April 21, 2012

Elizabeth Warren chose not to pay a voluntary higher tax rate, which is an official option in Massachusetts.

No one takes that option, now, do they? But Warren — the Harvard lawprof who's trying to wrest Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat out from under Scott Brown, a Republican — has been lambasting Brown for voting against the so-called millionaire's tax.

As Warren deftly — and professorily — put it: "I paid the taxes that I legally owed. I did not make a charitable contribution to the state." Yeah, who expects anybody to make a charitable contribution to the state?

The state is all about compulsion. It's a crisp, cold force that says you owe, and we will punish you if you don't pay. So you do exactly that (if you're reasonably competent and rational). There's no warmth and love left over. If you're feeling charitable, you go looking for something more specific upon which to lavish your love-in-the-form of money. In fact, it would be kind of screwy to love the government like that, to put your love-money into the general pot from which the state pays all its general expenses, even if you want the people of the state to put you in a position to cause the government to rack up even more expenses.
Brown’s campaign called Warren a hypocrite for not checking the optional higher tax rate on her personal income. “The problem with running a campaign based on self-righteousness and moral superiority is that you had better live up to the same standard you would impose on everyone else," said the incumbent's campaign manager, Jim Barnett, in a statement. The Brown team said Warren earned over $700,000 in 2011, adding, “This is the sort of hypocrisy and double-speak voters are sick and tired of hearing from politicians, especially those who can't keep their hands out of others' pocketbooks."
Is it really self-righteousness and moral superiority?  Or is it a crisp cold calculation of what each person's share of the expenses is? You will be billed for that, and you will pay in a calm and orderly manner. There will be no love exchanged, no enthusiasm. It's just your share, that you owe, as determined by the democratic majority, who like to think that more is owed by those other people, those millionaires, and not little me. And it's not that $700,000 doesn't make Warren a good target for the democratic majority who would like to require more from somebody — somebody else. Obviously, she is. And I think she would agree!

When your vision is of the majority making the cold calculation and assessment, all you need to do to avoid hypocrisy is to pay what you owe... coolly and emotionlessly, with no extra gushings of love or cash.

Is Warren a hypocrite on the theory that she can't keep her "hands out of others' pocketbooks"? If she had a seat in the Senate and enough political sway, would she not vote to increase the tax rate for people who make $700,000 (or $500,000 or $200,000 or even $100,000)? I think she would. It's not politically wise to say that, but I assume she'd jack up tax rates if she could. In a calm, calculated manner. And everyone should pay their share, as determined by the government, to cover the expenses of the government, as determined by the government, in a Democracy where the people gave her — and people like her — seats in Congress.

There's no self-righteousness and moral superiority anywhere in this vision for America. It's just gray, bland exaction and compliance.

80 comments:

rhhardin said...

Her calculation is how much would the state get if she paid another dollar.

If it's a vote on a tax, the state gets a lot more than her dollar.

If it's a voluntary payment, the state gets only her dollar.

So she gets a lot more for her dollar from the compulsion version, which is a reason to favor it, if she favors the state getting more.

It's not worth it to her for the her-only version.

Crimso said...

"When I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

A. Lincoln

David said...

Compliance indeed. And boy do they need the money.

There are those who say that USA's ability to borrow is impregnable because our societal wealth means that in a crisis we could still pay. They have numbers to support the view. At some point though, the next generation (and they are alive not and some voting) may rebel against the immense financial burden we are leaving them. This rebellion could result in the end of compliance, either by changing the law (we won't fund these immense deficits) or ignoring the law (we're not paying--are you going to arrest 100,000,000 people?)

dreams said...

"There's no self-righteousness and moral superiority anywhere in this vision for America. It's just gray, bland exaction and compliance."

Yeah, but its the liberals who are always wanting to raise taxes on the rich including those that are not so rich.

Larry L said...

