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Makers and Takers?

Glenn Reynolds opines in a column that It’s takers versus makers and these days and the takers are winning:

In today’s America, government benefits flow to large numbers of people who are encouraged to vote for politicians who’ll keep them coming.  The benefits are paid for by other people who, being less numerous, can’t muster enough votes to put this to a stop.

Over time, this causes the economy to do worse, pushing more people into the moocher class and further strengthening the politicians whose position depends on robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Because, as they say, if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can be pretty sure of getting Paul’s vote.

The column is something of a mess.  It is aimed both at corporate entities that receive subsidies and individuals who receive various types of aid (e.g., people who get unemployment benefits and those who received help on their mortgages).  It also starts from a flawed premise:  that people vote solely based on material gains that they think that they will get.  Were this true, most voters would  (to pick one simple example) be avidly voting to raise taxes on the wealthy, and yet this is not the case.

A fatal flaw in the maker/taker dichotomy (and which renders it useless) is that we do not have a situation in which Group A is made up of those who only “take” and Group B consists of those who only “make.”  Even if we start off with the example that Reynolds uses to launch his column, farm subsidies, the bottom line is that it does not fit the maker/taker categories.  If we consult a list of the top recipients of farm subsidies we get a list of corporations.  So, on the one hand they are “takers” of government subsidies, and yet on the other it is nonsensical to not also call them “makers.”   Of course, the fact that Reynolds’ evidence of this particular problem are lyrics from a country song, perhaps I am expecting too much nuance.

Now, do I think that there is room for reform (if not outright elimination) of these subsidies?  Yes, I do, but this is not some simplistic situation in which we are “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Indeed, the number of people who are takers and takers only is quite small.  Even the working poor who receive numerous benefits still contribute labor (and taxes) to the society.  And absolutely no one is a maker only.  We all benefit from national defense, police protection, fire protection, roads, the court system, financial protections, public schools (even if we did not attend them), and so forth.

Reynolds is not engaging in analysis of the complexities of public policy here.  Rather, he is promulgating a simplistic ideology that pretends like the world consists of two types of people:  the hard-working tax-paying types and the moochers.  However, this is not reality.  For example, it ignores the fact that if my neighbor can avoid foreclosure, that helps me too.  It ignores the fact that if GM goes out of business that it does not happen in an economic and social vacuum.  It ignores that if the unemployed have some money, they spend it (and that helps them avoid foreclosure and helps keep businesses in operation, etc).

In short:  there is not a simple maker/taker divide here.

This doesn’t mean that there is no room to criticize any of the policies in question, but it is to say that the maker/taker paradigm will lead to false evaluations and false conclusions about the policies.

Now, I agree with Reynolds that the following is problematic:

If you spend $1 million on lobbying, and get a $1 billion subsidy from the government, that’s a thousand-fold return on your money.

However, all of this leads Reynolds to an odd assertion inference in his conclusion:

A federal government that actually operated within the limits intended by the Framers would be much smaller, much less capable of creating economic distortion, and much less attractive to moochers and the politicians they enable. The bigger the pot of honey, the more flies it attracts.

Undoing what Richard Epstein calls “the mistakes of 1937,” in which most of those limits on federal power were removed by the Supreme Court, would go far toward fixing the problem.

That, of course, would require a Supreme Court with a more traditional view of the Constitution’s limits on federal power.  Which would require a president interested in appointing justices with such views.

Something to keep in mind, between now and November.

First, there is no particular reason to assume that had we maintained pre-New Deal federalism that we would not have seen subsidies and the other programs described in the column developing at the state level or, for that matter, developing via a different route at the federal level.*   This line of thinking is a strange artifact of a particular strain of right libertarianism that assume somehow that if policy authority were devolved to (or had remained with) the states that state governments would continue to behave as they did in the late 19th Century.  Such a notion is based on the flawed premise that the real reason for the growth of the importance of government in the 20th Century was solely an artifact of the relationship of the federal and state government when, in fact, the main variable was that of the development of first a fully industrial and then a post-industrial economy. In truth, it was those forces that drove the Progressive movement and the New Deal in the first place, not the other way around. Causality matters.  Even if somehow the federal government had been contained in a way that people like Reynolds appear to wish had been the case, the issues of industrialization would have to have been addressed by state governments.**

Why so many people hang their fantasies on shifting understandings of federalism over time is a baffling question.

Second, since we know that Reynolds is a GOP booster he is clearly suggesting that the solution to these problems is voting GOP.  This is problematic.  For one thing, we aren’t going back to the pre-New Deal version of federalism regardless of who wins in November, so that’s a nonstarter.  For another, if the main issue is that lobbyists have too much power, I would submit that this is very much a bipartisan problem, so if Reynolds truly wants systemic change, he needs to start leading a real third way movement.  Worse, however, for his position:  the Republicans are the party that is more sympathetic to corporate power and their lobbyists.  In other words:  his suggested solution is a combination of pure fantasies (retroactive change to an imagined federalism) and boosting the party that is worse on the subject he is rallying against.  Of course, it is difficult to figure out what Reynolds thinks is the main problem:  is it lobbyists or Supreme Court Justices?  Farm subsidies or unemployment benefits?  Crony capitalism or out of balance federalism?

On the one hand, this is just some column, so who cares?  On the other, however, it does pick up a meme (maker/taker) that undergirds a lot of conservative politics at the moment.  It is the kind of thinking that fueled Romney’s gaffe over the very poor the other day, or that there are 47% of the population that doesn’t pay taxes.***

It is ideology, not analysis.  It certainly eschews the realities of policymaking.  This is a failing I assume from politicians on the stump.  It is not one that I expect from law professors.

_____________
*Too many people assume that the federal government first acquired powers like the income tax and then started to find policies upon which to spend the cash.  Instead, it was the other way around:  policy demands led to the need to find ways to address those demands.

**A simple example:  the problem of how to care for an aging population in an industrial, urbanized society would have emerged and would have required solutions.

***That is:  the formulation that tells us that 47% of the population does not pay taxes without the appropriate qualifier of “income” in front of “taxes” along with the important omission that income taxes are but one category of taxes paid by Americans. Indeed, the fact of the matter is that it is impossible to escape paying taxes in the US (that is unless one is a homeless person who only lives by foraging). As such, basing arguments over the 47/53 divide is to build an argument on the foundation of a half-truth (at best).

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Console says:

    Some asshole professor who lives off the tit of the government has the nerve to pen a column on “makers” and “takers?”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 75 Thumb down 242

  2. Console says:

    No offense to any other academic eggheads in the building. I’m only referring to Reynolds.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 208

  3. MM says:

    It’s a Glenn Reynolds column, so of course it’s a mess. There’s a reason the guy has devoted himself to one line blog posts for most of the past decade.

    I think it’s utterly hilarious that a tenured, pension-eligible employee of the state of Tennessee is given any credibility when he complains about takers. The man will earn six figures every year until the day he dies, complaining about how too many people rely on the government the entire way.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 205

  4. MM says:

    @Console: Glenn Reynolds probably sides with Newt Gingrich with the whole “It doesn’t matter what I do, it’s what I say” mindset.

    Instapundit could advocate veganism while showing down on a bacon cheeseburger and not feel the least bit like a hypocrite.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 188

  5. Glenn Reynolds says:

    I love you guys, too. But I developed this at much greater length in this paper for Cato.

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1075

    And it’s a sign of the inherent corruption of the system that makers and takers overlap, not something redemptive. That just lets the political class pretend to everyone that they’re somehow getting a special deal, while they use taxpayer money to buy votes. That’s discussed here:

    http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=86&load=6585

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 474 Thumb down 19

  6. Hoyticus says:

    Why can’t we have more nuanced discussion based on what Dr. Taylor said? He’s right, Instapundit’s article was just garbled junk trying to reach for preindustrial America.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 183

  7. Hoyticus says:

    @Glenn Reynolds: If you’re concerned about the corrupting influence of money and lobbying in politics (I am as well) why don’t you advocate an amendment to ban corporate money from politics? It would certainly have some gravitas considering your stature.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 134

  8. ccoffer says:

    Teaching college courses isn’t a subsidy. To imply such is to reveal oneself as a retard.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 122 Thumb down 43

  9. Kasper Hauser says:

    Taylor does have some very good points that could have led to a very good discussion over Prof. Reynold’s assertions. Instead he leads off by calling the column a mess (it assuredly is not) and attacking Reynolds political leanings. Then of course, his bully pulpit (Console, MM, Hoyticus, etc.) join in to continue the personal attacks instead of the debate.

    What a sad pattern of misanthropic incivility. It is almost as if Taylor et. al are not confident of their positions….

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 282 Thumb down 24

  10. Glenn Reynolds says:

    @Hoyticus: I don’t think that’s possible, and I don’t think it addresses the problem anyway, as corporate money is only one kind of corruption (and is sometimes a form of self-defense against other kinds). The political-ethics/contribution approach is for suckers.

    I wrote a book on that called “The Appearance of Impropriety,” with Peter Morgan, if you’re interested.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 170 Thumb down 14

  11. Sean says:

    This article made me stupider. Really my brain is numb from the obfuscation. If you could harvest the mental energy in this comment section, you could brown some toast. Maybe. If you all thought really hard.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 91 Thumb down 63

  12. Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: All
    RE: Makers vs. Takers

    Some twits are complaining about Glenn Reynolds, a professor of Constitution Law and Tennessee University, discussing ‘makers’ vs. ‘takers’, claiming he, as a tenured prof, is a ‘taker’.

    I suggest that the difference betwixt ‘makers’ and ‘takers’ is an evaluation of their contribution to society, not necessarily what they get from society.

    As a producer, the Blogfather, has done MORE for this country than all of the naysayers on this thread have done. And that includes everything these twits have done since their father jumped their mother.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [If you had a Life in the first place, you'll never have a mid-life crisis.]

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 192 Thumb down 28

  13. Judge Arrow says:

    Why is it then when a simple, but not simplistic, assertion is made that the Left begins to sound like Captain Queeg? Why do I always hear the clicking of ball bearings as you earnestly defend the indefensible status quo – that there is an enormous group of people in this country who feel goddam entitled to a government check is beyond saying – the takers from the shadow banking class, the crony capitalists, the SEIU/gov union thugs, the daily con jobs at the SSI disability office- the list is endless. You Lefties are running out of other people’s money – you have distorted the marketplace with central planning debt fiascos all over the globe. Now the chickens are coming home as the sovereign indebtedness blows up your crap games. Sorry, Charlie, “an aging population in an industrial, urbanized society would have emerged and would have required solutions” from central planners is nonsense. Got it? NONSENSE.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 246 Thumb down 19

  14. deepelemblues says:

    Worse, however, for his position: the Republicans are the party that is more sympathetic to corporate power and their lobbyists.

    Not sure if this is serious or not….

    Were you asleep in a cave from 2006 until last week?

    In a critical response to a column where the main critique is that the column is too simplistic, a very simplistic statement such as the one quoted undercuts your premise pretty badly.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 191 Thumb down 15

  15. Robert Arvanitis says:

    Let’s step away from everything Professor Reynolds said, and ask a simple question.

    We have common purposes which we fund — defend the borders, maintain civil peace, enforce contracts…

    We also feel responsibilities towards our fellow citizens, and so provide a safety net and transfers.

    So what share of GDP is appropriate for those works?

    I’d bet few on the left would ever hazard an answer, with the implication that it’s never enough.

    For reference, right now our revenue is about 60% taxes and 40% borrowing. Our spending is the reverse — 40% for doing things, and 60% for transfers.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 172 Thumb down 15

  16. Rick C says:

    @Hoyticus: Do you think unions should be banned from lobbying as well?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 117 Thumb down 8

  17. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    Hey, Glenn: During the last 8 years-plus, have you yet wrapped your mind around the whole Valerie Plame affair? It was quite an admission on your part, that a law prof found a fairly straightforward felony matter to be too complicated to understand.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 155

  18. Montjoie says:

    Mr. Taylor appears to have a severe problem matching verbs to subjects, which makes it really difficult to take him seriously.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 74 Thumb down 21

  19. Steven Taylor wrote:
    *snip*
    Second, since we know that Reynolds is a GOP booster he is clearly suggesting that the solution to these problems is voting GOP.
    *snip*
    Interesting two-fer: he manges to slip both Bulverism and ignorance of Reynolds’ dissatisfaction of the GOP recent idiocy in one sentence.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 141 Thumb down 12

  20. Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: Judge Arrow
    RE: Got Ball…

    Why is it then when a simple, but not simplistic, assertion is made that the Left begins to sound like Captain Queeg? — Judge Arrow

    ….bearing?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [You haven't lived, until you've almost died.]

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 15

  21. Victor Erimita says:

    @Hoyticus: How about union money? Can we ban that from politics too? How money from the environmental industry? The racial preference industry? How about Big Education? And can we ban the value to political campaigns of corporations that happen to own newspapers and television stations and tilt (or avalanche) their “coverage” toward one side? Or only those corporations that don’t own those things?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 133 Thumb down 8

  22. Steven Taylor wrote:
    *snip*
    Second, since we know that Reynolds is a GOP booster he is clearly suggesting that the solution to these problems is voting GOP.
    *snip*
    Interesting two-fer: he manages to slip both Bulverism and ignorance of Reynolds’ dissatisfaction with recent GOP idiocy in one sentence.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 11

  23. Bertibus says:

    @Hoyticus:
    Why only corporations (who donate to whomever they think will win anyhow)?
    What about unions who forcibly extract ‘fees’ from their members and then use that money to perpetuate public policies for their own benefit?
    We could go back and forth on this, but the best way is to reduce the overall size and impact of government at all levels.
    And please note that I said reduce, not eliminate.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 100 Thumb down 8

  24. BD57 says:

    @Hoyticus: just “corporate money”, huh?

    Better idea – we reduce the size & power until it’s no longer worth the trouble of bribing them.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 93 Thumb down 8

  25. Dantes says:

    The other thing Glenn didn’t mention, is that not only the politicians get into robbing people. The academic elites and mainstream media accrue power and prestige by justifying the takers.

    Like the author of this piece, who undoubtedly enjoys a fine living from government subsidized tuition which drives the actual costs (not true costs) of education into the stratosphere.

    You just can never give people enough free stuff once they get hooked.

    Sincerely,

    A Maker, tired of the mooches.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 81 Thumb down 15

  26. Ben Wolf says:

    @Glenn Reynolds:

    I love you guys, too. But I developed this at much greater length in this paper for Cato.

