Portrait of a Bipartisan, Good Republican, Never-Trump Weasel

 

When Representative Justin Amash voted for the original – politically motivated – Donald Trump impeachment, it made his re-election in his relatively conservative west Michigan district untenable. This opened up his seat to challengers and it was ultimately won by the heir to a multibillion-dollar retail empire, Representative Peter Meijer.

And his first act upon arriving in Washington was to… vote in favor of a politically motivated impeachment of Donald Trump. This may have disappointed his constituents in western Michigan, but it was a coup for an ambitious freshman congressman. Meijer immediately because a darling of the media; the go-to “good Republican” to go on the Sunday news shows and soak up the adoration for bravely agreeing with CNN’s opinions. (And sneering at grassroots conservatives as a “low-dollar fundraising base.”)

“My principles compelled me to vote for impeachment.”

He also tends to be a bit of a drama queen, but that’s on-brand for American politicians in the 21st Century.

Meijer, of course, voted for the Bipartisan January 6th Commission to Relitigate Impeachment, so that millions of taxpayer dollars could be spent to produce a report that he could point to and say his vote was justified. He claimed that such a commission was necessary in order to get the facts. One might question how he could vote for impeachment without the facts he now claims it is necessary for a commission to find.

Meijer evidently has ambitions beyond his congressional district, and one can imagine his highly-paid consultants telling him “Don’t worry about those hicks in the 3rd District. If you want to be senator or governor, you have to win over the suburban women in Livonia and Farmington Hills.” Hence his Twitter feed (conspicuously absent of opinions on anything controversial or any criticism of China whatsoever {He is the US Chamber of Commerce’s boy, after all}) is filled with emotive appeals to helping refugees, working with Democrats on bipartisan legislation, admonitions to get vaccinated, regular reminders of how “principled” and empathetic he is, and highlights like this:

Now more than ever we need to increase access to affordable childcare. The full “three martini lunch deduction” isn’t the most effective use of taxpayer $. It’s time we repurpose these funds. 1/2

Today I joined @RepBonamici introducing a bill to direct these projected $5B in savings to the Childcare Development Block Grant. This would give more childcare options to families who need it most. I’m glad to co-lead this bipartisan effort!

Get it? “Look at me, suburban women. I’m taking money away from greedy businessmen and spending it on your child care.” It’s a position precisely calculated to make a suburban woman nod in between sips of box wine and sigh, “He’s one of the good ones.”

So, Pete Meijer aims for the “good Republican” status enjoyed by the likes of John McCain, and thinks branding himself as a “good Republican” will help his rise to higher office. He forgets, however, that the ultimate duty of every “good Republican” is to lose to a Democrat.

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  1. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Victor Tango Kilo: So, Pete Meijer aims for the “good Republican” status enjoyed by the likes of John McCain, and thinks branding himself as a “good Republican” will help his rise to higher office. He forgets, however, that the ultimate duty of every “good Republican” is to lose to a Democrat.

    Which leads us straight to that old aphorism, “the only good Good Republican is a …”

    • #1
  2. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Meijer and Amash both come across as avid CNN viewers.  Amash claimed to be Libertarian, but he seems to love big government corruption and oligarchs.  Bizarre.

    • #2
  3. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    I don’t have really strong feelings on Miejer (I got my shots there and they are really nice stores, I had never been before). I respect his service and I think he’s probably more conservative than a Kinzinger (not sure he should be in the party). I commented mainly because of the affordable child care thing. I have mixed feelings on the policy but he is riding the wave of issue/attention cycle. Some type of pay people even more money to have kids by incentivizing (almost certainly) the mother is going pass. Even many on the libertarian right are starting to talk themselves into encouraging this, and the populist right (Pedro Gonzales) are for it. 

    My feelings are mixed and I deleted some of my concerns. I don’t think paying more people to stay home with their babies (given that you have a baby) is necessarily bad in terms of unemployment numbers. But I have some concerns about what it does to our politics and I don’t think that’s been thought through. So… I’ll say it: Politically putting an entire generation on the dole is not good, having singles build resentment by thinking that they are paying married couples to have kids is not good. At the same time: Americans (of all race/color/creed) can have more kids and support social security or we will have to keep the border wide open. So many choices to make!

    • #3
  4. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Amash is one of those nose-in-the-air “principled” libertarians who turns people away from liberty solely due to the fact that he’s an arrogant jerk.

    And that’s coming from an arrogant libertarian jerk.