I disagree (and I realize I'm fighting out of my weight when going against Althouse). It seems to me (for many years) the entire tone of Democratic campaigns has been based on a self-righteous, morally superior vision ("evil Republicans will herd the poor into concentration camps if they have the chance" etc; only the Democratic party cares). It seems to me that this tone colors all their campaign rhetoric, and can't be ignored by limiting to discrete examples.

Carnifex said...

If you think someone taking someone else's money, whether they have the government backing them or not is grey and bland, you need to read the postings on you site a little closer. People are getting fed up with the GSA partying, and Solyndra, and just the government in general.

There was a near riot in NY because people "thought"they were gonna get "Obama money". Guess the economic group involved, and guess how the people who do pay taxes looks at that.

Barry Zero was booed at the 'Sox game last night, and it ain't because he's doing such a good job.

When Zero's brown outs start rolling through the NE, because he shut down all the coal fired electric plants, and utilities will start eating into even more of peoples budgets, wanna bet the Dem's say "We gotta help people pay their electric bills. It's not fair!"

And in Atalanta, peoples water bills continue to rise because of the freeloaders not paying ttheir water bills. One of the biggest freeloader being tjhe city itself. It's okay though, they can just take more from the people that do pay. Again, what economic class gets the free water?
They tried this in Detroit too, until the peopole that made the money left. Now they just turn off the water. And the street lights, and the police department, and fire department...

Do you see a trend here?!!

Blood will be spilt this year, in this election, because Dem's promise free money to everyone.(well not everyone, just to the ones who produce nothing)

MisterBuddwing said...

Never understood the concept that ours is a "voluntary" tax system...

ed said...

Unless of course Warren also votes for legislation that provides exceptions to new higher tax rates for people just like her.

In which case it's all good.

Saint Croix said...

If she had a seat in the Senate and enough political sway, would she not vote to increase the tax rate for people who make $700,000 (or $500,000 or $200,000 or even $100,000)? I think she would.

Of course she would. That's the point.

When she's the state, she will vote to raise the people's taxes. Why? It gives her more money. It gives her more power.

When she's not the state, she doesn't give more money to the state. Why? It gives her more money. It gives her more power.

So the point is that Warren, like everybody, wants money and power and is selfish as hell.

Liberals typically charge Republicans with greed. It's almost a religious obsession with them. Every sermon is "greed!" And they are utterly blind to their own greed.

The Obamas are perfect caricatures of this because they take very lavish vacations and are utterly oblivious to their own selfish desires.

It would be nice if liberals learned a little self-awareness about their own greed. Or, in the alternative, they picked another sin to preach about for a while.

CWJ said...

I very nearly completely agree with our hostess. A friend once defined the state to me as a monopoly on the use of force. That set me back on my heels, but it has proved apt over time. It is also why our constitution is brilliant in its attempts to limit the areas in which the state can exercise its power. As long the state generally works for the common welfare of the people, we're in pretty good shape. But once it starts collecting money from one group to directly benefit another group - once it starts picking winners and losers - we are perilously close to legalized theft.

dreams said...

Liberals believe in government and so they don't give very generously to charity, they gave at the office don't you know via their taxes. Conservatives believe in small government and personal responsibility, they give more to charity, thanks largely to more of them being church going people. Studies have shown this to be true and Elizabeth Warren is an example of this fact and so bringing attention to her tax forms is a good way for the Republicans to show the voters the difference between Republicans and Democrat politicians.

tim maguire said...

I appreciate the distinction between arguing in favor of the world as it should be while continuing to live in the world as it is, but when a member of "the rich" takes the position that "the rich" don't pay enough in taxes, it is rank hypocrisy for them to try and pay the minimum.

There is no significant difference between Elizabeth Warren opting to minimize her tax bill while arguing for higher "fair" taxes and another Warren (Buffet) writing columns in the NY Times about how the rich are under taxed at the same time he is in court with the IRS trying to avoid paying his own tax bill.

It's not the arguing for higher taxes so much as the arguing for fairer taxes that makes it hypocritical.

Saint Croix said...

The point of capitalism is not that "greed is good." The point of capitalism is to recognize that greed is a spiritual sin, and that it's not the government's place to punish people for greed, or lust, or any other spiritual sin.