    In the paper you do indeed argue that expansion in Congressional power to regulate commerce has made the lobbyist’s job easier. But you simply assume such would not be the case had federal power remained constrained by the Tenth Amendment. Perhaps it would have, but perhaps the problem would have been even worse in a world where multinationals with revenues exceeding state budgets were able to completely overwhelm any and all competing interests.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 59

  27. Rex says:

    @Hoyticus: But we should be smart enough to know that you CAN’T take the money out of politics; therefore, we must limit the damage that politicians can do via a limited, constrained government.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 72 Thumb down 7

  28. David M says:

    @Victor Erimita: Sure, ever hear of publicly funded elections?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 32

  29. Dustin says:

    I’m sure you guys realize that law professors at good univeristies often have outstanding resumes. Reynolds is published at Columbia (and several other places) and I believe he went to Yale, and he teaches courses on the Constitution. People who can compete for those jobs are paid well because of how the market functions.

    When someone has a high paying JOB, that is not necessarily a “taker” role, though I admit I can be skeptical of the contributions of most lawyers out there.

    I’m sure you all realize he’s got some ridiculously popular blog, but if you ever tried to blog like that, you’d realize it’s probably more work than most are willing to invest. His success is more of the “maker” variety.

    Yeah, I’m sure some of you disagree with him on politics, but that doesn’t mean he’s the devil.

    “It is the kind of thinking that fueled Romney’s gaffe over the very poor the other day”

    No, no, no. The idea is that is we have less dependency, even those at the bottom of the charts will prosper MUCH more, which is something I wish Gov Romney understood better. If people get off unemployment and food stamps, even if they are eligible, and pay their way, that will help others. If the wealthy are more rewarded for their investments, they will invest more. If you tax them too much, at least some risks just don’t make sense anymore.

    “we know that Reynolds is a GOP booster he is clearly suggesting that the solution to these problems is voting GOP. This is problematic. [...]”

    This was the same guy complaining about ideology over analysis?

    ” he needs to start leading a real third way movement. Worse, however, for his position: the Republicans are the party that is more sympathetic to corporate power and their lobbyists. ”

    What article are you talking about?

    No, no, no. There’s a huge difference between a free market and what you’re talking about! Well connected companies can thrive in communist countries, and often are sophisticated in how they deal with bankruptcy laws, bailouts, taxes, and other artificial government structures. This is quite a departure from Reynolds’s discussion of personal responsibility.

    Honestly, his article didn’t seem that messy to me, and you seem to be reacting to it with a lot of personal stuff that distracts from an interesting debate. Also, a lot of the things you’re saying sound like “I assume he must mean this thing he didn’t even hint at, and I really don’t like that.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 102 Thumb down 8

  30. Hoyticus says:

    @Rick C: Yes, if you make it so corporations can’t use money as speech the same should apply for unions.

    @Glenn Reynolds: If banning corporate money from politics isnt the solution or isn’t feasible then how will we ever get public servants not constantly whoring themselves out for campaign money?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 33

  31. stevieo says:

    Wow – I bet professor Taylor really scored points at the quarterly faculty symposium on sustainable government giveaway programs with his big Glen Reynolds slap down.

    In the meantime out here in the real world , the govt. keeps giving away tax dollars to Solyndra, keeps funding GM Volts that nobody is going to buy, keeps shoveling money to their crony friends for boondoggles like the ‘California high-speed rail”. Takers and Makers is simply shorthand for what is going on – Yes GM is actually BOTH – so what? The point is that the “moocher” part is what needs to be eliminated. Are BOTH parties guilty – absolutely – but the White House is currently occupied by the Democrats, so the focus tends to be on their policies, not those of people- not -in -charge- of -the -current -mess.

    So Professor policymaker – how do we prevent rent-seeking corporations, unions, and other entities from ripping off the taxpayer to the tune of trillions of dollars?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 89 Thumb down 11

  32. Ben Wolf says:

    @Glenn Reynolds:

    I love you guys, too. But I developed this at much greater length in this paper for Cato.

    In the paper you do indeed argue that expansion in Congressional power to regulate commerce has made the lobbyist’s job easier. But you simply assume such would not be the case had federal power remained constrained by the Tenth Amendment. Perhaps it would have, but perhaps the problem would have been even worse in a world where multinationals with revenues exceeding state budgets were able to completely overwhelm any and all competing interests.

    Nor does the paper justify your post, which by any credible measure must be judged to stand on its own merits. To expect the public to read the post, then interpret it in the context of a paper you wrote 27 years ago for Cato requires some suspension of disbelief. You should have made a stronger, more comprehensive argument on your site if you expect others not to evaluate it in isolation, which is in fact how you presented it.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 54

  33. Uninformed Observer says:

    Prof. Taylor, please don’t be obtuse. Clearly Prof. Reynolds is not describing a simple duality in which two categories of people ‘take’ and ‘make’ respectively. What you call ‘nuance’ is of course the problem he described- that people and corporations spend their effort seeking the government’s largess instead of producing and innovating.

    I am not familiar enough with your writing to know if this is typical, but it’s not an encouraging introduction.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 81 Thumb down 11

  34. Kasper Hauser says:

    Ben Wolf–

    Thank you for engaging. I tend to side with Reynolds on this matter, but you make a point that will take some consideration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  35. Ben Wolf says:

    @Glenn Reynolds:

    I love you guys, too. But I developed this at much greater length in this paper for Cato.

    In the paper you do indeed argue that expansion in Congressional power to regulate commerce has made the lobbyist’s job easier. But you simply assume such would not be the case had federal power remained constrained by the Tenth Amendment. Perhaps it would have, but perhaps the problem would have been even worse in a world where multinationals with revenues exceeding state budgets were able to completely overwhelm any and all competing interests.

    Nor does the paper justify your post, which by any credible measure must be judged to stand on its own merits. To expect the public to read the post, then interpret it in the context of a paper you wrote 27 years ago for Cato requires some suspension of disbelief. You should have made a stronger, more comprehensive argument on your site if you expect others not to evaluate the post in isolation, which is in fact how you presented it.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 45

  36. Console says:

    @Robert Arvanitis:

    Why would anyone predicate “safety net” or any other kind of spending on percentage of GDP? If we have a recession (i.e. the gdp shrinks) we should cut spending? Are there magically less people on welfare, or less kids to educate, or less borders to secure, or less crime to prevent when the GDP shrinks?

    We should spend enough to complete the missions we want completed. Basing spending on some arbitrary number is rather asinine.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 44

  37. Ben Wolf says:

    @Kasper Hauser: I don’t care for polemics and don’t see them as constructive. Thank you for your gracious reply,

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 23

  38. Dave in Houston says:

    Hoyticus blurts: “…garbled junk trying to reach for preindustrial America.: Bravo, 100% meaningless content.

    The key to Prof. Taylor’s article is his confusing complexities with corruption. Anyone here paying attention to the EU these days? No? I thought as much.

    Anyone who uses “third way” and “paradigm” and attempting to be serious is simply to engage in a modern day humbug, believing inane slogans represents thought and discourse.

    A third way, really? I thought that howler died with the 1990′s and Bill Clinton’s stated belief that the era of big government was over. Paradigm is even no longer used by such buncombe artists as Tony Roberts.

    Well, Prof. Taylor is in academe, where genuine wit and intelligence are generally discouraged. Say what you want about Prof. Reynold, but he does posses those qualities.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 61 Thumb down 9

  39. Tully says:

    @BD57: Hey! Quit making sense! This is supposed to be a political discussion!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  40. Kasper Hauser says:

    Ben Wolf…

    You surely must think that a good post, since you reposted it three times (so far).

    Your first paragraph is quite interesting and brings up a point worth debating–the power of multinationals versus the power of a limited government.

    Too bad you didn’t stop there. Your second paragraph is stupid. Glenn gave you a reference and you don’t won’t to read it. Fine…but don’t whine about it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 8

  41. Herb says:

    It is ideology, not analysis.

    Which is what we’ve all come to expect from Reynolds.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 74

  42. tbrady says:

    Sure as long as unions, and non profits are also prohibited.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 3

  43. The Resolute Desk says:

    Interesting. Taylor writes an article about… another man’s article. Guess that makes him a “taker.” As Reynolds might say, “heh.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 53 Thumb down 9

  44. McGehee says:

    @Hoyticus: Bev Perdue has made a couple of suggestions…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  45. kwo says:

    @Hoyticus:
    If banning corporate money from politics isnt the solution or isn’t feasible then how will we ever get public servants not constantly whoring themselves out for campaign money?

    Here’s a crazy idea: maybe we could try not voting for them?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

  46. Console says:

    If anyone sane is going to make a category called “maker” surely no lawyer or scholar of law would be anywhere near that category.

    Pretty sure they’d be at the top of the taker list for most people though.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 32

  47. Al Miller says:

    @Hoyticus: The answer my friend is to take away he power of politicians to respond to bribes. Or significantly reduce it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 2

  48. Ric Locke says:

    Republicans are the party that is more sympathetic to corporate power and their lobbyists.

    Precisely how that particular bald-faced lie came to be Conventional Wisdom, constantly repeated, is a mystery in the day of publicly-accessible contributions, not to mention Enron.

    This is not to say that there’s a huge difference, but there is a significant one. Republicans are in favor of production; production requires the means of production; resources must be taken out of the general economy and embodied in the means of production; that isn’t “fair”, because any brick used to build a factory can’t be used to build a house for a Poor Person. Republicans therefore favor building factories over building houses, because the result is more bricks and more houses in the long run.

    It is a fact, easily confirmed by a little research nowadays, that major corporations and their executives donate overwhelmingly to Democrats. If “Republicans are more sympathetic” to their aims, that’s just a little counter-productive, isn’t it? Not to mention counter-intuitive, until you start realizing what’s going on. Democrats are far more likely to regulate and tax their upstart competitors out of business, leaving them free to build giant, unwieldy bureaucratic regimes, and Democrats are enormously more likely to set up elaborate systems of “benefits” paid for with Somebody Else’s Money instead of that coming out of the Corporate Bottom Line.

    The inevitable result is “crony capitalism”, in which it’s impossible to get anything done without a close relationship with the bureaucrats and their semi-elected semi-bosses. As the system matures, it becomes the perverted version of Marxism so familiar nowadays. The enterprise and its activity will continue to exist, lest everybody starve; the resources devoted to building and maintaining it will continue to come out of the economy, not available for building houses for The Poor; and “President of General Motors” segues indistinguishably into “People’s Commissioner for Light Vehicle Production, North-Central Region” without a hiccup — or any material change in either the duties or the privileges of the individual occupying the position. Sr. Mussolini had a name for that system, now reserved as a tag identifying those who oppose its establishment.

    Regards,
    Ric

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 94 Thumb down 12

  49. Dave E. says:

    @Uninformed Observer: Trust me, it’s typical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  50. BobJustBob says:

    @Rick C: Public employee unions should be. Who are they organizing against? Taxpayers. Who do they negotiate with? In most places the they’re Democrats that the unions have poured millions of dollars into.

    So here’s the deal…if Public Employees want to organize they have to give up all political lobbying and fundraising as a conflict of interest.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 63 Thumb down 3

  51. Fred Schoeneman says:

    I think it’s funny that Taylor called Professor Reynold’s piece a “mess.”

    I can only assume that by “mess” the author meant that it was poorly argued. But if one is going to call someone else’s argument piece poorly argued, one ought to make sure that one’s own argument is sound or, at least, not a mess itself. Instead, Taylor messily pretends that Reynold’s piece relies on a flawed premise: “That people vote solely based on material gains that they think that they will get. ”

    Nowhere in Reynold’s piece do we see a reliance on that premise.

    Were I to guess, I’d guess that Mr. Taylor created a straw man in order to attack a bigger man, in order to get page views. In which case, well played, Mr. Taylor. You win this round.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 61 Thumb down 6

  52. I actually like the Reynolds fairly well, but I do think that it invites the sort of identity politics we see up-thread. And in some cases that identity is confused. If your employer lobbies the government, is it mooching, or protecting itself? Well, your if your identity is “maker” then you’re OK, right?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 12

  53. grumpy realist says:

    Anyone who wants to reduce the government to the size it was back in 1880, or 1871, or whatever, be my guest.

    Don’t be surprised if China eats our lunch, however.

    I’m really surprised that you haven’t screamed bloody murder about the amount of $$ that went into WWII. I mean, if your free market theory actually worked, we wouldn’t have had to develop the Manhattan Project at all–an atomic bomb would have magically arisen due to the demand from the government. Right?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 56

  54. Stan says:

    Three sentences into Taylor’s piece one thing becomes obvious: it’s a mess.

    Taylor hallucinates that Reynold’s piece ‘starts from a flawed premise: that
    people vote solely based on material gains that they think they will get’

    Here’s what Reynolds says: ‘In today’s America, government benefits flow to
    large numbers of people who are *encouraged to vote* for politicians who’ll
    keep them coming’.(my emphasis)

    Do you think that presupposes people vote SOLELY on material gains
    they anticipate? Good. I don’t think so either.

    Obviously, Reynold’s statement does not rest on Taylor’s preposterous
    premise, nor does anything in Reynold’s piece suggest that it does.
    I don’t think even Taylor would deny that a government benefits would
    encourage people to vote to keep the benefits coming.

    With reasoning as poor as this at the beginning, there is little
    chance that any subsequent criticism will likely be instructive.

    I would like to see someone defend Taylor’s piece-just one person.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 59 Thumb down 7

  55. @Fred Schoeneman:

    As I say Fred, I think it leads the reader to identifying with a comforting place in society (as a “maker”) rather than by what they ask for.

    I assume every single person above who supports the piece is ready to end mortgage interest rate deductions?

    Are we all ready to increase gasoline tax to the point where it again pays for federal roads expenditure, and does not draw from the general fund?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 17

  56. JorgXMcKie says:

    @David M:
    Ever hear of “incumbency advantage”?
    All publicly funded elections do is help entrench the incumbents and/or the incumbent party

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  57. Carl Pham says:

    Quite a mediocre response by Professor Taylor. It has no serious central counter-argument, nor seriously undermines any of the core ideas in Professor Reynold’s essay. This is just a lot of chaff being blown about that boils down to “It’s all very complicated! Reynolds hasn’t addressed all those complications! And besides, how do we know in an alternate universe it would be all that different?”

    This is the kind of essay students turn in when they really have no strong counter-argument to a thesis they don’t like. You pick nits, more or less, and roll your eyes at the naivete of the thesis. Which is at best a B effort, since (1) you can pick nits in anything and (2) any thesis that isn’t developed over the course of six fat dense books is going to be oversimplified. And this is a newspaper column, ferfuxsake! Obviously meant as a 20,000-foot view, a philosophical starting point — and, as that, it is quite effective.

