Posts Tagged ‘taxpayers’

Perfection Is Unnecessary; It’s the Constitution That Counts

March 10, 2013

Forgive me if I’ve restated the obvious, or RE-restated the obvious that has already been stated recently, but I want to emphasize that

(1) No candidate is perfect; and

(2) A perfect candidate is not necessary.

Government is an aggregate effect, as is an economy. An economy is the aggregate effect of millions of millions of individual transactions (or refusals to transact). A government is the aggregate effect of millions of laws, regulations court decisions, bureaucratic actions or inactions, law enforcement actions and decisions, and abuse and neglect at all levels, including in the  decisions, or the lack thereof, of individual citizens and non-citizens, voters and non-voters.

A perfect president is desirable, but not required. A perfect legislator is desirable, but not required. A perfect judge is desirable, but not required. If.

If we have a Congress whose majority understood and respected the Constitution, NO president could get away with what presidents have been getting away with for the last hundred years, or so.

If we have a lazy Congress whose goal seems to be making itself irrelevant to the operation of government, as Congresses have appeared to be for that same, hundred-year interval, an extremely disciplined, Constitutional president might temper or even thwart the negligence and corruption of a Congress.

Either a Constitutional Congress, or a Constitutional president, could thwart or reverse an overreaching federal judiciary.

That is the lasting beauty of our checks-and-balances system — if and when it is applied.

If the aggregate legislator, judge and chief executive are Constitutionalists, the evil or stupidity of a few individuals is cancelled out by the actions of the whole.

To get a Constitutional government, and keep it, requires a vocal, relentless and determinedly Constitutional electorate. The aggregate effect of a Constitutional electorate outweighs the efforts of the stupid and corrupt few — or, of the corrupt many, if the Constitutionalists are sufficiently relentless and vocal.

Again, forgive me for any redundancy, or for re-stating the obvious, but there it is. Perfection in government is unnecessary, if the aggregate effect is Constitutional, and if the aggregate voter keeps it that way.

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One Blog, One Vote. Not Wasting It.

August 31, 2012

I’m following the comments on the conservative blogs and social media since the Republican National Convention, and I see two, diverging threads of interest.

One is cautiously optimistic that Romney WILL actually be better for the future of the USA than four more years of Obamanation.

The other sees no differences between them, and sees the choice as binary — either Obama OR Romney — is a false choice. Somehow, they believe, voting for a third-party candidate, or sitting out the presidential race, or even sitting out the whole election, is the only honorable and/or Godly choice. Romney is simply too flawed to be worthy of their votes.

I can identify strongly with portions of both threads, but the appeal of the sitting-it-out option for me is purely emotional, and I’m over it. I was angry about the selection process that gave us Romney, but hardly surprised. The same backstage manipulators that gave us McCain were responsible for giving us Romney, and I’m angry about that, too.

Anger, however, is a dangerous motivation for any decision, but especially for deciding how, or whether, to vote, and especially dangerous this time around.

Alan Keyes, whom I admire and respect, seems firmly convinced that Romney is evil, and only trivially different from Obama. He thinks voting for Romney “just” to keep Obama from a second term is tantamount to selling his soul. Others, friends whose opinions I take seriously, believe that, as well, to one degree or another.

A subset of the above group think Romney is just this election’s John McCain, but I think John McCain was not only a RINO, but an abysmal candidate for President. He may have been able to convince enough Arizonans over the last hundred years to keep him in the Senate, but he was either utterly inept at running for the presidency, or actively defeating himself at every turn, because he couldn’t have done a worse job of running for president if he really didn’t want to be president.

Either way, Romney is far better as a candidate. At least that is my current assessment, based on his acceptance speech at the RNC and his actions in the first day after that.

Having vacillated in 2008 between Joseph Farah’s “None of the Above” position, and writing in Alan Keyes because I could not bring myself to vote for McCain, and because there was no way in Hell I was going to vote for Obama, I finally settled on writing-in Keyes. I don’t regret that vote, because McCain was, and is, as sleazy and success-driven a politician as Obama, but with more history to prove it.

