Ben Stein: Tea Party “off base” for demands of immediate deep cuts in spending

posted at 7:15 pm on July 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Ben Stein tells CNN’s In The Arena that the Tea Party is “off base” for its demands of immediate, deep cuts in the federal budget, and that such cuts would be “dangerous” if implemented. Stein doesn’t do much to back up that assertion, however, although it’s not entirely his fault. When he brings up the notion of imposing a “balance over the cycle” requirement rather than an explicit balanced-budget amendment, CNN host Tom Foreman asks Stein to explain:

Let’s tackle the “balance over the cycle” argument first. It sounds like a great plan, except for a couple of fundamental problems. The first is that we have yet to get a budget in balance in good times or bad in decades. Even the Clinton-Gingrich “surplus” was a fantasy that only existed as long as we pretended not to notice the federal government raiding Social Security for cash. A requirement to balance the budget with exceptions for the “cycle” would allow Congress to argue that each year is a special case that requires deficit spending in order to keep Grandma from getting pushed off a cliff.

If the economic cycle turns downward, why can’t a Congress with a statutory limit of, say, 20% of GDP simply make choices on where to spend the money? If we need more cash for unemployment benefits, then spend less on subsidies, entitlements, and other programs (including the military). That’s exactly what budgeting entails. Any surpluses in good years should go to reducing the national debt. Budgets in bad years shouldn’t increase the national debt. The only exception should be for war.

Stein’s original argument against sharp cuts and in favor of gradual reductions ignores one big problem — we don’t have the money we’re spending now.  We are literally spending pretend cash, which we say we’ll repay later but on our current trajectory have no possible means to do so.  In order to right the fiscal ship, we need to start by making actual cuts, not just reductions in the baseline increases already built into the budget assumptions, which is what both the Boehner and Reid plans do.  Those cuts don’t have to start off as deep cuts — Ryan’s plan takes that approach, while Coburn’s Back in Black framework goes farther in actual agency and program eliminations — but they have to start off as real cuts.

In reality, we don’t have the votes for that approach now, so it’s basically a moot point in this acute crisis.  But it should be a big issue in the 2012 election, because we’re not going to solve the problem of escalating American debt merely by slowing it down a tad.

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Chicken Little..cluck, cluck.

SouthernGent on July 30, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Ben Stein has lost it.

Kensington on July 30, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Use “Clear Eyes” Ben.

Electrongod on July 30, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Pardon me, but wasn’t the quadrupling of the deficit immediate? I love these tools who are asserting we need to patiently wait out some 100 year cycle to reverse just the things Obama has presided over. (*sigh* yes I’m well aware the spending problem began way before Obama, so don’t start with me)

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Stein=Idiot.

The poster boy for “compassionate conservatism.”

predator on July 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

We’re borrowing 40% of what we’re spending, and that spending goes up 10% every year, NOT including the Porkulus which will now be added to the baseline. The GOP is proposing to decrease that 10% increase down to 9.999999999999999% and the Democrats are calling him terrorist.

The world is upside down.

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Yeesh. Who knew he was a closet Keynesian?

rockmom on July 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Ben Stein has lost it.

Stein never had it.

single stack on July 30, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Even the Clinton-Gingrich “surplus”

LOL. Is that what you guys call it?

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:21 PM

It isn’t until the battle seems hopeless that you learn who your true friends are.

Pattosensei on July 30, 2011 at 7:21 PM

He lost it when he said the maid should have recognized DSK in the Sofitel hotel room in NY. Like West African hotel maids know what European financiers look like.

Wethal on July 30, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Win Borrow Ben Stein’s Money

forest on July 30, 2011 at 7:22 PM

LOL. Is that what you guys call it?

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Let me guess, welfare reform was Clinton’s idea and he had to drag congress kicking and screaming across the finish line?

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Stein is a jackass, I no longer give a damn what he thinks.

