Quotes of the day

posted at 10:11 pm on January 8, 2013 by Allahpundit

Tuesday marks the 1,350th day since the Senate passed a budget. The law requires Congress to pass a budget every year, on the grounds that Americans deserve to know how the government plans to spend the trillions of taxpayer dollars it collects, along with dollars it borrows at the taxpayers’ expense. But Majority Leader Harry Reid, who last allowed a budget through the Senate in April 2009, has ignored the law since then…

“I think it should be a firm principle that we should not raise the debt ceiling until we have a plan on how the new borrowed money will be spent,” Sessions told me Monday in a phone conversation from his home in Alabama. “If the government wants to borrow money so it can spend more, then the government ought to tell the Congress and the American people how they will spend it.”…

As Sessions sees it, Reid’s budget gambit is the result of a long-term plan. “It’s not a failure of leadership,” Sessions said. “This is part of the president’s political tactics. There’s no doubt in my mind that the White House and the Senate leadership calculated that the lumps they would take for not producing a budget were preferable to actually exposing their financial plan for the future.”

***

The debt ceiling ought to be raised because nobody has a plan to eliminate the deficit immediately, and there is no popular support for doing what that would take. A congressman who isn’t presenting and supporting a zero-deficit-now plan has an obligation to give the federal government the additional borrowing authority that continued deficits make necessary.

For liberals, that’s the end of the matter. The debt ceiling should be raised without any spending cuts attached, and ideally it should be raised to infinity. One common argument goes like this: Since Congress sets spending and tax levels, no good purpose is served by holding a separate vote making it possible for the government to follow Congress’s original instructions.

That argument would have more force if the federal budget were the result of a deliberate policy. Instead, more and more of our spending rises on autopilot because of decisions made long ago, and nobody is forced to take responsibility for the gap between revenue and commitments. Bills to raise the debt ceiling are the only occasions when congressmen and the president come close to doing so. They are thus appropriate moments to attack the trends that are driving our rising debt.

***

The trillion dollar platinum is an absurdity wrapped in a legislative incongruity inside a farce. It is the logical extension of an utterly illogical legislative process that only becomes more irrational with each passing day. Each partisan battle has become stupider than the last. Silly loopholes are exploited for bargaining power, and the resulting stalemates are generally solved with a temporary patch that solves the immediate problem by creating a bigger one down the road. When the bigger problem arrives, naturally the other side seeks an even sillier loophole, resulting in an even more temporary patch…

Consider the fiscal cliff deal that we just passed. Virtually every economist agreed on what needed to happen: Congress should extend all the tax cuts and spending hikes temporarily, because any fiscal tightening would also reduce economic growth and raise unemployment. But because our current trillion dollar deficits are entirely unsustainable, Congress should also set a deadline to have all or most of these temporary measures expire. My favorite proposal would have pegged the expiration to the unemployment rate.

In a month-long round of backroom bargaining interspersed with public name calling, our politicians essentially managed to craft the opposite of this deal. We raised taxes immediately, which will put pressure on a still-weak economy. On the other hand, we also made the overwhelming majority of the Bush tax cuts permanent, at a cost of trillions over the next ten years. Just as Baby Boomer retirements put unprecedented pressure on the Federal budget, we have decided to fix tax revenues at the low end of their historical average…

Try this exercise: name some of President Obama’s campaign pledges. Unless you were actually covering the elecetion, I bet you can only name one: the pledge to raise taxes on people who made more than $250,000. No new programs to solve some problem, no high-concept bargain to unite the nation . . . no, the one thing that Democrats wanted to do was raise taxes for 2% of taxpayers, and only 2% of taxpayers. Not to pay for anything in particular, but just because the rich had too much. And why was this—rather than some actual policy program—the centerpiece of his agenda? Because his base liked it, and because opposing it made the ultra-rich Mitt Romney look like a selfish heel.

***

[I]f liberals can’t win, conservatives can’t win, and the two sides can’t strike a deal, how are we actually going to get our fiscal house in order?