We need to have freedom.

Yes, people are greedy. We know this about ourselves. And we give money to charity and try to atone for our sins.

But if we have a state that demonizes us as greedy, and takes our money, what do we have? We have an evil, oppressive society where the leaders assume a god-like superiority. "I do not feel greed and so I can be trusted with all the money and power, and I will do everything that is right."

Republicans are not saying "greed is good." Republicans are saying, toleration. We tolerate greed like we tolerate lust and pride and all the other sins of humanity. We believe a free and open society--with a religious component to remind us all of sins--is the best society this world has known.

And socialism, like sharia, is madness. Islam and Marx sound almost identical when they rant about greed.

Lucien said...

Have you noticed that the US government can borrow money (unsecured)for ten years at less than 2% and 30 years at less than 3%?

So if the internal rate of return on stuff like roads, bridges, satellites, fiber-optic cable, etc. (guns & bombs, not so much)is more than 2-3% why wouldn't the US borrow all the cheap money it could to buy/build that stuff?

lemondog said...

Lets adopted the 1944-45 income tax rates.

tim maguire said...

A better closing sentence might have been: Both Warrens are trying to gain the benefit of being seen as supporting "fair" without making any inconvenient personal sacrifices for fairness. They don't want a better world, they want free applause.

Carnifex said...

@CWJ

You mean like we have going right now, with this president, and this congress?

How about the guy from a natural gas company, funding a campaign by Greenpeace, to shut down coal production. Because "It's for the children". It's also to make more market share for natural gas too, but lets not mention that.

And how 'bout that expanded drilling in the Gulf. Oh wait, that's not for American companies. That's for Brazilian companies. Owned by ol' what's 'is name? Ohh... yeah, Soros.

But let's talk auto companies. Here's a question...What auto company, got taken over by the government, assigned a desk jockey that had never worked for a gas station let alone a car company, reneged(don't go protestin', it's a legitimate word) on there share holders, and gave a sweetheart deal to their union employees?

Again, do you see a trend here? There is no disclaimer like at the end of a late night infomercial that past experience does not promise future results. This is the fucked up, chowder headed, SCOAMF, at his best. Or worst depending if you love America or not.

But hey, we'll always have cowboy poetry readings thanks to Dirty Harry Reid.

Quayle said...

At some point though, the next generation (and they are alive not and some voting) may rebel against the immense financial burden we are leaving them.

At some point, no rational investor in the world is going to want to lend us money.

And that time could be very, very soon.

Then the jig is up.

Carnifex said...

And no, no one peed in my wheaties this morning :-)

I'm just tired of the dribble that passes for thought through the usual leftist, liberal brain.

Tom said...

So I guess in Ms. Warren's view there is nothing wrong with, say GE or Exxon, taking full advantage of its legal deductions under the current tax code even if it results in $0 taxes being owed. That's a cold, hard calculation too, no? No love or fuzziness there.

Boxty said...

Warren doesn't mind increasing taxes as long as she's the one writing the loopholes that will exempt her from said taxes or earmarks that will funnel enough government largess to more than make up for the difference (see Pelosi, etc.)

CWJ said...

@carnifex

"Do you see a trend here....". Answer, Yep! Been happening for a long time. Perhaps ever since the income tax was established and created a far greater potential revenue stream for the federal government. Hard to fund the New Deal, Great Society, War on Poverty, etc al on tariffs alone.

chickenlittle said...

The state is all about compulsion. It's a crisp, cold force that says you owe, and we will punish you if you don't pay.

Disagree in spirit. Many state institutions used to be about common good, common goals, etc., and common access to them. Perceptions change however. I think half the problem these days is demographic--too many cohorts demanding early retirement and cushy rides in healthcare which the the more common Joe lacks. Projecting austerity and thrift rather than trumpeting comfort and well being goes the distance. Strive for conspicuous production rather than conspicuous consumption.

Carnifex said...