The present flatline budget that we are trying to make cuts to includes unchanging budget money for both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, at surge levels. It also includes little Bammie’s failed stimulus boondoggle, around $800B. If Stein can’t see why that money should not be in the number that we start negotiating from, he’s a fool.

slickwillie2001 on July 30, 2011 at 7:23 PM

LOL. Is that what you guys call it?

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:21 PM

You’re not old enough to remember it, so what difference does it make. Back to your cave, the adults are talking.

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 7:23 PM

We are literally spending pretend cash

Ed,

What do you think “pretend cash” is?

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Ben Stein, Stuck On Stupid.

You can have high IQ and still be as dense as a brick.

ajacksonian on July 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Yeesh. Who knew he was a closet Keynesian?

rockmom on July 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

All the most brilliant Nobel Laureates bedwetters in Economics (like Krugman) are Keynesians.

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Will there EVER be a time for cuts that are not in the “out years”? That is the question.

If not us, who?
If not now, when?

Paul-Cincy on July 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Ben, if you said that we should go back to the 2007 budget and hold THAT spending constant, I’d be OK with that…

crr6: Bill Clinton runs around all the time and says he was the last President to run a surplus. Are YOU calling HIM a liar?

Khun Joe on July 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

What do you think “pretend cash” is?

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Money we borrow that we will never ever pay back.

Paul-Cincy on July 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Ed: I would argue that war should be no exception to the cap on spending.

If it is, then the Democrats (at least) and quite likely also the Republicans will literally spend the lives of our military men and women.

Trust me. If you allow deficit spending in time of war, then we will always be at war with the current DC mentality.

Scott H on July 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Stein used to write a piece for the American Spectator (he may still do so). In it, he would often reference his son, Tommy, and call him things like “little mister perfect” and such. Made me want to gag.

predator on July 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Any “balanced budget amendment” will have loopholes for emergencies, which means it will be the same federal behavior we now have … but under a magical new name.

Live within your revenues“, and cut anything that does not have funding, like the Deptartment of Education, for one. And the political wing of the EPA. And many similar “federal” agencies that need not exist, since they can be done at the state level, if at all.

profitsbeard on July 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Money we borrow that we will never ever pay back.

Paul-Cincy on July 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Er, ok. Why is it “pretend”?

I think that in your hyperventilating about the debt, you begin to say weird things that don’t make any sense. Like that borrowed money is “pretend.” What does that even mean?

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:29 PM

So Ben Stein in recent weeks has advocate FOR tax hikes and AGAINST spending cuts? I think even RINO is too generous a term for this chump.

Doughboy on July 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Ah, if only we could get back to spending levels under Clinton… too bad Democrats don’t want to do that.

ajacksonian on July 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Jesus, now Ben Stein has utterly destroyed his own credibility.

Anyone who could make a statement like that is simply and indisputably mad.

Who can we turn to?

Everyone on the right is either an amnesty supporter, a foreign war booster, or a spendaholic.

The 2 Hotair favorites Perry and Palin, are no different.

Is there ANYONE out there, ANYONE we can trust?

Bachmann. That’s all I’m coming up with right now. Bachmann.

rightwingyahooo on July 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Stein’s original argument against sharp cuts and in favor of gradual reductions ignores one big problem — we don’t have the money we’re spending now. We are literally spending pretend cash, which we say we’ll repay later but on our current trajectory have no possible means to do so.

Even if you ignore that reality there is the other reality that Congress – both sides will never willingly make serious cuts in spending unless they are forced kicking and screaming. They have had plenty of years where they could have practiced sensible spending and have not been able to do it.

katiejane on July 30, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Bill Clinton runs around all the time and says he was the last President to run a surplus. Are YOU calling HIM a liar?

Khun Joe on July 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Er, no. I just think it’s hilarious that you guys call it the “Clinton-Gingrich surplus.”

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Will there EVER be a time for cuts that are not in the “out years”? That is the question.

