Here is a suprise for you….

Not that it should have anything to do with the price of tea in china…but I voted for Bush.

Voted for him last time too.

Who I or anyone voted for, should have nothing to do with a discussion about any issue. The reason I even write it is because of all the people who just assumed they knew who I voted for and that the point of the post was to bash the President. It’s not. It was discussion. Good old fashioned All American discussion about issues affecting our country.

I wasn’t suprised that in the discussions that ensued that people disagreed. That’s great. It makes us all smarter to have a discussion. I was caught a little off guard at how hateful some of the responses were.

The Issues

The underlying issueof the post wasn’t the Inauguration celebrations. The issues were runaway spending and lack of personal savings.

As a country, our politicians are spending taxpayer money, OUR money as if there is no limit to how big a deficit they can run. I happen to be someone who believes that it’s a problem.

In this country, as individuals, we are not saving money. There are some who believe that our individual savings rate could be negative going forward. (Meaning most people are spending more than they have and ending the year in more debt rather than with more savings)

That scares me.

These twoproblems are issues thatPresident Bushcanmitigate or even solve.

I voted for W because I felt he would be a stronger leader than Kerry could be. I’m not a supporter of everything he does, but that’s OK. There is no such thing as a perfect candidate for any office. In this country, for the office of the President, we don’t elect the best candidate. We elect the best of the candidates the parties offer us. I felt and still feel that W was the best of the candidates. One of his best qualities is his leadership ability. As the President, and as the person I voted for, I would like to see him exert that leadership ability in a way that could have a significant impact on resolving the two issues that I feel are our biggest economic concerns for this country. The deficit and personal savings.

IMHO, the best way to make a statement to our politicians that it’s time stop spending money we don’t have is to make a bold statement. The President announcing that he is cancelling or scaling back inauguration parties (yes, i think it’s ok to pay the obligations that are already in place to those planning and supporting the parties) because we have reached a point where have to watch every penny we spend, as a country and as individuals, is one way.I think it could have been the best way,to get the country and the world’s attention for this message. It would have led every media outlet and sent the message loud and clear. When the President sends a clear message that we can’t spend money we don’t have, I believeenough people to make adifference willlisten and follow the Presidents lead. That was the goal of the first post.

The fact that the inauguration party costs weremore thanthe amount of money that was committed to the Tsunami victims at the time I wrote the post created the opportunity to make the message louder and clearer. We are shifting dollars from a celebration to an important obligation.

Some might just believe that the President will get the job done in his own way. I obviously don’t think politicsas usual will get the job done. I don’t think we can legislate our way out of the huge deficits.

Left to their own devices, politicos will do what they always do, spend more money. That is the culture in our government today.The budget is trillions, I’m only asking for millions, so no one will notice and it’s so small, relatively speaking, it doesn’t matter.I would like to see the President take a bold step to change that culture

I think the government leads by example. I don’t think its an accident that our deficits have grown side by side with consumer debt. We have been fortunate that there have been years of lower interest rates to protect all of us. There are no assurances that rates stay low, and even if they do, the sheer size of ourcountry’s debt could overwhelm us.

I would love to seethe Presidentlead by example when it comes to spending, and savings in a way that sends the message loudly and clearly to all of us.

The inauguration parties were a way to do it. We have passed that point. I’m open to all suggestions.

This time, I will keep my ideas to myself.

For now.

79 thoughts on “Here is a suprise for you….

  1. Still voting for you. Can only hope you continue with the contest. Glad you outlasted Wayne Newton as he was not my favorite and wonder what happened to Marie Osmond tonight. Looked like she was quite hyper and boom, down she went. Anyway, I was able to vote online, by my home telephone and my cellphone since I use AT&T. Not particularly impressed with the Kobe Bryant negotiations as he is not my favorite person due to his previous actions.

    Comment by Jane Boyd -

  2. I totally agree with your idea about the celebrations, Mark. I am outraged that Bush spent the eqivilent of 200 FULLY ARMORED hummers the guys in Iraq need! his priorities are way off.

    Comment by jcb -

  3. Somethings gotta give. On Thursday, to add insult to injury, W will be announcing his plans to privitize social security. A $40m + party to celebrate the impoverishment of generations to come, as if 4 more years of destruction weren’t enough.

    Comment by Eliza -

  4. penny wise but pound foolish.

    sure, cancelling the party will save $40MM, but how much are we spending (wasting/squandering/throwing away) every day in Iraq on a stupid war that never should have been?

    in fact, i’m not surprised that the party was cancelled — we probably don’t have the cash for it anyway!

    Comment by Gabe Farkas -

  5. hey mark,I am trying to figure out a way to get some of the money folks are spending on patriotic ribbins to go to the soldiers and their families.I have noticed that all of the ribbins I see available are made in China and generally sold to us in foriegn run stores.I’m asking these people if they can carry an american made product and I’m always told they cost too much.I suggest they place the higher priced american made ribbon side by side with the chinese one and just charge a little more for the the U.S.Take a dollar from the and put in a fund to aid the families of the wounded or killed soldiers.I was hoping maybe you or troy or one of you guys with these great foundations might have a network set up to help.I’m not experienced in this but would do legwork to help.If you have any suggestions or people who might let me know.Repectfully your’s Tom Schlichenmaier

    Comment by tom schlichenmaier -

  6. Re: Post #22 by Joan Yarrington……

    I don’t typically post comments, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to respond to your comments Joan.

    You say “However; some of us do lower our pride and ask those who might be able to help just a little to get us over the threshold so we don’t lose our home, car, and family. Where were you, Mark, when I begged you for $780.00 so I could pay my rent and car payment for one to allow me to get over a hump, even stating that I would willingly sign an agreement to re-pay you with interest? Thanks, Mark. I was evicted, did lose my car and my brother will no longer speak to me. I am single with no children so the only thing I qualify for is food stamps.”

    OMG – How about blaming yourself, not Mark Cuban, for getting yourself into that position? I am a single parent, have worked a full-time job and 2 part-time jobs at one point just to make ends meet. So you don’t get any sympathy from me. $780 to save your home and your car should have prompted you to get your butt out the door and earn the extra money, rather than sitting on your butt bashing a mega-rich guy for not sending you the money. Give me a break. And unless you were in the library using a free Internet service…..maybe you should consider cutting out that ‘extra’, and instead use the money to pay for the things that really matter. Spend your time working, not posting idiotic comments blaming someone else for a situation that is totally under your own control.

    You said “Also, there is also the problem of embarrasing ourselves in front of our neighbor.”

    Honey – you embarrassed yourself terribly not only in front of your neighbor, but the thousands of people who may have read your comments. For a nanosecond I even felt embarrassed for you. That was, until I read further and saw the rest of what you had to say.

    Get a grip, get a good job and get on with your life! You’ll go a lot further by taking control of your own life and making the changes that need to be made, rather than trying to blame someone else for the position you find yourself in. YOU control what happens to YOU, and only YOU can change it.

    Best of luck.

