July 24, 2011
It's Not Fair

Obama and most Democrats say we should do what they've always said we should do: have a "balanced" approach that has a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Now, in fact, they actually propose increasing spending, but somehow this equates, in the media, to the Democrats "compromising" without regard to what their "base" wants.

But when the Republicans say we should do what they've always said we should do -- cut spending and don't raise taxes -- somehow they are afraid to offend their "base" so they refuse to "compromise."

It's pretty stupid stuff. What really gets me is how the media loves to say this is evidence that Washington is "broken," as if the fact of massive debt increases under Bush, and then far worse under Obama, are not evidence enough. If the Republicans completely capitulated and gave Obama what he is asking for -- tax increases and debt increases without any spending cuts -- the media would surely talk about how this was a "success" for democracy, an example of how Washington "can still work," even though it has set us on an accelerated course toward bankruptcy. Boehner and other Republicans would be lauded for their sensible compromise.

But if the Democrats gave in and we got "cut, cap, and balance," it would be, in the media, a massive failure, a complete and total surrender by Democrats, the end of the party as we know it, because how can it even exist if it won't stand up for its basic principles?

We see this passive-aggressive mentality in the recent flareup between Reps. Wasserman Schultz and West: the former -- the chair of the DNC -- gave a campaign speech on the floor of the House designed to hurt West with his constituents. She didn't use his name, and she didn't come out and say "he wants to kill old people," but she wanted to present people with the dishonest implication that West was sacrificing the health of the elderly for handouts to corporations. West responded, in a privare e-mail, with some nasty invective directly toward her.

The media, of course, thinks what West did was far worse. But I can't see it. What he said was more direct, but in substance, wasn't any worse than what she said. And at least he said it privately, instead of on the floor of the House (which violated House rules). And completely ignored is that while what Wasserman Schultz said about West was almost entirely untrue, what he said about her was almost entirely true.

We have this irrational style-over-substance, passive-aggressive, mentality, where if I call someone a liar, that's somehow worse than the lie I am referring to. So a process if "broken" if we cannot "compromise," but if we have a "compromise" that leads to bankruptcy, we have a process that is "working."

This sort of nonthink is no more evident than in the media's treatment of "fairness." On Meet the Press this morning, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin eloquently made the case for how great politicians of the past had a wonderful sense of fairness, which she essentially defined as being a moderate. But I defy her, or anyone else, to objectively explain to me how "cut, cap, and balance" is unfair to anyone. It's the beginning of the ultimate in fairness. We'd also need to have a flat-rate income or consumption tax, and continued cuts in the federal government, before we could be fair, but to me the entire federal policy of the moderates -- which is mostly leftwing-lite, including massive taxes on the middle class and wealthy, and massive expenditures to give things to people who "need" them -- is grossly unfair (not to mention unconstitutional).

Fairness means treating people equally, by the same standards. Fairness is the rule of law, where we don't let men change the rules to be whatever they wish after the fact. Fairness is, essentially, libertarianism/conservatism, where the government doesn't tell people how to live or what to do, let alone take what people have in order to bring about some desired social outcome.

You might think that it's a good thing to take from the rich to give to the poor, but it's not fair: it is, essentially, stealing, which is the opposite of fairness. When I give to charity, I don't do it because it's "fair," it's because I want to help people who need the help. I don't have this irrational self-loathing causing me to think that what I have isn't fair to other people. Of course it's fair: I didn't violate any laws or anyone's rights or do anything unreasonable to get what I have. So how is it not fair that I have it, that justifies anyone saying it is "fair" to take it to give it to someone else?

What bothers me isn't that someone has a different (and completely illogical) view of "fairness," or "compromise," or "broken": it's that the media almost entirely accepts these views as objective truth, when, if anything, there's a serious dearth of rational arguments backing up those views in the first place.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at July 24, 2011 07:55 AM | Email This
Comments
1. The left wing game plan is to enshrine president teleprompter's expansion of government via raising taxes. It does not matter that the national economy is crippled by our incompetent "messiah" and his pack of marxists in congress. They've added six trillion dollars to our national debt since 2006 and would add six trillion more if given the opportunity. It's like giving your check-book and credit cards to a meth-head.

Posted by: Attila on July 24, 2011 08:06 AM
2. Math is hard.


Boehner prepared to move debt plan by himself

"The preferable path would be a bipartisan plan that involves all of the leaders, but it's too early to decide whether that's possible," Boehner said on "Fox News Sunday." "If that's not possible, I and my Republican colleagues are prepared to move on our own."

This 'debate' is not about fairness or fiscal propriety, it is about power; political and economic.
And neither the Republican House leadership, the Republican House caucus nor a significant plurality of the Republican base have a clue about math.

We can argue the deficit numbers, but there is no argument that can be made for how the Speaker of the House with only his Republican colleagues can accomplish anything legislatively without the Senate and the President, which are controlled by the Democratic party by the votes and will of the people. And having let this run to the wire, the math challenged Republicans are out of time... and so are we all.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 24, 2011 08:48 AM
3. British Tory Business Secretary Vince Cable today launched an extraordinary attack on "right wing nutters" in the US who are threatening to cripple the world economy.
"The irony of the situation at the moment, with markets opening tomorrow morning, is that the biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American congress rather than the eurozone."

Boehner's Market Signals? Did August 2nd Just Become Tomorrow?

Reports have emerged that House Speaker Boehner told his caucus that their team needs to "provide a positive signal on a plan to avert a U.S. default by tomorrow."
That's right, by the time markets in Asia open tomorrow. That's right, Sunday in DC is pretty much Monday in Asia -- and the roller coaster of financial shocks could start if Boehner doesn't get his act together.


Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 24, 2011 09:15 AM
4. You are right MikeBoyscout, Math is hard. Where is your $25,000? No $25,000 makes you a LIAR. No suprise.

Posted by: Smokie on July 24, 2011 09:30 AM
5. I believe that it Obama's plan to try and throw as much blame at the Republicans as possible. The only branch that has passed anything is the House. The two-step deal that they are proposing will be a short term solution with long term commitments. The White House will find a way to move the goalpoints so as to kill this attempt.

They already know that the House will not accept "no tax increases", yet they still insist on it. The president will risk default to score political points and feed the lapdogs in the media that some GOP's are wishing for default - while the White House really is, so they can score political points for 2012 and it can play out like the Gov't shutdown did in 1995. That's what the Dems are banking on - you can take that to the bank. This is a very cynical administration and ask yourself - why would they all of a sudden be concerned about defaulting, when they have negligent all along with their spending ? It's a sham by them.

Posted by: KDS on July 24, 2011 09:34 AM
6. KDS,

Prognosticating a bit here...
The teatards in the House will certainly not vote to increase the debt ceiling. Boehner can't find the votes and in fear of losing his political position won't negotiate.

The markets will react on Monday, hopefully they will not overreact too much.

Come August 2nd with no bill in front of him, President Obama will not allow the USA to default for the first time in its history. No, he will take the path available to him and claim 14th amendment responsibilities and do it on his own.

Of course the next step will be a House Impeachment.

And won't that just be grand!

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 24, 2011 09:55 AM
7. The debt will be increased by the House whenever it is. The White House will try and impose favorable conditions for them by whatever means possible which the House will not accept because the White House has not been negotiating in good faith - all along, they are searching for the best way they can blame the Republicans, unless the Republicans capitulate to more irresponsible and reckless spending.

However, America's credit rating will suffer in the end - if this is attempted. Obamacare will also come back and bite the president in the runup to the 2012 election. All in all, it's an ugly scenario and the President will suffer as will the House Republicans.

Posted by: KDS on July 24, 2011 10:03 AM
8. The fair thing to do is cut off the welfare parasites, whether they be poor or corporations. Also slash the military by 50% immediately. Bring the troops home!

Posted by: Crusader on July 24, 2011 10:33 AM
9. MikeBS: you are so completely full of it. The 14th Amendment does not give the President the power to borrow money against the wishes of Congress. There's no rational argument to make that case. What it says is that we have to pay off the debt, not that we have to increase it.

You're still pushing the LIE that without increasing the debt, we will default. There is no truth to it. There is enough revenue in August to pay down the interest and refinance the principal without incurring more debt. We won't be able to do much else ... but that's mostly Obama's fault, directly, because we increased our deficit by about a trillion dollars since he's become President, most of that due to increased spending, and further, he's known all year this deadline was coming and didn't direct Treasury to save for it.

