February 12, 2013

"Why have Americans lost their devotion to the future?"

Asks David Brooks, observing that America was built on a "future-oriented mentality," but these days we "sacrifice the future for the sake of the present." Read the whole thing to see if you agree with that premise, which is backed up by assertions like: "The federal government is a machine that takes money from future earners and spends it on health care for retirees." Taking the premise as true, why is it happening? Brooks goes back to the big events that shaped The Greatest Generation:
The Great Depression and World War II forced Americans to live with 16 straight years of scarcity. In the years after the war, people decided they’d had enough. There was what one historian called a “renunciation of renunciation.” We’ve now had a few generations raised with this consumption mind-set. There’s less of a sense that life is a partnership among the dead, the living and the unborn, with obligations to those to come.
Interesting avoidance of the obvious generation that deserves the blame. I'm talking about my generation: The Baby Boomers. We didn't endure the Great Depression and World War II, but we were raised by parents who found it just wonderful to have a predictable quiet life home life, comforts that were perfectly normal to us, but without the prior deprivations, boring and unsatisfying.

Oh, the trouble we made, changing the culture, restructuring the politics, leveraging our numbers. Don't say we didn't look to the future! The future was us getting old.

We set up the benefits programs, and we taught the younger generations to believe in them, deeply and emotionally. We're just trying to get to the end without their noticing what we have done. It's a tricky business, because we want the money to flow into our needs as we struggle to live longer and longer, sucking more and more of the life out of the young before we die.

Wasn't it amazing the way we got you to love Obama — the last of the Baby Boomers (or did you believe him when he said he was post-Boomer?)? Under the banner "HOPE," he got you to believe in a health-care scheme that forces healthy young people to sacrifice your hope of building individual wealth.

Obviously, the story isn't over yet, but what will be left when we're gone? How long will that take? It depends on how securely we've structured this thing, how long your soppy empathy lasts, and whether the "death panels" taunt keeps working to deter you from the kind of self-serving politics from which we ourselves never refrained.

164 comments:

SteveR said...

Guilty dog barks

Jay said...

because we want the money to flow into our needs as we struggle to live longer and longer, sucking more and more of the life out of the young before we die.


Yep:


(Reuters Health) - Members of the baby boomer generation are in worse health than their parents were at the same age, according to a new study.

In a large national survey, about 13 percent of baby boomers - the generation born in the two decades after World War Two - reported being in "excellent" health in middle age, compared to 32 percent of the previous generation who said the same at the same stage of life.


Your pathetic generation must be so proud.

chickelit said...

It's Mardi Gras. Not supposed to think about tomorrow.

paul a'barge said...

I can't help referring to Brooks as "Old Man Poopy Pants".

Can you?

AprilApple said...

We can't stop the Corrupt Chicago Money Waste Machine, and tonight Obama will demand more taxes and more spending. Stimulus.
In other words, Obama will again give tax payer's money to Obama's wealthy donors. I doubt Brooks cares.
Where do we file this waste? Oh yeah, in the Ignore file.
What's a few 40 million here and there among wealthy democrat donors?

MadisonMan said...

I see this in business as well. Companies that do modestly well, but are well-positioned for long-term growth, are acquired by other companies more interested in short-term profit gains to satisfy angry stockholders who need money now.

This is probably nothing new however.

Nonapod said...

In times of scarcity it's perhaps easier to hope for a better future and work towards it. Conversely in times of plenty it seems to be much easier to live in the now and not bother to plan for the future too much.

Terry said...

The typical boomer move was to lower the drinking age to 18 or 19 in the early 1970's, when they wanted to party, and then raise it to 21 again in the 1980's when they started to worry about being killed by a drunk teen driver -- and their own kids were approaching their 18th birthdays.

TMink said...

OPM is addictive. It saps our will and strength. We need a capitalist workers party to advocate for people who work for a living to stop the stealing the products of our industry in order to give it to the lazy and those addicted to other people's money.

Trey

Mitchell the Bat said...

I gave up on the future once I realized it wouldn't be like The Jetsons.

DADvocate said...

If the Greatest Generation was so great, how come they raised such a large group of spoiled, self-centered brats?

JohnBoy said...

This will come across as smug, but my wife and I have made a conscious effort to eschew the boomer creed.

We saved money.
We made our kids go to church.
We didn't do drugs or go on self-indulgent Spiritual
Journeys.
We gave money away to charities.
Etc.

So, what's the reward for this, if the motherfuckers from Chicago are determined to make a mockery of our pathetic little attempts to be prudent?

Rick Caird said...

Correction, "WE" did not set up Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. Those were all set up before us "boomers" came of age. They were also set up on political lies. But, we have been paying into those programs all our working lives. Most of us were too bus earning our livings and raising our families to really look into the political lies until the last decade or so.

Even most of the social programs were set up in the 60's. They just grew like topsy turvy while we were not looking carefully.

We used to have a lot more trust in our politicians than we do now. The reasons is all the lies they used to get elected and reelected are come due now.

EDH said...

The infusion of new money poured into that laundry list of government "investments" Brooks rattles-off at the end of his piece, aside from a privately financed XL pipeline, sounds like it would be largely siphoned-off by the present-day takers.

The problem, across the board, seems to be how the government spends money, or changes the incentives on how private sector money is spent/invested.

Seeing Red said...

Barry's 1st SOTU - we will strive to weatherstrip America!

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Now that was visionary. OTOH, the fundamental change he wants has to be done on the sly.

bagoh20 said...

It seems to me that the boomer generation was a confluence of lack of serious challenges with overwhelming numbers. In response, we attacked what was left: things like civil rights, poverty, the culture, and the most insidious of threats - boredom.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

The Boomer's deserve everything they are going to get. Absolutely the worst generation. The millenials and Gen Xers will not be in a very generous mood when it comes time to stick your selfish asses in nursing homes.

Keep looting from the young while you can, in another 15 or 20 years you won't even be able to wipe your own asses and we will remember how you fucked over our generation.

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jacksonjay said...


We don't have a spending problem, we have a health care problem. Saint Hope and Change fixed that! I learned that from the "legitimate news media", so it must be true!

Seeing Red said...

Please don't generalize, I am for revamping SS & Medicare.

Pogo said...

Ironically, boomers are so solipsistic they think they invented socialism, even though they were merely caught up in its American version midstream.

in any event, socialism is the future. It is the end in itself, beyond which nothing need arise. It is the animal state of a sated milk cow, fed and housed, teats pulled at 5 a.m. (And slaughtered when no longer useful.)

That is why it is evil; everywhere it is installed, it destroys hope, striving, inventiveness, and creativity. In it, we are cogs in a machine. The machine is what matters. You yourself are nothing. Nothing.



rhhardin said...

It's not future vs present but nonproducers and producers. That's a cultural problem.

The retirement thing is a demographics problem: too few producers owing to age as opposed to owing to culture.

Everything happens in the present, which is where the math has to work out.

All the generations have been producing, except for the Obama depressions which tries to stamp it out entirely to create the maximal crisis; and the black chip-on-the-shoulder culture nonproducers, badly lead by their appointed black leaders.

Rick Caird said...

@Jay, you are an innumerate idiot.

Self reporting of health is not comparable between generations. That is for the simple reason that the criteria are different. The self descriptions are different. The state of medicine is different. Reuters is more idiotic than you for even trying to report such nonsense. It is impossible to compare such self reporting unless you have some objective criteria to use as a base. You don't and Reuters does not.