I think one all-too-plausible answer is that we aren’t. That might mean a genuine debt crisis, a near-default scenario that forces a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, perhaps with some swift inflation worked in, that’s uglier than any grand bargain either side would countenance. But given the resilience of global confidence in the United States over the last two years, it might just mean living with structural deficits that drag on growth for years and decades to come. Indeed, if I were rank-ordering scenarios for the American future right now, the latter possibility would probably rank highest: Neither a massive crisis nor a sweeping legislative solution, but an ugly equilibrium in which muddling-through politicians win enough small victories and reach enough small deals to gradually stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio … but at a level that all-but-ensures a generation or more of economic stagnation and lurching, shortsighted, crisis-driven domestic policymaking

In this landscape, no matter which painful solution polls better in the abstract, a political coalition that’s actually laid the groundwork for what it wants to do seems more likely to succeed in doing it. The Republican Party is an unserious party in many ways, but it has leaders (from Paul Ryan to Tom Coburn) who understand that crucial point, and who have spent the last few years elaborating the kind of entitlement reforms that the conservative vision of government requires, and putting their fellow Republicans on the record in support of them. From Barack Obama on down, I don’t see the same thing happening on the Democratic side; instead, I see a party that’s still loath to acknowledge that its program requires sacrifice from anyone save the wealthy, and that just responded to a moment of maximum leverage by narrowing its definition of who constitutes the rich. If Democrats want to raise middle class taxes — and I mean really raise them, not just cut deals that nudge revenue upward a little here and there — they need to lay the political and policy groundwork for that kind of push, and they need to start relatively soon. Until that starts to happen, it seems reasonable to give conservatism slightly better odds than liberalism of winning the long-term fiscal war outright … with the aforementioned structural-deficit stalemate, unfortunately, remaining the most likely outcome of all.

***

The choice the country faces is simple. We can have big government and the Life of Julia (at least for a while, but that is another essay), with everyone paying through the nose and the middle-class share of taxes rising not falling, or we can return to the American tradition of limited government, with everyone paying a smaller burden to the state, with relatively limited services for, and relatively light taxes on, the middle class. What we cannot have is the Life of Julia at no additional burden to 99 out of 100 of us. Nobody, Left or Right, really thinks that math works, no matter what they may say in public.

So what happens if we continue down the current path, with perhaps some small amount of revenue raised from some additional taxes on the rich? Remember, the only way to finance a big European-style state is to have it paid for by massive taxation of everyone, mostly the middle class. Right now we are avoiding honest debate on this fact, perhaps because those desirous of this change know the middle class would rebel if it saw the future bill it will have to pay. Instead, large government benefits are being continued and increased, and still new ones introduced, with little accurate discussion of who will ultimately pay…

The way to boil the frog of freedom is slowly.

We may, with open eyes, choose the reassuring security of big government with a far larger safety and subsidy net and far higher taxes for all — by no means just the “rich” but in fact more so on the middle class — and likely the sclerotic growth and dependency of Europe. Or we may choose the opposite. But we deserve an honest debate about this critical issue. A debate missing from the last election.

***

Optimist though I am, I can’t help feeling there’s something to this downhearted consensus. After living through the most peaceful and prosperous half century that any nation has ever experienced in the history of humankind, it seems impossible to believe we would re-elect a mediocre reactionary out to “fundamentally transform” our success into failure. But we did, and that’s — well, let’s call it “less than cheering.”…

So in the interest of letting a little light into the room, and with a full realization that our president is doing a bad job, the congress incapable of stopping him, and the media protecting him with coverups and lies, let me list three positive trends that might transform our country for the better in the next two years…

3. Reality is on our side. When I call Obama a reactionary, what I mean is that he adheres to a grievance-based socialist ideology he learned in college from professors who were probably old even then. As these academics die and go to hell for all eternity, up-and-comers may begin to notice that the poor suffer under left-wing programs and rise under the free market, that education improves under conservative guidance and gets worse under liberals, and that big business actually gets more entrenched and powerful under the left while the right helps the little guy thrive. That, after all, will be the off-beat, radical position, and academics love to be off-beat and radical as long as everyone around them is being off-beat and radical too. A new generation is already on the rise that understands entitlements are unsustainable and that freedom works. It won’t be long at all before we begin to hear their voices in the mainstream. I hope.

***

Via the Daily Caller.


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Oh, by the way… all those millions of producers who gleefully voted for Romney, gleefully voted for a guy who gleefully as governor signed into law one of the most egregious anti-gun laws in the US.

LegendHasIt on January 9, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Wait a minute.

How could that be?

We were all told he was the most electable.

Oh right the most electable if you wanted Obama as President. After all Mitts spokesman/son said Obama is great. Mitts other son after the election informs us Mitt never wanted to be President.

Establishment Republicans seem to be far more interested in helping the DNC than the GOP. Wake up people.

