“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Joke of the day: Pay as you Go.

It is a good thing that the US Press are unethical cowards and the US Public is to put it mildly, stupid. Will they buy this bullshit? Probably, but let me give the press a little hint. We have had pay as you go for many years. It is called the Social Security System. 

There has never been any money in social security. It has been financed by a regressive flat tax on employers and employees. That has been possible, because the country was rich enough to afford it, had a work ethic and had a credit rating to sustain it.

Pay as you go in social security mean that you actually had to work. Will health care be dependent on your working? Of course not. Pay as you go social security was work based not need based.

That will not be true under BO.



  1. Sometimes, I think this man is clueless, living in a left wing nether whirled of socialist fantasy. Other times, he makes sense.

    Under a big spending Democrat administration and Congress, Pay go means higher taxes. Instituting Pay Go now, in midst of the recession is going to be a huge pill to swallow for the Democrats. Well, since about 2001, the Democrats have been talking a good game about fiscal responsibility and now we'll get a chance to see if they are serious or just political. If the Dems are serious about Pay Go, look for taxes to incrementally go up on a ever larger percentage of the tax base. Initially, only those making over say, $250k per year. Then as the deficits grow larger due to this wonderful social spending, the tax net will be widened to capture more revenue from the smaller fish. This cycle will repeat until the taxpayers are "fished out" or the taxers are voted out.

    Look at California for a likely picture of our national future. These people can't restrain themselves. They live and breathe big government but they cannot raise enough revenue to pay their way.

  2. WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed budget rules that would allow Congress to borrow tens of billions of dollars and put the nation deeper in debt to jump-start the administration's emerging health care overhaul.

    The "pay-as-you-go" budget formula plan is significantly weaker than a proposal Obama issued with little fanfare last month.

    It's OK To Borrow To Pay For Health Care--

    My bankers long ago put me on a diet of pay-as-you-go. Though there was some putting things off for a year sometimes, basically they had me under a tight whip.

    The result is, it seems I'm more financially stable than the State of California. :)

    If pay as you go doesn't work, there's always print as you go.

    An option I never had.

  3. Actually the whole thing sounds like a gas.

    Tue Jun 09, 08:42:00 PM EDT

    Yep. It does.

    Fall 2009 is the 100th SAS voyage.

    The itinerary:

    * Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    * Cadiz, Spain
    * Casablanca, Morocco
    * Accra, Ghana
    * Cape Town, South Africa
    * Port Louis, Mauritius
    * Chennai, India
    * Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
    * Hong Kong / Shanghai, China
    * Yokohama / Kobe, Japan
    * Honolulu / Hilo, Hawaii, USA
    * San Diego, California, USA

    A friend is driving her to Maine in August and she'll take the ferry to Nova Scotia.

    The multiplying costs are beginning to sink in for all of us, but what can you do? She worked her ass off for acceptance into the program, she's excited as hell, and that's that.

    No grandchildren yet, though. Please. Plenty of time for that later.

  4. Voight calls Obama "good actor"

    Mr. Voight likens the Obama administration to a Hollywood script, rife with technique and craft, very compelling but not necessarily real.

    "It is a very, very slick, relentless campaign to build Obama as the answer to all our needs. They know what people want and they give it in a package that can be read off a teleprompter. That's not what our country is based upon,"
    Mr. Voight said.

    He offered a terse review of the principal player.

    "Obama is a very good actor. He knows how to play it. And he is very adept at creating this 'Obama' - this character who is there whenever the world needs something,"
    he said.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. One more time:

    (Her dad and I probably won't be taking the slow boat home from Cartagena in December, however. Our would-be reward to ourselves. No longer feeling flush with funds, we'll have to think up a cheaper reward. Like that's anything new.)

  7. (Two quick mojitos and a couple of cheeseburgers at Miami Intl. That's cheap.)

  8. From, remember this?

    A Fork in the Road: Obama, McCain, and Health Care

    by Michael D. Tanner

    Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and coauthor of Healthy Competition:What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.

    Published on July 29, 2008

    Healthcare reform will be one of the top issues of the 2008 presidential election. In the face of widespread public demand for changes in the U.S. health care system, both Barack Obama and John McCain have offered detailed proposals for reform.

