Richard Barnes

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson

Email: lildog@comcast.net

Entries in spending (6)

Tuesday
Feb142012

Myth that cutting benefits would leave the poor starving in the streets

You've heard Democrats argue that one before... Republicans with all their pushing to cut on the federal level want poor people homeless and starving in the streets.

A story came out today in the NY Times showing that this isn't true.  Government in recent years has grown so far out of control that now the middle class are part of those leaching off the tax payers.  You can read the story in full HERE.

A new analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities underscores that the poor are no longer the primary beneficiaries of the government safety net.

...

The finding is broadly consistent with the data we reported Sunday that the poorest households received 36 percent of benefits in 2007, down from 54 percent in 1979, numbers that came from a study published last year by the Congressional Budget Office.

...

The study found that older people received slightly more than half of government benefits, while the nonelderly with disabilities received an additional 20 percent.

...

Furthermore, the study notes that politicians have shifted benefits away from the "jobless poor," through reductions in traditional welfare, and increased benefits for working families, for example through tax credits.

...

Another finding of the study is that the distribution of benefits no longer aligns with the demography of poverty. African-Americans, who make up 22 percent of the poor, receive 14 percent of government benefits, close to their 12 percent population share.

White non-Hispanics, who make up 42 percent of the poor, receive 69 percent of government benefits - again, much closer to their 64 percent population share.

What I see in those results is that politicians are no longer just using government to help the poor but instead using government to buy slaves who live off government in return for votes to keep their masters in power.

Troubling.

Of course if you suggest cutting away at the redistribution of wealth or even stopping the government from taking our own money away just to give it back to us in the form of a government program you are blasted as wanting to leave the poor starving in the streets.

 

Tuesday
Mar292011

How The Left And Right Think

Once again our friends over at Blue Hampshire proved how they view the world differently from everyone else.

In an article posted HERE the posted 2 charts showing the average per person expenditure by state government broken down by state.  The first chart left the states off and they asked you to guess where NH fell in compared to other states.

To cut through the chase here is the 2nd chart with the state names included:

As you can see NH came in as the 3rd lowest spending an average of $2,488 which Blue Hampshire also points out is 30% percent below the national average of $3,557 per person.

Now take a few minutes and really think to yourself what these numbers mean.  Ask yourself whether or not you think this is a good thing or a bad thing.

First thing a thinking person says is where do these numbers come from.  Lucky for us BH provides links at the bottom.  Where we can agree is the 2009 population in NH is 1,324,575.

For us to have a per person spending of just $2,488 the state budget would have to be just $3,295,542,600.

If the last state budget was $11.5 Billion that would mean spending would have had to have jumped from $3.2 billion in '09 to $8.3 billion for '10 in which case Democrats would have serious explaining to do for why they increased spending so much.  However using the link they provide you see on page 6 that the state spending in 2009 was $4,978,000,000 which comes out to be $3,758.19 per person.

But this is Blue Hampshire we're talking about so I'm willing to take their numbers with a grain of salt from the start.

Before continuing I'd like to point out a comment from Blue Hampshire's article:

Funny how you never see charts (4.00 / 3)

like this from the right-wing, er, "non-partisan" think tanks in this state.
-Dean Barker
Sorry to prove you wrong Dean but I am posting this chart and clearly drawing a very different conclusion then you and your friends.
But I digress, when I look at that chart I see it as a good thing.  NH can provide service to all it's citizens and do so for far less then most of the rest of the country.  We have one of the lowest crime rates in the country, our unemployment rates are below average for the rest of the country, our educational scores are above average.  And we are able to do all this for far less then other states.
Ah, but of course our left wing friends don't see things this way.
the other New England states (4.00 / 2)
think more of their people. I've been saying for years that NH provides a level of services that would cause a third world country to blush.

NH taking a back seat to Mississippi - there's something to be proud of.


