Are Republicans sure that this is the place to make a stand?

The last couple of years, Republicans have argued repeatedly — and passionately — that the lack of predictability and confidence could drag down the fragile economic recovery.

The theory goes that if business owners and investors don’t have a clear picture of where policy-makers are going in Washington DC, they won’t brave an already nervous climate with their dollars.

Uncertainty is the enemy.

Yet now the GOP is taking a hard-line stand on tax hikes for the wealthiest Americans, staking out a position that increases for those earning more than $250,000, returning them to 1990s levels, is a non-starter.

(Correction:  Obama’s latest compromise offer only raises taxes on income over $400,000 per year.)

Obviously, every political movement is free to carve out their own ideological ground.

In this case, Republicans are rejecting an offer from Democrats that would preserve the vast majority of Bush-era tax cuts.

The compromise deal offered by Mr. Obama would also forestall sweeping and clumsily-conceived cuts to government programs, while making at least some down payment on the kind of larger cuts that will eventually be necessary.

It’s also a deal that a clear majority of Americans support, according to consistent opinion surveys.

Let’s be clear. There is no doubt that accepting the deal would represent a harrowing political defeat for Republican leaders.

That is a steep price for conservatives to pay, especially so soon after the bruising 2012 campaign.

But set against those institutional and ideological priorities is a level of uncertainty and fear which our economy hasn’t experienced since 2008.

It’s also worth pointing out that sometimes political parties lose big battles.  In the decades after Ronald Reagan’s 1980 victory, Democrats have been taken to the woodshed again and again on some of their biggest priorities.

They gave up ground, they accepted setbacks — without ever drawing lines in the sand that wagered the nation’s prosperity and reputation against a single issue or defeat.

The beauty of democracy is that you can lose big battles and still recover and rebuild and perhaps prevail in the larger debate.

The stakes now are remarkably high.  If this impasse tanks the economy again, hundreds of thousands of American lives will be impacted.

Homes will be lost, jobs will be cut, and people living on the edge of poverty will tumble over, well, the cliff.

Despite those very real risks, this may, indeed, be the place for Republicans to make a stand.

The party’s leaders and core supporters may feel that this is the pivot point that will lead the nation toward the kind of political and fiscal solutions that we need.

If so, it would be great to hear those ideas, a big-picture agenda for how this all plays out.  A good time for Paul Ryan to step forward, or Mitch McConnell, or John Boehner.

But if this is mostly a moment of gridlock, uncertainty and political disarray within the GOP — as some Republican leaders have suggested — perhaps the better part of valor is to live to fight another day.

Unfortunately, there is evidence that this is exactly the situation we are in.  This isn’t a monolithic, passionate, confident coalition of Republicans.

This is a movement riven, in conservative Charles Krauthammer’s words, by “civil war.”

The most important conservative think-tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute, are in free fall, with top right-wing leaders staging coups, purging dissidents, and silencing heretics within their own movement.

We also have the specter of House Speaker John Boehner failing to rally his own caucus to support any of his own ideas.  It’s hardly the sort of thing that builds confidence and certainty.

In terms of the GOP’s own future, it’s also worth asking whether Americans will continue to have patience for this kind of take-no-prisoners politics.

Increasingly, in recent years, conservatives have staked out inflexible positions where the lack of a deal will mean a government shutdown, an international debt default, or a ride over the fiscal cliff.

But you can only cry “fire” in a crowded movie theater so many times before people start questioning who is to blame for all the flames.

I also suspect that voters are tired of the “no-deals-with-Obama” sentiment that clearly frames the actions of many rank-and-file House Republicans.  It was a remarkable stance to take in the president’s first term.

Now that the Democratic president has been re-elected, rather handily, I suspect that the political posture of pure obstructionism is untenable — for the GOP writ large, if not for individual members of Congress.

So again, this may be the moment of truth for Republicans, the exact right place to draw a line in the sand.  They may feel so confident in their positions it’s worth daring a second deep recession.

But so far, they haven’t made that case.

They haven’t laid out a narrative for how this confrontation, right now, helps the business owner on Main Street or the single mom who’s trying to hold down two jobs, or the young couple trying to buy their first house.

That  stubborn, deafening silence is grounds for a lot of uncertainty, about the future of the country and the economy, but also about the future of the GOP.

