All Hat – No Conscience


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53 Responses to All Hat – No Conscience

  1. rl crabb says:

    Isn’t it nice when the national press notices our local congressman’s efforts to restrain spending…

  2. Brad Croul says:

    Yee Haw! Ride’m cowboy/conservative corporate welfare farmer.

  3. The cited Huff Post article reports $11.3M of farm subsidies distributed to the rich guys over 17 years. Now I have never been in favor of such corporate subsidies and think they should be stopped, but during that same period annual welfare spending has gone from $400B to over $900B. So who are these destitute people hanging on to the log, and how much would they have benefited from having that additional $11.3M given to them over those years?

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Try looking at the bigger picture, George. In a time when the wealthiest have flummoxed the entire economy with their insidious derivative gambling schemes, and were repaid for their losses out the average worker’s tax obligations, they also decreased their own tax payments and continue to suck large sums in the form of subsidies straight from the treasury, all the while having sole access to billions in 0.001% interest loans from the Fed.

      Just about everybody, with their exception, has lost trillions in equity, jobs that pay a living wage, and see an ever-decreasing amount of aid to help them stay alive in an economy that still reaps record profits for those at the top. Yet, some still have that vision of “welfare queens” dancing in their head, which is the only defense of such idiocy, and is propagated by the very people who make claim that their capitalism will some day be our saving grace.

      Take all the tax breaks and subsidies away from just the top ten corporations and we can pay for ALL of your fellow citizens suffering for the corporate mistakes that got us here.

      • Ah yes, the bigger picture that says eliminating corporate welfare will make our country financially whole again, benefiting those who can and succoring those who can’t. Numbers please.

        • rl crabb says:

          I couldn’t give you specific numbers, George, but I doubt that many of those individuals and families have been getting food stamps for as long as those cited in the Huff’n’puff Post. If you break it down as individuals receiving subsidies, the un-and-underemployed numbers would not compare evenly. Most of those folks would no doubt prefer to have a job that allows them to buy their food after paying the other bills. While I wouldn’t put the blame on just one party, Doug is our congressman and I would expect that he live under the same constraints. What’s good for the goosed should be good for the gander.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            RL, while I wholeheartedly agree with the concept of dismantling New Deal agricultural market manipulations, the way to go about it is not piecemeal, just going after rich Republicans who happen to be farming staples whose market demands have been manipulated by the Feds for the better part of a century isn’t the way,

            George, a fun exercise with the innumerate on this subject would be to draw a number line spanning a page. Zero on the left, one trillion on the right. Ask the subject to point where 900 billion is, then ask where 10 million is.

            900 billion is just a really big number. So is 10 million.

        • Chris Peterson says:


          Here’s just one such number; the GAO says that US companies pay an average tax rate of 12.6%. I’d guess that’s a bit lower than yours; I know it’s lower than mine. And that’s on a lot more money in a year than you or I will see in a lifetime. And that doesn’t include subsidies or access to billions at next to zero interest.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            CP, have you any money in a 401k, or a pension fund?

            Congratulations, you’re one paying corporate income taxes. It’s the money skimmed off the top by the government by taxation before it can get to your account which isn’t supposed to be taxed.

            On the other side, the corp income tax is paid entirely by customers of that corporation, so I hope you don’t actually buy anything that a corporation had anything to do with selling you.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Ah, so corporations are people, except when it comes to taxes, then they are merely business entities that should be tax free? Brilliant.

            My returns on any investment I have made in the stock market will have to wait quite a while before it recovers the losses I suffered at the hand of the greedy basterds up top, not to mention my mortgage losses resulting from the same crowd.
            Overall, the American PEOPLE have lost trillions in net worth, but not the jokers who caused that to happen; they’re still sailing along on Easy Street. And any dividends I receive on an annual basis are a sum-total loss if you count everything, including taxes, that these geniuses continue to reap from our system.

