No matter happens, Republicans get the blame

Pew Research Center has put a number to the media propaganda push to convince the public anything that ever goes wrong is the fault of Republicans.

With the nation facing the potential of the Bush tax cuts sunsetting on Dec. 31, coupled with spending cuts, which throw the nation back into a recession — like we’ve ever come out of the last one — 53 percent of Americans say congressional Republicans would be more to blame than President Obama at 27 percent.

Though most Americans admit they don’t understand what the fiscal cliff means — just 28 percent say they understand the consequences very well — those surveyed, nonetheless, foresee dire consequences if it happens, because that is what the press told them.

But Cato economist Dan Mitchell says the fiscal cliff is a mere speed bump compared to what is coming and what no one, but no one is doing a damned thing about.

Mitchell writes:

“If we go over the cliff, it simply means the economy will grow a bit slower and politicians will spend a bit more money. And the sequester actually would be (modest) good news, since it means the burden of government spending would be “only” $2 trillion higher 10 years from now, rather than $2.1 trillion higher. And even if Obama prevails in the fight, that simply means that we get a different mix of tax hikes and spending rises at a faster rate. Sure, that’s bad for the economy, but it’s not the end of the world. The real crisis is the ticking time bomb of entitlement programs and the welfare state.”

He then spells out the real problem that will explode in a few years or perhaps decades:

“… if you add up the amount of money that the government is promising to spend for entitlement programs in the future and compare that figure to the amount of revenue that the government projects it will collect for those programs, the cumulative shortfall is more than $100 trillion. And that’s after adjusting for inflation. Some politicians claim this huge, baked-into-the-cake expansion of government isn’t a problem, because we can raise taxes. But that’s exactly what Europe’s welfare states tried — and it didn’t work. Simply stated, even huge tax hikes won’t stem the flow of red ink in the long run if government keeps growing faster than the private economy. This is the fiscal problem that demands attention.”

Maybe going over the fiscal cliff might jolt a few people awake. Nah, live for today. In the long run we’re all dead and it is the Republicans’ fault.

22 comments on “No matter happens, Republicans get the blame

  1. nyp10025 says:

    So you are in favor of going over the cliff, but you blame “media propaganda” for convincing people that conservatives would be responsible for going over the cliff.

  2. The cliff might be more beneficial than swallowing Obama’s Wimpy promise of spending cuts someday in exchange for penny ante tax hikes — amounting to eight days of spending — now, plus stimulus, plus waiving congressional say over the debt ceiling. At some spending would be cut.

  3. Nibot Mus says:

    In the U S, people still have a few rights left. One of those rights, not enshrined in the Constitution, is the right to fail. Such failure was predicted by the Founding Fathers, should the Nation take on the character of a democracy rather than the republic they crafted with so many constraints upon government power. Several said the end of our republic would occur if and when the people determined they could vote themselves assets from the general treasury.
    The people want what they voted for, Irresponsible corrupt government which would take from the productive and give to the unproductive. The “Welfare Socialist State!” It’s here! At this time, the Republican leadership, eg. Rep. Ryan, are purging conservative “Tea Party” members from committees to make it easier to give Obama & Reid what they want.
    Let the people enjoy what they have wrought. Our government, whose main obligation was formerly to preserve our citizens’ personal liberty, is now to be the plundering agent of the envious, jealous majority who have been told by demagogues to hate “the rich” and take their property. All such people deserve the soviet experience which they may see.
    Never have been rich, but still refuse to think I have a “right” to my neighbor’s good fortune. Still think its immoral.

  4. “Fiscal cliff” is one of those metaphors George Orwell warned us about … “A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image …”

    He warned, “A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.”

  5. Rincon says:

    According to the Washington Post fact checker, the tax hike proposed that only saves 8 days of government spending will cut the deficit by 6.5-8.5%. The amount is smaller than one would expect partially because few of the rich actually pay the top tax rate anyway. Romney or Warren Buffet, for example. Gotta get rid of the tax dodges to get any money out of them.

    Also from the Post article: “Republicans proposed raising an estimated $50 billion per year by eliminating deductions and closing tax loopholes. That covers only 4.8 days of government spending.”

    “Republican members of the committee also proposed trimming Medicare and Medicaid spending by about $28 billion per year. That would reduce government spending by only 2.7 days if you use the McConnell-McCarthy metric.”

    Does that mean the Republican proposals are worthless also?Talking about how many days a proposal would run the government is pure smoke and mirrors bull hockey. What else is new?

    As for the Republicans getting the blame, perhaps defending the ability of the ultrarich to dodge taxes isn’t popular with the rest of us?