145 Comments on “Are Republicans sure that this is the place to make a stand?”

  1. Walker says:

    “Would you have the entire national government run by 4 or 5 large states?”

    Say what?? That would not be the consequence of doing away with gerrymandering. You’re majorly misunderstanding the issue.

    The solution to gerrymandering is district lines being drawn by some rational process. There are actually computer solutions to this kind of problem. The lines need to be drawn with no regard to the political affiliation of the voters. Period.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  2. The Original Larry says:

    “It is not utter nonsense to suggest that the party with a national majority of congressional votes should see that majority reflected in control the House of Representatives.”

    So, what exactly does that statement mean?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. The Original Larry says:

    I don’t object to taxes, I object to not everyone paying them. I’m tired of hearing about democracy in the sense of everyone being equal until it’s time to pay up and then some of us get to be more equal than others. I’m tired of hearing how people should be penalized because they were smart, hard working, frugal or whatever else made them their money. I’m tired of hearing that I’m part of what’s wrong with this country. I did my part, kept my side of the social bargain, paid my share, never asked for or got anything for nothing and never minded, until recently, paying “a little bit more” so the less fortunate could get help. Now, I feel like every time I turn around, there’s a mob of spoiled children screaming “gimmee, gimmee, gimmee” at me. Enough is enough. I’ll settle for being left alone.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  4. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Knucle, I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying the assumption always seems to be that if someone is wealthy enough to have to worry about the Inheritance Tax, that they must be Kennedys or Rockerfellers or something. Thing is, even up here in SLC there are family farms and businesses that would qualify and those I’m thinking of the kids definitely worked their butts off. Sticking with the status quo “all rich were born with a sliver spoon” is factually inaccurate, as the man says.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  5. Rancid Crabtree says:

    WOW! Larry, I don’t always agree with you, but that 6:04 post fits me to a “T”! Good job man!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  6. Rancid Crabtree says:

    The Repubs may have gerrymandered their way to the top this time around, but the Dems have a history that’s just as unseemly. Lets not try to re-write history to make gerrymandering sound like it’s a Republican idea. In fact, the word comes from a guy named Gerry, who was a, Gods honest truth- Democrat-Republican! He drew the district lines to defeat the Federalists almost 100 years ago. In that time every party that could use it DID!

    If someone can come up with a politician proof system to get rid of gerrymandering, they have my support.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Mervel, re your 10:23 post- so are you saying we should have a graduated inheritance tax too? 90% on “the really rich”, whatever that means, and less on down the line? And that’s equitable…how? It’s the same old argument, “the more you make, the more we take”. Where is the equality in that? So I work my whole kife building a business and pay more and more taxes as it grows and then when I die my estate is robbed of 90% of it’s value. What does that do to my business? What does that do to my family? What about my workers and their families? You’re sitting there saying it has the least negative impact- to you. I’d say there are huge impacts.

    If you want to do something like and inheritance tax to raise revenue, or to make the income tax actually cover people like the Kennedys, Gates, etc, then why not look at taxing a persons worth instead of income? If you are worth $100K and Warren Buffet is worth $47 billion and both of you have to pay in, say, 2% a year, wouldn’t that raise some serious revenue? Wouldn’t that be far more fair in all ways? Wouldn’t that get more money from the Buffetts, the Gates, the Kennedys, the Romeys, the Waltons and Kochs, etc?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Whoops, hit the button too soon.

    So everyone working for the public sector is overpaid. Right, but a private sector employee can hide a lot of his income which you can’t do in the public sector. Guy down the road from me works for a big roofing outfit. He gets a truck to take home and use at his discretion, company gas card, all sorts of perks and bennies and admits his company hides a lot of his income which he says is about $65K. more than enough so his wife can stay home and play with her horses. How does the company afford all this? They do almost exclusively gov’t contract jobs- Ft Drum, SUNY schools, local schools, etc.

