I see your Light Brigade and raise you a Hidden Imam

Charge of the Light Brigade.

Metaphors to the left of me. Metaphors to the right of me. It’s a double flanking maneuver!

Kimberley Strassel compared the Republican effort to win a few concessions of ObamaCare and federal spending by daring the president to allow the country to hit the debt ceiling to the charge of the Light Brigade, commemorated by Tennyson’s famous poem:

On an October morning in the Crimea, 1854, British Lord Cardigan led his 600-strong cavalry force into a frontal assault of a fully dug-in and alerted Russian artillery battery. The charge was courageous. And it was suicidal.

The Light Brigade was ripped apart in the Valley of Death. Commenting on the bravery and utter futility of the attack, French Marshal Pierre Bosquet declared: “C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre. C’est de la folie.” (“It is magnificent, but it is not war. It is folly.”)

This she says is what happened to the Republicans.

On a far, far lower journalistic level than Strassel, we have Las Vegas newspaper scribbler Steve Sebelius comparing Rep. Mark Amodei’s principled vote against the budget and debt ceiling deal (which is how Obama and Harry Reid voted in 2006, by the way) to a Japanese solider on some distant atoll still fighting World War II:

“My conscience is clear with respect to an all-out effort in a four-against-one fight,” Amodei said. “I now know how those folks at the Alamo felt.”

But Amodei wasn’t defending American soil against hostile invaders — he was intentionally grinding his own government to a halt in an already-lost cause. A better example would be a Japanese soldier on a deserted Pacific island, fighting anyone who comes ashore, pathetically unaware that the war ended long, long ago.

No, Republicans mistakenly thought they were dealing with rationale people who would compromise before hitting the full faith and credit wall that every side said would be apocalyptic in scale and end in financial ruin and deprivation. That is actually what they were willing to do. They sat on the ammo dump and dared the GOP to shoot.

Harry and Barry were in it to win, even if it was a pyrrhic victory.

Perhaps, California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock said it most succinctly:

Given the ruthless and vindictive way the shutdown has been handled, I now believe that this president would willfully act to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States, unless the Congress acquiesces to all of his demands, at least as long as he sees political advantage in doing so.

Bring on the Hidden Imam to hasten victory. Look it up.

120 comments on “I see your Light Brigade and raise you a Hidden Imam

  1. Wendy Ellis says:

    Apparently the American leftists’ version of this “Hidden Imam” has been out of the closet for several years now.

  2. nyp says:

    How unreasonable for the President to refuse to negotiate with hostage-takers! I think we should impeach!

  3. Steve says:

    I said this once before, Harry Reid is the “prime minister” in this “kingdom”.

    I later stated Harry was being relegated to the corner office with a view.
    Turns out I was wrong when I said:

    Apparently that “presidential pen” incident was displayed to good and proper effect.

    Harry’s political maneuvering is all over these last few weeks and months and the Republicans fell for it.
    Still, those who fought and lost deserve support in their future and more like them need to be elected.

  4. Vernon Clayson says:

    Hard to believe that so many are taken in by the grifters in Washington, they incur the ever increasing national debt by parceling out taxes, and loans using taxes as collateral, for their pet projects and to favored persons while we are supposed to believe they did it for our good. We are also supposed to believe that the expense and debt were unavoidable, and that an increase had to be approved by a date they set. They make the rules as they go along with little or no reference to the basic ground rules of the Constitution yet they expect us to honor and esteem the offices they hold, the very offices set up through that document while they breach every limit it sets forth. The founders promulgated the rules while warning against those that would foul the nest. None of us should be surprised that history repeats itself, part of it is that we were taught the rise and fall of nations in a few chapters of books but each rise and fall took decades, some even centuries. We are going through a long fall after our long rise, a few centuries from now books will describe that rise and fall in a few pages. Learned individuals will say, “tch, tch”,

  5. Wendy Ellis says:

    Sounds like nyp is all talk and no action 🙂

  6. Rincon says:

    As with a rotten marriage, we can argue all day about who is at fault. At the end of the day, we have dysfunction which needs to be resolved. The voters will decide.

    As for myself, I am hard pressed to forgive Republicans for the outstanding stupidity of 2001-2008 and their unwillingness to change after leading the country into multiple follies. To greatly oversimplify, Obama and the Democrats inherited a disaster created by Bush and the Republicans.

  7. Steve says:

    Woo Hoo! A blame bush reference! I was getting tired of real discussion!

  8. So, Rincon, when will be Obama and the Democrats own the current disaster and have to stop blaming Bush?


  9. Rincon says:

    Just trying to explain why I don’t trust Republicans Steve. If you’re tired of the occasional blame Bush post, imagine how tired I get of seeing every other post here being a blame Obama post. I think you all have me beat by 100:1 or so.

    I repeat, Bush and the Republicans ran a perfectly good economy into the toilet and you’re impatient with Obama for getting us out too slowly. Although imperfect, the sins of Obama pale in comparison to those of Bush and company. And Obama was crippled by a do-nothing Congress.

    I’ve heard the same here with Coolidge, Hoover, and Roosevelt. Coolidge, Harding and company got us into the worst economic crisis this country has ever had. Things got worse under Hoover, who did what Conservatives think is best, yet somehow, Roosevely is at fault, despite the fact that the economy improved during his administration with a dip in 1938. Insanity.

  10. It was the Democratic home loan bubble that burst.

  11. Steve says:

    Tom nailed it. Clinton took a sledge hammer to the crack in the home loan laws. Based on Carville’s statement “its the economy”. You guys set up the bubble, it burst on a Republicans watch and you guys created the current stock market bubble in an attempt to fill the void left by the housing vacuum.

