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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Comment pages: 1 2

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Did I say I had fath in the GOP??Where? I am simply being realistic.

Southernblogger 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

You may be a conservative one – but the approaches you advocate are impotent and defy historical precedent.

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Did I say I had fath in the GOP??Where? I am simply being realistic.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Well I don’t want “realism” any more than I want “civility,” pal. Screw “realism” with the same long broom handle you screwed “civility” with. And when you’re done, give me that broom handle so I can break it over my knee in frustration. Realistically, America is probably beyond saving anyway.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:23 PM

I like Ben Stein, but he’s really full of $h!t anymore.

He must have a huge guilt complex because he’s been very blessed and is wealthy.

JimP on July 30, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Did I say I had fath in the GOP??Where? I am simply being realistic.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:21 PM

That’s what the French said in WWI and WWII.

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Did I say I had fath in the GOP??Where? I am simply being realistic.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:21 PM

You’re not being realistic when you’re advocating giving up a chance to make real reduction in spending NOW – and, instead, wait for almost impossible events to take place over a year from now so we can address the issue then with a party led by idiots who’ve never cut spending.

You’re not realistic – you are ascribing abilities to people who have never demonstrated those abilities.

That’s cultish.

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:25 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

Odd that you–the scholar that you are–have trouble with this. I immediately knew exactly what Ed was talking about. I’ll put it in terms you can understand. When little girls have tea parties, the pour pretend tea into real cups. That tea does not and never will exist, yet the participants pretend it is real. Our spending is the same way. Pretend cash is poured into real accounts and spent. Participants (bond holders and everyone else) pretend it is real. But it does not exist and never can without serious austerity measures that will never happen.

stvnscott on July 30, 2011 at 8:25 PM

You’re not being realistic when you’re advocating giving up a chance to make real reduction in spending NOW – and, instead, wait for almost impossible events to take place over a year from now so we can address the issue then with a party led by idiots who’ve never cut spending.

You’re not realistic – you are ascribing abilities to people who have never demonstrated those abilities.

That’s cultish.

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:25 PM

You know what, folks? If memory serves (and I could be wrong on this), I think the last time the debt ceiling was literally reduced, DEMS were in power. I do know that it was in the 1960′s.

The GOP will betray you? Nice try True_King, but the GOP HAS betrayed us. Nothing would shock me at this point.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Did I say I had fath in the GOP??Where? I am simply being realistic.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:21 PM

I would also add that you’re a bit “fraidy cat” and “lilly livered” for preferring that our children deal with this massive debt rather than us.

We created the mess – we should deal with it. Damn it man – what part of we’re broke don’t you understand. We should have stopped borrowing two decades ago friend – and you’re advocating a continuation until all the stars are in alignment and you have a full belly to put up a fight!

Ridiculous.

Which is why this whole thing is going to collapse on us.

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:27 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

Without Gingrich and company, the surplus never would have happened. Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming to the center. Is this really so hard for you?

stvnscott on July 30, 2011 at 8:27 PM

You know what, folks? If memory serves (and I could be wrong on this), I think the last time the debt ceiling was literally reduced, DEMS were in power. I do know that it was in the 1960′s.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Good points – in fact, the best option, based on history seems to be Democratic President / Republican Congress. What is an absolute embarrassment to the GOP is that they were able to balance the budget with Clinton – but completely lost it with their own guy – BUSH.

Bush and Obama have doubled the debt in a decade – between the two of them.

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:30 PM

I think Ben Stein is trying to make sure his invites to the Hollyweird dinner parties is still good.

Warner Todd Huston on July 30, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Without Gingrich and company, the surplus never would have happened. Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming to the center. Is this really so hard for you?

stvnscott on July 30, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Why was a GOP congress able to drag a democratic President “kicking and screaming” to a balanced budget ….

But spent money like drunk sailors under a Republican POTUS – BUSH?

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Why was a GOP congress able to drag a democratic President “kicking and screaming” to a balanced budget ….

But spent money like drunk sailors under a Republican POTUS – BUSH?

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Two words sum it up:

Political expediency.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Why was a GOP congress able to drag a democratic President “kicking and screaming” to a balanced budget ….