If not us, who?
If not now, when?

Paul-Cincy on July 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM

BINGO…the small minded, RINOS, the weak will NEVER step up. That’s what leadership is…it entails risk and courage…currently not but a few willing to embrace it. But we will add to their numbers in ’12.

Also note how controlling both houses and presidency is a prerequisite for getting anything done! Tell it to Reagan!

winston on July 30, 2011 at 7:36 PM

LOL. Is that what you guys call it?

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:21 PM

I’m not sure I’d call it that, but if Clinton had dealt with Foley and Mitchell for all eight years there’s no way in hell we’d have maintained a surplus.

DrSteve on July 30, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Er, no. I just think it’s hilarious that you guys call it the “Clinton-Gingrich surplus.”

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Well given that Congress writes the budget(shhh, don’t tell Harry Reid) and the GOP controlled the House and Senate for 6 of Clinton’s 8 years in office with Gingrich serving as speaker for 4 of those years, yeah I think “Clinton-Gingrich surplus” is a perfectly reasonable term to use.

Doughboy on July 30, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Ben Stein lost all credibility with statements like this:

In an interview with the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Ben Stein said the following amazing thing in an interview with Paul Crouch, Jr.

Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers [i.e. biologist P.Z. Myers], talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion, this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.

Crouch: That’s right.

Stein: …Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

Crouch: Good word, good word.

hepcat on July 30, 2011 at 7:38 PM

What do you think “pretend cash” is?

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:24 PM

It’s possible he means monetization of the debt, which Bernanke is no doubt contemplating if there is a further credit shock from default/downgrade.

Full disclosure, Bernanke was one of my grad school professors.

DrSteve on July 30, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Ben Stein is a Commie, traitor, and horse molester – Generic Palinbot commenter.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

1) Reduce the legislative sessions of both houses to a part-time deal; six months should be plenty.

2) Pass a balanced budget amendment with a super majority required to raise taxes. Fed spending at 15% of GDP.

3) Do away with baseline budgeting.

That would take us a long ways towards solving our fiscal ills.

predator on July 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Yeesh. Who knew he was a closet Keynesian?

rockmom on July 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Ben was a speechwriter for Nixon, who once remarked “We are all Keynesians now.”

rbj on July 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Before my wife and I were in high school with Gingrich, she was in middle-school with Ben Stein. It’s time for both of them to move along.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Currently, the budget will increase AUTOMATICALLY about 7% annually. All the talk has been to cut back from that 7% to a smaller percentage, not to cut from this years baseline. Last night Hannity has some Congressman on who stated the budget could be balanced in 6 years just by cutting 1% annually from what the baseline is today. Eliminate the automatic increases and cut 1%. Sounds to simple to be true.

ny59giants on July 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

We just can’t do it? Don’t make me say it, Ben.

My collie says:

Yes, we can.

CyberCipher on July 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Stein was on Dennis Miller a few weeks ago and revealed that he believes in the “redistribution of wealth”..

Steins’s gone to the dark side.

katy on July 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM

You guys remember how those RINO’s like Rove and Krauthammer said O’Donnel was a disaster?? We showed those pinkos, right?right?-generic extremist on Hot Air

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 7:42 PM

rightwingyahooo on July 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM

First you must be able to trust yourself, if you cannot do that, then all is lost.

Next is to reach out to those who are willing to help you an are in basic agreement with you… not at the top, not at the elected level, but down where you live. That is where it all starts.

From there you reach out to like-minded folks in your local region: neighborhood, county, town or city.

Then if you cannot find someone you trust currently elected you then work it out amongst yourselves to find someone who can. Invade a party, either one as BOTH of them are running lean on local precincts. Take over the party apparatus locally and use it to field a candidate. What is amazing is that few realize that the Tea Party could be taking over both parties and has only started with the Republicans. It is very possible that this next cycle will start to see the local precincts that are VACANT in the Democratic party start to fill up with Tea Party members.

