A Nazi plot to privatize schools

While celebrating Washington state’s new charter school law, Matt Rosenberg discovers a teachers’ union official’s attempt to equate charter schools with Nazis. In a newsletter, the president of the Federal Way Education Association, Michael Comstock, writes:

The forces for destruction of our public schools as we know them are on the march and we, as public educators, must form the first wall of defense…we must educate our parents, our legislators, our neighbors…To paraphrase what Joseph Gerbles (sic), the Nazi propaganda minister said, ‘Repeat anything enough times loudly enough, no matter how untrue it is, and people will begin to believe it.’ That is what we are beginning to see now.

Federal Way — aptly named — is the seventh largest district in the state, says Rosenberg.

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  1. Richard Heddleson says:

    Repeating things enough times loudly enough was how I learned the multiplication table. I wish I could have been able to tell Mrs. Hickey she was using the same methods as Gerbils and would be roundly condemned by public educators.

  2. Michelle Dulak says:

    I’m just amazed that neither Comstock nor the commenter above knows how to spell “Goebbels.” Though I love the idea of Goebbels as “Gerbils.” What a magnificent insult.

  3. Hunter McDaniel says:

    Actually, I don’t see him directly comparing charter proponents to Nazis. He’s just saying that the arguments in favor of charters (which he thinks are lies) are winning by repetition, quoting Goebbel’s as the authority for why this might be effective, and then urging his supporters not to let the arguments go unchallenged. As a charter proponent I could point out plenty of spurious anti-charter arguments that get repeated over and over – the notion that charters “drain funding” from other schools is a particular pet peeve.

    Nonetheless, I think we would all be better off if the Third Reich were completely banished from political rhetoric.

  4. I rather suspect that Richard was attempting to be humorous and typed “Gerbils” intentionally. He is funny that way. One clue would be that he spelled it differently than Comstock.

  5. D. Cooper says:

    How is it that that quote equates charter schools with Nazis? Pehaps Matt Rosenberg has some other agenda here, but this, from what you’ve described is a far cry from equating charter schools with Nazis. Does everyone who repeats something often enough and loud enough qualify as a Nazi? Hell, the DemonRATS use that tatic all the time. I don’t care much for them, but they’re certainly not Nazis.

    And Rich, as a public educator, you would not be condemned. If you read carefully, the quote said … ‘no matter how untrue’ ….. the multiplication tables are true!

    It’s a long way from using the ‘repeating’ technique to drive home your point (true or false) to being a Nazi or Nazi like. My guess is that Rosenberg took offense to the word Nazi, which at best was probably a poor choice of words here and has spun this a little out of proportion. And, if Mr. Rosenberg is Jewish, I would further suggest that it may have tainted his perspective on the reference made to Nazis. Unfortunately this reminds me of the Jewish outcry over Mel’s film. Over the top and unjustified.

  6. Richard Heddleson says:

    Thank you Ross. Others might say, I am not funny that way.

  7. Michelle Dulak says:


    My apologies if you referred to “Gerbils” on purpose. I just assumed you’d taken the (sic) in the article and run with it — and so you apparently did, but in another direction. Sorry.

    And it was funny.

  8. jeff wright says:

    I think some of you are perhaps missing the point. Here we have a highly-placed education official who can’t even spell the name of one of the bigger war criminals in history properly—umlaut or not. What does that say about teachers and their unions? When I see things like this, I immediately ignore whatever else the individual has to say because it’s clear he’s uneducated and stupid to boot. Great spokesman for the teachers.

  9. Steve H. says:

    D. Cooper, I think “equate charter schools with Nazis” is a little strong, but I also think we (nearly) all get the point. Comstock could’ve quoted Gandhi or his Aunt Fanny; he quoted — or perhaps I should say “invoked” since I’m not sure about that quotation — a Nazi.

    His meaning is clear enough to me and his readers.

  10. Michelle Dulak says:

    Jeff Wright and Steve H. both nail it, from different directions. It’s perfectly pathetic that an educator (a) is quoting Goebbels to make a point he could have made in twenty ways that didn’t involve dragging in dead Nazis; and (b) can’t even spell Goebbels while he’s at it.

    I wonder if anyone else has noticed the lovely irony in the paragraph as posted — that the Goebbels quote could apply just as easily to Comstock’s own argument as to his intended target? Given the ellipses, I’m not going to argue that without seeing the full text, but it looks to me like hoist-on-own-petard territory.

