Monday, July 23, 2007

Why all the filibusters?

Senate Republicans have become filibuster-crazy, and it's not too hard to figure out why.

A majority of senators -- and a majority of the American people -- want certain things enacted that the Republicans oppose. So, the GOPers stage filibusters to block up-and-down votes on those matters.

Kevin Drum offers further explanation here.


UCrawford said...

If the end result is that filibustering leads to less bills getting passed, and less government spending, and eventually less tax dollars going from "greedy rich" people who earned their money to "unfortunate poor" people who didn't...then I'm perfectly okay with filibusters. Bad policy is bad policy and theft is theft, whether 51% of the people agree with it or not. And a government that passes few laws (like what we have now) suits me just fine.

It's about time the Republicans started doing something useful :)

The Rascal said...

Well, friend, we're going to agree to disagree. I'm not the libertarian you are. For example, I don't trust corporate America to refrain on its own from befouling the environment. Health care is another area where you and I could argue for hours. I know where you're coming from, and I can respect that. But I'm coming from a much different place. I don't buy liberalism in all of its manifestations, but I probably buy more of it than I do of libertarianism. C'est la guerre (politically speaking).

UCrawford said...

I trust corporations far more than I do least in exchange for the money I give them the corporations usually provide me with goods and services I can use (plus I always have the option of not buying their product). Government usually takes a big chunk of my earnings in taxes and uses it to create programs and regulations that usually just create more government and provide me with very few goods and services that I can use (yet I'm forced to pay for their products).

Spending money in the hopes that government will fix problems through regulation is usually a foolish investment. About the only things they provide that are worthwhile are roads, national defense, and courts...mainly because that's tax dollars spent on projects that all taxpayers benefit from equally. Beyond that most government programs are merely a form of theft...forcibly taking money in taxes from those who earned it and re-distributing it in various ways to people who didn't. Which, if you think about it, is much worse than what corporations do because corporations aren't allowed to seize your assets or throw you into prison when you don't pay them for products you aren't benefiting from.

The Rascal said...

Where can I get some of what your smoking? Absent government regulation, corporate America would have an even worse record of swindling and polluting and selling unsafe, shoddy products. Nobody would dare swallow even an aspirin tablet without the confidence that the Food and Drug Admnistration is looking over the shoulders of the folks at Bayer. And I have to laugh at the business world's rhetoric about the wonders of "free enterprise" -- rhetoric that's no more honest than the TV ads for consumer products. There is no free enterprise, and business doesn't really want it. Businesses and industries spend zillions of dollars trying to get the goverment to regulate markets to their benefit or trying to get government to give them more corporate welfare. The captains of industry are no more in favor of free enterprise than I am of bubonic plague. Libertarians are naive to think otherwise. Libertarians also are naive not to recognize that property and capital and contracts and markets are all products of government regulation. All this talk of getting "government off our backs" is a bunch of hooey. I prefer the promises in the preamble to the Constitution. But, I still think you're a good guy.

The Rascal said...

Excuse my use of "your" instead of "you're" at the top of the preceding comment.

UCrawford said...

Actually, libertarians oppose government subsidies and handouts for corporations as well (like ethanol, for example). Just because we support capitalism doesn't mean we support means that we oppose any group getting preferential treatment from government. And I agree with your assertion that corporations don't want free markets and capitalism...which makes me support capitalism even more. They oppose free markets because they realize it's the best tool for keeping them in check.

Corporations like to use government to keep out new competition and get a tax advantage over current competition (subsidies, tariffs). Poor people like to use government to steal money from rich people (welfare/Medicaid). Old people like to use government to steal money from young people (Social Security). Unions like to use government to allow them to monopolize the work force (immigration laws). And religious extremists like to use government to force their morality on everyone else (anti-gambling laws, federal positions on abortion, anti-gay marriage initiatives).

The common thread here is that it's government intervention that has created the aforementioned problems. Any time government gives preferential treatment to one group over another, the result is almost always bad. And the only solution to the problem is not to create more government regulation, or to fall back on the naive hope that we'll somehow elect the "right kind" of people to run government (because they don't exist)...the solution is to limit the things that we put the government in charge of and restrict the power it has over our lives. That's basically the entire point of our Constitution.