    I can only be wryly amused at the irony that the professor (Taylor) indulges in an effort at antithesis that if delivered by one of his own students would undoubtably earn his substantial and well-merited criticism.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 7

  58. Ron Beasley says:

    @Steven Taylor;

    Reynolds is not engaging in analysis of the complexities of public policy here. Rather, he is promulgating an simplistic ideology that pretends like the world consists of two types of people: the hard-working tax-paying types and the moochers.

    This is just another example of the Black VS White – Good VS Evil digital arguments the right wing always makes. They are simply unable to see shades of gray.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 58

  59. Herb says:

    So this is what it looks like when the Instapundit gang comes roaring to town on their motorcycles….

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 52 Thumb down 34

  60. Hoyticus says:

    @Al Miller: What would you propose to eliminate or reduce their ability to be bribed? I would try to push for an amendment to get money out of politics, all money.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 24

  61. steve says:

    I think there are some key points missed In Dr. Taylor’s observations.

    1) We transitioned from an agricultural to an industrial economy. Family sizes decreased. Things really came to a head in the 30s with the Great Depression, abetted by the Dust Bowl, and poverty among the elderly peaked. Families were not large enough and localized enough, having moved to where the jobs existed, to care for those elderly. The New Deal became a response to a need. For those of you with relative still alive who lived through the Great Depression, I would advise talking with them, if they will talk. Many find it too painful to discuss.

    2) I think that there is a longstanding false view of of the 1800s. Government was small. It was also incredibly corrupt by modern standards. Government was owned by special interests. As Adam Smith noted, businessmen do not embrace competition, they avoid it when able to do so.

    Steve

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 9

  62. JorgXMcKie says:

    @john personna:
    I have advocated ending the mortgage deduction for years. I teach it. I would probably decrease it by 10% per year over 10 years to allow people to adjust, but it ought to to. It’s actually a subsidy to the housing [building and real estate sales] rather than to the vast majority of taxpayers. [And, yes, I get the deduction.]
    How about you? End union contributions to campaigns? Money and labor? Or are you the hypocrite you appear to be charging others with being?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 7

  63. @JorgXMcKie:

    I’m with you, on 10% per year over 10.

    But beware ;-), you risk identity politics by assuming you’ve pigeon-holed me and are now naming my “friends.”

    I’m find with ending all non-individual contributions to campaigns, and capping individuals at $10K each.

    Are we still good?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

  64. BTW, the gas tax thing is much harder for many self-styled “makers” to take. They are (or were up until a few years ago?) about the “user fees,” but want gas to be untaxed for some reason.

    It is probably because our cars give us the image of rugged individualist transportation … even as we pull onto a city, state, or federal road.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 13

  65. Greg Ransom says:

    Reading Steven kills brain cells.

    There’s got to be a government solution for this market failure.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 18

  66. Pug says:

    @Dave in Houston:

    Yes, Dave, “third way” and “paradigm” are inane slogans. “Makers” and “takers”, though, are serious political discourse.

    Maybe you could explain why.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 14

  67. M. Report says:

    There are no Platonic ideals in the real world, but there is very probably
    at least one US citizen maker who takes nothing back; An entrepreneur
    living abroad, perhaps. That single exception does nothing to change
    Prof. Taylor’s argument, any more than his observation that there are no
    ideal takers or makers changes the validity of Prof. Reynold’s observation
    that the statistical distribution of US citizens based on their make/take
    ratio has a peak at either end. If the horns of that dilemma tilt too far
    toward the takers at the expense of the makers, the country will collapse
    into a Hobbesian mess, out of which an authoritarian state will arise,
    in which Reynolds is more likely than Taylor to live long and perspire. >:)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  68. JorgXMcKie says:

    @john personna: I think you’re over-reading what I wrote. You mentioned one specific group to be banned and I merely asked about another, generally believed to be in opposition to the group you named. You drawing the conclusion you did says rather more about you than me.

    I would allow unlimited donations by individuals on the condition that a) they can’t be spent until totally identified and easily findable in a searchable database *and* that govt shrink by at least half. To get the money out, make it less useful to put it in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  69. Bill M says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    “Perhaps it would have, but perhaps the problem would have been even worse in a world where multinationals with revenues exceeding state budgets were able to completely overwhelm any and all competing interests.”

    I, for one, would be happy to find out. Conjecture against fact doesn’t win many arguments so let’s try it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  70. @JorgXMcKie:

    Sorry Jorg, I’m hearing voice from cocktail parties of the past ;-)

    There is definitely a group here in Orange County California who think they take no services themselves … it’s all the other people.

    This as they get on our wide “free-ways”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  71. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Glenn Reynolds:

    And it’s a sign of the inherent corruption of the system that makers and takers overlap, not something redemptive.

    Er…is there something new about this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  72. JorgXMcKie says:

    @john personna: I’m generally in favor of gas/diesel taxes that cover the cost of highway, street, etc building and maintenance so long as the ‘takers’ aren’t allowed to take any of it for mass transit, HSR, light rail, or any of the other much-loved attempts to decide where and when the proles may travel. At the very least, anyone who advocates those things should never again to be allowed to ride on anything else or else walk or ride a bike [and that should be taxed accordingly for the roads they ride on].

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  73. Paul L. Quandt says:

    Sir:

    You say “It also starts from a flawed premise: that people vote solely based on material gains that they think that they will get. Were this true, most voters would be avidly voting to raise taxes on the wealthy, and yet this is not the case (to pick one simple example).”

    Here in the state of Oregon they did just that.

    Paul L. Quandt

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 5

  74. Stan says:

    Steve, I’m pleased you attempted to defend Taylor’s piece on its merits rather than joining in with the usual leftist ad hominem attacks.

    I don’t think the historical points from Taylor help much. Without economics to evaluate institutional changes it’s difficult to determine what the changes mean. A simple application
    of Mill’s method of difference suggests the unprecedented government response to the ’29 downturn being the cause of an unprecedented lengthening of the downturn, thus creating the great depression. In short, the New Deal hurt the economy more than it helped at the time, leaving aside the clear benefits to a segment of the population after the depression.

    Of course even the obvious benefits of the New Deal must be evaluated alongside the costs.
    And that requires taking into account its ‘unseen’ impact. But that’s the difference between an informative social analysis and a case of special pleading. The able social scientists uses economics to determine what the unseen costs of a policy are. And it seems to me to be no accident that statists never quite bring that aspect of society into full view, because it would damn all their major policies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

  75. Mike K says:

    @john personna:

    I am old enough to remember when you could NOT obtain a mortgage for a property worth more than $500,000. The deduction has outlived its value as a subsidy. End it for property worth over $250,000.

    It has been my impression that the highway trust fund is not part of the general fund. The outrageous highway bill of 2006 was criticized on these very grounds. The trust fund was there. Why not spend it ? Of course that predated Obama and his “Stimulus.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  76. @JorgXMcKie:

    Stop and think about that Jorg. In some cases, strategic investments in alternatives benefit the driver. We want our roads to be faster, right? If we can get other people to walk or in cost-effective mass transit or bike lanes, then they are.

    It becomes counterproductive, say, if a road development blocks pedestrian travel, and encourages more people into their cars.

    But overall I applaud your pragmatism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  77. agentyx says:

    @Sean: Seriously… this guy makes almost makes Noam Chomsky seem coherent. Reading this was the academic equivalent of trying to eat a cinder block; with all its nutritional value and ease of digestion.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 12

  78. Hoyticus says:

    Most of this argument boils down to Washington/Hamilton vs Jefferson/Madison and their respective visions for the extent of government power.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  79. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Stan:

    The able social scientists uses economics to determine what the unseen costs of a policy are. And it seems to me to be no accident that statists never quite bring that aspect of society into full view, because it would damn all their major policies.

    Now this statement is a masterpiece of untestable assertions. No ad homs by a liberal (another untestable proposition) but would Stan like to produce some empirical evidence to support these sweeping generalisations? Otherwise some of us might be compelled to ad hom thoughts. Never expressed of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  80. @Mike K:

    Well, Jorg and I are for phasing out the deduction entirely.

    On the highway trust fund, I really don’t know. I’m going from cost/revenue per mile subsidies that show the feds build freeways and connectors even when traffic on them (and implied gas tax by cars on them) is way lower. They guarantee that general tax funds will be needed for maintenance far, far, into the future.

    If we want this (or lower) gas tax, we need to build less federal projects (apparently not limited to “interstates” these days).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  81. Ben Wolf says:

    @Kasper Hauser: @Kasper Hauser:

    1) I can’t control what’s done with a comment I submit when the server is overloaded.

    2) Mr. Reynolds did not include the link to his paper with the original article, hence the second paragraph stating he should have.

    3). You respond to my attempt to be polite with a personal attack on my intelligence. You have poor manners. Unfortunate.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 8

  82. solaris says:

    Worse, however, for his position: the Republicans are the party that is more sympathetic to corporate power and their lobbyists.

    Up to there I thought you were making some reasonable points. But this sentence is at least as detached from reality as anything Reynolds wrote. In fact while the two parties have different corporate backers, both DO have corporate backing. And it’s not the case that the GOP corporate backers are any better funded than those who back the Democrats.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  83. Chuck Pelto says:

    @Hoyticus:

    Ban public unions.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  84. Chuck Pelto says:

    P.S. If the Army can’t have a union, why should any other government entity have such?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 6

  85. Brummagem Joe says:

    In today’s America, government benefits flow to large numbers of people who are encouraged to vote for politicians who’ll keep them coming. The benefits are paid for by other people who, being less numerous, can’t muster enough votes to put this to a stop.

    If Reynold’s wrote this simplistic nonsense it’s a good job he’s got tenure because it’s not exactly evidence of high intellectual capacity. The benefits are paid for by other people. Who are these people who never voted for anyone but are apparently picking up the tab? And who are the people who are encouraged to vote for politicians in the hope of reward but make no net positive contribution by their labor or taxes. Of the 132 million who voted in the 2008 election precisely how many of them were net recipients of governmental largesse without any purpose?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 28

  86. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Chuck Pelto:

    So every govt employee at the state or federal level is subject to military discipline and the UCMJ. So why stop there why shouldn’t any employed person be subject to same rules of employment?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 13

  87. Septimius says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Of the 132 million who voted in the 2008 election precisely how many of them were net recipients of governmental largesse without any purpose?

    All the public school teachers.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 10

  88. steve says:

    @Stan ” A simple application
    of Mill’s method of difference suggests the unprecedented government response to the ’29 downturn being the cause of an unprecedented lengthening of the downturn, thus creating the great depression.”

    GDP growth after FDR took office was at record levels. If you want to look at earlier responses, then I think the monetarist (Friedman) theory has some weight. I think that the creation of the FDIC and stopping bank runs was very much a positive, with the rest of the New Deal a hodgepodge of plus and minus actions. Still, I would stand by the assertion that the record levels of poverty that cold not be handled by families, as in the past, was the impetus for some of the New Deal policies.

    To all- I think it a great positive that most people acknowledge that teachers contribute to our country and should be counted among the maker group.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  89. solaris says:

    the fact of the matter is that it is impossible to escape paying taxes in the US

    That’s true. But what is important here is how many people are net tax payers vs how many are net tax consumers. If the latter outnumber the former by too much, you get budget deficits.

    It’s true that Joe Lowskill Worker pays some taxes, but it’s equally true that the taxes he pays do not compensate for the government services he uses.

    This situation is unavoidable to some extent. There will always be some people who are net consumers of government services. But if their numbers swell past a certain point we face a financial crisis, and we’re already past that point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

  90. Some Sock Puppet says:

    @Chuck Pelto:

    Damn right. Mr. Reynolds has been tireless in provoking thought about our political, social, economic, health, technology and future aspects.

    I suspect this anger is the 99% of people who try to hold you back in life and their sour grapes.

    That man is an actual influence on the national scene and surrounds himself with winners. What do the rest of you do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 11

  91. cubanbob says:

    Taylor apparently doesn’t grasp small details like rent seeking,crony capatilism, vote buying, what government spends the bulk of it’s revenues on ( aside from it’s legtimacy such as income redistribution) and being a net taxpayer. His premise is based on assumptions that aren’t valid and therefore his conclusion is flawed. Reynolds on the other hand does and his reference to 1937 is on the money.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9

  92. GeoffB says:

    @Brummagem Joe: Nothing new. Just something too often forgotten. This is why it’s even worth reading the classics now and again. Contrary to the progressive ideal, most people really never learn without regular reminding (myself included).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  93. jukeboxgrad says:

    Glenn’s readers apparently have a great desire to express themselves, as indicated by how busy they’ve been posting comments and clicking red buttons here in the last few hours. Maybe they should ask Glenn why he has never allowed his readers to do that at his place.

    Glenn implicitly encouraged his readers to comment here (link). Too bad the reverse is not possible.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 26

  94. anjin-san says:

    But if their numbers swell past a certain point we face a financial crisis,

    Do you actually think thats how we got in this mess?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 8

  95. Ron Beasley says:

    Steven, please don’t ever link to instapundit again, the neighborhood really goes to hell.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 45 Thumb down 37

  96. Jay says:

    the Republicans are the party that is more sympathetic to corporate power and their lobbyists.

    I guess that is why Obama’s Administration is full of lobbyists, Goldman has given all that money to Obama, Enron gave a ton of money to Chuck Schumer, and both the current OMB director & White House Chief of staff used to manage hedge funds.

    Hello John Corzine!

    it also starts from a flawed premise: that people vote solely based on material gains that they think that they will get.

    If you don’t think the people behind the Wisconsin recall effort aren’t doing it solely because of material gains they will get, you’re being intellectually dishonest.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 26 Thumb down 15

  97. WR says:

    @grumpy realist: I love this. Reynolds is so insecure that he has to bring his army of dittoheads or acolytes or sock puppets who have never visited this site before to make sure no one can see the messages from regular posters.

    Yes, a real fighter in the marketplace of ideas, as long as no one is ever allowed to criticize his genius. Heh, indeed.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 29 Thumb down 32

  98. WR says:

    @JorgXMcKie: “I’m generally in favor of gas/diesel taxes that cover the cost of highway, street, etc building and maintenance so long as the ‘takers’ aren’t allowed to take any of it for mass transit, HSR, light rail, or any of the other much-loved attempts to decide where and when the proles may travel.”

    Because freeways just spring up spontaneously when anyone wants to go somewhere? Because governments don’t determine where freeways and paved roads go?

    Do you have to be stupid to be a libertarian, or do you just have to pretend to be?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 18

  99. solaris says:

    I love this. Reynolds is so insecure that he has to bring his army of dittoheads or acolytes or sock puppets who have never visited this site before to make sure no one can see the messages from regular posters.

    Do you have a rational thought in your head, or are you going to keep telling the world your feelings?

