Joe Trippi was Howard Dean’s campaign manager until he got fired. Drudgereport made it a point to say that the Dean campaign blew $7.2 million alone with Trippi’s firm. Most of it ($6.7m) was to buy airtime. Little solace I’m sure to the ultra-leftists who sent in money via the web. In essence, they bought air. It’s nice to see it affect their pocketbooks. Funny how top liberals rail against fat cats, but in fact are fat cats themselves.
13 thoughts on “Wastin’ money”
Just like conservatives railed against the size of government and government spending increases when they were in the opposition, and increased both at an amazing clip in the past three years. (And I am not here referring to tax cuts or defense/homeland budgets). Never mind the 180 degrees on budget deficits from Gingrich to Bush. (“Must balance them !!” “Don’t matter !!”)
In other words, rampant federal spending, increased statism at the expense of civil liberties and social engineering schemes are bad only if enacted by Democrats; just like cronyism and tax cuts are only bad if engineered by Republicans.
This being said, I don’t think there is anything unusual about Dean’s budget and how it was spent. National political campaigns require a lot of air time. And given how much it actually costs to buy it…
Yes, I’m not a big fan of Republicans anymore – they’ve become big government liberals!
Wow, Sylvain is kicking the GOP’s *ss, and Nito is going along with it. First the easy point. They are not “big government liberals”, they are congressmen, who get reelected if they bring money back to their districts. That is their incentive and they respond to it. They need external discipline, or they will eat every dime they can get their hands on.
I’m still a big fan of the Republicans, and will vote for them in ’04 and in ’06, and so on, until something incredibly radical happens. And that will be never.
I wish Bush had been tougher on the budget, but it is certainly not going to hurt his electoral prospects. No one ever gets elected on balancing the budget. “Balancing the budget” is a form of words in politics, it is up there with Mom and apple pie. But actually cutting spending means somebody actually does not get something they want, or less of what they want, and they scream bloody murder.
Bush may not be totally politically motivated in this. Coming out of a recession, Bush wants both Keynesian levers pulled all the way back — spending and tax cuts. He’s got ’em. It is akin to Nixon’s strategy prior to 1972. I think it will work pretty much like it did for Nixon. But, we are looking at low interest rates and cheap debt service, and we seem to be facing little chance of inflation — though some on this blog worry otherwise. So, if you have to run a deficit, now is a good time to do it.
Still, again, I wish he had played this differently. I agree on that.
“rampant federal spending, increased statism at the expense of civil liberties and social engineering schemes are bad only if enacted by Democrats” Basically, yeah. I’d go as far as saying the Democrats will always be worse in all these categories. I base this on a lifetime of observation. It is funny coming from them. Right now they are condemning Bush for running a deficit and for not spending enough on medicine for the old people. Sure. We know how that will play out if they get in.
The possible exception is “civil liberties”, the Democrats will always make concrete sacrifices in national security for notional gains in civil liberty — it is like that old bumper sticker “I brake for hallucinations.”
“Coming out of a recession, Bush wants both Keynesian levers pulled all the way back — spending and tax cuts. ”
Love the tax cuts, wish he’d cut more. But hate the spending.
“So, if you have to run a deficit, now is a good time to do it.”
Yes, pork buys votes, and now is the time to do it. But big government is still big government. I wish Bush would use that veto pen once in a while.
Lex, I dislike political parties in general. They are secular religious institutions, with most of the negative side-effects and few, if any, of the benefits. (In this life or the next…) Dogmatism, insularity and intolerance are their good points. The bumper stickers do enhance my commute every four years, though…
I am not against deficits anymore than I am against debt. It’s what they are spent on that matters. Just like, as a shareholder, I would not want to see a CEO issue bonds for buying himself a private golf course, I do not want to see the federal government issue debt for state pork-barrel politics, or pile more cash on incompetent, wasteful agencies. And if that’s the way it’s done, why do they criticize the Dems for doing the same darn thing ? Hence my point. The Republicans are not much less statist than most Dems. They are agains statism only when they’re not the ones pulling the levers.
No one ever gets elected on balancing the budget. Newt Gingrich and an entire GOP Congress might beg to differ.
As far as civil liberties, I generally disagree we have to sacrifice them to increase security. That assertion is as popular as it’s false and I give the Dems credit for not falling for it as readily and willingly as Republicans.
“I dislike political parties in general. They are secular religious institutions, with most of the negative side-effects and few, if any, of the benefits.”
Whoa. No way. I will need to respond at length to this at some point, in a separate post. Political Parties are an essential element in a functioning democracy. This is too big and too far off the topic of this post to take up here.
In a well-functioning democracy, turnout for elections would not be as low as it is in this country. Party politics, as they are run and implemented, have a serious responsibility in this respect. Organizational machines that feed on increasing both their power and the state’s at our expense, and the associated corruption they produce, are not good for democracy.
As things are, they’re more of a necessary evil than anything else, as far as I’m concerned.
Pork reminds of that axiom from physics where an object in motion tends to stay in motion. It’s always easier to dole out pork than it is to cut it.
I find myself moving more towards the libertarian point of view. Government should be minimized as much as possible.
I don’t really see the “scandal” with Dean’s mispent millions. In the first place, the 7.2 million figure is not all profit and it was the campaign’s money. If a politician is going to blow his war chest on something stupid, it is no skin off my nose. It isn’t like any taxpayers or unwilling victims were scammed out of their hard earned dollars. If the Dean campaign has no problem with giving all that money over to Trippi’s firm, then there really doesn’t seem to be an issue at all.
No scandal, just happy they blew a bunch of money for nothing.
“In a well-functioning democracy, turnout for elections would not be as low as it is in this country.”
Isn’t there a perfectly serious theory in political science which argues that low turnout reflects how satisfied most voters are, and therefore that the democratic system is on the contrary functioning very well?
Doesn’t the theory say not so much that voters are satisfied but that, given the cost of information and the limited influence each voter has, it’s usually not worth voters’ time to inform themselves about issues that don’t affect them directly? IOW most voters rationally avoid involvement with issues that don’t cross a threshold of personal relevance.
I don’t think this is bad. Somebody (Oscar Wilde?) once said something like, Socialism can’t work because mankind doesn’t have enough evenings (i.e., to spend in meetings). I think the same point applies to democratic politics as far as most nonpolitical Americans are concerned.
While the reasoning sounds attractive, I don’t think a well-functioning democracy like this one should have such low turnouts for Presidential elections.
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