New on the right

From the Flint Report I found a new right-leaning blog here. Then I immediately got into a discussion with the proprietor on the use of funds from the Accommodations Tax. Kind of interesting.

I’m always looking for conservatives to argue with, especially since I banned myself from Electric City Weblog, but the options aren’t good. My recent comment at 2 Helena Handbaskets has been awaiting moderation for 10 days now. We could have a timelier correspondence by packet ship.

I have weighed in at Rabid Sanity a few times, but that never seems to go anywhere. It’s all depressing. I have been sick and cranky, so I’m spoiling for a fight, but it’s tough to have one around here.

4 thoughts on “New on the right

  1. David, if I may make a suggestion to you about “picking a fight” and “looking for conservatives to argue with”:

    I think you will find most conservatives welcome discussion about their topics, and certainly from opposing points of view. What works best, especially in a blog setting, is to (1) stick to the point of the original blog, don’t change the subject (2) when there is disagreement, make your point as clearly as you can and then let it drop – pounding the same point is boring and will not “win over” the poster – most times there will be no clear “winner” in an ideological debate. (3) Keep it pithy.

    Thanks for plugging my blog, best wishes from the right.

    • What I would really like is to have a discussion that leads somewhere. In this case, you started with a post that criticized certain uses of the Accommodations Tax. I pointed out some other uses of the tax. Your response made it sound as if you opposed not only all uses of the Accommodations Tax, but all taxes that support museums. You then said, “Most citizens are happy to support national parks, museums of broad interest, etc. And tourism does help the economy. But where do we draw the line?”

      My subsequent posts were aimed at determining where you draw the line. You agreed that Yellowstone National Park deserves tax dollars. I’m guessing that you would then agree on the Smithsonian, too, although I’m not certain of that. I can’t tell if you would support state parks at all. At certain points, you seem to imply that people shouldn’t be required to pay any taxes except on roads, schools and defense. I’m pretty sure that isn’t your final position, but I would like to know what your final position is, if any.

      I have a theory that a lot of ideological differences are more rhetorical than substantive. My guess is that your positions and mine on taxation are not really all that different, although I suspect I would support a tax rate a few points higher than you would. I also would argue that it is legitimate to pay taxes to support museums and parks for the same reason that it is legitimate to pay taxes to support education. I can’t tell if you agree with that or not. It seems to me that the only way to resolve these issues is through sustained discussion, not a series of one-on, one-off posts.

      • David, my stance has never been anti-tax. There are necessary functions of government – the constitutional requirements should be top priority, and everything after that is luxury – as I said “nice, but not necessary.” Still, we want to pool our resources to accomplish important things that we can’t do individually.

        My bigger concern is SPENDING. It seems that the way we are spending currently, we could pretty much confiscate all wealth created in the private sector and still not have enough to satisfy everyone’s spending urges.

        My viewpoint is based on my education in economics and my experience as a chief financial officer. I understand the numbers, they make sense to me, and I view the national economy as very similar to running a business or a family budget. You just can’t spend more than you take in (without going into unsustainable debt).

        So yes, when spending is greater than revenues, we will have to set priorities and get our house in order.

        I’m sure you don’t disagree with that.

  2. Of course I don’t disagree with balanced budgets. But Montana’s budget is balanced. The problem is at the federal level, and it involves three spending areas: defense, Social Security and healthcare.

    It’s highly debatable that we need to spend as much as we do on defense. Social Security is essentially a temporary problem caused by the retirement of Baby Boomers and is a relatively easy fix. Healthcare is an enormous problem; I still have high hopes that the Affordable Care Act is an important first step toward getting that problem under control.

    Cutting spending on museums isn’t going to get us anywhere.

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