    • #4
  5. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Pete Meijer calls himself a Republican for expediency and self-aggrandizement purposes only. Pete Meijer is no Republican. 

    • #5
  6. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Well, it looks like you are in the Trump Alternative Universe, which is in a decreasing majority in the Republican Primary electorate, but in the minority in the general election.   Unfortunately for you and Trump, there are lots of images from the Capitol Riot of 1/6, and Trump’s statements after he lost the 2020 election.

    Also, unless the didn’t vote for Trump in 202o, Pete Meijer is a NAT like Liz Cheney and not a NT.

    • #6
  7. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    cdor (View Comment):

    Pete Meijer calls himself a Republican for expediency and self-aggrandizement purposes only. Pete Meijer is no Republican.

    He and his family fortune reside in a Republican-leaning area of Michigan. Republican is a flag of convenience. 

    • #7
  8. Franz Drumlin Member
    Franz Drumlin
    @FranzDrumlin

    Victor Tango Kilo: the ultimate duty of every “good Republican” is to lose to a Democrat.

    Which Trump went ahead and did in 2020 (yes I know, Mike Lindell has Kraken 2.0 ready for release proving otherwise but pardon me if I remain unconvinced).

    • #8
  9. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Well, it looks like you are in the Trump Alternative Universe, which is in a decreasing majority in the Republican Primary electorate, but in the minority in the general election. Unfortunately for you and Trump, there are lots of images from the Capitol Riot of 1/6, and Trump’s statements after he lost the 2020 election.

    Also, unless the didn’t vote for Trump in 202o, Pete Meijer is a NAT like Liz Cheney and not a NT.

    You missed the silent G. It’s Gnat.

    As usual, long on shocking assertions, short on anything real. You can clock out now, Gary, your work is done.

    • #9
  10. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Franz Drumlin (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: the ultimate duty of every “good Republican” is to lose to a Democrat.

    Which Trump went ahead and did in 2020 (yes I know, Mike Lindell has Kraken 2.0 ready for release proving otherwise but pardon me if I remain unconvinced).

    Sure, Republicans lose sometimes. Some of them do it on purpose, though. Are you sure you can keep up here?

    • #10
  11. Franz Drumlin Member
    Franz Drumlin
    @FranzDrumlin

    Ed G. (View Comment):
    Are you sure you can keep up here?

    Just a tad weary of the shocking use of the word ‘loser’, that’s all. And ‘weasel’ does seem a bit harsh to my ears. Mightn’t we pull back on the invective? Much more constructive, don’t you think? Cheers! 

    • #11
  12. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    I don’t have really strong feelings on Miejer (I got my shots there and they are really nice stores, I had never been before). I respect his service and I think he’s probably more conservative than a Kinzinger (not sure he should be in the party). I commented mainly because of the affordable child care thing. I have mixed feelings on the policy but he is riding the wave of issue/attention cycle. Some type of pay people even more money to have kids by incentivizing (almost certainly) the mother is going pass. Even many on the libertarian right are starting to talk themselves into encouraging this, and the populist right (Pedro Gonzales) are for it.

    My feelings are mixed and I deleted some of my concerns. I don’t think paying more people to stay home with their babies (given that you have a baby) is necessarily bad in terms of unemployment numbers. But I have some concerns about what it does to our politics and I don’t think that’s been thought through. So… I’ll say it: Politically putting an entire generation on the dole is not good, having singles build resentment by thinking that they are paying married couples to have kids is not good. At the same time: Americans (of all race/color/creed) can have more kids and support social security or we will have to keep the border wide open. So many choices to make!

    The simple fact is, they have to do something to get people to procreate more tax slaves. 

    The pill, feminism, abortion, 100% fiat inflationism and Medicare were all created at basically the same time. Eight years after Medicare was created both sides of the Senate realized the actuarial’s were off by 100X. Real genius. Then we have in an economy based on continuous debt growth and we goose it by not funding our actuarial systems. 

    I’ve posted a really dense podcast about this over and over and nobody listens to it. loll

    • #12
  13. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    Amash is one of those nose-in-the-air “principled” libertarians who turns people away from liberty solely due to the fact that he’s an arrogant jerk.

    And that’s coming from an arrogant libertarian jerk.

    I think this is right. In my opinion, he’s a “cookbook” libertarian. He’s not educating or converting many people. God help us if he gets the LP nomination. 

