Why We Must Spring The President’s Budget Trap

posted at 2:40 pm on February 16, 2011 by Jimmie Bise, Jr

As we learned from Allah yesterday, House Republicans are going after the big entitlement programs in the 2012 budget. We all know we can’t get control of government spending until we wrestle Medicaid and Social Security into submission, but we also know this is likely to be the toughest political fight most of us have seen in our lifetimes. President Bush took a run at Social Security reform in 2005, but was undone in part by Republicans who lacked the courage to breathe the words “partial privatization” within 100 yards of a registered voter.

The GOP is about to walk into a similar situation. This time the impetus for reform lies with the House leadership, who will have to bull rush President Obama into any reform that doesn’t solely consist of ridiculously large tax increases on rich people. At this point, most of America opposes such basic reforms as raising the retirement age, even if the raise is phased in over several years. A poll taken by USA Toda/Gallup this past September showed that though Americans believe overwhelmingly that Social Security will present a real economic problem if it’s not reformed, they also overwhelmingly oppose raising Social Security taxes or reducing benefits.

So, here’s the trap. President Obama has all but dared Republicans to jump on that third rail, even though we can not let Social Security and Medicare continue their current budget-eating courses. Our natural impulse is to step back as well and let things implode, then blame Barack Obama for the wreckage, but we all know we can’t simply leave things the way we are. We love our children and grandchildren far too much to leave them with a mess it will take their entire lifetimes to repair.

There is some good news, though, which leads me to believe that with just a little political deftness and some blunt honesty, we conservatives can not only fix the entitlement mess but fix it in a way that turns the President’s trap against him.

First, let me recommend Ace’s piece on the current situation (language alert. It’s Ace, you know that). He has some very good advice, which involves more substantial cuts to the discretionary domestic part of the budget so that we can show that entitlement reforms are an absolute necessity when those cuts don’t transform the economy into the House of Happy Rainbow Unicorns. He thinks the hard medicine we’ll have to serve will probably cost the GOP the White House in 2012 and seats in the House and Senate and he could well be right. I’m not entirely sure, though.

Consider this recent poll from July of last year. Some 60 percent of non-retired America believes that Social Security won’t pay them a benefit when they retire, including about 75 percent of young adults. Over half of those who have already retired believe their benefits will get cut. The public is already primed for the bad news the Republicans will need to deliver. The trick will be to deliver the bad news Obama-style. Republicans ought to be heading to the microphones now to commiserate with America over how bad entitlements look, then point their fingers right in the faces of the overspending, over-promising, do-anything-for-a-vote Democrats who let things get this bad. Now, strictly speaking, Democrats aren’t entirely to blame, but this is politics and it’s time to play some hardball.

The other story which gives me some hope that the GOP can get real reforms without taking an electoral bath is this little blurb from Andrew Malcolm that shows America isn’t buying the “Recovery Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Maybe Spring” line from the administration. If folks like Paul Ryan can establish themselves as trustworthy with the bad news, there’s a very good chance that America will believe them when they show us how the hard reforms will provide a way out.

Like Ace said, there is no easy way to fix the entitlements problem. The President has set a trap he hopes will destroy Republican hopes for 2012 and give him an easy run to the White House. However, I think he’s overestimated his own cleverness and underestimated how little the American people think of his Super Genius-ness. If the GOP is smart, they’ll step boldly into the trap and show the President just what a backfire looks like from the bad end.


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Problem is Republicans usually have good ideas but are horrendous at playing the DC game and even worse at putting together a coherent message for the masses.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Obama’s trap = Briar patch

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Jimmie!

EarthToZoey on February 16, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Problem is Republicans usually have good ideas but are horrendous at playing the DC game and even worse at putting together a coherent message for the masses.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 2:43 PM

There is usually someone saying the right things, but the media picks up the boneheaded statements and that’s what goes into the echo chamber. Democrats don’t have that worry.

pedestrian on February 16, 2011 at 2:49 PM

It sure would be refreshing to have the r’s deal with this and slam bho’s head against the wall! Come on r’s, gets some guts for American for a change!
L

letget on February 16, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Problem is Republicans usually have good ideas but are horrendous at playing the DC game and even worse at putting together a coherent message for the masses.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Which is why despite his not-so-conservative views on certain issues, Chris Christie is so popular with the right. He cuts through the BS and tells people like it is unlike any politician in recent memory. He can even tell off a teacher or a cop right to their face and have the rest of the audience applauding him.

Most of the American people understand what needs to be done. They may tell pollsters they don’t actually want to deal with the painful remedies, but I think if the GOP sends the right people out there with a coherent and sober explanation for what’s to come if we don’t deal with this, the electorate will reward them. I think more than ever this nation is looking for real leadership. Not the empty soaring rhetoric of Obama, but rather the blunt directness of Christie and others like him.

Doughboy on February 16, 2011 at 2:55 PM

What I find disturbing is that when we talk about reforming “entitlements” it centers around reform on the backs of the people that have payed into the system for 30-40 years. Why do we not look at all the leechs that never paid in or paid in for 5-10 years and continue to draw.

Of course this is what”s wrong with government control of the system. No accountability, and a desire to be fair to those who have not contributed. This country ,if it is to survive, needs all citizens to help row the boat. The reason that the lower 50% of income earners don’t care if taxes are raised is that they don’t pay any, if they did they would also want government to live within OUR means.

chicken thief on February 16, 2011 at 2:55 PM

but will we have to invoke the seniors’ bill of rights – or is this the wrong time to bring it up?

sesquipedalian on February 16, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Obama is too stupid and lazy to spring such a trap.

Wait, he’s not alone in this.

Well, as long as the GOP is ready for all the left-hate that’s going to get them. It’s a good thing the tea-party caucus has been tried by fire…hate-filled liberal hate-fire.

joeindc44 on February 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

What I find disturbing is Ace’s newfound lack of faith in the American people, the same ones who just a few months ago whacked the Democrats repeatedly with a 2×4 until they cried for their mothers.

A consistent message, honestly, plainly, and fearlessly explained, will get through to enough voters.

irishspy on February 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Okay, so we do nothing and we run into a fiscal brick wall, how is that helpful to anyone Dems?

Or we try to take it out of the rich, they shut down, and we still run into a fiscal brick wall.

Again, how is that helpful Dems?

Chip on February 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

If the GOP is smart, they’ll step boldly into the trap and show the President just what a backfire looks like from the bad end.

