In Case You Wondered, This Is Why
Bill Quick

NBCNews/WSJ Poll: Obama Approval Falls to New Low

Incredible.

There is America’s political dysfunction in a single number. 67% want more federal pork, and 67% also want the federal government to cut spending.

Which is why we’re getting the government we deserve – good and hard.

Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

In Case You Wondered, This Is Why — 20 Comments

  1. I’m not sure that result shows stupidity at all. I want the federal budget cut by at least 50%. I want our congresscritters to bring back as much to our state as possible. I don’t see why that is a problem.

    You solve the problem of big guv by cutting the big guv budget…

  2. Constitutionally, no State should be getting any more than any other. That is because the FedGov mandate should be National Defense and Rule of Law. They should apply equally to all.

    • “Eh? It’s not stupid to want a government to spend more and at the same time spend less?” I don’t think the “poll” implies this at all. I think it is the nature of the poll. Two separate questions. When asked, they answer yes to cutting gov and when asked if it is important for their reps to bring home the bacon they answer affirmatively.

      If the poll ASKED which was more important, cutting the federal budget or bringing it home, I suspect a clear majority would answer cut the budget. Or maybe not. It’s a poll of 1000 people by NBC/WSJ. Who knows how they have twisted the sample to meet their expectations.

      • It’s a poll of 1000 people by NBC/WSJ. Who knows how they have twisted the sample to meet their expectations.

        Remember, journalism is not about simply reporting things that happen. No, journalism is all about presenting things that happen in such a way that they tell a story. A story that you select, in order to educate the public so they think the right way.

  3. Kennycan,
    “Constitutionally, no State should be getting any more than any other.”
    Think about that..
    Coast Guard: Kansas should get as much as California
    Immigration: Utah should get as much as New York and California
    Bureau of Land Management: Rhode Island should get as much a Colorado and Nevada
    Navy: Iowa should get as much as Hawaii and Florida
    Army: Idaho should get as much as Texas and New York
    Forest Service: New Jersey should get as much as Alaska and Oregon
    Reality and Utopia never seem to mesh well.

  4. Coast Guard, is that part of National Defense? No? Then each State can provide for their own coast guard. Yes? Then sorry there may a case where necessity means unequal. Also then Kansas can get a military base. If it made military sense.

    I could go through each item and do the same analysis and come out with similiar answers.

    Actually that list is exactly the reason why each State should work locally in cooperation with neighboring States to meet local needs. Not FedGov.

  5. Also how does your Idaho congresscritter “bring the bacon” if spending there is not justified for an Army or Navy base.

    Another point. It’s not like they get nothing from the Army and Navy protecting the border. An invading Russian army would likely not stop at the coasts. They would want to secure the food sources.

  6. Kennycan,
    However you define the role of the Federal government, there will be inequity. No Coast guard, okay.. Equal bacon okay… (so long as it is based on dollars per square mile, I don’t have a problem..(just my sick humor)…

    Also there is the local issues, the feds own 85% of Nevada, I guess it would be only right that the feds pay 85% of the cost of government in Nevada. But that would not be right… or would it?

    Obviously, I am product of my background. I have watched how the federal government has screwed my state. Yet, folks think that we in Alaska are just after the ‘government pork.’ Give Alaska the authority to exercise the rights given it when it became a state, and it would be rich and wouldn’t need a farthing of pork.
    The Feds own 69% of the state, and have locked up area equal to the size of Texas. Think about that. We are only a little over twice the size of Texas yet the government won’t let us exercise our statehood right to develop almost 50% of our state. So, how much is that worth to you?
    If you want equality, then you need to advocate for equality in every aspect.

  7. I think I said there would be unequal spending but I don’t think it would necessarily be an inequity.

    It makes no sense to build a Navy base in Nevada but it does make sense to build missile silos there. Politicians should be taken out of the tactical decisions if possible. As much as possible individual deployment should be made based upon military tactical necessity.

    I know in reality that is difficult and there is horse trading. Really though, I don’t think military spending is the bulk of the pork going into “bringing the bacon” that is done in DC. If it were limited to Defense Spending and not completely outrageous I could live with a little horse trading that would eventually occur.

  8. Hey, Kenny -

    Isn’t it horribly “unfair” that Wyoming, the least populous state in the Union, has two Senators, and California, with 76 times the population, also has only two?