@CWJ


I wasn't going quit that far back, but you are very correct.

ddh said...

MisterBuddwing,

Our tax system is voluntary in the sense that you volunteer information about your financial condition, which determines how much you owe. The alternative is that the tax collector shows up on your doorstep to decide how you pay and then will not go away until you pay.

Lem said...

Its not too dissimilar from Buffets Buffet Ruler caper..

Oh, look, my secretary pays a higher rate that me.. that's so unfair.. when all along he structures his income in such a way just so that he will avoid a higher income tax rate.

Nttawwt per-say.. but after you peel the ladder, what's left is a holier than thou parody.

bgates said...

if the internal rate of return on stuff like roads, bridges, satellites, fiber-optic cable, etc.

NASA and the Department of Transportation have a combined budget of under $100B. The federal government spends $3,600,000,000,000 per year (or, if you like, $114,155 per second), meaning the things you cherry-picked for ostensibly high IRR account for less than 3% of spending.

wyo sis said...

All the nuance and sophistication in the world won't change the fact that she doesn't pay unless forced and she wants to force everyone else to pay. This is what the voters see, and it's what will determine how they vote.
Those who see it as "I'm gonna get some" will vote for the person who'll force others to give it to them. Those who see it as "she's going after my stuff" will vote for the best they can hope for at the time.
That's why "Not a Republican" is such a loser of a bumper sticker.

Chase said...

Elizabeth Warren's stand on taxing the rich may not show hypocrisy but the fact that she is unwilling to engage honestly in a true debate about the results of that policy is what shows her true colors.

Warren is an extremist among extremists. She is a passionate liberal and can easily be defined on the spectrum as solid socialist. Many of her comments indicate that she is of the feminist dictatorship preferences. Former students of hers at Harvard - and there are many unhappy ones - would be a good source to tap.

Scott Brown needs to repeat what she has said and that she wanted so badly to be appointed to an unacoountable, unelected position by Obama. Her position in the Unbited States Senate would be a disaster for all Americans.

Lucien said...

I presume that if Warren Buffet kept a modest amount of his wealth in stocks, then in any given year he could sell enough losers and enough winners to yield him the money he needs to live on, in the style to which he is accustomed, while showing a taxable income of $0.

If he just did that, then it wouldn't matter what his tax rate was, and the world could leave his secretary alone.

bgates said...

Is it really self-righteousness and moral superiority? Or is it a crisp cold calculation of what each person's share of the expenses is?

It's both. She and her party make a big deal about the "fair share". They say it's wrong for the rich to have so much when other people are hurting. They say all the suffering in the world is caused by the rich taking money away from the poor - "white folk's greed running a world in need". They say that they will fix all the problems by forcing "the rich" to pay "their fair share".

Meanwhile, they are the rich, and they're paying less than what they say is the fair share.

But they say they'd be willing to stop doing the thing which according to their own rhetoric is responsible for the vast majority of the world's problems if they were given the power to make all the other rich people stop too. And that, according to them, makes them better than us: They will not resist government compulsion so long as they can impose it on everyone else.

edutcher said...

Yeah, but I'll bet she also wants the $1000 a month birth control, not the $9 Wally world special.

And the way she answers the charge sounds just like Willie giving "answers that were legally correct".

The discussion's turn toward the Buffett Rule is exactly the point.

Scott M said...

There's no self-righteousness and moral superiority anywhere in this vision for America.

I disagree completely and it's because of this statement;

And everyone should pay their share, as determined by the government, to cover the expenses of the government, as determined by the government, in a Democracy where the people gave her — and people like her — seats in Congress.

There are a great many costs included in the "expenses of the government" that are wholly based on the self-righteousness and moral superiority of the duly elected majorities in both houses. Obamacare immediately comes to mind.

William said...

