It's not 1994 Anymore (or 1984 for that matter)

by: Daniel De Groot

Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:00

Noted conservative intellectual Arthur Laffer on CNN Tuesday:

If you like the post office and the department of motor vehicles and you think they're run well, just wait until you see medicare, medicaid and health care done by the government.

He's not a moron, just deceitful. Forget the pandering to people who don't know who pays for Medicare/caid, are the Post office and DMV really that unpopular?

The answer seems to be that, they're not.  Laffer is playing out of a Reagan era movement conservative playbook.  I couldn't locate any national polling for the DMV (New York State's DMV is well liked), but as for the old USPS, survey says:

"I'd like your opinion on some organizations and institutions. For each of the following, please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the organization or institution. Let's start with   [see below]."   If "favorable" or "unfavorable": "Is that very favorable/unfavorable or somewhat favorable/unfavorable?"   If unsure: "Do you mean you've never heard of   [see below] or you just can't rate it?"

Item Very Favorable Somewhat favorable Somewhat unfavorable Very unfavorable Never Heard Of Can't Rate
The Postal Service 58 31 5 5 - 1
the FBI 31 46 10 7 1 5
Defense Department 31 34 14 15 2 4
Social Security Administration 24 40 19 13 - 4
Transportation Security Administration 15 41 16 9 9 9
Internal Revenue Service 14 42 21 18 1 4

Associated Press poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. Dec. 17-19, 2007. N=1,004 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.

edited for brevity

How effective can this talking point be, when even the IRS manages to have a majority admitting to positive feelings for it?  I agree with Tremayne, all this needs is some courageous Democrats (dare I say "liberals"?) to stand up for the USPS and DMV.  It's just not 1994 and government bashing needs to be countered.

Daniel De Groot :: It's not 1994 Anymore (or 1984 for that matter)

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As I just posted elsewhere (4.00 / 1)
I was at the DOL the other day and between the online processing and picking up my plates in person (because I renewed late, my fault), it took me all of 5 minutes (not including travel time, which, again, was my fault). It was about as painless as it gets. Other than occasionally having to wait a while and the very rare lost/damaged package, I've never had a problem with the DMV, DOL, post office, passport agency, etc.

When properly run (which usually means by Dem appointees), teh guvmint does a pretty good job, I think, at least at the retail level.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

You're too kind (0.00 / 0)
He's not a moron? I'm sorry, but after his famous curve, who could possibly make such an argument, except out of an excess of politeness?

the old debate about conservatives.... (0.00 / 0)
"stupid versus dishonest"

Somehow with an ivy league PhD like Laffer, when he makes mistakes this flagrant, I go for "dishonest" (as I call him deceitful).  I'm willing to be wrong on this point :)

[ Parent ]
Stop! You're Both Right! (0.00 / 0)
I remember when Laffer tried to run for US Senate, back in the 80s sometime.  I have studious tried to ignore him ever since.

Guy's a moron with a ginormous ego.  Folks like that very seldom change.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Medicaid and Medicare are already run by the government... (0.00 / 0)
...but don't tell a senior birther that little fact... they won't believe you!!!

That's why they can say that "government will take over your medicare" with a straight face and enough people will believe it to make it worthwhile.

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

"... all this needs is some courageous Democrats..." (4.00 / 2)
And while we're wishing, let's also wish for some flying pigs.

But seriously, folks...

In how many other situations could we say "all this needs is some courageous Democrats?"

Single-payer healthcare?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

Renewable energy?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

Ending crazy wars?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

A stimulus that creates jobs?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

Mortgage relief?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

Regulation of financial markets?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

Gun control?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

Nuclear disarmament?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

Progressive taxes?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

Public transportation?

All this needs is some courageous Democrats!

And so on...

Reminds me... (4.00 / 3)
"Give us 60 democrats in the senate and we will get it done!"

[ Parent ]
Is it clear analysis to say that? Does this flippant comment reflect reality? (0.00 / 0)


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]

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