Stimulus is growing government

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● Yuk. Yuk. Yuk. The left’s delight in depicting conservative leaders as their intellectual inferiors — Sarah Palin’s key word notes on her hand at the Tea Party convention being their latest evidence — prompts the question: What have those of superior intellect in Washington done to pull America out of its economic slump, to make us more secure, to establish trust or to connect with us?

● Toyota’s troubles — and the fact that it is a competitor to the car companies owned by the U.S. government and the auto workers’ union — present a real conflict of interest. The government has the power to destroy Toyota in America, and the unions have the power to destroy their competitor, Ford Motor Co. There oughta be a law that neither government nor the union can own more than 5 percent of a company whose fortunes are affected by their actions or marketplace-affecting decisions.

● The proper reaction to MARTA’s decision to identify its train line to Doraville with the color yellow is to put it aside for worry until America solves the more pressing problem of whether toenail fungus is getting sufficient research dollars.

● Douglas County is using the bulk of its $350,000 in federal “stimulus” money to fund two new positions. I’m not arguing here that they’re not legit or needed — but I do get the impression from these stimulus job-creation tidbits that the $862 billion will be used primarily to grow state and local governments. Nationally, that’s no surprise since 7.2 percent of the private sector is represented by unions, compared to 37.2 percent of the public sector. Unions are a key Democratic Party constituency.

● Gov. Sonny Perdue, a lad of fanciful dreams, proposes to ask voters to make four constitutional offices appointive. Voters now elect them, including the state school superintendent and the Labor, Insurance and Agriculture commissioners. Sooner expect Barack Obama to genuinely accept fault. Neither will happen. Georgians won’t. Obama won’t. (A strong argument could be made to appoint the Labor Commissioner. The department is essentially a federal money pass-through.)

● The U.S. House just upped the federal debt limit by $1.9 trillion, or $6,000 per citizen. More than 40 percent of every dollar Congress spends is borrowed from future generations. So how is it spent? DeKalb County schools just spent $380,000 in federal money to send about 185 employees to a conference in Hollywood. That’d be Hollywood, Calif., not Hollywood, Fla., or Hollywood, Ga. Free money has no value.

● Mr. President, with respect to Iran and its nuclear threat, how’s groveling working as an approach to civilizing/appeasing/befriending President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Iran’s now a nuclear state and is capable of producing weapons-grade uranium, says he. Taken at his word, Israel is in peril. Saddam Hussein may not have had weapons of mass destruction, but world leaders have no choice but to take them at their word.

● Georgia got $750,000 in federal money to conduct feasibility studies on an Atlanta-to-Birmingham rail line, an Atlanta-to-Chicago line and a Macon-to-Jacksonville line. Some lament that it wasn’t more. Frankly, it’s about right. Rail supporters insist that Georgia’s being punished by the Obama administration for failing to spend $80 million previously earmarked for Atlanta-to-Lovejoy commuter rail. But … it came as an earmark, meaning that nobody ever conducted a cost-benefit analysis of whether demand exists. An earmark. One of those items a congressman inserts in the budget without scrutiny.

● MARTA wants to charge riders by time of day and distance. No problem. Anything that reduces the needed subsidies.

62 comments Add your comment


February 11th, 2010
9:19 pm

Simple Sarah is not “the left’s” intellectual inferior. She’s ALMOST EVERYONE’S intellectual inferior. Excepting you, of course, Wootie.


February 11th, 2010
9:23 pm

Jim…love your Friday free-for-all…you need to do one every day. Lord knows with the incompetent boobs in Washington right now, you’d have a wealth of material. “Stimulus” money to create jobs?? What a joke…once that money runs out, cities and counties that use this rbibe cash will either have to eliminate the job or make taxpayers fund the thing. Now which one are they going to do??? Gues…
As for Iran…Obama is going to step in the middle of this big-time. When Israel is attacked or when they attack Iran…what is this man-child nitwit going to do?? If he disses Israel there goes all the Jewish Democrats…if he disses the Iranians, then the Arab world will go after him. He doesn’t have a clue what the heck he is doing about anything!!
Iran…check the Old Testament and read which country was Israel’s biggest tormenter…it was Persia…today’s Iran. History will repeat itself…but this time with bombs and guns and fighters.


February 11th, 2010
9:47 pm

Good evening Jim. Sarah is the intellectual inferior of most. I wish conservatives would stop embracing know-nothingness.