            I don’t know about you, but of the thousands I pay in taxes each year, I gotta’ figure that a good portion of that is going to support the very corporations that give me little in return. Where’s the gain in that?
            If these yahoos don’t have a business model that turns a profit without my help, then they shouldn’t be in business, let alone reaping the largest profits in the history of man at the same time that their taking money out of my paycheck.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “Ah, so corporations are people, except when it comes to taxes, then they are merely business entities that should be tax free? Brilliant.”

            No Chris, when it comes to taxes, corporate taxes should be paid by the owners of the corporation. You own yourself, I own myself. Microsoft is not owned by Microsoft, Apple is not owned by Apple.

            Terese Heinz Kerry pays a higher tax rate than the widow McGullicudy and her 8 kids. Don’t tax the dollar until it gets to the owner, the McGullicudies of the world need it more than your favorite government programs do and will pay the tax appropriate to their income.

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        “Take all the tax breaks and subsidies away from just the top ten corporations and we can pay for ALL of your fellow citizens suffering for the corporate mistakes that got us here.”

        A faith-based political judgment, one in a long line of fantasies that has gotten us all where we are now.

        • Chris Peterson says:

          Some people still see mathematics as “faith-based political judgement”. The fantasy is, “If we set the capitalists free, we will all profit”. Categorically, pure bullshit, unless you can do what no one has been able to do as of yet:
          Explain to us all how the tax breaks, subsidies, free trade, and literally free loans from the Fed, to corporations over the last 30 years has been an improvement for the majority of citizens in our society.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “Take all the tax breaks and subsidies away from just the top ten corporations and we can pay for ALL of your fellow citizens suffering for the corporate mistakes that got us here.”

            Do the math, CP, don’t just pile the manure higher and deeper.

            Find for the readers here where I’ve cheerled the Fed; hint, it never happened, except in your imagination. That I find your remedies to be without merit does not mean I think Big Business and Wall Street in cahoots with Big Government and the Federal Reserve Gone Wild! is our salvation; please, drop the caricatures.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            I’m more than sure that, if I tried to pin you down, I’d realize that, as usual, you didn’t commit to saying anything at all.

            I’m as guilty as anyone at speaking to the negative, something Samuel Clemens said any fool could do, but you seem to be particularly good at it while artfully leaving no trace of discernible preference. Bravo, Oblio.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “Take all the tax breaks and subsidies away from just the top ten corporations and we can pay for ALL of your fellow citizens suffering for the corporate mistakes that got us here.”

            Do the math, CP. Show us.

          • Ryan Mount says:

            > 30 years has been an improvement for the majority of citizens in our society

            We’ve experience a Massive improvement. Unprecedented in the history of civilization. Not that I approve in all cases. We’re living longer. Poverty is dropping fast across the globe. The water is cleaner. The California Condor, in all its hideousness, is coming back. And lastly, Jeff Pelline has not been able to destroy the Union. Good times, noodle salad.

            We’re actually doing quite well. But it’s hard to make a living on good news. It’s certainly hard to get people to believe/follow us if we scare the bejesus out of them. (Fukushima is serious shit, BTW.)

            In the USA, we are global titans; the real 1%ers. Yeah, that’s eroding as we’ve become lazy and entitled, not to discount competition from the rising middle classes around the globe.

            As I’ve suggested (not to you CP, you seem like a smart and decent person) to other Progressives (not saying you’re a Progressive either): they need to channel their inner Teddy Roosevelts and start invading other countries. That’s a sure fire way to improve our standard of living.

          • Michael Anderson says:


            I think we’re all kinda done with the whole “invading” thing. Every nation needs to get its head around the fact that there is nothing left to invade on planet earth.

            What the 21st century has shown so far is that invasions create a horrible mess, and make things worse than they were pre-invasion. This is actually George W. Bush’s legacy, and pretty much all for which he will be remembered.

            George W. Bush: the 21st century President of the United States who indicates the boundary of the new way that post-colonial First World countries operate.

