I Don’t Understand This At All

Beyond being crazy, I simply do not understand how something like this would work:

Right after the 1994 midterm you had a bunch of Republicans come out of the woodwork with really wild eyed proposals on various policy fronts. And it seems like deja vu all over again. Newly re-elected Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) says states should be able to secede from the Social Security program.

Could someone explain how this would work? How does a state secede from a program? What would the practical implication be? Could I pay into SS my whole life while a WV resident, then when I hit 65, I have a stroke and lose control of my senses and decide to move to Texas, and then I would not be able to collect SS? I’m honestly confused. What the hell is he talking about? Could a state secede from the Post Office? Or the Selective Service? Or the VA?






163 replies
  1. 1
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Once you have seceded from reality, what’s left? I wonder what the old people in Tejas have to say about this idea? Are they ready to secede from Social Security after having paid into it?

    The repubs won’t be happy until all of the old people are eating cat food and living out of old refer boxes in an alley.

  2. 2
    Stefan says:

    Short answer: no, it’s not possible and it would not work. The local schizophrenic homeless man on my corner says more coherent things than Governor Goodhair does.

  3. 3
    TR says:

    There are aspects of the original SSA that were state specific — unemployment benefits, especially — but if Gov. Goodhair is talking about “social security” as we commonly think of it, then yes, he’s fucking insane.

  4. 4
    Stefan says:

    I have a stroke and lose control of my senses and decide to move to Texas, and then I would not be able to collect SS?

    I like the implication that the only way you’d move to Texas would be after losing control of your senses post-stroke….

  5. 5
    Derelict says:

    Aside from the fact that Governor Goodhair is talking through his BVDs again, let’s contemplate the implications if that DOES come to pass. Every Texan who did not strike it rich during the oil/ENRON/land-spec years–and who had your average middle-class or lower job–would be looking at never, ever being able to retire. Texas would literally become a work-til-you-drop state.

    I fervently wish that the policies that Perry and his ilk espouse get put in place EXACTLY as those policies are proposed. And then Perry and all the rest lose all of their money are are forced to actually live under those policies.

  6. 6
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Stefan:

    I like the implication that the only way you’d move to Texas would be after losing control of your senses post-stroke….

    I would never imply such a thing. I state it explicitly: the only way I’d move to Texas is if I go (more) insane. In addition to everything else, I think Minnesota summers are too hot and humid.

  7. 7

    Yes, this came up in a thread yesterday. Gov. Goodhair is nuckin’ futs. He’s probably angling for a 2012 presidential run, but I can’t see any way the Texas Leg. would let this through, even if the US Congress were somehow able to sneak this type of bullshit by the AARP.

    And I’d predict Texas’ population would drop by approximately the current populace of retirement and near-retirement age people.

  8. 8
    Sir Nose'D says:

    Here is how it would work:

    1. Say something that qualifies as red meat for your base.

    2. Base thinks “Excellent, no more SS deduction from my check! I’ll keep voting for this guy.”

    3. Base still expects to collect SS when they retire or become injured. Just because they no longer pay in doesn’t mean they can’t collect.

    4. Perry and aides laugh to themselves at how stupid their base is. They never intend to deliver–nor can they.

    Its the long con.

  9. 9
    cleek says:

    he could be talking about stopping participation in the various state-level components of SS.

    Wiki:

    The Act provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, and a lump-sum benefit at death. Payments to current retirees are financed by a payroll tax on current workers’ wages, half directly as a payroll tax and half paid by the employer. The act also gave money to states to provide assistance to aged individuals (Title I), for unemployment insurance (Title III), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (Title IV), Maternal and Child Welfare (Title V), public health services (Title VI), and the blind (Title X).[10]

    etc

  10. 10
    Ajay says:

    I think what this clown means is if you live in TX, you dont pay SS on your wages. Since he is conservative, he doesnt have the capability to think beyond this. Its all about govt shouldnt take money and cant see that this program is help to his residents in their old age.

  11. 11
    J.W. Hamner says:

    Did he really use the word “secede?” It’s like we’re not even playing games anymore.

  12. 12
    jayackroyd says:

    Well, you supported Prop 19, right? I agree that the mechanism for opting out of SS is non-existent, but you also can’t legalize a substance that is banned by the Feds by removing state laws against the substance.

  13. 13
    sherifffruitfly says:

    It’s funny because you’re asking for a rationale like you know one actually exists.

    More seriously: Will people on our side EVER catch on to the fact that REPUBLICANS JUST SAY SHIT.

  14. 14
    Scott says:

    Yeah, here’s the thing — Rick Perry really, really, really wants to be president.

    He’s got no real shot at it, because he’s uncharismatic as hell, he’s got a long, public history of being an arrogant, entitled, thin-skinned weasel, and he’s got scandals a-plenty that, though the Texas media is willing to help him cover ’em up, the rest of the world wouldn’t be so kind.

    But he really, really, really wants to be president. And he thinks the teabaggers are going to be his ticket to the White House.

    Won’t work, of course — they’ve only got eyes for Sarah. But Rick is going to do everything he can to sell himself to the teabaggers.

    The Texas economy is getting ready to nosedive into the dumpster — the Dallas Morning News says we’ve got a $25 billion hole in the budget, and the only way to fix it is going to be laying off a vast number of state employees next year including, I assume, myself.

    Not gonna be a fun time to be a Texan, I promise.

  15. 15
    Zifnab says:

    Newly re-elected Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) says states should be able to secede from the Social Security program.

    I don’t remember him saying anything like this before the election. But if he got elected, this must be the will of the people.

    @cleek: Perry has already turned down several hundred million dollars in federal grants and medicare coverage increases. I honestly don’t understand how a politician can function by refusing to take federal money. That’s practically anathema to the way I remember politics working in the 80s and 90s. But somehow that pretty haired little dick wipe makes it work.

  16. 16
    General Stuck says:

    What else would you expect a Texas governor to say these days?

  17. 17

    I say let them do it and watch Texas quickly turn blue in the ensuing years. They’re crazy in Texas, but not THAT crazy.

  18. 18
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Would Texas just secede all ready. End the suspense. I bet we could balance the budget easily without Texas on our backs. No more entitlements for Texas! They are sucking at the teat of big government! Let’s cut ’em! Where’s my congressman, he’s a Republican, he’s got to be all for getting rid of this giant welfare state.

  19. 19
    Zifnab says:

    @Scott: You know what? I fucking hope it does. Texas has had an easy ride in this economy for too damn long, and everyone here Loooooves to claim it’s all because of our low tax base.

    With the poor Houston residents completely bambozzled over Continental’s merger and move to Chicago, and Halliburton trying to off-shore all it’s corporate holdings, and a variety of other companies all interested in ducking out of the low-compared-to-everywhere-else-in-the-country Texas tax base, it was always just a matter of time.

    Maybe folks will be less interested in voting Republican when Texas starts looking more like California. Maybe – if we’re really fucking lucky – we’re going to be so broke we can’t even afford toll roads.

  20. 20
    darms says:

    In 1981, three counties in Texas decided to opt out of Social Security and instead provide their public employees with a system of privatized accounts.

    And turns out despite the rhetoric the public employees in those counties didn’t do all that well compared to SS, instead they ended up quite a bit worse off – Sen. Boxer released a report back in 2005-

    Because Social Security protects seniors from inflation, at the age of 80, a couple will receive over $13,000 more that year from Social Security than from the Texas plan.