Contrary to what some of my Republican friends say, I have no faith that McCain would have been a better president that Obama has been. Where Obama is ideologically driven to do whatever is worst for America, I believe John McCain would have done whatever his sycophants and manipulators could persuade him to do, and he was as much a chump for the global warming scams and other liberal pretexts for grabbing power, and for establishment Republican “inclusiveness” and “compassionate conservatism” scams as any RINO, and as most out-front Liberals.

While his motivations might have been portrayed as noble, his results would have differed only in degree from those of Obama. If McCain could rationalize any decision with his imaginary legacy, or his chances at re-election, or that coveted chairman-emeritus spot on some tax-money-laundering “non-profit” foundation, he would have done so, and the Constitution, “quote-Conservatives-unquote,”  and his country could be damned.

Any reasoned comparison between McCain and Romney will go in favor of Romney, but, who cares?  Romney isn’t running against McCain. McCain isn’t running, Gingrich isn’t running, Bachmann isn’t running, Cain isn’t running, and Santorum isn’t running.

Ron Paul is running, as always. But it doesn’t matter, because he is a reptile with not more than one view or belief in a hundred in common with me, so he might as well not be running. Ron Paul zealots did their best to steal the nomination, and failed spectacularly. It was a pratfall-on-a-banana-peel, slapstick failure – one that would embarrass into silence and self-imposed obscurity anyone capable of embarrassment.

I now know what another four years of Obama would bring, and I see voting for him, not voting, or voting for a write-in or third-party candidate as an absolute betrayal of my country.

With the huge effort at vote fraud Obama and his troops will undertake, and have already undertaken, including registering illegal aliens, registering dead and non-existent voters, busing union stooges from one polling place to another to vote multiple times, forging and mass-producing fraudulent absentee and early ballots, the living, legitimate voters may be outnumbered. (That isn’t hyperbole. In more than one precinct in 2008, actual votes cast outnumbered registered voters significantly. Vote fraud is a Democrat industry. Fraudulent votes are the one commodity they produce on a regular basis.)

I will be casting my one, legal vote for Romney.

Arithmetic is relentlessly non-ideological, and absolutely dispassionate. My one, legal vote for Romney will require two votes for Obama from the dead, and/or cartoon characters, and/or union thugs, and/or incarcerated felons, and/or illegal aliens, to put him back in the lead.

One vote is all I have, and I’ll be damned (with apologies to my friends who think I will be jeopardizing my soul) if I’ll give Obama even the slightest advantage by wasting it.

Tea Party Tugboats, Shove Romney to Starboard!

March 9, 2012
Tugs Dock Aircraft Carrier

Small but mighty -- tugboats maneuver the carrier USS John F. Kennedy into its mooring place. (Wikipedia)


Patient and constant pressure – that’s how little tugboats move big ships where they are supposed to go. That is what conservatives will have to do with the new (God willing!) president.

This is directed at you Republicans who say you will stand behind your non-Romney candidate for the nomination, no matter what, all the way to Election Day.

I feel your pain. I wrote in Alan Keyes in the general election in 2008, and have discussed extensively why I did that. Hand-picked loser John McCain was just too repugnant a weasel to vote for.  I still believe the GOP establishment picked him as the best candidate to hand the election to Barack Obama. Why? Because losing was less scary for them than winning and having to admit to the unpleasant state in which George II left us, and then (shudder) deal with it.

The flaw in my analysis of that election was that I swallowed the popular assumption that electing the “right” president would reverse the century of Progressive erosion that has nearly washed away our fundamental freedoms.

That erosion paved the way for Trojan Horse Marxist Barack Obama, the single most destructive president in history, who then did more damage to our Constitutional Republic than any president since Wilson, and is on a trajectory to become a virtual – or actual – dictator in a second term.

