent in markets that’s not inherent in democracy, but I’m having some difficulty seeing precisely how voluntarism manifests itself as a salient distinction.

    And, frankly, if the choice is between a democracy and no government whatsoever, then the word “voluntary” loses all meaning. In either case, you will, eventually, find yourself staring down the barrel of a gun.

    because government is actually better than innovation. the cold system is much better than fresh ideas. i’m such an idiot!

    First of all, I didn’t call you an idiot. You blamed me for your decision not to explain yourself any better, and that’s just plain juvenile bullshit. If was your choice. Take responsibility for it.

    Secondly, I merely offered an alternative explanation for your choice. Your sarcastic follow-up does very little to alter the efficacy of that explanation.

    Thirdly, you seem to think that government and “innovation” are mutually exclusive, but I have no idea why you believe that to be the case. Not only are they not mutually exclusive, I’ve given you three examples in this thread where things we generally accept as innovations would not have happened without government participating in the process.

    So, clearly, you have some conception of “innovation” that isn’t entirely consonant with the general usage of the word. Having such a conception places the onus on you to explain what you mean. The onus is not on the rest of us to try to guess what you mean by reading between the lines of your condescending sarcasm.

    Now, participation in this forum is entirely voluntary. You are free to choose not to live up to that burden. Just don’t blame the rest of us for your choice.

  163. 189

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    i believe individualism is always enough. anything short of absolute faith in mankind is nihilism. the voluntary cooperation of individuals is the most powerful force in the universe.

    The shallow, concrete ravings of a callow libertarian.

    I missed this thread yesterday – but reading over it this morning, I find Don Joe and Blue John spending a fair amount of (likely valuable) time and energy doing yeoman’s work trying to draw out the inevitable absurdity lying at the heart of the adolescent libertarian dreams of young platypus. (Unfortunately, Platy will proudly embrace the term “absurd” as he is soooo post-modern, or something.)

    I am struck again at the notion that underlies Platy’s complaints – that government is something apart from the people governed. It’s the right-wing’s BIG LIE. As Don Joe has pointed out, democracy is people working together to solve problems – and doing so on in a systematic and scaled-up way that a sub-group of interested individuals could never achieve.

    Platy prattles on about how we’re supposed to form NGOs or something to solve societal problems – but why? Why is collective action by all of us – as government – terrible? It’s because we all have a say in how it works, and isn’t the plaything of ‘patrons’ that inevitably support the private charities. He’s really just another neo-feudalist hoping for scraps from his Lordship’s table.

  164. 190

    spews:

    I find Don Joe and Blue John spending a fair amount of (likely valuable) time and energy doing yeoman’s work trying to draw out the inevitable absurdity lying at the heart of the adolescent libertarian dreams of young platypus.

    I think we’re all wasting our time here… I could be off being young… sex drugs and rock and roll. it would be much more entertaining than smelling your farts…

    He’s really just another neo-feudalist hoping for scraps from his Lordship’s table.

    i’m not the absurdist here.

  165. 191

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    P-puss: “voting with your wallet is… capitalism.”

    Absolutely wrong. Capitalism is about capital, and that is all about accumulation.

    That is not the same thing as market micro-economic theory in which an infinite number of players with uniformly differentiable indifference curves are all price takers.

    Still waiting for you to prove me wrong, but I am beginning to lose hope.

  166. 192

    Don Joe spews:

    @191

    Whoa. Slow down. The kid had an aha moment while jerking off and smoking a dube. If you start throwing differential equations involving marginal propensities at him, you’ll leave him horribly confused.

  167. 193

    spews:

    @ Don Joe, sometimes you have good points and I’m willing to admit them. Actually, I’d prefer chatting with you in some real time format because here we seem to only respond to each other’s worst thoughts.

    @ Blue John, I bet you’re a swell guy. Salt of the Earth, really. But I don’t think you really get what I’m saying. Liberalism, to me, about personal liberty and equal rights. Many ‘democratic’ motions seem to compromise one at the expense of another… and I’d like to talk about those with you but I have a feeling it would contradict your religious upbringing. It would be like taking a vegan to Quinn’s… just wrong.

    @ Liberal Scientist, you have nothing going for you but personal attacks. Do you write for the John Stewart show?