     

    • #13
  14. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    I don’t have really strong feelings on Miejer (I got my shots there and they are really nice stores, I had never been before). I respect his service and I think he’s probably more conservative than a Kinzinger (not sure he should be in the party). I commented mainly because of the affordable child care thing. I have mixed feelings on the policy but he is riding the wave of issue/attention cycle. Some type of pay people even more money to have kids by incentivizing (almost certainly) the mother is going pass. Even many on the libertarian right are starting to talk themselves into encouraging this, and the populist right (Pedro Gonzales) are for it.

    My feelings are mixed and I deleted some of my concerns. I don’t think paying more people to stay home with their babies (given that you have a baby) is necessarily bad in terms of unemployment numbers. But I have some concerns about what it does to our politics and I don’t think that’s been thought through. So… I’ll say it: Politically putting an entire generation on the dole is not good, having singles build resentment by thinking that they are paying married couples to have kids is not good. At the same time: Americans (of all race/color/creed) can have more kids and support social security or we will have to keep the border wide open. So many choices to make!

    The simple fact is, they have to do something to get people to procreate more tax slaves.

    The pill, feminism, abortion, 100% fiat inflationism and Medicare were all created at basically the same time. Eight years after Medicare was created both sides of the Senate realized the actuarial’s were off by 100X. Real genius. Then we have in an economy based on continuous debt growth and we goose it by not funding our actuarial systems.

    I’ve posted a really dense podcast about this over and over and nobody listens to it. loll

    We have some other threads discussing inflation and income tax. The points made here are just more highlights demonstrating how ill-conceived our federal tax system is being based on income. Some features are worthwhile but they cannot be separated or distinguished from the corrupt features. The federal income tax is in many ways how we lost the federalism features of our republic.

    • #14
  15. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    I don’t have really strong feelings on Miejer (I got my shots there and they are really nice stores, I had never been before). I respect his service and I think he’s probably more conservative than a Kinzinger (not sure he should be in the party). I commented mainly because of the affordable child care thing. I have mixed feelings on the policy but he is riding the wave of issue/attention cycle. Some type of pay people even more money to have kids by incentivizing (almost certainly) the mother is going pass. Even many on the libertarian right are starting to talk themselves into encouraging this, and the populist right (Pedro Gonzales) are for it.

    My feelings are mixed and I deleted some of my concerns. I don’t think paying more people to stay home with their babies (given that you have a baby) is necessarily bad in terms of unemployment numbers. But I have some concerns about what it does to our politics and I don’t think that’s been thought through. So… I’ll say it: Politically putting an entire generation on the dole is not good, having singles build resentment by thinking that they are paying married couples to have kids is not good. At the same time: Americans (of all race/color/creed) can have more kids and support social security or we will have to keep the border wide open. So many choices to make!

    The simple fact is, they have to do something to get people to procreate more tax slaves.

    The pill, feminism, abortion, 100% fiat inflationism and Medicare were all created at basically the same time. Eight years after Medicare was created both sides of the Senate realized the actuarial’s were off by 100X. Real genius. Then we have in an economy based on continuous debt growth and we goose it by not funding our actuarial systems.

    I’ve posted a really dense podcast about this over and over and nobody listens to it. loll

    I mean… I agree with a lot of this. I must admit I’m not familiar with the medicare point but (I take your word for it but it isn’t something I can say I know). But other than that… 100% There is this refusal to connect the dots on kids/immigration/social policy because everyone wants to either make it about crime, the costs of socks at Walmart, or food trucks. 

    • #15
  16. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    I mean… I agree with a lot of this. I must admit I’m not familiar with the medicare point but (I take your word for it but it isn’t something I can say I know). But other than that… 100% There is this refusal to connect the dots on kids/immigration/social policy because everyone wants to either make it about crime, the costs of socks at Walmart, or food trucks. 

    I have to be really clear about the Medicare part. I heard that from a local expert with an impeccable reputation, but I have never been able to find it on the Internet. The the point survives, though. It’s been severely underfunded for a long time, even though we probably should be doing something like that. Separate from what she said, I’ve seen stories that LBJ just forced Medicare through with bad numbers and this is why the CBO was invented. Then of course, Obama’s CBO guy lied about the ACA to get that through. 

     

    • #16
  17. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    I mean… I agree with a lot of this. I must admit I’m not familiar with the medicare point but (I take your word for it but it isn’t something I can say I know). But other than that… 100% There is this refusal to connect the dots on kids/immigration/social policy because everyone wants to either make it about crime, the costs of socks at Walmart, or food trucks.