    Also, yeah, coast guard is a border guard, and is hence a function of the federal government. It is also the oldest seagoing military service, older even than the U.S. Navy.

    Barry – there’s no way you can use those arguments to reconcile those two poll responses with the information given. All you can do is speculate, and I suspect your speculations are wrong. America is full of insane dumbasses who are perfectly capable of believing – and supporting – two impossible things before breakfast.

    • “America is full of insane dumbasses who are perfectly capable of believing – and supporting – two impossible things before breakfast.”

      I agree. The only people dumber than the average American are the rest of the world. I’m just not seeing the problem with a single person wanting their reps to do what they sent them to do (represent them) and the same person advocating reducing the budget. I’ll leave it there…

      • And if constituents think that every representative in Congress can bring them home the pork and at the same time cut spending, they are insane dumbasses and, yes, they are just as crazy and stupid as the average Russian, Venezuelan or other Marxist-fantasy whackjob. Nothing at all exceptional about that sort of American – except for exceptional stupidity.

        And I’ll leave it there myself.

  9. The world is full of people who think they “deserve it”, the “others don’t deserve it” so let them sacrifice.

    A large part of the problem in DC is that every congresscritter does think it’s his job to “bring the bacon”. They’ve just realized it’s not a zero sum game. Just because I get my earmarks doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t. We’ll just borrow more money and everybody gets their earmarks. When borrowing becomes too expensive we’ll have the Fed print it. After that it’s raid the 401k money. Then bank accounts. To them it’s only OPM and in the meantime they all go home and brag about the billions they got for their State and their district. Pork is PR. Eventually the taxpayers are on the hook.

    • A large part of the problem in DC is that every congresscritter does think it’s his job to “bring the bacon”.

      No.

      The primary problem in Washington is that it costs a great deal of money to get, and keep, public office – and the powers and perks that go with public office.

      “Bringing home the bacon” is one way to pay to get votes. The more prevalent, and more pernicious, way is to solicit money from big donors and special interests in exchange for favors – boodle and bribes, in other words.

      In a representative republic, the representative is intended to represent the wishes of his constituents. That’s baked into the constitution, and the Framers were neither naive nor stupid. They understood that such representation would necessarily involve “bringing home the bacon.”

      They also understood that corruption was inherent in governance, and did what they could to foreclose it via the checks and balances system. Things have now devolved so far, between the destruction of the constitutionally-provided original governance (where the Senate was a creature of the individual states, the House a creature of the mob, and the Executive a creature of the House, the Senate, and the mob), that the only thing that matters is money.

      I don’t know what the answer is. Forced public financing of federal races might be an answer, but brings its own problems to the table.

      Drastically reducing the power of the state, and thus in theory making it less attractive, both to serve and to purchase, is another possibility.

      I can tell you this though: Most of our rulers will not vote for anything that curtails their powers in any way. Not on their own.

      Which is why the Founders and Framers were very concerned with virtue (click through to read many other comments on public virtue from the Founders:

      Quotes on Liberty and Virtue

      “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
      Benjamin Franklin

  10. “I don’t know what the answer is. Forced public financing of federal races might be an answer, but brings its own problems to the table.

    Drastically reducing the power of the state, and thus in theory making it less attractive, both to serve and to purchase, is another possibility.”

    I think you’re first solution has holes. We can force each candidate to have a certain amount of dollars to spend and finance it from a public pool, via taxes or an individual poll (already seeing a problem?), but then the MSM can game the system to give certain people more for less. Do we then force MSM to give “equal time”. Isn’t that against the First Amendment? Also there’s so much use of the word “force” for my comfort.

    Limit the ability of all of them to “bring home the bacon” is done by limiting the amount of “bacon”. Make it a zero sum game. Yes, drastically reduce the power of the state is the answer. How? The 64 Trillion Dollar question now.

    Does America have the public virtue? I see examples each day that it does and that it doesn’t. Which is dominant? Which is ascendant? A I don’t live in the US I don’t even have anecdotal evidence of the answer to the first. However, the last 20 years has proven that virtue as a whole is in decline.

    We’ll need that virtue to do what needs to be done. Otherwise, the Great Experiment will end as the inevitable collapse of socialism occurs.

  11. PS as I understand it in some of the books I have been reading, the Weimar inflation completely devastated the German middle class and subsequently it’s virtue. It destroyed not only lifetimes of savings, it destroyed generations of savings.

    Thus was a Hitler possible.