  168. 194

    spews:

    191. Proud to be an Ass spews:

    P-puss: “voting with your wallet is… capitalism.”

    Absolutely wrong. Capitalism is about capital, and that is all about accumulation.

    That is not the same thing as market micro-economic theory in which an infinite number of players with uniformly differentiable indifference curves are all price takers.

    Still waiting for you to prove me wrong, but I am beginning to lose hope.

    so… voting with your wallet is different from capitalism because capitalism has… too many variables? i don’t even know what i’m supposed to prove wrong. it all sounds like a mute point.

    but i guess if i don’t understand it, you have to be right.

    but the capitalism is captial thing was pretty awesome. i bet socialism is about… society? and republicanism is about repubs? wait… what is a repub?

    i bet your brain is like… huge!

  169. 195

    Don Joe spews:

    @194

    so… voting with your wallet is different from capitalism because capitalism has… too many variables? i don’t even know what i’m supposed to prove wrong. it all sounds like a mute point.

    First, “mute” is a button in a remote control. An argument where the outcome is inconsequential is a ” moot” argument.

    Second, voting with your wallet is something that happens in markets. The Soviet Union had markets, albeit not very efficient ones.

    Third, capitalism is about private property–ownership of the means of production.

    Fourth, the entire notion of private property requires a government. Indeed, most conceptions of anarchism start from the notion that private property is, itself, a form of slavery.

    Lastly, I don’t think I’d enjoy having a tete-a-tete with you. I find having to explain to you the incongruence of the concepts that you’ve mishmashed together to be a tedious endeavor.

    Come back after you’ve digested the basic vocabulary of political economy. I recommend you start with Robert Heilbroner’s Worldly Philosophers. After that, go through the bibliography for further reading.

  170. 196

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    Dear mr. Pus,

    If you dare to call yourself some kind of ‘anarchist’, you’d better get over this ‘voting with your wallet’ crap. That’s right out of a US Chamber of Commerce propaganda brochure. If you’re advocating direct action on a small scale and the absence of “The State”, well, more power to you. You’re talking my language. I mean shit, I was in the IWW (look it up if you don’t know) back in my misspent youth. But now that I am old, I can only put forth farts for your enjoyment.

    And by the way, innovation is a human trait, not an economic one. Further, the idea of a modern industrial society with “no state” is pretty far fetched…but here we are.

    And pretty much what Don Joe has said.

    “i bet your brain is like… huge!”

    I’ll book that bet and lay you 5 to 1. Do you actually have any money to wager?

  171. 197

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    Don J.,

    Yes. Heilbroner’s book is a great and very readable introduction to the basics of political economy.

    PtBA

  172. 198

    spews:

    @195

    I like your response…

    Second, voting with your wallet is something that happens in markets. The Soviet Union had markets, albeit not very efficient ones.

    The Soviet union is a cliche example of why big government fails. I’d like to learn more about Germany before WW2 and the economic conditions that allowed for Hitler to rise to power. Also, the means by which he created the illusion of saving Germans from poverty…

    Fourth, the entire notion of private property requires a government.

    I disagree. I feel private property exists because of an informal mutual agreement between individuals.

    Indeed, most conceptions of anarchism start from the notion that private property is, itself, a form of slavery.

    Interesting idea… I never could understand the Karl Marx writings but I always enjoyed listening to people talk about them.

    Come back after you’ve digested the basic vocabulary of political economy. I recommend you start with Robert Heilbroner’s Worldly Philosophers. After that, go through the bibliography for further reading.

    I’m not ashamed to admit that my reading is modest… Lately I’ve been reading a lot of allan watts… not really helpful but fun.

    @ liberal scientist

    He’s really just another neo-feudalist hoping for scraps from his Lordship’s table.

    this still makes me laugh… captalism is not feudalism… very different.

  173. 199

    Don Joe spews:

    @198

    The Soviet union is a cliche example of why big government fails.

    Which has little to do with the notion that markets and capitalism are not the same thing.

    I feel private property exists because of an informal mutual agreement between individuals.

    In other words, people get together and decide what the rules ought to be. There’s a word for that.

    Look, the closest thing we ever came to the anarcho-capitalist ideal were the variety of land clubs and squatters associations in the old west.