Beyond that you work with those you know, those you have come to trust and those that work with you. Getting the local house in order at the county and State level is essential. The federal level needs to get a good representative from your locale. You worry about the Presidential slot when you start to see who will be in the running… that is still a few months off to solidify that. Don’t be looking for miracles as this will be someone you don’t know and can’t, exactly, trust. What you can do is let them know that your local apparatus follows its own tune and if they want support they have to dance to it. That can have amazing effects.

It isn’t easy to do this. It will take up a portion of your life. But you will also find that who will stand for what you think is right is a very hard thing to do on your own. Remember our times, as well, if you can get a limited budget that means that some things that candidates used to promise will no longer be possible: cut out the means and they can say as they wish but will get nowhere.

ajacksonian on July 30, 2011 at 7:45 PM

What does this guy have to do to lose his credibility to the point where he is no longer on the television? I’m not asking that rhetorically. “Fake Jewish Republican TV/newspaper commentator” has got to be the profession with the greatest job security. There are more of them than actual Jewish Republicans in the population at large, and I’d like to know how that happened.

Buddahpundit on July 30, 2011 at 7:45 PM

You can have high IQ and still be as dense as a brick.

ajacksonian on July 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM

.
“Huh?”–R. Maddow

mrt721 on July 30, 2011 at 7:47 PM

You guys remember how those RINO’s like Rove and Krauthammer said O’Donnel was a disaster?? We showed those pinkos, right?right?-generic extremist on Hot Air

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 7:42 PM

You are making even less sense than usual, if that’s possible.

bw222 on July 30, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Stein believes we are under taxed and wants tax increases. And he is vain enough to believe he is the only one with the right answer.

huckleberryfriend on July 30, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Stein was on Dennis Miller a few weeks ago and revealed that he believes in the “redistribution of wealth”..

Steins’s gone to the dark side.

katy on July 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Stein loves Nixon who was a Progressive. Stein has always been a Progressive , he just hid it better than some.

darwin-t on July 30, 2011 at 7:49 PM

I think that all these people dumping on the Tea party, including all the supposed conservatives, are simply worried about the stock market and their investments.

I mean, really worried.

I, too, worry about the stock market and my investments.

But there are some things which are more important than that.

Alana on July 30, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Hot Air has sunken to new lows.1 Firstly by totally ignoring the fact that John Kerry’s superior Swift Boat Officer and primary attack dog of the Swift boat heroes (who questioned the authenticity Kerry’s “war medals”), was stripped of his Silver Star by the Navy (who definitely questioned the authenticity of his war medal). Has this ever happened before? Ever? A big story in any event. 2 Secondly by strongly siding with the Republican version of “abortion” aka the Boehner “compromise”. 3 Thirdly by having a thread featuring a totally out-of-touch lunatic, viz: Ben Stein.

MaiDee on July 30, 2011 at 7:49 PM

You guys remember how those RINO’s like Rove and Krauthammer said O’Donnel was a disaster?? We showed those pinkos, right?right?-generic extremist on Hot Air

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 7:42 PM

You are a big Huckabee supporter, right? You may want to have a look at this.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee today broadened the assault on the Republican Party establishment — and former Bush adviser Karl Rove in particular — levied recently by Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, blasting the “elitism” and “country club attitude exhibited by Rove and others who dismissed Delaware Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell.

“I was very disappointed in some, particularly Karl and others, who were so dismissive of Christine O’Donnell,” Huckabee told Aaron Klein on the latter’s WABC radio show Sunday.

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Stein was on Dennis Miller a few weeks ago and revealed that he believes in the “redistribution of wealth”..

Steins’s gone to the dark side.

katy on July 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Jeez, you’re right. Here’s the clip.

hepcat on July 30, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Budgets in bad years shouldn’t increase the national debt. The only exception should be for war.