    If the government spends x billions dollars year in and year out while taking in x-y dollars in taxes, it is a mathematical certainty that SOME people are “moochers”. It’s very possible, and I believe it to be the case, that all Americans are “moochers”. They’re mooching off the taxpayers of the future.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 20

  100. WR says:

    @Mike K: “The deduction has outlived its value as a subsidy. End it for property worth over $250,000.”

    Let me guess — you live in Arkansas. Or Tennessee. Or Mississippi. So you know that the only proper mortgage interest deduction is the one that covers property in your neighborhood.

    Check out real estate in any area where the majority of Americans live. Here in Southern California, $250,000 doesn’t buy a two-bedroom condo in a half-decent neighborhood. That’ goes for every other major city.

    Not everyone wants to live in a swamp and eat possum. That’s why we’re not libertarians.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 27

  101. anjin-san says:

    @ WR

    Bingo.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 17

  102. Jay says:

    Reynolds is so insecure that he has to bring his army of dittoheads or acolytes or sock puppets who have never visited this site before to make sure no one can see the messages from regular posters.

    I love this. You’re not capable of understanding, let alone commenting on, the arguments put forth.

    So you’ll go with ad hominem.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 32 Thumb down 24

  103. jukeboxgrad says:

    A big problem with Reynolds is that he promotes baloney and then refuses to take responsibility for doing so, even after it’s proven to be baloney (link). This goes hand-in-hand with him not allowing comments.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 36

  104. anjin-san says:

    I guess that is why Obama’s Administration is full of lobbyists

    In this matter, Democrats are like the slutty chick at the bar who will go home with a different guy every week as long as he keeps buying drinks.

    Republicans, on the other hand, are naked on all fours with “do me any way you want to” tattooed on their ass…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 26

  105. Weisshaupt says:

    Denying that there are those who are consuming more value than they produce is simply stupid. It is a mathematical and empircal truth. Just because you refuse to actually do the math to show which person on the whole is taking, and which person on the whole is making, doesn’t make the final result any different. The old days of Federalism may not be coming back, but a collapse of the entitlement state is now inevitable. Enjoy what little time you have left.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 10

  106. anjin-san says:

    This goes hand-in-hand with him not allowing comments.

    Yet he does not hesitate to send in the attack gerbils…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 30

  107. jukeboxgrad says:

    weisshaupt:

    those who are consuming more value than they produce

    I guess you must be talking about this (link, link):

    Red States Feed at Federal Trough, Blue States Supply the Feed

    Speaking of “makers and takers.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 15

  108. Herb says:

    @Some Sock Puppet:

    “That man is an actual influence on the national scene and surrounds himself with winners. What do the rest of you do?”

    Dr. Helen….is that you?

    (Still amused at the Reynolds sycophants and PJMers on display.)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 33

  109. Liberal Drone says:

    Help! Help! Our echo chamber is under attack by people who don’t parrot the leftist line!

    Get out of here, all you people who read other blogs and think independent thoughts! Shoo!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 18

  110. Ric Locke says:

    @Herb: Which is to say: “O, S*t, voices from outside the bubble! Divert impulse power to shields, and set phasers to ‘annihilate’!”

    Reynolds’s strength has always been in one-liner pointers to fuller thoughts. When he does do an essay, he generally does it in a place where comments are permitted. You can always send him an email, and he doesn’t hide the address.

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  111. Commonist says:

    Bigger and more powerful public unions, got it in one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  112. RightKlik says:

    OTB: You guys haven’t thanked Reynolds for all the traffic he sent you. Show some gratitude, you moochers.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 12

  113. anjin-san says:

    Great commercial for Detroit featuring Clint Eastwood. Wonder how that will go over in wingnuttia…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 14

  114. Liberty60 says:

    @Herb:

    Heh indeedy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  115. Mike G. says:

    I make less than a third of what I used to make a few years ago because of the housing bubble. Yes, even rich people quit building those second and third homes when the market went south. I was and still am a maker, but because of the economic conditions, I’ve had to become somewhat of a taker. You see, as a veteran, I take advantage of the health care benefit I earned by my service to our country. Wishing it weren’t so, doesn’t make it any easier, but still, I believe, just like the folks that paid all that money into the supposed “lockbox” of Soc. Security, that I’ve earned it.

    Professor Reynolds is right…there are straight out takers out there, as well as makers. There are also people who do both. You hope they make more than they take. We do have too much government and we also have too much money involved in politics. Both parties take too much money from special interests. That needs to stop.

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  116. Herb says:

    @Liberal Drone: If you read OTB with more regularity, you’ll know this is the first time a thread has ever come close to becoming an echo chamber.

    @Ric Locke: “voices from outside the bubble!” If you’re referring to Reynolds/PJM readers, well…they are voices, that’s true. Their talk of “makers” and “takers,’ however, does not hint to being outside any bubble….

    If anything, “Reynolds’s strength” is offering one-sided, simplified explanations to the kind of core audience that thinks the “MSM” isn’t mainstream and that the “Tea Party” is an actual party. In some corners, they call that weakness.

    And this is when you say, “Oh yeah? Well those are liberal corners…..”

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  117. Ric Locke says:

    @jukeboxgrad: The present-day “blue states” are those that were once manufacturing powerhouses — producers, makers — and guess what? In those days they voted Republican.

    Nowadays, of course, all that’s gone away. It’s too messy and dirty and polluting, and attracts all sorts of undesirables who don’t genuflect to an Ivy degree. Instead they’re all middlemen, financiers, and (above all) Government regulators. What the makers produce has to pass through them and get the cream skimmed off before getting to its ultimate recipient. That’s gone on since the beginning, especially as regards agricultural products, but taking away the “maker” functions exposes it quite clearly. Blue states, and cities, are richer and pay more taxes because they’re parasitic on the makers.

    Writers and publishers are getting a very clear lesson in that matter. Amazon and others offer ways for a writer to gain an audience that goes around the New York publishing establishment, and the latter is screaming like stuck pigs. They’ve taken the lion’s share of the revenue stream for so long they feel themselves entitled in perpetuity, and the very hint that it’s possible to do without them is a threat — and, of course, an encouragement to those of us who don’t think the U.S. consists of New York, DC, and a few relatively unimportant latifundia.

    That’s one example. There are others. I don’t feel the least embarrassed that Texas gets more federal funds than it sends, because when I pay $3.50 for a gallon of gas I know that a nickel goes to the owner of the oil-producing land, another nickel goes to the oil company, forty cents goes to local Government, and the rest to the Feds by one route or another. But I’m the “profiteer”, of course.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9

  118. M. says:

    if my neighbor can avoid foreclosure, that helps me too.

    You know what would be a lot more helpful? If your neighbor could afford his house in the first place because the government wasn’t pushing no money down loans.

    there is no particular reason to assume that had we maintained pre-New Deal federalism that we would not have seen subsidies and the other programs described in the column developing at the state level

    Yes there is. Government intervention into the economy wouldn’t happen in all 50 states systemically, and as a result we would not have arrived at a system where Congress people vote for each other’s boondoggles until you have a $15 Trillion dollar deficit, or weapons systems built from parts in 40+ states for that matter.

    Not being locked into retirement ponzi schemes would be another benefit of limiting Federal power. Competition among the states would dramatically reduce this sort of fiscal adventurism.

    I’m sure some states would have gone down this route on their own, and in fact some did: We call them California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts and they are all fiscal basket-cases just like Uncle Sam.

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  119. Liberty60 says:

    @Dantes:

    The other thing Glenn didn’t mention, is that not only the politicians get into robbing people. The academic elites and mainstream media accrue power and prestige by justifying the takers.

    Man, I bet Dr. Reynolds, PhD, really hates all those academic elites robbin from the hard wurkin Murkins!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 20

  120. Babs says:

    @steve: Yeah, until they retire at age 55, get free health insurance for the rest of their lives and take the retirement proceeds out of the local economy… At least that’s the way it works in my school district.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

  121. Herb says:

    @Ric Locke: “Nowadays, of course, all that’s gone away. It’s too messy and dirty and polluting, and attracts all sorts of undesirables who don’t genuflect to an Ivy degree. ”

    That’s your worldview? Manufacturing has dried up in this country because it’s too messy and an abundance of Ivy degrees? I love your “In those days they voted Republican.”

    Yeah, then Nixon went to China, Mr. Factory worker’s job was filled by an entire village in Shenzen, and now Mr. Factory worker wears tricorn hats, demands to look at birth certificates and wonders why he can’t afford to buy all this cheap Chinese $hit…..

    Good thing the Ole Perfesser’s there confirming all your biases….

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 15

  122. Kathy Kinsley says:

    @WR:

    I’ve long thought that a number of those sorts of deductions should be adjusted according to the cost of living in the area. (Along with a few other things, like minimum wage. The present one is below poverty level in some areas of the country – and way above in others. OTOH, we could just drop minimum wage…)

    But, really, that’s one of the major reasons I think federal power should be severely limited. Aside from certain things that do affect the whole country (national defense, etc.) , most of the federal laws/regs, etc. end up being totally inequitable simply because of differences in various areas. For instance, if the feds instituted a rationing of heating oil, it would harm those in the north, and those of us in Florida would just laugh and shrug. We may be “E pluribus unum” – but we won’t be for long, if we don’t recognize that the first part is something to be allowed as much as the second. (Oh – and the Dems aren’t any better at that then the Repubs. Just ask any gay or black conservative.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  123. Herb says:

    @Babs: “At least that’s the way it works in my school district.”

    I seriously doubt it……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  124. M. says:

    @anjin-san:

    Great commercial for Detroit featuring Clint Eastwood. Wonder how that will go over in wingnuttia…

    A powerful commercial that shows how we can come back “to win the game” if only we only learn from the example of Chrysler and ignore bankruptcy law, screw the bond holders, and hand the company over to the very union that bankrupted it with no substantive changes. That will last, [snort] I half expected it to be a commercial for Obama 2012, which would be perfect in it’s presumably unintentional irony. Insipid dreck for sentimental fools that understand nothing is what that commercial is for, even it’s Clint Eastwood, so it must be cool.

    Yeah Team America! Go Team Go! -Morons.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 13

  125. Darryl says:

    I was always a bit sad that my degree came from Troy. I finished up my requirements there and was amazed at how little was actually required to get an ‘A’. But the degree certainly upped my salary.

    I’m glad I didn’t have to really learn anything from the faculty, and this column is an example of why. I’ve learned much more from reading Glenn Reynold’s blog than any class I attended at Troy. And that includes the class in LINUX, the first three hour session of which consisted of a reading of the LINUX FAQ…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

  126. anjin-san says:

    $15 Trillion dollar deficit

    Psssssst. The debt and the deficit are two different things…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  127. Herb says:

    @M.: Buy a Honda then and be comforted that you’re not helping Barack Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

  128. Bobo from Texas says:

    @Console: So you’re saying that our current President is a “taker”? Sounds pretty racist to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  129. Herb says:

    @Darryl: “I’ve learned much more from reading Glenn Reynold’s blog than any class I attended at Troy.”

    I bet if you asked, Reynolds will provide you with a degree with your name on it and everything.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 16

  130. anjin-san says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 14

  131. Weisshaupt says:

    Progressives of the 30s made a lot of chances that were the wrong responses to the modern economy. FDR and other progressives of the era thought the new Third Way under trial in Italy and Germany was just swell. The reason one might think a smaller government might be better, is because there is no money in lobying a politicanwho lacks the the power to do the things the corporation wants done. The reason 50 state govrnment would be better is because a National corporation would have to spend 50X times money lobbying them all. MAth just isn’t a strong factor in your thinking is it.

    And if bailing my neighbor out on his underwater mortgage was “good for me” to keep my house value up, I am perfectuly capable of deciding that and helping him out myself, without the need fo force. I think it would be ” good for you” to be forced to read the Federalist, be forced to own a gun, forced to abort your children and forced to pay for my luxury goods. Does that mean I have the right to make you if I get a majority in the government? INalienable rights also don’t figure much in your world view ether do they? Live and Let Live? Only if I live they way you want, and make the decsions you think best.

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  132. anjin-san says:

    California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts and they are all fiscal basket-cases

    Yet they manage to continue to send welfare to red states…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 16

  133. Herb says:

    @Weisshaupt: “The reason one might think a smaller government might be better, is because there is no money in lobying a politicanwho lacks the the power to do the things the corporation wants done.”

    I think you just made that one up….either that, or you misunderstand most small government arguments.

    “And if bailing my neighbor out on his underwater mortgage was “good for me” to keep my house value up, I am perfectuly capable of deciding that ”

    Yes, but if you decide that no, you don’t want to help –at detriment to yourself, no less– then that “perfectly capable” thing doesn’t really apply, does it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  134. M. says:

    @anjin-san:


    $15 Trillion dollar deficit

    Psssssst. The debt and the deficit are two different things…

    Wow, substantive comeback. I guess you didn’t think my typo was worth commenting on. Anyhow, I think they should have worked your point into the Clint Eastwood commercial:

    “Don’t worry America, we don’t have a 15 Trillion dollar shortfall in revenue vs. expenses. We’ve just got a shortage of revenue that means we can’t pay the 15 Trillion dollar (and counting) debt!”

    I wonder what they would make of it if we were to look past the $15T dollar light bill and look at the $100T Madoff scheme bearing down on us? You know, the one where we promise new investors that their money is being invested for when they retire when actually we’re just using it to pay the light bill and passing off the remainder as “returns” on the older member’s “investment”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

  135. An Interested Party says:

    Undoing what Richard Epstein calls “the mistakes of 1937,” in which most of those limits on federal power were removed by the Supreme Court, would go far toward fixing the problem.

    Awww…poor Glenn…someone should let him know that no matter what he and his fellow travelers do, the framework of the New Deal isn’t going anywhere…

    Like the author of this piece, who undoubtedly enjoys a fine living from government subsidized tuition which drives the actual costs (not true costs) of education into the stratosphere.

    That is rather amusing coming from a defender of Glenn Reynolds…

    Here’s a crazy idea: maybe we could try not voting for them?

    So I guess you don’t vote at all? Perhaps you could name some politicians who aren’t self-financing millionaires who don’t go around whoring for money…

    All the public school teachers.

    It really is quite difficult to have any kind of reasonable debate with someone who would write idiotic tripe like this…it is one thing to say that there are some bad public school teachers, but to say that they all are net recipients of governmental largesse without any purpose? Please…

    Glenn implicitly encouraged his readers to comment here. Too bad the reverse is not possible.

    To quote Reynolds: Heh, indeed…perhaps the fact that he wants his flock to invade this space shows how much this blog post got under his skin…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 15

  136. M. says:

    @Herb:
    Buy a Honda then and be comforted that you’re not helping Barack Obama.

    What, did you break into my Garage? I buy American cars that are actually made in America, as opposed to Vancouver. I own a Honda Accord, made in Marysville OH. A Honda CRV and a Honda Civic, made in East Liberty, OH.

