Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm thinking of sending some GOP Valentines this year!

GOP Valentines

With pictures of Obama, top Democrats, or administration officials, and such slogans as "You Won't See This Valentine's Card on C-Span!" and "We Crafted This Valentine's Card Behind Closed Doors" and (With picture of ACORN) "We'd Like to Help You Set Up a Tax Free 'Romance Business'"



How can I resist?

38 comments:

OperationCounterstrike said...

GOP valentines? How about:

WE HATE THE STIMULOUS BUT WE LOVE TAKING THE MONEY ANYWAY! Thank you Mr. President!

Kathy said...

I'd give up my $400 from the stimulus if the rest of that monstrosity -- under both Bush & Obama -- would go away!!

SegaMon said...

I agree, Kathy.

GrannyGrump said...

I'd rather just keep my hard-earned money than send it to DC and have some politician graciously decide to give some of it back!

Kathy said...

Very true, Christina! Very true!

OperationCounterstrike said...

Kathy, did you say you'd "give up your $400.00"? Very generous. But it wouldn't have been 400.00. It would be the whole country, and other countries too, plunging into a 1930s type depression. You know, the massive-bread-lines thing.

I cannot name even ONE serious economist who disagrees with this.

Most economists say the stimulus should have been bigger.

Kathy said...

OC, Will this list of economists do?

Kathy said...

Or do you only read politically liberal economists who praise Obama for things they castigated Bush for?

GrannyGrump said...

OC, what kind of logic says that taking money away from people, skimming a portion of it off, then divvying it back up is economically sound?

If I walked into, say, Yankee Stadium during a baseball game, took 20 to 40 percent of the cash everybody had on hand, kept 60% for myself and my assistants, then divided what was left evenly among the people in the stadium, would you say that the economy of the stadium had been stimulated?

OperationCounterstrike said...

GG, reality-logic says that when economic collapse and bank-runs loom, you put money into the economy.

I'm sorry it doesn't fit in with your kindergarden-playground rules, but reality is a little more complicated than you seem to understand.

Believe me, you would not have liked the outcome if outgoing President Bush and new-President Obama had not bailed out the banks.

SegaMon said...

The economy could have been bailed out a hell of a lot more just by cutting taxes across the board.

OperationCounterstrike said...

SegaMon HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

If you cut taxes, the rich folks who get the tax cuts will just take the money and invest it in chinese and mexican sweat-shops. Not in USA. Wave bye-bye to the nice dollars!

Take some econ courses SegaMon. Also history, especially history of the 1920s and 1930s. You are embarrassing yourself regularly with your ignorance

GrannyGrump said...

OC, IT"S THEIR MONEY.

If somebody works hard and gets wealthy it's none of anybody else's place to decide that they should have it taken away from them.

I guess you're very anti choice regarding how people spend or invest or save their money.

OperationCounterstrike said...

And what makes it POSSIBLE for them to work hard and make money? ANSWER: civilized society, maintained by GOVERNMENT and LAW-ENFORCEMENT. Which we fund with our TAXES.

The fact is, ownership of property (including money) is not natural and it's not absolute. It's an artificial construct, created by humans for humans. It depends on government to maintain it, and government must be funded.

Besides, your argument as you have made it, implies that ALL governmnet spending should be cancelled. Are you a Randian libertarian? Would you favor shutting the US governmnet down altogether?

Kathy said...

OC, in order for taxes to be cut, a person has to have paid for them. You sound upset that those who already don't pay taxes won't get a tax break. Currently, the tax system is set up in a way demonstrated by the following analogy: Ten guys go into a restaurant, 5 of them pay nothing for their meal, 2 of them pay for their own meal plus a little extra, one of them pays for himself and one other guy, while the last guy pays picks up the remainder of the bill. Then, one day the restaurateur decides to give these regular customers a break, so drops the price of each entrée by a dollar... and you're screaming that he doesn't just give that dollar to the people who already pay nothing, rather than allowing the one guy who is paying for himself and 4 others to keep the five bucks.

OperationCounterstrike said...

No, Kathy, what "upsets" me about the idea of tax-cutting instead of bailing out the banks is not who gets the money; it's the fact that tax-cutting would not have prevented world-wide depression and world-wide money-collapse, as the bailout did.

GrannyGrump said...

OC, the purpose of government is to maintain rule of law and protect citizens from criminals and acts of war. The purpose of government isn't to judge who has been too successful and should have their assets taken away and given to somebody else.

OperationCounterstrike said...

GG, I agree with you, government should not redistribute just for the sake of redistributing.

Redistributing in order to avert global depression is a different question.

And redistributing in order to do the basic science to develop the technologies which your children and grandchildren can use to remain a superpower isn't so bad either.