    I have to be really clear about the Medicare part. I heard that from a local expert with an impeccable reputation, but I have never been able to find it on the Internet. The the point survives, though. It’s been severely underfunded for a long time, even though we probably should be doing something like that. Separate from what she said, I’ve seen stories that LBJ just forced Medicare through with bad numbers and this is why the CBO was invented. Then of course, Obama’s CBO guy lied about the ACA to get that through.

     

    I don’t doubt it. It feels right. Goosing stats and budgetary projections is the chef’s kiss of cynical (but ultimately popular) politics. I just don’t know that much about medicare. You make a really interesting point of course. I’m just not familiar with it. 

    To take it back to the subject of the OP, since it is all related: I don’t have super strong feelings about Miejer. I think he’s roughly on the right and probably a good dude in a hard position. I’m not a populist but we just had a huge debate over populism in this country and honestly, it won’t subside if we are throwing around multiple trillion dollar budgets proposals while arguing about whether we should directly give pregnant/expecting women a couple of grand to stay home with their newborns for a bit. The infrastructure debate is overblown but the bridges and won’t be built or repaired at cost or on schedule. They won’t. A mother with a newborn who gets a check will almost certainly spend their money on baby formula and hopefully some books to read to their kid. That’s not infrastructure but it isn’t nothing. If Miejer is a dirty rino it isn’t because he supports giving a new family money, since everyone is just throwing out trillions of dollars.

    • #17
  18. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

     

    A mother with a newborn who gets a check will almost certainly spend their money on baby formula and hopefully some books to read to their kid. That’s not infrastructure but it isn’t nothing.

    I am guessing, and neither of us really knows, that a mother that gets a check is as likely to spend it on her own desires as her baby’s needs. I have no problem, however, providing that mother with her needed baby formula. But “the safety net” argument has never been a real thing. I don’t know any conservatives who think there should be no safety net for the neediest amongst us. The issue is how many of our citizens should qualify for that safety net. Is it the neediest 10%…20%…40%? Where does the safety net end and who is to provide it? The leftists are pros at utilizing and distorting the language to hide their true goals: power and control. The Republicans are magnificent at being total dupes to the leftist’s strategy.

    • #18
  19. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    cdor (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    A mother with a newborn who gets a check will almost certainly spend their money on baby formula and hopefully some books to read to their kid. That’s not infrastructure but it isn’t nothing.

    I am guessing, and neither of us really knows, that a mother that gets a check is as likely to spend it on her own desires as her baby’s needs. I have no problem, however, providing that mother with her needed baby formula. But “the safety net” argument has never been a real thing. I don’t know any conservatives who think there should be no safety net for the neediest amongst us. The issue is how many of our citizens should qualify for that safety net. Is it the neediest 10%…20%…40%? Where does the safety net end and who is to provide it? The leftists are pros at utilizing and distorting the language to hide their true goals: power and control. The Republicans are magnificent at being total dupes to the leftist’s strategy.

    How did this start, and how does it end? Ever since Woodrow Wilson, all they do is steal peoples agency. It’s hard to see comprehensively but that’s what is going on. Then you have to do radical things with government to give it back to them. That’s the way I see it.

    • #19
  20. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    cdor (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

     

    A mother with a newborn who gets a check will almost certainly spend their money on baby formula and hopefully some books to read to their kid. That’s not infrastructure but it isn’t nothing.

    I am guessing, and neither of us really knows, that a mother that gets a check is as likely to spend it on her own desires as her baby’s needs. I have no problem, however, providing that mother with her needed baby formula. But “the safety net” argument has never been a real thing. I don’t know any conservatives who think there should be no safety net for the neediest amongst us. The issue is how many of our citizens should qualify for that safety net. Is it the neediest 10%…20%…40%? Where does the safety net end and who is to provide it? The leftists are pros at utilizing and distorting the language to hide their true goals: power and control. The Republicans are magnificent at being total dupes to the leftist’s strategy.

     But this isn’t a safety net argument. It’s just subsidizing child birth so that we have more of it. Two of my best friends just had kids (<1 year) and keep sending me photos. One of them is a fairly well off Brooklynite (works at a bank but not a trader). Even he was saying “having a kid was very expensive” (I can’t speak to that beyond anecdotes). My guess is parents of newborns will almost certainly spend most of their additional money on their kid. Of course there will be some mild income effect substitutions but the additional money will almost certainly go to their baby.

