Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Constitutional Amendment

I've got an amendment to propose. It'd never get through Congress -- consider it a thought-experiment.

It's simple: if the Feds give you money, from a handout to a paycheck to a bailout, you can't vote. Yep, everybody from the Boards of Directors and CEOs of bailed-out banks right down to the most inoffensive Welfare recipient and everyone getting a Social Security check: no franchise for you! Not Solyndra's principals, not soldiers nor sailors nor Congressmen. They are getting paid tax money and they can darned well sit down, shut up and let the people who are having to pay the piper call the tune.

An entitlement class will always vote their own interests; and it's in their interest, in the interest of everyone from shady bankers dumping their losses on the public to the sweet little AARP member who bakes cookies for the postman, to expand their take of free money from the government -- except it's not free and it doesn't come from the government: it comes from you.

Time we put a stop to it -- if we can. There's already more than one person getting a handout for every two working; add in the number of individuals (and Party members) working at "public sector" jobs and it's a hell of a voting bloc.

I'd love to at least see it put forward in Congress, if only to snicker at the howls of outrage. "Sure, the house is burning down," they'll whine, "but it couldn't possibly burn all the way down!"

Wanna bet? Oh, wait, that's right, they already did. With my money. And yours, too.

Update II: The sticking point for a lot of commenters is denying the franchise to people who actually work for the government, as opposed to recipients of transfer payments. Indeed, it does seem unfair, and I'm not suggesting the postman who walks dozens of miles every day lugging a mailbag or combat troops are in any way freeloaders. But the problem is, their votes can be bribed with tax money. H. L. Mencken wrote, "Every election is a sort of advance auction of stolen goods." Figure out how to prevent that and you've solved the problem. Have I? I dunno.

Update: Yes, I propose if you, personally, accept money from the Feds, you hadn't ought to be voting. So that would include the clever lads with their hands out, running failing businesses "too big to fail," and yes, your dear old Aunt who gets Social Security checks, too. What? You object on account of she paid into the system? Tough. When she was paying in, she had a vote. If she wants one now, she can stop accepting checks; as long as she is taking them, her interest is compromised. It would also include the military. Oh, the horror and outrage in comments! --But dear readers, professional serving military used to have a tradition of not voting; they held it to be inappropriate. And it still should be, IMO; see above in re "compromised interests."

Somehow, people still act like we're gonna get out of this without tears. Guess again, and probably a lot worse than G. I Joe missing an absentee ballot or Granny dining on kibble. It's not like my modest proposal is going to happen -- and since it won't, it's not like the Federal "house" won't burn all the way down to scorched earth, at the hands of the men and women you let get voted in. But hey, bread and circuses 'til it falls. And stirring music, too.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I'm a contractor, and my contract, all the work I do, is with a federal agency, but my company has many many contracts and only 10% of it's business from from tax money funded contract. Do I get no vote, but my co-worker that does sysadmin for Shell gets a vote?

Alan said...

I always said you shouldn't get a vote unless you were a net tax payer.

Roberta X said...

NJT: I dunno.

aczarnowski said...

I've thought experimented with this myself; I don't see any obvious downsides in the idea that those paying get to pick. But I always came to overwhelming implementation problems killing the idea a la NJT.

Alan's point of using your 1040 results as a score card might get us on the 80 side of the 80/20 rule though. Getting older I'm begining to learn why good enough is often better than perfect.

This assumes voluntary government service of course. You can't draft somebody and then tell them they don't get a vote on seeing foreign places and killing their inhabitants.

Ruth said...


I have an issue with not allowing the military to vote, they're the ones walking into areas controlled by terrorists, they get to vote, IMO.

I think I'd change it to if you are upper management or higher during, or within the previous 5 years of, the company of receiving a bailout (cause really, the teller at the bank likely didn't have much, if any, control or knowledge of what corporate did).

I agree with Welfare, but SS I have mixed feelings on....

Ed Jones said...

