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Posts Tagged ‘Money-chugging Government’

Superhero capes to fight unemployment. My god, Florida is BRILLANT.

Posted by Lissa on April 21, 2011


Dubbed the ‘Cape-A-Bility Challenge,’ it was slated to be part of a public-relations campaign featuring a cartoon character named ‘Dr. Evil Unemployment.’ The capes cost about $14,200 and foam cutouts of ‘Dr. Evil Unemployment’ cost another $2300.

Yesterday there were pictures posing with this doofus-y looking Evil Unemployment dude, but apparently they’ve been pulled. I can’t imagine why.  Also, the original story cited a $73K cost.

Widespread outrage — combined with ridicule, scorn and bafflement, no doubt — has led to killing the campaign.

Obviously, if you can’t fight unemployment by spending government money on satin-y superhero capes for people without jobs, then the terrorists have won.

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The Church of Government

Posted by Lissa on June 11, 2009

I mulled these thoughts over with Mike last night . . .

I read a snarky post yesterday asking that, if Obama is “sort of god,” does that mean we can just tithe our income?

It got me to thinking about a long-ago brush with the Mormon church.

Some fifteen years ago I met one of the only Mormons that have crossed my path.  She was a single mother and received financial assistance from the church to help make her way.  It was explained to me that all members of the Mormon Church had to give ten percent of their income to belong, as well as the tidbit that the guy in charge of Marriott hotels was a member.  Even my young ignorant tween-self knew that that one tithe would amount to a goodly chunk of funding.

My thirteen-year-old self thought, “How utterly stupid!  Why would you join a church that demanded to take 10% of your income?  That, AND it tells you how to live and preaches at you all moralistically?  Ridiculous!”*

And yet . . . how much MORE ridiculous is it to worship at the Church of Government?

Think about it.  Like the Mormon church, the government has decided that one of its functions is to cater to the poor and the needy.  Like the church, the government concerns itself with your behaviors and your well-being.  Like the church, the government seeks to shape your thoughts and beliefs. 

But unlike the Mormon church, you don’t join of your own free will.  There’s no such thing as a happy atheist when it comes to the church of the government.

While the Mormon church would rebuke you if you broke its rules – if you refused to tithe, for example – the government can throw you in jail. 

Oh, and the government?  Unlike the Mormon church, they take a lot more than ten percent.

I wonder if that’s an analogy that would make sense to pro-statists. 

I feel that I am being forced to join a church.  They dictate what I should think is good (welfare, affirmative action, the death of capitalism, restrictions on firearm ownership, political correctness, cronyism, the active role of government in marriage, pork projects) and use my quadru-tithe to accomplish these aims.  They want to regulate everything from my consumption of trans-fats to the source of illumination in my house.  I did not choose this church and yet I must live by its rules and pay my tithe regardless.

As always, do note – I’m not an anarchist.  I argue for smaller government, not a complete lack of government.  But I find it interesting that folks who would never accept this level of meddling if it wore the name religion have no problem doing so if it’s called government.


*Let me be clear that I am not knocking the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I don’t know anything about it.  I leave it alone and it leaves me alone and that suits us both just fine.  Even if I *do* end up going to hell for it.

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Today’s Must-Read

Posted by Lissa on January 29, 2009

By way of Trying to Grok, I stumbled upon this very simple, lucid, SENSIBLE explanation of why the New Deal was not a successful program.

Let me modify it, and present it to you this way. Let’s say that we have a nice suburban area sort of like we have here in Washington, DC, out in Chevy Chase. And we have some guy there who has a nice picture window, and some kid goes by, a hoodlum, and throws a rock through that window, breaks it. And let’s say that it costs $500 to replace that window. Well, our first reaction might be: What a horrible thing. Let’s catch the perpetrator.” But what if somebody else came up and said, “Wait a minute. The window’s been broken, some time has elapsed, we haven’t caught the guy, but maybe we shouldn’t catch him to throw him in jail. Maybe we should catch him to pat him on the back. Because I’ve observed what’s happened in that house and what’s happened is this: He broke the window, but the guy who had the window broken called up the glassmaker and the glassmaker put the window in and installed it for $500. Then the glassmaker took that $500 and bought a DVD player. He also bought a couple DVDs. And then he bought a reclining chair to sit back and watch the movies, all with that $500. So that broken window has generated business and now we have more DVD sales, more reclining chair sales, and it’s generated business all around town. So isn’t this a good thing?”

