Total Pageviews

Friday, May 25, 2012

Does the Truth Matter Anymore?


I think our main problem is listening, reading comprehension and staying on the topic. Yesterday I posted a blog knowing that the usual suspects would attack the message, but they were not going to be able to rebut the facts, so their only recourse was to ignore it or try to distort it. So far, my analysis has been wrong because I have not really been attacked for it, but maybe they are just ignoring it. I can see where another bulldog attack or the rehashing the voter recount would take priority and not that many people are interested in politics.

It took me a couple of days to post my recent blog about Obama not being the big spender that the right made him out to be because I had to see how it was going to be portrayed in the nationwide media. It's been given very little attention even though the contents have been fact checked because Democrats and Republicans don't know what to make of it. I also have to admit that since I knee- high to a grasshopper, I have been led to believe that the federal government was just one great big wasteland. If we break it down, the message is pretty simple. It's like a similar blog I posted several months ago stating that taxes are lower than they have been since the Truman administration. It's not a message that the government is not spending too much or that taxes are too low. It's just a counter message trying to put things in proper perspective. The message is; $3 in spending cuts to $1 in revenues is a great start in reducing our deficit and when the economy starts to recover, we can put more emphasis on the debt. We shouldn't panic over short term deficits because they will be fully repaid in one year or less. It's like I always say, Republican's stay on the message; if the data was on their side; Fox would have run it on a continuous loop forcing the Democrats to respond. President Obama used the content of the blog I posted in a stump speech yesterday but, unless more Democrats repeat the message; it will go up through one ear and not the other.

An exaggerated crisis could also be manufactured at the local level. For example, example some poster at the VA forum stated that the recent recount fiasco was another “gate like situation" i.e." recount gate" etc. Really? How can Victoria have a gate -like situation if only 10% of the registered voters show up to vote? Did we see a long line of massive protesters from Precinct 1? It just a continuance of mayor gate because a few will protest anything he does. There are some posters dissecting the mayor's words on what they thought he meant. Excuse me if I don't get too worked up over that because I don't have a dog in that hunt. I can't serve two or three masters; national, state, and local politics...:-)

What matters more? the message or the messenger? On the matter of gay marriage, I saw a poll where 59 percent of African Americans say they support same-sex marriage, up from an average of 41 percent in polls leading up to Obama’s announcement of his new position on the matter. I found that very hard to believe, but then I looked at a more realistic poll that centered on African Americans of North Carolina where the number went up to 27% from a low of 20% in favor. I remembered President George Bush getting 12% of the African American vote because several states had gay marriage on the ballot by design. The black clergy and the national NAACP are making the issue more about civil rights. On the local front either it was an Abomination to God with selective scriptures or the usual “how’s it hurting your marriage?'' The subject never gets any traction in Victoria.Will we ever get a straight answer. I think the whole country is evolving.

Will we ever be able to have a discussion with our adversaries that doesn't involve name calling, cherry picked facts, or exaggerations? I'm opinionated, but I become an ideologue if I start to argue with facts. I've been accused of being a spinmeister but that has its limitations as more people understand the facts. That reminds me of a time I unintentionally angered my Jehovah Witness when I said “there could be multiple versions of the truth.”

And that my friend is a summary of this blog.


Edith Ann said...

Certainly the truth matters.

However, it only matters to a few.

The rest don't want the truth messing with their reality.

Rebecca said...

"Truth" is subjective. =P

Mike said...

In the example of my Jehovah Witness friend; he blew up because I did not buy into his rhetoric. He thought I was being condescending because I didn't agree with him 100%.

Unfortunately some of us think we are the lone holder of the truth and a discussion never stands a chance. ...IMO

If I correct someone's post with supported facts; it instantly sets off a chain of events.
1. The source is bias
2. Name calling
3. The term Liberal is used in the pejorative and socialist comes into play.

I know I've been on both sides of these types of arguments.

Mike said...

That's what I normally think Rebecca.

But if I say " the planet is getting hotter and I produce weather data as proof" about the only thing that is questionable is context...

I never argue science.

Mike said...

Financial Accounting is bound by "general accepted facts." In life we are not bound by general accepted facts.

For example,everyone on Wall Street knows that the recent Facebook trading fiasco was due to "insider trading by the privileged'' but that truth will have to be found out in an investigation.

Sometimes "subjective" has to be put to a test.

Anonymous said...

hi there trevor here is the link address ,give them a call ,just say H hemtom recommened you

dale said...

Does the Truth really matter? I can say yes. But borrowing the biblical passage, "What is Truth?"

I have noted elsewhere that I visited with Mayor Armstrong at the recent Alvarez recount. Will is definitely on the opposite political spectrum from me. (But I guess, as I age, everyone is on my opposite side. On political issues I have gone far to the right. For social and indivdual rights I am fighting for minorities, the poor and those who have very little representation at the political table. Where does that put me?)