    I was an auto mechanic in a past life. I buy quality, not junk or glitz. I wouldn’t buy a Chrysler or a GM if you paid me. Ford maybe, but it would be a pity purchase, out of respect for them not taking a dime.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

  137. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Septimius:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    Of the 132 million who voted in the 2008 election precisely how many of them were net recipients of governmental largesse without any purpose?

    All the public school teachers.

    Yep all school teachers are a wast of time. Fire the lot of them. Another useful suggestion from one our well educated friends on the right. Er….just one thing….who taught you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  138. M. says:

    @anjin-san:

    California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts and they are all fiscal basket-cases

    Yet they manage to continue to send welfare to red states…

    The states don’t pay taxes, it’s the idiots that voted for the policies that are driving their own states off the cliff that paid these taxes. Yes they pay more. -> Because they get paid more. -> Because the cost of living is higher. -> due to the policies they vote for.

    So, surely we can all get rich if we just raise everybody’s salary! Then we’ll pay more taxes. and…??? ….Profit!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

  139. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @WR:

    I love this. Reynolds is so insecure that he has to bring his army of dittoheads or acolytes or sock puppets who have never visited this site before to make sure no one can see the messages from regular posters.

    I was going to remark on the same thing, WR. I found it very odd that most of the regular commenters posts were hidden, and all the nutters were getting highlighted by extremely high numbers.

    And I thought Season II of “The Walking Dead” was starting next week. Looks like all the zombies popped in here early.

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  140. James says:

    The progressive philosophy has a never ending list of programs that they want the government to spend other peoples money on. The money from the regressive taxes (property, gas, sales, social security, etc) is already spent. The only source of new money is in raising the income tax. The fact that only 47% of people pay income tax is critical to this discussion. Agreed that capital gains tax is to low. Agreed that there should be less special exemptions on income tax. The problem remains, there is a never ending list of new government programs waiting in the wings and progressives will always want more tax money. At some point the people who actually pay income taxes will say no to more increases. It is happening now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  141. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Weisshaupt:

    FDR and other progressives of the era thought the new Third Way under trial in Italy and Germany was just swell.

    Of course big business and finance loathed the idea of the corporate state didn’t they?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  142. WR says:

    @solaris: “It’s very possible, and I believe it to be the case, that all Americans are “moochers”. They’re mooching off the taxpayers of the future.”

    Yeah, and you’re John Galt, superman and savior of us all. Just because you’re sixteen doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

  143. Stan says:

    @Weisshaupt: The first paragraph of your post is absolute bullshit. During the early 30′s there was mild support in the US for Mussolini among some Italian Americans out of ethnic solidarity and among some right wingers because of his anticommunism. Hitler enjoyed similar support for much the same reasons, but less of it than Mussolini because even in the highly bigoted America of the day he was seen as an extremist. I am unaware of any support for either Hitler or Mussolini expressed by progressives and left-wingers.

    As far as the rest of this post, goes, I wonder, Mr. Weisshaupt, if you’ve ever heard of the expression “cutting off your nose to spite your face”. The idea of helping underwater homeowners is supported by Marty Feldstein, one of Ronald Reagan’s economic advisors and a very prominent conservative economist, and Glenn Hubbard, an equally prominent conservative who was one of George W. Bush’s economics advisers. Both argue that if homeowners could refinance to take advantage of lower mortgage rates, it would free up income for consumer spending and thus stimulate the economy without requiring deficit spending by the government. I think this might be helpful, and even if it winds up benefitting people who made unwise decisions in buying their homes I think I’d gain more by this kind of action than I’d lose. This mean more to me than a feeling of righteous satisfaction at seeing spendthrifts lose their homes.

    If I may, sir, I’d like to advise you to get a grip on yourself. If the votes are there the US government is going to do things I support and you don’t, for example increasing the minimum wage, raising taxes on high income earners, and implementing the Affordable Care Act. So we’re just going to have to see which side is stronger. Like it or not, we’re living in a democracy, and we have to accept the concept of majority rule.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

  144. WR says:

    @Jay: “I love this. You’re not capable of understanding, let alone commenting on, the arguments put forth.”

    And you guys are the great intellectuals, which is why you’ve all come running over here to vote down anyone who disagrees with your Brilliant Leader, just in case anyone might dare voice an opinion other than his.

    I understand the twaddle you libertarians peddle. And it all comes down to “Me! Me! Me!”

    Thanks, if I want to have that conversation, there’s a two year old next door.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

  145. Brummagem Joe says:

    @James:

    The progressive philosophy has a never ending list of programs that they want the government to spend other peoples money on.

    So why I wonder are Republicans trying to renege on the Defense sequestrations agreed in the summer?…..of course they’re progressives in disguise

    The only source of new money is in raising the income tax.

    Tax revenues as a percentage of GDP for three years have been at 60 year lows

    The fact that only 47% of people pay income tax is critical to this discussion

    .
    Well it would be if it wasn’t a lie. This is the usual fantasy number that ignores payroll taxes. In fact the only people who don’t pay federal income taxes of one sort and another are either the very poor or seniors whose untaxed SS payments constitute a large part of their income.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  146. anjin-san says:

    @ M

    American auto makes did indeed suck, for a long time. My wife had a ’92 Ford that was total junk. I drive a Nissan, she has a Honda.

    The decline had less to do with unions, and more to do with the fall of the designers/engineers and the rise of the bean counters. Why make a car that lasts a decade yet can be paid off in four years when you can make a car that is falling apart in four years and needs to be replaced, leaving the consumer with a perpetual car payment?

    Fast forward to 2012. The quality of American cars has improved dramatically. There is still a quality gap, but it is closing. There is a new generation of American muscle cars that a young guy can drive without being embarrassed.

    This country was built on a can-do spirit. Yet the conservative message on the auto industry seems to be “Give up. We can’t get it done. The Japanese & Germans are just better than us.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  147. WR says:

    @Kathy Kinsley: ” (Oh – and the Dems aren’t any better at that then the Repubs. Just ask any gay or black conservative.) ”

    I can’t. They’re too busy cashing in on the wingnut welfare bandwagon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  148. Mike G. says:

    @Stan:

    Correct yourself Stan…we live in a Constitutional Republic…what’s left of it. But if the Progressive Left gets it’s way, we will soon be living in a Socialist Democracy, much like most of Europe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

  149. grumpy realist says:

    @WR: I actually doubt most libertarians live in those low-tax, no-regulation locations they keep clamoring as being so fantastic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  150. An Interested Party says:

    But if the Progressive Left gets it’s way, we will soon be living in a Socialist Democracy, much like most of Europe.

    You forgot to include the ominous spooky music with that…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8

  151. Ron Beasley says:

    @WR: Exactly – James, Steven and Doug should protest Reynolds tactics.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

  152. Pug says:

    @WR:

    He read a book by Ayn Rand and now he thinks he knows something.

    I bet his Grandma is one of those takers on Medicare and Social Security. But he doesn’t get irony.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

  153. grumpy realist says:

    @john personna: For anyone who thinks that light rail, trains, and buses have no part in a transportation system, I suggest you visit Japan. One of the reasons that the Tokyo/Yokohama area has the density it does is because of the incredibly efficient public transportation.

    Six million people a day ride the Tokyo subways. Three million people a day pass through Shinjuku train station. I suggest you think of any urban city in the US that has similar requirements.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

  154. M. says:

    @Brummagem Joe:

    [On fascism] Of course big business and finance loathed the idea of the corporate state didn’t they?

    Why do we have a generation of people that seem incapable of understanding what Mussolini meant by “corporatism”? [Answer: because we have a generation of people that haven't bothered to read Mussolini's actual manifesto, which takes all of 30 minutes]

    Here’s a clue: I know this may come as a surprise, but he wasn’t talking about a legally sanctioned profit seeking organizational structure, which wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense if you’ve ever read any of the Italian or German fascists ideas for economic “reform”, such as nationalization of large trusts and banks, the outlawing or outright confiscation of capital gains, ‘land reform”, and rent control.

    The fascists despised capitalism as empty and decadent and democracy as inferior to a command based meritocracy. When Mussolini spoke of “Corporatism” he was talking about identifying/crafting/highlighting a unifying purpose that would motivate individuals to serve a greater cause in a nihilist, post religious world. That purpose was nationalism, which he correctly identified as far more reliable than the weak bonds of class identity promoted by International Socialism. The individual would belong to a collective greater than himself, a “body” that was promoted, represented, and advanced by the state. It was all mumbo jumbo to justify subverting the individual to the will of the state, but that’s what he meant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  155. steve says:

    “The reason one might think a smaller government might be better, is because there is no money in lobying a politicanwho lacks the the power to do the things the corporation wants done.”

    When we did have small government, business could do whatever they wanted w/o interference. They owned the small government. As I have studied the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s, it certainly looks to me as though we had many of the same problems we now have when we have large government. Depressions, recessions, banking crises, unemployment just to name some. We had protective tariffs that interfered with free trade. Small government made war just about as frequently as big government. Small government infringed upon personal rights and seemed no less likely to steal land, err exercise eminent domain.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  156. mantis says:

    Wow, Perfessor Robotsnacks sure does have a devoted team of sycophants, does he not? Alas, how terribly boring and repetitive they all are.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 14

  157. M. says:

    @Stan:

    With all due respect Stan, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Sure, the commies (aka “the competition”) didn’t care for the National Socialism heresy, but the people that expressed admiration for Mussolini and even Hitler reads like a who’s who of the NY publishing establishment. Or do you think that The New Republic, Margaret Sanger and George Bernard Shaw qualify as “progressive”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  158. LL says:

    “During the early 30′s there was mild support in the US for Mussolini among some Italian Americans out of ethnic solidarity and among some right wingers because of his anticommunism.”

    At that time early 30′s Mussolini was supplying military ships and cooperation: sold Destroyers, patrol ships,projects for cruisers, and naval artillery etc. to the Soviet Union including NKVD … you just have to read about the cruiser Kirov for example, it even had engines diverted from an Italian cruiser in construction.
    Fascist Italy was one of the first states to recognize Soviet Union btw.

    USA have never been nearer Fascism than with Roosevelt, the Statist power he achieved was tremendous. It just enough to recognize Roosevelt Fascistic tendencies the norms and laws he enforced.
    But this not only a Roosevelt thing, it was the progressives that supported the eugenics movement mostly. When the progressives think they are 100% right they turn fascists.
    Roosevelt also explains the downhill course that USA have been making since then, only the technological advances offset it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  159. Hoyticus says:

    What we should really focus on instead of constantly bashing each other is how to reinvigorate America. Ideas like renegotiating the value of the dollar to make exports more competitive, investing in both green and brown forms of energy to make it easier to produce here, getting out of Afghanistan ASAP, and reducing the personnel in the Army and Marines as they eat up massive amounts of the defense budget.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  160. James says:

    Brummagem Joe: Please read more carefully. I specifically addressed regressive taxes, including payroll taxes. in my original comment. You excluded this in your selective quote and then suggested that I had made no reference to it.

    The money from the regressive taxes (property, gas, sales, social security, etc) is already spent. The only source of new money is in raising the income tax. The fact that only 47% of people pay income tax is critical to this discussion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  161. Pete says:

    @Sean:
    Is this the “Something Clever” guy? If so, give it up. This unwarranted superiority complex is pathetic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  162. steve says:

    “The fact that only 47% of people pay income tax is critical to this discussion.”

    Keith Hennessey has gone over this. In order to get most of those to pay tax, you need to eliminate the personal deduction for income taxes, you need to get rid of the Social Security exemption and you need to eliminate the EITC, which was a Friedman inspired idea.

    Critical to this discussion should be some basic math. If the trends from the last 30 years were to continue, income and wealth will be concentrated among even fewer people. How do we resolve that?

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  163. @Kasper Hauser:

    Then of course, his bully pulpit (Console, MM, Hoyticus, etc.) join in to continue the personal attacks instead of the debate.

    None of the people mentioned are regulars here. If we’re going to start awarding ownership of commenters to one of the two sides, they came here on your cargo freighter, so to speak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  164. M. says:

    @anjin-san:

    “The decline had less to do with unions, and more to do with the fall of the designers/engineers and the rise of the bean counters.”

    The Japanese have bean counters too. But their contributions to quality control and efficient workflow, such as Toyota’s “Kanban” board, which is now hot in software projects, is the most likely reason for their success. Honda’s process of moving design innovations from sportier models (prelude, etc) to the Accord to the baseline Civic was a bullet proof way of controlling risk of their competitive edge.

    Could American company’s have instituted such measures? Maybe, but I doubt it. I don’t have anything against Americans who make cars. I just like the Americans who are making cars in companies that care about management. GM and Chrysler’s problems are nothing if not management problems. A refusal to confront reality. A refusal to confront their unions.

    Why make a car that lasts a decade yet can be paid off in four years when you can make a car that is falling apart in four years and needs to be replaced, leaving the consumer with a perpetual car payment?

    Because the competition won’t? I have firsthand knowledge of several Honda’s that made it to 300k, and cars which made it to 200k are a dime a dozen. I’d have to go back to Chevy’s made in 1972, a Chevelle and an Impala to match that record.

    Fast forward to 2012. The quality of American cars has improved dramatically. There is still a quality gap, but it is closing. There is a new generation of American muscle cars that a young guy can drive without being embarrassed.

    Yes, and they are better than most of the overpriced Teutonic trash, but I don’t think they’ll be catching up anytime soon. Just compare the interiors. At least GM got rid of the Pontiac so we don’t have to be embarrassed for our friends that had the poor taste to buy an interior by Fisher Price. As for muscle cars, sure, but I’m not going to buy one for 45K.

    This country was built on a can-do spirit. Yet the conservative message on the auto industry seems to be “Give up. We can’t get it done. The Japanese & Germans are just better than us.”

    Absolutely not. The conservative message is: Restructure under Chapter 11. Figure out why you fell behind. Retool. Recapitalize, and Return.

    Anybody that says the Japanese or Germans are better than Americans at manufacturing should be asked by the Accord plant in Marysville was so successful that Honda decided it was cheaper to shut down the Japanese plant that made the same car and incur the extra cost of shipping the American versions half way around the world. Americans should be dominating manufacturing with their edge in robotics and industrial engineering. We manufacturing more even as we employ less in manufacturing. In the war between Chinese peasants and automation, automation wins.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  165. David M says:

    @James:

    The money from the regressive taxes (property, gas, sales, social security, etc) is already spent. The only source of new money is in raising the income tax.

