Swatting the Mosquitoes

You might enjoy David Obey's remark that Republicans, by focusing on trivial details in the stimulus bill, are behaving "like 1,000 mosquitoes to harass the majority." It's more like 188 mosquitoes in the House, but it must feel like 1,000 to House Democrats. Obey should invest in some bug spray.

In particular, Obey singled out Republican grievances that roughly $50 million appropriated to expand funding of the arts won't stimulate the economy or create jobs. What nonsense. Not only will it create jobs for artists, curators, musicians, actors, writers, and dancers, arts funding will create jobs for staff and maintenance workers at museums, theaters, publishing houses, galleries, arts centers, and places where public art is on display. Art also creates a demand for the raw materials from which the art is made and for performance spaces.

[more ...]

According to Michael Kaiser, head of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:

"The arts as a totality in this country employs 5.7 million people ... so we're not a small sector of this economy. Our employment levels are important to this economy."

Franklin Roosevelt's Federal Arts Project "created work for 5,000 of America's best artists." It was a small but highly visible part of the nation's economic recovery in the late 1930's and early 1940's.

Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation objects that giving money to artists "doesn't increase the economy's productivity rate" because it "doesn't help workers create more goods and services." You might or might not view art as a service, but attending a play or concert seems at least as productive as getting a haircut. Economic stimulus isn't just about helping businesses build more widgets. Production is production, whether factory workers are producing widgets or artists are producing art.

Moreover, since the conservative solution to tough (or good) economic times is to cut taxes, it's difficult to understand Reidl's argument. Tax cuts may or may not create more goods and services, depending upon whether the recipients save or spend their extra money, but there's no reason to think they would stimulate the economy any more effectively than devoting an equivalent amount of money to arts funding.

Artists need jobs too, and the nation needs art. It's time to swat the mosquitoes who think it's more important to build yachts than sculptures.

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    spending for jobs? (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by diogenes on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 02:53:21 PM EST
    You can spend money on prisons because it "creates jobs" too.  You don't have to be a cynic to recognize that arts funding is not the most efficient way to create full-time jobs per dollar spent.  

    diogenes (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:45:50 PM EST
    A job is a job is a job. Funding for the arts does indeed create jobs. The payroll from those jobs and other production activity are spent in the economy which in turn creates still more jobs.

    Creating a wide variety of jobs strengthens the nation.

    In case you haven't noticed diogenes one of our biggest exports is motion pictures.  The creative talent that produces motion pictures covers a very wide spectrum of art.

    Get it?


    So what you're saying is that you (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:36:08 PM EST
    think artists should become corrections officers?

    I'd fail miserably at that job.  LOL

    I am better at math.

    Now the thing is that art is often considered the last achievement in becoming a sophisticated society.  The theory being that early man finally became sophisticated enough to be able to have enough free time to create art for art's sake.  But for some of us it is as important as - sometimes more important as - food.  That may seem crazy to you, but some of us are wired that way.  

    You may not value our contribution to this world, but some people do and we who create art do.  A totaly utilitarian society may appeal to you as being more pragmatic, but I'd say that the arts contribute to innovation and spurn the all important component of inspiration that leads to innovation.  It teaches people to look, think, think differently, problem solve and dream beyond their realm.  Writers, painters, filmmakers, photographers, sculptors, theater folks - many have changed the world by just offering a point of view that is new or on-target or so true it cannot be ignored.  I can think of hundreds of examples of this important influence through the course of human history.

    So walk away from the artists if you want, but you're leaving behind an important element of a forward-looking and productive society when you do.


    cost-effective (1.00 / 0) (#59)
    by diogenes on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 08:10:59 PM EST
    That was just an example.  If we are borrowing a trillion dollars we should create full-time jobs as cost-effectively as possible rather than creating jobs that fit one party or another's agenda.  You can subsidize your agenda when you are spending surplus dollars.  

    Many artists' entire (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 02:55:29 PM EST
    careers consist of testing how well they bounce back from kicks in the teeth and run-ins with brick walls.

    Art is important because it teaches the most important elements in any craft are to trust and surrender with developed discernment.