Scott M said...

When speaking in generations, you have to look at the aggregate. Did the zeitgeist of the Boomers result in a tide that is raising all boats or in a bunch of soap-encrusted bath toys wondering which one is going swirly last?

bagoh20 said...

The goals of boomers were mostly valid and good, but it was what we demonized in the process that was misguided and foolish. We attacked and damaged the foundation, while trying to build on top of it.

Seeing Red said...

Wait until they're told No, you can't have more pain pills or No, you'll have to wait 2 years for that elective surgery or No, sorry, you'll need to make another appointment to discuss that, we can only talk about what you made the appointment for.

OTOH, they'll get a prescription for weed to take the edge off.

AllenS said...

Don't worry about all of those little piddly things, Obama will show us the way into the future tonight. I see others have pointed out, my baby boom generation didn't come up with Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, the Greatest Generation did. They also led us into places like Korea and Viet Nam.

Seeing Red said...

I read an interesting theory a few years ago, the boomers knew they couldn't live up to their parents so they had to destroy what their parents built.

Or they hated their fathers.

Ahhh, bobos, they turned into their parents.

Or just like WWII American soldiers, oversexed, overpaid and over here.

LOLOLOLOLOL

chrisnavin.com said...

The analysis is good, but I'd offer another one too if I could. There's also an increasing desire to make everyone free. Women equal to men, gays to straights, animals have rights, the old flattering the young for fear of censure, and race of course.

We haven't hit the bottom of that process yet, and it's put increasing pressure on our institutions, including our politics. The people will become so sensitive that any law, no matter how well made, will seem like an imposition. They will call the lawmakers tyrants...

Bonus points if you know where that's from.

Brew Master said...

The 'Greatest Generation' are the ones that produced the Boomer generation. That is their biggest failure, and one could argue that due to the damage that the boomers have done to this country the tag of 'Greatest' is undeserved.

Selfish short term gratification is the prime reason that the boomers have destroyed this country. They want to live lives of comfort and ease, without having to make sacrifices. Instead they decided it was better to borrow from their childrens future, and once that was tapped out they are now borrowing from their grandchildrens future. I would wager that they will be stealing their great-grandchildrens future before to much longer.

Will we ever be able to recover from the damage they have done?

Jay said...

Rick Caird said...
@Jay, you are an innumerate idiot.



Hey dipshit, I didn't write the article.

Marshal said...

Why have Americans lost their devotion to the future?

Because they can.

In past times there wasn't a mechanism to take from future generations. If you wanted a better future you had to provide something of value so people would voluntarily trade with you. Now you and your buddy can vote on how much of the guy down the street's income you get. Which is easier?

bagoh20 said...

The problem is that most people live too long. If most of us died before 40, we wouldn't cause so much trouble. Look at Congress: old, fiddling, cranky farts with a horribly damaging hobby.

Jay said...
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furious_a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Statistics don't lie but liars use statistics.

Living past 65 is expected today, but that was a rare event in 1945 before antibiotics and immunization science came to the rescue.

So more Boomers are alive past 65 and are starting to go to free doctors who churn the account terribly finding needs to serve in high numbers for small Medicare fees.

Meanwhile robots in manufacturing and computers in distribution and management have slashed the Job Market for everyone.

But an end to insane tactics fighting useless wars for practice, for political reasons and for profits should act to extend life expectancy.

I would give the Boomers an A for living through that.

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
furious_a said...

"Why have Americans lost their devotion to the future?"

...because those metastasizing interest payments on the debt are happening in the here-and-now.

Someone upthread mentioned the Boomers' future: it will be something like that London Olympics opening ceremony, but instead of children in hospital gowns dancing with Mary Poppins impersonators we'll have septuagenarians dying in their wheelchairs while waiting for their hip replacements.

Jay said...

We set up the benefits programs, and we taught the younger generations to believe in them, deeply and emotionally

In fairness to the boomers, they didn't setup any "benefits programs" - such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

But they certainly took the view that these programs were some sort of moral imperative and led the charge lying to the public that they were finacially sound.

I also think a case can be made that the boomers did not think of the future when they: agitated against marriage, for gay rights, and took a bunch of mild altering drugs. It is quite obvious the policies they supported - no fault divorce, generational welfare, endless increases in spending - did not lead to some sort of great future outcomes.

The rich irony of this all is that ObamaCare is going to take away their medical treatments via rationing, and/or make them too expensive.

Seeing Red said...

Recently I was reading another site and a poster relayed a coversation he had from a blue state.

His Female vendor, client, whatever said that the state was thinking of raising the minimum wage & if it did, she might be out of business. His response was, "that's what you voted for."

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Seeing Red said...

If I could buy a condo in Cayman, I would, they're building new ones next to the new medical facility.

bagoh20 said...

One very damaging change was the use of the law to solve all problems. Whatever problem, obstacle, inconvenience, unfairness, or even mild embarrassment that people had to deal with was "fixed" by passing a law. Now we have over a dozen laws!

EMD said...

This is what happens when you move from a growth economy to a satiation economy.

Still didn't read the article.

bagoh20 said...

"I would give the Boomers an A for living through that."

That's kind of the point - the boomers have done just fine, but now what? The bill is due.

Seeing Red said...

Via Greg Mankiw:

Growth in Means-Tested Programs and Tax Credits for Low-Income Households

The federal government devotes roughly one-sixth of its spending to 10 major means-tested programs and tax credits, which provide cash payments or assistance in obtaining health care, food, housing, or education to people with relatively low income or few assets. Those programs and credits consist of the following:

Medicaid,
The low-income subsidy (LIS) for Part D of Medicare (the part of Medicare that provides prescription drug benefits),
The refundable portion of the earned income tax credit (EITC),
The refundable portion of the child tax credit (CTC),
Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp program),
Child nutrition programs,
Housing assistance programs, and
The Federal Pell Grant Program.
As shown in this report and an accompanying infographic, in 2012, federal spending on those programs and tax credits totaled $588 billion. (Certain larger federal benefit programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, are not considered means-tested programs because they are not limited to people with specific amounts of income or assets.)

-----------

$2.2 billion in fraud in Obamaphones. Some fraud from those nasty boomers who actually can afford phones.

Should have means-tested.

Seeing Red said...

OTOH, free breast pumps for all!

ricpic said...

As part of a much smaller cohort that preceded boomers, it was their obliviousness to every limit, every historically based caution in opposition to their have it all idiocy, that was their terrifying identifier to me. They were like a horrible wave obliterating the painfully constructed prudential arrangements that make civilization possible. Now remorse? Feh.

Marshal said...

Seeing Red said...
Wait until they're told No, you can't have more pain pills or No, you'll have to wait 2 years for that elective surgery or No, sorry, you'll need to make another appointment to discuss that, we can only talk about what you made the appointment for.


This won't happen. Every time grandma is told she can't have something she becomes the Democrats shiny new campaign ad. Medicare spending will continue to climb. When we've proven we can't collect more tax medicare spending will come in direct conflict with government employee compensation. Only then will Democrats be serious about reducing spending.

Quayle said...

Because the boomers have reduced and shrunk the notion of moral character to concern about two outward issues (racism and sexism)

Now you can be, from Dickensian notions, the most horrible and selfish taker and breaker of a person, but if you regularly tip your hat to the above two remaining mores, you are considered by the boomers an upstanding citizen and all-around good person.