    Not that I mind, my stocks are doing well. I just have to be vigilant and hopefully get out in time when the bubble pump gets turned off by the FED.

  12. Milty says:

    “I’ve heard the same here with Coolidge, Hoover, and Roosevelt. Coolidge, Harding and company got us into the worst economic crisis this country has ever had. Things got worse under Hoover, who did what Conservatives think is best, yet somehow, Roosevely is at fault, despite the fact that the economy improved during his administration with a dip in 1938. Insanity.”

    What was the state of the economy when Coolidge left office in March 1929? I don’t think we were in “the worst economic crisis this country has ever had.”

    And if the economy improved under FDR, why does even the estimable Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman acknowledge that we were still in the Depression nearly nine years after FDR took office?

  13. nyp10025 says:

    Because the strong economic growth of 1934-36 stalled after Roosevelt imposed contractionary fiscal policies in 1937.

  14. Milty says:

    Must’ve been some REALLY contractionary fiscal policies to cause a four year stall.

    1937 federal outlays were 8% less than 1936 federal outlays.

    1938 federal outlays dropped an additional 10% vs. 1937.

    1940 federal outlays were 38% higher than 1938’s.

    If the 1937 slump was caused by contractionary fiscal policies, then why did FDR continue the contraction in 1938?

    And why didn’t additional spending in 1940 improve things before December 1941?

  15. Milty says:

    “And Obama was crippled by a do-nothing Congress.”

    He had a Democratic controlled Congress in 2009-10 when he embarked on his shovel ready stimulus program.

    “If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with bank-notes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.”

  16. Rincon says:

    The housing bubble was created by a bipartisan effort if I recall correcty, but yes, the Democrats share at least 1/2 of the blame for that. But there was much more to it. Since Reagan, with a pause under Clinton, government debt grew dramatically. Bush added greatly to that by engaging in two wars – one of which was initiated for no good reason. A Republican Congress allowed the Paygo law to lapse, allowing Bush and Congress to raise the debt every year. Bush threw in an unfunded prescription benefit as well.

    Interest rates were also extremely low during the Bush years, encouraging people to borrow with the secondary effect of robbing the Fed of one of its best recession-fighting tools, namely lowering interest rates. Since Reagan, income disparity rose dramatically, encouraged by Reagan era laws. As the middle class shrank, people borrowed to make up the difference, and many borrowed more than they could afford. When the bill came due, there weren’t adequate incomes to pay off the debt; hence, collapse of the housing market.

    Let’s not forget the Bush tax cuts either. Tax cuts in modern times have been associated with higher deficits and tax increases with lowered deficits. Bush of course, added to the evidence.

    Old George couldn’t have screwed it up worse if he had tried.

  17. Rincon says:

    One more detail. I’m sure you will all dismiss this as a coincidence, but the disparity of income in 2007 was approximately the same as in 1929. After the depression, it had fallen dramatically, coinciding with good times. During the Reagan years, the trend reversed and continues climbing today.

    During that time, median household income has stagnated while productivity continued to rise dramatically. Try to guess who got the benefit of all that extra productivity. The middle class has become too small to support a dynamic economy. Without restoration of the middle class, we will become a banana republic. We’ere headed that way fast.

  18. Tax cuts have been associated with higher revenues.

  19. Milty says:

    “Let’s not forget the Bush tax cuts either. Tax cuts in modern times have been associated with higher deficits and tax increases with lowered deficits. Bush of course, added to the evidence.”

    Well thank God President Obama and the Congressional Democrats corrected Old George’s terrible error by allowing all those tax cuts to expire. Right, Rincon?

  20. Milty says:

    So Rincon, would you have supported a national default that would’ve wrecked the economy and caused the financial system to collapse if one of the effects of that default would have been for all the rich people to suddenly become poor? That would’ve solved your income inequality problem by equalizing income at low, almost non-existent levels, right?

  21. nyp says:

    In the four years after Roosevelt took office annual GDP growth was over nine percent, and unemployment fell from 25% to 14%. That is the strongest period of growth in modern times (apart from WWII). In 1937 the Administration ended significant aspects of its fiscal stimulus and, in addition, raised taxes, reducing the deficit by approximately 2.5% of GDP.
    In addition to all that, the Fed engaged in strongly contractionary monetary policy. Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz’s famous study placed most of the blame for the ensuing recession on the Fed, but may economists also blame FDR.

  22. nyp says:

    As any Keynesian will tell you, tax cuts often have a stimulative effect on the economy. If the economy grow, tax collections grow. Unfortunately, from the standpoint of fiscal policy, the effect on tax collection is not great enough to overcome the revenue loss from the tax cut. The record on that since the 1980s is crystal-clear.

  23. nyp says:

    Oh, and when Mr. Mitchll talks about a “Democratic home loan bubble” he is just b.s.-ing.

  24. Steve says:

    So, Nyp. There was no real estate bubble?

    Must have been imaginary.

  25. Rincon says:

    A tax cut will boost the economy – short term – just as increased government spending will. It’s really simple. Tax cuts or more government spending in bad times; tax increase or less spending in good times. Problem is that Bush increased spending and passed tax cuts simultaneously in good times, making recovery difficult once time caught up with his assinine policies.

  26. Steve says:

    You wanna go for a Carter reference?

  27. Milty says:

    Regarding the issue of tax cuts, two books I read this year have caused me to re-think my attitude about them.