February 11th, 2010
10:00 pm

Wooten, you are right on. The madness that is going on in Washington is sickening. Our “leaders” have no relevant educational or occupational background to work on the problems that confront them, and they seem to turn a deaf hear to those who would make suggestions, resorting to name calling if their crazy ideas are not accepted immediately. There was once in this land, common sense and honesty. These two very important qualities seem to have left the building. I am glad I am old, because I have lived in the best of times. These progressives or liberals, whatever they are, can go down the drain with their idiot ideas. I won’t have to live to see it.


February 11th, 2010
10:03 pm

As an independent, I have no problem with either ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’ leader’s intellectual ability, perhaps only their current gridlock partisanship.
However, Mrs. Palin is neither a “leader or an “intellectual”. You can’t lead by quitting and you can’t become informed without a bit of education and experience.

The Ghost of Harry S. Truman

February 11th, 2010
10:47 pm

Well, lets tally up my score to this point:

I am middle class – no free school lunch for my child

I’ve worked hard to buy a home – no free government housing

I’ve bought a home within my means – no Obama-dollars paying my mortagage

I’ve got off my butt and got a job with benefits – no Obama-care

Oh, and since I own a home – my tax dollars pay for the housing of those who don’t

Oh, and since I own a home – my tax dollars pay for the schools and the ‘free’ school lunches

Oops, I am white – so I am racist

And, I am a male – so I am sexist

I bought a dependable car – so I made the unions mad by not buying ‘American’

I think government should live within it’s means – so I am insensitive to the needs of others

And despite it all, I work hard, pay my bills, enjoy my life, and dare to vote my conscience – so I instill great horrible FEAR in all democrats!


February 11th, 2010
11:00 pm

It simply amazes me how Sarah Palin can cause those on the left to expose themselves. How can the ‘hand notes’ possibly compare to the teleprompter in chief? Why do they try to call Sarah dumb when the real dolts are in DC?


February 12th, 2010
12:13 am

When I see or hear Ms. Palin I am reminded of Shakespeare’s quote: “Life’s but walking shadow , a poor player, that struts and frets his (her) hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is the tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury , and signifying nothing”. I memorized that 50 years ago and didn’t need to read it from my hand. Ms. Palin can’t even remember her core values without a glance at her palm pilot. So it seems her core values are neither very core or very valuable to her. And I refer you to the quote.


February 12th, 2010
12:15 am

“There oughta be a law that neither government nor the union can own more than 5 percent of a company whose fortunes are affected by their actions or marketplace-affecting decisions.”

Why? In a purely free-market economy, unions and governments should be allowed to buy whatever equity stakes they like. If their voting members (employees and voters, respectively) are unhappy with the results, they can easily punish the people who made the decision at the ballot box.

Or perhaps you think that hedge fund managers are the only ones who can make “clever” (insert own definition) investment choices.

Fed Up

February 12th, 2010
12:18 am

The Ghost of Harry S. Truman:

I like the way you think. If you ever decide to run for office, let me know. You’ve got my vote.


February 12th, 2010
2:05 am

Jesus, Wooten,
You managed to get all your Republican talking points in one small article. Good work. Rush Boortz would be soooo proud. Maybe one day you can have your own radio show.

Mid-South Philosopher

February 12th, 2010
5:30 am

Good morning, Jim.

Do you know the difference between Sarah Palin’s and Barrack Obama’s speaking styles and techniques? Are you ready? You sure you wan to know? “Barry” uses a much more sophisticated “telepromter” than “Sarie”!

Mid-South Philosopher

February 12th, 2010
5:31 am

…the word is “teleprompter”…my fingers don’ t work this early.

HI There

February 12th, 2010
7:47 am

Truman, I agree with you 100%. How is it that if you do the right thing, you pay twice for it? I have never understood how people who make way less than I do can afford to have more than one child (I only have one because that is what I can pay for) and have all the latest gadgets and what not? It just never ends and for some reason I am always surprised by it. Oh well, at least I still have my looks.

Oblama is going to ruin our great country and if you don’t think so, just look at what destruction he has created in just one year. One year people! By the way, I find it really funny that since Oblama wants to hold reccess appointments the Dem’s are all for it, yet when W did them they tried to find ways to make it illegal. Mr. President, you have egg on your shirt.

interested observer

February 12th, 2010
8:20 am

Right on Avery: On the one hand we want free markets, which means the owners of a corporation can do whatever they please in terms of wages, bonuses and prices. On the other, we want government to intervene when corporate behavior offends us.

But while we deal with that conundrum, we also allow corporations to do almost anything they want in pursuit of profit without regard to what it does to society or the environment. We call that free enterprise. And when they get in trouble? Call the taxpayers. Profit is privatized, but liability belongs to the public.

What a system.