  11. Richard Heddleson says:


    No apology needed. Wit is difficult to transmit to strangers through only the written word and mine almost always misses part of the audience. I’ve found it to be even more difficult when it isn’t funny. But you did get the point and, I hope, a smile.

  12. Michelle Dulak says:


    Two smiles, now 😉

  13. Godwin’s Law is so elegant.

  14. Da C Man says:

    Likening charter school proponents to Nazis? Acceptable. Likening teachers unions to terrorists? Unacceptable.

    Gee, some cliche about geese and ganders comes to mind…

  15. D. Cooper says:

    Rich … funny … just peeing in my pants!! And Steve … I’ve no desire to debate the pros and cons of ‘charter schools’ , but I’d agree that Comstock was less that judicious in his quote selection and Rosenberg did a typical knee-jerk reaction that was also off target.

    Neither speaks for me.

  16. Walter Wallis says:

    “Gerbils” just could be another case of spellchecker’s revenge. A typical Commie mistake.

  17. Mr. Comstock is obviously merely demanding equal time in retaliation for that evil right-winger who called the NEA a terrorist organization.

  18. Mr. Comstock was implicitly linking the charter school proponents to Nazis, in that he compared their lobbying to Nazi tactics. One does not have to be Jewish to find this purposefully provocative and unhelpful. In addition, it is discomfiting to find a school official citing Goebbels as an authority for anything. It was a purposeful insult, intending to inflame emotions. Shame!

  19. D. Cooper says:

    Julia, you are way off base. He was not citing Goebbels as an authority … that’s an overstatement. I would not say that repeating an untruth over and over is a Nazi tactic so much as it was a tactic that they used effectivly.. as do many people. I don’t think that the Nazis invented repeated lying. The used it.

    I think he used it in poor taste … you’re now trying to demonize him… not unlike calling the NEA terrorists. Same bag of dirty politics being used by both sides. No need to get all up in your undies over it. Just mud-slinging at its finest. There are no saints here.

  20. Michelle Dulak says:

    D. Cooper,

    I agree with you that the Nazis didn’t invent “repeating an untruth over and over,” but in that case it seems quite unnecessary to drag out Goebbels to describe the phenomenon, yes? Why didn’t Comstock just, oh, describe it, rather than interpolate a German name he hadn’t a clue how to spell, unless he was trying to “do a Godwin”?

  21. Michelle Dulak says:

    Walter Wallis,

    I think it’s been established that “Gerbils” was a joke. “Gerbles,” on the other hand, was the work of a man passing himself off as an educator and attempting seriously to quote Goebbels. And while “Gerbils” might possibly be blamed on careless spell-checker use, “Gerbles” can’t.

  22. Michelle Dulak says:

    Last sentence ought to end “can’t be,” obviously. Preview is your friend!

  23. I hate these kinds of “guilt by association” tactics. I was very active in my campus Pro-Life group in college, and we got this stuff all the time. Since the Nazis opposed (some) abortions (for Aryans) and we opposed abortions… Well, draw your own conclusions. They could call us Nazis without actually calling us Nazis.

    One of my friends used to always come back with, “Well– Hitler breathed oxygen. And you’re breathing oxygen. So…..??”

  24. I grew up in the Federal Way school district….but never attended the schools. (My mom sent me and my siblings to private school.) The populace has a long-standing reputation of underfunding the schools and never passing school tax or bond issues. Apparently it hasn’t changed too much.

  25. D. Cooper says:

    Michelle … I did say that it was in poor taste just as the reference to the NEA as terrorists.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Spelling “Goebbels”: We all flub once in a while. I once took a class where the instructor said, “There are two kinds of firearms instructors: those who have had ADs [Accidental Discharges] and liars.” (That’s one reason you always point guns down range.) Writers misspell words and make typos that pass spell checkers. While we’re talking about a moratorium on quoting Nazis, how about a moratorium on misspellings and typos as an alleged indicator of stupidity or poor education.

  27. Speaking of propaganda and proof-by-repeated-assertion, most of the studies that I see seem to show that charter schools (and other school choices) provide better education and opportunities for kids than the status quo… Yet I’m supposed to believe that unsupported phrases like,
    “Charter schools don’t work,”
    “Vouchers only help the rich,” and
    “Charter schools/Vouchers ruin the public school system”
    are facts, while anything else is propaganda work worthy of the Nazi killing machine…


  28. Michelle Dulak says:

    Dear Anon,

    Is there a spell-checker that has “Gerbles” in its dictionary? Is there a dictionary in which “Gerbles” is even a word? I think not.

