Monday, April 3, 2017

Other People's Money

I was disagreeing with a Liberal friend on Facebook, and his final feedback sounded familiar.
"John your points are useless because you don't offer any solutions, you just poke holes in others' ideas. If you're going to whine and complain about the cost of maintaining quality of life, then offer something up. Otherwise the discussion is pointless." Sean S. 
"Well, until you have some actual numbers to talk about, maybe you should stop throwing shade at the numbers that do exist. Your vapid complaints about everyone else's ideas are meaningless because you have no ideas of your own to offer. Let's see if you'll actually take a stand on something. How about ..." Sean O. 
"I'm not interested in going round after round where you repeat the same nonsense that you believe is so brilliant but is really only a way for you to explain how much better you think you are than 'those' people who've not lived up to your standards. You are bad at this in that you always come back to the same talking points. Instead of these conversations and arguments leading you to a new thought, you somehow lead yourself right back around to where you've always been. And you ask other people to change and grow so they can be 'deserving' of living in the greatest country on the planet, all while not changing a single thing about your own ideas. So instead of those other people changing in order to please your sense of fairness, perhaps it's time to reevaluate your own personal sense of what's fair. In other words: start with yourself." Anonymoose"

This got me wondering, do Liberals offer any solutions that:
  • do not involve taking huge sums of cash from successful private citizens and businesses so that it can be arbitrarily given to unsuccessful people?
  • pressure unsuccessful people to change their beliefs and actions in such away that they can become successful people?
  • pressure our governmental bureaucracy to prioritize activities, eliminate redundancy, improve efficiency and improve effectiveness?
  • encourage businesses to stay in the USA and provide good paying jobs. (ie reduce regulatory, tax and other costs)
The reason I ask these questions is because it is real hard to create improvement proposals that compete with the Liberal proposals. I mean it seems easy to just continually raise taxes, raise regulatory hurdles/costs, let illegal workers into the country and give people stuff/ services for doing nothing....

Personally I think there are a whole lot of negative unintended consequences that will occur, but I have been wrong before... I imagine what would happen if I just doled out money whenever my daughters asked and did not hold them accountable for their choices... I kind of envision 3 young Paris Hiltons and me broke... And without my income the whole family falling apart. Scary... :-) Thoughts?


Sean said...

This whole post says it all. Instead of actually engaging the criticism, you go back to restating your tired talking points again.

John said...

Well... I have lots of ideas but unfortunately Liberals simply don't approve of them... I mean they require people to be pushed to learn, change, behave differently and that seems to be unacceptable to Liberals?

Just because you disagree with my proposals does not mean that they did not exist.

And as I noted the Liberal talking points are just as tired...
- Tax the rich even more
- Increase the business regulations and taxes even more
- Give money and services to unsuccessful citizens and hope that somehow they change.

Can you even acknowledge that your talking points are no more creative than mine?

Or does the idea of endlessly increasing taxes and handouts somehow make rational sense to you?

Sean said...

You're asking me to defend your caricature of my position, not my actual position. I'm not playing that game.

John said...

Well let's pick on ACA, Medicare, Welfare, etc.

- All of the above are paid for by raising the taxes on successful people.
- That money is then given to unsuccessful people in the form of cash or services.
- Little is expected or demanded from the recipients in exchange for the handout.
- In essence, the people who make good decisions, learn, work, save, invest, etc are taxed at much higher rates than the people who choose to live their lives differently.

This is the same theme that is repeated over and over in the Liberal mantra.

Let's use SS and Medicare...
- People are not paying a high enough FICA tax rate to keep these good programs solvent with the desired benefits.
- The logical solution is to raise the tax rate or cut the benefits.
- Liberals solution is to remove the cap on "premiums" so that the successful pay huge "premiums" while getting no more benefits.
- And the current issue, people who worked, saved and invested their whole life so they would be financially stable in retirement get their benefits reduced or taxed. Where as people who come into retirement unprepared do not pay taxes on the money and they get their full benefit.

Sorry, Liberals don't seem to be any more creative than me or the GOP.

What I find most amazing or alarming is the Liberal view that the no expectations or accountability should be assigned to the unsuccessful people. Yet huge expectations should be applied to the successful people.

"Oh Angel Adams, we will try to keep providing you with a bigger house and more food as you keep having more kids... That's okay..."

"Oh Bob and Betty, you delayed having kids, went to school and now earn $300,000 /yr. Well you must turn over 30% of that so we can pay for Angel's house, food, healthcare, etc."

How does this make any sense to rational people? I will never understand. :-)

John said...

Here is an interesting piece regarding potential excessive taxation and government waste from our friends at Heritage. And Liberals insist that the government can not make do with less.

I may not always agree with their policies, but their data is great.

John said...