            You can invade asteroids and Mars, but nothing on earth is invade-able anymore. It’s a bummer; and yet, it’s a cold, hard fact.

            So, what’s next? If we can’t invade, how do we improve? I’ve been re-reading Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel” this past month, mostly because it helps me process the modern day Visigoths who’s brains are different.

            My favorite part of this whole exercise is that we are experiencing what seems like a slow incremental change. The Visigoths, like the Neanderthals, are slowly disappearing in real time, but in actuality they will be done with the snap of the fingers.

            (This comment has been edited for objectionable content not having to do with the subject at hand.)

            Diamond suggests that we will either evolve or collapse. I am on the evolve side of the vote, humans don’t usually collapse without recovery.

            So, grow your vegetables, manage your bees, go to your Rotary meetings and always remember to say “thank you” and “please.”

            To me, good manners matter most of all. Peace out.

            Michael A.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            This comment has been removed for ancestral slurs.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            This comment has been consigned to the phantom zone by the Krypton Censorship Board.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            This comment has been removed by the Ayatollah Krabini.

          • Ryan Mount says:

            Not sure about the “done invading” part. Certainly we’ve done (and continue to do) our share of invading with or without guns. This on-going non= is Thomas Friedman-like: We don’t go to war with any country with a McDonalds in it. Yeah, I know, since proven false, but we get the idea? Sing along with me, “Killing ’em softly with this Coke/Filling their lives with Levi’s.”

            My point was not about invading anyway, although again, I don’t think we’re (or any rising power) is done with that. That was an exercise in overstatement.

            The point was about the tremendous wealth, health and privilege that we live with on a daily and take for granted. So when people imply rhetorically about how bad things are getting, the actual answer is “things” are dramatically (like never before in the history of humanity) improving ironically for the people who are complaining about things being in the shitter. But as I said above, it’s hard to win people over with an “everything’s going rather well” argument; it’s much easier to march through the clean house, tipping over all the furniture, and then complaining about the mess.

            If things are deteriorating, it’s our own fault for encouraging the rest of the developing world to rise up, get smart and want Levi’s.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            This post has been removed by the Grand Inquisitor of this blog.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “This comment has been removed for ancestral slurs.”

            ?? There were no ancestral slurs by me, Earl, just a denial of any known visigothic DNA coursing through my veins. I’m sure the visigoth descendants in modern day Spain and the south of France are perfectly happy with their ancestry, as am I. This is all as it should be.

            Thanks for pruning this on up to the start.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            You want the math?! You can’t handle the math!

            Well, would ya’ lookie there; someone already did the math, Greg.

   has an excellent breakdown of exactly what corporate welfare casts the average tax paying family each year.
            Hint: it’s WAAAY more than social help programs.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            CP, your claim was:

            “Take all the tax breaks and subsidies away from just the top ten corporations and we can pay for ALL of your fellow citizens suffering for the corporate mistakes that got us here.”

            The link you gave wasn’t to that point.

            Thanks for the forfeit, otherwise nice game.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Greg responded to CP: “The link you gave wasn’t to that point. Thanks for the forfeit, otherwise nice game.”

            The labels are the problem. Everyone has his pet entitlement they either love or hate. George Rebane and Russ Steele get veteran’s benefits. Anyone in the insurance brokerage business is getting a huge economic boost with PPACA.

            Chris is absolutely correct that the Takers in Washington D.C. and New York City get a disproportionate rake on entitlements. Bought and paid for, it’s right there on the invoice.

            “1 legislator, fresh and hard, will parrot anything — fee only, $500 per increment”

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Well, let’s see, Greg.
            If the average American family pays $6,000 a year for corporate welfare, as the article states, then 100 million of us average taxpaying families pay @ $600 billion a year for corporate welfare.

            Am I going to fast for ya’?

            Then again; 23.6% of all statistics are off by 16.9%.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “Take all the tax breaks and subsidies away from just the top ten corporations and we can pay for ALL of your fellow citizens suffering for the corporate mistakes that got us here.”