    Comment by Trina -

  7. I voted for John Kerry and I despise the lies and policies of the Bush/Cheney/Rove administration. Nevertheless, I disagree with the idea of cancelling Bush’s inauguration festivities. If the election had been free and fair and accurate, John Kerry would be our next president, and he would deserve to have a large inauguration as much as any other President. Still, it is outrageous that the taxpayers of D.C. will have to foot the bill and that money will be taken away from homeland security to pay for it. I have no doubt that a President John Kerry would NOT have screwed over the people of D.C. in this way.

    Comment by Anthony -

  8. Greetings,

    If someone wanted to do an awesome story about frugal inauguration spending, they should look at Missouri’s 2005 inauguration. The reported total bill will be less than $250,000-less than 1/4 of the previous governor’s inauguation in 2001, which ran over $1 million. $195,000 of that came from taxpayers. By the way, all of this years $250,000 inauguration is privately funded. Missouri’s new governor Matt Blunt needs to be commended for doing what is right in these trying times!


    Kevin Morris

    Comment by Kevin Morris -

  9. It seems like some people believe that money spent on the inauguration just disappears, or that it would be available for other use if it were not spent on the inauguration. That money will not just disappear – it goes into the pockets of gardners, cake makers, caterers, police on overtime, etc., etc. It will be a great boon to working stiffs in DC and elsewhere. That money has been donated/allocated for the inauguration, and without it, the money would not be available for some other noble purpose – it would not exist as an entity. A lot of people are outraged that Bush won, and want him to slink into office under some cloud. I say Let the Good Times Roll!

    Comment by Terry Maher -

  10. The Maverick’s High Horse
    I’ve always liked Mark Cuban. From the moment he took over the Dallas Mavericks he let people know he would not run his team in the ‘business as usual’ fashion of the NBA. He provided luxuries to his players and took a personal interest in their wellbeing, did extensive local marketing, and turned a moribund franchise into the most entertaining (and one of the most successful, in terms of victories if not championships) in the NBA.

    Mark has also never been shy about sharing his economic and social opinions as well, and despite (or maybe because of) the fact that maybe his greatest business accomplishment was great timing (selling to Yahoo at the exact peak of the bubble), his commentary has usually been thought provoking and well reasoned.

    Recently he made a post on his popular blog calling on the President to cancel or at least scale back his inaguration festivities, as a way to show that Bush means what he says when he talks about fiscal responsibility in this time of hardship (Iraq, the tsunami disaster, record national debt, etc):

    I think the government leads by example. I don’t think its an accident that our deficits have grown side by side with consumer debt. We have been fortunate that there have been years of lower interest rates to protect all of us. There are no assurances that rates stay low, and even if they do, the sheer size of our country’s debt could overwhelm us.

    I would love to see the President lead by example when it comes to spending, and savings in a way that sends the message loudly and clearly to all of us. The inauguration parties were a way to do it. We have passed that point . I’m open to all suggestions.

    While I agree %100 with Mark, the more and more I think about his post, the more angry I get. Cuban uses as a way to establish his credibility on the subject that he voted for Bush in each presidential election, because he felt he would be more of a ‘leader’. Getting past the immediate irony that Bush’s administration has been more responsible for the massive upswing in government spending and debt than any president in US history (even WITHOUT including the funds spent in the ‘War on Terror’), the other question that needs to be asked is: How can you ask Bush to be fiscally responsible when you are the primary beneficiary of his top heavy tax cuts, which has a huge hand in the deficits in the first place!

    How much, I wonder, has Mark Cuban saved because of Bush’s cuts, and how much more will he save over the next four years? Someone with Cuban’s kind of wealth has a majority in investments, whose income is one of the primary areas of tax reduction under Bush’s cuts. I’m guessing the total saved is a lot more than the $40 million the inaguration is estimated to cost. And as much as I despise that kind of extravagance, at least the inaguration is privately funded! Cuban is pocketing more than that and the money is coming from cuts in services to the poor in this country that can least afford those cuts, as well as from massive government borrowing, the very thing Cuban is decrying. Where is his call to ‘raise my taxes?’ By declaring his vote for Bush he has all but come out and declared he voted purely in his own immediate self interest.

    I’ll be happy to listen to Cuban’s calls for fiscal responsibility as soon as he volunteers to take the largress he’s made during Bush’s tenure and put it to good use helping pay for those very same things that people have claimed Bush’s inaguration money could have paid for, like armor for soldiers in Iraq, healthcare for uninsured children, or relief for the tsunami victims.

    Comment by Ian -

  11. I agree with you, I really HOPE that W is the man who stops all this political spending nonsense. The thing is, unfortunately, if you look at W’s track record that is probably the last thing that is about to occur under his administration. Remember he didn’t veto a single bill in his first administration and every bill these days seems to be another “no lobbyist left behind” bill.

    Comment by Brett -

  12. We know the excuse for war was built on lies of Iraq possessing WMD when all other excuses failed. Now the Bush administration, friends, and political donors and cronies are reaping windfall profits in blood money, on oil and wartime contracts, off the backs of between 105,000 to 150,000 dead Americans, “Coalition of the Willing, Mercenaries, and Iraqi’s. We know the first documented case of Biological Warfare in America, occurred in 1763 at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania. British Commander in Chief, General Jeffrey Amherst(Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts Amherst etc.), ordered his colonels to distribute Smallpox laden blankets to the Native Americans so as to exterminate them to seize their lands for European colonization. It’s documented from his order, to Fort Pitt commander Colonel Bouqet’s answer that he intended to distribute the blankets, on down to Fort Pitt soldier William Trent’s entry they had distributed the Smallpox laden blankets “In hopes of the desired results”. What’s the difference, or parallel, between Bush lying about WMD in order to invade and occupy Iraq for the oil and wartime contracts.. versus.. First the British, than the U.S. government’s ordering the use of, using, and knowing and sanctioning the use of Smallpox laden blankets, by their military and civilians, against the Native Americans in order to deliberately exterminate them to seize their lands for European colonization? Fort Pitt was named after William Pitt and later renamed Pittsburgh. See “Jeffrey Amherst and Biological Warfare in the Pontiac Uprising of 1763). Also Smallpox and Native Americans. To take the 40 million price tag on the inaugaration into perspective, 40 million would buy 200 heavily armored Humvees that would protect the troops more. One more thing.. What happened to all the colored alerts we were having prior to the election? They all of a sudden stopped after the election.

    Comment by Curtis -

  13. Mark,
    I believe the President should scale down his party. Not because I’m a scorned, post-election stress syndrome non-Bush voter, or a Republican bashing, rich people hater, or whatever I’ll probably get labeled as. (I hate it when people try to pigeon hole my political beliefs through one candidate or view!)

    Not that you really care about my opinion or anything – but it’s just another perspective, and I thought you would like the discussion.

    I don’t think that the party should be cancelled completely, just scaled down. I don’t think he needs 9(!) inagural balls. I respect the tradition, and I wouldn’t want to deny him the right that so many Presidents before him had. I just want him to take care of our own first. What about celebrating some armor for some soldiers in place of a ball or two. How about giving those soldiers in Iraq a raise or a bonus or something for putting their lives at risk for him instead of an extended term of service. At this moment, I feel President Bush’s priorities are severely misaligned. I guess it’s very easy to sit here in America, plan a horribly ostentatious party, and not have to think about the fact that he sent thousands of young men and women to their death. I agree that he needs to set an example. It really doesn’t matter who gives the money for the balls (from both donations and tax dollars). I really think that President Bush should act like a President who gives a sh** about something other than a party. Almost every American has made a sacrafice in the name of charity or support in one way or another. I think President Bush can make this little sacrafice.