    It’s pretty obvious what happened here. This guy heard Goebbels quoted somewhere, liked the quote, took it down roughly (I assume not in the original German), and appended to it a phonetic rendering of the name. Clearly he wasn’t working from a print source. I’ve seen spelling mistakes, and they don’t ordinarily venture as far as that. He must have heard the name, not read it, and “Gerbles” was the obvious spelling to him. (It’s not bad, actually, from a phonetic standpoint.)

    What’s alarming is that he didn’t remember Goebbels even well enough to bother looking it up to make sure it was spelled correctly. (Of course, there’s always the possibility that he spelled it impeccably and a clueless copy-editor changed it, but I doubt that. “Goebbels” looks a lot more German than “Gerbles,” and the fact that he was a Nazi is right there in the sentence.)

  29. theAmericanist says:

    If I had to guess, I think that the mistake was edited into the copy is at least as likely as any other, and has the virtue of being charitable.

    It’s useful, though, to bear in mind why and how Goebbels talked about repetition. He meant that only a handful of folks are actually persuaded by better facts and stronger arguments. Most folks are persuaded by identification. Those who wanted to feel themselves “good Germans” might notice that in truth, Jews didn’t run the world and Britain and America really weren’t conspiring to surround Germany — but because they wanted to feel like good Germans, the repetition of the lie gve them opportunities beyond their intellect to believe — emotionally — what they knew was false.

    This happens all the time in politics. Look at Bush’s re-election ads: A recession… that started on his watch. Unemployment… which has risen throughout his presidency. September 11… which would nt, ordinarily, be considered much of a national security achievement.

    See the technique?

  30. Mad Scientist says:


    I strongly suggest you get your facts straight about the current political situation. I do not want to get into a lengthy debate over the merits, but your comments are disingenuous at best.

    1) It is acknowleged by the Federal Reserve that the recession started in 2000 *BEFORE* Bush took office.

    2) Unemployment, well what are we talking about? Number of jobs or unemployment rate? Unemployment rate is falling. The number of jobs “lost” is problematic; however, we never hear about how many of those are due to retirement or other attrition.

    3) The aftermath of 9/11 is something I can only hope Al Gore would have handled as well as Bush did. The run up to 9/11 throughout the Clinton administration is the disaster.

  31. Richard Heddleson says:


    I’m dense, so no I don’t see the technique in your example. Could you spell it out how your examples demonstrate it a bit more clearly? Thanks.

  32. Laura (southernxyl) says:

    Not to mention, 9/11 slammed the economy. Some of the unemployment could probably still be attributed to that. That’s what I hear around here, anyway.

  33. jeff wright says:

    Mad Scientist: Your comments are equally disingenuous. Perhaps you’ve fallen prey to the Goebbels effect—i.e., if we hear it enough, we believe it—with regard to the unemployment rate falling? Some minor signs of improvement recently, but still not great. Face it, the employment picture ain’t pretty.

    It may be that Bush inherited the recession; however, history tells us that voters don’t care. Reagan: “Are you better off now than four years ago”? That will be the Kerry anthem this year. The difference between Nazi Germany and the U.S.: we haven’t gotten quite so caught up in believing everything the sitting government tells us. Close, but not there yet.

    I voted for Bush, but I have to say I have a sneaking feeling that Gore wouldn’t have done much worse. Unless, of course, one believes Iraq has much to do with anything. Clinton years? IMO, no Republican president would have done differently in the 1990s, and to suggest otherwise is to invoke the Goebbels effect.

  34. Michelle Dulak says:


    If I had to guess, I think that the mistake was edited into the copy is at least as likely as any other, and has the virtue of being charitable.

    I take the point about charity, but there’s such a thing as unreasonable doubt. Who the hell would take a text containing “Goebbels” and alter it innocently to “Gerbles”? No one could come up with “Gerbles” in the first place without knowing how “Goebbels” is pronounced, in which case one would hope s/he had some faint idea who Goebbels was. I’ve done a lot of copy-editing, and I’ve never seen a name accidentally lose two letters, gain one, get internally rearranged, and then come out on the other end of the process with the exact same pronunciation it had before. Even charity goes only so far.

  35. His reference may be (at a minimum) tacky, but his point is the basis for much argument… I am reminded of the endless litany over the last couple of dozen years that if “They just give us more money, the education system will do a great job”. Amazingly, after billions upon billions of increased spending, education fails to improve. But this lie never goes away…


  36. It may be a poor source, but the quote is correct, or certainly seems to be. After all, we never hear any discussion on education that does not lead to one of the dimwits saying that more money will fix the problems with education…
    Some people still believe this, in spite of the billions upon billions of increases in education spending over the last decades, showing less and less return in education quality as a result.

