Home > Uncategorized > NPR & Planned Parenthood

NPR & Planned Parenthood

Not one person has yet given me even a single reason why these two organizations should receive federal funding.

Sorry kids. I guess you should have paid more attention in math class. We have negative cash flow to the government. That means negative dollars.

People want a balanced budget, because people do depend on the government for a lot of things. All of this frivolous garbage that has been piled on, by both parties (although the dems certainly get some bonus points for massive entitlements) and the landfill can’t take anymore. The spending binge has to end at some point, why not right now?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2011/03/30 at 17:07

    How ’bout NASA? Are you ready to cut off funding to that?

  2. 2011/03/30 at 17:11

    I’m not sure you understand the point of government. Despite what LePage has been telling you, it is not a business.

  3. 2011/03/30 at 17:13

    Absolutely, but neither one of these organizations requires tax payer dollars to function, unlike NASA.

    If NASA isn’t going to have anymore programs (manned space flight would be a good example) that inspire wonder and fascination with science and technology than they have little real purpose. We would be much better served contracting out our orbital payloads to private companies and dumping the rest of their duties onto the Air Force, who already has a comprehensive program.

    The Air Force could probably do a better job of training the people who are going into space as well, albeit in foreign craft.

  4. 2011/03/30 at 17:18

    Michael, despite what you would like to think, it does need to make ends meet, perpetual debt does need to end. Another thing that needs to end is the ineffectual spending of money and the spending of money in places the government scarcely belongs, such as subsidizing NPR.

    Not quite in the same way a business does, but it’s close to the same concept. Money in, money out and the money out part needs to be equal to or smaller than the money in part. Otherwise, when we really do need to borrow money for emergencies such as wars and natural disasters and economic declines, we won’t have any credit left on the card.

  5. 2011/03/30 at 17:20

    How about all the roads, bridges, parking lots, etc, that gov’t spends money on – are you prepared to cut them, too?

    What about our massive military? Ready to cut that?

    What of funds that go to big oil and coal companies? Auto companies?

    (“Energy subsidies are the sordid legacy of more than sixty years of politics as usual in Washington, and they cost us somewhere around $20 billion a year.”)

    source

    Military aid to other nations?

    I think that libertarians who are truly across-the-board in favor of small gov’t are consistent and, while I disagree with their arguments, I think they are at least intellectually honest.

    I find much less compelling those who argue in favor of depleting federal funds that aid the poor, but want to maintain those funds that aid the wealthy.

    One difference that you and I have discovered in our positions, I believe, is that I am entirely favor of SMART gov’t. IF it costs $1 million to fund a prisoner rehab or education program BUT that results in $2 million in savings (in lower recidivism and returning citizens to productivity), then it’d be ridiculous NOT to fund that program. Unless I am mistaken, you are in favor of cutting such programs EVEN IF they ultimately SAVE tax dollars.

    That, I don’t get. Am I misunderstanding your position?

  6. 2011/03/30 at 17:26

    Nate…

    People want a balanced budget, because people do depend on the government for a lot of things.

    Which is why I fully support programs like, prisoner rehab, that SAVE tax dollars. Aren’t programs that actually reduce costs an argument in FAVOR of gov’t programs?

    As to NPR, as much as I like it, I’m okay with ending the funding. I don’t think the energy or expense involved in the Dems hanging on to it is worth the effort. At the same time, I am unimpressed by conservatives who’d do away with that program (costing, what? Millions?) but not touch the massive (nearly $1 T-T-Trillion budget) military budget.

    I don’t know enough about PP to have an opinion one way or the other.

  7. 2011/03/30 at 17:31

    I think you are misunderstanding.

    I’m in favor of getting government out of places I don’t believe it belongs, regardless of the costs or savings involved.

    With regard to the military and roads and so forth, those are areas that the government does belong in. That isn’t to say that we don’t need to make cuts to the military, we do, particularly in the area of “no bid” contracts, a very easy place to make some sizable cuts.

    With roads, I don’t think the federal government should do as much as it does. They should leave more up to the states and localities that would probably save some cash by cutting out some unneeded projects and redirect cash to projects that are being neglected. The feds would be better served in an organizational role and less directly being involved with infrastructure construction.

    You would also get rid of federal employees and create a bunch of state employees. The prize here is that in Maine the wages will be lower because the cost of living is. In New York the same job could pay more, because the cost of living is higher. The current federal system sets federal highway employees on the GS pay scale, meaning their salary is the same no matter where they live. THAT means that those living in low cost areas have more purchasing power with the same dollar and so really make more than their counter parts in New York.

    I’m working on a new post about top bracket taxation at the moment, I think you’ll be interested in it. While not totally related it will hit on a big issue with regard to depending on the top brackets too much for funding.

  8. 2011/03/30 at 17:35

    Planned Parenthood is a business. They are essentially subsidized by the federal gov’t. Why PP and not grocery stores? Shoe stores?

    They don’t require federal funding to stay afloat, just like NPR. Anyone that doesn’t need gov’t money shouldn’t be given it. It’s that simple. It can be expanded to some conservative budget carve outs too, these two just happen to be in the news.

