Friday, January 28, 2011

QotD: The king's shilling edition...

"Once legalized theft begins, it pays for everyone to participate. Those who don't will be losers." -Walter Williams
You want the deficit reduced. You want budgets brought under control. You want your federal, state, and local governments to live within their means... but you sure don't want your government paycheck/subsidy/benefits slashed! Take the money from the other guy, I perform a vital service! They promised me that! I already paid in, and I just want what's rightly mine!

Here we all are, sitting around the cannibal pot.

(H/T to Gunrights4Us.)


McVee said...

It does not matter what anyone was promised or thinks they are owed.
We don't have the money. It's a house of cards about to collapse. I'm just amazed they've been able to keep the charade (ponzi scheme) going for so long.
The math is never wrong.

Unknown said...

For sure, McVee.

But, it's the old "Let's you and him..." syndrome.

Let's you and him conserve energy.

Let's you and him clean up the environment.

Let's you and him be civil to one another.

"But not me, not me, not me!"

Don said...

This is why I've joined the Dave Ramsey cultists in their unspeakable cheapness rituals. I don't think it's going to make any difference that I paid into my pension fund. The state isn't paying into it and does not intend to start any time soon. If they did decide to do so, they'd have to put cabbage leaves in there, because they're a few hundred billion behind and they can't print funny money to make up the shortfalls.

I intend to retire without depending on that pension, assuming we don't all end up living in some kind of post-Detroit wasteland before the time comes.

Boat Guy said...

Guess I'm guilty. I wouldn't be averse to my Govt paycheck being cut (along with others) but I'm damned if the retirement I served 32 years to earn should be part of the "savings" so we can send the children of illegals to college and the dentist, extend unemployment checks over the one year mark and all the rest of the stuff sold to various victims in exchange for their vote. I didn't enlist and then be comissioned FOR the retirement, but it was part of the contract.
I don't need anybody to tell me to separate the recyclable stuff from my trash and I'm civil to everyone -unless and until they're uncivil to me.
Boat "Part of the Problem" Guy

Anonymous said...

As a service connected disabled vet, a guy who quite literally bled and was broken for this country, this country I still love and fight for, should I send back my kingly $123/mo check? Should I stop using the VA hospital system for my medical care when dealing with the spinal and secondary/tertiary nerve damage? Should I tell my boss that I'll just pay the $900/mo company offered health insurance instead along with all the copays and deductables? Should I stop my appeal to get a bigger check since I have missed so much work in the last year due to medical tests and procedures that I have used every penny of my savings already? Do I tell my kids to not enlist because if you get hurt in the line of duty that your government will not live up to their obligations? I am not here to flame, I just think that vets have been treated with enough derision already that we certainly don't need to screw us over yet again.

mostly cajun said...

Yeah, we're all sitting around the cannibal pot, each with one foot in it, stirring like crazy, hoping the other guy's leg gets done first.

"mumscout" is the security word. somehow that's a bit of a word to the wise.

Firehand said...

Used to drive me nuts, when I worked for a state agency, to hear the state employees union(NOT a member) demand raises even when the economy was flat; they seemed to think that we 'deserved' a raise even if it meant raising taxes, every year. Despite
A: Nobody being able to PAY higher taxes and
B: WE'D be paying higher taxes, too.

Oh, and no state agency should have any cuts, etc. Because we were so special. And when there were cuts it tended to be on people actually doing a job instead of shiny pork and BS.

That said, they try to cut the pensions of people who actually paid into them, and earned them? Hell yes, they'll be pissed, and rightly so.

Blackwing1 said...

I used to believe (and rather strongly, too) that the only functions that a government should fulfill were those that pertained to:
- Police
- Courts (and judicial system)
- National defense

I still cannot see ANY other function, right down to coining money, that isn't better done by a private enterprise. By "better" I mean more efficiently, with lower cost, and better service. I am still a firm believer in the privatization of everything, right down to fire and emergency services.

My problem? With the disintegration of rule of law (Kelo, Raich, etc), the rampant levels of corruption of the police, and the over-extension of our military into areas that have nothing to do with "defense", I'm having one heck of time even believing in the validity of the three functions noted above.

Blackwing1 said...

Just as a hypothetical, imagine that the Mafia had taken over administration of the government.

Why, they'd probably extort "protection" money from you, just to allow you to live in your house!
- Hmm, my property tax seems to serve that function pretty well.

They'd make you pay protection money just to drive on the streets! Heck, they'd probably make you put a little sticker on your car so they could identify from a distance those who've paid for this year!
- That sounds familiar...