  37. Mad Scientist says:


    I’m not going to get into it. Your semantics are misleading at best.

    History shows that both parties are equally adept at this tactic.

    But is someone does not call another on an obvious misstatement, it will never end.

  38. theAmericanist says:

    The recession officially began in March; Bush having taken office in January. That’s a fact — you can argue causes if you like, but that gets to be partisan and problematic.

    Likewise — on unemployment, while you can have an economists’ argument about seasonal adjustments and so forth, the fact is Bush sold his economic program on exponentially more jobs than it has created.

    Finally, it is part of the — ahem, Gerbles’ technique, the way Bush has handled September 11. The Clinton administration told Bush in the transition that terrorism in general, and bin Laden in particular, was gonna be a HUGE pain for ’em. Bush was specifically warned about hijacked airliners, among other things — and what we heard instead was lots of static about the “w”‘s being plucked from the White House keyboards. The fact is, Bush is trying to turn the biggest national security failure since Pearl Harbor into an electoral ASSET — and that ain’t easy. So he’s taken to repeating the mantra that 9-11 “tested” his leadership, so folks will identify his “leadership”, such as it is, with patriotism.

    That’s the technique — identification rather than argument, applied through repetition.

  39. D. Cooper says:

    It seems to me that he’s turned a lot of that identification into action and policy … but going after terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and the resulting turn arouind by Libya doesn’t count. The Homeland Security department wouldn’t count. The DemonRATS aren’t getting the credit, so they’re not giving credit. Maybe the DemonRATS didn’t invent ‘repetitive in your face distribution of half truths’, but boy they sure have perfected it. How many times did your spokesperson Captain Obnoxious …Michael Moore say ‘diserter’?

  40. T. Shipman says:

    >>>The recession officially began in March; Bush having taken office in January. That’s a fact — you can argue causes if you like, but that gets to be partisan and problematic.

  41. prestonmgb2003 says:

    Likening teachers unions to terrorists is in the eyes of the beholder. If group of people wantingly attack others over a job or destroy property than what is?

  42. Just John says:

    The word “Comstockery” is defined as “censorious opposition to alleged immorality”. I just love wacky etymological coincidences!

  43. D. Cooper says:

    Yo preston …Not for nothing, but what the hell did you say? A couple of verbs and the proper use of then/than would be helpful. I’m far from the best (real far) but that wasn’t very clear.

  44. theAmericanist says:

    “but going after terrorism in Aghanistan, Iraq and the turnaround by Libya doesn’t count…

    LOL — see, this is a perfect example of “identification”. Instead of arguing that Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were all great policy ideas and spectacular successes with a low price and no opportunity costs, it’s gotta be that such inarguable success “doesn’t count”.

    That ain’t argument. It’s “are you with us, or against us”.

    Item: During the crucial days after 9-11, Bush let every blood relative of bin Laden out of the country. Oddly enough, his ambassador to Saudi Arabia is also the guy who made W rich. Hmmm…. Item: from day one of his adminstration, Iraq was a target. Oddly, while Iraq was obviously a threat (we DID fight a war against Saddam), what seems to motivate W the most is one-upping his Dad. Item: during the crucial MONTHS after 9-11, Bush ordered 10,000 Iraqi_Americans interviewed. Item: We don’t have boundless resources for counter-terrorism. Item: Bush put in charge of policy at the INS a guy who was ABSOLUTELY opposed to the sort of policies before 9-11, that Bush has tried to claim credit for, since. Item: Bush originally opposed the Department of Homeland Securty, which was proposed by Democrats — Joe Leiberman, among others.

    LOL — and as for the start of the recession: the point is how the economy has done SINCE he took office, ain’t it?

    As for the Goebbels thing which started this thread, I dunno as it’s even arguable anymore how repetition for identification is the opposite of debate. It’s pretty clear from the purely partisan (and badly argued) ‘yeah, sez you’ approach most of the ‘rebuttals’ have taken.

    And what I guessed about the copyeditor thing is it strikes me as just possible that SOMEBODY looked at “Goebbels’, having heard it said, and thought: that doesn’t look right. Word probably doesn’t pick it up, and there ya go.

  45. Mad Scientist says:


    You just seem to have all the convenient answers memorized. How special for you.

