Sunday, July 31, 2011

If the tea party are Hobbits, John McCain is Boromir

Nominations for Grima Wormtongue are open.

John McCain quoted the Wall Street Journal the other day to the effect that tea party aspirations for an end to fiscal insanity resemble a J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy.
...[T]he tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
Yesterday, the Journal found it expedient to explain the obvious:
These columns drew much notice after John McCain quoted our July 27 “tea party hobbits” line on the Senate floor. Senator (sic) Sharron Angle responded that “it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land.” Well, okay, but our point was that there’s no such thing as a hobbit.
Serious debt reduction achieved in a bi-partisan kumbaya outbreak is a fantasy. It's right up there with belief in the Tooth Fairy and the Social Security 'Trust' fund. And it will forever be a fantasy, absent some major shake-up. The Journal's core assumption is that not raising the debt limit is the worst thing that could happen. Perhaps not.

As to fantasy, the same could reasonably have been said, and was, of the Declaration of Independence. The difference between the Revolution and the debt ceiling question is the immediacy and level of perceived risk.

If you do not think resolution of the Federal spending question involves an imminent, existential threat to the Republic, why would you think Hobbits are imaginary?

If you assume we will return to fiscal sanity at some later date - savings and investments intact, 'social compact' reformed - because the GOP will fix it all when they take the Senate and Presidency in the next election: You may be indulging in a fantasy. As Senator McCain has demonstrated, we wouldn't even be having the debate if we hadn't elected the Hobbits.

If you assume the Democrats will seriously address spending, or even co-operate in so doing, you are beyond fantasy.

The WSJ's analogy could be extended. The Hobbits didn't want to take on Sauron, they were forced to. They got little aid and no little betrayal from a corrupt establishment. They won, despite terrific odds which would only have become worse had they decided the problem could wait for an election in Mordor.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Twenty Two and Sixty

Who voted for a "voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion:"

Justin Amash (Mich.)
Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
Chip Cravaack (Minn.)
Jason Chaffetz (Utah)
Scott Desjarlais (Tenn.)
Tom Graves (Ga.)
Tim Huelskamp (Kans.)
Steve King (Iowa)
Tim Johnson (Ill.)
Tom McClintock (Calif.)
Mick Mulvaney (S.C.)
Ron Paul (Texas)
Connie Mack (Fla.)
Jim Jordan (Ohio)
Tim Scott (S.C.)
Paul Broun (Ga.)
Tom Latham (Iowa)
Jeff Duncan (S.C.)
Trey Gowdy (S.C.)
Steve Southerland (Fla.)
Joe Walsh (Ill.)
Joe Wilson (S.C.)

Tim Walberg and Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) are notably absent.

Now Senator McConnell needs to stick to 60.

Brief note on Social Security checks

TOC noted that normal SS payments can continue to be made from general revenue without raising the debt ceiling, and, should the president decide not to continue normal payments, there is a 2.6 trillion dollar stash in the Social Security 'Trust' Fund.

Cashing in the bonds held by the 'Trust' Fund does not increase US indebtedness. Not to cash the bonds would be another political choice.

The United States has already defaulted

There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.
– Ludwig von Mises
The tea party movement is aptly named, and those elected in its name should remember the will and motivation of the extremists who stormed British ships in 1773.

The "debt-ceiling" debate is such a revolutionary moment, and compromise with fools, charlatans and self-absorbed milquetoasts is out of order. Raising the debt ceiling while pretending we will voluntarily cut spending at some future date is insane. It's doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It guarantees catastrophe.

I, for one, would rather see the real deer-in-the-headlights expressions of John Boehner and Harry Reid than put up with one more shell game. Let August 2nd come and go with no more spending. On August 3rd we can all celebrate the president's 50th birthday and offer prayers that wisdom will come with it. On August 4th, after counting the proceeds of his birthday fundraisers, the president can tell us what he thinks we should do.

If nothing is done before August 2nd, the US need not, and will not, officially default. The debt interest will be paid. Social Security and Medicare can be paid. Our troops can be paid. Comments to the contrary are fear mongering. The rest of our obligations matter less than the principle of correcting our fiscal course. Trouble now, or catastrophe later?

I agree with Michele Bachmann and those tea party stalwarts who insist on doing something real. Theirs' is the compassionate position:
I refuse to be a party to deceiving the American people yet again.
- Michele Bachmann
A vote for "voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion" is a vote for the poor, the middle class and the rich. In that order.