-
So… Bush is kind’a off the hook for running a debt in Iraq/A**ganistan?
-

RalphyBoy on July 30, 2011 at 7:50 PM

It’s possible he means monetization of the debt, which Bernanke is no doubt contemplating if there is a further credit shock from default/downgrade.

That wouldn’t make very much sense, in context.

Full disclosure, Bernanke was one of my grad school professors.

DrSteve on July 30, 2011 at 7:39 PM

I’m glad you disclosed that Steve.

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Ben Stein’s daddy was Herb Stein, one of Nixon’s advisors.

Emperor Norton on July 30, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Let me see, this is really helpful.
Tea Party pushes ideas and some Republicans make public attacks on Tea party.

JellyToast on July 30, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Ben Stein’s daddy was Herb Stein, one of Nixon’s advisors.

Emperor Norton on July 30, 2011 at 7:54 PM

And for those of you who may not be taught factual history, Nixon was responsible for OSHA, the EPA, and numerous other alphabet agencies during his tenure, as well as stamping out any semblence of gold standard currency in 1971. He would have been a liberal wet dream if not for the pesky Alger Hiss affair.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 7:56 PM

hepcat on July 30, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Miller was stunned after the call… kinda speechess. I’d never heard him to freaked about.

katy on July 30, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Let me see, this is really helpful.
Tea Party pushes ideas and some Republicans make public attacks on Tea party.

JellyToast on July 30, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Second look at True_King?

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 7:50 PM

I am a big Huck supporter. I absolutely do not agree with him on this. O’Donnell was never a fit for Delaware. I don’t believe in social engineering. I would vote for Huckabee regardless. I don’t let disagreements cloud my view.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I am a big Huck supporter.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 7:58 PM

BWAAHAAAA!!!! That’s helps me great deal… Thanks

katy on July 30, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I agree with you about COD. She was a huge trainwreck and I was never a supporter. However, what I disagree with is detractors of Palin, DeMint, and/or the Tea Party trotting out her loss as an example of ineptness and extremism while ignoring overwhelmingly successful track records in other areas.

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 8:03 PM

I have news for you, Ben.

It’s “dangerous” to avoid making “such cuts”.

blink on July 30, 2011 at 8:02 PM

I’ve literally been saying it for years, but it’s nice to hear El Rushbo agree with me: When you act out of fear, you are doing something wrong and you will almost never get good results.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Alana on July 30, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Would you accept deeply concerned about the country?? I am Tea Party. I do not agree with my way or the highway.I actually had a vets for peace guy come up and hand me literature about how DOD accounts for 50-60% of all spending. I thanked him for the brochure as did others in attendance. I know the deal, the rest know the deal, but civility ruled.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Second look at True_King?

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 7:57 PM

If you haven’t been paying attention to the GOP then True_King seems like a whackadoodle. I’ve been paying attention to the GOP.

darwin-t on July 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM

I agree with you about COD. She was a huge trainwreck and I was never a supporter. However, what I disagree with is detractors of Palin, DeMint, and/or the Tea Party trotting out her loss as an example of ineptness and extremism while ignoring overwhelmingly successful track records in other areas.

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 8:03 PM

WTF does Christine O’Donnell have to do with 2012 anyway? Is that argument by assertion that, since all of the O’Donnell detractors were right about her, they can never be wrong about anything?! I wasn’t much of an O’Donnell supporter myself which is why I didn’t say boo until after the primary, but I don’t think all of this internecine fighting is wise — no matter who the candidate ends up being.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM

I am a big Huck supporter.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 7:58 PM

That explains a lot.

darwin-t on July 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM

I know the deal, the rest know the deal, but civility ruled.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Screw civility with a long broom handle. I’m through being civil if it means compromising on my core principles. One of the worst ways in which libbies have damaged our culture is getting us to accept their definition of “civility.”