In fact we can't live well or succeed in a hi-tech world without significant government spending and only a fool denies this.

"No government spending" means no auto industry (roads), no near-monopoly on agricultural hi-tech, no USA-first nuclear technology, no hi-tech chem and materials spinoffs from the Space Program, no Silicon Valley, no USA-first Internet, no mastery of biotech.

Imagine a USA where every hi-tech professional had to learn Chinese or Arabic in order to read the important papers, hear the really cutting-edge lectures, etc. Where any scientific or hi-tekker enterpreneur who had worked in China or Saudi Arabia was in a higher class than those who had not. That's how we'll know we're no longer a superpower.

GrannyGrump said...

English had become the international language long before the Feds started tampering with everything. This "Only the Government can solve problems!" is very new thinking. And it's anti-innovation, since it PUNISHES the people who take risks by confiscating the rewards of their efforts.

OperationCounterstrike said...

GG, maybe you didn't understand. I'm talking about the international SCIENTIFIC, international HI-TECH language.

GrannyGrump said...

Duh. Do a timeline. When did English become the international language of finance, science, etc? When did this idea that all good things come from Uncle Sam develop? Which came first?

OperationCounterstrike said...

That's a quibble. The point is, without Uncle Sam taking money from rich folks who don't need it and spending the money on basic science, English would STOP being the international hi-tech language, and we would very rapidly assume second-class citizenship in the world.

Kathy said...

Were the major scientists of the past several centuries, from the time of Sir Isaac Newton and such government employees? There have been in the past and currently are many research studies that are funded by private enterprise, not government grants. What we currently have, the system and science and scientific understanding, may very well have happened with or without government funding. In fact, if the government hadn't taken so much money from private enterprise, perhaps better science and technology would already be ours. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were not funded by the government.

OperationCounterstrike said...

Kathy, some scientists in history were government employees and others werent. But science today is very very different now from then. It requires more money now. It's more a matter of lots of people doing lots of small things (the "anthill model" of science), and less a matter of getting the One Big Idea, than it used to be.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are great examples of what I'm talking about! Thank you for mentioning them. You see, they made their fortunes in the private market BY USING TECHNOLOGY WHICH GOVERNMENT DISCOVERED AND DEVELOPED.

If there hadn't been the space-program (government spending on basic science), there would be no materials-science boom so no silicon chips and microelectronics so no Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Government funds the basic science which creates the TOOLS which the Gateses and Jobses can USE to do their individual entrepreneurial thing.

Government creates the FIELDS in which the Gateses and Jobses can grow their goodies.

I KNOW you are capable of understanding this. I have deep, solid, abiding faith!

Kathy said...

You don't know that, because you do not have your own personal time machine and/or "Groundhog Day" type time warp in which to play out different scenarios. It's like saying, "If Christopher Columbus had never sailed in 1492, Europeans would never have known about the Americas at all." It's true that he discovered the New World (though he didn't recognize it as such), and proved that people could sail west from Europe and Africa and reach land before they ran out of provisions, but it does not necessarily follow that if Columbus (with Spanish backing) had not made his historic voyage that *no one* would! Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone [probably without one cent of government money], but he filed his patent only a few hours or a few days before Elisha Gray submitted *his* patent for the telephone. The world would probably not look too much different if Bell had never existed, except that we would have "Ma Gray" instead of "Ma Bell."

OperationCounterstrike said...

Kathy, you're right that if we hadn't funded the space program and developed the materials science to make computers, someone else would have done so. SOMEONE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!

Then another country would have owned the computer market for a decade, and another country would have had internet first, etc. etc. and we'd be a third-world country.

Hi-tech superiority is too important to leave to chance discovery. WE need to make the discoveries.

Kathy said...

And the best way to do that is to keep government small, so they take less money from individuals in the form of taxes, so that they have more to invest. Note that I did not say that we need to eliminate all forms of government, nor taxes, nor government expenditures -- just reduce the size and scope of government, and its ever-growing appetite for more money for stupid and wasteful projects.

OperationCounterstrike said...

Nope, Kathy, the basic research cannot be funded privately in the "free market". The profits are too far in the future and the profit from any one particular project is too small to promise the investors a return. The COUNTRY gets the return!

Can only be funded by CHARITY, which is too fickle and small to hang the hopes of a nation on, or by GOVERNMENT.

I agree government should not fund "stupid and wasteful" projects but I think you and I would probably differ on what is "stupid and wasteful".

GrannyGrump said...

So Apple Computer and Microsoft sprung out of government funded research?

Pharmaceutical research? I thought that was funded by "Big Pharma", not Big Brother.

The big car companies also have research departments, do they not? And if I recall correctly, cars were developed by -- PRIVATE RESEARCH! As were trains. And airplanes. And the radio. And television.