Absent immediate cuts and a balanced budget Amendment, the one thing that should NOT be negotiable is the length of time any increase in the debt ceiling covers. We are told we can't interrupt Christmas. We are told this debate is divisive and should not play a part in the 2012 presidential election. Really? What do the politicians think we pay them for except to practice politics? The most important political question the United States faces is the long term viability of our financial system. The president talks about it now using class warfare rhetoric. He otherwise refuses to reveal any specific aspect of his plans. And he doesn't want to talk about it before he runs again for office? He is a charlatan who thinks you are a fool.

Update 6:23
Default Now, or Suffer a More Expensive Crisis Later: Ron Paul

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Demoralized and ready to quit

We need a term for the 'anti-Chicken Little'. 'Pollyanna' is an inexact antonym and probably insufficient to the task. The 'Boy who didn't cry Wolf'?

The sky is falling. The rose colored glasses are broken. The Wolf is feasting on our sheep. Somewhere, Cassandra is crying.

But Megan McCardle still thinks the US has a credit rating to save and that people will blame the GOP for damaging it (and, hilariously, that that matters), but this piece is interesting for the revealed psychology associated with those beliefs.

The 'deal of the day' (1 $trillion increase in the debt ceiling for 1.2 $trillion in reduced spending over the next decade - DO YOU THINK WE HAVEN'T ALREADY SEEN THIS MOVIE?!) just does not cut it. Megan gets it at the end, "[W]e're hosed." She is correct, but not for the reasons she thinks. We've been hosed since the hoser was elected. I don't know that 2012 is going to matter.

Speaking of shared sacrifice, when we have a President who believes 2 $billion in savings from closing the 'corporate jet loophole' is relevant to a 14 $trillion debt (actually at least 5 or 6 times that if the government had to follow GAAP rules) - and to which he has suggested we should add 1.5 $trillion annually - we are being forced to hose ourselves.

The president believes the Revolution of 1776 was conducted in favor of taxation with misrepresentation.

To very loosely paraphrase an apocryphal anecdote about Winston Churchill:
Would you sleep with me for a 2 trillion dollar increase in the debt ceiling?
Well......... I suppose I would have to consider it.

Would you sleep with me for a 2 billion dollar increase in the debt ceiling?
Of course, not. What kind of monetary system do you think I am?

Madam, we've already settled that question, now we are just haggling about the rate of inflation.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The child in the White House Press Room

As is his wont, Glenn Reynolds provides some links and a very short comment on each. There are several links in this and more than average length quotes. I found this one to be an excellent summary of our predicament.
Michael McFatter writes with a troubling thought:

I’m worried. See if you follow my concern. Thus far the Democrats have proved intractable on these negotiations. But more than that, they seem to be living in denial as regards the national debt and more importantly the deficits. Right now we’re projecting deficits of 1.5 trillion every year for the next ten years. But those projections are based on growth rates of something like 3 – 3.5% from 2013 onwards. Which is unrealistic when you consider the current debt load plus piling on 1.5T more every year. It’s obvious that these projections are pure fantasy. They’re in denial about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid sustainability and about Obamacare. They genuinely believed O-care was going to “bend the cost curve”! It’s ridiculous.

Now, we all know this. None of this is new information. What has me worried is the idea that the Democrats ACTUALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS IS THE END OF THE ROAD. What if they actually aren’t capable of recognizing when they’ve lost? Or when we’ve run out of other people’s money? None of these people work for a living. Their concept of where money comes from and how wealth is created (and destroyed) is completely divorced from reality because they live in a government bubble. And the very small minority among them that do understand this from previous jobs and experience are okay with Progressive policies aimed at leveling/equalizing/delivering-economic-justice because they just assume that the economy can handle some siphoning. And usually it can. But not at this volume or for this time scale.

Here’s the position I think we may be in. We’ve been negotiating with the President and The Democrats in Congress on the assumption that they’re sane. It’s okay to play hardball with these guys because eventually, whether they like it or not, reality insists upon itself and they have to cave. It’s a painful process so you expect some tantrum throwing and caterwauling, but eventually they HAVE to accept reality. Except if they’re not sane. If they want five apples and there’s only two plus two but they CAN’T ACCEPT that two plus two equals four. Orwell wasn’t just writing a parable about the eventual end point of IngSoc. He was describing what human psychology can drive Ministers to inflict upon the populace for the sake of “justice”. I’m worried they’ll pull the trigger on default as just one more “political” step in the march towards freedom from want or whatever other principle they’re operating under. They’re playing this game as if they could win, as if taxes in a downturn are a good idea with benign consequences. As if debt equivalent to GDP is survivable for the world’s anchor economy/currency, let alone sustainable.