But spent money like drunk sailors under a Republican POTUS – BUSH?

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:32 PM

It’s a national disgrace, isn’t it?

stvnscott on July 30, 2011 at 8:34 PM

“..Beuller..Beuller..?”

The War Planner on July 30, 2011 at 8:35 PM

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:25 PM

No, I am saying that if we have our people in real power then we can reasonably make these demands. The real problem is not Dem/Rep as much as stupid Americans who sit around watching DWTS, AI, whatever and expect the honor system to work. Do you actually believe that any of these people care once they start indulging in the benefits of power? Until you force the issue through term limits, it will never change. I still pick the lesser of evils.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM

“..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..”

..hrumph! I see. So, do you have a degree in economics, Ed?

The War Planner on July 30, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I still pick the lesser of evils.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM

The lesser of two evils is still evil All my life, every time we’ve figured out a way out of a morass, whether political or otherwise, all I ever hear about is why we have to wait. Well bite me. I’m not waiting. I’ll keep complaining and voting “unrealistically” until I start seeing some results I’m actually satisfied with.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Hey Ben consider this, we spend 330 BILLION a year coddling the illegals or 3.3 trill in a decade. The Dept. of Energy has done nothing to get us off foreign oil for over thirty years and this year their budget was 23.3 billion for not doing their job. Do you really think we the public are deaf and blind, please give us a break.

mixplix on July 30, 2011 at 8:53 PM

No, I am saying that if we have our people in real power then we can reasonably make these demands.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Really? Like the GOP did when Bush was Prez and we had the House and nearly all of the Senate?

Yeah, your knowledge of history sucks as bad as your assessment of the current situation.

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Chuck Todd on MSNBC the other day was talking about the Tea Party throwing a wrench into the negotiations. Todd said it wasn’t about John Boehner not being able to corral these folks. The issue is: they can’t buy them off, they don’t want earmarks, they don’t care about their committee assignments & many of these freshman newcomers didn’t get there raising a lot of money … so being promised fundraising doesn’t work. It may be refreshing on one hand, but it makes it that much harder to try to arm-twist and get this vote count to happen.

Without realizing it Todd actually made their case. The Tea Party put these freshman into office to do their job For We The People. How refreshing indeed.

redridinghood on July 30, 2011 at 8:56 PM

I’ve been reading all the hysteria here for days. I assume you have all faxed,called and e-mailed your reps and senators. Or am I wrong?
If you have encouraged your friends, neighbors and family to do the same, good on ya. Quit the blame game and see how it shakes out.
Gear up for 11 2012. OK?

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 8:56 PM

I’ve been reading all the hysteria here for days. I assume you have all faxed,called and e-mailed your reps and senators. Or am I wrong?
If you have encouraged your friends, neighbors and family to do the same, good on ya. Quit the blame game and see how it shakes out.
Gear up for 11 2012. OK?

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Of course I have, Katy. You have to ask?

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Southernblogger –

You keep referencing this nebulous future where the GOP has power and can ‘reasonably’ make demands to cut spending for real, etc.

Let me ask you this –

Who’s going to make these demands, the RINO elite GOPers like Boehner, or the Tea Party types THAT YOU CONTINUALLY REVILE?

fossten on July 30, 2011 at 8:58 PM

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Indeed; I’m not arguing, but expanding on your point. Nixon was an interesting mix of what we would today consider conservative (a hard-liner on defense and military issues, a SoCon, and a law-and-order guy,) who was also a progressive on economic issues. In his early political career, he positioned himself as a liberal republican (meaning that he rejected some parts of the traditional republican positions of the day, and supported some of the economic policies of the new deal.)

His tacking to the right (in the race against Helen Gahagan Douglas (the “pink lady”) for example, was ofter for expediency.

Ben Stein, whose dad worked for Nixon, and who cut his writing teeth on Nixon speechwriting staff, is a hybrid progressive-socon also. Not surprised to see him taking what he thinks is a moderate approach to this, but, as the ship approaches the shoals, moderation may not be the best course – turn the ship, even as she strains against the sails, or risk grounding. (Or, cut the spending, for those who don’t like the analogy.)

massrighty on July 30, 2011 at 8:58 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

Stuff that happened when you were a highschool freshman?
Have you passed the bar yet?