  21. 21

    In that case, the US would not be a union but would be a loose federation of individual states.

    That question was addressed in the 1860s. The Governor’s side lost.

    Next.

  22. 22
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Zifnab:

    I honestly don’t understand how a politician can function by refusing to take federal money….

    Because ‘federal’ = ‘evil’, and an electoral coalition’s worth of people would rather sit hungry, with their hungry families in the seats, and watch a morality play in which the choice of bad guys and good guys agrees with their own, in which the bad guys suffer, and the good guys are rewarded, than have full bellies and miss the show, To Paul Krugman, the economy may not be a morality play, but to the penny groundlings it most certainly is.

    The capability of people in pursuit of some deeply-held belief to do irrational things is a whole lot stronger than us Enlightenment types sometimes realize. It’s not a religious impulse per se, but it’s the kind of impulse that keeps religions going. And nationalism. And how many slaves did the typical Secession-supporting voter hold?

    The ancien regime isn’t dead, it isn’t even ancien, to paraphrase Faulkner.

  23. 23

    Fine, bye. That’s more money for the rest of us, Gov. Fucknuts. However, we’ll use the cash to build a big ass wall around your state so you’ll be stuck in there with angry citizens.

  24. 24
    Zifnab says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Texas is actually a net positive for the country in terms of income tax collected versus federal expenditures.

  25. 25

    @darms:
    FWIW, a number of public government entities have pension plans that opt their employees out of Social Security – CalPERS, for instance. That’s not something new.

    What is new, if I read Gov. GoodHair right, is the opting out of SS for people who do not work in the public sector.

  26. 26
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    The GOP 2012 presidential race looks like a race to out-stupid Palin. Going to be great theatre as long as the unemployment rate goes down 2% or by then. (Otherwise, we are well and truly screwed.)

  27. 27
    CJ says:

    I hope he pulls it off. That will mean I can secede from my liver, which has been nothing but trouble the last few years.

  28. 28
    Zifnab says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    That question was addressed in the 1860s. The Governor’s side lost.

    If the last few SCOTUS rulings have taught me anything, it’s that this nation is not above revisiting 100 year old precedents.

  29. 29
    funluvn says:

    I think ‘Merika would be much better off if Perry were to secede from Texas and find a rock somewhere in the deep Arizona desert to live under. The inane mutterings from under the rock wouldn’t much bother the gila monsters and sidewinders and the remainder of us would be spared from his treasonous foolishness.

  30. 30

    @Zifnab:

    If the last few SCOTUS rulings have taught me anything, it’s that this nation five assholes with lifetime appointments are is not above revisiting 100 year old precedents.

    FTFY. Citizens United is popular with about the percentage of the population that inhabits zip codes around DC and corporate offices everywhere. Everyone else, not so much.

  31. 31
    Steaming Pile says:

    @Derelict: I would say that not all Texans deserve this, but a large majority of them do, either by voting for this idiot, or by having stayed home on Election Day. Check out this map:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....esults.jpg

    There has to be some way for the cities in southeastern Texas to split off from the backassward remainder of the state. Call the northwestern part South Oklahoma or something like that. You could make a fairly decent purple state out of the southeastern part, and the northwestern part can have their libertarian dystopia until they all die of starvation.

  32. 32
    jcricket says:

    It’s not designed to work – who gives a crap if anything a conservative says actually has any relation to reality. The base laps it up.

    Earth 6000 years old? Check. Global warming a massive hoax? Check. States can nullify federal laws? Check. Social Security a ponzi scheme? Yep. We can cut everyone’s taxes and eliminate the deficit without cutting any spending that matters? Absolutely.

    The modern GOP – esp those like Bachmann, Angle, Sarah Palin, etc. have all figured out that the media is so decrepit you can pretty much get away with it. And enough of the voters lap it up that you can win a fair amount of elections without having to be questioned at all about your insanity.

    Since the Democrats suck so hard at articulating why you’d vote _for_ them, my only hope is that the GOP overreaches so hard that they fail fast enough that we can undo their damage. If the merely overreach a little we will end up having to get rid of Social Security, Medicare and it’ll be too late to reverse Global Warming without horrible results to all our lifestyles.

  33. 33
    Scott says:

    @Zifnab:

    Well, I won’t argue that Perry doesn’t deserve to deal with the bad economy he’s worked so hard to produce… but I’m just tired of getting laid off all the damn time. Assuming that I get hit by the next set of layoffs after the Lege meets, this’ll be my fourth layoff under Perry’s government, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to find another job. :/

  34. 34
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @Zifnab: In the politics of the 21st century, when do facts matter? ;-)

  35. 35
    jcricket says:

    @Sir Nose’D:

    3. Base still expects to collect SS when they retire or become injured. Just because they no longer pay in doesn’t mean they can’t collect.

    Isn’t this the real problem, though? Voters hate taxes, but demand services. Republicans give them both (with lip-service to cutting services). Democrats attempt to raise taxes, but when they can’t raise enough, they use accounting gimmicks to delay the inevitable cutting of services due to lack of tax revenue. Or if Democrats due cut services, they get voted out of office for failing to keep everything voters wanted (i.e. “those Dems must have failed to find all the fraud, waste and abuse that’s there in those programs”).

    Voters never, ever connect the dots.

    Look at California for the future of most states, including all but the blue-est of blue states. Massive budget deficits, intractable budget issues, yet very little support for raising the taxes that would be required to close the holes, and even less support for cutting the services that would be required if taxes can’t be raised.

  36. 36
    funluvn says:

    @jcricket:

    Since the Democrats suck so hard at articulating why you’d vote for them, my only hope is that the GOP overreaches so hard that they fail fast enough that we can undo their damage. If the merely overreach a little we will end up having to get rid of Social Security, Medicare and it’ll be too late to reverse Global Warming without horrible fatal results to all our lifestyles lives.

    Fixed that for ya.

  37. 37
    Gromit says:

    It sounds like he’s talking about setting up a state-level pension system. Presumably those who have paid into SS would still get benefits, but Texans wouldn’t continue to pay into SS, but would rather pay into a state fund. Why this would be better, or would be any less a “Ponzi scheme” in his mind is anyone’s guess. It sounds like a great way to make peoples’ lives more complicated and add layers if bureaucracy.

  38. 38
    mellowjohn says:

    @J. Michael Neal:
    and too long as well?

  39. 39
    L2P says:

    This isnt as crazy as you’d think.

    Texas could opt out of SSI and put in its own similar system. Public employees already do something similar; they don’t pay SSI, instead getting their public retirements (one of the reasons the pension stuff is way more complicated than critics make it seem.)

    However, it’s a huge pain in the ass. People would have different streams of benefit payments, with different benefit rules, contribution limits, etc. Why would you want that?

  40. 40
    Gromit says:

    Of course, now that I think about it, maybe the real idea is to put the SS trust fund into the hands of the states, with all that entails.

  41. 41
    Zifnab says:

    @Scott:

    Assuming that I get hit by the next set of layoffs after the Lege meets, this’ll be my fourth layoff under Perry’s government, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to find another job. :/

    That does suck. I don’t want you to lose your job. I just want Republican voters to start feeling the economic pain that folks in Michigan and New Jersey and California have been feeling.

  42. 42
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Gromit: Forever that’s been driving the various privatization drives. The prospect of all that just lying there, paying nothing in commissions and fees. It drives them crazy.