    Senator Obama's approach relies heavily on government mandates, regulations, and subsidies. He would mandate that employers provide health care coverage for their workers and that parents purchase health insurance for their children. He would significantly increase regulation of the insurance industry, establishing a standard minimum benefits package, and requiring insurers to accept all applicants regardless of their health. He would offer a variety of new and expanded subsidies to middle- and low-income Americans.

    In contrast, John McCain emphasizes consumer choice and greater competition in the health care industry. He would move away from our current employment-based insurance system by replacing the current tax exclusion for employer-provided insurance with a refundable tax credit for individuals. At the same time he would sharply deregulate the insurance industry to increase competition.

    Senator McCain's proposal is far from perfect, but from a free-market perspective, it appears superior to Senator Obama's plan. Obama's plan, with its heavy reliance on government, leads to the same problems that bedevil universal health care systems all over the world: limited patient choices and rationed care. McCain's proposal is much more consumer centered and taps into the best aspects of the free market.


    Speaking of daughter, one of her econ classes in the fall semester broke into groups and did comparative studies of Obamacare and McCaincare. Her group, the lonely only, came to the conclusion that McCaincare was far and away the better. Perhaps it will surprise no one that that conclusion did not go over well with the rest of the class or the professor.

    Not that any of it matters now.

  9. Last thread:

    rufus said...

    Any fool with one eye could see this coming

    Echoing my thoughts on every piece of "news" coming at us since November of last year.

    I guess shock and awe are natural human responses even though you knew it was all coming at you.

  10. Fall 2009 is the 100th SAS voyage.

    She'll be sure to want a nice "Semester at Sea" souvenir license plate holder. Add that into the expenses.

    If your budget is strained, y'all can have mine, slightly used. Least I can do in return for the tee.

    It was on the car when I bought it. I need something racier.


    But... It's OK to borrow for health care...

    Dems want mental health, dental for all...

    New GM Chairman declares: 'I don't know anything about cars'...

    Russia May Swap U.S. Treasuries for International Monetary Fund bonds...

    Terror Names Linked To Doomed AIR FRANCE Flight...

    'You Have the Right to Remain Silent': Congressman Says Obama Admin Reading Miranda Rights to High-Value Detainees...

    If one was totally cut off from the news of the world on a semester at sea it would be worth another $10,000 dollars.

    Though you might die of future shock when you stepped ashore.

  12. Rush Limbaugh brings up Obama's birth certificate

    Radio giant clowns about president's similarities, differences with God

    By Joe Kovacs

    Rush Limbaugh

    Nationwide attention about President Obama's lack of producing a long-form birth certificate proving his eligibility for office got a boost today when top-rated radio host Rush Limbaugh joked about the subject in comparing Obama to God.

    Asking rhetorically what God has in common with Obama, Limbaugh said, "Neither has a birth certificate."

    "How do they differ?" Limbaugh continued. "God does not think he's Obama. And there's another difference. Liberals love Obama."

    Limbaugh repeated the punch lines several times throughout his show and noted, "another difference is that Obama gets better press. ... Another difference is that God only demands to be worshipped once a week."

    Later, he sprinkled in other differences, including:

    God asks for only 10 percent of your money

    God gives you freedom to live your life as you choose

    God's plan to save us is actualy written down for you to read

    Upon hearing the discussion, one listener in Miami phoned in to tell Limbaugh, "You're acting like you're God."

    The host responded, "I am better than most people but I don't think I'm God. Obama does. He's got a messianic complex."

    Limbaugh commented that left-leaning listeners "can't stand any comedy about Obama."

  13. I cheered and shouted: ‘I love you, Uribe! I want to have your baby!'" --

    Colombia: A Nation Reborn

  14. My own personal opinion: Uribe will not run for a third term, though he would win it. Santos will run in his stead and the FTA will be the reward from us.

  15. I wonder how many women in America want to have an Obamababy? :(

  16. Thanks for the offer of the plate, linear. Funny, my mother was just discussing spending money for souvenir ticky-tacky.

    How much spending money covers ten ports of call?

    The expedited tourist passport and visas alone are five hundred bucks.

    Books another thousand, easily.

    Road trip to Maine...who knows?

    And that's before we bite into the meat of the thing.

    Good thing her grandparents have some deep pockets and adore her. (My mother: "Deep what? Excuse me?")