Preach it, brother. It’s time to have faith in the American people. If Chris Christie can take on the teachers’ unions in New Jersey and come out with higher approval ratings than he had when he was elected, then the average American can be reasoned with.

Didn’t November 2 prove that people aren’t buying the media spin, the endless promises from Democrats that we can continue to take more and more out of the private sector to pay for an out of control public sector? People get it. They’re with us. They may not be on board with everything, but they can be persuaded with honesty and forthrightness.

Americans are not stupid. They understand — or can be made to understand — what’s at stake, and what the consequences will be if we don’t address entitlements now. If you treat them with respect, if you trust them with the truth, they will trust and respect you in return. There will always be liberals screaming bloody murder to try to score political points but they are a minority. Always remember that. The vast majority of Americans are reasonable and smart enough to know that we can’t spend our way out of debt.

Obama and his liberal cronies have chosen cynicism and pandering, leaving honesty and forthrightness to Republicans. I say let’s take those virtues directly to the American people and show Obama what a massive miscalculation looks like.

Caiwyn on February 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Love the Yu-Gi-Oh reference on the title pic. ;-]

Too bad we can’t have Yugi challenge Obama to a Shadow Duel. He could banish that boob from our world and take over as POTUS…where couldn’t possibly do a worse job!

Dark-Star on February 16, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Republican need to memorize Chris Christie’s now famous quote:

“Now, for 20 years, governors have been coming to this convention and lying to you, promising you benefits that they had no idea how they were going to pay for, promising things that were bankrupting, bankrupting, the public treasury, so I understand you feel angry and betrayed. I completely understand. Why are you booing the first guy who comes here to tell you the truth?”

Matticus Finch on February 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

What I find disturbing is Ace’s newfound lack of faith in the American people, the same ones who just a few months ago whacked the Democrats repeatedly with a 2×4 until they cried for their mothers.

A consistent message, honestly, plainly, and fearlessly explained, will get through to enough voters.

irishspy on February 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

+1. Assuming the masses are too stupid to know what’s good for them is a liberal’s game. Conservatives are of the people, not above the people.

Caiwyn on February 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Doughboy on February 16, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Good point about Christie.

Personally I love the guy. He’s conservative enough for me where it counts, ie fiscal. The rest, whatever. I won’t care too much about social issues if I’m living in a tent and hungry, which will happen if this runaway fiscal disaster isn’t reversed.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Actually, to win the PR game, the Republicans need to sidestep the MSM. Facebook, YouTube, email newsletters – whatever is available, but if they keep going to the MSM, then the MSM gets to frame the debate, which is a loser every time.

Most of the public believes that the MSM is horribly biased. So let that play out and go straight to the people, a la Palin. Who needs Katie Couric?

beatcanvas on February 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

yeah, the president is so lazy and stupid. I think he already forgot about 2010 elections. The momentum is on our side. He only has a few true blue enclaves that will support him. That blind support isn’t going to be enough.

Of course, in the upcoming media warfare upon the gOP, the GOP better be ready to fight back.

joeindc44 on February 16, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Ask Malcom Reynolds.

mad saint jack on February 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Okay, so we do nothing and we run into a fiscal brick wall, how is that helpful to anyone Dems?

Or we try to take it out of the rich, they shut down, and we still run into a fiscal brick wall.

Again, how is that helpful Dems?

Chip on February 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Because these idiot Dems think that the cure to any fiscal crisis lies with borrowing, raising taxes, and if worse comes to worse just printing our way out of it. We’re dealing with a bunch of economic illiterates here. Ok, some of them may in fact be stewards of the Cloward-Piven strategery, but most are just plain dumb.

They also believe that when the fit does hit the shan, if they’re in the unfortunate circumstance to have one of their own at the helm, they can rely on a sycophantic media and uninformed public to direct their wrath at the GOP. And if a Republican is in the White House….well, we all saw what went down in 2008. And that financial crisis was a walk in the park compared to what’s coming with our unsustainable entitlements.

Doughboy on February 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM

What I find disturbing is Ace’s newfound lack of faith in the American people, the same ones who just a few months ago whacked the Democrats repeatedly with a 2×4 until they cried for their mothers.

irishspy on February 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

The people did no such thing in California, Colorado, Nevada, most of NY, Delaware, Washington, Oregon and all of New England.

There is still a sizable minority, maybe even majority of Americans who believe in socialism.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM

OK not all of New England….all of it except NH. I always forget NH is part of New England since it’s so different than its neighbors politically.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Social Security is supposed to be old-age insurance — that is, insurance in case you outlive your savings and your ability to generate income. How about we only give it to people who are broke and can’t work?
(Sorry, Dad)

Count to 10 on February 16, 2011 at 3:07 PM

There is still a sizable minority, maybe even majority of Americans who believe in socialism.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM

What they believe in is free stuff – true belief in socialism would require wanting to give back. Most of the voters you mentioned are just leeches riding on a hijacked bandwagon.

Dark-Star on February 16, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Obviously, the entitlements need to be gutted. But the first thing to deal with ought to be the illegal immigration mess. Severely punishing those who hire illegals, making it impossible for illegals to obtain entitlements and public services and making the border secure would go a long way toward solving our economic woes.

Sign of the Dollar on February 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

but will we have to invoke the seniors’ bill of rights – or is this the wrong time to bring it up?

sesquipedalian on February 16, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Start comparing uniforms between Subway and Dairy Queen, because the gravy train for you and all your parasitic little buddies is about to derail. And if Obama gets his way, it’s going to be far worse.

Chuck Schick on February 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

As much of a threat Obama’s strategy is:

1) This ain’t 1996. In 1996 the looming bankruptcy of the US was, even by contemporary reckoning, 20 years away. It is now 15 years later from that point and everyone sees the wolf at the door.

2) The TEA party was spawned because people recognize just how insane spending has become. Many who birthed that organization did so because Obama shocked them with his Stimulus bill though he ran against Bush’s $300BN/year deficits. That extra trillion in spending has since become an annual feature.

3) ObamaCare is still synonomous with “expensive bullshit that only powermongers wanted”.

4) Obama is Carter, not Clinton. Clinton knew when to shut-up and walk away from the liberal agenda to secure his personal agenda of getting re-elected. Carter is a true believer. Obama is a true believer and he is his own god.