    Backing up: richer countries have less kids because they treat them as costly investments and also the time spent raising them becomes costly given that say, the mom could pursue a PhD. (Paying for kids affects the former but not the later.) But as you say, we don’t really know about the total population. I’m sure we will end up sending money to scofflaws. But that’s generic to every policy.

    Still, the argument isn’t about safety nets. Actual safety nets work (lets put aside our welfare state, which includes but dramatically expands on safety nets). That’s separate. The argument is that if you pay people to have kids they will probably have more kids. We have to pay for social security (right up until we just can’t). Americans of all types can have kids or we can import other countries’ kids. We have to decide. And I believe that politics, as it is happening now, will only get worse if we give money to everyone but people wanting to have kids. I’m not actually passionate about the first order effects of baby payments. I just believe that this debate is one way our politics can get toxic quickly. 

     

    • #20
  21. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    A mother with a newborn who gets a check will almost certainly spend their money on baby formula and hopefully some books to read to their kid. That’s not infrastructure but it isn’t nothing.

    I am guessing, and neither of us really knows, that a mother that gets a check is as likely to spend it on her own desires as her baby’s needs. I have no problem, however, providing that mother with her needed baby formula. But “the safety net” argument has never been a real thing. I don’t know any conservatives who think there should be no safety net for the neediest amongst us. The issue is how many of our citizens should qualify for that safety net. Is it the neediest 10%…20%…40%? Where does the safety net end and who is to provide it? The leftists are pros at utilizing and distorting the language to hide their true goals: power and control. The Republicans are magnificent at being total dupes to the leftist’s strategy.

    How did this start, and how does it end? Ever since Woodrow Wilson, all they do is steal peoples agency. It’s hard to see comprehensively but that’s what is going on. Then you have to do radical things with government to give it back to them. That’s the way I see it.

    I could probably think through a lot of the questions. Our welfare state always existed in some form or another but Skocpol argues that if it got cemented, it probably got cemented and formed right after the Civil War, largely by war widows. FWIW I had to do some online library curation and Congress is full of letters about “My husband died in Civil War can I please have the money you promised him.” Wilson did bad things but he more rode a wave than created it in this country. 

    Jesse Kelly had a tweet up saying that for us to win we’d have to do some things that make us uncomfortable. And I think he has a point. We may have to use state power in ways that will upset AEI and National Review Fellows. But let’s not do this if we also won’t give up the mortgage interest deduction. That’s also part of being uncomfortable.

    • #21
  22. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    I could probably think through a lot of the questions. Our welfare state always existed in some form or another but Skocpol argues that if it got cemented, it probably got cemented and formed right after the Civil War, largely by war widows. FWIW I had to do some online library curation and Congress is full of letters about “My husband died in Civil War can I please have the money you promised him.” Wilson did bad things but he more rode a wave than created it in this country. 

    Jesse Kelly had a tweet up saying that for us to win we’d have to do some things that make us uncomfortable. And I think he has a point. We may have to use state power in ways that will upset AEI and National Review Fellows. But let’s not do this if we also won’t give up the mortgage interest deduction. That’s also part of being uncomfortable.

    This is my initial thought. Welfare is probably overdone, but that is not exactly what I’m worried about. 

    We have these insurance and annuity systems that we don’t keep funded. So it is inter-generational theft. There were lies about how Social Security was set up, and then they weren’t explicit about how redistributive it became in the 1950’s. This is what I’m told. Medicare was a joke from the word go. So everybody has to procreate taxpayers at gunpoint to save all of this. That’s what central planning is, they are going to force the system around so people procreate more taxpayers. I’ve seen videos about this thing and if you do it right, since these are annuities, it actually saves society a lot of money if you don’t screw it up. 

    The other thing is, there are so many other central planning mistakes that we are trying to make up with more central planning. The mortgage interest deduction never did a damn thing for society except supposedly home ownership held off communism back in the day. Obviously, employer-based health insurance is a disaster. 

    Going off the gold window was theft from the rest of the world, and now that stupid system is collapsing. People can’t afford homes and education etc. Every metric of debt to GDP is ridiculous. 

    Hugh Hewitt always made a big deal about how the GOP shouldn’t get rid of the mortgage interest deduction. Just this week he told everybody he knew the CPI was understated. Doesn’t sound like a very civil society, to me. I think a little bit of frank talk is in order.