  17. Oh, bob, there are probably bunches and bunches of political groupies in the US who would gladly, deliriously have an Obamababy.

    Remember the swooners/screamers/criers, like early Beatles fans, back during the campaign?

  18. Remember how the German bimbos swooned over Hitler?

    Lord, some of those old films are scary.

  19. What did Adam Smith say?

    There's a lot of ruin in a nation.

    We're an exception to some things, but not that.

  20. Keep spending:

    U.S. stocks pared their losses Wednesday as hopes for economic growth were tempered by fears of rising interest rates.

    Major indexes were more or less flat for much of the session, but fears about creeping interest rates choking off the incipient economic recovery heightened when yields rose in the wake of an auction around 1 p.m. EDT.

    Long-dated Treasurys bore the brunt of the selling, pushing the yield on the 10-year note to as high as 3.996%, the strongest level since mid-October and approaching the psychologically important 4% level. The last time the 10-year note's yield rose above 4% was in October. A 30-year Treasury sale is scheduled for Friday.

  21. When we're all driving Tattered Nanos or Government Motors BunnyMobiles, the death toll in an accident chain like this will be about 100--

    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) - About 30 vehicles piled up in chain-reaction crashes in heavy morning fog on a Southern California mountain highway Wednesday. At least 15 people were injured, and wreckage was scattered for a half-mile.
    Conditions at the scene on Interstate 15 near the Cajon Pass summit were too foggy for helicopters to fly, so ambulances took the injured to hospitals, said Tom Barnes, a San Bernardino County fire dispatch supervisor.

    He said 10 people were taken to hospitals and five were assessed by paramedics. California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Hesser said none of the injuries appeared life-threatening.

    But, it will keep medical expenses real low.

  22. First the abortion Doc, now this lame brain.

    That DHS report on domestic terrorism more accurate than one may want to believe. Homegrown extremists, on te Left, Right and Religious extremes.

    If this von Brunn is what he claims to be, then the pudding is none to tasty, really.

    Von Brunn, who claims on his own website to have been a decorated PT-boat captain and lieutenant in the US Navy during World War II, has written a book entitled ‘Kill the Best Gentiles!” According to its preface, its purpose it “to present WHITE YOUTH” with factual information to explain that an “age old CONSPIRACY does exist to destroy Western Civilisation.”

    Von Brunn also has a Wikipedia user profile in which he champions the virtues of Western culture and the practice of eugenics. In another article he claims that Holocaust history is destroying Western civilization.

    He is clearly a Holocaust denier – a belief decried by Mr Obama during his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last week. Von Brunn bemoans that “Jews control all important sources of information”, and claims that there is a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the white gene pool. He also wrote: “America is a Third-World racial garbage-dump – stupid, ignorant, dead broke, and terminal. Whites LOVE their Enemies. Prepare to die, Whitey.

  23. Peter Allen, in Paris

    Two passengers with names linked to Islamic terrorism were on the Air France flight which crashed with the loss of 228 lives, it has emerged.

    French secret servicemen established the connection while working through the list of those who boarded the doomed Airbus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 31.

    Flight AF 447 crashed in the mid-Atlantic en route to Paris during a violent storm.

    While it is certain there were computer malfunctions, terrorism has not been ruled out.
    There is a possibility the name similarities are simply a "macabre coincidence", the source added, but the revelation is still being "taken very seriously".

    France has received numerous threats from Islamic terrorist groups in recent months, especially since French troops were sent to fight in Afghanistan.

  24. As I have said, more than once, there is a continuity of policy and purpose, in the administration of the Federal government.

    Now, it seems, even John Bolton agrees.

    Obama continues Bush's 2nd term -- badly.
    By John R. Bolton | Wednesday, June 10, 2009.

    Former President George W. Bush's mistakes resulted from sleep-walking away from conservative values, whereas President Obama openly repudiates them, both believing in and fully understanding what he is doing. Accordingly, conservatives need engage in no "agonizing reappraisals" of their fundamental views. They need to adjust to being in opposition, but that is the purest kind of opportunity, not a burden. Mr. Obama's wearying and unpresidential refrain of blaming his predecessor is implicitly a trap, an effort to entice us to reflexively defend the Bush administration. Instead, we should forthrightly explain where Mr. Bush went wrong, when he did, repudiating his errors as cheerily as Mr. Obama does, and then, agreeably to conservative principles, just as cheerily critiquing Mr. Obama's even more egregious mistakes.