With A Democrat majority in the House and Senate until the Great Rebound of 2010, Obama rammed through legislation, and appointed “Czars” that threaten to turn the Constitution into a meaningless rag. Obamacare, with its thousands of pages of abuses and illegalities; “recess appointments” without recesses; Supreme Court nominees without any qualifications other than allegiance to his socialist world view; “Fast and Furious,” and other, grotesque miscarriages of justice by his sock-puppet Attorney General, apologies to despots not entitled to apologies… the list is long.

If he gets a second term, Obama and his crew of leftist hacks and clowns will accomplish their mission, turning the best country in the history of the world into a third-rate banana republic, without the capacity to grow a single banana.

In fact, he can do so much damage between now and his last day in office — even if it is next January – that any Republican president will have to administer the political equivalent of first aid, maybe even CPR,  just to pull our country back from the brink.

After the airway, breathing and circulation are restored, there will still be not just years, but decades of work to do, rooting out the regulators and executive branch hacks and parasites who have embedded themselves in the bloated bulk of our federal government, feeding on their host while contributing, each of them, to its destruction.

That is why I will vote for the Republican nominee in November, no matter who he (OR SHE!) is.

Our new (God willing!) president, prodded by the conservative tugboats in Congress and the tens of millions of Tea Party conservatives and Constitutionalists in the electorate, will have to apply patient and constant pressure to the right, forcing the government back into the role prescribed for it in our founding documents.

No single man or woman, no single president, can reverse the century of socialization advanced by Democrats and Liberal Republicans.

The angry and awakened conservative electorate simply cannot go back to sleep — even if the Republicans win big in November.

We have to take some of the time that we used to use to work, play and take care of our families, and put it into relentless, constant pressure on all three branches of government to get out of our faces, out of our pockets, out of our families, out of our businesses, and back into the constraints of the Constitution.

We can force a Republican Senate to approve competent and ethical appointments to cabinet departments and to the federal courts, and to soundly reject stupid, negligent or simply corrupt nominees, regardless of presidential or GOP hack pressure.

We can steer a Republican House to reject any act that doesn’t contract our debt, and to defund agencies that don’t have any Constitutional basis for their existence, while we wait for a chastened executive branch to abolish those agencies and departments. We can also compel our Representatives to initiate impeachment of unfit judges, and build fires under cabinet officials who have lost sight of their Constitutional limitations and responsibilities.

We can’t do any of the above without research, emails, calls, visits, campaign contributions and constant vigilance applied by millions of diligent, persistent voters.

We can push a rudderless America away from the emotional appeals of the progressives and liberal lobbies, and back toward

Like tugs moving a giant ship, or like a Cumberland River towboat pushing thousands of tons of gravel or grain downriver, we can steer the Republican “leadership” in the right direction – or replace them in the next elections.

Tug pushing barges, Cumberland River

Barge tug pushes thousands of tons of cargo on the Cumberland River near Ashland City, TN (Photo by the author)

“Legalize it”? Maybe It’s Time.

October 18, 2011

Dried marijuana "bud," Courtesy of Wikipedia. NOT my photo! ("Eees no' mine!!")

Let’s just say I know enough about smoking marijuana (having been college-aged in the late 60’s) to know how apt is the term “wasted” in that context… but let’s also say that I could have passed a random, pop drug test any time over the last forty years, and I could do so at right this moment.

While I am not chomping at the bit for the legal right to hit the pot store on the way home from WalMart, it is hard NOT to see the cost of the “war on drugs” on our Constitutional rights. And, no, you don’t have to be a Paulistinian, or even a classical Libertarian to see it.

“]”]”

Would you trust your rights to "Good" Attorneys General -- Ashcroft (L) and Thornburgh (R)

”]”]”]”]If we give government the power to knock down doors without first serving a warrant, and to seize private property without due process or even criminal charges (among a host of abuses justified by the “War on Drugs,” not to mention the “War on Terror”), we are giving that power not just to a John Ashcroft or a Dick Thornburgh; we’re giving it to a Janet Reno and an Eric Holder. That’s not just stupid; it’s reckless and destructive.