    The entire rhetorical edifice of Anarcho-capitalism rests on an equivocation. Rather than grapple with the messy question of how big government ought to be, anarcho-capitalists attempt to define the problem away by adopting a conveniently restrictive notion of what constitutes a “government”. It’s bullshit. In some cases, the bullshit is cloaked in a rhetoric designed to mask the scent, but it still stinks.

  174. 200

    Puddybud identifying rujax liberal scientist deathfrog and zotz as fools! spews:

    Wow, Puddy didn’t post in this thread until just now and Puddy is definitely under the skin of these HA leftist fools!

  175. 201

    spews:

    @199

    In other words, people get together and decide what the rules ought to be. There’s a word for that.

    yeah.. law. and law is not the same as government just as markets are not the same as capitalism.

    i would be open to a conversation of how laws don’t really work without governments if you would be open to converse about how markets don’t really work without… capitalism.

    but you’re right. markets exist even in soviet russia. that jackass reagan has a lot of jokes about them.

  176. 202

    spews:

    @196…

    i didn’t bring up ‘voting with your wallet’ … and i probably don’t really know what it means. i can admit that. but i do have a notion of expressing your values through who you choose to do business with.

    i’m unclear about your position.

  177. 203

    Puddybud identifying rujax liberal scientist deathfrog and zotz as fools! spews:

    Hmmm… Puddy remembers some dude named Heilbroner… Didn’t he say he was a socialist? Is that why Don Joe liked him? Isn’t there an article by him in the New Yorker which was controversial to socialists?

  178. 204

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    i didn’t bring up ‘voting with your wallet’ …

    Yes, you did. See post #194 above.

  179. 205

    Don Joe spews:

    @201

    yeah.. law. and law is not the same as government just as markets are not the same as capitalism.

    I wasn’t referring to the rules themselves. I was referring to the act of people getting together to decide what the rules ought to be. Quite a few people would use the word “government” to describe it.

    i would be open to a conversation of how laws don’t really work without governments

    I don’t see that there’s really that much to discuss. If the mere act of people coming together to decide what the law ought to be constitutes government, then you can’t have law without government. The rest is really little more than semantics–where does one draw the line between what is and is not “government”?

    The real debate isn’t about whether or not we should have some form of government. Rather, the debate is over what form government should take, and how big it ought to be.

    if you would be open to converse about how markets don’t really work without… capitalism.

    I don’t think we’re quite ready to have that discussion, because the ontology remains rather unsettled at this point. Among other things, there’s an entire dimension that we have yet to discuss–the degree to which planning is centralized.

    The Soviet Union collapsed not because the state owned the means of production. The Soviet Union collapsed, because the economy had way too much central planning.

    The efficiency of markets really has to do with the degree to which planning is centralized, not with whom owns the means of production. Consider large corporations. They’re publicly owned, and, in many cases, the planning is highly centralized within the corporation. Is this “capitalism”?

    As a hypothetical, consider a firm where the people who worked at the firm owned it–i.e. each individual would own some share of the firm. Also, let’s let the people who work their manage the firm’s planning via a democratic process. This is one of the variety of concepts that fall under the broad rubric of “democratic socialism”. Is this just a variation on “capitalism”? How does this organization of a firm relate to the function of markets?

    We really have at least three dimensions: who or what owns the means of production; the degree to which planning is centralized or decentralized; and the mechanism by which consumer preferences are communicated to firms.

    I say “at least” three dimensions, because we still haven’t looked at the labor side of things. Labor is an interesting piece of the puzzle, because it is the only factor of production that is also goes out and buys goods and services.

    And all of this pertains to some of the core concepts that you’ve raised. What does the word “voluntary” really mean in light of the rather complex relationships that exist in any economy, and how, exactly, does one come up with a system where none of us, eventually, ends up staring down the barrel of a gun?

    Indeed, a hot topic of debate within anarcho-capitalistic circles is the question of enforcement. The general idea is to have private police forces who will provide protection services, but, gosh, that sure looks like a protection racket. To draw on the old west examples, what’s to prevent the Pinkerton Detective Agencies from hiring bandits to threaten ranchers into buying Pinkerton’s services? Competition? How does one even learn that Pinkerton’s been paying bandits on the sly?

    All of this effort to come up with a restrictive notion of “government”, and it doesn’t really solve the fundamental problem you’re trying to solve–eliminating all forms of coercion from society. At some point, you still end up staring down the barrel of a gun.