All and everyone else be damned.

They were the richest generation in the history of the planet, yet they still wouldn't live within their means.

And they made a complete pig’s breakfast of their families.

Rusty said...

The future Obama paints is always cold , mediocre and grey.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Like Obama, I'm on the very tip of boomer tail. Up until now, I've voted against my own self interest. I was willing to sacrifice so there would be something left for those to come.

No more. I'm tired of being portrayed as the villain for believing it's better to live within our means. If the young don't care, why should I? It's now time to give them what they voted for... in spades.

Hillary 2016! lololol

Scott M said...

If the young don't care, why should I? It's now time to give them what they voted for... in spades.

Interesting turn of phrase as spades will be what a great many of them use every day for work.

Robert Cook said...

This idea that Social Security and Medicare are to blame for (the entirely hypothetical notion) that America is no longer "future oriented" is bullshit.

The idea that Social Security and Medicare have somehow "spoiled" Americans is also bullshit.

Such pernicious memes are carefully seeded propaganda put into the collective mind as a stratagem to convince the beneficiaries of these programs--all of us, sooner or later--to surrender all or part of these programs voluntarily.

If America is no longer "future minded" one might consider other possible reasons why: that we have reached the geographic limits of continental expansion; that we seem to have exhausted the limits of imaginative, economic, and ideological expansion; that we have lived profligate lives of unceasing acquisitiveness and find our lives wanting; that our technologies have succeeded in atomizing our sense of community, driving us into the isolation of our air-conditioned, flat-screen television fantasies and the false "communities" of our i-device, twittering, "social media" solipsism; that our government does not give voice to hopes for future expansion but has shrunk into exhausted paranoia, imagining existential threats behind every shrub and blade of grass, (a projection of our own outward violence turned back on us) and so terrified of these phantasms that we can only see repression of our freedoms and blind lashing out as the means to escape doom.

If we are spoiled, it is because our economic system demands that we want, always more, in order to keep the system alive. Where we used to buy only that which we could afford or had saved to buy, we are now encouraged to buy now, pay later! We are inundated by credit card offers, as this is how we live. If we stop spending the entire system will collapse, but we no longer have the means to continue spending as we once took for granted. We are encouraged to feed our emptiness with more things and with more drugs. Most of what we "own" we don't really own, but possess on credit. We are not encouraged or enabled to develop inner lives of introspection but are told that if we feel bad or unhappy we can solve that with a pill, (that may kill us, but in the meantime we'll "feel," if not happiness, at least relief from our misery).

Corruption among our economic and governmental elites has infected the body politic with cynicism, division, hopelessness, and despair. We know that things cannot go on as they have but we cannot see what the future will bring, and so we are uncertain and afraid.

Rumpletweezer said...

My 15-year-old daughter is reading my old paperback copy of Atlas Shrugged. I've told her that she and her sister would be morally correct to use the political system to cut all of us off without a cent.

Robert Cook said...

Rumpletweezer: you're wrong, and hopefully your daughter will one day, if not immediately, see ATLAS SHRUGGED and the works of Ayn Rand as the amoral twaddle (and rotten literature) they are.

(Yes, I read ATLAS SHRUGGED and THE FOUNTAINHEAD when I was in college.)

Rumpletweezer said...

Robert Cook--

Thanks for your response. I will certainly give it all the consideration it deserves.

All the best,

Rumpletweezer

Seeing Red said...

--This won't happen. Every time grandma is told she can't have something she becomes the Democrats shiny new campaign ad.--

And the response is Pelosi's we had to pass it to find out what's in it.

All the dems voted for it.

Insty's having problems, but did you read about Debbie Wass Schultz getting caught astroturfing?

Using a Dem who's on medicare to attack Rubio. Was busted by the 1st reporter's question, is this the same.....who is the head of the local dem party?

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

They have no problem using the old to attack the young.

bagoh20 said...

"This idea that Social Security and Medicare are to blame for (the entirely hypothetical notion) that America is no longer "future oriented" is bullshit."

These programs are just like all the ills you do blame, they are just much bigger versions. The things your complain of, like use of credit, is the very nature of these systems on a grand unsustainable level. The refusal to fix them is exactly what you are bitching about in individuals, but on a national collective level.

Seeing Red said...

Cookie's twaddle.


Sounds like noble savage stuff.

glenn said...

I call 'em the LGA people.

Lazy

Greedy

Arrogant.

Shouting Thomas said...

I find myself forced to agree with Cookie, again! How mortifying.

Ayn Rand was a terrible writer. Of course, her influence on the political scene is wildly over-exaggerated, too.

Corruption has devastated the U.S. political scene.

We have reached a milestone in which we need to think about whether our lives are made better by increased consumption, or by increased freedom and control of our own time. More stuff is not necessarily going to make our lives better. We've got all the stuff we need.

edutcher said...

It's amusing how non-Boomers see the Boomers the way the media always wanted everyone to think of them - as the hippie dippy spoiled small c communists and campus commandos.

That was one cohort, but there are a couple of others. One was the Blue Collars, the kids of the working class, whose sons fought in 'Nam and became the Reagan Democrats. The other was the Reaganauts, who joined ROTC and campaigned for Nixon in '68, and later became the backbone of the Reagan Revolution.

Brew Master said...

The 'Greatest Generation' are the ones that produced the Boomer generation. That is their biggest failure, and one could argue that due to the damage that the boomers have done to this country the tag of 'Greatest' is undeserved.

They weren't called the "Greedy Geezers" for nothing. In all point of fact, Brokaw and Co only started calling them the "Greatest Generation" after they'd gotten into power themselves. Before that, they were The Establishment.

Steve Koch said...

Nice try, Althouse. For decades you consistently voted for the dems who created this mess, who for years have refused to even pass a budget. Dumb asses of all ages, especially the young, continue to vote for this insane dem spending. There were lots of boomers who have been fighting the dems for several decades but you weren't one of them. It is time for your mea culpa, you were wrong, you were wrong, you were grievously wrong.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Cooktard says:

"ATLAS SHRUGGED and the works of Ayn Rand as the amoral twaddle"

Yes, Cookie, I will be sure to put a great deal of faith in the opinion of an unrepentant Communist apologist in matters of morality.

Oh, and you are a retard for using all caps for the title.

LordSomber said...

"If the Greatest Generation was so great, how come they raised such a large group of spoiled, self-centered brats?"

You can be the greatest parents in the world, but if your ungrateful kid wants to rebel, he will rebel, regardless.

Scott M said...

You can be the greatest parents in the world, but if your ungrateful kid wants to rebel, he will rebel, regardless.

I disagree. With a sufficient amount of suffocating zealotry, the idea will never occur to them in the first place.

Marshal said...

Seeing Red said...

And the response is Pelosi's we had to pass it to find out what's in it.

All the dems voted for it.


I think the key is to evaluate what price the left paid for their chosen spokesperson making the most asinine yet revealing comment in modern politics, which Democrats supported in full by passing the bill.

And the answer is: none.

And this is the bottom line. No matter how many times DWS proves herself or the Dems generally propogandists and fools it will never matter. Just as when Obama lied in the most vile manner conceivable on video it made no difference at all. Hoping that someday enough people will evaluate Dems honestly is a total waste of time. The left controls government, the media, and academia. Issues they prefer not to address are swept away as "old news" and anyone paying attention to them is branded a racist.

