Boehner: I’m a little surprised that Obama didn’t mention entitlement reform last night

posted at 9:30 pm on January 26, 2011 by Allahpundit

That makes one of us. If you’re anticipating an excoriation of The One here based on the above headline, lower your expectations: Not only does Boehner resort to gassy platitudes about an “adult conversation” on entitlements, but when pressed by Kathleen Parker on how he’s going to chip away at our colossal deficit, he mentions reining in congressmen’s personal budgets and trimming $50-60 billion in spending. (Oh, and repealing ObamaCare, which has no chance of becoming law anytime soon.) To refresh your memory, CBO said just a few hours ago that we’ll be another $1.5 trillion in the red this year alone; $50 billion in cuts would put a dent in that of just a bit more than … three percent. It’s like trying to tear down Mt. Everest by carrying one softball-sized rock at a time off the mountain.

After last night’s total abdication of responsibility by The One and Paul Ryan’s well-meaning but evasive rebuttal, I think I’m finally off the “let’s ban earmarks” bandwagon for good. I understand the virtues of that position, but honestly, at this point any call for spending cuts that doesn’t focus public attention on the core problem of entitlements and long-term sustainability is a distraction and a net loss. Even the usual argument, that we need to address pork because it’s a “gateway drug” to higher spending, doesn’t make sense given the gravity of the problem. It’s like trying to stop an epidemic of heroin use not by banning heroin but by banning marijuana: Better to address the core problem immediately and worry about preventative “gateway” measures later, no? All we’re doing with the earmarks bromides is giving Obama and Boehner political cover to ignore Social Security and Medicare while jerking around with symbolic cuts to infrastructure projects. Priorities, priorities.


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Here’s an “adult conversation” starter, Congressman Boehner:

Man up and grow some bawlz!

gryphon202 on January 26, 2011 at 9:33 PM

and a net loss. Even the usual argument, that we need to address pork because it’s a “gateway drug” to higher spending, doesn’t make sense given the gravity of the problem. It’s like trying to stop an epidemic of heroin use not by banning heroin but by banning marijuana: Better to address the core problem immediately and worry about preventative “gateway” measures later. All we’re doing with the earmarks bromides is giving Obama and Boehner political cover to ignore Social Security and Medicare while jerking around with symbolic cuts to infrastructure projects. Priorities, priorities.

I don’t agree.
I think they’d say “Of course they don’t want the big things cut. They don’t even care about the small things like earmarks!”

MayBee on January 26, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Maybe the best thing to do at this ever-so-corrupt stage of the game is embrace Cloward-Piven and collapse the whole stinking pile of rot, let the libtards and their dependents slaughter one another in the ensuing food and benefits riots, then, with the field cleared, we can start over by reinstalling the Constitutional republic our Founders had in mind.

FlameWarrior on January 26, 2011 at 9:36 PM

I starting to think there is no way anybody is going to stop our collapse now. It’s all on autopilot. Damn, I’m an eeyore!

We have 2 more years of, at best, re-arranging the deck chairs…well, not even that…Obama is still going to ‘invest’ in crap we can’t afford and don’t need…well, except the Military…that will be about the only thing where the Dems will be able to find ‘savings’.

In 2 years, it will be too late anyway…it was probably too late the day Obama took office and he and Pelosi and Reid began their wild binge. But we knew that.

AUINSC on January 26, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Kind of like the way they acted all put out when Joe the Plumber criticized Obama’s “spread the wealth around” comment.

“We already have taxes!” they said something like “We already have progressive taxes. If he doesn’t complain about those, how can he complain about Obama talking about progressive taxation? If he doesn’t want to spread the wealth around, he should be trying to get rid of all taxes.”

In a zero-tolerance world, if you don’t complain about the small thing, they don’t believe you should complain about the bigger things.

MayBee on January 26, 2011 at 9:40 PM

See what a little civility gets you?

Skandia Recluse on January 26, 2011 at 9:40 PM

John, can we talk?

O’Barry is a fast talking Chicago con man. He sees the US as a bottomless barrel of money to be looted. He’s not going to stop spending until there’s none left.