The high elected offcials are brokers of government futures, and they do a lot of insider trading. One seldom hears of senators and senior elected officials dying broke. When they proclaim the idealism in raising taxes on their own income class, it is like an oil executive claiming that, after all, he too has to pay higher prices at the pump. There is a great deal of money to be made raising taxes, but the big bucks for politicians is in selling exemptions to those taxes.....Here's a program for Elizabeth Warren. Let's tax capital gains as ordinary income or perhaps a little higher since capital gains really don't involve work. Let's use those added revenues to issue a tax credit (not deduction, a credit) to factor against tuition expenses. Of course, the capital gains exclusion would apply to environmentally sound businesses and, perhaps, a few others in the Buffett portfolio. Then just sit back and let the campaign contributions, honorary degrees, and honorariums roll in.

madAsHell said...

She's making $700,000 writin' books, and professin' bankruptcy law?? I'm guessin' she don't know the value of a buck.

Steve in Philly said...

Professor Ann Althouse
Asks if we can decide
If Elizabeth Warren
Has Learned Hand on her side

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leslyn said...

Warren wasn't a hypocrite then (when dejection paid her taxes). But if Brown made a "charitable contribution" (I wonder if that's deductible?) to the state, then she'd better play catch-up.

Now that's a competition I'd like to see--who can race to donate more money to the state? "I did!" "No, I did!" "You did not!" "Did so!"

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
knox said...

Sorry this is OT, but this one's for rhhardin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3tGBAiTKeM

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

There's no self-righteousness and moral superiority anywhere in this vision for America. It's just gray, bland exaction and compliance.

Althouse is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

Fact is, paying your taxes is not enough for Warren or the mob she wants to lead.

Listen to what she says about businesses that already pay taxes.

But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

Meanwhile, last I checked, Harvard University, which can afford to pay her over $300k per year for teaching one class, is a wealthy institution that does not pay taxes to support any of the services she claims "the rest of us pay for".

Do you think Harvard could afford to pay her that same salary if it was not a tax exempt entity?

caseym54 said...

People way say that they pay too little tax, or that they should be taxed more should leap at the option that MA offers.

Unless of course, they really mean that other people should pay more and aren't really talking about their own case at all.

Phil 3:14 said...

Republicans are saying, toleration.

Well, this one prefers to say "tolerance".

(Sorry, couldn't resist)

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Meanwhile, last I checked, Harvard University, which can afford to pay her over $300k per year for teaching one class.."

Ever notice that the insane salaries that college professors earn never get any scrutiny by Congress?

Talk about price gouging.

Oh and Warren sounds just like every other numbskull leftist.

Bill Dalasio said...

Well, if my fellows want to make the case that they are free to dispose of my life liberty or property based on their cold calculations, they'd best be damned well ready for me to treat them accordingly. Which means screw respect for the law. I'll comply to the extent I can't get away with not complying. Respect, concern or decency for my neighbors? Only if there's something in it for me. If I benefit from screwing them, so be it. I'm showing them no more than they've deemed fit for me.
Ms. Warren and her friends from the Harvard faculty lounge need to learn that there's much more than her precious government necessary to hold a society together. And the kind of government that would be necessary to even begin to accomplish that task once those other things have been thrown to the four winds is the kind of government that can just as easily put their heads on a pike when it suits the cold calculations of another gang of thugs.

Original Mike said...

"There's no self-righteousness and moral superiority anywhere in this vision for America."

Yes there is. It's in the attitude that I, and my enlightened brethren, can make such detailed prescriptions for how others are to lead their lives. It is an attitude of arrogance, bereft of freedom.

Alex said...

The real lie is that you will solve the deficit by soaking the top 1%. The real money is in soaking everyone making $70K+. Which means you and me.

traditionalguy said...

Query: Will it be a voluntary contribution the day Obama and Red China jointly announce a new currency to substitute for our dollars? That will mean an instant 60% devaluation of dollars from all holders of financial instruments measured in dollars or in cash deposits or paper money.

Planning for Socialism's Day of Redistributory Fairness may be the explanation for Homeland Security and its TSA working now to set up otherwise unnecesary national networks of travel checkpoints and civil disorder concentration camps, while they are stockpiling 500 million rounds of military ammo.