February 12th, 2010
8:23 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over


February 12th, 2010
8:54 am

The Ghost of Harry S. Truman:

I like the way you think with the exception of American Cars. I have found that most people that have problems with American cars expect them to be maintenance free. The same people will buy a foreign car and spend more on maintenance than health insurance and then brag about what a great car it is.

nostalgic regrets

February 12th, 2010
8:58 am

Maybe France will find a loophole in the Louisiana Purchase and they’ll have to own half our national debt. What was Jefferson thinking?

If we enforce the land treaties already on the books, the Indians own the other half of the debt as it is! What was Custer thinking?

Joel Edge

February 12th, 2010
9:03 am

I really don’t know what’s the problem with note writing on the hand. Poor mans PDA. Save the whales, hug a tree, etc…


February 12th, 2010
9:15 am

Man I almost miss your backwood humor. Look I have changed my mind, don’t retire, the new guy is not working out. He can’t even come up with decent topics for us to debate. Did ya finish that tractor yet?


February 12th, 2010
10:24 am

Harry Truman: I am everything you are and have done and paid everything you have except I am gay and a democrat. Perhaps I instill a little fear myself, except in Republicans of a certain variety.


February 12th, 2010
10:43 am

Good morning, Jim,

You comment,

The left’s delight in depicting conservative leaders as their intellectual inferiors — Sarah Palin’s key word notes on her hand at the Tea Party convention being their latest evidence — prompts the question: What have those of superior intellect in Washington done to pull America out of its economic slump, to make us more secure, to establish trust or to connect with us?

Your question is in and of itself the proof of the left’s assertion.

Joel Edge

February 12th, 2010
10:45 am

Can’t answer the question, huh.


February 12th, 2010
10:51 am

The stimulus program was and is a government hiring spree. And guess what. The funds will run out one day soon, and state nad local governments will have to either raise taxes or fire all of their stimulus generated employees. Now if the program was supposed to be large enough to pull our economy out of a recession, then it would stand to reason that when these jobs go away, the impact would be large enough to push us right back into another one.

We are being run by a group of academics, and public servants, who have access to an unlimited supply of borrowed money, and whose only experience is spending other peoples money. Not one business owner or manager in the group. It is also a group who is totally convinced they know what’s best for all.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 12th, 2010
11:16 am

I’ve not yet seen a leftist who was smarter than Sarah Palin. They are all her “intellectual superiors” but not one of them is as smart as she. Because she knows what they don’t – “leftism always fails.”

Perhaps when the rational take control of Congress in November, one of the first acts will be to distribute the ownership of GM and Chrysler to the taxpayers, pro rata.

Let’s rename the Doraville train the “white line” and dare anyone to cross it.

So far the stimulus has done nothing for the productive sector; it has stimulated only government. And now the money is gone, pumped down the toilet. Thus as always, Keynesian economics and Democrat congresses.

Here’s a novel thought: abolish the positions of state school superintendent, and of the Labor, Insurance and Agriculture commissioners, as none of those serves any visible purpose.

Just when you think local governments are about to become efficient and responsible, DeKalb County rears its ugly head.

Re: Iran, time for another apology tour.


February 12th, 2010
11:18 am

Headline today on the Google finance page. “Stocks sink as China tightens reins”. So far each time congress has voted to increase the debt ceiling, China has had a reaction. It is a sad state of affairs when a banker has to force self control on a borrower. It is also sad to be in a situation where our stock markets can be manipulated by China’s financial interest in the US.

This administration has put our country in harms way on many different fronts.


February 12th, 2010
11:18 am

Hey Jess, the last business owner in DC was George W. Bush. And look what happened…the economy collapsed.

Oh and he was on a spending spree too.


February 12th, 2010
11:32 am

Goodness Richard, you must think two wrongs make a right. It is so funny so see the left point their finger at GW. Then the left turns around and doubles down on Bush policy and beats their chest with great sighs of satisfaction. Out Bushing Bush will only ensure your denise.


February 12th, 2010
11:47 am


The economy collapsed at the end of Clinton’s term as well when the dot com bubble burst. Without a trillion dollar stimulus, and in spite of the world trade center attacks, we soon were enjoying one of the most robust economies in recent years. I agree that Bush overspent, but it pales beside what is going on now.


February 12th, 2010
12:09 pm

I have never voted for a Republican in the 40 years I have been voting, but I’m going to come November. The fact that the Democrats are more “socially liberal” has taken a back seat to self-preservation of the financial security I have worked 40 years to have.