5) WaPo and CNN believed Obama when he campaigned on fiscal responsibility. That is why they gave him a pass on Rev Wright and his neophyte narcissism. Today they are eviscerating his proposed budget.

6) The GOP didn’t have as many alternative media venues at its disposal. While talk radio brought us 1994 the innerwebz have eroded the MSMs stranglehold all the more, RE: the race card has been exhausted; libs may use it but it has failed to shield Obama from genuine criticism.

7) Nobody in the dem ranks was talking about a primary to Clinton’s re-election bid. Even if such a challenge never materializes in 2012 Obama is still weaker for it. Their ranks are too muddled and disorganized. Even DU cannot decide whether to punish heresy or close ranks against Dread Queen of the Undead, Sarah.

I give Obama a low to moderate probability to affect his strategy hinged upon MSM reception of his budget. The next week will be crucial especially once GOP proposals begin to surface. If the MSM reports, “Yeah the GOP plan sucks but Obama gave them the room to do it” then 2012 is ours to lose.

Mr Snuggle Bunny on February 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

The people did no such thing in California, Colorado, Nevada, most of NY, Delaware, Washington, Oregon and all of New England.

There is still a sizable minority, maybe even majority of Americans who believe in socialism.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Nevada did elect a Republican governor. So all is not lost there. You’re right about the rest of the states, although even a lib like Cuomo is being forced to deal head on with NY’s fiscal nightmare.

Most of the country gets it. And those aforementioned states will get it soon enough when no bailouts from the federal government show up.

Doughboy on February 16, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Okay, so we do nothing and we run into a fiscal brick wall, how is that helpful to anyone Dems?

Or we try to take it out of the rich, they shut down, and we still run into a fiscal brick wall.

Again, how is that helpful Dems?

Chip on February 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

They think it will usher in a golden age of higher taxes.

Count to 10 on February 16, 2011 at 3:09 PM

In regards to Ace’s post, I understand where he is coming from but:

Americans are exceptional they just need to be reminded of it.

We need a strong leader, we have Obama instead. On the GOP side we have… who?

Get Christie up there and bring his message national. Go forth and conquer.

Dash on February 16, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Okay, so we do nothing and we run into a fiscal brick wall, how is that helpful to anyone Dems?

Or we try to take it out of the rich, they shut down, and we still run into a fiscal brick wall.

Again, how is that helpful Dems?

Chip on February 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Because these idiot Dems think that the cure to any fiscal crisis lies with borrowing, raising taxes, and if worse comes to worse just printing our way out of it. We’re dealing with a bunch of economic illiterates here. Ok, some of them may in fact be stewards of the Cloward-Piven strategery, but most are just plain dumb.

They also believe that when the fit does hit the shan, if they’re in the unfortunate circumstance to have one of their own at the helm, they can rely on a sycophantic media and uninformed public to direct their wrath at the GOP. And if a Republican is in the White House….well, we all saw what went down in 2008. And that financial crisis was a walk in the park compared to what’s coming with our unsustainable entitlements.

Doughboy on February 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM

It’s unfathomable to consider that they think this will all work out going in our present direction.

But when your mindset is one of intellectual superiority, you can’t conceive of the idea that that you could be wrong – very wrong.

Problem is we have a media that is mostly an outgrowth of the DNSC – and willing to lie right along with their masters.

Chip on February 16, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Then the republicans need to play hardball by choosing the best reforms palpable to right leaning people suggested by the deficit commission. Technically, these are not republican ideas and so it’d be hard for the dems to paint the cuts as rooted in evil. Further, it’d show Obama to not be serious by forcing him to reject his own commission’s findings.

I really don’t see the trap here for republicans. If anything, it’s Obama’s trap, created by him when he created the deficit commission.

bloghooligan on February 16, 2011 at 3:15 PM

I watched Chris Christie’s speech earlier today, and I think he’s right. Americans can appreciate a grown-up conversation. And we expect leaders… to actually lead.

People are sick of political games. Let Obama play in the sandbox by himself why the grown-ups roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Murf76 on February 16, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Alright people, let’s get it done. Entitlement reform, ho!

Inkblots on February 16, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Social Security is supposed to be old-age insurance — that is, insurance in case you outlive your savings and your ability to generate income. How about we only give it to people who are broke and can’t work?
(Sorry, Dad)

Count to 10 on February 16, 2011 at 3:07 PM

…and index it to average life expectancy.

dominigan on February 16, 2011 at 3:24 PM

As soon as the Republicans even think about cutting entitlements Obama will sally forth as the champaign of the little guy out to save ordinary Americans from the greedy rich. His enter budget proposal is simply an election ploy to set himself up as the savior of Middle America. When the Republicans say “cut” and he will respond, “Yes, but just not this particular cut. Try something else.”

Fred 2 on February 16, 2011 at 3:25 PM

As much of a threat Obama’s strategy is:

1) This ain’t 1996. In 1996 the looming bankruptcy of the US was, even by contemporary reckoning, 20 years away. It is now 15 years later from that point and everyone sees the wolf at the door.

2) The TEA party was spawned because people recognize just how insane spending has become. Many who birthed that organization did so because Obama shocked them with his Stimulus bill though he ran against Bush’s $300BN/year deficits. That extra trillion in spending has since become an annual feature.

3) ObamaCare is still synonomous with “expensive bullshit that only powermongers wanted”.

4) Obama is Carter, not Clinton. Clinton knew when to shut-up and walk away from the liberal agenda to secure his personal agenda of getting re-elected. Carter is a true believer. Obama is a true believer and he is his own god.

5) WaPo and CNN believed Obama when he campaigned on fiscal responsibility. That is why they gave him a pass on Rev Wright and his neophyte narcissism. Today they are eviscerating his proposed budget.

6) The GOP didn’t have as many alternative media venues at its disposal. While talk radio brought us 1994 the innerwebz have eroded the MSMs stranglehold all the more, RE: the race card has been exhausted; libs may use it but it has failed to shield Obama from genuine criticism.

7) Nobody in the dem ranks was talking about a primary to Clinton’s re-election bid. Even if such a challenge never materializes in 2012 Obama is still weaker for it. Their ranks are too muddled and disorganized. Even DU cannot decide whether to punish heresy or close ranks against Dread Queen of the Undead, Sarah.

I give Obama a low to moderate probability to affect his strategy hinged upon MSM reception of his budget. The next week will be crucial especially once GOP proposals begin to surface. If the MSM reports, “Yeah the GOP plan sucks but Obama gave them the room to do it” then 2012 is ours to lose.