RadioFreeUSA on January 26, 2011 at 9:41 PM

In 2 years, it will be too late anyway…it was probably too late the day Obama took office and he and Pelosi and Reid began their wild binge. But we knew that.

AUINSC on January 26, 2011 at 9:37 PM

And still over 50% of the voting electorate wanted him — wanted this. Good bye, Lady Liberty.

gryphon202 on January 26, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Excellent companion piece, which one can call O’s SOTU as “Boob Bait for Bubba,” shows that O’s economic malfeasance will probably cost him the 2012 election.

(Bookmark this one.)
http://spectator.org/archives/2011/01/26/why-today-is-1979-not-1995

onlineanalyst on January 26, 2011 at 9:41 PM

In a zero-tolerance world, if you don’t complain about the small thing, they don’t believe you should complain about the bigger things.

Except that much of the public can’t distinguish between smaller and bigger things. They don’t pay attention to this the way political junkies do. So when they hear you ranting about earmarks, they think, “Oh man, let’s ban those earmarks. That’s the way to sustainability!” But it isn’t. It’s chump change. And it convinces them that if only they give in on earmarks, maybe they can keep Social Security. They can’t.

Allahpundit on January 26, 2011 at 9:43 PM

at this point any call for spending cuts that doesn’t focus public attention on the core problem of entitlements and long-term sustainability is a distraction

No. It is integral to an overall philosophy of belt-tightening. We need cuts across the board, including defense, and we need to reform entitlements.

Your logic reminds me of the Democrats mocking any attempt to open ANWR for drilling because it was “just a few” million barrels.

John the Libertarian on January 26, 2011 at 9:45 PM

We are more than broke…

… we owe Trillions!!!

If the actual truth was common knowledge…

… the riots in the Middle East would seem like a Boy Scout Jamboree.

Seven Percent Solution on January 26, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Just let me opt out of Social Security. I’ll take the gamble. The folks who choose to stay are taking a gamble, too. At least I’ll have a chance.

SouthernGent on January 26, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Not inspiring confidence.

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 9:48 PM

I saw clips of the SOTU and Boehner didn’t look sober enough to remember the speech.

darwin-t on January 26, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Since ObaMao and his merry band of Dem thieves are doubling down on O-Care, an unaffordable new entitlement itself, why would anyone expect the Big Kahuna to tackle any other entitlements? He wants all but the politically elite in his command economy to live on the Banana Government Plantation.

onlineanalyst on January 26, 2011 at 9:49 PM

With this post, if I read its tone right, I think Allah just crossed the Rubicon. He has, in essence, declared his unconditional allegiance to the Tea Party ethos and pathos. Lets roll.

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Your logic reminds me of the Democrats mocking any attempt to open ANWR for drilling because it was “just a few” million barrels.

John the Libertarian on January 26, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Once again, I refer you to the Gallup poll I linked earlier showing that only 34 percent — of REPUBLICANS — support cutting Social Security.

We are in crisis mode here. The public, including the conservative public, fundamentally doesn’t understand that there’s no way to make the country solvent without drastic reforms to Social Security and Medicare. Every moment you spend decrying earmarks is a moment that could have been used to make that point but was wasted instead on a comparatively minor expense. We can’t waste any more time; we have to prioritize.

Allahpundit on January 26, 2011 at 9:51 PM

AP, you are a bit like my brother. You scream entitlement refor but back away with horror from the only presidential candidate who’s talking about it. When you correct that little contradication, we will begin to take you seriously. As of now, your credibility is on part with Boehner and Cantor.

promachus on January 26, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Let it burn, let it all burn. We need a reset button on capitalism and the only way that is going to happen is thru the fires of bankruptcy. As long as we have leaders (hint the speaker and Obama are not leaders) on their soapboxs explaining why the crisis is caused by government overreach then let it burn.

unseen on January 26, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Maybe if the speaker cried a little Obama will come to the table….

unseen on January 26, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Of course the obamanation didn’t talk about cutting entitlements cuz he and his minions are entitled to what everyone else produces…

It’s past time for someone in the R “leadership” to stand up and clearly and firmly articulate what needs to be cut and why. And then go about doing so. Nibbling around the edges just allows the dems to grow the other side of the cheese bigger…

Gohawgs on January 26, 2011 at 9:55 PM

I’m a little ticked at Pubs right now over their sudden interest in entitlement reform. GWB brought that up at the start of his second term (I think it was then) and the Republicans – still in the majority – treated him like a leper. The time to show balls was back then. Their current concern is nothing more than posturing. It’s easy to be brave and have a swagger when you know there won’t be a battle…

joejm65 on January 26, 2011 at 9:55 PM

. Every moment you spend decrying earmarks is a moment that could have been used to make that point but was wasted instead on a comparatively minor expense. We can’t waste any more time; we have to prioritize.