February 12th, 2010
12:32 pm

MARTA’s thoughts of charging by time of day and distance ARE a problem. Maybe not to you, Wooten, cruising around in your car. But for disabled people (like me) who have no car and can’t drive, it IS a problem. I have to get a monthly Breeze card because I depend on MARTA to go everywhere (unless I walk), not just to work. This would wipe me out financially and I could lose my job and much more–my independence, etc. Which would you rather pay for? More unemployed or a small subsidy? Try having state funds for MARTA so it will work better. (And those who trash it aren’t the regular riders.)


February 12th, 2010
2:09 pm

Jim, yuk, yuk, yuk, Democrats and Obama bad, Republicans good. Same old, same old concrete thinking. If we follow you and your more conservative friends in the media we might just reach the middle of the 18th century.


February 12th, 2010
2:25 pm

Jim, I thought you might enjoy reading the following from the NY Times (I know a liberal rag in conservative land).

“WASHINGTON — At a time of deepening political disaffection and intensified distress about the economy, President Obama enjoys an edge over Republicans in the battle for public support, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.”

“While the president is showing signs of vulnerability on his handling of the economy — a majority of respondents say he has yet to offer a clear plan for creating jobs — Americans blame former President George W. Bush, Wall Street and Congress much more than they do Mr. Obama for the nation’s economic problems and the budget deficit, the poll found.”

“They credit Mr. Obama more than Republicans with making an effort at bipartisanship, and they back the White House’s policies on a variety of disputed issues, including allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military and repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.”

What doesn’t get written is what I call the “seething quiet ones” who are fed up with the garbage being written by the left and the right. In the November elections there are going to be a lot of surprises for those of both parties as the “seething quiet ones” vote Republicans out of long held seats and Democrats who have been around long enough will face the same fate. How about this, blue states become a little more red and red states become a little more blue. We’ll see how it unfolds. It should be fun. One thing is for sure, the crazies will yell and scream thinking that the louder they get the more votes they will get.


February 12th, 2010
2:32 pm

This will be my last of the day, Jim. This one from Tim Pawlenty:

“In the upcoming issue of Esquire magazine, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) offers a harsh rebuke of his own party’s actions in recent years, arguing that the GOP “blew it” when they had the chance to govern the country.

“The marketplace measurement in politics is something called an election,” said Pawlenty in a lengthy interview appearing in the magazine’s March issue. “And in 2006 and 2008, the marketplace was telling the Republicans ‘We prefer the products and services of your competitors.’”

Pawlenty, who is retiring this fall after his second term as governor of Minnesota to explore a run for president, ascribed the electoral defeats of Republicans in recent elections to “a whole bunch of corruption and personal scandals that weren’t compatible with the principles it claimed to stand for.”

“We got fired for a reason,” he added.

Jim, do you care to respond to your bloggers?


February 12th, 2010
3:28 pm

Hey retiredds just one problem with the NY times article, Bush/Wall Street aren’t on the November ballot. Congress is and that is why the Dems lose in November.


February 12th, 2010
3:40 pm

Retired Soldier, you may be right, and that’s o.k. with me because then the Repubs that replace them will have to be part of the solution. Just so you know I have always been supportive of a balanced leadership at the federal level. If the pres is a democrat then let’s have one or both houses of congress be republican and vice versa. Only bad things happen when one party controls. It also eliminates the blame game where it’s all the dems fault or it’s all the repubs fault. Blame only excuses one from accepting responsibility.


February 12th, 2010
3:41 pm

GOP dead cat bounce may have peaked too early, friend. There’s still plenty of time for the mood of the country to change, I hope.

I wrote this with help from a few words I scribbled on the back of my hand so’s I coulds sees the reminder while I typed.

Words R emoticons 2

Hillbilly Deluxe

February 12th, 2010
3:49 pm

Jimbo, my Daddy worked for Ford for over 3 decades. He was and still is a UAW member.

MARTA can be one of two things, affordable transportation for the masses or a profit making enterprise, it can’t be both. Way back when, it was first proposed and sold as transportation for the masses.


February 12th, 2010
4:21 pm

Harry Reid pulled the plug on the jobs bill this morning even though he had enough republican support to call it a bi-partisan. The reason was that since the snow storm shut down Washington, there was time for the media, especially the conservative media to scrutinize the details, and it was found to be just another democratic wish list bill with very little to stimulate job creation.

One example, a clause to replace funds lost in the New York teachers union’s pension plan due to bad investments. This is exactly why Obama and this Congress has lost all credibility.


February 12th, 2010
4:24 pm

Good for you words, you must be a plain spoken person. If you were an elite you would have used a teleprompter, like you know who. Hang in there, one day you to may be a governor of a candidate for vice president.