  180. 206

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 203

    Didn’t he say he was a socialist?

    For most of his life, Heilbroner was a socialist.

    Is that why Don Joe liked him?

    I didn’t say anything about Heilbroner as a person or his Economics. I recommended a specific book by Heilbroner.

    As an economist, Heilbroner was rather mediocre. He was, however, a superb historian.

    Isn’t there an article by him in the New Yorker which was controversial to socialists?

    There quite likely was, though I have no idea as to what bearing this has on Heilbroner’s skill as an historian.

    I’m sure Puddy will explain the relevance to us, and I’m equally sure that the explanation will make about as much sense as the notion that Alan Greenspan was a liberal.

  181. 207

    spews:

    I was referring to the act of people getting together to decide what the rules ought to be. Quite a few people would use the word “government” to describe it.

    they’d be… wrong. thats called ‘creating law’

    i think law can exist without government and you don’t. until we sort that out, there is no discussin.

  182. 208

    Don Joe spews:

    @ 207

    thats called ‘creating law’

    Creating law is what governments do. By definition.

    think law can exist without government and you don’t.

    Let’s be more precise, shall we? I think that talking about law in the absence of government is little more than semantic quibbling–a rhetorical excuse to avoid the messy question of just how big government ought to be.

  183. 210

    Blue John spews:

    198. platypusrex256 spews:
    The Soviet union is a cliche example of why big government fails.

    And Sweden, and Denmark and Holland and Finland are cliche examples where big government is succeeding. Have you considered that?

    I disagree. I feel private property exists because of an informal mutual agreement between individuals.

    And that lasts as long as you mutually agree. but once I think your chicken coop is on my land and I threaten to bulldoze it, then we we need government to come in as a referee.

    captalism is not feudalism

    Though Neofeudalism is a fascinating subject.

    Neofeudalism literally means “new feudalism” and implies a contemporary rebirth of policies of governance and economy reminiscent of those present in many pre-industrial feudal societies. The concept is one in which government policies are instituted with the effect (deliberate or otherwise) of systematically increasing the wealth gap between the rich and the poor while increasing the power of the rich and decreasing the power of the poor (also see wealth condensation). This effect is considered to be similar to the effects of traditional feudalism.

    Feudal systems in antique societies usually had the common feature of being ruled by an extremely wealthy and powerful upper class with nearly complete legal power over the lives and well-being of the impoverished lower classes of laborers, craftsmen, service professionals, farmer workers, and bond-servants (individuals with debts so excessive that their only legal options were debtor’s prison, life as homeless “outlaws,” or service to the upper class as serfs or houseservants). The feudal upper classes were not subject to the same set of laws as the lower classes.
    Thus one of the basic criteria for categorizing a society feudalistic or neofeudalistic might be simply that its laws and customs are designed to best serve the landed and wealthy while offering substantially lesser legal protections to the landless and working classes and those in debt. Such a system need not evolve out of any deliberate desire to oppress the working classes but rather may arise simply through a process of gradually changing the legal systems of a country to best serve the common interests of the upper classes (i.e. less taxation on unearned incomes and interest, more privileges for the wealthy than for the working class or landless, lighter penalties for committing “white collar” crimes, right to purchase expensive exemptions from wartime drafts, etc.).

    “If working people depend on the stock market for their pensions, health care, and other means of survival, they have a stake in undermining their own interests: opposing wage increases, health and safety regulations, and other measures that might cut into profits that flow to the benefactors on whom they must rely, in a manner reminiscent of feudalism…” – Noam Chomsky

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neofeudalism

  184. 211

    Blue John spews:

    207. platypusrex256 spews:
    i think law can exist without government and you don’t. until we sort that out, there is no discussin.

    I can list democracies and dictatorships, planned economies, democratic socialist governments and economies, and anarchy states.

    Where and when in the world did laws exist without government? Can you give examples?

  185. 212

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    BJ @ 210–

    And Sweden, and Denmark and Holland and Finland are cliche examples where big government is succeeding. Have you considered that?

    And what are their policies on Illegal Immigration? They don’t allow it.
    And what is the population size of each country compared to America?
    How much money do they spend on defense?

