Sunday, July 31, 2011
Pawlenty, if he can get any traction, I like what he says but so far it is one hand clapping.
Perry if he enters, he is a strong Conservative with an incredible record. Secession, succmession.
Bachman if she can make her strength and talent look electable.
Not Palin, not because she is not qualified and not an incredible person, it is not her time and she is more effective as a unapologetic spokesperson.
Not Huntsman. I ask why is he even running, we don't need compromise, we need better government. Moderation got whacked last time as it does every time.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
The Tea Party? They are holding to their word, as promised to their electorate, to not waste any more money. That is all. We are heading towards a horrible outcome regarding our debt and the L/P/S act like nothing is wrong. At least they did, until the Tea Party activists held everyone's feet to the fire. Even Crazy Rich recently wrote, "cut spending, raise taxes". The Tea Party, (and Jim G) don't believe any spending will be cut if taxes are raised, so we want the spending cuts first. Yes! We shout, we know it will be hard. Yes, we shout, we think (and hope) that most Americans will understand that their is no free lunch. Terry, you recent (nice in terms of describing the hard work of your father) but incredibly stupid post really says it all...which is denial.
You wasted our money on a ridiculous stimulus (ridiculous in that the issue was not deflation rather the nearness to insolvency, the over commitments to entitlements, now including health care).
You did this to us leaving the depression, you tried to do this to us in the 60's and you used the (ginned) up anger against the war to do it again.
You are again trying to destroy our country. No Eric? Listen to Pelosi, the Republicans are trying to balance the budget on the back of our seniors! Really? Remember "draconian cuts" describing proposals to limit the GROWTH of spending? That crap isn't funny anymore, it has lead to our near economic destruction. It was never the tax collections, it has always been spending and the relentless growth of government.
So, you have left us kinda screwed. We are out of money, we are losing our economic position, the successful REMAIN SITTING ON THEIR HANDS IN FEAR AND ANGER, and you protest (with disdain) a movements desire for our government to live within our means.
And Baxter, the recession presented your guy with an opportunity, others understood, he blew it.
WE SHOULD BE OUT OF THIS MESS BY NOW!
The GDP revisions—done every year by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis—also show that the recession was deeper than first thought. Output fell 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 2008, and 6.7% in the first quarter of 2009. This means the Obama Administration had to climb out of a deeper hole, but paradoxically it also means that the recovery should be far more rapid.
The historical pattern is that the deeper the recession, the more robust the recovery. This is precisely what happened after the deep 1982 recession, as the nearby table shows. Growth was 4.5% in 1983, 7.2% in 1984, and it averaged nearly 4% for the five years after that through 1989. That is what a healthy recovery is supposed to look like, which is in marked contrast to the anemic eight quarters of this recovery.
This tale of two recoveries is an object lesson in economic policy. Taking office in 2009, President Obama embarked on one of the greatest reflation bets in history. He deployed the entire arsenal of neo-Keynesian policies to lift domestic demand, much as former White House economist Larry Summers still instructs at Harvard and most of the media still recommend.
So Congress deployed nearly a $1 trillion in stimulus, plus a battalion of temporary and targeted programs: cash for clunkers, cash for caulkers, tax credits for home buyers, 99 weeks of jobless benefits, "clean energy" grants, subsidies to states, and so much more. We were told that every $1 of this spending would conjure $1.50 in new economic output. The Federal Reserve has also more than cooperated by keeping interest rates near-zero for 31 months.
So how is that hope and change working for everybody!
Friday, July 29, 2011
The Commerce Department Friday said gross domestic product rose at an annualized seasonally adjusted rate of 1.3% in April through June, while first-quarter growth was revised down sharply to a 0.4% rate from the earlier estimate of a 1.9% gain. A big reason behind the downward revision in first-quarter growth was that the inventory buildup by companies was less than initially estimated, while outlays by the federal government and consumers were also revised down.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Time for Boehner and Pelosi to get together with Reid and McConnell. A $4 trillion grand bargain just got a boost tonight. Boehner can't deliver the House GOP, but he can cobble together a majority with Pelosi. The Senate would quickly pass such a compromise bill.
