Statists Write History

In today's history lesson, we have something called the "Addled Parliament."  Surely that cannot be a good name to have, and in fact the name was given as a term of derision, very like how the Left describes the current Congress as obstructionist and ineffectual.

So why did it gain the name "addled"?  It turns out, for about the same reasons the current Congress comes under derision from Obama:  It did not give the King all the money he wanted.  Via Wikipedia:

The Addled Parliament was the second Parliament of England of the reign of James I of England (following his 1604-11 Parliament), which sat between 5 April and 7 June 1614. Its name alludes to its ineffectiveness: it lasted no more than eight weeks and failed to resolve the conflict between the king, who wished to raise money in the form of a 'Benevolence', a grant of £65,000 and the House of Commons (who were resisting further taxation). It was dissolved by the king.

Parliament also saw no reason for a further grant. They had agreed to raise £200,000 per annum as part of the Great Contract and as the war with Spain had reached its resolution with the 1604 Treaty of London, they saw the King's continued financial deficit as a result of his extravagance (especially on Scottish favourites such as Robert Carr) and saw no justification for continued high spending.

Moreover there remained the continuing hostility as a result of the kings move of setting impositions without consulting Parliament.

Wow, none of that sounds familiar, huh?  In fact, James was an awful spendthrift.  Henry the VII was fiscally prudent.  Henry the VIII was a train wreck.  Elizabeth was a cheapskate but got into expensive wars, particularly in her declining years, and handed out too many government monopolies to court favorites.  But James came in and bested the whole lot, tripling Elizabeth's war time spending in peace time, mainly to lavish wealth on family and court favorites, and running up debt over 3x annual government receipts.   History, I think, pretty clearly tells us that Parliament was absolutely correct to challenge James on spending and taxes, and given that it took another century, a civil war, a Glorious Revolution, a regal head removal, and a lot of other light and noise to finally sort this issue out, it should not be surprising that this pioneering Parliament failed.  Yet we call it "addled".

  • Steve D

    It wasn't entirely Elizabeth's fault. They often attacked her. What was she supposed to do?

  • LarryGross

    legislation requires compromise. Refusing to legislate ANYTHING is NOT the same as refusing to implement what the POTUS or King wants. Gridlock is NOT governance.

    The POTUS does not spend money. They POTUS can only spend what Congress authorizes him to do. The current level of spending is spending approved by Congress and voted in agreement every year if not by budget by CR.

    The last CR - continuing resolution was in Sept 2012 and a MAJORITY of Republicans voted to continue spending at the same deficit rate that was established years ago. They could have insisted on cuts as to get support for voting yes - but they did not. Instead they voted to continue deficit spending - then 2 months later threatened to vote to not increase the debt ceiling - even though they KNEW they had just voted to cause that to happen.

    We're not talking about "addled" here. We're talking about hypocrisy and gridlock. Hypocrisy because you cannot say we have a spending problem and at the same time vote in favor of continuing it - as they did do in Sept 2012.

    Gridlock -because they will not find compromise to move forward. The last budget the GOP passed in the house took Medicare to a voucher system and repealed ObamaCare and there was no compromise position. It was take it or leave it and the Senate left it.

    Again - the POTUS cannot spend a dime without Congress approval - and Congress - both houses and both parties agreed in Sept 2012 to continue deficit spending and could NOT agree on what to not spend on.

    The irony here is that some in the Congress say it is up to Obama to decide what to cut but oh.. it cannot be Defense. Now.. i'm simply not understanding why the Congress which has the power to budget and decide spending is saying it's the POTUS job to decide cuts when it is, in fact, their job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.slyfield Matthew Slyfield

    Two points,

    1) The president is required by the constitution to submit a budget proposal. So not it's not strictly Congresses job.

    2) "legislation requires compromise." You can not accuse one party of refusing to compromise. Compromise is a two way street. From what I see the Democrats are constantly pounding the Republicans for refusing to compromise while at the same time making proposals that make NO concessions to the Republicans and refusing to budge from those proposals when the Republicans try to negotiate. That is NOT compromise.

