After reading "Outrage" by Dick Morris, one can surmise that fully a fifth of the national budget can be chalked up to fraud, graft, quasi-legal junketing, subsidies unnecessarily paid out to favorite big farmers, drug companies, the UN, Fannie Mae, for Illegal immigrants, and trade protection, among other extravaganzas.
If one increases the size of government, one could expect a similar increase in these practices, or even a further penetration and corruption of the political scene, not unlike the so-called stimulus pork project. A billion here, and a billion there, and you soon have a fuly corrupted process.
Before letting government grow to its theoretical service-to-the-people limit, why not insist on cleaning up the fraud and corruption first, and the waste, mismanagement, and deadhead personnel that bloats payrolls and budgets throughout the Departments, Agencies, etc?
The concept that there just might eventually be one government employee for each civilian so as to cater to the citizen's every wish is perhaps one theoretical limit to be avoided. Once over 50% of the population garners their wages from the US government, we are well on the way to restrictive socialism and who knows what excesses? This would put freedom and liberty for our citizens in great jeopardy.
Let us first concentrate on greater honesty and efficiency of government, legislators, lobbyists, and industry before allowing insatiable growth of government to satisfy every whim of the "Need and Right" groups.
Go to the LSU website to see just how many identifiable federal government organizations actually exist, have a staff, and budget. At last report it was 1,177 boards, committees, agencies, commissions, bureaus and the like. Many of these organizations have overlapping charters, separate rules and and a thirst for participation in the business of the day to justify their existence. We have become Russia, governed by 10,000 (or a lot more) clerks, not the leaders.
It is all well and good to deep six the idea of smaller government, but we must have our government honest, minimally invasive of our freedoms and liberties, efficient, and cost-effective.
You don't get there by opening the door to growth without reform.Comment Posted By mannning On 9.02.2009 @ 09:47
My concern now is that the so-called "stimulus" package will not be nearly enough to right our financial ship just now, and downstream, we are facing an even far greater financial disaster as many international derivative and 100 to 1 leverage instruments tank, which has already begun, and is gathering momentum. July will not be a nice month. Several financial gurus predicted this leverage tsunami over five years ago, but they were drowned out by naysayers that hadn't the right information to predict such a failure of the largest economy in the world.
All of the energy devoted to the stimulus package as it stands is a complete waste of time, and it's benefits will be inundated real soon now by a host of bank and financial firms going belly-up despite any attempts to save them. There isn't enough money to do it, by far.
So much for change and hope. It is absolutely correct that we need imaginative new solutions to our soon to be fully devastated financial community and much of our industry. The scope of this crying need is just beginning to emerge, yet the average citizen is probably unaware of just how bad it is going to be in the next six months or so.
It seems that neither is the President or Congress really aware, or else they are in fact aware, but resigned to being able to build only little five foot brick walls against the mile high financial tsunami that is coming at us at warp speed.
Who knew? Shoot the b*****ds for ruining our nation!Comment Posted By mannning On 5.02.2009 @ 15:23
Newt's latest cause over at American Solutions is to identify things that all of us want to see happen, and then for all of us--liberal and conservative alike-- to pressure Congress to execute the ideas, perhaps one at a time. Newt is good at prescribing a process to solve problems.
I applaud the thought, but we still have the keepers of the parties and the elites in place that will defend their current positions to the death. There are those who believe that they are the deciders, not the public, and their agenda for us comes first.
Overwhelming support for an idea is no guarantee that Congress will heed the message, or else we would have had far more forceful action on illegal immigrants, as a for instance, and I can think of a number of other examples where public support has been ignored or the idea buried in committee. Reducing spending across the board is one.
Still, Newt does get people charged up and involved, and his Contract With America has had a surprisingly good run, even after Newt was long gone.Comment Posted By mannning On 2.02.2009 @ 15:28
Socialized Medicine is the elephant in the tent now. If and as it goes into effect, so goes our freedom of choice in a significant part of existence, our bodies, and its passage will encourage other invasive initiatives to be proposed to a Congress and President that appear to love spending and change for its own sake.
