Blog Archives

Autocrats Are People To

Autocrats are people too, and sometimes they produce results.

Much is being made in Michigan right now about the financial review report on Detroit’s financial status, which is to be released today. Of course the city is broke, but this is a more accounting centered report. Surely the hits will keep on coming from this report.

The likelihood is that Governor Snyder will appoint an emergency financial manager to run the city. After wimping out and not doing it last year it appears he’s finally got enough cojones to do it since the Detroit City Council has had an extra year to embarass and implicate itself(what’s one more when you’re already running 40+).

Many people(progressives) opposed the EM law when Snyder brought it forth because it would undermine the principles of self-government, aka piss poor socialist enriching government. Unions in particular were quite upset considering an EM would undoubtedly not allow their financial charades to continue.

Truly, they are correct. Appointing EM’s wherever one wants does circumvent the principles of self-government, though when in cases of gross financial incompetence it isn’t so bad.

Detroit is a special kind of mess and the only thing that can fix it is good old fashioned cutting and gutting of its expense sheets. The city is a dump, makes no money, has no future, and has large outstanding debts. This is not a problem to be fixed by a dozen dimwits adamant to refuse any logical suggestion so long as its by outsiders.

An EM would be an autocrat, more commonly known as a dictator, beholden to nobody but the balance sheet.

Without money you cant do much else and an EM would be concerned about that first and foremost. Despite the unions fears, an EM is not a heartless, soulless agent of Beelzebub. For sure they will immensely cut spending on education and other services but not to ruin the city(can you ruin what’s already destroyed?), but instead they’ll cut those things because the money doesn’t exist to pay six figure salaries to non-producers. Not non-producers in the sense that they don’t make anything, but non-producers in the sense that they suck at their jobs(that is if you can suck at something you really don’t do).

Much as I hate the uselessness of big government, a government appointed budget butcher is something that I can tolerate under the circumstances.


Public Funding Private At The Expense Of Private

I recently saw this Business Insider article from a link at Foseti. The article is Nearly 40% Of Private Sector Job Growth In December Was Subsidized By The Government.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard that similar type of headline in recent months.

It’s of course a very interesting topic. Progressives would likely point to it as an example of government creating jobs and improving the economy.

Except does it really? It immediately brought to mind a story from my own life. My mother’s birthday happens to be December 25th. I can say that because of that, I have only ever bought her(as in with my own money, and not my dad buying something and letting me gift it) maybe 3 birthday presents in 26 years.

I don’t believe my mother feels short-changed, but the reality is that she doesn’t get any birthday presents from me because I’m strictly thinking Christmas at the time of shopping. Her birthday never even crosses my mind, to be honest I’m largely unaware that she even has a birthday.

Just what the hell does this have to do with economics? A lot actually. When the government spends money(and it spends a lot), it has to get that money from somewhere and it gets it from the private economy. Therefore any money spent by the government is money not spent by the market. “But it still gets spent”, the progressive says. Except it comes with the immense and inefficient government overhead as well as the horrible guidance of being a government program that is 99% guaranteed to be useless in the first place.

Considering that government spending has increased by about half a trillion dollars since 5 years ago and over a trillion since 10 years ago there better be a whole helluva lot of jobs being created. If not what is all that money going to?

Here’s Your Tax Solution

Good news, it looks like your tax rate is about to go up. Good thing there are no political agendas at work here. I’d hate to think that the best plan be implemented.

But this is what we voted for. A blabbering boob who says we have stubbornness that people won’t come together on a deal, while being the guy who hasn’t even considered to deal, that is when he’s even working.

Of course the best part is that if a deal is reached in the next half a day, the blabbering boob with take all the credit and the no doubt historical deal will do absolutely nothing to fix any of the countries financial problems.

Incentivize Congress to Balance the Deficit

Last week I had a post suggesting that if anyone really wanted to lower taxes they would eliminate automatic deductions and make people see how much their losing when they cut that check to the government every month.

I continue the suggestions for how to handle the countries debt issues with this post.

If anyone in the government was serious about dealing with the deficit and debt there is an easy solution.

If the government cannot create one budget in the black in 3 years than they must pass a balanced budget for the next year before they are allowed to do anything else.

To further incentivize that, pay and benefits could be withheld(from congress) until the budget is balanced. To even go a step further you could say that if they don’t balance out that 4th years budget that they will have to pay back all of their salary and benefits from the previous 3 years.

Though not all members of congress are as rich as John Kerry or Michael McCaul, but I doubt good old John Forbes would want to pass on a paycheck. Surely the less affluent members of congress wouldn’t want to.

The threat of the fiscal cliff hurts the nation more than it does the government, and members of congress are not likely to be affected personally so why not make them bear a personal responsibility for actually doing their job?

Define – Negotiation – And Its Context In The Fiscal Cliff

ne·go·ti·a·tion [ni-goh-shee-ey-shuh n]