Seeing Red said...

Part of this greed has lifted the world out of poverty. It depends on the stuff we consume.

edutcher said...

The parents of us Boomers' motto was, "I'm going to give my kids everything I never had. He(she)'s going to have all the advantages I never had". So the people who grew up doing without in the Depression (including more than a few who dropped out of school and left home, so there'd be one less mouth to feed) and fought WWII did what they set out to do, as well as giving themselves the good life (consider the conspicuous consumption of movies like "Ocean's 11" or "North By Northwest").

Of course, there was going to be a chasm between the generations because of the different frames of reference.

Some, like Willard Milton Romney, were able to surmount it and some, like William Jefferson Blyth III, are still head cases.

jimbino said...

That SS, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare are supported by Other People's Money is disgraceful. Worse, however, is David Brook's idea of sacrificing for the future. Those are code words for stealing from the single and childfree to support the married breeders and their brood. What does it mean to a non-breeder to sacrifice for the future? We have already voted against the future of mankind, and for the future of plants and animals, by not breeding! If anything, I want my tax dollars to go for putting an end to human pollution of the planet.

sparrow said...

From RC:
"If we are spoiled, it is because our economic system ...."

Blaming the system is just an excuse: failure to grow up is personal not collective. Sure the culture adapts to support a given behavior, but that's the effect of the behavior not it's cause. Yes there are some strong influences created by the social pressure of any given time, but still each individual chooses to join or fight the prevailing culture. We are not entirely passive but actively contributing to the culture - such as it is.

carrie said...

What future?

bagoh20 said...

There is nothing wrong with consumerism itself - it's just freedom in the presence of prosperity.

The poison is when people demand things and buying power without creating the wealth or making a contribution themselves.

If a person goes out and works hard, takes risks that pay off, and profits from it, then when they spend it, even on triviality, that helps others to build their own wealth, and make their own contribution. This is one of the good things in human existence: to work so that we can buy the products of other people's work, to enjoy my life producing what you want, but do not enjoy making yourself, and in turn buying what you love to do.

There are plenty of ills in our human existence, but this is not one of them. We pick on it only because the others are somewhat at bay for the moment. Imagine a world without that system, and I see a dull, lifeless, existence of theft and sloth. Something we are moving toward, I think.

Steve Koch said...

Cook said:
"that our government does not give voice to hopes for future expansion but has shrunk into exhausted paranoia"

Too much fail packed into one post for me to bother refuting it all but I do want to point out the government has not shrunk but has grown tremendously in size, cost, and power. Also, the bigger the government, the greater the threat to our liberty. For example, look at Venezuela. Hello Marxism, good bye liberty.

Shouting Thomas:
Corruption is a function of government size and power. If you want to reduce corruption, reduce the size and power of government, depoliticize the judiciary, shrink the presidency, and balance the power between the fed gov and the states(basically restore the governmental system defined by the constitution).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Wasn't it amazing the way we got you to love Obama — the last of the Baby Boomer

Who are these "we" and "you" that you refer to?

Simon Kenton said...

Sinners in the hands of an angry Cook:

"Such pernicious memes are carefully seeded propaganda put into the collective mind as a stratagem to convince the beneficiaries of these programs--all of us, sooner or later--to surrender all or part of these programs voluntarily."

I believe, Robert, I believe. I am returning my social security to my kids. Their homes will be paid off with it about the time the rest of their cohort has the scales fall from their eyes.

garage mahal said...

I thought deficit hawks would be ALL over stories like these. Not only is the deficit shrinking, health care costs are coming down.

In figures released last week, the Congressional Budget Office said it had erased hundreds of billions of dollars in projected spending on Medicare and Medicaid. The budget office now projects that spending on those two programs in 2020 will be about $200 billion, or 15 percent, less than it projected three years ago. New data also show overall health care spending growth continuing at the lowest rate in decades for a fourth consecutive year. Link

Robert Cook said...

"...I do want to point out the government has not shrunk but has grown tremendously in size, cost, and power."

Steve Koch, do you not understand figurative language?

edutcher said...

jimbino said...

That SS, Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare are supported by Other People's Money is disgraceful. Worse, however, is David Brook's idea of sacrificing for the future. Those are code words for stealing from the single and childfree to support the married breeders and their brood. What does it mean to a non-breeder to sacrifice for the future? We have already voted against the future of mankind, and for the future of plants and animals, by not breeding! If anything, I want my tax dollars to go for putting an end to human pollution of the planet.

Well, for one, you can't depend on the government for retirement. That's what it means to sacrifice for the future.

And if you want to stop pollution, maybe you ought to stop living.

Colonel Angus said...

Oh, the trouble we made, changing the culture, restructuring the politics, leveraging our numbers. Don't say we didn't look to the future!

Well I think your wonderful liberal Boomer policies can be summed up with this succinct line from Animal House:

You fucked up. You trusted us.

Steve Koch said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
"Wasn't it amazing the way we got you to love Obama — the last of the Baby Boomer"

"Who are these "we" and "you" that you refer to?"

Maybe she is referring to lefty academics (i.e. your typical academic) using the class room to propagandize for the left. For example, constitutional lawyers who think that governmental discrimination on the basis of race and gender (aka affirmative action) is constitutional and that the constitution defines a right to abortion and that the constitution means whatever the supreme court says it means.

Oso Negro said...

edutcher said...
It's amusing how non-Boomers see the Boomers the way the media always wanted everyone to think of them - as the hippie dippy spoiled small c communists and campus commandos.

That was one cohort, but there are a couple of others. One was the Blue Collars, the kids of the working class, whose sons fought in 'Nam and became the Reagan Democrats. The other was the Reaganauts, who joined ROTC and campaigned for Nixon in '68, and later became the backbone of the Reagan Revolution.


Agreed. Born in 1957, I always resented being lumped with the older Boomers. To my mind, a key point of inflection was when the draft ended. The campus radicals would have been better off supporting the war and protesting the Great Society. The worst legacy of the Baby Boom, to my mind, are the one-time campus radicals and symps who wormed their way into our institutions. Their impact on education and government have been particularly ruinous.

cubanbob said...

I didn't vote for FDR or LBJ but as a net taxpayer I have been tasked to cover their checks. Marvelous.

Taxes are supposed to be paid for services. I'm paying 40% of my income in federal income taxes and 3/4 of that money provides me and my family with nothing. Marvelous.

Higher taxes, budget cuts and austerity are coming. We are seven years behind Europe.

Tim said...

American "Baby Boomers" (of which I am one) as a class are too self-absorbed, myopic, arrogant, willful and, unsurprisingly, too ignorant, to think the timeless lessons have any import whatsoever:

"...

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die."

..."


That jingoistic hack Kipyard knew what he wrote of, but we're too smart, MUCH too smart to pay any attention whatsoever to the likes of him.

The future will have no mercy for our ignorance.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
I thought deficit hawks would be ALL over stories like these. Not only is the deficit shrinking, health care costs are coming down.


You mean projected health care spending, idiot.

"Health care costs" are going down for nobody in America in 2013.

You dope.

Peter said...

"The future" (USA version) ended in the early '70s- in 1973, if you had to pick a year.