            CP, none of your followup rhetoric actually supports the statement you made that I’ve repeated for you multiple times in a failed attempt to keep you focused.

            “If the average American family pays $6,000 a year for corporate welfare, as the article states,”

            You provided no link to any article.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            OK Greg, here’s the specific article, so you don’t have to do anything but click and squawk.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Thank you for not expecting me to search through that site looking for what you might be referring to.

            That article says nothing about sticking it to the 10 biggest corporations, which is what you were claiming. Some of the 6 points I agree with completely, like #1 from the libertarian Cato Institute about direct payments and have said as much, and #2, the insane monies thrown companies by cities as incentives to move into their area. Especially sports stadiums. However, many of the others are far from being “subsidies”.

            But the others? Sorry, #5, but those “overpriced medications” due to patents is not a “subsidy”, its due to the US Patent Office, created by the Constitution to do just that, because if you have intellectual property, you have exclusive rights to it for an amount of time, by law. That some countries get sold new medicines cheaper than in the US has more to do with those countries blackmailing US pharma, make it cheaper or we’ll violate the patents on all your drugs, so they play a game. The grey market does tend to keep a lid on it.

            Get rid of all the corporate tax machinations by getting rid of the corporation income tax. The ‘ruling classes’ don’t do it because it works to their advantage to have it siphoned off the middle where it can be borne by the middle classes who’ll never catch on their retirement savings take the biggest hits.

  4. Russ Steele says:

    While Govern Brown thinks the Golden State is doing just fine, that growing poverty numbers are the result of immigration into the state as people come seeking their share of the employment gold. This immigration is suppose to be adding more people to the log. He is wrong.  Bill Watkins writing at the New Geography has the details:
    Gov. Jerry Brown, whose pronouncements of California’s economic recovery have been criticized by Republicans who point out the state’s high poverty rate, said in a radio interview Wednesday that poverty and the large number of people looking for work are “really the flip side of California’s incredible attractiveness and prosperity.”
    The Democratic governor’s remarks aired the same day the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 23.8 percent of Californians live in poverty under an alternative calculation that includes the cost of living.
    Asked on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” about two negative indicators — the state’s nation-high poverty rate and the large number of Californians who are unemployed or marginally employed and looking for work — Brown said, “Well, that’s true, because California is a magnet.
    “People come here from all over in the world, close by from Mexico and Central America and farther out from Asia and the Middle East. So, California beckons, and people come. And then, of course, a lot of people who arrive are not that skilled, and they take lower paying jobs. And that reflects itself in the economic distribution.”
    This is so incredibly wrong that I’m worried that Brown has lost his head and ability to reason.   If he really believes what he said, he’s living in the past and he’s so ill informed as to be delusional.  If he doesn’t believe what he said, I’m worried that his political skills have slipped.  To my knowledge, he’s never said anything so clearly at odds with the truth in his career.

    I have more on this subject HERE:

    Click on the link and you will have an opportunity to look at the facts, portrayed in graphic form on the decline of the Great Golden State. We will soon see even more people on the log and they did not come from out of the state.

  5. Brad Croul says:

    You don’t see that many people on welfare who are elected to Congress, but you do see a lot of rich folk, like LaMalfa, on the rolls. When the subject of eliminating subsidies comes up in Congress, I wonder on which side LaMalfa sits? Is it any wonder why the subsidies never go away?
    People naturally look for advantages. Farmers look for subsidies, and now the prison and industrial complex is looking at Indian tribes as a way to get ahead. Local Indian tribes have contracts to replace all the man-hole covers in Washington, D.C. They also have contracts to build prisons in U.S. territories in the Pacific. Of course, the tribes don’t actually build anything but they are given preference when these contracts are awarded. I guess they just subcontract the work out to whomever they are in bed with.

  6. Steve Frisch says:

    First, lets get the topic of the post out of the way, Doug La Malfa is a complete hypocrite for opposing welfare on one hand for some people and participating in welfare on the other hand for himself (and his family). To see it any other way, to try to define subsidy any other way, or to make excuses for it based on the size of the welfare for others, or the history of the welfare, is nothing but a rationalization and avoidance of the core question.