This is literally, objectively, and indisputably, mostly Obama's fault ... and that's not even including the massive increases in spending he voted for in the Senate.

Also, you're wrong that there's not enough votes in the House for a short-term deal.

Posted by: pudge on July 24, 2011 10:40 AM
10. Oh and for those who still don't get it: the 14th Amendment says, “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law … shall not be questioned.”

Some people -- with purely political motives, ignoring the whole of the history of the Constitution -- think that means the President can do whatever is necessary to ensure the debt obligations are repaid.

Imagine another part of the 14th Amendment: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." Let's suppose that a state does this ... say, by banning handguns. Let's say that the courts refuse to take up this case, and Congress refuses to pass legislation trying to rectify it. Does the President have the authority to enforce that himself? To use military might to force the state to allow people to own handguns? Of course not. The President has no authority to "pick up the slack" when other branches fail in their responsibilities.

So EVEN IF failing to increase the debt would mean default -- which is a lie -- that is the responsibility of Congress, not the President, and a constitutional failure would be on Congress, not Obama. That said, of course, it's an obvious fact that everyone can agree with that the President could have saved up a few tens of billions of dollars a month over the course of this year to prepare for being able to cover these obligations, so Obama would still be on the hook for mismanagement; on the other hand, the Congress didn't push him to do that, so they failed in oversight.

The bottom line is that default is a choice, raising the debt limit is the sole purview of Congress, and the President is acting like a whiny little girl by trying to tell Congress what he demands of them.

Posted by: pudge on July 24, 2011 10:53 AM
11. Mike: I think you're wrong on this and -- though it pains me to say this -- I think pudge was at least partially correct in an earlier post on this subject.

The US has sufficient funds to make good on its Treasury obligations and I believe it will. The 14th Amendment requires at least that. But it doesn't have enough current revenue to fund all of the appropriations and laws Congress has already passed.

How that plays out is anyone's guess, but I don't see how it differs from previous government shutdown situations we've already been through. In the earlier situations, it was lack of spending authority that shut down the government. In this scenario, it would be lack of funds -- but I think the end result is the same. The federal government will be need to pick and choose among critical services and the disruption will cause unnecessary pain. The longer this lasts, the more disruptive and harmful it will be until somebody blinks and puts a temporary patch together. The only questions are how long will that take and who will get the blame in November.

Posted by: scottd on July 24, 2011 10:55 AM
12. @9 pudge on July 24, 2011 10:40 AM,

"You're still pushing the LIE that without increasing the debt, we will default. There is no truth to it. There is enough revenue in August to pay down the interest and refinance the principal without incurring more debt."

I'm not pushing anything pudge.
But the Treasury cannot "refinance the principal" without authority to do so. Refinancing is borrowing. The ability to refinance is what is needed and why the debt ceiling needs to be raised.

"Also, you're wrong that there's not enough votes in the House for a short-term deal."

Let me clarify it for you. There are not enough Republican votes in the House for any 'deal'. The teatards won't deal.
Boehner needs Democrat votes in the House for any 'deal', and any 'deal' he strikes and pushes will be the end of Boehner's Speakership. He knows it and Cantor won't let him forget it.
Of course, I could be wrong, but we'll know in a couple of hours as Boehner scheduled a 4:30 p.m. (EDT) conference call with Republicans.

Regarding the validity of a claim of executive authority under the 14th amendment, President Obama is on record supporting your conclusion. But unlike Boehner, Obama will roll the dice on that to prevent the financial calamity everyone in the world (with the exception of a few right-wing nutters) understands would happen with a US default.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 24, 2011 11:23 AM
13. @11 scottd on July 24, 2011 10:55 AM,

I respectfully disagree. The issue here is not whether or not there is authority to spend, which is a govt. shutdown.
The issue is being able to pay the principle when the bonds come due in mid August and on. Our debt is not a revolving credit card where there is an option to pay the minimum payment.
And if the US defaults, for the first time in its history, we run short term, mid term and long term risks to our economy that are truly unfathomable because up until only a couple of weeks ago such an outcome was viewed as impossible for the world's largest economy and oldest democratic republic.

It's TEA time! :-D

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 24, 2011 11:40 AM
14. The issue is being able to pay the principle when the bonds come due in mid August and on.

Mike, I think you also have this wrong.

The debt limit places a limit on the total debt outstanding. When the Treasury pays off the principal value of a note, the outstanding debt decreases by a like amount. This allows the Treasury to issue additional bonds in that amount without exceeding the debt limit.

Our debt is not a revolving credit card where there is an option to pay the minimum payment.

You're right about that. That doesn't change the fact that once we pay off one note, we can sell a new note in the amount without raising total indebtedness.

Posted by: scottd on July 24, 2011 11:49 AM
15. MkeBS: But the Treasury cannot "refinance the principal" without authority to do so.

Correct. But they DO HAVE that authority. It just means they need to use existing funds to pay down more of the debt to make room. As scottd says, we reduce our debt by $500 billion, then we refinance, which also has a cost ... but a cost we can cover.

If you're having trouble getting this, I'll lay it out more simply. You have two credit cards. On one, you owe $500. On the other, you owe nothing. You use one to pay off the other. Do you now owe $1000? Of course not. Now we could argue about total debt, not even having the room to pay it off and then to lower it again, but I can't see how that's really the issue here (and if it were, Congress could legislate a very short temporary increase to just make room to refinance).

So in order for us to be incapable of paying the principal in August (assuming we have all revenue at Day 1 and bills due on Day 2, which we don't, but for simplicity's sake), we would have to be paying a HUGE interest rate: if $140b is not enough to finance $500b, we're screwed already. That's obviously not the case.


There are not enough Republican votes in the House for any 'deal'.

False. They need Democrat votes too, but there are enough combined in both parties for a deal.


Boehner needs Democrat votes in the House for any 'deal'

True.


any 'deal' he strikes and pushes will be the end of Boehner's Speakership

False.


President Obama is on record supporting your conclusion

It's the only rational one. Every constitutional scholar I've seen comes to the same conclusion.


But unlike Boehner, Obama will roll the dice on that to prevent the financial calamity everyone in the world

So you believe Obama hates the rule of law. I do not disagree with you in this.

However, you are, of course, completely wrong that Boehner is the problem here. You even admitted yourself that Boehner wants to increase the debt limit.

Everyone with half a brain knows the real problem is spending. To blame taxes when we were doing just fine with the same tax rates before the recession started is critically dumb, especially as we've seen spending increase since then by more than a trillion dollars.

THINK about that. In FY 2007, our spending was $2.73 trillion. In FY 2010, our spending is estimated to have been $3.72 trillion (all OMB numbers). We increased spending by a trillion dollars, more than a third, in three years of Democratic rule. And this year, it's expected to be $3.83 trillion. We need to REVERSE our spending trend. If next year we don't spend less than $3.5 trillion -- at a minimum! I want to see it $3.0 trillion next year -- we've failed, and our credit rating is going to be zapped no matter whether we raise the debt limit or not.

Posted by: pudge on July 24, 2011 12:04 PM
16. If you're having trouble getting this, I'll lay it out more simply. You have two credit cards. On one, you owe $500. On the other, you owe nothing. You use one to pay off the other. Do you now owe $1000?

I think a better analogy would be a 5-year, interest-only $200,000 mortgage with a balloon payment at the end for the entire principal value. Let's say that $200,000 is the most that banks would lend you given your income level. This is, in effect, a debt limit.

At the end of the term, you get a new $200,000 mortgage and use the proceeds to pay off the old note. Banks don't have a problem with this refinancing because your total indebtedness does not increase, so you haven't exceeded your "debt limit."

Anyway, your example with the credit cards is also correct.

Posted by: scottd on July 24, 2011 12:16 PM
17. I think Boehner will call Obama's bluff and pass a short term increase that will thwart Obama's hope to take it off the plate for the election. Of course, Obama is all about saving himself so he will veto it and with the veto pen and absolutely NO PLAN offered by the dems, will own it.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 24, 2011 01:03 PM
18.
Consider this: Americans have a $14,000.00 credit card balance that has reached its limit. (This is our national debt.) We pay the minimum payment of $17.00 a month. At this rate, we will never pay down the principal. To pay down the principle, we need $50.00 per month every month on the $14,000.00 loan as long as the interest remains at 2%. At this rate, it will take 33 years to pay the debt. Any mortgage calculator will validate this payment.