As a retired military person, who has been shot at more than once, I think you should go to hell....

RRRoark said...

As a medically retired Special Forces Sergeant, I will gladly give up my vote to see that the leeches and federal service union members lose theirs. I swore a no-expiration-date oath to Constitution that I see being morphed into a mutual suicide pact by the "Bread and Circuses" voting that must cease before we gleefully "Progressive(ly)" community organize ourselves into a three-tier social order reminiscent of beehives, communists,monarchists and fascists. You know, the one that goes; the rulers, those that attend the rulers, and the peasants.

B said...

Not a well thought out idea there, Ms. X. You have done better, if I may say so.

Military at least earns their money, and SS recipients (not SSI) put something into the system to at least prime the pump.

Those little cogs in the machinery who just come to work and earn a salary while working for corporation? It's not their fault, nor their choice that the company gets government money.

Welfare and other freebies? All for it. Keep 'em from voting. Make 'em pee in a cup monthly too.

But I am just mean to the poor and starvin' minorities and other folks unable to find a job for the past 15 years who made really bad life choices.

Roberta X said...

Ed: Very constructive. Thank you. I live for positive comments like yours.

You do realize that military *officers* and other career types once made it a point of honor not to vote while serving, don't you?

Roberta X said...

Mr. B.: "Military at least earns their money, and SS recipients (not SSI) put something into the system to at least prime the pump."

Sorry; SS recipients are near the top of my should-not-vote list. There's no tomorrow for those folks and all too many are "clients" of the AARP. If they want to vote, they can stop accepting checks.

The .mil: see earlier comments: serving military other than conscripts used to not vote *by* *choice.* It was held to be unprofessional to engage in partisan politics in the military. (Quick cite) Cripes, did McClellan's example teach people nothing?

aczarnowski said...

Under Alan's net tax payer rule wouldn't the SS thing sort itself out? Not getting SS currently, and betting I won't in the future either, I'm not sure what the tax implications are.

Anonymous said...

"Somehow, people still act like we're gonna get out of this without tears."

If that's original, you're a savant, if it's a quote, then you're a scholar.

Oh, and i never thought anyone should "go to hell" for conducting a thought experiment.

Michael said...

Heinlein had it right. You don't serve, you are not a citizen. We can argue about what the term "service" means but I think everyone should get the idea!

N7OAK , Geoff said...

It seems,... all of the comments reflect the Commentor's personal wish lists, too.in that it looks as though, no one gets to vote, which is not much of a loss as the corporations will be buying the best politicians that money CAN and WILL buy. But alas, we can do the one thing that would work, just vote out ALL incumbents, EVERY election! That would end all this B.S..

Drang said...

"You're a special interest, you don't get to vote" will lead to no one voting, or perhaps to "One man, one vote, once!" I didn't vote on military appropriations, my alleged representatives did. And the fickleness of candidates is legendary.
Just because I get retirement pay from the Army doesn't mean anything; I'd like to see some proof that any congresscritter I ever voted for swung legislation or appropriations my way in exchange for my vote.

Frankly, while I deplore the amount of public money paid out to private individuals and entities, I think this will not solve that problem. Frankly, it seems a little vindictive.

Drang said...

Oh, and Ed: You first.

Roberta X said...

Vindictive? --What happens to any endeavor when the people getting paid by it are allowed to vote for those who determine their pay?

How difficult is this to understand?

It's not a matter of emotion or even fairness; it's a matter of preventing the de Toqueville Singularity: “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”

Ed Jones said...

Roberta I guess I had a senior moment, Sorry. You are my second read after Tam every day. To lump military people in with forth or fith generation welfare people set me off. Sorry.

Drang said...

Maybe "vindictive" isn't the best word, but I thought about it and went with it, because I couldn't come up with a better.

You are absolutely correct that it used to be a proud tradition that professional military men did not vote, although Bruce Catton relates that a great deal of trouble was gone to during the Civil War to allow Federal troops the absentee ballot. No doubt McClellan thought he had it made...