    It’s hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison BJ. Some many relevant, significant differences. Yes, they have very high taxes and big government. But they don’t support freeloaders to the extent we do. They don’t mind you visiting, leaving money and most importantly…leaving.
    They have done excellent jobs of protecting their borders and that’s it.
    Perhaps that is what we should be doing too.

  186. 213

    Blue John spews:

    212. Mr. Cynical spews And what are their policies on Illegal Immigration? They don’t allow it.
    They have done excellent jobs of protecting their borders and that’s it.
    Perhaps that is what we should be doing too.

    That’s it? That’s the key, most important difference between those states and ours?
    It’s not their tax structure, it’s not their health care, or rule of the economy and trade, it’s illegals?
    I agree illegals are bad. I have said repeatedly, we should lock up anyone who knowingly employs illegals, but it’s only a tiny fraction of the problem.

    What would you define as MORE import that illegals?

  187. 214

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Yes BJ–
    They do not have to support illegals.
    They also do not give out the foreign aid we do.
    Or have the military.

    Are you denying those are important differences?
    Are you trying to say that High Taxes and Socialized Medicine make them models for the world…without considering all the other factors?
    Mighty shallow BJ…even for you.

  188. 215

    Don Joe spews:

    @214

    They also don’t have anything that remotely resembles the Republican Party as it currently exists in the US. As a consequence, policy debates in Sweden are actually grounded in reality. Of all the differences one could cite, I’d say this is the most significant.

  189. 216

    Blue John spews:

    214. Mr. Cynical spews: Are you denying those are important differences?
    Of course not. They are also important.

    You keep ignoring or trying to minimize the key difference of the much greater social contract between the people and the government, that is the key difference between us and them. They keep illegals out because it threatens their standard of living. They have a trade policy and tax policy that promotes economic equality more than in the states. They have health care because it helps the citizens. Like you said, they don’t try to be the police for the world. They are not spending huge funds on endless occupations, because that doesn’t help it’s citizens.

    Cyn, why do you think countries like Sweden, and Denmark and Holland and Finland are successful and desirable?

  190. 217

    spews:

    @205

    there’s an entire dimension that we have yet to discuss–the degree to which planning is centralized.

    The Soviet Union collapsed not because the state owned the means of production. The Soviet Union collapsed, because the economy had way too much central planning.

    The efficiency of markets really has to do with the degree to which planning is centralized, not with whom owns the means of production. Consider large corporations. They’re publicly owned, and, in many cases, the planning is highly centralized within the corporation. Is this “capitalism”?

    As a hypothetical, consider a firm where the people who worked at the firm owned it–i.e. each individual would own some share of the firm. Also, let’s let the people who work their manage the firm’s planning via a democratic process. This is one of the variety of concepts that fall under the broad rubric of “democratic socialism”. Is this just a variation on “capitalism”? How does this organization of a firm relate to the function of markets?

    I think this is a fantastic response. I might post it into my tumblr… The difference between Soviet Russia controlling the market and a board democratically driving the strategy of a business are profound. But if you look at them through a shallow lens, have you have, you see some interesting similarities.

    The difference is, one is controlling the market and the other is swimming in it.

    I’ll spare you the Friedman metaphor of the market as a swimming pool…

    …who or what owns the means of production

    i always liked that part in dune where muad dib says “the power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.”

    …which may not be too helpful for this argument but i think it is a beautiful statement.

    no single person owns production because no single person is responsible for the success or failure or any product. there are so many pieces and all of them are, to different degrees, expendable.

    unskilled labor, for example, is more easily replaced than lead designers and architects. no person is irreplaceable. the only part that cannot be replaced is the idea driving the production. the idea of a car, for example, or the script for a film.

    we might find we agree… that all people involved share in ownership of the product and thus the means of production. but we might disagree on what it means to take part ownership and more, who retains more ownership.

    as a filmmaker, i think about this dynamic every time i am on set.