And so maybe, just maybe, Republican strategy (what little there is of it) has badly misread the opposition. Obama tried to add 400 billion in taxes to a deal he had already agreed with Boehner at the last minute. Boehner walks out cause Obama is negotiating in bad faith and has been all along, but what if Obama is actually incapable of good faith negotiation? I think right now that it’s actually possible we won’t see a deal at all. Because the Republicans are looking at the math and at reality and saying “Okay, Democrat demands can’t be serious because they can’t possibly work” and Democrats are looking at politics and how it works and saying “We don’t have to give in cause that’s not how you win these things. You pin it on the other guy politically and then reap the political dividends.” I wasn’t around for the start of WWI, but I get the feeling I understand Kennedy’s fascination with Tuchman’s Guns of August. I’m not talking about a shooting war, but about leaders overestimating and underestimating and just plain misjudging each other in a brinksmanship scenario. In short, it could be too late to do anything when people finally wake up. The crisis may have already arrived with an economic and fiscal momentum all it’s [sic] own that no amount of dealing or compromise or statesmanship can stop.
The Guns of August is a chilling reference for me. WWI didn't start because of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, it started because the leaders who could have stopped it were on vacation.

Some further evidence that the Democrats are not sane in this matter:

1- Friday, the President decided to add the demand for a $400B tax increase to a deal (already viewed suspiciously by the many freshman House Republicans) that was nearly complete. Then he called a sanctimonious tantrum press conference - the prime intent of which seems to have been to panic the markets. We'll see Monday if he succeeded.

It would be to John Boehner's credit if he were to say at 4:31 PM on Monday, "The House has already passed 2 separate measures that would raise the debt ceiling. One of them is supported by two-thirds of the adults in the United States.

We have negotiated in good faith. The President has not. Americans can either 'eat their peas' slowly over the next several decades, or have them forced down our throats in one sitting and go hungry thereafter. It is up to the Democrats now. Let them offer something in lieu of the budget they have avoided proposing for over two years, the absence of which has brought us to the brink. Let them offer something other than the class warfare that they call a plan. Let them offer one single specific proposal.

Today we have stood at the brink, and glimpsed the precipice as a result of the President's ill-considered rhetoric and Democrats' pervasive bad-faith."


2-Even the AP acknowledges the President's fecklessness. They describe it as pragmatic shifts in a volatile situation, though it is nothing but a series of partisan flip-flops.

The Democrats are not negotiating about the debt ceiling, they are negotiating about re-election of a president and redistribution of wealth - as to the creation of which they have no clue. As Obama warned us, his plan is "Fundamentally Transforming the United States of America." It's not like he kept this a secret, it's just that voters have limited imaginations. Transforming America via his own anti-exceptionalist vision fully explains his every puzzling action.

Better immediate default than Obama's long-term vision. Default would cause less pain to fewer people in the long run and give more people better opportunity.

As I write, and in half an hour, gold and silver are up 1%, the US dollar is down more than that. Thank you, Mr. president. We'll see if the toxins you spewed Friday take hold.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No dog food for you!

The United States spends 44% more each month than it receives in tax revenue. Failure to raise the debt limit therefore means an immediate 44% cut in expenditures. Then we must make choices about what spending has to be cut.

The Weekly Standard provides an example of the choices that could be made:
[It is projected that] there will be $172 billion in federal revenues in August and $307 billion in authorized expenditures. That means there's enough money to pay for, say, interest on the debt ($29 billion), Social Security ($49.2 billion), Medicare and Medicaid ($50 billion), active duty troop pay ($2.9 billion), veterans affairs programs ($2.9 billion).

That leaves you with about $39 billion to fund (or not fund) the following:

Defense vendors ($31.7 billion)

IRS refunds ($3.9 billion)

Food stamps and welfare ($9.3 billion)

Unemployment insurance benefits ($12.8 billion)

Department of Education ($20.2 billion)

Housing and Urban Development ($6.7 billion)

Other spending, such as Departments of Justice, Labor,
Commerce, EPA, HHS ($73.6 billion)
You can get all the cuts you need right there in the last 3 items. DoE, EPA, and HUD can simply be disbanded and their assets sold. HHS can be cut in half.

However, the President announced today he is unsure he wants to pay Social Security recipients if the Republicans don't tack a trillion dollar tax increase on top of Obamacare. He said he might choose to take away the dog food Republicans have been force feeding to Grandma:
I cannot guarantee that those [Social Security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.
Mr. President, be serious. At the end of 2010 the Social Security Trust Fund had a surplus of 2.6 trillion dollars. So, even if we decided not to pay Social Security out of the general fund, as was demonstrated above that we could, you could just cash in some government bonds. What?! Social Security payouts are just another form of interest on our debt?

Well, then, I guess you are right, we'd better pay the foreign creditors first.