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Soblogger is effing naive . Mix that with stupid and boy you got trouble. What a dunce.

CW on July 30, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Of course I have, Katy. You have to ask?

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 8:57 PM

You, I never worried about. Or Cindy. The rest of these armchair quarterbacks can go screue.
You are one of my favorites here. Always balanced.

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:02 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

I like to call it the surplus that was projected during Clinton’s presidency, because there was never an actual extra dollar in the bank, that would have made it an actual surplus.

massrighty on July 30, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Soblogger is effing naive . Mix that with stupid and boy you got trouble. What a dunce.

CW on July 30, 2011 at 9:01 PM

It’s a friggin’ moby.

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:03 PM

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:02 PM

1. I hope I’m on your good list (’cause you’re mean.)
2. I lost your throwaway email address – I have the campaign button we discussed for you…

massrighty on July 30, 2011 at 9:04 PM

You, I never worried about. Or Cindy. The rest of these armchair quarterbacks can go screue.
You are one of my favorites here. Always balanced.

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:02 PM

You flatter me beyond description.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Although I don’t want to think of myself as balanced. That’s not really much of a compliment. I’d rather be correct.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 9:10 PM

1. I hope I’m on your good list (’cause you’re mean.)
2. I lost your throwaway email address – I have the campaign button we discussed for you…

massrighty on July 30, 2011 at 9:04 PM

1: you are
2: mulefool@hotmail.com
You should put that on e-bay. There are people that would pay big $$ for that.
Do e-mail, I’m better in sort of person.

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Although I don’t want to think of myself as balanced. That’s not really much of a compliment. I’d rather be correct.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 9:10 PM

From me? That’s a high compliment.

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Ben Stein, you are wrong

Kini on July 30, 2011 at 9:14 PM

I love this……

The TP / TRUE Cons pushing this has EXPOSED all the lily livered cowards and their love of MSM Praise or DC cocktail party approval.

Keep smoking them out.

PURGE THE GOP!!!!

RINOs join your true soulmates……The Democrats!!

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 9:16 PM

From me? That’s a high compliment.

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Just tell me you respect the strength of my conviction, and you can disagree with me all you want. ;-)

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 9:17 PM

More evidence, as if any was needed, that in the matter of the size and limits of government, its the Dem-GOP alliance (the Socialists) vs. the Tea Party. TP’ers, forget about the GOP mkay? We’re on our own.

james23 on July 30, 2011 at 9:23 PM

It’s always entertaining to ask jokers like Stein how much of their personal wealth they give to real charities. Hypocrisy shields up!

slickwillie2001 on July 30, 2011 at 9:24 PM

DC can’t save us, only enrich itself before the inevitable collapse.

Guns ammo and gold baby.

southsideironworks on July 30, 2011 at 9:31 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

We must cave now, and fight the real battle when the stimulus comes up Obamacare we get back the house the continuing resolution the debt ceiling we take the senate we take the White House 2012 after the clone warsetc…..

xblade on July 30, 2011 at 9:39 PM

Ben Stein is a complete sentimental Nixonian liberal. When push comes to shove-he moves quickly and definitely to the Left.

wraithby on July 30, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Just tell me you respect the strength of my conviction, and you can disagree with me all you want. ;-)

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 9:17 PM

I do.

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:45 PM

I think it’s starting to become fashionable now for some conservatives to bash the Tea Party. It’s the new way to appear reasonable. Bash the Tea Party a little and support GoProud and you are sooo reasonablle. So unlike those other Republicans. You are reeeaasonablle.

JellyToast on July 30, 2011 at 9:46 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

By borrowing 50%. Duh.

xblade on July 30, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Why don’t we offer the democratics and little Bammie some real spending cuts to 2011 and 2012, in return for some ‘revenue increases’ in the ‘out-years’, like maybe 2016-2020?

slickwillie2001 on July 30, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Bash the Tea Party a little and support GoProud and you are sooo reasonablle. So unlike those other Republicans. You are reeeaasonablle.