    Ricochet has had some really good conversations about this stuff lately. 

    • #22
  23. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    How did this start, and how does it end? Ever since Woodrow Wilson, all they do is steal peoples agency. It’s hard to see comprehensively but that’s what is going on. Then you have to do radical things with government to give it back to them. That’s the way I see it.

    I could probably think through a lot of the questions. Our welfare state always existed in some form or another but Skocpol argues that if it got cemented, it probably got cemented and formed right after the Civil War, largely by war widows. FWIW I had to do some online library curation and Congress is full of letters about “My husband died in Civil War can I please have the money you promised him.” Wilson did bad things but he more rode a wave than created it in this country.

    Jesse Kelly had a tweet up saying that for us to win we’d have to do some things that make us uncomfortable. And I think he has a point. We may have to use state power in ways that will upset AEI and National Review Fellows. But let’s not do this if we also won’t give up the mortgage interest deduction. That’s also part of being uncomfortable.

    I think you are right. In my case, for example, my second great-grandfather was 24  when he died in the Peninsular Campaign. He left his wife (widow) and three children in Madison County, Georgia. When I check the 1870 census, the wife is absent (deceased in 1867), the three children are living with their grandparents. I’m sure I have other lines with similar circumstances. This seems to align with Democrat causes. On the other hand, I think there were a number of events in the decades following, 1870-1900, that cemented a closeness between corporatists and government that has served Republican and Democrat interests. I’d need to do research to give specifics, others here might know off-hand. We know that Preston Bush and Joseph Kennedy were among those well-positioned to take advantage of how things were changing between the end of the Civil War and the Great Depression.

    • #23
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    In case anybody cares, Pedro Gonzalez has been asking a lot of brutal questions like this in plain, non-finance English. @emeriticus  He pretty much hates Trump now, too. lol

    Another one is Oren Cass. Establishment Republicans hate him and so do academic economists, but he sounds like a lot of the hedge fund guys I follow.

    • #24
  25. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    This is my initial thought. Welfare is probably overdone, but that is not exactly what I’m worried about.

    We have these insurance and annuity systems that we don’t keep funded. So it is inter-generational theft. There were lies about how Social Security was set up, and then they weren’t explicit about how redistributive it became in the 1950’s. This is what I’m told. Medicare was a joke from the word go. So everybody has to procreate taxpayers at gunpoint to save all of this. That’s what central planning is, they are going to force the system around so people procreate more taxpayers. I’ve seen videos about this thing and if you do it right, since these are annuities, it actually saves society a lot of money if you don’t screw it up.

    The other thing is, there are so many other central planning mistakes that we are trying to make up with more central planning. The mortgage interest deduction never did a damn thing for society except supposedly home ownership held off communism back in the day. Obviously, employer-based health insurance is a disaster.

    Going off the gold window was theft from the rest of the world, and now that stupid system is collapsing. People can’t afford homes and education etc. Every metric of debt to GDP is ridiculous.

    Hugh Hewitt always made a big deal about how the GOP shouldn’t get rid of the mortgage interest deduction. Just this week he told everybody he knew the CPI was understated. Doesn’t sound like a very civil society, to me. I think a little bit of frank talk is in order.

    Ricochet has had some really good conversations about this stuff lately.

     

    I agree with a lot of this. Years ago I would have had deep thoughts about the gold standard and stable currency but now I’d be lying if I said I had anything to say about that. What you say in your post sounds right overall. Some people say bitcoin may provide some discipline but that market looks volatile and perverse.

    The real truth, and good thing (maybe?) is just that we are really bad at predicting societal collapse. Remember that Japan was supposed to rule the 20th century because in 2000s the US had so much debt and the Japanese had savings and mastered monetary policy. It was the Harry Potter of popular economics. It doesn’t meant that this time can’t be different.

    I’d rather pay people to have children than to pay people to take out oversized mortgages on single family dwellings in perpetuity so they can write that off their taxes and then try to “flip” it. “Home ownership” is tax structuring. I just disagree with Hugh on this one. I was a claims adjuster. I put people’s banks on our checks. It’s the bank’s home. 

    • #25
  26. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    In case anybody cares, Pedro Gonzalez has been asking a lot of brutal questions like this in plain, non-finance English. @ emeriticus He pretty much hates Trump now, too. lol

    Another one is Oren Cass. Establishment Republicans hate him and so do academic economists, but he sounds like a lot of the hedge fund guys I follow.