Keep your fingers crossed.
-- Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
It is my preference that Reid introduce the Conrad bill that reduces the deficit $4 trillion over ten years, half through spending cuts and half through tax hikes on the rich. Contrary to the prevailing view, I think that such a vote will strengthen the position of Senate Democrats facing reelection next year.
Then - after Senate GOP caves in the bright lights - lets send Reid's bill and Boehner's bill to an ad hoc "conference". The stage will be set for a bill reducing the deficit $4T in the coming decade, 75% obtained through spending cuts. It will ultimately require Democratic support in the House, along with the GOP establishment, as the Tea Party is marginalized by the adults in the room. Our Triple A bond rating will be maintained.
Meanwhile, Obama needs to announce that we will meet our interest obligations until a deal is done, but everything else will be paid $.50 on the dollar. The pressure will come in handy.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Warren Jeffs moves to Texas and within a year is arrested. But practiced it here for years
The school system get 4 million from state and federal funds, and no investigations, no outrage from Kyle or McCain?
It is baffling to say the least! I am not suggesting they are complicit but they did NOTHING FOR YEARS, and Texas cleaned it up in a year.
If anyone know's an answers please help out!
It was decided that our family vacation to Wisconsin was not needed and that money would go to pay tuition. When college( big expense) was brought up years later, cuts were not needed but income and cuts were needed, so Dad took a second job, working at the race tracks at night as a cashier, three night a week to pay for college for his kids. VERY SIMPLE cuts were not enough to help.
Any one who thinks this idea of cutting tax loopholes ( tax cuts given at a certain time for a certain reason) is really a Tax increase is just spinning words. Here is what the American people think is a tax increase raising the tax rate on people or corporations.
We were always in debt, car payments, mortgage, school loans, so debt was needed to survive, so this idea of a balanced budget every year is just stupid because American families don't have balanced budgets every year.
Balanced budgets are talked about every year by the party who is not in office and so one year it's a Republican idea next term it's a Democrat idea.
This idea of having this crises in the next six months right before an election really who is playing politics is not hard to answer it's the Republicans
To understand Republican distrust of him, consider, from the many examples of his paltering with the truth, his July 15 news conference, wherein he veered from the subject of the debt ceiling to say "I've got three trade deals ready to go" yet they are "being held up because some folks don't want to provide Trade Adjustment Assistance to people who may be displaced as a consequence of trade." The facts are:
TAA, which has existed since 1962, enjoys bipartisan support. The 2009 stimulus increased it, supposedly temporarily, and it did revert to pre-stimulus levels in February. Now, however, Democrats suddenly insist that TAA's stimulus levels be made permanent.
Obama's wee mendacity about TAA illustrates the large stakes of the debt debate, which is a proxy for an epochal argument about the nature of American governance. Obama's money gusher has driven federal spending from under 20% of GDP to almost 25%. Democrats consider this the new normal — until it becomes the base from which they launch their next surge of statism.
Will must be smart, he writes like me. The last sentence says it all.
The short answer is: Yes, of course, President Bush is smart. Even by the credentials that most impress these days, he's got the same Ivy pedigree as his successor. (I would bet on better grades too, but we don't know because President Obama won't release his college records.) Still, the better answer is a completely different question: Is he a man of courage? That's an old-fashioned word, courage.
In my own career, I have known many smart people: those with Nobel Prizes, who teach at the world's leading universities or run the world's most dynamic businesses—in short, people with intellectual firepower that would light up the sky. In my life I have also found what I suspect most Americans have found in theirs: The ones you come to respect are those you know will stand up when you need them.
As a White House speechwriter, I learned much about the battlefield version of courage from our Medal of Honor ceremonies. One was Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham. When an Iraqi insurgent rolled out a grenade during a search of his car, Cpl. Dunham did not hesitate. He jumped on that grenade, using his helmet and body to absorb the blast. He gave his life—and two of his brother Marines are alive today because of it.
I saw another version of courage in President Bush. My time in the White House coincided with the worst times of the Iraq War. Each day seemed to bring news of good Americans dying for no appreciable gain, of Baghdad descending into hell, of some congressman or senator who had supported the effort in easier times now calling for America to cut and run.