    (call me immature, but I’m giggling right now…anyways)

    Comment by v* -

  14. Wow, what a variety of posts…two quick points that need to be cleared up:

    1. The NBA is not like the Government in any way shape or form. The NBA survives (and thrives) because folks pay money of their own free will to derive some sort of pleasure from it. The Government survives because it uses force to take our money at its’ pleasure for whatever its needs (or wants) may be. Once the NBA does not derive a profit it will cease to exist.

    2. Mark may or may not have voted for Bush to keep more of his money but if he did – this is a good thing. Why shouldn’t he be able to keep more of his money? Why is keeping more of the money that you earned deemed as an evil thing? If Mark said, “I voted for Kerry because he would ensure that my taxes would stay high!” would it please those of you who question his vote?

    But hey, what do I know?

    Comment by paul -

  15. I guess rich people do end up voting for republicans.

    I didn’t read through all the comments but, did you vote for W because he was the least of all evils or are you a republican?

    The reason why I don’t vote republican can be summarized in two words: Karl Rove.

    Comment by John Lizaso -

  16. Sorry Mark but I don’t believe for a minute that the reason you voted for Bush was his “leadership abilities”. Maybe that’s why you think you voted for him, probably has more to do with who’s better for your businesses and your income bracket. That said, I do hope that Mr. Bush takes your brilliant advice about the $40 million inauguration day festivities.

    Comment by Baby -

  17. Pithy Bumper Sticker:

    “Impeach Bush! Stamp Out Profligacy!”

    Comment by Greg Cotharn -

  18. Republican or Democrat – the profligacy of our elected officials is more than just disconcerting, it is becoming dangerous. Even more dangerous are the ways they attempt to “massage, fudge, cover-up” (call it what you want) the true costs in our society. Economics is NEVER black and white, but in order to make reasoned decisions what is important is both the availability and the reliability of the information you are basing your decisions on. This is my problem with W, his use of lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    I am unable to reconcile Mr. Cuban’s belief in fiscal responsibility with his vote for the most profligate president in decades. Disregarding the cost of “The War On Terror,” W has increased the financial burden on future generations in a myriad of ways. The most striking one was his Prescription Drug Plan, which will cost Trillions (“with a T,” as W likes to say) in the future. Another point I am unable to reconcile, a president that sounds the alarm on Social Security but exascerbates the problem of Medicare and Medicaid, the obligations of either of which dwarf the Social Security issue.

    I agree that partisanship is undermining meaningful debate. I voted for Kerry (because he was not Bush), but would have rather voted for “none of the above.” However, in order to have a meaningful debate I think we need better information. In my humble opinion (and I recognize that I do not have all of the facts, but I consider myself reasonably intelligent and up-to-date) the Federal Government should have to conform to GAAP. If GAAP is good enough for the world’s largest economy why is not proper for the government? Yes, some adjustments would have to be made but it would go a long way to shining some light on the truly precarious financial position we as a country are in.

    I believe we lack candor in government and, in contrast to Mr. Cuban’s view, suffer from a dearth of leadership. Until these problems are solved we can continue to talk amongst ourselves (I will get my cup of coffee) and end up nowhere.

    Knowledge = Power.

    Comment by Kris -

  19. Mark,

    Great comments. I wish I had time to respond in length, however not enough time.

    Spending is wide spread. In our Govt. and society. There are not enough means to save and most americans don’t know how to save properly.

    You have my support (not that you needed it).


    Comment by Christopher in Baton Rouge -

  20. All politics aside I agree with Mark on the spending. I’m a big fan of budgeting, thanks to my old man and I can honestly say that I am fairly well off. Will I be a billionaire like Mark? Probably not, but at least I can manage my money and stay out of debt on plastic and other areas. I think in order for society to turn around on this spend now, pay later it does have to start at the top and work its way down to the kids who are just coming out of high school. Start with those who they look up to…sport stars. Comments from Latrell Sprewell and Patrick Ewing (a few years back) saying that they can’t make it on a few million dollars a year. Oh my lord!! I only make 50K a year and I do pretty dang good. If you can’t live on a couple of million a year, lower your cost of living (get rid of the 10 cars you have…buy a smaller house etc etc) There was a good article in SI a few years back about Stackhouse and his spending. I’m curious if its still the same, but it’s something that I think each player should do (in the article Stack said he allowed himself an allowance of $5000 a month or something like that..wish I remembered the specifics). If Stack still manages his money like this more power to him.

    Any how Mark thanks for bringing this topic up as it’s something that needs to be addressed, yet probably won’t be addressed until it becomes a crisis.

    Comment by Christian -

  21. Paying politicians so one can be heard is obscene. No wonder the voting system in America is such a failure, especially if you are poor in Ohio…. or Florida or… where will it be in 2008?
    Either way, rich or poor we all pay taxes (especially the latter) and in so doing, I would prefer my taxes to go to tsunami victims rather than a ridiculous war in Iraq that costs as much to wage in two days as the US pledge to assist in SE Asia.
    As for those who say, let them fend for themselves, you forget that one thing (and it might just be only one) we have in common with the rest of the world is that we are of the same species, human. This is priceless and exceeds countries, politics, diplomacy, taxes etc. As an individual one may do as much as they can but being a part of a nation by paying taxes, it is important to be heard and assist collectively as a whole to victims of natural disaster and not catastrophe caused by human stupidity, like war in Iraq.
    And by the way, liberal is a good word.

    Comment by Eliza -

  22. If the USD were still the world’s main deposit currency, I think there isn’t big problem. After all, USA can print more blue bill to devalue the currency and our lender.:)

    Comment by InfoTracker -

  23. Wow. A blogger that actually likes Bush. Definately have to add this one to my RSS feed, since this is a first!

    Comment by Jason Pugh -

  24. I am personally appalled by you. As I have come accustom to you, it is easy to say that you do not think along the same lines as others. That is why I am surprised at your efforts of supporting the lines “Bush is better than Kerry. Thus I vote for him because obviously those are the only two candidates.”

    I would have thought that you would put more thought into this just what the media tells you to do. You say that spending money that the government does not have is a key issue. Well, obviously you did not vote on the issues because Bush was by far not the best candidate that you could have chosen. Mister Badnarik of the Libertarian party would have been the best candidate for that.

    Now some may say that you are wasting your vote if you do not vote for the two parties. That is nonsense. The only time that you waste your vote is when you do not vote for the candidate that does not represent your ideas fully.

    From this day forward I will no longer have as much respect for you before I read this piece. From this point in time I will regard you as a simple thinker that cannot decide for himself.

    Comment by Wes -

  25. Scale back a hootenanny? very unTexan-like.

    Comment by Banjo Jones -

  26. Whinging bloody yanks, you all need to sort your heads out, as usual there so far up your arses you cant see daylight. Bush is a tosser and is fucking up america and the world and you lot of mindless yanks don’t even see it… no wonder your the most hated country in the world when you have him as a leader. You needed to get him out asap, but as usual you voted him in again.. TO$$ERS!

