Monday, July 17, 2006

Watching your money with your money -- another Tory success story

Generation XY asks several good questions about the National Socialists, and seven very bad ones (see if you can spot which is which).

The best question is this, which I paraphrase rather liberally: What's the morality of a party that starts, runs and funds a website opposed to the waste of taxpayer money -- tagline: "keeping an eye on your money" -- a website that's paid for with the very money money they're keeping an eye on: Yours.

Is there a name for this kind of dishonesty that uses only four letters? Can you put them all on an email and send it to the bloody Tories that organised this outrage and thought it might be smart? I'm sure you can: just do it, and email waste@wastewatch.co.nz.

And if you're wondering as Elliot is why no parliamentary party has had the balls to sue Helen Clark over her misappropriation of public money, it's because they've all of them -- every one -- got their bloody hands in your pocket.

UPDATE: You might notice that when Tories do pledge to cut taxes, they always neglect to mention cutting spending in order to do it. And you might notice too that when they do mention egregious waste, it's on the order of a $14,000 "plush lodge outing." As PJ O'Rourke notes, this is the kind of thing Tories always do.

You can read here how PJ would try to balance the budget and give tax cuts the size of Texas. The first secret is "to avoid looking for ridiculous examples of government waste."
This is the first mistake made by most budget critics. They page through the minutiae in the "Notes and Appendices to the U.S. Budget," sifting the "Detailed Budget Estimates by Agency" section until they come up with something like the Department of the Interior's Helium Fund. Which really exists:

The Helium Act Amendments of 1960, Public Law 86-777 (50 U.S.C. 167), authorized activities necessary to provide sufficient helium to meet the current and foreseeable future needs of essential government activities.

Then the budget critics grow very indignant or start making dull, budget-critic-type helium jokes.

The Helium Fund is amazingly stupid, even by government standards, but it only costs around $19 million -- .0015 percent of 1991 federal spending. [This guide] would be as large as the budget itself if I tried to balance that budget by eliminating Helium Funds. And, if you think about it, running a Helium Fund is just the kind of thing our politicians should be doing. It's much less expensive and harmful to the nation than most of what they do, plus, with any luck, they'll float away.

The other secret to balancing the budget is to remember that all tax revenue is the result of holding a gun to somebody's head...
Perhaps the apologists for a taxpayer-funded website exposing taxpayer-funded waste (a website that's all-too full of "dull, budget-critic-type helium jokes") might want to reflect on that.

LINKS: Top ten signs that National just doesn't get it - Generation XY
Waste Watch - National Party, via the tax payer
Libertarianz take action, while Don huffs and puffs - Elliot Who?
Would you kill your mother to pave I-95? - PJ O'Rourke

TAGS: Politics-National, Libz, Darnton v Clark

4 Comments:

Blogger Blair said...

I think they spent a couple of hundred bucks on a cartoon. Big. Deal. Parliamentary campaigns by the Opposition are a legitimate use of tax money because they ensure we actually have a democracy under a system where the people they are fighting against get to spend $50 billion. Against that I am not going to quibble over minor expenditure for a cartoon, and frankly, bloggers should stop parroting the Herald's beat-up.

7/17/2006 02:35:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Damn, Blair's right.

How dare I "parrot the Herald" and point out National's dishonesty and utter inability to understand an issue when it's waved right in front of their face. What am I thinking?

Thanks, Blair, for demonstrating why you Tories are as Cactus Kate said, still getting splinters in their arse from the backbenches: You. Just. Don't. Get. It.

After all, and according to you, mis-using taxpayer money like this is no worse than Rodney Hide mis-using it like this, is it now?

Your apologetics are the same as they've always been, Blair, all that's changed now is on whose behalf those apologetics are wheeled out.

7/17/2006 02:51:00 pm  
Blogger Blair said...

That's because I believe that a strong parliament placing issues before the public is a necessary function of good government, just like the justice system and the defence forces.

If you are going to fund government through compulsory taxation, a taxpayer-funded parliament is vital and worthy. And I don't think spending a three figure sum on a cartoon constitutes waste. It's straining Nats to swallow camels.

If you are going to pursue this line then how different are you from an idiot like Hide getting up in parliament complaining about the army paying for a column in their newsletter? It's all very well and noble to have such strongly defined principles, but unless you put them in perspective then you end up fighting the wrong battles.

7/18/2006 12:16:00 am  
Anonymous tink said...

Yes, unfortunately even the bloody hipocritical libertarianz have got their greasy hands in my pocket

http://www.elections.org.nz/broadcasting_decision_05.html

7/18/2006 02:23:00 pm  

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