Oh, if only!
There will be plenty of time spent on so many much more trivial things.

MayBee on January 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Allahpundit on January 26, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Even if people thought the collapse was near, do any of us really know what that means? What would we see in our day to day lives?

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Gohawgs on January 26, 2011 at 9:55 PM

I agree. Is that what AP is saying as well?

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

If our leaders understood this country there wouldn’t be a problem.

We are not like the rest of the world. when the rest of the world cuts spending its people go inot the streets. In american the only time the people take to the streets is when government increases taxes. Most of the population of this country wouldn’t care one bit if government cut apending by 50% as long as their taxes got reduced. Most people would simply go to work when the tap is shut off. this country’s work ethic is ingrained in its people. the freeloader will not take to the streets they will go find a job.

unseen on January 26, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Mmmmmmm, bromides….

catmman on January 26, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Paul Ryan has the best shot at retail “messaging” a solution to the unsustainable entitlement morass to the general public. He should be cutting ads, brief and understandable and acceptable, to the masses of how to prevent a fiscal collapse where everyone will be a loser.

Flood the zone with kitchen-table facts. Explain how inflated currency caused by massive borrowing to falsely sustain these entitlements will make those entitlements worthless in purchasing power.

onlineanalyst on January 26, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Even if people thought the collapse was near, do any of us really know what that means? What would we see in our day to day lives?

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

“The collapse” will essentially entail a wholesale abandonment of the USD as the world reserve currency. When that happens, we will live the nightmare we’ve only heard about: The bread you paid 1.00 for one day will be 2.00 the next, and 4.00 after that, Etc. Etc.

Sad thing is, the government won’t necessarily have to default or declare bankruptcy for this to happen; our largest debt holders, most notably China, hold our future in their collective hands right now.

gryphon202 on January 26, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Even if people thought the collapse was near, do any of us really know what that means? What would we see in our day to day lives?

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

the vast majority of people wouldn’t see a damn thing happen. the problem is the rulers know this and they are afraid the american people will see that those rulers are not needed. They are afraid of the freedom that would be unleashed if the government stopped spending. their entire 70 years of destruction of this country would come to a close and the reawakening of freedom would shine a torch that the entire world would see.

unseen on January 26, 2011 at 10:01 PM

OT, but woah!

Sarah on Greta saying there where several “WTF” moments in Obama’s SOTU speech!

John the Libertarian on January 26, 2011 at 10:02 PM

unseen on January 26, 2011 at 9:58 PM

I think that you have a point because we are not as dependent as a nation on the social “services” that the government “provides.” We are fast reaching the tipping point, esp. with O-Care, where the government’s shutting off the spigot could cause massive chaos.

onlineanalyst on January 26, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Except that much of the public can’t distinguish between smaller and bigger things. They don’t pay attention to this the way political junkies do. So when they hear you ranting about earmarks, they think, “Oh man, let’s ban those earmarks. That’s the way to sustainability!” But it isn’t. It’s chump change. And it convinces them that if only they give in on earmarks, maybe they can keep Social Security. They can’t.

I think it’s a good way for Congress to see that they can cut spending and the world won’t end for them.
I just don’t think they are going to start with the most painful cuts. I also think that as they cut entitlements, they’ll try to get more and more pork for their own districts.
“I know I had to vote to cut Medicare. But I got funding for 5 new hospitals for our district!”

MayBee on January 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM

I saw clips of the SOTU and Boehner didn’t look sober enough to remember the speech.

Is there any doubt Boehner is a drunk?

I think his tenure will be short.

rickyricardo on January 26, 2011 at 10:07 PM

OT, but woah!

