The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The shutdown that wasn't

Well, the shutdown that threatened to happen Friday didn't. And how you want to classify the result depends on whether you're a "glass half-full" or "glass half-empty" type.

The Republicans started off trying to cut over $60 billion. The Democrats responded with $33 billion, and they ended up with about $40 billion. Looks like the Republicans caved. But look at the other side. The Republicans had only the House of Representatives. The Dems had both the Senate and the White House. There was just no way the Republicans could have won a total victory against those odds. And it's pretty likely that the Dems would not have cut anything if they hadn't been prodded by Republican "tea party" types. So in a sense, the Republicans got about 2/3 of what they wanted. That's not so bad.

From my point of view, there was another thing I liked. The "social conservative" wing of the GOP wanted to use this budget process to push their anti-abortion agenda. And that totally failed. Using the threat of shutting down the government to advance a "social conservative" agenda is, fortunately, a non-starter.

But this process has only pushed the thing forward another six months. So let us see what happens then. Stay tuned for the next episode of "The Perils of Pauline and the Federal Budget."

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