Our governments (and their enforcers, the police) have simply turned into another gang. Better organized, and more uniformly dressed, but still competing (at least in my town) for the drug, prostitution and gambling businesses.

Les Jones said...

Tam, yes and no, depending on the expenditure.

Lots of things need to be cut. For Social Security to survive, I can see why I might have to retire later or receive fewer benefits than what the Social Security Administration promises me every year in the letter they send to all adult Americans. In fact, I see that as inevitable.

On the other hand, if there's no effen way I'll see any Social Security payments when I'm eligible to retire in 25 years, I'd appreciate it if the government would stop withholding the damned Social Security tax from my paycheck every month.

Unknown said...

Welllll...There are retirement programs and then there are retirement programs. Some seem reasonable as to the promised benefits, and some seem to be rather gold-plated.

I tend to be far more charitable toward the military retirees than for the non-mil. The non-mil folks have far more opportunity--and generally better pay scales--such that they can do more investment on their own for retirement income.

But we're supporting too many victim groups who are healthy and who could be more self-sufficient. And we've legislated ourselves into a helluva corner on the Medicare/Medicaid costs.

By and large, seems like, governmental screwups of one sort or another which have created all this present mess will clobber both the deserving and the undeserving. Later, if not sooner...

Blackwing1 said...

The problem with SocSec is that it originated as a state-run Ponzi scheme, and has now hit the point where there isn't enough money coming in to pay off the early "investors". Ever since they started putting dot-gov securities into the "trust fund" instead of actual money, it's been flat broke.

WV - "rander" That thing has GOT to be context sensitive.

The tipping point actually came in July of 2010, where for the first time the "income" (from SocSec taxes) was lower than the out-go (payments made). They hadn't anticipated that happening for another five years or so, but the current depression has led to year-to-year decreases on the order of 19% in "income" to the system.

For a wage-earner like myself (for whom the dot-gov comes first, since it's so easy to withhold taxes from us before we even see the money), I use FAR, FAR less in government "services" than I pay in taxes to all of the different state entities (feds, state, county and city). I get essentially nothing for my payments (with no children I don't even get the dubious benefit of the government school system). About the only thing my taxes purportedly pay for are the streets, and those are in such an advanced state of disintegration that this concept is a joke. The rest of the infrastructure (sewers, water, electric, natural gas) I either pay for directly to a private entity, or pay fees for directly to the provider.

The only reason my leg is in the cannibal pot is that somebody is holding a gun to my head to force me to keep it in there. I've never eaten from the pot, always provided for myself.

I wish all these people who want to "help" me would just leave me the heck alone.

Anonymous said...

I propose that every Federal worker enjoy the same pension which the Congress does, proportionate to income. State workers ought to enjoy the same as their state legislature, & on down the line. That way, everyone's quite equal.

For private industry, I propose that all pensions be modeled on the Federal one.

Of course, our .gov representatives would have to take a vow of poverty for this to happen.
Ulises from CA

Anonymous said...

It's an easy fix for SS, as it is for the general income tax.

Flat tax (NO exemptions) as to the latter, optional lump-sum payment of all employee and employer contributions as to the former.

Ain't gonna happen.


Newbius said...

Daniel, I don't speak for Tam (she is more than capable of doing that herself), but I will reply that your "kingly $123/mo" is a debt of honor, bought by your blood in service to our country. It is not an "entitlement", it is a paltry sum paid to you in response to your willingness to pay the ultimate price for Liberty.

I thank you sir, for your service.

Newbius said...

As for the rest, the "contribution" to the Social Security system has never been anything more than a tax. The big lie has been that it is a retirement account. It is nothing of the sort, and never has been.

I do not expect to see a dime of the amount I have 'paid into the system' because those amounts have already been spent and redistributed to other people more worthy, or whose votes were most easily bought.

I intend to provide for my own retirement, and the GOV can keep my Social Security taxes. The structure will collapse of its own weight before I retire...

Alan J. said...

"I intend to provide for my own retirement, and the GOV can keep my Social Security taxes. The structure will collapse of its own weight before I retire..."

Sorry to tell you this, Newbius, but unless you're 100% self sufficient, then if the structure collapses of its own weight its going to take you, me, and everyone else down with it. Read 'Patriots' by James Rawles or look at the recent history of Zimbabwe if you'd like a preview of what that scenario might look like.

As for me, yes, since I live in a tornado and bad winter storm area then we keep enough supplies handy to make it through a rough few weeks. But I'm not pessimistic enough to think that we'll ever need to live on our own forever.

