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Zimm_Man_Fan

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Member since: Tue Jul 1, 2014, 06:49 PM
Number of posts: 6,972

About Me

The last one to serve on the last jury before this joint takes its rightful place in the land of the 404 error, be sure and turn off the lights. See yah.

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Pretty much, yes. The nature of contemporary liberalism sort of ordains it, demands it.

Oh, it rarely starts out that way: social movements that liberals have routinely gotten behind in the last hundred years or so - from the commencement of the so-called "progressive era" - have been framed by them in one of two imperative narratives: fairness or justice (which are not the same things). It is simply impossible to write either two into law or policy without obligating someone to pay for it, in terms of either ameliorating what is considered not "fair" or allowing someone (or a whole bunch of someone's) to sue for damages in the name or rectifying a wrong done to their newly-minted (or interpreted) "right" to this or that, i.e., doing "justice."

Let's take just one example of a hot-button topic and mainstay of the liberal social agenda over the last fifty years: so-called "reproductive freedom." It started out pretty straightforward and with a small gesture: telling the state of Connecticut to strike from it's book an antiquated (and rarely enforced) law that prohibited contraceptives. A judicial line can be drawn from Griswold v. Connecticut to Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across the United States regardless of whatever the people in any individual state thought of it. So far, so good (if you're a liberal): an important piece of your social agenda, decades in the making, had just been accomplished via judicial fiat, skirting that whole messy "democracy" thing (that's another thing liberals like: paying lip service to democracy while using unelected judges to impose most of their agenda in the guise of "rights" and "social justice").

But the ink on the Roe decision was not even dry before the taxpayers were asked to start funding all sorts of projects in the "reproductive freedom" laundry list. Why, sure women of means can pay for all the contraceptives or abortions they wish, they said, but what about poor women? Is it really fair to "exclude" them from the party? And the question answered itself - for liberals: "give us some money, taxpayers," they demanded, with their hands out and their special-pleading arguments flapping from their mouths.

They started piecemeal, both on the state and federal level, but today the "reproductive freedom" agenda is funded with taxpayer dollars to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year, across a broad range of "womens health" programs and "initiatives." Planned Parenthood, for instance, had a total revenue in 2013 (the last year for which I can find sourced and verifiable numbers) of $1.21 billion dollars to provide reproductive health "services" of all kinds, including abortions. Of that, 45%, or nearly $541 million dollars came from John & Jill Q. Taxpayer, either via Medicaid or the so-called "Title X Family Planning Program," and this regardless of what literally tens of millions of Americans feel about being forced to fund those programs with public largesse.

Brief aside:

Here, on this fine point, the average liberal will start to stutter and point: "are you really telling me you oppose helping women get reproductive health services?????!!!11" which is, of course, rather not the point: what the vast majority of conservatives oppose is not the services themselves, but being forced to pay for it. When the government spends a single dime on anything - bubblegum for an illegal alien minor; a jet fighter for the USAF; anything - it is obligating taxpayer's to pick up a tab whether they want it or not. The wisdom of any particular government expenditure is not what I'm interested in debating here, as it is simply a diversion from the larger point asked and which I am now trying to answer. But some lib will no doubt try to change the subject away from the issue at hand to some kind of rabbit-hole debate about the wisdom and rightness of the liberal social agenda itself.

Brief aside ends.

So, as I have shown, the liberal social policy of "reproductive freedom" is not free, to coin a phrase, and liberals have found a way to obligate the rest of us to pay for an agenda with which we may or may not agree - at least not as to funding. Myself, I'm all for all the rubbers and IUD's people want to outfit their private equipment with, and would not countenance a law denying them the opportunity to stroll into CVS pharmacy and pick a sackload of same up. But I don't want to pay for it - currently, I am. So are you.

Contrast this with how conservatives frame "rights" in their social agenda. Actually, let's not and just flip the tables: let's imagine what a similar scenario would look like if conservatives treated what they consider an important "right" on their social agenda the way liberals do theirs. Let's imagine an organization called "Planned Pistolhood," which conservatives demanded and got a half a billion dollars a year in taxpayer money for what let's call "2nd amendment services." Planned Pistolhood helps poor and middle class gun enthusiasts with such "2nd amendment services" as free ammunition, that all-important "first handgun," help defraying the costs of concealed carry permits, free or reduced cost trips to gun ranges, etc., etc. In other words, if conservatives treated their social agenda like liberals treat theirs - something everyone else should have to pay for - you would have just such an outfit, and it would be receiving just such public funds, and liberals would be screaming to high-heaven about how unfair it all was to force people who are strong supporters of gun control to fund "2nd amendment services."

