Reminder to Washington Voters

This seems like it should go without saying, but I hope you Washington State voters take the time to vote for Patty Murray, if you haven’t done so already.

Patty Murray’s not very exciting or charismatic when she speaks. She’s not a salesman. She’s just a very effective senator. When the rules are being made and the pie is passed around, Patty makes sure the rules are fair to us and we get a piece of the pie. That’s her job, and she knows it. And the more time she spends in the Senate, the better she gets at it.

Patty’s leading opponent specifically says that he plans to advocate for less government spending. He says that spending less in Washington State will increase employment. First of all, that doesn’t actually make any sense. And of course, like most politicians who claim they’ll spend less, he’ll probably get in office and start running up the bills anyway. The problem is, he won’t be good at it, like Patty is. Like most politicians who claim they believe in smaller government, he’ll probably spend a lot to benefit the influential people who helped elect him and try to make rules that favor them, instead of trying to get as much assistance and opportunity as he can for the most people, the way Patty Murray usually does.

I heard about how most of those guys in Congress who voted against the recent stimulus spending went ahead and started asking for the funds once the bill passed. They claimed during the vote that federal spending would actually hurt local economies and that’s why they didn’t vote for it. Then, after the vote, they asked for their share of the money. Aren’t they afraid it will hurt their local economies? Of course they aren’t. Maybe they were blinded by their principles, or maybe they never actually believed that it would be bad for the economy, and opposed the bill because their moneyed backers wanted them to. In any case, when confronted with reality, they recognized it, and did what they could to help out their districts. They have their opponents who voted for the stimulus spending to thank for the fact that the ordinary people of Texas and Kentucky were granted any of that assistance.

Remember when Tom Foley was the Speaker of the House, the most powerful position in Congress, and Washington State voters voted him out of office? Supposedly, a lot of people who voted against Foley believed that anyone they voted for would automatically become the Speaker of the House. Pathetic, but probably true. Fifteen years later, Washington State still hasn’t recovered the influence it once had in Congress. Patty Murray isn’t smug like Tom Foley was. She seems quite nice. Please do your part to keep Washington from making another stupid mistake. Vote for Patty Murray.

(Image courtesy of Seattle Transit Blog)

~ by lolarusa on October 26, 2010.

6 Responses to “Reminder to Washington Voters”

  1. “Patty’s leading opponent specifically says that he plans to advocate for less government spending.”

    You make this sound like a bad thing. When you’re in a hole, you stop digging.

  2. Hello Simon,

    I knew that quote would strike some people as odd, but I don’t think our problem is simply that there’s too much government spending.

    I think there’s too little spending on health, environmental research and development, mass transit and a lot of other things that benefit society. Those useful programs are a tiny portion of government spending compared to what we do spend too much on – useless and destructive military adventures and mercenaries, prisons, environmental clean-up, and tax discounts for the rich. I’d prefer that we all pay a fair share of taxes and have representatives who will use that money wisely or get voted out of their jobs, rather than privatize everything so that corporations run our hospitals and military, gamble with our homes and pensions, pollute our air and water and let us pay to clean it up, run a second-rate health system at prices no one else in the world has to pay, and then get to keep their jobs with a fat bonus from all the money they’re making.

    That’s how we’ve run up debt, both in government and on our own credit cards.

    My two cents.

    Maybe more like four cents, counting the post.

  3. I don’t understand why you think it is the State’s duty to pay for, “environmental research and development” and MRT’s. …or that it is the duty of government to ‘create’ jobs.

    Healthcare is driven up by the ridiculous influence pharmaceutical companies, don’t you think? Socialising the system is only going to serve bureaucrats who like nothing more than to waste money—your money. At least when you choose your provider you get to choose—does that hold no value with you?

    I couldn’t agree with you more on militar misadventure but I don’t see Obama being true to his word, he plans on having a permanent settlement there, in other words a US military base. He might not have taken the country in but he’s not being as proactive in getting the forces out either.

    I can’t really understand why you think there’s too little spending when this president alone has driven the deficit up by an additional $3 trillion. If that isn’t the act of a spendthrift I don’t know what is.

  4. Hi Simon,

    I’m in complete agreement with you that Obama hasn’t earned any “Mission Accomplished” banners when it comes to ending the war in Iraq. Patty Murray has steadfastly opposed the war from the beginning, which is one of the reasons I support her.

    Trickle down economics – i.e. cutting the taxes of the wealthy in an effort to increase economic growth – has been tried and failed repeatedly. Taxes were cut for the rich during Bush’s term, and look where it got us – deep in debt and out of work.

    By the way, if you make less than $200,000 a year, you’ve already had your taxes cut under the stimulus program. Did you know that? They’ve been taking less out of your check each month. If you’re one of the rare people who does make more than $200,000 a year, then perhaps we’re not going to agree about these things. If you simply hope to be rich someday and thus support policies that give tax breaks to rich people, that’s your prerogative, I guess.

