Chances are, you and I will disagree about something in here.
A BALANCED PROPOSAL
I didn't vote for Jerry Brown for California governor, but in terms of looking for solutions, I'm pleased with his plan for balancing the California budget.
1. $12.5-billion in cuts to government spending: Things like 48,000 cell phones, which amounts to about $20-million a year, and government-issued cars. Cuts will also impact fire departments, and other social services.
2. $12-billion in taxes. No details spelled out here, but the fact that the increase in taxes is less than the amount of cuts seems like a nod to the Republicans and a statement that bi-partisan solution is the only way to fix the state.
Here's a link to the audio clip from the California Report, and a quick synopsis of the article:
"It's safe to say that the classic definition of compromise is when two opposing sides meet squarely in the middle. That's one way to look at the state budget proposed Monday by Governor Jerry Brown: a plan that almost evenly divides a $25.4 billion deficit into spending cuts and additional taxes."
THE ECONOMY NEEDS IT
I tend to examine politics from the social angle, and it's from that angle I typically rail against the conservatives for their adherence to tradition, nationalism, and pseudo-religious ethical expectations. I think it's a small-minded to expect that everyone behave and believe the same way, and this is a perspective I see more frequently with conservatives than with liberals, who are generally "cool with everything." It's the conservatives who complain about having to "press 1 for English," and it's the conservatives who tend to be more anything-different-phobic.
However, when it comes to fiscal policy, I think the conservative model makes considerably more sense. The way out of our current economic mess is to introduce incentive for businesses to create more jobs. That's stimulus. Anything that limits a business' ability to produce, employ, and contribute to the economy is detrimental to positive healthy growth. Limits should only be introduced when public safety is involved. Public safety and anything that causes global economic meltdown.
Anyhow, I'm going to vote this time around. I completed the registration process in time, and I'm going to do the whole vote-by-mail thing. I'm going to do it -- I'm going to vote. We need a conservative insurance commissioner. We need a conservative governor. We need people who know how to create jobs and bring real stimulus to California.
I think that the economy needs my vote.
With a nod to TCM:
We're trying to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he does't understand it, passed by a congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president that also hasn't read it and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes... all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is broke.
I'm not a fan of any health care plan that has come up yet, and the clear disregard for any real attempt at bipartisanship is disgusting.
MCCAIN ON NET NEUTRALITY
Picked up from a recent boingboing article, it looks like McCain is pocketing some Telco money to fight against Net Neutrality. While I don't agree that the issue is one of national security (like the boingboing commenter asserts), I think McCain's position reflects the most refined essence of rotton politics.
Key text from the article:
McCain, who once described himself as technologically "illiterate" and is the single largest senate recipient of telecom lobby money, is now campaigning against the net neutrality fundamentals recently reaffirmed by FCC actions.
:: sigh ::
From the same people that brought us the series of tubes.
ON APPROVAL RATINGS AND HEALTH CARE
Nationally, support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low. Just 42% favor the plan while 53% are opposed.
Obama's approval ratings have been tumbling lately, so I figured I'd jump in and say a few things. I haven't posted anything political or provocative for a while (I've been quite busy welding), but I have had a few things on my mind, particularly about this whole health care fiasco.
Long story short... I think it's quite terrible.
On the surface, this idea of universal health care seems great. I like the idea that nobody should have to worry about being able to afford health care, and that the government would cover health and medicine for the people; good health seems like a basic right, particularly when you consider that the relationship between poverty, health, and inequality. It seems that a government initiative to provide health care for everyone is to the benefit of the nation.
The problem, however, is that health care is expensive, and if you remove the potential competition-driven innovations in efficiency, health care will remain expensive. Furthermore, this sort of intrusion into the market tends to involve higher taxes on the only entities capable of reducing the prices (the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, etc.). When you simply increase the taxes on larger businesses, the natural tendancy of the businesses involved is to simply raise prices in order to stay afloat, which ends up raising costs for everyone that this plan is supposed to help. This is not a solution to the problem of the price of health care.
An actual solution likely requires some much needed (but politically dangerous) tort-reform and some more thought around medicare/medicaid handling (also politically dangerous), as these two issues appear to be the primary causes of ever increasing health care costs.
