Crowder: Debt debate the “Dumb and Dumber” of American politics

posted at 11:25 am on July 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Steven Crowder’s back, and like everybody else, he wants to talk about American debt and the debt-ceiling debate. Steven finds the perfect cinematic analogy to US fiscal policy in the 1994 comedy Dumb and Dumber, especially in one particular scene:

While I share Steven’s frustration about bailouts, they’re more or less a sideshow to the debate over debt.  The bailouts added less than a trillion dollars to the national debt; Barack Obama’s Porkulus bill added about the same amount, and at least one can see some return on the bailouts.  Neither are the real problem, however, even if both made the problem worse.

The real problem in debt is entitlement spending.  The federal budget exploded over the last few years because of massive growth in entitlement spending, as this chart makes pretty clear:

We could bring discretionary spending to zero and still have to borrow money to pay for our entitlement programs.  That doesn’t excuse the increases in discretionary spending levels over the last 12-15 years or so, but that is a secondary problem at best.  If we want to stop issuing IOUs for 40% of our federal spending, we have to fix the structural problems in entitlement programs that will eventually break the bank.

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I like the part where they kill the owl…

PatriotRider on July 29, 2011 at 11:30 AM

This bill will be the Obama Bailout

faraway on July 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Boehner adds BBA to bill and gets 216….FOX

PatriotRider on July 29, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Crowder is not telling us anything we don’t already tell ourselves. If there is no video next week, I don’t think we’ll be missing much.

keep the change on July 29, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I am tired of the argument that XX does not matter because it is only a small part of the problem

I worked for a business that went bankrupt $15 at a time, The Big Expenses did not kill them but 10,000 of SMALL expenses did, They focuses only on the Big items that hit the reports and never really looked at the small stuff which collectively added up to a HUGE sum of money.

the_ancient on July 29, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I love that movie.

Lloyd: Uh, what is the Soup Du Jour?
Waitress: It’s the Soup of the Day.
Lloyd: Mmmm. That sounds good. I’ll have that.

tommer74 on July 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM

..sure glad Jeff’s on our side. But then he’s supremely logical.

The War Planner on July 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM

No that’s not quite accurate . . . actually, the present congressional/Obama debt debacle makes “Dumb and Dumber” look like a Mensa gathering.

rplat on July 29, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Sure it needs fixing, just don’t fix it while I’m getting my government stuff.

Bishop on July 29, 2011 at 11:43 AM

The debt ceiling is not the problem.

Deficit spending (i.e. borrowing more and more to pay for less and less except for the growing interest on already borrowed money) is the problem.

Almost every other nation has no debt ceiling…all but us and Denmark, if I recall. We are borrowing more than is prudent, more than we can actually pay for in the long run at the rate we’ve been at it for the past few years. At some point there will be no discretionary spending…just debt service and entitlements. And how is that going to help any of us?

Default? There is no default. None. We will service what we have borrowed…and have a good bit less than expected to live on for the rest of the fiscal year unless we borrow more and more to cover it.

How about we just stop spending on every damn thing that comes down the pike?

Do we really need a $600 billion high speed rail link between LA and SF? Or between Boston and NYC? Is it governments job to fund any of it? Do we really need a lot of stuff voted on for the past several years as payback for political support?

Austerity now!!

Or we ain’t gonna have much left.

coldwarrior on July 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM

If we want to stop issuing IOUs for 40% of our federal spending, we have to fix the structural problems in entitlement programs that will eventually break the bank.

The bank done broke!

SouthernGent on July 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Which one is “dumber”?

(I vote boner)

Tim_CA on July 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Tea Party Freshmen on having the BBA added back in …

So you’re saying there’s a chance?….

Brad on July 29, 2011 at 11:54 AM

What Crowder is talking about is “common sense” among those of us who work for a living and spend it to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. You know, the guys who pay off their credit card balance every month? The Wall Street crowd think we’re a bunch of hicks sticking to antiquated economic models because we can’t handle the complex schemes they come up with. Those schemes make them rich, so they must be right. Right? Right up until they go bankrupt. Then they have to go back to the rubes and hicks for the money to bail them out because they’re “too big to fail”.

As his guest so eloquently pointed out, nobody is too big to fail. The rubes and hicks will still be there to pick up the pieces and provide the stable foundation for more smart guys to get rich under a new scheme.

That is, unless the government takes all the rube’s and hick’s money in a bail-out or stimulus. Then those rubes and hicks won’t be there anymore and we’re all screwed.

And just wait until some smart guy in Washington or Wall Street figures out how much money is in individual retirement accounts and thinks he can fix the problem by stealing that.

Socratease on July 29, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Unfortunately the bus at the end of this movie is little Bammie’s bus running us all over, not the Hawaiian Tropic bus.

slickwillie2001 on July 29, 2011 at 12:46 PM

As I said on my blog, the only way to reduce the deficit is to reduce, reform or eliminate entitlement programs.

What is funny to me is that Democrats and Ron Paul libertarians want to reduce spending on the military. We can afford our military. We can’t afford our entitlement programs.

Conservative Samizdat on July 29, 2011 at 1:09 PM

IOUs are just as good as money!

With Geithner and Bernanke in charge of the printing presses, that is true. Neither are worth the paper they are printed upon.

LegendHasIt on July 29, 2011 at 1:42 PM

“See that one, 275 thou? That’s a car. Might want to hold on to that one.”

Funniest movie ever.

JohnW on July 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

we have to fix the structural problems in entitlement programs that will eventually break the bank.

Even the entitlement-spoiled Europeans are starting to get it. Of course, they had to learn the hard way. Why are we going all in on the same self-destructive path?

hillbillyjim on July 29, 2011 at 4:10 PM

World War Two was the last time the federal government had a legitimate reason to borrow.

Slowburn on July 29, 2011 at 6:02 PM

we have to fix the structural problems in entitlement programs that will eventually break that have BROKEN the bank.

oldleprechaun on July 29, 2011 at 6:39 PM

The House has all of the authority necessary to do exactly what is necessary. Using the common analogies, they can take the President’s credit cards away from him. Submit a budget that is balanced, amendment or not, one that cuts entitlement spending back to the last Bush budget (oh wait, that’s the most recent budget passed, isn’t it?), and eliminates bloated programs.

Just do it. If you think the political fallout from doing that will hurt your re-election chances, check out what happens if you don’t! The people have been watching, and they voted you in for just such a time as this.

Freelancer on July 30, 2011 at 1:53 AM

So they pay social security taxes or my generation moves in with “their” generation, the traditional way of taking care of granny and grandpa.

Kinda (censored) isn’t it?


herself on July 30, 2011 at 7:40 AM