Patterico's Pontifications


Where’s the Money for Responsible People?

Filed under: General,Obama — Patterico @ 1:15 am

Looks like the cash-for-clunkers program may be near an end. I don’t qualify; I made the mistake of buying a fuel-efficient car in 2000.

Didn’t get any money for my house either. I made the mistake of getting a mortgage I could afford.

I’d love to get my student loans paid off — but dammit, I paid them off myself.

I’m trying to think if there’s some area of life where I can be stupid and irresponsible now, so I can get paid by Obama in the future. Because so far I’ve really screwed myself by doing things right.

73 Responses to “Where’s the Money for Responsible People?”

  1. Allow me to advise excessive drinking, smoking, and the intake of fatty foods so that you can burden your fellow citizens with huge health care bills down the road. Let all the suckers who moderate their intake and regularly exercise work full-time well into their 80s to pay for the rest of us.

    JVW (dbb2f9)

  2. There’s the solution, we can take all our responsibility out on the backs of the vegan hemp eaters…

    No, wait. That doesn’t work either since all we will get is an aspirin and an official letter from the National Health and Liberal Human Services Administration of Healthcare and Wonkery telling us to refrain from activity that causes an increase in our methane production and use of fossil fuels.

    Besides, the vegan hemp eaters will be too weak and high to help us anyway.

    Liberty and Bacon!

    Vivian Louise (c0f830)

  3. The only bad thing about being responsible is picking up the tab for the people who aren’t. But take heart, nothing lasts forever.

    glenn (2d382b)

  4. LOL – your sentiments are almost identical to those of my wife!
    Saw a Yaris for under 10K advertised with the cash for clunkers. Thought about getting it and trading in my son’s 99 Sentra to do so — then I saw the trade in has to get less than 18 mpg. Havent’ had a car with that kind of mileage since my 68 Plymouth Fury.
    To add to the misery index, this past weekend Geitner admitted that tax increases on the middle class may be necessary….

    voiceofreason2 (10af7e)

  5. I think this is why people are so angry and riled up at this administration, as shown by the tea party movement. People who do things the right way are sick of getting a raw deal, and seeing people who make stupid mistakes getting a bailout.

    At some point, normal people will stop trying, and that’s when our country will really fall apart.

    Sal (146d7e)

  6. Patterico, we made the same three mistakes!
    We need to join the reality based community and start making fail safe decisions.

    Perfect Sense (0922fa)

  7. You could blow a string of high-profile cases, and when they are about to ease you out, say “Wait! Wait! I’m the victim here. I need understanding. I’m seeking counseling. I have a problem with drugs. Or alcohol. This is actually … a disability.”

    Let us know how it work out in the municipal sector. It can delay a condign firing in the federal government for at least 3 years.

    Simon Kenton (54abd1)

  8. Starting running up a huge credit card balance.

    ThreeSheets (6cbe22)

  9. Student Loans? I still have those. Is there a bailout for those? I pay taxes.

    Picky (b38557)

  10. Let’s be honest here: our host is noting that he was responsible in his life choices, and therefore does not get a government bailout. President Obama’s bailouts and help are for the irresponsible. They, after all, are his base.

    Responsible people voted Republican.

    The brutally honest Dana (474dfc)

  11. I’ve still got student loans. I guess I should slow down repayment and wait for the bailout. That way I would get some of my tax money back.

    Dr T (324d86)

  12. Sal @ 5 is probably correct.

    At some point, people will figure out that getting free stuff is easier than working for it.

    It’s not like we don’t have a history of people becoming used to welfare.

    The thing that really is infuriating about the clunkers debacle is the fact that we’ve sunk tens of billions of dollars propping up the car companies, and now we’re sinking more money on the automotive industry. At what point does the government say enough hand-outs to the car companies?

    KingShamus (4fabb2)

  13. Are we in Obama’s twilight zone…doesn’t seem real the past 6 months. When can we turn dems off!!!!!

    john galt (5c9c28)

  14. People who were helping to help themselves by selling an old car this month to bolster their unemployment check are the big losers. Obama and his dirty socialists are not famously deep thinkers.

    By the way where is his woman hiding? Has she had some sort of breakdown?

    happyfeet (42470c)

  15. jeez. *hoping* to help themselves I mean. oh. It’s Monday morning isn’t it? Damn this day just gets better and better.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  16. Not a chance in hell I am trading in my Expedition.