    Just which class warfare side are we supposed to be on?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. Marvel says:

    Larry, who are the parasites with their hand out? Take look at the top four things that make up the federal budget. Which one is the parasites?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. Marvel says:

    Rancid who should pay for these govt workers? On one side you say no they need to have these salaries and great benefits which is fine. But then you don’t want to have taxes to pay for all of them. You don’t think higher income people should pay so are you saying that lower income and middle income people should pay taxes to people who make more than they do?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Who said the rich were all born with a silver spoon? Most of the millionaires I know are junk yard owners.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. The Original Larry says:

    Just saw a clip of the President talking about the “fiscal cliff” deal. Stay classy, Barack.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. CJ says:

    So OL… no vote if you don’t pay taxes? But don’t we all pay taxes of some kind? Sales tax etc…

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. Walker says:

    “So, what exactly does that statement mean?”

    Larry, I don’t see what you don’t get. A majority in the house could be elected by the voters in a lot of small states together with some districts in larger states. Gerrymandering has nothing to do with whether or not small states have an influence; it has everything to do with disenfranchising as many voters of the opposing party as possible, whichever side happens to have control of the redistricting process. Results of the 2010 state elections benefited Republicans in 2012 House races.

    For solutions to gerrymandering, see Gerrymandering: Changes to achieve competitive elections

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Walker says:

    “…no vote if you don’t pay taxes…”

    Larry, that idea was abolished by the 24th Amendment in 1964.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. The Original Larry says:

    I thought the Constitution was open to discussion and our rights subject to limitations? You know, like the 2nd Amendment doesn’t REALLY mean what it says. Why should the 24th Amendment be viewed differently? What a bunch of hypocrits.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  17. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Mervel, what I object to is the endless class warfare and inaccurate depictions, caricatures if you will. You make it sound like every public employee is a money grubbing, lazy to the bone, leech. I hear this all the time from other people. I believe a great deal of it is simple sour grapes because those whiners chose a path that didn’t work out so great. OTOH, I know some pretty well to do people that can’t imagine working in the public sector because you are so limited in “upward mobility”. No one in the lower to middle class public sector is making a killing. The DOT guy plowing all night at 25mph is making about $30K a year with 15-20 years on. Would you do that job, or picking garbage off the roadsides and cutting brush and scraping up 35 feet of dead deer for that? If so, then why didn’t you try to get the job? You complain about the Canton Police making $80K with OT. What do the staff over at SLU make? Do they deal with domestics, drunks, work all hours of the night and holidays? When is the last time a Prof at SLU had to roll around in parking lot with a drunk while the drunks wife tried to kick the Profs head in?

    So yes, we need enough taxes to pay for the ESSENTIAL services. I’m sure your version of essential and mine differ. That’s where the problem comes in. You want a pay cut to all the “overpaid” public workers who fulfill their work requirements. I want a cut to all those people who get my tax money and do NOTHING for it! We have people saying cut the public employees, but often they are the same people who don’t think they should have to pay to use state lands and they are almost always the same people that would be aghast at the suggestion of cutting student loans, welfare, medicaid, PEL grants, grants to the arts or cutting NPR and the CPB funding. We are already contracted to pay the pensioners, nothing you can legally, ethically or morally do about that. It’s like that pesky National Debt, we can’t escape it. Now, if you want to make new contracts with new hires, fine. But you will run into the same problem the state ran into before. When they raised educational requirements for some jobs but kept the pay at lower levels they got too few applications to get the people they needed. That’s the free markets part in this. I suppose you could have some sort of conscription, that would be interesting to see you try.

    As far as the higher income people paying, you missed my point. Yes, fine, go ahead and tax them more and see what happens. Do you honestly think the rich are not going to get the tax laws tweaked so they can hide more of their money? Do bank accounts in the Cayman Islands ring a bell? Have you seen what happened in Britain and France when they raised the tax rates on the rich? Obviously the Inheritance Tax can be avoided by preplanning so there goes that revenue. And the problem still exists that even if you took all the money from the rich you’d only be able to run the gov’t for a week or 10 days at current spending levels. So in a sense, we are both saying the same thing- you want state spending cut to avoid higher taxes, I want Federal, State and County spending cut for the same reason. There is no magic answer. Tax the rich at 100% and you still won’t have enough money. If taxing the top 2% won’t work then tax the top 10%, then 20%, then the top 40%. Go a little lower and you get to the people who pay no effective income tax! When the Federal Gov’t sees they have to cut spending you know they’ll shift costs to the States and the State will shift it to the County. People will squawk when their benefits and pet programs are cut. So sooner or later someone will have to make the hard choices and cut the pork. You sound like you’re in SLC, you must have see the Co Board and their totally asinine attempts at making cuts. Multiply that on up through the State and Fed levels. There isn’t a single program that gets cut that won’t have people screaming, cost jobs, hurt someone somewhere. So the choice is start now and ease into it or procrastinate and it will crash. No one at any level of gov’t is willing to make meaningful cuts. Look at Obamas plans for “cuts”. They look more like abrasions than cuts. Remember that in gov’t taking a scheduled increase of, say, 15% and only increasing it 13% is called a “cut”. Is that how it works at your house?