The level of services?  What services exactly are we missing in NH?  This statement is the sum of all of the differences between Democrats and Republicans.  Democrats look at states where people rely heavy on government and say see how we help so many people, meanwhile Conservatives such as myself look at charts like this and say see how few people actually need government services and see it as a GOOD thing.

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

Let's look at a few more comments:

This can't possibly be true... (0.00 / 0)


Tens of Millions of campaign time dollars were spent, dozens of editorials in the UL and Fosters were published and endless press releases and speeches by John Sununu ALL saying that NH's budget was exploding under the Democrats.

Could it really be that they were ALL lying?

Yup.

"If you are going to be in politics, you have to be a soldier in the battlefield."

                    Hubert H. Humphrey

 


Now here's a perfect example of left wing misdirection.  If a job takes $100 to be done right then there is no reason to spend $200 on it even if everyone else is.

That said, I also refer back to my early comment questioning where these numbers came from in the first place.  If you use the link they provide to the National Association of State Budget Officers found HERE and jump to page 6 you can see that the state's spending total jumped from $4,807,000,000 in 2008 to $4,978,000,000 in 2009 and $5,465,000,000 in 2010.  That's an increase of 658,000,000 in just 2 years or an increase of 14% at a time when our economy was in the toilet.  How many of you saw household incomes increase 14% in the past 2 years?

Moving on...

State Spending in the Light of Data (4.00 / 6)

I believe the fact that we are already close to the bone is the very reason (and our lack of existing tax base)that NH was chosen as the target for de-constructing government. This is not really about living within our means...it is about furthering a political agenda that believes the only individual rights matter and the collective good truly is irrelevant.

Read that last line slowly folks. 

Perhaps I'm a bit off but when I read the bill of rights I do not see anything about a collective but I do see rights granted to individuals.

"... rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our own will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual"
— Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Isaac H. Tiffany - 1819)

What would he say about Mr. Jefferson's views?  Is he too a deconstructionist seeking to further a political agenda?

Once again this is a perfect example of how both sides think and see things differently.

 

 

Tuesday
Dec282010

Carol's stupidity and another key statement made

The debate waging on about what Carol Shea Porter may or may not have said in a round table discussion on ABC is interesting but it's taking away from a key statement made that neither the left nor the right seem to want to discuss.

For starters let's settle the Carol debate once and for all, some are claiming that she made a statement that the Chinese are pumping in special interest money into elections and others such as our friends at Blue Hampshire are claiming she said no such thing.

It's easy enough to prove one way or the other if she said it or not since the video is hosted on the ABC news website HERE.  They also supply the direct quote:

Shea-Porter said watching the growing influence of special interest money had been her biggest disappointment, calling it "awful for democracy."

"I think it's strangling us," she said. "They're in the halls of Congress everywhere, and it means, for example, that you sit on a committee and you say something about concern about Chinese influence or something, you don't even know if in the next election, somehow or another, they manage to send some money to some group that now doesn't even have to say where they got it."

The word "They" underlined above refers back to someone or something, so who exactly would "They" be?  In this case she directly prefaces it with a statement about Chinese influence in elections so "They" would be the Chinese.  And since the video is hosted on ABC's site its fairly easy to watch about 9:40 into it and confirm she did in fact say that.

End of debate, she said it.

Now here's the real story...

In that same round table discussion there was another statement made:

"The Tea Party movement really is quite a bit different than the old Republican conservative movementl, " Castle said. "They're more than willing to take out Republicans, call us Republicans in name only, or whatever it may be. It was one thing when you were dealing with Democrats and Republicans. Now you're dealing with divisions within your own party."

Castle, a known centrist, also said that working with the other party -- the Democrats -- once seen as the cornerstone of a functioning democracy, has become a punishable offense.

Castle also goes on that he's sure democrats are concerned they will soon see division like that in their own party as well.

The question I have in return is, is that a bad thing?

