Thursday, October 11, 2007

Throw the bums out -- Part 273

By Libby

I get tired of hearing that our federal government is useless. As I often say, our government is not the problem, it's the current crop of politicians who are running it into the ground that we need to replace -- not the system itself. It has served us pretty well for most of the last 230 years. But when I say we in fact need a central government, people, especially Ron Paul supporters, ask me what for and I don't have a ready answer because there's a lot of reasons and I've never compiled a list.

Well, somebody's beat me to it. Joe Gandelman at TMV points me to this site, Government is Good where they've assembled a boatload of reasons and debunk many of the popular myths sold by the Grover "Drown it in a Bathtub" Norquist crowd. I've read a couple of the pieces and I see a lot of fodder for dispute between the opposing views on their content. Even I don't agree with everything they're saying, but they do make one very important point. The Norquist conservatives fight against social safety net programs because they're afraid they will succeed, not because they think they will fail. It ruins their whole argument when the programs work well and many have.

We have roads and streetlights and clean tap water and safe medicines and clean air because of good government. We have safe food and safe roads and provide a bare safety net for our most vulnerable Americans because of good government. That these institutions are failing us now is because they are being prevented from doing their jobs, not because their job descriptions are wrongly assigned.

The government is currently being run by a political movement that wants it to fail in every responsibility to the people in order to be better able to cater to special interests. But the blame for the failure must also be spread to cover the entire class of beltway elites. It's no longer just one party or the other, or one ideology over the next. It's a social class of professional politicians whose only loyalty is to their deep pocket contributors. They pretend to spar but in essence they make the backroom deals in their own interests -- not ours.

We can fix it but not until we realize that the battle isn't between Democrats and Republicans but is rather between all of us, the people, against the politicians who have become far too comfortable in their self-designed perpetual incumbency.

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Blogger Curtis said...

The things you listed such as clean tap water and roads are largely not the result of big federal government.

The federal government won't even let me take my medicine, which has never killed a single person in all of history, so I'm going to throw that claim of yours out the window. What they do pass through isn't all that safe or effective. We have more prescription pill addicts than coke, herion, weed, LSD and meth combined. For every Lance Armstrong success story there are many times the amount of people sitting in rehab for pill addiction.

I agree to throw the bums out. I think we probably differ as to the extent of bummery present in D.C. though. About half of the federal government could go away tommorrow. Our country and world would be much more safe. What our federal government does do would be more consolidated and effective.

5:07:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I've never assumed that these anarchists actually believe what they say, but rather that they look at the every man for himself, Industrial Revolution dystopia they dream about as a place where they can make and keep a lot of money and power and do as they please without any sense of responsibility.

Of course I do share the "leave me alone" sentiment prompted by an intrusive government, but intrusive is the opposite of Liberal and the right to be left alone does not absolve one of the duties attached to freedom.

Look at the slime slinger who can't abide a nickel of his going to help a sick kid, but who assuredly wants the public schools to teach all that "brother's keeper" and love thy neighbor with my money.

There was a time when Ebenezer Scrooge was looked upon as a failed human being. We were supposed to laugh and be appaled at his "are there no workhouses?" Now he's a conservative.

5:08:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

We have to blame the people who threw the wrench into the mechanism of checks and balances, not the machinery of government. People like Reagan who insisted that things regulate themselves and that profit is morality and profitable companies will promote goodness.

If we hadn't been a nation of chickenshit cowards, stupid enough to buy the scary stories about Mexicans and their Marijuana, we wouldn't have those stupid laws, but WE were supposed to supply the balance against crooks and liars and greedy politicians. We didn't and it's our fault.

One of the reasons for water shortages around the world is that it's been privatized, for instance. There's no motivation for private companies to make water affordable to the poor, yet the poor don't have the capital to supply themselves. Capitalism thrives on screwing the masses and without the checks and balances that government can supply, they will.

Look back a century and you'll see that that limited government governed a nation where most people were poor, sick and lived short and uncomfortable lives. I think that's the direct result of the kind of government some libertarians long for.

5:37:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Chris, the interstate system on which our commerce relies was the result of the federal government and while water may be supplied by local municipalities but the water purity standards are set by the feds. As far as the drug war, well I'll grant that's an excess of federal law but it's a result of politicians meddling in our lives, not an inherent component of the system and those laws were enacted to protect corporations. In fact we would still be growing industrialhemp today if not for Dow Chemical. But this was certainly not an intent of our founders.

Fogg, that's what bothers me the most about the whole small government movement. It seems basically designed to punish people for being poor, as if its a choice that could easily be thrown aside. It's largely driven by the whole I've got mine -- screw you if you didn't get yours mentality.

6:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all of the politicians! Democrat, Republican, Independent, liberal or conservative most are not to be trusted. As a political junkie I am so disappointed in the system that I may not vote. The name calling, smear tactics, one upsmanship and just general disregard for the people that they represent has completely turned me off.

I agree with Libby. Lets just start all over again.

1:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the industrial revolution was not a "dystopia". it built this country.

small government people ARE the poor. THOSE are the ones who voted reagan inot office to get rid of the massive democratic tax burden.

The neocons and the liberals need to can this great national purpose stuff. it's literally kiling this country. We shuld model ourselves on the illegal immigrants, they come here for prosperity and liberty, namely from corrupt left wing governments.

as for your scrooge anaology, he changed of his own volition, not from goverment dictate.

"In addition, we need more than Democrats in power to effectively revive the public sector. For one thing, some of the more conservative Democrats continue to disparage big government and are very timid about raising taxes. So we also need a pro-government campaign that can promote a more positive view of this institution among the public, and a pro-government political coalition that can push politicians to support the refunding and revitalization of the public sector. In this article, I will talk about what steps we can take to aid in this effort to build support for government – from actions that we can take as individuals to suggestions about how we can begin to build a pro-government alliance among political groups in this country. "

lol. totaly insanity. refunding the public sector? by taking funds from them?

1:38:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Anon - thanks for the encouraging words but you DO have to vote. I'm not sure for who, but not participating only hands over the power to the incumbents without a fight.

Lester, like I said, there's a lot of stuff to debate on that site. Read some of the supporting documents before you sneer at their mission statement.

The point is poor people who voted for Reagan were sold a bill of goods. They vote against their interests because they're manipulated into believing the opposite by the Grover Norguists of the world.

We don't need less government. We need less stupid laws and less professional politicians.

8:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did read from it and I quoted from it.

"We don't need less government. We need less stupid laws and less professional politicians."

oxymoronic statement. government IS by it's very nature prone to stupid laws and professional politicians. more government, more potential for this.

"The point is poor people who voted for Reagan were sold a bill of goods. They vote against their interests because they're manipulated into believing the opposite "

the working class is being manipulated? lol what are you a marxist? they are all republicans! it's like when people say that people in the middle east are ruled by islamic extremists when the people are muslims too. I want nothing to do with the government whether it's good or bad. wars are government. winning panama or gulf war one just led to us thinking we can win iraq. good luck eventually runs out. so instead, lets not have wars. or government. at all.

I live right near Cambridge, it has the highest percentage of million dollar homes in I believe the country and is close to 100% democrat. and the homeless will tell you it's one of the worst places to panhandle.

9:55:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Lester, as I discovered when I left the state, you can't really judge the temper of the country by Massachusetts. It's a world unto itself.

10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the era of big government is over" - bill clinton 96

9:57:00 AM  

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