    And to answer your question, yes, I think lower level people need to pay more too. Call me a curmudgeon if you will, but when I see people ahead of me in line buying smokes, beer, lotto cards and porn with cash and buying their food with a welfare card…they can afford to pony up some tax money. My two oldest kids are both low wage earners, they are in that 51% that pays no effective income tax. Cut the Earned Income Tax Credit! They get back more than we do! Start with stuff like that, cut the subsidies and grants (Why is Pickens Hall in Heuvelton being funded by grants from the Environmental Protection Fund? What does a craft store and music hall have to do with the environment?!) Stop the Treasury and Fed from monetizing our debt and making our dollars worth less. Start somewhere!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Larry, the Constitution and BoR is only germane, unchangable and important when it supports a liberal argument. That’s a fact!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  19. PNElba says:

    We all know who the “parasites” are.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. Two Cents says:

    Easy, Bret…

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. JDM says:

    $1 in cuts for every $41 in new taxes.

    Looks like the “low information” voters won.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  22. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I think the 2nd Amendment really does mean what it says. It is the conservatives that seem to ignore the reference to a well regulated militia.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. Two Cents says:

    all the words on paper (hemp actually) or stone, will never make us all get along,but for my own edification what commandment/amendment covers “parasites”

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Walker says:

    Two, you can be pretty sure that “parasites” doesn’t cover military contractors, or any recipients of government subsidies. Actually, the surest test is, are they part of the great unwashed 47%? Parasites all!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. mervel says:


    Yes I am in SLC. Also I don’t believe govt employees are lazy or horrible people. Government is the single largest employer in my county and the single largest provider of income, so yes I see the need for government!

    We have argued quite a bit about how much government employees should make, I would be in favor of pegging their wages and benefits to comparable private sector jobs in the county or maybe the 5 county region; go with an average and that is what you would negotiate from. Thus some employees of the government may end up making more, I would be fine with that, I just think that government worker salaries should be in line with the private sector worker salaries who are paying for the government salaries through their taxes.

    Most government spending is NOT spent on food stamps for poor people. On the federal level the top four areas of government spending are Defense, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Out of those four only one, medicaid is for the poor.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Mervel, those gov’t employees are paying taxes too! Since gov’t is the single largest employer in SLC, then gov’t employees are paying most of the income taxes, right? Your idea of different wages for different areas is already in play- state employees working in the NYC area, some of them anyway, get a higher COL adjustment to their pay. How your proposal could ever be implemented, that I don’t know. I think we’re stuck with things as they are.

    That still doesn’t fix the spending issues. And it doesn’t look like Cuomo or Obama are going to address spending either.

    JDM- Yes! A 1-41 rate in the Obama cuts to new taxes ratio! Boy, that Obama is one cost cutting Democrat, eh? Where’s Dave and his vaunted 2-1 cut to tax ratio now?!!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Knuckle, the militia is only half of it.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Walker, I think there are likely a lot of parasitic defense contractors and people getting subsidies. How many gov’t defense programs do we have that are the result of some payola to a Congressman by a contractor? Hey, it wasn’t just Solyndra and Obama playing that game. IN fact there was a news article I just read that outlines the fiscal cliff bill extending and bolstering a tax incentive to Hollywood, you know, the guys that supported Obama? That’s just payback to parasites, isn’t it? Cut all that stuff, fine by me. And cut the food stamp program out of the farm bill. Put the food stamps over in HHS or something where it belongs. Then cut the farm subsidies and the supports- but only if you can wrench the monopolistic control from the big ag giants. Everything has limits when the playing field is astro turf to start with.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Rancid Crabtree says:

    For all of you whining about “parasites”, is it right that someone should be on food stamps or welfare and still having the disposable income to buy tobacco, booze, porn and lotto tickets? How about the ones using their welfare cards at casinos or while on vacation in (IIRC) Hawaii? I don’t know about you all, but I’ve never bought a lotto ticket because I can’t throw my money away. Would you defend tobacco, booze or porn as necessities? If you do, there are organizations you can go to for help.