    Peter G. Peterson — he of the Catfood Commission — is the founder of a private equity group. Money not passing through the hands of brokers and managers, ‘earning’ fees and commissions on each turn of the wheel, is a theological affront to him,

  43. 43
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @L2P: A majority of the states, IIRC, have their public employees outside SS. Maine certainly does. Talk to me about WEP and GPO sometime…

  44. 44
    Napoleon says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Heck, Fed employees do not even participate in SS.

  45. 45
    Citizen_X says:

    jcricket gets it right.

    The Texas Governor is a fairly weak executive position, which gives them space to do a lot of posing. What do they do with their limited power but heightened visibility? Ann Richards found one of the few real roles–making appointments–and made more minority and female appointments than any TX Governor ever. Bush basically positioned himself for a Presidential run.

    Perry? He just says a lot of stupid shit to fire up the Teatards.

  46. 46
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Napoleon: I don’t either. And my SS pension from my pre-state days — 14 years employment — is wiped out. And any money I receive as a survivor from my wife’s SS is wiped out.

  47. 47
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Remember, this is the governor who insists the goverment is controlling how much salt we can eat.

  48. 48
    J sub D says:

    Can’t be done.
    16th Amendment.
    End of discussion.

  49. 49
    A. Lurker says:

    This is like the 15th time Rick Perry’s threatened to secede from the Union in some form. I remember one time where he stoked secessionist fears for support and then one week later an article came out where a Gov. Rick Perry (no relation, I’m sure) begged the evil Big Gubmint for H1N1 vaccine.

    Why is that freeloading socialist demanding handouts from the gubmint? Don’t just talk about seceding, do it! The Texas Department of Health and Human Services can just put their hands together and pray for the sickness to go away, while the national HHS will use biology and chemistry to concoct a vaccine to deal with a virus that can possibly adapt and evolve. We’ll see who comes out on top a year down the road.

  50. 50
    max says:

    What would the practical implication be?

    The simplest version would be that Social Security would stop collecting taxes in the state and cease paying benefits. You could go with a longer version that has Texas trying to set up some kind of mandatory retirement system, with the money controlled by the state (which would presumably control the investments). That would give Perry a multi-billion dollar slush fund.

    Meantime, in theory, libertarian types and large corporations would move to Texas to evade federal taxes. (Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t.)

    Could I pay into SS my whole life while a WV resident, then when I hit 65, I have a stroke and lose control of my senses and decide to move to Texas, and then I would not be able to collect SS?

    Well, probably that’s what the Federal system would demand. Alternatively, Perry might demand that opt-out be based on a system in which people collect their benefits but immediately stop paying taxes.

    If they did that, then the system would start falling apart as people demanded payments but refused to pay taxes, particularly if other red states opted out. Which is similar to the health insurance thing supported by the Republicans where insurance companies would be allowed to sell policies across state lines without conforming to local state regulations. That would’ve resulted in a race to the bottom wherein all the insurance companies would’ve relocated to the states with the least in the way of regulations.

    Perry is trying for something similar here. Since Congress has promised not to cut social security, or get rid of it for old people, Perry almost certainly figures the fastest way to blow it up is to allow states to opt out, which would certainly deprive the federal government of a large amount of revenue.

    He’s still carrying on with his Tenther/nullification/secession crap, and this is just another version. While I agree with everyone above that Perry is trying to curry favor with the Tea Party crowd, I also think he’s a true believer, since he started out life as a southern Democrat, from back when southern Democrats were segregationists.

    We’ve spent the last two years fighting a virtual version of the civil war and it looks like we’re going to be fighting it for another two years.

    max
    [‘Joy.’]

  51. 51
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Among the many things that Perry is overlooking with this is the fact that not all of the people who work in Texas are Texans. I worked about four years, total, in Texas but, California is my adopted home state. Absent any details on Perry’s plan (Imagine that: a Republican economic plan without details. I’m shocked!) I can only assume that I would just miss four years’ worth of SS contributions. That would not be good.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    I think Mr. Cole is making a category error.

    The ‘way this works’, at least the last time they tried it, is that these reactionary nuts makes fools of themselves, render themselves obnoxious to general public, and their side loses in the next election.

    If we are lucky it will work that way again.

    If not, we will have to find out how it works the hard way.

  53. 53
    MTiffany says:

    Could someone explain how this would work?

    It won’t. But let’s all hope the wingnuts keep this nonsense coming. I’m really anxiously waiting for the resolutions condemning the North American Union, the Amero, the NAFTA Superhighway, and genetically engineered mice with human brains. Yes America, these are the people you voted in to rein in Obama’s ‘soshulist’ policies. Way to go!

  54. 54
    Anya says:

    The repubs won’t be happy until all of the old people are eating cat food and living out of old refer boxes in an alley.

    The old people are the ones who are keeping them in power, so maybe they deserve each other. After the midterm election, I am not very sympathetic to the plight of racist old farts who are longing for the 50s and who vote for nut-jobs because the colored man is scaring them.

  55. 55
    Dennis SGMM says:

    OT: I finally got around to looking over the CA election results. If you think our budgeting process is a stinking pile of shit now you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    The wise voters of my state managed to pass Prop 26, called by its sponsors “The Stop Hidden Taxes Initiative.” Prop 26 makes a super-majority necessary to impose fees or levies. That means any fees or levies, including those imposed on polluters. Before 26, a simple majority was all that was necessary to raise fees or levies.

    Unsurprisingly, Chevron led the charge for passage with a $3million-plus donation to the Yes on 26 side. Altogether, the pro-26 side raised over $12million while opponents raised $300,000.

    While I disapprove of using fees as a substitute for sane tax policy I despair that the state legislature will now spend more time than ever in gridlock as our state slowly decays.

  56. 56
    Jman says:

    @Napoleon: Partially true. Old timers don’t pay ssi but youngsters do and there are fewer old timers every day. The youngsters are closing in on retirement now.

  57. 57
    Janet Strange says:

    @Derelict:

    I fervently wish that the policies that Perry and his ilk espouse get put in place EXACTLY as those policies are proposed. And then Perry and all the rest lose all of their money are are forced to actually live under those policies.

    But they would still blame the Democrats/liberals. As someone else said, voters never connect the dots. In Texas, due to “tort reform” you can no longer sue a doctor who, by negligence or incompetence kills/harms/damages you or a family member.

    After my niece was in fact seriously harmed by medical malpractice, my always votes Republican nephew in law was ranting about those “terrible laws” that prevent malpractice lawsuits. He blamed “the government.” When I pointed out that maybe not voting for the Republican reps who ran on promises to pass those laws, and then passed them, would help reduce the number of aforementioned terrible laws, my usually polite sister told me to shut up. “We’ll never agree on politics, so just shut up.”

  58. 58
    Cermet says:

    @Scott: Very sorry to hear that is possible but remember, these bad times will get better (overall) and you will be recalled very quickly by the State.

  59. 59
    Napoleon says:

    @Jman:

    Didn’t realize that. My dad who would have been in his early 80s if still around was a Federal employee.

  60. 60
    different church-lady says:

    Here’s the explanation: Rick Perry says wacky shit. You don’t need to understand it any more than if he had said that Earth should secede from the solar system — seceding from things is just part of his shtick.

  61. 61
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @jcricket: One thing wrong with that statement: American voters never ever connect the dots. Most of the rest of the west don’t seem to have that problem. You’re really seeing the result of the many years of gutting the US public school system.

