Thursday, September 15, 2011

He's Right, You Know

From the RG mailbag:

Postal worker concessions unlikely

I would bet all the stamps in my stamp drawer that if the U.S. Postal Service defaults — or more likely, eventually goes to three- or four-days-a-week delivery — because it owes $10 billion it doesn’t have, two things will happen.

I will take this bet. What are we talking, $10 worth of stamps? Are they forever stamps?
First, mailing a letter from Eugene to Boise will take 10 days because the federal government will prove, once again, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it cannot run anything efficiently.
Ok, I will mail a letter to my father in Boise after the US Postal Service goes to three or four days. If the letter takes less than 10 days, I get those delicious stamps. If the letter takes 10 days or more, we move on to step two.

Before we move on, though, a question. How would the failure to deliver an envelope to Boise in less than 10 days prove anything about the efficiency of government? Is there some private entity out there that will come to my house, pick up the letter, and deliver it to my dad's house in Boise in less than 10 days for 44 cents?

[I'm also ignoring the fact that sentence was worded so that you have the government failing to make in 10 days so as to prove that they are inefficient, not because they are inefficient. This seems like a strange thing for the government to want to prove.]
Secondly, all the Postal Service’s union members still will receive full benefits, and sooner or later will strike for more. God forbid a federal employee should pay more for health insurance or not get a pay raise or take a pay cut.
The "sooner or later" would normally put a crimp in our bet-related plans, but since US postal workers are legally barred from striking, I'm confident that one day I will be collecting those delicious stamps. Maybe you could just concede this point?

The real heart of the letter, of course, is your demand that postal workers make concessions in their pay and benefits. never pass up an opportunity to call for someone else to take a pay cut, even if it means that it might lengthen the life of a quasi-socialist, inefficient, government program you obviously hate.

I wonder what kind of cuts postal workers would need to make to make up that $10 billion. There are 574,000 postal workers in the US, so that's a mere $17,421 each. Jerks. Of course, most of the $10 billion is for a payment to their retirement fund, so they will get it back. Hopefully no such future concession will be necessary.
What’s their silver bullet for every problem? We can be certain that higher taxes are the only solution, now and forever. I am, sadly, utterly convinced that a majority of government union workers would bite and then devour the hand that feeds them.
Well, the U.S. Postal Service does not get a regular subsidy from Congress, so the demand for higher taxes would be odd, but the point holds. Government workers should love pay cuts and less health care because the wealthiest 1% needs their tax cuts. They are, after all, the job creators. Not in this particular case, because we're talking about government jobs, but, you know, in general.

Brian Palmer


Let me know in the comments where I can pick up those stamps.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This Made Me Cry

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer in voices so sweet
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die
And the Starvation Army, they play,
And they sing and they clap and they pray,
Till they get all your coin on the drum,
Then they tell you when you're on the bum
Holy Rollers and Jumpers come out
And they holler, they jump and they shout
Give your money to Jesus, they say,
He will cure all diseases today
If you fight hard for children and wife-
Try to get something good in this life-
You're a sinner and bad man, they tell,
When you die you will sure go to hell.
Workingmen of all countries, unite
Side by side we for freedom will fight
When the world and its wealth we have gained
To the grafters we'll sing this refrain

This Made Me Laugh

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Didn't Even Mention Abortion

After having watched 1.1 GOP debates [just. couldn't. do. it.], I have come to the conclusion that there are some issues on which all the candidates [except Ron Paul, he doesn't count] can agree. Which ever candidate gets the GOP nomination, rest assured he or [extremely unlikely to happen] she will agree with these five things:

1. The poor need to pay more taxes.
Did you know that it is a literal fact that 50% of working Americans do not pay taxes? [Here "taxes" is defined as federal income taxes. Almost all working Americans pay payroll taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes, fees, etc. but let's not let facts get in the way of a perfectly reasonable justification for raising taxes on the poor. Of course, if the National Parks Service puts out so much as a donations box at a national monument, you'll never hear the end of "Another Obama tax hike!" from the GOP.]

Right now, the poor have no "skin in the game" [so far my favorite phrase of the debating season. Nothing like watching some old men talk about getting some skin in the game], so they love them some big government - everything from missile defense shields to subsidized school lunches. If we could skin the poor, they'd realize that those programs aren't free, but are paid for by taxes. Then the poor would love them some missile defense [take that Gorby!], but realize that subsidized school lunches are stealing.

2. The wealthy pay too much in taxes.
It is a simple fact that for every tax dollar the federal government collects, that is one more dollar a man with a dream cannot use to start a new business. Or an already wealthy person cannot use to give to a man with a dream to start a new business. You want to solve the unemployment problem? Cut taxes on men with dreams the wealthy.

It's worse than that, though. Why should a man with a dream [and isn't that what America is all about?] work hard to fulfill his dream if he knows that the government is going to come along and take all his dream money? He won't. He just won't. As Shakespeare said, 'tis better to be a poor man with an unfulfilled dream than a successful man who has to pay a slightly higher tax rate.

3. Corporations should pay no taxes at all.
The fact of the matter is that the US economy loses $1.2 trillion dollars a year because our corporate tax rate is too high. Corporations are forced to move their headquarters overseas, just to avoid paying the unconscionable tax rate. [Nothing is more patriotic than avoiding taxes]. If the US tax rate was 0%, then US corporations would bring their money home boosting the economy. As Americans, US corporations have a duty to strangle our economy until we let them pay zero taxes. The shareholders demand it.

4. We need to drill for oil, harvest the clean coal, frack the shale, pipe the line and achieve energy independence.
It is the stupidest thing in the world that the US is going through a recession while we sit on the universe's richest energy reserves outside of the sun. If we could just unlock this vast potential and get the US off of the world commodities market, this recession would be over [in 7 to 10 years] and we'd never have to look at an Arab without spitting on him again.

5. Ron Paul is an idiot.
Ron Paul takes conservative positions to their logical conclusions and says idiotic things. He's not a serious candidate and should not even be on the same stage as the likes of Jon Huntsman [he was the governor of Utah!], Rick Santorum [the poor's favorite Republican!] and Herman Cain [9-9-9!].

Monday, September 12, 2011

Punk Rock Mondays

Wilson & Nolan, God Bless

Like the rest of America, I thank the writers of Rex Morgan, M.D. for not thinking that only one week of Spider trying to talk Kelly into going to a party "tomorrow" night would be enough. I need two full weeks of that hot action.