    Brute force and competition of course is repulsed by that concept. With the exception of some in sports like Montana, Ken Stabler, etc, who make it looks easy.

    Oh yeah (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by sj on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:21:07 PM EST
    The brother that I lost was an artist.  What a brave choice that is to make.  Those brick walls will leave you bruised and battered.

    Amazing how many artists (like my brother) just get right back up again and lead with their jaw.  Especially when you remember that they are often (like my brother) the more sensitive souls amoung us.


    Republican's hate art! (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 02:58:37 PM EST
    Republican's have been against the NEA as long as I can remember. Jessie Helms made a career out of blasting it and PBS. What too many people fail to realize is that art and music are the fibers of society. They reflect the mood of the nation. And art is as much of a business as any other. Artists pay taxes, hire help and are contributing members of our society. And 150 million may sound like a lot of money but when you're talking about one trillion, great real, we spend that in Iraq in what 2 days?

    How the (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:01:55 PM EST
    hell you going to make money as an artist son!!! If you don't shape up I'm sending your ass to MILITARY SCHOOL!! Your not going to be a damn long haired musician!! Not my SON!!

    Lot's of people who became artists heard that one.


    Yep! (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:34:27 PM EST
    I had it in reverse! My parents wanted me to go to the art institute and I wouldn't! I wanted a real job and security. It wasn't until years later that I found out the hard way that there's no such thing.

    Aw, come on now (5.00 / 0) (#65)
    by joanneleon on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 12:03:54 AM EST
    When campaign time comes around, they like artists who have songs that sound good at the rallies... who let them play the songs as many times as they want... without permission... and for free.  But that doesn't always work out so well ;)

    Then, after election day, they go back to hating those "Hollywood types."


    Interesting U Mention David Obey (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by TearDownThisWall on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:16:08 PM EST
    His son is a Lobbyist for the National Parks Conservation Association.
    I belive the stimulis package is bestowing
    more than $2 billion for national parks.

    Washington is Washington.

    Or maybe (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by eric on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:32:07 PM EST
    Yes, it sure is terrible sending all that money to those damn bears and trees and stuff.

    I am sure Obey's kid is going to make MILLIONS because he got money for, ummm, national parks.  He is practically the Brent Wilkes of wildlife.


    I like to call them Wellfare Grizzlys. (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:58:06 PM EST
    The Yellowstone Bison (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by eric on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 06:29:37 PM EST
    are well known for offering kick-backs to their lobbyists.  Get them a contract, and they'll take care of ya!

    Yes (none / 0) (#21)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:23:46 PM EST
    Reagans "Shining City on a Hill" manifested.

    It's a (none / 0) (#43)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:59:05 PM EST
    public interest lobby.

    Your implied charge is way past ridiculous.


    The Second Half of That Quote (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by daring grace on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:35:49 PM EST
    The 100,000 nonprofit U.S. arts groups employ about six million people and contribute $167 billion to the economy annually, Lynch said.

    So $50m to potentially stimulate more than $160 billion? Sounds good to me. And the way it would work--in tandem with other stimulus funding flowing in the larger community--would probably generate more to local economies.

    All arts are (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by DXP on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:36:13 PM EST
    connected with the tourist industry. Roads and bridges will be roads and bridges to nowhere if the arts are allowed to dwindle too much.

    The arts have enormous impact on the life of cities especially.

    Absolutely. I could name dozens of small (none / 0) (#30)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:56:49 PM EST
    towns in New York and Maine that remain viable because of artists.

    Why Mosquitos matter -- this bill is a Disaster (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by SomewhatChunky on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 01:02:54 AM EST
    I think this stimulus package will fail and fail miserably.  It's a waste of time to argue why I'm wrong - that is my opinion and the fact is nobody knows.  Time will tell.

    But I don't think a bill full of every democratic wish list item is a good way to provide stimulus.  Nor do I think some of the more worthy programs will be implemented well when they were thought through and stuffed into a bill in a day. If they are not done well, they too will fail.  And given the majorities in both the house and senate, plus a thinking President, there is time to do everything that should be done and do it right.  But the country (the world?) MUST solve the economic problems.