Still, considering how many people you are advocating disenfranchising for their job, I think it would be simpler to push for reducing the size of government, so that those votes mattered less.
Also, privatize Social Security.

I just saw a thing on FaceSpace that 80%+ of the 2012 Farm Bill is welfare handouts of some sort.

Jerry said...

FTF, what Drang said. STS, when you said Z-pak I assumed prednisone, hence the fact that we are both now asses. K. I still side with Drang.

Roberta X said...

Ed, I'm not equating the two except in this one thing and I apologize if you thought I was.

The problem is, there's just no way to run the government without eventually going broke if the people who get money from it can vote for the guys who determine how much money they'll get. Can't. Be. Done.

Roberta X said...

Nope, Drang, Social Security needs to Go Away. Oh, it won't, not 'til it falls apart; but it should.

Johnny - Oh said...

I think I'll (try to) offer a compromise here on the "military" thing. Some of the stupidest people I've ever been around were enlistees right out of high school (I was one, so I know). Some of the smartest and most conservative people I've had the pleasure to be around are retired military, back in the regular workforce. So I'll suggest a meeting in the middle... While on active duty, no vote. After retirement (forced out early, doesn't matter), but before receiving pension, your votes count twice in All elections. Once pension starts, back to no votes unless check is refused. If a combat veteran, all votes after service count double with no caveats. "Service Equals Citizenship!"


Robb Harbaugh said...

So let me see if I've got this straight. I am required by law to pay social security for 48 years (and my employer matches that) and when I'm retiring I have to choose whether to collect that check or vote? I'll collect the check. Ooh, ooh. No taxation without representation means I no longer have to pay taxes. Right?

Seriously, this is the dumbest thing I've heard of in weeks. When did we become a group who wants to take rights away from people? I thought that's what the other guys did.

Brick O'Lore said...

Re: Net tax payer.. I saw this today:


"Because transfer payments are, in effect, the opposite of taxes, it makes sense to look not just at taxes paid, but at taxes paid minus transfers received. For 2009, the most recent year available, here are taxes less transfers as a percentage of market income (income that households earned from their work and savings):

Bottom quintile: -301 percent
Second quintile: -42 percent
Middle quintile: -5 percent
Fourth quintile: 10 percent
Highest quintile: 22 percent"

"The negative 301 percent means that a typical family in the bottom quintile receives about $3 in transfer payments for every dollar earned.

The most surprising fact to me was that the effective tax rate is negative for the middle quintile. According to the CBO data, this number was +14 percent in 1979 (when the data begin) and remained positive through 2007. It was negative 0.5 percent in 2008, and negative 5 percent in 2009. That is, the middle class, having long been a net contributor to the funding of government, is now a net recipient of government largess."

Anonymous said...

I've got a news flash for the people who think that the money they paid into SS is "their" money:

It isn't. It's a social insurance scheme, not a retirement pension.

If people would do a little reading of ConLaw cases on Social Security, they'd find an interesting little case, Flemming v. Nestor, from 1960:


Rx: I agree with you and I've previously suggested this in various tax group meetings. The geezers who think that Social Security is some "right" (ie, they've bought the Democrat's propaganda, hook/line/sinker are always up in arms at such proposals) are the ones who really get on my nerves. When I point out that, thanks to actuarial mathematics that they're pulling out far more than they ever put into the system, they remain huffy, claiming that they're due this hand-out.

Social Security and Medicare were the undoing of this republic.

Roberta X said...

Robb Harbaugh wrote: "When did we become a group..."

That. What's this "we," bwana?

What we have here is a me. Me suggesting free riders don't get to say where the bus goes. Perhaps you have a different idea; if so, illuminate us. What we've got now can't keep on the way it is going.