    JD (dda3fa)

  17. Happyfeet –

    SarahW (692fc6)

  18. oh. Thanks Sarah! Better and better indeed is how this day gets.

    oh. Wait.

    The First Lady wasn’t in the audience; she left hours earlier for a vacation at Camp David.

    I’m really starting to get concerned. I wonder if she’s being held against her will.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  19. At what point does the government say enough hand-outs to the car companies?

    As one congressman admitted on NPR (I think it was Barney Frank) the real objective is to continue the pay and benefits of the UAW. Chrysler and GM will never be permitted to make the kind of changes they need to actually return to being viable private businesses, so the hand-outs will continue until the government becomes insolvent.

    I give it less than ten years. Too many other promises coming due during the next several years. For instance, last I heard Social Security was calculated to flip into being a drain on the budget in 2017. And the longer this recession drags on, the more that date moves forward. Federal revenue is down about 30% over all this year, as compared to last year.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  20. President Obama’s bailouts and help are for the irresponsible. They, after all, are his base.

    I read some demographic analysis that Obama was primarily supported by the lower as well as the upper classes in the election – so you may be entirely correct. Which begs the question – since the Tea Partiers appear to be composed of middle class voters, why should Obama give a rat’s a– about their concerns? Get ready to take his tax hike up your backsides.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  21. I’m trying to think if there’s some area of life where I can be stupid and irresponsible now, so I can get paid by Obama in the future. Because so far I’ve really screwed myself by doing things right.

    I blame my parents! Who did they think they were, raising me to be self-sufficient, independent and with a serious work ethic? The nerve.

    Dana (57e332)

  22. The tipping point is on the horizon. Fewer and fewer are supporting more and more. With H1N1, higher middle class taxes on the horizon and the Feds wanting to overhaul how we pay for Health Care, I give us 18 months.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  23. Brutally honest Dana is onto something: our host is noting that he was responsible in his life choices, and therefore does not get a government bailout. Perhaps this willingness to assume responsibility for your decisions can qualify you for some sort of benefit as a member of a beleaguered minority.

    sierra (dfb2fa)

  24. Patterico, you forget Obama’s basic philosophy: “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.”

    And, since there is no end to need, people with ability are just going to have to suck it up and share more.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  25. I’m trying to think if there’s some area of life where I can be stupid and irresponsible now, so I can get paid by Obama in the future.

    If you voted for GWB twice then you already did and Obama is the payback.

    spart (86ff05)

  26. “…I’m trying to think if there’s some area of life where I can be stupid and irresponsible now, so I can get paid by Obama in the future…”

    There is no better way than to run for elected office!

    AD - RtR/OS! (d9867d)

  27. I bought a 4 cylinder Dodge Caravan in 2000 and never regretted it, until now. With almost 200,000 miles on it I now need a new car. Because I bought the fuel sipping version instead of the V-6 I get no Clunker love. If I had bought the V-6 I would have a 4,500 dollar trade in sitting in my driveway. Why does the Federal Government always reward bad choices?

    tyree (359fa9)

  28. If you voted for GWB twice then you already did and Obama is the payback

    I think the moron posting this is the real payback for the rest of us – are we going to pay your mortgage as well, sweetheart?

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  29. I’m sorry to say this, but you’re headed for a re-education camp during Obama’s third term. Bad example to the populace and all that.

    Beldar (a59e5b)

  30. Well, my husband is in the military and we have to move and sell our house, which is not proving easy. There’s a new gov’t program that might help us out.

    But the web site has been down for over a week.

    Ya gotta laugh.

    Mama AJ (788539)

  31. Dmac, don’t forget, we have to pay to fill her gas tank, too.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  32. Where’s the Money for Responsible People?

    Has anyone asked Radley Balko?

    spart (86ff05)

  33. At what point does the government say enough hand-outs to the car companies?

    When they stop getting re-elected.

    Socratease (64f814)

  34. tyree makes a valuable point that I hadn’t seen yet

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  35. …where I can be stupid and irresponsible now, so I can get paid by Obama in the future.

    Start a left leaning blog.

    Join the media. Or the DNC.

    Make friends with Murtha.

