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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The New Democrat Strategy: Broadband and Circuses

Democrats plan to gain market share the old fashioned way: promise free stuff. If the Drudge-linked article is right, the left is planning to raise the minimum wage (damn the economic consequence or the simple fact that there are very, very few people working at a minimum wage job who support a family or even themselves wholly on that income), guaranty inexpensive access to broadband (whether this is the job incubator that they expect is wildly open to question), nationalized health care within five years (again, regardless of the actual cost or effect that a Hillary-style system would have on health care in the United States), and further protection and enshrinement of the Social Security welfare program with no privatization, heritability, or long term stability (which they don’t say, but which is entirely true).

Frankly, I’ve seen more than enough of an expansion in government programs and costs under a not-so-fiscally-conservative Republican president. I fear the economic fallout from this plan if it were fully implemented. The bump in taxes (on top of what I would consider to be an expected rollback of the more recent tax cuts) would be enough to send us into a recession--which, of course, would lower tax receipts and cause the left to cry for more tax increases to continue funding all of these indispensable programs. And every government program, once funded, becomes indispensable to someone who either has a job or an ideology at stake.

In my more cynical moments, I’ve come to believe that the GOP stands for the slow destruction of the American economy and the Democrats stand for something a little more immediate.

Good God, what I wouldn’t give for a fiscal conservative in the White House with balls enough to say that the government doesn’t represent the solutions to all of our problems. Someone who will say, in all honesty, that no the government isn’t going to baby us or coddle us or make it so bad things never happen to us. Someone who admits that the bigger the bureaucracy, the more inefficient the organization, the more expensive the end result, and the less likely the results are to be completely satisfactory. Someone who won’t try to buy my vote with a new government spending program.

Crazy dream, no?

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Crazy dream?  Nah, nothing we libertarian types haven’t dreamt of a million times over. smile

on Mar 15 2006 @ 11:33 PM

with balls enough to say that the government doesn’t represent the solutions to all of our problems

...or that the government is the cause of all of our problems.  I’ve been poking around a long time in search of the problem that govm’t has solved without incurring unintended consequences far worse than the alleged problem.

on Mar 16 2006 @ 12:45 AM

The trouble with Social Security right now is very simple:

We’ve been working with a screwed-up system for so long, we have absolutely zero concept of what a working system would look like. And we’ve been living with a system in place for so long that we have absolutely zero concept of what the future would be like without it’s existence.

Not only that, but if you ask 20 different people, chosen at random from a list of people who actually have some concept of the various Social Security reform plans, about their prefered solution to the upcoming fiscal implosion, you would get at least 9 different answers.

And you know the worst thing period? Even after all that flap about Social Security reform, there was still a bill to move some of the “surplus” and fund various non-defense-spending programs. If the Congress would simply stop doing that, I’m fairly certain we could buy out another 5 years worth of breathing room.

Then again, I’m a Democrat, so what do I know about government reform?  red face

on Mar 16 2006 @ 04:45 AM

"Social Security welfare program with no privatization, heritability, or long term stability”
it was never intended for privitization--it was intended for orphans, cripples and old widows--people who COULD NOT work, not WOULD NOT
it was never intended for heritability--once again for the COULD NOT
it was intended for long term stability, but the assumptions were off
---only HALF the population made it to retirement age
---people were going to keep having lots of babies
(Lots of workers)
---it was always intended to be means-baised tested

The age of retirement has been raised; we need to return to means-baised qualification

And on that chirpy note, by the time I get to retirement age, Social Security will be all out of money anyway, so Social Security is just another tax to me.

on Mar 16 2006 @ 12:11 PM

Then again, some people still haven’t gotten the memo…

on Mar 19 2006 @ 01:06 AM

Actually, I think there should be some sort of government incentive to at least get companies to spread the broadband around to rural areas. For instance, I live in an area where I can’t get DSL or cable because the telephone co is too cheap to upgrade their boxes near my house and the cable doesn’t come out this far.

So I’m stuck with satellite, which I’m not going to pay for. Kids out in this area - and there are lots of kids - aren’t going to have access to the information their peers have.

I’d propose tax breaks or tax incentives instead of giving people free broadband, though.

on Mar 20 2006 @ 10:20 AM

Oh, and whichever party finds a way to de-couple insurance from employment in a sane, reasonably priced way - is going to have my vote for years.

But I’m not holding my breath

on Mar 20 2006 @ 10:22 AM
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