PS, It's true we couldn't immediately defund DoE, EPA, HUD and HHS. in exchange for their demise we should raise the debt limit enough to give give all the employees a severance package and cover an orderly winding down of their operations before the 2012 elections. Disbanding BATFE will pay the interest on that.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Parsing the President

President Obama today chastised Republicans for their willingness to follow the recommendations of the President's own National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform refusal to accept as a compromise the President's own half formed and spendthrift "budget outline" which includes an additional (to Obamacare) trillion dollar tax increase.

The President even managed to get in a plug for the First Lady's nutritional initiatives:
This is the United States of America. And, you know, we don't manage our affairs in three-month increments...

We might as well do it now: Pull off the band-aid. Eat our peas...

I will not sign a 30 day, or 60 day, or 90 day extension.
Let us examine the President's meanings:

"[W]e don't manage our affairs in three-month increments."
Sir? It's the Democrats who haven’t produced a budget in 2 years. You call that management? ...Oh, right.

“We might as well do it now."
Translation: No one will have time to read the bill.
cf. Obamacare.

"Pull off the band-aid.”
Euphemism for: Making an $800 billion stimulus happen.
cf. “Pull off the heist.”

“Eat our peas.”
Translation: We’ve already eaten the seed corn.
cf. “Pull off the Band-Aid.”

In August 2009, President Obama was selling his $800 billion stimulus boondoggle in Elkhart, Indiana. (That's the stimulus without which unemployment would go over 8%.)
The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up – take more demand out of the economy and put business further in a hole.
By “the last thing” the President apparently did not mean “something you never want to do,” but rather “we want to do this, but at the very end.”

“I will not sign a 30 day, or 60 day, or 90 day extension.”
Yes, that's the last thing he wants to do.

Hold firm GOP, it's a requirement of your employment.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vast and Curious

On the heels of their claims that 90% of weapons supplied to Mexican drug gangs originate from the collusion of BATFE DoJ rogue US firearms dealers with HSA officials FBI informants purchasers who failed the National Instant Criminal Background Check, the Obama administration is preparing new anti-2nd Amendment proposals:
"As you know, the President directed the Attorney General to form working groups with key stakeholders to identify common-sense measures that would improve Americans' safety and security while fully respecting Second Amendment rights."
-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, July 7.
Carney's right - if the stakeholders are straw purchasers abetted by BATFE, if working groups are Mexican drug cartels and if shipping weapons to Mexico is a common-sense measure that respects human life.

Otherwise, not so much.

Carney unaccountably failed to euphemize "public/private partnership" and "smart diplomacy." The former is BATFE using "stimulus" funds to mount an operation forcing firearms retailers to make sales they knew were bogus; the latter is DoJ failing to inform the Mexican authorities.

I wonder if the jobs "created or saved" by the Gunwalker stimulus expenditure is greater than the number of lives "negated or destroyed" as a result.

Update: 4:20PM
Mark Steyn: It's time to re-aim our pitchforks

Best sentence:
"Stimulus dollars went to fund one federal agency to buy guns for the paid informants of another federal agency to funnel to foreign criminals in order that the first federal agency might identify the paid informants of the second federal agency."
That's the most concise and lucid explanation of Gunwalker/"Fast and Furious" you're ever going to see.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

GunHolder?

Email Confirms ‘Gunwalker’ Known Throughout Justice Department
It strains credibility to claim that the assistant attorney general, the AGAC, the directors of the five major DOJ agencies in charge of law enforcement, and all the U.S. attorneys in the Southwest region were privy to Gunwalker, but that the attorney general himself was unaware of the operation. It suggests that either Holder is being untruthful about what he knew about the operation, and when he knew about it, or that he is so out of touch with a major operation conducted by his key law enforcement agencies that he is too incompetent to fulfill his official duties.
Indeed.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy semi-Independence Day


Emphasis mine.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such disolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Friday, July 01, 2011

As ye sow, so shall ye reap

TOC sarcastically urged the fairness doctrine of "Search Neutrality" as an anodyne to Google's crony capitalist push for “network neutrality.” Indeed, ye should be careful what ye wish for, Google. "Search neutrality" statists are now on your case.

Neutral search is what you should have championed, and demonstrated beyond all possible doubt. It's the prime directive for your abandoned motto - "Don't be Evil."

Your neutrality is was your sacred trust, and getting straight with that discarded motto is probably a matter of survival as a private company. You promote open source software, though that's more lip-service than reality. You lobby to make internet infrastructure a government service. Why should you object to enforced "neutral" search?

If people believe that exchanging your search algorithms for those of the Obama Administration wouldn't make all that much difference, where does that leave you? You need to start thinking about all the things that distinguish you from Orwell's Ministry of Truth. If you can't explain these things, you will be assimilated by the O'Borg. And who will notice?