Steveangell on January 9, 2013 at 1:48 AM

Steveangell on January 9, 2013 at 1:48 AM

November 6th we had two choices. Mitt was the better choice.

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 1:50 AM

Hi

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 1:55 AM

Try to get those white voters who voted for Obama in 2008 but stayed home in 2012 because they were not yet willing to vote Republican despite their utter discuss with Obama, there are 4 to 5 millions of them… Work on getting a few more Hispanics voters at least those producers among Hispanics who also had it with paying their taxes to the parasites…

We need to start the relentless war against the Welfare State and make the Welfare Queen as the face of the democrat party… The War on the Welfare state will rile up the emotions among the producers more than anything else…

mnjg on January 9, 2013 at 12:03 AM

It would have been easy to get them.

Nominate a Conservative. Any would have beaten Odumbo.

The GOP had a conservative message in 1994, 2000, and 2010 each of those years the GOP had historic wins. Every other year we lost seats at least in the last 20 years.

Conservatism works but the GOP almost never tries it.

Instead it does calculations like you just did why? The answer is simple put out a Conservative message and you always win.

Steveangell on January 9, 2013 at 1:55 AM

Hi

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 1:55 AM

Hi there

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 1:58 AM

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 1:55 AM

Dude you’re late!

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 1:58 AM

I drank beer tonight. (:

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 2:01 AM

November 6th we had two choices. Mitt was the better choice.

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 1:50 AM

Yes two horrible choices and IMHO the better of the two won.

Mitt was horrible beyond belief. Obama Care, Abortion on Demand, Flip Flopper, Gun controller. He was so horrible he had no idea that saying severely conservative was a slap in the face of all real conservatives as severe is the last thing we consider ourselves as. But is what Democrats always accuse us of.

Just because the Establishment forced Mitt as our nominee did not make him electable did it. Heck no. He lost big time did he not. He was not electable in the least was he? He lost by 100 EC votes after all.

At least Odumbo is getting the blame still. I mean after the GOP rose the white flag and gave the House to the Democrats to pass their bill Establishment idiots said we will hang Odumbo on taxes and take that away. Obama took it away right to the bank. We were robbed by the Establishment but are to stupid to even realize it.

Steveangell on January 9, 2013 at 2:03 AM

Steveangell on January 9, 2013 at 2:03 AM

He is not Odumbo, he is President Barack Obama and he is effective. Do not delude yourself. If you think Romney would be worse, you sir, are an idiot.

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:09 AM

Yes two horrible choices and IMHO the better of the two won.

Steveangell on January 9, 2013 at 2:03 AM

Happy for you then.

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 2:11 AM

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 2:11 AM

Putz’s. is that correct? Hi DarkCurrent.

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:13 AM

Putz’s. is that correct? Hi DarkCurrent.

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:13 AM

Howdy

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 2:15 AM

Late shifting?

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:17 AM

Late shifting?

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:17 AM

It’s afternoon here ;)

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 2:20 AM

I forget. Where are you?

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:21 AM

I forget. Where are you?

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:21 AM

Shanghai

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 2:29 AM

I missed all the fun.

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 2:32 AM

I missed all the fun.

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 2:32 AM

Well gee, thanks… ;)

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 2:36 AM

Scrumpy on January 9, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Haha. Funny. But I’d rather have Scrumpy than a hand gun.

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 2:38 AM

Steveangell on January 9, 2013 at 2:03 AM
He is not Odumbo, he is President Barack Obama and he is effective. Do not delude yourself. If you think Romney would be worse, you sir, are an idiot.

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:09 AM

Right.

GW Bush was fully Establishment by the first day of his second term having won it by lying about how Conservative he was. He immediately started destroying the GOP by 2006 Nancy became Speaker of the House. Then by 2008 GW Bush made Obama the new President and in a grand gesture delivered a filibuster proof Senate and huge majority in the House to him.

Mitt Romney hardly even pretended to be Conservative. Had he won he would have completely destroyed the GOP but he never intended to win he only ran to assure Obama a second term. There is no way after his son spilled the beans that he never wanted to be President anyone could possibly convince me otherwise.

Steveangell on January 9, 2013 at 2:39 AM

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 2:36 AM

You are fun but there is only one of you here now.

Did you ever live in the US? You must be the furthest away than anyone else. You are way past the glade.

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 2:41 AM

Steveangell on January 9, 2013 at 2:39 AM

You say Obama was a better choice than Romney? I will say it one more time. You sir are an idiot. Sleep tight!