Sarah on Greta saying there where several “WTF” moments in Obama’s SOTU speech!

John the Libertarian on January 26, 2011 at 10:02 PM

That was mentioned in Ed’s thread this morning. Why do I get the feeling that Palin is a Hot Air fan?

Doughboy on January 26, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Is there any doubt Boehner is a drunk?

I think his tenure will be short.

rickyricardo on January 26, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Like ted kennedy short?

Oh wait you have two standards.

Inanemergencydial on January 26, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Obama was still pushing the dream act last night. Evidence that plenty of things are going to be wasting time that could be going toward entitlement reform.

MayBee on January 26, 2011 at 10:09 PM

That was mentioned in Ed’s thread this morning. Why do I get the feeling that Palin is a Hot Air fan?

Doughboy on January 26, 2011 at 10:08 PM

I’m convinced.

John the Libertarian on January 26, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Except that much of the public can’t distinguish between smaller and bigger things. They don’t pay attention to this the way political junkies do. So when they hear you ranting about earmarks, they think, “Oh man, let’s ban those earmarks. That’s the way to sustainability!” But it isn’t. It’s chump change. And it convinces them that if only they give in on earmarks, maybe they can keep Social Security. They can’t.

Allahpundit on January 26, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Cynical, yes, but sadly true. This is the result of decades of pandering, of requiring no skin in the game for nearly half of the population. These people aren’t bad, they’re just looking for their little piece of the (our) stash. When a government has made an easy street on which to travel, why go down a rocky road?

✪p

TXUS on January 26, 2011 at 10:12 PM

rickyricardo on January 26, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Why would y’all say stuff like that?

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Let’s go over this again peoples……the only way to fix this?
THE PAPPY PLAN!

1. Seal the border.
Saving Medicare, Medicaid, etc

2. Across the board Spending CUTS of 10%.
this paltry effort is “Fair”….the Libs favorite word.

There you have it!!!

That Common Sense answer will Be a great START.

PappyD61 on January 26, 2011 at 10:17 PM

I agree. Is that what AP is saying as well?

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

I think so but I can’t really care. In everything AP writes I keep hearing “Ohhhh, MeggieMac”…/

AP is right and I expect to see him at the next Manhattan TEA Party event wearing his Kroger bag…

Gohawgs on January 26, 2011 at 10:18 PM

I don’t think you folks that welcome collapse have thought it through. That’s exactly what the Progs want, because they are convinced that they can ‘win’ the chaos. They might be right, as long as their socialist leader is President. He will have the unionized police on his side, an army of SEIU/ACORN goons, and nominally the military including the National Guard.

slickwillie2001 on January 26, 2011 at 10:23 PM

If we can’t do the small we can’t do the big.

Given the power conservatives CURRENTLY have, we don’t have much choice RIGHT NOW. We’ll do what we can.

We stopped the insanity with a Republican House.

2012 is the crossroads for America.

GardenGnome on January 26, 2011 at 10:24 PM

AP is right and I expect to see him at the next Manhattan TEA Party event wearing his Kroger bag…

Gohawgs on January 26, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Kroger bag? No way dude. Neiman Marcus or Sacs Fifth Ave all the way.

Who cares, glad to have him as a TP member. Soon we might even be able to say r3volution without that filter thingy.

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 10:24 PM

slickwillie2001 on January 26, 2011 at 10:23 PM

I don’t think anyone welcomes a collapse but no one really knows what it would mean.

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Even if people thought the collapse was near, do any of us really know what that means? What would we see in our day to day lives?

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 9:57 PM

No one knows what it means, but Cindy, some are prepared.

I suspect you can get by no matter what that means. Others may be less fortunate.

I count my blessings and believe in the American Spirit.

seesalrun on January 26, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Again, you want real reform, then you need to stop relying on the federal government to fix it. We need 2/3 of the state legislatures to covene an Article V convention. At the convention, the representatives from the states need to propose and pass amendments that require a balanced budget from congress, redefine the commerce clause, pass an amendment that clairifies property rights, and literally state the all three branches of the federal government are bound by the restriction of the U.S. Constitution.

paulsur on January 26, 2011 at 10:26 PM

OT, but woah!