    Around my home there's lots of public infrastructure stuff which could be done.  Much of which would last for decades.  And lots of unemployed construction workers.    I don't see lost of unemployed teachers, artists, health care workers or many others who stand to be "stimulated" by this bill.

    By packaging so many of the left's desires (many of which are great but not really stimulus) into this giant money grab, I think we've guaranteed big losses in two years unless the economy recovers strongly.  I'm not counting on that happening.  I'm not sure anybody could make it happen in that time frame.

    If that's the case, the midterms will be brutal.  Every piece of pork stuffed into this bill (mosquitos) will be a great ad... for the Republicans.  And they'd have a point.

    I would have hoped that this would be one of those times where Congress would do what's best for the country and not best for the party.  I don't like what I see so far.  We'll see what happens in the Senate.

    How about spending $500 million (none / 0) (#1)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 02:24:00 PM EST
    on a Bush memorial  for the sewers of DC?

    I'm sure many artists use Hobby Lobby (none / 0) (#2)
    by magster on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 02:32:28 PM EST
    which is owned by a fundie GOP supporter.

    Maybe we should raname the agency the National Endowment of the Arts and Scrapbooking.

    I totally disagree with you (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by magster on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 02:59:23 PM EST
    The arts is very broadly defined and touches a lot of segments of the economy.  I just read the new Wally Lamb book, who stated in the afterword that he got started with an NEA grant.  Just a writing a book effects the publishing industry, advertising, retail.

    The Hobby Lobby reference above was tongue in cheek, but artists do buy supplies and peddle their wares at street fairs that draw people to businesses and restaurants near the fairs.

    I used to live in Sioux City, and they have a bandshell constructed by the WPA that is the centerpiece of an annual 5 day bash 70 years later that draws people in from all over the region.  I could go on forever.  There's no downside to having arts in the stimulus plan.


    Continuing... (none / 0) (#11)
    by magster on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:06:15 PM EST
    ...wasn't JK Rowling on gov't assistance when she started writing Harry Potter (yeah I know she's British, the point is the same)?  Would anyone argue that Harry Potter's benefit was confined to just the arts, or did she have an impact on the economy as well?  And she's just one artist.

    Well (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:19:23 PM EST
    She didn't get a grant to write Harry Potter - she was on the equivalent of welfare.

    Trickle DOwn? (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:14:16 PM EST
    Tried that, does not work.

    Artists are people too and just because you do not get it, supporting the arts is vital for everyone in the US. Many who are either touched by art or who have had a hand in art have had an important effect on our economy. The trickle up model is far better, imo.


    Also disagree with this (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by sj on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:17:18 PM EST
    My (currently unemployed) brother is in the arts but not as an artist himself.  His own business (which supported him during most of the Clinton years) is in support to sculptors and is part of the "manufacturing" side of sculpture.  The foundry (which is the next step of the production process) is also in trouble.

    Unfortunately I don't see this particular expenditure helping him because what he needs are more people buying the art.  But I do know that quite a bit of his town is employed by the artistic community.  

    Although (last I heard) it appears that there is insufficient attention paid to infrastructure as a vehicle for employment, I submit that we also need cast a bit wider net.  


    Oh, and one more thing? (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by sj on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:29:23 PM EST
    If I were an artist I would want the people who are going to buy my art to be healed first so they can afford to do so. It would do me no good to paint something if people don't have the money to buy it.

    In general, most artists don't paint something because they have someone to buy it.  

    They paint it because they must.  

    And then hope there is someone to buy it. They're going to paint it whether or not it does them "good".  In any case, they don't know if you are "healed" any more than the cashier at the grocery store does.


    I have a tremendous amount of (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:47:33 PM EST
    art produced in my home mostly by family members and myself and I have to say that it is tremendously "healing" for me to look at it when the world looks bleak.  I completely empathize with those "weird" stories of people who have nothing left but some painting, sculpture, photograph, book or piece of sculpture that still gives them hope.  Everyone needs something in their lives that reaffirms the notion that their dreams are possible - it might be a remote possibility - but people need something to keep dreams alive.  Personally, I think that looking at my paintings, sculptures, furniture, books, etc. for inspiration is a lot better than going out and buying a lottery ticket everyday.