    In Amity Shlaes’ biography of Calvin Coolidge, she described Coolidge’s economic practices. Coolidge met with his budget director on a weekly basis. Each week, they went over the budget with a fine tooth comb looking for opportunities to cut spending. Once they identified a spending cut, Coolidge would confer with his treasury secretary (Mellon) to reduce taxes.

    In Robert Caro’s latest volume on LBJ, Caro wrote that upon assuming the presidency LBJ wanted to push thru two major pieces of legislation that had languished under JFK. One was the civil rights bill, the other was a tax cut. When LBJ met with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Harry Byrd, Byrd told him that he wouldn’t consider JFK’s tax cut bill unless the FY1965 budget came in under $100B, no plus or minus a couple billion, no gimmicks, Byrd set a hard line of less than $100B. LBJ presented a legitimate budget around $98B, so Byrd passed the tax cut package thru his committee.

    In both cases, the process was similar. Cut spending before cutting taxes.

    Ronald Reagan did try this formula early in his presidency. In 1981, Congress passed a spending bill that reduced spending before passing his tax cut bill. This pattern didn’t hold up for the remainder of his presidency. And Bush43 never even tried to adhere to this formula.

    David Stockman’s a weasel, and I have no intention of reading his book, but from what I’ve read about it, he advocates the same thing. Don’t even think about cutting taxes until you’ve cut spending first. And in this case he’s right.

    Regarding Keynesianism, whatever the merits of it may be as an economic philosophy, I don’t think it’s a feasible political philosophy. The proof of this would be the late 1990’s. The economy was doing well and we were projected to start running surpluses each year. As I understand Keynesianism, the correct action would have been to put the surplus money into savings so it could be spent to stimulate the economy when it eventually went into a recession. However, the Democrats wanted to dedicate the surplus to newly created entitlement programs, and the Republicans wanted to enact tax cuts. Either way, the money wouldn’t have been available when the next downturn took place. With our current political climate, I don’t see how it could have ever been saved for this downturn.

  28. Steve says:

    That was how I was first introduced to Keynes.
    Spend in a downturn save in an upswing. Government was supposed to act opposite the direction of the economy.
    By saving in an upswing government would slow the growth, by spending in a downturn government would fuel any available growth.

    Digging a credit hole only fuels a deeper downturn in the future and is in no way Keynesian.

  29. Athos says:

    Strange postings, fellas. Rinny, you are soooo far off base, it boggles my mind that an educated person could be blind sided by progressive lies. petey, for you, the ends justify the means soooo any lie is justified (no mystery there. But could you define your “ends”? What do you envision the future of our free America? What do you hope to gain by seeing us shackled?)

    Strongest period of growth was ’37?? That’s a laugh! (try ’21 to ’23) Harding and Coolidge caused the great depression?? Rinny, cut back on the meds!

    The BJ Clinton “pause” was the Republican dominated election of ’94. Google “deficits as far as the eye can see”, and do a little reading (or remembering, for those of us that lived it)

    Interest rates were low during the Bush years? Really? My 30 year fixed mortgage secured in 2006, was 7%. What are they today, somewhere in the 4s? My CDs were cranking out 6% up until early ’08. What are you talking about, rinny?

    And just when will you Bush haters admit that our troubles went into overdrive starting in 2007, which just happened to coincide with the mid term election changes of 2006? Who became Senate Majority leader in ’07? And what woman was elected the FIRST female Speaker of the House in ’07?

    Jorge Bush did many, many things wrong, and in no way could be described as a conservative however, Teddy the Swimmer Kennedy had a lot to do with the “Drug give a way” and “No Child Educated in our Time” bills signed by Jorge, didn’t he? And he hired ex Goldman Sachs crooks to run the Treasury (just like the Democrats) but Jorge had to deal with America being attacked on our home ground by a 7th century scourge on top of removing “stains” from the White House (thanks BJ! What’s the true meaning of “is, eh??)

    Zero didn’t inherit anything he didn’t already agree on. What’s going on (to weaken this country) is by design. When he said he wants to “fundamentally transform this country”, what do you think he meant?

  30. Rincon says:

    I agree with Milty and Steve. Cutting taxes is worthwhile, but spending cuts have to come first.

    You’re partly right about the interest rates, Athos, but only for 2006 or so. Greenspan dropped the fed rate to very low levels in 2001 and didn’t raise them significantly until 2006, where they stayed at historical norms for only a year and then were dropped low again. Greenspan was still dropping interest rates in 2005 despite the good economy. Big mistake, which I recognized at the time. http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/31/Federal_Funds_Rate_1954_thru_2009_effective.svg/640px-Federal_Funds_Rate_1954_thru_2009_effective.svg.png&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_funds_rate&h=400&w=640&sz=31&tbnid=WWoaxI_I07Ae1M:&tbnh=90&tbnw=144&zoom=1&usg=__QDjO6PbBsS3r2poYRDTXKD63Le8=&docid=IaVzhZeHOpn-PM&sa=X&ei=z-ZjUuXJNsfQyAGsj4CQDQ&ved=0CDwQ9QEwAg

    Nyp made the claim about the rising economy, but I’m glad to back him up — he’ll have to buy me a drink sometime:) In terms of GDP, the economy went south until 1933, shrinking by 25% or so. After that, GDP took off, with only a short pause in 1937-38. The growth rate from late 1921-1923 was faster, but short lived. Bottom line: The growth during the Roosevelt years was much greater than during the Coolidge years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gdp20-40.jpg

    I tried Googling “deficits as far as the eye can see”, and got a variety of stories covering mostly Obama. Try being more specific next time.

    Bush took his eye off the ball by going into Iraq. By doing so, he neglected Afghanistan and we’re still paying for it. Stupidity.