The Oil Shock hit in 1973, and cars were lined up around the block trying to fill up.

Nixon ended the Bretton Woods monetary system in 1971, ending fixed currency exchange rates pegged to the US dollar (which in turn was anchored to gold).

One after another the older, established U.S. industries found themselves unable to compete in a newly competitive world. Detroit's Big Three demanded protection from Japanese imports, and the U.S. consumer electronics industry just collapsed.

The economic malaise that followed has never really stopped. Blue collar incomes have stagnated or declined, and increasing numbers of US citizens have become dependent on government programs.

Oh, and Nizon prematurely ended the Apollo moon program, as such luxuries as an extravagent space program just became too expensive.

The End of the Future can be seen in popular commercial architecture everywhere; for example, where popular-price restaurants once tr4ied to look like the future (e.g., gleaming stainless steel and aluminum, and streamlined buildings) they increasingly tried to look like the past (e.g., fake-antique signs and whatnot, and faux carved wood banquettes, etc.).

So, The Future is over (or at least it's not what it used to be). O Brave New World.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
Not only is the deficit shrinking, health care costs are coming down.


By the way, good job demonstrating you have no grasp of basic English sentences.

See stupid, this: "New data also show overall health care spending growth continuing at the lowest rate " is not in any manner "going down"

Let me know when you want me to start posting stories of the double digit increases in health insurance premiums effecting tens of millions of Americans.

Thanks for particpating.

Steve Koch said...

Robert Cook said...
"...I do want to point out the government has not shrunk but has grown tremendously in size, cost, and power."

"Steve Koch, do you not understand figurative language?"

You seem to be a good guy, very idealistic. I am trying to get you in touch with reality. It is absurd to talk about a shrinking government when it's recent growth is cancerous. The point of Althouse's post is to state that the future is being hobbled by our current spending by the fed gov.

I don't understand why you can't deal with the reality that large and powerful government is inevitably corrupt and a profound threat to our liberty. We've seen examples of this over and over and over throughout history. Somehow you refuse to learn from history and continue to have this fantasy that we can construct this huge, all powerful, intelligent, good government that will solve our problems. It is ridiculous.

cubanbob said...

In figures released last week, the Congressional Budget Office said it had erased hundreds of billions of dollars in projected spending on Medicare and Medicaid. The budget office now projects that spending on those two programs in 2020 will be about $200 billion, or 15 percent, less than it projected three years ago. New data also show overall health care spending growth continuing at the lowest rate in decades for a fourth consecutive year. Link


Really? Look at the projected costs the CBO estimated when the programs were first passed.

Seeing Red said...

--Some, like Willard Milton Romney, were able to surmount it and some, like William Jefferson Blyth III, are still head cases.--


Hmmmm, 1 father 2 no fathers and want the government to be the be all end all.

Writ Small said...

A lot of boomer culture was devoted to post-apocalyptic fantasies like Dr. Strangelove.
A "Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today" mindset would be expected. As for me, I was fairly future oriented right up until the re-election.

caplight45 said...

Obama is not a Baby Boomer. Being a BB is not a function of dates it is a function of life experiences during a certain period in the United Sates. I remember being in Brazil in 1992 with a missionary who had been raised by missionary parents in South America. The first time he really lived in the US was college. He asked me to explain this "Baby Boomer thing" to him because he could tell that the new crop of Boomer missionaries being sent to him were very different from him in outlook, expectations, and job performance. He was their ae but he had not shared the experience of living in the post WWII US.

Same for Obama. In his formative years he lived in Indonesia with his expatriot mother and her Indonesian husband.

Seeing Red said...

Another dead old white guy, born during empire building.

Pish, Posh

They know nothing.....

Scott M said...

A lot of boomer culture was devoted to post-apocalyptic fantasies like Dr. Strangelove.
A "Sha-la-la-la-la-la, live for today" mindset would be expected. As for me, I was fairly future oriented right up until the re-election.
.

Now, honestly, I can't blame them for that. I was a bit of an unannounced basketcase in the mid-80's because I simply assumed we were all a-gonna die. I kept it to myself for the most part and had a fairly standard childhood/teenhood. My wife, who's 7 years my junior, doesn't remember ever thinking about it.

Seeing Red said...

Erased, just like the actual amount of people unemployed has been erased.

Do you really think unemployment is only 7.9%?


LOLOLOLOL

Seeing Red said...

--: "New data also show overall health care spending growth continuing at the lowest rate " is not in any manner "going down"-


Sounds like the same language used to scare people, when is a cut not a cut?

We're cutting the increase, we're gonna DIE!

I demand more spending, the full amount of the raise or we're gonna DIE!

garage mahal said...

You mean projected health care spending, idiot.

Yes, and they *should* be good news to self identified deficit hawks like yourself?

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

Yes, and they *should* be good news to self identified deficit hawks like yourself?


Um, except for the fact that you, nor anyone reading, can cite a CBO projection from the last 30 years that was not off by less than 30%.

Yeah.

Oh, and The Medicare actuary projects that over the next 10 years, Medicare Part A providers may stop accepting Medicare patients or 15 percent of them will become unprofitable due to the Obamacare cuts in the program.

Keep clapping.

Jay said...

It is funny to watch garagie cheer on reductions in health care spending not knowing that such reductions means fewer senior citizens getting medical treatment.

I bet he is all for senior citizens and stuff.

garage mahal said...

It's almost as if deficit hawks don't want lower deficits because it would give them nothing to bark about, or they never cared about deficits to begin with.

Seeing Red said...

The CBO can only work with what it is given, they have constraints in their models. They owe fealty to their government gods, the books are cooked.

I read econ blogs.

Seeing Red said...

$16 trillion if not more, lower that, GM - go make more money and send checks.

Colonel Angus said...

It's almost as if deficit hawks don't want lower deficits because it would give them nothing to bark about, or they never cared about deficits to begin with.

I have to question if you actually read the articles you link to. The point you miss is the growth of those costs are slowing, not reversing. That means they are still climbing, just not as fast. If you can show where the deficit is actually being reduced, then you can have something to crow about. Saying the deficit isn't going to be as bad as we thought in 7 years doesn't pass the laugh test.

Jay said...

From the article garagie failed to read:

Even if slower growth persists, the cost of health care poses one of the greatest threats to the country’s fiscal health. It threatens to consume a larger proportion of the overall budget, meaning larger deficits, cuts to other programs, higher taxes or some combination of the three.

“We’re not going from unsustainable to sustainable,” said Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning research group in Washington. “Even if the recent changes persist, we’re not done in terms of achieving sustainability in health care cost growth, but we have more time to figure out what’s working without hacking away at social insurance,” added Mr. Bernstein, a former economic adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr


Robert Cook said...



Read this and still try to insist on the lie that it is "social security and medicaid" that are the cause of America's fallen state, our lack of "future thinking". We feel instinctively there is no future, as Johnny Rotten sang 35 years ago. This only addresses a part of what's gone wrong and doesn't even get into the specifics of the economic depredations to which we've been subjected.

Seeing Red said...

Nope, he didn't read the report, Greg Mankiw linked it, I don't know how to, but....