    The correct response for Mr. La Malfa is, “Yes, I participate in crop subsidies, because society has made a determination that maintaining a stable supply of the commodity I produce is worth the subsidy.” The question we need to ask ourselves is, “is maintaining a stable supply of sticky rice for export to Japan worth the price of the subsidy?”

    The question is not is it welfare? the question is IF we are going to engage in welfare (subsidy) who should get it? I know that I will err on the side of caring for the needy and supporting the most universal benefit over the rich or a narrow interest every day.

    But a much more interesting statement is the one Ryan used to respond to Chris in his own words, “30 years has been an improvement for the majority of citizens in our society.”

    Under almost any rational measure of social and economic progress the last 100 years, and the triumph of capitalism, has been an unparalleled success globally. Whether measured by capital accumulation or the Human Development Index, Gross National Product or Gross National Happiness, more people are living longer healthier lives with greater satisfaction and less human suffering than at any other time in human history.

    Not only do I think Ryan is correct that the last 30 years have seen tremendous progress, I think we have barely scratched the surface.

    It is increasing clear that technological innovations coupled with the rise of shared ownership models for resources, goods and services are pushing the bounds of what we are capable of. From artificial intelligence to genetically modified organisms, from shared ownership of cars to rapidly reducing prices for renewable energy, from radical innovation in access to education to global mobility, we are pushing our limits and breaking barriers at an ever increasing pace. Where once we were dominated by a mindset of scarcity encouraging competition for limited resources and capital accumulation, we now see that past competition could fall away as new technology and economic models create abundance.

    The limiting factor is not our financial capital, or our human or social capital, we are barely pushing the limits of growth there; the limiting factor is our natural capital. Of the three forms of capital that create wealth only natural capital is currently pushing the limits of our growth.

    That is why if we want to continue the progress we have made since the rise of capitalism we need to adjust our economic model to fit new conditions. We need to create progress and measure it not by the single bottom line of what is best for the financial balance sheet, but by a triple bottom line of what is simultaneously best for the social and natural capital as well.

    The triple bottom line is a community investment strategy and accounting framework that recognizes the three co-equal forms of capital: social, natural, and financial; directs and prioritizes investment to areas that increase all three forms of capital simultaneously; and, measures performance by social, environmental and financial outcomes.

    This differs from traditional community investment strategies and accounting frameworks in that it includes environmental and social measures, and posits that highest value and maximum utility is created, and scarce resources used most efficiently, when we reject the idea that financial capital supersedes social and natural capital.

    I am ready for the critique that this is some sort of collectivist nonsense; I contend that it is the natural, necessary and individually liberating progression of capitalism to meet human needs. Max Planck once said a new paradigm takes over not when it convinces its opponents, but when its opponents eventually die.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      My remarks were along the lines of the dynamic shift in wealth of the last 30 years. 2008 was a radical move comparable to castleing in a chess game. Those who had put themselves in a precarious position made a bold move put them in the clear by way of sacrificing the other players on the board.

      Beginning with the great trickle-down move, which saw the demise of the working man’s leverage in the workplace via union busting, off-shoring; which was going to happen eventually, no appreciable pay increase to offset increased production; which has held middle income stagnant in that time frame, the lopsided shifting of the tax burden from industry to citizen, the cutting of programs aimed at aiding and educating those left in the ditch, and the wholesale scalping of citizen equity by trillions of dollars in 2007/2008, has left the majority as bystanders of this march to capitalistic freedom by the few.
      Do more people in India and China own cars now? Well yeah, but I don’t give a rat’s patoot. Free trade may have leveled the global playing field, and raised the equity of mankind as a whole, but that was a shift that came directly at our expense, here in the US. Great care has been taken that American businesses did not suffer the same fate, but little, if any, heed has been paid to the American worker, who continues to be asked to police the world of thugs while trying to simultaneously trying to maintain our own standard of living.
      Our nation may still be the top dog in international comparison, taken as a whole, but I’m no better off just because the top 1% are rolling in dough. I, as an average American citizen, am worth less by all standards than I was 30 years ago, which was my central point. American consumers are still the economic engine of our global network, and you can’t keep taking more while giving us less and expect this bubble to continue; it’s a recipe for disaster , the likes of which we have yet to see, no matter how wealthy the top echelon becomes.
      Two average Joe’s and Bill Gates drinking at the bar may average out to well-off patrons, but only one can continue to drink.