I especially like category 1... Why we have the Feds spending so much on Health and Human Services amazes me. It seems States should be able to figure out how to care for their neighbors. Why we need Local, State and Federal agencies amazes me.

"The six categories of wasteful and unnecessary spending are:
1.Programs that should be devolved to state and local governments;
2.Programs that could be better performed by the private sector;
3.Mistargeted programs whose recipients should not be entitled to government benefits;
4.Outdated and unnecessary programs;
5.Duplicative programs; and
6.Inefficiency, mismanagement, and fraud."

John said...

But I guess as long as it is "Other People's Money"... Why not... The goose who lays the golden eggs can afford it...

Sean said...

Again, you're creating a straw man and asking me to defend it. Not going there.

John said...

I don't know, I think I gave you some excellent and very specific examples of where Liberals repeatedly often insist on using more and more of "Other Peoples Money" to try and patch our society's ills instead of trying to actually fix the issues.

I spent 20+ years working on developing rail road maintenance and road construction equipment... And everyone in those fields know that patching and hiding the problems never works... The road / rail will just keep failing unless the root cause is addressed and fixed.

Unless our country is serious about helping the unwise and incapable to surpass their current reality / belief system. They will always be with us.

This is bad for them because they are robbed of the joy and positive self image that comes with being capable and independent. And it is bad for the USA because we spend resources supporting them and they are not helping the USA to succeed in a globally competitive world.

Which if it continues and grows could be catastrophic. I mean who is going to take care of all those people if the USA economic engine falters?

John said...

Remember what I said under Disabled or Desperate...

"So in 1996 22 people were working to support one person on disability.

In 2015 there are apparently 16 people working to support one person on disability

You folks pulling the wagon had better start pulling harder...
More folks are climbing in and fewer people are pulling.

And just think, this is just disability... I wonder what it looks like when you add welfare and Medicaid. "

Sean said...

"I don't know, I think I gave you some excellent and very specific examples of where Liberals repeatedly often insist on using more and more of "Other Peoples Money" to try and patch our society's ills instead of trying to actually fix the issues."

Again, you're missing the point. When I ask you questions, I'm asking you about *your* opinion on something. I'm not asking you to defend Paul Ryan or some generic "conservative". On the other hand, you constantly ask me to defend your straw man version of what you think liberals think.

I know no liberals who believe we should just kill the Border Patrol and INS and let people cross the border willy-nilly. I know no liberals who think we can raise taxes on the rich to ridiculous levels. I know no liberals who believe that there should be no requirements on people who receive certain welfare programs. Do they exist? Maybe they do, but that's not me and that's not the mainstream of "liberal" thought. So I'm not going to waste my time defending a position I don't hold just to feed your stereotypes.

John said...

The challenge, from my perspective, as with Boiling Frogs. Is that many Liberals seem to fear setting targets and working towards them. They prefer to just let the water keep warming up.

Let's say currently we have ~400,000 illegal border crossers per year. These are people who avoid background checks and may be criminals smuggling illegal items that harm our addicted citizens. Not to mention the temptation it provides for people from Central America to put their children and lives at risk by using human smugglers.. Then there is the true human trafficking. Finally there is the downward wage pressure that illegal workers and unemployment create in the USA.

The Liberal answer seems to be:
- let's pardon the 11 million illegal workers and give them a path to citizenship
- let's not improve border security via a wall, more guards and/or other technology
- let's keep accepting more "refugees" from Central America

At the same time they seem to lobby for:
- higher minimum wages
- more government benefits
- higher taxes to pay for these

Now what is the goal of all this?

Attract and allow more low skill low academic people into the US.

Thus flooding the employment market with more of these workers, who are apparently already under paid according to Liberals.

Thus keeping are poor American citizens poor / unemployed.

And somehow making this work by raising taxes and forcing companies to pay/charge more.

How does this downward spiral end in your view?
How many illegal border crossings per year should be tolerated?

Sean said...

"The Liberal answer seems to be:
- let's pardon the 11 million illegal workers and give them a path to citizenship"

First, the path to citizenship is not the same as a pardon. Pardons don't put any burden on those who receive them. The path to citizenship put substantial burdens on those who wished to receive it (which I've posted previously).

Second, the path to citizenship is not a "liberal answer". It was a bipartisan answer that easily cleared the Senate (68-32, to be exact).

"- let's not improve border security via a wall, more guards and/or other technology"

Did Barack Obama degrade our border security? I think the record here would show the answer to that question as "no".

So your strawman is already destroyed. If you want to keep arguing against the enemy of your own imagination, go ahead, but I'm not obligated to participate.

John said...

Yes they do need perform certain actions to earn their pardon, but is still a pardon. They are still taking the place of potential legal immigrants who chose to honor the laws of the USA by standing in line. Where as the illegals budged in line, enjoyed the opportunities the US offers and we would be rewarding them instead of sending them to the back of the line. Seems to punish the rule followers and reward the rule breakers.