    I do too (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by sj on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:56:25 PM EST
    When I moved East from Colorado (for an indefinite period) that was one of the hardest things for me to decide.  Which pieces do I bring with me, seeing as how an apartment has much less wall space than a house.

    (Now I think I should have brought it all and filled the walls from floor to ceiling))


    No doubt (none / 0) (#6)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 02:57:24 PM EST
    we need to get people in this society busy doing something productive and constructive first.

    We're in a deep malaise and some people are even are cheering our own demise.


    crisis (none / 0) (#13)
    by Nasarius on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:10:48 PM EST
    Germany has been doing poorly for years, really since the reunification in 1990. In Berlin it's particularly bad, with unemployment around 15%.

    And yet, the federal government is still funding this festival, happening right now.

    Besides, art as a commodity to be purchased is a rather narrow view of art.

    Infrastructure is important, to be sure. But so is maintaining a thriving society. If the arts are limited to only that which can support itself in a free market, that's a pretty bleak vision.


    Look At It Another Way (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by daring grace on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:02:15 PM EST
    $50m is HUGE to an arts community that has been withering on the vine for years now, surviving on pennies. $50m could go far and could potentially produce a more immediate payback in the greater local community.

    $50m investment in developing alternative energy --esp. if the production is not already up and running--would probably be more of a drop in the bucket by comparison.

    Not saying don't fund solar panel production and development. Just saying the means for metabolizing that $50m in the arts is ready to go almost everywhere in the U.S. today.


    With your logic (none / 0) (#9)
    by bocajeff on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:00:34 PM EST
    There is no end to the economic good times as the Government can provide unlimited funding on any project because it will create a job.

    If $50,000,000 is a good investment and will provide good paying jobs then why not keep adding zero's?


    If you reject (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by eric on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:16:27 PM EST
    the entire concept of government spending money to create jobs, then you are rejecting the entire concept of a stimulus.  How did you feel about those $600 checks that were sent out?

    Still further, you must also reject the idea that tax cuts will create jobs because money doesn't create jobs, right?


    huh? (1.00 / 0) (#60)
    by diogenes on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 08:13:13 PM EST
    I think he was saying that if fifty million dollars creates lots and lots of jobs then why not spend fifty billion dollars on the arts?  How did they come by this number?

    Art is communication (none / 0) (#12)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:09:50 PM EST
    and most importantly it offers inspiration and purpose. It's education.

    My main concern is funding things that claim to be art but are really just flash in the pan "product".

    Art literally feeds my soul (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:53:23 PM EST
    A day at a museum for me can only be described as something registering biblically majestic.  I can endureth all things as long as artistic expression is part of it.

    Awww (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:59:04 PM EST
    I knew it. I am inspired.

    BTW- You are born to write..  


    Thank you for the compliment (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:26:50 AM EST
    I sometimes wonder if (none / 0) (#19)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:20:38 PM EST
    another part of what happened is Putin cleansed Russia of all the big wig super criminals and parasites and they all flocked to the U.S. at the beginning of 2001.

    The crisis only (none / 0) (#22)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:27:17 PM EST
    starts truly sinking in when you've lost your job, your paying a big mortgage, car payment, etc and the only jobs available are waiting on tables or changing sheets at a Hotel. If even that.

    Oh my God the end is near! (none / 0) (#28)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 03:47:20 PM EST
    AFP -  14 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - A new "Buy American" push in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan is sparking protests about protectionism from US businesses and trading partners.

    If we don't "Buy American" and (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by alsace on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:07:10 PM EST
    "Hire Americans," why is this being done at all? If we are to stimulate Chinese employment, China can give each of us a "Buy Chinese" stipend to use at WalMart.

    Well (none / 0) (#37)
    by SOS on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:10:30 PM EST
    Chris Braddock of the US Chamber of Commerce's logic is 95% of the worlds "consumers" are outside of the United States. American workers would be the first to suffer.

    Since (none / 0) (#45)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:05:23 PM EST
    our imports vastly outweigh our exports, even when oil is subtracted, I'd say that Mr. Braddock is not terribly bright.