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:46 AM

Did you ever live in the US? You must be the furthest away than anyone else. You are way past the glade.

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 2:41 AM

Yeah, I’m originally from Seattle.

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 2:46 AM

BTW Good Night DarkCurrent, Sparky!

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:49 AM

Night KCB

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 3:02 AM

Wait a minute.

How could that be?

We were all told he was the most electable.

Steveangell

He was the most electable. But as usual, you and others like you confuse the word “most” with the word “guaranteed”.

It would have been easy to get them.

Nominate a Conservative. Any would have beaten Odumbo.

Steveangell

And that’s how out of touch with reality you are. One, you can’t nominate a conservative if there’s no conservative to nominate. Two, simply being a conservative doesn’t guarantee victory any more than nominating Romney guaranteed it. That kind of simplistic logic might work in the fantasyland you call home, but life in the real world is a little more complex than that.

If you think Romney would be worse, you sir, are an idiot.

KCB

He IS an idiot. To be fair though, it’s possible he can’t help it. Too many crazy people aren’t able to get the help they need these days.

xblade on January 9, 2013 at 4:18 AM

You say Obama was a better choice than Romney? I will say it one more time. You sir are an idiot. Sleep tight!

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 2:46 AM

You must have missed Steves greatest hits.
My fave is when Steve says Romney is one of the anti-Christs.
Its biblical, man.

bazil9 on January 9, 2013 at 5:30 AM

was reading an article yesterday, white house doesn’t care about a bloody budget getting through the senate….it’s just not important…we just need to raise the debt ceiling now everything else be dam%ed

unstinkingbelievable…..

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 5:42 AM

“Tuesday marks the 1,350th day since the Senate passed a budget.”

O_o

“So, how was your vacation, Mr. President?” – the media

Seven Percent Solution on January 9, 2013 at 5:55 AM

Seven Percent Solution on January 9, 2013 at 5:55 AM

THIS

the gop talking heads need to bring this up everytime they get on air….but nothing, nada, zip….

*sigh*

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 5:58 AM

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 5:58 AM

There really are no words
to describe the pathetic
of what we call “media”
“news” or DC.
If you really think about it, it is disturbing
and dangerous.

bazil9 on January 9, 2013 at 6:29 AM

O/T: I’ve got this feeling somebody’s watching me…My take.

kingsjester on January 9, 2013 at 6:34 AM

bazil9 on January 9, 2013 at 6:29 AM

you’re not kidding

morning b9

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 6:34 AM

kingsjester on January 9, 2013 at 6:34 AM

skynet definitely around the corner…

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 6:37 AM

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Yep.

kingsjester on January 9, 2013 at 6:44 AM

Who is listening to George Will at this point?

Seriously.

PappyD61 on January 9, 2013 at 6:57 AM

Morning cms!

*raises coffee mug up*

bazil9 on January 9, 2013 at 7:01 AM

bazil9 on January 9, 2013 at 7:01 AM

*clink*

:) on second cup

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 7:02 AM

on third cup myself.

gonna be a great day.

renalin on January 9, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Forget it, the Marxist dictator has become totally entrenched and has absolute control . . . all of these words mean nothing and there is no other recourse. Take everything you can get and live it up while you can.

rplat on January 9, 2013 at 7:36 AM

Hi B9! Just peeking in…

KCB on January 9, 2013 at 7:39 AM

Morning Renalin :)

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Morning Renalin :)

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 7:59 AM

morning to you:)

renalin on January 9, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Morning all…

the gop talking heads need to bring this up everytime they get on air….but nothing, nada, zip….

*sigh*

cmsinaz on January 9, 2013 at 5:58 AM

The GOP act like dogs with shock collars on owned by a sadistic master. They don’t know what to do or where to step. They are afraid to speak fearing their words will be twisted and bastardized by the media and the Democrats they prop up.

Take any one of Joe “They going to put y’all back in chains” Biden’s gaffes versus virtually anything said by a Republican running for office this past election. The media flexed its muscle for Obama and the Democrats and it scares the Republicans witless. They have shocked so intensely, they have forgotten how to get out in front of a narrative.

Morning rant over, time for another cup of coffee… *clink*

Fallon on January 9, 2013 at 8:31 AM

B9.

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 8:38 AM

SparkPlug on January 9, 2013 at 8:38 AM

I had a big ole mixed breed lab named Sparky but he didn’t bird dog as much as you do, Spark, lol. I always remember him running across fields, flushing up hundreds of Canada geese. I hope that’s what heaven is like for dogs.