    (this is a tangent so feel free to skip…)

    i think movie sets for independent feature are examples of anarchy. every laborer is present on their own terms. some players get stipends and some players get paid only in the satisfaction of being involved.

    as an outsider, you might think the lowly PA as a slave because he works very hard and receives zero material compensation. but no. he gets paid in experience and gains much in networking opportunities.

    the degree to which planning is centralized or decentralized

    i will use the word “players” rather than “laborers” because everybody knows film-making is more play than work.. (joke)

    more skilled laborers such as the gaffer may take ownership of the lighting. ownership is tenuous because the gaffer ultimately works for the DP who works for the director who works for the producers. sometimes management has a heavy hand in the lighting design and sometimes the gaffer might accept design ideas from the key grip or grips who work under him.

    because all players are present under their own terms, you can’t really argue that films are made on slave labor. if a gaffer receives 100% lighting design from the DP and receives no material/monetary compensation, he accepts the job in exchange for the opportunity work, the experience of performing and access to networking opportunity.

    if a gaffer feels the production has wavered too far from the agreements made prior to production, he can talk to the AD (who works for the producer, not the director) to ensure that his supervisors return to the initial agreement and to avoid any unfairness on set.

    independent films are able to operate without unions. all players are responsible for looking after themselves so if there is any unfairness on set, each player has only himself to blame.

    to put brief: the laborers each make a personal agreement with the management chain regarding the level of ownership one takes in the production. a laborer might choose to sell his share in the product in exchange for monetary compensation. a skilled labor might choose to waive monetary compensation in order to maintain his say in the final product. or if no deal can be made, the laborer might choose to abandon the film industry and get a real job.

    long answer… hope it explained my point of view.

    …the mechanism by which consumer preferences are communicated to firms

    have you read friedman’s free to choose? or seen his pbs special?

    we still haven’t looked at the labor side of things. Labor is an interesting piece of the puzzle, because it is the only factor of production that is also goes out and buys goods and services.

    we might differ on our opinions of what labor is… to me, all people involved in production from strategy, design and marketing down to the lowest assistant are ‘labor’ to me… and after work, everybody goes out to buy a beer. because when the working day is done, everybody thinks they deserve more in exchange for their efforts. even the CEO.

    the only people excluded from labor are people who do not work and have no investments. and lord knows they spend money.

    i suppose the non-human elements of production don’t buy goods and services. i have yet to see a movie script or blueprint for an automobile hanging out at the bar getting a drink, trying to forget how those who own the means to production screwed him over…

    And all of this pertains to some of the core concepts that you’ve raised. What does the word “voluntary” really mean in light of the rather complex relationships that exist in any economy, and how, exactly, does one come up with a system where none of us, eventually, ends up staring down the barrel of a gun?

    I’m going to make a hilarious reference to Tron: Legacy… in 3D… but in the words of the dude, “there is no perfect system”

    @206

    the explanation will make about as much sense as the notion that Alan Greenspan was a liberal.

    poor alan… nobody wants to claim him as their own… except maybe the neocons…

  191. 219

    spews:

    @210

    And that lasts as long as you mutually agree. but once I think your chicken coop is on my land and I threaten to bulldoze it, then we we need government to come in as a referee.

    you would be wise not to bulldoze my chicken coop because i might come and bulldoeze yours. it would be in your best interest to focus on growing your own chickens.

    if there is an honest disagreement over property, we might go out and hire an impartial judge (one whom we can both agree upon) to review the facts and award / maintain the chicken coup to its rightful owner.

    and we’ll go along with this, assuming we are both respectable gentlemen with a personal brand (as chicken farmers) to maintain.

    Neofeudalism is a fascinating subject

    not really… i am not sitting like a dog at the foot of my master’s table looking for scraps. i’m… a super dog! i can not only retrieve the morning paper but i also make films. i bet your dog doesn’t make films! so… thats why my master/employer tosses me biscuits. he feed me not out of pitty but he’d just be goddamn sad if i ran away.

    @208

    Creating law is what governments do. By definition.

    we disagree on the definitions of government and law. big problem.

    government, to me, is a group, above the people, that administers the relations of its subjects. this is an impersonal and therefore involuntary agreement. failure to obey the government (pay taxes) results in fines. failure to pay fines results in prison. failure to be a prisoner results in death.

    law, to me, is a set of principals upon which people have personally volunteered to commit to. the law is maintained by our peers… my apartment building has rules that are maintained by a manager. i made a personal agreement with the owner of the building when i decided to live here regarding the rules/law of the building. if i miss a payment, i am fined. if i fail to pay the fines, i get kicked out. if i fail to leave, the manager calls on security to throw me out. security will kill me only if i refuse to leave.

    the important difference between government (impersonal social contract) and private industry such as my apartment building (personal contract) is that the government will kill me for not confining myself to a jail cell. the private industry will kill me for not leaving.

    they say government is the contract that is easy to get into (you dont even have to sign a document of agreement if you are born into it!) but nearly impossible to get out of…

  192. 220

    spews:

    213. Blue John spews:

    I agree illegals are bad. I have said repeatedly, we should lock up anyone who knowingly employs illegals, but it’s only a tiny fraction of the problem.