Back to Will. I really like Will's desire to grow Victoria. For a long time we shook our heads and wondered why Victoria wouldn't grow.

Will's vision has made growth a possibility (because of or despite his emptying the public treasury).

Which brings me to my opposition. Property taxes and sales taxes impact the rich and the very poor disproportionally. If the public sector "gifts" to business the remaining payors must take up the slack. Correct? And who must make up the biggest part of the slack? The poor?

Much is asked of the poor through taxes collected and yet not recognized from whom it comes. Other businesses will reap the benefits of city growth. The poor and the middle class receive nothing in the deal. (Except as Will puts... "a bigger tax base"...which translates to more tax collections for government).

Am I right or wrong? Business and business owners must shoulder the cost of expanding their business... not the public. Please do not throw the fact "other cities are doing it" that is not the concern. Is it right to ask the poor to subsidize business? Give them welfare if you must.

Mike said...


I guess we all agree that "Truth Matters" but we might disagree on context.

I don't know a thing about the mayor but I will go with your assessment for arguments sake but I won't completely buy into your "emptying the public treasury" until I see the yearly P&l and balance sheet...The CC may be spending more than you are comfortable with but I would need the financial statements and in some cases a reasonable period of time to see if the investments were prudent....I went to my grandson's pre- graduation mass at Our Lady of Sorrows last night and saw a lot of activity in our downtown area and I see the continuing growth every time I drive around our city.

The sales tax rate has been at a constant for several years, so I guess your biggest concern is property taxes. The poor don't pay a lot of property tax (if any) in fact I think they wish they did because that would indicate they have something of value to tax.

I don't see anything wrong with private/public joint ventures and as I stated above; time will prove if the investment panned out. I like the "build it and they will come" to a point where everything is above board. Example, for a biblical reference Luke 19:11-27 ""A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. [13] So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.' ....Same way, if city finds a parcel of land for future use, I don't mind a bond proposal (private investors) as a way to pay for it.

I don't classify the working poor as welfare recipients because I think they might prefer good schools, a job with a decent wage and benefits, so they can buy their own food and not a set amount with restrictions. That’s why I voted for the school bond to provide training for future and current private sector workers.

As I stated the voters were not outraged (only 10% voted) and I think it was people outside our city or pct. 1 who complained the most. It was as always about the current regime. Even a person like me, who is blind on city matters, could see through that charade.

BTW Let me compliment on the great statements you made on EA's blog and at the VA about the recount and the people involved. You were consistent, fair, and above the fray.

Legion said...

Well yeah Mike tax free municipal, toll authority and college bonds are a great investment for individuals and major financial investors. The rate of return is at least double of a short term CD, as good as the stock market and 200% higher than a savings account. (Thank you North Texas Toll Authority and city of Chicago), anyway, all these bonds mean that the people that pay taxes, are obligated to pay the interest on said bonds for years and years.

20 Years or maybe more? Take a look at the Astrodome, Houston is debating whether to tear it down or rehab it, there is still $24 Million or so owned on the bond to build it and improve it... a far cry from the original Construction cost $35 million in 1962. Sometimes those bonds come back to plague cities ect.

Mike said...

There is more than one underlying story behind all the facts behind the need for toll roads such refusing to take fed funds just for political purposes..Yes, people pay the interest over the life of the bond but they go into the voting booth knowing that. Some will get more gain from the facility and others will get unforeseen gains.

I read parts of a book I still have on my iPad titled "No Free Lunch" on how George W. Bush as governor paved the way for Texas Stadium to be built with taxpayers's money and imminent domain and that is why I said "when everything is above board."..Yes, when you are dealing with greedy people bad things happens....It all comes down to "TRUST."

If memory serves, the Astrodome was a fiscal fiasco for the taxpayers of Houston from the get go but they wanted it...I know I've bought a lemon or two in my lifetime.

*** I heard this toll booth issue and state revenue sharing being discussed today.

I hope I can explain it as well as they did.........When the Fed (50 states tax revenues) grant the states some money to repair their infrastructure and to keep their public employees; it’s done with a national purpose of “we are all in this together”. Texas SHOULD take the funds and keep their state afloat, recover, add jobs and the intended purpose of Keynesian works. ...This should only be used in a recession....

You know as a young man with no particular skills, just a good job and credit score, signed a mortgage for 5 times my annual salary ...there was a great risk but we can foresee the future.
I realize some people would rather the city/county spend what they bring in and not a cent more and return the rest but governments don't work like the home budget. I don't expect a single person to agree with a thing I wrote but I'm comfortable with it.

Thanks a lot for the discussion and you made a great deal of sence.

Legion said...

Take the federal funds, of course, I'm not going to say "it's all taxpayers money" like some do.

Not doing the above the above has to be one of the worst decisions our Governor Goodhair of Texas has done,federal funds includes the Planned Parenthood funding... well, all that and his proving he is a idiot by running for President.