    But I would hope that the Obama administration has more than just sloganeering in mind for rebuilding our manufacturing base.


    By that (none / 0) (#33)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:01:42 PM EST
    logic, I guess we should give the gov't all the money and let them spend it how they feel is best.  

    Tax cuts may or may not create more goods and services, depending upon whether the recipients save or spend their extra money, but there's no reason to think they would stimulate the economy any more effectively than devoting an equivalent amount of money to arts funding.

    obviously, people should not be trusted to do the right thing with their own money.  

    Can people spend money in unionized shipyards for their yachts?

    I find it funny (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by CST on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:06:29 PM EST
    That opposition to "tax cuts" always turns into "give them all our money".  That's not what is said here at all.  What we're saying is, keep giving the same amount of money you are already giving, and have it spent on something productive.  That's what taxes are for.

    Maybe you think the government should give all the money back and "trust the people".  Cuz people ALWAYS can be trusted to help out the little guy...


    define productive (1.00 / 0) (#39)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:41:23 PM EST
    I would consider a shipyard making yachts as productive.  I would consider a person deciding where and how to spend their own as productive.

    So you (none / 0) (#42)
    by CST on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:51:51 PM EST
    are against ALL taxes.  Which is fine if that's your opinion (not fine as policy, but as your opinion, so long as you are not running the government).  Then don't take it single out art and try to make it about something else.

    Would you consider money sitting in a bank productive? - bank spends it poorly and collapses.  Cuz that's what happened.  If all the billionaires and millionaires had actually SPENT the money, trickle down economics wouldn't be such a failure.  As it is...  there aren't enough yachts/yachtmakers to employ the country.  And frankly, if you can afford a yacht, you don't need any more tax cuts.


    Yes, I would (1.00 / 0) (#52)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:50:13 PM EST
    consider money sitting in a bank productive.  It is called interest.  We could send have it taken by force by the gov't and spent poorly, of course it won't collapse, they will just take more.  
    So let me get this straight; now it is bad to save money?  

    The opposition to taxes is not (none / 0) (#46)
    by coast on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:06:20 PM EST
    that people do not want to pay them.  The opposition stem from the same concern, or opinion, of the banks.  I don't think the government spend our money wisely.  That simple.  BTW before you go trashing banks as the next satan, if you have a house, a car or really anything for that matter, you probably have a bank to thank for it.  Either they loaned you the money to buy your house or car, or you use a credit card to make your purchases it would not happen if there were not banks.  So money sitting in banks is very productive.  That is the current problem now, banks won't release the money so the economy is at a stand still.

    Really (none / 0) (#48)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:22:21 PM EST
    a bank to thank for it

    You've got it exactly backward.

    Banks are a business like any other.  They seek deposits and lend money to make money.

    The thanks should come from the banks not their customers. Banks aren't doing anyone any favors.  Not in the past, not now and not in the future.


    You realize that these two sentences (none / 0) (#55)
    by sj on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 06:02:55 PM EST
    ...are in conflict, right?

    So money sitting in banks is very productive.  That is the current problem now, banks won't release the money so the economy is at a stand still.

    Sorry I was trying to get to a meeting (none / 0) (#63)
    by coast on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 10:57:21 PM EST
    You are correct.  Let me clarify.  Typically money deposited with banks is very productive because they have a business interest to lend that money out.  That is not the case at this point in time.

    Banks are a business (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 06:36:59 PM EST
    They do what they do to make money.  Not out of some benevolent cause.  I have no problem with banks.  But I am not naive enough to think that they will spend their money in the best interest of "the people".  

    Now, the government doesn't do that all the time either.  But before you start trashing the gov't, if you drive, and don't get hit because a car stopped at a red light - you have the gov't to thank for it.  If you prefer a paved road to a dirt road, you have the government to thank.  If you have ever collected unemployment, social security, medicare, you have the government to thank for it.  If you like the fact that your food doesn't poisen you, you have the gov't to thank for it (ever read the Jungle????).  Taxes are not always wisely spent (DEA, war, etc...).  But banks don't always wisely spend their money either (bad loans, war, etc...).