(And you can count me in the "wanting to take rights away" category, BTW: in Perfect Bobbiland, there'd be darned little to vote on, government being mostly streetcleaners and dogcatchers and someone to buy tinned beef for the Army, but voting would be limited to stakeholders, probably based on ownership of real property. Too many people vote who either have nothing in the game or stand to receive transfer payments as a result of voting.)

Roberta X said...

Johnny-Oh, drop the double vote and you might be on to something.

MSgt B said...

I'd say you are definitely feeling better.

Not that I agree with you or anything like that, quite the contrary. I think you're out of your freakin mind.

Love that about you.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea.

You're right: it't never fly in Congress, but I like it.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

The fact is, something needs to be done about welfare and SS/Medicare/Medicaid recipients voting for the people who will then turn around and continue or extend their benefits.

My personal preference would be to get rid of so-called "entitlements" altogether and put the onus back on families, churches and other local community organizations to take care of their own. Bring back the poor farm if absolutely necessary.

But like Bobbi says, that's not going to happen until those systems collapse under their own weight.

Mark Alger said...

I think you're right. I would go farther. Nobody gets a transfer payment -- vote or not. Gummint needs a service, it buys it in the private sector. Cash. No credit. AND: it SHALL not compete with citizen businesses.

I'd like to remind people this is not supposed to be a goody-fest. As it says on the side of the box, "That in order to preserve these rights..." That's the mission statement. Any action, policy, word or deed that does not further that aim is forbidden.

And, no, there is no greater good. Any greater good presupposes the acceptability of some evil -- greater or lesser.


perlhaqr said...

Yep. I've pitched this one for years. I'll vote for it... but I think the number of people who get Federal largesse outnumber those who don't, these days.

perlhaqr said...

Drang: Still, considering how many people you are advocating disenfranchising for their job, I think it would be simpler to push for reducing the size of government, so that those votes mattered less.

That's the ultimate goal, but how can you possibly get there while those who have a financial interest in maintaining (or accelerating) the status quo get a say in it?

Robb Harbaugh: When did we become a group who wants to take rights away from people?

What makes you think people who are getting money from my paycheck via government fiat have a "right" to vote on the matter?

"Me, Sal, Tony, Mike, and Joey all voted to split the contents of your wallet six ways with you." It's called robbery when there isn't a voting booth and a government bureaucracy in the middle of the transaction.

Stranger said...

The Founders would approve such an Amendment. As Aristotle said, "A democracy is rule by the poor because there are so many of them."

The Founders had a horror of rule by the mob, and set up several barriers to "democracy." If they had thought of it, accepting government largesse and retaining the privilege of voting would have been barred.

Of course, government contracts where the government gets something for taxpayer money would not have raised an eyebrow. The Founders approved of commerce. And of the militia.


Drang said...

I'm not suggesting the postman who walks dozens of miles every day lugging a mailbag or combat troops are in any way freeloaders. But the problem is, their votes can be bribed with tax money. H. L. Mencken wrote, "Every election is a sort of advance auction of stolen goods." Figure out how to prevent that and you've solved the problem.
But anyone is susceptible to being bribed for their vote, you just have to find a big enough special interest. We keep talking bout how many gu owners there are, versus how many actually belong to NRA, let alone smaller national or state groups. Hams are a special interest group, but no one seems interested in pandering for our vote, no matter how important the cause. (Covenants, phooey!)
FWIW, and possibly OTOH, no one is trying to bribe me for my vote as a middle aged white man; demographics suggest that white people would be the biggest of special interest groups...

Chris said...

Years ago, SF writer Mack Reynolds had some books about a future "technocracy" in which the franchise was limited to those who had earned income. In fact, they got one vote for each $10,000 (or new-bucks of some sort) of earned income. Gov't transfer payments (a negative income tax concept in those books, IIRC), got no say, ditto for inheritance and the like. You earn more, you vote more. Now, to be fair, I don't like the idea of government, much less voting (anarchist!). But Reynolds' idea always intrigued me.

Roberta X said...

Drang, don't you think "recipent of government largesse" is a pretty big special interest group?