  31. Athos says:

    You really don’t remember the budget battles during the mid 90’s, do you? How about when BJ shut down the government in ’95? Budget deficits were projected as far as the eye could see. Welfare was reformed and poor babies didn’t die. BJ even had the line item veto. Remember?
    That was all less than 20 years ago. Lord, am I getting old?

  32. Athos says:

    And if the spin was put on the Bush/Clinton/Bush era, am I that surprised intelligent people believe America was better off in ’37( the middle of the Great Depression) than the great recovery of the Harding/Coolidge years?

    For your edification, check out unemployment for 1920 vs 1923; and then tell me again how 1937 was so much better, ok?

  33. Rincon says:

    You miss the point. The economy improved dramatically under Roosevelt either despite or because of his programs.

    The economy did bustle in the ’20’s, but most of the credit should go to Henry Ford, who almost singlehandedly created the middle class, with some help from Teddy Roosevelt, Edison, etc. Technology was advancing by leaps and bounds. The electrification of America was in full swing at that time in particular. The important thing to remember is how the Coolidge “great recovery (which actually began in 1915) ended. Technology brought prosperity. Lack of sound government policy brought depression with the help of some bad weather. You don’t harvest crops the day after you plant seed. Same thing with economics. The seeds of recession are planted during the preceeding good times.

  34. Rincon says:

    “You really don’t remember the budget battles during the mid 90′s, do you? How about when BJ shut down the government in ’95? Budget deficits were projected as far as the eye could see.”

    Read it and weep. Athos. The deficits shrank steadily from the time Clinton took office until he left office with a budget surplus. The curve changed little after the Republican victories, although I credit them for their agenda at the time. They did their part to bring surpluses by 1998. Too bad they dropped the ball so badly after 2001. http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://origin.factcheck.org/Images/image/FederalDeficit(1).jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.factcheck.org/2008/02/the-budget-and-deficit-under-clinton/&h=315&w=483&sz=24&tbnid=xM9cAkzth7hSmM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=138&zoom=1&usg=__yq_2fcX6eXQiYE7C5ZuKbzfoblE=&docid=1-LIo6Xbwj15pM&sa=X&ei=pVNkUtmFNtOkyAG6uYHIAw&ved=0CE8Q9QEwAg

  35. Milty says:

    “The seeds of recession are planted during the preceeding good times.”

    So when were the seeds of the 2001 recession planted?

  36. Milty says:

    “The economy did bustle in the ’20′s, but most of the credit should go to Henry Ford, who almost singlehandedly created the middle class, with some help from Teddy Roosevelt, Edison, etc.”

    Teddy Roosevelt left the presidency in 1909, and he was dead in 1919. It’s good to know that he made such a long lasting contribution to our economic prosperity in the 1920’s.

  37. Athos says:

    There’s just no way for you to even consider what Harding and Mellon did in ’21, is there Rinny? That’s a shame. They cut the budget in half, lowered taxes, and took unemployment over 20, to below 3 in less than 2 years. Hmmm. I wonder if we could use a little of that, today?

    But that was the doing of a car company in Detroit, wasn’t it? (By the way, how’s that city doing today?

    And Teddy R? He’s the soul reason our country was saddled with the progressive Woodrow (IRS, the Fed, WW1 – great legacy!)

    I’ll address more, later, but I refuse to believe you can’t see the obvious truth, Rinny. Your behavior reminds me of fundamentalist religious fanatics.

    Is that it?

  38. nyp says:

    Warren G. Harding

  39. Rincon says:

    I was wondering who would decide that Teddy couldn’t have an effect after his death. Teddy’s trustbusting created fair competition where virtual monopolies often prevailed. Without fair competition, capitalism does not function properly. Rockefeller for example, regularly underpriced his competitors to drive them out of business in one area while using the inordinate profits from other areas where he had already built a monopoly to pay for it. Once he crushed the competition, he was free to charge whatever he wanted.

    When Henry Ford tried to produce cars, he was denied a license to make cars by the association that controlled the auto market at the time. Sensing the change in the legal climate initiated by Roosevelt, Ford built them anyway and was taken to court. Ford emerged victorious and was free to use his assembly line – and eventually, he doubled his workers’ pay, shaming other industry barons to increase wages as well. This was a major factor in the creation of a large and dynamic middle class. Without Roosevelt and the principles he espoused, it’s quite possible that Ford would have lost and gone into obscurity. Ford’s assembly line techniques were also a major factor in our World War II victory. Interestingly, Standard Oil was broken up at the same time that Ford’s trial was proceeding.

  40. Rincon says:

    “The recession of 2001 was caused by irrational exuberance in high tech.” http://useconomy.about.com/od/grossdomesticproduct/a/cause_recession.htm

    Assuming this article is correct, the seeds of the 2001 recession were indeed planted in the preceeding years. Government policies don’t cause them all.

  41. Steve says:

    Government policies should be in response. They should not be the impetus.

  42. Milty says:

    So if removing barriers to entry in the automobile industry 100 years ago was a good idea, would it also be a good idea to remove barriers to entry in countless other industries today (taxi cab medallions, caps on the number of liquor licenses that are issued by certain cities and states, Southern Wine & Spirits government sanctioned monopoly on liquor distribution in Nevada, etc)?

    And does Obamacare conform to the principle of removal of barriers to entry in the health insurance industry?

    And if TR’s legacy was so strong when he left the presidency, then why did he feel compelled to seek the presidency again in 1912 when he saw that legacy unraveling after being out of the White House for less than four years? And would his legacy include his bellicose support in 1916 for US entry into a European war that was none of our business?

