Thursday, August 21, 2008

What? I'm Not Alone?

Well if this isn't like a cool drink of water in the scorching desert, I don't know what is. There is someone else out there who believes that there is more than one way to balance a budget! Obama says, "Raise taxes". Glenn Hubbard of Columbia University shares my view: drastically cut spending. From his Wall Street Journal op-ed:
In short, Mr. Obama has articulated a plan for higher federal spending, leaving open the question of what tax increases are next.

If Mr. Obama is going to increase spending, will he raise the money by higher business taxes instead? He has already distanced himself from John McCain's call to reduce America's corporate tax rate, and he is committed to raising tax rates on successful small business owners who pay individual as opposed to corporate income taxes. Does this mean he will raise tax burdens on individuals with annual incomes less than $250,000?

In a June 26 interview on the Fox Business channel, Mr. Obama said he wanted to roll back the Bush tax cuts for those in the top 5% of incomes -- that is, about $145,000 per year. He also voted for the Democrats' fiscal year 2009 Budget Resolution, which would raise taxes on individuals earning $42,000 or more.

There is another fiscal way. Balancing the federal budget without a tax increase is possible, but will require strong fiscal restraint. To achieve full-employment budget balance by the end of the next president's term in office, federal nondefense spending growth needs to be restrained to 2% per year instead of the currently projected 4.5%. And modest defense spending increases to fund costs of needed improvements in national security are possible.

That seems really simple, actually. Not even cut the budget, but have it grow more slowly, and you're on your way. Seems to me if an actual fiscal conservative were elected, we might be able to eradicate the deficit in four years or so.

Now, it's fair criticism to say that this man isn't likely to be listened to. After all, he was an advisor to George W. Bush, who grew spending like never before. But it's in the Wall Street Journal, and somebody's reading it. There's hope!

Now, while Hubbard is obviously saying these things in the hopes of boosting McCain, there's no reason for anyone who cares about policy to believe that McCain is going to be the fiscal conservative. He certainly hasn't been while in the Senate.

There is one candidate talking about cutting spending. Nudge, nudge.
More On Disenfranchisement

WISH-TV reported on the partisan booting-from-ballot of three Marion County Libertarian candidates for township office. From WISH-TV's report:
A look at the 2008 form shows that it can be mistaken for a dividing line instead of a line for information.

"We were properly nominated at our convention. This was simply a certification of that nomination and we missed a line. I don't think it hurts the voters to have more people on the ballot just for a technical glitch. And I actually think it hurts the voters to take people off the ballot," said Maguire.

The forms come from the state. I-Team 8 tried to find out why they're changed year to year. The Indiana Election Division did not respond.

Chris Ward of Lawrence Township was the other booted.

The Marion County Elections Board is comprised of two Democrats and one Republican. All in favor of booting? "Aye!" Interestingly, word was that in Chris Ward's particular race, both the Democrat and Republican were off the ballot for improper filing. Their parties were permitted to "fill their vacancies" in time to be certified. Hmm. Interesting that their parties were notified well enough that they could do that, but the Libertarian Party was not.

"The Indiana Election Division did not respond". Big surprise. Why are the forms changed from year to year? For the purpose of eliminating candidates from the ballot, plain and simple. That's not hte kind of music the Election Division wants to face, so they'll continue to not respond. That's a very convenient solution.

Tim Maguire makes the important point: Which is more key to our system of government? A pristine form, or the opportunity of the voters to have the widest choice?

The bi-partisan Marion County Election Board has spoken- in favor of maintaining their duopoly.

Links to previous posts about the unethical treatment of the ballot by Republicans and Democrats in Indiana:

8-23-2006: Election Follies #12 - LaPorte Republicans mess up forms, pay fines, stay on ballot. What was germaine here was "intent". Funny how that wasn't germaine for the Marion County Libertarians.
8-9-2006: Election Follies #11 - 10 Allen County Republican candidates fill out forms incorrectly, stay on ballot.
8-4-2006: Exclusion Coverage - My press conference and press reports on the Election Follies.
7-27-2006: Election Follies #7 - LaPorte Republicans mess up forms, pay fines, stay on ballot.
7-24-2006: Election Follies #5 - Legislature passes law designed to trip Libertarian candidates, and is successful.
7-23-2006: Election Follies #4 - 4 Hancock County Libertarians bounced on technicality, but a-ok to run instead as Democrats.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I got word today from two would-be Libertarian candidates that the Elections Board has found against them and some other LP candidates, barring them from the ballot.

It seems the State had changed the form yet again, and this handful of candidates missed the new location for entering the office being sought.

Curiously, no Republican or Democrat in Indiana seems to have been tossed from the ballot, even where some that weren't corrected missed the same data.

The forms are changed every year for just this purpose- to catch some candidates making a mistake, for the purpose of disqualifying them from the ballot.

Not very American, if you ask me. Doesn't really serve the people, to deprive them of choices, if you ask me.

This issue will get marginal news coverage, and even more marginal response by the masses of Hoosiers. The goddamned frustration just continues.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Total Frustration

I'm finding myself yet again at a point where I question the wisdom of putting time into this blog. There really isn't any readership. Looking at the stats is depressing. 

In fact, looking at the state of American politics is completely depressing, and largely unhealthy for me. Americans don't want liberty. They want one stripe of big government or other, controlling this aspect of life or other, and they're getting it. I would wish for them to get it good and hard, as Mencken did, but I'll be dragged along for the ride. On the whole, I'm better off ignoring it entirely, and putting my energy into my family and work.

I'll not delude myself: My voice isn't contributing to a change. What's the point?