What have we given up from the Bill of Rights, just to ignore the inherent evil of no-knock warrants and civil asset forfeiture? If a government acting in our best interests can abuse these procedures, what can a government that holds us in contempt do with them?

Legalizing marijuana would break away the current markets for marijuana from their very close relationship with the markets for heroin, cocaine, meth, hot guns, stolen property, prostitution, human and drug smuggling, terrorism, etc., draining tens or hundreds of millions of dollars from that income stream, and diverting it into taxable income streams. It would also unclog thousands of slots on pending court case calendars and empty prison and jail cells of people who otherwise wouldn’t be there, making room for the people who really should be locked up.

The statists graciously accept all our offers to surrender our rights for alleged safety or other benefits, regardless of the “war” allegedly being fought — drugs, poverty, terrorism, income inequality…

They know from history that such rights, once surrendered, are seldom restored, except by force and the spilling of lots of blood. At some point, it will be too late to get them back without that terrible cost.

We’re not there just yet, but we’re awfully close.

Hey, Stupid Party! Anybody Home, in There?

March 30, 2011

“Give us money, so we can re-elect spineless leaders to ignore you until next election.”

I just got an email from the RNC, begging for money, again. I get them all the time, but, as I sometimes do, I will respond to this one in an “open letter” format.

The immediate trigger for this open letter was reading the following paragraph:

Nothing would make The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Huffington Post happier than printing articles in April that the Republican Party is finished because the RNC’s Federal Election Commission first quarter report showed us lagging behind in donations from our nationwide network of conservative grassroots supporters.

Herein we find one of the stupidest things the Stupid Party believes: That we should give a damn what The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Huffington Post thinks.

A pathetic and pointless desire for approval from these left-leaning media hacks is one of the most glaring weaknesses of the Stupid Party “leadership.” This “leadership” has brought us to this precipice, over which is a socialist autocracy in which the Constitution is an irrelevant, historical curiosity.

If the “leadership” had rejected the $105 Billion land mine in the continuing resolution that funds the implementation of the obscenity known as Obamacare; if it had rejected the taxpayer subsidy for killing unborn children to be handed to Planned Parenthood; if it had rejected taxpayer funding of the government’s left-wing propaganda organ, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, there might be a whisper of a chance I would give the RNC a dime.

Of course, none of that happened. The “leadership” in the House won’t even come down firmly in favor of not raising the debt limit – let alone on introducing the kinds of spending cuts that would really make a difference in the long run, and that would signal to American taxpayers and the world that there is any seriousness about getting us out of debtor-nation slavery.

What sorts of cuts am I talking about? How about defunding Obamacare, the Department of Education, the EPA’s “cap and trade” scam, the FCC’s initiative to regulate the Internet and shut down talk radio, all foreign aid to countries that routinely fund terrorism and discriminate against Christians, and – yes, I’m saying it – the Cowboy Poetry Festival. That is just a tiny percentage of the wasteful and self-destructive government activity we can do without.

Individual Republican candidates may see some small change from me, if there is any left over after buying gas and inflated groceries, but RNC, don’t hold your breath.

If you care so much about what The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Huffington Post think, ask them for money.

It’s Not the Marketing, Democrats, It’s the Product. SOCIALISM STINKS!

November 4, 2010
New, Improved Socialism!!

NEW! IMPROVED! BUY NOW, OR JUMP IN MASS GRAVE!

Those of us above a certain age remember when TV ads trumpeted a “new, improved” cereal or dish detergent. All the proof we had of newness or improvement was the package, which had new, snazzy colors and maybe a cool, new shape. Sure enough, the words, “NEW!” and “IMPROVED!” are there, right on the label.

Of course the new product often came with a new, improved, higher price.

When we opened the new, improved package, we often found the same, old product inside, or an old product with irrelevant tweaks and tunes that left us with same ole’ same ole’. The marketing department obviously ran the show in these enterprises, and the product research and development department was AWOL or irrelevant.

