Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our miserable political class ...

... makes me depressed.  The current debt ceiling negotiations are a clown car act:
Why can't they take the deal?

There's one semi-fair reason, which is that the Democrats and the GOP leadership got entirely too cute with the last round of negotiations, finding a bunch of fake "cuts"--and then bragging that they hadn't really cut anything. Their fans in the commentariat joined in the gloating.  So this time, the serious cutters aren't going to settle for anything except massive cuts, right now--they don't trust the other parties in the deal to carry through on anything less draconians.  Nice job guys.
Chris Byrne adds the context that I endorse with a hearty "Amen, brother":
It's rather simple really...

The government spent everything they could squeeze from us when the economy was good. Then, when the economy went bad, instead of cutting back like all of us had to, they convinced a bunch of people that the way to make the economy better was to spend MORE.
Look, I put on my Big Boy britches this morning.  I know that actually courageous politicians are scarce as hen's teeth.  But we've already been through the budget cut kabuki - Obama's own Deficit Reduction Commission has a plan that, while not ideal, is plausible.

Obama won't touch it.  Instead, he's saying they'll cut off Grandma's Social Security check.

Here's the calculus: you can't fix the budget without addressing entitlements.  You can't fix the budget without raising some taxes.  And you can't fix the budget without reducing Government headcount, because guys like me won't believe they're serious without it, and will be incandescent with rage that "shared sacrifice" doesn't include Governmental Regulators.

Full stop.

But here's the calculation that depresses me: our miserable Political Class doesn't see political gain in that calculus, and so they're playing Chicken with the Train.  

I look at #1 Son and wonder if he'll be able to get a job when he gets out of college.  Heck, will I have a job when he gets out of college?  Default is one huge rotating fan, and there's one big old pile of something that will hit it, if it gets to that point.  And both parties are driving us down that road - I've never seen such an abdication of Presidential leadership as we're seeing here.  And I've never seen a Republican Party that is willing to sell the country out for short term political gain.

Quite frankly, Paul Ryan looks to be about the only Grown Up in Washington, D. C.  At the risk of repeating myself, let me repeat myself:

All of them.  I get comments when I post this, with people pointing out the evils of the Democrats.  Fair enough.  But what this Republic is desperate for is leadership and political courage, and we're sure not seeing it from the GOP.  So fire them, too.  Eventually, we - like Abraham Lincoln - will find a General that will actually fight for us.

Until then, they'll all just keep playing chicken with the train.


Bob said...

Frankly, the Dems had 2.5 years to raise taxes if they wished to, and the GOP could not have prevented it. Instead, they maxed out the nation's credit card, and now want to force the GOP to accept the blame for raising taxes (or revenues, as they refer to them). Right now they say it's the responsible thing to do; they said the same when George H.W. Bush raised taxes despite his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge, and made him suffer for it. The Dems know that the current crop of GOP congressmen/senators were elected with the proviso of holding the line on taxes, and they want to force them to renege for political purposes.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you and the whole damn thing is painful and upsetting.
Plus I get to suffer through this dumbassed shutdown we have in Minnesota, wrought on us by our spoilt rich boy playing governor(and doing badly) Markie Dayton whom did not get the DFL endorsement, forced a run off and bought the unions vote.
Now we suffer because his puppet masters, said unions, want want want, the taxpayer to pay.
And the GOP Majority is presented a balanced budget, the biggest one ever with a 6 to 12 % increase and no new taxes. Not good enough for the unions and our Guv'nor. Who wants to "Tax the rich" heard that one before!!
So much suckage in politics today.

Am headed to the BWCA with eldest for his post graduation trip.
If the whole family was going would be tempted to load the arsenal and everything else we needed and go really back into the woods and say "EFF U Guv"mint!!"

Rant over, sorry...

Joe said...

Personally, I'm just about to the point of, "F*** it, let it all burn".

I know, people will bring up all the hardship this will cause but the way things are going it's going to happen anyway and I'm tired of seeing one group or another weasel some advantage out of it.

Paladin said...

Strike the "raising some taxes" from the calculus and insert "increase tax revenue" and I'll agree completely. There's other (and better) ways to increase the money in the pot other than increasing taxes directly on anyone.

I'm sick of all of them too. The fact that the Republicans haven't caved already is a promising sign, but I've fallen for the banana in the tailpipe too often before - so I'm reserving judgement and future support until it all plays out.

Lissa said...


Borepatch said...

I don't like new taxes any more than anyone. But I don't see anthing working with all of this:

1. Entitlement reform
2. New taxes
3. Cuts in government headcount

Nothing but this combination will bring together a coalition to actually address the Trillion dollar a year deficit.

You need the Democrats on board to get entitlement reform, and tax increases are going to be their cost to go along. You need the Tea Party on board, and headcount cuts will be the (perhaps symbolic) cost there.

Nobody has a plan that works that doesn't include this. The Deficit Commission says so, Paul Ryan says so.

Err, I say so, but so what?

What we DON'T have is a political class that's worth a damn.

SiGraybeard said...

Just bear in mind that tax rates and tax revenues are two very different things and I'm with you.

The fact that lowering rates increases revenues has been demonstrated so many times it really has the character of social science law

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

You need the Democrats on board to get entitlement reform, and tax increases are going to be their cost to go along.

I see what you're getting at, but the biggest problem I see with that combination is that raising taxes, especially with the economy in its current condition, is very likely to cause even more damage to the economy, and as a result actually decrease tax revenue.

I'm very much afraid that, barring a complete upheaval of the current political situation, we have passed the true "point of no return".