    I don't think either banks or the government is the solution.  I think they BOTH have to be part of the solution.  That's why we don't tax 100% of anyone's funds.  And no one here is suggesting we do so.


    I don't think we're as far apart as our original (none / 0) (#64)
    by coast on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 11:15:45 PM EST
    posts suggest.  I thought your original post implied that you believe those oppose to taxes or those who believe in tax cuts don't believe in paying any taxes at all.  My point was that I don't think that is true for most, or at least not the people I know.  I certainly agree that the government provides many valuable services which I am happy to pay for by paying taxes.  I just think our government is not very efficient. And I agree both banks and the government need to be part of the solution.

    Wile (none / 0) (#47)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:10:57 PM EST
    Please explain to me why it was a great idea for the Bush administration to cut upper income taxation given that new records were set during that period for individuals investing money overseas.

    So people should (1.00 / 0) (#53)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:52:10 PM EST
    not be allowed to invest overseas?  How about for art?  Should mutual funds that diversify with overseas stocks not be allowed?

    What are you talking about?? (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by CST on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 06:29:26 PM EST
    No, they should be allowed to invest whatever they want, once they havr paid their FAIR SHARE of taxes.

    We have a different opinion of what is fair.  But you are mis-representing every post here to say taxes "take all your money".  They don't.  They take SOME.  And yes, I think the government spending tax dollars improving the infrastructure, providing health care, and providing jobs (even ones in art) for the masses is all much more productive than money sitting in a bank earning interest for one rich guy who can afford to buy a yacht.

    Especially right now, when banks are just hoarding the cash and not lending.

    P.S. I am not saying it's bad to save, I'm saying it is bad to hoarde.  And un-productive in terms of "creating jobs".  Interest does not create any jobs.  But maybe you don't think we need any right now...  Maybe you're sitting pretty in your yacht unconcerned that thousands of people are losing their jobs daily.  In the name of "interest"????

    I think history has shown us that people are not responsible enough with their money to provide for those less fortunate.  That's why we have a government.  And no, I don't think that means we should take ALL the money from rich people, or even most.  Just a FAIR SHARE.  Then buy however many yachts you want.


    Who defines (none / 0) (#69)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 10:50:05 AM EST
    fair share?

    Yup (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:07:39 PM EST
    By that logic, I guess we should give the gov't all the money and let them spend it how they feel is best.

    Yes, that would have been a great idea eight years ago. Most likely we would be in the black and riding high as a model for the world to behold.

    Certainly we would not be mired in war and 10 trillion in debt.


    Oh (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by squeaky on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 04:10:49 PM EST
    That would be if the gov gave all the $$ to the artists to run things.

    If Obey (none / 0) (#49)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 05:24:09 PM EST
    and company are worried about a flock of mosquitoes they're in the wrong line of work.

    What really is the point... (none / 0) (#61)
    by pluege on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 09:52:05 PM EST
    in offering rational sane arguments against republican/conservative inanity? I mean, really, seriously, is there any useful point to it?

    To anyone with sufficient intelligence such that  republicans/conservatives sound like total insidious morons, there is no need to explain what total insidious morons they are; anyone else is too stupid to understand the rational arguments anyway. So what is the point? Responding to republicans is 'pissing in the wind'.

    What democrats and supporters should be doing is marketing all the good things the stimulus bill will accomplish and why its important for everyone. Of course a luxury tax of say 90% on year end bonuses in excess of $1 million would also work wonders for the average worker footing the bill for republican/conservative malfeasance.

    They're not morons;they're (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by ThatOneVoter on Thu Jan 29, 2009 at 10:17:28 PM EST
    professional dissemblers. The GOP has never actually represented the interests of more than 1 or 2% of the population---and much less than that now. They just have a bag of tricks to get votes from more people. What they say never matters.

    Art, Smart. Say my republican "friends" (none / 0) (#68)
    by Jake Left on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:52:57 AM EST
    When they speak of creating good jobs, they mean more financial advisors and corporate lackeys. When they talk about jobs for "those other people" they mean more gardeners and maids.