    Unfortunately, there is no original thought in any of your rants, or even the ability to question what your masters in the alternative press have been feeding you.

    I also find it amusing that when called on the date when the recession started, you avoid any direct responsibility for your misstatement.

  46. D. Cooper says:

    Hate to join Mad here in setting the anit-Americanist straight. Regarding the Department of Homeland Security being proposed by Liberman … (for all practical purposes, he’s a republican, and he supported the war) it took a republican congress to pass it and now you’re all pissing and moaning over it. And LOL is really overdone … lose it and get a little more creative.

    And as I understand there were very good reasons for releasing bin Laden’s relatives, who by the way do not in any way shape or form support him. Do you have some sinister reason why this was done that we don’t know about.

    You keep this babble up and you’ll earn a free Michael Moore t-shirt. (actually one of his old ones … XXXXL)

  47. theAmericanist says:

    LOL — gee, fellas. Why don’t you ask JJ about the remotive possibility that I just might know something about stuff like who proposed breaking up the INS?


  48. D. Cooper says:

    Gee wizz, LOL, why don’t you just save us the suspense and tell us.

  49. D. Cooper says:

    LOL … got it .. very interesting background … I’m sure many share your view point, but your qualifications to argue don’t necessarily make your observations ‘gospel’. The INS could however be overhauled and /or replaced. There some interesting points you make above regarding ‘identification’. I think that your ‘party’ has done a very good job in being identified as the ‘entitlement’ gurus. And, having done so, have attracted a large base of undereducated, economic poor souls who drool at the ‘orts’ held out before them. You have been ‘identified’ as the party of look what we have for you. The reality is, is that what you’ve done is enslave them to this position while continuing to hold out the carrot before them. So, Bub, there you have. And, don’t LOL, just tee-hee quietly.

  50. theAmericanist says:

    (sigh) I told this knucklehead privately why I happen to know something on the subject, so he disses me publicly. (or as publicly as the 49th entry in this thread, anyway)

    Still, on the theory that no calumny should go unanswered: the Democratic Party can legitimately lay claim to having invented the American middle class AND the modern ‘investing class’, as it’s known: during the last era of Republican control in the 1920s, the failure to regulate the stock market led directly to the Great Depression. After a small matter, Democrats proceeded to build the interstate highway system (under the leadership of the least partisan President of the 20th century, a nominal Republican), then end Jim Crow — with LBJ saying at the time that Democrats were giving away the South for a generation.

    He was wrong, of course: in fact, it’s been two. The first generation was epitomized by the late and unlamented white supremacist Strom Thurmond, the second by Trent Lott, who got his start in politics working for precisely the segregationist Democrats that killing Jim Crow doomed.

    LOL — and as for the ‘party of entitlement’, for 20 years the Republican Party has dedicated itself to shifting the burden of paying for our national defense, roads, medical research and so forth from those who grow their wealth through investments, to those who earn their bread through work. This has been explained on the theory that having someone else’s money work for you is morally and economically superior than actually creating wealth yourself, and thus should be subsidized by the government.

    Yet, curiously for those who identify with this theory, the longest sustained economic growth in all this time was NOT under this supply side nonsense (which has led directly to recessions), but under a Democrat whose primary budget was enacted without a single Republican vote — amid dire warnings that it would do precisely the opposite of what it DID do.

    LOL — no wonder this guy has nothing productive to say, publicly or privately. But we DO know what he identifies himself with.

  51. D. Cooper says:

    Actually you have no idea what I say privately and as for publicly, noy agreeing with your philosophy hardly qualifies as non-productive. What your parties socialist policies have done over the years is help no one and waste money on failed programs. I’d argue the shifting of the tax burden … you people can’t get enough of that green stuff, and the the wealthy pay more than their fair share. And, I’m hardly one of them. With race baiters such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton leading the charge along with the cadre of Hollywood stars whose decadent lives we’re all supposed to yearn for, you people have little to be proud of. And it might be interesting to note that if some of those fat cats making investments actually end up producing employment for those of you demoncrats who actually want to work rather than ‘working the system’. BTW, don’t forget to include Teddy Kennedy and Kerry’s wife in that crew of people rich beyond belief (just to name a few of the limosine liberals). And, Bub as you referred to me, I’m very sorry that you feel dissed, but I’m only disagreeing with the DemonRATS philosophy, that’s what I’m dissing. So, TQ (that’s Titter Quietly). Laughing out loud is actually an annoying public display of obnoxiousness. To TQ is much more refined.