    So why exactly did you vote for bush? so there would be more terror attacks against your country? or so that when he gets bored with Iraq he can wage war on another country that is no significant threat and get more soldiers killed…

    just wanted to say thanks for that from everyone around the world (and yes there are other countries other than USA).

    Comment by whining yanks -

  27. Surprise, surprise. Of course you voted for Bush, you’re a billionaire for crying out loud.

    Comment by Pat -

  28. To Byrne Post 28. My freind, I am sorry you feel the need to insult someone who ask a legitimate question. You are right, this is a blog and he is allowed to make comments. However, I am allowed to question his ideas and make comments about the contents of his statement. I like Mark Cuban but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything he says. I don’t feel he has a sound argument and obviously you are a bit defensive if you feel the need to comment on my grammar. I feel sorry for you. I bet you are liberal.

    Comment by Tim Henson -

  29. I start by saying that one of the most fateful errors of our age is the belief that the problem of production has been solved. This illusion, I suggest, is mainly due to our inability to recognize that the current industrial system, with all its intellectual sophistication consumes the very basis on which it has been erected. To use the language of the economist, it lives on the irreplaceable capital which it cheerfully treats as income.
    I specify three categories of such capital: fossil fuels, the tolerance of margins of nature, and the human substance.

    Until we figure out solutions to these questions, we will be able to clearly focus a society focus on how to combatant poverty in America and understand on the conditions that create these situations.

    The costs of business have risen as a result of rising prices for raw materials and specialized labor and the inefficiencies of modern corporate structures. Monopoly power enables these costs to be passed on to consumers and small business as higher prices, with only token interference from the Bush Administration. This shown in the recent falling demand joined to rising prices for oil, cars, and perishables.

    We are starting to see increased interests rates that are passed on by the global corporations. The giant MNC’s dominate the production and sales of the entire global economy, a restrictive monetary policy like the Bush Administration promotes more inflation (an increased hardships for small business) as will an easy money policy. A perverse question worth pondering is what will destroy the Western economy and give rise to global players?
    Inflation never means merely rising prices; it also means upward income redistribution, favoring the sellers of commodities. This is the linchpin that will devastate the Western economies over the next 25 years. The increase between the haves and have not’s will undermine future growth of the economy in the United States.

    One notable consequence of the current inflation is the increased demand for luxury goods combined with diminished demand and excess capacity of lower end goods. If the Bush Administration takes no action, the prolonged inflation will worsen the processes and create more stagnation. The politics of inflation are obviously institutionalized. Whether or not inflation begins is one matter, and may been seen as economic in its origins; how and whether it continues is a matter of politics. Inflation can always be curtailed and eliminated; the question is finally at whose expense. The logic tells us it must be at the expense of the low middle class wage earnings in the Western nation-states. That is so, other things being equal. But those “other things” are essentially a way of referring to the balance of privilege and gain in society. Tax policies could be designed that would curb inflation at the expense of the upper income groups (although I hated Kerry for this idea); expenditure policies could be utilized by Bush to achieve the same result, without damage to those who can bear that damage the least. Instead, we have policies being implemented that will limit most Americans and Westerners.

    The real problem with capitalism and globalization is that it is that both are social and not merely economic concepts. The basic changes that have made MNCs work better require a vast array of symmetrical changes in the rest of social existence: in the process we have become a more bureaucratic society of controlled consumers.

    One indication is the process by which, in the midst of the highest accumulation of commodities in history, the attitudes toward those who live on the bare edge of existence continues to become more increasingly hostile.

    Americans are upset that their jobs go to foreign locations, but they are not upset when they purchase the goods. People must figure out where they stand in this global economy. The other side of the nature of global capitalism, the direction, and the pace of economic growth and development is, on the one hand, by whom and for whom it is shaped, and on the other, by whom its burden are borne. And that adds up to reduced real incomes for those whose livelihood depends upon their work, not upon asset ownership.
    We must move beyond being a culture with the wrong comes first then the laws to fix it follow.

    Instead, we as a country should be focused on eliminating our risks, modifying our economic, social, and cultural inclusion strategies, until it is a strategy that includes everyone one.

    How to win the war on drugs:

    (1)Eliminate All Paper Money.

    How to improve airport security:

    (1)Increase NSA budget to build real-time monitoring system
    (2)Place air marshals in airports to replace TSA

    How to strength the economy:
    (1)Increase loans for small and medium sized business to $50 billion
    (2)Eliminate the payroll tax

    Comment by sterling -

  30. Thank you Mark for allowing this discussion to take place! I’ve learned quite a bit from your comments as well as a select few of the others.
    PLEASE don’t let these people deter you from giving your opinion, it’s appreciated greatly.

    It is pretty sad though that some of you choose to attack each other and get completely off the original topic. You are doing a great job of qualifying your opinions when you do this!

    Go Bulls!

    Comment by Marc -

  31. Here’s a novel idea. Cancel the All-star games and after game parties, etc. Or is it past that and too late to cancel? Have all the advertisers donate instead to the Iraq soldiers families or the Tsunami victims? Both are in need at this point. Have all the players and owners donate a percentage of their yearly earnings to the above. Have the vendors donate all the money they would spend buying beer, hats, etc. to the cause. How much money is that? Have we exceeded the 40mil yet?

    Mark, I understand it was just an idea and your concern is the big spending and the debt but your solution is about as silly as mine is.

    Comment by Kim -

  32. I’d personally like to applaud Mr. Cuban for having the guts to admit he voted for George W. Bush. A lot of unreasonable people might boycott his businesses just by learning such a dreadful fact.

    On the same note, anytime you enter a political discussion of course it’s going to get out of hand and loud. Mark really shouldn’t have expected anything else. And..that’s..ok..

    cause you’re good enough.. smart enough.. etc

    Comment by Matt -

  33. Re: Shawn Fox

    During the Clinton years, if you look at the numbers, the spending did not climb quickly. You are right that it did climb, but it will always climb. It would be bad to cut spending to the point of actually reducing it from one year to the next. What Clinton did is slow the growth of spending, which played a big part in getting the deficits under control.

    You may be right that the tax cuts helped minimize the impact of the recession. Economists do agree that tax cuts can be an effective tool in fighting recession, but not as effective as many like to claim. The cuts need to come at the very beginning of the recession to have an impact, and Bush’s cuts, as you pointed out, came after the economy had already crashed. What’s more, Bush’s admin didn’t realize the economy was crashing when they proposed the tax cuts during the campaign, and they didn’t realize the economy was crashing when they passed the tax cuts after being elected. So if they did help minimize the recession, it was purely by dumb luck.

    But the other side of cutting taxes and increasing spending during a recession, is that when the recession ends, and the economy picks up, you don’t cut taxes again, which is what Bush was effectively proposing with his tax reform ideas(which have now been shelved, apparently). This would just further increase the deficit.

    And finally, the money being spent is hardly being spent in productive ways, i.e., it isn’t being spent to grow the economy. One could certainly argue that spending money on Iraq, and terrorism related areas is necessary, but it doesn’t improve the economy the way spending that money on infrastructure, or education, would.