Molly said...

Where Warren and others like her go wrong is this: There is a distinction between espousing a policy as a good policy, and urging that a particular behavior is more ethical.

For example, person A might feel that a military draft for all 18 year olds is a good policy. Person B might argue that ethics requires 18 year olds to join the military. Person A is justified in not joining the military at age 18. Person B is not; failure of person B to join the military makes him a hypocrite.

So Warren is on firm ground if she says that a more progressive tax system is good policy. But what makes her a hypocrite is her repeatedly stating that "people like me should pay higher taxes" as a matter of ethics: ("I don't pay my fair share.")

If she would make a voluntary contribution it would help society in a number of ways: 1. It would make her a better person; 2. It would reduce (however slightly) the budget deficit; 3. It would illustrate in a concrete and unassailable way exactly what level of taxes Warren believes is her fair share.

Incidentally, I do things all the time not because they are legally required, but because I think they are right. I make charitable donations. I pick up trash along the bike path. I tip waiters. Don't liberals do these things?

It is reported that when a cab driver asked Sol Alinsky, "Where's my tip?," Alinksy replied: "Don't beg. Organize."

Alex said...

Molly - that's because to liberals it's more dignified to be a thug then ask for charity.

Contrarian Catalogue said...

dreams said...
Liberals believe in government and so they don't give very generously to charity, they gave at the office don't you know via their taxes. Conservatives believe in small government and personal responsibility, they give more to charity, thanks largely to more of them being church going people. Studies have shown this to be true and Elizabeth Warren is an example of this fact and so bringing attention to her tax forms is a good way for the Republicans to show the voters the difference between Republicans and Democrat politicians.

1) Does giving money to your church count as "charity" when you're enjoying the fruits of that donation?

2) Aren't you implying that Liberals don't believe in "personal responsibility" by offering it as a defining characteristic of Conservatives? When do you ever hear a Liberal campaigning against personal responsibility? Seriously.

lemondog said...

The real lie is that you will solve the deficit by soaking the top 1%. The real money is in soaking everyone making $70K+. Which means you and me.

Trickle Down Taxation

If Elizabeth Warren married Warren Buffett she would be Elizabeth Warren Buffett.

They could spend their honeymoon critiquing the others tax return, playing Identify The Overlooked Loopholes, and then conference Obi on additional new areas of taxes to impose on we the morons.

gk1 said...

Why do the liberals have a hard time seeing the hypocracy here? Its not that hard. If you want taxes raised and don't think the rich are paying their "fair share" (whatever that may be) then set an example and pay a higher rate. YOu need to actually wear the hair shirt if you want that class warfare martyrdom. An invisible hair shirt won't do.

Chase said...

Contrarian "Strawman" Catalogue said

1) Does giving money to your church count as "charity" when you're enjoying the fruits of that donation?


Only if you enjoy ALL the fruits. Do you seriously not understand the purposes and work of most churches? Seriously?


2) Aren't you implying that Liberals don't believe in "personal responsibility" by offering it as a defining characteristic of Conservatives?

Yes.

When do you ever hear a Liberal campaigning against personal responsibility? Seriously.

Are you serious? Start here: Please explain the welfare state in America - not the Democrat/Socialist vision of welfare. The reality of welfare programs in America.

Extra Credit: Please explain Sandra Fluck and her personal responsibility in making others pay for her no responsibility fucking.

Please. Go away with your childish questions.

Contrarian Catalogue said...

gk1 said...
Why do the liberals have a hard time seeing the hypocracy here? Its not that hard. If you want taxes raised and don't think the rich are paying their "fair share" (whatever that may be) then set an example and pay a higher rate. YOu need to actually wear the hair shirt if you want that class warfare martyrdom. An invisible hair shirt won't do.


No, that would be stupid. Taxes (like any other law) wouldn't work if they were voluntary.

Also, does anyone have a citation where Warren advocates for higher MA taxes?

wyo sis said...

