Ramirez Cartoon via Townhall.
Pundette is sounding a bit depressed about the budget battles: It’s all a sham.
I spoke too soon about who lost the budget battle. We wuz robbed. The budget deal includes “cuts” of billions of dollars that weren’t going to be spent anyway. The jury is out on whether this sham deal will actually pass. John Podhoretz has his doubts.
The politics here are very complicated now. On the one hand, polls suggest the public is overwhelmingly in favor of there having been a deal, around 60 percent or so. On the other, politically engaged people on both the Right and the Left are profoundly upset by what they take to be unprincipled caving on the part of the leaders of the two parties.
That profound concern is likely to spur a populist revolt this week, over the next 72 hours, before the vote is taken. Already there are indications that a great many House members are going to vote against the deal. What we don’t know, or can’t know, is whether grass-roots velocity has sped up to such a degree over the past several years that we could be looking at a major meltdown of support when the votes are cast, as Republican members honestly balk at the clear deceit of the negotiators in making non-existent cuts in federal spending—and as they fear the wrath of the voters (particularly tea partiers).
Ace is despairing:
Oh: By the way, the deficit shot up almost 16% (15.7%) the first six months of this year alone and due to the magic of compounding interest it only gets worse from here.
Oh: And the Republicans are no better, because they won’t cut spending or tell the public the truth.
My position on taxes and spending is evolving, I have to admit. If the Republicans won’t cut spending, as they apparently will not, always promising to get serious on cuts after the next election cycle (and then, when that cycle has passed, declaring the next cycle is even more important so we mustn’t cut until after that one, too), then I have no choice but to support broad-based, significant tax increases.
Since I don’t want the country to be destroyed.
If we have two parties which are determined to spend this much money, then there is no alternative than to bring “revenues” (as I guess I’m supposed to call them) to match this level of “investment.”
And maybe when the public actually gets a big tax hike they’ll start to reconsider whether subsidizing themselves is a smart idea.
Gabe at AoSHQ: Compare and Contrast on the Debt Ceiling
Republicans are well-positioned to take major concessions over the debt limit (assuming they actually want some, I’m looking at you Speaker Boehner, dammit). The public is on our side. More importantly, the Democrats are pursuing the same strategy they always do.
Compare and contrast:
“I will not support an increase in the debt ceiling without real and meaningful changes in spending in the short-term and in the long-term. We’ve got to change the way we spend the people’s money. … The President sends the budget to Capitol Hill that will double the national debt in the next 10 years. And simply expanding the credit card is not the right answer.”
“”It will be hugely dangerous for the Republican colleagues to play a game of chicken on the debt ceiling. You would see an economic catastrophe if the United States defaulted on its debt.”
The first is GOP Rep. Mike Pence, who offers a cogent explanation for what it will take to increase the debt ceiling. The second is Dem Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who simply pushes the panic button.
The Democrats are hoping that they can make enough people afraid that the Republicans will feel pressured. But there’s no reason to believe that will happen.
I’m not sure I agree with that after the way Boehner caved on the FY2011 budget in order to avoid a government shutdown. Boehner and McConnell are already out there saying that not raising the debt ceiling would be a huge mistake.
Michelle Malkin says it’s time to: Make 70 the new 65:
Raising the traditional and early retirement ages will mean extending workers’ taxable earning years, fueling economic growth, and putting a dent in our unfunded liabilities crisis by delaying payouts. Some senior citizens’ lobbying groups fret that today’s workforce wouldn’t be able to handle longer careers. Tell that to Betty White or Joan Rivers or Helen Mirren. More to the point, as domestic policy analyst Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute observes, “Perhaps the best evidence that future Americans can work longer is that past Americans did: Despite poorer health, shorter lives and more strenuous jobs, in 1950 the typical individual did not claim Social Security until age 68.5. In 1950, more than 20% of Americans worked in physically demanding jobs; today only about 8% do. While today’s technology-driven service economy places demands on older workers, it is hard to imagine that things were easier when Americans typically worked on farms or in factories.”
And while cowardly politicians pull their hair out over which policies to adopt and which wasteful and bloated government programs to cut…
(FT) — The US lacks a “credible strategy” to stabilise its mounting public debt posing a small but significant risk of a new global economic crisis, says the International Monetary Fund.
In an unusually stern rebuke to its largest shareholder, the IMF said the US was the only advanced economy to be increasing its underlying budget deficit in 2011 at a time when its economy was growing fast enough to reduce borrowing.