    Comment by Tim -

  34. Sorry, but you do sound like hiprocrate when you talk about the President. People who are professional sports figures get paid a ridiculous amount of money. There are families who can’t afford to go to a sports game. Why don’t you be the first to set an example? Why not have a sliding-fee scale for tickets? All one would need is to show their last three paycheck stubs and if the person’s salary fell below a certain criteria level, the person would only have to pay $1. per ticket to one of your games, for example. Or how about this!!!… shut down all the concession stands and allow your fans to bring in their own food and beverages? It would get someone where they live, huh?

    As far as donating more to the Tsunami areas that were hit. I think America was generous. We didn’t get much from Japan after 911 so that goes to show you America continually swallows insults from our wealthy alies.

    Comment by Marie -

  35. It’s pretty sad to read the back and forth on this. Mark made a decent suggestion for Mr. Bush to make a symbolic gesture that really would have meant something after the divisive 2004 election. Then the blog turns into a mini version of the Rush Limbaugh show blaming the “liberal media” and Clinton and the Democratic congress. And of course Mark’s just a rich hypocrite because it’s easier to call him names than look at this objectively.

    Lets face facts. $35 million as an initial offer of aid was a joke, plain and simple — no matter how much or little other countries donated. The govenment spends more $$ than that on paper clips. The fact that they increased the offer by 10 times is proof enough that they knew they were way off the mark. Actions speak louder than words, and at least the Bullocks and Spielbergs of the world stepped up and led by example.

    The point is, if you’re going to call your yourself a compassionate conservative, if you’re going to put evangelical christianity at the heart of your administration, then you should be willing to quickly and decisively take the lead on issues of charity, rather than have a UN official shame you into helping others. I’m not religious but wouldn’t Jesus have done better than $35 million? I think so. Especially for muslims.

    You can’t have it both ways — blasting liberals (and Mark) for their morals while your guy is dragging his feet during the largest human catastrophe of our lifetime.

    Comment by Matty -

  36. Wow. Lot’s of thoughts from lots of different people. It’s wild to see that we can all agree to disagree on so much. Makes America a great place. In my humble opinion, I believe Mark was just asking for our leaders to set a good example. Regardless of where the money originates.

    And what do you think of all the awards shows? I mean Grammys, Oscars, Peoples Choice, MTV, Spike, who cares award show… What a waste of money. Do people really watch those things? Cancel them all.

    And Greg Cotharn who started lambasting the removal of DDT.

    Sounds like he listens to too much Rush Limbaugh. That guy never gets his facts straight before he starts talking, which makes great comedy, but lousy science.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to stray off subject. And personal attacks are not a way to communicate. If you disagree with someone, then state your argument. That’s still not a reason you have to talk about someones momma or trash them.

    Comment by Aquariuz -

  37. I really enjoy this blog, because it shows a lot about human nature. The main three types of people that post on this blog are 1) people who are trying to get free money from Cuban and 2) people who are pissed off because Cuban has a lot of money and 3) people who are pissed off at Cuban for not giving them money. I think I can understand now why most millionaire/billionaire businessmen try to keep a low profile.

    I think the point of the post was a call for the government to look at some of the areas that some would consider frivolous. I am a Republican and took no offense to the last entry. I think the inauguration celebration example just stepped on too many toes. On the last post, Cuban was a liberal billionaire hypocrite and now he is a right wing, money hungry, fat cat. Hilarious…

    However, I do appreciate the comments on this site that are well thought out and have factual information. I learn more reading blogs than I ever did sleeping through my college classes.

    Comment by EW -

  38. The two entries re: politics were interesting. The responses show how bitterly divided the country is.I have my own opinions but I learned the hard way not to discuss them with anyone who does not already share my views. Never talk politics and never talk religion.It is a waste of time.That being said who do y’all think is more of a liar Michael Moore GW or John Kerry?
    IMHO they are all full of shit!

    Comment by Dan -

  39. So Michelle,
    The $350 million that he has already been promised… the aircraft carrier and military that has been sent out, the call for private donations (which is always the best way to go) has garnished well over a BILLION dollars isn’t leadership? He has sent out two ex-presidents to help with a fund raising effort. Our money isn’t paying for these parties, it’s PRIVATE donations that are paying for them.

    The world shouldn’t have to rely on OUR Government money for everything. Sure, give them some, and they have.

    What has been learned about our country with this disaster? If asked, people WILL step up to the plate. Instead of the Government taking our money in taxes and giving it to aid and relief… let the people keep their money and they will give when called.

    Comment by Irish John -

  40. mark, spellcheck is your friend

    Comment by bob costas -

  41. Wow, I think a lot of the folks here are missing what I feel the point of this, and many of Mark’s, post: intellectual debate. Stop the personal attacks, stop the republican vs. democrat thing, and think about the ideas. THAT is what is wrong with all of us at this point in history, IMHO – we lack the ability to have a meaningful debate without reducing it to personal attacks.

    BTW, I agree with Mark that canceling the parties would send a powerful leadership message, but the post(s) talking about private money are correct as well – it is their choice in how they spend their money. Both sides having merit are what makes these types of discussions fun. Everyone is right, and everyone is wrong, all at the same time 🙂

    BTW#2: I disagree with the post(s) saying that people should give money to candidates so that the candidates are beholden to them. What ensures us that “you” and “your” agenda are any better than the individuals and corporations that are giving money today? Either way, a politician becomes beholden to some small subset of the people they were elected to serve. Maybe a system where all donations were anonymous would fix that piece…? Either way, my opinion is that you should give money if you feel a candidate has good ideas, a sound thought process, and will represent you and your fellow citizens in a manner than reflects your values without expecting any favors in return.

    Comment by Brenton -

  42. Facts do lie when they are misused Matt Stoller.

    While not defending Bush as I do agree he has not cut entitlement spending as he should have done, I totally disagree with anyone who blames the current deficit on Bush or gives Clinton credit for the temporary balancing of the budget during his term.

    During the Clinton years US govt spending actually climbed quickly, it was just that he benefited from vastly increasing revenues due primarily to huge increases in capital gains taxes, increased income from financial companies involved in the IPO market, and an unnaturally low employment rate caused by the internet bubble. You can look that one up because it is a fact, I’m sure Mark Cuban can vouch for me on that one.

    Near the end of Clinton’s term the US economy was already flattening out, the stock market bubble had ended, and government revenue collections were falling.

    Bush was in fact doing reasonably well until 9/11 at which time the economy went into a recession while spending needs grew. During a recession the demands on the welfare system increase. During a war the money used by the military increase. Cutting taxes to help end a recession is the recommended strategy by economists.

    Bush should have cut taxes more on the middle class and less on the wealthy, but regardless tax cuts during a recession are the best way to end it as quickly as possible. Just compare this recession vs. the other ones over the last 30 years, it has not been very painful due to the strong government actions taken to ward off a more serious decline.

    So a tax cut, increased demand for government services, increased military spending, and decreased revenue from capital gains taxes, all combine into a big deficit. A small part of that, around 25% or so, you can blame on Bush/Republicans. Most of it is just the result of natural economic cycles.