noun discussion and arrangement of the terms of a transaction or agreement: the negotiation of a treaty.
Why does the word negotiation keep being used in the fiscal cliff news reports? There are no negotiations. A negotiation requires an agreement to be worked out that satisfies all parties involved. In this republicans and democrats. Republicans want to cut spending. Democrats to raise taxes.
Therefore when John Boehner, the republican with the final say, says that he’s willing to raise taxes and yet Obama and Harry Reid aren’t willing to even consider spending cuts, how does that qualify as a negotiation? It isn’t. It’s a stubborn demand by people who are willing to let the cliff come because the adoring media has not dared to even suggest that they are not bargaining in good faith and in fact painted them as the saviors without ever questioning whether or not they actually make any sense.
This is a perfect representation of the false mentality of having peace without war. A mentality that exists in America’s elites and largely dictates our foreign policies.
If you want peace, prepare for war.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
If you want something, you have to be prepared to fight for it, even if what you want is to not have to fight.
Korea, Vietnam, Iran, the Balkans, Somalia, Iraq. All situations where the United States was not prepared to commit itself to a fight in the 20th century and lost. Regardless of motives or reason, if you want to win you have to be willing to go and get it. Victory is not presented with an engraved plaque by a white gloved butler on a silver platter, it is fought for and earned.  It requires sacrifice and commitment.
Thermopylae, to Bunker Hill, Waterloo, the Alamo, Gettysburg, the Ardennes Forest, Iwo Jima. All fought for because they must be fought. Crying for peace does not help you when the enemy does not care for your demands. He will not stop because you don’t care to defend yourself, in fact it motivates him even more to drive his bayonet into your belly.
What we see in these fiscal cliff negotiations is the false belief by some that they can achieve a mutually agreeable outcome without willing to fight for the very points they want or so claim to represent. They are not willing to make a stand and state their case. They are caving in because they believe that they can have peace without war, that without standing up for what they believe in the other side will be overcome with compassion and treat them equally.
To sell out on negotiations that are hardly even being negotiated is to sell out the entire idea of not just smaller government, but of sensible government, an affordable government is not too much to ask.
On this issue John Boehner and Barack Obama could each be represented by a quote from Sun Tzu’s legendary book, The Art of War.
For Obama he has applied this maxim;
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
For Boehner, he is unfortunate to be applied with this;
If ignorant both of your enemy and yourselfyou are certain to be in peril.
It’s quite simple really, republicans lost this fight the moment the man who represented them, Boehner, gave up. There can be no hope for victory once you have surrendered yourself to the mercy of your enemy.

All for the King’s shilling

As part of the “budget balancing”, Democrats originally suggested some months ago that military members increase the cost they pay for the medical costs through the TRICARE program. A copay increase to a civilian.

The rumors are persistent and have kept up and are likely to happen, now the rumors are beginning about service members pay. That they are overpaid and while there’s been no options offered, a pay cut is not out of the question since it would be democrats doing the deed and they A) dislike the military to begin with and B) know they aren’t likely to win over the integrity and honor crowd with free shit and lifetime welfare.

Here’s an article for a short summary.

The rate of pay for an E-2(enlisted level 2) with less than 2 years in for 2013 is $1,700 a month or $392 a week $20,400 a year(before taxes). The rate of pay for that same rank and time ten years ago in 2003, was $1,290 a month, or $14,480 a year.

Hardly a goldmine. I made that much(2013 pay) detailing cars and I didn’t have to worry about the inconveniences of working in a warzone then.

Sure, they get additional pay and allowances, but I don’t think it’s too much to say the military should house their own people. If they require you to be on or near the base cause you’re always on call, I think it’s reasonable to offer that. As for extra pay(jump pay, combat pay, dive pay, etc) last I checked civilian jobs offer overnight rates with a premium over the day shift so set your alarm.

Beyond that the military is a 24-7-365 job. Time off is a luxury. Sure if you’re stateside you can get off duty if you’ve got a serious problem and sure you can sneak out early if you’re job’s easy peasy, just like everyjob, everywhere.

No doubt the military receives a lot of money, but it’s hardly the fault of those enlisted personal who want to serve their country for what it has bestowed upon them and maybe in the process learn a few skills or a trade.

If democrats wanted to tighten up the defense budget an audit would be a good place to start. Next let defense manufacturers cover their own cost overruns, sure the cost comes out in the end anyway but if you cancel the contract they loose it all and their good faith credit rating suffers.

Stop allowing officers to jump ship from the military to defense contractor positions where they make millions because they ran the program in the military they’re now selling product too.

Get rid of the pencil pushers, and ticket punchers. Everything that’s wrong with the military is because of politics. Get rid of the of political class officers and stick to the warfighters. Not only do they know their jobs better, but they’re actually less willing to fight, believe or not. The last people who want to start a war are the ones who actually have to show up to it. Cutting their pay and ability to train and then having a loose respect for them to start some scale clusterbleeps all over the world(Hello Mr. Clinton) is a poor strategy.

To make things even less sensical at the same time they want cuts to defense spending, they also claim they need more stimulus spending to improve the economy. Well, which is it?

Don’t take it out on the poor sod who’s just trying to do his job and support his family by making a measly paycheck worse. When the government looks for excuses it always seems to hone in on the one thing that actually works somewhat like it’s supposed to.

To finish, let’s compare those pay rates again. What’s the going rate for a civilian infantryman? How about a civvie tank driver, or combat medic? Oh that’s right they don’t exist in the civilian world.

What is the role of government

I’m starting to get sick and don’t feel like writing today. I’ve asked the substitute to show videos until I come back.

We’ll start with a critical thinking exercise.

Standards Sure Have Fallen In 200 Years

I had a strange dream last night. I remember seeing the Senators running for their freedom a few days as congress was let out. I’m a little unsure if congress going on a break is a good thing or a bad thing.

While it does mean there’s less they can screw up if they’re not on the hill, there’s also less they can fix. Though realistically with all the problems this country faces when’s the last time they fixed anything anyway.

So in the dream I had I wondered how long did it take to form the constitution? Surely drafting the United States Constitution is a whole heck of a lot more important than creating a budget, which of course is something that hasn’t been done in 3.5 years.

So I looked it up and apparently the constitution was written in less than 100 days.

Impressive. 100 days to form the nations backbone legislation that has lasted 225 years so far and Harry Reid can’t pass a budget once in over 1,000 days.

That impressiveness led me to create this meme.