  • bigmaq1980

    As you'd put it....Clearly a liberal bias. Same darn Dem talking points / blather.

    Our Founding Fathers set up a system of checks and balances, not a system for rubber stamp agreement, with the Executive Order provision as a back door to bypass the legislative deliberation process, if one is not getting his way.

    You knowingly miss/obscure the major fact about how the Dems have been AVOIDING bringing a budget proposal of their own to a vote in the Senate. No budget has been passed since 2009, and the Dems had a majority in all three branches for part of that time - where is the compromise in that?

    If one's objective is to continue massive deficit spending, and to avoid the politics of getting specific about what to cut, while at the same time demonizing one's political opponents for their specifics, it is a pretty damn effective Dem strategy.

    Rather easy to understand how the 2012 CR agreement happens with the above strategy in mind...the GOP choice: is either to shut down the government by blocking funding, or to agree to continue at the same funding levels...which would one do going into an election year?

    Look, both parties have created this mess (yep, GOP get my blame too, most definitely), but continuing down the path the Dems are specifically sending us is suicidal.

    Trying to say our economy is "improving" while ignoring counter facts, and to say the debt, deficits, etc are not a real problem (all as some in the media and Dems have been) is worse than deceptive (echos of 2007/8?).

    Either you see that by the nature of government (incentives) there is never enough revenue to satisfy and see that we are headed for economic catastrophe in short order, or you want to play the political blame game.

    So ya, go ahead, and respond that this is all just Fox blather, partisan, etc., etc.

  • LarryGross

    didn't the President submit one? I think he did but anyhow..how does he actually do that? what form? doesn't it take the form of legislators from his party introducing proposals?

    re: compromise - both parties... when the ONLY budget that the House sends to the Senate contains language to voucherize Medicare and repeal Obamacare - what happens next?

    Such a proposal is a non-starter and the folks who passed know it was/is because it's essentially symbolic not substantiative. A substantiative proposal would attempt to move the ball by making compromise proposals rather than proposals that they know will go nowhere.

    You cannot - as the GOP say there is a spending problem.. then vote for CRs to continue deficit spending without making specific proposals for specific cuts and instead all we have seen is a cockamamie budget from Ryan that kills Medicare, repeals ObamaCare and claims the budget will balance in 2030 by having more tax cuts that will generate totally unrealistic rates of growth to pay for all of DOD without any cuts. That's simply not a serious proposal.

    We cannot get to a balanced budget by cutting only entitlements and not including DOD AND increasing some taxes. The numbers simply don't work - yet the only budget from the house does essentially that and claims "balance" will be reached by 2030 (and the deficit continuing to add to the debt in all those years).

    I'm not excusing the Dems either - they are content with watching the GOP twist and turn in the wind ... and believe that the GOP loses at elections on their current path.

    Remember, we DID have a balanced budget in 2000... and it DID come about with a Dem POTUS and a GOP Congress so we KNOW it can happen but you DO have to get enough Dem votes on any budget proposal.. and that does not seem to be what the GOP really intends.... right now...

  • LarryGross

    re: no budget. you are correct. but how many GOP voted in favor of continuing deficit spending via the CRs?

    re: cuts - if you believe cuts need to be made then the least you should do is name the cuts - right?
    it makes no sense at all to refuse to name the cuts and insist the other side that you accuse of tax & spending - name the cuts. Why would you think that the other side who has a reputation of being tax & spenders would name the cuts? That seems like the height of hypocrisy to say that we have a "spending problem" (and we do, I agree) then refuse to name the cuts but go ahead and vote yes for the CRs that continue deficit spending.

    everyone is going to have to take a haircut here - tax payers, entitlements and DOD - there is no way to do this any other way. I would have RESPECT for ANYONE who said that and then laid out the cuts they would support - like Simpson Bowels except we need it coming from the elected.