More than once President Bush told me, "We are not going to lose our nerve and abandon the people of Iraq the way we did the people of Vietnam, from an embassy rooftop." It made for a lonely presidency. Rather than accept defeat, he ordered a surge that almost no one—including some around him—wanted: not the Pentagon, not a weary American public, certainly not Republicans or Democrats in Congress.
The night he gave that speech, Jan. 10, 2007, did not go well. The network gummed up the news feed. The president looked stiff and uncomfortable. Scarcely before he'd finished, the glib and gifted were on television declaring it a flop. The president expected as much. He did what he had to do anyway.
So successful was the surge that today we take it for granted. The progress we see in Iraq, and even the progress President Obama has made in Afghanistan, would not have been possible but for that surge. That surge would not have happened but for President Bush's will.
It's illuminating to look back at where the "smart set" was at the time. They were the folks on the Iraq Study Group, essentially calling for a dignified retreat. They were the people declaring Iraq an "unwinnable civil war." Alas, some conservatives also let their feelings of superior smarts get the best of them. Even today they've blinded themselves to an extraordinary feat of history: how a president with low public approval ratings but high integrity turned what looked to be another American humiliation into a victory for freedom.
I cannot forget. So when I look out at the Republicans vying for the 2012 nomination, I am looking for more than a candidate who shares my policy preferences. I want to know whether that someone is a stand-up man or woman. In today's media environment, that also means someone willing to be thought stupid by a class of people who think the crease in a man's trousers tells you something about presidential ability.
Many years ago in his autobiography "Out of Step," the philosopher and Cold Warrior Sidney Hook related how the 1960s surrender to student radicals by university administrators and faculty—people who knew better—led him to revise his belief that "intelligence was the supreme virtue." His mistake, he wrote, had been to take "for granted the operation of moral courage."
The American people do not have that luxury. For when it comes to the toughest decisions, the man or woman sitting in the Oval Office will likely find the facts incomplete and some of the smarter people on staff retreating into the tall grass of on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand recommendations. In these moments, freedom's place in a dangerous world hangs on the character and instinct of the president.
So let others fret about George W. Bush's smarts. For my nation's sake, I'm hoping our next president has some of his steel.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Before you read the post below (an important one), please ponder the following from MA. Please note the sponsoring party, the state (mostly L/P/S). Just for once open your eyes as to the damage of your mindset.
Or perhaps you agree and Dear Reader, when greater than 50% do, we are done.
The notion that paid sick time is a “basic right” of private-sector workers is being drummed into taxpayers’ heads by policy-makers, few of whom — if any — have ever struggled to make a payroll or to keep a business afloat in economic times like these. Well, in any economy really, but that’s another editorial.
The issue resurfaced last week during the annual hearing at the State House on legislation that would require Massachusetts employers large and small to guarantee paid sick time to their employees. A similar effort, backed by Sen. John F. Kerry, is pending on Capitol Hill.
That the legislation has yet to become law may be explained by the fact that the majority of employers already offer paid sick time to full-time workers, and to this point a sufficient number of lawmakers have recognized that imposing another government mandate on businesses when you’re trying to prod them to start hiring again is nonsensical.
But that is insufficient to satisfy those who believe government should determine what employee benefits a private company must offer. That includes many Democratic lawmakers on Beacon Hill and Gov. Deval Patrick’s top labor adviser, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne Goldstein, who before taking the post worked as a union lawyer. It also includes the cities of San Francisco (naturally) and Washington, D.C. and the state of Connecticut — the first state in the nation to mandate paid sick leave.
Talk to people who have run businesses, though, as the Associated Industries of Massachusetts and other Bay State business groups have, and you’ll find folks eager to offer the most generous benefits possible — including paid time off for employees who get sick — but not always able to afford them.
Meanwhile employers won’t suddenly find the resources in the couch cushions to fund this new employee benefit. Man-dating paid sick leave is sure to hold down salaries and cut into other job perks. And just like raising taxes when the national unemployment rate is at 9.2 percent, imposing a costly new mandate on employers, no matter how well-intentioned, is a job-killer.