    Mr Bolton discounts the pigs achieving orbit, in Lebanon, but that is his perogitive. There is truth in his under lying tenent, though.

    ... we should forthrightly explain where Mr. Bush went wrong, when he did, repudiating his errors as cheerily as Mr. Obama does ...

    This is true in both the domestic and foreign policy arenas, or Mr Bush will personify "conservatives". Which, while I find it both funny, inaccurate and sad, will come to pass regardless.

  25. Congressman Mark Kirk.

    Well, they already are beginning to hedge. I think they expect quite a bit of inflation in the United States next year. So they made a major investment. They funded a second strategic petroleum reserve, and they plan to buy $80 billion worth of gold. That's two Fort Knoxes. Both of those investments only make sense if you expect significant dollar inflation.

  26. The NYTimes, on topic

    Mr. Obama — responding to recent signs of skittishness among those lenders — met with 40 members of Congress at the White House on Tuesday and called for the re-enactment of pay-as-you-go rules, requiring Congress to pay for any new programs it passes.

    The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years.

    You can think of that roughly $2 trillion swing as coming from four broad categories: the business cycle, President George W. Bush’s policies, policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend, and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama.

    The first category — the business cycle — accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing. It’s a reflection of the fact that both the 2001 recession and the current one reduced tax revenue, required more spending on safety-net programs and changed economists’ assumptions about how much in taxes the government would collect in future years.

    About 33 percent of the swing stems from new legislation signed by Mr. Bush. That legislation, like his tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, not only continue to cost the government but have also increased interest payments on the national debt.

    Mr. Obama’s main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000. Such policies — together with the Wall Street bailout, which was signed by Mr. Bush and supported by Mr. Obama — account for 20 percent of the swing.

    About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.

    If the analysis is extended further into the future, well beyond 2012, the Obama agenda accounts for only a slightly higher share of the projected deficits.

    How can that be? Some of his proposals, like a plan to put a price on carbon emissions, don’t cost the government any money

    Anyone that could seriously make the case for this economic carbon emission tax gibberish should not be elected, but they are, time and again. Or appointed to jobs in the Federal Bureaucracy

    Even when the Republicans controlled the Government, they did not change the scoring methods at the CBO. They just redefined unemployment and inflation. In each case lowering the number that was reported to the public. Not by changing the reality of the situation, but by changing the reported standard of measurement.

    Comparing apples to oranges and declaring that scurvy won't be problem.

  27. The idea is beginning to perculate, but remember, we had it pegged, here at the EB, before the Lebanese even had heard the speech, in Cairo.

    Heard Chris Mathews mention the theme, yesterday, then this in the Altanta J-C.

    Obama changed Lebanese minds
    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Osama bin Laden was so worried that President Obama’s

    Cairo speech might win over Muslim hearts and minds that the jihadist sent out a pre-emptory audiotaped message denouncing the United States and warning against Obama’s “new beginning.”

    It turns out that bin Laden was right to be worried: The president did, it seems, change some minds in the Middle East.

    On Sunday, an American-aligned coalition won a surprising victory in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections, pushing back a challenge by Hezbollah, which had been widely expected to win a majority of seats. There were undoubtedly many factors at play — Lebanon’s politics are fractured and Byzantine — but Obama’s well-received speech has been credited with making a difference.

  28. So I came to Lebanon on Sunday to watch the Lebanese hold their national election. It was indeed free and fair — not like the pretend election you are about to see in Iran, where only candidates approved by the Supreme Leader can run. No, in Lebanon it was the real deal, and the results were fascinating: President Barack Obama defeated President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.

    O.K., I know. Neither man was on the ballot, but there’s no question whose vision won here. First, a solid majority of Lebanese Christians voted against the list of Michel Aoun, who wanted to align their community with the Shiite Hezbollah party, and tacitly Iran, because he viewed them as being best able to protect Christian interests — not the West. The Christian majority voted instead for those who wanted to preserve Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence from any regional power.