Growth in Means-Tested Programs and Tax Credits for Low-Income Households
The federal government devotes roughly one-sixth of its spending to 10 major means-tested programs and tax credits, which provide cash payments or assistance in obtaining health care, food, housing, or education to people with relatively low income or few assets. Those programs and credits consist of the following:

Medicaid,
The low-income subsidy (LIS) for Part D of Medicare (the part of Medicare that provides prescription drug benefits),
The refundable portion of the earned income tax credit (EITC),
The refundable portion of the child tax credit (CTC),
Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp program),
Child nutrition programs,
Housing assistance programs, and
The Federal Pell Grant Program.

Robert Cook said...

Steve Koch, I'm talking about the government having shrunken in spirit and vision.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that one of the big problems right now is that we have again entered a period of stagnant economic growth, and much of it, again as it was during the 1930s, a direct result of gross government mis-management of the economy. We are entering the fifth year of 8% or so official unemployment, and higher real unemployment, and much higher unemployment that that for the young, Blacks, etc. And, there is no end in sight, with trillion dollar deficits predicted as far as the eye can see. Instead of seeing an ever expanding future, our young adults are seeing a fairly bleak future, with them paying for all of this progressive social engineering, while not being able to get the decent jobs they expected, while taking on huge amounts of non-dischargable student debt. No wonder they aren't optimistic - first generation that is not expected to do as well as their parents did.

The reality, I think, and despite all the hocus pocus the President spouts tonight, is that this country isn't going to turn around until a significant leash can be put on all that progressive social engineering. It needs to be stripped back to a sustainable level, and as long as the Democrats control so much of the government, it ain't gonna happen, because that is their electoral strategy and gamble - trading government subsidies for this class and that class for votes.

Seeing Red said...

So, in the Peoples' Republic of Illinois, we get these loverly EITC fliers in our electric bills this time of the year:

EITC credit for 2012

Did you meet the rules?

If so you're earned income must be less than...

$13980 ($19,190 if married filing a joing return) with no qualifying children

$36, 920/$42,130 mfjr 1 QC

$41,952/$47,162 MFJR 2 QC

$45,060/$50,270 MFJR 3 or more QC

special rules for USAF & taxpayers in major disaster areas

Richard Fagin said...

"Oh, the trouble we made" No, oh, the trouble YOU made. I knew even as a preteen that many of my older boomer brethren were complete idiots. You threw the baby out with the bath water. The Commies WERE evil. Socialism IS a bankrupt, morally repugnant ideology. And yeah we WON the Tet Offensive.

Bolsheviks!

Seeing Red said...

Cookie, no complaining about socialism, it always goes down to the lowest common denominator.

You want to be more like the world, it's only fair.

Seeing Red said...

Too many damn rules & regulations, no wonder why we're stagnant.

garage mahal said...

The point you miss is the growth of those costs are slowing, not reversing. That means they are still climbing, just not as fast

I get all that. Good news right?

Marshal said...

garage mahal said...
It's almost as if deficit hawks don't want lower deficits because it would give them nothing to bark about, or they never cared about deficits to begin with.



A lower level of spending growth doesn't reduce the deficit, so one has to wonder why spending champions imbue such unwarranted meaning. Is it because they know this is the closest their vision will ever come to fiscal sanity?

Seeing Red said...

People are putting off care, is that a good thing or not?

I thought the whole point of this NHC was that people weren't getting the care they need?

Seeing Red said...

Via Insty:

NICK GILLESPIE: State of the Union: Will Obama Tell Young People He’s Screwing Them Big Time?


Listen up, kids! Your parents are robbing your futures blind and you’re chumps enough not only to go along but to say – like the adorable title orphan in the classic baby boomer musical Oliver! – please, sir, I want some more.

From virtually every possible angle, Obama is helping to diminish the prospects for today’s younger generation. First and foremost, his response to the Great Recession – stimulus and the massive piling up of debt – is slowing the recovery. Ginormous regulatory schemes such as Dodd-Frank and the creation of huge new soul-and-bucks-sucking programs such as Obamacare weigh heavily on the economy now and in the future too. His refusal to discuss seriously old-age entitlement reform – Medicare and Social Security and the 40 percent of Medicaid that goes to old folks – is a massive storm front on the economic horizon. His preference for secrecy and overreach when it comes to executive power won’t screw young people as obviously as his economic policies, but when he leaves office in 2017, he will have created far more terrorists than he needed to.

Yet The New York Times reports that not only did 18-to-29-year-olds vote for Obama by far-higher-than-average percentages than folks over 30 years old, they believe that by far-higher-than-average percentages that the government needs to be doing more, not less. This, despite record levels of government spending and debt – and awful results – for the whole of the 21st century.



I can't wait to see some of our family friends children who voted for him, I'll thank them for their vote to rob them blind.

Robert Cook said...

"...one of the big problems right now is that we have again entered a period of stagnant economic growth, and much of it, again as it was during the 1930s, a direct result of gross government mis-management of the economy."

Yes, as in: gross government enabling of the financial predators on Wall Street and in the corporate and banking corner offices and boardrooms who are raping the citizenry of jobs and money.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...


I get all that. Good news right?


So you're cheering on the "good news" that someone's mother or grandmother won't get medical treatment?

Achilles said...

garage:

The point you miss is the growth of those costs are slowing, not reversing. That means they are still climbing, just not as fast

I get all that. Good news right?

2/12/13, 12:01 PM

Are you being serious or trolling? I use humor these days to point out how ridiculous things are too so I don't want to misjudge your post. The vast majority of people don't understand derivatives like "decreasing rate of growth" are actually still an increase just slower. If you are making jokes ok.

Christopher said...

Garage,

Medicare spending projections were that it would cost $12 billion by 1990. It ended up being $110 billion. Govt. predictions are usually bullshit and as such should be treated with contempt.

Only when there are actual cuts will deficit hawks actually buy anything you're peddling.

Colonel Angus said...

I get all that. Good news right?

You know it would be if there actually was some plan in place to actually reduce the current $1.2 trillion deficit and the $16 trillion debt.

Basically your argument is analgous to telling a cancer patient, good news! It's not Stage 4, its only stage 3 so you get an extra six months to live.

hombre said...

Achilles wrote: "garage: If you are making jokes ok."

Actually, his parents made the joke.

Colonel Angus said...

Robert, is your entire world view shaped by soley reading Counterpunch?

Because that would explain a lot.

Colonel Angus said...

Yes, as in: gross government enabling of the financial predators on Wall Street and in the corporate and banking corner offices and boardrooms who are raping the citizenry of jobs and money.

Can you specify specifically who these predators are and provide evidence? To use your own metrics on fighting terrorists, how do we know these people are predators? Because you say so?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Manboobs Mahal doesn't bother to read anything he links to, he just repeats what his lefty blog overlords command.

Hmm, a third hypothesis. Perhaps that is why his first wife left him, as opposed to his anti-homosexual "jokes" and flabby physique.

Science is fun.

garage mahal said...

More bad news: Federal government posted a 3 billion dollar surplus in January.

Dante said...

I don't understand this blame on the boomers. As others have pointed out, you grow up with these programs, the country is "Rich" as we were constantly reminded and could afford all this stuff and more, and yet, it's obviously unsustainable. The issue was the leadership, particularly the press.

It seems very clear to me that monopolies will always be less efficient than competitive environments. It's some law of human nature that the monopoly will control the market to optimize its position. However, even a monopoly still has to provide something with equitable value.