It doesn’t matter whose picture you put on the box – Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot — socialism is a failed product that has been repackaged countless times over the last 150 years. It has never worked, and despite a death toll of well over a hundred million innocent people in a seemingly endless series of ruthless and bloody “marketing campaigns,” it keeps coming back.

The latest attempt at socialism, advanced by Democrats and RINOs, is a hideous parade of defective products:  Obamacare, Government Motors, Cap and Tax, and union pension bailouts, to name but a few. President Obama, in a post-mid-term election presser intended to explain away the blunt rejection of the same old product with his latest packaging, stubbornly refused to understand the meaning of the election results.

The problem, he said, was with the message. It was just bad marketing.

As the Gipper famously said, “There you go, again.”

No, Dear Leader, the problem isn’t the marketing. The product – socialism — stinks, has always stunk, and always will stink. No amount of marketing, packaging, promotion, rebates, coupons or discounts will sell socialism, because it is an inherently defective product.

Socialist regimes always have to threaten their customers with death or imprisonment to get them to buy it, and they inevitably have to carry out those threats, if their regimes last long enough.

Whether or not it is imported from China, socialism is easily broken into sharp-edged, poisonous choking hazards, and ultimately, it is a threat to health, safety and, especially, to freedom.

It’s not new, it’s not improved, and we aren’t buying.

Make Room for the Real Hater, Grinch!

December 29, 2009

Grab your funny hat and hit the bricks, you sick, fake-fur, green,  mangy sack o’ bones. You’re fired.

I hate to be a hater this time of year, but I am really sick (and tired) of liars, frauds and phonies, and I’m starting to hate them. The Grinch is a piker in this arena, compared with me; a lightweight; an amateur.

About ninety per cent of the pompous buffoons in the US Congress are not even one full step above a hooker, in terms of trustworthiness and honor. In fact, the streetwalkers have them beat. At least they offer something for a fee, and they usually let their customers know up front what the fee is. This congressional crowd likes to promise the moon, deliver a lump of coal, and lie about the cost. The skankiest hookers in Washington would run these clowns off their corner for ruining their reputations.

For that matter, these elected toads are no better than a Ponzi schemer, or a deadbeat relative with his hand out all the time, or a field full of hungry ticks on the first warm day of Spring… I hate ‘em. I confess. And here it is, the festive, totally secular mid-winter holidays. Tsk!

The senators from Louisiana and Nebraska took bribes in the form of sweet allocations of taxpayers’ money to vote for the advance of government-controlled health “care,” which will be neither healthy, nor caring. These two, and the others who took money for their votes, are great examples of people whose values and character make Bernie Madoff look reputable and trustworthy.

Several senators have decided to help advance this poison dart through the process by voting for it at several intermediate steps, while leaving themselves the opening to vote against it if their leaders are sure they can get it done without them. Most Democrats, and several RINOs, went for that option, which makes them even less courageous than purse snatchers who prey on old ladies, all the while whoring themselves for buckets of taxpayers’ money.

The socialist in chief is an admirer of Old Left thugs who are, in turn, worshipers of communist mass-murderers like Mao and Stalin. He is beyond shame, and most of us know that.

Some of us thought our elected “representatives” in the House and Senate still had some shadowy memory of their oath of office, and what it means, but most people who have not been in a coma for the last year know better.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Oh, boy, talk about “mental reservation or purpose of evasion.” If senators and congressmen suddenly had to honor that oath, they would be renting U-haul trucks and filling cardboard boxes with gifts from lobbyists and photos taken with the president, this Christmas break, instead of stuffing their campaign coffers with favors from their biggest contributors and planning big-ticket fundraisers.

They would be weaving through snow-covered streets in DC on their way out of town, hoping to dodge the angry crowds of voters carrying buckets of tar and bags of feathers.

There would be so few honest senators and reps left to mind the store that they would have to turn off the lights, announce the layoffs of several hundred thousand federal employees, and go home for Christmas.