The real problem is a governmental spending addiction -- that is, deficit spending, or spending money we don't have. This addiction exceeds our budget for this year by about $1,200.00. Thus, we will need to borrow $100.00 per month. Actually, an additional $150.00 per month is required to pay our national credit card debt and fund the government's deficit spending habit.

The real numbers: Congress pays $17 billion per month -- $204 billion per year -- on the $14,000-billion-dollar national debt. Fourteen "thousand billion" dollars equals 14 trillion dollars. Obama wants to borrow $100 billion per month to satiate his deficit spending habits. These are the same numbers as above -- just relate one billion dollars to one dollar.

Congress should spend at least $50 billion per month to pay off the national debt, yet Obama wants to borrow $100 billion per month to cover the deficit spending -- $150 billion per month times 12, or $1.8 trillion in new taxes annually every year for the next 33 years. These 18,000 billion dollars will be over and above every dollar of federal tax currently collected.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 24, 2011 01:18 PM
19. Everyone remotely interested in understanding the debt ceiling issue should read this post and the thread following.

The explanation is simple enough that even MikeBS can understand it, and Pudge along with others nails it.

Excellent.

Posted by: Hinton on July 24, 2011 01:25 PM
20. Pudge redefines: "Fairness is, essentially, libertarianism/conservatism"

There is certainly a perspective from which that is "fair". Only a narrowminded person thinks that's the only reasonable interpretation of "fair", or would confuse a moral obligation to share one's good fortune with "irrational self-loathing".


Posted by: Bruce on July 24, 2011 02:37 PM
21. Bruce: Pudge redefines

You're lying. There was no redefinition.


Only a narrowminded person thinks that's the only reasonable interpretation of "fair" ...

Only a malicious person thinks that forcibly taking from one person to give to another is "fair."


... or would confuse a moral obligation to share one's good fortune with "irrational self-loathing".

You're a liar, Bruce. I said no such thing. I called it "irrational self-loathing" to believe that it is UNFAIR that I have "good fortune." I never implied that means I shouldn't help others with my "good fortune," only that I believe that government shouldn't force me to do so.

This is what you liberals do almost constantly. It's not new; you were doing it hundreds of years ago, and even Bastiat commented on it:

We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

And so it is here: you accuse me of attacking the moral obligation to share one's good fortune because I attack the bizarre belief that it is "unfair" that I have good fortune and another doesn't, and I believe that government should not FORCE anyone to "share." (You realize, of course, that if I am being forced, it's not "sharing," right?)

Posted by: pudge on July 24, 2011 02:58 PM
22. MikeBS,

Wow, I can barely follow your twisted logic about the 14th Amendment and raising the debt ceiling; the payment of the debt - the burden the US bears - is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. How is paying a debt met by ADDING more debt to make the payment?

Is your idea of paying the debt really one of borrowing more money to pay the debt? That's your position? Can you bear to make that case?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 24, 2011 03:12 PM
23. Bruce,

About fairness, I think this is the key point between conservatives and liberals.

Conservatives believe fairness deals with the starting point: equal opportunity for all.

Liberals believe fairness is measured by the ending point: equal results for all.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 24, 2011 03:22 PM
24. How did that 4:30pm EDT Boehner conference call to outline the framework of a debt ceiling increase bill go?

I went on Fox News Sunday this morning because it was the most effective way to tell everyone where things stand. It boils down to this: The president wants his $2.4 trillion debt limit increase all at once, without any guarantees that we're going to cut more than $2.4 trillion in spending.

The administration says they it all upfront so we don't have to deal with this again until after the next election. You heard the president say that himself on TV the other night.

We've seen this coming all year long. But here's the challenge: to stop him, we need a vehicle that can pass in both houses.

You know, last week we passed the Cut, Cap & Balance Act and showed America our solution, our vision, as we did months ago with our budget. So we've done our job. And I think the nation knows it.

But as you all know, the Senate tabled the Cut, Cap & Balance Act. And I think the nation knows that, too. So the question becomes -- if it's not the Cut, Cap & Balance Act itself -- what CAN we pass that will protect our country from what the president is trying to orchestrate?

The White House has never gotten serious about tackling the serious issues our nation faces - not without tax hikes -- and I don't think they ever will. The path forward, I believe, is that we pull together as a team behind a new measure that has a shot at getting to the president's desk.

It's won't be Cut, Cap, & Balance as we passed it, but it should be a package that reflects the principles of Cut, Cap, & Balance. We're committed to working with you -- and with our Republican colleagues in the Senate -- to get it done.

No one is willing to default on the full faith and credit of the United States.

And I think the leaders in both parties and both houses of Congress already agree that we need significant reductions. But if we stick together, I think we can win this for the American people ... because I do think there is a path. But it's gonna require us to stand together as a team. It's gonna require some of you to make some sacrifices. If we stand together as a team, our leverage is maximized, and they have to deal with us. If we're divided, our leverage gets minimized.

Before I close, let me thank all of you for your patience, and for your confidence, and for your commitment to our country. We're doing the right thing, and you all know that the right thing isn't always the easiest thing to do.

Now THAT is most assuredly fair market calming progress!

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 24, 2011 03:50 PM
25. Obama's Fair Deal: Violate Your Tax Pledge So I Can Keep My Pledge to Reform Entitlements
...That's where things stand. President Obama is demanding the GOP violate their non-negotiable pledge on taxes so that he can fulfill his pledge to reform entitlements. The President repeatedly called this a "fair deal" yesterday. Well, it certainly is fair to him.


Yes, I'm going to be rude and say EXACTLY what I think- PROUDLY and loudly I might add.

I am sick to death of Obama and his lies;
I am sick to death of Obama blaming everyone/anyone except the person he sees in the mirror;
I am sick to death of his nose in the air arrogance and demagoguery telling me that I am stupid;
I am sick to death of his big government, onerous regulation and tax everything attitude;
I am sick to death of Obama (& his wife & his unelected czars) telling me I am incapable of making decisions that affect ME;
I am sick to death of his hypocrisy, his manufactured, selective and phony outrage;
I am sick to death that his every decision is colored by how it affects his chances of re-election;
I am sick to death of his demonizing those who disagree with him;
I am sick to death of his pettiness;
I am sick to death of his blatant class warfare;
I am sick to death of his 'leading from behind';
I am sick to death of his biased sycophant media fawning, lying, covering up & enabling this incompetent;
I am sick to death of the American people rolling over & letting this insanity destroy America.
I am sick to death of Obama and his CONTEMPT for the Constitution and the CITIZENS.

While I am sick to death of his 'them vs. us' mentality, I am going to give him exactly THAT.
Whereas in the past I judged candidates on their own, I will now judge them on their affiliation and allegiance to this lying, ineffective, incompetent tyrant who disgraces the office he is privileged to hold.

And yes, if you are not paying attention you should not vote. If you are not paying attention you do not deserve that right.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 24, 2011 04:36 PM
26. Here's some more food for thought;

This coherently sums up the actions of Obama in this debacle that was largely brought on by his reckless spending (Hat tip: Powerline);

"The uses of petulance"

President Obama turned in a rare performance on the debt ceiling negotiations on Friday night. Here is the transcript; the video is below (available on the Powerline website). The performance was rare not only in the context of Obama's cool persona, but also in the history of presidential statements and press conferences.

One would have to go back to Bill Clinton denying sexual relations with "that woman" to find a similarly angry presidential performance, and Obama's had just about the same quotient of truth in it that Clinton's did. That would be none. I can think of other angry presidential statements prior to Clinton's, but I think Clinton's is the statement to which Obama's can most usefully be compared.

Obama's performance on Friday is one that bears dwelling on, if not for too long. I don't think we can learn much from it that we did not know before. Obama is extraordinarily cold, calculating, disrespectful, and uninhibited by scruples in dealing with his political opponents, whom he treats like dirt. The one element of authenticity that creeps into his remarks is his lack of respect for his opponents.

Obama has treated the debt and deficit issues in purely political terms, and, unlike the Republicans, he has yet to put his cards on the table. Boehner's walkout appears to have been triggered by significant backtracking by Obama in the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary and tax cheat Timothy Geithner did not deny it in his appearance on Fox News Sunday this morning. It would have been a major mistake for Boehner to have acceded to Obama's repositioning. It is a classic sign of of bad faith."

Whether he likes it or not, this period coupled with his signing into law of Obamacare will come back and extract at least a pound of flesh from our juvenile President.

