A Poll and a Chart; Liberty Matters

First the Rasmussen poll:

67% Say They Could Do A Better Job On The Economy Than Congress

When it comes to the nation’s economic issues, 67% of U.S. voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average member of Congress.

Since they no longer control either the Senate or the House, it’s no surprise that a majority of Republicans (51%) say a group of people picked at random from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress. But even more unaffiliated voters (56%) agree.

Democrats take the opposite view–49% of those in Nancy Pelosi’s party say Congress today is better than a random group from the phone book. Just 28% disagree.

Random people from the phone book? Man, that’s harsh. Meanwhile in those “smoke filled rooms” where decisions are made, a handful of people of dubious intent have come to an agreement. And they did it while the loyal opposition was shut out of the process.

Now, the chart, created by Laura at Pursuing Holiness:

The proportion of debt in comparison to the populace

Laura has declared herself on strike and is set to voluntarily reduce her own income in order to contribute less to the stimulus boondoggle. I strongly suspect others are thinking along these lines, too, but she’s articulating it:

Like most religious conservatives (and conservatives generally, unlike liberals), I give a healthy portion of my income away. In our family, we start with 15% of our gross income. We live modestly and don’t lack for anything, and give as much as we can away. As soon as we have met our obligations to debtors, we’re going to start reducing our income. It’s one thing to give our money away. It’s an entirely different matter to have it forcibly taken, and to be told that no, that’s not enough, and for it to be made clear that it may never be enough…People think they’re going to get rich by some magical means, “because we have Barack Obama.” But he’s not interested in creating wealth. He’s ignoring every historical means of doing so, and placing all his focus on taking wealth from one group and giving it to another. Which has never worked in all recorded history. H.L. Mencken said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

I suspect a lot of people are thinking along these lines. Tax Freedom Day in 2008 was April 23. That’s 113 days of working for the government, and 252 days of working for ourselves. And given the amount of debt our country is taking on, it seems clear that ratio is going to dramatically change in favor of the looters and moochers.

I’m not anti-government or even anti-social programs. I was on welfare myself. The system helped me tremendously so that I progressed from being without any decent job skills to clerical work to computer work – and owning a small business. In the long term, I’ve given back much more to society than I’ve taken, both in my personal giving and in my tax receipts. But the massive increases in entitlements – both in attitudes and in planned spending – have convinced me it’s gone too far.

Last year my family paid nearly a thousand dollars a month in federal taxes, and we are not by any stretch of the imagination rich. I’m going to make it my business to cut that amount in half, using every legal means possible and reducing my income so there is less to tax. Joe Biden insists that high taxes are patriotic. Luckily for Joe, there are a whole bunch of “Born Again Americans” who presumably agree with him. Good luck taxing them; you’re not going to get it from me.

According to Mickey Kaus, the stimulus is going to contribute to the end of the very welfare reform which helped Laura to become less, rather than more dependent on government.

Laura, who – like me – is addicted to the “liquid crack” that is Mystic Monk Coffee declares that the Java will be her sole luxury during this strike.

Because – and I said this yesterday – if we’re going to find ourselves, deliberately or not, thrown into the path of economic catastrophe, well at least we should enjoy good coffee while we can, before we’re forced to the ersatz stuff Winston Smith was forced to drink.

Laura touches on something I wrote about a while ago – there is a vast difference between denuding oneself voluntarily and being compelled to do so. The first instance works; the second never does. The first instance requires and enhances liberty, the second steals it. Think about that. Your assignment today is to consider the simple word LIBERTY and how having it or not having it affects every area of your life. Liberty matters.

Btw, I had Rush on for a few minutes; couldn’t listen long because he was screaming mad, but he made a point of threatening the Democrats “when we get back in power.” Silly man…Obama owns the census, and no one cares about that – the press doesn’t, that’s for sure. With that in his pocket, and ACORN running it, you don’t really think the GOP will ever have a chance in any sort of unrigged election again, do you?