    Comment by Shawn Fox -

  43. How DARE Hollywoood have the People’s Choice Awards!!!

    Couldn’t they have saved all the money they used to party last night and sent it to disaster relief!!!

    Comment by Irish John -

  44. It’s cool that all of you have an opinion about his post but you forget the one thing Mark was asking for. Leadership from the President. Since he hasn’t demonstrated anything along the lines of leadership to this non-voter of GWB, it’s awfully wishful thinking he’ll actually do anything at this time. And for those who think contributing to politicians is a good thing, get your heads examined. Donating money to any person is a bribe on the simplist of levels and sends the message that you cadone that type of American Political behavior. Might I add that caused all the frivolous spending in the first place. Good for you Mark.

    Comment by Michele Berisford -

  45. I don’t think its an accident that our deficits have grown side by side with consumer debt.

    Except that under Clinton, the deficit turned into surplus and consumer debt still grew.

    Facts do not like – Clinton shrunk spending as a share of GDP – Bush raised it dramatically, even when you discount new security related spending.

    I wish people would quit lambasting ‘politicians’ when all they really don’t like is what Republicans do.

    Comment by Matt Stoller -

  46. Have you thought about contacting the President and telling him your ideas. I’m sure that you would have enough clout.

    Comment by Josh Williams -

  47. Mark,
    I sincerely hope you will continue to expound more of thoughts and wisdom on subjects in the future.
    I was one of those who attack you, unknowing all the facts. I had only read what was in the Morning News. I since then have retracted my statements and have given you a public apology on my blog.

    As too the one’s that don’t understand Freedom of Speech and the exchange of idea’s, I don’t know weather to pity you or chastise you for ignorant comments you have made.
    And seriously if you really believe that Republicans are totally responsible for the mess we are in- then you had better look at two things. The richest members of both houses are Democrats (please don’t believe they are looking out for you as a middle class taxpayer). The other thing you need to look at is what went on for 40 years in the Democrat controlled Congress and Senate, just to name a few of the great programs we now saddled with are Medicaid, Welfare, free housing for people (using tax dollars for this), Department of Education-(Useless), HUD and the list could go on for at least a year here.
    Social Security is now in trouble of going broke because of all the rising cost because Medicaid has been lumped in to it.
    These programs my friend never end or die, they keep getting bigger and bigger.

    I will look forward to hearing more of what you have to say in the future. I hope and pray that you and your family are well and I will keep you in my prayers.

    Go Mav’s
    K Williams

    Comment by K Williams -

  48. Assuming things based on blog comments can be a two way street. I guessed you voted Republican based on something completely unrelated you stated in the past on this blog or at the AVS forum (can’t remember which). But I still disagreed with your original comment – and still do!

    Comment by J3 -

  49. Mark-

    Excellent addendum to your earlier entry; I think it is much more couched in reason and less in emotion.

    I was one of those who was unhappy about your original entry, and I like this one not because I agree with it, but because it was much better written and thought-out. (IMHO)

    Anyway, I’ve got additional comments here:

    Comment by Curtis Schweitzer -

  50. Hey Mark.
    I don’t think you should keep your ideas to yourself because it is YOUR blog after all. I think it’s really interesting to find out what you think about issues; you have some really interesting opinions that I find myself agreeing with. I have a lot of respect for you and agree completely with what you said concerning how to choose a presidential candidate. I supported Kerry, but I can see that he and W both had weaknesses. Nobody is perfect, especially in politics, and maybe Bush is the better leader. I think you were completely on target with your suggestions to Bush because even though his administration has given a lot of aid, it doesn’t hide the fact that they are being so frivolous on something so trivial in comparison.
    Anyway, don’t let comments get to you because it is such a good thing to be able to discuss, that’s what freedom of speech is.
    Keep up the good work and GO MAVS!!

    Comment by Chrisitne -

  51. The $40 is not money totally down the drain. That money goes to business who provide services and catering for the event. That money goes to American’s who may or may not donate to tsunami victims.

    We do not have a deficit because of inauguration parties. We have a deficit because our law makers can spend the money without accountability. Wouldn’t it be great if the government had to go through the same budget process as corporations? The Sarbanes-Oxley legislation is causing my company to spend time and money to prove the validity of our financial statments. Does the governement have to do the same thing?

    Comment by Amy -

  52. Hey, ‘Tim’, I am “curious why” your inability to form a grammatically sound sentence hasn’t impeded your compulsion to attack an intellectually sound argument on the basis that the arguer is wealthier than you. It’s a weblog — an online journal written by someone whose interests happen to include politics — so you might expect him to share his thoughts on the subject.

    The only real objection I have to the article itself is the notion that our savings rates are low and may eventually be negative. That’s true as reported, but keep in mind that FICA taxes — including the employer-paid portion of Social Security — are to some extent ‘savings’, and given the high percentage of our income they represent, the numbers aren’t as bad as they look. Overall, canceling or cutting back on the inauguration is an interesting concept with a snowball’s chance in hell, but bringing it up is a great way to point out our often nonsensical priorities.

    Comment by Byrne -

  53. To Tim Henson, post 21.

    Madonna is married to a Brit and has lived in England for at least 5 years. Things like that tend to affect a person’s accent.

    Comment by Dean Tailor -

  54. Like I said above, the $40 million dollars is from privately donated funds, NOT the US Government. Don’t believe me? Look at the donor list from the official website:

    If you look at the names of the corporations and individuals donating money to the inauguration, you will quickly understand that these are the same people who are the first to donate money when natural disasters occur. For some people to suggest that money spent on the inauguration is taking food out of the mouths of children in SE Asia is absurd. Just another strange fantasy from Planet Hippie.

    It’s silly that some uninformed people have turned this into an “issue”. Any funds shelled out by the US Government for things like military payroll, security etc are billed back to the Inaugural Cmte, and then they cut a check from their privately raised funds.

    Comment by Ben -

  55. Tim —

    non-famous people comment on politics too — we just don’t have much of an audience. my friends and i talk politics while we’re watching a game or whatever. mark is simply talking politics on his blog — of which we are all choosing to read. it’s not like he’s shoving it down our throat.

    Comment by lance -

  56. If the government was ran like a business then we would have declared bankruptcy long ago. Ive read the federal budget line by line. It is pretty scary some of the things that get millions of dollars thrown at them.

    The main issue I have with Bush was not the inaguration parties, but the fact that the government only contributed an initial $35 million.

    Thats sad when you consider we spend a few billion a month forcing democracy down another country’s throat. If the president wanted to make a powerful statement and silence all these critic he should have thrown his 12 pounder on the desk and threw 1 billion dollars out there.

    It’s all cyclical anyways. In 2008 there will be a democract who will get the country’s finances back in order. Then in 2016 youll see another Republican spend our way back into debt.

    Comment by dan -

  57. Hello Mark,
    I am curious why famous people feel the need to comment on politics. It’s as if money makes you smarter than everybody else. Some of the smartest people in the world work daily in our nation’s capitol. Yet, people who barely graduated from high school, become famous, get in front of a microphone, and turn into rocket scientist. What is up with Madonna’s English Accent? She became famous. You see?