  43. nyp says:

    I have no problem reducing barriers to entry, whether they are the result of corupted governmental regimes (taxis) or private monopolistic practices.
    As for health insurance, I see where you are going with that. But a true conservative would object to the federal removal of the states’ rights to control their own insurance industry and to protect their residents as they see fit. Plus, you have the wel-known adverse selection problem that I have previously described. In any event, ObamaCare authorizes states to open up their health insurance markets by entering into interstate compacts to permit cross-border sales of health insurance. It is a worthwhile experiment.

  44. Athos says:

    petey, it’s simply one more step to enslave our populace to a DC run tyranny.

    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    Ben Franklin

    It’s all about the tyranny, petey. If the goal was to insure the uninsured, and save us from bankruptcy, then shut down the department of Ed, Agriculture, and Energy and use a portion of those funds to treat Americans with pre-existing conditions that can’t get affordable care.

    And leave the rest of us alone.

  45. Athos says:

    rinny, I can’t believe I have to do this AGAIN, but I can’t allow your lie to go unchallenged.

    I was happy about the “budget surplus” put together by the Republican Congress and the BJ White House, until I looked at the facts.

    Our national debt INCREASED every year of this scam that was called a balanced budget/ surplus.

    Look it up for yourself.

    Why do you suppose our government handlers would lie about something so easily refuted??

  46. nyp says:

    Benjamin Franklin never said that. He never said anything like that.

    What is it with you wingnuts and bogus quotes?

  47. nyp says:

    Actually, I take it back. Turns out that Franklin actually did write that, although, in context, the quote does not have anything like the meaning that Athos attempts to ascribe to it.

    Still, my apologies to Athos.

  48. Steve says:

    Of course you would never wish to return to any sort of situation that resembles the in context meaning of Franklin’s statement. Right nyp?

    Thing is, that statement is relevant today. From the standpoint of where we are on the road that ends in a place resembling the conditions that brought that brought that statement to being in the first place.
    Nyp and his guys think its just fine everyone else gives up liberties so he and his may live under a false sense of safety.

  49. Nyp says:

    No, I just want to live in a place where a health crisis does not force Wendy Ellis’s family into bankruptcy.

  50. Steve says:

    And the TSA enters that issue, where?

  51. Steve says:

    Ahh, don’t worry about ACA. The feds set up the online system and now the White House may end up doing exactly what many Republicans were pushing for. Extending the personal mandate out for some time and it appears a year is not out of the question.
    I don’t consider ACA as a law that takes liberties away, ACA is nothing more than insurance company subsidy and support. The best you guys could squeak through your own party. Sad.

    As a conservative I said then and I say now, if you were going to go for socialized medicine then you guys should have gone all the way. European style, make the docs work for the state!

  52. Rincon says:

    I did look it up for myself, Athos, and I gave you my source. Where’s yours?

  53. That’s coming, Steve, that’s coming.

  54. Steve says:

    We had the “pleasure” of seeing a doctor who trained and did residency in Europe.

    A real fun time that.

    His decision was quick and absolutely final. A real here it is, take it or leave it and get the hell out of my office kinda guy. Turns out he was also wrong.

    My wife’s main doctor no longer refers patients to that guy, he was getting too many complaints about his attitude and generally incorrect diagnoses.

    I saw Harry on NWR when he made clear ACA was supposed to fail to be replaced with what he claims is better…
    I know Tom, its coming, I simply say why wait? If its so damned great and will solve all the nations health care issues, then lets gitt’r done! Stop this pussy footin’ around and go all out. Make it or break it. If it works then we were wrong if it falls flat on its face then we were right. The way it is now the Democrats have found a way to blame ACA on the Republicans, even though not one voted for it in the first place!

  55. Athos says:

    rinny, here’s the link: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/search?startMonth=09&startDay=&startYear=1995&endMonth=09&endDay=&endYear=2002

    Funny thing, it used to be easy to get year by year (not day to day) on this Treasury website.

    A much better chart (with the same numbers) is found on a Wiki site, half way down the page under the title “Interest paid” in the Appendix.


    As you can see, Rinny, the growth in the debt dramatically slowed between ’99 and 2000 (only added $11 Billion and change), but still grew. So what happened to the reported $86.7 Billion surplus of fiscal year 2000?

    And check out those interest rates and interest payments!

  56. Athos says:

    petey, there are far worse things can happen to Wendy Ellis’ family than being forced into bankruptcy because of medical reasons.

    I know one person that benefited greatly by this experience!

  57. Nyp says:

    Athos – you may for some unfathomable reason believe that going bankrupt was a good experience for you. I assure you it was not so good for your creditors.

  58. Rincon says:

    Thanks for the source, Athos. I think we can agree that while the deficit steadily fell during the Clinton years, the total debt continued to grow, albiet at a slower pace, until a surplus was achieved. How can someone who excuses Bush and the Republicans for increasing the deficits greatly in good times condemn Clinton and Congress for being too slow in achieving a surplus!

  59. Athos says:

    Rinny, I don’t believe I’ve been obtuse over my assessment of Jorge Bush. But we can hardly call his term “peacetime”, can we?

    I’m more interested in how an $87 billion surplus ADDED $12 billion to our debt?

    Any ideas?

  60. Athos says:

    petey, I’m sure the Visa people are doing just fine.

    That’s probably why they charged me 25.9 percent interest!

  61. nyp says:

    that’s what happens when you allow financial services companies (banks, health insurers) to sell across state lines.