Unfortunately, none of that will happen. We have to settle for prying loose the few of these barnacles we can in 2010, and replacing them with people who will promise to remain honest until the end of their terms, and go home to their real jobs.

One third of the US Senate, the most exclusive club of self-promoting clowns and thieves in the world, and all 435 representatives, some of whom have been in office so long they probably think their children will inherit their seats, are up in ’10.

The more of these people who have to give up their royal titles and get real jobs (even though they will probably wind up at cushy university faculty jobs, or with lobbyists), the better.

There, I said it. If that makes me a hater, I can live with that. Make a hole, Grinch.

Happy New Year!

Hey, Senators — Like Obamacare? Lead by Example!

August 19, 2009

Despite a flurry of denials, the stubborn facts about Obamacare (formerly Hillarycare) include the following. Without limiting the expenditure of health care resources by denying care to some people, even taxing the “rich” 100% of what they make every year will not pay for a government-run health care monopoly. Even putting a $100 tax on every pack of cigarettes and on every quarter-pounder with cheese still won’t cover it.

We already know the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress heavily favor abortion. They would mandate child sacrifice if they could get away with it, and there is no reason to believe they won’t try it, some day. They will call it mercy, but death will ensue. And Obamacare will be spared the need to care for a few million unlived lives.

At the other end of life, Obama and his appointees in charge of creating and fleshing out this “public option” (read: you get your medical care from the government monopoly, or you go without, or both, in some cases – your option) are quite fond of preaching that there is some maximum age beyond which humans have little or no value, and thus no entitlement to medical treatment, except for “palliative care,” “comfort care,” “assisted suicide,” or outright, involuntary euthanasia – what used to be called “murder.”

Yes, fellow baby boomers, our most valuable contribution to the Hope and Change era will be to die soon, at minimal cost, and with minimal fanfare.

Were you born between 1946 and 1965? Get in line. You qualify. Show up at the Josef Mengele End of Life Care Center with your picture ID and living will, and don’t worry about cab fare home. You will be joined in line by the chronically and terminally ill of all ages, as soon as their medical bills hit the preset limit.

Just one question: Will our great leaders really lead on this effort to save the “public option?” Hah. Just kidding. We already know they have no intention of allowing themselves to be subjected to Obamacare. Their health care needs will continue to be met by the best and brightest in the medical community, in the poshest and most comfortable of settings, with no expense spared.

Some of these “leaders” have confronted a life-threatening illness which can only be diagnosed and treated by the most expensive means. What if they were to lead by example? Would they volunteer to cut costs by accepting some genteel form of suicide, or “palliative care,” or would they just let the rest of us step up and make the sacrifices?

How about the members of the most exclusive club in America, the United States Senate?

According to Wikipedia, “[a]s of June 30, 2009, 1 Senator is in his 90s, 3 are in their 80s, 19 are in their 70s, 36 are in their 60s, 32 are in their 50s, 9 are in their 40s, and 0 are in their 30s.”

Their list of Senatorial birthdays includes a grand total of one – that’s right, one – member born after the baby boomer era. Forty-eight of them were born before the beginning of the boomer era. Forty-six of the 100 members of the Senate are 65 or older. If they had to live with Obamacare, some of them would not live very long.

We know about Senator Edward Kennedy’s (age: 77) life-threatening illness. Has he decided to get in line with other Massachusetts residents in similar circumstances, and begin receiving “palliative care?” I haven’t heard about it.

Senator Arlen Specter also has a life-threatening illness. How about some “comfort measures,” Senator? No? Well, you must not agree with the eugenics (Oops! Sorry, they call it “bioethics,” these days) experts in the Obama Czar Corps that your life isn’t worth as much, because of your age (79 years), as that of a 25-year-old, and thus, that you should not receive expensive medical treatment.