  9. 2011/03/30 at 17:49

    I missed your “military aid to foreign nations”.

    Absolutely. Cut it all. In fact, cut ALL cash foreign aid to all nations.

    If they require assistance it should always be in the form of materials. War materials only in extreme cases where it is in our national interest to provide such things.

  10. 2011/03/30 at 17:59

    And how about the billions in corporate welfare? Cut them?

    Yes, I get that for you, it’s NOT about balanced budget. You don’t want gov’t involved in areas where you don’t think they should be involved, EVEN IF it costs us MORE to do it your way (is that a fair representation? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but that’s what I’m hearing you say – correct me if I’m mistaken.)

    But this post was about reducing how much we spend in governing ourselves. ONE way to do that is to invest in SMART gov’t that saves us money, rather than costing us money.

    PP is not a business, it is a non-profit. It receives funds, I suppose, to help in healthcare. Just as other non-profits sometimes receive federal dollars to help DECREASE gov’t involvement in social services, by supporting those non-profits which have shown themselves to have effect programs.

    I have loved ones, for instance, who work for Christian non-profit social service agencies. SOME little of their money comes from gov’t grants. For instance, a grant that helps homeless veterans stay off the streets and get back into housing.

    Having our veterans end up homeless, mentally ill and ignored COSTS us as a society. Assisting them get back on their feet and back to being a productive citizen is a net BENEFIT to society, I’d wager. Thus, fewer tax dollars being spent, not more.

    I’m in favor of THAT sort of small gov’t, even if some people don’t think we, the people, ought to be spending tax dollars that way.

  11. 2011/03/30 at 18:09

    I don’t know what you mean by the ‘cost of governing ourselves’. I don’t think that simply because the government may be able to do something cheaper that it should be doing it and I really don’t think there is very much that the government can do better than the private sector.

    The problem with government grants it they often reflect the ideals of politicians and not constituents. The government is more than free to charter non-profit corporations to handle grants, grants funded by donations rather than confiscation. Many programs could also be administered on this basis, a basis that would leave it to the public to decide whether it stays or goes, rather than garbage getting buried in the 3.1 trillion dollars in spending bills.

    I forgot about my debt monster.
    https://congressshallmakenolaw.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/behold-the-debt-monster/

  12. 2011/03/30 at 18:10

    And just because something is non-profit, doesn’t mean it isn’t a business.

  13. 2011/03/30 at 18:40

    Nate…

    I don’t know what you mean by the ‘cost of governing ourselves’.

    If we have a society, we have crime. How do we deal with crime?

    We need a police force. That costs tax dollars.
    We need a court system. That costs tax dollars.
    We need prisons. That costs tax dollars.

    To govern ourselves, requires that we spend money. If, by implementing as part of our prison system, we include a program that results in lower recidivism and ultimately, spending FEWER (not more) tax dollars, then we, the governed and govern-ers, would be wise to do so and foolish to choose not to do so.

    That’s what I mean.

  14. 2011/03/30 at 19:29

    @Dan – you seem to be saying if we cut any government program, we have to cut all government programs – do you see every government program as equally valuable to society?

  15. 2011/03/30 at 19:54

    Not at all. Sorry, I was not suggesting that, at all.

    I’d be glad to see many programs cut. I’ve already hinted at some:

    We are spending nearly a trillion a year on defense. I’d love to cut that by 50% – we could do that and still be spending more than any other nation in the world.

    I’d love to see us let motorists pay their own way, maybe a gas tax to pay for all the roads, parking lots and bridges. Or tolls?

    I definitely want to see an end to subsidies to oil, coal and gas companies.

    For instance.

    I do not see every gov’t program as equally valuable. In general, though, I’m fine with programs that SAVE tax payer dollars.

    If the children . . . are untaught, their ignorance and vices will in future life cost us much dearer in their consequences, than it would have done, in their correction, by a good education…

    …The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied. … Our revenues liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings.”

    ~Thomas Jefferson

  16. 2011/03/30 at 20:01

    Well, good, we agree that some goverment programs need to be cut.

    So do you see PP and NPR to be critical in the same SS and Medicare might be?

  17. 2011/03/30 at 20:38

    Here’s what I already said:

    “As to NPR, as much as I like it, I’m okay with ending the funding. I don’t think the energy or expense involved in the Dems hanging on to it is worth the effort. At the same time, I am unimpressed by conservatives who’d do away with that program (costing, what? Millions?) but not touch the massive (nearly $1 T-T-Trillion budget) military budget.

    I don’t know enough about PP to have an opinion one way or the other.”

    How about you? You willing to end/cut NASA? Oil company subsidies? Auto company subsidies? Coal company subsidies?

  18. 2011/03/30 at 21:15

    All subsidies. Bye bye. If something is economically viable it should stand on its own. If it isn’t, than there is a cheaper more efficient way.