    IMO you can’t support that type of thing and then whine about most other public spending.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Walker says:

    Rancid, I was being sarcastic about the defense contractors– point being that, as you mention, there are a more people with their hands out than just poor folk. It would be interesting to know how much fraud and abuse by corporations costs us vs. the fraud and abuse by social service recipients. My guess is that the former would dwarf the latter, but who knows? And sure, it would be good to stop fraud and abuse by all recipients of government money, but I think the poor get dumped on a lot more for it just because you don’t find yourself standing behind the defense contractor at the convenience store when he’s wasting your money.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  31. mervel says:


    Yes I would be in favor of county and village employee’s being bared from buying lotto tickets and beer. I mean if we are talking about parasites we have to include those who are the reason we pay such high taxes right? Like I said WHO ARE THE PARASITES?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  32. Walker says:

    “I would be in favor of county and village employee’s being bared from buying lotto tickets and beer.”

    Ah, a freedom-loving conservative for sure.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Mervel, you’ve gone over the edge pal. Answer my other questions- if the gov’t is the largest employer in SLC, then the gov’t employees are paying most of the taxes, right? You can’t have it both ways, public employees can’t hide income, they have to pay taxes and if they are making so much then aren’t they putting it back into the economy? It’s just not as simple as implying the public employees pay no taxes and keep all their ill gotten wealth in offshore accounts while they spend their time on vacation in Hawaii. Ooops, that sounds a little too much like what Obama is doing!

    Walker, I suppose I could look at it as the big dollar leeches at least have the good graces to hide the fact they’re robbing us blind. But which big dollar leeches should we look at? Defense contractors that do in fact employee people or green energy companies that took billions and folded? None of it is good, that I think we can agree on. And you are correct, I don’t see the big time leech buying food I can’t afford on their welfare card or climbing into a 2 year old car while I climb into my 18 year old car or sitting on the porch drinking beer all summer while I bust my tired old butt. None of it is right. Worst of all, no one will do anything about any of it. Last night were given a bill with a 41-1 new tax to new cut ratio, taxes will increase on 77% of working American households and we added almost $4 trillion to the deficit. Which leech do we aim at first?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  34. Two Cents says:

    obviously, class warfare works from both directions, up and down.
    we all judge our own glass, whether its half empty or half full.
    i like to go one sterp further and remind people not to worry about whats in my glass, its mine.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. Two Cents says:

    you know there is an alternative to ‘supporting the leeches’.
    drop out, drop off the grid, work off the books or barter, and at least you can say you don’t pay into a sytem to fund what you don’t agree with.
    self sufficiency, a quieter pragmatic pace.
    that’s what i thought i came to the countryside for.
    i accepted a direct 1:1 ratio with my actual muscle and brain vs what i could earn from them.
    i like a small footprint, and that by comparison to most, looks like a poor lifestyle.
    i know differently and i’m secure in that belief.
    we all measure our lives with a different yardstick– i like to add that, that yardstick should be one you own, not one you saw of some one else’s

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. Walker says:

    Two cents, I sympathize with the sentiment. But it’s a bit like watching some terrible injustice and doing nothing to stop it. I’ll grant you that there’s little enough one can do in a positive sense.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  37. Walker says:

    “Which leech do we aim at first?”

    Well, the obvious answer would be to figure out which leeches cost us the most. Not especially easy to do. And then there’s the problem that, if I’m right, and it is the corporate leeches that are really bleeding us white, how do you go about stopping them? They’ve been greasing palms for so long and so effectively that disrupting the cash flow seems well nigh impossible.