    I notice it doesn’t cross your mind to make the regressive taxes more progressive. Besides if you are actually concerned with raising revenue, then Obama is the candidate whose tax plan is best for reducing the deficit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  166. TomB says:

    @grumpy realist: once again the tired cliched strawman that those who want less government want no government at all. This time with the added twist of adding drama in the form of atomic weaponry. Get real, Mr “realist”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  167. anjin-san says:

    Absolutely not. The conservative message is: Restructure under Chapter 11. Figure out why you fell behind. Retool. Recapitalize, and Return.

    Well, that ship has sailed. Like it or not, that’s not the road we traveled. The American auto industry is rebounding. Yet many conservatives seem to be rooting for it to fail, just so they can say Obama was wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  168. Hoyticus says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Kasper Hauser claims that I’m engaging in personal attacks when I said that Instapundit’s article was junk. Honestly he could have just said we have a big bureaucracy due to industrial technology and a welfare state due to the breakdown of rural life and some people need help. Instead he complains about “moochers” as opposed to offering solutions to our problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  169. David M says:

    The conservative message is: Restructure under Chapter 11.

    That was not an option during the auto bailouts. Not going to happen. Pretending it was an option is just rewriting history to try and protect the GOP

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  170. bains says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Much rather have your left wing echo-chamber Ron?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  171. MM says:

    @Ron Beasley: All Reynolds does when confronted is get passive-aggressive (like sending his howler monkeys to this thread).

    I suspect that any attempt by any OTB author to object would just end with snotty link backs with the general tone of “here’s the alleged political “thought” going on at OTB. Shame it’s closer to Atrios than to Don Surber. Heh. Indeed”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  172. MM says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I did no such thing, but feel free to keep being just as wrong as Kaspar Hauser. If you want to know something about me in the future, howzabout you ask a question, rather than make an easily disprovable assumption?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  173. @Hoyticus:
    @MM:

    I don’t care which of you is right; you’re all annoying. Go home and leave the people who are normally here in peace. We were doing quite fine on our own before your circus came to town.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  174. MM says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    A) I have been commenting here for years.

    B) You are not a proprietor of this blog, not are you an author. You have no authority or right to tell me to leave, nor do I care what your personal opinion of me is. If you have a problem, feel free to take it up with James, Steven or Doug. If any of them ask me to stop commenting here I will. Otherwise, settle the hell down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  175. MM says:

    And in true stormy dragon style, you missed the point by not actually reading what was written in your haste to regale the world with your opinion. I never claimed to be right. I pointed out that you ARE demonstrably wrong about me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  176. David M says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I don’t mind any of the new commenters, it’s only annoying b/c the current helpful/unhelpful settings don’t exactly work right with this many comments. They might be using just the difference between the two numbers, which is fine for most situations, but in a case like this could also be paired with a ratio of helpful to unhelpful as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  177. Tillman says:

    Wow. A warzone of comments, in a fashion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  178. Pete E says:

    @Hoyticus:
    “why don’t you advocate an amendment to ban corporate money from politics? ”
    Because it would be unenforceable? Didn’t McCain-Feingold attempt to remove the big money from politics and fail?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  179. Pete E says:

    The next time someone thinks about designing a constitution, this should be addressed.

    I suggest a division of powers where one branch (the house?) is clearly supreme in matters of the public purse and other branches (the president, senate and court?) dominate on other matters. Voting for the house should be restricted to citizens who are net contributors to the public purse.

    Though Dr. Reynolds (and I) would be disqualified from voting for the house, I wonder if he would agree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  180. Stan says:

    @Mike G.: I have no idea of what you mean by these phrases. Every developed country has a constitution, either named as such or called a basic law. It may not even exist in written form, but whatever its form it means a basic set of precedents and customs that underly the political structure. Having a constitution doesn’t guarantee liberty. Gibbon’s chapter on the constitution of the Roman republic after its takeover by Augustus describes it very nicely “as an absolute monarchy disguised by the forms of a commonwealth”, and the same can be said of the constitution of the Soviet Union enacted during the height of Stalin’s purges. To repeat, having a constitution doesn’t guarantee liberty.

    Then there’s your bone chilling warning of the US turning into a “Socialist Democracy”, like all those horrible countries in Europe. I hate to tell you this, but you’re living under socialism now. You have publicly owned and controlled streets, schools, public safety departments, and, most likely, water and sewer systems. If you’re in the active duty military or if you’re a veteran, your medical care is directly controlled by the government. Somehow you’re doing OK despite this socialist tyranny, at least to the extent of having internet service or being able to use the computers in a socialist library. So I suggest you look up the word “socialist”, and try to commit its definition to memory. Then you won’t post any more misinformed rants like the one I’m responding to. I apologize for ending the last sentence with a preposition. It’s probably due to my poor education in a socialist grade school.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  181. Scoutdog says:

    If one dissects the Federal expenditures in total vs. the amount spent on Constitutionally required functions of the Federal Government he will see a lot of taking and giving activities going on with the difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  182. Stan says:

    @LL: You’re perfectly right about the eugenics movement. It was supported by many progressives, and it served, I think, as a justification for Nazi policies. I don’t admire the progressives much. Many of them, including Woodrow Wilson, were racist jerks.

    On the other hand, you’re dead wrong about Mussolini. He rose to power because of Italy’s fear of communism and governmental collapse, and he often protested to Hitler about the strains the Hitler-Stalin pact was placing on his political movement. His collaboration with the Soviet Union on economic projects during the period you mention did not make him a communist, and neither did Hitler’s alliance with the Soviet Union at the start of World War II. It was business, as the guy said to Michael Corleone.

    Since this blog seems to have been invaded by Instapundit groupies, here’s a few questions for you guys. What’s your opinion of the so-called pro-life movement? How did you feel about the government, under George Bush, attempting to dictate the medical treatment of Mrs. Schiavo? Do you like the effective suspension of habeas corpus and of the Sixth Amendment under the Bush administration, and the continuation of these policies by President Obama? Did you feel that the Bush administration’s use of torture was legitimate? In short, are you really a lover of liberty, as the libertarians claim, or simply a greedhead trying to hold on to your buck?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  183. Pug says:

    @anjin-san:

    Yet many conservatives seem to be rooting for it to fail, just so they can say Obama was wrong.

    Yes, it’s hoping Obama fails and it is also because of their irrational hatred of unions. They tend to worship the hedge fund speculators because they are “Galtian”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  184. Stan says:

    @M.: Shaw was an all-purpose asshole. He admired every evil person of his day. The same is true of Margaret Sanger – as far as I know, she favored birth control to keep the lower classes from propagating. So what? I can’t figure out what point you’re trying to make.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  185. Jay says:

    Yes, it’s hoping Obama fails

    Obama has already failed. Why would one hope for more of his policies?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  186. Jay says:

    Great commercial for Detroit featuring Clint Eastwood. Wonder how that will go over in wingnuttia…

    Hysterical.

    Never mind that Chrysler has been bailed out by the federal goverment twice. They have a great commercial!

    Red States Feed at Federal Trough, Blue States Supply the Feed

    Since “states” don’t pay taxes, they do no such thing. But I find it funny when you silly leftists find yourself arguing against welfare because it goes to your perceived political opponents.

    And here I thought you were like all for helping poor people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  187. Heh, another dichotomy. Rather than “makers and takers,” the fearful and non?

    Not to say fear, or risk assessment, isn’t part of a healthy outlook … but fear out of balance might be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  188. anjin-san says:

    @M

    As for muscle cars, sure, but I’m not going to buy one for 45K.

    Motor Trend lists the base price of a 2012 Camaro at $23,280. Sure you can spend more, a lot more if you want a Z1, but it’s kind of curious that you are doubling the price of one to support your argument. Likewise the base price of a Challenger is listed @ $24,995.

    In 2012 a young guy can but a cool American car that is built well, in this country, for a reasonable price. That seems like a good thing to me.

    Sounds like you are one of the guys rooting for the US auto industry to fail so you can say Obama was wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  189. @Jay:

    I think for clear “failure” you’d need a concrete example. At best you can only say that the big ticket items, economy, etc., would have been “even better” under some other plan.

    I still am a lapsed Republican, now independent. I’d like to hear a better, rational, plan. But you know, superstition isn’t going to draw me back. “Cut taxes and this time it will work” doesn’t cut it for me. Not with tax rates already low and deficits quite high.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  190. Jay says:

    @ anjin-san

    Bin Laden dead,

    Yeah team! I mean this had so much to do with Obama. He’s like the man!

    GM & Chrysler alive

    Yeah the US Treasury owning 25% stock and losing $26 billion in a GM! I think you should keep clapping about that. Really. By the way, how long should the federal government own stock in an auto company? Another year? Another ten? In perpetuity?

    Dark times indeed for conservatives

    Right. I think Obama should run on owning car companies, ignorning bankruptcy laws, the “stimulus” which raised unemployement, the civilian labor force being at a 30 year low of 63.7% in January, 6 million fewer jobs in America today than there were before the recession started, and 14 million people added to food stamps since Obama was sworn in.

    Such a record!

    I’m guessing your missed the 2010 elections?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  191. @Jay:

    How many times do you have to be told the auto bailout was bi-partisan? You may wish for some Tea Party government to have been in place instead of Bush’s second term, but they weren’t. And Bush gave the car companies bridge funding with the understanding that it would get them over the hump and into the Obama term, where they’d get the rest of the money.

    If conservatives had really believed in orderly shutdown, they would have started that when they had control, in the Bush years.

    That they didn’t isn’t really a surprise, politically. No politician wanted to have the bankruptcy and dissolution of GM on their record.

    But to blame Obama for all of them having that attitude? Crazy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  192. Jay says:

    I think for clear “failure” you’d need a concrete example

    Um, ok, how about this: 4 straight years of $1 trillion dollar plus deficits and having 87.9 million people who are not working. The largest population of non-workers the country has seen since the government started keeping records in 1975. The labor force is now smaller than when GW Bush was inagurated.

    Note: The unemployment rate was 4.6% and the deficit 260 billion when the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007.

    Or how about the double digit costs increases in health insurance premiums?
    How about companies saying they’re going to drop health insurance coverage because of Obama care?

    Cut taxes and this time it will work” doesn’t cut it for me. Not with tax rates already low and deficits quite high.

    Tax rates are not “low” when you’re part of the top 10% paying all the taxes.
    Truse me.

    Deficts are high becasue of the spending.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  193. @Jay:

    Um, ok, how about this: 4 straight years of $1 trillion dollar plus deficits and having 87.9 million people who are not working. The largest population of non-workers the country has seen since the government started keeping records in 1975. The labor force is now smaller than when GW Bush was inagurated.

    Complete fail. I mean you insult every one of your readers. You ACTIVELY ignore the 2007/2008 crash, and EXPLICITLY set your baseline at the GWB inauguration.

    Could you possibly be more dishonest?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  194. Stan says:

    @Jay: But the stock market has recovered. As a classic rentier, that’s all that matters for me. Three cheers for Obama!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  195. Jay says:

    How many times do you have to be told the auto bailout was bi-partisan?

    I don’t need to be “told” any such thing. Obama implemented the bailout.

    The issue is the bragging. Obama and his little voters here are crowing that they “saved” GM.

    That is what I’m taking exception to. Yeah they “saved GM” by dumping $50 billion into it and in 10 years GM will still have the same problems.

    Also, I find it funny that they’re crowing about GM when there are fewer dealerships and employees than when Obama took office.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  196. anjin-san says:

    Since “states” don’t pay taxes, they do no such thing.

    Ummm, yea. But the citizens of states do pay taxes. I know I will be writing a large check in April. And those taxes tend to flow from blue states to red, where they support government services provided to the citizens of those states.

    Never mind that Chrysler has been bailed out by the federal goverment twice. They have a great commercial!

    And they are still in business. And they were profitable in 2012. And those workers still have jobs. And and this critical industry is still a going concern in our country. And the vendors that support Chrysler are still in business. And those workers still have jobs. Is this too complicated for you?

    And yes, it was a cool commercial.

    Where is the irrational hatred for banks that got bailouts? Oh yea, that was Bush, the auto industry was Obama. Got it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  197. Jay says:

    Complete fail. I mean you insult every one of your readers. You ACTIVELY ignore the 2007/2008 crash, and EXPLICITLY set your baseline at the GWB inauguration.

    Could you possibly be more dishonest?

    Huh?

    Did the Obama Administration say the stimulus would reduce unemployment?

    Yes.

    Did the Obama Adminisration say they expect to create up to 500,000 jobs per month?

    Yes.

    It is hard to be “dishonest” when everything, every single thing, I’ve said is fact.

    You not liking facts does not make me “dishonest.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  198. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jay:

    Also, I find it funny that they’re crowing about GM when there are fewer dealerships and employees than when Obama took office.

    Well of course they have. This was GM’s central problem too much manufacturing and distribution capacity. One would have to have the brain of a hamster to think the aim of the restructuring was to actually increase or maintain capacity as you are suggesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  199. Jay says:

    And they are still in business. And they were profitable in 2012

    Since 2012 just started, I presume you have a crystal ball.

    And those workers still have jobs.

    And then what? I love watching you supporters of the party of new Keystone XL Pipline, no new nuclear plants, no offshore oil drilling, no new power plants pretend you favor “jobs”

    It is touching. Really.

    Where is the irrational hatred for banks that got bailouts? Oh yea, that was Bush, the auto industry was Obama. Got it.

    Yes, because arguing that something is a bad idea is “irrational hatred”!

    Of course such silly hyperbole is how you leftists “debate”

    PS: Obama supported TARP, Implemented TARP, and asked for TARP 2.

    Occupy!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  200. @Jay:

    Well, post enough stupid things like that and you define yourself. You don’t need me to do another thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  201. rodney dill says:

    @Eric the OTB Lurker:

    I was going to remark on the same thing, WR. I found it very odd that most of the regular commenters posts were hidden, and all the nutters were getting highlighted by extremely high numbers.

    It’s just a different majority trumping the current one. On any given post, one set of “Regular” commenters consistently votes down another set of “Regular” commenters just because they disagree with their viewpoint. Only a few of the comments that are voted into being hidden are truly trollish comments. Consequently some trollish comments agreeing with the “Regular” majority end up with positive net votes. Its good to see the light dawning on some how the voting is being used in a suppressive manner by the “Regular” majority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  202. Jay says:

    And they are still in business. And they were profitable in 2012. And those workers still have jobs. And and this critical industry is still a going concern in our country. And the vendors that support Chrysler are still in business. And those workers still have jobs. Is this too complicated for you?

    Ah yes:

    U.S. taxpayers likely lost $1.3 billion in the government bailout of Chrysler, the Treasury Department announced Thursday.

    The government recently sold its remaining 6% stake in the company to Italian automaker Fiat. It wrapped up the 2009 bailout that was part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program six years early

    .