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

If you haven’t been paying attention to the GOP then True_King seems like a whackadoodle. I’ve been paying attention to the GOP.

darwin-t on July 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM

I don’t think the GOP is a bunch of treasonous scumbags. I do think they are a bunch of cowardly chickensh!ts, though. Six one way, half-a-dozen the other.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:08 PM

we can argue all day about some quasi-Keynes nice sounding theory…but the truth is that barry is stomping all over job creation. Q. Would barry rather have more jobs or banning oil drilling…or…Would barry rather have unemployment or coal mines

I’m not saying that there’s not macro-econ issues…but the national industrial plans and command and control economies usually don’t work out too well. I mean, the kind that say “we have our boot on their necks”…that kinda thing

r keller on July 30, 2011 at 8:08 PM

WTF does Christine O’Donnell have to do with 2012 anyway? Is that argument by assertion that, since all of the O’Donnell detractors were right about her, they can never be wrong about anything?!

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM

It’s more the flipside–it’s more used as a tool to bash Palin and the Tea Party and prove that we should just vote for a bunch of go along to get along rinos. Of course in order to do so, one is required to ignore the historic 2010 landslide that the TEA Party was instrumental in and the fact that 60+ of the 90 or so people Palin endorsed won their races.

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Ben Stein is a Commie, traitor, and horse molester – Generic Palinbot commenter.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 7:40 PM

All you do is spew straw men and call names.

I predict you will be banned soon.

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 8:03 PM

My point is about the level of cultism displayed by some. It is not to besmirch Palin or others specifically, but at a certain point you have to connect some dots. That is not against Palin, it is against those who have cultish faith in any pols always being right.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

It’s more the flipside–it’s more used as a tool to bash Palin and the Tea Party and prove that we should just vote for a bunch of go along to get along rinos. Of course in order to do so, one is required to ignore the historic 2010 landslide that the TEA Party was instrumental in and the fact that 60+ of the 90 or so people Palin endorsed won their races.

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 8:08 PM

We won, in 2010. Yes, I’m aware there were individual races that The Republicans lost. Yes, I’m aware that we could have done better. But guess what, people? Unless you think perfection is an attainable goal, we can always do better!

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Someone should remind Ben how much money the government spends each day. At that 40% of it is BORROWED. How the hell do you get out of debt that way?

GarandFan on July 30, 2011 at 8:11 PM

I don’t think the GOP is a bunch of treasonous scumbags. I do think they are a bunch of cowardly chickensh!ts, though. Six one way, half-a-dozen the other.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Betrayal is betrayal

darwin-t on July 30, 2011 at 8:11 PM

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM

The exact opposite. It is about those who believe Palin or Rush are 100% perfect.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Betrayal is betrayal

darwin-t on July 30, 2011 at 8:11 PM

As I agree with the spirit if not the letter of True_King’s sentiment, that’s not something I’m going to quibble over too long or harshly.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I understand where you are coming from, but you need to understand the level of frustration that some good people experience. And Rick Perry may very well come out and talk just as tough as anyone on the debt ceiling issue. I don’t want to see you be a man without a country if that happens.

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

The exact opposite. It is about those who believe Palin or Rush are 100% perfect.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

There probably aren’t as many of those people as you’ve been lead to believe.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Someone should remind Ben how much money the government spends each day. At that 40% of it is BORROWED. How the hell do you get out of debt that way?

GarandFan on July 30, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Since “Win Ben Stein’s Money” was cancelled, maybe Ben can just start writing checks to the United States Treasury.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:14 PM

My point is about the level of cultism displayed by some. It is not to besmirch Palin or others specifically, but at a certain point you have to connect some dots. That is not against Palin, it is against those who have cultish faith in any pols always being right.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

You mean the way you have a cultish belief and trust in everything Obama says?

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 8:14 PM

If the economic cycle turns downward, why can’t a Congress with a statutory limit of, say, 2015% of GDP simply make choices on where to spend the money? If we need more cash for unemployment benefits, then spend less on subsidies, entitlements, and other programs (including the military). That’s exactly what budgeting entails. Any surpluses in good years should go to reducing the national debt. Budgets in bad years shouldn’t increase the national debt. The only exception should be for war.