Now it was good that some of the GOP folks did cross party lines. Unfortunately the House GOP disagreed.

I never implied or said that Obama tried to reduce border security... In fact I think he did a pretty good job of trying to deport the line budgers who cut in front of the rule followers.

So back to my unanswered questions...

How does this downward spiral of more needy citizens, higher taxes and higher business costs end in your view?

How many illegal border crossings per year should be tolerated? How much smuggling of drugs, undocumented people, etc is okay? The current 400K/yr (more than the population of Minneapolis), 100,000/yr, 1 million /yr, Unlimited?

Should we give up on the legal immigration process and set up a race... Offering a reward that anyone who gets across the border receives a path to citizenship certificate?


John said...

Personally I would like to reduce the number of line budgers to <1,000 / year by:

- offering no rewards for getting over the border illegally or violating your VISA

- make crossing the border hard and dangerous. Meaning a wall, electronic surveillance, automated counter measures, personnel, etc.

There is NO Reason that people should be allowed to enter the USA illegally or over stay their VISA. I am fine doubling the LEGAL immigration rate.

John said...

Reuters High Tech Border Security

Personally I like this countermeasure. Put some "No Entry" signs up in multiple languages and stand back. Though it may be hard on the deer and coyote populations. :-)

Sean said...

You're obviously not familiar with what the path to citizenship involved.

"I never implied or said that Obama tried to reduce border security."

You said that liberals believe that border security shouldn't be improved. Barack Obama is a liberal, yet he took steps to improve border security.

"How does this downward spiral of more needy citizens, higher taxes and higher business costs end in your view?"

I don't accept this nonsensical frame, sorry.

"How many illegal border crossings per year should be tolerated?"

Ideally, zero. But at some point, you have to look at the cost/benefit analysis on some of these steps. (It's also telling you think the idea of shooting human beings trying to get a better life is worthy of a joke.)

John said...

Apparently Obama talked big but did not follow through with much enthusiasm. Well ate least not on the border security front. Though as I said he did good at deporting. Though it is kind of like bailing out a boat without fixing the leak... An endless and energy draining exercise.

As for your desire to help every "human being trying to get a better life" by violating our borders and taking jobs from the poor people in America... I think my frame is pretty accurate.

That Liberal Cycle:
- Welcome many illegals and refugees to US.
- Floods job markets for low skill / low knowledge employees.
- Complain that low skill / low knowledge employees do not make enough.
- Complain that companies and the successful are greedy.
- Increase min wages, gov't services, welfare, taxes on successful & businesses.
- Then repeat over and over...

And pray that the successful people and companies can keep affording the growing burden.

Sean said...

"As for your desire to help every "human being trying to get a better life" "

Where did I say that?

John said...

"It's also telling you think the idea of shooting human beings trying to get a better life is worthy of a joke."

Where did I joke about shooting human beings??? I think I remember joking about shooting coyotes and deer...

Now I truly do want to help the people of Central America and Mexico, but not by encouraging them to risk their lives to come here illegally. We have the technologies and man power to secure the border, it is a just a question getting all Americans to agree that it is important and right. Many still seem to disagree.

Sean said...

"Where did I joke about shooting human beings???"

My apologies. You were serious about shooting the human beings.

John said...

No shooting required if the border obstacles and risks are big enough, and there is no reward on the other side.

I was serious about dissuading anyone from even trying to cross our border ILLEGALLY... Be they a smuggler, human trafficker, or nice human beings looking for a better life...

We Americans do want to help other people to have a better life. That is why we allow 1+ million legal immigrants into the country every year, spend a large amount on US foreign aid, spend even more on foreign charities and maintain the "world police force"...

AND if we successfully close the border to drug transports... Then the cartels will have less reason to torment the people in Central America and Mexico, and less money to do it with.

John said...

I know it seems cold to you. But if we truly lock the border to illegal crossings and smuggling, many lives will be saved each year.

The Liberals desire to keep holes in the fence and dangle carrots right on the other side of the swamp helps to encourage many critters to try to get to them... Just to be eaten by the alligators and snakes.

Let's close the holes in the fence and make good legal crossing bridges over the predators.

John said...

This is an interesting related piece about people who are fighting against closing the holes in the fence...

CNN Big Firms May Not Bid on Wall Projects

"State lawmakers in both California and New York have introduced bills that would effectively blacklist any company involved in building the border wall from future state business. Neither of the bills has passed into law, but the possibility alone has turned off many potential bidders.

"The state initiatives have really had a chilling effect on companies which otherwise would have sought involvement on these projects," Raymond told CNN. "While these companies, generally speaking, think these state initiatives are grossly unfair, they are not going to presumably risk their standing in those states by getting involved in these projects."