Althouse: Has Has Obama’s presidency failed?.
Michelle Malkin: The Savior-Based Economy
Leading by example: Give up your house so Obama can be loved? Political theater at its best. State-by-state.
Fake Stimulation; Fake Greenery: Fake, fake, fake

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://www.gesthemanegarden.blogspot.com Hislittlelamb

    My employer just cut hours to part-time across the board. I’ll be earning about 2/3 what I was a month ago. I guess one upside is that I just jumped down to a lower tax bracket (15%).

  • stephanie

    Interesting- good luck to both you and Laura in reaching your goals! Personally, I will continue to pay in extra every month and give the government an interest- free loan. And while I will take reasonable deductions, I won’t try and withhold every possible cent I legally can, just because I don’t like the party in power. I didn’t do it when I disagreed with our last president, and I won’t do it now. I am a part of this country, and frankly, I do feel that it’s my obligation to support it.
    But then that’s just me.

    [Stephanie, I don't know where you read that Laura's goal is "my goal" as well. I linked to an interesting piece with a different perspective and a good graph. I think in fairness to Laura, though, she is not doing this "just because she does not like the party in power," and I think you actually do realize that. She has written several times in the comments section of her experiences on welfare, and her appreciation of the need for government to help the citizenry get back on their feet. She is simply of the opinion that what we're having served to us is reckless and - look at the graph - disproportionate, and so she is making a decision to opt-out as far as she can. If you can and wish to pay more into the tax-base, that's your prerogative and your choice and good for you for making it. Laura's choice is different, and I would guess - although she does not say it - that from her perspective, she feels she is as much a loving citizen of the country as you are, but needs to dissent in order to participate honestly. As we all know from the last 8 years, dissenting does not mean one is unpatriotic. Right? Please tell me you don't suddenly think patriotism means "just go along and shut up," because I won't believe it! :-) - admin]

  • http://ramblinggopsoccermom.blogspot.com GOPSoccerMom

    Anchoress, our family is working very hard to pay off our debts, and when it’s done, my business that I started last February will have served its purpose. At that time, we will consider shutting it down. We were going to keep going with it to build our emergency fund faster, but the ridiculous taxes I’m paying on the little bit I make are infuriating. For example, even though I pay sales taxes on whatever equipment I purchase to use in my home office, I am also responsible for personal property taxes on them as well – annually. I was going to invest in a better chair (I currently sit in a kitchen chair at my desk), but I’m not willing to pay taxes on it every year just because I sit in it to answer the phone while I work.

    This stimulus bill is, indeed, wreckless. It’s completely out of control, and if the money were just flat-out given to everyone in the country, we could instantly solve the crisis that has been brought on by the out-of-control borrowing that we’ve been living on. It’s distressing to listen to Fox News and hear them talk about needing banks to lend more because “that’s what drives our economy.” That is a very bad thing, and to patch that up now will only result in major catastrophe later on when it catches up with us for good. Spending more and borrowing to do so will only exacerbate the problem, but it will remain hidden for a little while longer. Trust me, I’ve learned from personal experience that something eventually has to give, or you’ll just lose it all.

    This mess is not going to be solved with this bill – the government simply can’t fix it, and it’s really not their job to make magic and do so. It’s going to take a great portion of responsibility on the part of the American People. Yes, the government should be willing to step in and help when private organizations (like the Church, for example) cannot help everyone, but the scene in Florida yesterday with that woman crying and asking the president to help her…oh, my! What a horrible thing to witness! Not that I think she shouldn’t get help if she really needs it, but because she is looking to the president like he’s her father who can and will help her out. We’ve got to stop looking to government to solve our every problem in life! People need to be a little more self-reliant; they need to prioritize, too. (How many people who have cell phones and satellite dishes and HDTV’s are claiming to be so poor that they need help from our dear father … I mean, president? The guy who came to fix our satellite box said he’d been in single-wides with literal holes in the floor and trash strewn about who weren’t missing that big-screen plasma and the HDTV/DVR programming, not to mention the $30,000 car on 20″ wheels outside.)