Posted by: KDS on July 24, 2011 05:11 PM
27. @ 25, You appear to be part of the right-wing nutter crowd. "President Obama is demanding the GOP violate their non-negotiable pledge on taxes so that he can fulfill his pledge to reform entitlements."

Yet while you are ranting and raving, and while John Boehner shows once again that he is incapable of leading (Hasta Manyana!), those pesky Democrats meet with the evil Obama and offer the next deal that the GOP Suicide Squad will not consider:

"In an effort to reach a bipartisan compromise, we are putting together a $2.7 trillion deficit reduction package that meets Republicans' two major criteria: it will include enough spending cuts to meet or exceed the amount of a debt ceiling raise through the end of 2012, and it will not include revenues. We hope Speaker Boehner will abandon his 'my way or the highway' approach, and join us in forging a bipartisan compromise along these lines."

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 24, 2011 05:58 PM
28. @ 25, You appear to be part of the right-wing nutter crowd.

Of course, with nothing to offer you step up with mindless invective. Bully for you. Read the links, then name ONE plan, ONE cut, ONE suggestion Team O has made. Whines and tantrums don't count.

The democrats and Obama need to lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.

Boehner is about to come out with the THIRD GOP plan; squawks and crickets from dear leader and his obedient cult.

Their default position is to offer nothing and reject everything. Way to go Obama. Yeah, leading is HARD and you have to accept responsibility along the way. Guess they didn't teach that in Community Organizing 101.

The incompetent had the audacity to tell a crowd the other day he wants us to know he's 'thinking' about us. Whoop de frickin do - is that before or after you plan your next fundraiser and/or golf outing/vacation? Stinks that this whole running the country business had to (finally!) intrude on the fun, eh?

Hey, how about less ruminating and a little more leader type action?

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 24, 2011 09:36 PM
29. @ 25, You appear to be part of the right-wing nutter crowd.

And yet, you didn't refute even one item I'm 'sick to death of'.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 24, 2011 09:43 PM
30. For the grand deal that the Democrats are seeking, see the following video (6-1/2 minutes, but worth the time)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQf_QfitmKE

Posted by: KDS on July 24, 2011 09:58 PM
31. Dan@23, do you seriously think that's what liberals believe? It's not what I, or any liberal I know, believes. But nor do we believe that just the best way to provide "equal opportunity for all" is to have no government or rules.

Posted by: Bruce on July 24, 2011 10:12 PM
32. Bruce - you see I believe government is the problem, not the solution. Only a liberal could believe that some bureaucrat knows how to run people's affairs better then they do.

Posted by: Crusader on July 24, 2011 11:05 PM
33.
So I say its way past time for finger pointing, fiery rhetoric and blame. If the GOP has a fault in this it's that they've failed to adequately stress how we got to the impasse in the first place. Please GOP: more fingerpointing, fiery rhetoric and blame.

For a handful of years and more Democrats have had things pretty much how they like them: Americans are angry and distrustful; we have nothing like an actual federal budget to work from; we're spending money profligately until we've found that we're out of money almost entirely. We have unions acting ugly and thuggly on TV almost nightly. We have a brand new war of choice to pay for too in Libya. Prices are up. Confidence is down.

So now, into this crisis steps BHO, activated by the confidence that only true ignorance can bring, to demand that we raise taxes just to protect the Washington bureaucracy that got us into the mess in the first place.

Well I'm tired of the "shared sacrifice" that bankrupts the rest of the country while it enriches the Obama administration, the Democrats in both houses of Congress, unions, the NLRB, the EPA, the Federal Reserve, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Bill Gross, Warren Buffet, George Soros, environmentalists, the GLBT lobby, the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, Fannie and Freddie, the AARP and most of Cook County, Illlinois.

It's time for Obama to eat his own peas.

It's well past time.

He's the guy that cooked them.

Oh and for those who think it's just "the right-wing nutter crowd":

Trust on Issues
Voters Give GOP 10-Point Edge Over Democrats on Economy

Oh and for those who think it's just "the right-wing nutter crowd":

Most Voters Fear Debt Deal Will Raise Taxes Too Much, Cut Spending Too Little

Oh and for those who think it's just "the right-wing nutter crowd":

Right Direction or Wrong Track
21% Say U.S. Heading In Right Direction

Yes, that's right 79% think America is heading in the WRONG direction.

Oh and for those who think it's just "the right-wing nutter crowd":

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?"
7/21-23/11 Approve:42 Disapprove:49%

Oh and for those who think it's just "the right-wing nutter crowd":

Latest Polls


Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 24, 2011 11:07 PM
34. Bruce,

I do believe that. There is a tremendous concern on the Left for results. For example, progressive taxation. How is that 'fair'?

How about racial quotas? Isn't it enough to ensure that you don't use race as a qualifications for entry into universities? Why do we have to have set-asides for certain people?

Why do we have reserved Government contract awards for minorities/classes of people? How is that fair?

I'm all for making sure the starting line is equal - it's when the results are changed, and some are not allowed to cross the finish line until others have caught up that I have a problem with.

It's not "no government or rules" as you state - it's about anarchy, it's about Government being color-blind and simply about equality of opportunity - not "justice of results".

I really believe that, deep down, most liberals are more concerned with equality of results rather than equality of opportunity. They might not like to admit it, but I believe their actions speak to it as true.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 24, 2011 11:10 PM
35. Bruce: It's not what I, or any liberal I know, believes.

You must not know very many liberals, including Obama, who recently remarked that it is not fair for one family to be struggling while another is "able" to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars he doesn't "need." He was explicitly expressing -- with most liberals nodding in agreement -- the view that outcome is how we determine fairness. Here's a fuller quote:

And I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am asked to do nothing, in fact, I'm able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don't need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds that they've got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans.
That's what the revenue debate is about. It's not because I want to raise revenues for the sake of raising revenues, or I've got some grand ambition to create a bigger government. It's because if we're going to actually solve the problem, there are a finite number of ways to do it. And if you don't have revenues, it means you are putting more of a burden on the people who can least afford it. And that's not fair. And I think the American people agree with me on that.

Again: he is literally, explicitly, making the case that it is not "fair" for people to have "additional" income they "don't need" while other people are struggling. This is precisely what Dan was talking about when he said, "Liberals believe fairness is measured by the ending point: equal results for all." Now maybe he didn't mean exactly equal, but it's pretty damned close.

Frankly, the very fact that the President of the United States has the belief that government has any business saying what income is "additional" or "needed" is grounds, to me, for impeachment. It's inherently anti-American. Government has no right whatsoever to have any opinion on what I need. I disagree with many political views, but other than the common hatred of the rule of law by the left, this is one of the things that really gets me riled up: this evil fiction that anyone else has any right to tell me what I need. It is a facial and complete violation of the very existence of the right of the pursuit of happiness: how can I be free to pursue happiness if someone else exercise the authority to determine what I need, what is "additional" ... and "additional" to what? I assume he means "additional" to what I need, but maybe "additional" to what I deserve, or have a right to?

(And please don't waste our time saying he was talking about himself. That much is obvious, but he was using himself as an example to draw up public policy including everyone. If he only meant himself and didn't mean to apply it to everyone with his sort of money, then he would have been talking about donations, not forced taxation, which he clearly was doing, when he said he was "able" to keep it: he explicitly wants himself and others like him to be "unable" to keep it.)


But nor do we believe that just the best way to provide "equal opportunity for all" is to have no government or rules.

Neither do we believe that. We just believe there should be far fewer rules, and that government's primary responsibility is to enforce those few rules in order to secure individual liberty.

Posted by: pudge on July 25, 2011 07:49 AM
36. MikeBS: How did that 4:30pm EDT Boehner conference call to outline the framework of a debt ceiling increase bill go?

Quite well.


Now THAT is most assuredly fair market calming progress!

When Obama and the Democrats are literally vowing to increase debt, taxes, AND spending -- and to lock it all in for the next two years -- "calming the market" is hard to do.


while John Boehner shows once again that he is incapable of leading

Sure. Someone who has come up with three plans to pass the House and is working on a third is "incapable of leading," but Harry Reid who hasn't come up with any plan to pass the Senate, and President Obama who a. refuses to agree to specifics, b. lies about cutting spending at all, and c. lies about not accepting a short-term deal ... yeah, they are great "leaders."


those pesky Democrats meet with the evil Obama and offer the next deal

Except, of course, there are NO spending cuts in that "deal."