2009-05-13: EAT THE RICH 2009-02-22: RISKING EVERYTHING (EVERYTHING IS RISKY) 2009-02-16: CHAVEZ FOR LIFE 2009-01-20: DRUDGEREPORT IS WORTHLESS 2009-01-16: 21 DAYS 2008-11-07: REALITY SETS IN 2008-11-05: DODGING A BULLET 2008-10-19: COLIN POWELL ENDORSES OBAMA 2008-10-03: MAYBE BIDEN DID WIN THE DEBATE 2008-10-02: VP DEBATE 2008-10-01: FAIR AND BALANCED 2008-09-30: PALIN'S WORD SALAD 2008-09-29: PERFECT STORM 2008-09-26: THINK FOR YOURSELF, PLEASE 2008-09-24: A REALLY LARGE NUMBER 2008-08-29: VICE PRESIDENT PALIN 2008-08-26: BIDEN LOSES MY VOTE 2008-07-08: A POLITICAL PAUSE 2008-06-11: NEAR THE CENTER 2008-06-05: WHAT WOULD FREUD SAY? 2008-06-04: I SPY 2008-05-14: HEALTHY CRITICISM OF OBAMA 2008-04-23: TARGET: IRAN 2008-04-08: MCCAIN ENDORSED BY JOHN END-OF-DAYS HAGEE 2008-04-04: COGNITIVE DISSONANCE 2008-03-31: LIBERTARIANS FOR OBAMA 2008-03-18: A MORE PERFECT UNION 2008-03-10: HOW THEY $%#@ YOU 2008-03-07: EDUCATION IN CALIFORNIA 2008-02-21: EMPTY RHETORIC? 2008-02-20: REMIXING OBAMA AND MCCAIN 2008-02-05: LESSIG 4OBAMA 2008-02-03: UNINTENDED HEALTH CARE 2008-01-18: THE REAL DEAL 2008-01-11: GATES OF HELL 2008-01-08: RACE AND GENDER 2007-12-10: THE HUCKABEE STRATEGY 2007-11-23: DICTATOR CHAVEZ 2007-09-26: PRAYER FOR BURMA 2007-07-23: RESISTING WITH ROCKETS 2007-07-20: PRESIDENT CHENEY 2007-05-29: SILENCING OPPOSITION? 2007-05-04: MORALITY OF WAR 2007-05-01: BUSH'S TIME TABLE OF TIME TABLES 2007-04-25: A WIN FOR IRAQ 2007-04-03: MAJORITY/MINORITY 2007-03-30: PETITIONING AGAINST WATER 2007-03-16: DISRUPTING THE FOOD SUPPLY 2007-03-09: SLOW WEEK 2007-03-01: NOT SO FREE, NOT SO SECURE 2007-02-02: CECI N'EST PAS UNE BOMB 2007-01-17: READ THE BILL 2007-01-16: BACK BARACK? 2007-01-11: TROOP SURGE 2007-01-05: BIG OIL: COOL PLANET 2007-01-04: ENDLESS THIRST FOR POWER 2006-11-29: RACISM AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 2006-11-08: A SWING TO THE LEFT 2006-11-02: SO WHY ARE WE VOTING AGAIN? 2006-10-26: STAY THE COURSE. OR NOT. 2006-10-08: NORTH KOREA: NUKE TEST 2006-10-05: FOLEY: DEMOCRAT? 2006-10-04: CLASH OF THE TITANS 2006-10-01: CONTINUED WAR ON CITIZENS 2006-09-16: BANNED BOOK WEEK 2006-09-14: NUKES, JAPAN, AND WWII 2006-09-12: PALAST UPDATE 2006-09-12: A LITTLE LATE 2006-09-07: FREEDOM OF WHAT? 2006-09-07: DEMOCRACY? 2006-09-05: SURVEY SAYS... 2006-09-04: LABOR DAY 2006-08-28: ISLAMOFASCISM 2006-08-24: KIDNAPPING: JUSTIFICATION FOR WAR? 2006-08-22: BUSH: NO WMDS, AND IRAQ WASN'T INVOLVED ANYWAY 2006-08-21: BEST. POLITICAL. CARTOON. EVER. 2006-08-18: WE SHOT LIKE BLIND PEOPLE 2006-08-14: THE COLOR OF CONFUSION 2006-08-11: COUPONS! 2006-08-11: BOTTLES ON A PLANE 2006-08-10: MORE BLENDING IN 2006-08-10: THE REAL GOOD GUYS 2006-08-09: HIDING AMONG CIVILIANS 2006-08-08: FALSE SENSE OF INSECURITY 2006-08-07: WHO'S ROCKETS? 