I have experienced SM in three countries--Holland, Canada and the UK. I have considerable praise for the Dutch version, simply because they took excellent care of my wife through 7 operations during our ten years of residence. Both the UK and Canadian systems took care of my own little transient ills for free, and fast, too. But my friends in the UK tell me many horror stories about extended waits for cancer surgery, and continued postponements of elective surgery.
What the public seems to have forgotten is that any US hospital ER must treat those who show up, although not necessarily rapidly. My Son-in-Law the doctor said to me that fully half of his patients during internship were walk-ins with no money and no insurance, and precious little English to boot. Saturday night was usually hell because of auto accidents, where ignorance of the law was a paramount problem. He performed over 100 free deliveries for non-English-speaking women in his stint, most of whom, he thought, were fearful of being found by the police. So he picked up enough Spanish to be able to treat them more efficiently.
He also said that this 50% free treatment load he found in three different hospitals was a major reason for the rise in hospital costs and doctor's fees for those who can pay.
Go figure!Comment Posted By mannning On 29.01.2009 @ 13:50
So far, I cannot see, feel, hear, or touch the boundary between the freedoms we have, and the imprisonment of rising collectivism. There seems to be little or no difference in what I can do today, and what I cannot do as an individual. Perhaps I am a Prisoner in a golden cage that I do not realize is there.
Movements for government to take over major institutions such as banks and brokers are rather remote, especially if I can still access all of my accounts via SIPC or FDIC. Sure, I have a bit of a delay due to a takeover--perhaps two or three weeks--but the net effect is a letterhead change, or so it seems.
The first glimmer of change came to me when someone in Congress floated the idea of seizing all IRAs, and folding them into the Social Security accounts, with a credit slip for the amount folded in sent to the holder. While this should not get off the ground at all, the scary part was simply that Congressional thought was being directed into such draconian paths.
Th second glimmer was the idea floated that the percentage of those not having to pay taxes was going to be raised to 60%, which would give the tax fiends near carte blanche to raise taxes for redistribution. Only the well-to-do minority would support the nation. Since I am in that 40% that would have to pay, I felt the resentment building up in me that all I had worked for and saved was going to be squeezed hard, and those that were 1% lower than I would not have to pay. So far, it is just an idea, but that is one very bright boundary to think about. Our financial freedoms are at risk.
Eric Cantor ran into yet another type of boundary the other day, where his concerns and alternative ideas were met by Obama's: "I won!" Yes, Master.
Yesterday, the House passed the Stimulus Package over the unanimous nays of the Republicans. So little boys and girls all over the land will get their condoms at school for free, thanks to Pelosi, and the government will end up not having to support the children that otherwise would be conceived. This,among other pork provisions from the Democrats hidden in the bill from the general public.
We need every right thinking, conservative man and woman in the nation to join the fight against this legislative juggernaught we have now in office that is rolling towards every citizen. That must include a big enough tent to win, and it will require doctrinaire conservatives to loosen up for the sake of the nation.
The changes are subtle and I don't ever expect to live in the kind of regimented society like Cuba. But if an arguement can be made by civil liberties absolutists that we have lost freedom as a result of Bush era programs to keep us safe, then I can certainly make the arguement that limiting choices in our daily lives limits freedom.
Read what is happening in Europe with choices in socialized medicine being taken out of the hands of citizens, or choices on what foods that can be eaten, regulations about obesity are becoming widespread, and on and on. We are heading for that kind of government but I doubt we will recognize it in time to stop it.
ed.Comment Posted By mannning On 29.01.2009 @ 08:58
A Big Conservative Tent?
Litmus tests appear to be continuing
Many decry so-called social “litmus tests” for citizens to be included in the conservative movement. So do I. If you sign up to the core principles of conservatism, and support conservative politicians, that is all anyone should require.
The two litmus tests -–anti-abortion, and anti-gay marriage---however, are derived from religious tenets stated in or derived from the Bible, which many Christians sign up to and include in their conservatism. They do tend to resent non-believers or those who choose to ignore the tenets of the church or the Bible, despite their other tenets of good will to all men and the Golden Rule.