    But the idea that we should gut social service programs because some of the recipients abuse the system in front of our eyes at Walmart or the convenience store, and because they don’t have high priced lobbyists working for them seems like a terrible reason to make them the chief target of our anger.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. Rancid Crabtree says:

    You make a good point Walker. However, we have to start somewhere. The people abusing the system at the lower end are taking needed funding from others who could use the help, are they not? I know people that, for instance, get HEAP but seem to have money to run their new snowmobiles to the bar all winter. I know other people that have applied for HEAP that can’t get it because the fund is limited. Things like that may be small potatoes but it’s a start. We have more chances of making some small difference at the bottom level than we do the top. The “disabled” guy you see jumping his ATV across the back fields that claims he’s practically bed ridden benefits no one. I can’t influence Congress not put another billion into a sure to fail company, but I can let the proper people know that things aren’t what some people claim. It’s a start.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  39. Walker says:

    Granted, welfare cheats are galling. But I have a hard time imagining solutions that don’t amount to an incredibly intrusive big brother setup, complete with spies and informants.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. Two Cents says:

    p/u the HEAP cheat, or let him pick you up with his back injured false insurance claimed snow sled and drive on over to an elderly womans’s trailer, cold and underheated by dangerous kerosene heaters to deliver a well needed meal and hopefully embarrass the crap out of him for thinking of his own needs and not needs of others.
    but we’re all a little guilty of that.
    it boils down to one’s morals. you act the way to others that you are comfortable with living with yourself afterwards and not the way that you may wish to be treated yourself- that’s if you even give it a second thought at all.
    i guess that’s religion’s purpose. cosmic guilt.
    some may need the motivation.
    others can remain grounded on their own.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  41. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Walker, I hate the whole Big Brother thing too, but whats the difference if it’s BB checking up on Joe Doofus with his BS disability claim or Conglomerated Defense Inc. ? The only difference I see is Joe isn’t going to have a cadre of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, Esq. types on staff to keep BB from looking int he first place and Senator Lardbottoms private phone number on speed dial. Whats the difference between $100 million lost in fraudulent social services or grants or whatever and $100 million lost to Conglomerated Defense? Does anyone really think whatever politician sits in the WH or Congress isn’t getting his palm greased in multiple ways 100 times a day? I mean, come on, nobody can make real estate investments like Harry Reid in the real world, or Hilalrys cattle futures or that Jack Abramoff didn’t have a whole bunch of rich Republican friends getting richer off him? Man, it’s all corruption and you have to start someplace.

    Two Cents, your post gives the impression you believe everyone shares a similar set of morals and standards. I’m afraid there are a lot of people that simply don’t have any morals or standards, or at lest none we’d recognize as such. The “motivation” you speak of usually comes in a police car with a badge.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Two Cents says:

    “The “motivation” you speak of usually comes in a police car with a badge.”

    its a shame, but thats something a cop would say. there’s plenty of law at the end of a nightstick.
    my favorite B. Franklin quote:
    “when all you have is a hammer, all your problems look like nails.”

    look for a new tool Bret, you’re better than that.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. mervel says:


    No the government is the single largest employer in the county, but does not employ the majority of the people. In addition a good portion of the government employees make their wages from state taxes not local. But like I said I would be in favor of pegging their wages to what the private market is paying for the same jobs, I think that is fair and just. I am not against government employees I am against them making more than those who are paying their salaries for equal jobs.

    No doubt there are those who abuse all of our systems. On HEAP you have a set income that you have to be under to get the benefit and in NYS it is actually pretty generous. There have been several years when my family would qualify, we didn’t do it not because I have a moral problem taking it, but because once you enter the system you are always in the system it is a form of dependency and I think it is depressing. I would do it if my family was really going to freeze, but I would not give myself and my dignity out just for the free $500.00.

    However many people really do need it and some others don’t but they all qualify. The costs of monitoring that are more expensive than the money lost in the small percentage who abuse the system. I know some people sell their HEAP allotments, this is indeed illegal and if I know if that happening I report it, but how many people do we want to employ to go around checking on that?

    There will always be abuse of every system the question is how much and the costs.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  44. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Harold Two Cents, sorry to disappoint you. I was speaking to the shysters committing fraud.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Mervel, you seem to be avoiding the fact the public employees are paying taxes too. How do you square that? As I said before, you can’t hide income in the public sector. In the private sector you get all sorts of breaks the public sector doesn’t and it’s far easier to hide some income. I’d like to see taxes drop and lowered spending too, but I think you are aiming at a target that’s not as big as you think.

    In SLC our colleges and universities employee a lot of people- and they cost us a lot too. But look at all that tax exempt property they own. I’ve never understood that. It makes no sense to me and I’d be in favor of taxing them, even if it’s at a reduced rate. Spread the pain around.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Comments are closed.