Posts Tagged ‘free money’

I’m sitting very still lately, quietly pondering at the logic that persistently continues to not exist.

NPR on Thursday was something I could barely stomach, but I listened anyway.  Normally I just get really irritated at them for being biased yet self-proclaimed as unbiased (just like most liberals think they are moderates).  But on Thursday it was the equivalent of being seasick on a ship pitching violently to and fro while eating warm three-day-old sushi with bad mayo.  Renee Montagne had a guest, Julie Rovner, NPR’s “health policy correspondent”.  Rovner said:

So, basically what really, Chief Justice Roberts got the four liberal justices to go along with him, saying is that this expansion is so large – it’s going to be another 17 million people, granted on a program that has about 50 million people on it – but this is so large that you can’t say to the states, if you don’t do the expansion we’re going to take away all the rest of your Medicaid money. So it’s basically made the expansion voluntary.

On the other hand, you know, this expansion comes with so much federal money. The federal government is paying 100 percent of it for the first few years. When it’s completely in place, they’re still going to be paying 90 percent of it. So I would think that the vast majority of states are going to take it. Some states have actually already started – they’ve started early. It doesn’t begin until 2014.

But it was a, you know, a big federalism issue. And there may be some issues about this could have ramifications down the road for things other than Medicaid; does this limit the federal government’s power to say what happens with federal dollars. I’m going to leave that to people more expert than I to determine if this will have ramifications beyond just this.

I’ve been accused of not suffering fools lightly more than once and this was affirmed by a good friend only today.  Apparently now I need to not-suffer a great many fools at one time.  An extraordinary number of them.  The fools are legion and they are powerfully rank.

This expansion comes with so much FEDERAL money.  The federal government is paying 100% of it…

Note:  Emphasis was mine.

Here is the kicker… that money still comes from the same place, dammit!  If you can’t afford it on the state level, you can’t very goddamned well afford it on the federal level.  It makes no sense to feed at a trough and consider it “largesse from the government” if you are paying the government in the first place.

It’s like saying “Gosh, we don’t have enough money to fill up the gas tank.  How about we loan ourselves some cash so we can?”

This is a variant of the ignorant logic that drives people to spend more on their credit card because they get 4% cash back, and with that extra money they figure they can now afford to buy more crap.

Wow guys!  With all the money I’ve “saved” I have a lot more to spend on myself!  Life just got more affordable!  (Sounds of squealing and self-hugging with glee…)

Please, could someone spare a cup of brains?  Apparently there’s a dearth of them, so those blessed with more of them will have to give part of them up so the rest of the people out there won’t have to figure things out for themselves.

[Chief Justice] Roberts said one thing I agree with.

Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

No, it is not their job.  They can decide on the legality or Constitutionality of a law but if they find a law is technically acceptable yet stupid, it’s not their job to fix stupid.  It is the People’s job to fix stupid by voting out stupidity and voting in intelligence.

To ask the court to fix stupid is to ask them to legislate, to engage in judicial activism.

Free money anyone?  All of us can now afford to go to a five-star restaurant because of the extra riches that the government has bestowed upon us.  Look at what they are saving us.  Our savior, the Fed, would truly do anything for our grateful votes, wouldn’t they?


From the Guaranteed to Piss Someone Off files…

I wondered yesterday at the Food Stamp program.  I am given to understand that it has doubled in size since Obama started and that may or may not be hardboiled fact.  If it is true, it should concern those who actually pay taxes since the government seems to be actively recruiting more people to fill the rolls by inviting them to do so (as well as tanking any possible recovery with crappy economic policy).

I do feel that the intent behind SNAP is a noble cause – no one should have to starve – and we can argue whether it is more wrong to run a program that isn’t constitutionally sound or whether it is more wrong to let people starve, but let’s assume that we’re going to feed folks regardless.

The idea is to not let people starve.  Yet at the same time, should assistance ever be something one is comfortable with?  Well, there are some people who hate being on assistance, and I applaud them for not using that as their first option.  But there are some who see no real reason to try any means necessary to avoid that situation.