  6. brucefeher says:

    Time to clean house! Get rid of the so called establishment in BOTH parties. They can only for themselves and there is one thing you CAN take to the bank they will TAKE care of themselves and the regular guy be damned!

  7. brucefeher says:

    replace can above with care

  8. Vernon Clayson says:

    How many days could the federal government operate on the money saved if food stamps, unemployment, free telephones, the coming Obamacare, etal., was reduced by 10%. The election is over, Obama won, what would he care? Earned benefits, SS, Medicare, shouldn’t be included, they are only recently called entitlements by our lords, earlier we believed we were earning them while working and that the funds were set aside. Hard to believe but most of us believed that. Obama, Boehner, Reid, and that whole gang are now harmonizing “we all got a piece of the pie” to we hostages/taxpayers.

  9. Rincon says:

    I see only two good ways to throw the bums out, Bruce because in our system, third parties split the vote from the similar major party. One would be a centrist party, but funding would be problematic since most campaign money comes from people or organizations with an ax to grind. The second way would be to change our voting system to something like the instant runoff system of Australia.

    Vernon,you’ve touched on an important point. I never could figure out how Social Security and Medicare became enmeshed in government finances. These historically were treated as separate programs, self funded. Today, it’s actually difficult to find information on government finances separate from these two. Keeping them separate in our minds would simplify things greatly.

    If we could replace Obamacare with a system as efficient as most European countries or Japan, Canada, Australia, etc., we would have plenty left over to pay our deficit (about 7% of GDP minimum). I would also include defense in the cutbacks. A country that spends as much on defense as the rest of the world combined can probably afford to cut out some fat.

  10. Vernon Clayson says:

    Obamacare is just one more control of the population, health care is merely incidental, maybe the other countries you mention actually intend that health care be paramount. I don’t know about the other nations but Japan is not a good example, they are truly provincial and provide only for Japanese citizens, immigration is all but non-existent so they aren’t overloaded with undocumented individuals.

  11. Steve says:

    Almost Libertarian Rincon. I agree, bring our military home and stop policing the world.

  12. Nibot Mus says:

    The Nation’s many problems are those created by “our” government.
    First, this is no longer our government in the regal recesses of Washington.
    Second, if our Founders were with us today, they would not be texting messages of protestation, but would be cleaning and oiling their muskets.

  13. Rincon says:

    Fair enough, Nibot. I think that voters and other citizens have to take their fair share of the blame though. California provides a great example of the irresponsibility of the electorate. Voters frequently pass referenda increasing the cost of government services, but consistently vote down referenda that make an attempt at funding these costs. This has been blamed in part for the sorry state of their finances. Same with the no new tax pledge. We’re all quite happy with more and more spending, but we don’t want to pay the bill.

  14. Athos says:

    I disagree, Rincon. There is a growing immigrant populace that BELIEVES in government as the source. Look at the countries they were raise in. Government is all. Government provides all.

    I am not happy with more and more spending, period. And I don’t trust the morals or the intelligence of these clowns in DC with spending MY money.

    Do you?

  15. Nibot Mus says:

    Just one more comment.
    Jim DeMint is resigning his senate seat, and I feel we have lost a uniquely honest dedicated patriot in Harry’s sewer.
    Jim has indicated he shares what is is a majority opinion among many pundits, that Republicans lost this last election because they failed to adaquately explain their message. I disagree in part. The problem is more fundamental, IMO.
    Any message consists of thoughts crafted and conveyed to others. It requires a clear message, but also a Sine qua Non ability of the recipient to understand the message. That’s the rub, IMHO.
    I grew up with mandatory civics taught beginning in the 4th grade and continuing through several more years. This was comprehensive American civics about local and national government.
    As far as I can understand the Nevada DOE site, Civics has been merged into Social Sciences to address “diversity” in a worldwide setting. Didn’t see American civics as a required subject anymore.
    Note that the profound ignorance about our government by many citizens is so astounding that it is portrayed as hilarious comedy on T-V. Think of the many random interviews of people on our city streets and university campuses. These people can vote, and do vote without understanding what they are doing. They think separation of powers describes removing a yolk from an egg! You wonder how these inept baffoons keep returning to office? Consider the incompetency of the electorate!

  16. Rincon says:

    I am as dismayed at the ignorance of the electorate as you are, Nibot. Although I agree that the study of our government and history is of great importance, I wouldn’t do it at the cost of reducing world history classes. I think it would be reasonable to cut some Shakespeare or some math. I can remember doing dozens of geometry proofs and converting cosecants to tangents and the like in trigonometry class. A total waste of time, even though I went into the sciences in college.

