Friday, August 20, 2010

Modoc County-- A Lesson In Republican Extremism And Their Cult Of Freeloading

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Remote Modoc County, the extreme northwest corner of California has around 10,000 people. Most of it is ghost towns and the 10,000 people living there make it the most Republican County in the Golden State. Not just Republican, a home for teabaggers, militia kooks, racists, conspiracists, Glenn Beck viewers and every kind of extremist you can think of. The last Democrat to win there was LBJ in 1964. It gave McCain his biggest California victory-- 67.9% (2,980 votes) and it is happy to boast the most extreme right wing lunatic fringe maniac in the state's congressional delegation, Tom McClintock, who replaced John Doolittle, after he was forced to resign for multiple criminal activities by he and his wife.

Modoc only has one city: Alturas, the county seat and there are around 3,000 people living there. And Modoc only has one hospital, which also happens to be the county's biggest employer. And there's a problem. Being Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh/Tom McClintock fanatics, many of the citizens don't believe in taxes. Like almost all Republicans, they're bums looking for a free ride. NPR focused on Modoc and it's about-to-be-shut-down hospital yesterday.
Residents in Modoc County, in the remote northeastern corner of California, will soon vote on whether to tax themselves to save their local hospital.

The county has gone broke trying to keep the hospital open, and a fractious debate has erupted in this proudly conservative frontier community over the best way forward... [T]he county hospital in Alturas-- even with its limited services-- is a lifeline to the people who live here. The closest full-service hospitals are hours away, and the nearby medical centers over the mountains are often unreachable during winter storms.

...The hospital is not just a lifeline-- it's an economic engine, even if it is just sputtering along. Like many rural hospitals, Modoc Medical Center is the largest employer in town, and people here worry what will happen if it closes.

"We'll be reduced probably to one grocery story, we'll probably lose a hardware store. We'll lose a lot of things, and a lot of people can't stay here," says Judy Mason, who is secretary of the Save Our Hospital committee. "Then you get a reduced value of properties, so now your tax base is smaller also. So the county becomes more impoverished simply because the tax base isn't there. So it's kind of a signpost: 'Ghost town this way.'"

County officials estimate the proposed parcel tax would generate $3 million a year. That's enough, they say, to keep the hospital afloat and even buy some new equipment. Still, there's strong opposition to the tax measure.

Doug Knox retired with his wife to a small ranch outside of Alturas. His driveway is lined with American and Confederate flags, and he is single-handedly leading the opposition to the parcel tax with radio and television ads.

"If it costs me $10,000 to $15,000, I'm willing to do it," Knox says. "Because I do not believe that throwing money at a problem is the way to go it, and put it on the backs of the taxpayers."
But even the staunchly conservative county supervisors-- who've come under fire for creating the crisis-- admit the parcel tax may be the only choice.

And the problem for normal people is that if these fanatics bankrupt their county and they all have to move out, normal towns are going to get an influx of these freeloaders. Unless they all move to Idaho or Utah or Mississippi, where they'd feel right at home, those being among the worst freeloader states in the Union.

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28 Comments:

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you mind if I forward this to my acquaintances who espouse this Republican Utopian philosophy? Thanks

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

By all means, go for it. The more people who realize that Republicans are nothing but a bunch of freeloaders, the better off we'll all be and the sooner we'll be able to come together as a society and address the serious problems their greed and selfishness have wrought.

 
At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. What a great job you guys do!

 
At 4:00 PM, Anonymous me said...

Let 'em rot.

 
At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I reside in Modoc County, and am neither a Republican, nor a fan/viewer of Rush, Beck, or the likes. That said, this article is spot on. It is remarkable that such a place exists. And the fact that it is in CA is even more so. I agree; let the people of this County reel with the consequences of their choices. NO STATE BAILOUT.

 
At 4:48 AM, Anonymous Curtis Walker said...

Please, please have a copy of the photo with McClintock with your famous CLOWN FACE added to this article so we can borrow it and put it to good use with this further south in Nevada and Placer counties.

As Always, you fellows are soooo accurate in your blogging and say it like it really is.

 
At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barbara Boxer should fly in with a Stimulus Cheque ..... let them reject it!

 
At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One correction. Modoc is in the northeastern part of the state. Not the northwestern.

 
At 5:38 AM, Blogger RW said...

Part of the insanity is that people like that will spend hundreds of times the amount of the proposed tax to fight the tax and the money they spend just disappears and does the community no good...

Somehow the word 'hypocrite' just isn't enough in this case...

 
At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Mugsy's Rap Sheet said...

It amazes me (and it shouldn't) how Conservatives will jeopardize the future of an entire town/country... resulting in mass unemployment and property values so low they won't be able to sell & move, simply to avoid paying just a few bucks a year in taxes.

This guy says he'll spend "up to $15,000" to avoid a tax that will prevent the towns largest employer from going under and resulting in massive unemployment that will bankrupt everyone... including himself.

The phrase, "Penny wise and Pound foolish" comes to mind.

 
At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Frontier town"? Where is this, Yemen?

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Silverfiddle said...

To the author:

Someone as smart as you should be able to tell us just why certain states are "freeloader" states.

What is the reason for this "freeloader" status? Have you studied the data, or are you just repeating bullshit into the liberal echo chamber?

 
At 6:59 AM, Anonymous monday said...

Hey silverfiddle - here are some statistics that show which states get back more money from the federal government than they give. That might be a good barometer of "freeloader" status. The "red" states are the majority of freeloaders.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2004/09/red_states_feed.html

 
At 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Modoc County has the most Basque voters, proportionate to population, in the US. Perhaps the ETA is driving the politics here.