    So far, I have yet to see a serious budget proposal coming from the folks who say we must cut and instead they insist such cuts must come from the other side. WTF?

  • nehemiah

    Yes, the Pres did submit a budget, twice and each time it went down in a unanimous defeat. Couldn't even get 1 democrat senator to vote for it. Submitting a joke is not the same as submitting a budget.

    Compromise???? How about unraveling all the job killing legislation of the past 20 years. Jefferson had it right, "Most bad government
    has grown out of too much government."

  • LarryGross

    geeze... Obama is ALSO responsible for the last 20 years even when the GOP was in charge?

    who knew?

    ;-)

    seriously.. if Hillary or similar becomes POTUS - we're going to hold them to the same standard that if they don't unwind the laws passed in the last 20 years - that means they are a bad POTUS?

    not sure how you would elect someone who says that... do we think if someone promised to submit a budget that got rid of cabinets and entitlements, job killing regs.. that they'd actually get elected to POTUS?

    seems like an impossible thing... no?

  • marque2

    So what if the majority of the Republicans voted no on the continuing resolution? Would you be the first to scream about gridlock?

    I got to see a bit of MSNBC yesterday - what a crack up that was. First Al Sharpton put up pictures of the top 5 presidents of all time and asked a panel where Obama would fit. (Somewhere around Lincoln it turns out. Because Obama freed the um, the um, he enslaved us all on foodstamps and disability - wait isn't that anti-Lincoln)

    Then I saw this trope about how the stimulus worked. (Not mentioning it started under Bush) and not mentioning the growth is hyper slow, and then complaining that the GOP wants to stymie this by insisting on a 2% drop in the increase in growth for this year. I guess the lefty goal is to blame the recession we all know is coming this year - on the GOP for wanting a bit of fiscal responsibility - not that the hyper government spending is causing the economy to slow. Nope that can't be it. It was interesting though.

  • marque2

    Very good point, we hear very little about Harry Reid stonewalling, Harry's refusal to even create a budget, it is apparently just the GOP's fault.

  • marque2

    Actually, just keeping the growth at 2% a year would get rid of the entire deficit in less than 10 years. it is just that both parties (dems more though) want to keep spending on all sorts of programs, and don't want to make "hard" choices like telling SSA people you will have to take 2% less if you retire in the next 5 years. In fact dem politicians want many to get on SSA early, so that they can be taken off the unemployment rolls.

    Of course liberals have been drumming the unrealistic expectations of just sucking more from the rich. Making millionaires pay more for SSA (their whole salary) and not allow them to get SSA has populist appeal, but the reality is that it is such a small drop in the bucket that it would go unnoticed.

    The 3% income tax increase on the rich this year, was spent in 5 days. It is doubtful raising taxes on the rich another 3 - 6% would cover anything.

  • LarryGross

    me? no. especially if they had a plan for cuts over the longer and insisted we start somewhere with specific cuts.

    re: MSNBC - I watch both FOX and MSNBC so I see both sides.

    there is no question in my mind starting way back with the birther, secret muslim stuff that huge damage was done to the process. You cannot impune a man's person like that without putting out a message of your overall intentions...

    the stimulus DID work but the estimates of how damaged the economy was - was way low so that mostly what the stimulus did was nip off the depth of it - rather than adding net jobs.

    the intent of the stimulus was never more than helicoptering in money to boost aggregate demand.
    we do a fair amount of that already with DOD spending - that if you seriously total up ALL the spending for national defense - comes damn close to be the total amount we take in - in tax revenues. It's simply unsustainable but we say that cuts would be "devastating". Think about this - we spend more on defense than the next 10 countries combined - and at this point - twice what we spent in 2000 when we had a surplus and we can't cut?

    when you say "hyper" spending - do you include defense?