Ragnar: And yes, if you are not paying attention you should not vote.

Agreed.


If you are not paying attention you do not deserve that right.

Incorrect. Every citizen has, and deserves, that right.


Posted by: pudge on July 25, 2011 07:50 AM
37. Pudge@35 writes, "I assume he means "additional" to what I need, but maybe "additional" to what I deserve, or have a right to?"

There you go again, pudge, lying about context. Obama clearly used "additional" in the context of (and same sentence as) a deal with the Republicans -- a bill that would change current taxes and spending. You were helpful enough to quote Obama in context but then went on to blatantly ignore that context and "assume" a totally different, evil context. How gullible do you think your readers are?

Now of course we could debate whether the current tax and spending rates are appropriate or "fair" (a subjective term). Realistically, though, change happens incrementally, so it's reasonable to look at what a proposal would change. That's what Obama did.

Although Obama said he's not looking to raise taxes or increase the size of government just for the purpose of doing so, I know you think he should drastically reduce taxes and shrink government because they are not moral, constitutional, or consistent with your right to pursue happiness. You and I will never convince each other on these matters because we have different worldviews; I just take solace in the knowledge that that vast majority of earthlings have worldviews closer to mine than yours.

But regardless of worldview, you don't convince anyone (except the gullible) of anything by "assuming" a clearly incorrect meaning.

Posted by: Bruce on July 25, 2011 10:38 AM
38. Double standard in the media as always. See this poll that shows that most Americans know there is a double standard and that the media is biased to the left. Unfortunately, Left leaning Americans like Bruce are willing to use this bias to their political advantage.

If the playing field were level, there would never be another Democrat elected. It's only through obfuscation, media support, class warfare and victim coddling that the Left has a chance.

Posted by: Jeff B. on July 25, 2011 11:04 AM
39. (And please don't waste our time saying he was talking about himself. That much is obvious, but he was using himself as an example to draw up public policy including everyone.

Nope, not everyone agrees:

Understand, this was a hypothetical. The president wasn't necessarily speaking about his own "additional income (that he doesn't need)." He was speaking about somebody else's. And something tells me that that somebody else is not among the 47 percent of U.S. households that pay not a penny of federal income tax.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 25, 2011 11:09 AM
40. Bruce: There you go again, pudge, lying about context.

As usual, no, I am not. You just can't read.


Obama clearly used "additional" in the context of (and same sentence as) a deal with the Republicans -- a bill that would change current taxes and spending.

How does that change anything I said? It doesn't answer what he thinks the income is "additional" to. How much my income is, is not related to any deal he comes up with. He didn't say "additional taxes," he said "additional income." You are trying to convince us he meant something completely different from, and completely inconsistent with, what he said. He said, "I'm able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don't need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds that they've got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans."


I just take solace in the knowledge that that vast majority of earthlings have worldviews closer to mine than yours

But Americans are far closer to me, thankfully.

Posted by: pudge on July 25, 2011 12:24 PM
41. ANOTHER PLAN:
House Republicans Unveil Debt Plan


NO PLAN BUT MORE DIVISIVE RHETORIC
Reid: "Radical Right-Wing Extremists...More Interested In Trying To Embarrass The President"

'You crazy Right-Wingers are extremists and have no ability to settle differences and can't do anything right but why don't you just see it our way and we'll shake hands, smile during the photo-op and then stab you in the back. Whaddya say pals?'

Yes, Harry Reid is insane.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 25, 2011 12:55 PM
42.
"We have often heard that the devil is in the details. But these days, I'm afraid he's in the Oval Office. Who else would have run on the promise to radically transform America? Who else would have thought that America, of all places, required a radical transformation? If a normal human being were asked which countries could use an overhaul, he wouldn't be thinking of the United States. Would he mention Russia and Venezuela? No doubt. Would he have China, Yemen and North Korea, on the short list? Absolutely. How about Saudi Arabia, Syria, Cuba and Iran? Indubitably. On the other hand, it's actually the one promise Obama has kept. But, who else but he and Satan would even suggest that a nation created by such giants as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and Adams, had to wait 232 years for a leftwing community organizer to fix what wasn't broken? And when this arrogant pipsqueak chastises the Republicans in Congress for doing nothing about the debt crisis when they're the ones who presented and voted for Paul Ryan's budget plan months ago while this schmuck has been off golfing and fund-raising, does he really believe we take his words seriously? Great men, it's said, speak truth to power; Obama speaks power to truth." --columnist Burt Prelutsky
Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 25, 2011 01:00 PM
43. I just take solace in the knowledge that that vast majority of earthlings have worldviews closer to mine than yours.

And the vast majority of earthlings live miserable lives. Bruce you act as if your worldview is simply a difference of opinion or a rational choice like choosing between chocolate or vanilla ice cream. But that's the whole problem with a collectivist worldview. It's not a choice. It's a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature.

The system of socialism and of confiscating wealth for the sake of some other alleged needy group is incompatible with what motivates earthlings. When you confiscate by force, as is the case with the majority of the world's governments, you fundamentally undermine human motivation. You Leftists like to talk about animal rights, cruelty to animals, etc. Well when you impose a socialist/ collectivist government on your fellow human animals, you are effectively declawing us all.

Humans rely on our brains and trading amongst each other for our survival in the same way that cats use their claws to survive. When you take away one man's hard work and motivation earn for the sake of another who has not done the work to contribute to his own survival it is exactly like feeding declawed tigers at the zoo. And you have to set up an ever larger and more elaborate zoo to keep only a smaller, unmotivated and captive population alive.

A rational and moral economic system values property rights and champions the individual successes, merit and commerce which sum total encourage everyone to find a way to produce goods and serve each other, instead of waiting for the handout based on force and confiscation. Self reliance, distributed, scalable and a whole lot more friendly to the animal population.

Long term, your worldview will never work, because it is not predicated on the reality of human nature. We are motivated for ourselves and not for others. Period.

In short Bruce. Read the signs. DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS!

Posted by: Jeff B. on July 25, 2011 01:11 PM
44. Contrary to the bull one reads here, Boehner still has no plan that can pass the House without Democratic votes of which he'd be lucky to get 3.

Right-leaning groups oppose Boehner's new debt plan

A large coalition representing more than 100 conservative and Tea Party-affiliated groups said Monday that it will not support Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) new plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

In a statement, the Cut, Cap, Balance Coalition said, "To be clear, we are not criticizing the Speaker; however, we cannot support his framework."

It takes 217 votes to pass a bill in the House.

As I said @2 above, Math is Hard.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 25, 2011 03:00 PM
45. The obstructionists are less the strict cut cap and balance crowd and more an incompetent who refuses to agree to anything that will interefere with his campaigning as short term deal surely would. There was a bi-partisan agreement this morning and the incompetent completely dismissed it.

Congressional numbers work both ways but ONE guy has the pen and he is looking out for himself rather than leading the country which is why we will see him whine to the country on national TV ...again. Supposedly he is going to 'make his argument' but having never put forth ONE plan or even enumerated one specific cut, he's little more than a paper whiner campaigning.... one STILL pushing for tax hikes.

U.S. Credit Rating Now Cut As Boehner Fights Back

Lost in the headlines generated by Obama press conferences, Reuters reported that the credit rating agency Egan-Jones has in fact become the first rating agency to downgrade the U.S. rating. Egan-Jones, says Reuters:

And what else is being reported about Egan-Jones' reasoning for doing this?

The agency said the action, which cut U.S. sovereign debt to the second-highest rating, was not based on fears over the country not raising its debt ceiling.

Instead, the cut is due the U.S. debt load standing at more than 100 percent of its gross domestic product. This compares with Canada, for example, which has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 35 percent, Egan-Jones said in a report sent on Saturday.


Former CBO Chief Slams Obama: "White House Is Making Political Argument Wrapped in Economic Clothing"

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, appeared on CNBC this morning. He panned the White House's insistence on granting President Obama a blank check that gets him past the 2012 election. "The president doesn't want to talk about his record of debt between now and and the election and everyone knows that."

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 25, 2011 03:51 PM
46. MikeBS: Contrary to the bull one reads here, Boehner still has no plan that can pass the House without Democratic votes ...

Who ever said he would/could do it without Democratic votes?


... of which he'd be lucky to get 3.

Utter nonsense.


As I said @2 above, Math is Hard.

Yes, and then we proceeded to explain to you how the math proved you wrong ... and by "we" I mean including people on the left.