Like Gorbachev, Obama is trying to support the unsustainable. We have spent more than we have, more than we can tax AND THINGS ARE GOING TO GET WORSE! One of the least discussed points of recent debate regarding our economic management is...we are going back into recession, the unemployment rate is going higher, the baby boomers continue to retire. Just for a moment my Liberal/Progressive/Socialist brethren, consider that what the tea party wants...is less entitlement spending. That is what we are arguing about. And as our Republic stands at the brink, I ask those who are reasonable to hearken to the previous attempts of Conservatives to bring a smudge of fiscal sanity to the discussion and the L/P/S response that reducing the growth (not the size, the growth) of entitlement programs were "draconian" cuts. Feel embarrassed? No? Oh I remember, you just deny the "bad" stuff.
Lastly to Baxter who...does not much need the truth...and drives debate; the point of blogging, and bloggers, away.
Job creation? How about the unemployment rate of the Conservative years (about 5% or FULL) vs. 9% now? How about the deficits under a Conservative (Republican) congress (94), vs the huge deficits under a L/P/S congress (06)?
And to be honest these are...just stuff. The crux is we need our legislators to stand and say..."we can no longer afford such a large safety net" that's it, that's all. We don't need more taxes from the wealthy, at this point they are irrelevant. All the opinion writers want compromise...just get along. So what they want and are asking for is a delay in bankruptcy..that all. Medicare is not sound and until we reengage the consumers, it will never be. We can't pay for illegal immagrants...stuff. We can't afford to bailout the states who are in bigger trouble (wait a moment! Revivion here, those without Conservative Governors who are doing the hard work of fiscal sanity) with their defined benefit plans.
The fraud of Socialism is again on display. Our President is trying jump in front of the parade and take credit in the solution of the problem he exacerbated (no he did not cause, however his party in their never ending search for social justice, class warfare and ENTITLEMENT did, for the past generation).
The debt-ceiling vote has demonstrated that Obama is, strictly speaking, unbelievable. Five months ago he submitted a budget that would have accelerated indebtedness and that the Democrat-controlled Senate rejected in May, 97-0. Just three months ago he was demanding a "clean" increase in the debt ceiling, containing nothing to slow the spending carousel. Now he calls for "the largest possible" debt-reduction deal. Today, he says "if you look at the numbers, then Medicare ... will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up." Last year he advertised ObamaCare as a sufficient reform of health care.
Obama vaguely promises to "look at" savings from entitlements because "we need to find trillions in savings over the next decade." But when McConnell learned that negotiations chaired by Vice President Joe Biden had identified a risible $2 billion in 2012 discretionary spending cuts, McConnell concluded that Obama's frugality pantomime required a response that will define the 2012 election choice.
Richard Miniter, a Forbes columnist, is right: "Obama is not the new FDR, but the new Gorbachev." Beneath the tattered banner of reactionary liberalism, Obama struggles to sustain a doomed system. Democrats' dependency agenda is buckling under an intractable contradiction: It is incompatible with economic growth sufficient to create enough wealth to feed the multiplying tax eaters.
Events are validating the tea partyers' arguments. Time is on their side -- but not on America's, unless the impediment to reform is removed in 16 months.
Is it perfect? No. Does it gore sacred cows on both sides? Yes. Is there anything better on the horizon? No. Lets vote it into law and have the next election as a referendum on the nation's fiscal policy.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The "Let's Put Politics before Everything" party is at it again.
What part of negotiations don't you understand? It's like dealing with a bowl of Jello, yes Orange Man that is what negotiations are changing prodding, working adding this taking that.
You guys walked away from a Trillion Dollar cut, explain that to U. S. citizen. A plan that would have guided us for ten years.
Two Wars --------------------------------unpaid ( who starts two wars with a tax cut)
Drug bill for seniors----------------------- unpaid
tax cut------------------------ unpaid--- how we doing with that for job creation and prosperity
The Dem's have their problems also, but let's be real both sides have blame.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
So Eric, are you going to send a letter of apology to Sarah? Just wondering.
Kind of like the same mental deficit that can think increased government spending, to the brink, can solve a deficit by growing the economy. (Tax cuts sure could).