  • LarryGross

    nope. it's the Dems fault.. but as I said earlier - the GOP can draw their line in the sand when CRs are done - and in fact, 70 of them DID draw a line in the sand but the other 300 folded... and would not stick to their self-claimed principles ... in part because they would not simply name the cuts they wanted.

  • LarryGross

    SSA is financed from FICA - not general revenues and it already is required by law to trim benefits to be no more than what available FICA revenues generate and, in fact, benefits WILL start to reduce within a decade in no reforms are made.

    but this won't change the budget form general revenues at all.. it's a false idea and cutting SSA would actually have the perverse effect of doing now - what would automatically happen a decade from now when demographics overwhelm what FICA generates.

    By including SSA in the budget argument - it just totally diffuses the real issues - like Medicare.
    Medicare DOES have a serious problem - but by using the kitchen sink approach and including SS - it actually causes opposition - and should.

    we need to focus on the real problems and let the ones alone that are not problems but instead just the focus of groups that are opposed to the CONCEPT of SS.

    SS has to be fixed in the next decade or so but even if it went negative right now - the impact on the budget is still zero because, by law, the response is to cut benefits... not get general revenue money.

  • marque2

    It is tit for tat. What about all falsehoods about Bush'es role in Katrina, or how he "lied" about nuke intelligence with Iraq? You don't think that hurt Bush's candidacy. It made him weak in his second term which may be why the GOP didn't have the strength to stop the credit crisis which the GOP acknowledged and at least timidly tried to correct in 2005, before they were all called racists by Dem leaders.

    Bush was also suppose to have some unholy alliance with oil companies and Halliburton, also gross stretches of the truth at best.

    And if you want to talk lefty wing nuts. You know that Bush personally gave the order to destroy the twin towers on behalf of the Jews.

    Do you recall any of this - If Obama got hit with birther stuff, which is considered a joke on left and right, and we got to think he may be Muslim (what is wrong with that) because his anti-American reverend preached Muslim theology and was one himself - before he found he could make more money being Christian - well then I think he got off quite light.

  • marque2

    I didn't need the whole lecture - the government "owes" SSA money because the surplus is in federal bonds, so cutting is relevant. And to avoid severe cuts in 20 years they would only need to make minor cuts today.

    As for the rest of the budget, just simply reducing the increase by a small amount will create a surplus in 10 years, no-one has the balls to do it, and they use fake accounting (if the program it doesn't increase 7% the mere 5% increase is called draconian cuts on the part of the GOP) to try to keep the spending going up at a much faster pace than it should.

  • LarryGross

    Katrina? WTF has that got to do with anything? Do you think Bush did not LIE about WMD? I think he hurt himself. and this is the reason the GOP did not stop the credit crisis? are you serious guy?

    yes there are left wing nuts but you won't find them calling Bush a secret muslim from Kenya without a birth cert. the things done against Obama were personal and to his person - not his politics. You say the birther stuff did not come from the GOP ? Did you listen to the surrogates for Romnney and the rest of the GOP candidates for office? Did you hear Romney forthrightly disavow such talk? Did you listen to Sununu one of Romney's top surrogates?

    how can you defend this guy? it was dog whistle racism... and it still pervades much of the GOP and is a major reason they lost the minorities in the election.

  • marque2

    So you admit you are on the fringe when it comes to GOP candidates.

    Like I said tit for tat. You don't think all the aspersions against Bush were that big deal, and gloss over the constant whine, and even have a conspiracy theory or two yourself about Bush - per you post above.

    And for Obama, a small set of kooks say he didn't have a birth cert, and a few guys with foundations kinda whisper it on the side and he may be Muslim - and that has caused him to crash - I say big whoop. Hey did the alleged "massive Muslim/Birther smear campaign" which seems to have existed mostly in the minds of MSNBC hosts help Romney in his amazing presidential victory? I would say it did not.

  • marque2

    Fica has to store its surpluses in Government bonds, and the government is obligated to pay these bonds back to SSA when the time comes. The money is already spent so it will involve cuts in the general fund to fund SSA, or accumulation of more debt from standard bond auctions.