I for one support mostly Republicans because more often then not they are the ones who support smaller government and lower taxes.  When Democrats are pushing to spend an extra $1,000 of my money I don't want a republican who will "work with them" and justify it by saying its at least being spent on my state.  No, I want someone who refuses to work with them and says NO you cannot spend that money!

One of the reasons McCain lost wasn't because he didn't work with Democrats, he did.  In fact it was his working with them that produced the unconstitutional McCain Fiengold bill that stripped away political free speech.  It was his working with the Democrats that cost him votes.

ObamaCare was another perfect example.  Parts of it are already being found unconstitutional.  I don't want republicans who will work with Democrats to produce unconstitutional bills, I want Republicans who will stand up against them and say NO!

And as more Democrats who supported Clinton because of the balanced budget (delivered with help from the Republican house and senate) and attacked Bush II (rightly so) for his out of control spending now see the party that for the past 10 plus years championed itself as the party of Clinton's balanced budget now is spending levels that make the Bush deficits look good in comparison they will see the same thing if Republicans fail to turn things around.

People are sick of both sides.  They are sick of seeing half their incomes taken by local, state and federal governments and they are sick of the fat cat politicians who shrug their shoulders saying there is nothing to be cut and turn to the old fear stand by of police, fire and schools being impacted any time spending cuts are suggested.

The fact that these four wind bags from both parties are sitting arguing that they fail to understand why its a sin to work together on the growing deficits, unconstitutional bills and of all things fear that the Chinese are influencing NH elections proves that the house cleaning this past fall was long over due and I for one don't think we're through yet.

Friday
Jun182010

Spending, Spending and More Spending

The National Taxpayers Union released their report this month detailing the bill tally of the 111th congress.

Here are the relevant highlights:

Representatives authored 981 bills to raise federal spending and 63 bills to reduce spending. Senators drafted 620 increase bills and 34 savings bills. This comprised the largest number of savings bills introduced in the House since the 105th Congress, and the most in the Senate since the 106th.

FYI, the 106th would have been January 3, 1999 to January 3, 2001 and 105th would be January 3, 1997 to January 3, 1999.

Each bill in the House to cut spending was outnumbered by 16 bills to increase spending. The ratio of increases to cuts was 18:1 in the Senate.

Excluding overlapping legislation, if each bill in the House were to become law, spending would increase by $1.845 trillion, or $15,802 per household. If each bill in the Senate were to become law, spending would increase by $1.064 trillion, $9,115 per household.

Where is this money coming from?  Think about that... if every bill they put up were to pass the average household is in debt for $15,802 for the house bills and $9,115 for the senate bills, that's $24,917 on top of what the government was already spending.

The typical House Democrat backed increases totaling $502.5 billion, 0.46 percent of which would be offset by savings of $2.3 billion, for a net agenda of $500.2 billion. This amount had been gradually declining since the 109th Congress.

FYI, the 109th Congress was January 3, 2005 to January 3, 2007.

Think about this.  $502.5 Billion in new spending is DOWN from the level of spending they were previously pushing for.  What can you say other then WOW!

For the first time since the 106th Congress, the typical House Republican sponsored more spending cuts than increases. If this average spending agenda were enacted, outlays would decrease by $45.3 billion.

106th was January 3, 1999 to January 3, 2001.

What's interesting here is if you look at the chart they provide on THIS page, you can see that Republicans in the 103rd, 104th, 105th, and 106th pushed for more cuts then increases and that Democrats since the 102nd which is as far as the NTU reports have never pushed for more cuts then increases.  The 103rd to 106th span from January 3, 1993 to January 3, 2001 which interestingly corresponds to when the budget was balanced under Clinton.  A feat Democrats are very quick to take credit for, facts however show which party pushed for the cuts and which party at that same time was pushing for a total of $564 Billion in new spending.  The 104th Senate is the only time you see Democrats pushing for more in cuts then spending increases.

Republicans meanwhile on average pushed for a total of $45 billion in cuts on average.