    Sorry for the rant, but I’ve been so frustrated. The American people don’t want this bill. They don’t want the pork that makes it up (and it’s mostly bacon and loin chops, you know?). And yet we have our Reps. and Senators standing there on TV saying that we don’t care that they’re spending about $2000 per person here. Hey, I agree with you, Anchoress. Give that money to me. With $8000 in my pocket (hubby, two children, me), I’d cut that debt of mine in half and be that much closer to shutting down and being the homemaker I want to be.

    And, really, I’m not heartless. But I’m being patriotic here by dissenting. At least, that’s been the standard for eight years now, right?

  • stephanie

    Dissenting was, and is, good. But how many of those who “dissented” over the last 8 years tried to reduce their tax bill as protest, which is what people here are suggesting they do? I dissented, but I paid taxes, and certainly never tried to withhold money from the goverfnment just because I objected to the priorities of the President- which is what you’re suggesting.
    Trying to pay less taxes cause you don’t want to support your government is everyone’s right- I just happen to think it’s kinda pointless (the money will be spent anyway) and petty. It’s not how liberals dissented during the previous 8 years, either, so there is no tit-for-tat here, as has been implied.
    But then I should stop rising to the bait- it seems almost every complaining post has a – “but liberals did it these past 8 years, so I’m justified now” comment, which seems designed to bait the few liberals who still read here.

  • stephanie

    Oh- and I owe you an apology, Anchoress. I did not read the quoted passage correctly- I thought those were your comments, and not Laura’s. I apologize.

    [No prob. I cool - admin]

  • http://ramblinggopsoccermom.blogspot.com GOPSoccerMom

    Stephanie, you are still missing the point. I’m not saying that I don’t want to pay more taxes because of Obama being president. I’m saying that I don’t want to pay more taxes, period. When Bush was in office, spending like a drunken sailor on shore leave, I was annoyed with him, too. But this spending bill has an awful lot of stuff that I don’t just disagree with – I actually am offended by some of it. In the space of less than a month, President Obama has done more to further the cause of radical abortion rights activists than I even thought possible. He’s gone from Mr. Hope to Mr. Doom and Gloom and Your Future Sucks Pretty Bad So Trust Me. His entire rationale for spending a trillion dollars (and watch: it will wind up being FAR more – it always does, Dem. or GOP) is that Bush spent like a drunken sailor, so it’ll be okay if he spends like a pack of them.

    And I’m not saying that I can dissent because Lefties did for 8 years. I was being a bit sarcastic, which I am certain doesn’t come across properly in writing. (It is not a perfect medium, especially when rushed as we tend to make ourselves in com boxes.) I do, though, think it’s important to remember that for eight years, I’ve been told that dissent is the highest form of patriotism, and yet some of that same crowd is now telling those of us who are saying, “Whoa! Hold up a minute!” to shut up and behave like good children because, “We won.” It’s a more than a bit frustrating.

  • Pingback: Enough, already. I’m going on strike. : Pursuing Holiness

  • http://ramblinggopsoccermom.blogspot.com GOPSoccerMom

    By the way, Steph, I did not mean that I am frustrated with you, specifically. I just wanted to be clear about that. I’m frustrated with the attitude in general of those in Congress and the White House who are “listening” to us like adults listen to a child when they ask the child what he wants for dinner, knowing darn well that the menu was planned last week and dinner has been in the crockpot all day long.

  • Ellen

    John Kerry says that Americans can’t manage their investments wisely, so we should let the Federal Goverment do it. Charles Schumer says that Americans don’t really care about the pork in the Stimulus bill. Barney Frank says that there’s so much corruption in Congress because the American people don’t hold them to a high enough standard and keep re-electing them.

    So I should respect these people? No way in the universe.

  • http://ramblinggopsoccermom.blogspot.com GOPSoccerMom

    And Barney Frank is being kept from a higher standard by … ???

  • stephanie


    Well now, Barney Frank has a point. We DO keep electing incumbents :-). If we feel they treat us like children, and yet in the next election we vote for them, aren’t we saying we’re ok with how we’re treated?