Posted by: pudge on July 25, 2011 03:57 PM
47. Who ever said he would/could do it without Democratic votes?

The dirty little secret is that there are 3-4 Democrat senators (Clair McCaskill, Bill Nelson are two I believe)who are facing a very tough re-election. There are behind the scene machinations that will allow them to vote with the GOP to preserve their re-elect chances.

AND therein lies the problem in America - re-election machinations rather than what's best fro the country.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 25, 2011 04:06 PM
48. I am about to explode

Less than one minute into his national whine he was blaming Bush. He then goes on to 'wish' for a plan where both houses of Congress can agree to a plan AND one he WILL sign.

Well, newsflash incompetent and his enablers:
YOU HAD THAT SATURDAY AND YOU REFUSED TO SIGN.
YOU HAD THAT THIS MORNING AND YOU REFUSED TO SIGN.

He's damned right the entire world is watching: watching him insult his own citizens.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 25, 2011 06:06 PM
49. @47

Amen RD. I used to be against term limits, because there are some good legislators, and it would be a shame to lose the good ones. But it has become a celebrity career sham for people like Nancy Pelosi and Anthony Weiner. And even for many Republicans.

If we made public office just like jury service, we'd have a least a 50 percent chance of getting decent people on a regular basis. Probably even more so because most normal people would easily do a much better job than the walking congressional disasters we have come to know. Even Bruce would do a better and more thoughtful job than Murray, Cantwell, Dicks, and certainly more than McDermott.

Posted by: Jeff B. on July 25, 2011 06:28 PM
50. Bruce wrote:

I just take solace in the knowledge that that vast majority of earthlings have worldviews closer to mine than yours.

Then apparently your concept of earthlings is very narrow. Come over to Asia sometime - China, SE Asia, India, the 'stans - you'll find people actually want the freedom and ability to earn as much as they can, and keep it AND pass it on to generations to come.

Since half the world's population lives in that area, I'd say, worldwide, your viewpoint is actually in the minority. Most don't want to have forced redistribution of their income and property in some misbegotten attempt to make things "fair".

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 25, 2011 08:50 PM
51. Why can't Harry Reid submit CCB to an up or down senate vote?

Because it would pass?

There's a small number of Sam Reed-style RINOs in the senate. On the other side, there are far more leftists masquerading as centrists in the Democratic party. Think Jay Inslee when he represented a district in eastern Washington, or Brian Baird in southwest Washington.

Posted by: Attila on July 26, 2011 05:58 AM
52. ""I am confident as of this morning that there are not 218 Republicans in support of the plan," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told reporters at a Tuesday morning press briefing."

And by "the plan" Jordon is speaking about Boehner's plan.

And having failed to compromise with the Democrats on anything thus far, House Democrats are not going to push Boehner's plan over the finish line.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 26, 2011 12:01 PM
53. And having failed to compromise with the Democrats on anything thus far, House Democrats are not going to push Boehner's plan over the finish line.

You can't compromise - or capitulate - to something NEVER presented.

You can't compromise with an opponent whose only answers are "No" and "My way ONLY".

It was reported that on Sunday night, he unilaterally rejected a bipartisan deal presented to him by Senate and House leaders. "Sen. (Harry) Reid took the bipartisan plan to the White House, and the president said no," an aide said.

This is quite a different picture from what President Obama has been painting for the press. At the exact moment he said he didn't want to point fingers, he complained that he and his Democrats had been willing to compromise but that Republicans were dug into their ideological cement.

He said, "And I think one of the questions that the Republican Party is going to have to ask itself is, Can they say yes to anything?" Are you kidding me? This is the guy who still hasn't presented his own plan and obstructs all others not conforming to his unreasonable demands.

***

A Leadership Default
The President blames House Republicans for everything.

The Obama Presidency has been unprecedented in many ways, and last night we saw another startling illustration: A President using a national TV address from the White House to call out his political opposition as unreasonable and radical and blame them as the sole reason for the "stalemate" over spending and the national debt.

We've watched dozens of these speeches over the years, and this was more like a DNC fund-raiser than an Oval Office address. Though President Obama referred to the need to compromise, his idea of compromise was to call on the public to overwhelm Republicans with demands to raise taxes. He demeaned the GOP for protecting, in his poll-tested language, "millionaires and billionaires," for favoring "corporate jet owners and oil companies" over seniors on Medicare, and "hedge fund managers" over "their secretaries." While he invoked Ronald Reagan, the Gipper would never have used such rhetoric about his opposition on an issue of national moment.

One irony is that Mr. Obama's demands for tax increases have already been abandoned by Members of his own party in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid knows that Democrats running for re-election next year don't want to vote to raise taxes, so he's fashioning a bill to raise the debt ceiling that includes only reductions in spending. But Mr. Obama never mentioned that rather large fact about Mr. Reid's effort.

***

Budget talks: President 'No'

President Obama says he wonders if Republicans can say yes to anything. He's a fine one to talk.

Americans need to understand precisely what has caused the current crisis: Barack "Don't Call My Bluff" Obama's refusal to accept a short-term hike in the debt ceiling, which Republicans support. The president is holding out for a "grand bargain" to solve the debt problem for a couple of years rather than just a few months.

That sounds statesmanlike -- until you understand what lies beneath it. If Washington raises the debt ceiling only enough to last a few months, then it will have to revisit the issue next year, during a presidential election campaign. Questions about the country's astronomical debt would draw attention to the president's policies, which have increased federal spending 30 percent in the past three years.

Obama does not want anyone to think about the debt again until after the 2012 election. Washington could have reached a deal on a short-term debt-limit hike weeks ago -- if the president were not so consumed with thoughts of himself.

***

Obama speech: lots of words, no solutions

For the fifth time in three weeks, Barack Obama seized the bully pulpit in the debt-ceiling debate, this time using a prime-time speech instead of a press conference to do so. And for the fifth time in three weeks, Obama literally did nothing with it except to utter the same platitudes and clichés as he did on the previous four occasions. Obama offered no solutions, no specifics for a solution, and spent 15 minutes avoiding both.

... Awkward indeed. Obama repeatedly blasted Republicans for not agreeing with his approach while providing no plan at all, and modeled the need for compromise with ... a campaign speech. Anyone listening to Obama's fifth foray in front of the cameras this month -- by far the most intense public-relations campaign Obama has conducted in more than a year -- could be forgiven for wondering why the President didn't spend at least some of that time actually developing and presenting his own plan.

The simple answer: Obama doesn't want the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling, cutting spending, and/or raising taxes. This is what passes for leadership in the era of Hope and Change -- voting present.

***

The Emperior Has No Clothing!
Book of Obama: Chapter 13

His Excellency, The Most High, Master of the Nation, President Barack Hussein Obama (May He Reign Forever) spoke to the peons of the population. None of this problem is MY fault, the Great One exclaimed.

"I blame Bush! He spent $1 Trillion in 8 years. And there was the Recession. We had to spend, spend, spend to Save the Nation. It is the fault of the Republicans. Those nasty TEA Partiers. It is the fault of everyone else. I am your King. Nothing is MY fault. It never is.

***

Bam's Desperation
Speech exposes his true motive

President Obama likes to present himself as the only adult left in Washington, but last night's televised address to the nation had more than a whiff of childish desperation about it.

It's clear: The only thing that matters to him right now is not the fate of the country but his re-election.

Discussing the looming Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling -- the subject of fierce debate and negotiation for the past few weeks -- the president last night once again (a) blamed Bush, (b) demonized the successful, (c) denounced "tax breaks" for corporate jets and oil companies, (d) threatened the country's seniors, veterans and contractors with the chimera of "default" and (e) dredged up the ghost of Ronald Reagan to try and cast himself as the great compromiser.
The blame game: President Obama, presenting his side of the debt war to the nation last night, scapegoats Bush and successful people.

In short, he was hoping the country mistakes bluster for a negotiating position. For demanding a "balanced" approach to solving the crisis (read: massive tax increases) is so yesterday. Events have already passed Obama by.

***

CNN notices how out-of-touch Obama is

***

CNN: "Nobody" in DC Still Pushing Tax Increases "Except Barack Obama"

***

And moments ago from your game playing, fear-mongering, always campaigning, lying, manipulative SOB:

Wow: White House Issues Veto Threat on Boehner Plan

What did the president say about the wages of default/downgrade in his speech last night, again? Let's review:

For the first time in history, our country's Triple A credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet. Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, mortgages, and car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people. We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis - one caused almost entirely by Washington. Defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate.