  19. 2011/03/30 at 21:33

    Yeah, I don’t have a problem with cutting subsidies – those who are big fans of this however should be aware that the largest subsidies are agricultural; cutting them will almost certainly result in higher prices to consumers. Personally I think that would be more efficient than our current arangement.

    I don’t have a problem with cutting fat out of military budget, provided it is shown it doesn’t effect our ability to respond to defense needs. And the military budget is between 6-7 billion, not a trillion. SS and Medicare together are well over a trillion; this is where we need real reform.

  20. 2011/03/30 at 21:36

    Sorry, that i s 600-700 billion for the military.

  21. 2011/03/30 at 21:45

    And the trillion figure is a tad high. I added a fancy little pie chart for us to gaze at. SSI and Medicare/caid both are bigger expenses.

    You also need to be careful of cuts to the military in certain areas if you are concerned about hurting the poor. The military is a tremendous source of college funding for the disadvantaged and a tremendous source of technical training in the trades for the same group.

    Too many cuts also could hurt our economic stance if we no longer have the ability to defend American interests in the way that we are used to. There’s also the issue of various treaties that we have with other countries, for example Japan, where we take care of their defense as a result of WW2. Korea is another example, though we don’t provide for as much of their defense. A hit to security there would be a disaster economically for both of our countries.

    Security plays a big part in investor confidence.

    You should also note that the base DoD budget for 2010 was around 533 billion, not 1 trillion. The only real ‘safe areas for cutting are in operations and maintenance (read training there, that’s a big part) and procurement (read new stuff, and replacements for worn out stuff). Without a big reduction in manpower there are few areas to cut without risks that might end up being more costly.

    An end to no-bid contracts government wide would help cut some dollars out of the budget. How many? Who knows, we don’t know if there would be a lower bidder out there, but you can be sure in many cases there would be. If its an emergency… well yeah, grab the first bidder you get and get whatever it is done, but really, most of the time, we can get some bids and do some maths.

    The military is trying some new things though. Just recently they had a design competition for a new vehicle. Held online! They had some simple design software and a new vehicle was designed from the basics provided in about 8 weeks. At a cost of 10,000 dollars in prize money to the contest winners, a feat that might have taken years and cost millions to complete otherwise. I’ll try to find the info on that again, its a revolutionary way to cut costs and improve results.

  22. 2011/03/30 at 21:51

    Not to mention the military occasionally comes up with somewhat useful technologies – like the internet. 🙂

  23. 2011/03/30 at 21:52

    That was Al Gore you fool! He invented pants! (if you remember that campaign commercial)

    I founded it!

  24. 2011/03/30 at 22:10

    I see your pie chart and raise you this one. And our Defense budget is ~$700 billion, not “nearly a trillion,” I was going from memory on that one and thought it was closer to 800 or 900 billion. My bad.

    As to “needing” a military that’s nearly as large as THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED, I’m not convinced. I agree with George Washington…

    Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.

  25. 2011/03/30 at 22:40

    We didn’t have the “posse comitatus” act back in Washington’s day and I think you are overlooking a big point, incidentally from your own quote.

    Our military is rather small. The spending is large, but the relative size of the spending is small. Something around 4.5% of GDP if I recall. That makes us not very extra ordinary. I think an enormous military (in the millions) such as Russia has is a bigger domestic risk than a relatively small (by total per capita troops) and well funded (but not relative to the countries wealth) military.

    Let’s not forget that spending and size are not the same thing. Our troops are, thankfully, well trained and well equipped.

    My basic training and infantry school (etc, training anyway) cost Uncle Sam about 40,000 dollars, and the gear issued can run around 18,000 dollars. We aren’t even talking vehicles and housing etc. The training costs can get even (much) higher for the more technical jobs.

    Whereas in China, military training may consist of practically nothing and the protective gear may also be nothing.

    Spending and size just aren’t the same.

  26. 2011/03/30 at 23:11

    Also when you talk about the “defense budget” the war costs shouldn’t be included, they are not part of the DoD budget. They are, of course, part of total military expenditures, but kept separate so none of it gets added on in future budgets “automatically”.

  27. 2011/03/31 at 06:18

    I’m speaking of total military spending – wars included (because they ARE part of military spending), which is nearly as much as the rest of the world combined. Bloated. Massive. I think the founding fathers would be shocked.

    All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones…

    We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.

    B. Franklin

    If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy…

    Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps the most to be dreaded because it compromises and develops the germ of every other…

    No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

    J. Madison

    I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind…

    War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses…

    The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.

    T. Jefferson

  28. 2011/03/31 at 06:21

    You can quote whatever you like, but size and spending are still not the same thing. We have pretty average spending for the size of our economy and pretty average total force size as well.

  29. 2011/03/31 at 06:23

    I’m not opposed to cuts, as I said I support spending reductions, but the assertion that our military is bloated, is… not really very true with regard to what we have to compare it to.

  30. Marshall Art
    2011/03/31 at 13:43

    Nate,

    Very nice responses. I’ve never heard of you before until you posted a comment on one of Dan’s recent threads. You must be one of those conservatives with whom Dan claims a better conversational relationship. I’ll be sure to continue checking in.

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