2006-08-02: MORE ROCKETS?! 2006-08-02: THE NEW ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALIST 2006-08-01: TERRORISM VS. TERRORISTS 2006-08-01: SECTARIAN UNIFICATION IN LEBANON 2006-07-31: BACK FROM VACATION 2006-07-21: FROM LEBANON, WITH LOVE 2006-07-19: MISSILES, MISSILES EVERYWHERE 2006-07-18: FROM THE OTHER SIDE 2006-07-17: LAYING BLAME 2006-07-15: LAMENTATIONS OVER ISRAEL 2006-07-12: THE INTERNET IS A SERIES OF TUBES 2006-07-11: SPEAKING OF LEFTS AND RIGHTS... 2006-07-07: A FINE LINE 2006-07-05: THE CONTINUED WAR ON IRAQIS 2006-06-30: INDEPENDENCE DAY 2006-06-29: FROM THE HORSES MOUTH 2006-06-22: NO WMDS FOUND, SANTORUM 2006-06-21: THE WAR ON... GAMBLING? 2006-06-20: WE'VE GOT YOUR MISSILE SHIELD 2006-06-06: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A NATIONALIST 2006-06-05: TWO DAYS OF ONLINE GAMBLING! 2006-06-01: THE US, RUSSIA, AND GLOBAL PRIMACY 2006-05-25: STRATEGIC ALLIANCES 2006-05-14: ANGRY LIBERALS #2 2006-05-12: ANGRY LIBERALS #1 2006-05-02: GROW UP, IRAN 2006-05-01: NET NEUTRALITY 2006-04-05: WARDROBE MALFUNCTION FOLLOWUP 2006-04-04: REGARDING WARDROBE MALFUNCTIONS 2006-03-27: HALF-MILLION-MAN PROTEST 2006-03-22: LIBERAL/CONSERVATIVES = PERSONALITY TYPE 2006-03-15: MOVE ALONG -- NO MAD COWS HERE 2006-01-19: THEY ARE WATCHING YOU 2005-12-27: CHINESE MAN FALLS OFF BICYCLE 2005-12-23: BRITAIN TO MONITOR EVERY CAR 2005-12-01: TERRORISM VS. CAR ACCIDENTS 2005-11-09: PUBLIC EDUCATION AUTHORITY 2005-11-08: OPEN LETTER TO PASCUAL GONZALEZ 2005-11-07: MYSPACE TO BLAME FOR THREAT? 2005-11-07: PARIS - BURNING CITY 2005-11-04: CIA - EXEMPT FROM TORTURE LAWS? 2005-10-26: RFID PASSPORTS 2005-10-19: ANIMAL SEX IN WASHINGTON STATE 2005-09-09: FEDS KEEPING REDCROSS OUT OF NOLA 2005-08-19: CLIMATE CHANGE WAGER 2005-08-17: LONDON POLICE SNAFU 2005-08-12: EPLATES 2005-08-11: VERICHIP'S ARRIVAL 2005-08-10: RFID FOR BORDERCROSSERS 2005-08-08: MODIFIED CARS 2005-08-05: DMCA IN CAFTA 2005-08-02: LOWERING THE VOTING AGE?! 2005-08-02: METH AND IDENTITY THEFT 2005-08-01: ENEMIES OF OUR ENEMIES ENEMIES? 2005-07-27: WAR ON TERROR IS OVER! 2005-07-21: ZAPPING THE INSURGENTS 2005-07-14: NUCLEAR CHINA 2005-06-24: BURN YOUR FLAGS WHILE YOU CAN 2005-06-23: ONE MORE WIN FOR BIG BUSINESSES 2005-06-09: IN OTHER TERROR RELATED NEWS... 2005-06-06: FEDS KNOCK DOWN LEGAL POT USE 2005-05-18: UNFAIR COMPETITION? 2005-05-18: THE METH PROBLEM 2005-05-17: RIVERS OF WINE 2005-05-11: 100-0 2005-05-10: NATIONAL ID 2005-05-06: FEDERAL ID FOR EVERYBODY! 2005-04-27: WINNING THE WAR! 2005-04-25: AND TAXES AGAIN 2005-04-24: NO GAS TAX 2005-04-22: WASHINGTON EMISSIONS 2005-04-21: TIME TO START WALKING