JellyToast on July 30, 2011 at 9:46 PM

I have nothing to say about GOProud mainly because I don’t feel like I have a dog in the hunt. But I am a TEA partier. Are you listening, Mister Stein?!

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 10:04 PM

JellyToast on July 30, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Definitely. Someone on the Bob Beckel show last week said that “blame the Tea Party” has replaced “blame (President George W.) Bush as the mantra of the ruling elites.

slickwillie2001 on July 30, 2011 at 10:06 PM

We have both a revenue problem and a spending problem.
Details here.
Clearly the spending increases of the last couple of years need to be rolled back, but also the loopholes or structural gaps that allowed collections to decline so precipitously as a percentage of GDP (read the chart) need to be addressed.
In truth, for the debt problem to resolve itself, the growth of the debt in any given year just needs to be less than GDP growth for that year. Unfortunately, for this year, that means the deficit needs to be less than $150 billion. BTW, that actually means that for most of the Bush years, the deficit was structurally OK. Now it is not.
We need to correct the spending “bubble”, figure out the revenue “sinkhole”, and get back to a sustainable fiscal path.
That doesn’t mean running a surplus tomorrow, however. Ben Stein is right.

HTL on July 30, 2011 at 10:09 PM

“I certainly agree with the idea of trying to cut the budget over long periods of time…”

Ben Stein

What are you talking about, you big government buffoon. The budget has doubled in the last 10 years. Discretionary spending has increased by 25% in 2 years.

And where were you? What is this mythical “long periods of time” bullsh!t that he has used to completely undercut his entire point.

What a waste of breath.

Jaibones on July 30, 2011 at 10:12 PM

PURGE THE GOP!!!!

RINOs join your true soul-mates……The Democrats!!

McCain…..your heart is really with the Progressive Democrats. DO IT…….Leave the party NOW.

Scott Brown….you’re a Playgirl Progressive so do it….join the Democrat Party NOW.

Maine Traitor sisters (Snowe and Collins)….do it. In your heart you know you love Big Government and Progressivism and you think Wilson was right. DO IT, join the Dems.

McConnell, do it. You’re too much of a Ruling Classer you belong in the Democrat Party. Hells Bells you love Big Government……DO IT.

PURGE
PURGE
PURGE!!!!

PappyD61 on July 30, 2011 at 10:23 PM

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?

GDP… as determined by who?

I for one don’t trust letting the federal bureaucracy responsible for statutory, much less Constitutional requirements.

It’s simple… require a balanced budget, and a 2/3 majority requirement to raise taxes. That leaves everything in the hands of Congress, where it belongs.

JohnGalt23 on July 30, 2011 at 11:15 PM

The dottering old goof has never been the same since Kimmel got his own show and left.

Tim_CA on July 30, 2011 at 11:23 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

Pointing out GOP betrayal makes one a whackadoodle? Lol

The GOP will betray

True_King on July 30, 2011 at 11:32 PM

Pointing out GOP betrayal makes one a whackadoodle? Lol

The GOP will betray

True_King on July 30, 2011 at 11:32 PM

Nope. You only look like a whackadoodle to people who haven’t been paying attention. I think what Darwin-t and I are saying is that in fact, you are not a whackadoodle. Try going back and re-reading what he wrote. ;-)

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 11:43 PM

The GOP will betray

True_King on July 30, 2011 at 11:32 PM

And the only thing I would add to that is that the GOP has betrayed.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 11:43 PM

What a liar or a complete fool. Nobody is demanding deep cuts.

Lon Chaney on July 30, 2011 at 11:47 PM

What a liar or a complete fool. Nobody is demanding deep cuts.

Lon Chaney on July 30, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Nobody in DC is.

gryphon202 on July 30, 2011 at 11:54 PM

This is the same guy who is convinced that it’s unreasonable not to teach creationism in schools. He kind of blew his credibility with that.

morganfrost on July 31, 2011 at 12:06 AM

From a Fox News “comments” post:

The government today, announced that it’s changing it’s emblem from a Bald Eagle to a CONDOM, because it more accurately reflects the government’s political stance. A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of dicks, and gives you a sense of security while you’re being screwed. It just doesn’t get more accurate than that!