  52. Mad Scientist says:

    “Party Entitlement”?!?!?!

    Since the 1930s we have been the pawns of a government-run Ponzi scheme, aka Social Security.

    The ULTIMATE entitlement program.

    Not to mention Medicare, Medicaid, WIC, welfare, EIC and a whole bunch of others.

    All DEMOCRATIC initiatives, I may add.

    Oh, and by the way you elitist, I also earn my “bread through work”. I also pay the taxes that support your income redistributionist state.

    Perhaps you should change your screen name to “Socialist”.

  53. Laura (southernxyl) says:

    How do you get Trent Lott epitomizing anybody? He opened his mouth and his FELLOW REPUBLICANS kicked him out.

  54. D. Cooper says:

    Stranger than truth, but in some areas Mad we agree(unions just aren’t one of them). I like the ‘redistributionists’ tag … and even I who ‘worked’ (despite what ‘some’ might say) hard for my hard money helped fund the ‘entitlementees’. I would assume that the ‘Americanist’ got his title from self ascription. I can’t imagine someone actually giving someone else that name.

  55. theAmericanist says:

    Begging JJ’s indulgence: “The Americanist” refers to “the Americanist heresy”, the only one on these shores formally condemned by a Pope. (Leo XIII, in 1891. It’s a bit complex for this thread, but the gist is that when I was researching a piece on Islam for NRO, I learned that the Vatican had once declared those who believe that religious liberty, freedom of speech, and the separation of Church and State have a moral value in themselves, are “Americanist” heretics. I thought — hey, that’s me. Thus, the monicker.)

    As for “redistributionist”, puh-leeze. Learn some math.

    Believe it or not, things like aircraft carriers, submarines, roads, medical research, etc. (not to mention wars in Iraq) cost money. SOMEBODY has to pay for such stuff. The bulk of the tax burden in the United States is paid by people who don’t actually have most of the wealth — through sales taxes, income taxes, and so forth. Folks who OWN stuff pay less on their wealth than those who live from hand to mouth. (You could look it up.)

    I take the quaint view that folks who HAVE more, get more benefit from civilization than those who have less. That is why it is fair to charge them more — because otherwise, the folks with less are paying the OTHER guy’s share. Get it?

    I note, for example, that the Walton family which still owns Walmart gets a rather substantal benefit from the Federal highway system, not to mention our system of alliances that supplies oil to the United States. Why shouldn’t they pay for what they get? I note, to pick another, that the principal beneficiaries of the 1% discount rate ain’t the folks who SHOP at Walmart — nor work there, either. So why are the working stiffs picking up the tab?

    And if you haven’t noticed the immigration laws and policies that subsidize Walmart’s hiring, I suggest you read a bit more Milton Friedman — or, for that matter, the front page of the WSJ. (You can skip the editorials, though.)

    LOL — and as for Senator Lott, he was the REPUBLICAN LEADER in the Senate for a good many years, and would have remained so had not a handful of bloggers, notably Atrios and Josh Marshall, gone after him. It wasn’t like his political mentor (a segregationist Democrat) was a secret, nor his longstanding views.

    ROFL — gee, fellas: you do notice you’re proving the point of the thread in the first place, don’t you? You simply repeat stuff that doesn’t stand a nanosecond’s scrutiny, because you IDENTIFY with — well, God knows what, but it ain’t sweet reason.

  56. Mad Scientist says:

    And your tripe stands up to scrutiny? Please.

    Redistributionist is absolutely THE correct term. When people who EARN over $28,000 per year pay, in aggregate, approximately 95% of the TOTAL personal income tax burden, THAT is redistributionist. When people who do not earn any income and receive FULLY REFUNDABLE EIC or Child Tax credits, that is redistributionist.

    When government can run a giant Ponzi scheme and call it Socialist Security, essentially robbing workers to pay benefits to people who have never worked (check out the rules on disability), that is redistributionist.

    Tell you what. If you feel you do not pay enough in taxes, why don’t you and all your liberal buddies just double what your 1040 says you owe and pay that?

    I find it interesting that the 2 most recent referenda for raising taxes in this country (Alabama and Oregon) were voted DOWN. Individuals believe they are already too heavily taxed. It’s just the elites who believe that they know how to better spend the money the rest of us work for than those who earn it.

    As for who pays for the military (a decidely SMALL percentage of the total budget when compared to all social programs), just remember, the price of freedon ain’t free.

    As for sales taxes, those are STATE, not federal issues. Ditto for property taxes. When did states start launching aircraft carriers and submarines.