THIS

astonerii on July 30, 2011 at 8:14 PM

As I agree with the spirit if not the letter of True_King’s sentiment, that’s not something I’m going to quibble over too long or harshly.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Oh I know, we’re on the same page, I was just chatting back and forth.

darwin-t on July 30, 2011 at 8:14 PM

I don’t want to see you be a man without a country if that happens.

Kataklysmic on July 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Most liberals in America are exactly that.

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 8:15 PM

There is no soft landing for this economy…..Americans are already feeling the pain, there will be more pain. No politician is going to tell the American electorate the truth. To pretend that it can be dealt with in a painless manner or lessened in any manner is lying to the people. Not in a sinister way but lying because the truth is painful. No need to flog the folks, when they are already down. That’s how I take Ben’s message. But there are no measures we can take to stave off the inevitable. It would be better to level with the American people. Americans are not children. I have a lot more faith in fellow Americans, than I do in cable news jockeys.

It’s not like this country hasn’t lived through hard times before. Maybe people like Ben need to step to the side. It’s time to ween some folks off the government tit – it doesn’t do a body good.

Dr Evil on July 30, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Heh – no one wants to do “immediate” cuts but then no one can say when “gradual” cuts can be implemented. Hell – no one can even really define what those will be or how you’ll get ‘em passed by a Congress that is so infected special interests and increasingly detached from the people.

The Tea Party has a plan Ben … what’s YOUR PLAN?

Haven’t you guys been complaining about the Dims not producing a plan? Where’s YOUR PLAN to fix this debt problem Ben?

Ben – let me help you out there – you really DO have a plan – and your plan is …

Talk about action until the whole debt crises falls on it’s own – with ultimately more devastating effect than simply addressing the problem now.

That’s your plan Ben – own it.

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:16 PM

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more. Check this out.

I do not want civil discourseJanuary 23, 2011 by Don Surber
For a decade, from the election of Bush 43 forward, the Left has lied and cheated as it tried to return to power. Al Gore made a mockery out of the American electoral system by being a spoilsport over Florida, which Bush indeed won by 537 votes. Dan Rather forged a document to try to derail Bush’s re-election. Twice Democrats stole U.S. senators from the Republicans. After voting to support the war to get by the 2002 election, many Democrats quickly soured on the war. The profane protests were cheered by liberals who misattributed “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” to Thomas Jefferson; the words belong to the late historian Howard Zinn.
Once in power, liberals were the opposite of gracious.
For two years now, I have been called ignorant, racist, angry and violent by the left. The very foul-mouthed protesters of Bush dare to now label my words as “hate speech.”
Last week, the left quickly blamed the right for the national tragedy of a shooting spree by a madman who never watched Fox News, never listened to Rush Limbaugh and likely did not know who Sarah Palin is.
Fortunately, the American public rejected out of hand that idiotic notion that the right was responsible.
Rather than apologize, the left wants to change the tone of the political debate.
The left suddenly wants civil discourse.
Bite me.
The left wants to play games of semantics.
Bite me.
The left wants us to be civil — after being so uncivil for a decade.
Bite me.
There is grown-up work to do now. Liberals ran up the federal credit card, destroyed the American medical system and undermined the rule of law — which is the foundation of capitalism — with a bunch of unconstitutional fiats from the president and his bureaucracy.
The economy is a mess. The president “inherited” a 7.6% unemployment rate. It’s now 9.4% — after we spent a record $787 billion on a stimulus.
I was not consulted on that stimulus. I had a very good argument against it. I said the money supply was too large and printing more money would fail. I said let the economic downturn run its course.
Lefties were too busy celebrating the 2008 election to listen.
When people protested lefties made vulgar remarks about tea-bagging and giggled.
So screw you and your civil discourse.
I don’t want to hear it.
I have been screamed at for 10 years.
It’s my turn now. I am not going to scream back. But I refuse to allow anyone to dictate what I say or how I say it. I refuse to allow the same foul-mouthed, foul-spirited foul people who dumped on me to now try to tell me what I may or may not say.
My free speech matters more than the feelings of anyone on the left. You don’t like what I say? Tough.
I will not allow people to label my words Hate Speech or try to lecture me on civility. I saw the lefty signs. The left’s definition of civil discourse is surreal.
We have a terribly unfit president who has expanded government control beyond not only what is constitutional but what is healthy for our freedom.
Indeed, this call for civil discourse is itself a direct threat to my free speech.
So screw you.
You don’t like my words? You don’t like my tone? You feel threatened?
Too bad.
No.
Actually, that is what I want. I want the lefties to feel bad. I want them to feel hurt. I want them to cry to their mommies.
That way the field will be cleared so we grown-ups can fix the nation and the economy. If you can’t put up with a little excrement, get the hell out of the barn.