Mr Snuggle Bunny on February 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

This plus over 9% unemployment for the forseeable future and an utter failure to deal with it.

txmomof6 on February 16, 2011 at 3:28 PM

…and index it to average life expectancy.

dominigan on February 16, 2011 at 3:24 PM

I’m thinking more along the lines of “only patients with senile dementia need apply.”

Count to 10 on February 16, 2011 at 3:28 PM

The GOP needs to keep repeating again and again the message to Americans that this problem can be fixed relatively painlessly now or America can wait- and then the fix will be much, much more painful for many more people.

If you’re having trouble paying off your credit card bill do you tighten your belt and make a few minor sacrifices to get it done- or do you keep putting it off until you’re hauled off to court and face bigger trouble?

I think the problem is most Americans aren’t paying close enough attention to the debt Obama has gotten the country into. Every time the GOP goes on TV put that graph of debt under Bush and Obama needs to be in the background- and push, push, push the idea that it needs to be tackled now when it’s still controllable and not later when it’s totally out of control.

Sometimes, GOP, messaging is the problem- and the fact is, you’re terrible at presenting issues like this. It’s easy- Demcrats went on a wild spending spree, look at this graph(!), now we need to do something about it before we turn into Greece.

Jay Mac on February 16, 2011 at 3:29 PM

It’s only a trap if you blunder headlong into it like a bunch of lemmings.

I propose an approach where you offer a CHOICE

1) Take a chance, sticking with the current Social Security plan, or
2) Put half the tax into a 401K (the other half paying for current recipients), but draw no money from SS upon retirement until +10 years after normal SS age.

It’s hard to argue verbally against giving people a choice. And it WILL cause people to take a look at which choice is better, opening many eyes to the current state of things…

dominigan on February 16, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Didn’t Rasmussen just have a poll in the last week saying something like 77% of people acknowledge that SS is, as Ace would say, totally boned?

RachDubya on February 16, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Social Security is supposed to be old-age insurance — that is, insurance in case you outlive your savings and your ability to generate income. How about we only give it to people who are broke and can’t work?
(Sorry, Dad)

Count to 10 on February 16, 2011 at 3:07 PM

So the producers get penalized twice? We put into the system all our lives and get nothing back. While the leeches put nothing into it and get everything back?

No thanks.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Of course people are opposed to entitlement benefits cuts and/or tax increases, in response to the wrong question. In general people understand the current fiscal situation is dire and are willing to tolerate necessary cuts. Republicans just need to keep sounding the alarm and do the right thing (to the best of their ability in a split Congress). They will be rewarded.

exdeadhead on February 16, 2011 at 3:35 PM

I think the chord that will resonate the most with people is – and I hate to use this term – shared sacrifice.

Tell someone that their SS will be reduced and it doesn’t matter if SS will be broke before they get a dime. The person will instinctively oppose the idea.

But tell them that their SS will e reduced but their dad’s SS will be reduced and their grandad’s will be reduced, it will feel more fair.

But this isn’t happening. Every proposal always starts with “NOBODY CURRENTLY RECEIVING SS WILL BE AFFECTED”. That’s like saying I need to lose weight right away or I will die of a heart attack next year, but none of my eating habits will change until 10 years from now.

angryed on February 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM

YO Jimmie….

SS is a Ponsi Scheme, plain and simple. And they always end badly. While the attention seems to be on people getting F*cked (excuse the language) as the reach retirement age… The TRUE and more horrible CRIME is FORCING ANYONE to contribute…. Jeebus even Ponzi himself….. wouldn’t of dared to dream up that shit.

roflmao

donabernathy on February 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Sometimes, GOP, messaging is the problem- and the fact is, you’re terrible at presenting issues like this. It’s easy- Demcrats went on a wild spending spree, look at this graph(!), now we need to do something about it before we turn into Greece.

Jay Mac on February 16, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Here are the mathematical choices…

#1 You can reform Social Security to partial privatization where you get to keep your money and can pass it down to your kids/grandkids who will have a country, or…

#2 You can lose some of Social Security now and your kids/grandkids may have a country, or…

#3 You can lose all of Social Social Security later and your kids/grandkids won’t have a country, and will hate your guts for trashing their future…

The Democrats are hoping you will go with #3, so that they have enough economic slaves for their totalitarian utopia.

But now is your time for choosing. Liberty or Slavery. The choice is yours…

dominigan on February 16, 2011 at 3:46 PM

folks wouldn’t listen to W 5 years ago and now we have this…

just do it!!

i’m 42, i know not to depend on SS for my retirement

cmsinaz on February 16, 2011 at 3:50 PM

I am okay with the Entitlements being cut to save the country from bankruptcy.
I have a saying I use often-”Short term pain for Long term Pleasure”.

hawkman on February 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

How many people under 50 expect SS to be fully funded when he/she retires? Not me. It’d be nice to get back 50 cents on the dollar I put in, but I’m making other plans for actually eating after I retire.

mankai on February 16, 2011 at 3:56 PM

I think the problem is that Harry Reid is right and the conservatives aren’t listening. Social Security needs to be taken off the table.

I’m not saying that Social Security doesn’t need some adjustments to ensure continued solvency or that it shouldn’t be done away with entirely, but the fundamental problem right now with the budget isn’t Social Security.

Social Security right now basically pays just for itself.

If you take Social Security off the table and separate it from the rest of the budget, you can then deal with the two separately.

Otherwise the trap is that retirees dependent upon Social Security will feel like the rest of budget is being balanced on their backs.

It also focuses the discussion on what is now fundamentally the problem. That is that the President’s 2012 budget is trying to expend $2.9B with only $1.3B in revenue.

If you further reduce the problem by taking Medicare off the table, the budget is $2.4B with only $800M in revenue.

That means we are now borrowing for everything but Defense.

Again, the problem right now isn’t the cost of entitlements, it’s that we don’t have the false revenue of the entitlements anymore to prop up the rest of budget. We have to get the rest of the budget under control. “Fixing” entitlements just kicks the can down the road further while alienating retirees before an election.

Conservatives should solve the budget in three independent pieces: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, All the rest. This way the conservatives aren’t seen as robbing retirees to pay for guns and butter.

I think the Republicans should set a goal of reducing the discretionary budget by $1T or go home.