      • Ryan Mount says:


        I like the three balance sheet totals thing-a-merigger. However, I think I’m not super comfortable with making financial capital unlimited as are social totals. The “social” (I would recommend choosing a different and less loaded term) expansion is only limited by our imagination. And I agree about the natural resources bit, but I think the contraction of Blue and now White collar jobs is a reflection of limited[real] capital and labor markets as both move [off shore, but not always] to less expensive places.

        On a political[gasp] note, I would wonder how more conservative thinkers might approach your “three totals?” My guess, and this is only a guess, is that they might tend to think of natural resources as a bit more unlimited, agree with me on the social and financial assumptions.


        I don’t think it’s a recipe for disaster. I think it’s an expression of finite resources(see above) and wealth being “spread” out across the globe. The 20-something, middle class Indian worker with an engineering Master’s degree wants Levi’s, a car, a TGI Fridays ( and air conditioning.

        I do not doubt that there has been the grand transfer of wealth into elites in the past 30 years, but I also think that this obsession with the über wealthy is a convenient distraction for the the lower, I dunno, 80% of Americans. It’s also red herring given the other issues that are before us.

        There’s a very good reason envy is a deadly sin. And that goes both for the disgustingly wealthy and the average Joe, because I’m a firm believer in that we become what we behold.

        • Chris Peterson says:

          Since when did wanting a fair wage for a good days work become envy? I don’t wish to be rich; I just want a fair portion of the profits I help create.I have no quarrel with an owner getting more than me, but not to such a ridiculous degree as today’s split. If you can’t pay your workers a living wage, you’ve got a poor business model, and if you simply won’t; you’ve got a bad character.
          Lincoln rightly put labor above capital because without the one, you can’t create the other. (unless you’re a speculator, in which case you actually create nothing). In the old chicken/egg argument, labor had to come first.

          • Ryan Mount says:

            > Since when did wanting a fair wage for a good days work become envy?

            As long as we perseverate on the uber-wealthy, we’re getting anywhere. I never equated wages with envy. Stop that. I said that in context to one of the Seven Deadlies; and that we become what we behold which we’re beholden to regardless of one’s bank account or whether one watches Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil.

            It is envy to covet what others have, right? A 9 year old knows that, and I’m now forced into the odd position of defend asshole elites. Thanks. :-\ Maybe there’s a good kind of envy if we’re talking about wealthy folks? I dunno.

            I think the correct dialog exists on a spectrum of Just-ness, not fairness. “Fairness” is the rhetoric of the tantrum. We don’t get (nor deserve) what’s “fair,” we get what we justly negotiate in good faith., which is why I and the Constitution, supports our Right to organize. Perhaps that’s what you meant. So if true, I apologize for my presumptuousness.

            Perhaps we should start a list of what people deserve and then write a bunch of laws to support it? So, for example, maybe would should start with a minimum living wage. How about $15/hour? $18.45/hour? $1800/month? Or maybe the list needs to about “things,” not income like a home, 245 sq ft per person, heat, enough groceries, etc. Should people be able to but Coca-Cola using SNAP benefits? So many questions.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      The correct response for Mr. La Malfa is, “Yes, I participate in crop subsidies, because the Federal government uses them as a tool to control rice production in an attempt to smooth market forces on the supply and price of rice. I cannot prosper if I refuse the payments while my fellow rice farmers in California and nationally continue to take them. I would be delighted to work with my colleagues across the isle and begin to phase out New Deal agricultural market controls for rice and all other commodities; they were an experiment whose time has come and gone.”