Fallon on January 9, 2013 at 8:48 AM

FACT: The last budget passed by a Republican House, Republican Senate, and Republican President was passed in 2006 for Fiscal Year 2007 and produced a budget deficit of less than $161 Billion:

FY 2007 Receipts $2,567,985 Million (a.k.a. $2,568 Billion, a.k.a $2.568 Trillion)
- FY 2007 Outlays $2,728,686 Million (a.k.a. $2,729 Billion, a.k.a $2.729 Trillion)
============================
= FY 2007 Deficit -$160,701 Million (a.k.a. $161 Billion, a.k.a $0.161 Trillion)

FACT: Just two Fiscal Years later, the budget passed by a Democrat House, Democrat Senate, and Democrat President in 2009 for Fiscal Year 2009 produced a budget deficit that was well over EIGHT TIMES (and over $1.25 TRILLION) bigger than that last Republican-majority deficit:

FY 2009 Receipts $2,104,989 Million (a.k.a. $2,105 Billion, a.k.a $2.105 Trillion)
- FY 2009 Outlays $3,517,677 Million (a.k.a. $3,518 Billion, a.k.a $3.518 Trillion)
============================
= FY 2009 Deficit -$1,412,688 Million (a.k.a. $1,413 Billion, a.k.a $1.413 Trillion)

FACT: The Democrat majorities have not passed another budget since FY 2009, and deficits in FY 2010-2012 have averaged -$1,306,677 Million (a.k.a. $1,307 Billion, a.k.a $1.307 Trillion) each year.

FY 2010-2012 Average Receipts $2,311,596 Million (a.k.a. $2,312 Billion, a.k.a $2.312 Trillion)
- FY 2010-2012 Average Outlays $3,618,274 Million (a.k.a. $3,618 Billion, a.k.a $3.618 Trillion)
============================
= FY 2010-2012 Average Deficit -$1,306,677 Million (a.k.a. $1,307 Billion, a.k.a $1.307 Trillion)

Compare the Last Republican majority budget (FY 2007) to the average of the last three Democrat majority no-budget fiscal years (FY 2010-2012):

Revenue FY 2007: $2,567,985 Million
Avg. Revenue FY 2010-2012: $2,311,596 Million
===========================
Change: Revenue down about 10%

Outlays FY 2007: $2,728,686 Million
Avg. Outlays FY 2010-2012: $3,618,274 Million
===========================
Change: Outlays up about 33%

Deficit FY 2007: $160,701 Million
Avg. Deficit FY 2010-2012: $1,306,677 Million
===========================
Change: Deficits up over 713%

Data Source: Budget numbers directly from the White House Office of Management and Budget

The increase in spending is even more dramatic when you compare FY 2009-2012 to the worst deficit year of the Republican Majority budget years.. FY 2004, when Receipts were $1,880,114 Million, Outlays were $2,292,841 Million, and the Deficit was (-) $412,727 Million.

Revenue FY 2004: $1,880,114 Million
Avg. Revenue FY 2009-2012: $2,259,945 Million
===========================
Change: Revenue up over 20%

Outlays FY 2004: $2,292,841 Million
Avg. Outlays FY 2009-2012: $3,593,125 Million
===========================
Change: Outlays up about 57%

Deficit FY 2004: $412,727 Million
Avg. Deficit FY 2009-2012: $1,333,180 Million
===========================
Change: Deficits up over 223%

FACT: Deficits of the last four years of Democrat majorities and the Obama administration have averaged more than 3.23 times the size of (more than 223% INCREASE over) the size of the WORST deficit under Bush and a Republican Congress in FY 2004.

FACT: Those record deficits under Democrat majorities aren’t due to a revenue problem (revenues are up over 20% from where they were in the worst Republican majority defict). Those record deficits under Democrat majorities are due to a spending problem (revenues are up about 57% from where they were in the worst Republican majority defict).

It’s the spending, stupid.

ITguy on January 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Last

DarkCurrent on January 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Not enough bamboo, 2000 more cycles.

tom daschle concerned on January 9, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Good late Morning everyone!!

I lost my ‘net connection last nite :-(

I wasn’t being rude by upping n leaving…

Catch ya all later!!

Scrumpy on January 9, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Scrumpy on January 9, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Heh, many lost the connection last night :)

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM

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