How about this:  After some amount of time on food stamps you are then given the option of going off assistance – OR – eating freeze-dried Nutriloaf™ for your three squares a day.  Heartlessness shouldn’t be part of the equation so throw in $10 a week to buy whatever condiments you need to make it at least palatable.  But by damn, there’s no reason why you should be able to buy anydamnthing you want on someone else’s dime for an unlimited amount of time.  That assistance should be to keep you from starving, but you should be self-motivated to go off of it as soon as possible.  And, the black market value for Nutriloaf™ chits should be worth exactly nothing.

One could argue that such a food arrangement would lead to higher crime in an attempt to find other pleasurable food alternatives.  Perhaps, but starvation also leads to a high crime rate as well.  Making food stamps transferable by nature and capable of being bought and sold amongst third parties certainly leads to crime.

Cruel?  No.  Tough love.  Inhumane?  No.  It couldn’t be, you’re keeping people from starving.  It isn’t going to be enjoyable but it beats having nothing to eat.  Given the proper motivation most people can come up with a (ahem) more palatable arrangement, and most likely with more accountability than the government can provide.  If you get your assistance from someone who knows you, who is paying out of their own pocket instead of the source being that “free money” from Uncle Sam, then at some point they are going to decide whether you’re really in trouble or whether you should be making different life-choices.

For vegetarians, use Tofudoloaf™, and vegans can damn well sort themselves out because the rest of us are kind of tired of their self-righteous BS.

Note:  Surely you can recognize partial satire when you read it?  That was it.  The desire to weed out those who game the system is real, the idea to make food nutritious, capable of sustaining life, yet totally joyless is only partially real.  The rest is pure satire.

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Ok, here is Another Rant About Our Taxes.

In the art world, money flows freely from public funds without your knowledge.  Picture states A-E.  Each state has a varying number of people that pay taxes.  Of those taxes, they go to a person or multiple people who are artists or very close to them who dole out the money.  Often their values are radically different from the taxpayers.  That money then goes to still other artists in each state (blue) who get it without the knowledge of the people in other states (unless they are art lovers themselves).

Taxing for Art - Now

Now, lets look at the “local” model, as it should be.  Note how the people really responded to the art in question.

Taxing for Art - Should Be

See the difference?  TAX money to those artists can ONLY come from within the state they live.  Now those other people in their state are the ones scrutinizing those funds and their uses.  It could be from tax money but it could also be free market.

In State A, only one person thought that was a worthwhile use of their money – maybe, and there is some accountability, shown by the question mark.

In State B, several people felt the same way.

In State C, people found that the artist in question was a pervert/pedophile and he was treated as he should have been, a pariah.

In State D, there was one person that was cautiously supportive but others didn’t care for the art and chose not to support it.

In State E, lots of people bought art directly with varying degrees of value placed on the works of art.


Most of us don’t care about art enough to want our taxes going to pay for something we don’t even consider art.

Why should a select group decide that art is vitally important and then run the whole show?

My values run more towards fiscal responsibility, not handouts to those who could not survive if their art was rated on it’s own merits.

Art won’t die if federal funds dry up, there will just be a whole lot less really crappy art.

As a parting shot, here are some of the funded arts in that link above…

  • $400,000 for an exhibition “exploring the importance of plants as a source of inspiration for noted American poet Emily Dickinson” [You. Must. Be.  Joking.]
  • $350,000 to explore the “cultural significance of the circus poster”  [Over a quarter million dollars to answer a question that has no answer?]
  • $725,000 to produce a two-hour documentary on the history of American whaling.  [I can look that up in the library, thanks.  Three quarters of a million dollars to make a video of a lot of old photographs.  Yeaaaaaaahhhhh.  Right.]
  • $130,000 for 16 professors to study the “truth and meaning” of life according to Aristotle [Mental masturbation.]
  • $50,000 to build a computer model of an ancient city in Pakistan complete with “animated and interactive ‘inhabitants'” [I. Don’t. Care.]

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