February 12th, 2010
4:25 pm


February 13th, 2010
8:50 am

Jim, have you ever been anywhere you might need to use public transportation? New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo? I’ve been to all of these cities and I understand the need for a major city to have some form of public transportation. I’ve ridden MARTA for most of my life and your complaining about subsdies when you know that roads are subsidized too smacks of simple-minded provincialism. You would be lost in any of the cities I’ve mentioned, if you had the mind to go by yourself, as I have.


February 13th, 2010
9:06 am

joan – “These progressives or liberals, whatever they are, can go down the drain with their idiot ideas. I won’t have to live to see it.”

Sorry you do not want to stick around. I have been fighting just what you do not like ever since you guys elected, and then re-elected, Ronald Reagan, a conservative who governed as a liberal. I elect to stick around and fight some more. Nothing like a good fight to get the juices going. But if you prefer to cut and run, so be it. We do have free will.


February 13th, 2010
9:39 am

Jim – sorry, but this is one of the poorest columns you have ever put out. I know you are retired, but……..

Yuk. Yuk. Yuk. This little bit is so full of a real bad inferiority complex that it is sickening.

“Douglas County is using the bulk of its $350,000 in federal “stimulus” money…” Douglas County is run by Republicans. I thought you never critized Republicans? Tom Worthan will not like you jumping on how he spends the Douglas County share of the “stimulus”. If the Republicans want to grow the Douglas County government the folks there can vote them out next election if they do not approve. Of course, Republicans have been growing government since 1981.

Raising the debt limit. Starting with Reagan it has been done by every President since, Republican or Democratic. Note that in the 20 years between 1960 & 1981, the national debt grew by $284 Billion. Note that in the 8 years of Reagan it grew $1.9 Trillion. And grew by $10.4 Trillion in the 20 years under Bush, Clinton & Bush.
Fiscal responsibility anyone!

Iran. You are critizing Obama’s handling of Iran, but he is doing exactly what Bush did. Bush and Obama both elected to handle Iran by trying to talk them to death. Bush talked about them behind their backs and Obama talks to them when they have their backs turned. But talk is all that has happened. Same thing we all do on your blog, talk.

Jim, I am a conservative. I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat.
But mostly I am a believer in the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it is. I like truth, not spin. You sir have become a spinner.


February 13th, 2010
10:47 am

Predatory Lending is a major contributor to the economic turmoil we are currently experiencing.

Here is an example of what I am talking about:
Scott Veerkamp / Predatory Lending (Franklin Township School Board Member.)

Please review this information from U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley regarding deceptive lending practices:
“Steering payments were made to brokers who enticed unsuspecting homeowners into deceptive and expensive mortgages. These secret bonus payments, often called Yield Spread Premiums, turned home mortgages into a SCAM.”

The Center for Responsible Lending says YSP “steals equity from struggling families.”
1. Scott collected nearly $10,000 on two separate mortgages using YSP and junk fees. 2. This is an average of $5,000 per loan. 3. The median value of the properties was $135,000. 4. Clearly, this type of lending represents a major ripoff for consumers.


February 13th, 2010
12:09 pm

a government titmouse is an easy target for predators.


February 13th, 2010
3:54 pm

$50B (US) spent in a SINGLE YEAR (’09) on ONE LEG (Beijing-to-Shanghai) of one of our competitor’s expansive bullet train network, and we spend time here quibbling here about the crumbs from a lousy $8B to be expended NATIONALLY over 3+ years. Could we be hopelessly ‘in the ditch’? Keep chasing your tails guys.


February 13th, 2010
3:59 pm

Sorry, %50B was one year NATIONAL total, but point remains…


February 13th, 2010
9:30 pm

intheditch, what an amazing article. China is geographically about the same size as the U.S. If they can do it, why can’t we? It would be like a second version of the interstate highway system. China has 4 times as many people as the U.S. with less than half our GDP. Certainly we have the resources. It can be done here.

Auntie Kepila

February 13th, 2010
9:52 pm

Hi, y’all. Wussup with this official cheating on standardized school tests? First, the exams were lazy, evil proxies to begin with. Second, they were just begging to get gamed. Third, if you’re going to game the test results you should be smart enough to maneuver within the loopholes, without resort to an illicit eraser: you schedule the exam dates for the end of the allowable testing window, to buy yourself a few additional instructional days preparatory to the assessment; and you bring in the code crackers (mercenary test developers) to bone up the pupils on how to fox the exams.

If you’re gonna hijack these stupid tests then steal your results fair and square. Then proceed to educate.

As an old friend says, that’s my opinion, and it’s very true.