Former senator Joe Biden is 65, this year. Shouldn’t he step aside and let a younger man be the vice president? Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, would be next in the line of succession to be president after Biden, according to the Constitution, but she’s 69. Statistically, there are bound to be some health time bombs ticking in that Botox-riddled body. Some of them could be expensive. Shouldn’t Madame Speaker make an appointment at the Mengele Center, too?

And, how about senators Robert Byrd (91); Frank Lautenberg (85); Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka (both 84)? Surely, they have lived long, rich lives, and should be willing to step aside (way aside) and let younger Americans have the benefit of the medical care these Senators would otherwise receive. A little end-of-life counseling, gentlemen?

Too bad the people trying to ram socialism down our throats aren’t subject to the hideous results of their decisions. They might take the trouble to read those thousand-page bills, don’t you think?

“If the kid next door jumped off a bridge, would you?”

December 20, 2008

Somebody named Stephen Collins, a lobbyist for the auto industry (his title is actually, “President, Automotive Trade Policy Council,” but I feel comfortable in calling him a lobbyist), wrote a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, this week. He was responding to a WSJ editorial of December 6, which was critical of the then-proposed auto industry bailout.

His argument is that several states’ legislatures  have given preferential treatment to foreign automakers to relocate in their states. These big favors are often in the form of tax breaks that add up to hundreds of thousands of tax dollars per job created, according to Collins, and that’s why we shouldn’t wince too much at giving GM, Chrysler and Ford a “bridge loan” that they probably, or maybe, will pay back.

Ah, yes, the “two wrongs make a right” argument. AKA, the “But Mom, all the other kids in second grade are going to the nude drug sex party at Barack’s house!” argument. If that argument works here, where does it end? Just because government did one, or a hundred unconstitutional and stupid things, does that make it OK for them to do a hundred more?

Let’s get real.

If our tax structure weren’t rigged to punish success, choke business, feed government-addicted voters and get career political hacks re-elected again and again, we wouldn’t need to offer tax incentives, or any other kind of corporate welfare, to get people to build factories and make things. Foreign manufacturers would be elbowing each other in the ribs to be first in line to build factories here. Groups of American investors would get together and build manufacturing plants, and cars would advance in quality and decline in cost the way personal computers have over the past twenty years.

There would be hundreds of car brands, in thousands of different models and configurations. A company that made junk would be out of the market in months, or reincarnated (hah) quickly with new management and new ideas to get new market share. Innovators would take advantage of the advances in carbon composites for light, strong bodies, and high-tech alloys for fuel-sipping engines. Emerging battery technology and increasingly efficient electric motors would give internal combustion engines a run for their money, and entirely new powerplants would challenge both.

Have a look at the early history of the US auto industry, before the Big Three, when dozens of car manufacturers were springing up around the country.  Factories that had made stage coaches and carriages began to build the first horseless carriages. They ranged in cost and complexity from spindly, one-lungers with no suspension and wooden seats, to magnificent, motorized living rooms and land yachts like the Auburn, Cord and Deusenberg.

Economic downturns and and an increasingly grasping and power-hungry federal government, spawning the federal income tax and an exploding cancer of regulation, and not the market failure of individual products, brought about the consolidation of this raucus, cutthroat competition into three lumbering, and eventually, clumsy and inefficient behemoths.

Add to the mix the rise of the United Auto Workers Union, which became a parallel management structure in all three businesses, with its own greedy bureaucracy and sacred cows to feed, and you have the recipe for the current disaster.

What will “bridge loans,” or bailouts, or whatever you want to call them — huge sacks of money, confiscated by threat of force by government, from people foolish enough to work for a living, do to change this situation?

Nothing. Nothing short of a revolution will restore the American entrepreneurial spirit and economic freedom that gave birth to the automotive boom of the beginning of the last century.  May it happen soon.