    People who have paid taxes on earnings and who have had the foresight to save should NOT be subjected to confiscatory tax rates. At least that’s what JFK believed when he lowed the marginal tax rate from 90% in the early 1960s.

  57. D. Cooper says:

    Sounds a little bit like Joseph Charles Louis Blanc and Karl Marx himself. I’m seeing a little Socialism and Communism seeping in here. Maybe my eyes deceive me. And how the hell did we get to Walmarts? I wouldn’t shop there anyway, they don’t carry Martha’s stuff.


  58. theAmericanist says:

    It’s a small thing, and surely useless to raise here, but resorting to facts has some value: Mad says “the military [is] (a decidely SMALL percentage of the total budget when compared to all social programs…”

    Actually, if you bother to look it up, the cost of legislation enacted since Bush took office (including both spending and revenues) works out to be about 13% for entitlement legislation, 3% for domestic discretionary spending outside homeland security, 30% on defense, homeland security, and various foreign programs (like aid to Israel and Egypt, which is essentially foreign policy driven), and the rest are the Bush tax cuts: 55%.

    Psst. Thirty percent is MORE than 13%, Mad.

    Didn’t you guys ever learn math? Or are you just driven to repeat stuff that ain’t so?

    LOL — perhaps we should give JJ credit: for midwifing the term ‘gerbling’, meaning folks who repeat stuff that just won’t stand scrutiny.

  59. Mad Scientist says:

    I guess that Social Security, the “cost” of refundable tax credits for those that do NOT pay any income tax, Medicare and Medicaid, Education, and the like do not count as social programs.

    Also, your math is essentially flawed. First, you CANNOT discount all of the federal programs that were in place BEFORE Bush in your calculation. Second, if you forget about the “cost” of tax cuts (which you should, because it is an INCOME item, not an expense), the numbers are far different.

    You should stop your demogogurey and try to address the issue that Americans are OVERTAXED and they know it.

    Or do YOU like to repeat stuff that just ain’t so?

  60. theAmericanist says:

    How can you be a scientist — even a mad one — and not know math?

    Bush’s FY05 proposal for defense spending is $401 billion. Homeland security about $34 billion. Just taking those two, you get $435 billion.

    Compare the ENTIRE budget for HHS (which includes spending that isn’t entitlements, like medical research) at $67 billion, and throw in HUD (which includes things like loans to developers), at $31 billion. Total: $98 billion.

    So when you test Mad’s bizarre notion that social spending is far greater than national security spending with the biggest Federal agencies, you find you’re comparing less than $100 billioin (even counting things like medical research) to more than $435 billion.

    Psst, Mad: less than $100 billion is the SMALLER number. You claimed it was much LARGER.

    ROFL — if you figure that the Social Security system is a ‘social program’ in the same way that Head Start is, then I suppose you’ll believe anything. But just to avoid this knucklehead’s confusion: in FY04, the Social Security system took in abut $670 billion, and paid out about $535 billion. If you want to call the $535 billion social spending going out, then you have to be honest about the $670 billion that went IN.

    Being as how that’s an enormous chunk of what’s paying for the $435 billion in national security, it tends to make MY point — not so much that we’re overtaxed or undertaxed (which depends on spending), but that working stiffs are picking up the tab run up by rich guys.

    But then: factual accuracy ain’t part of your equation, now is it, Mad?

    “Gerbling”: the repetition of demonstrably false statements to reassure the clueless.

  61. Mad Scientist says:

    Defense spending $435 Billion.

    Everything else: $1.6 Trillion (give or take)

    % of Budget spent on Defense = 25% (approximately).

    % of Budget spent on EVERYTHING ELSE = 75%.

    Sorry bucko, entitlements ARE social spending BY DEFINITION. Social Security IS an entitlement. Just look at all the things that the program is expected to cover now versus in its original incarnation.

    Farm Subsidies (Agriculture): social programs.

    Department of Education: social programs.

    Department of Energy: social programs (through the “research” they fund throughout academia).

    Department of HHS: social programs.

    Department of Transportation: social programs (perhaps the single biggest jobs program is building highways).

    Department of Commerce: social programs through cultural and trade exchanges.

    The list continues.

    What I do not understand is how ANY of these government agencies fulfill the charter of the Constitution (establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty). Remember that general welfare did NOT mean to provide people with health care, income, and the like.