    But, but, but they’re “profitable”!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  203. anjin-san says:

    Obama and his little voters

    Ah, are conservatives “big” voters? You sound a bit like a guy with a size complex.

    in 10 years GM will still have the same problems

    Really? You can read the future? What an amazing guy you are. Perhaps you could explain, in a manner that would not get you laughed out of a meeting of mid level employees in corporate America, exactly why they will have the same problems in 10 years.

    Also, I find it funny that they’re crowing about GM when there are fewer dealerships and employees than when Obama took office.

    There has been quite a bit of contraction since the ’08 meltdown, which did not take place on Obama’s watch. The US auto industry is rebounding, no matter how much the right wishes otherwise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  204. Jay says:

    Well, post enough stupid things like that and you define yourself. You don’t need me to do another thing

    You can’t demonstrate anything I’ve posted is “stupid”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  205. @Jay:

    You can’t demonstrate anything I’ve posted is “stupid”

    hahahaha.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  206. anjin-san says:

    But, but, but they’re “profitable”!!

    Yea, they are. And 1.3 billion is a puny investment to help keep a critical industry alive. We blew that much in a month on Bush’s splendid little war in Iraq.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  207. Jay says:

    The US auto industry is rebounding, no matter how much the right wishes otherwise

    If by “rebounding” you mean fewer people working in the sector and the federal government losing $10′s of billions and the companies “profiting” because they are using government to subsidize or operate by ignoring some or all of their costs, yeah, it is all like fantastic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  208. Jay says:

    hahahaha.

    Great job.

    Really.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  209. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jay:

    You can’t demonstrate anything I’ve posted is “stupid”

    I just did. Viz

    @Jay:

    Also, I find it funny that they’re crowing about GM when there are fewer dealerships and employees than when Obama took office.

    Well of course they have. This was GM’s central problem too much manufacturing and distribution capacity. One would have to have the brain of a hamster to think the aim of the restructuring was to actually increase or maintain capacity as you are suggesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  210. anjin-san says:

    I love watching you supporters of the party of new Keystone XL Pipline, no new nuclear plants, no offshore oil drilling, no new power plants pretend you favor “jobs”

    Speaking of love, which did you love more – the 2.6 million jobs we lost in 2008 or the 22 straight months of job gains we have just had?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  211. Jay says:

    Perhaps you could explain, in a manner that would not get you laughed out of a meeting of mid level employees in corporate America, exactly why they will have the same problems in 10 years.

    Um, because GM’s labor costs, including benefits, average $56 an hour for its entire U.S. hourly workforce, according to the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. GM has been paying its union workers 47 percent more than Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co. pay their U.S. staff.

    This isn’t complicated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  212. Jay says:

    I just did.

    Keep telling yourself that.

    Really. You should.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  213. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @rodney dill:

    On any give post, one set of “Regular” commenters consistently votes down another set of “Regular” commenters just because they disagree with their viewpoint… . Its good to see the light dawning on some how the voting is being used in a suppressive manner.

    Well, actually, Rodney, I disagree with this. In my experience here, we normally don’t “hide” too many comments, and rarely do I find “hidden” comments that shouldn’t have been hidden. It’s not the regular posters who stifle dissent around here; it’s the trolls from other blogs who try to do so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  214. Jay says:

    which did you love more – the 2.6 million jobs we lost in 2008 or the 22 straight months of job gains we have just had?

    If by “job gains” you mean 1.2 million people dropping out of the labor force (adjusting for the census) last month and 6 million fewer people working than when Obama took office.

    You understand that whn more people are dropping out of the labor force than are hired there are no “job gains” right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  215. Jay says:

    This was GM’s central problem too much manufacturing and distribution capacity. One would have to have the brain of a hamster to think the aim of the restructuring was to actually increase or maintain capacity as you are suggesting.

    Actually, GM’s “central problem” is labor & benefit costs.

    I never suggested that capacity should be maintained or inscreaed. What is comical is that the left is crowing about investing $50 billion in auto bailouts while 300,000 people + lost thier jobs.

    Of course that simple point is lost on you.

    But you did make a galliant attempt to change the subject.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  216. Jay says:

    And 1.3 billion is a puny investment to help keep a critical industry alive. We blew that much in a month on Bush’s splendid little war in Iraq.

    Yes, let’s keep adding to the debt because every “investment” is really just puny and if you get to make some silly remark about Iraq, well that’s even better!

    PS: The entire leadership of the Democratic party supported the war in Iraq and the Democrats in Congress increased funding for the war in Iraq every year they were in control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  217. @Jay:

    Dude, your strategy is transparent. You cite a fact or two which you know, you must know having done that much reading, does not tell the story. They you tell a different story.

    You say “how can my story be wrong? my fact was right?”

    If you want to be taken seriously you’ll have to do better. You’ll have to work things like the actual Great Recession into your article about jobs. You won’t friggin’ ask about jobs relative to 2004, 4 years before the onset of said recession.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  218. rodney dill says:

    @Eric the OTB Lurker:

    Well, actually, Rodney, I disagree with this. In my experience here, we normally don’t “hide” too many comments,

    I agree that we don’t hide too many comments overall, mostly as there isn’t normally enough voting to trigger it.

    and rarely do I find “hidden” comments that shouldn’t have been hidden. It’s not the regular posters who stifle dissent around here; it’s the trolls from other blogs who try to do so.

    I disagree with this. In the hidden comments from regulars that I view, many have been just a view point that disagrees with the “Regular” majority… and many times the “Regular” minority ends up with a negative net without triggering the hiding. I assumed the “Regular” majority would disagree with this as it ‘outs’ their practice.

    We do, do a good job at voting down the trolls into obscurity, but the majority/minority practice is widespread in my observations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  219. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jay:

    Actually, GM’s “central problem” is labor & benefit costs.

    Er….these are a subset of over capacity.They had too many employees and they were paying them too much to make too many cars.

    I never suggested that capacity should be maintained or inscreaed.

    You said the fact that GM had fewer workers and dealers represented a failure of Obama’s policy. Ergo success by your own definition would have meant maintenance of existing levels of employment/ distribution.

    And whose changing the subject, I’m addressing a specific and incredibly stupid claim you made. You asked for proof you’d said something stupid and I merely provided it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  220. Hey Norm says:

    213 comments on a Glenn Reynolds opinion? Really? Why?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  221. @Jay:

    PS: The entire leadership of the Democratic party supported the war in Iraq and the Democrats in Congress increased funding for the war in Iraq every year they were in control.

    Example: Can you tell the story of Colin Powel’s 2003 speech to the United Nations, and how it relates to Congressional support for the war?

    I was against the war myself, and was suspicious about the Bush Administration’s claim that UN Inspectors just couldn’t find all the WMDs … but you have to be playing your particular game, with some facts but not all, to just pretend that Democrats just supported the war.

    We now know they were manipulated, as was the US population, with a false fear of “a smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  222. @rodney dill:

    It’s weird, isn’t it? The OTB line is pretty much center-right, while most comments are center-left. That’s quite different from Reynolds apparent dynamic, with far-right editorial and comments.

    Perhaps some left snarks get a pass in the ratings, where right snarks would get marked down as trolls, but I don’t think that should be your main worry.

    I’d worry about why there aren’t more reasoned center-right comments here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  223. Jay says:

    Dude, your strategy is transparent. You cite a fact or two which you know, you must know having done that much reading, does not tell the story. They you tell a different story

    You keep asserting this, but can’t demonstrate it.

    Gee, I wonder why that is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  224. anjin-san says:

    Obama supported TARP, Implemented TARP

    It was a Bush program, signed into law by Bush. I’m not complaining, on the whole, it was pretty successful.

    We already have our resident right wing knuckleheads here Jay – no need to apply for a job that is taken.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  225. Jay says:

    We now know they were manipulated, as was the US population, with a false fear of “a smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

    Except nobody was being “manipulated” and nobody said anything about a mushroom cloud.

    It was the official position of the UN, and all Western Governments that Iraq had WMD.

    That position was in place prior to Bush ever being a candidate for President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  226. Jay says:

    It was a Bush program, signed into law by Bush

    Actually, it was legislation written by Democrats.

    And it was implemented (do you know what this word means?) by Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  227. Jay says:

    You said the fact that GM had fewer workers and dealers represented a failure of Obama’s policy

    .

    No, what I actually said captain strawman is: the left is crowing about investing $50 billion in auto bailouts while 300,000 people + lost thier jobs.

    I love watching you project your “not telling the whole story” lies on me.

    It is rather transparent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  228. anjin-san says:

    We now know they were manipulated, as was the US population, with a false fear of “a smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

    How many times did the Bush administration use the expression “Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction” in the runup to the war – has anyone every been able to tally them all? I remember speculation on Fox about Iraqi agents being poised to attack major cities from inside the US using model airplanes and small rockets equipped with poison gas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  229. @Jay:

    Dr. Rice then said something that was ominous and made headlines around the world.

    “The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

    Link

    For manipulation, I still cite the Downing Street Memos:

    C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

    Dude. With retrospect we now know that is exactly what happened.

    It’s conservative CYA to pretend anything else. But then, you can do CYA, can’t you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  230. Jay says:

    to just pretend that Democrats just supported the war.

    Democrats did support the war. You want to pretend they were lied to or tricked.

    They were not.

    Example:

    Clinton told King: “People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.”

    Example:

    EDWARDS: Well, the first thing I should say is I take responsibility for my vote. Period. And I did what I did based upon a belief, Chris, that Saddam Hussein’s potential for getting nuclear capability was what created the threat. That was always the focus of my concern. Still is the focus of my concern.

    So did I get misled? No. I didn’t get misled.

    MATTHEWS: Did you get an honest reading on the intelligence?

    EDWRADS: But now we’re getting to the second part of your question.

    I think we have to get to the bottom of this. I think there’s clear inconsistency between what’s been found in Iraq and what we were told.

    And as you know, I serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee. So it wasn’t just the Bush administration. I sat in meeting after meeting after meeting where we were told about the presence of weapons of mass destruction. There is clearly a disconnect between what we were told and what, in fact, we found there.

    You not liking the conclusion from facts does not mean anyone is being dishonest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  231. Jay says:

    For manipulation, I still cite the Downing Street Memos:

    The “Downing Street Memos” were mysteriously “lost” and re-written by a journalist.

    That is a fact.

    You citing them is comical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  232. anjin-san says:

    if you get to make some silly remark about Iraq,

    Yep, the trillion dollars we added to the deficit to turn Iraq into a pro-Iranian state was pretty silly. I still chuckle about it. And cooking the books so that the next President took the political hit for adding it to the deficit? Hilarious.

    Really dude, the Bush administration was flying planeloads of US taxpayer cash into Iraq. 15 billlion of it simply vanished into thin air. Why the fury over investing billions into the auto industry?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  233. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jay:

    No, what I actually said captain strawman is: the left is crowing about investing $50 billion in auto bailouts while 300,000 people + lost thier jobs.

    Not only are you a hamster brain but you’re liar as well. Viz.

    @Jay:

    Also, I find it funny that they’re crowing about GM when there are fewer dealerships and employees than when Obama took office.

    Hamster brains I can live with but I’m not going to waste time arguing with liars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  234. Jay says:

    Dude. With retrospect we now know that is exactly what happened.

    Hysterical.

    Yes, you “know” all of this.

    What I even find funnier is you ignoring this part of those “memo’s”

    For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

    WMD Lies!!!!??!~!`1“

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  235. @Jay:

    Jay! That’s another one of your incomplete facts that completely distorts the story. We’re on to you, man.

    Following the advice of company lawyers, Michael Smith, the journalist who first reported on the Downing Street Memo, has said that he protected the identity of his source by reproducing all documents and returning the ‘originals’ back to the source. In some cases, a document was retyped from a photocopy, and the photocopy destroyed.[41] This has led some to question the document’s authenticity, but no official source has questioned it, and it has been unofficially confirmed to various news organisations, including the Washington Post, NBC, The Sunday Times, and the LA Times. Several other documents obtained by Smith, and treated similarly (see below), were confirmed as genuine by the UK Foreign Office.[42]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  236. Jay says:

    And cooking the books so that the next President took the political hit for adding it to the deficit?

    Oh yes, another “fact” I bet!

    Obama didn’t increase spending in your mind I’m guessing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  237. Jay says:

    Jay! That’s another one of your incomplete facts that completely distorts the story

    Um, I didnt’ distort anything.

    If you believe in the Downing street memo’s, you’re likely a loon.

    Either way, the offial policy of the US government was that Iraq had WMD’s priort to Bush ever being a candidate for President.

    Keep referencing memos that were retyped from a photocopy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  238. Jay says:

    but I’m not going to waste time arguing with liars.

    Good for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  239. Jay says:

    the Bush administration was flying planeloads of US taxpayer cash into Iraq. 15 billlion of it simply vanished into thin air

    Um, not quite.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  240. James says:

    @john personna:

    I’d worry about why there aren’t more reasoned center-right comments here.

    I’d worry about why there aren’t more reasoned center-right commentors, period.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  241. @Jay:

    Jay, the writer typed with the memo, or the photocopy, at his elbow. Your “from memory” stuff was an alternate story, hinging of the “copy” fact.

    The alternate story is a lie. The memos have been accepted, and as the quote above shows, the memos have been confirmed in back-channels.

    Dude. If you were just a little smarter you’d see that your twists and turns are self-defeating. Do you really think readers cannot follow along, and see where you dodge?

    Or … is it not about the readers? Is it some isolated pleasure you get from turning a story on its ear, and escaping to do it again?

    Because seriously, it make no sense as a reasoned and complete search for the truth. For that you need a story (stories) which handle all available facts, and not just the one or two you choose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  242. @James:

    Well it is possible that it’s selection bias. That for whatever reason, they don’t comment, or comment elsewhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  243. rodney dill says:

    @john personna:

    It’s weird, isn’t it? The OTB line is pretty much center-right, while most comments are center-left. That’s quite different from Reynolds apparent dynamic, with far-right editorial and comments.

    Perhaps some left snarks get a pass in the ratings, where right snarks would get marked down as trolls, but I don’t think that should be your main worry.

    I’d worry about why there aren’t more reasoned center-right comments here.

    That actually sums it up pretty well. One of the dynamics I think that happens is that as one side becomes dominant in numbers, it carries along enough of its baggage (zealots, moonbats, wingnuts, etc..) to shout down the opposition (via comments, not just voting) that the ‘reasoned’ individuals in the minority clam up or seek greener pastures. I’m not just speaking about OTB in this respect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  244. Jay says:

    Jay, the writer typed with the memo, or the photocopy, at his elbow.

    So? That is like some sort of error free process, right?

    Your “from memory” stuff was an alternate story, hinging of the “copy” fact.