    Wait, no, join ACORN, and you can be stupid, irresponsible and evil now, and get paid by Obama before you even do anything.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  36. I’m trying to think if there’s some area of life where I can be stupid and irresponsible now…

    Well, you could devote your time to blogging for us fools out here 🙂

    ras (20bd5b)

  37. #27 Tyree – that’s been the direction the Federal Government has taken over the past several decades. It’s only getting worse. Fortunately, more people are beginning to recognize it. Unfortunately, it may be a bit too late.
    If you get pregnant (because you don’t use protection / have sex before you’re married), we’ll pay for it. If you don’t work, we’ll get you an apartment with cable and free utilities. If you screw up running a company, we’ll step in and give you an interest-free loan (or, if you make a really big mess, we might give you some more money).
    We’ve traded morals for laws; reasoning for stupidity; common sense for blind devotion for the Federal Government.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  38. Who is John Galt?

    Horatio (e2e328)

  39. I hate to put a class warfare spin to it, but I just subsidized a bunch of folks who could afford a new car. I bought a used van this year and told my wife it wasn’t responsible to buy a new one — considering the economic uncertainty.

    People gotta stop taking my money and giving it to others. These folks weren’t needy. In fact they probably are better off than I am.

    Horatio – Google “Atlas Shrugged.”
    We are all going to be John Galt.

    ukuleledave (4e6cbb)

  40. I have always thought it foolish to purchase a new car. I thought the axiom is that if it appreciates, buy it, and if it depreciates, lease it, or let someone else buy it an let them eat the depreciation.

    JD (4e8277)

  41. “…so far I’ve really screwed myself by doing things right.”

    You foole!!! (I’m in the same fix.)

    “Who is John Galt?”

    The greatest opening line of a novel in history!

    Chuck Roast (266ab7)

  42. I have a 19 year old car, but I am fortunate to live no more than 3 miles from work and almost all of my shopping is in between.

    So I fill up my 20 gal gas tank about every 5 to 6 weeks.

    Should I take the $4500 deal and buy a new car with twice the gasoline mileage.

    I will save somewhere between $300 and $400 a year.

    My insurance will go up, my property tax when I renew my plates will go up and I will have a monthly payment that I do not have now.

    I figure I will break even sometime in the first or second decade of the 22cd Century,

    If both I and the car are still around after 100 years.

    Not a good deal for me.

    Dan Kauffman (ce5245)

  43. Dmac, don’t forget, we have to pay to fill her gas tank, too

    …and her eventual frontal lobotomy. Oh, wait, I think that’s already happened.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  44. Doesn’t this demonstrate the difference between the two parties. The dhimmies reward their base for irresponsible behavior. The GOP punishes their base for responsible behavior.

    How do you win?

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  45. Comment by Thomas Jackson — 8/3/2009 @ 1:22 pm

    Canned goods, and ammo?

    AD - RtR/OS! (d9867d)

  46. Why work for a living when you can vote for one instead?

    Mitch (890cbf)

  47. From a virtue standpoint I’m totally uninterested. I’ll say upfront that I think “good people” / “bad people” is of very little importance in public policy outside the justice system.

    When 1 out of 100 are out of work/can’t sell their house/can’t afford to take their kids to the doctor than they have a problem. With it’s 10 out of 100 we have a problem.

    Don’t get me wrong, i LIKE fiscal discipline, I LIKE limited government I LIKE individuality. Those are many of the reasons I’ve lost faith in the GOP. But the economy is a complex system and like all complex systems there’s a point at which feedback loops get overwhelmed and the system is no longer capable of self correcting back to it’s previous state.

    I’m glad that you’re doing well. But that’s not the same thing as there being no reason to worry about liquidity traps, or the effect that a frozen credit market would have on the economy, nor how a frozen housing market combined with employer paid health care affects labor mobility.

    Now if you want to discuss how the Fed should be forcing banks to address the housing market by accounting for the properties at their current price and not at their pre-bubble price I’m game.

    time123 (c0e4f8)

  48. Where’s the Money for Responsible People?

    Has anyone asked Radley Balko?

    According to one of his commenters, I am an idiot for criticizing government handouts because I am government employee.

    A radical libertarian too fucking stupid to understand the difference between work and handouts? Shocka.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  49. I see the cash for clunker program as an investment in the future. And in the short term, stimulating the economy. Clearly it’s working. It jump started the car sales in a slow period when dealers want to move this years inventory anyway. Dealers vital to so many local communities across the country who play a big part in the civics and tax base of these s,all towns. It helps dealers move more fuel efficient products off the lots, which should save gas, gets gas guzzlers off the road, generates car loans as well as registration fees and sales taxes. Besides, it seems a lot of ‘responsible people’ at major banking institutions and Wall Street firms, beginning last autumn during the Bush Administration, got a lot of handouts, loans with no accountability at all. President Obama is managing a mess handed to him.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  50. #10- Let’s be honest here: our host is noting that he was responsible in his life choices, and therefore does not get a government bailout. President Obama’s bailouts and help are for the irresponsible. They, after all, are his base.