  62. 62
    Dennis SGMM says:

    That Perry is a deep thinker all right. Considering that company pensions are largely a quaint memory, that your 401K can be decimated by the next Wall Street scam (And the one after that and the one after that…) it only makes good sense to get rid of the only government program with a record of keeping people out of complete poverty.

    All we need to do now is get rid of those bleeding heart child labor laws and bring back indentured servitude. That would make this country really business friendly.

  63. 63
    bootsy says:

    When you are threatened by the tyranny of possibly paying a few cents for someone else’s preventive health care what else can you do! Jesus himself said that we the people only pay for emergency room visits!

    If this damnable Obamaist health care plan cuts the deficit, what will our tax cuts get to do?! Do you want our tax cuts just sitting around, moping?

  64. 64
    Ejoiner says:

    Well, John, I think I would try the opposite: I would live my working life in a state that does not collect SS taxesor collects them locally at a low rate and then – right before I retire – BAM! I go to one that’s hooked up on it and pays more (like the difference between the Texas experiment and the Fed rates in the 1980s) and collect a whooping amount. Unless you made laws about where and when people could live, move and work in this country. Sorta like Diocletian in the late 3rd century AD. Now thems was the “good ole days”!

  65. 65
    BR says:

    @jayackroyd:

    Well, you supported Prop 19, right? I agree that the mechanism for opting out of SS is non-existent, but you also can’t legalize a substance that is banned by the Feds by removing state laws against the substance.

    Well, here’s what you can do – you can change law enforcement priorities for state and local officials unless otherwise specified by federal law, which is what prop 19 would have done. Then congress or the courts would have had to explicitly overturn prop 19 to negate that effect, or otherwise just relied upon federal DEA action.

  66. 66
    Shalimar says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Are you sure about that? My grandmother was a federal employee. She didn’t get social security of her own, but she did get survivor benefits after my grandfather died.

  67. 67
    rachel says:

    @Janet Strange: Republicans never think “tort reform” will come back to bite them. Why should it? *They* never did anything wrong, so only good things ought to happen to them–unlike those undeserving liebrul sinners.

  68. 68
    henqiguai says:

    @J. Michael Neal(#6):

    …I think Minnesota summers are too hot and humid.

    Dude, Minnesota’s summers are too hot and humid. Those 10,000 lakes add to the humidity and do nothing to moderate the heat. As opposed to, say, New England where the ocean moderates the temperature; if you live along the coast…

  69. 69
    bootsy says:

    All right, I should learn to read. As should Rick Perry.

  70. 70
    Jeff says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Perhaps even in 1787 with the Constititution superceding the Articles of Confederation

  71. 71
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @henqiguai: Which is worse — a salt-marsh mosquito or the Minnesota state ‘bird’? Discuss.

  72. 72
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @rachel:

    Prop 26 is a perfect example of how CA’s initiative process gets abused by our corporate overlords. A similar initiative was tried a few years ago and it failed then. Just goes to show you what can be done with a hefty dose of buzz words and a dumbed down electorate.

    This one was insane, even for CA though. The budget process is a disaster and every year sets a new record for how late the budget comes in. The past few budgets have been tissues of rosy expectations, raiding the funds for education and plain old shenanigans. So let’s make the process even more easily derailed by a a handful of legislators.

    I swear that if you wrote a long enough initiative and buried language in it explicitly stating that all Californians would have their genitalia removed with rusty chainsaws it would pass if you titled the thing “The Fair Tax Act to Lower Unfair Taxes.”

  73. 73

    @Jeff:

    Perhaps even in 1787 with the Constitution superseding the Articles of Confederation.

    Good point.

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Deer flies.

  75. 75
    Chris says:

    There’s nothing to understand, John. How workable the plan is, or its particulars don’t matter. What matters is that it sounds good to his lizard-brained teabagger constituency.

  76. 76
    Console says:

    @jayackroyd:

    California’s laws are California’s laws. If California decides it doesn’t want to keep a California law then it’s well within it’s power to do so. That doesn’t magically mean they can stop the DEA from arresting people that violate FEDERAL law. Nor is California somehow obligated to make its own version of federal laws. California has the power to do so, but it doesn’t have to.

    The proper analogy here would be if Texas had it’s own Texas version of social security and then decided to get rid of it.

  77. 77
    Michael says:

    I swear that if you wrote a long enough initiative and buried language in it explicitly stating that all Californians would have their genitalia removed with rusty chainsaws it would pass if you titled the thing “The Fair Tax Act to Lower Unfair Taxes.”

    Might be a good idea to illustrate the absurdity by getting such a thing on the ballot.

    You should also track down Howard Jarvis’ grave and organize a shit-on.

  78. 78
    HRA says:

    “The simplest version would be that Social Security would stop collecting taxes in the state and cease paying benefits. You could go with a longer version that has Texas trying to set up some kind of mandatory retirement system, with the money controlled by the state (which would presumably control the investments). That would give Perry a multi-billion dollar slush fund.”

    It would also start an exodus into other states. It reminds me of when I asked a new student why he had moved to NYS from Alabama. There already was a large move into my class from PA ahead of his move. My momma said NYS gave better welfare was his answer.

    Back to just reading.

  79. 79
    sukabi says:

    you’re over thinking this John, these folks are EXPERTS at seceding…. they seceded from sanity long ago, it’s what they do.

  80. 80
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Napoleon:

    Not true. I have federal employees in my family, including my wife, and they ALL pay into SS. And no, we’re not youngsters who just starting working for them..

  81. 81
    Carol says:

    @Napoleon: Yes we do, it’s taken out of our salary every other week. What we do have is a “windfall” provision that deducts from Social Security our pension money.

  82. 82
    Woodrowfan says:

    you know, for people who claim to LOVE LOVE LOVE the Constitution, they sure seem to want to go back to the way the US was run before the Constitution went into effect. Folks, the Articles of Confederation worked so poorly that we abandoned them after less than 10 years. I don’t think we need to try that model again…

  83. 83
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Woodrowfan: SS coverage of federal workers is split, based on when you were hired. Short version — hired post 1984, FERS people do get SS. Pre ’84 people who stayed with CSRS, no.

    Everyone gets Medicare deducted, and everyone is Medicare-eligible.

  84. 84
    trollhattan says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Yes, this came up in a thread yesterday. Gov. Goodhair is nuckin’ futs. He’s probably angling for a 2012 presidential run, but I can’t see any way the Texas Leg. would let this through, even if the US Congress were somehow able to sneak this type of bullshit by the AARP.

    I heard him bloviating on NPR yesterday morning and concluded pretty quickly, “SOB’s running for preznet.” He’s booked all over the place.

    I don’t think it’s mattered much what the Texas governor does…in Texas. The rest of the country pretty much ignores him or her. Then, magically, he wins the nomination and spend eight years scratching his balls while his buddies ruin the nation.

    My takeaway is we’d best keep our frickin’ lasers trained on Goodhair the next year or two.

  85. 85
    burnspbesq says:

    It’s Chinatown, Jake.

  86. 86
    lol says:

    @Napoleon:

    This hasn’t been true for over 30 years I think.

  87. 87
    Carol says:

    @Console: The bulk of marijuana arrests are for violations of local law-federal law has a much higher threshold. Also, it is local police who refer people to the feds for further processing if it goes above federal limits. Without those arrests, the feds would have to enforce the law themselves without local help, and there just isn’t the manpower to do so on a wide scale. The local user carries and uses far less than the federal government does, meaning that the only people the feds can arrest are the biggies who grow and distribute large amounts.