  62. Two words: Commerce Clause.

  63. nyp says:

    Oh, no doubt that the 25.9% interest on Athos’s Visa card is constitutional.

  64. Rincon says:

    Think how much interest they could charge if they weren’t (loosly) regulated!

    As for the “surplus adding to our deficit”, that actually disagrees with the other information in the same article. I can think of a variety of creative accounting methods that could produce these figures, but it seems to be accepted that Clinton did achieve surpluses. Anyone claiming deficits would represent a small minority view. Surplus or no, Bush increased the debt a helluva lot faster than Clinton. Yes, the wars made it worse, but Clinton wisely bombed Saddam, while Bush just HAD to make it personal. I also notice that those wartime expenses impacted on Obama’s budgets, but you never offered him this fig leaf.

    Even subtracting the costs of the wars and 9/11, Bush still ran much larger deficits. Two main causes come to mind: 1) Unfunded expansion of the prescription drug benefit and 2) tax cuts and the elimination of the “death tax”. Bush never reduced spending to compensate for the lost income. And no, the tax cuts didn’t seem to have any major stimulatory impact on the economy.

  65. The Bush tax cuts did not cause the deficits. His spending did.

    “But the real jolt for tax-cutting opponents was that the 03 Bush tax cuts also generated a massive increase in federal tax receipts. From 2004 to 2007, federal tax revenues increased by $785 billion, the largest four-year increase in American history. According to the Treasury Department, individual and corporate income tax receipts were up 40 percent in the three years following the Bush tax cuts. And (bonus) the rich paid an even higher percentage of the total tax burden than they had at any time in at least the previous 40 years.”

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/3/bush-tax-cuts-boosted-federal-revenue/#ixzz2iUwJNe9P

  66. Steve says:

    As usual. Reality exists somewhere in the middle.
    Bottom line. Taxes too high = lower revenue. Taxes too low = lower revenue.


  67. Athos says:

    This has become quite lengthy, hasn’t it? I hope you folks realize that the Visa interest rate I paid was common for the times. Plus credit card interest was deductible back then. Mortgage rate interest is deductible now. And easy mortgage credit (liar’s loans) was a key factor in the housing bubble, wasn’t it?

    Rin, my point about the “surplus” actually adding to our debt, is to illustrate the chicanery in DC.

    The American people have been sold a bill of goods, and only a small number of us are pointing this out.

    And by the way, we broke thru the $17 trillion debt mark in spectacular fashion as soon as the “agreement” was reached last week!

  68. nyp says:

    Ah, Mr. Mitchell and the Washington Times (what a source!) are playing games with numbers. “[T]he ’03 Bush tax cuts also generated a massive increase in federal tax receipts.”

    Hmm … weren’t the tax cuts enacted in the Summer of 2001, not in 2003? In fact, there were two sets of tax cuts.The ’03 cuts were an add-in to the ’01 cuts. Mr. Mitchell and the Washington Times leave out the effects of the first round of cuts because they lead to results that weaken their argument. For the same reason, they also end their analysis in 2007.

    Federal revenues increased from 2004-07 because the economy grew — as it always does over the long-term, and, in particular, following a recession. But the permanent structural deficit increased dramatically. The bottom line is that the Bush tax cuts added $1.7 trillion to the deficit. That’s the result of the nonpartisan CBO analysis:

    Click to access 06-07-ChangesSince2001Baseline.pdf

  69. Rincon says:

    The Congressional budget Office disagrees with Thomas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cause_of_change_in_U.S._debt_position_2001-2011.png

    I agree with Steve. The question is, where is the break even point? History suggests that cutting taxes will not stimulate the economy in the long run because 1) The results from the Reagan and Bush tax cuts and the Clinton tax increase all argue against it and support the common sense that says reducing revenues will reduce revenues. 2) If reducing taxes puts money into the pockets of the rich so they can invest it, we’re putting the money in the wrong place. Investors often invest in FOREIGN countries. Doesn’t help our economy at all. 3) At this time, investment capital isn’t what’s lacking. There’s TONS of money on the sidelines. Adding more won’t help. 4) If taking potential money from the government stimulates, then direct government spending should have the same effect, but you all feel that Obama’s spending FAILED to stimulate the economy. You can’t have it both ways!

    The best way is by reducing income inequality. Our economy can’t stand a shrinking middle class.

  70. Rincon says:

    I forgot number 5! Although some of Europe’s problems stem from excessive government spending and intervention, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, and Switzerland show that high taxes don’t necessarily destroy an economy. Their taxes ar far higher than ours and the sky hasn’t fallen.

  71. Steve says:

    Virtually every country you mention relies on our military for their defense. They can get away with absurdly expensive social programs cause they get plenty of our money in the form of military support.

    Socialism, a great form of operations until the other guys money runs out.

  72. nyp says:

    We are defending Switzerland? From whom?

  73. Steve says:

    I didn’t say EVERY country, nyp. Stop being obstinate.

  74. nyp says:

    We are defending Norway? From whom?

  75. Milty says:

    Norway is a charter member of NATO, so as part of the NATO covenant we’re obligated to defend it if it’s attacked.

    As far as the “From whom?” part, that’s a good question. When the Cold War ended, NATO’s mission had been fulfilled, so why does it still exist? Or at least why is the US still a member?

  76. Rincon says:

    I certainly agree that our allies should pay for their own defense, but since only a miniscule piece of our GDP goes to defending Norway, etc, it certainly cannot be credited with saving their economies from the ruin that some claim that higher taxes bring.

  77. nyp says:

    We’re defending Finland? From whom?