But conservatives rarely see "rights" they cherish as having concomitant financial obligations on the rest of the population of taxpaying citizens, but as personal privileges to be exercised in pursuit of freedom - but paid for, as a rule (there are always exceptions) by the conservative himself. Liberals, on the other hand, almost always see any "rights" they cherish and wish to exercise in terms of making someone else pay for it. It's in the liberal DNA, so to speak. Indeed, that's what the Hobby Lobby brouhaha is essentially about, at the end of the day.

So, the answer to your question, which I believe was sincere is yes: it's not that all liberal social policies require government funding - people are free to buy contraceptives without taxpayer funds - but that they almost always do. Liberals bray for it, insist upon it, self-righteously beat their chests demanding it, and through constant hectoring and legislative slights-of-hand (slipping Planned Parenthood funding into Medicaid payments, for instance), they almost always end up getting such funding, if not from the Feds at the state level, and often times both.

Conservatives, meanwhile, just pay their own way for things they view as "rights," like their own pistols and time at the gun range.

I could go on over any number of items in the liberal social agenda cast by them as "rights" that they have succeeded in having imposed by judicial fiat by the courts - again, doing an end run around that messy democracy thing - on the rest of us that you and I are paying for, but this reply has gone on long enough as is. When one sits down and starts auditing the liberal social agenda over the last hundred years, though, one rarely finds an item that in some way does not draw from the public purse in its actual exercise. If ever.

Thanks again for your question.

I predict:

November 5th, 2014

Bank it.

In order: nope, I don't, and yes it does.

Because it's never just "I'm OK with lgbt Americans" (or any other minority or interest group). What comes with the "I'm OK with you" price tag always ends up entwined with new laws establishing them as a class of protected persons and taxpayer funded programs to enforce those laws, or ameliorate some condition or perceived problem unique to them, etc., etc.

For instance, Bush II thought he was going to make a big dent in the Democrat Party's hold on Black American's votes by giving ten billion dollars to Africa, and have his Attorney General back the NAACP in support of "disparate impact" in the courts - the latter of which has cost corporations and private businesses literally hundreds of billions of dollars since 1971 to comply with.

And that's what these "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" folks end up doing every single time.

So, no I don't think someone can be "fiscally conservative" and "OK" with powerful interest groups and lobbies. It's a non-starter.

Well, how it routinely works is thus:

Candidate X claims "I'm socially liberal (the preferred phrase now is "socially tolerant") but fiscally conservative (the preferred phrase now is "fiscally responsible.")

He gets elected. He keeps every single social program and even adds a few while expanding the reach and cost of most of the current ones. He has a huge report on "government fraud, waste and abuse" commissioned in the meantime, and they deliver a report back to him in a few months full of horror stories about three hundred dollar Pentagon wrenches and mid-level civil servants dining on steak and shrimp in Hawaii for an agency meeting. There are vows to "cut this waste to the bone" from (now-elected) Politician X. What he doesn't tell the public is that cutting every single scrap of that "fraud, waste and abuse" from the Blue-ribbon "report" will amount to....0.0039% of the government budget.

Meantime, he borrows the money or floats bonds to fund his expansion of government programs to keep the interest groups satisfied. When asked about that in good economic times, he claims "why, to raise taxes to pay for our much-needed government programs now would hurt the economy! No can do!" When asked about that in bad economic times, he claims "why, to raise taxes to pay for our much-needed government programs now would send us into another Great Depression!"

Wash, rinse, repeat.

And it's a bi-partisan phenomenon, one that's been going since JFK with EVERY President. Before Clinton and the GOP Congress managed to so in the 1990s, Eisenhower was the last president to turn in a balanced budget. That was a rare convergence of events that I doubt we'll see again.

What it basically is is "Liberal Lite," since you cannot have a liberal social agenda

without eventually funding it with a liberal economic policy.

During the 1990s, it was all the rage to hear someone say "I"m socially liberal (or libertarian) and fiscally conservative." To which I took to replying: "Oh, so you're a liberal on the installment plan?"

There is no such thing as a "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" position. The very fact of liberal social policies requires a liberal economic policy, which I actually find more honest as the liberals will raise the taxes to pay for their programs. The "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" types borrow the money and add it to the national debt.
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