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 12:12 AM

Good points – in fact, the best option, based on history seems to be Democratic President / Republican Congress. What is an absolute embarrassment to the GOP is that they were able to balance the budget with Clinton – but completely lost it with their own guy – BUSH.

Bush and Obama have doubled the debt in a decade – between the two of them.

HondaV65 on July 30, 2011 at 8:30 PM

This is why I say, I’d rather run a committed conservative in the general, rather than an electable rino that can “attract ” the independents. A RINO POTUS will doom us fiscally by strong arming the gop congress to spend, spend spend to ensure a second term and their legacy while a conservative will be more concerned about what’s best for America.

Believe it or not, we can actually survive a second term with obie, if we have a strong conservative majority. They will so frustrate the Won, that he may well quit rather than get smacked around. But I digress. Bottomline, we have to run the strongest conservative for POTUS

AH_C on July 31, 2011 at 1:28 AM

The Tea Party is the only thing standing between Americans and the tyranny of the Left.
Mr. Stein, you need to read:
“Liberty & Tyranny” by Levin.
“Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith
“Capitalism and Freedom” by Milton Friedman.

We have to start the process to balance the budget now!
Cut spending now!

Mark7788 on July 31, 2011 at 2:19 AM

It is amazing that so many Anarchists have now decided to call themselves Conservatives.

Cloward/Piven seems to be the goal of both the left and the right.

You anarchist/conservatives seem to think that once the country is completely destroyed you will get the spoils of our ruined country and then rebuild things to your liking.

That goal is exactly the same as the Communists and Socialists.

petunia on July 31, 2011 at 2:50 AM

Stuff that happened when you were a highschool freshman?

katy the mean old lady on July 30, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I was much younger than that : )

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

Idk bro, I’m pretty credentialed. So are you, apparently. But at least I don’t mention it unless someone else does first.

I frankly don’t know what he meant either.

Well, yes.

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

I just pointed out that it didn’t make any sense. It doesn’t take “superior intelligence” to figure that out.

crr6 on July 31, 2011 at 3:02 AM

Balance over the cycle = Keynesian economics

Slowburn on July 31, 2011 at 3:50 AM

I don’t know Ben, but it seems to me that if you are out of money, you STOP SPENDING!

GFW on July 31, 2011 at 6:47 AM

But at least I don’t mention it unless someone else does first.

You’re hilarious.

DrSteve on July 31, 2011 at 7:41 AM

Great article, Ed. You’ve hit the nail on the head, especially with the last line. I agree 100%

Now, you need to stick to issues like this, and avoid the topics like AGW, about which you know very little (but pretend to know much).

Stay with your strengths. You sound more reasonable this way.

oakland on July 31, 2011 at 7:41 AM

I liked Ben better when he was a teacher. We do need to start off with some deep cuts to ‘programs’ that the fed govt doesn’t even need to be doing in the first place. We don’t even know all the stuff they do but some of the new guys have a long list ready for big cuts. Stein is a Wall St guy now.

Kissmygrits on July 31, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Until you force the issue through term limits, it will never change. I still pick the lesser of evils.

Southernblogger on July 30, 2011 at 8:38 PM

There are no term limit. In the mean time that is what primaries are for. 17 months out people should be looking for strong fiscal conservatives to run against the calcified Senators – they won’t leave on their own they have feathered their nest and they have become addicted to power. One election cycle 2010, isn’t going to clean out the club house. It’s going to take a couple more.

Dr Evil on July 31, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Stein, proving yet again that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

AZCoyote on July 31, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Hey Ben, Between mommy and daddy passing along some of their accumulated wealth to you and the nice nut that you have earned, those of us who are trying to be the first generation in their family history to earn a nice big nut and we are tired of the government, their hired help and leeches sucking up capital necessary for others to become successful and grow their businesses. Got it?

devolvingtowardsidiocracy on July 31, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Hey Ben, Between mommy and daddy passing along some of their accumulated wealth to you and the nice nut that you have earned, those of us who are trying to be the first generation in their family history to earn a nice big nut and we are tired of the government, their hired help and leeches sucking up capital necessary for others to become successful and grow their businesses. Got it?

devolvingtowardsidiocracy on July 31, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Always love watching those who claim they are for lower taxes and not double taxing inheritances or raising taxes on wealthy get all wee weed up at those who have a different opinion of them.
Let me guess – you are for an ideological means test which taxes those who disagree with you more heavily?