The issue of our time is at hand..the issue? No not the deficit silly, the issue is whether "O" and his ilk have placed more on the wagon than those pulling.
Granted I have a biased sample, but I know almost no one who is not mad at the "O" but I do know lots of them are former supporters. Gonna be interesting.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
10:38 PM 07/18/2011 Daily Caller
In late July 2010, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s then-communications director, Dave Dziok, told his boss that he planned to take a new job with the public relations firm Edelman.
Dziok had worked for Bachmann for two and a half years, a relatively long period by the standards of her office, and was leaving on good terms.
Staff turnover can frustrate any employer, but Bachmann responded more dramatically. Dziok’s departure triggered a debilitating medical episode that landed the congresswoman in urgent care.
“Within 24 hours she was in the hospital,” a former aide says.
Bachmann was admitted to a Washington, D.C. hospital on Friday, July 30, and released that same day. She flew home to Minnesota to recuperate, missing a scheduled campaign event with Sen. Roy Blunt.
It’s “nothing folks should worry about going forward,” Dziok told reporters at the time, refusing to specify why Bachmann had been hospitalized.
It was, according to three people who have worked closely with Bachmann, not an isolated event. (Bachmann signs ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ pledge, adds promise to defund Obamacare)
The Minnesota Republican frequently suffers from stress-induced medical episodes that she has characterized as severe headaches. These episodes, say witnesses, occur once a week on average and can “incapacitate” her for days at time. On at least three occasions, Bachmann has landed in the hospital as a result.
“She has terrible migraine headaches. And they put her out of commission for a day or more at a time. They come out of nowhere, and they’re unpredictable,” says an adviser to Bachmann who was involved in her 2010 congressional campaign. “They level her. They put her down. It’s actually sad. It’s very painful.”
Bachmann’s medical condition wouldn’t merit public attention, but for the fact she is running for president. Some close to Bachmann fear she won’t be equal to the stress of the campaign, much less the presidency itself.
“When she gets ‘em, frankly, she can’t function at all. It’s not like a little thing with a couple Advils. It’s bad,” the adviser says. “The migraines are so bad and so intense, she carries and takes all sorts of pills. Prevention pills. Pills during the migraine. Pills after the migraine, to keep them under control. She has to take these pills wherever she goes.”
To staff, Bachmann has implausibly blamed the headaches on uncomfortable high-heel shoes, but those who have worked closely with her cite stress, a busy schedule and anything going badly for Bachmann as causes.
Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for Bachmann, said ”she suffers from migraines and they’re under control with medicine.” Stewart contested descriptions of the episodes as “incapacitating” Bachmann but did not specify how the descriptions were wrong. “The information you have is incorrect,” Stewart said. She declined to discuss Bachmann’s hospital visits at all, saying, “I’m not going to go into her medical history.”
On the evening of May 13, 2010, Bachmann flew to Los Angeles for a series of political and fundraising events. In part because of complications with her flight schedule, Bachmann’s mood plunged. During the entire six-hour flight, she was desperately sick from headaches. (Perry, Bachmann lead in July Daily Caller/Conservative Home tracking poll)
Her husband, Marcus Bachmann, met his wife at LAX and ushered her to a nearby urgent care center. Though Bachmann managed to attend several events in California, including an appearance before a California chapter of the Eagle Forum and a fundraiser in Palm Springs, she struggled through the weekend, in pain throughout.
On October 19, 2010, Bachmann fell apart at a Greenwich, Conn., fundraiser at the home of Craig Stevenson, CEO of Diamond S Shipping. She was put in a bed at Stevenson’s home and later checked into an urgent care facility near LaGuardia Airport.
Back in February 2006, Bachmann checked into the hospital for what a press release called “an appendicitis attack,” according to an archive of her website. “Michele felt very well immediately after the surgery but then suffered from complications, including nausea and intense migraines,” the press release reads.
Of particular concern to some around her is the significant amount of medication Bachmann takes to address her condition.
The former aide says Bachmann’s congressional staff is “constantly” in contact with her doctors to tweak the types and amounts of medicine she is taking. Marcus Bachmann helps her manage the episodes.