Sebastian on February 16, 2011 at 4:00 PM

‘Bad News’ you say? These are just the facts and the reality of our situation. If you can’t deal with it then move to Mexico because it will give you a dose of whats to come if we stay on the current path to fiefdom. THIS IS DIRECTED AT ALL YOU INDEPENDENT CANDY ASSES!!

sonnyspats1 on February 16, 2011 at 4:12 PM

dominigan on February 16, 2011 at 3:24 PM

As I said in a thread last night I am 59 years old and am willing for the retirement age to be moved to 72 immediately. A few more years of work aren’t going to kill me.

chemman on February 16, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Every time Obama opens his trap, he loses points!!!

So what’s to fear??

I say let’s sucker Obama into giving more stupid, nonsensical, vacuous, boring speeches: preferably in prime time when he’ll have to interrupt favorite TV programs!!!

Then run a simple 1 minute TV spot exposing the latest unemployment, economic figures, and the real inflation figures. At the end, publicly challenge Obama to show progress in these areas and cancel all his vacations and take a 30% pay cut until he does.

landlines on February 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Sebastian on February 16, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Social Security will need to borrow nearly 50 billion dollars this year to meet it’s obligations. It does not have a lock box full of spare money. It has IOU’s from the government that spent the excess funds from prior years on buying votes. So the plain, naked truth is that Social Security is not paying for itself any more.

chemman on February 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Social Security right now basically pays just for itself.

Are you high? SS is running deficits *right now*, as in “is paying out more in benefits than it takes in from taxes.

If it’s running minor deficits now, it’s going to be running MAJOR deficits in a few years when boomers start retiring.

teke184 on February 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

A poll taken by USA Toda/Gallup this past September showed that though Americans believe overwhelmingly that Social Security will present a real economic problem if it’s not reformed, they also overwhelmingly oppose raising Social Security taxes or reducing benefits.

This paragraph alone leaves me with no hope.

But, this is what comes from years of politicians running on platforms of rainbows and unicorns and promising more free stuff but no new taxes. People have internalized it to believe its possible to get free stuff from the gov’t at no cost. If just the right politician could get their plan passed, we would all be in utopia.

Monkeytoe on February 16, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Killer Idea?

Call the Budget the Hold Obama to his Promises Bill.

joeindc44 on February 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

The politicians need to do the right thing while they’re in office. If they improve our debt situation and extend the life of Social Security, or better yet eliminate it, then they’ve done their job. Maybe they get rewarded for that with re-election. Maybe not.

If you want a guaranteed career, don’t get into politics.

hawksruleva on February 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Barry has portrayed himself as a financial genius who is going to spend a trillion dollars on stimulus and more in order to save the “mess Bush Left us.” That’s all we’ve heard for two years. Trust me, I know what I’m doing!

Now, suddenly, he is “present.” Very different than Bubba’s plan way back when.

The GOP should hammer him. Or they don’t deserve to win either.

PattyJ on February 16, 2011 at 4:32 PM

I don’t like it. It’s like knowing the enemy has laid an ambush just up ahead but there’s nothing for it but to charge through and hope for the best. Tactically, one should never do what the enemy wants you to do or go where he wants you to go. There must be a better way.

Ace claims the President is evincing cowardice, allowing unsustainable debt to pile up and then leaving it to others to make the hard choices. I disagree. It isn’t cowardice at work here. Don’t you get it? I think the President and his cadre of hardcore true believers want to wreck the system, allow others to take the blame, and then rebuild using their own template. Let no crisis go to waste, right?

From the very beginning, when all of Obama’s opponents in his first significant run for office suddenly found themselves disqualified, to the release of Jack and Jeri Ryan’s sealed divorce proceedings, to the election of our current president, we have seen the unfolding of a detailed plan with clearly defined strategic aims, implemented by men and women bound to an ideology that does not recognize traditional precepts of right and wrong and who count on the nobility of purpose and patriotism of their opponents to do what they want them to do–in this case, to go forward like the Light Brigade and be slaughtered at the polls accordingly.

So what’s the solution? I don’t know. I do know we need to dispense altogether with notions of honor and fair play, especially when confronted by an opponent who recognizes neither. In the last election, Senator McCain was determined to run an honorable campaign because he considers himself an honorable man, so he lost honorably. We do the same thing here when the stakes are even higher, we get an even worse result: a catastrophic, nation-destroying result.

We are not facing traditional party-line Democrats here. These people are something else entirely. A quote comes to mind from the cheesy film adaptation of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, ‘To beat the bug, we must know the bug.’

Good advice. After all, they know us well enough. Read Saul Alinsky’s Reveille For Radicals. Read Mao’s Little Red Book. Study the speeches of Che Guevara. Study Ayers before he took up ghostwriting.

Learn and adapt. Take and hold the initiative. Stop thinking like martyrs ready to throw ourselves on the pyre for the greater good. Don’t worry so much about what they’re going to do and–for once–let them worry about what we’re going to do.

troyriser_gopftw on February 16, 2011 at 4:32 PM

It can be done faster and simpler via the Obama promise not to pass a budget if DoD is cut.

Pass a slimmed down DoD budget and make him veto it and hold to his promise.

Cut each department and agency by 25% and let the Senate know there will be no ‘negotiation’ on it: Reid can either obstruct or pass. Obstruct gains a ‘thank you’ from the House in pointing out we do not need that agency or function… like the FCC or EPA or Energy or Education…

Those that do pass have an Obama veto coming up, and he gets the ‘thank you’ at that point. Smiles all around from the House.

Do that for each and every part of the federal government and then do it to SSA/Medicare/Medicaid. By that point the public will be used to seeing parts of the federal government voted down by the Senate or vetoed by the President.

Either Obama caves and signs an austerity SSA/Medicare/Medicaid or not.

Then its back to DoD and the few functions that must be funded and re-propose them. SSA/Medicare/Medicaid are all done on the sufferance of Congress, they are not guarantees… thus not mandatory via the Constitution. With all the savings from everything else chopped, then see what Obama will do when he has very little government left to deal with because he won’t authorize it… or the Senate won’t pass it.

The House can do fiscal austerity, get the kudos for being prudent and the Senate and President can be the obstructionist ones. And whenever Obama finally caves, you still get an austerity government with huge cuts to it.

My guess is he caves at EPA.

