Raise taxes to pay for regulation? What do we get for our money?

May 25, 2011

Letters to a blog of the Orange County Register (California):

In praise of regulations

ORANGE, Susan Wong: I recently went through my day being mindful of what taxes do for me. I took a shower in clean water. I drove to work over safe, well-maintained streets. I was free to practice a profession of my choosing. I am able to do this work because I got my degree at a California state school and passed the California Board exam to earn my license.

On the way home, I stopped at an FDIC bank to take out some money that I had earned and am allowed to keep to support myself and my family. I stopped at a grocery store and bought safe food to eat due to various government regulations. I took my dog for a walk at a beautiful regional park. I picked up a takeout dinner at a restaurant inspected by state inspectors. And I went to sleep in peace.

Government exists to provide us with tangible things that an individual cannot provide for himself. I am so tired of people complaining about taxes as if they get nothing in return. It takes money to run a government that allows us to live our lives as we do.

So, let’s be grown-up about it and raise taxes to keep California from becoming a third-world country.   (May 25, 2011)

Evidence that not every Californian is crazy.


No bus coming, so Republican/Tea Partiers call cops on Grandma

May 25, 2011

Republicans and Tea Partiers in Michigan can’t exactly be accused of throwing their grandmothers under the bus, but only because there was no bus coming at that moment.

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, scheduled a meeting with Tea Party supporters last Saturday.  When senior citizens showed up, apparently fearing they would raise some questions about the Republican budget plan with figuratively throws grandma under the bus with drastic cuts to Medicare, organizers called police, claiming the post-65 group had started physical violence.

You couldn’t make this stuff up, could you?  If it were fiction, who would believe it?

Read the full story at DailyKos (with links to ThinkProgress):

One way Republicans have found of dealing with the bad press and hostility they’ve faced in public meetings over their highly unpopular budget plan has been what’s actually a pretty typical Republican response: censorship. They’ve clamped down on reporters and citizen journalists, barring them from recording the events.

In Michigan, they’ve taken it up a notch, courtesy of Tea Party control freaks who not only banned a group of senior citizens and reporters, but called security on them at an event with Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).

Rep. Justin Amash held a townhall meeting sponsored by a Tea Party group on Saturday sponsored by a Tea Party group, but a group of senior citizens and two reporters — including this one — were denied entry to the event.The traditional purpose of a townhall meeting is for an elected official to meet with his constituents in public, giving the people a chance to ask questions and engage in dialogue with their representatives. But neither the organizers nor Amash apparently wanted to hear from or speak to a group of concerned senior citizens — even at a time when the fate of Medicare is being debated in Congress.

About eight senior citizens arrived at the Prince Conference Center on the Calvin College campus for a chance to question Amash concerning his voting record in regards to eliminating Medicare.

Once barred from attending the event, the seniors stood out in the parking lot where they were taking questions from this reporter and Tanya Somanader of Think Progress, the two members of the media who were denied access. Eventually, six security guards arrived on the scene and said that both the seniors and the reporters had to leave.

Amash, and the Michigan Republicans, appear to be too embarrassed to talk about the GOP budget approved by the House of Representatives.  Those senior citizens kicked out of the meeting had been invited to attend by the Tea Party, apparently unaware that their ideas are unpopular among their own nominal supporters.  Invited, then kicked out.

Amash and Republicans should be embarrassed.

At least the security guys who responded also saw the humor in the ridiculous situation


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