Sources who spoke to The Daily Caller said they did so because they are terrified about the impact the condition could have on Bachmann’s performance if she actually became president. They also worry that the issue could blow up in the general election campaign, giving President Obama an easy path to re-election.
“It’s a careful choice of words I used: ‘incapacitated,’” the adviser says.
“As president, when she’s in crisis management mode, is she going to have the physical ability to withstand the most difficult challenges facing America?” the former aide asks.
TheDC agreed to provide the sources anonymity because they were providing information only a select group of people could know, at great professional risk.
Two sources independently provided detailed accounts of Bachmann’s condition. A third source confirmed that Bachmann frequently suffers from debilitating headache episodes.
A big reason is the "bonus depreciation" that was drafted, passed and signed by a Congress dominated by democrats and Obama as President. The bonus depreciation has allowed companies to depreciate or write off 100% of assets purchased during these years. Of course this accelerated depreciation for tax purposes will reverse in future years. This is one of the prime reasons why big corporations are showing tax losses and book profits.
So Obama is responsible for the tax deductions for corporate jet purchases that he is railing against now! What a hypocrite! Why aren't the Republicans pointing this out?
Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus act, in February 2009. In September 2010, Obama signed H.R. 5927, the Small Business Lending Fund Act. Both pieces of legislation included tax breaks to help businesses buy their own planes.
In September 2010, Congress passed and the president signed the Small Business Lending Fund Act. Included in this legislation was “bonus depreciation” to encourage businesses to make major purchases, including aircrafts.
The bonus depreciation was going to last for a year. Obama championed it. It got passed into law nine short months ago. So he hasn’t gotten through the law he introduced, championed and got passed. Another mistake by Obamanomics? This was thought to be a boon for creating jobs. Instead it is turning out to be just like "cash for clunkers".
I can think of no time in history where businesses were allowed to write off 100% of all of their fixed asset purchases. Our president and his economic advisers, who have almost all jumped off of the Titanic like administration that Obama is leading, appear to be just throwing darts out there hoping that one of them will improve the economic conditions.When Obama touted taking away tax breaks for corporate jet owners as a way to reduce the long term spending problem, he demonstrates one of two things. 1. He is ignorant of tax law (not surprising) or 2. He is lying and simply is trying to play his favorite campaign game of lets hate the rich evil republicans.The answer is probably both.
So we can truly say he is Kerrylike. Obama was for corporate jet tax deductions before he was against them.
Obama is truly the worst President there has been in my lifetime.
When asked earlier about our social security fund Harry stated that there is not a shortfall because it is fully funded.
The President told CBS last that if the debt ceiling wasn't raised, he couldn't guarantee that Social Security payments would hit the mailboxes of the elderly.
Well Democrats which one is correct? If the Social Security Trust is fully funded than how can it be that our President will not guarantee these checks?
Friday, July 15, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The hope that the Arab world had not long ago put in the United States and President Obama has all but evaporated.
Two and a half years after Obama came to office, raising expectations for change among many in the Arab world, favorable ratings of the United States have plummeted in the Middle East, according to a new poll conducted by Zogby International for the Arab American Institute Foundation.
In most countries surveyed, favorable attitudes toward the United States dropped to levels lower than they were during the last year of the Bush administration . . . Pollsters began their work shortly after a major speech Obama gave on the Middle East . . . Fewer than 10 percent of respondents described themselves as having a favorable view of Obama.
What's striking is that none of these is among the growing list of countries we're occupying and bombing. Indeed, several are considered among the more moderate and U.S.-friendly nations in that region, at least relatively speaking. Yet even in this group of nations, anti-U.S. sentiment is at dangerously (even unprecedentedly) high levels.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Mind you, I'm not saying he is willing to do anything to actually help the country, no, that would mean he is serious about limiting government expenditures, which would reduce our debt, forestall our bankruptcy and leave more money in the private sector to be efficiently managed to address current needs.
No, he is not doing that (he is saying that, but not doing that), he is doing good old fashioned triangulation, offering to significantly cut the budget (in concept), requiring only the small pittance of very real tax increases on the job creators.
He get's to pretend to hold the line on Nancy and out bid the GOP while actually not doing anything.
