I have greatly enjoyed this art of blogging –though I DO wish the name were different, it conotates a less mature effort than I think it is–that has allowed me to explore, connect and think about so many more issues in so many more ways than I otherwise would have.
How could people even as recently as 1995 been able to stay abreast of the current issues of the day like we do now? Amazing.
Anyway, as is the nature of this thing we do, I was reading a post over at Poison Your Mind and the conversation turned in a very unexpected way/. The post had to do with the fact that the current crop of Republican governors are far more conservative than the constituency that elected them. All this while the current Democrat governors were much more closely aligned. Fascinating stuff. Go read the whole thing.
However, we began discussing whether the current GOP governors were more fiscally conservative or socially. I suspect that its the former, PYM felt otherwise. And a quick discussion over some social issues took place with a comment that made me stop:
That’s because the pro-life movement is interested in preventing abortions, it’s about government mandating of traditional gender roles.
If you aren’t reading Carpe Diem, you should. Go, right now, check out Mark Perry’s site.
This whole thing started way back when. I was an avid reader of Rob Neyer over at ESPN. I was very much into baseball and stats and just the game. I loved me some Neyer. Since then, however, ESPN has made his stuff paid content and I no longer go to ESPN. But whatever, ‘nother story. One day, a long time ago, Rob mentioned a writer in Minnesota, Twins Geek. And Twins Geek wrote a blog. And I didn’t know what a blog was. But it had the words, Twins, Geek and Neyer, so I checked it out.
And it turns out Twins Geek is a dude from Minnesota who works in an office doing office type work who just loves to write.
And I love that.
So, now I know what a blog is and I start looking for one. And I trip upon Coyote Blog. And NOW it’s on. This is just too cool. And, after reading Coyote for awhile, I notice he refers us to Carpe Diem on a regular basis. And Mark Perry is from Minnesota. And he writes about interesting stuff in a way that just makes sense.
So I read him everyday.
In fact, he is a large inspiration for the stuff I write here. Only, like, he’s better and smarter, but hey, I have longer hair!
By the way, if you like baseball and can stand the Twins, check out this most amazing site dedicated to Sabermetrics with a Twin’s twist. This guy is the hero. Dropped out of school at the UofM, living in his mom’s townhouse blogging about baseball at 3,000 words a clip. Gets picked up by NBC sports and is livin’ large.
“This is an excuse. The budget deficit is an excuse for the Republicans to undermine government plain and simple. They don’t just want to make cuts, they want to destroy. They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, the department of education. They want to destroy your rights.”
The federal government has spent years considering whether to take steps to help keep dangerous strains of E. coli bacteria out of the food supply, a question that has become even more urgent in the face of a deadly wave of E. coli sickness that swept through Europe and raised alarms on both sides of the Atlantic.
Now, two major American companies, Costco Wholesale and Beef Products Inc., have gotten tired of waiting for regulators to act. They are proceeding with their own plans to protect customers.
Last month, Costco, one of the nation’s largest food retailers, quietly began requiring its suppliers of bagged produce, including salad greens and mixes, apple slices and baby carrots, to test for a broad range of toxic E. coli.
“We know this is where we have to go and there’s no reason to wait,” said Craig Wilson, the food safety director of Costco. In the last two weeks, he said, most produce suppliers have added a test that can detect the strain from the European outbreak as well.
I think that I am consistent with the Republican party’s claim that one Mr. Barack Obama spends too much. Further, I think that I am consistent with the same Republican party in their view that it’s spending, not revenue that’s the problem. After all, I’ve demonstrated that receipts increase year over year at a 7.2%. And by simply slowing the growth of government, we can balance the budget in as little as 19 years. God forbid what happens if we actually REDUCE the year over year of the government spend.
To that end, there has been much talk in the nation about that government spending. Where it came from and who is actually spending it.
Remember, the subject is spending. And that Barack is doing more of it than anyone else.
The context is “who is contributing to the massive increase in government spending we are seeing?”
And the answer to that question is being answered by this graph:
For a long time I have railed on the current policy of providing long-term unemployment benefits to people out of work. I’ve gone further and documented available jobs in my area. Granted, the jobs are rather unattractive and have, in some cases, offended friends and family who maybe themselves or know someone who has been or is currently, unemployed.
I’ve suspended that series.
However, my point all along is not that people who aren’t taking those jobs but relying on benefits are lazy, it’s that they are rational. The incentives are all wrong.
For example, if I’m unemployed and collecting $350.00 a week what is the marginal value of me taking a job that pays, say $8 an hour for 40 hours? Well, it works out like this:
$8*40 hours equals $320.00
The first $50.00 is “burden free”, so that means only $270.00 of my $320 counts against me.
Because my benefits are $350 and I “earned” $270.00, my unemployment benefit check is now $80.00.
Adding my wage and my check, my new take is $400.00.
Because I was earning $350.00 BEFORE my job, my incremental “raise” is 50 bucks.
For 40 hours of work I earned an extra $50.00.
That is about $1.25 an hour. And when I say about, I mean exactly.
Who expects anyone to work for 1 twenty 5 and hour American?
So, yesterday I posted about a possible solution to the deficit and the debt. In those plans I accommodated those on the right who insist on a plan that includes no new revenues due to tax increases. Further, I accommodated those on the left who insist on a plan that doesn’t cut; in fact my plan GROWS government each and every single year.
As I ended my analysis I demonstrated a method by which both of those targets were met AND we backed away from the debt limit that we are struggling with today. The solution began to reduce the the deficit in year 1. And it balanced the budget in year 19. It’s the perfect trifecta.
But what if we can do better? What if we can reduce the amount of time in which we are free of the deficit?
Well, just finished watching and listening to John Boehner.
Yeah, any good will established by Obama in trying to give the Speaker of the House props for being willing to work with the Democrats is out the window. John Boehner came out swinging and he didn’t let up. Almost with a vengeance the Speaker took Obama to task going back to January and the President’s request for more money. And this after sending America on the largest spending binge of all time. While I think he’s right, I’m not sure that the approach the Republicans just took is the wise one.
Where Obama made the case that we all need to agree to get along, Boehner went right at the President. Where Obama looked to build a coalition with the Speaker, Mr. Boehner attacked the President for his priorities and his tactics in the debt talks to date. Further, by appearing so dug in, the Republican may have set himself up for a situation that he can’t win. A long time ago I learned that to be successful, you have to create a situation where your opponent can retreat or compromise in honor. I’m afraid that Mr. Speaker has removed that option from the table. I can see many things being thrown at the TV in the Democrat Head Quarters.
This is not to say That I don’t agree with the Republicans. We DO spend too much. We DO waste money. Obama DOES negotiate in bad faith. I know Obama is not a centrist but rather an over-matched Leftist Statist. However, tonight, America was watching, not just us political junkies. And America wants compromise more than they want ideology.
Either way, tonight set the die. How it impacts the debate and the 2012 elections will, of course, remain to be seen.