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      “I am ready for the critique that this is some sort of collectivist nonsense; I contend that it is the natural, necessary and individually liberating progression of capitalism to meet human needs.”

      No, just nonsense. The LaMalfa family isn’t getting welfare; their rice subsidy is dwarfed by the local, state and federal taxes they pay as they generate great wealth by growing a huge amount of rice and selling it domestically and internationally.

      Let’s put this in perspective… the Fed is currently creating $85 billion a month out of thin air to pretend to buy government bonds and get them off the market. That’s roughly one and a half MILLION times larger than the monthly cost of those rice subsidies the Puffington Host article was in a huff over.

      The truly funny thing is that those agricultural market orders and subsidies are the result of New Deal Democrats doing exactly what Frisch wants to do now… let really smart people in Washington DC “adjust our economic model to fit new conditions”.

      • Chris Peterson says:

        “The LaMalfa family isn’t getting welfare.”

        Pure poppycock. What started out as a sound economic experiment, (though flawed), has turned into plain graft and corruption.
        I’ve got a few acres not doing anything; maybe I’ll start growing sugar beets. It’s a guaranteed-profit crop.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          I fondly remember the frozen turkeys Hughes Aircraft Company handed out at Christmas time, along with a modest bonus and two weeks paid time off which is especially fondly remembered. Those turkeys were paid for by selling the beans grown alongside the runway at the Hughes Aircraft Culver City plant which qualified the factory site to be taxed at the rate for farmland.

          Hughes Aircraft profits of the day weren’t taxed at all, since Howard had created the non-profit Hughes Medical Foundation for basic medical research and gave Hughes Aircraft to it, lock stock and barrel.

          Then there was the fun and games at the HAC Tucson site; the city of Tucson was excited at the prospect of annexing the land south of the airport that HAC had developed and be able to grow the city payroll dramatically with all that tax money and do all those good works small time politicians like to do. So Howard, ever vigilant, donated his plant to the US Air Force, making it untaxable federal property. The last time I was there a small sign at the entrance announced something like “USAF Plant 45, Operated by Hughes Aircraft Company”.

          We need a few modern day Howard Hugheses, but the modern day filthy rich (the Hughes fortune was from the revolutionary oilfield drill bit pioneered by his father) aren’t nearly as colorful.

          CP, the current national budget is about five MILLION times larger than the rice subsidies the LaMalfa family business gets because they’re in the rice business in very big way, worth about six seconds of Congress’ time, assuming they work 24/7 every day of the year.

        • Barry Pruett says:

          “As God as my witness…I thought turkeys could fly.”

  7. rl crabb says:

    Just a note here to thank everyone for their contributions, and not getting too distracted by personal arguments. You may have noticed that I’ve deleted a few for straying off the beaten path. I’ll do my best to keep on top of that as they show up here, but in the event they don’t disappear immediately, please consider that I do have a life that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a screen 24/7. Thanks again for your participation.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      I thank you for your blog, cartoons, and recent pruning. A life? So do I, but when faced with a gratuitous personal slam, I do feel a need to offer a defense.

      Nemo me impune lacessit

      Unfortunately, I never got a chance to see MA’s final blow; perhaps someone can email it to me.

    • Michael Anderson says:

      This comment has been sent to purgatory.

  8. Steve Frisch says:

    One of the biggest problems with blogs is the one-upmanship that occurs when people approach a discussion of ideas as a ‘game’ with winners and losers, where ego is expanded or falsely inflated through deflating others.

    I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      Frisch, you just blew your chance to stick with ideas.

      Perhaps you’ll take a swag at supporting CP’s idea that removing subsidies from the 10 largest corporations will solve the woes of the American family; he refuses to actually support the claim and is resorting to those ad hominems you claim to eschew.

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