  • bigmaq1980

    "Refused to name cuts" is a falsehood and diversionary tactic...

    The GOP did submit proposals for cuts, and passed legislation in the House that had a level of specificity that amounts to significantly more than anything the Senate Dems have done. In fact, the GOP opened themselves up to criticism for some of those specifics - e.g. recall the campaign ads with Ryan throwing a wheel-chaired "grandmother" over a cliff?

    Heck. Obama/the Dems didn't even use the Simpson/Bowles (not his Bowels, btw) plan as a basis for discussion.

    Look, the GOP are no angels, and demagogued the funding transfer to Obamacare from Medicare, but there has been more serious movement on their part.

    Fact is, there is a point to be had that they seem to roll on every successive negotiation deadline...add in their history in spending 2000-2008, and one wonders if they are just strategically incompetent or cynically don't walk the talk - probably both...which gets to my point that government is just too big, creating the wrong incentives to abuse its power.

    We ought to be demanding from both that they solve this problem...and it is a spending problem, not a revenue problem that many would like us to believe. The solution should overwhelmingly favor spending cuts, lest we perpetuate the natural incentive for government to spend even more (look at the history of deficits since the 1930s - very little discipline to hold down spending).

    You have to dig through the economic numbers on your own to find out that we are at the precarious levels not seen since the 1930s...that did not turn out well for people of that time.

  • marque2

    Oh and by the way, yes we should cut defense as well. But it isn't as large as many folks claim. I have heard 900 billion, but then it turns out Homeland security, VA medical and several other non-defense programs are now bundled with defense. Real defense the way it was defined before 9/11 - on real military is only about 500 billion. But seriously we could zero out HUD and the Department of education and not suffer ill effects, I don't know why the libs have to always pick on defense, when there are so many worthless programs out there that only serve to prop up unions, so the unions can funnel more support to the dems. .

  • http://twitter.com/3rdMoment 3rdMoment

    Not sure about your history. Government spending by England (later the United Kingdom) went way up after the Glorious Revolution, not down, accompanied by the creation of the Bank of England and the initiation of a national debt.

    What happened over the subsequent centuries? The largest increase in prosperity the world has ever known, driven initially by England. As Hamilton understood (but not Jefferson or Jackson), having some national debt can be a key foundation for a modern financial system which can be very important for commercial development.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.slyfield Matthew Slyfield

    Larry,

    I don't read nehemiah as blaming Obama for all the job killing laws passed in the last 20 years.

    However, Obama submitting budgets for only two of is first 4 years in office and even the submitting budgets that went down in flames on 0-100 votes in a Democrat controlled Senate is definitely Obama's fault.

  • LarryGross

    wait. Bush was responsible for the deaths of over 4000 young Americans and thousands more damaged for life and a hundred thousand or more civilian deaths for what benefit? And now you're worried about one or two "innocents" who knowingly associate with known terrorists as equivalent to what Bush did?

    with regard to dog whistle politics - Romney and major GOP leaders had the opportunity to call it racism and not representative and the GOP as a whole and they did not. The only one of them that stood up to that was John McCain and a couple of others. Romney did not and Sununu did not.

  • marque2

    I stand corrected:
    So you admit you are on the fringe when it comes to GOP candidates who hold/held federal office.

    My apologies.

  • marque2

    And has Obama done anything about the deaths of young Americans, as he promised, or has he just added more blood to the pudding?

    http://icasualties.org/

  • LarryGross

    there are casualties under Obama but if he had his way - every kid would come home right now. He's stuck with what his predecessor started and even as he tried to wind it down - the same folks who supported Bush are saying that this proves that Obama is weak.

    right? tell the truth.

  • LarryGross

    I'm not connecting with your statement about being on the fringe... explain.

  • marque2

    May I call you a name?