Drang said...

I think it depends more on whether they, and the people trying to bribe them for their votes, see them as a special interest group. As a military retiree, I do not see myself as one with welfare recipients, farmers taking money to NOT grow a crop, government contractors, ATF agents, clerks at the VA, etc.
I speak only for myself, but the closest anyone has come to pandering for my vote is in the periodic consideration of changing how much they charge me for my health insurance. (Yes, as a military retiree I pay for my health insurance.)

Rob K said...

Robb Harbaugh: When did we become a group who wants to take rights away from people?

Since forever? We've always been for removing rights for criminals, haven't we? Receipt of stolen goods is a crime, isn't it? perlhaqr touched on this pretty well, and gave an excellent example.

People, seriously, how long do you think Social Security and all of the other entitlements would continue to exist if you lost the vote by accepting it? It would be gone 20 minutes after the next election. But as long as people can vote themselves largesse from the public coffers, they will do so.

I'm all in for this amendment, but I'd add one thing to it. Accepting a single public dollar disenfranchises you for at least two election cycles after you last accept public funds.

I fear we'd have wild oscillation as people voted in welfare for themselves, were disenfranchised, the welfare got voted out, so those no longer getting it were re-enfranchised and voted it back in.

Tony Muhlenkamp said...

Haven't read the comments, like your idea enough to think about it some more. I also like the idea of additional laws/amendments requiring Congresspersons to follow ALL the laws they pass; and requiring Congresspersons to complete their own federal tax returns unaided.

Anonymous said...

Members of the armed forces of the United States are not, I say again not, part of an "entitlement class".

I write the above without having read the previous comments, and I am certain you have already had enough similar sentiments to mine fired your way to make your sinus headache spike like Captain Kirk wearing the shock collar fighting the white haired chick.

One place we went wrong was the 26th Amendment. Instead of extending the franchise to anyone over the age of eighteen, twenty one should have been kept as the age of majority, with the provision that those under twenty one who had enlisted and served honorably for at least two years, or were currently serving, were entitled to vote.

Mike James

Dad Bones said...

Excellent idea, RX. I'm living on Soc Sec now and it wouldn't bother me a bit to see every last one of us having to stay away from the polls. Same with vets, and I did my time in Vietnam.

I wish I had a constructive idea on how to implement such a plan.

Roberta X said...

I like the RAH notion from Starship Troopers -- and you may recall the the franchise and eligibility to run for office was not granted until after the end of one's term of service.

Oh, if ex-mil folks are not getting something nice from the Feds, will you 'splain to me about the retirement package my employer grants after 20 years (not much, zip if you are under the retirment age) and the extended health insurance coverage ditto (also zilch).

--Undestood, that's part of the deal, which also included risk of life an limb, crappy pay and Birth Control Glasses. Some of you suffered with a smile, bearing the long-term payoff in mind. But if you think it's *not* something Congress can hold over your head -- and occasionally does -- you have been sleeping through this movie.

Again: we shouldn't have anyone in the position of being able to vote themselves more money from the public trough.

Dale said...

A couple of points -
1) When the Constitution was written, there were many disenfrancised groups, including women, native americans, slaves and indentureds and men who did not own property. Since many of the more reactionary responders are probably the most adamant about returning to the Founders original intent, if we repealed the Constitutional admendmants that granted the franchise to these parties, in one fell swoop you would knock out 40% of the voting public minimum. Then we could use and abuse them with impunity... WaHaHA!(swiftian humor, people)

2) Taking away the vote will not stop the majority of retirees from taking social security. Ask them, I doubt they want to re-enter the work force as a greeter for Wal-Mart. If they have skills, they do not need social security - They already made their bucks; which is why receipt of benefits should be means tested!

3) Federal Largess is not "buying" votes from the vast majority of the public. I'm a voter and I get jack-shit from the Feds. If all they have to offer me is what I'm "entitled" to from Social Security, they ain't bring much to the table....