    Except I never said “from memory” at all.

    the memos have been confirmed in back-channels

    That’s funny.
    But yes, I’m willing to believe the UK Defence Secretary was worried about Saddam using WMD’s.

    Dude. If you were just a little smarter you’d see that your twists and turns are self-defeating. Do you really think readers cannot follow along, and see where you dodge?

    Except I’m smarter than you, I haven’t “dodged” anything, nor have I “twisted and turned”
    You’re the one arguing against things I never said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  245. steve says:

    “no new nuclear plants, no offshore oil drilling, no new power plants pretend you favor “jobs””

    1) With the surge in natural gas production, nuclear plants are too expensive to build. Natural gas plants are cheaper, so that is where the industry wants to go.

    2) We have levels of natural gas and oil being produced that are at 20-30 year highs. Offshore drilling is down because natural gas prices went down so far it does not pay. Also, Brazil was paying higher than usual market rates for drilling rigs, taking away a lot of the rigs. (Read Hamilton. His commenters include a bunch of folks in the oil and gas industry. Excellent comments and links)

    3) Power plant construction is up. Coal plants have some issues, and regulations are partly to blame, but low natural gas prices make the economics favor gas.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  246. steve says:
  247. Jay says:

    Is it some isolated pleasure you get from turning a story on its ear, and escaping to do it again?

    Again, you keep asserting this, but can’t demonstrate it.

    I didn’t attempt to “turn any story on its ear

    Anywhere. At all.

    it make no sense as a reasoned and complete search for the truth.

    Asserting there was “manipulation” by the Bush Administration vis-a-vis Iraq WMD is not a demonstrated search for the truth. It is actually a meme and demonstrates a lack of critical thinking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  248. @Jay:

    So? That is like some sort of error free process, right?

    You’re only worried about “errors?” now?

    Except I’m smarter than you, I haven’t “dodged” anything, nor have I “twisted and turned”
    You’re the one arguing against things I never said.

    Come on, stop acting like gum on someone’s shoe.

    If people answer you it’s boredom or pity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  249. James says:

    @john personna: Fair point, but my experiences trying to find sound, evidence-based conservatives overall has been pretty fruitless.

    To whit: as an MA native, Mitt Romney was a Republican we could disagree with, but there was a clear understanding that as Governor he was interested in perusing social and economic polices that would have net positive effects on the state (e.g. MA healthcare reform, removal of corporate tax loopholes, etc).

    Nowadays, candidate Romney wants to cut non-defense discretionary spending to the bone, and lower capital gains and high-end income tax rates to fund it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  250. steve says:

    NBER paper on nuclear power.

    http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/ldavis/Nuclear%20Prospects.pdf

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  251. @rodney dill:

    That actually sums it up pretty well. One of the dynamics I think that happens is that as one side becomes dominant in numbers, it carries along enough of its baggage (zealots, moonbats, wingnuts, etc..) to shout down the opposition (via comments, not just voting) that the ‘reasoned’ individuals in the minority clam up or seek greener pastures. I’m not just speaking about OTB in this respect.

    Unfortunately the arc of Republican politics serves as a parallel. As I’ve said before, the people I regard as reasonable, who can balance broad facts, have been shouted out as RINOs. The feedback loop has been to empower Newt and Jay.

    I mean friggin’ hell, look at how alike those two are. One at the small end of the stage, one at the large.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  252. Jay says:

    Steve,
    did the Obama Administration seek to ban offshore drilling?

    Yes.

    Did the Obama Adminstration deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline?

    Yes.

    Is oil & natural gas production up despite the efforts of the Obama Administration?

    Yes.

    Bonus: are dozens of power plants closing this year?

    Yes!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  253. Jay says:

    You’re only worried about “errors?” now?

    Um, no. The whole thing is a joke.

    Again, If you believe in the Downing street memo’s, you’re likely a loon.

    Come on, stop acting like gum on someone’s shoe.

    Yes, this is what you’re left with when I’ve challenged you to prove me wrong.

    Now come up with another silly bromide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  254. Jay says:

    Steve,

    I did enjoy this from your link

    In some states, coal is essentially banned or is having a very difficult time getting permitted. In California, for example, there is a de facto ban on new coal-fired plants resulting from a performance standard that requires all new base-load generation to produce no more greenhouse gas emissions than a new natural gas combined cycle plant.[viii] Washington State also has a de facto ban on new coal-fired plants

    That demonstrates the point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  255. @Jay:

    Yes, this is what you’re left with when I’ve challenged you to prove me wrong.

    Oh by all means, I should stick around and play the game where you choose one fact, or less, and ignore the whole. If I name more, you can again just pick one, and again, and again.

    Right, gum-on-shoe man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  256. @Jay:

    Did you start this coal stuff being about Obama? California has nothing to do with Obama. California has not had in-state coal plants in decades.

    Another “fact” that has nothing to do with your story.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  257. James says:

    @steve:

    I agree with you that it is a terrible idea to increases taxes on those who are just getting by. The EITC especially has been very effective in directing funds to those in need.
    The 47% comment is pointing out that the planned increase in tax revenue is only originating from income tax and that less than half the country pays this tax. Covering the current level of spending will be paid for by this 47%. Any new programs / spending will be paid for by this 47%. Make no mistake; the entire 47% will be required to pay more taxes just to cover the money already borrowed.
    So the political question is: at what point is it no longer acceptable to take from one group to give to another? Reynolds is suggesting now, not because of dollar amount or cause, but because the receiving group (both those in need and those who are connected) has begun to view this taking as right. I agree with Reynolds position but disagree with his reasoning. I believe the point is now, not because there is a lack of need for new taxes, but because our politicians refuse to cut luxury spending as a first step to cover necessary spending. (Luxury spending: NEA, Paying people to not grow food, Halliburton, etc. Everyone has their own list.). If politicians are never forced to cut spending, they never will.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  258. steve says:

    @Jay-

    1) After the oil spill, there was a moratorium on new drilling. Old drilling is still going on. Levels are mostly being dictated by economic considerations.

    2) There are other reasons for delaying the Pipeline, as was initially advocated for by the Governor of Nebraska. Given that we are in the middle of an oil and natural gas glut, I fail to see the need to rush.

    3) Despite the efforts? Heads I win, tails you lose? What are your metrics here? Objectively, production is way up.

    Bonus- The construction of new plants is way up. Please see referenced article. Old plants are constantly being shut down as they age.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  259. Jay says:

    The construction of new plants is way up. Please see referenced article. Old plants are constantly being shut down as they age.

    Steve,
    the article I provided shows that the old plants are being shut down by EPA regulations.

    There are other reasons for delaying the Pipeline…Given that we are in the middle of an oil and natural gas glut, I fail to see the need to rush.

    Reasons such as?
    The Keystone XL permit has been in a review process for 3 years. If that is a “rush” then words have no meaning.

    After the oil spill, there was a moratorium on new drilling

    Um, ok? That doesn’t mean it was a good idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  260. Jay says:

    Oh by all means, I should stick around and play the game where you choose one fact, or less, and ignore the whole.

    Except I haven’t done that.

    At all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  261. WR says:

    @john personna: “Could you possibly be more dishonest?”

    Yes. Yes, he can. And I’m sure when Jay comments again, he’ll be happy to prove that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  262. Jay says:

    Despite the efforts? Heads I win, tails you lose? What are your metrics here?

    The endless regulations coming from the Obama Administration.

    Those same regulations that are ensuring dozens of power plants will close this year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  263. Jay says:

    Yes. Yes, he can. And I’m sure when Jay comments again, he’ll be happy to prove that.

    By all means, show us how smart you are and demonstrate where I’ve been “dishonest”

    Can’t wait to see it.

    Really. I can’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  264. Jay says:

    Did you start this coal stuff being about Obama? California has nothing to do with Obama. California has not had in-state coal plants in decades.

    Actually, I started it all by pointing out that the supporters of the party of no new Keystone XL Pipline, no new nuclear plants, no offshore oil drilling, no new power plants pretend you favor “jobs”

    And California’s example proves that.

    But so does the Obama Administration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  265. Jay says:

    Given that we are in the middle of an oil and natural gas glut, I fail to see the need to rush

    Steve,
    if we’re in such a “glut” why is the price of a gallon of gas up from $1.87 when Obama was sworn in?

    How about this?

    Electric bills have skyrocketed in the last five years, a sharp reversal from a quarter-century when Americans enjoyed stable power bills even as they used more electricity

    the future of energy prices and the upcoming closure of more polluting coal plants makes the long-term outlook cloudy for consumers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  266. David M says:

    @Jay: For the lulz:

    Steve,
    if we’re in such a “glut” why is the price of a gallon of gas up from $1.87 when Obama was sworn in?

    You really haven’t thought through how the price of gas dropped during the recession, and that the price has risen again as the economy improved? That’s pretty much the obvious starting place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  267. steve says:

    “That demonstrates the point.”

    I generally support states making these kinds of decisions.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  268. Dennis says:

    @Hoyticus: Following that reasoning we certainly would favor restricting the support of organized labor for the Democrats, would we not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  269. Hoyticus says:

    @Dennis: Yes, if corporations can’t use money as speech the same should apply to unions. But also we can’t ignore the fact that corporations and unions of various types support both parties. The problem is the corrosive influence of money in politics, the exact sources are of secondary concern the primary is that money isn’t speech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  270. anjin-san says:

    if we’re in such a “glut” why is the price of a gallon of gas up from $1.87 when Obama was sworn in?

    Then there is the fact that prices hit a historic high in the summer of ’08, and went into a trough after that peak collapsed. I remember filling my tank for $29, after paying $77 the previous summer.

    More wingnut boilerplate from Jay. Bithead bas a buddy!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  271. Jay says:

    You really haven’t thought through how the price of gas dropped during the recession, and that the price has risen again as the economy improved? That’s pretty much the obvious starting place.

    Um, really?

    Perhaps you can explain gas being less expense when the unemployment rate was 4.5%?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  272. Jay says:

    You really haven’t thought through how the price of gas dropped during the recession

    You really have no clue what you are talking about.

    Here is a chart to help you.

    By the way, by which measure has the “economy improved”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  273. David M says:

    @Jay: You cannot possibly be serious. The chart you linked to shows a massive price drop in 2008, during the recession as demand dropped. It’s pretty basic logic that if the country was in recession from late 2007 to mid (?) 2009 and it’s not in recession anymore, that pretty much the definition of the “economy improved”. That’s what no longer being in a recession means. As to gas prices being lower some random time in the past, I can’t imagine why anyone would think that shows anything significant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  274. anjin-san says:

    Jay,

    Thanks for providing the groovy gas price chart which helps prove my point.

    I think enough daylight has been burned on you for one lifetime. Like I said, we already have a few resident right wing village idiots here. Don’t let the doorknob hit you in the ass, and all that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  275. steve says:

    “if we’re in such a “glut” why is the price of a gallon of gas up from $1.87 when Obama was sworn in?”

    Natural gas prices are way down. Oil better reflects international demand. (Supply and demand both contribute to price.) There is also the refinery issue, though we are now exporting gasoline so I assume that is less of an issue at the moment.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  276. Kasper Hauser says:

    Herb says:
    Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 17:27
    So this is what it looks like when the Instapundit gang comes roaring to town on their motorcycles…
    .

    No Herb. This is just “Occupy the Comments Section”!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  277. richard40 says:

    The author of this article redicules Reynolds position that with less gov spending and regulation, mooching and corruption is lessened. But simple economics would indicate that Reynolds is completely right. With less gov favors to dole out, the supply of gov favors is lessened. If demand is unchanged, the price of getting gov favors will go up, since the same number of people are bidding for a lesser amount of favors. This will make the return on seeking gov favors less, therefore encouraging more poeple to make their money through the marketplace, rather than through gov rent seeking.

    He also redicules Reynolds assertion that devolving power to the states will lessen corruption, by saying that state gov can be corrupt also. But again he fails to understand simple economics. If you are a big corporation, it is much more cost effective to bribe one federal burocrat, than to bribe 50 state burocrats, even if the fed burocrat demands 10 times the price, so any fed subsidy or regulation is much more cost effective to seek than any at the state level.. He also ignores another important point. With power and funding in state hands, states are in competition with each other to attract producers, to help pay their bills, and repel moochers, to lessen their expenses. This interstate competition tends to countaract the natural tendency of gov to tax producers and pay off moochers, because states that end up caving into the leftist mochers too badly, like CA and ILL end up going broke. The fed gov however is a monopoly that is not subject to that constraint, since there is nowhere for producers to run, unless they want to leave the country. This is the main reason why big gov statists always want every program to be at the federal level.

    In fact it is this authors collumn that is actually a mess, not that of Reynolds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  278. richard40 says:

    @Chuck Pelto:

    I agree. Glenn Reynolds just shows that although academia is getting pretty bad, it still contains some pockets of excellence. Not all gov workers are bad. The real key is whether the value they return is worth their expense. Personally, I would rather have one Glenn Reynolds, that 100 Femininst history professors. The real pity is academia seems to be much better at producing leftist idiots that produce nothing of value, than at producing more real thinkers like Glenn Reynolds.

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  279. jukeboxgrad says:

    herb:

    So this is what it looks like when the Instapundit gang comes roaring to town on their motorcycles

    More like tricycles.

    kasper:

    No Herb. This is just “Occupy the Comments Section”!

    Funny how you never did that to Glenn’s comment section. Oops, that’s right, I forgot, he’s so courageous that he’s never had one.

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  280. An Interested Party says:

    I don’t need to be “told” any such thing. Obama implemented the bailout.

    You really need to check the facts, sweetie…

    On December 19, George W. Bush announced that he had approved the bailout plan, which would give loans of $17.4 billion to U.S. automakers GM and Chrysler, stating that under present economic conditions, “allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action.” Bush provided $13.4 billion now, with another $4 billion available in February 2009. Funds would be made available from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. General Motors would get $9.4 billion, and Chrysler $4 billion.

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  281. Pete Vroom says:

    As an independent, I couldn’t agree more with your blog, Steven. It’s great to see decent policy analysis rather than the the ideologue mentality too common – especially in an election year,when rationality is, as usual, usurped by narrowly focused partisanship on both sides of the aisle. Dammit, I’m going to hate teaching ANG this Spring…
    Anyhow, “Nihou” from China – this is the first time in three decades that they’re going to have similar issues – Shanghai (Elitist) vs. Qingchong (Populist) factions. Should be interesting; odds are the Populist faction wins. And they have a rule that anyone over 65 can’t run for the Working Committee of the Politburo – maybe a good idea elsewhere, LOL…

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  282. anjin-san says:

    though we are now exporting gasoline

    A reminder that oil companies are in business to make money, not to improve America’s energy position. Something few on the right seem to understand.

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