    Responsible people voted Republican.

    You seem to have forgotten the massive Wall Street and bank bailouts of last autumn, courtesy of President George W. Bush, Republican, and Treasury Secretary Paulson, Republican. And, it’s hardly ‘big tent thinking’ to label as ‘irresponsible,’ the overwhelming majority of the voters in the United States, who are not registered Republicans, or did not vote GOP, as ‘irresponsible.’

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  51. Obama did inherit some of this. I like some of what he’s doing but not all of it. I think the cash for clunkers program is good because it had an immediate positve effect.

    I agree with you – bailing out irresponsible people pisses me off no end. I, like you, was one of those who didn’t live beyond my means. But the problem was so big and so bad it negatively affected everyone, so we had to act. I absolutely HATE it, but we dug ourselves such a big hole in this country we’d never have gotten out of it.

    Now, the recession seems to be starting to ease a little – I will give credit to Bush for that. He reacted promptly and it helped. It didn’t stop the problem, but it kept it from getting a hell of a lot worse.

    My biggest concern is it looks like this is going to be a jobless recovery, so what do we do about all the people who will remain out of work?

    JEA (0ccd61)

  52. JEA and DCSCA – Obama did inherit a lousy economy, but he inherited it from a Democrat congress. The problems of this economy can be directly traced back to the actions taken by Pelosi and Reid after they won in 2006. Every metric (DOW, deficits, etc) went to hell under Democrat leadership. (Iknow – SHOCKA!)

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  53. One bit of nitpicking – It isn’t foolish or irresponsible to buy a gas guzzler.

    Last year when gas was over $4/gal I replaced my car with a used SUV (about 50% less than the Blue Book price because everyone was dumping them), and except for our mini-van, that is the most useful vehicle I have ever owned. Until I had one, I had no idea how useful a truck would be.

    It will be years before the extra gas costs catch up to the money saved on the purchase price, so it was a responsible purchase from all angles.

    GB FL (9ee562)

  54. When will you get the point that it’s both the Republicans and the Democrats that are creating this mess? You point at “Cash for Clunkers”, “The bank bailout”, “Entitlement programs”, “Auto industry bailout”. They are all wrong. No company (or industry) is too big to fail. Nor any person or group.

    If we had just left it alone, the market would have made the corrections. Instead, we continue to create more laws on top of laws and reward bad behavior – all the while, you blindly follow your party and point fingers at the other side.

    Laws don’t make people do good things, morals do. We need to teach and reward good behavior.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  55. A government employee who is also a radical libertarian?

    Well I can certainly see how that might raise at least raise the question of whether an element of cognitive dissonance might be at work. Would John Galt approve?

    spart (ebb300)

  56. Another day of spart trolling

    JD (07af0d)

  57. I’m more that a little sick of the partisanship about who’s to blame. Fact is both parties are to blame. Both accepted a lot of corporate money to look the other way, not enforce existing regulations and diminish those already in place. Both accepted the culture of less regulation is good for the economy. Both ignored warning signs. Both are in big corporate’s hip pocket. So let’s stop this nonsense and be real about it.

    “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” – Mark Twain

    “See where Congress passed a two billion dollar bill to relieve bankers’ mistakes. You can always count on us helping those who have lost part of their fortune, but our whole history records nary a case where the loan was for the man who had absolutely nothing.” – Will Rogers

    JEA (0ccd61)

  58. Once upon a time, there was a Democratic-Republican party. It was one party for all practical purposes – and it’s main contending party were the Federalists. The Republican party came much later (1854?) as many in the party split over the slavery issue. By then, the Federalist party was all but gone. Leaving the Repubicans to contend with the Democrats.

    As it turns out, most of the Federalist ideals were adopted by both the Democrats and the Repubicans in the modern era.

    Thus, we are basically back to one party – the Federalists running everything. And using the guise of the two-party system to drum up support for each side’s agendas.

    And we’re left with a duped populous unwilling (and unable) to get things back on track.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  59. Would someone please explain to me why conservatives still keep themselves busy defending a Republican Party which has done nothing for them for almost 20 years?

    Why don’t you go off and form a conservative party? You’d finally be pure. You’d never win, but you’d be pure.