    Do I trust the clowns in government with my money? A loaded question if I ever heard one, Athos. My brother and I discussed this and came to the conclusion that although government is extremely inefficient and often wrongheaded, the things they spend money are often worthwhile and that the challenge is to minimize foolish spending, but to support spending for that which is worthwhile.

    I certainly would like to see more or better government spending for our patent office, FDA and our court system to reduce the ridiculous backlogs that are to society’s detriment. Getting rid of some excess entitlements or defense spending though, would be fine in my book.

    The Bill Gates story illustrates something else about our attitudes. The nature of the rules we have created for private enterprise enabled him to corner the market with DOS and Windows, both mediocre programs. We pay sort of a Microsoft tax due to his grip on operating systems. He has or has given away $310.00 for every person in this country and he’s spending much of it in foreign countries for vaccines and mosquito netting. If the government had taxed us that much for the same foreign aid, we would have been outraged, but since he is the beneficiary of a sort of rules serendipity, we applaud him. I have the same hole in my pocket either way.

  17. Athos says:

    What you and your brother deem worthwhile, Rincon, someone else may deem frivolous. Should the government provide cellphones to the indigent? Given that we (the US taxpayer) are borrowing the money to do so? Or how about Mittens’ example of funding Big Bird? Worthwhile, or poor stewardship of our country’s money, at this time of crushing debt?

    Alan Simpson stated yesterday that there are between 1 million and 10 million contractors for our Military Complex. That is astounding (considering less than 1.5 million currently on active duty!).

    How about government programs that feed kids in school, utilized by parents that live in the country club?

    And your comment about Bill Gates has me shaking my head in disbelief. What was the tipping point that rich people’s money belongs to the collective? How are we allowing the rich to get richer, by not taking the money that they earned? Why are we promoting a policy of punishing achievement? (and conversely, advocating sloth by rewarding irresponsibility?)

  18. Rincon says:

    Speaking of disbelief, I’m amazed that 100% of the gains since 1970 in productivity have literally gone to 1% of the population and you somewhow think they deserve it because they do so much for us commoners. The rules give them a lower tax rate than us (not the official rate, the actual one), and you think that’s just great. Do you think that 1% created all of that extra productivity and that the other 99% contributed nothing at all? The obvious answer is that the 1% has the power to use the innovation and expertise of the rest of us in order to pad their nests. That’s just raw power at work.

  19. Athos says:

    100% of the gains have gone to 1% of the population? Let’s start with the population in 1970, shall we? (203 million) That means the top 1% has increased over 1 million people. Do you think that group is static? Or could people move in and out of that magical number?

    As to gains, you make it sound like the 99% are living in some 3rd world back water. Everything necessary to ease our lives has improved (medicine, transportation, living habitats, leisure time, etc) dramatically over the past 40 years, hasn’t it? A/C was a luxury in 1970. TVs were not prevalent in every home, nor microwaves, nor dishwashers. Now, the poorest of the poor (and the number one problem for our poor people in OBESITY! Go figure?) all have these top end conveniences.

    And you say the 99% didn’t benefit (or gain), at all? Come on, Rincon! Your liberalism is showing.

  20. Rincon says:

    Come off of it, Athos. There are many ways of confirming it. The rich are much richer than they were in 1970 and the rest of us are treading water. Look it up. Yes, our lifestyle has risen – or has it? I grew up in a family with three kids, Dad was a clerk – not a high paying job – and Mom stayed home to raise us. She didn’t have to get a job because she didn’t have a computer, IPod, etc. So yes, we now have lots of toys that we didn’t have then, but the slack has been taken up by working women, not a rising tide. And everyone wasn’t mortgaged to the hilt.

  21. Rincon says:

    I’ll be traveling for the next 5 days, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to reply, so let me give you reference.
    Most of you haven’t argued that income inequality in this country hasn’t grown greatly in the last 30 years. Are we all agreed that it has?
    I also want to point out that one major way we’ve kept up the lifestyle has been by borrowing from the Chinese, the rich, and future generations. Your income doesn’t have to rise if you can borrow.

  22. Athos says:

    Rincon, there has ALWAYS been income disparity. King George was far richer than his subjects, back in the day.

    There is no way (short of magical Utopia Land) that we all can live like we just hit the power ball. You think there were no super rich people back when your Dad was a clerk, and you were a kid?

    Get real.

    And just for your edification, there are a lot of 1%ers who are living just like our country: rich by borrowing. Bernie Madoff lived a far greater life than we did, eh?

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