4)Lobbying dollars from the private sector contribute far more to the Debt in the form of misquided spending on unecessary, poorly conceived and/or wasteful projects as payback. We need electoral reform, campaign spending limits and strict (as in jailhouse strict) limits on lobbying elected officials.

5.) Military - by 2030, legacy benefit and retirement costs are project to consume a huge chunk of the defense budget. (something like 5o% of current expense). I expect I'll work until I'm 70-maybe older. My kids will work until they drop in the traces. Military personel need to realize that they are going to get less, and wait longer for it. That is a reality for us civilian taxpayers and for them as well. Since when did serving in the Military become about what you got on the back end? Last time I checked it was voluntary. Same for being a policeman, fireman or any other risky endeavor. By that logic, make stock brokers, commodity traders and mortgage brokers "earn" their money crawling through a hail of gunfire.

6) Term Limits - two and out for senators; four and out for representatives.

7)No one serving in Federal or State or local government elected office should be able to lobby anyone until they have been out of office same amount of time that they served.

8) All pay increases for government employees should be voted on by the citizens during normal elections, not the elected officials whenver they want.

9) Get rid of manditory cost of living increases in government pay. I do not get them, neither should they.

10.) Make government employees accountable for the monies entrusted to them. 6-8 billion squandered in Iraq rebuilding? I bet that isn't close by a factor of 20. If you lost 6-8 billion in the private sector, you would be looking at jail and restitution.

11) Hey CALPERS, how bought we claw back some of your compensation (present and future) for the retirement funds you lost speculating on sub prime?
How many brokerage firms, bankers and pension fund managers would volunteer for accountability like that handling my 401k?

12) Let the Military Vote - They are all over the place as a demographic, and haven't influenced an election since George Washington...

Methinks you ascribe too much power to that particular block. I am more concerned about the double dipper retirees lobbying congress for the military industrial complex...

Drang said...

Has anyone seen proof that Heinlein actually thought that the vote should be tied to a period of government service? (Which, BTW, was emphatically NOT just military service.) Or was it just a plot point in a book written in reaction to suggestions that the west should have just surrendered to the commies? Note all the different suggestion Prof De La Paz made for the government of Free Luna.

And most veterans don't get all that much for their service. The percentage of retirees is low. And, considering that the largest group is retired enlisted in pay grade E6, and the retirement pay is just barely above the poverty level, and that assuming you have a spouse and only one child, it ain't all that nice.

On a related note: Instapundit » Blog Archive » TOM RICKS: Let’s Bring Back The Draft.

Roberta X said...

1) Conscription is slavery

2) RAH was fond of throwing out ideas and seeing what people made of them. So am I.

3) The size of the "reward" isn't at issue; me, I'm not even sure that any .gov retirees (including .mil) should be refused the vote...unless they're collecting Social Security.

SS is a huge entitlement system and those receiving do vote their own interests.

Frank W. James said...

Considering I now collect both SS and some farm payments as well, I shouldn't be voting under this proposal, but considering who the 2 main presidental candidates will be in the next presidential election, I'm now sure I will anyway...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Bubblehead Les. said...

Heck, I'd be happy if we could just Vote out Federal Judges, including the Supremes. "Politically Neutral" my behind!

Roberta X said...

Frank: and yet, you're one of the few people who I'd trust with the vote.

(Which is indeed one of the problems with my "modest proposal." And why it was put forward as a thought experiment.)

Anonymous said...

RobertaX - [I]f you think [military retirement benefits are] *not* something Congress can hold over your head -- and occasionally does -- you have been sleeping through this movie.

Another excellent point. As we've seen time and again with various programs at all levels of government, politicians are absolutely not shy about holding this or that group "hostage": "If I don't get my way, then that means [policemen / retirees / the military / widows and orphans] WON'T GET THEIR CHECKS. And you wouldn't want THAT on your conscience, would you?"

