N.J. Dems seek override of Gov. Chris Christies veto of millionaire tax | NJ.com

This cuts to the heart of the problem in politics today. Ideological politics doesn’t work. It has to be adapted to the needs of both the moment and the future, even if you’re a free-market guy like me.

You can’t be a slave to ideology, or you soon lose a grasp on reality.

“As Democrats, we believe that we must stand tall for what we believe ideologically,” said Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver D-Essex.

via N.J. Dems seek override of Gov. Chris Christies veto of millionaire tax | NJ.com.

Tepid tea party

Finally, a Tea Party held on a day–Thursday, April 15–other than a biblical feast day so I could attend. Unfortunately, I also left in disgust.

I’m good with Tea Partiers on most issues: less government, less taxes, balanced budgets, individual liberty. What I heard at the Peoria riverfront for an hour or so didn’t surprise me, but didn’t really enlighten me, either. It was pretty routine stuff. Just good, I thought, to be together and let the Powers know that some people do care about these things and are willing to take time out of their day to make that statement. Plus, I hadn’t been to a protest since I was in college, and it was a gorgeous day.

Things were OK, kind of boring, until one of the emcees spiced things up by announcing that some people shouldn’t have so many children. At that point, I left.

The discussion between the male emcee and whoever the woman was up there with him had devolved to our tax money going to support those in need. The woman said we did need to help women with children, and we do. There are ministries in Peoria that do that well, and there is need for more. Churches and other charities need to do a better job. But then the emcee jumped in with something along the lines that “some people” shouldn’t have children, or so many children. I can’t remember the exact quote.

And that’s the problem with movements like this. Even leaders at events like today’s buy into an anti-life line. “If you can’t afford kids, don’t have them.” Well, yeah, I guess. I do agree that couples need to be responsible: Have kids if you’re married and if you can afford them. If you can’t, then wait. Maybe. I believe God will provide no matter what, and that it’s the extended family’s job first and the church’s job second to help with that. Problem is, many of these women who would take the emcee’s advice would either be aborting them or using abortive contraception. For him to throw something like that out lends credence to the claims that the Tea Party movement is racist, since many racists complain about blacks having a lot of children. It certainly doesn’t paint a family-friendly picture. It’s reactionary garbage, is what it is, with no thought behind it. It was an ugly moment at an otherwise boring event.

Difficult logic

Joel Comm, an opponent of the ill-advised health care “reform” being shoved down America’s throat, tweeted this argument:

Only a corrupt government would shove through legislation that the majority of Americans are opposed to

I think it’s politically stupid for them to do this, and I share the sentiment, but ultimately you can’t rule by polls (or Poles).

What if a government was trying to pass legislation that was good for America, but the majority of Americans opposed it for, say, racist or immoral reasons? Would it then be wrong for the government to pass it despite public opposition? There’s a mechanism called “elections” that’s supposed to take care of bad government. (Whether these “election” things do their job is another argument.)

I do believe this is more about control than health care. It’s been that way since Bismarck. Those in favor of government-dominated health care even admit it:

Whoever provides medical care or pays the costs of illness stands to gain the gratitude and good will of the sick and their families. The prospect of these good-will returns to investment in health care creates a powerful motive for governments and other institutions to intervene in the economics of medicine. Political leaders since Bismarck seeking to strengthen the state or to advance their own or their party’s interests have used insurance against the costs of sickness as a means of turning benevolence to power. Similarly, employers often furnish medical care to recruit new workers and instill loyalty to the firm. Unions and fraternal societies have used the same means to strengthen solidarity. On more narrowly commercial grounds, insurance companies also gain advantage from serving as middlemen. To be the intermediary in the costs of sickness is a strategic role that confers social and political as well as strictly economic gains.” — Paul Starr in The Social Transformation of Social Medicine, 1982.

Starr is a Princeton U professor of sociology and public affairs who advised Hillary Clinton during her effort to implement universal health care.

Census: Fill it out or else … please?

U.S. citizens are required by law to fill out their census forms, according to 2010.census.gov.

Sec. 221. Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers

(a) Whoever, being over eighteen years of age refuses or willfully neglects, when requested by the Secretary, or by any other authorized officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof acting under the instructions of the Secretary or authorized officer, to answer, to the best of his knowledge, any of the questions on any schedule submitted to him in connection with any census or survey provided for by subchapters I, II, IV, and V of chapter 5 of this title, applying to himself or to the family to which he belongs or is related, or to the farm or farms of which he or his family is the occupant, shall be fined not more than $100.

In fact, it’s stated that we’re required to fill it out right on the envelope.

Why, then, is the government spending, likely, millions of dollars advertising and begging people to respond to the census?

March 16 press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau will be back on the race track as the primary sponsor of the No. 16 Ford Fusion driven by Greg Biffle when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.

March 15 press release:

As 2010 Census forms arrive in more than 120 million mailboxes across the country this week, several 20-foot-high replicas of the form began touring the nation today.

A typical radio PSA:

[JOSH] An important civic duty.

And there’s this one:

It’s your opportunity to help your community get what it needs for the next 10 years.

But nowhere is it mentioned that if you don’t do it, there’s a fine of up to $100, which, let’s face it, is only a night out for the family at Longhorn Steakhouse.

Still, it’s interesting to see the government soft-pedaling something required by law as “an important civic duty” and to be spending so much money to convince people to do something they’re required to do anyway. I imagine that prosecuting scofflaws would be much more expensive than the fine, but would it be more expensive than sponsoring a NASCAR team? The PSAs may be free, but I know I’ve heard them in some prime-time spots.

I wonder if they’ll do the same if an individual insurance mandate becomes law.

Buying health insurance is an important civic duty. It’s your opportunity to pay for someone else’s poor lifestyle choices. And if you don’t, well, the fines start at $670.