    Also, without an arrest record of any kind, the deprivations of federal assistance because of a drug arrest would stop immediately because there would be no record.

  88. 88
    Arclite says:

    I saw Perry on an interview the other day. They were asking him if he was going to run for president. I thought, “I would love for him to run b/c he could be pounded over the head for his secession comments he made last year.” Then he made a massive Freudian slip when he said, “We have to protect against freedom.” Heh, truer colors were never shown, thought I.

  89. 89
    Napoleon says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    My dad never needed to pay into SS and in fact I recall around the time he retired, during the Reagan Admin., it was popular for programs like 60 Mins to run “exposes” about people like my dad double dipping by retiring, working in the private sector, like my dad did, until they qualified for SS. I am sure of this.

  90. 90
    Napoleon says:

    @lol:

    Hey, I am stuck in the past :)

  91. 91
    Carol says:

    @Dennis SGMM: And o-by the way, those commuters and shorttermers would refuse to come to Texas, or move out as soon as they could, not to mention anybody near retirement who needs every penny they have. Yes Perry, watch those payroll and other taxes flee the state and people move to neighboring states and commute. BTW, watch people not want to relocate either.

    Those taxes are practically freebies as people don’t usually live in the state long enough to collect on whatever benefits Texas has to offer.

  92. 92
    Hal says:

    Why not let him do it? Show older, white voters what a true Republican agenda would really mean for them.

  93. 93

    @Hal:
    We try not to let them do it because of something called “collateral damage.”

  94. 94
    balconesfault says:

    But John … at one time you WERE crazy … and cast Presidential votes for guys who talked derisively about their opponents saying “they talk about Social Security as if it’s some sort of Government Program”

    So you should have more insight into this kind of thinking than the rest of us who have been grounded in reality for far longer…

  95. 95
    aimai says:

    Why won’t the Democrats take out non election year ads, just a simple white box in every local newspaper, that says, with great specificity, district by district:

    Your Congressman/Governor/Senator today promised to prevent you from getting you SS check/medicare/see the doctor/have your streets plowed/have your children and grandchildren educated…” Whatever it is. With the actual cost per district in lives lost or money lost. Every week. Every year you can run a “running total” comparing what they managed to do with what they promised to do and the damage they would have done if they could have gotten away with it.

    aimai

    In California they should be doing this all the time and reminding voters that they have given veto power over their budget to some of the biggest assholes in the world. Every single time a budget question comes up.

  96. 96
    Elie says:

    @Sir Nose’D:

    Exactly.

    Its a con and it makes the rubes think that they actually have a “voice”, albeit a bigoted, stupid voice. They/it only goes so far…

    The white bigoted rubes are as dangerous to the big mainstream interests as they are to the rest of us. There are a lot of them and they are pretty stupid in general. They will be given their outlets, their pap to chew on with the so called high profile sympathizers (Palin, O’Donnel, Perry, Beck, etc) seeming to argue their values — but its meant to diffuse their bile, not fully implement it…not that a few won’t try to do more damage from time to time, and they will get some victories — but only so far…

  97. 97
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @Zifnab: Yeah it gives the federal government $1 and gets $0.94 back.

    More interesting is the fact that Texas tried the privatized account instead of social security thing in the ’80s (see upthread) and the seniors who bought into that lost money. You’d think someone would point this out to the good citizens of Texas before they shoot themselves in the foot.

  98. 98
    El Cid says:

    __

    Could someone explain how this would work?

    Why does it have to work? Why not just maintain most current benefits and fuck over those coming some years down the line by promising that various magic pony tax cuts and private investments will do the trick? Would the TeaTards object?

  99. 99
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole

    How does a state secede from a program? … Could I pay into SS my whole life while a WV resident, … have a stroke and lose control of my senses and decide to move to Texas, and then I would not be able to collect SS?

    Texans don’t want any o’ those illegal seniors comin’ in to OUR state, with their foreign non-Texan accents, livin’ offa welfare and takin’ OUR tax dollars! Buncha nasty pedophiles preyin’ on OUR children with their grandparentin’ DEMEANORS, and lookin’ all hepless ‘n’ crotchety with their canes and Medicare scooters.

    Why, do you know the average illegal senior is on 9 different drugs? That’s THREE times as many as the average illegal alien!

    And they have WILD SEX PARTIES, cause they are all BARREN and can’t PROCREATE no more!

    Texas says NO! to Illegal seniors. NO! to non-Texan ACCENTS! NO! to CHILD-PREYIN’ and grandparentin’ DEMEANORS. NO! to senior DRUGS! And NO! to IRRESPONSIBLE, CONSEQUENCE-FREE SEX!

    NO!

    .

  100. 100
    KG says:

    But Texas is such a great state to do business in, that’s why everyone is moving there… that’s why people are leaving California and going there, it’s just so much better for workers and business.

    Honestly, I’ve been hearing from conservatives about the ongoing great migration out of California to places like Texas because of California’s out of control government. Funny, though, because I don’t seem to be experiencing lighter traffic or seeing a bunch of houses being sold for any reason other than short sales or REOs.

    The individual states could on opt out of social security because it’s an individual entitlement. It’s not like education spending where the states can say, “no, we’re going to do our own thing and not take the federal money.” The money gets directly collected from individuals and then directly paid to individuals.

  101. 101
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    OK, that makes sense, my wife was hired in 85…

  102. 102
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Napoleon:

    Ah, OK….

  103. 103
    Benjamin Cisco says:

    @JGabriel: Nicely done.

  104. 104
    Tom M says:

    Texas has the same problem the Federal government has: taxes are too low and collections are low. The Norquist plan is working just fine, thank you, as governments, particularly state governments are forced to make substantial service cuts.
    Just wait until Texans, or the rest of us, can’t drive 90 mph.

  105. 105
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @Napoleon: Would that still work now? Every year I get a social security statement. The early statements (from when I’d just finished graduate school) said something like “to get retirement benefits, you need 40 credits of work. Your record shows you have 21 credits at this time…” In other words, I hadn’t worked/paid in to SS long enough to qualify for retirement benefits. This year’s statement says I’d earn a little over $2000 per month if I retired at 67. How does someone not pay in but receive benefits?

  106. 106
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Well and then there’s this:

    Some Republican lawmakers — still reveling in Tuesday’s statewide election sweep — are proposing an unprecedented solution to the state’s estimated $25 billion budget shortfall: dropping out of the federal Medicaid program.

    The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization, estimates Texas could save $60 billion from 2013 to 2019 by opting out of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, dropping coverage for acute care but continuing to finance long-term care services. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which has 3.6 million children, people with disabilities and impoverished Texans enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, will release its own study on the effect of ending the state’s participation in the federal match program at some point between now and January.

  107. 107
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @aimai: See proposition 25’s passage. While it’s a shame that 26 passed, at least 25 allows a simple majority to pass a budget and prevents state legislators from earning a salary if a budget isn’t passed on time. I’m hoping someone can put an initiative on the ballot in two years to reverse 26. Given the fact that California elected a lot of Dems this year, I’m wondering how hard it would be to get a two-thirds majority on raising fees, etc.

  108. 108
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @El Cid:

    Why does it have to work?

    Bingo! When things don’t work out the conservatives just insist that we didn’t go far enough, or that entitlements ruined their perfect plan or “Hey, look over there: it’s a black person!”