Then he has no justification not to sign any other austerity budgetary proposal. And if Reid wants to take the heat, the Senate goes away from Democrats in 2012. Its a win for austerity any way you cut it.

ajacksonian on February 16, 2011 at 4:35 PM

No matter, the economic cycle will have moved upwards by the time we are voting in 2012…so we better have made a bold move to show it was us and not the do-nothing Obama.
The trick is to ride the cycle, since most of what we do won’t show up for years, the voters only connect what is happening at that moment. And it better be an obvious Republican move, when the cycle happens.

right2bright on February 16, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Great post. I don’t think most Americans remember the 1995 shutdown as Democrats do. If we remember it at all, we should recognize that necessary reform then would have been a whole lot cheaper than reforms will cost now.

Angry Dumbo on February 16, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Sometimes people know that certain things have to be done. In New Jersey Christie was able to make some tough choices and still maintain support {so far} and the same is true with Daniels in Indiana.

Terrye on February 16, 2011 at 4:54 PM

From Ace:

The only card we have up our sleeve is — get this — the media, which knows full well this is necessary and any party addressing it is brave and doing the right thing and any cocksucker abdicating on this issue is a gutless pansy punk who likes to dress the part but who’s not really a man down inside, just a vain little boy scrabbling for accolades.

The media? Responsible? Honest? Ha! Sycophants, Hard Progressives..yes

Although, I will say that the reporters asked hard questions yesterday. The AP guy seemed a little pissed. One of the biggies asked where the leadership was (to which Barry gave a very non-presidential answer) Maybe the press is going to question him harder…maybe

It is a hard finesse IMHO. The odds are less than 50/50. But if Rs
are sane they’ll keep it simple. Change the COLA increase formula, change the age a little, raise the income level a little. Means testing I think is too much.

SS is easy…it is in surplus still for a while.

Medicare/healthcare is everything. The future looks very grim. Government rationing is inevitable at this point.

Honestly, the thing that bothers me the most…dirty hospitals with Unionized nurses who don’t give a shit…and rationing of pain killers.

r keller on February 16, 2011 at 5:09 PM

…I think the President and his cadre of hardcore true believers want to wreck the system, allow others to take the blame, and then rebuild using their own template. Let no crisis go to waste, right?…..

troyriser_gopftw on February 16, 2011 at 4:32 PM

AKA Cloward-Piven Strategy. Inspired by Alinsky.

“……Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution.”

-Saul Alinsky, in the prologue to “Rules for Radicals.”

iurockhead on February 16, 2011 at 5:14 PM

The GOP needs to catch on to these two facts:

1) The Left no longer dominates the information sphere.

2) The way to defeat arguments that are based on emotional appeals is to point out that they are based on emotional appeals.

The funny part is that it will be very easy for the GOP to catch Obama in his own trap…if they have the courage to go against their own cowardly natures and act with boldness. He’s is counting on the GOP to make cuts here…cuts there…handing him the ability to screech “Why are they unfairly burdening the poor and old with their draconian cuts to these specific programs?”

The way to counter this is painfully obvious…simply cut everything.

Propose across-the-board 10% cuts in discretionary spending, with 3-5% cuts in entitlement spending. This strips him of the ability to use anything as a counterpoint. It’s going to be hard to sell the “unfairly burdening” schtick when you can counter with “How is it unfair when we’ve cut everything?”

It’s sink or swim time, GOP.

rvastar on February 16, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Marco Rubio campaigned in FLORIDA of all places expounding his views on extensively overhauling Social Security and won by a pretty good margin. The doomsayers are wrong. Simple as that.

wb-33777 on February 16, 2011 at 5:24 PM

If the GOP is smart, they’ll step boldly into the trap and show the President just what a backfire looks like from the bad end.

“I fart in your general direction.”

maverick muse on February 16, 2011 at 5:28 PM

expounding his views on extensively overhauling Social Security and won by a pretty good margin.

The sales pitch needs to be strong with very clear and attractive solution in the delivery. That Rubio made it a plank in his platform left no one in doubt what to expect.

Bush only gave entitlement reform a moment of limp lip service and then dropped the subject as soon as he’d offered the suggestion. ‘Now you hear it. Now you don’t.’ He was not convincing anyone of his sincerity in delivering any fiscal conservancy in office.

But the timing matters for the allied attack on entitlement spending. Between now and 2012, clean out the Medicaid/Medicare Fraud for savings of stolen tax funds. Terminate ObamaCare that will economically ruin the USA much faster than Social Security is. Cut back the IRS and pass a flat tax. Run the GOP ’12 POTUS Platform on cut federal spending for national security. And the GOP better have legislative bills already arranged for the D-DAY voter education so there’s constituent support. Nothing will be unanimous. But dawdling and twiddling thumbs is what the GOP looked like while the Pelosi/Reid/Obama bulldozer ran.

maverick muse on February 16, 2011 at 5:41 PM

We could always play obama’s game, it works for him. Say what they/we want to hear and then do as you please. Who says he’s the only one who can do this.

jeanie on February 16, 2011 at 5:51 PM

There’s two things that the GOP can do, and both are perilous. The first is confrontation– battle Obama on entitlements now. Battle hard, and lose support from seniors and other “independents” who don’t want to lose Medicare or Social Security.

Ultimately, this is a battle the House is going to lose, because 2/3 of the government is still controlled by the Democrats. Also, the House leadership doesn’t have the voice in the media necessary to tackle the issues. For every interview with Boehner, there’s one from Chuck Shumer and one from Obama. Going whole hog on Entitlements risks a repeat of 1996.

The second option is more prudent but requires patience and a strong GOP Presidential Candidate for 2012. If the GOP can continue to push cuts– meaningful cuts, but not Super Scary Cuts– and keep their base, the GOP can then run on reform in 2012 and continue the momentum from the midterms. The prize, in this case, is the totality of government– President and both chambers of Congress. If the GOP can hold all three of them, then the budget process is a GOP lock and they can start meaningful Entitlement reform. It may be unpopular and cause a loss in 2014, but better it get done in 2012-2014 than have the GOP implode in 2012 due to their unpopular reforms.

I think the GOP should take Entitlements off the table in 2011-2012, and instead focus on domestic cuts, freezing spending, and working to decrease tax burdens to get the economy moving again. If the economy picks up the pace and starts growing again at a 4-5% rate, then tax revenue increases, unemployment drops, and government shortfalls decrease. Then the GOP can, in 2012, tout their policies as being rejeuvanative and get control of the White House and both sections of Congress.