Gosh, how did we ever manage to even develop the wheel and the lever without government to guide us?

Lilliput said...

Kathy what about the poor single pregnant moms in need of housing and benefits to raise their babies - can we take money from the rich to give to them?

GrannyGrump said...

Lil, it's odd that you trust people to make choices about whether or not their children live or die, but don't think you can trust people with their own money.

Kathy said...

Lilliput, on what basis would you steal money from those who rightfully earned or inherited it? Charity? No -- charity is not stealing money from those who are unwilling to give, but the willing giving of money to those in need. Should the rich give money to those who need it? Absolutely. Should their money be taken from them forcibly? No.

Lilliput said...

Kathy and Christina are you not familiar with the concept of the tithe? In the old testament time people had to give ten percent of what they earnt to the clergy or temple. Everyone had to do it. What is happening now is that the poor are paying the tithe but the rich aren't paying their full tithe.

Its not about trusting people with their own money. You have a situation in the US where people choose not to pay for medical insurance and when they get ill they expect medicaid or whatever else to pay for their care. I don't have an issue by forcing them to pay for insurance as they are in denial that they have a human body and something at some time will go wrong.

Why is it not ok to force someone to pay insurance but it ok for the person requiring treatment can force someone else to pay for it because we can't have people dying on the street? I can't understand

GrannyGrump said...

Lil, thithing is a religious practice. I encourage it very much among believers because it encourages faith and generally spruces up one's spiritual health.

Taxes are another matter. They are rendering unto Caesar, as Jesus would have said. They're to pay your fair share of the benefits you get from a government -- roads, police, national defense, a court system, etc.

To tax people to finance things that aren't for their benefit -- housing, medical care, food, etc., for other people -- oversteps governments legitimate boundaries. It is the job of charity to care for the poor. Think of the Shriners, and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, etc. Cutting edge medicine made available for free, just from charity. When you try to substitute government for charity, you not only rob the taxed person of his money, but also of his opportunity to be voluntarily virtuous.

Say you're a naturally generous person, and left to yourself you'd bring groceries to the local food bank, where they could be given to the poor. But if people from the food pantry just came door to door, went through everybody's cupboards, and seized whatever food they considered superfluous, then gave it away, where would be the virtue in that? You not only had your food taken, but with it the chance to make a voluntary contribution.

Big government squashes private charity.

Kathy said...

Lilliput, you've got it backwards. So backwards. In America, we've got a graduated income tax rate system, in which the lowest tax bracket is 10%. Yet because of figuring what "taxable income" is, the poorest pay nothing at all, while the richest pay up to 35% of their income. There are also deductions and credits, which means that families making, say, $35,000 per year with two children, will actually *get money* rather than *pay money*. Sure, some rich people hide their money and do all sorts of tricks to keep from paying what the federal government claims is due, but I can guarantee you that if all they had to pay was 10%, they'd rejoice!

Lilliput said...

Kathy and Christine, is it not obvious to you that even though there are wonderful charities - there doesn't seem to be enough to go around? Also u haven't commented about the medical insurance thing yet and I would like to hear what you think.

There is the same grading here in taxation and I think that what bugs most people is that the rich have perfected the system of not paying their fair share.

Lilliput said...

We have a huge government here and look at the millions we have raised in Haiti. Many charities have their headquarters here - its simply not true.

GrannyGrump said...

Lil, part of the reason health insurance is so expensive and often hard to get is GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT. They set up requirements that companies can't compete across state lines, that they have to provide every bell and whistle that has a Bell and Whistle lobbyist plugging for it.

In the mid-1990s, Steve Friend became the first politician I've learned of that was putting forth something to make health insurance available to everybody. The state would negotiate a BARE BONES COVERAGE -- so that if you got cancer or your appendix burst or you fell off the roof and broke your pelvis, you'd be covered, but you'd pay for your body's routine maintenance the way you pay for your car's routine maintenance. (Imagine what car insurance would cost if it covered oil changes and tune ups and new tires and so forth!)

Insurance companies could add all the bells and whistles packages they wanted -- maternity care, MH, D&A, infertility, acupuncture, whatever, and charge extra premiums, just the way you can buy additional car insurance.

Vouchers would be made available to help the low income people purchase the insurance package they wanted. Anybody could choose any plan, and pay the difference between the voucher (if they were low income) and the premium of the policy they chose.

So this idea has been being put forward for at least fifteen years now, and gets ignored, while all the government intervention keeps driving costs up and up and up.

Other options I've seen also include things like Lutheran Brotherhood, where people simply buy into a huge group medical savings account. I'm not familiar with the details of it but you can imagine the set up.

Having the government meddle with something means it gets consistently more complicated and expensive. It's the nature of the beast.