    Hypocrite comes to mind. There you were right I joined the crowd. But it is too funny. Conservatives are all bad for the birther issue, which most of us think is a joke anyway, but you can't bring yourself to admit that Bush had the same issues - probably worse - since he still gets blamed today, and then you go perpetuating the untruths yourself?

    What is that all about? Why is it all different for a conservative in office? Why are you being dishonest about this? Hmm

    And as for the Obama wanted them all home - didn't he do a surge in his favored war in Afghanistan? Oh - don't remember that - I call bull on that one too.

    Over and out

  • marque2

    And as for the Obama wanted them all home - didn't he do a surge in his favored war in Afghanistan? Oh - don't remember that - I call bull on that one too.

    If you are going to call me a prevaricator, you should not prevaricate yourself.

  • LarryGross

    re: Bush.. I'm still not following you guy. Bush did not have anything like a birther issue. No one accused him of being a secret muslim from kenya without a birth certificate. There were folks who did not like his war policies - granted but it was because we were using our young as cannon fodder for no good purpose.

    Bush got rightly blamed for sending 4000+ of our young people to their deaths for no good reason and now the very same people who did supported Bush and his war say Obama is just as bad for killing what.. a couple dozen "innocents" who lived near known terrorists? A hundred thousand or more innocent civilians died when Bush did his thing. how do you say that it's hypocritical to not see Bush and Obama as the same thing?

    the "surge"? Who wanted that ? Who brought pressure to do the surge to tell Obama to listen to what his field commanders wanted? who advocated that? Wasn't it the very same people who wanted to send our young people into Iraq and Afghanistan to die? and for what? what did we accomplish in doing that? and now the very same people say that if Obama won't go into Libya or Syria or Iran it proves he is "soft" and not like Bush - who would likely go into those countries?

    I think the two are very different in their approach to war to be honest and the neocons, Cheney, etc are all over Obama for this difference. Haven't you noticed?

  • marque2

    "Haven't you noticed?"
    I notice you just always want to be right, and have no ability to reflect.

  • LarryGross

    and not you? hey.. I'm the first one to admit that Obama is a long way from "sliced bread". He has his problems. He's arrogant and aloof... and holds grudges... apparently... but to think he is comparable to Bush on things like wars and drones is just not real.

    I just think Bush was co-opted by the NeoCons who took advantage of 9-11 to get us into the middle east - and it was disastrous... and Obama wants out of there... but is willing to use drones to go after terrorists... even if there is (as there is with all weapons) the likelihood of collateral damage but I far, far prefer a half dozen to thousands.

    I give DO give Bush credit for NCLB and his ability to connect with Hispanics and I like his father and his brother whom I consider moderates.

    I just got a bad taste in my mouth from the dog whistle politics against Obama from the beginning and it continued without principled GOP standing up and rejecting it - and to their own harm at the election.

    I am a blue dog Dem. I am fiscally conservative but eschew politics of race, gender, etc.

    I believe that we NEED principled fiscal conservatives from the GOP - who will be EFFECTIVE against tax & spenders without just threatening to shut down govt unless all their demands are met.

    we need to trim entitlements, make the better off seniors who have more than 70K in retirement income pay way more than 100 a month for Medicare. We also need to trim DOD. there is no reason on God's green earth that we should be paying more than the next 10 countries combined and consume nearly every penny we get in taxes to pay for DOD.

    am I doing any better?