    Anyone else remember their mantra when the economy took a nose dive in 2008? “The Democrats have had control of Congress for only two years and look what happened!”

  109. 109
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: Arizona didn’t opt into Medicaid till ’81 — so there’s precedent and what-not down in that benighted corner of the Republic.

    I think we should be ready to organize a children’s airlift…

  110. 110
    JPL says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: They just want all those poor people to move to other states. They don’t need those poor sick folks in Texas.
    I think Texas should secede. NASA headquarters would be welcome in many blue states.

  111. 111
    henqiguai says:

    @Dennis SGMM (#55): Yes, snarky, but I used to really like California (was my mecca of all lifestyle things cool).

    While I disapprove of using fees as a substitute for sane tax policy I despair that the state legislature will now spend more time than ever in gridlock as our state slowly decays.

    “Slowly” decay ? Seriously ? Given the amount of time that will be required to recover from the damage already done, this will be, time-line wise, catastrophic. And that’s even before you take into consideration California’s truly insane initiative ballot system.

  112. 112
    El Cid says:

    @Dennis SGMM: And it’s entirely possible that if Texas were to go through with this insanity (whatever it could get away with), as the disaster began demolishing the people who needed Medicaid and related services, Texan and national conservatives could blame it on Obama and the Democrats for some made-up horse-shit, and voters might go along with the ruse because they don’t know any better.

  113. 113
    El Cid says:

    @JPL: Especially all those poor and colored folk who fled post-Katrina New Orleans for Texas.

  114. 114
    Napoleon says:

    @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people):

    What my dad did, and what others did, was he worked in private industry for a while (and the military for a year or so right after VJ day, but I don’t know if that counted) then after he retired from the Gov he went back to working for private industry in so far as he worked for himself. So what people would do is work enough in both systems to qualify for both.

    Does that work now, who knows, I didn’t even realize that as a Fed employee you could/have to be in the SS system and from looking on line it looks like it has been that way since 84.

  115. 115
    JPL says:

    @El Cid: GA recently added a tax for hospital stay. I’m sure their thinking was, we won’t get blamed, the President will.

  116. 116
    stuckinred says:

    What’s the deal with the damn links? Every time I try to post one it disappears!!!!

  117. 117
    JPL says:

    This is from the same article that Zulu linked to @106

    State Senator Jane Nelson, Republican of Flower Mound, who heads the Senate Public Health Committee, said dropping out of Medicaid was worth considering — but only if it made fiscal sense without jeopardizing care.

    hahahaha…yeah it won’t jeopardize care you idiot.

  118. 118
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @stuckinred: My guess is that the spam filter’s usual ‘more than n links and you’re off to moderation’ counter has been reset to 0 from its customary 3.

    New default installed with an upgrade?.

  119. 119
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @henqiguai:

    “Slowly” decay ? Seriously ?

    I’m trying to hang on to my last few shreds of optimism. The amount by which they’ve gutted education spending is going to effect us for years. The budget is a house of cards that will inevitably collapse and then the seventh-largest economy in the world will have to declare bankruptcy. Wheeeee!

  120. 120
    morzer says:

    @Zifnab:

    Perry did talk about secession, but that was back in April 2009, as best I recall.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....-on-us.php

    My own take on all of the secession talk is that it’s not anything like a serious idea much less a call for action, more a way of whipping up the base/good old boys/rich elites who fear being reduced to abject poverty and having to lay off that second butler. It’s still idiotic, and still close to treasonous, but I don’t see anything coming out of it.

  121. 121
    300baud says:

    I recently got interested in the history of the Civil War. So much of my 4th-grade history turned out to be cartoonishly simple, so I wondered, “Was it really about slavery?”

    The answer is yes, as you can see in Texas’s declaration of secession:

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19t.....texsec.asp

    As an example quote, the Texans were worked up about

    an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.

    I mentioned this to a pal who is a young professor of European history; she didn’t believe me. She asked her colleagues, who said yes, it really was all about slavery. So when now I hear about Perry’s succession mutterings, or Confederate boosterism generally, I presume it’s still about fluffing the Bob Ewells of the world.

  122. 122
    jman says:

    @henqiguai: It’s the mosquitos and black flies that make Minnesota heat and humidity so special. Oh, and road construction too, also.

  123. 123
    henqiguai says:

    @Davis X. Machina (#71):

    Which is worse—a salt-marsh mosquito or the Minnesota state ‘bird’? Discuss.

    Hmm. Not living near the coast (and therefor nowhere near any of those salt marshes), can’t really say. I have, however, lived in Largo / Clearwater (FL). Minnesota’s mosquitoes (‘specially up north) may be fearsome, but those creatures down in the Tampa Bay area actually send in air traffic control groups to coordinate flights coming in to drain you dry. I swear I could feel my arm drop from the weight when one of those buggers landed for a meal.

  124. 124
    kay says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    Texas might not want to rely on the Heritage Foundation calculations.

    Some adult in Texas should check that study, because I don’t think it makes any sense.

    estimates Texas could save $60 billion from 2013 to 2019 by opting out of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, dropping coverage for acute care but continuing to finance long-term care services.

    Children account for about half of all Medicaid enrollees but just one-fifth of Medicaid spending. Only one-quarter of Medicaid enrollees are seniors or persons with disabilities, but because these beneficiaries need more (and more costly) health-care services, they account for two-thirds of all Medicaid spending.

    “Long-term care” (nursing homes, care for disabled people) accounts for 2/3’s of Medicaid spending. Senior citizens “spend down” assets and then Medicaid picks up the nursing home tab. That’s the only way they qualify for dual coverage, under Medicare and Medicaid.

    I have no idea how Texas plans to cover “long term care” in-state (2/3 of Medicaid total costs) without the 60% they receive from the federal government and come out ahead, even if the compassionate pro-life conservatives at the Heritage Foundation convince them to drop preventative care for 3 million healthy children.

  125. 125
    MikeJ says:

    @kay: If people can’t afford health care for their children, can’t we simply sell those children to people who could? We could then use the profits of the baby sales to take care of the elderly.

    What could be easier?

  126. 126
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I swear that if you wrote a long enough initiative and buried language in it explicitly stating that all Californians would have their genitalia removed with rusty chainsaws it would pass if you titled the thing “The Fair Tax Act to Lower Unfair Taxes.”

    Then they’d blame “the government,” which is always ramming down our throats items from the liberal agenda, like detachable pen1ses. It’s something the librulz have always wanted!

  127. 127
    tkogrumpy says:

    There is nothing to understand, John. Get used to it.

  128. 128
    kay says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    Unless the Heritage Foundation recommends dropping children, while still receiving a 60% federal subsidy on nursing homes, and I don’t think they can do that.

    In any event, I think the prudent and responsible thing for liberals to do is start screaming that the Heritage Foundation in cahoots with Governor Perry want to throw old people out of nursing homes.

    Because while conservatives have effectively made children the villains in Medicaid scare scenarios, Medicaid costs a lot because it covers nursing homes and disabled people.

  129. 129
    General Stuck says:

    This time it’s not about formal ownership and indentured servitude of a particular race. This time it is about minority status on the horizon, for the white race in this country. These little succession trial balloons will all be centered around taxation and social services to maintain the minority class they see as usurping their birthright as a ruling majority. And the political power that comes with such a majority status.