Sarah on Greta saying there where several “WTF” moments in Obama’s SOTU speech!

John the Libertarian on January 26, 2011 at 10:02 PM

At the beginning of the interview, she defined ‘WTF’ and it was something quite innocuous which I have already forgotten. It’s no big deal.

slickwillie2001 on January 26, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Lotion yes but does NM and Saks sell popcorn and doughnuts?

Gohawgs on January 26, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Looks like more of the same to me. Did it ever occur to any of these GOP stalwarts that going on national television and telling people the truth straight-up, directly, armed with facts, might not result in crushing defeat come 2012? Are they worried about electoral impact an attempt at slashing entitlements would cause or are they afraid telling the truth would cause panic and bring about a self-fulfilling prophecy? Who knows?

I feel like we’re trapped in a cheesy, fish-related disaster movie where the mayor won’t tell swimmers about the giant flying mutant piranha because it might hurt tourism.

troyriser_gopftw on January 26, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I think that you have a point because we are not as dependent as a nation on the social “services” that the government “provides.” We are fast reaching the tipping point, esp. with O-Care, where the government’s shutting off the spigot could cause massive chaos.

onlineanalyst on January 26, 2011 at 10:03 PM

while I agree with you that we are fast approaching a tipping point It is not the one you mention. this is where our “rulers” bubblethinking fails. the tipping point is taxes not cutting off spending. the choas will be unleashed if they raise taxes not if they cut spending. We are not like the rest of the war. We as a country were born out of choas from taxes not from cutitng off spending. We are not masses. we are freemen. The choas will occur if the government continues on its path of destorying our freedom by increasing taxes.

Just look at the Tea party. the people did not rush into the streets because of lower spending they rushed into the streets because they saw the higher taxes that the new spending would need.

unseen on January 26, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Lotion yes but does NM and Saks sell popcorn and doughnuts?

Gohawgs on January 26, 2011 at 10:29 PM

They sell Gourmet bonbons, Godiva chocolates, and French Pastries. Nothing as gauche or classless as popcorn or doughnuts. That’s bowling alley food. /

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 10:34 PM

OT, but woah!

Sarah on Greta saying there where several “WTF” moments in Obama’s SOTU speech!

John the Libertarian on January 26, 2011 at 10:02 PM

At the beginning of the interview, she defined ‘WTF’ and it was something quite innocuous which I have already forgotten. It’s no big deal.

slickwillie2001 on January 26, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Its a well played double entendre.

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 10:36 PM

seesalrun on January 26, 2011 at 10:26 PM

I have to admit that the chance has colored my lifestyle and purchases. Like you say, nobody knows, so you have to hope it’s enough.

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 10:37 PM

unseen on January 26, 2011 at 10:33 PM

My meaning of chaotic hordes rushing into the streets is one of the government-dependent demanding their cheese when the government udder goes dry. With the government-dependent concentrated in urban centers, the tinder could burst into flames mighty quickly. (Sorry for the mixed metaphors.)

onlineanalyst on January 26, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Kroger bag? No way dude. Neiman Marcus or Sacs Fifth Ave all the way.

Who cares, glad to have him as a TP member. Soon we might even be able to say r3volution without that filter thingy.

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 10:24 PM

In Atlanta we call it ‘Needless Markup’.

slickwillie2001 on January 26, 2011 at 10:44 PM

In Atlanta we call it ‘Needless Markup’.

slickwillie2001 on January 26, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Hehe. Ain’t that the truth.

Geochelone on January 26, 2011 at 10:48 PM

something quite innocuous

slickwillie2001 on January 26, 2011 at 10:28 PM

That’s not what she meant…!

John the Libertarian on January 26, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 10:37 PM

I don’t hope it’s enough, I know it is.

It’s colored your life I suspect in many positive ways.

It has awakened your love of Country. I recognized it myself.

I was in Germany last week, and once I got beyond the men not holding or opening the doors for me, and the blatant America bashing at the exhibition.

I held ground.

I came Home (not Homeland).

Victorius.
Fear not.

seesalrun on January 26, 2011 at 10:51 PM

seesalrun on January 26, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Our family has been lucky not to have been impacted by much of the ups and downs, we’ll get by again. Thanks for the confidence builder.