    What would you define as MORE import that illegals?

    in my world view, there are no illegals because there is no government and therefore no country. its like the first half of that john lennon song. you might say that i’m a dreamer but i’m not the only one. =)

    the only reason why we have a concept of illegals is because the government gives away so much for free.

    personally, i hope the border system collapses and our schools and hospitals and prisons are overrun by foreign people who do not pay into the system. that way, we would acknowledge that our system is flawed and needs to be fixed.

    as is, it is a cripple that refuses to admit handicap.

  193. 221

    spews:

    @218

    i’ve mostly given up on making a point for your benefit… i talk to amuse myself and you seem to be a willing soundboard.

    the success of countries like sweden and denmark and the like is relative.

    i’ll admit… most of my ideas of government are more grounded in philosophy, logic and personal experiences than world affairs so i can’t really talk about sweden or denmark…

    there are logical errors to be made in both approaches don’t you think? blah.

  194. 222

    Blue John spews:

    @220. No borders.
    @221. Just philosophy, not reality.
    Ok. Thanks for explaining where you are coming from.

  195. 223

    spews:

    @222

    hey now… i said personal experiences. that counts are reality. its just as real as “world affairs” …besides your denmark is not the same as my denmark because we have different understandings of denmark. dig? *passes joint*

    but don’t you dig that john lennon song?

  196. 224

    spews:

    @204

    Don Joe said: Now, the form of “voting” might differ in a variety of circumstances. People sometimes vote with their feet. At other times, they vote with their wallets. But, voting does happen.

    and i think don joe has a half point. because i’m generous.

  197. 226

    Don Joe spews:

    @219

    government, to me, is a group, above the people, that administers the relations of its subjects. this is an impersonal and therefore involuntary agreement. failure to obey the government (pay taxes) results in fines. failure to pay fines results in prison. failure to be a prisoner results in death.

    That definition excludes a variety of democratic forms of government, none of which can rightfully be said to exist “above the people.” We, the people, gave our government the authority to lay and collect taxes. We, the people, decide what those taxes ought to be and what punishments we should face if we choose not to comply.

    By it’s very nature, some people will not agree with these decisions, but we’ve all had a say in them. We have a say at every election.

    I understand the desire to eliminate forms of coercion from society, but, as my example of private firms offering protection services shows, even that problem isn’t solved by defining “government” as you define it.

    No definition of “freedom” guarantees that everyone has optimal choices, and I don’t think you get there through an overly restrictive definition of government.

  198. 227

    spews:

    @226

    We, the people, gave our government the authority to lay and collect taxes. We, the people, decide what those taxes ought to be and what punishments we should face if we choose not to comply.

    i, the individual, did not give such authority.

    as my example of private firms offering protection services shows, even that problem isn’t solved by defining “government” as you define it

    not really… but lets talk about that later.

    No definition of “freedom” guarantees that everyone has optimal choices

    my definition of freedom doesn’t try to garantee optimal choices. a man can be starving in the desert and yet be free while a man can be surrounded by wealth and yet be a prisoner.

    (why do i feel like i’m analyzing a disney film?)

    freedom is about taking ownership of your options and making the most of it.

  199. 228

    Don Joe spews:

    @227

    First, you’ve ignored the point that your definition of “government” excludes several forms of democratic government from the definition. That is the issue, and it won’t be resolved if you completely ignore it.

    i, the individual, did not give such authority.

    In other words, you, the individual, don’t agree with the decision that we, the people, made collectively.

    How does redefining the term “government” resolve that problem? Is it not true that, in any form of group decision-making, the group will arrive at decisions with which some members of the group disagree?

    I don’t think your redefinition of the term “government” solves that central, social problem. I think it merely kicks the can down the road.