    Comment by Tim Henson -

  58. Mark:

    You’re a great one for telling Bush to forego the innaugural festivities which are largely, if not mostly or all paid for by private contributors.

    There is such as thing as tradition and traditionally, we have always had innaugural celebrations.

    We have also always had the poor and people wanting others to give their money to the poor without realizing that that money comes from all the taxpayers. Most people wouldn’t ask their next door neighbor for monetary help because that neighbor would probably tell them to apply to one of the many federal and local government offices. Only problem with that is, some people don’t qualify for some basic financial aid. Also, there is also the problem of embarrasing ourselves in front of our neighbor.

    However; some of us do lower our pride and ask those who might be able to help just a little to get us over the threshold so we don’t lose our home, car, and family.

    Where were you, Mark, when I begged you for $780.00 so I could pay my rent and car payment for one to allow me to get over a hump, even stating that I would willingly sign an agreement to re-pay you with interest? Thanks, Mark. I was evicted, did lose my car and my brother will no longer speak to me. I am single with no children so the only thing I qualify for is food stamps.

    I guess this was during the time you were planning your TV show to give someone a million dollars.

    No, Mark. Bush shouldn’t give up his innaugural gala any more than you should have had to lend me $780.00

    Sorry grapes? Maybe. But when I make it, I won’t be giving to just tax-free charitable foundations. I will be looking for people who are in the same position I was in to help them over the hump.

    Comment by Joan Yarrington -

  59. It doesn’t really surprise me, life is full of disappointments… lol.

    My only comment on that front would be that leaders are supposed to GAIN followers… but, regardless of whether I agree or disagree with who you voted for, your blog entries and the responses give much food for thought.

    I think the hateful responses (mine weren’t exactly oozing kittens and puppies) are more expressions of the frustration, helplessness and fear that people are feeling.

    I suggest everyone share everything, play fair, don’t hit, never lie, hold hands and stick together.

    Comment by Carrie -

  60. Mark,

    I remember many years ago when I was in 20s. I asked one of the elder friend why so many politics and/or government spend millions in during candidate, inauguration party, and other stuff so much. He told me, look at bright side, millions of money goes to local business, helping community and best of all, it’s healthily for economics.

    It doesn’t matter to me if they should abandon it or not.


    Comment by Grant W Laird Jr. -

  61. Oh, in case you all missed how our country works…

    Bush can’t spend a cent of our money without Congress approving the spending.

    Comment by Irish John -

  62. Why do they get to spend 40 million dollars of OUR money on a party? Think about FOURTY MILLION DOLLARS. Think about how long you would have to work for to get that. Think about how many things you could do with 40 million dollars- wether it’s throw a party, kill some people, save people, buy an island, buy a ton of movies or heck a movie theather, haha, whatever. But it is the tax payers HARD EARNED money. I know this party is necessary… but I can throw them a party for 500 bucks. Of course that’s not realistic, but the point is.. they could easily cut down on that 40 million dollars. I really think they could take a few things away and make that party a LITTLE cheaper. But then again, being 40 more million dollars in debt really isn’t that big of a difference. I mean 2.5 billion more in debt that day, rather than the average EVERY DAY 2.4 billion dollars that we go more in to debt.
    Second off, do you find it ironic that we have spent TRILLIONS of dollars to kill people, but finding 100 million was kind of hard to help save hundreds of thousands of people.
    Third off, David D said “Not surprised Mark… are you joking? Of course you voted for Bush. He let’s you keep more of your money.” Okay, if you noticed every movie star(CHA CHING) is democrat and tons of famous and rich people did campagning stuff for Kerry. That whole rich people pay more taxes doesn’t apply when you are as rich as them and of course, Mark. You also would have good CPA’s, haha. I think Mark should be able to keep his money tho :).

    Either way, taxes suck.

    And our national debt really is an issue.The debt is 7,616,630,500,106.38….. how long will that take to pay off??? How much will they have to raise the taxes so that someday we will pay it off?? “The estimated population of the United States is 295,274,526
    so each citizen’s share of this debt is $25,795.08.” And that’s if it ended today- no intrest- no more money going out.

    K, this is REALLY long.. the end.

    Oh, and good game today.

    Comment by T -

  63. No suprise here either. I am more than convinced that your voting track record shifted deeply into the republican side pretty much right after the acquisition. I do respect that you freely talk about it, very few people would, but still cannot agree with the points you make when you justify your vote for W. Stonger leader? I highly doubt it. You write – ” President sends a clear message that we can’t spend money we don’t have” well, when did this happen? After 3 or 4 requests into congress for Billions of $$$ to keep financing the stupid war? Yeah, he will cut everywhere he can, or to be more precise – everywhere he does not care for: education, healthcare, environment, and yes, the inauguration parties too.

    Comment by m.p. -

  64. Not surprised Mark… are you joking? Of course you voted for Bush. He let’s you keep more of your money.

    Comment by David D -

  65. Greg Cotharn, well said. Mark hope you change your mind and tell us some more of your ideas, no matter how far fetched, right or wrong they may be, it gives us something to think about and to discuss. I truly wish more people would have the courage to say whats on their mind without having to worry about people being hateful and judgemental. Hopefully next time you have an idea people will have more constructive ways to criticize. (truly is frustrating to read through all the negative comments, makes you want to scream. 🙂

    Comment by d.b -

  66. I love you Mark. I found this website about a month ago by typing I think you have some great ideas and after reading your blogs it becomes clear to me why you are a billionaire. and I think it’s great that you can come out and admit that you voted for President Bush. You know it was another intelligent decision and you will not regret it. and to anyone that has a problem with that… fuck you… and so it goes…

    Comment by Adam Miller -

  67. For reasons previously stated(and restated in my blog), I believe lavish inaugural festivities are good for America. Therefore, I believe it would be bad policy and, oddly enough– immoral– to cancel them.

    I’ve nothing against grand gestures per se, but they’re almost always targeted at the wrong policies/problems. They become little more than cynical exercises in scoring political points.

    A good example was the banning of DDT in the 1960’s, though science can discover no harmful effects from the chemical. Third-World crop production suffers from unneccessary insect infestation, causing people to go hungry and remain poor. Meanwhile, additional millions die of malaria and dengue fever every year– diseases which were 90% eliminated by DDT. All this for the sake of the grand gesture– aimed at the wrong target. Now we have large numbers of aid workers merging with the devasted populace of Sri Lanka, a nation which is Earth’s virtual ground zero for malaria and dengue fever, and is currently swamped with innumerable pools of floodwater. A BIG problem– caused by a misguided grand gesture.

    I would like to see Bush retain lavish Inaugural festivities, and find other, more effective, ways to lead. I think tax cuts, and tax reform, can further juice the economy, and thus create more tax revenue for the government.

    I deplore cynical politicians, and I deplore pork projects. However, it is interesting to consider the following about pork projects: Absent construction and contracting fraud(a BIG IF), pork projects do stimulate local economies, generating additional tax revenues for the government. Over time, some projects generate tax revenues which do outstrip what the government spent on those projects. Just not often enough.