    Second, a solid majority of all Lebanese — Muslims, Christians and Druse — voted for the March 14 coalition led by Saad Hariri, the son of the slain Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. This U.S.-supported coalition sees Lebanon’s future as a state independent of Syrian and Iranian influence and committed to its pluralism, modern education, a modern economy and a progressive outlook

    The NYTimes

  29. While others speak of the elections in Iran as the source of a new beginning, as well.

    To suggest that President Obama "went over the heads" of the Mullahs, speaking directly to the great mass of moderate Muslims that inhabit the Iranian segment of the Islamic Arc.

    Will Obama's public diplomacy weaken the Mullahs, too? Will pigs fly, or crash on take off in Tehran?
    Regardless of the outcome, it will be benficial to the US cause to have a viable opposition to Abracadbra appear in Iran, and the oil will still flow.

  30. If President Ahmadinejad doesn’t steal Iran’s presidential election on June 12, and if Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei doesn’t overturn the results, that tumultuous country could be on a path to becoming America’s most important partner in the region. Those are big ifs. And the road forward will be most difficult. But so far, the electioneering has probably been the freest ever in that part of the world, and the leading challenger, Mir Hussein Mousavi, talks like a man the White House could work with on some of the most vexing and dangerous regional issues.

    Whatever happens this time, Americans will finally be able to see clearly that Iran is not a monolith totally dominated by crazy clerics dedicated to Western destruction. They’ll see an Iran split between the familiar Islamic revolutionaries uniting clerics and the poor, on the one hand, and the commercial classes now allied with the educated, women and youth, on the other. They’ll see that the crazies, even if they hold on to power this time, are losing their grip. They’ll see other Iranian leaders who want to rejoin the world and will adjust their nation’s policies accordingly

    A different perception presented at the Daily Beast, then at the NYTimes, as to the value of Iranian elections.

    Could Obama score the hat trick for Bush policy success, across the board?

    Oh, the irony of that.

    Success achieved, two years late.

  31. But the US could be on the cusp of policy success, at last. Built upon the foundations of neo-con idealogy, finished with a hint of Muslim populism from the President of the United States.

    Much as President John Quincy Adams renounce the tenents of the Treaty his father signed, with the Muslim pirate fiefdoms.

    Diplomatic "untruths" spoken to gain political advantage and expediency on the ground. False praise of the target and humility for past "errors", we've made.

    If that attitude brings out the urban vote, in Iran, negotiated moderation may just win.

  32. Or was it the Treaty that Jefferson signed?
    I think that is it.

    Expediency and a differece of perspective, even then.

  33. Read an article just yesterday maintaining that O's speech had zero impact on the Lebanese elections, they being totally focused on their own internal problems. And it was the Christian vote, not the muslim vote, that was a little something of a surprise. The situation seems to have changed not so much.

  34. von Brunn probably subscribed to the view that all the Jews evacuated the World Trade Center, or didn't go to work that day, that Israel was behind the whole thing. He was going for the Federal Reserve a decade ago.

    Let's not forget the muslim that shot the recruiters.

    All of them motivated by some 'cause' or other.

    If they'd just shoot one another, the country might be better off. Would be better off.

  35. Fox News--

    The move is reportedly creating chaos in the field among the CIA, FBI and military personnel, according to Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich. The soldiers, especially, he says, are frustrated that giving high value detainees Miranda rights — the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney — is impeding their ability to pursue intelligence on the battlefield, according to a story first reported by the Weekly Standard. …

    Rogers, a former FBI special agent who served in the U.S. Army, just returned from Afghanistan and a visit to Bagram Air Base, where he said the rights are being read.

    “I witnessed it myself, talked to the people on the ground,” he said. “What you have is two very separate missions colliding in the field in a combat zone. Again, anytime that you offer confusion in that environment that’s already chaotic and confusing enough, you jeopardize a soldier’s life.” U.S. commanders told FOX News soldiers are not reading Miranda rights to detainees, but those commanders could not speak to whether the FBI was doing so. …

    Asked if the Obama administration had ordered that Miranda rights be read to certain detainees, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, “I have no reason to disbelieve a member of Congress. But I don’t know any of the circumstances that are involved around it.” But Gibbs acknowledged that it wouldn’t be a surprise to find out that it was happening.

    What's next, search warrants signed by a stateside judge?

  36. China wants the USA to pledge 1% of our GDP to help them clean up their pollution mess. heh


    That report of a couple terrorist names on the passenger list of the French flight sure does sound suspicious.

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