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    That is happening right now, accumulation of more debt via additional auction -

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-01-03/ss-nfp-more

  • LarryGross

    the SSA trust fund is but one of more than a hundred including the highway gas tax and military pensions... and they all work the same way. The money goes into the trust fund and the govt spends that money rather than selling more tnotes then when the money is needed - the govt then has to sell Tnotes to pay it back.

    the debt owed to FICA is just as legitimate as the debt owed to the gas tax or to military pensions or for that matter the Tnotes sold to the public.

    but lets take the argument itself. how much money is involved in paying back FICA right now?

    what percent of the current deficit does it consist of? how about a year from now? 10 years from now? what kind of money are we talking about in the context of a 1.5T deficit?

    now tell me how this justifies getting rid of SSA or "cutting it"?

    let's assume the govt decides not to pay back the trust fund -what happens ?

    how much are benefits reduced this year? how about 10 years?

    so the bigger question to me is - why is SSA central to the budget issue when it's involvement at this point is time is minuscule?

    the real drivers of the debt are the other entitlements such as Medicare (200 billion ) and MedicAid (300 billion) and National Defense - well over a trillion.

    you can wipe out SS tomorrow and it won't do squat to the deficit... so why is it the central focus at this point in time?

  • marque2

    At this point I think I will go into a Don't feed the trolls mode. People getting paid to post nonsense on libertarian blogs don't deserve my attention.

  • marque2

    I have said critical things about Bush, and nice about Clinton and even am for Obama's sequester/sequester plan. I have yet to see anything similar from you - and you are perpetuating the rumors and major lies about Bush that you decry about Obama, even when the comments are minor.

    Sorry but thems the facts and it legitimately makes you a hypocrite.

    I am going into DFTT mode now.

    TTFN.

  • LarryGross

    I actually agree with most of what you said. The GOP did submit a budget but it was DOA because it voucherized Medicare and repealed ObamaCare.

    No one in their right mind should expect such a proposal to be introduced into the Senate.

    I am agreement with you on Simpson/Bowels for BOTH sides.

    but keep in mind that right now our TOTAL available tax revenues are about 1.5T. Anyone who thinks we can balance the budget with ONLY spending cuts needs to step up with real numbers because you will not come even close to balancing the budget by voucherizing Medicare and repealing ObamaCare. That's why I said the GOP was not serious. Where is a serious proposal?

  • bigmaq1980

    Your point has merit....definitely!

    I have not thought of paid agent provocateurs....interesting point, but if they are hitting this blog, they must have one heck of a payroll.

    On the flipside, if the conversation can get beyond accusing the other of just plain bias (we all are, by our nature) or worse, mis-characterization of our position, and spinning political talking points/memes from an opposing point of view, I am quite willing to listen.

    Better to invite honest opposing discussion here, even if trolls happen. We don't need confirmation bias, if our ideas have merit. Besides, as you point out, we can ignore trolls and enjoy a reasoned debate with the others.

  • LarryGross

    I'm not in favor of "picking" on anything but I AM interested in knowing and showing true costs and if you follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States and skip down to where it says "Budget breakdown for 2012" you 'll see a true and complete breakdown of spending ...

    then if you go to the wiki entry for the US Budget and skip down to the pie chart for "revenues" - you will see that when you subtract out the FICA tax (which is not spent on general revenues) - that what is left to spend on National Defense, other non-SS entitlements and the rest of govt is about 1.5 trillion.

    so I ask the question. what percent of our available tax revenues would you allocate to National Defense? it's not a trick question. It's a straight up honest question. if you need the second link let me know but if I put it here the comment goes to moderation hell...

  • LarryGross

    re: "trolls on Libertarian blogs" = anyone who directly questions Libertarian dogma in terms of whether it actually exists in any current governance systems or is it a theory loved by fringe groups who have not a prayer of getting any of it implemented.... so then the question is - what's the point?

    I subscribe to libertarian principles and I LOVE the ones that actually get implemented and/or have a realistic chance but the LA LA LAnd discussions that are partisan as hell and assign falsehoods for the sake of catering to some Libertarian wet dream.. no thanks... Example: Social Security is broke and it proves the govt ought not to be doing SS to start with".. pure grade A blather...SS is not broke and will never be and 80% of citizens want it and every major industrialized country on the planet has it.

  • marque2

    But you have to ask yourself this - is the debate actually honest?

  • jhertzli

    Wait moment... Wasn't Henry VII the King who used "Morton's fork"?