With governments, not only do they have the monopoly, you don't get to decide whether to participate. How can a leftist rail against evil corporate monopolies, without understanding how much more evil and controlling government monopolies are. To me, that's the failure of the boomers, not to recognize that many of the massive government programs are like trying to go faster with the brakes on.

Marty said...

Not so simple a Boomers vs. Gen X and Millennials--the Boomers voted for Romney, the young people for Obama.

As a Boomer I used to feel sympathy for my kids' gnerations, that we Boomers were screwing them of their economic future. After the 2008 and 2012 elections, no more.

Smilin' Jack said...

I'm talking about my generation: The Baby Boomers...We set up the benefits programs, and we taught the younger generations to believe in them...

FDR and LBJ were Boomers? I didn't know that!

Robert Cook said...

Colonel Angus:

Apparently you're not looking at the world around you.

One example off the top of my head of a financial predator would be Wal-Mart. They pay such low wages that many of their employees cannot afford the company's own insurance plan, so Wal-Mart management encourages those employees to enroll for Medicaid benefits. Wal-Mart thus profits at our expense, as our tax dollars go to pay for the Medicaid coverage to Wal-Mart's employees. While taxpayers pay for their employees to have Medicaid, Wal-Mart profits in the savings they realize on either higher wages to their employees or greater underwriting of their employees' insurance premiums.

Every already profitable company that slashes jobs or benefits and pay in order to enjoy even greater profits does so at our expense, as the newly jobless or more poorly compensated employed are more likely to have to turn to government assistance for protracted periods of time. Employed or unemployed people without health insurance who must use hospital services and who cannot pay result in those expenses being passed on to the rest of us.

Every tax dollar corporations do not pay must be compensated for by tax dollars from the working citizens of this country.

Banks too big to fail who received taxpayer bailout money were not required to help the mortgage-holders retain their homes, so many people have gone homeless even as the banks and bank executives profited institutionally (and personally via tax-payer paid million dollar bonuses). Those houses lost to foreclosure result in lower property values and a plunge in housing prices, thus destroying the equity held even by homeowners still living in their homes.

Then there's this article by Matt Taibbi in a recent issue of Rolling Stone, and many previous articles by Taibbi in Rolling Stone, and his book GRIFTOPIA, which detail the rape of America by the financial elites.

Here is a page where you can find articles on the economy at the Counterpunch website. Read through an extensive sampling of these and you'll find examples of the costs to us of financial predators.

Here's an article about the banks borrowing trillions from the Federal Reserve for almost nothing, supposedly to have jumpstarted new lending to borrowers, but which was loaned back to the government at higher interest, which you and me are paying for, bub. In the meantime, many small businesses have closed up, representing lost income to the small business owners and those employed by them, and lost tax revenues to the localities.

There's MUCH out there about the vulture capitalists picking the bones of America's economy clean as the rest of us eat shit.

furious_a said...

What does it mean to a non-breeder to sacrifice for the future?

The future will be, among other things, changing the non-breeders' adult diapers and spoon-feeding them their applesauce, not to mention performing their gall-bladder and cataract surgeries and hip replacements.

Robert Cook said...

Oh, Colonel, I forgot to point out that Obamneycare is a HUGE gift to the insurance industry, as it forces low-income Americans to buy over-priced insurance with high deductibles and poor benefits...or pay penalties.



Another great Taibbi article on the appalling crimes of Wall Street.

chrisnavin.com said...

You don't have to engage Red Robert, he's a socialist.

An actual socialist.

Twice a day he gets the time right.

traditionalguy said...

The US Dollar's world reserve currency status is all that is keeping the US Dollar that pays the American middle class retirement savings obligations safe. This can last until the world refuses our Quantitative Easing game. There will be "an unexpected crisis" to cover the trail, but it is coming soon.

China and Russia are deep into planning that D-Day event while the Obama/Pelosi Dems and many GOP elite are getting into foreign currency funds and Swiss gold Francs they hope will create safe wealth hedges for themselves before the Dooms Day for the Dollar.

It should be interesting to see the Gun laws coming out tonight. The Obama Gang probably cannot get our guns back, so the trick will be ammunition restraints of some kind.

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

Hey Mr Brooks: The underlying problem with the old time confidence in the future is distrust that there will be a future as the computers replace us.

Seeing Red said...

That's called equality, Cookie.

raf said...

Robert Cook: ...gross government enabling of the financial predators on Wall Street and in the corporate and banking corner offices and boardrooms....

And believing this is how big government behaves, you still advocate for bigger government. Where will we get the angels to manage such uber-government?

chrisnavin.com said...

You remember those guys at Occupy with the brochures, and the buttons, dreaming of revolution, mapping their way by the stars of a defunct political philosophy?

Flash forward 20 or 30 years, and there's Robert, still dreaming away.

Even Hitchens kind of half awakened.

Seeing Red said...

Just doin' what Al wanted to do and Lucas did. Sell before the tax increase.

Seeing Red said...

BTW - the tax increase was eaten up by Hurricane Sandy.

furious_a said...

"Why have Americans lost their devotion to the future?"

...because the future looks like Obamaphones and Julia and low-information voters.

Kirk Parker said...

Cookie,

"I'm talking about the government having shrunken in spirit and vision."

Yes, and we're talking about you being delusional. Hello, Life of Julia? Shrunken in vision???

Now if you'd say that this showed a disastrous, misanthropic vision, I'd agree with you! But shrunken? Hardly...

Kirk Parker said...

edutcher,

"And if you want to stop pollution, maybe you ought to stop living"

Sorry, jimbino is one of those flaming double-standard guys.

Colonel Angus said...

Actually Robert I do look at the world around me everyday. Sorry if I don't see the same rapine and pillaging of the country that you do.

I do notice in your litany of taxpayer bailouts you neglected to mention the GM or should I say, auto union bailout. You remember the one where the Federal government shocked aside Federal bankruptcy law so Obama's union cronies didn't have to lose out.

As for the Federal reserve loaning out to the banks, who else are they going to loan it to? The Chinese aren't buying anymore since interest rates are zip. I suppose the reason its not going to new lenders is because 1) not many people buying as before and 2) stricter underwriting.

You're paying for it either way bub because over half of the Federal budget is entitlement spending and it has to come from somewhere. You can't tax enough to generate the over $3 trillion we are currently spending so the Fed has to print and hand out.

Also I don't consider Rolling Stone much more credible than Mother Jones for factual info. Sorry.

Marshal said...

One example off the top of my head of a financial predator would be Wal-Mart. They pay such low wages that many of their employees cannot afford the company's own insurance plan, so Wal-Mart management encourages those employees to enroll for Medicaid benefits. Wal-Mart thus profits at our expense,

Cook's thoughts reveal how creeping authoritarianism works.

Medicaid is providing medical care exactly as intended. But someone came up with a plausible way direct the two minutes of hate and Cook immediately leapt at the possibility of using government to take from someone else for his benefit.

So one policy begets the impetus for the next. Whatever new policy developed will similarly fail to satisfy, and a further iteration of regulation will be forthcoming.

The truth is WalMart isn't profiting from Medicaid, the employees are. And even though this is what Cook wants the left has managed to manipulate him into believing he's been cheated by the leftist bogeyman "corporations".

SukieTawdry said...

I'm part of the boom's first wave (technically, I may not even be a boomer), but don't try to lay these "benefits programs" on me.