Not everything is stated. Sometimes what is true but unstated is the most accurate measure. You don't hear liberals campaigning against personal responsibility, you just see that they don't believe in in by the way they undermine it with their many social programs. Conservatives live it as is evidenced by their voluntary contributions and the way they live their lives. If a conservative wants something done they do it.

Elizabeth Warren goes on and on about roads, education and safety all of which are more or less legitimate functions of government. What she is not saying is taxes are taken and given to thousands of social engineering experiments that, in the end, benefit no one but politicians. It's the old bait and switch we all know and hate.

Obama's administration has done one favor for conservatives, it's cleared away the underbrush of liberal misdirection and exposed the true nature of liberal Marxism to more people than ever. Obama has been used cynically by progressives to do this dirty job, because any criticism of him can be blamed on racism.

Contrarian Catalogue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

CC - define "social safety net".

Contrarian Catalogue said...

Chase said...

Are you serious? Start here: Please explain the welfare state in America - not the Democrat/Socialist vision of welfare. The reality of welfare programs in America.


The reality is that there really isn't such a thing as "the welfare state" in America. There isn't even a social safety net. It's more like a loose patchwork of uncoordinated federal and state programs. Do you think that Americans suddenly grew exponentially more lazy in the fall of 2008? Or are millions unemployed because of the worst recession since the Great Depression?

I think birth control is very important for the well being of society as a whole. It's not just the user who benefits from the availability of contraception.

Larry J said...

MisterBuddwing said...
Never understood the concept that ours is a "voluntary" tax system...


You can volunteer to pay the tax or volunteer to go to jail. Unless you have the right political connections like Tim Geithner and other Democrat pols.

Blue@9 said...

The reality is that there really isn't such a thing as "the welfare state" in America. There isn't even a social safety net. It's more like a loose patchwork of uncoordinated federal and state programs

Good grief. Seriously? It doesn't matter how you characterize/minimize it. It's still pretty massive system of programs.

I think birth control is very important for the well being of society as a whole. It's not just the user who benefits from the availability of contraception.

You can say that about quite a lot of things. It doesn't mean the government (you and me) should pay for it.


And yes, Warren should be pummelled for hypocrisy. This is what happens when you talk about the rich needing to pay a "fair share." Apparently Warren knows what is a fair share, but is unwilling to pay it unless she's coerced.

Contrarian Catalogue said...

Blue@9 said...
The reality is that there really isn't such a thing as "the welfare state" in America. There isn't even a social safety net. It's more like a loose patchwork of uncoordinated federal and state programs

Good grief. Seriously? It doesn't matter how you characterize/minimize it. It's still pretty massive system of programs.


Probably a lot less massive than you imagine. What percent of the budget do programs like Food Stamps and Welfare actually constitute? Not very much.

Defenseman Emeritus said...

I think birth control is very important for the well being of society as a whole. It's not just the user who benefits from the availability of contraception.

Already widely and cheaply available. So much so that if you can't be bothered to get it, you're not old enough or responsible enough for sex.

Probably a lot less massive than you imagine. What percent of the budget do programs like Food Stamps and Welfare actually constitute? Not very much.

Since you want us to believe it's not very much, why don't you go find out what the total percentage (and dollar amount) of government spending goes to SSI, SSDI, TANF, unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and the various state welfare programs, and then report back?

lemondog said...

What percent of the budget do programs like Food Stamps and Welfare actually constitute? Not very much.

"Welfare" in billions
Federal=$422.3 (11%)
Plus state/local=$617 (10%)

Government Pie Chart

Contrarian Catalogue said...

By "Welfare" I was specifically referring to TANF. This is what most people think of when talking about Welfare and Welfare reform.

As for SSI, SSDI, Medicare and Medicaid, they make up a huge part of the pie, but they're also among the best government programs in existence. They could certainly be better, but are still among the most worthy dollars the government spends. And being eligible for them doesn't mean you lack "personal responsibility."

Scott M said...

When do you ever hear a Liberal campaigning against personal responsibility? Seriously.