As we enter the third year of Obama, as he and his apologists, like Geithner (yesterday on MTP) and Baxter, continue to blame others (Bush, Wall Street, yesterday even...gasp us (we borrowed more than we could afford), one must ask....
What is up with this recovery? Every blasted previous recovery has been like a spring, with huge job and GDP growth. Perhaps, as some point, the oblivious will understand, then admit, that the problem is with Socialism, not the free market.
Time will tell if this administration can convince the American voter that up is down and misery is normal, but that is their task. Not solving the problem, not, not engaging in class warfare, no, just winning reelection and moving further down the Social Justice road to Socialism.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
1. Social Security checks, food stamps, etc to be paid 50% of entitlement.
2. Medicare & Medicaid reimbursements to 50% of amount due.
3. Pay the troops, but immediately forgo spending on any non-essential items, including R&D and procurement. Any outstanding bills not related to continuing operations will be paid at 50%, if that, until funds are available.
4. Pay reduced to 50% for any transportation or infrastructure improvements.
5. Farm supports, etc to be paid at 50%.
In short, we will feel what it would be like to live without borrowing. We would not need to default as the GOP caucus likes to say, with the cuts described above, and we would have the funds for interest payments and redemption of bonds (rather than rollover) as they mature.
Would America like it? I think not. Would taxes on the rich be off the table? I doubt it. Would Warren Buffet still pay a lower tax rate than his secretary? Nope - the paradigm would have changed big time. GOP members of Congress would probably need to hire an army of Blackwater security guards for their protection.
What would happen to the economy? If a deal was still not reached, even after Tea Party members turned their pitchforks against Republicans, August would be devastating. We would experience a 12%+ drop in GDP (the amount of the deficit) before factoring in the multiplier effect. I expect a deal would be reached in July, if not early August.
Then, we could enjoy the 2012 election with the electorate well aware of the beneficent role that the federal government plays in a modern economy. Once informed, taxes don't look so bad, after all.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Republicans have changed American politics since they took control of the House of Representatives. They have put spending restraint and debt reduction at the top of the national agenda. They have sparked a discussion on entitlement reform. They have turned a bill to raise the debt limit into an opportunity to put the U.S. on a stable fiscal course.
Republican leaders have also proved to be effective negotiators. They have been tough and inflexible and forced the Democrats to come to them. The Democrats have agreed to tie budget cuts to the debt ceiling bill. They have agreed not to raise tax rates. They have agreed to a roughly 3-to-1 rate of spending cuts to revenue increases, an astonishing concession.
Moreover, many important Democrats are open to a truly large budget deal. President Obama has a strong incentive to reach a deal so he can campaign in 2012 as a moderate. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, has talked about supporting a debt reduction measure of $3 trillion or even $4 trillion if the Republicans meet him part way. There are Democrats in the White House and elsewhere who would be willing to accept Medicare cuts if the Republicans would be willing to increase revenues.
If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred million dollars of revenue increases.
A normal Republican Party would seize the opportunity to put a long-term limit on the growth of government. It would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. It would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting any real crimp in economic growth.
The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.
This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.
But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.
The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.
The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities. A thousand impartial experts may tell them that a default on the debt would have calamitous effects, far worse than raising tax revenues a bit. But the members of this movement refuse to believe it.
The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.
The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name. Economists have identified many factors that contribute to economic growth, ranging from the productivity of the work force to the share of private savings that is available for private investment. Tax levels matter, but they are far from the only or even the most important factor.
But to members of this movement, tax levels are everything. Members of this tendency have taken a small piece of economic policy and turned it into a sacred fixation. They are willing to cut education and research to preserve tax expenditures. Manufacturing employment is cratering even as output rises, but members of this movement somehow believe such problems can be addressed so long as they continue to worship their idol.
Over the past week, Democrats have stopped making concessions. They are coming to the conclusion that if the Republicans are fanatics then they better be fanatics, too.
The struggles of the next few weeks are about what sort of party the G.O.P. is — a normal conservative party or an odd protest movement that has separated itself from normal governance, the normal rules of evidence and the ancient habits of our nation.
If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.
And they will be right.