lookingforlissa

Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Shoothouse Barbie made a friend!!!

Posted by Lissa on January 18, 2009

Awwww, how sweet!  Shoothouse Barbie has her first blog-hater!  (That I’m aware of, of course; it’s possible there are whole reams of hate out there that have passed me by.)  There’s some interesting back-and-forth in the comments of that blog-post (you can find the link at SLOS), but here’s the best one I think:

You think sharing my cake with someone who lacks cake is such a great idea that you send the police to my house to cut my cake and take a slice to the needy. And then you claim that makes you a better person and makes the world seem like a better place. In my eyes, it makes you seem like a tyrant and makes the government more oppressive, and the world a worse place. You are so amoral that you think stealing is OK as long as it is for cause [sic] you personally approve of and if you can get government to take money by force to fund it, from people who may not agree with the cause. You don’t even realize it’s stealing to take money against someone’s will even when it’s done by vote! And then you think yourself a better person because of it. I find it appalling, and I bet this is what makes James’ head explode.

What s/he said 🙂

I’m curious, sometimes — what would it be like if you could pick the causes you fund with your taxes?  I know a lot of liberals would be pleased and feel better if they could know their taxes did not contribute towards aggressive foreign policy and the defense budget.  On the other hand, how many libertarians would refuse to pay for anything BUT that in taxes?  What if you could choose whether your Social Security taxes went towards private charities instead?  Would we see a resurgence of the Elks’ Clubs and other organizations that used to do the job of SS? 

Liberals — would you trade the ability to de-fund the military for conservatives’ ability to cut Great Society type programs?

Conservatives — would you let liberals opt out of paying for national defense in return for de-funding the United Nations?

It’s a fun mental exercise 🙂

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9 Responses to “Shoothouse Barbie made a friend!!!”

  1. tisdone said

    I have often dreamt of having what I think of as “line item taxation” … The ultimate veto that puts the power back in the hands of the people (okay, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated). In my fantasy world, this is combined with a nice simple flat tax (ala Steve Forbes). Then rather than having a big complex tax process like we all have to put up with now, we instead get to spend our tax prep time figuring out which line items we wish to contribute to.

    Since the country is still split by 1/3s … I doubt the outcome would be much different. However – I would still love to see the game played out for a couple years to see what would happen.

  2. Brad K. said

    Lissa, How about this:

    Congress increases taxes to get the pot-full they calculate best serves their need to buy votes.

    By making charitable contributions a way to reduce taxes – people divert tax revenue to whichever non-profit organization, church, or political candidate you choose. The tax rate is applied to all, so this diversion causes Congress to *increase* the rate of taxes you and I pay – but our representatives don’t receive the part that non-profits and candidates get.

    So not only are we stuck paying higher taxes to fund tax-dodges and charities – but neither we nor our representatives have any say in how those wayward tax funds get spent.

    I am a big fan of volunteers. And I don’t appreciate fund raising.

  3. Ted said

    I left a series of comments over there, around the idea that liberals should support efficient government: ignoring what the programs are for, the money should at least be spent well.

    It was a bit talking to a blank wall. Frustrating, really. There seems a willingness to accept that the government will blow most of the dough. Weird.

  4. Le Bolide said

    Aw nuts, the one time someone likes what I wrote and quotes me, the quote has a typographical error! That’s what I get for slamming out an angry comment at 1 AM.

  5. Lissa said

    tisdone, I agree. The economists and political scientists would have a field day with such an experiment.

    Brad, I am not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying that treating charitable donations as tax-deductible is yet another way for pols to steal more of our money? I don’t understand your dislike of charitable fund-raising — could you please elaborate?

    Ted, I noticed the same thing. It’s the same idea that a concert that raises no actual MONEY or AID for the poor but, hey, raises AWARENESS, is the same or even BETTER than something tangible. As long as your thoughts are in the “right place” it matters not at all whether it has an actual result.

    Le Bolide, don’t fret — anyone in the blog world knows that typos abound. Especially at 1 AM. I thought it was a great comment regardless.

  6. totwtytr said

    I’m sure I agree with her about most things, and I’d love to read the blog, but my old eyes just can’t focus on the combination of colors and fonts. Can we get her to do a large print readers digest version?

  7. Mike said

    Economists would be amused by such an experiment and the allocations people would come up with, to say the least. I can’t make myself think like a political scientist, so no comment there.

    A rational person would have to consider what everyone else was likely to do and then respond appropriately (and go around and around a few times on what others would do in response to this), but then again no one–not even ExxonMobil–pays enough in federal taxes to make much of an impact on the overall budget, eliminating the need to think too hard about the decision. If you oppose war, maybe de-funding the military would let you feel good without having any real impact. Besides, there’s no real way to exclude you from being defended if you do so.

    The classic example of a “public good” is defense, since defending the country from foreign forces necessarily includes defending the whole country and there’s no way to leave out those who don’t fund it. Many other services could easily function on a user fee basis and don’t really need to be thought of as public goods, though someone who stands to benefit personally will always be ready to argue that there is a wider benefit. For instance, I happen to believe that there is tremendous societal benefit from weddings in New England in the spring of 2009 and I think the federal government should pay the full cost thereof (perhaps even an additional small subsidy to the groom, something like $5M), but people who hate America might disagree.

  8. secretlivesofscientists said

    That comment thread is oh so pathetic. They wont even grant me a response. It’s way cute. I suggested reading Sowell’s op-ed, “Pretty talk and ugly realities,” as an example of moral preening and rhetorical differences between R and L.

    The response I got was

    “No one who claims Thomas Sowell as a source of factual information deserves further response.”

  9. […] have been “biting at [Whelan’s] ankles” but we all run into that from time to time.  (See SLOS’ feud, for […]

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