To some on the right (such as Bachmann) feeding from the government trough is only bad when others do it; Obama pitting corporate jet setters against struggling students doesn’t solve debt problem

The rhetorical war or political/philosophical debate over raising or not raising the debt ceiling going on between the GOP and the Democrats will not solve the debt crisis in the United States.

It seems just common sense that neither simply making spending cuts or raising taxes is the answer and that the real answer probably is to do both — many have said that and that probably will be the final outcome, I would think.

But when you are trying to fire up your political base with elections in mind, compromise does not come off well. And people want simple answers anyway.

To some extent, there is a true struggle in political ideology going on here.

And then again, some people just want what works for them at any given time.

I find it interesting that surprise up and comer (till only recently reported as a kind of zany, wacko type)  Michelle Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, rails against government and in true Tea Party fashion says that people want it out of their lives. But did she bother to mention something the LA Times ran across in her financial disclosure forms? She and her husband benefited to the tune of some $30,000 over five years from state and federal funding for a counseling clinic they own, and better (or worse) yet, a family farm in which the congresswoman is a partner, received $260,000 in federal subsidies. And I think that is a dairy farm. Talk about feeding from the public trough. It’s only bad when tax money is issued like this for other people, I suppose she thinks.

And I already think I can guess was her rationalization might be (and it might be somewhat correct, somewhat): while she might not believe in the government involvement in things like her counseling business or farm subsidies, as a business person you deal with the current reality. If that is what everyone else is doing, you have to as well to stay in business.

Bear with me here, please: I from time to time catch Tom Sullivan’s show on Fox Radio, or at least part of it —  he was a financial advisor in Sacramento turned financial show host on local radio there, who then moved into commenting on local and state and national government and politics as a kind of golly gee shucks is that how it works, I had been too busy making money to pay attention guy. It worked for him and now he has his own national conservative talk program. Even though I often do not fully agree with him, he certainly comes off as a person who tries to understand the issues (he used to go to great pains to give both sides or play devil’s advocate and still does, sometimes I think, but the typical sycophantic right-wing listeners (just like typical left-wing ones in  their realm, where they exist) don’t seem to like it or get confused when he strays off message.

Well  all of this preamble is for a point I wanted to make on something I heard Sullivan say the other day.

He was commenting on President Obama’s remarks to the effect that having money the government can offer in scholarships to students from financially challenged backgrounds was more important than offering tax breaks to those who fly corporate jets.

Sullivan chuckled sarcastically that he was not aware that it was the duty of the government or tax payer to pay for someone’s college. He said he thought people should have to do like “so many of us have”  — work their way through (washing dishes and the like).

So on the one hand, you might say you have Obama on the left on this one (although I don’t think of Obama as a leftist, but more as a centrist) and Sullivan on the right.

Both engaged in rhetoric here.

Obama plays on the leftist or progressive sympathies for government social programs, and Sullivan on the right-wing sympathies for self-reliance and no government intrusion.

I don’t think many people believe there is any constitutional or legal obligation for the government to provide college scholarships, but many people may well think it is a good idea for society.

Obama does not offer a solution to the problem, however, by pitting corporate jet setters against poor striving, but struggling college students.

Sullivan, I imagine, but do not really know, benefited somewhere along the line from government largesse.

We now know Tea Party darling Bachmann has.

Rhetoric and political posturing helps set priorities but it does not seem to pay off the national debt or improve the economy.


Give Sullivan a point for noting that working people benefit when the jet setters jet because they get paid for making the airplanes — the same argument for the old yacht tax deduction was made.


Why stop there? Servants benefit when the rich stay rich — they keep their jobs.


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