  78. Athos says:

    The countries you fellas are naming, have their own set of problems. It’s called demographics.

    And you can hardly compare them to the dynamics of America. Possibly individual states could do the socialist governments (Massachusetts comes to mind) and then the rest of the states could see the results.

    Hmm. Didn’t someone else come up with this solution??

  79. nyp says:

    Good point. America is so exceptional, so God-blessed, that it is the only industrial country in the modern era that cannot ensure that its citizens do not go bankrupt over health problems.

  80. Athos says:

    We can’t insure major cities won’t go chapter 9, petey. Our debt forgiveness laws give all a chance to begin anew, with a clean slate ( which is biblical, I believe!)

    And that is pretty exceptional, isn’t it?

  81. Athos says:

    And I just read we have spent $3.7 trillion on welfare over the past 5 years.

    It doesn’t require Einstein to see that is unsustainable, does it?

  82. nyp says:

    “$3.7 trillion on welfare over the past five years.”

    That is an absurd lie.

  83. Athos says:

    An absurd lie? You and I both wish it was.

    But we both know it’s true, don’t we, petey?

  84. nyp says:

    No, we don’t. Prove it. Provide a source. And data.

  85. We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office. During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person’s income and, in contrast to programs like Social Security or Medicare, they are a free benefit and not paid into by the recipient.

    The enormous sum spent on means-tested assistance is nearly five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects over that time. ($3.7 trillion is not even the entire amount spent on federal poverty support, as states contribute more than $200 billion each year to this federal nexus—primarily in the form of free low-income health care.)



  86. nyp says:

    Oh wow. Jeff Sessions. OK, here is a guide to the bamboozlement.

    Do you think Pell Grants for college are “welfare”? Are Pell Grants what comes to mind when you think of “welfare”? If not, you should know that they are part of Mr. Mitchell’s “$3.7 trillion.”

    Do you think that Medicaid payments to nursing homes for the care of the very elderly is “welfare? If not, you should know that they are a substantial part of Mr. Mitchell’s “$3.7 trillion.”

    How about assistance to people with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities? Is that “welfare” to you?

    Is a tax credit to the working poor “welfare”? It is to Mr. Mitchell.

    How ’bout Head Start? “Welfare,” or not?

    Same thing with the Child Tax Credit.

    What about grants to support foster care families? Mr. Mitchell believes that is “welfare.” Do you guys agree?

    Funds to support community health centers — is that “welfare”? It is to Thomas Mitchell.

    How about breast cancer screening? Mr. Mitchell believes that the “National Breast And Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program” is bad, bad welfare.

    Most non-Tea Party people would think that it is nuts to characterise such programs as “welfare,” which traditionally refers to cash assistance programs. They realize that, in reality, only 13% of the federal budget goes to non-health related safety net programs.

    But most people are not Thomas Mitchell.

  87. All means tested. All welfare. All redistribution.

    Just like the earned income tax credit, for which the IRS paid out more than $13 billion in bogus claims last year and more than $130 billion in the past decade.


  88. nyp says:

    OK. So we are clear. Medicaid support for elderly people in nursing homes is bad, bad “welfare.” Pell Grants to kids studying engineering are bad, bad “welfare.” Breast cancer screening is bad, bad welfare.

  89. I just said it was welfare. You are the one calling it “bad, bad.”

  90. Athos says:

    Calm down, petey. Nobody cancelled Christmas. And the only one saying “bad,bad welfare” is you.

    Ignoring a problem ( our nation’s insolvency) won’t make it disappear.

  91. nyp says:

    ah, so much of what you guys call “welfare” (Pell Grants, help for people in nursing homes, help for severely disabled kids, etc.) is actually not good, not bad.

    As I said, only 13% of the federal budget goes to non-health related safety net programs.

    by the way, this contention that the US is “insolvent” is also absurd, particularly in the face of our rapidly falling federal deficits.

  92. Rincon says:

    You forgot to include bankruptcy laws, corporate welfare, and tax deductions benefiting mainly the rich. We’ve got welfare all over the place!

  93. Athos says:

    Thank you for your comment, petey.

    Or should I call you Captain John Edward Smith?

  94. nyp says:

    No, because I don’t know what that means.

  95. Athos says:

    He was the captain of a ship named Titanic.

    See all the good stuff you can learn, here??

    Rinny, bankruptcy laws protect private property (that’s good!) corp. welfare, tax deductions are wealth distribution (that’s bad!)

    Some idiot put public money into a corp. named Solyndra. Wrong, corrupt, evil. Should be done away with, right?

  96. Rincon says:

    Bankruptcy is socialism – although necessary in some form. It takes from those who can pay to pay the bill of those that can’t.

    If Solyndra is wrong, corrupt, and evil, so is subsidizing fossil fuel companies.

  97. Rincon says:

    I decided to look up Solyndra and found something interesting:
    “The following year, the company was invited to apply for a government-guaranteed loan under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 — a law backed by Republicans and designed to ‘support innovative clean energy technologies.'” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/solyndra–explained/2012/06/01/gJQAig2g6U_blog.html
    The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was passed by the 109th Congress, which held a Republican majority in both houses and it was signed by a Republican President. Unless someone can find a quid quo pro for the Obama administration, it seems that the Solyndra debacle was legal and may have even met the intentions of the Republican law. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr6

  98. Steve says:

    Ahh, the “you do it too” argument.

    Its one of the reasons behind TEA and efforts to oust those Republicans Nyp thinks are “reasonable”.

    What is needed is more TEA and less “go along to git along.”