    It is not about Obama per se, because he is really not a hard left liberal, but the symbolism of getting himself elected to the highest office in the land. That sent out shock waves through the natives, causing decisions to be made, that it has happened once, it will happen again if we don’t do something. And that something for those remnants of the old southern white aristocracy is the political weapon of States Rights, and moving toward withdrawing into their own state shells. The first time it was about keeping something they valued, black persons for hard labor and maximum profit. This time it is about not valuing something and wanting no part of it.

    That is a mulicultural and multiracial country of citizens, and potential citizens folded into the one man, one vote American democratic model. A country for the wingnuts, where democracy doesn’t look as good as it once did, and more Obama’s and minority empowerment on the certain horizon.

    They likely will not secede, the southern states, en masse from the union this time, but will commence small administrative rebellions targeted to denying the federal government the resources to carry out, in their eyes, empowerment to ‘non natives” albeit them citizens. And their de-empowerment of running “their” country.

    How the federal government reacts to these small revolts, will likely determine what happens next, if anything at all beyond bluster.

    I know I write a lot of the same shit over and over, but someone has to catapult the propaganda over planet libtard.

  130. 130
    henqiguai says:

    @jman (#122):

    It’s the mosquitos and black flies that make Minnesota heat and humidity so special.

    Ain’t buyin’ it. I did lived in Mpls for six years. Aside from one trip up to Duluth, in middle autumn, I stayed away from anything near the Boundary Waters region. I know about those mutants up there. No, the summertime heat and humidity was ugly all by itself. And that said having moved from the Tampa area to Minneapolis in the summer.

  131. 131
    kay says:

    @MikeJ:

    Conservatives lie constantly about Medicaid. I think it’s so brave and manly of them, to target children. I guess talking about the real expense, old people and the disabled, isn’t politically expedient.

    The funniest part is, (in Ohio, anyway) for-profit nursing home operators are big Republican donors. The biggest beneficiaries of Medicaid.

    Who the hell bases state budgeting on a Heritage Foundation study anyway? Yeah. That’s a good and reliable source.

  132. 132
    gnomedad says:

    @Woodrowfan:

    you know, for people who claim to LOVE LOVE LOVE the Constitution, they sure seem to want to go back to the way the US was run before the Constitution went into effect.

    They think the Constitution is about tax cuts, Jesus, and the right to bear arms.

  133. 133

    Could a state secede from the Post Office? Or the Selective Service? Or the VA?

    No. Of course not.

    But that is not the point. The point is that the people he is talking to are fucking hillbillies and don’t care if it can really be done or not. They only care that he has the chutzpah to say it.

    That’s the new right wing populism. Say anything as long as it gets you applause. The content doesn’t really matter.

    This is not exactly news. It’s just getting more blatant.

  134. 134
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Scott:

    Yeah, here’s the thing—Rick Perry really, really, really wants to be president. He’s got no real shot at it, because he’s uncharismatic as hell, he’s got a long, public history of being an arrogant, entitled, thin-skinned weasel, and he’s got scandals a-plenty that, though the Texas media is willing to help him cover ‘em up, the rest of the world wouldn’t be so kind. But he really, really, really wants to be president. And he thinks the teabaggers are going to be his ticket to the White House.

    Really? Because I’d like to have a beer with him. I can’t be the only one..

  135. 135
    Greg says:

    I live in Dallas, and all that Texas libertarian talk is a load of hooey. The Texas State Government is the most intrusive and controlling of any state I’ve ever lived in. They interfere in your personal life at a microscopic level. They have the most highly regulated banking and insurance industries in the nation. The police are given power beyond belief, including the ability to go into a bar and cite you for public intoxication simply on their opinion that you look drunk. This is a Police State. But the right wingers don’t care because Christians are in control, we have lax gun laws, and no state income tax. That is all that matters to them. They are NOT interested in any sort of personal freedoms. I can’t wait to leave.

  136. 136
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @kay:

    I think it’s so brave and manly of them, to target children.

    Well, duuuuuuuuh…

    Children can’t vote…

    Brings to mind that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer is taking karate w/ children and roughing them up… and in the end, they trap him in an alley and he gets it… something about ‘their little fists of fury’, as I recall…

  137. 137
    Mike in NC says:

    @Greg:

    I live in Dallas, and all that Texas libertarian talk is a load of hooey. The Texas State Government is the most intrusive and controlling of any state I’ve ever lived in. This is a Police State. But the right wingers don’t care because Christians are in control, we have lax gun laws, and no state income tax. That is all that matters to them. They are NOT interested in any sort of personal freedoms. I can’t wait to leave.

    But I just picked up one of those free weekly newspapers and this one had an article by Rich “Starbursts” Lowry about what an oasis Texas is:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....rich-lowry

    You know, low taxes in Texas blah blah blah…

  138. 138
    cleek says:

    TX ponders dropping out of Medicaid.

    tee hee. idiots.

  139. 139
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    The only reason Perry ran for a third term was to position himself to run for President in 2012. Paul Burka at Texas Monthly called this back in 2008. Thing is, he’d probably win the primary and have a decent shot in the general.

    But as someone upthread said, the Governor is constitutionally weak, and Perry can’t do much within the state. What sucks is that we wound up with a huge GOP majority in the Texas House (98-51), and it’s redistricting time. They are going to do their god-damndest to make it impossible for a Democrat to get elected to Congress.

  140. 140
    jcricket says:

    @kay: This is clearly the “serious person” solution to all our problems – social programs and entitlements too expensive? Just drop ’em.

    But that results in already vulnerable populations suffering even more? Well, the books must be balanced, and tax cuts are off the table, so next time around those people should just make better economic decisions, like being born rich.

    Andrew Sullivan bleats about this all the time – saying “we need to make serious cuts to entitlement programs” while hand-waving away what exactly all the people that depend on these programs to survive with even a modicum of decency are supposed to do without them.

    The same is true for virtually all the programs we “can’t afford”. Without domestic violence + homeless shelters, food banks, infrastructure, education, etc. it’s not like the people that rely on that will simply stop needing it. They’ll just suffer, crime will go up, our GDP will go down, and yet still people will blame the guv’mint and liberalz and against tax increases on the rich and corporations.

    Personally, I think we’re doomed, and I’m not a doomsayer typically. I think the depth of people’s antipathy for taxes & regulation, despite our massive tax-cut+war induced deficits + de-regulation caused crisis show just how truly fucked we really are.

  141. 141
    jcricket says:

    @cleek: Do you think people would really leave TX because of that? I think a big bunch of the people that need Medicare would just suffer worse, b/c they’re unable to move.

    Maybe TX will then request some kind of federal bailout or something, while of course railing against government interference, b/c if only Rick Perry’s ideas were law the poor and seniors would sprout money from their ears.

  142. 142
    jcricket says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: I know this will take a while, but as long as the GOP is the “I Hate brown people” party, don’t you think Texas massive and growing Latino population is going to increase Democratic chances (at least for statewide offices and national races)?

    I’ve read that by 2016, assuming Latinos continue to vote at current rates (no guarantee), Dems will have a good shot at winning the electoral votes of TX in Presidential races.

  143. 143
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people):

    at least 25 … prevents state legislators from earning a salary if a budget isn’t passed on time

    Which is the reason I voted against it. Sorry, but I think it’s a terrible idea to give legislators a direct financial interest in a bill. It makes no sense to have such strict rules re conflicts of interest yet enshrine a permanent conflict of interest in the state constitution.