Cindy Munford on January 26, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Rant on, AP. You’re on a frickin’ tear.

nukemhill on January 26, 2011 at 11:05 PM

The only way to get this congress, senate, and president to cut spending enough to make a difference ($1T this year, another $1T next year) will be to bribe them.

For every $100B in cuts annually, to the budget as a whole, each of the above will receive $1 million in unmarked cash, delivered in a paper bag. The public will not be told who voted to reduce the budget, or who received the cash (see TARP for an example). That would be $10M each in 2011, and another $10M in 2012. Then they each will be required to retire and never enter politics again, or even make an appearance, or give their opinion. Not all will take this deal, but enough will.

AZCON on January 26, 2011 at 11:15 PM

It’s like trying to tear down Mt. Everest by carrying one softball-sized rock at a time off the mountain.

Whatever.
We can bleed this govt dry with a thousand small cuts if need be.
It can start right at home.
Everybody who can get some kind of govt entitlement should STOP.
Like for instance, I know of many people who rail over entitlements, but have no problem taking ‘gifts’ like commodities, & no, they are not starving.
Food stamps-lots of people do not need them, but they get them bcs they can.
Stop it.
Stop your local agencies, i.e. Fire Depts etc from taking grants for things they do not need.
As a teacher, I do not spend $$ just bcs I can. I am careful about how I spend tax payer money in my classroom.
Lots of teachers I know who have claimed to be conservative, will take extra $$ for subbing for another teacher during their assigned Study Hall. Why? You were babysitting anyway, what does it matter that you have some extra kids in there?
I could go on.
I think all of us could look inward just a little bit & realize that some of us have taken entitlements when we probably didn’t really need to.

Badger40 on January 26, 2011 at 11:16 PM

All we’re doing with the earmarks bromides is giving Obama and Boehner political cover to ignore Social Security and Medicare while jerking around with symbolic cuts to infrastructure projects. Priorities, priorities.

Nailed it, AP.

Schadenfreude on January 26, 2011 at 11:35 PM

While I agree with AP’s take on earmarks as being the “ban the marijuana” attack mode as to a heroin epidemic, I believe the ban on earmarks thing is important for this reason:

– earmarks is used as method to sneak in many a gaming of the system such that it’s not so much the money alone but the method of sneakiness that corrupts important (and larger) bills, the legislative process itself.

Voters are way weary of hearing how Ccngress can’t pass, say, saving old people in nursing homes because Mz. Woebegone Congresslady has plastered a Fund The Gay Bars into the legislation.

It’s a corrupt system. Boehner’s approach — create legislation that is specific to one need alone and debate and hopefully pass that, then do same again for another need (distinct legislation that addresses a specific problem that is not gunked-up with various add-ons or “earmarks”) is the right way to go.

It isn’t so much people not wanting states to be funded with federal giveaways but that the legislative process has been so corrupted with the earmark method. Which ALSO makes it very, very difficult for voters to follow alone and even understand legislation in general (too confused with earmarks or earmarks hidden in them).

Lourdes on January 26, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Such tht…banning earmarks creates a need to write clear legislation that does not covert or conceal “other funding” for “other reasons”.

This is an important thing to ensure so Congress can be forced out in the open as to what they’re spending money on. With earmarks, to the contrary, few voters (and apparently many in Congress even when they vote for/against anything) don’t even know “what is in the bill” before they vote on it.

Ending earmarks will encourage the creation and debate on legislation that is specific to specific purposes and doesn’t include a myriad of other, undisclosed if not buried funding for reasons voters don’t even know about before it’s passed.

AS TO THE ECONOMY, however, WE ALSO NEED TO attack that “heroin epidemic”.

But these are two distinct approaches, both of which are necessary for distinct reasons.

Lourdes on January 26, 2011 at 11:50 PM

The most important fight over the next two years is the implosion of the Democrat party base. No funneling money to public sector unions. The House needs to get people on the stand as to the extent of the Obamacare waivers. This may not stop it but put more focus on the issue and slow it down. If the big plans that unions memebers get end up getting taxed then this is all the better for Republicans. Witha Republican president spending can be tackled and structural changes can be made to change the culture, not just reduce spending.