The net agenda of the typical Senate Democrat grew from $59.2 billion in the 110th Congress to $133.7 billion this Congress. On average, Senate Democrats proposed spending cuts of $3.3 billion, which would offset 2.4 percent of their sponsored increases.

Republican Senators, on average, supported spending hikes of $76.3 billion, a third of which would be offset by $25.4 billion in savings. This comprises a net spending agenda of $50.9 billion – the highest amount seen over the past ten Congresses.

Senate is clearly the area both parts need to be changed out.

So how do our New Hampshire elected officials square off?

Only Paul Hodes put up more bills calling for cuts then spending increases.

It's actually Judd Gregg the Republican right now holding the worst record putting up bills calling for $531 billion in new spending offset by only around $4 billion in bills supporting cuts.

Carol Shea Porter is currently our second biggest spender pushing for $160 billion more in spending then in cuts.  Jeanne Shaheen pushed for just $45 billion in spending increases.  Jeanne however put up the fewest bills pushing for spending cuts of all four elected officials, calling for just $705 million in cutting.

 

Wednesday
May122010

It IS a Spending Problem

Blue Hampshire proves this week once again that they just don't get it.  They put up an article this week titled "Focus... repeat after me "We don't have a revenue problem"" in which they attempt to claim it's not spending that's the problem but the revenue.  You can read their article in full HERE.  They base this claim around a single quote supplied from a USA Today article found HERE.

Let's start by looking at the quote they supplied:

Federal, state and local taxes - including income, property, sales and other taxes - consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports

That's an interesting claim.  Now if your like me you look at this claim and do a mental calculation in your head of the taxes you pay.  Personally I stopped adding when I hit about 35% of not just my person income but my household income which includes my wife's salary.

If you continue reading in the article you see the follow up statement:

That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century.

So on average we only pay 12% of our income in taxes?  Property taxes in the town of Merrimack alone come out to be more then 12% of the average income.

This leaves thinking people to question how can they make such a claim when clearly those of us writing checks to the government each year can see it's not true, at least in our cases.

The answer is simple, not everyone pays taxes.  When you factor in the 47% who pay nothing, and factor in the fact that the lowest level income earners actually get money back they never paid in in the first place the over all average after wealth redistribution is accounted for comes out around what this article claims.  Here's a quote from the article found HERE that shows the full picture.

About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.

...

The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes.

That means while the overall average might only be 9.8%, those of us who actually pay the taxes are paying more and more while 40% actually get checks take from our tables for doing nothing.

Kind of sheds a different light on the whole matter doesn't it?

Getting back to the USA Today article, let's look at another point they bring up that accounts for why people paid less in taxes.

Sales tax. Consumers cut spending sharply in this downturn, thereby paying less in sales taxes.

In other words people paid less on taxes they could avoid.

One additional point that should be looked closely at is what they are discussing, "personal income".  Businesses are being hit harder then ever.  Just look at NH at how many new taxes have been leveled against small business owners and businesses in general.  When a company is taxed does that money come from heaven?  Of course not, it is taken out of the money that would otherwise be used to hire employees and pay salaries.  But they don't get into that little bit of information do they?

But I digress, let's go back to the Blue Hampshire claim that started this discussion.  They claim it's not spending that's the problem.  Ok, let's actually assume for a moment that each of us does only pay 9.8%, this only covers 60% of government spending.

Watchdog.org did a report that was released earlier this year in which they pointed out how much it would take to actually pay off our national debt.  I already wrote about it HERE and you can read the report in full HERE.  Here are some key statements from the report:

Actually, we did a calculation on what it would take just to eliminate the deficit and got a 242 percent increase in income tax rates. The 10 percent bottom rate would have to be 24 percent, and the top rate would have to be 86 percent.”

He added, “That would do nothing about the national debt.”

So Blue Hampshire folks, when income tax rates would need to increase 242% just to pay for the current level of spending do you seriously think it's a revenue problem?  Of course it's easy to think otherwise when you only look at a single out of context quote from a USA Today article.