The Democrats will likely still have a filibuster in the Senate, but the tables will be turned, and they can be painted successfully as the “Party of No Future”.

But pushing Entitlement reform now just dooms the GOP to failure in 2012.

Now are you ready to nominate me for President in 2012?

Nethicus on February 16, 2011 at 6:05 PM

This video will visually show a comparison of millions vs trillions. It’s a real eye opener and a devastating demonstration of Obama’s pathetic, unserious attempt to sell his budget as deficit reduction.

http://www.wimp.com/budgetcuts/

stefano1 on February 16, 2011 at 6:07 PM

We need to clone Chris Christie and make the clone run if he won’t.

The Republicans have to get on the air today and everyday with the same message “We’re broke, they promised too much and can’t deliver. Everyone will feel some pain, but in the long run we’ll be much wealthier.”

Iblis on February 16, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Okay I listened to the proposals of the President’s commission of deficit… whatever the name is… about SS.

And it sounds so reasonable to me that I can’t imagine what the problem is. So I looked it up and I’m going to type it here so somebody can explain what is so awful:

Ensure Long-Term Social Security Solvency

Increase progressivity of benefit formula
*Gradually move to a more progressive benefit formula by creating a new bend point at the 50th percentile and reducing upper replacement factors slowly over time, phased in by 2050.

I’m not sure what that means I guess, but I think it means– means testing.

Index retirement age to increases in longevity
*This option is projected to increase the age by one month every two years after it reaches 67 under current law, meaning the normal retirement age would reach 68 in about 2050 and 69 in about 2075
*Hardship exemption for the those unable to work beyond 62

I can’t believe anyone thinks that is extreme! 2050 is 39 years from now!

Switch to a more accurate measure of inflation (chained CPI)for calculating COLAs
Include newly hired state and local workers in Social Security after 2020.

So I think that means it is indexed to actual inflation instead of an automatic raise every year…

And I think it means government workers get SS instead of the benefits of the unions… but that could be way off.

I don’t get why people are unhappy with that plan.

This is the President’s own commission’s recommendation! So he can’t distance himself completely from it, which should give cover to Republicans if they would just adopt it!

Okay, now tell me what I don’t get…

petunia on February 16, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Here is quite a list of programs whose funding is proposed to be defunded back to 2010 levels. This list came from my representative in PDF form. Note the number of “climate change” and “green technologies” boondoggles there are under Interior. HHS and Education have a wagonload of expensive and probably redundant programs, too.

It is beyond disgusting that we are supporting much of this with federal tax dollars.

http://murphy.house.gov/uploads/terminations%20in%20CR%20FY2011.pdf

onlineanalyst on February 16, 2011 at 6:14 PM

chemman on February 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

You can easily solve SS in the short term by eliminating the 2% cut the Democrats forced through last year and by increasing FICA by 1%. That will keep it balanced in the short term.

But more importantly it avoids the trap that Republicans are going to balance the budget on the back of the seniors.

Again, the problem with the current budget is not Social Security or MediCare. It is the $2.4B in spending with only $800M in revenue.

The president and the congress didn’t increase the size of Social Security or MediCare spending. They grew the rest of the budget.

Entitlements have to be solved, but they are fundamentally not what has caused deficits for the past 40 years and blown the budget.

Take Social Security off the table and deal with the discretionary budget. Eliminate $1T in spending and then tackle Social Security.

Sebastian on February 16, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Okay, now tell me what I don’t get…

petunia on February 16, 2011 at 6:12 PM

you mostly have everything right. Another bend point would not necessarily translate into means testing…people who made a lot during their lifetimes would still get a benefit, just not as much

Adding 1 year to 68 by 2050 seems like a no brainer. The Cola based on CPI inflation rather than wage inflation (current) will not be noticed by anyone.

This is mostly a competition to frighten people who don’t know anything about money, finance or numbers. Regrettably that’s a big chunk of America…and a majority of the Dim party.

The other big thing is to frighten Seniors (by making them eat catfood).

These stratagems have worked for the Dims for 40 years. You think I kid? No. I remember the Old Lady in Miami eating Cat Food….that one was used in the sixties.

This is very much like the Healthcare “debate” for the last 40 years. The Dims will shoot down (demagogue) anything that an R says even though it is a good idea. After 20 years they’ll increase taxes to pay for the crisis they’ve caused. It is who they are.

r keller on February 16, 2011 at 6:36 PM

It is beyond disgusting that we are supporting much of this with federal tax dollars.

http://murphy.house.gov/uploads/terminations%20in%20CR%20FY2011.pdf

onlineanalyst on February 16, 2011 at 6:14 PM

This list above relates to cuts via the Continuing Resolution.

onlineanalyst on February 16, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Required reading on this subject.

The money quotes:

Americans who detest our country and those who love our country are hell-bent, wittingly or unwittingly, on destroying it.

Defense spending could be entirely eliminated and we’d still have a massive deficit. Any congressman unwilling to make cuts in entitlement spending is not to be taken seriously about sparing our nation from economic collapse.

Everyone who receives government largesse and special favors deems his needs as vital, deserving, proper and in the national interest. It is entirely unreasonable to expect a politician to honor and obey our Constitution and in the process commit political suicide.

Once legalized theft begins, it pays for everyone to participate. Those who don’t will be losers.

That’s the nation’s dilemma. The most important job for people who want to spare our nation from economic collapse is not that of persuading politicians to do the right thing but to convince our fellow Americans to respect the limits of our Constitution.

Push up your sleeves and start talking to your friends about this. Seriously.

NTWR on February 16, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Security will present a real economic problem if it’s not reformed, they also overwhelmingly oppose raising Social Security taxes or reducing benefits.

When this socilist program was set up, those who paid in would be insured of a retirement benifit when they retired. The retirement age was about 5 years before life expectancy. The money was to be invested. How did it work out?
Congress looked at the money as easy funding for other socialist entitlement programs, and left IOU’s. Today we have a failing ponzi scheme and increasing debt trying to keep it going.

When SS was set up, Texas Teachers opted out of the federal socialist program. Academics were allowed to do that. In its place they set up the same system, only it was state based and constitutionally protected to prevented the state government from borrowing or using the TRS funds. Yes they have tried it.

How did that work out?

Texas teacher have a sound retirement. The babyboomers were never a problem. Why? Each teachers account works like a state managed annuity. That is way to work the benefits of privatation into social security, but it has to be secure and probably at the state level. The amount they get at retirement is proportional to what they paid in and how long they worked. There is no social entitlements paid from its funds and no one who did not paid in gets a retirement benefit.