    As far as health care goes, like millions of other Americans, I’ve spent much of my adult life without any “providers” to choose from. I won’t debate the cost issue with you. It’s been shown again and again that public medical insurance costs less and creates a healthier populace than private insurance does. And there’s nothing about public insurance that will prevent anyone from choosing their doctor. I think you’re confusing government insurance (like what they do in Canada or France) with government health services (like what they have in Great Britain). Public health insurance, by the way, is almost certain to decrease debt (both personal and governmental) by reducing health care costs.

    I wouldn’t say I think these things are the state’s duties. I just think that pooling our tax money for the greater good is the most practical way to do some things.

    I guess I’ve gone on long enough about it. Thanks for your comments, though, I enjoy the exchange of ideas.

  5. Hi lolarusa,

    Sorry, I should probably have said I’m from the UK—so this is purely an outsider’s viewpoint. With regards healthcare, by the sounds of it you know that we have a nationalised service here. I have to correct you if you think that it works out cheaper—it will turn out to be the complete contrary. You will end up with more people employed in the so called ‘service’ who are a) paid by taxpayers and b) not remotely medically authorised i.e. people in suits will create swathes of jobs for …people in suits, you will have managers, officers, heads of department, clericals, assistants, PA’s—almost any position you can imagine within a goliath proportioned corporation x10. Doctors and nurses will be a minority and their authority will be eradicated. What you pay for your ‘service’ will be squandered like you cannot imagine. Hundreds of millions will go on updating decor, uniforms—any peripheral accoutrement you can think of. Suppliers of all of these things will ‘fix’ the market because—you’re heading towards having no market, it’s a slippery slope I assure you.

    Our NHS is the third largest employer in the world, just think about that for a second—all of that has to be salaried by the taxpayer. It comes in third place after the Chinese Red Army (!) and the Indian National Railway (!) We are a country of 66 million or so and have the third largest employer, that is unreal or at least it ought to be. I assure you we are no model to be fashioned on. Our NHS believes in dubious strategies to try and keep a handle on it’s insurmountable growth, it takes cheap labour away from developing countries to replace people on average salaries, but can’t get rid of anybody for fear of a tribunal (get a job in the NHS and they can’t kick you out and you can stay until you’re 70!). Not only are we increasing uncontrolled immigration by doing this sort of thing but we are robbing other countries of their few medical professionals—it’s immoral. Here, we have no competition for health provision and as a result the NHS is subject to paying whatever is ‘demanded’ when acquiring medicine and equipment. It’s farcical and outrageous.

    From what I read of the US states of affairs it all sounds so very short-term, the outlook I mean. People believe that paying hand over fist os suddenly going to disappear—believe me, it won’t and once you socialise something there is little way of going back.

    Re: Tax breaks for the rich. I don’t pretend to have facts and figures for the US but over here, the rich are taxed grossly disproportionately to begin with. Considering we have a nation mostly of progressives (‘socialists’—lets not be coy) a particular group of people who espouse ‘Equality’ 24/7, it is nothing short of abject hypocrisy when they demonise the rich and wish to tax them to the hilt. Our affluent are a small minority here and some would have it that they should pay for the rest of us. If that is anyone’s idea of equality then they are a sandwich short of a picnic. The concept of ‘Fairness’ is evidently lost on them.

    Anyway, I fear I’m starting to ramble now so I best put a sock in it. I’m not on £200k a year by any means, my parents aren’t Lord and Lady Muck and I have no inheritance awaiting me… my circumstances are very average and it pains me to watch and listen to some of the talk in America which I have heard for so long. America is after all a large country and few outside give it credit for dealing with the great deal that goes on within its own borders rather than those beyond it. Your people have everything to see within your country, the rest of us travel elsewhere if we want to go skiing, sunbathing etc., So it’s with this understanding that I can appreciate America will not be as aware with political events and history elsewhere. If you want to see where you’re heading under the likes of Obama, take a good hard look at the EU.

    Okay, rant over.


  6. Hi Simon,

    Welcome, international visitors! I’m surprised that you take such a strong interest in what taxes I pay and what services I receive in return, but more power to you.

    As I said above, the system proposed in the recent health care bill in the U.S. was not a national health service, it was merely a proposed expansion of national health insurance and reform of regulations for the private insurance industry. No one was proposing a national health service. The U.S. already has national health insurance for the elderly, disabled, and the poor. We also have a national health service for military veterans, which is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or a chamber of horrors, depending on who you talk to. In any case, I’m not advocating a U.K.-style system for the U.S., and neither are the Democrats in congress.

    I’m not familiar with how the British tax system affects the rich, and I don’t feel like studying it at the moment, but I can tell you that the tax rate that the wealthy pay in the United States has fallen steadily for decades, and is now less than half what it was when I was a child. Warren Buffet, for instance, has publicly protested the fact that he pays a lower tax rate than the receptionists who work in his offfice ( I don’t believe in demonizing the rich. Some of my best friends are rich. And they are willing to pay their fair share of taxes. (200,000 American dollars, by the way, is about 125,000 pounds.)

    I can assure you that we in the Pacific Northwest will be doing no sunbathing in the next six months without traveling a good distance. Which, unlike Warren Buffet, I cannot afford. I’ll be happy if I can simply keep my summer sandals from succumbing to mildew until spring comes again.

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