March 2011

Please don’t lie to me

by Pitt Griffin on March 31, 2011 · 0 comments

in Politics

Wherever you stand on the Cato Institute’s arguments you can commend them for being big thinkers. They are frustrated by what they see as the paltry size of the cuts being proposed ($61 billion from a deficit of $1,645 billion) and have taken out ads in major newspapers to outline their proposals.

What makes Cato an honest broker is that when it outlines spending cuts, they are real spending cuts and not an ideological wish list.

They propose eliminating federal money for education ($40 billion a year), farm ($20b) and energy ($20b) subsidies, defense ($100b), transportation ($80b), housing ($45b), reducing federal pay ($30b), change Medicare and Medicaid ($100b), quit the drug war ($15b) and change social security($40b by 2020). (I would add Homeland Security to the list).

Contrast that with the house Republicans and their petty-minded, mean-spirited blathering about the NEA or Planned Parenthood or their refusal to discuss defense or try and imagine them proposing to end the war on drugs.

Many economists think that $450 billion in cuts would be disastrous for the long run health of the economy and any conversation about Federal fiscal health that doesn’t include a review of taxes is incomplete. Because if Conservatives do one thing better than ‘spinning’ their cuts, its ‘spinning’ taxes.

Consider that, this week, GE had to defend themselves again, as for the second year in a row they paid no taxes despite earning over $14 billion. (To do this you report your earnings as occurring overseas and take write offs on your financial arm – GE capital.)

Republicans love to complain that at 35%, US corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the world. But what difference does it make if you don’t pay taxes? (In 2010 total corporate taxes collected were $191 billion on corporate profits of $1.7 trillion an effective rate of just over 11%).

The Cato Institute is not an unbiased organization. In its DNA is the belief that things are better if there is less Government, more individual rights and free markets. When you are passionate about a philosophy you can lose your capacity for critical thinking. You can lose sight of the fact that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution; that perhaps a temporary measure of some other approach might be needed.

I pledge to screw some people to make others happy

But Cato doesn’t say one thing to promote another. Unlike today’s sham conservatives they do not allow a financial crisis to be used as cover for a cultural crusade.

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Really? 3/30/11

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Practicing safe sex A couple of students at USC had sex on a campus roof in plain sight of hundreds of other students. All this time I thought that the school’s nickname –‘The Trojans’ – referred to ancient middle easterners, not a brand of condom. Thank god this couple didn’t have sex George Bentley and […]

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Really? 3/29/11

March 29, 2011

        Bolton keeps it simple John Bolton, another potential presidential candidate has a simple solution for the Libyan situation. Kill Gaddafi.”I think he’s a legitimate target,” the white-mustachioed Bolton said after his speech at a conservative event in Iowa. “That’s what Reagan did in 1986″ Therein lies the problem. All Reagan’s action […]

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A vote against dirty, filthy money

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The Unknown Candidate 2012 – My fellow candidates

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Clearing up the confusion.

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In God we Trust

March 25, 2011

God is not a good salesman; at best only 1/3rd of people understand his product; at worst a few 100 thousand have it right. And that is not good news for most people. Because if you get your deodorant wrong you may offend a few people but if you get your religion wrong then it could be […]

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Really? 3/24/11

March 24, 2011

Out gunned by the British It is not often that America has to take a back seat to another industrial nation when it comes to the distribution of guns. But in England there is no minimum age for a gun license, whereas in the US a whole class of people – children – are denied […]

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Really? 3/22/11

March 22, 2011

The Communists must be kicking themselves Heads-up to the Minutemen – you are guarding the wrong border. A blog – ‘Big Peace’ – has done us all a favor by identifying the newest threat to our way of life – Terror Babies. Apparently islamofascists are going to bring jihad to the US by having pregnant […]

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