When I say change the culture I mean repealing Obamacare and changing pay stubs to include insurance paid by the employer as a deduction from an hourly rate. The employer part of the payroll tax as a deduction from the hourly rate. Unemployment and workmans comp as a deduction from the hourly rate. These subtle changes will bring in market forces and change people behavior. I will bet a $15/hr employee that has health insurance will look at it differently when he sees how is paying and if healthy how much he is not using. If businees are forced to pay am employee their healthcare portion as taxable wagess it will dramatically change the insurance industry. A working couple that both receive health insurance will almost surely dump one coverage and cover both with the others insuranmce and pocket the money. Remove the block on interstate policies and efficiencies will enter the market in a dramatic fashion. After 4 years healthcare will be cheaper for most more expensive for some and nationally people stay healthier for the simple fact that it is profitable.

Theworldisnotenough on January 27, 2011 at 12:34 AM

Talking about banniing earmarks does provide cover for miniscule cuts to spending what it does do for the party is gain it the trust of people that do care about the budget. I’m willing to cut Boehner some slack until 2012. Anything to get him out, well almost anything.

I say we play the Democrats game. They basically play possum and when they have the wheels of government they pass Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare . An earmark bans is all part of that plan. A republican president in 2013 and control of the Senate then we have 2-4 years to make the neccesary structural changes to the government to rollback naturally the size and scope thereof.

Theworldisnotenough on January 27, 2011 at 12:38 AM

Talking about banning earmarks does provide cover for miniscule cuts to spending what it does do for the party is gain it the trust of people that do care about the budget. I’m willing to cut Boehner some slack until 2012. Anything to get him out, well almost anything.

Theworldisnotenough on January 27, 2011 at 12:38 AM

Yes. It’s classic Dave Ramsey, do something small but significant as a personal confidence builder. He calls them baby steps. If Republicans and some democratics go along and the public reception is positive, they will be more likely to take the next steps.

slickwillie2001 on January 27, 2011 at 12:50 AM

When I saw the “Sputnik” headline I assumed he was referring to the debt, that all efforts had to be focussed on reducing spending and living whithin means, this would have been a much better reference.

Canuckistan on January 27, 2011 at 1:34 AM

If you’re anticipating an excoriation of The One here based on the above headline, lower your expectations

I expect nothing but idiocy from you AP, and you never fail to provide it. You are a defeatist dipsh*t. You are useless to the cause.

echosyst on January 27, 2011 at 2:35 AM

rickyricardo on January 26, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Stay predictably adolescent and classless, leftard.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on January 27, 2011 at 3:45 AM

AP, you’ve almost convinced me. I have just one question – wouldn’t banning all the useless and/or harmful agencies make a big enough dent in the budget so as not to have to touch entitlements or gut them too badly?

fossten on January 27, 2011 at 6:56 AM

The R’s still don’t get it, reform of SS and MC is the albatross the dems are going to hang around their necks. Then they’ll scare all the old folks and those close to retirement age into voting for them again. Works every time it’s tried.

Kissmygrits on January 27, 2011 at 9:48 AM

$50 billion in cuts would put a dent in that of just a bit more than … three percent.

Which is better than nothing. It just seems like dozens of issues like this get dismissed as not worth it because it won’t solve the whole problem. That doesn’t mean its not worth doing. If we actually did all these “little things”, it would add up to a “big thing”.

taznar on January 27, 2011 at 10:34 AM

The deficit commission’s recommendations weren’t great but weren’t all bad. Let’s just pass it largely in toto and send it to Obama and the Senate to see if they reject their own hand-picked group’s work. If they won’t even vote for that, the fraud of passing responsibility to a commission should be obvious to all. If they pass it, it will at least be a start.

KW64 on January 27, 2011 at 12:26 PM

I agree, AP. Talking about pay cuts and defunding NPR is just show.

Maybe the best way to get them to reform SS and Medicare is to say to Congress, Look how much more money you will have to grant earmarks! Patronage and a balanced budget–what’s not to like?

Again I refer to Durbin saying they would go for a one-year delay in starting SS. Was that a trial balloon or not?

PattyJ on January 27, 2011 at 12:52 PM