Americans are clever, tough, practical, optimistic, and stubborn when we need to be. The rest of the world has learned time and again that you can mess with us but you better not REALLY piss us off. And that goes for our own politicians as well. They know that in the end we'll demand that they find a satisfactory way for us to make it through any crisis; or we'll vote in new politicians that will. That's why some of them are so terrified of the Tea Party - it's all the little people getting together to say, "Enough is Enough, it's time to make the hard choices and fix this problem!" Just give it another 3 presidential elections and you'll see that I'm right. And if I'm not, well then we're all really screwed.

Matt said...

As far as social security goes, I figure I'm only owed what I put in with a reasonable rate of interest. If that means it runs out long before I die then so be it. Hell, at the very least just give me the money I put in and let me invest it myself.

When it comes to unemployment, sadly I'm one of those that's been on it for over a year. I was laid off in Oct. of 2009 and it runs out this March. I don't feel like its owed to me and I was conflicted as hell when Congress was arguing about whether to extend it. I'm lucky in that I live really cheap and don't have a wife and kids to support (although the moral support would be nice) so the checks cover all my bills and then some. If I could find another job I would have, as I'm sure most of those on unemployment would. When I hear about people turning down a job to stay on unemployment the one thing I ask myself is did they turn it down because it didn't pay enough to feed their family ? I know in my case if I took a minimum wage job I'd lose my house in short order even though my payment is only $500 a month (I said I live cheap). As it is I'll end up emptying out what little I have in my 401k to pay off the house and hope I can find something that will pay the bills when unemployment runs out.

Newbius said...

@Alan J: Thank you for the tip, but my copy of 'Patriots' is very dog-eared already. I will not discuss my preparations for "The Collapse" here.

In any case, I was speaking of the collapse of the Social Security system, not the collapse of society in general. I do intend to survive the 'big die-off', however...

As for elections solving this? I am not optimistic enough to suggest that elections matter any longer when both sides of the king's shilling ' have a picture of the Goldman Sachs' CEO on them, and they are minted by the former CEO and pushed by the paid-for propaganda arm of the Dem party known as the MSM.

"Paging Dr. Wookie Suit"
o/ Right here...

staghounds said...

There won't be any hard choices.

The easy choice was made in 1933, water the currency.

I am not so very old, but three years ago I paid ten times for gasoline than the price I can remember paying when I was sixteen.

That means that, paying no attention to the huge advances in oil availability and transport, money has lost NINETY PER CENT of its value in thirty years.

Houses, cars, a loaf of bread, a Colt 1911, same-same.

The pensions and Social Security will be paid in full. No positions or salaries of government employees will be cut.

We will all get every bit of our money.

It just won't buy anything.

Anonymous said...

Houses, cars, bread, and Colt 1911's ten times as much as they were...what, thirty years ago? Forty?

Let me grab a handful of BS lever on that one.

Age sixteen was exactly forty years back for me. Houses, cars, and bread are all way up from then of course, but more like five times than ten.

And that wonderful iconic gun? I can't speak to forty years ago, but when I started in the gun business thirty three years back in '78, the Carter admin was to the gun biz then what Clinton's was in the nineties and the O's in '08, so a new Colt .45 would have brought a whopping $500 then. And while they've gone nuts lately, if you're paying $5K per, I'll find you a boxful right quick.

Gov meddling is the culprit for most of our current ills; let's stay focused and keep it real.


Kristophr said...


The money was spent at our request.

We all contributed money for SS, and then turned a blind eye while the congress spent money on crap while not increasing revenue to pay for that crap.

It's like putting your retirement funds into a checking account, and then letting your little brother go buy shit with your debit card.

Who's fault is it that the retirement money is gone?

Congress represents Americans all too well.

atlharp said...

Any government program run for the benefit of the people is bound to flounder and then fail. Even the creators of Social Security and Medicare understood this, that is why they sold it as an auxiliary program with a payout at the extremes of old age in its time. Now someone pulling 80K-100K from retirement expects their piece (as they should if they paid in), yet this was never the focus of those programs. They were bound to fail just from the sheer weight of the ineptitude of our leaders and the greed of the citizenry. We really should be thankful that Obama spent us into oblivion, it may be the only sure fire way of purging ourselves of this cancer.

Buzz said...

It's the same old game.
They threaten to slaughter the sacred cows while the Kobe bovines sit comfortably inside the walls of Washington, laughing their asses off, knowing full well the only result is expanding the herd.

Billy Beck said...

"Do I tell my kids to not enlist because if you get hurt in the line of duty that your government will not live up to their obligations?"

I most certainly would. I would tell them just exactly that.