    I’m hoping someone can put an initiative on the ballot in two years to reverse 26. Given the fact that California elected a lot of Dems this year, I’m wondering how hard it would be to get a two-thirds majority on raising fees, etc.

    Aside from the fact that one should think twice about enacting a constitutional amendment on the hope of a party majority, don’t forget that Prop 26 also required a two-thirds majority of local voters to approve fees imposed in their jurisdiction. Of course the two-thirds of the voters threshold is so difficult to meet, that they went ahead and amended the state constitution so school bonds and certain school and college district taxes could be enacted by a 55% majority vote – otherwise not a damn thing would be built.

    Personally, I think there are enough restrictions on the power to impose state and local fees (which can be enforced in the courts at any time) without hamstringing the Legislature and local govts even more.

  144. 144
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: Perhaps you misunderstood my last point. I voted against 26 but it passed anyway. Given that it did pass but a Dem majority was elected, it might not be as much of a problem initially. I hope it gets reversed in two years. Hope that’s clearer. Having proposition 25 without 26 hamstringing legislators makes sense.

  145. 145
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people):

    I think I misread your comment in my previous response. I see you are saying you think Prop 26 should be reversed…somehow I thought you were saying it was okay because there’s a Dem majority right now. So I launched into pet peeve mode re Prop 26.

    Sorry !

    ETA: I see our thoughts crossed in cyberspace!

  146. 146
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: No worries :).

    Now if anyone has a way to make proposing CA constitutional amendments more difficult, I’d love to hear it. Never ceases to amaze me how people want all these services but don’t want to pay anything for them. I guess lots of Californians believe in magic.

  147. 147
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people):

    Geeze, talk about another pet peeve … !

  148. 148
    jcricket says:

    @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people): Thanks for exporting that to WA state as well. We voted down all kinds of tax increases, but still demand endless services. The Seattle Times had this noxious editorial after the election full of random words strung together that appear to make sense, but do not (i.e. “this vote was a clear message to not raise taxes but fully fund all the voter requirements, so get to it Olympia”).

    I effing hate the initiative process. I don’t think anything good comes of it – or what little does come is far, far outweighed by poorly thought out or unconstitutional legislation and tyranny of the majority crap that strikes down minority protections.

  149. 149
    doshaburi says:

    To get back to how it is supposed to work: Texas makes it illegal to withhold Social Security taxes from employees’ paychecks. Workers say, “Yippee! 7.62% tax cut! Thank you Rick Perry! God Bless Texas!”

    Then, when they are old and broke, Texas frames them for murder and executes them.

  150. 150
    mclaren says:

    This is small potatoes. What the GOP really needs is to think bigger.

    Secede from the law of gravity.

    Secede from the second law of thermodynamics.

    Secede from the the fine structure constant.

    Now you’re talkin’!

  151. 151
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    Which is the reason I voted against it. Sorry, but I think it’s a terrible idea to give legislators a direct financial interest in a bill. It makes no sense to have such strict rules re conflicts of interest yet enshrine a permanent conflict of interest in the state constitution.

    It’s also a terrible idea for them to be able to punish the workers of the state with involuntary furloughs because the legislature can’t get their act together. It seemed seriously unfair to me that the legislators were drawing their salaries for the entire 100-day budget standoff while DMV and other state workers were being laid off and furloughed.

    ETA: And since a balanced budget is now a constitutional requirement (thanks, California voters!), I don’t think the same worries about the legislators having a financial stake apply. It’s their constitutional duty to pass the budget — this only gives them an extra incentive not to drag their heels about doing it.

  152. 152
    Darkrose says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    I swear that if you wrote a long enough initiative and buried language in it explicitly stating that all Californians would have their genitalia removed with rusty chainsaws it would pass if you titled the thing “The Fair Tax Act to Lower Unfair Taxes.”

    I wish I could say that this is ridiculous. But sadly, I think you’re completely right.

  153. 153

    I did a word search on this entire thread and not once did one of you self-regarding geniuses type the word “Galveston.”

    Galveston (it’s a city in TEXAS) is exempt from Social Security taxes because it has set up a self-funded retirement program separate from the federal system. Although I can’t read Rick Perry’s mind, I imagine he wants to expand this little bit of freedom from federal hegemony to the rest of the state.

    But then we can’t have freedom from the federal yoke, can we? Let’s all imagine this isn’t a Ponzi scheme.

  154. 154
    El Cid says:

    @Eric Lindholm: One interesting thing that has contributed to the solvency of the Galveston plan is that it’s not indexed to inflation. So money paid out can be saved by having it lose value over time.

  155. 155
    jcricket says:

    @Eric Lindholm: Yeah, a program where the city invests for people as a whole and they get less benefits, on average, sounds wonderful. Besides, 5,000 people does not a model for the nation make: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index......38;id=1974

    And for the last effing time, SS is not a ponzi scheme, no matter how many times you want to say it is. It’s been paying benefits effectively for 75 years, with no tweaks will pay out 75% of its current benefit levels for ever, and with minor, minor tweaks will continue to pay 100% of its benefits ad infinitum.

  156. 156
    El Cid says:

    @jcricket:

    It’s been paying benefits effectively for 75 years, with no tweaks will pay out 75% of its current benefit levels for ever, and with minor, minor tweaks will continue to pay 100% of its benefits ad infinitum.

    No it won’t. Because, shut up.

  157. 157

    @jcricket:

    If it’s such a great deal, then people would be foolish to opt out of it…so we can’t let them.

    The return on investment for Social Security is less than 2% and for those “fortunate” enough to get 75% of their promised benefit, it’s even worse. For minorities, who don’t live as long, the benefit has a negative return – so it’s a racist program too. Of course, if we had programs that allowed Americans to keep their own retirement accounts, the assets could be passed on after death, but we all know how the Left feels about people keeping their own money.

  158. 158
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Of course, if we had programs that allowed Americans to keep their own retirement accounts, the assets could be passed on after death, but we all know how the Left feels about people keeping their own money.

    Wait, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs and Keoughs have all been banned? When did that happen?

  159. 159
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Eric Lindholm:

    Let’s all imagine this isn’t a Ponzi scheme.

    I can always tell which people are completely ignorant of economics, because they don’t understand how a Ponzi scheme actually works.

  160. 160
    Triassic Sands says:

    Perry is talking to Amurkins. Thus, he doesn’t need to make sense.

    Proposing plans that make no sense and can’t work is all that Republicans do at this point. They should be ignored. Unfortunately, understanding why GOP plans are idiotic and can’t work requires rational thought on the part of the citizen. And that isn’t likely.

  161. 161
    Xenos says:

    @Eric Lindholm: It is an insurance program, you putz. Do you feel ripped off if you buy fire insurance and you can’t collect because your house did not burn down?

  162. 162
    Lee Spencer says:

    @Napoleon:

    If Federal employee’s don’t pay Social Security then someone owes me big bucks – YES federal employee’s pay Social Security tax, federal income tax, state income tax (depending on where you live), and too damn many other taxes to list.

    GET REAL!

  163. 163
    Lee Spencer says:

    @L2P:

    Problem is – when do you enroll someone in the A1 Whiz-Bang Retirement Program? If I’m 60 (and I am) – do I lose all that time/money built up in SS and have to start over in the A1 Whiz-Bang Retirement Program?

    I certain SS is not going to turn funds over to Texas to apply to my A1 Whiz-Bang Retirement Program.

Comments are closed.