In my moms portfolio, there are a few 20 year municipal bonds purchased in the 80's, only problem is that they do not mature until 2027 and in one instance 2037. I bet the voters that approved those bonds didn't know that. lol

Mike said...

Wow that's some old bonds when they mature.

I always thought municipal bonds only had the tax free appeal and the interest was not that great on them.

I was really disappointed with the guest speaker, Judge Kemper Williams at St. Joe's graduation speech tonight..he ended his speech by telling the graduates to get into politics and vote to get better politicians and vote the people out of office starting with the number one because of his war on religion and the tacky and out of order. ...Anyway the Fine Arts Center was the perfect setting.

I would never talk politics @ a grad. ceremony and didn't expect to hear it..A time and a place.

dale said...

Mike, the poor do pay property taxes. As a landlord, I do not absorb the property tax, I pass it on.... plus a little profit. Welfare, for corporation is what I referred to.

Muni bonds. Yes, I too like them. Depending on their life cycle stage, they can be a very nice holding.

Back to property taxes and the poor. My average unit will be taxed $140 to $160 a month. The occupant is earning from $30 to $42k a year. That equals to 5% of their annual pretax earnings. Add 7% social security. Throw in 8.25% sales tax. Now with just taxes the "poor" are paying 20% of their income for local and social security tax. Local taxation (then given to corporations) are an expensive proposition for the poor.

At least muni bonds are tax exempt.

Mike said...

Wow, a lot of money but I have a friend that owns a four plex but his recent rate increase was because he could not because of property tax but I guess that goes from landlord to landlord.....SS is 4.2% right now and wil go back to 6.2 % next year...You forgot EITC helps them but let's separate local from federal...

I thought landlords charged by sq.ft,location,availability or circumstances....

The poor aren't being taxed too much ....They aren't
getting paid enough....I've never comained about being taxed too much,I just wanted a decent wage...All the poor I've ever met really don't care what goes on@ city hall....I just heard that topic taked about this morning on a talk show...Melissa Harriss Perry said that the GOP doesn't understand that black people don't hate the government like Republicans and she went on to say that women and minorities don't either...They see as a safey net to help against oppression and other injustices.

Your heart is in the right place but we see things differently.

Mike said...

Happy Memorial Day everyone.

My last grandson graduated last night, reminding me that the little ones grow up pretty quickly, enjoy them because it won’t be long when they walk across that stage for that diploma.

Mike said...

In between celebrating my grandsons graduation; visiting and all, I may have been incoherent when a posted off my iPhone. No, I don't drink anymore but I've posted a hurried response.

The reason I wanted to separate local politics from federal should be obvious...I think you, A, and Legion357 know the city and county officials and have more in depth knowledge on local matters. I get mine reading the responses and fact checking them against the local newspaper. Right or wrong; that’s how I come to my conclusions.

This blog was about the truth and should it matter; as Rebecca pointed out, the truth is subjective.

From the local perspective, I still believe that those complaining about CAD are just interested about their property taxes. When they complain about a central government; it's based on ideology. Their beliefs are based on "government is always a bad," a strong desire for little or no taxes, and a complete separation of public funds and the private enterprise because if something good comes from the transaction, it will prove that government can be effective. There has to be a 24/7 message of government ineffectiveness or corruption....IMO

Am I a completely wrong?

Mike said...

Speaking of the truth...This is a tally form a recent poll in our newspaper.

Did you vote in the May 12 election? (closed)

Yes 81%
No 19%
lol....Only 10% voted.

dale said...


I started off talking about truth. Truth should be objective and provable. I jumped over to Will, with the idea I would discuss his version of truth.

If truth is subjective, how can you trust it? Truth becomes relative and can be twisted based upon the individual's desire of the moment.

Truth must be a constant. Once a belief is created, it must remain constant or risk the loss of it's reliablity.

Truth must be reliable or risk the loss of faith. Once a person's word becomes untrustworthy (in the interpretation or reinterpretation of "truth") does he/she risk the loss of trust of another?

Perhaps the loose interpretation of the word "truth" or even playing loose with the definition of common everyday words is one cause in the loss of faith in politics in general.

Mike said...


I have faith in politics Because I don't literally take the politicians word...I leave wiggle room for spin...I then learn everything I can about an issue and take it from there.

That's why I said science is truth and general accepted financial statements are the truth...Those can be verified or agreed upon by those in the field.

I believe everyone has an agenda and that's my version of the truth.

dale said...

Perhaps a perceived lack of truth and honesty has led to the US Congress's perpetually low approval rating? Not everyone is as willing to provide "wiggle room" to politicians and car salesmen. Yet, I accept your openness.

I'll add to accounting principles and science, persons whose honesty is trustworthy. That person can be expected to tell the "truth".

Mike said...

Congress has always had a low approval numbers but people like their own congressperson but then I don't put them into any more scrutiny than I do the constituents. ...We are all imperfect.

I think integrity is what someone does when no one is looking.