Obviously, for the 2% to 10% of the population that do not believe in Christ or a God, such tenets are onerous and wrong-headed, and it sets them apart from their religious Christian brethren, sometimes very vocally and nastily.
So we have a fundamental religious belief based conflict that is rather difficult for some to pass over simply for the sake of the conservative movement.
When the federal government steps in and passes laws that enforce tenets that are diametrically opposed to the religious tenets of many Christians (RvW, for instance), some Christians see that as blasphemy and a direct challenge to their belief system. Litmus testing is one result; you are either with them, or against them, and they will not compromise their religious beliefs. Hence, we find that provisions in many states have been passed by large majorities that codify into law anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage statutes. Thus we have a state versus federal law conflict as well, where the federal position does not seem to be at all reflective of the majority will.
Conservatives must find the right answers to such conflicts, and others of similar gravity, if inclusiveness is to be achieved for the movement. If this was easy to solve, it would have been done long ago.
Perhaps we need to redefine what inclusiveness really means. What exactly are the minimum tenets of conservatism one must believe in to be accorded full status? What tenets of religion must you give up or sublimate in order to be inclusive? What kind of movement or party is it that in effect coerces its members to give up or sublimate some of their closely held religious beliefs in order to grow the membership? How do you secularize the current conservative movement? Is that a wise thing to try?
I am not encouraged that the conservative movement can resolve these conflicts in the few years before further elections take place.Comment Posted By mannning On 24.01.2009 @ 00:06
Puppet on a string?Comment Posted By mannning On 22.01.2009 @ 22:53
Seems to me that the collective wisdom of the "leave Iraq" crowd was that: a) we were a cause of unrest, death and terror; and that once we withdraw, if things go sour and genocide begins, b)we can always go back into Iraq to fix it once more.
Was it Ramsey Clark that voiced this stupid idea on behalf of moonbats everywhere?
This is nonsense simply because we have done nothing to alter the multiple tribes and cultures within Iraq, nor could we, and we have not been able to proof Iraq from the gentle ministrations of Iran, which means that the current Iraqi government will fall apart in a short time once we depart.
Were we to stay longer with a reasonable force, a few years more, however, there would be a better chance of a stable Iraq emerging from the chaos that is just under the surface now. We made the choice to go in; now we are making the choice to go out, I believe, before Iraq can cope effectively with its internal contradictions and external threats.
Going back into Iraq would be nearly impossible to pull off, I suggest, because it would be in the face of Iranian and AQ infiltration, support and threats, which a basically pacifist government would be reluctant to challenge yet again.
What a memorial to our casualties, and especially the deaths, and our lost treasure, in that awful place. It is the retreat that pacifists order, out of totally misguided humanitarianism.
It would appear to me that a renewed insurgency and genocide is just around the corner; say, a day after our last combat troops leave, which day, in some 16 months from now, AQ and others will have marked on their calendar in red and planned for in detail.
Oh, it isn't our responsibility then, is it? Smacks of how we abandoned Nam,"with honor!", refused them financial support, and turned our heads away from the communist takeover and genocides that followed in Laos, Cambodia and Nam itself.
That is the false pacifism we practice.Comment Posted By mannning On 22.01.2009 @ 15:06
Oh Dear! I was way short on the cost of the Obama inauguration! It has topped $170 Million according to the latest reports at Drudge. Great time to pour millions down the party hole!Comment Posted By mannning On 19.01.2009 @ 18:34
For me, Obama is a festering target full of potentially devastating leftist decisions and legislation. I will not let avoidance of the label "ODS" inhibit me from giving loud and sound critiques of his every leftward move.
Want to begin? How about Amnesty for openers? Or how about his spending $45 million for a big inauguration event? Or, maybe a Trillion Dollar stimulus package out of a nearly empty treasury that has to print money using three shifts now?
I trust this attitude is true for all people of a conservative bent, including Rick Moran, even when many are today basking in the mysterious glory of Hope and Change.
It is the common man that is the loser in all of this hoopla.Comment Posted By mannning On 19.01.2009 @ 18:25