    JEA (0ccd61)

  60. JEA – Could you point us to the specific deregulations you are addressing? Or, are you referring to the thousands and thousands of pages of new laws the evil Republicans passed?

    JD (9de9ff)

  61. One could ask the same of anyone defending the Democrats – which has done nothing but cause grief for the past 20 years.

    Why won’t they go off and form… No, nevermind. Just have them go off to some place else. 😉

    I thought you (JEA) were sick of partisanship? What happened between 9:04 and 10:02?

    Corwin (ea9428)

  62. JEA…

    When President Reagan took office in 1981, what did the economy look like?

    About like it does now, right?

    Actually a bit (MORE) worse, but similar…

    What did he basically do?


    Except: lower the tax burden on all Americans.

    What happened to government revenue?

    What happened to the economy?

    What was the only real problem of that time?

    The answer to the third question is exactly what is happening now….a Democratic Congress that thinks we should spend more than we take in….

    reff (ee9f7a)

  63. Oh, and on this string…

    I’ve got to buy a car….third one in 10 years (one for each of us)….the 10 year old Galant is dying….of course, it doesn’t get the cash for clunker, because it’s not a clunker, so I don’t get the “break” for being responsible….neither of the other cars would either….in each case, however, I bought more car than I-we-needed, so we helped the economy by doing so, and still kept our milage down a bit….

    And we get nothing for that….which is how it should be…

    You make decisions for yourself, and you pay the price for them, either way….you either benefit or you suffer, and it is your choice…

    So, why am I paying for those who made choices that I have no part in making????

    reff (ee9f7a)

  64. #49

    Why not break some windows. That would cause people to replace them and cause an investment in the economy too!

    Or as the dhimmierats have become quite expert at investing in people to:
    1. Dig holes
    2. People who get new jobs to fill holes.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  65. How disgusting is this spineless dirty socialist wannabe Mitch McConnell chick?

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, concurred, telling reporters, “We will get a vote on the proposal sometime before the end of the week.”

    When do you suppose the doltish and insipid Mitch McConnell Republicans plan on taking fiscal responsibility seriously? Even Meghan’s craven and spineless daddy knows better than to call clunkonomics good economic policy.


    Tell you what I’m bout tarred of these dirty socialisms t’where it’s not even funny no more I don’t think.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  66. “spending freeze now, spending freeze tu-mora, spending freeze fo-eva”

    spart (ebb300)

  67. Politician granny with your high ideals have you no idea how the majority feels? No. No you don’t. So? So… without love and a promised land we’re fools to the rules of a government plan, aren’t we? Yes. Yes we are.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  68. “The lyrical content of ‘Closest Thing To Heaven’ is very much tied to ‘Sowing The Seeds of Love.’ Our politics haven’t changed that much in the time we’ve not worked together – we’re certainly still left of center. [But] I don’t think we ever feel comfortable thrusting our politics down anyone’s throat because politicians do that enough.”

    Sorry to destroy your illusions. Well, not really.

    spart (3095d8)

  69. zomg! Tears for Fears is dirty socialists? I’m so throwing away all their cassettes.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  70. Mr. Feet, just be glad that they aren’t doing a reunion tour with Wham!

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  71. happyfeet

    They are a British band, so ‘left of center’ is like Stalinist or something in the context of the US political spectrum.

    spart (3095d8)

  72. #53 is right, the act of buying a SUV is not necessarily irresponsible.

    In abbreviated form I was trying to point out that the Greens would have applauded my purchase of a 4 cylinder in 2000, but the government is throwing money at the people who bought the 6 cylinder.

    Another point – My van gets EPA 20mpg and is worthless in the Cash for Clunkers. The V-6 model gets 18mpg and is worth $4500. With 200,000 miles or so on the clock my van has used 10,000 gallons of gasoline. The V-6 model would have used 11,111. In other words, the Federal Government turned my good decision into a bad one. Thanks President Obama.

    Oh well, if it went into the program it would have to be scrapped, which is a terrible waste and a strain on the environment. If I do a standard trade in someone will probably pick up the little gem at the auction and keep it running for a long time, thus doing more to save the ecosystem than a scrapped clunker would.

    tyree (359fa9)

  73. tyree, you’re absolutely right.

    This is an asinine program from an environmental perspective. It’s baffling that so many people are parroting that it will help the environment.

    Most of the pollution related to a car is created when the car is built. That’s true for Hummers and it’s true for Priuses. Replacing a car that gets 18 mpg for one that gets 28 mpg is horrible for the environment.

    Juan (bd4b30)

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