Some Republican's Don't Take the Money, or Do They?

On February 16th, Paul Begala, trying to justify the most wasteful spending bill in the history of the US wrote, in perhaps the most face punch worthy hypothetical of all time:

"Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina took umbrage at my writing that his approach to the economic crisis is to do nothing. I'll deal with his "ideas" in a moment, but first let me make a modest proposal:

If Republican politicians are so deeply opposed to President Obama's economic recovery plan, they should refuse to take the money. After all, if you think all that federal spending is damaging, there are easy ways to reduce it: Don't take federal money.

Gov. Sanford can lead the way. South Carolina should decline to accept any federal funds for transportation, education, health care, clean energy or any of the other ideas President Obama is advocating to fix the economy. And the rest of the GOP can follow suit."

Yeah, he essentially says, "we are going to spread the slop we expropriate from the taxpayers and if you don't like it then just back off from the trough. Oink. Oink."

His picture is in the article. Fist, smirking face, POW! Print it out. Tape it to a soft object, and punch it.

Well some Republicans have now responded, not that they have been exemplars of fiscal responsibility when in control, they at least have a guilty conscious.:

"If we were to take the unemployment reform package that they have, it would cause us to raise taxes on employment when the money runs out -- and the money will run out in a couple of years," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour told CNN's 'State of the Union' on Sunday."

Wow, some sanity at last. Wait a second. I read on ...

Schwarzenegger called it "a terrific package," and said he does not foresee a need for a tax hike in the future to sustain the unemployment provisions.

The fantasy lasted for maybe five seconds.

Oh, Arnie, Whatever happened to the free market, Milton Friedman, stuff? Guess you never truly understood in the first place. I know Friedman didn't. His monetarism got us into this mess, and it wasn't truly free market. Go Austrians! No not the Schwarznegger type. The other kind.

Yeah, some other republicans are mentioned as turning down the unemployment money but they don't seem to be doing so for the rest of it.

Begala was right in his estimation of Republicans that's for sure. I don't however think that makes him or the Democrats look very good. Makes them look like robbers who flung money in the mud to some groveling wino.

Isn't there some movie scene like this with some evil doer throwing change in the dirt for some hard up addict looking for a fix while giving the poor creature a humiliating tongue, or physical thrashing? Some scene where the bad guy humiliates someone also prone to vices?

No, I am not talking about Deliverance, despite the "Oink, oink, squeal like a pig". That scene more about the taxpayer.

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Oh, Arnie, Whatever happened

Oh, Arnie, Whatever happened to the free market, Milton Friedman, stuff?

When was Arnold ever a Friedmanite? From what I remember, Arnold was the face of "moderation" in the recall election. He ran as the middle-way, soft reformer. Tom McClintock was the hardcore conservative with the balls of steel.

Arnold is what we thought he would be.

When was Arnold ever a

When was Arnold ever a Friedmanite?

Holy crap! Is that the same

Holy crap! Is that the same Arnold Schwarzenegger?

You want another holy crap?

Look up Alan Greenspan's roots before he became a central [planning] banker setting price controls [interest rates] below market.

The guy was supposedly a gold-bug Randroid. Now that's a change for you. From free market anti-money mischief kind of guy to the chief architect of the largest monetary bubble in history.

Yeah. I heard about Alan. I

Yeah. I heard about Alan. I was a Randroid for two years or so.

If Republican politicians

If Republican politicians are so deeply opposed to President Obama's economic recovery plan, they should refuse to take the money.

That's silly, of course, but there is a way for state governments to mitigate the effect of this spending or their constituents: Just give it back to taxpayers. If the feds attach strings that make this infeasible, take it out of state spending in related areas.

recovering federal funds

The argument sounds good to Paul Begala, "if you think the federal money is wrong then don't take it and don't spend it".

So, if a bully tackles you and takes $10 of your money and then says "here, you can have $5 of it back", you would (out of principle) not take the $5 because it was wrong of the bully to take the $10 in the first place?

I remember when they were trying to use this same argument against Ron Paul, who is adamantly against wasting taxpayer money, albeit he accepts federal funds to his district for various projects (even though he votes against them).

If the federal government takes your money in a heavy handed way, and then gives some of it back -- be that taxpayer refunds or funds or federal subsidies or whatever it may be, the wise thing would be to take the money and use it in the best non-wasteful non-porkbarrel method possible. It would be irresponsible of any lawmaker to allow the federal government to over-extract tax funds and not somehow attempt to recapture a portion of those funds back to their district.

That's not the perfect world solution, a perfect solution would be the government taxing and spending only as much as it needs and only as much as it can raise without borrowing from future generations. However, just "not spending it" is just plain stupid. Voting against taxes, yet regaining the highest percentage of taxes back to your district, is the best option when dealing with this obama wasteful spending.