Taking the vote away from these groups won't stop the unscrupulous politician (is there any other kind?) from doing this sort of thing, but it at least will stop them buying entire voting blocks: "Vote for me and I'll see to it that your check is bigger!"

Anonymous said...

I took a straw poll of acquaintances here in Ye Olde Englande and we want:

1. a minimum intelligence/educational level qualification. Self explanatory considering we have idiots who can't even spell, let alone understand the consequences, deciding complex issues (otherwise known as politicians).

2. a net contribution to 'society' (thus allowing military, police, fire and health [that means me - Yay!] despite all here being Tax funded), and no, being a bureaucrat, member of a fake charity or a lawyer is not a contribution!

3. British citisenship (yep they allow any EU citisen the vote here, as well as allowing them in posts such as the police and local gov) which should not be simply handed out to anyone who wants it (and their free benefits).

4. a minimum of 7 of the previous ten years in employment (or a total of 20 if retired).

We couldn't agree on the welfare thing (since literally everybody in this country is receiving some 'benefit', mainly due to the wonderful process of being massively over-taxed, and then magnanimously being given a tiny fraction of it back in government largesse) but the absolute majority wanted those who were on benefits, and had never worked (and yes that includes all those single mothers who chosen career path was 'procreation without commitment or responsibility'), automatically removed from the voters register.

All in all, We decided:

Roberta X for Prime Minister!!!!!!

P.S. can we get our guns back when you're in office? pretty please!

Roadkill said...

Ok, the social security, you pay or people come to your house with guns drawn and kill you. Sure, you don't have to draw it, but I paid into it and thus it is my money. How about, you can vote until you have drawn out over the amount you put in? Besides, that might not be my total income but rather a supplement to my retirement funds. I'll still be paying in through a lot of other things. And if I had anything worth crap on my estate they'll be stealing good chunk of that after my death.

Roberta X said...

Able: But- But- I can't speak the lingo!

OTOH, that didn't stop the first President of Finland.

Tony Muhlenkamp said...

Upon further consideration, you should probably combine it with a Flat Tax so you avoid the whole argument about whether tax deductions for charities, mortgage interest, medical expenses, etc. constitute "getting something from the government..."

Larry said...

I draw a .gov military retirement check, so no vote for me. But, if that also applies to welfare recipients and politicians...I'm ok with that (how funny would that be, someone who legislates but can't vote for themselves).
Damn sight fewer of us than there are of them anyways.

Drang said...

1) Conscription is slavery
Concur. So did RAH.
Did you read the full article at the link? it talks about a lot of the things we're talking about here.

2) RAH was fond of throwing out ideas and seeing what people made of them. So am I.
Gedanken experiments are fine. People tend to quote this and a few other ideas RAH threw out and try and make them out to be the man's philosophy.

3) The size of the "reward" isn't at issue; me, I'm not even sure that any .gov retirees (including .mil) should be refused the vote...unless they're collecting Social Security.
Id Social Security was really what it is often painted to be--you pay in, and that's what you get back--instead of what it really is--you pay in to support the current beneficiaries, and someday the current crop of children will support you--I would suggest that SS payments not be included. As it is structured right now, well, the pyramid scheme has to go. (I believe it was Albania that was done in by a massive governmental Ponzi Scheme...)

I don't think we fundamentally disagree about the problem, which is that government, all government, has gotten too big and too expensive. (Leviathan indeed!)

Dave in Indiana said...

Stirred up a hornets nest. Gotta love it, good on ya Rx!

N7OAK , Geoff said...

if I tell you all to fuck off, will I get banned? if so,... Fuck off!

Roberta X said...

Tsk. Tsk, tsk.

Try to remember this is a blog, and not the U. S. Cabinet. It's just talk. No one had gored your ox; if you don't like the talk and find yourself at a loss for persuasive argument, dignified silence might be a better response than defiant obscenity.

For outright banning, that usually requires racist or other such groupthink comments.

Anonymous said...

How shall we fuck off, O Geoff?

Mike James