The is a down side for Texas Teachers. Congress will not let the teachers withholding their money go unpunished. Not only are they banned from any SS benefits, all past and currently being paid SS tax is confiscated, unless they give up the TRS benefit to SS.

Could this work for the Fedreal SS. Not without pain. They could set up the same system for those who still have 20-25 years left for productive years. There is no five year plan and disablity retirement is still based on what was paid in, but they are allowed to collect it early. No, borrowing, or funding for any programs or entitlements from the new retirement funds. This would give the younger generations the fix they need and the security that insures no matter what, they did save for retirement; which was the original intent.
Those that have to remain with the old system must be paid by the federal government. That takes funding that is currently not there and certainly will not be if the younger generations are not paying into the ponzi scheme. The only option it to get it from the place that the borrowed money went; the entitlment programs and welfare. That means charity, not support, for those who really need it. Of course that will get the socialist panties in such a wad that their heads will pop. It has to be done.

Medicare/Medicaid. Make both a state based program with all medicare taxes still being paid by everyone to the States with a commision of states for oversight. Pay the primary and specialist a fair region based flat rate for office visits and require approval for everything else, just like most medical insurance polices do today.

Of course doing will take more than an act of Congress. We need someone like Christie with a big stick to make it happen.

Franklyn on February 16, 2011 at 7:28 PM

I refer you back to point #4 in my earlier post, which reads:

4) Obama is Carter, not Clinton. Clinton knew when to shut-up and walk away from the liberal agenda to secure his personal agenda of getting re-elected. Carter is a true believer. Obama is a true believer and he is his own god.

Then I direct your attention to this nugget of juicy nuggetness:

As President Obama huddles today with Senate Democrats on his $3.7 trillion budget proposal, the Congressional Black Caucus is emerging as one of the loudest House Democratic critics of a plan that Marc Ambinder at National Journal calls “The Budget Nobody Likes.”

In his press conference yesterday, Obama insisted that “just like every family in America, the government has to do two things at once: It has to live within its means and it has to invest in the future.” He compared the budget to the balancing act many families must make when they decide to cut back on eating out and other luxuries in order to save for their kids’ educations.

Yet, several House Democrats, including CBC members, have disagreed. A spokesperson for Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.–who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, where the real fight with GOP deficit hawks will be engaged–criticized the president’s analogy, saying, “It isn’t cutting luxuries, it’s cutting things that are vital.”

http://www.alternet.org/rss/breaking_news/476850/congressional_black__caucus_%22cannot_accept%22_obama_budget_cuts_

For Obama’s trap to work correctly he needs to keep his core constituency from hollering about it.

But Obama is Obama and Obama worships Obama. Accordingly he assumed if he set the trap it would remain unmolested by his own party for the GOP to walk into but instead the CBC is waving it at him wanting to know what it all means.

IOW, he never consulted with them. He never explained his plan with them. He assumed the power of his persona would quell their uncertainties.

Now the GOP has political cover because the president’s own camp called the budget unacceptable.

Also consider the source of this article and refer to Points #6 & 7.

Mr Snuggle Bunny on February 16, 2011 at 7:33 PM

In order for socialism to be successful, it must fail.

That is the progress set out by Karl Marx and other communist. Capitalism > socialism > communisum.

When the social and economic situation is so dire that a complete take over of everything and equal redistribution of resources is the only option. Redistribution of course is; ‘From each according to their ability and to each according to their needs.”

Obama’s good friend, Czar, and advisor explained how it works. He said if you took a piece of paper and wrote you life on it, then tossed in into a pile with every one else paper. Then pull on out at random, the life you read should be like yours. He also says that everyone is born knowing nothing, but we can all learn the same thing and have the same abilites by the time we are adults.

Franklyn on February 16, 2011 at 8:11 PM

strictly speaking, Democrats aren’t entirely to blame, but this is politics and it’s time to play some hardball.

Yeah, let’s play “hardball” by saying (or implying) this mess is all the opposition’s fault. I’m sure the public will be thrilled with that kind of deceit.

The voters can decide who to blame for this, and no one but the stupidest partisans will buy the lie that the blame lies with one party. If we say what needs to be done, and explain why clearly and forcefully, the public will go along. The slightest hint of weasiliness on our part will sink any chance for this to work.

RINO in Name Only on February 16, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Nothing the libs have done is going to help this economy. Its been two years and all they have done is kill domestic enrgy, increased goverment payroll by 200k people, added 6trillion to the national debt, created a healthcare time bomb that will get more people smoking the govs entitlement crack while trampeling the personal freedom guaranteed in the constitution. They have also been given a pass on many issues by the mainstream media who have now been completely exposed as liberal cheerleaders. They have fueled the flames of racism and class warfare. Im telling you, not even the republicans will be able to fix this now. The masses are addicted to freebies on behalf of the producers, illegal aliens run free, everything is made overseas it seems, and all we here is tax and spend, borrow and spend, spend spend spend. When China realizes we will never be solvent, its game over. No more borrow, food lines, no money for bailouts, etc.. Until these fkwads free the people and producers of there graft and control, we are on a one way path to something ten times worse than what we have been going through. Its unsustainable. We have got to fix energy by producing at home in environmentally sensitive areas because EVERY AREA IS ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE. We showed the world how capitalism sorks, and our governmnet is showing the world how to kill it.

CriticalUpdate on February 16, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Nobody will ever accuse this president of being a natural born leader.

p.s. great post Jimmie!

IKIDYOUNOT on February 16, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Jimmie, has it occurred to ANYBODY yet that this third rail issue might be instead a nettle issue, grasp it firmly or you will hurt badly?

The “3rd rail” aspect of all this may come in NOT addressing this issue FAIRLY. It must be addressed. But, at the same time entitlements are hit we must hit virtually EVERYTHING else. Otherwise that third rail is gonna bite you REALLY hard.

{^_^}

herself on February 17, 2011 at 4:37 AM

One point that must be made is that, if the government shuts down, non-essential workers will NOT be paid for time off.

In the past, one of the first actions taken after a shutdown was to award back-pay to those workers. Let them share some of the pain of not having a functioning government. It is only fair; we are constantly feeling the pain of having an over-functioning government.

Laurence on February 17, 2011 at 11:44 AM