  99. Rincon says:

    “You do it too” doesn’t make it right; rather, I’m pointing out that most of you rarely criticize the Republicans, and then call for impeachment when the Democrats act upon this bill, which was passed by Republicans! Where were you when the bill was passed? Calling for Bush’s impeachment? I think not. Try not to be blind to the sins of those you favor.

    I agree with Tea that government subsidies should be cut dramatically. What I do not agree with is their unwillingness to get anything accomplished because of their intransigence.

  100. Milty says:

    Sure, Solyndra is an example of bipartisan incompetence. I’ll also acknowledge that the Obamaphone should be rightly called the Bush43phone.

    I guess the question is, if the government isn’t competent to handle an investment in Solyndra, then why should they have been entrusted to control our health insurance system?

  101. Athos says:

    Rin, surely you know the difference between failing to live up to a contract to pay someone, and filing for bankruptcy protection vs government agencies taking your money by force and giving it to someone else in a redistribution scheme, right?

    As to not knocking Republicans for Solyndra, Zero CAMPAIGNED at the site promoting his great selection of this company (playing Gaia for the world to see) and then the end came. But that doesn’t stop the chøsen øne, does it?

    And who you talking about ignoring Republican malfeasance? You’re smarter than that, Rin! If you really want to know about the TEA party, check out this 1.5 minute youTube by Brit Hume (worth your time, and will definitely benefit by it)

  102. zabs@juno.com says:

    From what I read and hear, Medicare works reasonably well. According to Time’s article, it works better than insurance. I still would like private enterprise to run medical care as much as possible, but we’ve had several decades to get it right and it is an abysmal failure. With proper regulation and transparency, private enterprise might have worked out. Unfortunately, everyone, including Obama focuses on how to pay the bills instead of making the bills smaller in the first place.

  103. Rincon says:

    Bankruptcy is a form of involuntary redistributed income.

    Interesting video. The concerns of the Tea Party are worthwhile and should be addressed, but with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.

  104. Steve says:

    Ahh, then why do liberals keep going at TEA with a 30lb sledge?

  105. Athos says:

    For a government that would bar WW2 veterans from their memorial, but allow illegals to hold a rally, do you really feel anything but a sledge hammer would have any effect?

    What “scalpel” would work with Harry Reid? These people must be defeated.

    Wish there was another way.

  106. Nyp says:

    Hey Athos – how do you keep national memorials and parks open when you have shut down the government?

  107. Central planing never works, zags.


  108. Athos says:

    If we had a government that acted as the people’s servant, you’d put up a sign that said “no one on duty, proceed at your own risk”.

    Instead, this band of despots puts up manned barricades.

  109. Rincon says:

    “Ahh, then why do liberals keep going at TEA with a 30lb sledge?” Same reason Conservatives go after Liberals with a sledge. They’re zealots. You can’t reason with them.

    Central planning works well in many cases, but should be used only when more freedom is unworkable. Saying it never works is extreme and I think, inaccurate. Central planning did pretty well in World War II, the Manhattan Project, our utilities (in most cases), the FAA, The Interstate Highway Program, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway. There are hundreds of other examples.

  110. nyp says:

    you let people clamber around a national monument or national memoral or a national park with no guards, no clean-up, no nothing?
    No thanks.

  111. Steve says:

    True, can’t argue with liberals. That’s another reason for the growth of TEA. A response to liberal intractability.

  112. All inefficient and far too costly.

    The Manhattan Project did not exactly produce consumer goods.

  113. Steve says:

    Heavens to Murgatroyd! Just how did all those rocks in red rock canyon survive for millions of years without all that federal “help”?

    Since when does a government “shut down” entail paying overtime for armed guards in front of gates at parks? The damn government was “shut down” where did it get all those employees?

    Unless, of course, it was not “shut down” at all. Rather a PR event swallowed hook line and stinker by a public hypnotized by the slime continually oozing out the TV.

  114. Milty says:

    “If we had a government that acted as the people’s servant…”

    If we had a government that acted as the people’s servant, the HHS secretary wouldn’t have said, “The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are PEOPLE WHO I DON’T WORK FOR and who do not want this program to work in the first place.”

  115. nyp says:

    What’s wrong with that statement?

  116. Milty says:

    If you’re saying that Ms. Sebellius is not a public servant, and is not answerable to the public, then there’s nothing wrong with the statement she made.

  117. Nyp says:

    “The public” is demanding that she resign? I thought it was just a bunch of the usual wingnuts on Capital Hill.

  118. Milty says:

    So you’re claiming that the American public is so ecstatically happy with the overwhelmingly successful rollout of the Obamacare exchanges that only a wingnut would think it appropriate for Ms. Sebelius to resign due to her job performance?

    You’re doing a helluva job, Brownie-Sebelius!

  119. Athos says:

    Milty, to people of petey’s ilk, she’s not answerable to the American unwashed. Honor, duty and public service are rarely found together, with the crop of vermin we’ve had infest the body politic.

    Rin, it pains me to see an educated American citizen defending government central planning.

    What’s up with that, comrade?

  120. Rincon says:

    Central planning is a broad term. My business is centrally planned because I’m the boss. I don’t want it to be a committee effort by my employees and it probably would run badly if it was. In government and in commerce, central planning is ubiquitous on the small scale. In the larger scale of running a country, central planning should not be the default. Individual freedom must be preserved to the extent that it’s reasonable.

    There are some components of running a society such as the military, that don’t lend themselves to the ideal of individual freedom. Likewise, if competition is not feasible, capitalism cannot function properly. Or if large numbers of people suffer due to the legitimate actions of others such as in the case of pollution, then regulation becomes necessary.

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