predator on July 30, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Sorry Ben, when my household can’t afford to eat out because of the bills we have to pay – We don’t eat out. I don’t get a new credit card or take out another mortgage on the home so we can spend more money.

Congress needs to adopt the same approach, our national credit card is maxed out. Pay the damn thing off before we think about borrowing any more money.

jackal40 on July 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Maybe people like Ben need to step to the side.

Dr Evil on July 30, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Ben gets a paycheck for his punditry. I don’t see that happening any time soon. It’d be nice, tho…

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

I feel your pain. If Obumbler was ever correct about anything though, it is the fact that we cannot say that the country is on our side anymore than the others can. You make me dictator for life and I can give you the philosophy you desire as law. Not so simple though.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM

I feel your pain. If Obumbler was ever correct about anything though, it is the fact that we cannot say that the country is on our side anymore than the others can. You make me dictator for life and I can give you the philosophy you desire as law. Not so simple though.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Thanks for admitting that you believe everything Obama says.

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 8:19 PM

My point is about the level of cultism displayed by some. It is not to besmirch Palin or others specifically, but at a certain point you have to connect some dots. That is not against Palin, it is against those who have cultish faith in any pols always being right.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I think your blind faith in the GOP as a change agent is cultish. A hundred years of “dots” and they all say the GOP NEVER CUTS SPENDING – not once have they done it.

But you believe they will. That is FAITH my friend – and, in the face of the facts, it’s unfounded faith.

Which makes it cultish.

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:19 PM

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Go take your meds. I am a real conservative. I am not delusional.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM

I feel your pain. If Obumbler was ever correct about anything though, it is the fact that we cannot say that the country is on our side anymore than the others can. You make me dictator for life and I can give you the philosophy you desire as law. Not so simple though.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Well I know what I deserve. Even if it’s not what I feel most of the rest of this country deserves. If we’re destined to flush ourselves down the toilet of historical tyranny, I intend to fight tooth-and-nail the best way I know how.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM

I’m glad you disclosed that Steve.

crr6 on July 30, 2011 at 7:52 PM

This from the biggest (uncredentialed) credentialist ass on this site.

I frankly don’t know what he meant either. “Pretend” money could mean fiat money (if mentioning Bernanke wasn’t, that’s Paulnut bait for sure). Could refer to the fact that we’re only able to issue debt to be repaid based on (among other factors) the taxing power of the U.S. Government, and if we continue to weaken our economic position we’re not going to have the GDP base from which to generate an adequate revenue stream for debt service along with everything else we’re responsible for paying.

Forgive me for attempting a charitable interpretation when you’re trying to demonstrate your superior intelligence.

DrSteve on July 30, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Go take your meds. I am a real conservative. I am not delusional.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:20 PM

No, you’re a liar and a demagogue. Go pound some sand.

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 8:21 PM

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