    Perhaps you would have been happier if I had stated “a decidely SMALL percentage of the total budget when compared to ALL programs” instead of “a decidely SMALL percentage of the total budget when compared to all SOCIAL programs”. But I doubt it.

    And if you are not willing to defend the American Civilization, then it will surely be run over by the barbarians.

    Or the Socialists. Take your pick.

  62. theAmericanist says:

    LOL — ya know, I interviewed the entire Libertarian Party of a state some years back. Had ’em all in our editorial board meeting room around the card table, and took ’em seriously when they told me how dumb it was that the government built, owned and maintained ROADS, of all things. I took particular interest when one guy started complaining about the egregious Federal role in computer science, because at the time (this was awhile back), I had just taken an interest in it. SO I asked him details, which he complained about the need for a piece of legislation shortly introduced by one Al Gore … and then I said, wait a minute: what DO you guys do for a living?

    One “libertarian” worked for the electric company. Two worked for state universities. The guy who was complaining about the awful Federal role in computing, worked for IBM. There wasn’t a single entrepreneur in the bunch. Every one of ’em — sorta like folks who self-identify as “scientists” on the Web — worked in a highly-subsidized job, or else for the taxpayer outright.

    Some “libertarians”.

    Man, this is just pitiful: economics 101, Mad — building highways isn’t, ya know, busy work? We pay to get these long ribbons of concrete, with guardrails? They’re sorta important to the economy, too. I seem to recall somebody mentioned Walmart in this thread?

    In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, what a maroon.

  63. Mad Scientist says:

    You really do like to put words into others mouths. I never implied that building highways was busy work. I said it was a huge jobs program. Show me where that is wrong. Just ask Sen Robert Byrd.

    For someone who has a degree in Asian Religons (ain’t Google great?), you sure know what ails this country. You would have the departemnt of defense cut to nothing, just to throw money at more social programs. You would have all of us taxed to death to finance your utopia.

    So just stop spreading your version of the truth, because you are just as guilty of bias as the rest of us.

    And, for the record, I work for a company in the private sector. I never claimed to be a Libertarian. Just an Objectivist.

  64. D. Cooper says:

    Stop LOL and TQ … seems the ‘Americanist’ would rather waste more of our tax money on failed ‘entitlement’ programs that be concerned about our national defenses. BTW, much of the money spent on defense translates into jobs (maybe even qualifying as a social program). Of course Bush has had to pour money into defense, there was 9/11 which you seem to ignore, and the neglect by the whimpy Dem’s over the Slick years. To be sure, the defense department wastes money, but no one can match the wasted money and failed programs that our socialists have given us.

    And LOL, for all your arguing, I’d say money spent on defense might be better stewardship of our tax dollars, than a good portion of that spent on social programs. And lest you think I don’t care about the downtrodden, you’d be so off the mark as to actually LOL. Somehow you’ve gotten the notion that people who don’t believe in big, albeit wasteful, government programs are uncaring. There are churches and other organizations all across this country that provide for people in need. They manage soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food pantries, assist people with rent and utility bills and provide day care. And, the funds they do receive (all voluntary) are actually spent for the needy, not the greedy!

    What Marx said sounded good, but alas he’s been put in his place despite the efforts of many!! Some continue of course. The guy wasn’t stupid, just misdirected.

  65. theAmericanist says:

    (arched eyebrow) I don’t have a degree in Asian religions. What (never mind who) are you talking about?

    LOL — I never said I’d cut defense to nothing. I just happened to know much it costs, and — er, that big numbers are larger than small ones?

    Remember the point of this soon to be extinct thread as simply that lots of folks like to repeat stuff that ain’t so, rather than attempt persuasion by facts.

    So I thought I’d inject some. Takes some getting used to, doesn’t it fellas? But I commend the practice.

  66. Mad Scientist says:

    Injecting stuff that ain’t so? Yep, you are damn good at it.

    Kudos. Kudos to you.

  67. nobody important says:

    The hypocrisy of liberals in regard to paying taxes was proven here in Massachusetts. A couple of years back we (through initiative petition not legislation) rolled back the state income tax rate from 5.6% to 5.3%. As a result of the hysterical claims of the liberals (children will die!) a compromise was reached to have a check box placed on the tax form which if checked would allow taxpayers to pay at the higher rate voluntarily.

    In a state with about 3 million taxpayers, of whom at least half would be liberal, how many people do you suppose checked of that box and “paid their fair share”? Answer: less than 200.

    They don’t want to pay their fair share; they want YOU (the rich) to pay their fair share.

    But what does this have to do with Goebbels?