Olbermann’s Flatulent Rap on Those “$70 an Hour Autoworkers”

December 6, 2008

Keith Olbermann is an ignorant blowhard and an Obama sycophant, so nobody should really waste any time on what he has to say (and the great majority  of us don’t), but he set me off with this rant, which has been memorialized, not surprisingly, on uaw.org. Understand, I never watch PMSNBSNPR, or wherever he hangs out, but this article was pointed out to me by my brother, a retired GM electrician, who is following the whole bailout scene with understandable interest.

In what I understand is typical Olbermanic fashion, Herr Olbermann sets up a straw dog, and bravely, forthrightly,  righteously, knocks it down. He claims some awful, mean people said UAW autoworkers make “$70 an hour,”  thanks to the idiotic and self-destructive contracts between the Big Three auto companies and the United Auto Workers over the years.

I never heard anyone claim the $70 (or $72, I heard that, too) was any autoworker’s hourly wage.  The way I heard it was that $70/hr. was their COST to their employer in wages, plus all the bennies, plus what GM was paying the job bank employees to braid their nose hairs, get Masters Degrees in Underwater Basketweaving, etc., plus, plus, plus — averaged among the workers who are actually, or allegedly,  involved in building cars. (Parenthetically, I wonder how much it is if you add in all the union execs make, and will retire on, plus the union lawyers, lobbyists, thugs, arm-twisters and car scratchers, plus their political contributions and bribes to every Democrat since Carter that’s run for president…)

Thing is, thanks to the lowlifes at the top at GM, and the lowlifes at the top at the UAW, working together to screw everybody else in the world blind for decades, and set themselves up to retire like Saudi royalty in the process  — plus a great deal of help from the regulators and taxwriters at the federal government — it costs too damn much to make cars at UAW plants.  Since they can’t get people to pay what a car costs, plus some profit, they are on the ropes.

It’s not exactly baffling that it turned out that way.

I want Olbermann (or anybody at the UAW Website, for that matter) to explain how a taxpayer-funded “bridge loan” (oh, sure, they’ll pay it back, wink-wink) is going to make things any different.

If a lot of people take cuts in pay and benefits, and some people get laid off, and some people start paying more of their own health care costs, and the unions stop collecting dues so line workers get to keep more of what they make to pay for their own health care (har, har, snort), they can reduce the cost of building a car. Can they design and build cars that people want to buy, at a cost they are willing to pay? Will billions in tax money make that happen?

Will workers with the “GM attitude” (we who grew up in the Midwest’s GM culture know what that means) stop being dead weights, ghost employees, drunks and saboteurs, and start working as if their jobs depended, to some tiny degree, on their productivity? Oooh. That’s a big one. That might take a few more billions.

Would any of the above be more likely to happen after a tax-funded bailout? Or is it more likely after a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization that throws everything back on the table and everybody understands they either make it work, or take a walk?

Chrysler got a big bailout, back in the Carter era. Did it cause them to get lean and mean, and start kicking Japanese and European carmaker ass? Apparently not. They’re in line to climb in Uncle Santa Claus’s lap again, and whisper their wish lists in his ear, this time joined by Ford and GM.

Courtesy of TIME Magazine, August 24, 1979, here’s a little refresher on the last time a bailout was tried on a Big Three automaker:

“The Carter Administration decided last week that now was the time to come to the aid of the nation’s most beleaguered major company. After weeks of rising pressure for a federal fix for the multiplying problems of Chrysler Corp., Treasury Secretary G. William Miller produced—and Jimmy Carter approved —a Government bailout. It was designed to prevent the nation’s No. 3 automaker (1978 sales: $13.6 billion) from sliding into a bankruptcy that could have put many thousands out of work and sent a shudder through U.S. financial markets.

“Beamed Chrysler Chairman John Riccardo ‘We are extremely encouraged. This fits the bill.’

[…]

“Treasury aides were understood to be thinking of $500 million to $750 million over a limited period.”

[…]

That’s $500 to $700 mil in 1979 dollars. Wonder what that would buy today, thirty years later? What did it buy, back then? It didn’t buy a solvent, successful, competitive Chrysler.

It’s thirty years later. Somebody, please tell me, why is this time different?