Economic catastrophe. A deep economic crisis. Reckless and irresponsible -- unthinkable. And yet:

Yep, you guys sure elected a great campaigner, a terrific reader.

The problem is, we need a LEADER.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 26, 2011 01:01 PM
54. President Dangerfield
Barack Obama has trouble commanding respect.

So this is what we have come to: the president of the United States, and not just any president but the World's Greatest Orator, standing in the White House petulantly reproving his partisan opponents and imploring his supporters: "If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know."

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on July 26, 2011 01:52 PM
55. Well, after the Speaker walked out on the president on Friday, we will finally have a vote on his grand plan today on Wednesday ... oh wait, no we won't.

"House Speaker John Boehner was forced late Tuesday to postpone a floor vote on his plan, which originally had been scheduled for Wednesday, after nonpartisan congressional scorekeepers said the proposal would cut spending less than advertised. He promised to rewrite the measure, but the move means the House can't vote on it until Thursday at the earliest."

Huh, after claiming Sunday "I and my Republican colleagues are prepared to move on our own." turns out Boehner is not prepared at all.


Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 27, 2011 04:17 AM
56. MikeBS: no one cares. You don't actually have a point.

Posted by: pudge on July 27, 2011 07:28 AM
57. Pudge,
Its disengenuous of you to use the pre-recession 2007 numbers, vs the FYI 2009 numbers, which Bush signed into law. From your very same site, that last Bush budget was $3.517T. No, you can't argue it was a democrat controlled congress, and its all their fault. Bush negotiated it, and SIGNED IT INTO LAW. Just like I'll try hard not to blame the GOP controlled house for the current FY11 budget they voted on. Obama signed that budget, and those tax cuts into law.

By the way, you keep claiming the stimulus was worthless, but yet half of the stimulus was in the form of additional tax cuts. Your logic puzzles me.

Posted by: Proteus on July 27, 2011 08:13 AM
58. By the way, you keep claiming the stimulus was worthless, but yet half of the stimulus was in the form of additional tax cuts. Your logic puzzles me.

Posted by Proteus at July 27, 2011 08:13 AM

I dispute your percentage of the Stimulus that supposedly went for tax cuts. Show us the numbers. The Stimulus was primarily a kick-back to the public sector and Democratic party special interest groups.

Posted by: KDS on July 27, 2011 09:56 AM
59. Proteus: Its disengenuous of you to use the pre-recession 2007 numbers, vs the FYI 2009 numbers

False.


... which Bush signed into law

So what? It was a Democratic Congress -- both houses -- that passed it. I don't absolve Bush of blame, but I properly recognize Congress is primarily responsible for the budget. It's always bizarre to me when the President gets most of the blame for it, since he has almost no control over what is passed. All he can do is threaten a veto.


From your very same site, that last Bush budget was $3.517T.

Yes, which was the second Democratic budget.


No, you can't argue it was a democrat controlled congress

But, it was.


... and its all their fault.

It was all their fault in terms of passing Congress. Of course it was. They controlled Congress. Congress passed it. It belongs to them.


Bush negotiated it, and SIGNED IT INTO LAW.

Yes, and he deserves blame for signing it. Again: so what? You're pretending I said or implied that he deserves no blame. That's false.


Just like I'll try hard not to blame the GOP controlled house for the current FY11 budget they voted on. Obama signed that budget, and those tax cuts into law.

Umm. FY2011 started in October 2010. Almost a year ago. And we still have no budget. There is no budget for FY2011, and even if there were, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress at the time. And Obama has signed no budget into law for FY2012, which begins in October 2011; and because Obama and the Democrats in Congress don't seem to want one, we probably won't have a budget for FY2012 either.

You're very confused.


By the way, you keep claiming the stimulus was worthless

False. I have mentioned it, but it's not very often that I do, and it's been quite some time since I brought it up.


... but yet half of the stimulus was in the form of additional tax cuts.

First, you're wrong: it was actually about a third. Second: so what?


Your logic puzzles me.

That's because you are pretending I am always in favor of tax cuts, and always against tax increases, or keeping taxes where they are.

The "payroll tax credit" was $400 per person (up to $75,000 in income). This was so small the most people never noticed it. It's literally less than $8 a week! That accounted for almost half the "tax cuts," and it had no appreciable impact on the economy whatsoever.

They also had a minor adjustment in the AMT and Social Security limits, but those weren't actual tax cuts, because people's taxes stayed the same: they were merely reductions in projected tax revenue. This tax cut that wasn't a tax cut was about 25% of the "tax cuts."

The rest, about 13% of the total stimulus, was mostly stuff I disagree with: more tax credits and other knob-twiddling designed to micromanage the recovery. I would have favored across-the-board tax cuts, but not supposedly fine-tuned credits and so on.

What we should have done is eliminate ALL individual and corporate federal tax for as many months as it would take to generate $787b in revenue. We necessarily would have seen massive growth in the economy, including lots of hiring and consumer spending. Instead we had a putrid little stimulus that did nothing whatsoever. Oh right, I got a bike trail out of it ... but the workers who built it probably don't have jobs now.

Posted by: pudge on July 27, 2011 10:12 AM
61. "What we should have done is eliminate ALL individual and corporate federal tax for as many months as it would take to generate $787b in revenue"
This is precisely where your logic fails. The "Laffer" curve is just that..a parabolic curve. By eliminating ALL tax, you eliminate ALL revenue. You CANNOT generate revenue by cutting taxes to zero. Yes, cutting HIGH tax rates..on the falling side of the parabola will increase revenue, as Reagan and Kennedy showed. Cutting already LOW tax rates, as Bush did, will decrease revenue. Cut tax rates to zero? Revenue goes to zero. Simple math. At some point, we've got to pay for what we spend.

Now lets look at the "payroll tax credit". Did people notice it? probably not..as you said, its about $35/month. Did people spend all of it? Yes. Therefore the money went DIRECTLY into the economy. Now contrast that with, say, a $3000 tax cut on someone making $500k/year. Are they suddenly going to take that extra $3k and spend it? very likely not, as they're already saving a substantial portion of their income. Instead it'll go into the bank, or into the stock market. Impact on the economy: minimal.

Lets look at hiring. Corporate profits are at an all time high. Therefore companies can certainly afford to hire more workers. "Productivity" is at an all time high. Translation: companies are getting more work, from the same number of workers. Why aren't companies hiring? Because they can maximise profits by forcing employees to do more work for equal or less pay, since there is high unemployment, and workers are fearful. QED. Its certainly NOT high taxes, or low corporate profits that are preventing hiring.

Posted by: Proteus on July 27, 2011 11:29 AM
62. Proteus: This is precisely where your logic fails.

False.

The "Laffer" curve is just that..a parabolic curve.

I wasn't talking about any curve.

By eliminating ALL tax, you eliminate ALL revenue.

For several months, yes.

You CANNOT generate revenue by cutting taxes to zero.

Exactly. You reduce revenues by $787 billion by eliminating all individual and corporate taxes for several months.


Cut tax rates to zero? Revenue goes to zero. Simple math.

Correct.


At some point, we've got to pay for what we spend.

Ummmm. We didn't pay for the stimulus. It cost $787 billion. I'm just saying instead of spending $787 billion we don't have, we go the other way, and fail to collect $787 billion. The immediate bottom-line difference is exactly the same, but -- obviously -- reducing taxes by $787 billion will significantly increase private economic activity, so when the tax holiday ends, we'll have more revenues than we otherwise would have had.


Now lets look at the "payroll tax credit". Did people notice it? probably not..as you said, its about $35/month. Did people spend all of it? Yes. Therefore the money went DIRECTLY into the economy.

But not in any significant way. We know this because we didn't see a significant increase in economic activity. Not that I favor giving tax cuts just so people spend ... I favor giving tax cuts so people will make their own choices, and they certainly didn't make any significant choices based on this tiny cut.


Why aren't companies hiring? Because they can maximise profits by forcing employees to do more work for equal or less pay, since there is high unemployment, and workers are fearful.

Nonsense. You're pretending all companies are equal. My company is greatly expanding hiring, profits, and productivity. We pay well and don't ask people to work longer hours. And it's hard to find good people, because my company is far from unique. If anything, the thing holding back higher employment is lack of available quality people in the industry.