I wasn't even alive when SS came into being and in high school when LBJ and his Democrats gave us Medicare/Medicaid (I was opposed to both even then) and created the welfare state and thus the permanent underclass. (As LBJ famously said, "We'll have those n*****s voting for us for the next 200 years." So far, so good Lyndon.) Were it up to me, all would be abolished. I have never encouraged anybody to "believe in" these programs, much less count on them.

I part company from most of my fellow boomers (and most of my fellow Tea Partiers) because not only do I believe these programs need major reform (abolishment at this point is too much to hope for), but also that those reforms must include current beneficiaries. Senior citizens are one of the most affluent groups in America. Most of us could withstand a trim in benefits. It no doubt would mean that many of us wouldn't be able to enjoy quite the lifestyle to which we've become accustomed, but tough.

What we've done to our future generations is quite beyond the pale. We should be ashamed of ourselves. Even those of us who most certainly would have had it otherwise.

Seeing Red said...

Via Drudge:

MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA: Does the country have a spending problem sir? Does the country have a spending problem?

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), HOUSE MINORITY WHIP: Does the country have a spending problem? The country has a paying for problem. We haven't paid for what we bought, we haven't paid for our tax cuts, we haven't paid for war.

CARUSO-CABRERA: How about what we promised? Are we promising too much?

HOYER: Absolutely. If we don't pay, we shouldn't buy.

CARUSO-CABRERA: So how is that different than a spending problem?

HOYER: Well, we spent a lot of money when George Bush was president of the United States in the House and Senate were controlled by Republicans. We spent a lot of money. (Squawk Box, February 12,

Robert Cook said...

"And believing this is how big government behaves, you still advocate for bigger government."

Who says I do? I advocate for government that is responsive to the people and that is answerable to the law.

Robert Cook said...

"You don't have to engage Red Robert, he's a socialist.

"An actual socialist."


What is an "actual socialist?"

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

More bad news: Federal government posted a 3 billion dollar surplus in January.


Hilarious.

You are too dumb to square this with all of your previous idiotic comments on government spending.

Seeing Red said...

So which country is responsive in your opinion, Cookie?

Marshal said...

Robert Cook said...
Who says I do? I advocate for government that is responsive to the people and that is answerable to the law.


Sure, just have the government fairy wave its magic wand and repeat three times:

there's no place like government...

Robert Cook said...

"The truth is WalMart isn't profiting from Medicaid, the employees are."

No, Wal-Mart is the one profiting and their employees are getting fucked. The medical care available through Medicaid is hardly equal to that that would be available through a good insurance plan.

Wal-Mart's profit is the money they don't spend on higher wages for their employees so they can afford the company plan OR the money they could spend helping to subsidize the premiums for their employees who would otherwise use the company plan.

The money Wal-Mart isn't spending on their employees to have healh insurance is money you and I are paying for the Medicaid they must (and are encouraged by Wal-Mart) to use.

To paraphrase The Cramps, if you can't get that, you can't get nuthin'!

Robert Cook said...

"So which country is responsive in your opinion, Cookie?"

Under our constitution, ours should be.

Marshal said...

Robert Cook said...
No, Wal-Mart is the one profiting and their employees are getting fucked.


If the employees were getting fucked they'd quit.

Wal-Mart's profit is the money they don't spend on higher wages for their employees so they can afford the company plan

Only to the same extent your income is the money Wal-Mart employees don't spend on their health insurance. Why are you so greedy?

The money Wal-Mart isn't spending on their employees to have healh insurance is money you and I are paying for the Medicaid they must (and are encouraged by Wal-Mart) to use.

We pay for Medicaid because the left implemented Medicaid. Walmart is the reason we aren't paying for these people on unemployment or disability in addition to Medicaid.

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
The point you miss is the growth of those costs are slowing, not reversing. That means they are still climbing, just not as fast

I get all that. Good news right?

2/12/13, 12:01 PM

I feel so much better knowing we are going to hit the brick wall at 100mph instead of 120mph. Got any more good news?

cubanbob said...

Robert Cook said...
"The truth is WalMart isn't profiting from Medicaid, the employees are."

No, Wal-Mart is the one profiting and their employees are getting fucked. The medical care available through Medicaid is hardly equal to that that would be available through a good insurance plan.

Wal-Mart's profit is the money they don't spend on higher wages for their employees so they can afford the company plan OR the money they could spend helping to subsidize the premiums for their employees who would otherwise use the company plan.

The money Wal-Mart isn't spending on their employees to have healh insurance is money you and I are paying for the Medicaid they must (and are encouraged by Wal-Mart) to use.

To paraphrase The Cramps, if you can't get that, you can't get nuthin'!

2/12/13, 3:43 PM


Walmart isn't a charity and it's employees aren't indentured servants. It's hard for you to understand but those low wage earners are getting at most what they are worth. And probably more than they are actually are worth when all of the other employer born costs are taken in to consideration.

SOJO said...

@Marshal

If they were getting screwed they'd quit? lolol. What planet are you living on? The planet with jobs and a non crap, non-service economy? The planet where West Virginia in the 1930s with company script wasn't the equivalent of a 3rd world nation? Idiot.

@SeeingRed Boomer consumption "lifted the world out of poverty"? It may have helped the Chinese become slave laborers instead of rural slaves, but at the expensive of screwing the future of the next generations of the U.S.

Marshal said...

SOJO said...
@Marshal

If they were getting screwed they'd quit? lolol. What planet are you living on? The planet with jobs and a non crap, non-service economy?


You mean Wal-Mart is giving them the best job they can find and we define this as screwing or fucking them? What word is appropriate for how the NYT is treating them? After all, the NYT didn't offer them a job at all. How many Wal-Mart employees did the UAW offer positions to? None? Maybe you guys need new words.

The planet where West Virginia in the 1930s with company script wasn't the equivalent of a 3rd world nation?

Unlike you I'm on the planet where 1930's West Virginia is not being discussed. So it'll remain your little secret how the injustices of 1930 WV scrip mean Wal-Mart is fucking its current employees.

Seeing Red said...

My mother grew up in surburban Chicago with an outhouse & a pump.

Get over the stereotypes.

TX didn't get electricity I think until 1934.

Seeing Red said...

SOJO is caring scew the yellow people, let them starve.

Dante said...

Unlike you I'm on the planet where 1930's West Virginia is not being discussed. So it'll remain your little secret how the injustices of 1930 WV scrip mean Wal-Mart is fucking its current employees.

The US Government is, in my view, screwing the taxpayers. The government enables low value add jobs to exist because the huge government programs allow people to have a reasonable life. It is a big part of bringing in low wage, low value add employees from south of the border.

What's that program? Card-check? E-Verify? Implement that, do away with benefits for non-citizens, and the influx will slow down, and stop the country from bleeding tax $.

And yes, businesses do benefit from this. I think that's why R's almost passed amnesty under Bush. Though if you wait enough years, amnesty becomes a moot point.

Nichevo said...

RC, before I call you a liar, document please what you mean by care under Medicaid being inferior to that under whatever is your notion of a "good" insurance plan. Matter of fact, if my father were on Medicaid, he could get new free bridgework/dental implants, but under Medicare he cannot. And under most insurance plans even with dental insurance, it is only partially compensated where under Medicare it would befree. Things like Vitamin D are paid for by Medicaid. Serious psychoactive drugs are paid.

Were you being figurative again?