    Also, too often, the societal impact of the projects is shockingly local, and doesn’t have nearly enough national impact to justify the federal dollars spent. It’s immoral for any portion of a Hawaiian’s tax dollars to have gone to build The National Cowgirl Museum in my hometown of Ft. Worth. And Congress has shoved a telephone pole up all our backsides with that damnable “Big Dig” in Boston.

    Last things #1: I too was dismayed at the personal attacks generated against Mark Cuban. Vigorous attacks, fine. Personal, not so fine. I am proud to be a citizen with Mark Cuban.

    Last thing #2: It’s also wearying to continually slog through all the comments stating that Bush/Republicans/Conservatives are just looking to help the wealthy and hurt the less fortunate. Such comments also constitute personal attacks. More than that, they are simply ignorant, and do not reflect well on those who make them.

    Bad apples aside, the majority of conservatives care deeply about helping ALL people, they simply disagree about how best to accomplish that. So often, I see conservative commenters defending their ideas, while liberal commenters respond by calling them names. How can I change my mind, and decide to agree with your arguments, if you spend all your time calling me names instead of defending your arguments? Which is, incidentally, EXACTLY what so many nominally conservative commenters did on the previous comment thread: They put more effort into calling Mark Cuban names than into advancing their arguments.

    Comment by Greg Cotharn -

  68. The money for the inauguration is from private funds, not government coffers. That’s why I don’t understand why this is such an issue. That $40 million is donated by private means for the expressed purpose of throwing down a party. Soft money pays for nearly all of it.

    Some of you sound like the money for the inauguration only comes from the federal budget. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Comment by Ben -

  69. Thanks for saying the things you are saying, Mark. We live in a country with so many counter values, we see people on TV starving to death while many of us eat ourselves to death. The world came to our aid after 9/11, we should sync our reality with the reality of South Asia.

    Comment by Paul Mooney -

  70. I don’t think putting Mark and Michael Moore in the same sentence is wrong.
    At least Mark has facts behind him and just doesn’t flat out lie.
    While I disagree with his point on the his latest saving money idea on the inaguration, our President does need to look at cutting costs, and I think he is looking at that.
    President Clinton spend $33 million on his first, all while in Bosnia there was “ethnic cleansing”, mass killing and rape. He spend nearly $30 million on his 2nd, just after the 1996 Rwandan massacre. As well as the Rwandan War, Zaire was in the middle of falling into a civil war and brutal violence. Where were the calls to spend that money elsewhere?
    If we are to cut things just because there are other better things that are going on in the world, we will never party again. That is part of what makes this country great. We CAN actually spend some of our money on good things. We can spoil ourselves now and again, while still helping others. The private sector (business and everyday people) have donated over a BILLION dollars to this latest disaster relief, but of course no one ever hears about that, as the media are more interested in telling how bad we are. It is costing us $6 million a day to have our military over there helping.
    It is not our “obligation” to help. We do it because we want to, not because we have to.

    Comment by Irish John -

  71. The actual surprise for me was that you caught flak over that suggestion. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise, but anymore in this world, when enough people are involved, anything and everything happens. I voted for him both times as well and I liked your suggestion. At the same time I thought your idea would have a chance when there are polar bears living in the wild in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

    I am learning a valuable experience about personal finances and responsibility…and I still mess it up good…so it also doesn’t surprise me that the country can’t get it straight.

    Interesting blog…only thing I’d leave out is the boring offcial’s statistics. Your opinions and commentary are much more entertaining.

    Comment by matthew -

  72. He is the candidate whose platform is taking money from the poor and giving it to billionaires. Where’s the surprise?

    Comment by Owen Byrne -

  73. I personally have no respect for Republicans but I have to admit it takes some kahonas to tell Bush to cancel his hoe-down and send all that hard earned cash to a group of people he could care less about.

    Comment by Curt Sommer -

  74. I think that the points that Danny makes are good, valid ones. Supporting your politicians financially to allow them the freedom to get into office and work out their policies is important and money well spent.

    However, with what Mark is suggesting, at least this year there is something a little bit different going on. I don’t think there are too many people who would disagree with, at a time of a world disaster like this, using that money for a better cause wouldn’t be too out of line.

    I’m a college student raised from a poor family with a lot of debt right now in various things (not credit card bills for electronics, but personal circumstances); I sacrificed a lot of money that could have gone to pay those debts because I felt so horrified at what other people were suffering; another year or so of me not being able to get a nice port polish on my rotary engine isn’t going to hurt me as much as the money I sent those people going to help them.

    Comment by John Henry -

  75. Mark…Although I still think your idea of cancelling a celebration that is held every 4 years is silly the federal debt is certainly a problem.

    I would suggest however that your stance of NOT contributing to politicians is also not productive. If you expect a politician to not respond to their constituencies you are mistaken, they should. They will also respond to their donors as well as the type of politician that you want deserves your help, there is nothing wrong with it.

    Support a politician that shares your views about frugality, they could use the help when their opponents go on the attack about how they are starving someone, somewhere and somehow.

    I provide dollars to many politicians for many different reasons. They are accountable to their constituents and the donors opinions, they have to be, but moreso the type of politician you may want, needs financial support to make that happen.

    Writing a blog might further an idea and that is good, writing a check is better.

    Comment by Danny -

  76. Flap —

    if the Mavs were loosing money each game, then that might be a legit suggesiton. Mark’s point is that spending exceeds income for the average person in America and for our government. I don’t know the Mavs financials, but i’m assuming they’re profitable – in which case cancelling games doesn’t do anything to address the problem of debt.

    Comment by lance -

  77. I agree with you Mark. Somewhere along the line, we as Americans have gotten off the save line and into the spend line. It is scary to think that we may actually be witness to a negative savings rate.

    I contend that if you examine some aspects of what drove the farm crisis of the late 70’s and early 80’s, you’ll notice striking similarities between it and the current housing market — properties over valued and leveraged to the max.

    History teaches powerful lessons. On numerous occasions it has taught lessons concerning spending v. saving. As you state, it is time we stand up and acknowledge the problem and do something about it!

    Comment by John -

  78. What a surprise?

    I still think we should cancel some of the Mav’s games in the name of frugality. I mean, why pay all of those overpaid NBA Stars what the market dictates when we have to watch as you say watch every penny we spend?

    Mark, I don’t think you or Michael Moore will be on the President’s “A” List.

    Comment by Flap -

  79. I thought your idea about scaling back inauguration celebrations was interesting, and would have been a potent gesture, but nothing more. They need to focus on real solutions, not symbolic ones. I just disagree that the symbolic example of cancelling inaurguration parties would have made any kind of real statement to the public, and probably would have just been criticized by the President’s political opponents(calling it a meaningless gesture). The truth is, that this same argument could have been made about every inauguration celebration in the last 20 years, there were always more important places to spend the money(I do realize you werne’t singling out Bush, you were just saying now, more than ever, the statement needed to be made). I do wish the President would be willing to adopt unorthodox ideas, like yours. Or at least consider them, which I’m sure was never done.

    Either way, though, as you said, they missed the chance to make this statement, so now they have to move on and find other ways to get the job done. Here’s to hoping they step up and lead.

    Comment by Tim -

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