Its certainly NOT high taxes, or low corporate profits that are preventing hiring.

It's government involvement generally. High taxes are a MAJOR part of it: we have some of the highest corporate taxes in the world, and that -- along with other mandates on corporate employees, like health insurance and unemployment insurance and payroll taxes and so on -- makes the cost of every hire very high. To say that isn't an issue is bizarre and obviously false.

Posted by: pudge on July 27, 2011 11:47 AM
63. @62- All hypothetical, but I live in Realville.

"Lets look at hiring. Corporate profits are at an all time high. Therefore companies can certainly afford to hire more workers."

False. They are not hiring, largely due to uncertainty - regulations with the advent in the skyrocketing costs of Obamacare playing a significant role.

Former CEO David Walker has a plan to cut spending that the GOP might be wise to look into.

Posted by: KDS on July 27, 2011 11:49 AM
64. Hey Proteus,

President Bush NEVER SIGNED THE 2009 FISCAL BUDGET. In fact, he promised to veto it, so the courageous Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid sent President Bush continuing resolutions instead.

Here's the proof.

President Obama and the Democrats OWN the FY2009 budget - it was written by the Pelosi-led House and Reid-led Senate, voted on in Congress AFTER President Obama was in office (that's right - it wasn't even addressed in the House and Senate until after President Bush was out of office), and SIGNED INTO LAW by President Obama.

Fiscal Year 2009 is 100% the responsibility and creation of the Democrats - House, Senate and White House. Your revisionism of history is deplorable.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 27, 2011 02:41 PM
65. Proteus wrote:

Cutting already LOW tax rates, as Bush did, will decrease revenue

WRONG AGAIN. In fact, they should be called the Bush Tax Increases. In FY2003, Federal revenues were $1.78 trillion ($1.9 trillion in constant 2005 dollars). In FY2007, the last GOP/Bush fiscal year, Federal revenues were $2.5 trillion ($2.4 trillion in constant 2005 dollars).

Revenues increased over $700 billion annually after the 2003 tax reform package (and just over $500 billion in constant dollars). That's nearly $200 per month per man, woman and child inside the US. That amount of extra taxation was collected as a results of the Bush tax reform of 2003. Yes, ADDITIONAL revenue per person was the result.

Far from a tax decrease, it was actually a tax INCREASE. The rate may have gone down, but the actual amount of tax collected skyrocketed, proving we were too high on the Laffer curve - tax RATES needed to be cut - the Federal revenue receipts prove it.

Source for data.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 27, 2011 02:52 PM
66. MikeBS,

I'm sure you could barely contain your pleasure when the situation changed, and now Speaker Boehner has to bear the burden of once again being the adult and try to resolve this issue.

How are your English lessons coming along, by the way?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 27, 2011 02:57 PM
67. Has the Speaker passed his Bill yet?
Speaker Boehner who said on Sunday July 24th "..I and my Republican colleagues are prepared to move on our own."

His definition of "prepared" and mine must be different.

Be Prepared


Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 28, 2011 02:54 PM
68. MikeBS,

Can you barely wait for a new bill? Of course, the House has passed two bills relating to the debt ceiling already - any delays are for Harry Reid and the Democrats to bear. You Democrats always want to forget that...

There is a budget on the table in the Senate - from the House, all Harry Reid has to do is take it up for vote.

There is a debt ceiling raise on the table in the Senate - from the House, all Harry Reid has to do is take it up for a vote.

Why do you support obstructionist tactics from Harry Reid? Why do you want to see America fail? Why do you hate the USA?

It must be a terrible burden to bear, all that hate inside, covering all, so much that you can barely function...

As far as definitions of words, have you learned about the definitions of "bear" as I use them here? Or should I wait for another castigation from you?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 28, 2011 03:34 PM
69. With the economy sputtering and 2 wars literally bleeding our country for nearly a decade, the Republican House leadership took the bull by the horns and facing a deadline where the full faith and credit of the United States of America is on the line, and named some Post Offices.

ps. To make a law in our country in 2011 requires a majority in the House and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and the signature of the President.
Take a moment and drop a line to the House Republican leadership on the math of US Constitutional legislative arithmetic.
It is only Fair.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 29, 2011 05:10 AM
70. MikeBS wrote:

To make a law in our country in 2011 requires a majority in the House and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and the signature of the President.

Bzzzt. Apparently your command of the Constitution is as bad as your command of the English language - barely present.

You do NOT need a filibuster proof majority in the Senate; simply 51 votes (or 50 and the Vice President) will do. But I wouldn't expect you to know that, as your burden to bear is basic English, so reading the Constitution could be difficult.

So I guess that's why Harry Reid has you snowed, and refuses to take up the bills as presented by the House - ready to go. He could resolve this issue if he wanted to; apparently Harry Reid would rather see the nation default than do his constitutional duty.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 29, 2011 07:46 AM
71. MikeBS: where's the Democratic votes? Please tell me WHY the Democrats oppose Boehner's bill. I defy you to. Although you can save that for my next post, coming up in a moment.

But I will point out more of your lies while I am here.

... facing a deadline where the full faith and credit of the United States of America is on the line ...

You're lying, as has been proven several times over.

To make a law in our country in 2011 requires a majority in the House and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and the signature of the President.

You're a liar. No need to elaborate.

Posted by: pudge on July 29, 2011 07:55 AM
72. @70 Shanghai Dan on July 29, 2011 07:46 AM,

I see.
Your reading of the Constitution says there is no such thing as a legal Senate filibuster.
Maybe you can pen a well thought missive to Sen DeMint and let him know of his errors?

Be sure to use "Bzzzt" in your letter, cuz that makes your logic more persuasive.

ps. The updated Boehner bill will require the balanced budget amendment to pass both chambers and be shipped to the states before House GOP would approve the second debt ceiling increase. It is a pity that the man who can't garner enough votes in his own caucus seems to be unaware of the vote totals needed for a Constitutional ammendment in the Congress. :,-(


Posted by: MikeBoyScout on July 29, 2011 08:05 AM
73. MikeBS: Your reading of the Constitution says there is no such thing as a legal Senate filibuster.

That's not what he said. YOU, however, said that a filibuster is NECESSARY. You are wrong.


ps. The updated Boehner bill will require the balanced budget amendment to pass both chambers and be shipped to the states before House GOP would approve the second debt ceiling increase.

Good.


It is a pity that the man who can't garner enough votes in his own caucus seems to be unaware of the vote totals needed for a Constitutional ammendment in the Congress.

You don't know what you are talking about, as usual.

Posted by: pudge on July 29, 2011 08:18 AM
74. MikeBS,

I see that pudge already schooled you on your errors about the filibuster. You really should look that word up - after, of course, you learn about bear. Apparently English and the Constitution are two subjects in which your knowledge is sorely lacking; you really should consider a bit of education before showing such ignorance.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has TWO bills that he could address which would make this entire issue disappear:

- The Ryan Budget (which raises the debt ceiling)
- Cut, Cap and Balance bill

Right now, the reason there is no increase in the debt ceiling is because of a SINGLE MAN. Democrat Senator Harry Reid. It is HIS responsibility at this point. The House - including Speaker Boehner - has done its job and passed solutions. The way it's supposed to work is the Senate takes up those bills, and if they need to be changed before a vote - then do so. Work out the differences in conference, final passage in Congress, then to the President.

The Democrats are completely and unequivocally stonewalling this process for purely partisan reasons. There is no desire on the Democrats part to address the issue - just play politics.

Speaker Boehner's shepherded two bills through the House that address the debt limit - was has Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid done?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 29, 2011 02:42 PM
75. Beam me up Scotty...there is no intelligent life down here in Tea Party America.

The Ryan budget would destroy Medicare...which is why no sane Democrat would vote for it.
The "cut, cap and balance plan" would cripple this country, by not allowing for deficit spending. How would Reagan, or Bush fared under such a plan, given the $9 Trillion in deficits they rang up?

Both plans are fatally flawed, since they keep government revenues at their current all time 14% low, vs the 20% historical average. Repeal the Bush tax cuts, eliminate corporate loopholesremove the cap on social security, and everything gets fixed on the revenue side. Couple that with some targeted, specific stimulus items like decreasing the overall corporate tax rate, lengthening the depreciation schedule on capital equipment, targeted tax credits for domestic R&D, increase in spending for NSF, NASA, and university research, and our economy would boom again. Its not rocket science.

Posted by: proteus on July 30, 2011 12:14 PM
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