With all the bad economic news out there, it sure is good to know that there’s an honest and impartial media out there to sort it all out:
Peter Fererra at The American Spectator says the Democrat party’s huge lurch to the left will be rejected in even huger numbers at the polls in November, 2012: Death Trap Democrats:
The Bell Actually Tolls for Thee Democrat Party
With Pelosi, Schultz, and Obama in control, today’s Democrat party is transforming itself into an outright socialist party. The die is now being cast to go into next year’s elections with the issues framed around the Republicans calling for taxes and spending to be limited to their historical, postwar levels, as Ryan proposes, and the Democrats calling for higher taxes to finance higher spending.
Steve Foley at The Minority Report: TMR Exclusive: 10 Questions with NYT Bestseller David Freddoso Author of Gangster Government
1) Do you think Obama’s OJT (on the Job Training) is working?
If the yardstick is his ability to prostrate himself and grovel before union bosses, puff up and persecute political bogey men, and denigrate even average voters who disagree with him, Obama didn’t really need any on-the-job training. He comes from Chicago, where these things are built into the job description of every office-holder. The readers of Gangster Government should not be surprised, especially if they read my 2008 biography of Obama, The Case Against Barack Obama.
But one area where Obama really seems to have a slow learning curve is foreign policy. They could give him ten Nobel Prizes and he still wouldn’t have a clue about current events in the Arab world. The Wikileaks cables on Yemen bolster this, as does the additional war into which he has plunged us. We don’t know what we’re doing in Libya, or why or whether or how we should be supporting the rebels, in part because Obama acted alone. There was no debate. Typical Chicago, where politicians believe themselves to be above the law.
Jay Cost offered this stinging appraisal of Obama at The Weekly Standard: Obama Is Just Plain Bad at Politics:
2. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This was a total political disaster. The grotesque spectacle of passing this bill completely undermined Obama’s pledge to change the way Washington works. The policy substance was just as bad; most Americans want it repealed even a year on. And, to top it all off, it might just be unconstitutional!
3. The war on terror. As the president would say, “let me be clear:” we’re closing Guantanamo Bay and we’re trying KSM in New York City. Oh…wait!
4. The deficit. Today, President Obama is scheduled to give a major speech that will outline a new vision for cutting the deficit. Never mind that his budget, unveiled in February, was supposed to do precisely that. The fact that he’s trying again to get a handle on the deficit issue means that the White House is tacitly admitting that his original budget was a complete and total political disaster.
And then of course, we have the regular verbal gaffes. The Cambridge police acted “stupidly.” Hispanic voters need to “punish [their] enemies.” Doctors are taking out children’s tonsils for profit. People who own gas guzzlers (like for instance, the Cadillac Escalade from government-backed GM!) should trade them in if they don’t like the price of fuel today.
Sometimes I wonder what his approval numbers would look like if he didn’t have a complicit media carrying his water.
Of course, if you look at Obama’s agenda in terms of irreversibly transforming the nation into a Socialist state, the personal politics are secondary. He may be bad at politics, but he was very, very good at grabbing the steering wheel of the Dem Socialist ship in the midst of the perfect budget-busting, spending storm. That’s the main thing. And he know how to squeeze in time for golf, vacations, and campaigning for 2012, too. Then again, it’s hard to pinpoint just when the 2008 campaign ended and the 2012 campaign started. He’s always been in campaign mode.
Megan Fox at NewsReal Blog has The 10 Best Conservative Replacements For Glenn Beck’s Fox News Slot
The thing I’ll miss most about Beck being gone is the reaction from all the statist twerps who hate him with a frenzy that can only be compared to neurotic miniature poodles who pee on the carpet when overexcited. Ailes should focus like a laser on replacing Beck with only the most hated personality he can find. Not only will it keep the ratings up, but it will provide sane people with fantastic entertainment. The following are 10 suggestions for conservative hosts sure to make the Left angrier (and funnier) than they already are.
Love her suggestions.
Obama’s timely tax the rich speech (two days before April 15) is going over like a lead balloon over at Ace o Spades HQ: Rhymin’ & Stealin’: Obama to Give Address On Raising Taxes For 40th Time
Obama’s game is to appear mature and serious, in as much as he talking about these things, while reassuring older votes (and liberal Democrats who just want everyone on as much welfare as possible) that it’s entirely talk.
It costs you nothing to just talk around a thing, particularly when you keep insisting that you just mean to talk. And that’s the way Obama will play it, as he always has.
Oh, I forgot, he’ll call for raising taxes on the rich which will cut our ten year deficit all the way down from $20 trillion to $19 trillion.
Republicans say this is a “reactionary” move and Obama’s just doing as I suggested, talking and talking to sound as if he’s doing something. Which he is — he’s running for re-election.
Soothsayer sums up the speech, well: “It’s not me; it’s you.”