    I like Pedro. He is smart and thoughtful. He can be a little edgy and he’s riding the wave of disenchantment with the modern GOP but he’s really an old school democrat (think about how Al Gore came up). At best he’d be in waiting room of a hypothetical Pat Buchanan national party (it was never going to exist).  It isn’t meant to be dismissive of him or slight him. It is just that this is where we are now. But he’s putting some interesting ideas forward. 

     

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Goldgeller (View Comment):

    I think you are right. In my case, for example, my second great-grandfather was 24 when he died in the Peninsular Campaign. He left his wife (widow) and three children in Madison County, Georgia. When I check the 1870 census, the wife is absent (deceased in 1867), the three children are living with their grandparents. I’m sure I have other lines with similar circumstances. This seems to align with Democrat causes. On the other hand, I think there were a number of events in the decades following, 1870-1900, that cemented a closeness between corporatists and government that has served Republican and Democrat interests. I’d need to do research to give specifics, others here might know off-hand. We know that Preston Bush and Joseph Kennedy were among those well-positioned to take advantage of how things were changing between the end of the Civil War and the Great Depression.

    That’s actually really interesting and some cool family history. I keep bugging my mom to write down what she knows about my grandparents (didn’t know they’d go out and hunt rabbits at night in their car in Live Oak FL). RE: bureaucracy: It took a little bit of time before ICC vs Illinois to be applied, but that was a major sea change in courts deferring to bureaucracies as opposed to political patrties… All that to say…”yeah, I don’t know.” 

     

    • #26
  27. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    cdor (View Comment):
    I am guessing, and neither of us really knows, that a mother that gets a check is as likely to spend it on her own desires as her baby’s needs. I have no problem, however, providing that mother with her needed baby formula. But “the safety net” argument has never been a real thing. I don’t know any conservatives who think there should be no safety net for the neediest amongst us. The issue is how many of our citizens should qualify for that safety net. Is it the neediest 10%…20%…40%? Where does the safety net end and who is to provide it? The leftists are pros at utilizing and distorting the language to hide their true goals: power and control. The Republicans are magnificent at being total dupes to the leftist’s strategy.

    I read of kids taking out student loans and spending it on vacations.  And before that people took out home equity loans and spend them on who knows what.  I doubt that all, or even most, of the “Enfamil” and night-time reading-books money is being spent on that.

    But there is a greater observation within all this conversation that keeps coming to mind.  From what I have read, and I’ve never seen the source documents, the Fed’s charter (or statement surrounding it’s charter) explicitly said that the Fed was not to set or manipulate the economy, but merely to stay to its intended purpose of providing liquidity available for banks that were in financial trouble and about to close.

    Nowadays it appears that it is a given that the Fed’s primary responsibility it to control debt and the economy and even the jobs market (or the unemployment rate).  It seems to me that either the common perception that bureaucracies normally grow is right, or that the intent of the true intended scope and authority of the Fed was known but hidden at its inception.  If it was known and hidden, this says a lot about the movers and shakers in the banking world.  And why MMT is so popular, and why the tax system is laid out the way it is, and why the middle class is being squeezed out.

    • #27
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

     

     

     

    Four whole minutes. 

    • #28
  29. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Flicker (View Comment):

    But there is a greater observation within all this conversation that keeps coming to mind.  From what I have read, and I’ve never seen the source documents, the Fed’s charter (or statement surrounding it’s charter) explicitly said that the Fed was not to set or manipulate the economy, but merely to stay to its intended purpose of providing liquidity available for banks that were in financial trouble and about to close.

    Nowadays it appears that it is a given that the Fed’s primary responsibility it to control debt and the economy and even the jobs market (or the unemployment rate).  It seems to me that either the common perception that bureaucracies normally grow is right, or that the intent of the true intended scope and authority of the Fed was known but hidden at its inception.  If it was known and hidden, this says a lot about the movers and shakers in the banking world.  And why MMT is so popular, and why the tax system is laid out the way it is, and why the middle class is being squeezed out.

    This is exactly right. We are in trouble because the Fed doesn’t simply back up the financial system in a punitive way. 

    I don’t want to get into a great big long discussion about it, but the problem is militarism requires inflationism. Better us than anybody else. The U.S. Navy keeps the trade routes open.

    • #29
  30. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

     

     

     

    Four whole minutes.

    Okay, I watched it.  It was good. :)

    • #30