Bradky on July 31, 2011 at 10:15 AM

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

DrSteve on July 30, 2011 at 7:39 PM

I’d demand a refund if I were you.

SagebrushPuppet on July 31, 2011 at 10:18 AM

If Ben keeps this up he is going to have lots of names to call. I, for one, am going to cut his class all the time.

IlikedAUH2O on July 31, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Go here if you want to see the debt. Then you can see what dinky cuts they are talking about. If we’d stood for small, incremental cuts what do you think we’d have got?—Nada, Zip, nothing.
http://usdebt.kleptocracy.us/

Herb on July 31, 2011 at 1:33 PM

The Tea Party is 100% correct on this issue. The fact is for the USA to retain it’s AAA credit rating we need to cut somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 to 5 trillion dollars from our 15 trillion dollar budget.

kregg on July 31, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Ben Stein is too far removed from the real world to understand the real world as we, the little people, are experiencing it. He is one of those wealthy finance folks who can afford to be Progressive. Look, I don’t begrudge any American from being immensely successful, it’s the American way; but I’ve often been somewhat insulted by how he writes about his wealth like it’s the norm. He reminds me of Oprah in that sense. Neither has the good manners to not talk about how wealthy they are. I remember a long time ago Oprah sharing with her audience the dilemma she had trying to choose between a Bentley and a Rolls, knowing full well the vast majority of her audience 1) made that choice possible, and 2) would most likely NEVER have to make that choice. I was offended beyond words at the crassness.

Ben Stein wrote an article for NewsMax I believe, a while back talking about his eight houses around the world. I don’t remember the exact number, but there was something about that article I found extraordinarily impolite. If I’m not mistaken, he’s also a former finance guy, so in all likelihood he doesn’t pay as much in taxes as the average middle class person. It’s a guess, but I’m just sayin’…

He needs to go back to making commercials or go twiddle his thumbs in one of his houses and STFU.

greeneyedconservative on July 31, 2011 at 2:34 PM

The repubs are manning the Maginot line on budget cuts and against taxes, but the socialist dems like socialist Hitler before them, are blitzkreiging the repubs, and parachuting behind repub lines, to set up a “commission” that would require ominous tax increases to reduce the budget. No one is mentioning if there are an even number of dems and repubs on the congressional budget cutting committee, what happens if they’re deadlocked? The obscene debt ceiling will have been increased, but there would be no more than the initial 1.2 trillion (yeah, like that’s a real number)in cuts. The 1.8 additional cuts would be a chimera, and Obama will breeze through the election, having co-opted the repubs into supporting his reckless and unprecedented spending plans.
Over the next ten years, the gov’t will be spending 50 trillion dollars, with a deficit of 10 trillion or more. A three trillion cut, even if realized, which is highly unlikely, would represent a six percent reduction in the reckless Obama budget. This is the greatest hoax on the people since shamnesty under the Bush Administration.

eaglewingz08 on July 31, 2011 at 3:01 PM

All these faux conservatives piling on all the blame for this debt ceiling debacle on the Tea Party make me sick!

MCGIRV on July 31, 2011 at 3:23 PM

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

Yeah, there’s no time like a hundred years from now for spending cuts, Spending cuts today is crazy.

Ben, Go write another campaign contribution check to liberal moon-bat Democrat Al Franken, who became the 60th vote for the Democrats in the Senate.

RJL on August 1, 2011 at 12:17 AM

Dear Ben Stein:

So sorry to hear you’ve become irrelevant and anti-conservative (if you ever really were conservative).

I know it’s scary to realize that the high point in one’s life was a bit part in a movie about teen age angst and some kid who won life’s lottery but you have to move on.

Take heart in that the entire world remembers your best work, your soliloquy:

“BUELLER, BUELLER, BUELLER.”

Now STFU, STFD and FOAD.

Thanks

jcw46 on August 1, 2011 at 4:09 AM

Ben Stein said this

I never listened to another word he said since.

Lothar on August 1, 2011 at 12:17 PM

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