I don't know if I've ever heard a liberal pol actually lash out against personal responsibility on the stump, but I make it a point to listen to as much liberal talk radio as I do conservative, which is all made easier with sat radio in the car and a long commute.

The liberal pundits have been calling "personal responsibility" racist code language for about three years now that I know of. It's mentioned any time welfare or it's like comes up in discussion. Personal responsibility is just another way for the Man to keep you down, you see?

It's a very real aspect to a very poisonous mentality.

EDH said...

lemondog,

You left out, under healthcare...

Vendor Payments (Welfare) Health care services $ 349.1 billion.

Defenseman Emeritus said...

By "Welfare" I was specifically referring to TANF. This is what most people think of when talking about Welfare and Welfare reform.

Fair enough. The reason I listed all those other programs is because you also said in a prior post that "There isn't even a social safety net" in this country, which is just patently false. I didn't even mention Social Security, the biggest component of the social safety net.

Contrarian Catalogue said...

Again, these programs provide a patchwork of security. For example, you don't qualify for Medicaid simply by being poor. It's a lot more complicated than that.

If you're lucky, you happen to live in a state like Massachusetts which does an excellent job of ensuring that everyone has health insurance. If you're like most American's, you live in the alphabet soup universe of Federal programs, which you may or may not qualify for.

Defenseman Emeritus said...

Again, these programs provide a patchwork of security.

Which is all the government should provide. It's not the government's job to provide a living for people via transfer payments.


If you're lucky, you happen to live in a state like Massachusetts which does an excellent job of ensuring that everyone has health insurance.


As a result, Massachusetts is hemorrhaging money, meaning their experiment in government-mandated insurance is not...what's that lefty buzzword..."sustainable."

Contrarian Catalogue said...

As a result, Massachusetts is hemorrhaging money, meaning their experiment in government-mandated insurance is not...what's that lefty buzzword..."sustainable."

I don't think you even know what you're talking about. Yes, there is state funded insurance for the poor and indigent. But the vast majority in Massachusetts rely on private health coverage. You're not allowed to turn down employer-based coverage just because you want the state to pay for it. It's actually a system that encourages private insurance. (Even though what the state offers is far better than most private plans).

wyo sis said...

Obamacare would not be more effective because state run programs are never as effective as private ones. Plus the "patchwork" will not be removed because there are a lot of government goodies attached to them. When was the last time a government program was actually ended?

Carnifex said...

To Contrarian Ctat..Catasd..whatever

I give you "shrimp on a treadmill"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMO8Pyi3UpY

Contrarian Catalogue said...

wyo sis said...
Obamacare would not be more effective because state run programs are never as effective as private ones


Citation please?

walter said...

Someone now needs to lecture Warren on how it's great she became so successful, but she didn't become successful on her own. She did it on the backs of others and owes big time. "Do the right thing", but send the check to the right address.

damikesc said...

Warren wasn't a hypocrite then (when dejection paid her taxes). But if Brown made a "charitable contribution" (I wonder if that's deductible?) to the state, then she'd better play catch-up.

If you complain, incessantly, that the rich aren't taxes highly enough --- then YOU had best pay more. Either you think it is important or not.

Carnifex said...

@contrarian

I'll answer for wyo sis if she don't mind...How about Amtrak? How about Cash for clunkers?

Ya know, I ain't gonna do any more work for ya'. Here's a link. Go there or don't. I really couldn't care . but stop with "I'm contrarian"... Just admit, "I'm intellectually lazy" everyone will be happier for it.

http://factreal.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/govt-waste-fraud-18-billion-a-year-on-duplicate-ineffective-and-fraudulent-job-training-programs/

Saint Croix said...

Probably a lot less massive than you imagine. What percent of the budget do programs like Food Stamps and Welfare actually constitute? Not very much.

You want food, you got to work. You want a house, you got to work.

The liberal destruction of work and business and industry marks the liberal as a shit.

You take from workers and give to non-workers. You bribe people with our money!

What is nice about wrecking our economy? Shit, shit, and shits!

And liars and thieves

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