Where’s the problem with this argument? The valid point here is that the guy whose window was broken also might have wanted to buy a DVD player and a reclining chair. Or he might have wanted to buy a suit of clothes and some insurance. So that guy, and the tailor, is out $500 because instead of buying a suit and a shirt, he now had to pay for the window. You never generated real business because the guy who had the window broken is out $500 and the guy who had replaced the window is up $500, but the guy who had the window broken would have also been spending $500. So there’s really no net gain. Hazlitt called this the broken window fallacy.

Do you see the linking of the Fox News poll and the broken window fallacy? If you have a government program, the taxpayers pay for it. You never actually generated a job with that program; you merely transferred dollars from the taxpayers to the government. The taxpayer would have bought radios, or TVs, or DVD players with that money. Or he could have put it in the bank and it would have gone out for a loan to someone. See, the point is it would have been put to use, but instead it was taken from him, given to someone else who now has a job. But the only thing that you see is the job that was created. If you understand those principles, you can understand why the New Deal failed.

The New Deal consisted of a set of programs initiated by Franklin Roosevelt and the Democrats in Congress. Those programs transferred assets from taxpayers, centralized them in the federal government, and dispersed them supposedly to create new jobs. However, every time you see a New Deal program, you need to see that money leaving a taxpayer’s hand. Once you mentally see that shift taking place, you’re alert that a job was never actually created.

Go.  Read.  Or do you need more to whet your appetite?

Now, with Roosevelt you say, “My gosh! How could he win elections?” Roosevelt went on the campaign trail in 1936 and said, “You poor people are doing your share, but the rich are avoiding the taxes. We should make them pay.” And he recommended a tax to congress, on all income over one hundred thousand dollars. His recommendation in 1941 was for a 99.5 percent tax on all income over one hundred thousand dollars. And when the budget director said, “What!” Roosevelt’s comment was, “Why not?”

When congress refused to pass that bill, Roosevelt was furious. Therefore he instituted a 100 percent income tax, by executive order, on all income $25,000 or more. I repeat, Roosevelt instituted an executive order on April 27, 1942 for a 100 percent income tax on all income over $25,000. How many of you knew about that? Oh good, somebody did. Actually, the Republicans won the next election and voted it out, and Roosevelt had to settle for 90 percent. He had to settle for a 90 percent marginal tax. Here’s a quotation from Roosevelt, it was during World War II, “Discrepancies between low personal incomes and very high personal incomes should be lessened.” Oh, and he used the war as a crisis, you see. “And I therefore believe that in this time of grave national danger, when all excess income should go to win the war, no American citizen ought to have a net income after he’s paid his taxes of more than twenty-five thousand dollars.”

I have made this offer to teachers and students around the country. You show me an American history textbook that tells that Roosevelt had a 100 percent tax. I would think that if you’re going to rank him the number one president in American history, and he did that, that ought to be mentioned somewhere. You show me where it’s mentioned in any U.S. history textbook, and I will eat the textbook. I only ask that they bring me mustard and salt. I must say that I’ve had a textbook free diet for every year since I’ve been making that offer. I have never seen a textbook bring up that fact.

Certainly news to me (though it may not be to the rest of you).  I’m not 100% sure that date is correct — looks like it was October, not April —  but yes, it does appear to have happened:

7. In order to correct gross inequities and to provide for greater equality in contributing to the war effort, the Director is authorized to take the necessary action, and to issue the appropriate regulations, so that, insofar as practicable no salary shall be authorized under Title III, Section 4, to the extent that it exceeds $25,000 after the payment of taxes allocable to the sum in excess of $25,000. Provided, however, that such regulations shall make due allowance for the payment of life insurance premiums on policies heretofore issued, and required payments

I repeat:  Go.  Read.

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