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger Silverfiddle said...

I've seen all that, but have you looked behind the statistics?

If you had a state full of social security beneficiaries, it would cause that state to be a freeloader state, according to your point of view. So, are social security recipients freeloaders?

 
At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.
I used to live outside of Newell in Western Modoc County. This kind of stuff is the reason I left. They can afford to have all kinds of shiny police cruisers and have more cops/sheriffs per capita, but won't pay for a hospital. Just like Tulelake in nearby Siskiyou County, these Republican idiots would rather see their towns die than impose minor taxes to keep their small town life going.

Just to show you how lockstep these morons are, Tom McClintock was a state Senator from Thousand Oaks in Southern California! A true carpetbagger, yet these fools vote for him because he has the R by his name.

A beautiful area, pathetic human landscape.

 
At 7:41 AM, Blogger dcdouglas said...

Silverfiddle,

You are aware, that workers pay into Social Security throughout their entire life before they take the benefit during retirement, aren't you? Paying in advance keeps them from becoming "freeloaders" IMHO.

 
At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Pope Bandar bin Turtle said...

... for multiple criminal activities by him and his wife.

Pronoun is in the objective case, i.e. object of the preposition "by".

 
At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without a hospital, there is no one to save these "right wing moral cripples" when struck with a heart attack, or major accident. Unfortunately the rest are in that boat too. When they are gone - sane, moral people can move in and re-establish civilization. Until then that place is a wasteland.

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger T.A. Henry said...

OMG.. Thank you sooo much for writing this article. I've been searching for some dirty on McClintock for a few weeks, he's doing a town hall meeting in my town next week.


My speech has increased in value.. Thank you!!!

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Silverfiddle said...

Pope Bandar: We agree. Social Security recipients are not moochers; as you said, they paid into it.

I bring it up because these payments figure in to the amount of federal dollars going into a state, as does forest service, national park, military pensions and money to national research labs.

When someone like this blogger levels a charge of mooching, he/she needs to back it up.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Dale Stewart said...

Here's a song I wrote about this called:
Starve the Beast

To help the weak and right the wrongs
I need my state to be very strong
Raise a tax to pay for it all
To benefit both big and small

Destroy the government by making it weak
And it becomes ineffective
Then point and say I told you so
That’s the way that it usually goes

In my heart I hear a sound
The search for truth I have found
The voice of reason diversity

Sign a pledge not to raise a tax
And yet a tax would save the state
Starve the Beast and break it’s back
That’s the way they legislate

http://www.reverbnation.com/dalestewart

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screw that, I want to fly in there and buy the damn place and charge out the wazzooo whatever I want for an X-RAY. FREE MARKETS BABY! "You can't pay, fine, how much land do you have?" "Oh, we don't take Medicare here, that's guv'ment subsidies, we like cash or credit thanks."

Let's see how many people keep clamoring for a 'Free Market' then and complain that there is a monopoly on the health care.

I'm not that mean spirited most of the time except when it comes to obtuse conservatives that think there's an unlimited credit line that doesn't need to be paid back and that we can spend more than we bring in.

 
At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If it costs me $10,000 to $15,000, I'm willing to do it."

Bwahahahahahahahahaha! More of that "fuzzy math".

$3 million divided by 10,000 residents = $300 per person.
He's retired so it's $600 for him and his wife.
Divide the $15,000 he's willing to spend to avoid saving the lives and health of him and his neighbors by $600 and you get 25 years.

He says he's retired so assume he's age 65; add those 25 = 90 years of age, by which time I assume he'll be dead - or in "soshulist" Medi/Obamacare.

Spending $15 fat ones to save $300 bucks a year; oh, he's a "fiscally responsible" conservative Rethuglican all right (not to mention his "compassionate conservatism" toward the rest of his county citizens).

A.J.

What a putz.

 
At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you expect, these faith based, true believers to face facts?

I used to tell them it isn't normal to deny what's in front of their faces.

What I've found more effective is just modifying what they already admit to being by calling them "cheap-labor conservatives." It's terse and fits well on a bumper sticker.

 
At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice article indeede.

I don't belong to any party and I vote for whoever has right idea.

I agree that a small town has to have a hospital, but to have a parcel tax on those who don't even live in the community is bunch of BS. I along with hundreds of other uninformed individuals bought acreage in CA Pine, we don't live there and can't even use the darn facility most of the time. Why in the world we have to pay $195 per parcel? Our property isn't worth a fraction of what we paid for and now on top of it we have pay this additional fee. We didn't even get to vote on this since we don't live in Modoc County. What is the rational for this? If we have to pay, then we should have been notified. All we own is dirt, no structure , nothing. We don't use the services. The folks living in the county should hold the authority responsible. I think I most people will not pay, and at the end, the facility will end up closing anyway.

 
At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of those people that own an acre in California Pines. I live over 900 miles away and will not be able to benefit from paying an extra $195.00 per year. Do you people think that is fair?

I am a conservative, not a socialist democrat nor a so called suppose to be conservative republican.

There are a lot of hospitals that are owned by business people in other areas of the country. Why is it you socialists always have to get into other people's pockets? Capitalism made this country great, not socialism!

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a liar and the thief. You are the freeloader. You can't make it on your own, so you steal the productive output of others through taxation, then you lie about it. If you spent your energy actually producing wealth instead of stealing it from others, you would be a conservative too. You hate conservatives who speak out because it exposes your own lies and dishonesty.

 

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